The episode begins, not of course with the cliffhangers from last week, but three months later, but also ten minutes after that, and additionally a few hours after that: With Canton Delaware hunting down and shooting Amy and Rory, and running River out of a 50-floor warehouse. But then it turns out that none of them are dead, they were just kidding, and Delaware's been working with them the whole time to... Figure out about the Silence?
The Silence: A host of invisible mind-suckers that's been running things here on Earth since "fire" and "the wheel," and apparently they are able to... Mind-control you into starting a Space Race with the Communists so that somebody will invent the spacesuit, which they then turn into this miraculous thing that runs on sunlight and dreams and has a function that calls the most powerful man on Earth whenever the person inside gets scared. Dumb and annoying, yes, but meaninglessly complex in a way that almost seems like coming home, at this point. Also, every time Nixon appears in the room, "Hail to the Chief" plays. For our benefit, presumably.
Tone-deaf grade school-level ignorance of basic shit aside, it's a fun episode. It has all the earmarks of a Moffatt, from the careless reuse of tropes and themes from fifty other episodes to the pointless jumps around in timeframe to random weird exciting images that could have been in any episode at all to the "did you see that inorganic and incomprehensible structural tweak that will make sense six episodes from now, because it was really subtle" stuff.
But since most people that watch the show don't seem to have a problem with any of that, River kissed the Doctor for the first/last time, and that was kind of sad. And a lot of the pointless barrage of images -- the hash marks drawn on the women's bodies, a scary bionic nurse, car chases, the Hoover Dam -- are sort of neat, although of course there's never any benefit to trying to figure out what any of it means, because it doesn't actually mean anything. Through an increasingly contrived set of circumstances, the Doctor eventually causes the Silence to mind-control the humans of Earth to murder them, using the Apollo XI moon landing footage, so that's how that goes.
Badger and Amy go to this orphanage for awhile -- where Amy possibly gives birth or is pregnant but is also not pregnant or whatever, timey-wimey -- that's run by a "Mr. Renfrew" who is bug-eating crazy and only exists to take care of the spacesuit kid and the clutch of Silence that sleep upside down in one of the top areas. Right? Like bats? Get the subtle literary reference? Later, none of this matters at all, so either way. Think about it too hard and you might get angry, just like with the crudely nonsensical gay joke about America's marriage debate which manages to be both flippant and offensive toward both sides simultaneously.
(Because nothing feels better, as a fan of this show, than getting treated like a punchline. Am I right, ladies?)
So anyway it seems maybe her baby is the little girl in the astronaut suit, who -- due to TARDIS travel -- has been deformed into some kind of a Time Lord Baby that will one day kill the Doctor. So there's that hanging over their heads. The homemade TARDIS from "The Lodger" shows up, but we don't really talk about that much. The still very-much-insecure Rory now has a device that records everything Amy ever says and transmits it back to him, because that's not creepy at all -- or the fact that he immediately uses it to eavesdrop on her conversations with the Doctor about her pregnant/nonpregnant status -- but whatever, their love is totally real and magnificent, which we know because Rory keeps saying so and the music keeps swelling when he does, no matter how many times she's desperately rude to him for no reason whatsoever.
Bottom line: The Silence are easily dispatched, thanks to new, made-up rules that don't really make much sense at all. River goes back to jail, and that part was kind of sad. Amy is both pregnant and nonpregnant with a child that may have Time Lord properties, and will be regenerating into some new form next week, probably, if we see her at all. The Doctor is still dead 200 years from him-now, and still has no idea they're hiding that from him. The astronaut suit was not actually made by NASA, but is a lookalike built by the Silence to house the Time Lord Child, for whatever reason. And there are already jarring time effects occurring within the show that look to mean it's not just about Amy's USB brain this year, but possibly also her USB uterus as well. Because learning and growing together as men and women is what Moffatt's all about.
What are people saying about your favorite shows and stars right now? Find out with Talk Without Pity, the social media site for real TV fans. See Tweets and Facebook comments in real time and add your own -- all without leaving TWoP. Join the conversation now!
Dead Doctor, President Nixon, ladies getting blowed up, knocked-up Amy taking photos and shooting little girls. All caught up. Can't wait to get back to those cliffha... Ah.
THREE MONTHS LATER.
Amy is being chased through the Utah desert by Canton and a team of spooks, who produce their own bodybag once they've got her cornered. Apparently once she shot the Astronaut, Canton woke up and spotted one of the Silence, but he's now forgotten. Or something. He shoots Amy and she dies. On her arm are a bunch of hash marks.
In Area 51, they've got the Doctor trussed up in a straitjacket in the middle of some kind of magic circle thing, and they're slowly building an unbeatable prison around him, just like last year. Canton shows the Doctor a picture of the hash marks on Amy's dead arm, and nobody points out that he's got a fake beard that looks ridiculous.
Around that same time, Canton chases River Song -- also rocking has marks and having her own run-in with more Silence while being dressed like a million dollars -- out of a fiftieth-floor window in New York. To his joking condescension about how America is supposedly being invaded by superinvisible alien creatures, she shouts -- for the first time of many times in this episode -- "You were invaded a long time ago, America is occupied!"
If you wonder what that's like, River jumping sassily out of the window to get away from her pursuers, just imagine the last time she jumped sassily out of a window to get away from her pursuers: It's like that.
Canton comes to tell the Doctor that he's now killed two of the team, and the Doctor starts talking about two things at once: Number one is River, who is now dead, and number two is the unbreakable prison in which he now finds himself. (If you wonder what that's like, seeing the Doctor in an unbreakable prison being constructed around him, just imagine the last time this happened, three episodes ago: It's like that.) Number three, of course, is the usual "I'm so awesome" speechifying which somebody out there must enjoy, but I've never been able to figure out who, or for why: "You're building me the perfect prison. And it still won't be enough."
Canton shoots Rory, whose face is covered in the hash marks, at the well-known-to-all-Americans monument, Glen Canyon Dam, in AZ. They drag both Pond bodybags into the perfect jail cell, and Canton closes the door with himself inside... Ah! Turns out this whole thing was a ruse, for some reason, to lock all four of them together inside the perfect jail cell. Amy and Rory climb out of their bodybags, and the straitjacket was a fake, and the Doctor somehow opens the wall of the jailcell onto the TARDIS -- none of this is ever discussed or explained -- and then open the TARDIS sideways underneath River swandiving out of the building, so there's another splash from the TARDIS swimming pool. Which is pretty cute, honestly.