Monday, December 2, 2013
In Which I Review Once Upon A Time (3x9)
Mr. Gold: To which deal are you referring?
Regina: You know what deal.
Mr. Gold: Oh, right. Yeah. The boy I procured for you. Henry. Did I ever tell you what a lovely name that was? However did you pick it?
Regina: Did you want her to come to town? You wanted all this to happen, didn’t you? Your finding Henry wasn’t an accident, was it?
(The Thing You Love Most, 102)
Since the second episode of season one, the fans of Once Upon a Time have wondered just how Henry, three week old baby Henry, got to Storybrooke. I've seen dozens of theories: Blue Fairy, August, Jefferson, The Darling Brothers, Peter himself. And last night, after two and half years we finally got our answer. This weeks episode, "Save Henry," was all about parents and the choices they make for their children. It focused heavily on Regina and Henry's relationship and how much the Evil Queen loves her son. I'm going to be honest right up front: I was very disappointed in this episode. While it doesn't rank lower than "Good Form," it felt flat and rushed and the parts that were enjoyable were not the main drive of the episode. There were a lot of holes a lot of overly convenient plot devices. It was heavy on the emotions, but low on the substance. There is nothing wrong with a heavy emotional episode, but when the feelings take over and the actual mythos and plot fall short, it's a problem. So yes, we "saved" Henry this week (but not really) and we're (finally) leaving Neverland.
All magic comes with a price. When Regina enacted the Dark Curse, using the heart of her father, the consequences would someday come back to haunt her. The casting of the Curse left a hole in Regina's heart, a void that she can't fill with revenge alone. In the final moments before the Curse hits the Enchanted Forest and takes everyone to Storybrooke, Regina and Rumple meet one final time in his cell; Regina wants to gloat and Rumple knows there is one more thing he must impart to his student: someday you will come to me to fill that hole in your heart. Did Regina actually want kids at any point in her life? Well, after Daniel died at least? She's not the motherly type, at least not yet. The only thing that has ever filled that hole in her heart was when little Owen came to town and Regina wanted a new life with someone in it. So Regina's solution in Storybrooke 11 years ago? Get me a baby!
Regina is a bit impetuous. When she wants something, she wants it now. She doesn't want to wait around and go through the rigamarole of red tape and bureaucracy. Regina, sweetie, a child is not a pair of shoes and you can just up and return when you decide they don't fit. So Regina trots over to Gold's shop and tells him that she is unwilling to wait two years on an adoption list. Surely Gold knows how to work the system and get her a baby sooner. Oh, boy. Let's pause and discuss Mr. Gold for a moment. It was established long ago that Gold retained his Cursed memories for all 28 years of the Curse and only woke up when Emma came to town and he heard her say her name in the Pilot. It was only then that Rumple came back. Before then, he was Gold. And yet this episode, it didn't feel like it was Regina and Gold talking, but the Evil Queen and Rumple. Gold was a powerful man, to be sure, but he shouldn't be standing there waiting for Regina to come to him about the baby; he shouldn't be playing mind games with Regina about how "his memory isn't what it used to be." The one time we did meet Mr. Gold in "Welcome to Storybrooke" he was powerful but bent to Regina's will. He recognized that Regina was mayor but in this episode he is standing in his shop waiting for Regina to come to him. Like he knew it was finally time for this moment. Which...makes no sense. If the writers just retconned this series, I am going to be very upset. However, I did love seeing my man in his suits. Oh god, Bobby Carlyle knows how to rock those suits. And his hair was extra fluffy. What's that? I'm supposed to be reviewing, not drooling? Right.
Meanwhile, back in Neverland...Henry is lying unconscious in Skull Rock and Peter is beginning to absorb the magic of Neverland. Regina, Emma and Neal have a limited amount of time to get Henry's heart back. I liked that Regina and Emma finally had a bit of a fight over "our son." Regina only has Henry and as time goes on, Emma keeps getting "more." She has her parents, "this person" (in reference to Neal) and "a pirate that pines for you." But all Regina has is her son, so she feels justified in using "my son" in conversation. The first step is to hunt down Pan and get the heart back but they have no idea where he is, not even Neal knows. Emma questions the Lost Boys who are finally fed up with Peter Pan and want to go home--all of them except Felix. Felix is loyal to the very end. If this was Harry Potter, Pan is Voldemort and Felix is Bellatrix. "Pan never fails," after all. The young Lost Boys, after eliciting a promise from Emma to take them all home, tell Emma that Pan is at his Thinking Tree. Cause Peter Pan is also Winnie the Pooh. Emma leaves Henry in Neal's care and she, Snow and Regina go after Pan at his tree....
--Can we talk about the idiocy of this title? They really named an episode after their hashtag? Or did they name the hashtag after this title?
--"I want a baby and I need your help"
"Well I'm flattered but uninterested"
--Dark One Rumple singing a little song. God, I love that man.
--Of the 9 episodes aired thus far, this one is just above "Good Form," coming in at #8 for me.
--Random Tink and Wendy moment was random. So now we have a little bit of pixie dust and Tink believed in herself enough to make it glow. Will she become a fairy again?
--Hook's continued snark whenever Emma ignores him and asks Neal to do something instead is getting on my last nerves. But I loved that Emma totally ignored his "as you wish, my lady." She don't care about you, fool. Shut up and steer your ship.
--Next week: Rumbelle. That is all.