Monday, October 6, 2014
In Which I Review Once Upon A Time (4x2)
I want you to read that sentence again. Then I want you to think back to season one when this show had style but substance, heart, drama, emotions, morals, and decent writing. Then, after you've contemplated all that, I want you to re-read the first sentence above and tell me how the HELL that fits into what ONCE was. Hint: it doesn't. I liked this episode less than last weeks; this week was slow, boring, overly contrived and didn't advance the plot at all. Oh, Charming and Anna knew each other? Okay. Oh, Charming's father was an alcoholic? Um, sure. Oh, Elsa and Emma are going to bond over inability to control their magic and being scared of what they are? Actually, I like that, but I was on a roll. Let's see: oh Captain Hook continues to pout that he's not getting the proper amount of attention? There. Three bad things. This weeks episode, "White Out," wanted to give some thematic understanding of not letting fear stop you from living your life. I guess that's relevant but you know what, like the Doctor said, "fear is a super power." Sometimes, fear is good. But any theme ONCE was trying to drive is pretty much covered up with frills, a shepherd's crook, and sheep. Seriously. Bo Peep is a warlord.
On some level, this is a good idea. Charming--who is just David right now--has very few friends outside of Snow. It's the biggest problem I have with David and Snow as a couple; they are so wrapped up in each other that they never exist outside of each other. Now, I would have liked if this flashback actually took place when David was married to show that he could have substantial relationships outside of Snow, but I'll take what I can get. Fans have been clamoring to know more about Charming who, for being the original male hero of the story, is super under developed. Mixed in with this is the desire to know more about Charming's father--theories abound on this one: knight of the Round Table, King Arthur, ect. The writers decide to kill two birds with one stone and give us Charming's father's back story and I am just going to say it: not everyone has one bad parent, ONCE. Get over this trope and get over it right now. It's officially annoying. Well, it was annoying before but now it's just straight up laziness. Don't think that you can flesh out one of your core characters in five seconds by providing an overly cliche story of a woefully inept father. There is nothing wrong with Charming having two loving parents, but nope. You had to go and make his father a drunk who died in a cart accident. Yes, that is a thing that happens in the Enchanted Forest. However this is not the truly heinous writing in this weeks episode.
Emma got herself a friend. It's a bloody miracle. Every interaction Emma has is mostly male (and romantic) or her mother and father with whom she has an incredibly sketchy and complicated relationship. So, yes, I am applauding ONCE for giving Emma an honest to goodness friend. Now for a criticism. It won't last. Elsa will most likely be gone by the end of these eleven episode and never reappear meaning that Emma will lose the only sincere friend she's had since Neal died. Yeah, that's right. I went there. Neal was also a friend, not just a lover. Elsa, though, has endangered the lives of everyone in Storybrooke twice now. She created an ice monster that almost crushed Maid Marian and now she has put up a giant wall of ice that prevents anyone from leaving...a town that no one can leave anyway. I suppose Elsa doesn't know that. Still. Redundant prevention method is redundant. Also, does the Wall of Ice guard the realms of men? Is it the Sword in the Darkness? Are there Watchers on the Wall? Obvious A Song of Ice and Fire reference is obvious.
--Anna was much better this episode. Not as ditzy, more lovably kooky.
--Snow is now the mayor? Why? Because she cast the curse--but Regina was mayor up until last night. Also, with no experience whatsoever and not being able to read a manual written in Japanese, Snow fixed a generator because breastfeeding.
--"Why put up a wall?" "To kill us all one by one. That's what I would do." OMG. I hate you Hook. I hate you so much.
--"A store filled with things!"
--Regina doesn't want to see Henry. Of all the OOC stupidity....