falling_voices: (golden twirl)
[personal profile] falling_voices
There are quite a few things to be said about The Girl Who Waited, which is exactly the reason why I'm not doing a more in-depth review of the episode the way I did for Night Terrors: I don't think I would ever get to stop. As it is, though, I do have a few remarks to mention.

So this isn't an episode about timey-wimeyness, although it does have some timey-wimeyness; this isn't an episode about science-fiction, or strange planets in quarantine, or about deathly robots trying to help you — through killing you. It's an episode about relationships. It's an episode about Amy and Rory, and it's been a long time in coming. 

One thing I've always adored about their relationship is their shift in the normal system of gender roles. The symbolism of boy meets girl, the traditional concept of a relationship between a man and a woman, has been absolutely altered. Rory is the one who remains at home while Amy leaves on her adventures; he is naive, easily flustered, faced with her confidence and dismissive attitude. He's the one who waits for her, who stays behind for her, and she's the one who forgets him. This was how they were presented to us in the fifth season.

We had the slightly emotional moment that was Amy's Choice, and then The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang occurred, and that changed everything. These twin episodes managed to put Amy and Rory on an equal level, instead of reasserting society's cliché hierarchical system. There is a radical rewriting of their relationship, and it becomes an equilibrium, no longer as one-sided as it used to be. This is even better than reversing traditional gender roles, to be honest, because it sets the woman and the man as balancing one another — and the results were shown in what we have seen of the sixth season so far, and all its quiet, adorable moments between the two. (Amy kissing Rory's bruised knuckles in The Rebel Flesh comes to mind.) Still, especially after Let's Kill Hitler, in which young!Amy and young!Mel make heavily and distressingly dismissive comments at young!Rory, I was a little dissatisfied about their storyline.

And then The Girl Who Waited happened, and upped the scales to a degree I hadn't even imagined.

Karen Gillan is striking as old!Amy. Sure, the make-up is very nice and she really does look old, but it would never have sufficed if she hadn't acted the hell out of that part. I can't possibly imagine the Karen Gillan from very early season five achieving the level of emotion and depth she gave her character in this episode. Old!Amy moves differently, talks differently; she looks different, and she is still disturbingly Amy. She's the fairytale version gone wrong of the girl who waited. She's the beautiful princess who has become the ugly old witch.

I've seen people compare this to Amy's Choice, and it does fit: where Amy had to choose between two lifestyles and two men, Rory now has to choose between two lifestyles and two different versions of his wife. He's forced into the role of the monster in this fairytale gone bad — forced into the role of the Doctor, literally. Strikingly, the sequence in which he and old!Amy are trapped on either side of the TARDIS doors and he murmurs, on and on, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry reminded me of the Tenth Doctor when I watched it for the first time — coming after his accusatory You're turning me into you! to the Doctor, it was almost terrifying.

One of my favourite scenes was Amy's long-winded explanation as to why she loves Rory so very much when he is so very ordinary, in what seems to me to be one of the most gorgeous reasons to love someone, ever:

Amy: You know when sometimes you meet someone so... beautiful... and then you actually talk to them and five minutes later they're dull as a brick? ... Then there's other people. When you meet them you think, Uh, not bad. They're okay. And then you get to know them, and... their face sort of becomes them. Like their personality's written all over it. And they turn into something so beautiful.

Both Amys: Rory's the most beautiful man I've ever met.

I was crying. And then there was the macarena and Rory's breathy First kiss, and by this point I was pretty much done and over with.

And it was an episode about Rory too — about Rory's big, enormous heart, the one that breaks and heals and breaks again and then never stops going. Of course Rory wonders whether the people in the time streams are happy. Of course he pretended to be in a band to impress the girl he fancies. Of course he can't choose, in the end. Beautiful boy.

I love that we get to see them change. Usually in books and movies and TV shows the closure of the romantic relationship ends the story; the established pairing, having done its deeds, is then taken entirely for granted — it's the old And they all lived happily ever after type of ending, and it's not bad, per se. But it's so rare that we get to see more. It's so rare that we get to see the conflicts between two people who are together, and who keep hurting each other nonetheless. It's so rare that we get to see a romantic relationship deepen and further itself with each new development, each adding a level of consciousness and emotion to their involvement together. I love it; it shows it's real. 

