Amy’s Choice – re-recap with more quotes and whatnot
I don’t usually do two posts about the same episode, but this was very much exceptional. (And if I tack on the next episode to the end, it will be exceptionally long, even for me. So.)
I still, mostly, hated it – except for the parts I really loved. Except-ional.
Over scenes of bucolic peace there is the sound of a ticking clock. We then see Amy, very pregnant, in her really very cute kitchen stirring something in a mixing bowl. She experiences what she believes are labor pains, and hollers for Rory – who, beponytailed, comes pedaling home on his bike. By the time he gets inside, though, she’s fine – after all, she’s never done this before, so she doesn’t know what to expect. Makes sense, actually, even if it does give “her boys” grey hairs.
The Doctor arrives, landing in her garden; Amy, of course, recognizes the sound of the TARDIS (with the brake on), though Rory’s response is “I know – leaf blowers! Use a rake!” When he rushes out the Doctor cries out “Rory!” much as he did on spotting him at the bachelor party. I wonder – is this because he’s genuinely glad to see him (he was at the bachelor party, as he was briefly worried he was in the wrong cake – again), or because he’s overcompensating for not being all that glad? Or is it just because it’s kind of fun to bellow “Rory!” (Try it. Don’t forget the accent.)
They all doze off, and wake up in the TARDIS; and the TARDIS begins to malfunction. “Red flashing lights – I bet they mean something.” Which should have been a pointer that this wasn’t real: the Doctor’s been flying this ship for centuries. I would expect, even if he did throw the operating manual into a supernova (or perhaps because), he would know what any lights meant, and especially red flashing ones. He was entirely too helpless in the face of malfunction, and entirely too ill-equipped (though he did make magnificent use of an eggbeater).
Amy’s saved the world several times now, and perhaps that led to a bit of overconfidence here: “It’s real. I know it’s real.” “OK, this is the real one.” “I’ve said that before, haven’t I?” The Doctor doesn’t try for a while, though he solicits opinions – he knows “You can’t spot a dream while you’re having it”.
“Let’s go and poke it with a stick.” Still loving that line.
“If you’re the Time Lord, let’s call me the Dream Lord.” Let’s not.
“You can’t fool me – I’ve seen your dreams. Some of them twice, Amy. Blimey, I’d blush, if I had a blood supply. Or a real face.” Really. Amy looked stricken, possibly a bit guilty, when he said this – so: how did the Doctor know? Has he really “seen” her dreams? Is that something he’s ever been hinted at being able to do?
“Where did you pick up this cheap cabaret act?” He never was afraid of the little slug; bothered, yes, but never afraid.
“Me? Oh, you’re on shaky ground.”
“If you had any more tawdry quirks you could open up a tawdry quirk shop. The madcap vehicle, the cockamamie hair, the clothes designed by a first-year fashion student… I’m surprised you haven’t got a little purple space dog just to ram home what an intergalactic wag you are.”
– – OK, first of all, ow. That all kinds of stings. Second: Why do people keep picking on his hair? Over at least two regenerations? I have no problem with his hair. And third: did they run that “first-year fashion student” line by the costume designer? And four: still wanted him to say “tin”. Still want to PhotoShop K-9 purple.
“One is real, the other’s fake … only one of the dangers is real.” As a famous starfish said, “Liar, liar, plants for hire.”
“One reality was always too much for you, Doctor. Take two – – and call me in the morning.”
Rory: “Okay, I don’t like him.” Amen, Rory love. Amen. To put it mildly.
“One of my tawdry quirks: sniffing out things that aren’t what they seem.”
Leadworth Amy again indicates, gently, that the baby may be coming … and once the two blokes are thoroughly stirred up stops yelling.
“Okay, it’s not coming.”
“This is my life now and it just turned you white as a sheet, so don’t you call it dull again. Ever. Okay?”
— See – he does apologize. Sometimes. Rarely. Once a decade or so. She just used hers up.
This bugged me both times watching: “Do you have any warm clothing?” How has she been on the TARDIS this long, with costume changes, without knowing the depth and extent of the TARDIS wardrobe? That line was a mistake.
And instead of directing them to that wardrobe, the Doctor sends them to a closet for blankets. Which ended up being very cute – but nonsense, in the face of a probably seven hundred anoraks in the wardrobe.
Rory: I want the other life. We were happy and settled – and about to have a baby.
Amy: But don’t you wonder – if that life is real, then why would we give up all this? Why would anyone? (Amen, Mary Sue.)
