He tries to assume control of the situation, which in this particular brand of Moffat Gender Studies is always a terrible idea, and River starts popping off facts from the TARDIS screen she's tamed, but of course he knows better because he can smell all the facts just from opening the TARDIS door, so that puts her in her place. Amy asks why she can even fly the old girl, and River assures her she learned from the best. "Shame you were busy that day," she snorts, and the well-chuffed Doctor is once again well-chastened.
See? This is totally how men and women relate to each other. All husbands and all wives are exactly like this, all the time -- and all men and women must eventually be husbands and wives respectively, because what's to be done without heternormativity? Imagine for a moment that the "Gay Agenda" were the norm: Wouldn't this look like an Agenda of its own? Putting the boy spoons with the boy spoons and the girl spoons with the girl spoons, and so on.
Would "Fireplace" have been half so meaningful to boys, without that tacked-on, narratively meaningless coda wherein the two men of Reinette come together to mourn her, despite her husband never having appeared onstage before she was dead? I say no. I say we're at a point now where maybe we need things explained to us in very basic language, because the longtime unassailable economy of men and women is so shaky right now. We need hearty jokes, on the level of Dilbert or Ziggy, about what men do and what women do. Very British, from Thackaray down to Benny Hill. Certainly relevant to our experience, which is the keystone of lazy humor. Everybody Loves Raymond for the D&D set.
Which is so brilliant if you're a man, because when you're a man, you're not actually accountable for anything, because no matter how wrong you are, or how often, you're still right. Women are wrong even when they're right, which mean bumbling Homer Simpsons like our Doctor get to have their cake and eat it too, while we can all rest easy knowing even kind and brilliant women are hiding dark secrets that undercut their viability and make them less. Even the most desirable of women is still lacking in ethical sense -- no matter how often it may seem otherwise, just long enough to make the Doctor the butt of a silly joke -- and will eventually be laid low. Thank God.
And I mean, like I said before: RTD's putting women on pedestals is only marginally less grody. But at least his women were people, rather than obscure mechanisms that nobody really understands. But then, Moffat's preaching to the choir, isn't he.