Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 1 – TV Review
Can Once Upon a Time really keep getting better?
According to this episode, the answer to that question is “yes.”
But Henry is back to being the most important character evar again, so I’ve still got something to complain about.
ABC watches out for me.
TL;DR Henry is super important to a bonkersly evil Peter Pan; Gold is back to his Rumpley, murderous self; Emma and the gang form an awkward team; and Baelfire is totally not dead.
So the plot picks up where the disappointing season 2 finale left off. Emma, Regina, Gold, Snow, David and Hook go through the bean portal and are en route to Neverland to save Henry from Driver and Tamara. Gold goes off on his own, leaving the rest of our crew to get attacked by arbitrary mermaids. After some quibbling, they make landfall on Neverland and decide to work together. For Henry. Ugh. Meanwhile, Driver and Tamara reveal Peter Pan/Shadow is their employer, but are betrayed and attacked by him and the Lost Boys. Henry gets away and runs into a Lost Boys defector. But haha, it’s actually Peter Pan and Henry is fucked. Meanwhile, Gold finishes off a wounded Tamara and declares his antagonistic intentions on Pan and the Lost Boys. And over in the Enchanted Forest, Baelfire is assisted by Mulan, Sleeping Beauty and Phillip. He and Mulan trek to Rumple’s castle to find some magical whatchamajig. Robin Hood is squatting there, but he’s cool with them.
And they recast him. Rude.
I’m just glad to have something so strong after the huge letdown that was the season 2 finale.
But season 3 is gonna have a tough time endearing itself to me like season 2 did. Season 1 was such bland trash that season 2 was endlessly impressive. But I don’t expect season 3 to be able to match that level of improvement.
But is more of the same bad if the “same” is good?
Why I hate this episode:
One thing that is a bit different was the lack of Storybrooke plot line. I’m chalking it up to time constraints (it’s only the first episode. They’re gonna get there), but I want to see how Belle is going.
One moment that really pissed me off was Emma’s proclamation about how she’s a mother and that’s the skill she’s brings to the 5-man band. Bitch, Regina was a mother a lot longer than you were. Emma saying Henry is hers has been a longstanding thorn up my urethra, and now Once Upon a Time still won’t let me forget it. Nice.
For the level of genocide they were willing to perpetrate, Driver and Tamara were pretty uninformed. They didn’t even know who they were working for. Amateur.
Henry is the most valuable character, and I’m sick of it. A pushed-out-of-focus Henry was one of the triumphs of season 2. Now Peter Pan needs him because he’s the truest believe in magic blah blah blah. Fuck off.
Baelfire offhandedly mentions to Mulan that they made a movie about her and it was pretty good. Have some dignity, Disney.
David is almost awesome when he threatens to cut a mermaid’s throat if she doesn’t call off a storm she summoned. Then his inner goody-goody wins out and he falters. At least Regina is around to pick up the pieces.
In order to stop the in-fighting the storm causes amongst Regina, Snow, David and Hook, Emma jumps into the ocean. God, she’s smart, isn’t she? She almost dies, too. We were so close.
Oh, and Snow punches Regina in the face. Cunt, please.
But it’s not all bad:
On the other hand, Snow punches Regina in the face. I dug it (despite my eternal distaste towards Snow).
Emma shares my distaste. When she’s despondent on the ship, she blames Snow and David for what happened to Baelfire and Henry (something about their optimism doing more damage than good). She also says she should have just left the curse in place, taken Henry, and skipped town outta Storybrooke. Apart from the grief that would cause to Regina, it’s a solid plan in my book.
Regina gets to indulge her bitchy side on the boat. She’s quite happy to torture the mermaid, earning second best line:
Snow: “Threatening her isn’t the way to motivate her.”
Regina: “Well I’m all out of fish food.”
You could feed David to her?
She gets best line later during her storm-induced fight with Snow. Snow is bitching about how Regina’s turning the mermaid into wood wasn’t effective, but Regina stays strong: “And what? You’ll win her over with your rainbow kisses and unicorn stickers?” Sadly, Snow would probably have done exactly that.
Gold changes into his Rumple gear (minus the dermatitis) and goes alone into Neverland. Driver has already been soul-snapped by Shadow Pan and killed, but Tamara has survived an arrow wound. Gold heals her just long enough to interrogate her, then rips her heart out and crushes it into dust in front of her. Love.
Henry gets betrayed. I lol’d.
Robin Hood is squatting in Rumple’s castle, but declines murdering Baelfire because he’s Rumple’s son and he recognises the debt he owes him for sparing his life. Now that’s continuity discipline.
Sleeping Beauty is almost helpful when she tries to use her dream powers to contact Emma. She fails, but it’s the thought that counts (she’s come a long way, okay?).
Peter Pan has an interesting explanation for how he motivated Driver and Tamara to work for him: “It is so much easier to get people to hate something than to believe.” I’m in.
Are Shadow and Peter Pan the same entity? Intrigue.
Oh, and David’s not too bad when he shows his throat-slashing side. I’d ship that version of him with Regina.