Over the course of what's left of tonight, tomorrow and Tuesday, I have to do about 5 hours of French homework, substantially revise my essay (and then revise it again by the end of the week), write a short essay for Music, write a 5-page Shakespeare paper, and finish a take-home exam for Miserable Class of Death. Maybe seeing it all written out like that will convince me just how serious this situation is, and why I should perhaps have accomplished more this weekend than outlining the paper and answering half the exam questions.
Nevertheless, I whittled away most of my Saturday night, in the absence of my roommate, comfortably stretched out on the bed and devouring three more episodes. And then more-or-less rewatched them tonight so I could collect all my thoughts.
[Edit: Feck, my LJ cuts have gone stupid again. They're too much of a pain to fix when one uses the Rich Text editor as I do, so just know that 1.07 is included at the beginning of the second cut.]
"She's gonna smack you if you don't stop calling her 'she'."
Ahhhahaha, I love Rose so much. Although is it just me, or does she look like she got blasted with the makeup cannon at the start of this episode? It was the tiniest bit distracting.
It was interesting, if a bit bewildering, watching the Doctor boil over with emotion in his first meeting with the Dalek. The way he bounces around from thoughtful to furious to subdued to manic in the space of a few minutes is actually a little unsettling. He seems somewhat unbalanced. Although I guess it's understandable, given the little glimpses of his history that start to slip out here, the concept of which is so profoundly sad that I cannot think directly about it.
Still not sure what I think of the Dalek. Its garbled voice was half soothing, like a cat's purr, and half maddening - mostly because it took so much concentration to decipher its speech that from time to time I found myself wishing for subtitles. And I repeatedly mistook it for R2D2 (seriously, when I first saw the preview, I thought we were going to learn that George Lucas had managed to include a real alien in his films), although its horribly ruthless act of setting off the sprinklers and then electrocuting everybody in the room finally cured me of that notion.
I could have done without seeing what was inside the protective shield, though...I don't know exactly what I was picturing, but it certainly wasn't a slimy squid-looking thing. Was I supposed to feel sorry for it at some point? Because a tiny part of me did, over its distressed "this is not life, it's sickness" groaning...but not with nearly the same crisis-of-conscience Rose seemed to be having. Thing kills people for no reason at all. I don't care if it's following orders; the point of its existence is reprehensible and therefore it is to be blamed. (of course, I'm also the person who doesn't think the legal system should make allowances for insanity or diminished mental capacity) Didn't really care that Rose's DNA started to change it into something different, either, and would have been quite all right with the Doctor blasting it to atoms. In fact, felt moderately cheated by not getting to see this.
I don't know if I agree with the multitude of reviews online calling this one of the greatest episodes of the series - maybe it has to grow on you - but it was good. I kind of want to give it a win just for the Doctor's anguish over having sacrificed Rose, breathless disbelief upon seeing her again, and the weirdly perceptive Dalek croaking about "the woman you love." Clearly, I would have been sold on this episode if I wasn't already.
"Rose, he's a bit pretty."
"I hadn't noticed."
Heeheehee. Jealous!Doctor amuses me, as does Rose's dismissiveness. I actually kind of liked Adam in this episode, although my good graces didn't extend past the closing credits.
-In all my information-scouting, I had not yet run across the fact that Time Lords have two hearts. Interesting. Not sure precisely what to do with this knowledge, but okay.
-Aas awful as Van Statten was, he's not nearly as terrifying as that Goddard woman. She unnerved me throughout the episode, and when she had him dragged off at the end, I was positively chilled.
-Alien museum = greatest thing ever, especially the arm of Slitheen
[Edit: OI! I promise, I really was going to ask you guys for fic recs today, but while I was writing this I spent a few hours this afternoon lost in the delights of seeking Doctor/Rose discussion 'round the internet. And at one point I couldn't help feeding <"doctor who" "fic recs"> into Google, which kicked up a post-ep for this one that is so lovely and perfect I must declare it canon: A Little Piece of Home.]
1.07, The Long Game
Now see, this is what I might call the low point thus far, and I'm pretty sure it had everything to do with the fact that Adam rapidly turned into an annoying little scamp. I've become rather defensively fond of my Doctor/Rose partnership, and do not appreciate anything that intrudes upon it. I couldn't believe how many times I wanted to smack him, and all I can say is that I'm happy that his idiocy was duly punished in the end. Doctor can be delightfully unforgiving.
