The fateful day has finally arrive, the day that some have dreaded and some have waited for. The departure of Amy and Rory Williams (though they will always be Ponds to me) has been hinted at all season and it is no secret that in the fifth episode of Season 7, titled The Angels Take Manhattan, marks the end of Rory and Amy’s time with the Doctor (Matt Smith). Not only does this episode contain Amy and Rory’s departure, it also features the return of River Song (Alex Kingston) and one of the Doctor’s most infamous villainous races, the Weeping Angels.
The entire episode is set in Manhattan, though not all of it is set during the same time period. The episode begins with what seems to be yet another random vacation for the Doctor and the Ponds as they lounge around the park reading, drinking coffee and enjoying each other’s company. The episode begins when Rory goes to get more coffee and he ends up in 1938 rather than 2012 where he started. With the help of River Song, the Doctor and Amy make their way back in time to find that New York City has been taken over by the Weeping Angels.
Quick side note on the Weeping Angels in case any readers aren’t familiar. The Weeping Angels are stuck in time, incapable of movement if anybody is looking at them. Super fast and deadly hunters, the Angels are free to move as long as nobody is looking at them. They have two main forms of attacks. The first is a physical attack and the second is the ability to send a person back in time with just a touch. In this episode, the Angels are slightly different than when we are first introduced to them, back in the days when David Tennant was the Doctor. In this episode, the Angels’ movement is not quite as free as normal. In previous episodes simply blinking puts you in danger from the Angels attacks but now it seems that only darkness and actually looking away from them allows them to move. Though this change made the Angels a little less intense, the episode made up for it with the plot.
When a person is displaced in time, specifically when the Angels displace somebody in time, a tremendous amount of energy is released and the Angels feed off of that energy. After taking over every statue in Manhattan, the Angels have created their own energy farm. The Angels have found a way to displace people to a certain location, a location where they will be trapped forever until they die of old age with the Angels feeding off of them as they age. Now the Angels have their sights set on Rory. If the Angels touch Rory again, he will be sent back to the Farm they created to age alone forever and never see his wife again. After seeing his aged body expire, the only way to escape his seemingly inevitable fate is to create a time paradox, erasing everything that the Angels did to him. Even if he does manage to create the paradox, Rory will have to spend his entire life running, running away from the Weeping Angels dead set to capture him forever.
Now comes the part of this post where those that haven’t seen the episode may want to stop reading because I am going to talk about Amy and Rory’s tragic exit from the show. As is tradition with companion departures, and I’m thinking of Rose Tyler and Donna Noble in particular, Amy and Rory leaving left me absolutely devastated. Rather than simply running for the rest of his life, Rory decides that if he ended his life, making it so that he died twice on the same day, the paradox would be created and the building, therefore his death, would have never happened. Not able to let Rory risk his life alone, Amy decides to end her life with him, reasoning that the paradox will save both of them. They create the paradox and everything works as they planned with the Doctor, River, Amy and Rory all showing up alive and together. Just when everything seemed to be safe, a rogue angel that wasn’t destroyed the paradox touches Rory, sending him away where the Doctor can never see him again. Unable to live with out him, Amy gets touched by the same Angel, creating a fixed point in time where the Doctor can never see his two Companions again.
Heartbreaking and tragic, I once again had the displeasure of feeling defeated after an episode of Doctor Who, though it was the best episode of the season so far. With some outstanding performances and a plot that once again proved the brilliance of Doctor Who writers, this episode may be my favorite Matt Smith episode to date. Though it was sad to see Amy and Rory go, the episode gave Amy a real chance to definitively prove her devotion to Rory rather than the Doctor. She chose to spend her life with Rory forever, never being able to see the Doctor again. I was getting tired of Amy Pond but it was still terrible to see her go. The Doctor has lost more Companions and didn’t even get a chance to really say goodbye to them. Though he will be devastated, the Doctor will continue to do what the Doctor does best, saving the universe. He will find another companion, of that I am sure. We have to wait until Christmas for the Doctor’s return but when he does, the Doctor will be as amazing as ever.