Yes, I skipped doing a post on "Night Terrors" last week. I thought it was a better episode than many online reviewers gave it credit for but not outstanding. I enjoyed it; however, its monster-in-the-closet-with-a-twist plot was obviously geared toward younger viewers than me. This week's episode was much better. So, without further ado ...
The Girl Who Waited ... a really, really long time.
I love when Doctor Who does a character-based episode. No monster of the week. No long-arc continuity. No Moffat puzzle boxes. This was a story about Amy and Rory and the strength of their love. And it was easily the best episode of the three we've seen since the show came back after its summer break.
What I liked:
- The Doctor's reckless, Geronimo attitude endangers the people he loves. Again. When Amy goes back for her phone (which turns out to have the longest lasting battery ever), the Doctor could have waited for her to catch up. Instead, he and Rory push the green button to open a door and go inside without her. Amy pushes the red button and ends up in a different room, the first step that cascades into Amy being trapped in that facility alone for 36 years. And she calls the Doctor on it.
- Rule No. 1: The Doctor lies. Boy, he tells a whopper to old Amy when he promises to save her but knows he can't.
- Karen Gillan's performance as old Amy is brilliant. She is still Amy Pond, but with more confidence and more sadness. Even her body language is different. When old Amy tells the Doctor how much she hates him for abandoning her, it's chilling. When she decides to defy time itself for Rory's sake and sacrifices herself for to give him back the days they lost, it's heartbreaking. I almost cried. And I never cry at television shows.
- I also like how Rory is portrayed. He does not love old Amy any less for the years that separate them. He only hates that they did not get to grow old together. And I love that he almost lets old Amy onto the TARDIS, even knowing that the two Amys cannot both exist. He can't stand leaving her behind. Only the ending of "The Doctor's Wife" matches this one for poignancy.