TV Review: Once Upon a Time Season 1 Episode 2
After much soul searching (I didn’t find anything?) I have decided to commit to Once Upon a Time. If for no reason other than to watch it be obvious.
I’m 2 episodes in now, and it’s gonna be a battle to stay awake, let alone interested.
TL;DR This episode is boring. Nothing of value happens. Some earnest performances keep it from being entirely forgettable.
So nothing happens this episode. No, really.
Most of this episode is dedicated to Queenie’s back story. While this isn’t a total waste of time, I would have liked something to be going on in present day Storybrooke to keep me interested. The only plot threads involve Emma getting to know present day Snow White better, and a bizarre/embarrassing prank war between Regina and Emma. A prank war? Really? Is this a 90s sitcom? Should we let Patricia Heaton’s agent know? Come on.
The back story isn’t half bad. Queenie actually has a bit of hidden depth. Still doesn’t adequately justify her all-out obliteration of reality, but I like me a bit of character development. Her friendship with Maleficent was kind of cute. Her relationship with her father is a bit confusing, but her decision to knife his ass was a tad sad. The justification was a bit hilarious, though. “I’m unhappy, so I must cut out your heart so I can destroy reality, including myself, leading to a void in my heart that can never be filled. That’ll show Snow White.” Wut?
Henry continues to be a fountain of exposition, so nothing to see there.
Ginnifer Goodwin seems to be doing what she can with what little she’s given, but I do feel embarrassed for her every time I see her on screen. Ditto Jennifer Morrison.
If anything saves this episode, it’d be Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin. He’s an incredibly large ham, but he is powerful and mysterious. The perfect combination for a fairy tale villain. Although I liked the depth Queenie’s back story provided, the worst thing you can do to a monster is spend too much time explaining their behaviour. I’m looking at you, Rob Zombie (Michael Myers was scary because he had no motive, not because he was a shaggy death-metal fan in a mask).
Why I hate this episode:
Nothing of value was gained here.
The few moments of actual plot development (present day Snow and Emma becoming friends, Mr Gold being menacing, Regina being a bitch) didn’t need a whole episode to be covered.
The CGI is still appalling, and I hope they try and tone it down as the season progresses.
Henry is a little brat. Still.
And I find it strange that nobody is questioning Emma’s involvement with the child she gave up in a closed adoption. Regina may be a massive bitch queen, but she’s his mother. Emma is being a nosy fuck, and nobody’s called her out on it. Rude.
Reasons to watch:
Rumplestiltskin is gloriously over-acted by Robert Carlyle, and I’m not bothered by it. To be honest, I’m surprised there’s not more over-acting going on. These are fairy tales, people. A safe haven for overblown performances. At least it would be fun to watch. Keep it up, Robert.
Emma’s chainsawing of Regina’s apple tree is pretty badass.
And it’s hilarious how blasé the law is in Storybrooke. “Oh, you’ve been accused of stealing something? Arrested. Oh, you totally chopped down the mayor’s tree on city property? That’s cool, brah.”