The opening set up the episode very well, in terms of the plot and the overall tone. When the Doctor first arrived at the hotel there was the obligatory description of the world they meant to go to. I liked how the other characters were introduced (for a moment I wondered if Lucy would be one of them and we'd been started at the end but the picture on the wall showed that this was wrong).
I like how much of this episode was in the details. The Doctor miming "Call me" to Rita after fake firing Amy, Joe's cufflinks, the Rubix cube (when did he learn to solve those? He couldn't do it in Night Terrors), Howie's stutter, the goldfish Gibbis ate, the duality of who the creature's last words applied to and the Doctor having room 11.
I just wanted to say that the way they did the "Praise him" snippets was amazing. I loved the quick cuts to the different faces and the interspersing of the written words. The shots of the hotel were amazing.
One thing that bothered me was that once again we had the Doctor "figuring out" what was happening only to realize his advice is wrong and may have made things worse. I understand that it would be annoying if he was always right the first time this is also getting a little annoying.
That being said when he realized what he had to do to Amy to get the Beast to stop made me so sad. That scene was heartbreaking, as was the scene where the beast died. The ending was wonderful and sad all at the same time. Something I missed upon my first viewing was Amy telling the Doctor "If you bump into my daughter, tell her to visit her old Mum sometimes." That line is interesting to me because obviously River is he daughter and she's her mother, but at the same time she isn't. If Amy and Rory have more children it's going to be interesting since technically they aren't first time parents but they never did the whole raising a child thing (I know they sort of raised Mels and acted as sort of parents to her but it doesn't quite count).
I just want to take this moment to discuss how much I love Rory as a character. I've seen websites that have compared the development of Rory to that of Wesley Wyndam-Pryce on Buffy/Angel because they both start as somewhat goofy characters and developed into BAMFs but I think a better Buffy comparison is Xander. On Buffy Xander was "the one who saw things" and the heart of the group. He noticed things about the other characters and wasn't afraid to speak up when they got out of hand. Similarly, Rory sees people more clearly than others. In Vampires of Venice he tells the Doctor "you make people want to impress you" and points out how dangerous the Doctor's actions are to those around him. Last week he chewed out the Doctor for turning him (Rory) into him (The Doctor). He asked if the people in the time stream facility were happy, something the Doctor recognized as a very Rory thing to do. And then this week he was the one who knew that Howie had just overcome his stutter and he reminded the Doctor that not all victories were big and grand. I love Rory. He can be a BAMF when he's dressed as a Roman and he can also be the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful person ever. He waited 2000 years for the woman he loved, was relatively calm when he learned that she ran off before they're wedding and his relationship with River Song both before and after the big reveal was quite sweet.
Finally, some favorite lines.
"Our high school motto was 'resistance is exhausting'."
"I want to go home and be conquered and oppressed."
"I plant trees so the conquering armies can invade in the shade."
- Howie: I've worked out where we are.
- Rory: Hmm?
- Howie: Norway.
- Rory: ...Norway?!
- Howie: See, the US government has entire cities hidden in the Norwegian mountains. You see, Earth is on a collision course with this other planet. And this is where they're going to send all the rich people when it kicks off.
- Rory: Amazing.
- Howie: It's all there on the internet!
- Rory: No, it's amazing that you've come up with a theory even more insane than what's actually happening.
Next week looks really good!!!