Monday, March 9, 2015

In Which I Review Once Upon A Time (4x13)

Now this was an interesting episode! No, not interesting-good, but rather this weeks episode, "Unforgiven," made me feel two contradictory emotions that you would think couldn't exist at the same moment but somehow do: boredom and anger. I was so bored during this episode. The character stood around and discussed the same thing over and over, rehashing the same plot points ad nauseum. It was repetitive to the point of insanity. Author plot, Snowing secret plot, (drag) Queen of Darkness reunion plot. It was all a build up to the last five minutes during which we learn that Maleficent had a baby (because of course she did) and that the Mistress of All Evil somehow lost her baby because of Snowing's actions. Honestly, this wasn't shocking or mind blowing in the slightest. Did you all see the summer Maleficent movie? The one that paid homage to ONCE? Well now it's payback time. The rage issues, however, center on the writers constant retcons that only serve to degrade their heroes and uplift their villains. Snow apparently did something so terrible that it could ruin her relationship with her daughter, but it wasn't worthy of a dark spot on her heart nor something she had to confess in the Plot Device Confession Cave in Neverland? Sure, that makes sense. This secret smells highly of "story of the arc" instead of "story of the show" and every time they put the former before the latter, they end up making a mess of the whole shebang. Last weeks episode was serviceable; this weeks was just down right eye-roll worthy. Grab a dragon rattle and let's do it. 

Three Witches And A Baby

Snow and Charming are returning from their honeymoon and, as Snow is wont to do, she means to get down to business right away and find a way to defeat Regina and stop the Dark Curse. Charming just wants to have sex. I mean, you can tell that's what he is hinting at. I'm betting Snow let him make the beasts with the two backs once on their honeymoon; the rest of the time she fretted over her step mommy.  Now they've arrived home and Charming is looking forward to putting all those rooms in the palace to good use and all Snow wants to fret over her step mommy. Very single minded our Snow White. We're ignoring the fact that during their honeymoon episode, Charming and Snow decided that they needed to live in the moment and not fret so much over Regina. Remember, the writers believe we have amnesia. As usual, I do not; but honestly this retcon is minor and more of a continuity error that stems from the writers never re-watching their own series and pales in comparison to some other ones, so I'll let it go. But, poor Charming. Always something standing in the way of showing off your prowess with a blade. Well, that was dirty and unnecessary of me, wasn't it? Anyway, the three (drag) Queens of Darkness show up with a proposition: we want to stop Regina from enacting the Curse because it will punish us to. That's not a wholly bad idea; Regina's thought behind the curse was incredibly selfish and self-serving. It wasn't about the villains getting their happy ending--as Rumple's is now, or so he claims--but rather it was about her own happy ending and hers alone. Mal was made into a permanent dragon under the town library for her crimes against Regina. Mal wasn't gallivanting around town with the Mayor like frenimes do. So the idea that the three (drag) Queens of Darkness want to stop the Curse back in the EF of the past is a good storyline. Naturally, there is more to it, because of course there is. They can't just have something simple and straight forward like three villains not wanting to be punished in a prison of time--which is motivation enough! Oh no. We gotta have ourselves a secret baby.

Congratulations, Snow White! You're going to have a baby! The dragon lady said so. You can almost hear the sound of Charming weeping softly in a corner, knowing he'll never have sex ever again. The issue I have with this whole portion--at least one issue--is the insane amount of time it took to get to this point in the story. If ONCE does one thing well (and this is not a compliment) it's treading water and using an unholy amount of plot devices to get their characters to a point where the big bomb can be dropped. So here we have a Tree of Wisdom (because Tree of Knowledge is copyrighted by the big man upstairs? No, I don't mean Walt Disney. I mean THE BIG MAN. God. He of the long flowy beard and sandals. At any rate, keep on driving home that Christ Imagery for Emma, ONCE writers! It only stiffens my belief that she's gonna die). But before Mal could inform Snow that she was pregnant--Snow, being a delicate flower probably closed her eyes and thought of England while Charming was horizontal hustling her, could not tell this for herself even though there is a plethora of evidence that the mothers somehow always know first--we had to go on a very long walk to a tree, and see Mal turn into a dragon and kill random people, and have a long speech about how a baby of true love has the potential to be both a hero and a villain and we already know all this! Seriously, this is exactly what Rumple told us last week. Okay, I know that Snow and Charming need to learn this in order to do "the big bad thing" that they do to Mal but all it does is bore your audience to have the same thing constantly enforced, especially when it doesn't come until the end of the episode like it is some big reveal but in actuality we learned this last week. I get it! Emma Go Dark! Dark Emma Smash! Dark Emma Is Plot Point For Season 4B! RAWR! BLOGGER SMASH.

Guess who else is pregnant? Mal of course. Because REASONS. Those reasons are, by the way, $758 million dollars at the box office despite the lackluster reviews. Alright, Mal, fess up. Just between us Ovarian Sisters--who is the baby daddy? Do you even know? Ready for my really stupid crack pot theory: there is no father! Dun Dun Duuuuuuun. The writers obviously want to link Emma and Dragon Baby (more on that in a second) and thus they'll have Dragon Baby be born of true love. But not the true love of Mal and the "father" but rather the true love egg that Charming stuck inside Mal at the end of season one. The imagery is all there: woman, man, egg, true love. Doesn't that sound exactly like something this show would do--especially since they are driving home the "Christ" imagery with Emma. Her antithesis must also be some sort of Christ like figure (an anti-Christ you might say) so thus, the writers need to incorporate some of that Christology. And who is this lucky little she-devil, you might ask? It's Lily of course. Random chick that Emma met at the age of 15, who had a star shaped tattoo, and was named after the mother of demons? Yeah, no, I'm sure she's just a regular street urchin. Emma vs Lily at the end of season four? Sure why not. They can both die battling with magic they shoot from their finger tips and we'll learn a valuable lesson about saviors and happy endings and love eternal. Or something.

