'Doctor Who' react: Cubes and the power of three

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Image Credit: BBC

I'm sorry, I think I have some space dust in my eye. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm blubbering over here. Simply blubbering. [Spoiler alert: Information about this week's episode of Who -- and a little more -- inside]

As many of you have mentioned in the comments over the weeks, the impending departure of Amy and Rory has been made even more tragic by these last few excellent episodes of Doctor Who — because it’s never easy to say goodbye to something as special as what these three share on screen. In some ways, it almost feels like a mean tease, does it not? How great are they together?! Yes, they truly are. Oh, by the way, enjoy it while it lasts, suckers!

I’m sure that’s not how it was intended to be. But if we weren’t already aware of Rory and Amy’s exit after next week, this week’s episode would have completely thrown me off the scent, because they seem more dedicated than ever to their adventures with the Doctor. Of course, that’s not how it began.

In the beginning of the episode, Rory and Amy were questioning how much longer they could neglect “real life” in the name of time-travel adventure. For a moment, it seemed the arrival of some mysterious cubes would quickly throw them back into action, but there was nothing “quick” about these cubes. The period of time following their mysterious arrival one morning was referred to as “the year of the slow invasion” for a reason.

The Doctor and Co., of course, had no idea this was the case. But after four days of “eating endless cereal” and waiting for the cubes to do something interesting — or something at all — the Doctor was stir crazy. (“I hate patience. Patience is for wimps!” he said.) So he took off, leaving Amy, Rory and Rory’s dad, Brian, to watch the cubes. In the absence of the Doctor in their lives, Amy and Rory found they were rather fond of monotony. Rory accepted a full-time nursing position and Amy committed herself as a bridesmaid, two things they could never have done while in and out of life with the Doctor. Brian, meanwhile, kept a dedicated log of cube activity.

On a slightly related note: I adore Rory’s dad! The Doctor has really taken to him in such a way that’s been great to watch — like the great scene that transpired after Brian asked the Doctor what had become of some of his former companions. “Some left me, some got left behind…and some died,” the Doctor answered honestly. “But never them, Brian. Never them.”

That’s when the Doctor decided to stay for a bit. “I miss you,” he admitted to Amy. And while four days in the lounge had driven the Doctor mad, this extended stay seemed to serve them all well. They shared meals, stories, and a Wii. By the time they knew it, a year had passed since the arrival of the mysterious cubes and still nothing had happened. The cubes had become mere background objects of life — little objects that could decorate a desk or be used as props or even to thrown away. That changed eventually.

It turns out that they were all part of a processes meant to survey the Earth and all of its inhabitants. (What better way to do so than to be integrated into their lives?) And when they finally activated, these cubes became carriers of a current that, essentially, gave a lot of people heart attacks. (THE DOCTOR INCLUDED! “Lefty” was knocked out.)

Amy saved him by shocking him, and the two eventually tracked down the portal, saved Rory and Brian (who had gone inside and rendered unconscious), and reversed the signal to save everyone who had suffered cardiac arrest. All in a day’s work!

Once the main plot wrapped up, it was back to what I felt was the most compelling part of the episode — life with Amy and Rory. After the action, the Doctor returned to their house for dinner before preparing to head out again — alone. But Brian stopped him, and told Rory and Amy that they should go with him. To hell with normal life! “Save every world you can find. Who else has that chance?” he said. They agreed.

The cubes had taught them the power of three. (I love math puns!)

Before you sound off on your favorite things about the episode, here are some other great moments and quotes:
+ Rory’s dad guessing what might be inside the tiny cubes. Personally, I rather liked the mini-robot idea.
+ Team Cube!
+ Rory’s dad: “Don’t mock my log.”
+ Doctor, with disgust: “Twitter.”
+ Rory: “You just married Henry VIII on our anniversary!”
+ Doctor (making me cry): “There is so much, so much to see. It goes so fast. I’m not running away from things, I’m running to them before they flare and fade away forever.”
+ Doctor, to Amy (tears, take 2): “You were the first — the first face I saw and you were sealed onto my hearts….I’m running to you and Rory before you fade to me.”
+ Doctor kisses his hand, pats Amy’s head.
+ The return of UNIT! Jemma Redgrave was fantastic as Kate Stewart.
+ Brian to Rory, Amy and the Doctor: “Actually, it’s you they can’t give up, Doctor — nor do I think they should. Go with them. Go, save every world you can find. Who else has that chance….just bring them back safe.”


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