The Angels Take Manhattan, Inspire Many Feels

I have many excuses for why this is late. For one thing, I was watching The Avengers and getting smashed on Saturday night. For another thing, I have a lot of feels to parse through. Hit the jump to find out what those feels are.

First of all, let’s get the things I liked out of the way (It’s a short list…):

The beginning scene was really scary and well-done, I thought.

I liked that River was in it in a non-“OMG! She is a huge plot twist of epic magnitude” Season 6 way. She was good in this and I’m glad she was there to say goodbye to the Ponds.

I liked the Doctor wearing Amy’s silly glasses, and even though he is silly-looking enough as it is, I wish he’d have stuck with them. He sees better, and it’d be a cool/sad constant tribute to the Ponds and his loss.

Although, yes, it was touching and heartbreaking, I am glad the Ponds are gone. I would love to have a bit of River/Doctor flirtily traveling together, and I am looking forward to seeing if Moffat can and will mop up the Oswin business that had we Whovians all aflutter a month-ish ago.

Things I didn’t like:

Killing the Ponds, bringing them back, and then killing them again. The rooftop scene was by no means perfect, but that would have been a good and heartbreaking ending for the Ponds. And it would have been ballsy to actually kill a companion or two in a permanent way—can we talk about the fact that Rory died three times in this episode? None have died yet in new Who. Bringing them back just to drag out the depressingness was in poor form in literary terms and is also just a dick move in general. And it’s way more sad if Amy and Rory die sacrificing themselves for each other than if they die… of old age happily in each other’s arms, just never seeing the Doctor again.

The continuity errors, lord, the continuity errors. Just because this show is constantly rebooting the universe and switching timelines and losing bits through metaphysical cracks doesn’t mean the most basic rules can change.

“Blink” gave us one set of rules for how the Angels worked; “Time of the Angels”/”Flesh and Stone” gave us a whole different set, and this tried to mush them together with limited success. Why could that Angel take Amy when the Doctor and River were looking at it? Why aren’t Angels killing every person who looks away from a Statue of Liberty postcard?  The Angel biology is enormously confused and they’ve only really been in four episodes. The Daleks have been in fifty years’ worth of Who and they have barely changed as much as the Angels.

And monsters aside, what’s with the Doctor healing River with regeneration energy? Can he just… do that? He is not magic or God; alien biology needs to have some limits to maintain believability. Otherwise you get into Superman territory—first he has super strength, then he can fly, then he’s physically invulnerable, then he can shoot eye lasers, then he has x-ray vision… like, seriously, stop while you’re ahead, Moffat.

Also, the TARDIS can’t go back into 1938 New York because of reasons, but can’t it go to literally any other place on Earth in 1938 and then whoever’s inside can fly, walk, bike, take a dirigible, etc., into NYC from there?

Anyway, I would very much like a title for the Christmas episode (and more than ten seconds of preview, if we’re feeling generous.)

What did everyone else think of this episode?

15 thoughts on “The Angels Take Manhattan, Inspire Many Feels

  1. I completely agree with you! I was glad that the Pond’s got a decent farewell, but everything that you listed as wrong with this episode is everything that’s been wrong with Moffat’s Who from the start. If you can get past that, though, I really enjoyed it. I must admit that I was glad they got a happy ending, though. I would’ve been actually broken otherwise. River was fantastic in this episode. Occasionally, the writer’s do right by her – she’s such a brilliant character – and I was glad that the Moff countered the Doctor’s unbelievably condescending “you embarrass me” line from the last finale.

    Ca’t wait to see Oswin return (if indeed it is Oswin?) in the special. I know that she seems like Amy 2.0 (smart, sassy, cheeky, chock full of flirt), but she’s very funny so fingers crossed.

    • Yeah, I have my fingers crossed that maybe instead of sticking fingers in ears and humming so he can’t hear the complainers, that the Moff may actually consider what people are complaining about and take it to heart. It’s not all hateful attacks on his person or writing – some of my favorite episodes are Moffat-penned – but I think he’s coming from a place where he can’t accept -any- criticism of his work, and any naysayers are obviously not true fans of the show and just want to say mean things. It’s really frustrating. >.>

      Yeah, I’d love to see more of the Oswin character, because she was basically a female Jack Harkness and that’s freaking sweet. But I also hope that Moffat does right by New Companion Girl (Oswin or not) and doesn’t continue the continuity-bucking, lady-character-hating, overly timey-wimey nonsense of the past season and a half.