R: Because we’re gonna freeze to death?
A: The Doctor’ll fix it. (Be interesting to see if that attitude changes now.)
R: We have to grow up eventually.
A: Says who?
— Aaaand – there, for about the third time, is Doctor Who in a nutshell.
The Doctor discovers the reason it’s getting so cold in the TARDIS: they’re falling toward a frozen star. Yes, stars burn – this one burns cold.
Rory: Is that possible?
Doctor: I can’t know everything! Why does everyone expect me to always?
– – Maybe because you usually do, and make a point of letting everyone know you’re the smartest kid in the room? I don’t remember ever seeing the Doctor stand helplessly back and watch the TARDIS spin out, and I don’t remember him ever saying “how would I know?”
Rory: Okay, this is something you haven’t seen before – so does that mean this is the dream?
Doctor: I don’t know. But there it is, and I’d say we’ve got about fourteen minutes before we crash into it.
Oh, this is so you, isn’t it?
A weird new star, fourteen minutes left to live, and only one man to save the day?
– – Wow. First of all, Rory can be a bit formidable when he’s not trying. And formidable (said with a French accent). The questions I asked earlier about the Doctor also apply to him: does he like the Doctor at all? Is his preference for the Leadworth reality because that’s what he would really love (and how telling is it that it apparently came from the Doctor’s brain – does he know Rory so well that he can nail it that well?), or because it’s not the TARDIS? That might have been “second” in there, too, so – thirdly: is the Doctor being so tetchy because it’s Rory doing the asking? And, finally, again: Wow. Only the Dream Lord could have said anything more painful.
Dream Lord: Let’s all jump under a bus and wake up in the TARDIS! You first.
Doctor: Leave her alone.
DL: Do that again! I love it when he does that! Tall, dark hero – “Leave her alone”!!
Rory: Just leave her!
DL: You’re not so impressive. … Loves a redhead, our naughty Doctor. Has he told you about Elizabeth the First? Well – she thought she was the first…
Doctor: Drop it. Drop all of it. I know who you are.
DL: ‘Course you don’t.
Doctor: ‘Course I do. No idea how you can be here, but there’s only one person in the universe who hates me as much as you do.
— He is almost smiling as he says it, which is remarkable considering how much that line hurts. The Dream Lord is smiling, a small smug smile, which is unremarkable considering how very much I hate him. But much as I do hate him, I can’t argue with “I love it when he does that!” Truly.
Rory – Him I like. “I can’t hit her!” That would be almost impossible: the little old lady whose depression you made better; how on earth could you whack her with a two-by-four? Even seeing some bizarre alien stalk poking out of her mouth?
And thanks to GeekTV for a screencap I didn’t even hope to see:
– A perfect depiction of the TARDIS three, as evidenced by their reactions to the first stalk-y thing coming out of Mrs. Poggit’s mouth.
You know the Doctor – he’s Mr. Cool.
– – Not so much right then. Beautifully done.
You’re probably a vegetarian, aren’t you, you big floppy-haired wuss.
Oh, pipe down – I’m busy.
– – He was never afraid of the little toad – but once he realized who he was dealing with he was both less and more disturbed. His attitude does change, though – love it.
“Oh, my boys – my poncho boys.”
And more ows:
Poor Amy. He always leaves you, doesn’t he, alone in the dark. Never apologizes.
He doesn’t have to.
That’s good. Because he never will. … (He left her alone with) spooky old not-to-be-trusted me…
Who are you? And what do you want? The Doctor knows but he’s not telling me. And he always does. It takes him a while sometimes, but he always tells me. So you’re something different.
Oh, is that who you think you are? The one he trusts?
The only girl in the universe to whom the Doctor tells everything?
So … what’s his name?
– – Ow.
… Maybe it’s better than loving and losing the Doctor …
I’m just really hoping at that point – and the “anything could happen” bit – that the dream had taken on its own life.
“Friends”? Is that the right word for the people you acquire? …
Amy: Come back.
(Ditto, soon, apparently)
Save him. You save everyone, you always do. It’s what you do.
Not always. I’m sorry.
Then what is the point of you?
This is the dream. Definitely this one.
– – Amy has made her choice, for better or worse. And the Doctor gives her the keys to the van, and goes around to get in the passenger side – and comes face to face with the little rodent. There was so much emotion in that one moment, without a word, without a gesture, almost without expression… Oww.