If you’re like me, you were thoroughly disappointed in the half-assed send-off that River Song was given in “The Name of the Doctor” a few years ago but now, a little later but still welcome, the good professor is finally given the swan song that she deserves in the sometimes hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking Christmas episode, “The Husbands of River Song.”
The Doctor, mistaken for a surgeon, is summoned to a UFO to save the life of a dying dictatorial murderous king (essentially a head on a robot body) by the king’s wife and, when he gets there, discovers that the king’s wife is none other than his own wife, River Song. River, not knowing that the Doctor has been granted additional regenerations by the Time Lords, doesn’t recognize his new face and has no idea who he is and unknowingly drags her husband on cross-galactic diamond heist with a murderous now-headless robot body on their heels.
“The Husbands of River Song” is a light-hearted and funny affair, far more suited to Christmas than most of Doctor Who’s past offerings. No face-sucking aliens, no wars, no fucking tree people in goddamn Narnia… just a fun adventure with a fun character. There’s lots of laughs, lots of funny situations, and lots of chemistry between Peter Capaldi and Alexis Kinsington. It’s really sad that it looks like River won’t be around anymore because the two played off of each other magnificently. I know there’s always a way for River to return, but I think an additional appearance would only cheapen this episode and all it stood for.
That in mind, it’s a proper send-off to River. To quote Ashidir, it was sad and it was beautiful. River gets to live happily ever after with the Doctor and it’s all the more special because it’s the last time.
I’m happy with this goodbye. She leaves us with a smile on our face and a glow in our hearts.
So long, sweetie.