It really was a very dark episode, though — old!Amy's death was inevitable, but the Doctor's involvement in her final choice (i.e, shutting the door in her face) was interesting; even more so in the way that I think he was presented as darker and more dangerous in TGWW than he ever was in AGMGTW. That's the monster theme again, and his gradual influence on his current companions' lives is becoming darker and darker. Both his companions have betrayed him in his episode, in a way; old!Amy by growing to hate him, Rory's shout of I do not want to travel with you! But their betrayal is only an answer to his own, of them: he's betrayed Amy by leaving her for thirty-six years, and he's betrayed Rory, and Rory's heart, by asking him to choose. It's fascinating. Heartbreaking, but I'd love to see the repercussions of this episode on their relationship as a team, as well as the finale.

There's really so much to say about this episode, but I think I can safely say that, after The Doctor's Wife, this is my favourite Season Six episode. (Night Terrors and The Impossible Astronaut being next on the list.) It was DW at its best — sci-fi related but ultimately about the characters and their relationships — and it made the Amy/Rory relationship that much truer and better to me.

Also, this:

Old!Amy: Show me Earth. Show me home. ... Did I ever tell you about the boy I met there — who pretended to be in a band...

Date: 2011-09-15 12:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kim47.livejournal.com
One of my favourite moments in this episode, which actually gave me chills, was when Rory said to the Doctor, "You're turning me into you."

I may come back and ramble at you when I'm on a proper computer rather than my phone :)

Date: 2011-09-15 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
Yes! it showed a very dark side of the Doctor, the one that turns against his own companions — his own family. When he shuts the door in old!Amy's face, my god, that moment. It made sense, but damn it hurt.

Ramble away — I was bursting with Feelings when I finished this episode.

Date: 2011-09-15 02:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fireblazie.livejournal.com
This. THIS. All of this. I don't have anything to add, really, you've said it all. Karen's acting was brilliant in this. I was so impressed! And the Doctor was certainly darker; it was so intriguing to watch. Especially when he shut the door in old!Amy's face - I honestly went, "oh nonono no no". And that quote you mentioned, about Rory being the most beautiful man they'd ever met - oh, gods, my heart. I loved that. Andandand that gorgeous line we got from Rory - "I don't care that you got old. I care that we didn't grow old together."

I just. I don't. I can't. I caaaan't.

oh hey, re: the school trip to strasbourg? the thing is, we actually do get to go to paris. it's a two week thing. first, a seminar in strasbourg, then 3 days in paris, then an optional 4 days in the alps. (so does that mean that if i choose not to go to the alps, i can stay in paris?) it could've been so much fun! /sobs

Date: 2011-09-15 09:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
Karen was seriously amazing. It wasn't just the way she looked — it was the way she walked, the way she talked, the way that little laugh seemed to get away from her. It was brilliant, and frankly surprising, given the level of acting she was performing at back in Season Five. She's definitely gone a long way.

Amy/Rory are fast becoming my premier and foremost OTP in DW fandom. And I say this as someone who ships everyone in DW fandom. :D

aw, man, that sucks. maybe another time? you'd be welcome here, there's not much room but we're very nice and cook many delicious things! :D

Date: 2011-09-15 08:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] not-thatbill.livejournal.com
I think Millie went through a whole loo roll watching this episode

My shirt's shoulder bit will also never be the same

Date: 2011-09-15 09:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
I had no one to cry on then, sadly. Also, it was three in the morning, so I was basically sobbing in my pillows.

Tell Millie she's good taste both in telly and men. Tell your shoulder to stuff it, you have another one.

Date: 2011-09-15 09:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] not-thatbill.livejournal.com
Bill apparently had a case of the sniffles, I wasn't the only one to use the loo roll. ;) - Millie

Date: 2011-09-15 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
I always knew he was a big softie. :D

Date: 2011-09-15 09:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] not-thatbill.livejournal.com
Oh, the biggest! And would cuddle me for hours if I didn't have work to do. - Millie

Date: 2011-09-15 09:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
Cuddles are the best thing on this earth. ♥ and you are one lucky gal, lady.

Date: 2011-09-15 09:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] not-thatbill.livejournal.com
Seeing as she took my laptop while I was out playing with Junior, she better know it

Date: 2011-09-15 09:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
And she knows how to hack into your LJ handle! I think you're pretty lucky as well, tbh.

Date: 2011-09-15 09:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] not-thatbill.livejournal.com
Not that hard, seeing as my laptop was out and my friends list was half-scrolled through when Junior decided to flop on me

But really

She's one-of-a-kind

Date: 2011-09-15 09:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] not-thatbill.livejournal.com
Oh hun, you know just what to say. ♥ - Millie

Date: 2011-09-15 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
This is not a bedroom for the two of you to enact your deep and passionate, guys, stop flirting.

Actually, what am I saying. Of course it is. Carry on.

