‘Doctor Who’ — ‘The Power of Three’ Is One Step Away From the End of the Ponds

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It’s not long now. The Ponds (Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill) are on their way out. With only one episode of Doctor Who left, it’s time to start gathering your tissues. If you’re the sort of person that cries at goodbyes. Not that I do. Nope. This is all a service for you. Sniff.

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Arthur Darvill, Karen Gillan and Matt Smith in ‘Doctor Who’ — ‘The Power of Three’

This week’s penultimate episode, “The Power of Three” has the Doctor (Matt Smith) staying with the Ponds for a year during the “slow invasion” of a bunch of cubes, really spying equipment for the Shakri, the “pest control of the universe.” We humans, it seems, must be eradicated before we spread like the cockroaches we are. The Doctor professes his love for humans and the planet we live on and saves the day, of course. He does it with one heart (Lefty) out of commission until Amy zaps it back into beating.

The thing is, the invasion isn’t really the main issue here. For those of us who have loved the Ponds, from Amy’s flirtation to her deep friendship with the Doctor, (Does anyone else sigh every time he kisses her on the head?) and Rory’s change from another random guy to a true part of the team, this episode was like catnip. It’s like Steven Moffat was giving us a chance to really sink out teeth into the relationship these three have and marinate ourselves in it before the end. That said, if the end involves the death of one of both of the Ponds or turning them into Angels or stuffing them into another universe … well, I don’t know about you, but no amount of Pond marination is going to get me ready for that. Gillan has said that this is going to be a heartbreaking end, and the entire cast has said it’s satisfying. Gillan also claims she doesn’t want to come back for cameos. So, death? Say it ain’t so!

Gillan also claims she doesn’t want to come back for cameos. So, death? Say it ain’t so!

As I said, Moffat was giving us everything a Pond-fan could wish. We got to see more of Rory’s dad Brian (Mark Williams), which gives us a bit more of a glimpse of who the man who waited really is. We see that Rory is actually a great nurse and that Amy has friends who love her enough (or hate her enough) to include her in a wedding party. They seem to really love their lives, but we see that old spark when the Doctor takes them on a trip during their anniversary. A seven week trip! They’ve been traveling with the Doctor for what amounts to ten years. They’re older than their friends, but something seems to keep them going back.

Even more touching? We learn just how much the Doctor loves them. “You were the first face this face saw.” He misses them when they’re not around. At the end of the episode, they’re off for one last adventure. Last! A pretty fine point was put on the fact that Amy always gets what she wants. Will that be a happy life with her Rory? So I want to put this question to you. How do you want the Ponds to go out? Do you think the only answer is for them to die? Do you want to see them forget their lives with him? Are Angels the way to go? Should he just leave them in peace? And if the end is tragic, what will that mean for the Doctor? He’d have to live through their deaths at some point, but if it’s really the end and it’s far too soon, how much darker will the Doctor go? Can the new companion pull him out of it? Leave your comments below. I promise, I read them all.

Finally, a few notes. It was wonderful to see Kate Lethbridge Stewart, the daughter of the Brigadier heading up UNIT! I’m sure she’ll be back. Also, the Doctor did something you rarely see on American TV. He mentioned Twitter (with disgust) and YouTube. We usually have to make up fake names for such things. And they ate fish fingers and custard! I’m not sure my stomach will ever recover from the idea, but the AV Club dug up a recipe for it. Check it out here and report back when their pumping your stomach in the hospital.

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