TV Review: Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 11
So it looks like Once Upon a Time is taking a cue from the Jersey Shore playbook: doing pretty much fuck all for most of the episode then dropping in some fantastic shit at the very last moment.
Reality TV is finally coming full circle, people.
Next step: toilet cam on TVD.
I can dream.
TL;DR Come for the Hook/Belle/Gold drama, stay for Belle getting shot, losing her memories, and Hook getting hit by a car. Take that, fairy tales.
Subversive as fuck, yo.
So the Storybrooke plot is all about Hook fucking with Gold. Gold has found a potion that can protect you from the Storybrooke boundary’s memory-erasing powers, but you have to put it on the thing you value most for it to work. For Gold, this is his son’s shawl. So Hook attacks Belle to lure Gold out of his shop so he can steal it. Blah blah blah Belle finds the invisible ship, frees Hopper, and Gold and Hook have a showdown where Belle convinces Gold to spare Hook’s life. This comes back to bite her when she and Gold are at the boundary. Hook shoots her in the back, sending her over the line and erasing her memories. Then a car comes out of nowhere (from the non-Storybrooke side) and smashes the shit out of Hook. Meanwhile, Emma tries to console Henry over Hopper’s death/Regina’s supposed homicide. Luckily, Hopper returns and sets them straight. Snow wants her and David to live a quiet life instead of returning to fairy tale land to keep fighting. And in fairy tale flashback, Belle helps Mulan defeat a monster which turns out to be Prince Phillip. Oh, and Gold was trying to get out of Storybrooke so he could find his son. If you hadn’t guessed that already.
So yeah, the problem with this episode is the obvious vacuum of action before the dramatic ending. It’s mostly just Belle floating around pretending that Gold is still a good person (see where that got you, bitch?) and massive screentime wasting in the flashback department. I don’t think we needed another Belle-heavy episode. We get it. She’s a good girl who’s trying to set Gold down a good path. We got all we needed for that from her first featured episode.
Also, and I shit you not, part of Snow/David’s subplot involves them perusing real estate catalogues. So riveting!
But hey, this episode does include a guyliner-riddled pirate in a puffy shirt shooting a fairy tale princess with a handgun. So there’s that.
Why I hate this episode:
Cora is noticeably absent. You’d think she’d be a teensy bit interested in keeping Hopper locked up. Considering his release would mostly undo all that work she put in to destroy Regina. I guess Babs had the day off.
The flashback scenes are a huge waste of time. All they do is show how self-sufficient Belle can be. Yeah, we got that from the whole “living with Rumple and not being completely helpless” thing we saw a season and a half ago. It was obviously included for setup for an impending Mulan/Phillip episode.
The only particularly interesting segment of the flashback sequence is at the end when Queenie captures Belle. Because Queenie is fabulous. But we already knew that was inevitable anyway. Boring.
I thought the object Gold most valued was that chipped teacup. Belle has been replaced. Rude.
Flashback Belle decides to go monster hunting because she’s bored. Wtf?
After Belle finds the invisi-ship and frees Hopper, she tells him to go get Gold for backup while she pokes around for the shawl. Despite having already heard noise to suggest Hook is there (spoiler: he is). Then she gets into trouble when he, naturally, attacks. Dumb bitch.
During this scene, Hook grabs the handgun Belle brought with her and threatens her with it. This looks fucking ridiculous.
The fire-dog monster thing is a CGI abortion. As you’d expect.
Oh, and Belle seems bizarrely okay with the fact her boyfriend murdered his previous lady love by ripping her heart out and crushing it. He’s a keeper, apparently.
Reasons to watch:
That ending really does make it all worthwhile. Who knew Hook could be so evil? Shooting Belle in the back is cruel enough, but pushing her across the line into amnesia-dom is fucking brutal.
Then he gets hit by a car. Magic.
I’m glad that the whole “blaming Regina for Hopper’s murder” situation has essentially been cleaned up within 1 episode. Henry is very happy to learn that she didn’t do it, and even Emma is like “Fuck, now we have apologise.” Get on it.
Although Gold has run out of the boundary-busting potion, I now have hope that Once Upon a Time can expand its scope into the outside world. Storybrooke is starting to get a bit claustrophic.
Speaking of which, Grumpy grills Emma and Snow on when they can all return to fairy tale land. This leads to a discussion between Snow and David where Snow says she doesn’t want to go back and have to fight Cora for their land. She wants to just settle down and live happily in Storybrooke. David firmly disagrees, and it looks like we’ve got some trouble in paradise. Good.
Belle’s adventuring clothes look hot (with a distracting amount of cleavage).
Gold catches up to Smee (who has been helping Hook) and Darth Vader-chokes him. Then turns him into a rat. I lol’d. He also whips up a fireball to fuck Hook with before the car comes in and does the job for him. Glad to see somebody knows how to enjoy their powers (I’m looking at you, Regina).
Best line goes to Hook. Belle tries to run off the ship after knocking Hook over, but he catches up to her. This is his explanation: “I know this ship like the back of my…you know.” Combination self-burn and boast? Pro.
Queenie, in her 1 scene, is as arbitrarily evil as ever. Wonderful.
Phillip’s curse was from Maleficent. Once Upon a Time could really use more Maleficent. Pity she’s dead.
There is sexual tension between Mulan and Phillip once Belle sends them on their way.
Oh, and did I mention that Belle has lost her memories (hell, she might even die). Dramaaaaaaaaa.