Date: 2011-09-15 10:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] not-thatbill.livejournal.com
She keeps taking my laptop!

To be fair, I'm not putting up much of a fight

Her kisses are distracting

Date: 2011-09-15 10:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
Just don't have sex in front of Junior, it'll traumatize him.

And those must be pretty heavy kisses if they leave you groggy enough for her to have the time to type a full comment between them.

Date: 2011-09-15 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] not-thatbill.livejournal.com
That's what the lock on the bedroom door is for, haha

What can I say?

She can multitask like a champion

Date: 2011-09-15 10:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
/there are no locks whatsoever in my rooms, aha

/which makes it awkward when my parents burst in

Aaaaand that's my mind down the gutter, thanks ever so much. Then again, it was there already.

Date: 2011-09-15 10:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] not-thatbill.livejournal.com
Haha, you're very welcome

Date: 2011-09-15 10:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
Go to bed, you two.

Date: 2011-09-15 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
Hey, I was having ideas about Millie as a computer pirate, don't break my dreams so.

Date: 2011-09-15 10:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] not-thatbill.livejournal.com
If by "computer pirate" you mean she keeps stealing it for who-knows-what

Then yes, she is one

Date: 2011-09-15 10:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
Does she have the sword and hat?

Date: 2011-09-15 10:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] not-thatbill.livejournal.com
... That is a mental image I would dearly love to see in real life

At the same time, she might find a way to trip on her own feet and stab me

Maybe not the best idea

Date: 2011-09-15 10:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
I'll get her the full gear for your birthday.

With a plastic sword, just in case.

Date: 2011-09-15 10:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] not-thatbill.livejournal.com
Ta very much

Date: 2011-09-18 07:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carpetflowers.livejournal.com
HELLO, let us bypass the "it's been ages" shenanigans. In Aus, the eps air a week late because the sun rises first here, so you're probably all over The God Complex by now and I am very jealous.

TGWW actually takes the cake from The Doctor's Wife for me. Pains me to say that. The Doctor's Wife was perfect scrumptious romance with really scary Amy/Rory bits that made me freak and cry. TGWW was that freakiness taken to the max, Rory's darker version of Amy's Choice. I'm just scared really bad now. Damn season 5 sucking me in with all its sweetness and wholesomeness. Goddamnit, I would never have forced myself to watch horror before DW. Now horror's become dark chocolate for me. Horror and scifi. I'm a true nerd now.

I've been metaing my head out this whole season about DW and every one of my thoughts and plunnies beforehand have been taken and eaten by canon. There's no point in analysing anymore, the Moff is way ahead and has already filmed my "original ideas".

I'm inordinately interested in the new companion(s). It can't match Amy's massive trainwreck fairytale, can it? Just ... the bar keeps on getting raised and just. Moff: my expectations can't get any higher.

Date: 2011-09-18 01:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
/thwacks you over the head

/with a HAMMER

That was the fast-forward version of welcome shenaningans anyway hello.

Aw, man, I don't know — The Doctor's Wife is very very dear to me. While I loved TGWW, and really, really loved what it meant for the Amy/Rory relationship, there is something in TDW that bypasses all of that. Maybe because it spans all the Doctors, the entire show? I'm not quite sure, but the Amy&Rory bits of it certainly terrified me in ways TGWW didn't; TGWW was violently disturbing, but emotionally instead of physically, and I still can't watch the moment when Amy finds Rory's pseudo-skeleton in TDW without physically flinching. I do think the episodes are widely different, and that I can only compare them in terms of which one I preferred over the other.

I haven't seen The God Complex yet, but I've seen quite a few spoilers, and... well. It seems like another sort of heartbreak altogether, and one which I believe I'll enjoy quite a bit. I'll get back to you on that after tonight, or whenever you've watched it, I suppose.

Honestly, I just want to write a DW essay on Stories and Fairytales, not fanfiction at all — I've already got enough problems with Sherlock fic. /grumblegrumble. But DW meta is fascinating. I really like Amy's massive trainwreck fairytale, by the way, it's a lovely way of putting it.

Date: 2011-09-21 06:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carpetflowers.livejournal.com
I welcome this deserved thwacking. Feels great. Life's gotten to a point where I'm just going to accept whatever internet I can get.

On an emotional level, TGWW trumps TDW unreservedly. TGWW murdered me. I agree with you on The Doctor's Wife though, it was ten layers of beautiful. Except for the bits when Gaiman made the Doctor so easily throw around, "but that's impossible" and "I really don't know what to do", they irk me for some reason or other. Rory's pseudo-skeleton: the first time I watched, I couldn't believe I was crying. I agree with you saying they're apple-and-oranges, you've finally settled this guilty war in me for rating TGWW higher.