Although, giggle-fit: "You and your boyfriends!"
I guess I liked the basic plot outline, with the extremely disturbing frozen corpse workers and the snarling, many-toothed monster which for simplicity's sake I too shall call "Max," but I don't have much to say about it other than glee over the Doctor's "leave her alone!", because really, that's what I'm all about.
-I kept waiting for the yippy little dog to have some grand purpose in this episode, like maybe he'd get so excited by the familiar voice that he'd jump up and stop or erase the recording. I'm almost disappointed that that was left up to the Doctor, but oh well. The dog was still really, really cute.
-I am weirdly fond of the Face of Boe, so that little glimpse of him was great.
-I could swear I've seen the woman playing Suki somewhere before, but IMDB is disabusing me of that notion, unless I saw way too many previews for Bleak House while I was home last year. On second thought, this is entirely possible.
Last episode notwithstanding, I notice that I've developed a habit of thinking that each episode just keeps getting better, but this one really is a whole different tier. It was beautiful and chilling and emotional and just so profoundly AMAZING that nothing thus far can hold a candle to it. Including my review, since the more I poke around in meta and recaps, the more I realize that other people will always be able to describe the high points better than I can. Is faintly depressing. Nevertheless!
A List of Things I Loved
-Rose's hesitant hopefulness, his innocent questioning causing her to flatly shutting down her own idea before he can tell her no, and yes, well, maybe I melted a touch over "I'm just more worried about you." Especially when this worry is so very visible as they're standing on the street corner. You know what, the Doctor is single-handedly making me think about bumping hand-holding up a few ladders on the Checklist of Cute, given the spark of delight that shot through me at their clasped hands. I'm such a sucker for comforting.
-Rose being too frozen to move the first time, hiding her face at the crash instead and then sniffling and teary-eyed "It's too late now." I got tears in my eyes listening to her. In retrospect, if I'd been a little more awake while watching this, that would have been the point at which I started crying and never stopped. Parent death, it gets to me. Not to mention my long and complicated history with freezing up until it's too late.
Speaking of other peoples' thoughts...I could talk about how much I liked the first scene back at Pete's place, with the Doctor's dark silence and Rose's pretend obliviousness to this fact in favor of the wonder of seeing her father's life, or I could just quote a big chunk of recap. I generally do not think too highly of Jacob over at TWoP, but I'll be damned if he isn't fantastic about this show:
"She's picking things up and chirping stupidly about them and putting them down again and always avoiding the Doctor's eyes -- like if she just keeps talking until Pete comes back, she won't have to get yelled at for what she's done. And it's not just any old chat, either; it's all tearjerking stuff specifically intended to make the Doctor cross-eyed with love and compassion and get him on Rose's side. The Doctor watches silently, arms folded, black and red with rage. ... She finally smiles up determinedly at the Doctor, as though by sheer force of will and perkiness she can make it good. But is it really him she's resisting? Or the truth she knows he's going to tell her?"
He also has a really excellent analysis about the subsequent spat between them, but because I'd like to make at least 50% of this review my own, I shall refrain from another quote block. Loved that too...they already know how to cut one another to the quick, with insults about stupid apes and cloying jealousy, and I like that you can see that they know what kind of hurt they're causing, but at the same time they can't help it. (Oh, I can't help myself either, quote block again: "It's never been about how important the Doctor is to Rose -- it's about how important she is to the Doctor. And she knows that. Uglier and uglier." and ""So that's goodbye then." Like a boy, he says this. Cutting with a lie they both know isn't true, and terrified that on some level it is, because that means that all they've been through, and all the love -- all the love in the world! -- that they have for each other was based in something selfish and foul. ") And I do like that even when Rose tries to keep the upper hand by taunting that he won't leave her, and she's probably right, there's still a hint of fear behind her bravado.
Incidentally, I feel like this kind of fight doesn't happen on TV very often - arguments always seem to be the sort that end up in cheating, or ideologies that clash to the point where there is no appropriate resolution short of a breakup. But they're not a couple, despite what the entire universe believes, and so they get normal bickering. Or as normal as bickering involving time-travel can be.
