Monday, March 9, 2015

Just. Can. Not. Spit. It. Out.

Review/Recap of Once Upon a Time 4.13 "Unforgiven" - Spoilers!

*sigh* Once - can we have a little heart-to-heart here for a minute?

Last year when everybody was dancing around the whole "Peter Pan is Rumplestiltskin's father" reveal? How secretive everyone was? How you had to resort to some pretty clunky not-exposition in order to keep the whole thing a surprise in The-Episode-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named (it's "Think Lovely Thoughts," if you're having a hard time guessing) and then afterward it's mentioned every other moment? And do you remember just how DUMB I thought the whole thing was? And how it tainted the brilliance of the reveal in the next story arc of the Wicked Witch being Regina's half-sister because we'd just got off this stupid roller coaster with Pan and we were so damn tired of these idiotic little glorified click-bait teases?

I SERIOUSLY, honest and truly hope you're not going down a similar path with this whole "What did Snow and Charming do to Maleficent and her baby?" SOOPER SEKRIT mystery - OMG WE MUST KNOW!!! Honestly, you guys do have a tendency to over-promise and under-deliver on these great big twists. I mean, I was getting tired of you all dragging out the BIG TIME SECRET THAT EMMA MUST NEVER LEARN during the episode - and it turned out to be that Emma has the potential for great darkness.

Well... duh. Her and every other person who's ever walked the planet. Tell me something I don't know (other than I am SO glad you didn't drag THAT part of the story out beyond the end of the episode. I mean - Snow and Charming know what they did, what's the point of being all "You-Know-Who" between the two of them? JUST FREAKING TELL US ALREADY!)

*sigh* *again* I really don't enjoy pre-Curse Snow and Charming (and Regina, but this episode didn't have her Enchanted Forest persona) flashbacks. It's like - we spent ALL OF SEASON 1 dealing with the hideousness of the Dark Curse. Yes, it was terrible. Yes, it forms the the entire premise on which this show is based. Yes the FREAKING CURSE WAS BROKEN ALREADY AND HAS BEEN FOR A LONG TIME! Can we please do something different???

Anyway - Snow and Charming were kind of "...meh..." in this episode (that's not anything new). Boring old secretiveness for the sake of being secretive and it amounts to a big old pile of... nothing. But that's not to say I didn't enjoy the episode. There were some really good moments here. And they were all in Storybrooke.

Granny's Reserves the Right to Refuse Service

With all that carping and complaining out of the way, I'm going to praise several things that Once consistently does right. That is their villains and (most of) the characters' interactions with them. How can you not LOVE Granny pointedly ignoring Cruella and Ursula and their desire to order drinks? Made even better when Will Scarlet comes in for "the usual" and Granny happily obliges with two coffees (two, huh? Hold onto that).

My Kingdom for an Author

Fandom by and large seems to be split on whether or not Regina's quest to find the Author of Henry's storybook - but I don't have a problem with it. It gives Regina a chance to do a few things that she hasn't had the chance to do (and lets us all have a break from the unending feud between the Evil Queen and the Charmings. I mean it) Like have some meaningful interaction with Henry. Season 4 has been very generous to Regina and Henry and giving the both of them to bond, which is something Regina sorely needs. Also, the scene between Regina and Gepetto in the garage was absolutely beautiful. It's good to see other characters' opinions of Regina change and improve, especially since that's such a key part of a redemption arc.

Daddy/Daughter Sheriffing

Anytime I get to see Emma and David together is an absolute joy. Having the pair of them chasing after the Queens of Darkness was so much fun. I mean, I know I carped about how all this secretiveness feels kind of forced and unnecessary, but for some reason, I don't mind when it's Emma trying to get the details from Daddy Charming. Maybe it's because Emma says what many in the audience are thinking - sure, they're villains, but are they really that bad? That confusion goes even further when David lets Cruella and Ursula go after he swipes Maleficent's claw-thingy from Cruella's car and Emma doesn't get what in the world he's doing.