      (..Is it Christmas yet?)

      • Definitely! There is this notion of “like it or you’re not in the club” which sucks, but I think the problem is the fact that Who is such a big brand now & Moffat is so admired by the industry & the show’s producers are his friends so no one is really criticising his, shall we say, less-good decisions on the ground level. And, yes, the lady-hate (every single Amy-centric plot would cease to exist without the sole fact that she is a girl & don’t even get me started on River’s in season 6) must end.

        Still, I’m hoping Oswin will kick the show in a new direction with fresh ideas. She is definitely very Captain Jack – I hadn’t noticed that before!

  2. Wouldn’t it be interesting if River and Oswin were interested in each other? What do you suppose the Doctor would do? Also, who was that random guy at the beginning narrating? Did we ever figure that out?

  3. yeah i was totally fine with them jumping off the building. but then coming back to just be taken again? i was mad. they already had my tears with the first one, did they really need to drag it out? i mean, every whovian knew it was coming. no companion stays forever. they were just dragging it out for the sake of filler. at least thats how i felt. rory and amy were great companions, they will be missed but if the rumors of oswin being the new companion are in any way true, that is something i’d like to see be explained. i mean… she’s a dalek. unless they pull a gwen cooper and she happens to have an exact copy of her in her family tree a few centuries back with the exact same name and the doctor just happens to meet her. i did thoroughly enjoy river song coming back for this. that was a highlight. also, how was the avengers game? did anyone “die”? and i totally agree with ladybakula, river and oswin would hot together. even better, the doctor regenerates into a female ginger. everyone knows the doctor wants to be a ginger, why not a female one?

    • Yeah, I’m really curious to see how Moffat pulls himself out of the whole ‘She’s a Dalek’ thing – because it’d take one hell of a perception filter to make a Dalek look like a person all the time for adventures…
      The avengers game was good, no casualties!
      And be careful about putting words in mouths – we think River and Oswin would be good together because it would take the focus off the Doctor, give evidence in real life that River is bi (since it’s apparently canon despite never being mentioned in the show), and showcase a legitimate queer female relationship in the forefront of the show, not just because it would be hot.
      And although I’d love a female Doctor, I think that a lady ginger Doctor is out of the cards – we already sort of had one with the DoctorDonna, and there have been a looooot of redheads as main characters in the show recently. I think they need to give some other features a chance.

      • I honestly just love redheads. I don’t think there can ever be too many. Ever. And yes, Donna does have the Doctor’s knowledge and is able to sonic screwdrive her way out of messes, but it’s useless when acknowledging it will kill her. More or less, she just goes on living a normal human life. A female doctor would just bring a different perspective. Consider that the Doctor’s personality changes with every regeneration. I, for one, would like to see how a female would portray such an iconic character that has lasted decades. Gay or straight, it really doesn’t matter to me. Not going to say I won’t fantasize, but 11 doctors, all male? It’s just bound to happen. The whole River and Oswin thing? I think the Doctor would lose it for a while then come to accept what he wouldn’t be able to change. Plus it’s River. There’s no changing her mind.

        • I mean, I am certainly a hundred percent behind the idea of a female Doctor. And I also think gay or straight is irrelevant – it’d be unfair to the actress to make her suddenly have a huge romantic plotline, because in the history of Doctor Who the Doctor/Rose plotline has been the only real ‘big damn romance’ of the show, and it would definitely smack of the writers not being able to conceive of a woman character without a love interest.
          …I hope the second half of this season is better than the first. ;__;

  4. All I want for Christmas is a Doctor Who episode with clearly defined characters, that has a beginning middle and end, and has no ridiculous plot twists. This season the only episode that did that was A Town Called Mercy, which is probably why I liked it a lot more than you.

    Right now the only thing we are getting is witty dialogue and great set-ups and give way for ridiculous plot shit.

    • I am with you there – what a Christmas present that would be! It’s sad that we’re at the point where we’re hoping for such basic things… :/

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