JDS: If there is one thing I’m a sucker for, it’s a good shoulder roll! As you can see here, Korra transitions fluidly from a front roll to a jumping, spinning hook kick–a complex series of movements expertly animated by Studio Mir.
Ah, ze Eiffel Tower! And the ever-romantic City of Lights. We’re definitely coming back here, babe. Y'know, when we don’t have a world to save. There will always be a world to save. Now drop me and go.
This is a fascinating little episode. While not the most thrilling or obvious of all Doctor Who episodes, it is essential to understanding the end of the Pond’s era because that’s what this is. The beginning of the end. This is the last episode where the Doctor, Amy, and Rory travel together as what they do with their lives. At the end of this episode, the Doctor leaves Amy and Rory behind and they begin attempting to live normally (at least in between the now less frequent adventures).
This is an interesting episode touching on the subject of faith in everything from religion to luck. The subject is brought to life by some of the most fully rounded single episode characters of the series. By taking on the issue of faith, each of the characters is instantly given motivation and depth that’s rare for a 45 minute episode. And yet, none of them survive adding to the truly bleak atmosphere.
I would have loved to see some of them survive, but that’s not what this episode is about. This episode is dark and destructive to all of it’s characters - including our main characters who physically survive, but only after self examination that leads to a permanent change in the nature of Amy and The Doctor’s relationship. It is a painful, yet necessary event that had to happen as they both grow up from the lost kids who were running away from their individual futures by clinging to thrills and adventures.
This episode is so important for Amy. Coming directly after The Girl Who Waited in which her entire life is destroyed after spending years waiting for the Doctor, The God Complex is the final chapter in that arc and it brings to light everything that had been suggested over the years about Amy’s faith in the Doctor and how that has entirely shaped her into both a strong woman and the Girl Who Waited.
The Girl Who Waited is a romantic title in the likeness of Sleeping Beauty. It’s passive. The Girl Who Waited isn’t the hero. She’s the one who gets saved. It isn’t an empowering title or one you would expect from a woman like Amy who stands up, fights, and won’t back down. It’s a bit of a contradiction in her character, but that’s what makes it work because the truth is, we are all a bit of a contradiction because we’re human. Human beings are both vulnerable and strong - no matter which trait they display most often. The strongest of women were all once vulnerable children.
Amy is such a layered character and it all goes back to little sad Amelia Pond. A child who waited in her garden for a hero who she believed with all her heart really existed and would come back to save her from her life. But as she grew up, she was largely on her own to figure out life creating this very strong and self sufficient woman.
Still, throughout her life, she wrote stories, built models of the two of them and his Tardis, and told everyone she knew while they judged her and deemed her mad. She had the kind of faith in him others had in religious figures which brings us to this episode.
The Doctor is neither a god nor her savior. He is a man - a special, amazing man who saved countless people, but never a god. Amy needs him to be that savior she dreamed of as a little girl, but he isn’t and truly, he never was. He let her down, but she clung to her faith in him because she was so young when she met him, she is the type of person who needs something to believe in (remember we met her as a little girl praying to Santa), and because she’s seen him do so many amazing things that it was easy to let him be deserving of her unwavering faith. It’s not that the Doctor isn’t an amazing man and a hero to many, but the problem lies in that he and Amy often see each other the way they want to see each other rather than the way they really are.
Just one episode earlier, we saw how horribly things could turn out if she left blind faith in him. The show wanted us to see the damage very clearly before Amy dealt with it herself. It isn’t until Amy sees the Doctor for what he is that she can truly move forward. He is her friend, he loves her, and their relationship is at the heart of both of their characters, but he isn’t someone to blindly trust will always save her.
And the Doctor sees that just as clearly in the end. Rather than watching her die while they travel together, he saves her by leaving her to live her own life apart from him.
This is the episode that leaves Amy reeling in the end and takes us into series 7. She’s in her house looking out after the Doctor has left her standing still while he flies off again without her. This is where she falters. Until this point, she has not tried to live a normal life and she has no idea how to do it. She’s been trying to escape reality since the very first moment we met her. When we see her again in series 7, it’s no surprise she had spiraled down before she figured it out - unable to settle down to real life, pushing Rory away because she thinks she can’t give him want he wants, and putting on a mask over her true emotions.
Amy’s entire arc isn’t the Girl Who Waited Arc. That’s part of her life and it is a huge important part, but her story isn’t all about the fairy tale. At this point, the arc becomes about living once the fairy tale is over. It will be years before Amy and The Doctor separate for good, but in the end, it’s Amy who figures out how to live a real life and the Doctor keeps running - the exact path this episode put the characters on.
This is the turning point for the relationship between Amy and The Doctor. Not only does Amy finally try to see him as he is, he calls her Amy Williams and stops seeing her as a child. In one way, it’s the beginning of a truly equal, adult relationship between the two of them and in another, it’s the beginning of the end because that never was the nature of their relationship. It’s like so many people who grow up together, real life takes them in different directions whether they want it to or not.
Teyana Taylor x A.I Reebok Questions! Just announced to be released in October… This is her 3rd sneaker. (sneakers previous to this one was Adidas Harlem GLC, & Patrick Ewing Gold Medals) stay tuned for more details on her newest collaboration