Once Upon a Time Season 7 Episode 4 – TV Review
I think it’s time that I came to terms with the fact that Once Upon a Time didn’t reboot itself. Fuck me and my misinterpretation of the main cast exodus and pre-release press.
No, baby. This is more like The Vampire Diaries post-Elena.
And that ain’t good.
TL;DR Belle gets dragged back out, but by the looks of things for the last time; she dies; Gold’s journey to Hyperion Heights becomes no clearer; Alice knows the truth, but is drugged into ignorance; Henry’s eye wanders from Jacinda to Adelaide Kane; Roni is completely benched.
Hey. We had an agreement, OUaT. I’d stay with you as long as you kept Lana Parrilla flush with screentime. You’re testing my patience.
So fuck everyone, it’s a Belle episode. The flashbacks metastasize and overwhelm anything going on in the present (not that a lot is going on), as we follow an aging Belle and Gold as they inexplicably return to the Enchanted Forest with young Gideon to live out their days. But when Gideon grows up and goes to magic college, Gold decides it’s time to get serious about giving up his Dark One-ness for good, and he and Belle journey to the Edge of Realms in pursuit of some prophecy or whatever. Time passes, and Belle eventually grows decrepit, before revealing that what they were actually waiting for was her death, which was when Gold could finally see if he was strong enough to part with his magic. That’s some Abusive Relationship 101-level manipulation, guys. Yikes. Then she dies, and I got just a little bit happier. Meanwhile in the present, Victoria pressures Carlyle to control Tilly (Hyperion Heights’ iteration of Alice), who seemingly knows the fairy tail truth of things. Tilly tries to convince Carlyle, but he instead gives her some Victoria-approved meds which mellow her out (she also shoots him, but it’s no biggie). But Carlyle hints that he’s regained his memories kind of. Who cares? Meanwhile, Adelaide Kane has to take Lucy trick-or-treating, but Lucy ditches her. She enlists Henry’s help to find her, and in the process defrosts a little (Victoria apparently is no less cruel to her own flesh and blood daughter). Lucy is found safe, Jacinda is grateful, but then the closing moments of the episode indicate that Henry and Adelaide will be fucking in the near future.
Who knew back in Season 1 that Henry would grow up to be such a slayer of pussy?
So yeah, nothing much happens this episode. We get a slapdash send-off for Belle, but given that half of OUaT is always mired in flashbacks, that’s no guarantee we’ll never see her again.
If this show has proven one thing, is that it’s always game to ruin your week with a surprise Belle episode.
Why I hate this episode:
Emilie de Ravin seemed even less engaged than usual. She was all wigs and makeup. Is she as fucking over it as we are?
The Up homage montage was disgustingly twee. Coupled with all the other shameless Disney promotion that shows up via extras in costume as Disney character for Halloween, it was too much, guys.
Why did Belle and Gold return to the Enchanted Forest? The episode opens with them in Storybrooke, and Gold promising Belle it’s time for them to travel the world. I didn’t realise that was code for “go back to our narrow existence in a land we used to live in.” Huh?
The flashbacks also reveal nothing relevant to the plot. They don’t make Carlyle’s situation in Hyperion Heights any clearer. And, like, does the characters’ journey to Hyperion Heights even matter? It was probably a curse or something. Who cares? OUaT Season 1 got that shit done in the first episode. Who cares?
Tilly’s knowledge of the reality of the situation when she isn’t medicated will definitely be a plot weasel in the future. Count on it.
No shade to Adelaide Kane, but Henry was close to locking down his relationship with Jacinda. Why is he letting Adelaide give him the fuck-me eyes? Sluts get cut, Henry.
Tilly is yet another British character in this suburb of Seattle. Are there any Americans living here at all?
We need more Roni. And not in that hideous wig she has on. It did not flatter her. You’re top billed these days, Lana. Whip the costuming department into shape, girl.
Belle’s choice to conceal the real nature of the prophecy from Rumple was pretty fucked up, even for Disney’s record of problematic relationships.
Oh, and it’s mentioned that Adelaide did not receive an invitation to a Halloween ball. OUaT, you don’t mention a Halloween ball, and demonstrate that you’re willing to let extras swan around in delicious Disney costumes, without then letting us go to the ball. What the fuck?
But it’s not all bad:
Adelaide turns out to not be as shallow and pointless as I expected. She tearfully admits to Henry that not only is she unhappy because Victoria is cruel to her, too, but that Victoria is also all she has. Jacinda has Lucy, but Adelaide has nobody else. Which makes her abuse from Victoria all the more tragic. It’s a simple piece of character-building, but it works.
And Henry does not reject her advances at the end of the episode. Nothing says True Love like fucking your one-and-only’s stepsister on Halloween.
Top marks of the episode, of course, will be awarded to Belle’s death. At long last, they finally granted my wish.
And not that I have any joy in my heart for Gideon, but they at least bothered to get his actor back to play the grown-up version of him. Just no more, thanks.
The only plot-forward thing we learn about Gold in the flashbacks is, following Belle’s death and apparently accepting he’s strong enough to give up his magic, he warps to Another Realm to find the “guardian” who will take the Dark One dagger and lay it to rest. He bumps into Alice, and then they see Henry drive past on his motorbike, prior to the Prince’s ball. Cool.
Oh, and when Tilly shot the fuck out of Carlyle and a blood tsunami flowed out of him, I forgot for a moment that he was a main cast member, and imagined a world where OUaT would toss him out along with Belle. It was a pleasant fantasy.