-Interjecting a point to say that 80's Jackie is somehow even greater than 2005 Jackie. Maybe it's the hair.
-Doesn't stop it from being utterly satisfying when the Doctor gets her to shut up and follow his orders.
-I love Pete Tyler. Love him. (Also, apparently I have begun to believe that the entire Harry Potter series should be recast with Doctor Who guest stars, as I can't help thinking he's exactly how I always pictured Arthur Weasley). He's just so sad and bumbling and earnest and lovable all at once, and so believable both as Rose's father and Jackie's husband... and I can't lie, it was really, really depressing, after hearing that idealized story - which I realized was idealistic even as Jackie told it, but I let myself get swept away anyway - to see him in a state of constant bickering with his wife, and accusations of cheating thrown on top of everything else. Glass: *shatters*
Sad piano was almost overkill on a scene that's already immeasurably heartbreaking. It's so awful to watch them fight (or at least, Jackie going on a wicked verbal attack), never mind what it's doing to Rose, that every time I watch it I have to pause and take a break at least once before I get through it. I get that he's an inept dreamchaser, all right, but he's so pitifully henpecked in this scene that I kind of just want to gather him up and tell him it'll be all right.
But he grows over the course of the episode, in ways specifically designed to make it even more unbearably heartbreaking when he dies for real at the end. I like that he makes the connection to her being his daughter without utterly freaking out in the process, as I was rather afraid he'd do, and quite possibly the most beautiful and emotional scene of the series to date is encapsulated in that moment where he realizes "You are - you're my Rose! You're my Rose grown up!" Squeeeeeeeee! I had to hit the rewind button three or four times for this part. And I realize I've been going in largely chronological order, so I'll come back to this part.
-Did I mention that the black dragon things, in all their terrifying glory, are quite possibly my favorite creepy creatures to date?
-The Doctor scolding Baby Rose was much more adorable than it should have been, largely because the baby defied the Laws of Infancy and was cute. But that part of the scene is relatively insignificant given that it leads to another spat (I...have no idea what fulfillment I get out of watching them fight), a sharp and sarcasm-heavy exchange that quickly diffuses into apology and more lamenting on the vanished Time Lords, which again, I still cannot think about directly. "Just...tell me you're sorry." That must be what I like about the fighting, then - the resolution.
And then he reaches out and cups her cheek, at which point at which I erupted in squee and had to come flailing to the blog. And possibly skip around the room a few times to let off the rest of my pent-up energy. And repeat step 2 after the hug. They have fantastic hugs. I feel as though I was not sufficiently primed for the fact that this couple would be tailoring their interaction to my Checklist of Cute.
-The squee dies down to a pathetic whimper as we go back to Rose and Pete. I can see from the start that this lie of kindness is going to be a bad idea, especially when it spins into an increasingly idealistic fantasy...but that did not prepare me for the UTTER HEART-BREAKING SADNESS of "That's not me." The whimpering kept going straight through the next few minutes as he kissed Jackie goodbye and was all noble and sacrificing and "Goodbye, love" and even took that stupid vase just so we could have a visual representation of what happens to my heart...
-And yeah, this is where I where I start actually crying and can't stop. When Rose finally does what she was meant to do, and sits next to him while he's dying even though she can't do anything more, and neither says anything but it's beautiful and really goddamn heartbreaking, and then he's just gone. Think I'll close on words more elegant than I could hope to write: "Rose kisses her father's forehead: a maiden blessing a hero, a daughter saying goodbye."
(meanwhile, I just curl up under a blanket and weep. Perhaps watching this right before bed was a good thing, because sleep turns out to be a very nice antidote to all the emotional exhaustion this episode exacts.)
Up next: As a reward for revising my essay in the middle of this epic post-writing feat, after having repeatedly forgotten about the Superbowl's existence, I might possibly consider trying to watch the next two episodes tonight, just so I can once and for all see how I feel about this fabled Jack character. Because I fear it's not a good sign that what I saw of him in the preview made me want to smack him out of existence.
P.S. Fic recs, please. *holds out hands expectantly* Anything featuring Rose and Ninth or Tenth Doctor will do.