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Doctor Who, “The Girl Who Waited” (6.10)

The Doctor reveals his true self to Amy and Rory. It isn’t pretty. Read on to know more…

“Your choice.” – The Doctor

“This isn’t fair. You’re turning me into you.” – Rory

How’s Rory?

While talking about this episode with other people, we started to chat about the fact that Rory often acted as the Doctor’s moral barometer, never afraid to tell him off when he abuses his abilities and natural charisma. But this time, Rory become more than confrontational and is bitter towards him and what he makes him do. The Doctor more or less unloads the decision of choosing which Amy gets to live onto Rory and he just can’t handle it. Rory also says things to the Doctor that can’t be unsaid, things that I hope for the sake of “emotional continuity” come back to haunt the both of them.

How’s Amy?

Another hot discussion topic about Doctor Who that has come up between me and other fans is the idea that Amy might be less than the awesome companion we know her as and is actually a much more one-dimensional character. It turns out that her sudden (from our point of view) aging really accentuated her personality traits and makes it clear she’s much more that just a hot companion running around, screaming for the Doctor (or Rory). First of all, Amy is very smart. Her time trapped in the facility has given her a chance to show her elite engineering skills by building a sonic screwdriv- er, probe and her hacking skill by getting the vocal hospitality system to tell her anything she wants, except (unsurprisingly) how to get out. But her aging process did more than just accentuate her good traits. We also see that Amy can be a very bitter person. Sure, we’ve seen her tease the Doctor, handcuffing him and interrogating him, when he accidentally comes back to see her a few years too late, but now she genuinely hates the Doctor for leaving her to fend for herself for decades. She’s also self-centred and tenacious since she demands that she, the Amy who waited, gets saved as well as the Amy who’s been in the facility for a much shorter while. She only bows out when the Doctor forces her to.

Yet another truth about about Amy gets revealed by her extended solitary confinement: she loves Rory. She named her “pet” robot after him and when they get the chance, both Amys remember and discuss him. Heck, the one moment both Amys use to bridge the time gap between them is when they danced the Macarena: The first time they kissed Rory. And in the end, the Amy who waited accepts to die to let the other Amy live out the years she spent in the facility, to live them with Rory. While some might take all this gushing over one guy as an example of how way too often female character can get obsessed with one man, this isn’t that. This episode was the other bookend to Rory’s own actions. Rory was The Boy Who Waited when he stood guard with Amy while she was trapped in the Pandorica. Despite the stuff Amy did to him when they were younger and despite the lack of any reciprocal feelings (remember when she thought he was gay), Rory stood by Amy. They’ve both waited for each other and helped each other on many occasions. To be honest, they probably have about as epic a love story going on as the Doctor and River. And, chances are, if it were delivered differently than it has been delivered, not as heroic or tragic moments presented time to time in the series but as one episode with a lot of “I love you” and “I love you too,” I think I would have gotten really fed up with Rory and Amy. Fortunately, neither are entirely perfect characters. Despite being often heroic, Rory is more often your average guy and a bit of a wuss, while Amy is self-centred and stubborn. It makes their reunions and successes much more relatable.

How’s the Doctor?

The Doctor does in this episode what he seems to often do: trick others to get the result he wants. Except this time, he does it to his companions. The Doctor seems to love a bit of trickery: he did it to deal with (The Species Formerly Known As) The Silence. But now, he’s stepped over the line by lying to Older Amy and Rory that he would be able to save both Amys. The most devilish thing about it all is that his lie works. As he points out, he still gets to save (one) Amy in the end. And what’s even more sinister when you think about it is that he saves the one Amy who still actually likes him and who was knocked out while he left the other one to die. Heck, he didn’t even let her to die: He forced Rory to make the final choice. Seriously, he’s an asshole. He very literally gets away with murder. It strikes me that it’s stuff like this that River chastised him over at Demon’s Run: letting others do his dirty work. And with all of this, we already know he pays for his sins with death… or at the very least, as of yet, he still pays with death. He’ll probably weasel his way out of that, too.

In Conclusion

If you wanted a character episode, you sure got one. While the setting and story scenario seemed mostly built to accentuate the emotions between the TARDIS crew, it did so very well. I just hope the emotions between Rory and the Doctor get permanently damaged the way they were in this episode in upcoming episode. I don’t want Older Amy to have died in vain.

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