TV Review: Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 3
Oh, Once Upon a Time. Still struggling.
It’s only episode 3 for the season and already I feel like we’ve slid into DNC territory.
It chugs along, but there’s nothing particularly exciting.
Probably my fault for recently bingeing on PLL season 2 DVDs.
TL;DR It’s just not very exciting. Emma has fallen back into her dumbass groove. And Regina only gets 1 scene. Next.
Only 1 scene. Unforgivable.
So the plot is split into 3 parts. In fairy tale flashback, we’ve got Snow and Charming trying to outrun King Alan Dale or something. Snow is captured and Dale curses her with infertility. Blah blah Charming’s mum (remember her?) gets crossbowed, which leads Charming, Snow and Lancelot on a quest to the Deus Ex Machina spring to heal her. Mummy sacrifices herself to save Snow’s uterus.
In present day fairy tale land, Emma, Snow and Mulan set out for Snow’s castle to find the wardrobe that can send them back to Storybrooke (maybe). Sleeping Beauty tags along and tries to murder Snow. Lancelot turns out to actually be Cora (Barbara Hershey, Regina’s mum) in disguise.
And in Storybrooke, David and Henry work separately to get Jefferson’s help in opening a portal.
So there’s a lot going on, but I just don’t give a shit about most of it. David and Henry leading their own plot line? Give me a fucking break.
And the flashbacks, especially the ones involving Snow and Charming, have very little tension. The pilot episode of the series literally showed Snow and Charming getting married and having Emma. We know that these flashbacks have to lead to that. So it’s no surprise when mummy and Lancelot scheme to save Snow’s babymaker. Do they think we’ve forgotten?
The flashbacks need to either reveal something we thought was true to be false, or at least give us some meaningful character points. Snow and Charming are so one-true-love boring that it’s just wasteful to give them yet another episode focusing on how they got to the altar. I just don’t give a shit.
On the plus side, Barbara Hershey gets to be a badass motherfucker as Cora.
Why I hate this episode:
Oh my god, I can’t believe anyone would think having David and Henry team up would be even close to interesting.
Worse, David actually tells Henry to fuck off and not get in the way, and that’s exactly what Henry does. He almost gets killed by Regina’s snakes-in-a-box. But it’s apparently not a big deal. Because he’s Henry. Just die.
In order to distract Regina, Henry feigns interest in wanting to have lunch with her. He then stands her up. Combine that with how earnest and hopeful Regina is when he calls her to arrange the lunch, and I’ve never wanted to impale Henry with a blunt shovel more than I did this time. Fuck Henry. Fuck everything about him.
It seems the geography of fairy tale land withstood Regina’s curse, but Ogres have now taken over. They’re supposed to be absolutely terrifying, but Snow slays one with a single arrow to the eye. Fucking weak.
Jefferson’s daddy/daughter drama is boring and irrelevant.
King Alan Dale’s soldiers are laughably incompetent. The scene where they “attack” Charming is embarrassing. They literally just stand around until he “heroically” cuts them down. Makes Snow look adept by comparison.
When mummy does drink the lake water I thought Once Upon a Time might actually be doing a subversion of the “dying parent saves the next generation” bullshit I expected. I was wrong. And disappointed. I should know better than this by now. But I never will, because I am an eternal optimist.
When Cora attacks Snow and Emma at the castle, Emma sets the wardrobe on fire to distract her. Thus destroying their only known way of returning to Storybrooke. Fucking idiot, Emma. Cora was busy gloating over Snow. If you had time to set the wardrobe on fire, you had time to just donkey punch old hagface. Dumbass.
Also, when Emma and crew are traipsing through the Ogre riddled forest, Emma fires a gunshot into the air to break up an argument. Remember how 3 minutes ago Snow told Emma Ogres only hunt by sound? Emma didn’t. Fucking dumbass.
Oh, and Mulan needs to seriously chill the fuck out. She’s so antsy all the time. And she has crap hair.
Reasons to watch:
Snow (surprisingly) gets quite a few badass points this episode. When she and Emma are in the pit with Cora, Snow immediately remembers her and even says that she is worse than Regina. I think that’s the first decent thing Snow’s ever done for our favourite queen. Nice.
She also kills the shit out of the Ogre, even if it was too easy.
And she’s willing to sacrifice her childbearing future for the life of Charming’s mum. That’s pretty respectable.
Cora is a fantastic bitch. She murdered Lancelot long ago (or so she says) and has been impersonating him. I lol’d. Looks like she’s being set up to be our new primary antagonist (at least in present day fairy tale land). I’m cool with this.
Sleeping Beauty is a vengeful ho. You gotta admire her zeal, despite her total lack of ability.
I lol’d when Charming’s mum got shot. Totes saw it coming, too.
The lake drying up is a consequence of Charming’s killing of the siren. I like how Once Upon a Time took that into consideration. Adds a layer of “maybe slaying monsters isn’t the right idea.” Deep, man.
Emma and Snow’s mother/daughter moment after shooing off Cora is nice. Yeah, it’s contrived and Emma is a melodramatic heap of shit, but genuine aww moments are scarce here, so I’ll take what I can get.
Oh, and Cora returns to the burnt wardrobe and bottles some of the ash. Maybe she can go stir some shit up in Storybrook after all. It’ll give Regina an excuse to be in more plot lines.