If you haven't seen David Tennant's final "Who" episode, "The End of Time" yet then please be forewarned, there are spoilers ahead. So avert your eyes...I'll give you a few seconds...here, I'll even put in a picture!
I'm just going to say it. I don't care about plot. When it comes to watching a show about a 900 year old alien who travels time and space in an anachronistic blue box, I refuse to get my feathers ruffled about continuity, logic and coherence. I will readily admit that "The End of Time" was a complete mess: Timelords, Gallifrey, The Master, Barack Obama and aliens with green pointy faces. Who knows what the hell that was all about? I, for one, do not care one bit.
You know why? Because where these episodes went astray in terms of plot, they were absolutely spot on when it came to character and depth of emotion, and that's everything I wanted for Ten's farewell. To whit, every single scene between Ten and Donna's grandfather Wilf was heartbreakingly beautiful. When Wilf tried again and again to give The Doctor his gun, and quietly sobbed about how he didn't want the Doctor to die, about how he was the most wonderful person -- oh God, how could you not get even a little bit misty eyed over that? (Or in my case, start sobbing uncontrollably.)
Beyond the sci-fi and beyond the plot, this episode was at heart about mortality, about two old men confronting the end and doing everything they could to make that end matter. For the Doctor to sacrifice himself not to save the world, not to save the universe, but to save Wilf, the only other man who knew what he was going through, was a thing of beauty. It was the most heroic thing this Doctor could ever have hoped to do. It was perfect.
People have complained about the drawn-out ending, too, with the Doctor going off to get his "reward" and seeing all his former companions and the people who meant the most to him. To those people, I say too bad. I loved those little grace note moments -- the final wave to Sarah Jane, a final act of kindness for Captain Jack and Alonso, those wonderful words to a young Rose telling her what a great year she was going to have. As a fan, I wanted those farewells just as much as The Doctor did. This is the end of an era, after all.
And finally, just a word or two about Tennant's performance. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Tennant has rarely faltered as The Doctor and for these last two episodes, he was nothing short of spectacular. His monologue after he realizes he'll have to sacrifice himself for Wilf is heartbreaking, so angry yet no matter the terrible things he says, Tennant never lets you doubt that he will make that sacrifice and that he loves Wilf and meant it when he said he'd have been honored to have Wilf as his father. Tennant is twelve kinds of awesome in that scene.
Damn, I'm going to miss him.
But enough out of me -- what did you think?