TV Review: Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 14
Status update for all you Once-lers who read about my horrible condition last week (I can pretend I have regular readers. Just like I can pretend I’m Gisele Bundchen. The hot body part, not the insane part):
I’m okay. My rectum is in-tact, and my stomach lining has been fortified due to years of heavy vodka intake, so no loss there.
Oh hey, and this week we’ve got an episode of Once Upon a Time with a flashback that actually develops our established characters. Fucking miracles all ’round.
TL;DR We learn just what Rumple did to be branded a coward, and Gold/Emma/Henry successfully track down his son in present times. Who turns out to be Emma’s ex-boyfriend/Henry’s father.
ABC likes its soap opera twists.
So it’s time for another Rumple flashback party. This time we see him pre-coward status and pre-baby (and with his wife not yet murdered by him). He gets called to serve in the war against the ogres, and is ecstatic because it means he can prove he isn’t a coward like his father. Daddy issues for all! He unfortunately stumbles upon a seer who warns him his wife is pregnant and suggests he won’t survive the oncoming battle. Cue Rumple breaking his own leg so he can return home. And thus, a coward was born. Meanwhile in the present, Emma, Henry and Gold track down his son’s apartment. Emma gives chase and finds out it’s none other than her old beau. Everyone lies about knowing each other for a little bit, but it all comes clean eventually. And back in Storybrooke, Hook, Cora and Regina snoop around to find Rumple’s dagger thing.
You know, it’s a pretty solid episode for the most part. The Storybrooke subplot drags, but it’s setting up some important stuff that will pay off later (like Cora’s true motive and Driver recording Regina using magic).
The flashback plot, while effective, is (like many Once Upon a Time flashbacks) pretty arbitrary. It doesn’t really tell us anything we didn’t already know or had inferred by what we’d already seen. But I’ll give it a pass because Robert Carlyle is so tolerable and it does provide some emotional context for the reunion.
So I guess that’s a “Meh, ‘s’okay” rating from me.
Why I hate this episode:
I gotta slap some big demerit points on Mila (Rumple’s wife). I know the whole “fighting is honourable” thing is pretty big in her time, but she is aggressively disappointed in her husband returning home alive. Bitch, he did it so he could see you and his son. And you, like, married him. You’re not going to give him any kind of break?
Hook is fool enough to still trust Cora cares about his revenge on Gold/Rumple. He is then surprised when she and Regina cut him out of the expedition to find the dagger. Dude, she told you she wants the dagger to control him. She has no plans on killing him any time soon. Clue in.
Emma is her usual, “not understanding/giving a fuck about parental rights” self. She purposefully withholds the fact that Baelfire (really? Do I really have to call somebody that? Ugh) has a son. Just because she doesn’t want to tell Henry that she lied to him all these years. That’s some good, selfless parenting. At least it does blow up in her face.
Baelfire has some big whinge about growing up without a father. Bro, you were 14 when you slipped worlds. That’s hardly “growing up without a father.” Gold’s solutions to this problem are equally ridiculous. First, he suggests using magic to make Baelfire 14 again. Ew. Then he suggests just wiping his memory of all the years where he wasn’t around. Are there any competent parents in Storybrooke?
Oh, and Rumple (now in full evil mode) tracks down the seer when she’s an adult. She offers to give him her power of foresight. He takes it without question, then chucks a pych when he realises it’s not so great. Fucking genre blind idiot.
Reasons to watch:
Rumple’s back story does offer some good insight into his life before magic. He was a man desparately struggling to overcome his father’s shame. Then he ends up bringing the same shame upon his own son through his good intentions. People like irony, right? That’s why everyone loves hipsters? Right?
I also quite enjoyed the big blow up at Baelfire’s apartment. Mainly because the net gain of it is that Henry feels supremely betrayed by Emma. Any Emma suffering is good enough for me. Gold also kinda has his son back (I assume he’s going to stay around for Henry. Unless he’s just as bad a parent as Emma), and Henry is now officially related to Gold. I lol’d.
Cora’s plan is bitchily genius. She wants to control Rumple/Gold so she can use his power to destroy everyone that opposes her. Then, to sell the idea to Regina, she says they can blame the violent deaths of Snow, Charming etc on Rumple/Gold so Henry won’t have to blame her. Sounds like a plan. Get to it, ladies.
Emma puts her skills as a bounty hunter (remember that?) to good use when they track down Baelfire. She poses as a deliveryman to get him to buzz her up, and then she quickly deduces he’s legging it when he doesn’t. If only she could display such competence more often.
Emma also picks up best line of the episode with this hilariously incredulous response to Baelfire telling her he left her because August threatened to expose him: “You let me go to prison because Pinocchio told you to!?” Yes.
Rumple gets second best line. The adult seer tells evil Rumple that Henry will be dangerous in the future:”
Seer: “The boy will be your undoing.”
Rumple: “Then I’ll just have to kill him.”
Let’s hope Rumple can stick to his promises.
Hook actually finds a use for his pirate skills by deciphering a map which leads to the Rumplestiltskin dagger. He’s more than just a cakey face.
Rumple sledge hammering his own leg is hilarious.
Barbara Hershey looks even hotter in contemporary clothing. Good. God.
Oh, and she, Regina and Hook make an amazingly sexy, duplicitous, self-obsessed team. Divine.