Tentacle Bitch Slap

 Meanwhile in the present day Storybrooke, Snow and Charming bore me to tears by standing around and having the same conversation over and over again. It goes like this: "Cruella and Ursula are in town! They know our secret! We can't let Emma know! What we did was wrong! Ignore the fact that we've never brought it up and it seems to fly in the face of what the show has established previously about our hearts and secrets!" Okay, they may not have said that last part, but I'm adding it for truth. Snow and Charming were taken out by Ursula's tentacles which is a really inappropriate thing to type and say out loud. Actually, side note here, where is Ursula keeping those things? She is dressed in skin tight clothing so where does she store her phallic imagery when they aren't in use? And how big are they? They reached around a desk, went to a back room, and grabbed an object without being they are super big, super secret, tentacles. For reasons. Anyway, Snow and Charming go to destroy Mal's ashes so that the other two (drag) Queens of Darkness can't bring her back from almost-death. In the end, Cruella cuts their hands and because Snowing's blood is the blood of those who wronged Mal the most (super specific curse there....) the Dragon Lady is brought back and is extra pissy. I mean, first Snow and Charming somehow rob Mal of her daughter and then their own daughter sticks her with the pointy end? Man, the Charmings really are less than charming aren't they? But that's it. That's the big super secret that has kept Snow awake for a week now (but not before!) She and Charming went to great lengths to remove Mal's baby from Mal.

Speaking of a less literal tentacle bitch slap, time to check in on the author plot, which seems useless since we all know it won't be solved until the end of the season. Hey look, it's Baby! Pinocchio. How you doing kid? You remember all the hookers and blow yet? No? Probably for the best. In other news, Regina...calm yourself! Good lord. Did you need to yell at him like that? He's a kid; I get it. You want your happy ending and your sex in a crypt with Mr. Poopy Face but the last thing you should do is traumatize a child. Thank God for Geppetto stepping in and reminding Regina and the audience that she was once a horrible villain who did terrible things and maybe, just maybe, she doesn't get to have the happy ending she wants because of all the terror she inflicted. That message gets my approval. In fact, that whole Geppetto speech felt like season one. Other than that, the author plot line moved no further, no more information was gleaned, and we all return to our state of indifference until next week when I'm sure Regina will discover some hidden clue. Unless, of course, she's too busy infiltrating the (drag) Queens of Darkness to look for the author anymore. That'd be a shame.

Miscellaneous Notes on Unforgiven

--How does Hook pay for all these coffees and grilled cheeses? He doesn't have a job. Also, where is he living? Is he still living on the docks? Is he crashing with Smee? Is anyone else bothered by this?

--I am passing over every single thing that is Captain Swan for the sake of sanity.

--But, lo, there is a new ship on the horizon. Hello Scarlett Beauty. I am less upset about Rumbelle being broken up than I am about them potentially killing off Ana and ending Will/Ana. I will be so upset if they do that, but I guess not surprised. Ana was the Neal of Wonderland. But, let's face it. This whole sequence was for shock value and thus why it was shot from Rumple's POV and not inside the shop itself.

--The eye makeup on Belle, Emma, and Snow is really starting to bug me. Take off those ridiculous false eyelashes already.

--"If that old bag still wolfed out, I'd turn her into a coat for my collection." I am genuinely liking Cruella more than I thought I would.

--"My tentacles are bored." That's not creepy at all.

--How is it that we've never heard nor seen this blood magic ritual before? How is it that no one has ever attempted it before to bring back Graham, Cora, or even Neal? Do the writers get how stupid "dead is dead" now looks on this show?

--This title doesn't make sense, right? There is a better one out there, I'm sure. 

--In spite of my firm stance that this thing on my screen is Not! Rumple, the scene of him watching Belle and Will did break my heart. Bless you Bobby Carlyle. You continue to be a light in this dark time.

1 comment:

  1. -Why were Ursula and Cruella outside of SB? Wouldn't the curse have brought everyone inside the town? August and Emma were exceptions because they were transported via tree, not curse. And Snow Queen was transported ahead of time by Apprentice, not curse.
    -If your theory about the true love egg insertion is correct, doesn't that mean that Emma and Dragon-Baby are related? Which would further convolute this family tree in that Dragon-Baby has three parents, thus giving Henry an anti-Christ/dragon-lady/half-aunt?
    -Erm...if blood can resurrect, why could other people who were killed (and actually liked) not be brought back? This seems to kind of spit in the face of both fans and the idea that dead is dead, more-so than Rumple being brought back through the magical tar pit of satan.
    -I don't understand why Will and Belle kissed; I thought they were barely acquainted and now he is hanging out with her and they are smacking lips?!? Ana may have had an irritating voice when she was all high and mighty, but she was a fantastic character (along with the Jabber) and I would like to not see that Rx destroyed by this Will and Belle thing.
    -Cruella is easily my favorite of the three, only because she has a quick tongue and a great sense of humor.
    -Better title ideas:
    Ashes to Ashes
    Dust to Dust
    The Rising
    Spoiler Alert: This episode is going to suck
    Old Friends
    The Reckoning
    The Spotless Heart Crime Foreshadowing
    UGH: *endless head-banging on desk*