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At least I loved the ending

river song with a gun

Finished "The Wedding of River Song." 

I had a lot of problems with it, mostly what it does to the character of River.  I did love the ending, and there were things inbetween that I did really appreciate.  Very mixed feelings about this one. 

My main beef with it is that it robbed River of so much agency.  She didn't even choose to kill the doctor. if the suit would have killed the doctor, why kidnap Melody as a baby and train her to be a killer?  I guess after she feel in love with the doctor in "Let's Kill HItler", she refused to kill him so Madame K had the suit specifically made so she wouldn't have a choice? 

Part of it is that I had hoped River would have made the decision to kill the doctor before the whole Melody Pond mess and I had wanted it to be a crime of hot passion.  Then it turned out she was Melody Pond and she was raised to kill the doctor so that choice was taken away from her and I was so disappointed.  But I thought to myself, the crime of passion could still happen!  Except it turned she was physically forced to kill the doctor.  I would have minded the the lost dream of a crime of passion a lot less even if she had at least *choose* to kill the doctor, even in cold blood as a result of her limited brainwashed upbringing.  Nope, even that much agency was denied from her.  She was shoved into a space suit that would kill him and she couldn't stop it. 

When she switched and stopped the death, I cheered, thinking, "oh, here's the River Song I love!"  Except it wasn't. 

I'm glad she had the pluck to stop herself from "killing" him, and I love that it was actually a decision she made herself, but her reasons rang hallow, ESPECIALLY since she was willing to sacrifice the universe to keep the doctor alive.  It made me no sense. 

It did not help that we didn't see River fall in love with the doctor in a convincing manner.  From her timeline, one quick outing in Berlin and she's so in love with him that she's willing to sacrifice the universe so she doesn't "suffer" having to kill the man she loves?  God, that was shallow.  I can't find anything admirable about anyone who would that, and it seems a far cry from the lovely, strong River Song at Demons' Run who told the doctor off for his militaristic action.  It doesn't even seem like a girl who would turn into that woman.  She was infatuated to the point of blocking everything else, and even the doctor was annoyed/disappointed/disgusted with her. 

That was not the woman at the end of Demon's Run who chastised the doctor who his militaristic ways.  That's not even the shadow of the girl who become that strong woman. 

And then he marries her? 

I didn't want their relationship to "start" off that way.  What I loved about River/11 was that 11 is in awe of River, and I guess you could say 11 knows this shallow girl will turn into the kick-ass River that he knows, but right then, she's not and then he marries her, and that annoys me so much because it makes it seem like River grows during their marriage, and I wanted River to kick ass independent of the doctor.  I wanted her to already be magnificent BEFORE he starts a relationship with her, because then she's just going into another life phase of being shaped by someone.

And River Song has been shaped by others enough. 

I wanted her to have a time where she shaped herself.  (Heh, maybe that's why they "split" up and then went separate time stream?  Maybe after a few months of wedded bliss, she felt she wanted to be her own woman for a change and packed her bags and left?)

Anyways!  As I said, I did like the ending, and by ending, I mean everything from that conversation with Amy and River.  Now *there's* the River Song I love.  It was so good to see her cheeky and grown-up, not desperate and willing to destroy the universe because she doesn't want to "suffer." 

I also did love Eleven with Dorian the blue head.  That was a great moment.  Also loved the line about River being in prison, "all her days, yes, and her nights... that's between her and I."  That did make me squee <3  (Yeah, I'm an incurable shipper.  Even when I'm ranting about how I loathed the way this marriage started, I'm still thrilled they're married.) 

The other thing I thought was well-done was Amy's conversation with Madam K.  Yeah, she took her baby.  I'm glad Amy made it clear how much of a shitty thing that was (because it was.)  Not sure how I feel about Amy killing her, but I understood it, and thought it added a lot of moral layers to Amy's character and to the questions of morals for universes that don't theoretically exist. 

Doctor Who UNrelated - Daisuke Saiki has brown hair?  I always thought he was a blond!

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bramblyhedge
Oct. 19th, 2011 07:23 am (UTC)
I'll leave the humungously long essays to my own journal, but I will mention quickly here:

You know, I had nearly exactly the same reactions about the episode (probably more WAHAHAHA CANON SHIP WAHAHAHA *dancedancedance* at the end, but otherwise exactly the same).

And then on re-watch and reading fandom analysis...