I think Closing Time will somehow be more epic than The God Complex. (Jeebus, these episode titles are so awesome, why. So much better than last era's wasteful tacking on of "Part II" to stuff.) The finale will rip me open. Doctor Who XI: cosmic angstfests that might leave you having never being born at all or have your mother-in-law solicit sex from you. Because River is marrying the Doctor. This nice nuclear family has really thrown a vaguely incestuous wrench in one of my fics-in-process-which-will-never-exist-because-I-don't-write-porn.

Sigh. I now realise that I've been trying to force an essay into a stubborn fanfic ... DW is really too thick with meta and nuances and marvelous relationship dynamics, I so would love to hear the characters' thoughts. Is there new Sherlock coming? And when? And are you a Trekkie, s'been bugging me for no reason.

Date: 2011-09-21 10:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
... it was a joke. Are you okay? I assumed you were simply too busy with RL to come online, not in any actual trouble.

Actually, I rather liked that the Doctor can say 'I don't know what to do' and then go 'That's new!' with a giant smile, and then slaps himself over it. It's nice to be able to see him as a less-than-perfect individual. It was the same with TGWW, actually — having him close the door in old!Amy's face was thunderous, and completely wrenching on an emotional level. That was the Doctor at his worst, I think, much more so than he was in AGMGTW. Which I liked. I love the Doctor's dark side, heart-breaking as it is.

The whole Amy/Rory/River/Doctor thing is impossible to parse out. Remember how Amy first tried to hit on the Doctor in the double episode in which she met her daughter for the first time — and accused him of being married to her? The double-meanings and slightly incestuous relationships in this are fascinating. (I don't know if I'd like it if she really was marrying the Doctor, though. He's already married to Marilyn Monroe. It would honestly feel too True Love for my liking.)

A strange mix between fanfic and meta essay would actually be rather interesting. Having the characters argue about their own characterizations and plotlines and timelines? I'd pay to read that. (Er. More Sherlock — as in fic, or the actual series? that should be back by this winter, but apparently we're not quite sure if that's, say, December — there's a Christmas episode! — or January. The sooner the better, I say. Re: fic — I refer you to this. I'm also very much not a Trekkie, why? I've probably seen a grand amount of two Trek episodes in my life.)

Date: 2011-09-24 04:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carpetflowers.livejournal.com
Haha, I'm fine, only in the usual trouble, my tone was way too serious because I was tired. |D

I liked it more with River (paraphrased): "Impossible." "How impossible?" "Five minutes." I can't brain very well right now, but: I think I feel like he's giving up a little when he says something is impossible. This series has a so much darker Doctor, isn't the Moff supposed to destroy the power of the Doctor's "dark legend" by the finale or something? Was that the point?

DW why so complicate why. (River is so going to marry the Doctor in a double bluff or something, not Twu Luv. It won't be like Amy's wedding of course. Anyway, the Doctor's meant to get married twice this season, so.)

Haha, I've seen a fic like that, but it's not that great. (Yes, Sherlock for Christmas! I heard that Gatiss was dying his hair for Mycroft. Are you writing more? It sounds like it could be my perfect cup of tea if you wrote that prompt. :) And you mention the Trek bridge in reference to the Doctor Who sets, got me wondering. The 2009 movie is lovely though.)

Date: 2011-09-25 01:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
Aw. Aw, gem. D:

isn't the Moff supposed to destroy the power of the Doctor's "dark legend" by the finale or something? Was that the point?

Maybe, but I hope not. I like him paradoxical. Take away his darkness, and he's simply a goofy man in a weird suit — the reason he's so fantastic is because he's a goofy man in a weird suit despite his darker side, no? Also, I just don't know how he would do it. How do you destroy a legend?

(I don't know if you've seen the newest episode — and its ending, of course — so I won't get into my theories for the finale, but I thought one of the Doctor's marriages was to the TARDIS. Mmm, I dunno. I'd feel a little awkward if River and the Doctor really did get married. Double bluffs would suit fine, though. :D)

(I am writing this fic. Slowly. Well. So far I've only got a fuckton of notes, but I certainly intend to write it to the end. Also, I think they've finished shooting the newest Sherlock episodes, and Lara Pulver has said in an interview it'd be coming out in January, so only a few more months to go. o/)


falling_voices: (Default)

December 2011

4567 8910
181920 21222324

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 26th, 2017 12:50 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios