You're always here to me. And I always listen. And I can always see you.*Post-Library River.
From the first moment I saw this confirmed, I had a wild, crazy hope that he'd saved her from the Library. Or she'd saved herself, or they'd worked something out together--somehow, some way, she'd come back from that empty world. I even thought that might be what Clara was attempting to do with the column of light: find a way to bring River back for the Doctor.
The first part I saw was a brief clip from the sleep seance. It was so good to see her again, to finally see how she'd react to Clara (well, how Clara reacted to her. I knew River didn't want the Doctor to be alone.) But Clara's genuine confusion--"he never mentioned you were a woman." It made sense; he doesn't like to talk about his past. He may have mentioned her once or twice, but to tell the whole story would be more painful than he could bear. And then these four lines
Clara: So, So you're a friend of his then.Which all but confirms Darillium before The Snowmen. So he wasn't just mourning his Ponds up there--he had lost her too. I didn't think that would happen; if nothing else, I assumed Moffat wouldn't miss the chance to troll us with feels. And how easily River shrugs off his silence. How long has it been for her? Years? Centuries? Thankful, we get the amusing-ness of River slapping everyone else awake before things can get too complicated between the Mrs. and the girlfriend.
River: A little more than a friend, a long time ago.
Vastra: He still never contacted you?
River: He doesn't like endings.
She's been dead for a very long time.Again, how long has it been for him? If he can poke around for 200 years before his own death, how long might he have been sitting on that cloud? This scene is a hundred times worse when he confesses that he could see her all along, but even before that....her grave. She didn't have one at the Library, so I knew something was up when it showed up in the trailer, but....and his line
They'd never bury my wife out here.He calls her wife. How can anyone still claim they're not married? There's just so many painful lines in this episode.
I died saving him. In return he saved me to a database in the biggest library in the universe. Left me like a book on a shelf. Didn't even say goodbye. He doesn't like endings.And I'm so glad she was there to open the TARDIS. Even in death, Idris is watching over her thief and her child. Though it was amusing that the door opened just as the Doctor said "please..." A moment of ??? for everyone. The worst part, though, was after Clara had sacrificed herself. The Doctor, displaying his normal papa-wolf-before-reason habits, is about to jump in after her.
River is just about to slap some sense into him when he catches her hand. He confesses that he's always seen her, always heard what she was saying. He had to listen when River explained how she died, had to walk through her ghost to touch her grave, had to pretend he didn't see her all the time. Once again, how long has he known? Logically, Ockham's razor suggests it's only been for this adventure, but my headcanon is that she's been haunting the TARDIS since the Library.
River: Then why didn't you speak to me? The Doctor: Because I thought it would hurt too much.River: I believe I could have coped.The Doctor: No. I thought it would hurt me. And I was rightWhen he said that, I knew he was thinking over his own feelings, not hers. He doesn't set out to hurt her, he'd never do that, but he's selfish to the core, and has suffered so many losses that he can't do anything else that would cause him pain, even if it would comfort someone else. And this can't be the end, it can't been. I want to see her learn his name, and see them explore the Bone Meadows or meet Jim the Fish. I want River to jump out of more things and have him catch her, or maybe the other way around. I want River to get out of the Library and surprise him with a squirmy, wiggly baby who is quite sure that bowties aren't cool.
I refuse to believe this is their last adventure. There must be more.
*my graphic edit, featuring a quote from Neil Gaiman's American Gods.