Monday, October 3, 2016
In Which I Review Once Upon a Time (6x2)
Have you ever had an identity crisis? I haven't but I'm sure it's the pits. The real focus this week is on Emma and Regina's separate but parallel identity challenges. For the former, these issues stem from her uncertain future in light of her more than a little troubled past. For the latter, it's all about the past from which she can never fully escape. Let's start with Regina and leave Emma to stew in her own troubled juices for awhile. Regina's story this week picks up where the finale left off; the Evil Queen cannot be killed because as nice a notion as killing your worse half is, it's not exactly practical or really even possible (magical serum notwithstanding). We are large and we contain multitude, to quote Walt Whitman, and to deny a part of yourself is to deny your whole wonderful, nuanced and highly complicated self. Regina, bless her, cannot actually escape the Evil Queen because while she might have split from her more malicious and nefarious persona, those feelings of anger, rage, and revenge--which can be best summed up in "passion overflowing," the main drive of the Evil Queen--still lurk inside her now mellowed out form. All it took was a simple manipulation and a test to see how far Regina would go--granted this time to protect Snow and Charming instead of doing them ill--for our Mayor to realize that she is just as capable of murder and other crimes of passion, even without her leather clad Queen inside her, egging her on. This is Regina's bitter draught (roll credits!) to swallow; she may never actually be free of the Evil Queen because she is the Evil Queen. But she's also Regina, the lonely and scared stable princess; she's Henry's mother who changed every diaper and soothed every tantrum; she's Emma's friend and Snow's confidant and Zelena's sister. Regina can be all these things and not give in to the evil inside; it's about temperament and restraint and knowing when to act and when not to. Regina as the Evil Queen was always tempestuous and hot headed, flying off the handle even if she had no plan. Regina, in control of her inner rageaholic, can make plans and discuss options calmly and rationally. Snow and Charming are not in danger from Regina anymore, and neither is anyone else. She's managed to worm herself into the Storybrooke fold. No one is going to ignore her when they have family dinners. Like Hook's own personal revelation this week, Regina has to learn to forgive herself, to accept the bad things she did in the past and continue to make amends, realizing that she'll always have the Evil Queen as a part of her, but it need not be the dominant part of her.
--I said nothing about the flashback this week but that's because it was super underwhelming. No one really wants to see yet another time when the Evil Queen tried to kill Snow and Charming and the Count of Monte Cristo fell flat. However, the flashbacks did feel like a classic episode of OUAT, so I'll let the dull nature slide.
--What I won't let slide is the fact that we've never seen nor heard of Charlotte ever before and her random insertion felt really off. Especially when the Charmings went and threw her a party.
--I normally give Hook next to no credit for anything, but his level headed, remorseful and non-egotistical apology to Belle for beating her, shooting her, and trying to kill her several times was a pleasant surprise and I genuinely appreciate the sentiment. I also appreciate that his only role tonight was in supporting females (Emma and Belle) and not dominating the scene.
--I need to erase all memories of the Evil Queen trying to all but hump Rumple against his curio-cabinets.
--Rumple has a key to the Land of Untold Stories? How did he come upon that?
--Who killed DaddyCharming? And does anyone really care?
--I don't care for eggy bread either, Granny.