TV Review: Once Upon a Time Season 1 Episode 17
So, let’s recap: Mary’s broken out of prison and is a fugitive, David is becoming aware of his fairy tale self, Gold is doing deals all over the place, including being Mary’s lawyer, and Regina looks like she’s setting some serious shit up.
Once Upon a Time logic: better stuff in a filler episode about the Mad Hatter.
TL;DR It’s not really a bad episode, but it has terrible timing. And does Alice in Wonderland really count as a fairy tale? It’s more of a classic children’s book. Is fucking Aslan going to show up next?
So yeah, any meaningful plot development from last episode gets completely derailed by the Mad Hatter’s sob story.
The episode follows Emma as she and Mary are kidnapped by Jefferson (the Mad Hatter), who wants Emma to use her inner magic to make him a hat so he can get back to fairy tale land. Yeah, he knows. Back in the fairy tale plot, Jefferson is hired by Queenie to take her to Wonderland so she can retrieve something that belongs to her. Backstabbing ensues, obv.
You know what? Both plot lines are actually pretty solid. There are decent stakes in the kidnapping story (because the Mad Hatter lives up to his name), and Queenie gets to be a badass and vulnerable in the fairy tale parts. But this was not good timing. We don’t need more filler now that shit is finally starting to go down.
Also, Jefferson is a pretty flat character. His only attribute is his love for his daughter, which makes him work with Queenie even when he knows she’s a black-hearted bitch. Also, he’s played by Sebastian “Carter Baizen” Stan. Is Gossip Girl selling off their old, unwanted castmates? Is Taylor Momsen going to turn up as a coked out Sleeping Beauty? Except the she needs a wheelbarrow of makeup remover wipes, not a prince’s kiss? Sounds good, actually.
Why I hate this episode:
Jefferson is such an idiot. Queenie shows up at his house and asks for his services. He turns her down because he wants to keep his daughter out of it. Queenie remarks that he’s poor, so he is therefore unfit to provide for her. You know what makes him take the job? A fucking stuffed animal. He’s at the market, and he can’t afford a stuffed animal (that the daughter doesn’t care about, might I add), so he takes up the job. Here’s the simplified version: “Want plush toy. Must sell soul.” Idiot.
Carter Baizen GTFO. I can’t believe Leighton Meester dated him IRL.
Again, does Alice in Wonderland qualify as a fairy tale? I don’t think it should.
After breaking out of the cell, Mary runs off into the forest. What was the plan, there? She’d walk to the nearest city?
When Emma discovers she’s gone she races off to find her. Then she comes across Jefferson, and decides to dilly dally and drink tea with him. Great friend, that girl.
A lot of the tension between Jefferson and Emma hinges on the fact that Emma is still in denial about Storybrooke. Oh my god, clue the fuck in, bitch. There are only 5 episodes left. Figure it out!
When Jefferson and Queenie are in Wonderland, I felt like they were setting up a showdown between her and the Queen of Hearts. It doesn’t happen, which was very disappointing.
Emma pledges her help to Mary and has a cry about how Mary has been such a good friend. She brings up the fact that Mary said it would be better for Henry for Emma to stay in Storybrooke. He. Is. Not. Your. Son. Your vagina slopped him out, but he is Regina’s son. I will not stop complaining about this.
Oh, and they mention Mary’s arraignment a couple of times. Does Storybrooke have a fucking courthouse? I thought this was a small town.
Reasons to watch:
Queenie gets to be all over this bitch. She shoots a fireball through Queen of Hearts’ hedge maze, and even uses the carnivorous flora to her advantage when escaping the guards. Haters better step the fuck off.
And I love seeing her team up with people who don’t like her. Boss as hell.
She also gets to show off some vulnerability. After rescuing her father, she comiserates with Jefferson (who she will now be ditching in Wonderland due to some rule about the doorway) about how nothing is more important than family. It’s nice to see her fight for something she truly cares about.
And she dresses fabulously, as we’ve come to expect. Even breaks out some cleavage this time.
Emma gets a couple of resourceful moments in Jefferson’s house. After she wakes up from being drugged, she uses a pillow to muffle the sound of her breaking a teacup, which she then uses a shard of to cut her bonds.
She also plays the “I’m pretending I’m agreeing with you, Mr psycho hostage taker” game against Jefferson to great success. Knowing how much of a blubbering mess any female character on this show usually is, she had me fooled. Until she walloped him with a telescope. Nice.
Mary also gets a good shot in. She motherfucking kicks Jefferson out of a second story window. Charlie’s Angels ain’t shit.
Jefferson picks up best line this episode, purely because it sounds ridiculous: “You and your friend are not leaving here until you make my hat.” The delivery is done so seriously, too.
We find out that Gold is working against Mary (or is he!?) RE: being her lawyer. The whole skeleton key thing was set up by Regina to encourage Mary to flee to imply guilt. I like me some dramatic twists.
Oh, and Jefferson gets decapitated. I know it was done with some terrible CGI work and it doesn’t even kill him, but I’ll take any opportunity to see Carter Baizen brutally murdered.