Monday, April 24, 2017
In Which I Review Once Upon a Time (6x18)
I honestly don't have a lot this week. There is a definite throughline with Zelena in this episode; much like all the other villains on the show, such as Rumple and Cora, Zelena sees magic as a way to set her apart from others around her. It makes her special when before all she felt was alone. This serves as a piece of irony because it's this magical ability and superiority complex that really causes Zelena to be alone. It doesn't hurt the parallel that also like Rumple and Cora, Zelena's two closest links to magical "parents," she was a poor and under privileged child of misfortune. There's a bit of nasty classism that runs through OUAT if you look for it. When it comes to anyone who serves as a villain, either for an arc or just an episode or even series long, there's a pretty good chance they were once poor and downtrodden. Rumple, Cora,, Zelena, Arthur, Jafar, and even Jekyll all start off life as part of the working class. They use magic (or science in one case) to set themselves apart believing the actual having of talents makes them special, but it's also more than that. Magic and science are also used to gain control of one's life. Zelena might tell Stanum that using magic for wickedness is more fun but it also allows her control over her life, something she dearly lacked when she was in rags and living in a hovel. It's the same for Rumple and Cora. Both of them were dirt (literally) poor and at the mercy of a rich and powerful overlord, either a Duke or a King. Neither of them were able to rise above their station and were constantly fearful that this overlord could end their existence with a flick of his tiny finger. Thus their villainy is linked to their desire to control their own destines and lives. It's hard to tell if the writers making their villains originally deprived financially is a lack of creativity or if there is a classist argument at play that being poor breeds resentment and hostility. At any rate, Zelena's attempt to seize control of her life and set herself apart magically also made her life a lonely one. Few people are blessed with magic and when you believe that your gift makes you better than those who are ungifted, you're naturally going to find yourself eating at an empty table. Thank heavens for random friends who were once a passerby to make you realize your misfortune and that abilities don't make you special, what you do with them does!
--The flashbacks this week felt very incomplete. Did Zelena and Stanum hang out more than just for a few moments on the Yellow Brick Road as kids? Cause if not, it's really strange that he'd go to the Wicked Witch of the West for help after having only met her once.
--Also, we can add the Crimson Heart to the list of idiotic MacGuffins in season 6B.
--I understand the writers wanted to wrap up the Regina and Zelena hostility but, man, Regina was downright nasty to Zelena in this episode. So, Regina would be totally fine with Zelena taking her and Robin Hood's daughter to Oz forever?
--"Your mother has a key. Good to know.”
--Emma’s coat is obnoxiously ugly.
--Hey it's Belle! Oh, she's a babysitter again.
--The visual of the Black Fairy standing up, laughing, and walking against Zelena’s magic was very effective.
--"You really want to pick out centerpieces on the eve of the final battle?”
--“Why is it that even when your sister isn’t the villain we’re fighting…she's the villain we're fighting?”