Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 5 – TV Review
Yes, Queenie queens it up around town this episode. But she hangs out with Zelena while doing it.
Jettison that green ball and chain, Q. You don’t need her. You are virtually immortal, after all.
TL;DR Queenie wraps Zelena tighter around her little finger; Emma comes clean to everyone about her visions of death; the gang helps Jasmine to find Aladdin in Storybrooke; flashbacks show how Jasmine and Aladdin met, and he became the Saviour of Agrabah.
Jafar was not impressed.
So we’ll start with the flashbacks. Aladdin was but a humble street rat with a faltering British accent (you can’t lock up the Aussie). Jasmine then shows up asking for help to locate a treasure to defeat a rampaging, cruel Jafar. They squabble a bit as combative lovers do, but eventually they find out that Aladdin himself is the treasure, as he has the same magical Saviour powers as Emma. Jafar tries to tempt Aladdin with saving himself from a life of Saviour servitude by offering the Fates’ fate-cutting shears, and it turns out that he eventually used them. Hey, he is a dirty street rat, after all. In Storybrooke, the gang apprehend “Shireen” fleeing from the oracle’s dead body. She admits she’s Princess Jasmine, and Emma becomes obsessed with finding Aladdin alive in order to prove that Saviours don’t have to die. And they do find him alive, but he only is alive because he severed his fate using the shears. Emma resolves to continue Saviour-ing to save her family, tasking Hook with dumping the shears in the ocean. But Hook has other ideas. Meanwhile, Queenie abducts Hopper and puts him into Zelena’s mostly-willing care while she poses as him to uncover Emma’s terrible secret. Which she does, outing Emma’s death visions to everyone (which is what prompts Hook to hang onto those shears, you now). She also continues to play into Zelena’s absurd need to be loved just as she is. Because nobody should ever try to improve themselves, even if they are insane, rapist super villains. Oh, and Gold isn’t in this episode. So we don’t have to look at his awkward haircut.
And that means no Belle. It’s a goddamn miracle.
I’ve gotta hand it to Once Upon a Time. It’s really come a long way with the junky CGI for the flashback sequences. Yes, it’s still TV soap-level. But I was taken aback by how much I didn’t hate the way CGI Agrabah looked.
The costuming of Aladdin and Jasmine, too, is a believable take on their animated counterparts. As was their relationship.
And the flashback wasn’t a redundant pile of shit for once, too. How about that?
Why I hate this episode:
Oh, casting department. Aladdin really, really can’t hold onto his accent. They should have given him a pass like they did for Belle and just let him be Australian. Why were Aladdin and Jasmine given British accents, anyway? OUaT has proudly had ill-fitted American accents for its fantasy fairy tale characters since the very beginning. Why change now?
Jafar gives up far too easily in his struggle against Aladdin. Aladdin has only just awakened his magic powers, whereas Jafar has been a powerful sorcerer for yonks. He should have beat that urchin into the dust. He’s lucky Aladdin was selfish enough to use the shears he forced on him. Weak.
I can’t believe Emma allowed Hook to dispose of the shears after Aladdin had given them to her in Storybrooke. Yeah, that whole Dark One kerfuffle last season was a huge mess, but that experience should tell you that the two of you will go to any lengths to save each other. He’s gonna cut your thread, baby.
I hope there’s some big reveal about why Queenie wants Zelena to be on her side so badly. And I hope it isn’t because Queenie is still good somewhere on the inside and wants a family or whatever. We’ve finally got the reprehensible, unashamed villain of our dreams. Don’t spoil this, OUaT.
Jafar’s bird isn’t called Iago. Rude.
Oh, and in contrast to the otherwise decent CGI of the episode, Jafar puts Jasmine into a giant hourglass trap, and the CGI sand is a fucking joke. They couldn’t have done that with a prop? Is sand so hard to come by?
But it’s not all bad:
If Oded Fehr plays his cards right, Jafar could end up being almost as fabulous as Queenie. Well, nearly almost as fabulous. He could be like the Kai to her Katherine.
In more fabulosity news, Queenie Slay-a-thon 2016 continues unabated, and thank God for that. Her plan to impersonate Hopper to squeeze Emma of her secrets is so simple. And it truly gets results. She ends up precipitating Emma’s explosive admission about the death visions to everyone. It’s brilliant.
Her spa date with Zelena is kind of naff, but bitch does know how to rock a glam turban. She and Zelena also goss about whether they ever fucked Rumple. Before the haircut, obviously.
Zelena may be Zelena, but she isn’t a total waste this episode. After Queenie dumps Hopper in her lap, she puts him to work looking after Baby Rapesly. And after the spa excursion, Zelena doesn’t elect to let Hopper go; nor is she truly evil enough to kill him. So she turns him back into a cricket, instead, and cages him above Rapesly’s crib. Cute.
Aladdin can’t hold onto his accent, but damn, does he look the part. He looks like the cartoon come to life. It’s stunning. That little bit of pec cleavage doesn’t hurt, either.
When Jasmine’s going on her high horse rant about how she and Aladdin need to join forces to free Agrabah from the tyranny of Jafar, Aladdin rightly points out that the common folk have had problems for a long time, and from before Jafar came along; Jasmine only cares about it now because it’s affecting her. This exchange of course leads to flirting.
Oh, and Aladdin does that awkward stretch thing, too. It’s an easy win, but a win is a win.