- Basically what happens is that everyone, including Amy and Rory, is trying to help the Doctor in their own way. Even the bad guys are trying to make sure he dies, which is what the Doctor says he wants.
- Except for River, who is stubbornly making trouble for him, refuses to let him die -- and she caused this whole mess in the first place! Lesson? Never take agency away from River, she is not a woman who will accept that and give in.
- Amy and River finally working together as mother and daughter = so freaking brilliant. Go, the Pond girls! <3
- The Doctor is furiously angry with River and she still won't give in to him. I know that the context of "I'll suffer" rubs completely the wrong way, but I still like how she doesn't cave no matter what the Doctor says.
- The not!wedding and not!murder was rather neat. *g*
- River saving the universe by making out with a robot? Priceless ending, I love it! XD

So yeah, I think the main point is that the Doctor is neither dead nor married to River (yet XD). And River still goes on to become mature and independent and amazing, even if we're seeing her story in the wrong order. And please can we have more of Amy and River ganging up on the Doctor - encore, encore. <3 I love Amy getting cold-blooded revenge for her stolen baby. *evil grin*

...And unrelated to DW: yep, Daisuke Saiki has brown hair. *points to icon* All my grumbling about how they made his hair brown for the TV anime, and it turns out that was canonical! XD
silent_bunny
Oct. 20th, 2011 01:45 am (UTC)
EEEK! *jumps with glee* Are you going to really put humungously long essays on your journal? :D :D :D

WAHAHAHA CANON SHIP WAHAHAHA *dancedancedance*

ROTFL! I'm so glad you're still a shipper XD I didn't want to be the only person I knew who loved it when the doctor said River's nights were between him and her #^__^#

I have it BAD for this ship!

Basically what happens is that everyone, including Amy and Rory, is trying to help the Doctor in their own way. Even the bad guys are trying to make sure he dies, which is what the Doctor says he wants.
- Except for River, who is stubbornly making trouble for him, refuses to let him die


I did love it when River managed to stop herself from killing the doctor. I just wish the reasons were better than "my suffering is worse than everyone else's." But your point still stands:

-- and she caused this whole mess in the first place! Lesson? Never take agency away from River, she is not a woman who will accept that and give in.

That is true! Did you see the Doctor Who confidential about River's life? There was a great line it about her shooting the Silence back in "The Impossible Astronaust" where she says, "nobody kidnaps me and gets away with it."

And considering that's early River, it's nice to see that she's doing what she wants and damn what the doctor says even then.

Her upping him one has always been a favourite part of their relationship ^_^

- Amy and River finally working together as mother and daughter = so freaking brilliant. Go, the Pond girls! <3

YES! I want more of that. And double yes to them ganging up on the doctor! I hope that's not the last of the mother-daughter team. (and I wouldn't mind a dad-daughter bonding moment too)

- The Doctor is furiously angry with River and she still won't give in to him. I know that the context of "I'll suffer" rubs completely the wrong way, but I still like how she doesn't cave no matter what the Doctor says.

*nods* I do like how she won't cave no matter how angry he is. Her reasons were wrong, imo, but it does mean in the future that she'll make her own decision and not do what the doctor tells her to do :D And I think that's good for the doctor.

- The not!wedding and not!murder was rather neat. *g*

Mmmm... I didn't see it as a not!wedding and saw it more as a declaration that 11 and River love each other isn't this couple epic ... I'm thinking of it more of a not!wedding, and I like i better. I do feel like Moffatt wanted us to believe 11 and River have a magical love connection and wish he didn't expect us to swallow that in the context he given us.

But take out all the "this is the man she magically loves so shortly after she wants to kill him" thing I had so much trouble swallowing, I like the idea that the start of their relationship was not based on a great love for each other, but manipulation and seeing who could up the other. If it was really more, "I don't want to marry you" "I don't want to murder you..." and seeing who wins instead of GREAT LOVE STORY.

Whoa.... I think I'm in love with that idea XD

- River saving the universe by making out with a robot? Priceless ending, I love it! XD

*hoots* Oh Ammie-kins. This is why I love you.

Awww, you've restore my faith in the character of River Song and her relationship with the doctor *GLOMPS* Thanks, dearie. I'm feeling all fangirly in the best way right now XD

All my grumbling about how they made his hair brown for the TV anime, and it turns out that was canonical! XD

Are you serious? *snorts with laughter* I thought it was a blond all this time too. Too funny!
bramblyhedge
Oct. 22nd, 2011 12:38 am (UTC)
I loved the whole Doctor-Amy-Rory-River family bonding right from 'Impossible Astronaut'...so you can imagine how squeeful I was over 'A good man goes to war' when it turned out that River was baby Melody. :D
The Pond family is definitely the best in the Whoniverse. Especially how Amy loves and accepts River just as she is and isn't trying to get the baby back. ♥ Rory and River's couple of scenes alone together make me cry - definitely wanna see more.

