Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Lay Off The Rum

Review/Recap of Once Upon a Time Episode 6.11 "Tougher Than The Rest" - SPOILERS!

Ah - the ending of yet another hiatus. Let's go -

The first thing to note about this mid-season/spring premiere thingie is how unassuming it was. Granted, that probably has more to do with the fact that they aren't starting up a brand new story arc in the middle of a regular season scheduled. The entirety of Season 6 is one big long story, which I think was sorely needed to inject some life back into this show. Let characters grow and develop in the storyline you've given them. Don't just hop around collecting live action Disney characters like you've only got an hour at Disneyland and you have to get EVERYBODY'S autograph for some inexplicable reason.

(You do that, you end up with Emma Watson staring blankly at you from her glorified cosplay on a movie poster.)

Like I've said before, the OUAT writers have improved their storytelling and their pacing. And I hope that this continues.

Special praise (and I almost can't believe I'm saying this) goes to Regina. For - at the proverbial eleventh hour - actually LISTENING to someone (in this case, Emma) who says "Screw fate and destiny - what do you want in your life?" And, wonder of wonders, Regina takes Emma's advice. And she is amply rewarded for the risk that she took in bringing wish!Robin Hood back to Storybrooke with her.

Sure, Outlaw Queen is basically going to have to start from square one, but they've laid the foundation for their relationship to come back into the forefront and I couldn't be more pleased. Especially since the Evil Queen is still prowling around and Regina's been constantly wrongfooted because of that. I can't help but think that Robin Hood being around again will help solidify her confidence in herself again.

Next Topic: Kylo Ren... I mean, Gideon. He is soooooo not the big villain that Emma has to fight in the end. The kid is a glorified boy band reject. He's trying to come off as a badass, but he's so pathetic about it that the rest of us are just laughing at him. I know that Adam and Eddy are big Star Wars fanboys and I seriously can't help but wonder if this is their way of paying homage to The Force Awakens.

I mean, Emma basically sneezes at the kid and he runs off pouting like a little punk.

To make the metaphor go even further - that would mean that Grandma Black Fairy is the REAL badass villain of this piece, not unlike Kylo Ren's grandfather, Darth Vader (I'm discounting the whole Emperor puppeteer in the background - we have time for only so many parallels). Grandma sends the snot-nosed kid to act all tough and pose for the camera, when in reality she's just biding her time before she can swoop in and take over Storybrooke.

I dunno - it made sense in my head.

Speaking of family matters - Rumple might be thinking about not being such a rat bastard anymore? Possibly? I don't anticipate that he'll change all that much (though if the Kylo Ren thing goes through to its natural conclusion, Gideon might come to a point where he actually is okay with offing Daddy Fearest... let me play around with that one a while longer). I'm not saying that Rumple is ready to be all White Knight Charming Fairy Tale Hero - but I feel like there are small sparks of goodness trying to break through his crap. Even when Belle is in despair over their son and she looks like she's toying with the idea of flirting with evil darkness - Rumple seems to be the one pulling her back.

It's a subtle moment at the wishing well - but I caught onto it. I'm certainly not getting my hopes up for a Rumple redemption, but I'm open to the possibility.

Okay, enough heavy stuff -  Old Captain Hook. He is in a grand total of ONE scene, but does he EVER steal the damn thing. I mean, it wasn't even completely necessary for him to make an appearance in the Enchanted Wish Realm - his absence could have just been dismissed as "He's a scoundrel and a pirate - what would he have to do with the Royal Charmings?" But they make the effort to bring him in for a spot of comic relief.

I may be biased, but it was the best scene in the episode.

Another scene I quite liked was the flashback scene (the only actual flashback we got - not complaining!) of young Emma meeting young August and they talk about The Ugly Duckling. Not only that, but that actually serves as part of Emma's origin story (and he we thought we knew all there was to know) - namely how she got her last name. Dozens of fanfic authors have assumed that "Swan" came from that first family who adopted her, but gave her back when she was three. But nope - like everything of value that Emma has, it's something she claimed for herself. Maybe it wasn't something that was extremely vital to the plot, but it was a sweet detail and one very much in line with her character.

All in all, this was a nice ease-back-into the story and helped remind us where everything's been and get the audience back up to speed. Next time, it looks like there are Shenanigans Afoot (complete with Captain Charming antics! Though... probably not in the lighthearted and friendly manner we're accustomed to seeing from these two) -

"Unlikely pair." Oh please... ABC promo department - have you been WATCHING the same show as the rest of us?

No comments:

Post a Comment