I wanted to wait to review the two-parter until both episodes had aired. I think I’m much more suited for speculation on the rest of the season based on the aired episodes, not for speculating on the second half of a two-parter. Also thinking too much on a two-parter just spoils the fun. Especially on a dramatic, scary chase through the woods storyline.
Another review — perhaps by a wiser person — pointed out how this episode and Moffat’s Doctor Who universe is a fairytale. Usually, the Doctor plays the breaker of the fairytale. He’s the one to point out that magic is science (“Shakespeare Code”) or that a magical roadway to paradise is the worst traffic jam ever (“Gridlock”). But not here. Here the Doctor seems just as absorbed into the fairytale as everyone else — Amy, River, the Angels, and the Church.
The fairytale aspect spoke a lot more strongly in “Flesh and Stone” than it did in “The Time of Angels.” I mean, blind Amy dressed in red runs through a forest trying to avoid evil Angels. There’s certainly some powerful imagery. But does this mean that the Doctor is the Wizard in the Emerald City or is he the Huntsman who slayed the Wolves/Angels? And is River going to play her fairy godmother? After all, River was the one to 1) notice there was something wrong with Amy first and 2) rigged the teleporter to save Amy. Which is far more efficient and safer than “pretending to walk as if you can see” being the Doctor’s alternative. However, the Doctor certainly saved Amy earlier by biting her hand.
En mass, Angels do become an army. I think they’re scarier on their own. One popping out of the TV at Amy was far more nerve-wrecking than when they surrounded the Doctor and company on all sides in the cliffhanger. Not to mention, you pretty much knew the Church Army played the Red Shirts. We already saw River’s death, and we know both the Doctor and Amy will survive for another adventure. The more the Doctor promises to save people who die makes him lose credibility with his audience. I felt sorry for Bob.
In Who-verse, it’s not often that the Doctor kills. Usually, he saves that for Daleks and Cybermen and his own people. Power hungry and universe-dominating. I think putting the Weeping Angels on the same level weakens their power in the narrative. Feeding on energy made them vampires, not warlords. Maybe I’m just a little tired of always having a Big Bad Warlord wanting to end or take over the universe.
I loved Amy thinking River’s the Doctor’s wife, and I love how we’re led to think the Doctor’s the good man she killed. (Her reactions to Eleven verses Ten may mean she kills Eleven — I’m sure to save the universe no matter how shades-of-gray she’s played as — at the end of his life. Though it makes how self-sacrificing she seemed in this episode extra layered.) The jab about River not wanting to kiss a young Doctor was played perfectly with the actors’ age differences. The over-the-top way River came aboard the TARDIS worked for me. The Doctor certainly seems to be her weakness. Her comments about spoilers and seeing the Doctor and Amy soon were great.
The crack proves to be interesting. If it erases times — actions, memories, people — it makes sense Amy didn’t remember the Daleks. However, she did remember the soldiers when the other soldiers didn’t remember each other. I don’t know if I buy the Doctor’s line about ‘because you’re a time-traveler now, you see time differently.’ I can’t tell if the Doctor knows more than he’s saying about the crack. Beyond the date of Amy’s wedding and the season finale.
I’m not bothered by Amy’s advances on the Doctor. I don’t think she’s in the love with the Doctor (Rose), in love and pining (Martha), or repulsed sexually by him (Donna). What I think is that she’s overwhelmed by her adventures/blindness/near death/wedding day and he’s the nearest warm body she finds mildly attractive and she finds some connections in running away (the Doctor’s always running from something) and he shared her life-threatening adventures. Pretty much, I can see her at a pub doing the same thing. This scene has more to do with Amy’s sexuality than any Eleven/Amy romantic notion. Sometimes sex is just that. But sometimes I think fandom’s obsessions with true love — and really our media’s obsession with finding the “one” — makes it hard to both portray and review sex for sex’s sake. Even if it happens all the time in our Western culture. Not to mention, Amy being the initiater and general sexuality issues with women-in-media. I love Amy Pond in this moment, and I don’t think she’s in love with the Doctor.