Monday, April 27, 2015

Road Trip From Hell

Review/Recap of Once Upon a Time 4.19 "Lily" - SPOILERS!!

This is another episode wherewith the main storyline where I'm all....

And since the main storyline with this episode is slowly becoming the main story arc of this entire "Queens of Darkness" thing (which, now we're down to "Queen" singular. Unless we count Zelena as an honorary QoD... which ... I could be persuaded to do. We'll get to her, though) - that's kind of a problem.

Let me put it this way -  I was intrigued at the beginning of Season 4B with this promo of Emma looking like she's being turned toward darkness by Maleficent, Ursula, and Cruella.

Villains turning the Savior to evil? THAT is cool and interesting and fun. My question was how would these three turn Emma toward their way of thinking where it was genuinely something that she wanted to do. Like, have her go full-on Anakin Skywalker and become Darth Vader (before we found out he was just a whiny little ass, of course)

But in every twist and turn with this story - I'm just not feeling it. At all. This wasn't about the Queens turning Emma to their side for the sake of having the Savior turn evil. It was *sigh* about Rumple manipulating the system because - Rumple's an ass. Again. And again. Ad nauseum. Lather, rinse, repeat.

(I am 100% done with Rumplestiltskin. I liked him better when he was this ambiguous trickster that you didn't know who's side he was on. Now... ugh - I'm just tired of his crap).

Add in that painfully stupid plot point with Snow White freaking out because her child maybe-maybe-not-could-sorta-possibly turn evil and SHE MUST BE A HERO otherwise there will be shame and dishonor on the entire Charming family - holy heck, that was so freaking stupid. Not to the levels of "Peter Pan is Rumplestiltskin's father" stupid, but it's pretty darn close.

You know what - I'm busting out the gifs for this one.

What's left with this episode, then? This whole thing deals with Lily as a grown-up - Emma's "friend" we met in flashback last story arc when she was helping teenage!Emma steal Pop-Tarts from a convenience store. Who, of course, turns out to be Maleficent's daughter (and points to Emma for hanging that lampshade). While I do like the idea of exploring this situation with these two princesses - one of darkness, one of light - I feel like if they wanted that to be the storyline, they should have started out with it. Stop this stupid stringing-us-along with all these dumb gimmicks and assorted other bullcrap. I mean, at least with Frozen and the Snow Queen arc, that made sense (and Emma's friendship with Elsa made even MORE sense). The two stories were so closely related and it fell into place with what the Storybrooke characters were already doing - that felt real and natural. This whole thing - just feels forced and cheap. And I don't like it. At all.

So what did I like? If anything?

The final three minutes where Regina and Emma (and *grumble* Lily) get to Casa de Hood in New York. And the final reveal to Robin that Marian is actually Zelena and Zelena has successfully cuckolded Robin that she is pregnant with Robin Hood's baby.


Okay, okay - it's kind of soapy and dumb. But that's the thing with Once Upon a Time - without the fairy tale elements, this would be just another overwrought daytime soap opera (except ABC puts those in primetime - hello, Scandal, Revenge, and that stupid Broadchurch knockoff that they kept throwing promos of up during OUAT). But let me remind you of some key elements in fairy tales and mythology in general that make this new monkeywrench (pun not intended) Zelena's thrown in kind of fitting in this world of fairy tale madness -

- How many kids by how many mothers did Zeus have? There were other gods out sowing their wild oats as well, but Zeus is the king-daddy of them all. It's practically a tired old line to say "I'm a son/daughter of Zeus" in Greek mythology! "Yeah, so's the kid down the road. What's your point?" There are others - it's a trope as old as time.

- In Gregory Maguire's "Wicked" (the book, not the musical), the Wicked Witch does have a child, though (through some batshit insane circumstances), she doesn't realize the child is hers. So, this fits right alongside the Wicked storyline, without outright copying it.

- Think about it - a child of Robin Hood and the Wicked Witch, Conceived in trickery, jealousy, revenge - man, how screwed up is that kid going to be? And if Zelena gets away and is free to raise the baby - they might as well scrap this stupidity with Lily and Maleficent right now and wait this plotline out.

Things I Liked/Noticed -

- Oh, Killian. You continue to remain the one single bright spot in this horrible story. Sticking by Emma and reminding her not to turn to the dark side - and I actually believe you because I know oh so well that you've been there and you've clawed your way back out to be a hero. Your storyline is so underserved in this show and I keep waiting and hoping that you'll get more to do with it because every time we do get something from you, it is absolutely brilliant and wonderful and amazing.

- Please, please, please, please let this be it for Rumple and Belle. Rumple knows he's no good for Belle, Will loves her, she... at least cares about Will. Just, please let Scarlet Beauty stay a thing. And, while you're at it, FREAKING GIVE BELLE SOMETHING TO DO!!! (other than be a pawn in the arduous back and forth between Regina and Rumple. Just - over it).

- In the flashback with teen!Emma, the family was serving Cluckity Cluck Chicken (that restaurant that Cruella took Team Dark Squad to the drive-thru clear back in episode 12 - oh, "Darkness on the Edge of Town" - you set up so much lovely potential. Only to have it be shattered into so many disappointing pieces).

- Abby Ross continues to shine as young!Emma. She's wonderful and I wish there was a way for her to have a fairy tale story because I think she'd be enjoyable to watch in such a setting. Sadly, that's not how Emma's story goes and more's the pity.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Lily is a dragon, Snow is going to be effing barbecue (points if you understand that reference), Maleficent is ineffectual (I don't know what's worse - this story line or what happened to Angeline Jolie's portrayal of Disney's most badass villain EVER! It's like - you totally clipped her horns! She's not scary anymore!) And that Author? The only good thing he's done is tell Rumple that he was the biggest ass of all the characters he's written.

Let me put it this way - last season, I was eagerly anticipating the season finale. This year, I just don't even care. But I'm going to finish it out because I said I would. So, there's that. I'm not a quitter.

Have a promo and let's get out of here -

*snore* When's Agents of SHIELD on again?

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