Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 1 – TV Review
Do yourself a favour and just skip to the final forty seconds of this episode.
It takes Queenie that long to show up, but by God, her appearance more than redeems a plodding, mangled episode.
I fear to think what we would do without her.
TL;DR Emma has some vision of the future where she dies or some shit; Gold manages to awaken Belle, but doesn’t get back in her good books (get it? Because she likes books? I’m amazing); Zelena sulks because she and Regina aren’t getting along; Regina finds the resolve she needs to get over Robin’s death; Queenie comes roaring in to punctuate the stinger.
She is an utter delight.
So we’re following on pretty much right after last season’s conclusion, as some more denizens of The Land of Untold Stories come crash landing in Storybrooke, while Hyde doles out mentions of ominous doom. The gang lock him up, but Emma sneaks in for a goss sesh about these creepy visions of her brutal death she’s been having. He sends her on a quest to meet an oracle or whatever, who informs her that they are glimpses of her future death, and Hyde later insinuates that, like all saviours, Emma’s heroism will inevitably lead to her defeat by a villain. A doi. Meanwhile, Regina and Zelena’s newfound sisterhood is tested because Regina blames Zelena for Robin’s death (fair), and Regina whines that Regina’s excision of Queenie means Regina has rid herself of the part of them that was most alike (unfair. Also, wtf, cunt?). Regina finds solace in some advice from Snow (and Henry) to choose hope and move on, while Zelena slinks away and is met by Queenie, who is far more obliging as a sister. Cool. Meanwhile, Gold, still in The Land of Untold Stories (I think?) acts on information from Hyde in releasing Belle from her sleeping curse. He, at the command of Dream Master Morpheus, woos Belle through her dreams. But twist, it was all a secret test of character from Morpheus, who is actually a projection of Belle and Gold’s son, to ensure Belle wouldn’t fall for Gold’s shit again. Morpheus uses his kiss to wake Belle, and she indeed does not fall for Gold’s shit again, and returns, awake, to Storybrooke. And the opening of the episode involves a recast Jafar sniggering at Aladdin for being a doomed saviour.
Who knew being a hero would carry so much responsibility? Yeesh.
Let’s be honest, this is more of the same from ol’ OUaT. We’re into, unbelievably, the sixth season now. And I don’t see any signs that the show will ever find a way out of the over-complicated, Disney-peddling glut it’s found itself in.
But hey, that’s okay. As long as Queenie swans around in rhinestones and Emma gets impaled in visions, I’m cool.
Just not super invested, is all.
Why I hate this episode:
Speaking of not being super invested, who gives a shit about Belle and Gold’s subplot? Belle having lost faith in Gold has been well and truly covered. The only surprise was the “I’m your grown up son” twist with Morpheus, but the net outcome of it was that Belle still doesn’t trust Gold. Duh. Oh, and that Belle’s supposedly grim sleeping curse is conveniently sidestepped by magic dust man-baby creepiness. Oh, OUaT. You suck.
Speaking of sucking, Emma is stuck with the lamest clichè in the book: ominous visions. Yeah, that kind of thing really makes the story feel consistent and built-upon. Not.
I’ll usually defend Regina within an inch of my miserable life, but her rage train about Zelena having lost a feather of Robin’s that she was supposed to give to Regina was such dumb writing. OUaT needed a reason for Zelena and Regina to fall out this episode. And the rape of Robin, as well as Zelena’s hand in his death (though they do lean upon that later) aren’t enough, so let’s whine about a fucking feather, then, shall we? What the hell?
The Land of Untold Stories refugees look like they’re going to be important to the episode, but they’re then shunted off to a couple of sequences near the end. And we don’t even meet any of them properly. We know you have twenty-something episodes to fill, show, but come on.
What the fuck was Zelena on about when she was trying to claim moral high ground over Regina? Regina: “You led to my lover’s horrible death.” Zelena: “Oh, yeah? Well you took the evil out of you, which was the only part of you that was like me, so you’re trying to say you don’t want to be like me, which is equal to, if not worse than, me mostly directly getting Robin killed. Wah!” Like, what?
I know that Naveen Andrews is probably busy, and that’s why they recast Jafar with Oded Fehr. But it just feels like another slap in the face to Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Yes, that show was a big mess. But it wasn’t the actors’ fault. I feel like OUaT just wants to do everything it can to forget it ever happened. Then why use Jafar again? Silly.
Oh, and during the Aladdin/Jafar sequence, Jafar corners Aladdin in a house somewhere, but instead of finishing him off, he considers Aladdin’s misery and demotion to human (what was he before? Who knows) to be enough, and leaves him be. Way to grab onto the Villain Ball, Oded. Good grief.
But it’s not all bad:
I like Naveen Andrews. But I also like Oded Fehr. Resident Evil: Apocalypse, baby. It’s a classic.
And Aladdin is played by that hot Aussie actor who was Homer in Tomorrow When the War Began. I’m down with it.
Queenie is, without question, the most fabulous thing about the episode. In her less-than-a-minute of screentime, she reminded me why I’m still enduring this show all these years later. Lana Parrilla is such a glorious ham. I’m almost sad that Queenie is forming as a major villain, because it means she’s going to have to be defeated at some point. Dear God, no.
Coming in for a close second as the best part of the episode, and in a shock to me, was Gold and Belle’s dream fantasy dance sequence. Yes, it was marred by junky CGI and forced melodrama. But damn, if that little instrumental of the Beauty and the Beast song didn’t set my heart aflutter. You’re a sneaky one, Disney. But you’re good at it.
By episode’s end, Regina has chosen to believe that Robin’s soul isn’t obliterated like Hades said (because Hades is probably a huge fucking liar), and that he’s instead at peace somewhere. This is great for two reasons: 1) Regina doesn’t want to go spelunking in the Underworld, or wherever, to save his soul; and 2) my wish that she’s hate-flirting with Hyde could come true. I know it’s a reach, but I can dream, dammit.
Sam Witwer is quite attractive, you know.
In Emma’s visions, which an oracle girl tells her is the future, she loses a sword fight to a cloaked combatant. Who then impales the fuck out of her. A little Emma impalement to start the week is always welcome.
And we see her mystery combatant magically poof away her sword during the fight using a maroon swirl. A little trawling through a wiki reveals that maroon swirls have been used by Rumple/Gold and Pan. Intrigue.
Oh, and here’s another shot of Queenie. Because it’s Queenie, bitch.