Monday, April 13, 2015

Playing by the Rules of Someone Else's Game

Review/Recap of Once Upon a Time 4.17 "Heart of Gold" - SPOILERS!

YAY! Once is back! (darn holidays, causing unnecessary mini-hiatuses in the middle of a story arc)

This was an interesting episode, both in terms of what happens in the storyline, and in how it is structured. First - the structure. There has only been one other episode that hasn't featured the Charming Family quite so much (to my knowledge). That episode was "The Crocodile" from Season 2 - where neither Snow nor Emma make an appearance (though Charming was in Storybrooke quite a bit). Also, this episode had the major action take place away from Storybrooke, though it's still in modern day. ALSO, also - WICKED WITCH!

Guess who's back, bitches!
(She may be evil as hell - but I adore Zelena as a villain. And if I ever get the chance to meet Rebecca Mader - I hope she's ready for a [benign] fangirl attack because HELLO!)

Another thing that makes this episode notable that, while Rumplestiltskin does put the flashback action in motion, this is all about Robin Hood and his family. While Robin is Regina's fated One True Love... we really don't know that much about his backstory (gee - a charming lovable rogue who used to be on the wrong side of the law but is now on the side of good and is a love interest for a major leading lady on the show and we don't have a lot of backstory for him - WHO ELSE DOES THAT REMIND YOU OF?? Then again, we have even less for Robin Hood than we do for Captain Hook, so shouldn't complain. Too much).

The first time I watched this, though, the DVR cut off, like, the first ten minutes of the episode, so I missed all the stuff in Storybrooke with Emma pissed off at her mom and dad for what they did with Maleficent's baby (that whole thing still - UGH! WHY!) And I missed the part where the Author calls Rumple a pain-in-the-ass (and I snicker appreciatively. Welcome to my world, dude). And I also missed the part where Rumple gives Regina Robin's number and then we flash back to "Nine Weeks Ago" - so I was kind of confused when the DVR recording started with Robin Hood chasing down a delinquent on a horse (you know, DVRs have been around for a while now - you would THINK someone would figure out how to make sure that the whole episode can get recorded. I don't know if it's the network dinking around with start times or if the DVR capabilities are wonky, but SOMEBODY better figure this crap out!)

So, it turns out the Hood Family's been living in Neal's old apartment (wouldn't that have been rented out to someone else by now? TV logic - don't look too far into it) and exiled!Rumple comes looking for his son's old place. And has a heart attack? Okay sure - we'll go with it. Rumple's an old man by now and without magic, he can't do very much. Robin, being the heroic and honorable lug that he is, takes Rumple to the hospital and Rumple sends his off to Walsh's furniture store (remember Walsh? Wizard of Oz-turned-monkey? Emma's almost-fiance?) because Zelena would have sent him with some magical stuff and he's hoping that the Elixir of the Wounded Heart can be found there.

("Wizard of Oak" - heh. Point goes to the OUAT Writers Room)

Also, Hidden Mickey -

I see what you did there.
In the Enchanted Forest (actually, Sherwood Forest) flashback, we discover Robin of Loxley, a former-thief-turned-tavern-owner who's being threatened by the Sheriff of Nottingham because of late taxes (what else does the government do?) The Dark One comes to Robin with a bundle of gold in exchange for that same Elixir, which is in Oz. And this is where I do my punch-the-air HELL YES! fangirl flail because Once!Oz is absolutely gorgeous! I loved the Oz stuff in Season Three and I was hoping they'd find a reason to use it again (seriously - is nobody going to go back for Glinda? What about the prophecy of who is going to fill the Innocence seat on the Sisterhood of Witches? These are the things I think about!)

(My money's still on Regina, but nobody asked me).

Robin sneaks into the Emerald City (*resists temptation to sing "One Short Day"* *fails miserably*) to steal the Elixir - but not before meeting Will Scarlet (geez, Will - Wonderland, Enchanted Forest, Storybrooke, and now Oz? How in the crap do you get around?) who asks Robin to hook him up with some of that wounded-heart-healing potion when he swipes it. In the Emerald City ("Oooooone shoooooort daaaaaay...." okay - I'm done now), Robin finds the Elixir, plus a few other things  and Zelena catches him stealing from her. He gets away by using the Wizard's magic bow that always hits its target (Ohhhhhhhh - THAT'S where that came from!) and he leaves Oz. As well as the one sample of potion he could get with Will, because Will wanted it to help him get over the death of his sister.

Robin doesn't deliver to Rumple, so he loses his tavern (I guess), but then he rejoins the Merry Men in their thieving ways, with the promise that he will only steal from the rich and give to the poor - and he takes his new wife along for the ride to start a family as bandits.

Back in New York, Robin gets the Elixir for Rumple if Rumple leaves his family alone. Robin leaves, Rumple takes the potion... which doesn't work.

Enter Marian.

Who isn't Marian, as it turns out. Through a complicated-yet-simple plot device, Zelena survived being stabbed by Rumple and she ended up time traveling with Hook and Emma. Zelena impersonated Marian (after killing the real Marian) and let herself be taken back to Storybrooke in an attempt to take away Regina's happiness (it's actually quite a clever plot). And Zelena is willing to let Rumple live, if he finds the Author and gets him to write Zelena a happy ending.

So THIS is where all this Author madness actually came from! Which makes Zelena an honorary-unofficial-but-totally-the-boss Queen of Darkness.

To which I say - HELL to the YES on that one!

When the Queens of Darkness story arc was introduced, I remember thinking - "This'll be cool - but it's too bad that they don't have the Wicked Witch anymore, 'cause she'd be a badass QoD!" And behold - here she is! As evil and over-the-top and amazingly fabulous as ever! I mean, I don't want them to overplay her or ruin her character, but I just LOVE Zelena in a way that I've never enjoyed a villain in any story EVER. I don't typically like the villains AT ALL - but she is sooooo my favorite!

This episode felt a lot like a breather before Crap Gets Real - but at the same time, it sets up the last push to the finale (which - not going to spoil anything, but I have seen pictures from the set of the finale and OH BOY this is going to be crazy!) And - I thought I knew where all this was going, but honestly, I have no clue. I don't know what rules they're playing by anymore, I don't know what's going to happen, who is going to turn to the darkness (if anyone will, honestly) - but I'm excited to find out.

(I haven't enjoyed an episode that didn't have any Captain Swan moments like this in a LONG time. It's an odd feeling, but no an unwelcome one).

Next Time -

Cruella's story! YAY!!!! Gimme!

No comments:

Post a Comment