TV Review: Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 6
Good god, after the clusterfuck of stupidity that was the Frankenstein fiasco (yeah, that’s right. I know aliteration), I think anything that didn’t reek of complete desparation would be satisfactory.
That’s Once Upon a Time for you. Just satisfactory.
TL;DR Emma continues to be not crap. What the fuck. And we finally get a flashback to her life pre-bounty hunter, pre-Storybrooke. Exposition!
Well, present day Emma continues to be not crap. Her flashback self, naturally, is an idiot.
Anyway, so the flashbacks go to 11 years ago when Emma meets the soon-to-be father of Henry (nice work, dick). He’s postcard guy from the season opener, btw. They’re both ne’er do well thieves and grift stuff and shit. Eventually August shows up and tells Thiefy bro to fuck off and let Emma fulfil her destiny. He agrees, which leads to Emma ending up in jail and finding out she’s pregnant. Burn. Over in present day fairy tale land, Emma and Hook go up the beanstalk in search of the magic compass. Because MacGuffins are totally a thing this show needs more of. They run into a giant, get the compass, then Emma locks Hook up and legs it. She’s a badass bitch. The only glimpse we get of Storybrooke this episode is when Henry wakes up from a nightmare, which happens to be the same nightmare Sleeping Beauty suffers while she, Mulan and Snow are waiting by the beanstalk. Co-dreaming intrigue!
So this episode isn’t too terrible. I can’t believe I’m actually glad that Once Upon a Time is picking up its game. It’s like the little piece of shit show that could. Aww.
But there’s still plenty to be annoyed about. My main problem with this episode is Emma’s flashback crap. I don’t fucking care. We already know you had a hard life, got knocked up and then reformed your ways. I don’t need to watch 3000 flashback sequences of you falling in love with some crook you meet while stealing a car.
We are also expected to believe that Emma is 11 years younger than she is now. A ponytail and glasses doesn’t really make the illusion work.
But still, present day Emma is a pragmatic motherfucker. The betrayal of Hook was a bit rough, but hey, he is Hook.
Why I hate this episode:
Thiefy isn’t attractive.
Their romance is so contrived. She goes to steal a car (the yellow bug) and finds him inside, having already stolen it. This is apparently the sexiest thing in the world (keep in mind that he’s not physically attractive). Jump ahead a little bit and she’s ready to move to Tallahassee, then Canada (to escape the law) with him. I don’t buy it. The Emma I know is far too much of a wet blanket for that.
The “what are Snow, Mulan and Sleeping Beauty doing while Emma climbs the beanstalk” segments are painful. It doesn’t matter. SB has the dream (and proceeds to massively cry about it. Because that’s how grown women behave) and Mulan goes to chop the beanstalk down (at Emma’s request), but that’s it. Snow and SB have a painful conversation about how amazing Prince Charming is (girl talk time!), but it’s so hilariously clear that without Emma around these characters have no purpose.
Hook only has 2 device things for climbing the beanstalk, so there’s a scene where the ladies try to choose who will go. Umm, Emma’s the main character. We already know it’s gonna be her. I know it’s only a short scene, but it was such a waste of time.
Hurley from Lost is the giant. I see his acting ability has not improved since I stopped watching that shit in season 3. Nor has his waistline decreased.
August’s plan to stop Thiefy from interfering in Emma’s destiny didn’t have to include getting her arrested and sent to prison for 11 months. I suppose nothing says “you’re dumped” quite like being incarcerated, but still. A simple text message breakup would have been sufficient.
The horrible CGI returns in the form of bad giant effects. Holy shit, they’re bad.
Hook tells the ladies that giants used to massacre humans and take their gold. The giant gives Emma a reversal of this, spouting a variation of the cliched “history is written by the winners” line. Emma believes him. Despite his castle having human-sized treasure overflowing from everywhere. Dumbass.
Oh, and Regina isn’t in this episode at all. That’s 2 episodes so far this season, and 1 where she only had 1 scene. What the fuck is going on!?
Reasons to watch:
Emma doesn’t suck ass the whole episode. She puts her lie detecting skill to further use (I’m glad they’re including it more often. Season 1 pretty much ignored it) on Hook and the giant. Sure, the giant is a bit of an iffy one, but it works on Hook. She’s able to quickly deduce that Rumple is the person he wants revenge on in Storybrooke. Any time Emma saves us from exposition, you know the writers still care.
She also betrays the fuck out of Hook and locks him up before leaving the giant’s castle. She suspects that for someone like him it should only be temporary (she wants a head start), but it’s still pretty badass. And although she isn’t sure why she shouldn’t be trusting Hook, we know he’s a dick, so I’ll give her points for it.
The postcard guy mystery is solved. It’s Thiefy. Duh.
Emma’s flashbacks of her being a stupid, petty criminal kinda explain her very loose understanding and application of the law. Still hate her for it, though.
Although he still sucks at acting, I love how they cast Hurley as the giant. Great fat joke, guys. Cruelty is fun.
The dreams thing is pretty interesting. It will definitely be on my mind next episode. Beats that fucking “find the magic compass to advance the plot” bullshit.
Hook and Emma find the skeleton of Jack (of Jack and the Beanstalk. Duh) in the giant’s castle. Lol.
August shows Thiefy something in a box that instantly convinces him to let Emma fulfil her destiny. What is it!?
Although selling Emma out to the cops was rude, seeing Emma in trouble and pain makes me happy. I like to have my cake and eat it too. Because I am fat.
Mulan totally doesn’t even wait a second past the deadline Emma gave her to start cutting down the beanstalk. Oh, we were so close.
Best line goes to Henry with this: “I just had the worst nightmare!” He says this after we immediately cut from the previous scene, which is Emma holding the positive pregnancy test in her jail cell. That nightmare became a reality, Henry. And that nightmare is you! Way to self-burn.
Oh, and David only gets a couple of lines in Henry’s scene. Thank god.