Monday, April 20, 2015

The Truth is in the Telling

Review/Recap of Once Upon a Time 4.18 "Sympathy for the De Vil" - SPOILERS!

Guess I need this here as a matter of ceremony -

So, we get the Cruella story with this one (HOORAY!) But before we can get to Cruella - there are a few things we have left to take care of.

Heart As Black As Night

*sigh* Belle just keeps getting stuck in the middle of the villains' bullcrap. But it's Rumple's fault for putting Robin Hood in danger first. So, chalk that up to Rumple being his typical asshole self.

(but wasn't Rumple's dark heart, like, the grossest thing ever?)

All Innocent Children

I've watched this episode a couple of times and I'm trying to pinpoint the parts where Cruella's backstory is actually about her being the villain and her mother is the innocent. Possible it's just the point of view that the story is being told from - we're supposed to feel bad for the poor helpless girl locked in the attic. Whose name is Cruella? (when that's what you name your child, what the heck are you supposed to expect??)

Anyway, I did like the explanation that Cruella comes from a 1920s Great Gatsby world (even if I hate Gatsby with all my heart) and that it's one of many storytelling realms out there. That more than opens up the possibility of Once exploring other fictional worlds, regardless of if they're actually fairy tales or not (and as long as they can get the rights to them. I don't expect the Hogwarts Express to come chugging into Storybrooke on September 1. But if it did - that would be awesome!)

I also liked the explanation of the Author's magic - that whatever her writes comes true. But it still kind of sticks in my craw that everyone seems to think that the Author is the one with all this control and power over these characters' lives and nobody has any free will. I'm hoping that this comes back into play before the end of the season and it hits everyone with a big ol' "WELL DUH!"

Also - the use of the song "Cruella De Vil" in the 1920s flashbacks was fantastic! I love it when Once can work Disney references into the show. Unrelated, Cruella playing "Angry Birds" - that was stupendous! And Author!Ink can do awesome things to your hair and makeup (permanently).

Am I the only one utterly annoyed by this Author dude? As much as Rumplestiltskin has infuriated me this season, I was ready for Rumple to off him just so I didn't have to listen to his weaseling whining anymore.

The Dark Side of the Force

All of this leads up to Emma's turn to the darkness. From Snow and Charming's self-fulfilling prophecy and Emma's resentment at being used - yes, I too would be upset about that. And it's understandable that Emma would take Regina and Killian with her to find Henry - even if they both are trying to get Emma to forgive her mom and dad.

And then we get this line from Emma, which perfectly illustrates everything I was thinking -

"Forgive me if I don't take advice from a woman who held a grudge for half her life because a ten-year-old spilled a secret."

(I love it when this show exhibits self-awareness.)

Also, Emma's remark about how Hook never held himself up as a paragon of virtue and that both he and Regina were both honest in who they were - THAT right there is where a lot of things clicked for me. Why Snow White has been bugging the crap out of me lately - actually, for much of the run of the show. Charming hasn't bothered me quite as much because he wasn't quite as hyped up on "OH NOES OUR BABY MIGHT BE TEH EVUL!" (that's just the most recent instance of this). Snow is the one who freaked out because her heart had the tiniest bit of darkness clear back in Season 2. Even when she had what whole "confession" to Regina about her heart being untouched, I'm just like - OH PUH-LEASE! No one is buying this "Oh, I'm not all that perfect" act from Princess Rainbow Lollipop. Personally, I'm glad that Emma is pushing back against her parents right now. It presents an interesting foil - that perfect Snow White can't engineer a pure and virtuous life for her daughter. That Emma has to make her own choices (which she has been doing for most of her life - let's not forget).

So we find out that Rumple is trying to trick Emma into killing Cruella, who is unable to kill anybody, and it works. With Emma looking red-eyed and venomous and thisclose to turning completely dark.

(Or she's just lost a lot of sleep and is stressed out over not having a moment's peace from all these crazy villains.)

Regardless - I love that they ended on that shot of Emma looking out into space. Without any resolution of her finding out about Cruella's inability to kill another person. It gave the episode that much more kick and next week's episode even more important because - how is this going to play out?

Next Week - It looks like the Lily storyline is about to payoff. Or get dragged out some more. Who the heck knows?

(PS - Puppy Coat! It's morbid as hell, but it's Cruella De Vil. They had to nod toward that somehow!)

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