'Wedding of River Song' had the perfect ending with post-'Angels' River visiting her parents, still in her role of Storyteller, explaining about how she and the Doctor lie all the time. Note that there is no mention of a Great Love Story, except for the throwaway and hilarious "Of course, I'm his wife!" -"And I'm his...mother in law..." =.=;;; -"Father dear, I think Mummy might need another drink."

*snorts* XD Oh River, you liar. You're not his wife and you're not his companion - it's more complicated than that. :D

And then the Doctor's lie is clarified - so he isn't dead, he didn't marry River (yet ;D), and...she's slammed in prison for a murder she didn't commit. Which sucks! Even Dorium's severed head[1] is sympathetic to her plight (although I too shrieked happily when the Doctor mentions "her nights - well that's between her and me." hee hee! :P).

No, this is no epic love connection. Actually Doctor/River reminds me of Gene/Alex in A2A -constantly at odds with each other and failing to deal with messy timey-wimeyness (plus one or both of them may already be dead? ;_; *sniffle* ). You know deep down they adore each other but it's already foregone that they can never really be together. D:
Really it would take very little to fix the episode: just get rid of the "tick tock" song which failed to be creepy or atmospheric and fell flat, and remove the "I'll suffer" (etc) dialogue. The rest was fine - flirting, arguing, and the Doctor finally treating River as his equal.

[1]makes me think of CLAMP, LMAO!!

Edited at 2011-10-22 12:59 am (UTC)
silent_bunny
Oct. 26th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
The Pond family is definitely the best in the Whoniverse.

I WANT MORE POND FAMILY SCENES <3 Love that bit at the end of all three of them at "The Wedding of River Song". I want the Christmas special to be about Christmas dinner at the Ponds.

Note that there is no mention of a Great Love Story, except for the throwaway and hilarious "Of course, I'm his wife!" -"And I'm his...mother in law..." =.=;;; -"Father dear, I think Mummy might need another drink."

Yeah, I think it was mostly leftover residues from "Let's Kill Hitler", where I did feel like they were pushing for a Great Love Story (You will go from wanting to kill him to giving up all your regenerations) that I was taking with me to the "wedding" episode. The wedding episode was definitely less loveydovey (thank goodness.)

*snorts* XD Oh River, you liar. You're not his wife and you're not his companion - it's more complicated than that. :D

YIPPEE! LMAO!

And then the Doctor's lie is clarified - so he isn't dead, he didn't marry River (yet ;D), and...she's slammed in prison for a murder she didn't commit. Which sucks! Even Dorium's severed head[1] is sympathetic to her plight (although I too shrieked happily when the Doctor mentions "her nights - well that's between her and me." hee hee! :P).

*laughs with delight* I'm so glad someone else loved that line as much as I did. Shippers are the best <3

Actually Doctor/River reminds me of Gene/Alex in A2A -constantly at odds with each other and failing to deal with messy timey-wimeyness (plus one or both of them may already be dead? ;_; *sniffle* ). You know deep down they adore each other but it's already foregone that they can never really be together. D:

I'm not a big fan of Gene but I *LOVE* his relationship with Alex. Even taking out the romantic interest part (and those two are wild chemistry and pulsing UST), I thought she was a better match for him professionally and just as a person who could get him to see past himself than Sam was. She could make him take notice of things. They worked so well together.

Those two made me really emotional at the end of the series T_T

Really it would take very little to fix the episode: just get rid of the "tick tock" song which failed to be creepy or atmospheric and fell flat, and remove the "I'll suffer" (etc) dialogue. The rest was fine - flirting, arguing, and the Doctor finally treating River as his equal.

Oh man, if they had taken out the "I'll suffer" speech, the episode would have been, oh, about 1000 times better. You're right, that really was my true beef with it. Agreed about the song. It felt tacky.

[1]makes me think of CLAMP, LMAO!!

AHAHAHAHAHA! Severed heads is TOTALLY CLAMP. Criminy, Ammie, you rock <3
silent_bunny
Oct. 26th, 2011 11:37 pm (UTC)
Just wanted to say it's amazing how you can turn my opinion 180 and IT ALL MAKES SENSE.

I love it when shippers prove that they too are logical, able to think clearly, and are smart like you wouldn't believe <3<3<3
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