The End of Time, pt 2 - official sendoff review
In which we shed tears. Many tears. Because tear-shedding was always a foregone conclusion.
Still too dazed to recall most of the plot...probably a lot of it felt like filler and wouldn't hold up to a second viewing. I appreciated the few moments of humor early on ("WORST. RESCUE. EVER!!"), but the salvage aliens started to wear on my nerves after a while. Although the laser-firing bit did prompt me to smirk, "And you thought video games didn't teach you valuable life skills," once Gallifrey became visible in the sky I went back to my default, "So, hey, where are Sarah Jane & the kids in all this?"
Oh, and I liked that Donna had a built-in defense mechanism, even if I was hoping more would come of her memories. I HAD HOPE, OKAY. Even though I understand it is tragic genius to deliberately plant that hope in order to make it more wrenching when you face reality.
What else...I know I'm pleased that the Time Lords aren't hanging around after all, because the seem like kind of a horrible group (UNDERSTATEMENT). I mean, they made the Doctor pick up a gun with every intention of using it. The man that never would. But, minus, the SUPER-EXTRA-LULZY skydive through glass, the whole standoff was amazing. "That's what they were planning, in the final days of the war. I had to stop them." Was that...was that an extra layer of insight? Poised to make that whole offscreen storyline even more anguishing than it already is?
Loved him, desperate and mildly crazed, spinning back and forth between targets until that woman - his mother? Oh, please say it was his mother; I just assumed it, and it felt so very right - showed him another out. The Master/Doctor united front was epic. By the 2/3 mark I was breathless and flush with anticipation, even as I reminded myself, "But, like Journey's End, all of this awesome has to turn to heartbreak somehow. Through all the joy, Ten still dies."
"I'm still alive..."
*knock knock knock knock*
Right, okay, I knew that damned locking mechanism was going to be trouble from the moment I first laid eyes on it. The fact that the Doctor dies to save Wilf...have you any idea how damaging that is going to be to my already unfavorable opinion of the dude? I mean, it is hard to hate people the Doctor holds in such high esteem, and with all the "I'd be proud if you were my dad" speechifying and assorted things, I don't actually hate him...I just, find him a decided bit of a nuisance whom we'd be better off without. And he was starting to grow on me, too!
That said, I was impressed by the Doctor's raging at the universe right before doing what he was always going to do (for which I loved him more than I've ever loved him). Could barely even watch him curled up in a ball on the floor. Raise your hand if you had a moment of stupid, desperate hope when he was able to stand and walk out at the end?
The Long Goodbye
1. I'm sorry, MARTHA + MICKEY, WHAT THE WHAT WHAT WHAT. I am just going to have to assume that this was like 20 years in the future where Tom has since met some tragic demise. Meanwhile, I am only just beginning to wrap my head around the complex layers of WTFery that involve Mickey being Rose's ex...
2. The Doctor speed-tackling Luke out of the path of an oncoming car = BEST. That almost makes up for my disappointment at their insufficient interaction on SJA. I wish he'd gotten a moment with Sarah Jane herself, but at least she saw him, and understood this time it was a goodbye (seriously, cannot even express to you how much I DO NOT WANT the three series to interact anymore under Eleven. The constant crossover was brilliant in its heyday, but now is time for separate worlds).
3. The Jack bit was an unnecessary bit of irrelevant noise. (except for the drunk baby Adipose. That was awesome.) Moving on.
4. There were a lot of sad parts. So many, many sad parts, most of which I haven't even gotten to. But absolutely nothing did me in like him going in to check on Joan Redfern's great-granddaughter.
"Was she happy? In the end?"
And then tears went spilling down my cheeks and I had to take a long break. His expression there is absolutely indescribable and completely gutting. Everyone else he knows he left happy, one way or another - but that's a life he never put right. And -- "Were you?" If you are not in a fresh round of tears over his trembling-mouthed non-answer, clearly you have no soul.
(incidentally: The Journal of Impossible Things, novel format, is going on my list of 'Fanciful Tie-In Prop Novels What Don't Really Exist, BUT SHOULD BE WRITTEN.' I have to work on shortening the name).
5. Post-break, turns out I cried almost as much over Donna's beautiful, ordinary wedding. It's not the life she should have had. But she's making do. Stupid show, I've never cried at a fictional wedding before! But how can you not? I'm happy for her, she'll be happy, and my joking references to Donna/Some Handsome Bloke wound up true one way or another. But the implications of everything lost seem so much bigger when you try to content yourself with this.
Winning lotto ticket, though - especially with such a clever backstory behind it - brought a smile to my face. And honestly, the way he set her story up, I wouldn't have had Donna's ending any other way. Not really.
6. And then we get to Rose. The first time 'round, I was all worn out from first Verity and then Donna, and aside from the way "Rose's Theme" ripped my heart and half and could stop staring at her pretty, pretty, somehow-looking-exactly-19-again face, I was underwhelmed (and it felt wrong to squeal and flap my wrists over Jackie, much as I wanted to, in such a somber moment).
But after realizing precisely how poignant it was in full-circle ways - that Rose is the first and last person Ten ever sees [Ood doesn't count!]- well, that brings the tears spilling down again. I could go on half an hour about this, but suffice to say that to see her smile at him again, that he needed to see her one last time...there are no words.
It also brings to mind my favorite part of " Awake and Dreaming," the wonderful alternate template for End of Time, whose sentiments I fully echo:
He hopes that his next incarnation doesn't love her like this.
7. And finally, the ultimate ending. Where just when you think things cannot possibly get sadder, there's a tiny, heartbreaking little plea of "I don't want to go."
And then he's gone. *collapses on pile of tissues in exhaustion, emotionally spent*
Of note: the above fic has a magic way of ending that makes me actually not hate the notion of Eleven, as long as I don't have to watch him. But the reality of it is...
I admit, my previous anti-11 feelings were based mostly on principle and presumed dislike, which was good enough for me. But now that I've briefly seen him in action, my feelings of wanting to punch him squarely in the nose intensified by 1000%. I watched all the way to the credits out of grim determination, just so I could make that statement, but I wish I hadn't and as far as I'm concerned, the series ends with the TARDIS in flames (or, well, technically I expect someone to find/write me an alternate, series-concluding ending in fanfic, but same difference).
All is well, goodbye forever.
Voice: I dare you to watch the season 5 trailer. Do it. Do iiiiiit.
RS: Hell to the no.
Voice: Afraid that all of your carefully crafted, eloquently worded resolutions about never watching again will crumble and dissolve?
RS: Not so much.
Voice: Prove it! Watch the trailer and be unmoved!
RS: FINE! *watches two versions of trailer* Oh my God, that is the stupidest thing I have ever seen in my life. It's like I've time-traveled to 2008 in a parallel universe, where Doctor Who was every bit as annoying and unimpressive as I expected it to be. Definitely do not want. P.S. The new logo makes me want to kill things with fire.