Monday, October 27, 2014
In Which I Review Once Upon A Time (4x5)
When I first watched this episode, I had a lot of criticisms about these flashbacks, mostly because they are a lot of filler and are redundant given what we already know about Miss Emma Swan. Yes, Emma has walls. She was abandoned and unloved and left behind and she can't trust people and we all know this tune. That's the problem; nothing new was established in this episode except that we met someone who is (most likely) a one off character who just so happened to mess Emma up more than she was already messed up by further lying to her and tricking her. It's a theme with Emma but, again, we already knew that. Her parents left her by the side of the road (or so she believed for a long time), her first true love Neal turned her into the police (he did NOT, but let's not go into ship territory after my mega rant last week). And now it turns out that her first friend, Lily, was kind of a messed up teenage bitch who did an emo thing and it made Emma even more emo. And I say this as someone who is also of the emo persuasion. So, you know, lovingly. If it hadn't been abundantly clear what the writers were doing in terms of paralleling the present day and the past, then I'd write this off as totally filler and adding nothing to the overall episode. But, rather heavy handily, the Lily/Emma drama was cast as a parallel to the present day situation with Regina and Emma. It's not a coincidence that young Lily was a dark haired, spunky, Latina outcast who felt invisible and unloved. Apart from the dark haired and Latina aspect of it, it's pretty obvious why Emma and Lily got along. Though, to be perfectly frank, that was the most rushed best friendship ever. They knew each other for five seconds before they decided they were going to be best friends for life. But, in an effort to not criticize too much, Emma and Neal also fell in love after just one meeting, one cup of coffee, and a sad tale told on the swings. Parallels within parallels and wheels within wheels, guys. There were an uncomfortable number of Tallahassee callbacks this episode, and not just THE callback. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I guess I'll have more to say in the notes section since it doesn't warrant its own paragraph but I don't know if I feel grateful or used.
And now for something completely different. And by completely different, I mean an isolated blonde with trust issues and a spunky Latina with equal trust issues trying to work together to forge a connection and uh..failing. At least until the end. Yes, Lily was basically one giant Regina-stand in. But let's put a pin in that for a moment and talk about Regina this episode because, oh boy. She just did some serious back peddling that does not rank her below Hook but doesn't exactly endear her to me either. If the writers want me to see Regina as anything other than mostly-villain, then they need to have her stop saying such dumb things like Emma ruined her life. No, Regina. You ruined your own when you chose revenge and blood over forgiveness and understanding. Emma had nothing to do with that. Emma saved a life and while I know that means you can't get your magical rocks off with Robin Hood, it doesn't change the fact that without Emma you'd have more blood on your hands. Is that what you want? While you delight in tearing apart people's happy endings, Emma actively tried to save one. It's not a matter of Emma learning to deal with it, it's a matter of you learning to deal with the fact that you chose your path and it led you here, so maybe you take you lumps and live. It doesn't help that they give Emma some pretty stupid lines that seem way too revisionist history, like "you've done a lot for me." Well. No, she didn't. I mean, unless you count poisoning your son, trying to run you out of town, trying to kill your parents, and--oh yeah--being the reason you were sent through a magical wardrobe in the first place. Look at your life, Regina. Look at your choices. You're the one who doesn't regret or feel sorrow. Emma is beating herself up over this, even though she won't take back saving a life. You're the one who has some serious rage issues right now. And it finally came back to bite you when Sidney, your loyal servant (read: slave) decided to ditch you for the Snow Queen who wouldn't lock him into some sort of prison for all of time--be it a padded one or a reflective one.
--Snow's late night adventure was both good and not so much. On the one hand, it was amusing, but on the other hand, it's official: they are turning Snow into a Disney caricature instead of letting her be the amazing bandit she once was. She said at the end that she felt like herself again, but I don't see how since she wasn't acting anything like how I remember Snow White. Most of this was probably just the writers giving Ginny Goodwin her contracted screen time, but they could work harder on writing her more consistently.
--Will Scarlet is hilarious, but again, I wish they'd given him something more to do outside of being a funny guy. The Will I remember had layers and depth!
--Belle became a babysitter for baby Snowflake and didn't even get one line. Oh boy. She's the new Ruby.
--No Henry and no Rumple. I hope that's rectified soon. On the other hand, very little Hook!
--The Snow Queen lives in the Fortress of Solitude and is also Jadis the White Witch from Narnia going by her decor.