Monday, April 13, 2015
In Which I Review Once Upon A Time (4x17)
The Not So Triumphant And Totally Unneeded Return To Oz
PLOT: Rumple sends Robin to Oz to retrieve a plot device never heard of nor seen before in the history of this show and one that has no ties (that I can think of) to mythology or Disney Lore.
This is Stupid Because: Why does Rumple need Robin Hood to travel to Oz? Why does he need Robin to get this magical elixir? He says he can't do it himself since Zelena doesn't want to see Rumple, but why not put on a disguise? Change your appearance? We know magicians in this show do it all the time. In present day, yes, it makes sense for why Rumple needs this elixir with the really specific name but why in the past? Is it just a precaution? Because Rumple isn't experiencing any thick-blood symptoms in the past; he isn't weak, fatigued, and he has magic so he can cure himself--which is exactly what he tells Robin he used to do while he lies in a hospital bed. While in Storybrooke, Rumple used magic to prevent what is happening to him, so the logic should follow that in the Enchanted Forest, Rumple did the same. So again, I ask you why is Rumple showing up, fully cloaked and speaking in his over the top cockney accent, to ask Robin to go to Oz? What was the point?
PLOT: The longest lasting Person of Color on this show turns out to be a white woman who is now sexing her sister's true love and forcing her former mind-rape victim to write her a happy ending. And we are supposed to cheer that she has returned from beyond the grave.
This is Stupid Because: do I really even need to say? Really? Do I need to sit here and tell you how horrible this is? Once Upon A Serious Race Problem. I talked about this back in my review of 314, "The Tower" in which Rapunzel was the very definition of a filler character and was only there to prop up Charming but this is a new low. This is the lowest of the low and sadly major racial issues are happening every single season now. Every year, every arc, there is some Person of Color character who is treated appallingly by the writers. Either they die quickly, are really a white person in disguise, submissive, or an obstacle. And, in this case, it's all for the sake of promoting a very troubled relationship! This is the OUAT writers wanting to have their cake and eat it too, damn the consequences of what it means from a racial standpoint and how it makes their entire writing staff look either completely out of touch or incredibly racist! What do I mean by the cake metaphor? Last season, the writers on the show decided that they weren't done playing with their favorite Green-Skinned Toy so they decided that she survived Rumple's attempted killing. While I hate that idea, it's at least in line with how TV runs mostly. No one is ever truly dead and people come back all the time (unless you're Neal). But the writers also wanted to have a lot of Outlaw Queen drama because sex and triangles sell and so to hell with morals or logic or codes or honor, right? And so we got an entire half season of never ending OQ drama, complete with sex in a crypt and now none of that matters. Why? Because Marian was never Marian. She was Zelena all along and the real Marian was evaporated by Zelena in the Enchanted Forest of the Past when Hook and Emma went through her time portal (because heaven forbid they keep a strong woman of color on this show!) Now, the fact that Robin broke all his codes of honor and chivalry don't matter at all--it wasn't his wife; in fact it was a villain who takes delight in breaking her poor sister's heart by screwing her soul mate! It's cheap; it's tawdry; it's remedial. And frankly, it's a sign that the writers on this show don't care about telling a good and honest story, they care about heightened drama and things that make people gasp but not in a thought provoking kind of way. Only in a way that gets them to tweet excitedly. It's all flash in the pan and no substance.
--Get out of Neal's apartment and get out of it right now. I don't care what excuse they come up with for why Regina has Neal's keys in the first place. Zelena name dropping him is the first time we get a Nealfire reference in HOW LONG and it’s from people who could care less that he’s dead (not to mention his murderer) and instead of it being meaningful and heartfelt, to show that characters who should care--like Emma and Henry--have actual human emotions and aren’t just caricatures and robots only focused on shiny shiny magic and PLOT….it’s to hint at what is to come plot wise–brief and unneeded outside of shiny shiny plot. That is what is offense. Neal is mentioned in passing for PLOT not because the characters on this show should actually want to talk about him as if he was a meaningful part of this story because guess what–HE WAS. Get out of Neal's apartment, you perfect strangers.
--Rumple doesn't want Neal's things--well, fine. But maybe Henry does???
--"I am only the Savior because you altered my entire being at the expense of another soul." No, I don't think that is how this works Emma. You're actually only the Savior because of your parents true love and the fact that Rumple put a drop of it on a scroll. Nothing about this news affects you or casts dispersions of your saviorhood.
--"You're the biggest pain in the ass I've ever had the displeasure of writing about." Ok, line of the night.
--How did Rumple get the Quill?
--Robin uses the clover to disguise himself when breaking into the Dark One's Castle. Okay, fine. But Belle recognized Sean Maguire (who now plays Robin) but she only met Tom Ellis (who played Robin in "Lacey") So in order to solve what was never a plot hole, but merely a standard TV business occurrence, the writers created more problems for themselves.
--If Marian was Zelena all along, then why was "Marian's" heart bright and pure red when Regina removed it in 403?