Monday, October 10, 2016
In Which I Review Once Upon a Time (6x3)
While this episode mainly focused on Cinderella/Ashley, I find I want to talk more about Emma. It might be nice to see an old familiar face like Cinderella, this week complete with a straight-outta-Disney backstory, but she's a character we see once in blue moon and therefore it's hard to really care about her. I have little investment in her life and happiness because she's never been given room, space, and narrative to breathe and flesh out. Frankly, the sudden reversal that Ella considered herself the wicked stepsister and her step sibling was equally down trodden was pretty eye-roll worthy. Sorry, Ashley. You're iconic but rather flat. However, we should talk about Emma Swan. I'll leave aside her rather egotistical and pretty appalling intrusion into Archie's office, thereby kicking Leroy out of his paid for session as if Emma's problems are more pressing and more vital than Grumpy's, and instead focus on Emma's "problem of the week." If last week was her identity crisis, then this week is all about how her identity feeds into her happily ever after, specifically whether or not Emma gets one. I want to start off by saying that at the outset this is a good line of thought. Emma's life is in constant danger; Snow's on point commentary about "defeat and repeat" rings doubly true for Emma and it can be hard for a woman like Emma, who is constantly facing down an evil witch, a impish man-child, or even the Lord of the Underworld, to negotiate her own identity and her own happiness with so much evil and misery around. How can Emma ever be comfortable in her skin, be self aware, and achieve a modicum of peace (let alone a happily ever after) when she's constantly in danger of losing her own life. In other words, if the ending thesis for this episode is that you should choose love over life, Emma is currently wrestling with the fact that the life part is likely short and therefore unable to choose love. If I were Emma at the end of this episode, my choice of love would center on choosing self love; choosing that I am important, that my happiness means something, that I am important enough to be happy as a self aware person for however long my life might be; an hour, a day, twenty years, I deserve to be a full actualized person in charge of my own destiny and narrative.
--I'm sorry I don't have much to say this week. Honestly, it was a perfectly fine episode. More entertaining than some, but there's not much to unpack here.
--This is the first time in a long time that the flashbacks felt relevant and needed.
--I really enjoyed Snowing this episode; they finally felt like real people and not idiotic simpletons.
--Mouse!Gus Gus was the star of this episode.
--"Some scars don't heal." This is a pretty great line from Prince Thomas to Emma and it would behoove Emma to examine her own scars and try to deal with them instead of spending her time being worried about Hook's happy ending.
--Dopey is un-treed and off getting his Masters. In no universe does that make sense.
--Anastasia from Once:Wonderland is not Cinderella's stepsister. Look, writers, OUATinWL happened whether you choose to believe it or not.
--God bless Bobby Carlyle and his Scottish accent.
--Dr. Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll are working together. "Penny Dreadful" called and they want their idea back.
--"You look like a trash can and you have the education of my cat."