Well, we need to talk about Once Upon a Time. Yeah, we finally saw this week's episode, and we were blown away. The show is starting to resemble LOST more and more. It has the flashbacks that explain why they are relevant at the very end. It has the brief, but effective love speeches, and heck, even the tear-jerking romantic phone calls. CONSTANTS. It's starting to have creepy moments. Good guys going off the deep end. Just the way the show feels sometimes.
When last we talked about this show, Emma, Gold, and Henry were headed to Manhattan. Well, they got there and found out Gold's son is Henry's father. That's not a shocker, but this show doesn't rely on twists anyway. It's still nice and handled very well.
We loved seeing Gold's background in the Ogre Wars and why he ran from battle. We also liked that the show made the story relevant to the present with the prophecy about Henry being Gold's "undoing." That's gotta put a damper on the whole new grandpa thing...but it's all still adorable. We also got a reason for why Rumpy is able to see the future and appear almost omniscient at times with all his plotting.
The seer was creepy as f***. We're glad the show is finally going there. We know it wants to keep being a fantasy show, but macabre stuff just heightens the quality, and we make no apologies for loving it.
Regina is acting almost unforgivably stupid throughout this entire arc, by the way. We know that people want to believe the best in their parents and are sometimes blind to the motives of others, but come on. There were more than a few holes in everything Cora said to Regina.
The show moves onto the episode where young Snow makes the moral choice to let her mother die. Once again, good work from the actress playing Snow as a girl, but it's kind of obvious that she's older in this episode than in her first appearance, which takes place after these events. Snow's mother is Queen Eva...the same Eva who trips Cora in this week's episode, unless we're very wrong.
Also, Neal/Bae has a fiance? Well, she has to go. This was a good, eventful episode, but it suffers in comparison to the episodes it is sandwiched between. Those were flawless. Onto this week, which featured an extremely necessary flashback: the spinning straw into gold. We've had nearly two years of Rumpelstiltskin, and no one has spun straw into gold yet.
Once again, the casting directors have great eyes for faces. Rose McGowan was perfect as a young Coral. Like the young Snow, Rose got Cora's mannerisms and speech patterns down. And people say she can't act! Ha. They look so much alike. Bravo.
We need to see how Queen Eva got to be a the person who told Snow to be nice to Downton Abbey woman. We need another flashback that turns Eva from a spoiled brat who tripped Cora and created a monster to a wise, loving person.
This episode is the first time we've actually been touched by RumpBelle. His speech to her over the phone made us teary-eyed, and it felt way more believable than any moment in their relationship so far. Then they follow it up with a father/son reconciliation. AND THEN a mother/daughter one? We got to see Cora look on her daughter with love for the first time. It's our hearts that were ripped out this week.
We weren't feeling Cora/Rumpy as a couple and the episode's inability to move us on that point is the reason it didn't get an A+. The love stories need to be earned more in this show and drawn out, specifically the actual falling in love. There has to be more build-up, more dance until the couples actually decide to be each other's fairy tale dream spouses. Cora and Rumpy had some time together (there was a significant time jump to just before her wedding), but if we as the audience don't get a sense of it, does it even count?
One of the reasons we had such a hard time getting behind RumpBelle before was they fell in love so quickly. It was all over in one episode, just like this time. It stretches believability that not one but TWO beautiful women would fall in love with Alligator Man. He's really not that great of a person, you guys.
Go Snow! Cora needed to go. Snow was protecting her town, her family, and even Regina. Sure, it was partly for revenge, but it was also self-freaking-defense. We like that the show is making the heroes less perfect, because one of our initial fears with this show was that the good and bad guys were set in stone and too black-and-white to really have growth or surprise.
We love when the Storybrooke action is better than the flashbacks, because that's what's going on in the present day. So Cora is gone, and Regina has yet another reason to swear revenge on Snow White. Also a bonus in this hour? Henry spending the battle with Ruby, far away from us. We have no use for him until they do a time jump or send him to another dimension only to have him return older.
Manhattan Grade: A-
The Queen is Dead: B-
The Miller's Daughter: A
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