TV Review: Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 16
Oh my fuck, Rose McGowan is here.
And let’s get this out of the way right now: she’s lookin’ orright. Yeah, she’s still pinched as fuck, but I’m just happy to see her not looking like a monster.
And after coming down on her so hard last time I saw her (back in the old days of I Just Hate Everything, where an inexperienced, hate-filled blogger thought merely attacking something counted as comedy. Ah, those were good times), I felt it was time for a little praise.
Also, holy fuck, Rose McGowan is in Once Upon a Time. I came. I did.
TL;DR Rose is fabú as a Young Cora learning magic and cruelty from Rumple. Snow makes good on her declaration of murder. And Regina just might have been pushed into being more evil than ever.
But Emma’s using magic again, so brace for dry wretching.
Our plot this week showcases flashbacks to Cora’s youth, as played by the similarly-disfigured-by-surgery Rose McGowan (okay, so I will make a few digs. Come on). She’s a lowly miller’s daughter who is slighted by a young Princess Ava (Snow’s mum), who is a prospective bride for some prince. Young Cora retaliates by trying to win the prince’s affection, but his dad locks her the fuck up. The only way to get out is to spin straw into gold. Enter Rumple. Young Cora and Rumple also full in love or some shit. Naturally, being Cora, she eschews Rumple’s affection to become a princess. Aww. Meanwhile in Storybrooke, Emma and co return via invisi-ship. Gold tasks Snow with using the life/death candle on Cora’s heart to save his life while Emma, David and Baelfire hold off Cora and Regina’s attacks. Snow completes her mission (nastily tricking Regina into reinserting Cora’s doomed heart) and Gold lives. Cora dies. Regina is furious (see pic below, yo).
I’m still constantly amazed by how much Once Upon a Time has improved. You gotta salute a show that identified everything it was doing wrong (Emma being a fucking idiot/criminal, Henry, etc) and fixed its shit up.
Having to complain, though, Regina’s reactions are still all over the place. Cora even outright announces that she wants to become the Dark One so she can be hella powerful, and Regina still goes along with the plan. Then she falls right into Snow’s incredibly suspicious trap. Then she gets super upset over Cora’s death, despite the fact that she essentially hates her.
But looking at her vengeance face, I’m hoping some of that will change.
Why I hate this episode:
Emma’s fucking magic powers are back. Spew. They’re stupidly easy to use (she casts protection spells without any effort). Worse, now that she knows how to use magic, I’m afraid we’re going to be seeing a lot more of it.
When Cora and Regina breach the spell to get into Gold’s shop (where Emma and crew have been holed up), there is an incredibly lame fight sequence. This is made more frustrating by the next encounter (when Cora breaks the second barrier to get into the back room), wherein Cora just teleports Emma and Baelfire away with pathetic ease. Why didn’t she just do that the first time? Would have saved a lot of time (and, you know, her life).
Young Cora claims to Prince that she can spin straw into gold. Did she really think she could just throw that out there? Sure, the King overhearing her and forcing her to do it was hard to foresee, but if you tell somebody that you can spin straw into fucking gold, you’d have to expect them to ask you to prove it. Jesus.
Princess Ava is a rude-ass bitch. Ain’t nobody gon’ badmouth mah Rose but me.
Snow ruins her fantastic transformation into homicidal maniac by having a last second cry about it. Extra demerit points for not at least having the decency to get to Cora faster. You’re just a mess, Snow.
Oh, and Young Cora jilts Rumple, choosing power over love. Can you imagine how brilliant they could have been together?
Reasons to watch:
But what we do see of them is satisfying. They have an erotic straw spinning lesson that easily puts Glee’s embarrassing attempt to replicate the pottery scene from Ghost to shame. When you’re coming up against Rumple and Cora (and it’s Rose McGowan), you can’t compare.
And their love is totes legit. Young Cora tears out her own heart so she can live with her decision to stick with Prince. Then, when present day Cora has Gold cornered, she admits that he was her epic love. Aww.
Young Cora also leverages these feelings to alter her own deal with Rumple. Twice. She originally convinces him to show her how to spin straw into gold, instead of him just doing it for her. Then later, she changes the price of the deal, which was her 1st born child, to be a child she bears with Rumple.
And as if that wasn’t enough, she later gloats about how she’ll never have to pay, because her children will be from Prince. Fucking Cora, man. She’s just too amazing.
Regina and Cora use a phone tap to listen in on Snow/David/Emma’s phone conversation. Bitches be resourceful.
I need to award some points to Snow. She fucking delivered on that promise about killing Cora. And it only took her 1 episode, too. Damn, woman. Bonus points for tricking Regina into putting Cora’s heart back on the pretense that she’ll be loving again. That’s fucking dark, Snow. I love it.
Cora does seem genuinely happy and nice once it’s popped back in, too. At least until she dies immediately after.
Best line goes to Young Cora, who is telling Prince why she showed up to the masquerade ball: “I just came for the free food.” She is me.
Second best line goes to King, who is trying to convince Young Cora to choose her real love with Rumple over her marriage-for-status to Prince. He’s not very complimentary to his son: “Not much there to love, frankly.” I just liked that he cared enough to try to help her. Although he did already have his shitload of gold to solve his financial woes, but whatever.
Gold makes an emotional phone call to Belle on his deathbed. He also reconciles with Baelfire. It was touching.
Emma has to draw protection lines with an invisible chalk. Poor Jennifer Morrison was trying to sell that shit, too. I lol’d.
Oh, and Regina is maaaaad. Real mad.