Grilled Cheese = True Love

You all knew this was coming. Yes, there were things about this episode that I could do without. But you give me anything Captain Swan related and you have my complete and undivided attention and what was in this episode was worth all the "Ugh - THIS AGAIN?" stuff from the flashbacks. Even though Emma and Hook's storyline in this episode deals with Hook being (seemingly) unnecessarily secretive, I so did not mind. For one thing, the way that this whole thing was framed, I know Hook's past with Ursula is going to be dealt with in detail in an upcoming episode (and... I read online spoiler reports and episode titles), so I'm content with waiting.

For another, this is yet another instance of a love story that has its roots in fairy tales and fantasy, but the through-line of it is so very true-to-life. Hook and Emma are absolutely crazy about each other, there is NO disputing that. However - as with any relationship between two people - things from the past do come up to impact the present and those things often come up unexpectedly. Whatever happened with Ursula, Hook was not prepared to discuss it with Emma, which is why that scene in the station that started out with Hook bringing his Lady Faire her coveted grilled cheese sandwich had such a great impact on the story. Emma doesn't think she's bringing up anything too heavy and it's totally okay to ask Hook about it after a bit of adorable playful flirting. Clearly, Hook doesn't want to talk about it. Emma assumes that he's hiding something and he leaves in considerably less good humor than he came in. That is real life, my friends. Little things happen between people that cause temporary hurt and anger and confusion, even between the most dear of loved ones.

However - Emma has been on this wonderful path of self-discovery since the beginning of the show and we are blessed to see the fruits of her experiences. Not so much her experiences of fighting dragons and time travel and sailing to Neverland - but the moment when she comes back from talking to her parents and how she automatically assumed that they were lying to her when she "knows" they'd never do that (oh.... crap....) So, she calls Hook and asks him to come over so she can make things right with him and THESE TWO UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER SO MUCH AND I CAN'T GET OVER HOW PERFECT THEY ARE FOR EACH OTHER AND I JUST WANT TO EXPLODE IN A HAPPY BURST OF RAINBOWS AND GLITTER!!

And then Emma catches Snow and Charming eavesdropping on her conversation with Hook and everyone's embarrassed except Hook who just looks complete DONE with all of this.

Excellent timing, Mama Snow. (gif source)
Sometimes, my joy for my ship can only be expressed in gif form :)

The Unforgiven Curses

(I was trying to tie that in - probably didn't work so well).

Beyond the lovely monologuey-voice-over Snow has of talking about Emma's potential for darkness while we see Emma and Hook happily walking through town (RAINBOWS AND GLITTER, YOU GUYS!) - there is one more moment that bears mentioning. Rumple is skulking around outside his shop which Belle has continued to maintain, as well as being the town librarian. Rumple sees Belle in the shop window... but then she is joined by Will Scarlet and the two share a kiss (PS - earlier when Cruella and Ursula were in Gold's shop, Belle had a coffee cup identical to the two that Will picked up from Granny's at the beginning of the episode - I didn't pick up on that; someone pointed it out to me). Rumple is clearly distraught at seeing his wife having moved on from his stupid-ass shit - to which I say GOOD FOR BELLE! I would dearly, dearly love Belle to have a storyline that was completely independent of Rumple's crap. And if that storyline means that she and Will Scarlet hook up, that is totally okay by me.

(I don't have any illusions to the idea that Scarlet Beauty is going to become endgame - to use fandom parlance in this case - but I just like that Belle is getting on with her life after been in Rumple's shadow and a pawn in his schemes for WAY too long).

What's Next?

Maleficent had a baby and the Charmings did something to the baby that's OOOH OMG SECRET DON'T TELL NOBODY!

(this whole "Secrets and Lies" storyline better amount to something more than a Broadchurch-knockoff that airs on ABC after Once Upon a Time, that's all I'm saying)

Have a "Next Time" promo and we're gonna bounce!

(not gonna lie - I'm kinda diggin' Maleficent's 1920s gangster look)

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