I fully expected this episode to slay me. I saw those pictures of Matt Smith crying as he read the script, and I remember how much it hurt when Rose left and how that still makes my heart sore when I see it again, and I feared this would be like that.
Well, it wasn't quite that bad.
Part of it was because the episode felt a little short; there was a whole lot going on here, and it would have been a great midseason two-parter, but they'd already decided that all episodes this year were going to be single, after the over-abundance of multi-part eps last season. And the delayed start because of the Olympics making the midseason actually a really long Christmas break. And the new companion come in midseason. Still, we have all of Manhattan chock full of Weeping Angels. We have people being zapped back in time repeatedly and herded into a plus but inescapable old-folks home where the Angels feed off them. We have Amy and Rory acutely aware of their aging and trying to hide it from the Doctor, and River and the Doctor acting, finally, like a married couple. We have a PI story. We have a billionaire holding an Angel hostage. We have a double noble sacrifice. And we have Amy and Rory leaving. This story really needed more space.
And part of it is because whereas Rose was leaving against her will, and even with TenToo felt alone and abandoned, Amy left fully by her choice and do so to be with Rory. It proves, once and for all, that she really does love him as much as he loves her, and it makes them an epic love story, and since they get to be together, even though the Doctor is alone, yet again, he's got River now and the companion leaving is not unwilling. So it's sad, entirely, but it's not crushing.
It did a good job of wrapping up their storyline. The last few episodes made it clear that this was the story of the Doctor needing them, and not as much the story of them needing the Doctor as previous companion stories were. And it made sense that they'd choose to live; they finally decided to do the noble thing together, rather than Amy letting Rory die again and mourning him again, or, the ending I feared, Rory living and Amy dying and not coming back. That would have been more dramatic, sure, but it already had a lot of drama, and it also would have been a lot more upsetting to watch.
And so, we go into a long break with the sadness, but not the trauma, and we can look forward to more Jenna-Louise and whatever convoluted storyline they bring us to explain how she died and is still a companion, but isn't like River. Or Amy. Or whatever.
What did you think?