DOCTOR WHO “The Wedding of River Song” Review

DOCTOR WHO “The Wedding of River Song” Season 6, Episode 13 – The season finale of Doctor Who started off in a world in which time and space had gone completely mad. Time was perpetually stuck on April 22, 2011 at 5:02 PM and while air balloon powered Mini Coopers filled the skies of London and Pterosaurs attacked children in parks, the Holy Roman Emperor, Winston Churchill, was forced to ask: “What happened to time?”

The answer, “a woman.” Thanks to “hell in high heels” we now know exactly what happens when you try to rewrite a fixed point in time.

As The Doctor retold his story, it was impossible for me to hold back the tears as we watched the events on Lake Silencio from his point of view. The Doctor told River that she was completely and totally forgiven and she fought with all her might to prevent the suit from taking control and killing him.

The feel of the scene changed suddenly and I couldn’t help but laugh out loud and cheer for River the moment she smiled and told The Doctor that fixed points could be rewritten. It seems as though there are only a handful of things in the Universe that can truly surprise The Doctor in his old age anymore and River Song is always one of those things.

River was willing to destroy all of time and history to save the man that she loved. She would let the world wither away so that she would never have to kill The Doctor. It might be the most psychotic act of love I’ve ever seen, but it might also be one of the most romantic ideas I can imagine.

As The Doctor is trying to force River to maintain touch so that time can continue moving, she mentions that in all her studies of archaeology, she’s found that she’s either the woman who marries him or murders him. Knowing there were two options for her future, would a marvelous psychopath in love do anything differently?

In their mixed up world, Amy and Rory still managed to find each other and end up working on the same side of the same team. I laughed uncontrollably when Amy showed the Doctor her sketch of what Rory must look like and explained that she hadn’t been able to find him. Of course, “Captain Williams” was working right beside her and The Doctor’s attempt to play cupid by telling Rory that Amy had told him that “she’d like to go out with you for texting and scones” was wonderfully ridiculous.

I actually really liked the darker moment that Amy had when she dealt with Kovarian in the pyramid. Kovarian had abducted Amy and kidnapped her child. Although Melody Pond eventually became River Song, Amy and Rory would never be the parents that they should have been with their first child. I would have found it harder to believe that a mother who had been held captive during her pregnancy and later watched helplessly as her child was kidnapped, abused and turned into a psychopath, could so easily forgive a woman who caused her family so much pain.

There was something more cruel about what Kovarian knowingly did to their family than what so many other Doctor Who antagonists had done before her. Giving Kovarian her death sentence, Amy puts the eye patch back onto Kovarian’s eye and in the most dark and badass tone I’ve heard from Amy Pond, she tells her that “River Song didn’t get it all from you, Sweetie” and walks off to join the others at the top of the pyramid.

Gathered around the distress signal, I forced back tears again as River desperately tried to explain to The Doctor that she couldn’t let him die without knowing that he was loved. Ensuring that River became the woman who married him instead of the woman who murdered him, The Doctor asks Rory and Amy to give their blessing. The Doctor whispers his “name” into River’s ear, making her promise to never tell a soul and as they kiss, we witness the heartbreaking events on Lake Silencio just as we had seen them in the very first Doctor Who episode of this season.

Of course, Rule 1 is that The Doctor lies. As self proclaimed sentinels of justice, the operators of the Teselecta have been functioning within a loophole of the laws of time for quite a while. The same loophole that allowed them to carry out punishment for the unpunished criminals in history would allow The Doctor to “die” at his fixed point in time, without actually dying. It would always be The Teselecta that was shot by River Song that would die at Lake Silencio, and it would always be River’s job to play dumb and never let on that The Doctor hadn’t told her his name, but instead had told her “look into my eye.”

This finale of Doctor Who so perfectly took everything that happened over the course of this incredible season and wove it into one magical story of how The Doctor died without dying. Although all the information we got in the first half of the episode was somewhat confusing, things ironed themselves out rather quickly in the second half and it was exciting to see how everything was falling into place according to The Doctor’s plan.

River will someday learn The Doctor’s name but we now know that she didn’t learn it on her wedding day. It seems that the question hidden in plain sight, the first question ever asked which signals the inevitable fall of the 11th is simply, Doctor Who? We’ll have to wait until next season to see what the answer brings.