Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 3 – TV Review
I know this episode is supposed to be about Cinderella. But, like, who cares?
Forget it, people. It’s Queenie Town.
TL;DR Queenie is a motherfucking queen, but can’t seem to land a scheme; Cinderella’s stepmother and a stepsister show up from TLoUS, but things work out; Snow resolves to return to teaching; David mopes around about his dead dad; Emma struggles to maintain her Saviour status; flashbacks show how Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsister ended up in TLoUS.
It involves some really crappy CGI. In case you were wondering.
So remember how Cinderella had an episode literally five years ago? Because OUaT just did, so here’s another one. With the TLoUS refugees milling about, Cinderella learns that her stepsister, Clorinda, and Lady Tremaine are back in town, and sets off on a gun-toting mission. She wants to make amends for accidentally fucking up Clorinda’s life, but Lady Tremaine gets the jump on her, and motherfucking stabs her. With extreme prejudice. Emma and co, predictably, arrive in time to avert disaster (Henry pep talks Emma into being able to use her magic to heal Cinderella), Cinderella makes amends with Clorinda, and Queenie sulks to Hyde about her plan to make Emma feel helpless going astray. Meanwhile, Regina, with Snow and David in tow for obligatory screentime, goes to Jekyll for answers on the separation serum in a bid to find a way to destroy Queenie (Hyde turns her down due to his alliance with Queenie. Obv). She pairs him up with Dr Whale/Frankenstein for research, and also finds time this episode to again have a stupidly written tiff with Zelena. Meanwhile, Snow is inspired to take up teaching again, and puts on her Make Storybrooke Great Again pants. Meanwhile, David makes a deal with Gold to deliver an audio tape for Gold’s baby to Belle in exchange for info on his father’s death: he didn’t die in a drunk cart-driving accident. No, he was murdered. Does anybody care? And in Enchanted Forest flashbacks, we see Cinderella’s budding romance with Prince Thomas. It turns out Clorinda had planned to run away and marry Thomas’ lowly footman, so Cinderella offered her a magic key to elope to TLoUS. Lady Tremaine caught on, though, and tried to murder the footman. And then, rather than live in a world where Cinderella gets to land a prince (they’d engaged at this point. Snow was also involved in that for more obligatory Ginnifer Goodwin screentime), Lade Tremaine used the key to take herself and Clorinda (tearing her from her love) to TLoUS.
Lady Tremaine gets shit done. No thinking it over for this broad.
When I saw that we were getting a very, very belated Cinderella follow-up episode, I wasn’t keen. Cinderella/Ashley has never been the most dynamic fairytale character, despite an earnest performance from my Veronica Mars alumnus Jessy Schram. It’s not her fault: Cinderella’s just bland.
But thank God for the revenge of the old queen, Lady Tremaine. What an absolute bloody bitch she is.
Queenie better watch out. She’s coming for you, baby.
Why I hate this episode:
Sadly, Lady Tremaine is already thwarted this episode. And once I’ve seen you in an orange jumpsuit, I don’t think I will ever unsee you in one. Sorry, queen.
The present day conflict between Cinderella and Clorinda is built, like most OUaT plots, on a stupid misunderstanding. In the flashbacks, Lady Tremaine extorted info out of Cinderella on Clorinda’s elopement by threatening the glass slipper, Cinderella’s only proof for the prince. So when Cinderella arrives at the scene just after Lady Tremaine has battered the poor footman, Cinderella stupidly tries to tell Clorinda things will work out by showing that she’s engaged to the prince. Clorinda immediately, despite a very touching, conciliatory scene between the girls earlier, takes this announcement as Cinderella rubbing Clorinda’s face in her happiness. What the fuck, honey? If the two of you just took a couple of extra seconds to be like “Ah, no. Actually I’m now engaged to the prince so I can lock up this old, murderous hag, and take you and Mr Footman to safety, babe,” then everything would have been fine.
I suppose you can blame that on the ridiculously plot-convenient magic portal key. Remember when traversing realms in OUaT used to be a big deal? Yeesh. And while I like Lady Tremaine’s proactivity, her snap decision to recklessly realm-hop is kind of insane. Even for her homicidal, bad self.
Emma’s subplot this episode is about how she can’t use her magic consistently because she’s too worried about her visions of death. How does she overcome this? A Henry pep talk. Well, I suppose if a Henry pep talk to strangers can restore all the magic in Storybrooke, then who am I to doubt his powers of positivity? Blech.
I don’t care about David’s daddy issues.
I don’t care about Gold and Belle’s bullshit. We’ve been down that road so many times.
Emma sees Hook entertaining Cinderella’s toddler and gets all smiley and clucky. Yuck. It’s almost as bad as those awful Arrow Olicity memes where Felicity’s pregnant.
The scene between Zelena and Regina just features Zelena again bitching about how Regina is a big meanie for extracting the most evil part of herself, thus making the two of them slightly less alike. Shut up.
Oh, and Queenie’s partnership with Hyde means my Regina/Hyde ship might not get any wind in its sails. Boo.
But it’s not all bad:
On the other hand, Queenie/Hyde? Can you fucking imagine? Sploosh.
Really, everything Queenie this episode is absolutely perfect. Call me a broken record, because I’m gonna keep repeating it: Queenie is my everything.
If looking like Alyssa Edwards wasn’t enough, her strutting and posturing is as delightful as ever. She gets the best line of the episode when taunting Emma about her goal of making Emma fail in her Saviour duties: “I want you to see how pointless you are.” It’s what the rest of us have seen all along, henny.
In addition to hampering Emma’s efforts to rescue Cinderella, she also pre-empts Regina’s idea to schmooze Hyde for info on the separation serum. She gets to him first, and with even better bribes. Regina better werq if she wants to keep up.
When confronting Emma and co, Henry finds it confusing that Queenie is still technically also his mum. Oh, Henry. If you insist on always having two mums, then jettison Emma and keep the Reginas. You’d be insane not to.
And Queenie, naturally leaves off the episode by going one step further with her bribes to Hyde: she just straight-up springs him from the asylum/prison. Unleash, you beautiful bastards.
Lady Tremaine makes the most of her short time on OUaT. She is a seriously deranged old nutjob, whose answer to most problems seems to be “murder.” And I’m okay with that. She makes no qualms about trying to kill the footman right in front of Clorinda in the flashbacks. And then she actually does stab the shit out of Cinderella in Storybrooke when she tries to protect Clorinda and her returned footman love. You do you, girl.
The one not-shit thing to come out of Regina’s time with Jekyll is that, in an effort to find him a decent lab to do his serum tests, she pairs him up with Dr Whale. Whale mentions that he prefers being called by his real name, Dr Frankenstein, and he and Jekyll look like they’ll get along quite well. Hey, Penny Dreadful gave up, so why not let OUaT have a go?
Grumpy mentions to Emma that he and the other dwarves ended up saving that dwarf who got turned into a tree. Her ego is bruised because she wasn’t needed to do something heroic, and that makes me happy.
Prince Thomas is pretty hot. Even if he can’t nail down his accent.
And he doesn’t need the glass slipper, which Lady Tremaine destroyed, to recognise Cinderella. Because he’s not fucking blind, you know?
Cinderella skulking around town trying to find her stepmother so she can shoot her (in self defence, of course) is kind of amazing.
Oh, and let’s end with a snapshot of Storybrooke’s new “It” couple: