Deechelle Discusses: Once Upon A Time 2.4

Posted: October 25, 2012 by Dee in Dee, Deechelle, General Media, Jach, Once Upon a Time, Recaps, Television
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It’s flashback-y goodness time, and it’s about Rumpelstiltskin, a character who never gets screen time and always gets ignored by the writer — lol can’t even finish that.

Storybrooke – Belle is irritated that Rumpy is using magic and won’t give her any straight answers about why. She storms out and meets Ruby, who is very sweet to her and suggests she take a look at the library, where no one works. She’s kidnapped by a nameless guy (let’s just say Smee it’s easier) and brought to her father. Their reunion is nice for about five seconds before he says she can’t talk to Rumpy anymore, she’s like I do what I want, and he decides to wipe her memory. For real. He gets Smee to put her through the tunnels so she’ll cross the boundary and lose all her memory of him but also of Rumpy. Yeowch. Belle has a lot of people always trying to make decisions for her, huh? Rumpy saves her with the help of Charming and Ruby, who help him track Belle down, and she tells him and her father off. In the end Ruby gives her the key to the library, which is actually given by Rumpy. He apologizes and tells her what the audience already figured out, that he’s looking for Bael and now he can’t leave the town. She gives him a breadcrumb by implying they could go on an ordinary date together. He’s like score, I’m still in.

Flashback – Rumpy is his sad sack self again and trying to find his wanderlust filled wife Milla (Milah? We’re going with Milah okay). She is drinking with this handsome fella who I’m not going to beat around the bush is Captain Hook and you all know that from the promos and episode. She mocks Rumpy publicly and only comes home because of Bael. She disappears the next day and it’s implied the pirates stole her to do not so nice things to her (thanks for the rape references, OUAT), and Hook points out that Rumpy is a coward for not fighting him. Yeah because it’s totally a fair fight between an old limping man and a young skilled pirate. And fighting him, making Bael an orphan, is an awesome idea. Anyway. Years later Rumpy finds Hook and is psyched he can get revenge, but Milah shows up and she’s been alive all this time. She just ran off with Hook because she loved him and let Rumpy assume his wife met a fate worse than death. That’s nice. She says they’ll give him a magical bean (Jack and the Beanstalk seems like) in return for letting them live. They argue some on Hook’s ship and Rumpy rips out her heart and kills her. He then cuts off Hook’s hand, naturally, and poofs off. Except Hook didn’t have the bean in that hand, eeps, so he lost it anyway. Hook is all heartbroken saying goodbye to his love and puts the hook on his hand. The bean causes some kind of whirlpool and he says it’ll take them to Neverland. Woo.

Enchanted Forest – Hook and Cora are pals. The end.

General Opinion of the Episode

Dee: This is a murky one for me. I’m trying to put it into words. I love all Rumpelstiltskin episodes. I think the actor is just fabulous. He’s a bit of a role hog, isn’t he? So he’s Rumpelstiltskin, the Beast, and the Crocodile? He’s going to end up like ten different fairy tale characters at this point. This is not a criticism. I’ll say I liked having the closure to find out what happened with his wife. The introduction of Hook here is important for the rest of the story. I liked being back in Storybrooke and seeing how everyone’s readjusting to their new situations, and how Ruby and Charming continue to be awesome people by giving him and Belle the benefit of the doubt. I guess I like the story in general. I’m still sort of reserving judgment on Hook, and that might be part of my problem here. He’s already signed on as a regular, and I’m not saying his intro was a bad one. I feel like maybe actual character development and personality was sacrificed for “pretty pretty pretty man with eyeliner eeeee sexy pirate.” He’s a lovely piece of eye candy, don’t you doubt me. But I didn’t really care about him or Milah or their relationship. I wanted to sympathize with them but I know next to nothing about them. Especially nothing about him. He’s some adventurer who swooped in and stole a man’s wife and yeah it’s tragic for him to lose her and a hand, but I don’t really care. The point is, I liked the episode but I was left cold by Hook and that storyline. It’s good information to have, but I guess I’m just waiting to see more, since we don’t know about him and it’s a little early to make me feel like I care about him. For all I know him and Milah went around murdering people as pirates, which is totally possible, sooo. Guess we’ll see? I remember the first time we saw Regina and Rumpelstiltskin and I was on board their stories right away. I guess maybe the bar has been set high and I’m more skeptical about new characters right now, because for crying out loud we have so many other ones without closure left over.

Jachelle: Hrm. Tough call for me. I’ll start by saying that I completely adored all of the Belle plotlines this week. She’s not like the others in town, she doesn’t have 28 years worth of relationships in Storybrooke to fall back on. So when she walks out on Rumpy, we’re seeing just how brave she is. I mean, we saw it last season when she chose to go with Rumplestiltskin in the first place, but it’s reinforced again here. She doesn’t know where her father is, she has no friends, nowhere to go, and she still leaves. That’s such a hard choice to make, and props to Belle for sticking to her guns. And the story only gets better as she finds and then tells off her father for controlling her, and begins to stand on her own. I’m so excited to see where she’s going to go this season. On the other hand, back in Fairy Tale land, we’ve got Rumpy and Hook and I was a little underwhelmed. It’s like Dee said, we didn’t get much information about them, so it’s hard to really care about them or their plight. Milah was incredibly selfish and Hook’s a bully. Sure, she didn’t deserve to die, and he didn’t deserve to lose his hand, but I wasn’t really feeling the “oh poor them,” vibe by the end. Clearly with Regina and Rumpy in the wings, this show knows how to do a morally ambiguous villain right, but I feel like they missed the mark here if that’s what they were going for. That left me a little on the fence about where they’re planning to take Hook’s character this season.

Favorite Scene

Dee: The last scene with Belle and Rumpelstiltskin when he’s finally honest. Most of us already figured out that he was there to find Bael, and we could guess about his frustrations involving how they couldn’t leave the town. But it was great to see him finally opening up to her and she has an answer for what happened to Bael and why the entire curse started in the first place. I like that she figured out quickly the thing he wanted most wasn’t her, it was his son. I know some people were annoyed she caved so quickly to him in the end there, but she did tell him she wasn’t interested in his BS until he was honest with her, and he was actually honest with her. So there’s no harm in them dating!

Jachelle: Ruby and Belle’s scenes together. Of all the secondary characters on the show, Ruby and Belle are my absolute favorites, so I was just so pleased to get to see them interacting. Emilie does a great job of playing Belle’s vulnerability in those moments without making her come off as damsel-y, and Ruby is genuinely sweet and is a really great friend to have in your corner.  When Charming and Rumpy came to talk to her about Belle, I flashbacked to Season 1 when she was protecting Cinderella from being found too. I love you, Ruby. I think she’s the perfect friend that Belle needs to help her stand on her own. More of their friendship, please!

Least Favorite Scene

Dee: The last scene with Hook, and here’s why. Not the Neverland part, because YAY NEVERLAND. But my friend Andrea actually pointed this out to me, Hook just lost a hand. We see no blood, because this is a family show, but he doesn’t even seem to be in any pain. He just picks up the hook and is like oh well I guess I’ll put this on my stump now, to adventure! What? YES I know this is a quibble and it’s a fantasy show but he just lost his freaking hand okay. He made it seem like it was a splinter! (Jach: IT’S JUST A FLESH WOUND!)

Jachelle: I really disliked the scene where Rumpy goes to Hook’s ship to plead for his wife back. First of all, implied rape, ugh. That’s enough right there to put me off and make me hate the entire scene. That is not what I want to see when I sit down to watch Once Upon A Time, okay? Thanks. Secondly, there’s exactly what we mentioned in the recap…Hook is a young, skilled, strong pirate. And he’s challenging a crippled old man to a duel, and then calls him a coward when he doesn’t accept. Yes, because that’s fair. And I do get it, he’s the villain and a pirate and he’s not supposed to be fair. But if the show really wants me feeling sorry that he lost his ~true love~ at the end of the episode, this was not the way to go about getting my sympathies. The whole scene left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I feel like there was a better way this all could have been set up.

Favorite Character

Dee: Belle, okay. I bet Jach will say the same. I love Rumpelstiltskin so I could always say him. And as always Robert Carlyle deserves all the awards. But Belle was my favorite Disney heroine and I really like what they’re doing with her on the show. I love how she was like ‘shut yo mouth’ to both her father and her boyfriend. She’s branching out and trying new things. I like that they gave her the library! Her story with Skin Deep and here shows that Belle is someone who doesn’t take anything lying down, and she’ll get in your face and stand her ground. LOVE IT.

Jachelle: 10 points to Gryffindor! Dee is absolutely correct in guessing that Belle was my favorite character this episode. You guys know I love Rumpy, but Belle is MY GIRL. She was always my favorite Disney character as well, and I love where they’re taking her. With a few hiccups here and there, I do really enjoy watching how women are portrayed on the show. It’s no secret that a large part of fairy tales includes the female characters needing to be rescued. But OUAT has taken these characters and made them strong all in their own ways. Yes, they have their true loves but that’s not what defines them. Snow is a badass, plain and simple. Cinderella did everything she could to protect her child. Ruby is the freaking big bad wolf, y’all. And here’s Belle. She’s surrounded by these men who keep telling her what to do and she basically tells them to GTFO. She’s incredibly strong willed. She knows what she wants and she’s not going to let anyone take that choice away from her. To be honest, this makes me really excited for the eventual Regina/Belle face off because Regina took EVERY POSSIBLE choice away from her and literally locked her in a basement for almost 30 years. Aaaah. It’s going to be so good.

Are Villains Redeemable? Is There a Point They’re Not?

Dee: I think this is an important discussion for this show because they love making complicated villains. We’ve seen how Regina and Rumpelstiltskin have changed. Evil isn’t born, it’s made. I definitely think characters can be redeemed, although no one should forget their previous actions, because it’s important to know. I like that it’s a struggle and they both are clearly in that gray zone right now where they could go either way. So now we introduce Cora who does seem to be pure evil … until we might have some backstory with her that tells us more about her motivations. The question for me is whether a character hits a point where they’re no longer redeemable and/or where they go a step too far and it poisons your ability to believe in them. I think they came pretty close with Rumpelstiltskin murdering his wife. I mean seriously guys. Yes, she left him and lied to him and broke his heart and Bael’s. No offense to him, but this happens in real life all the time, and if someone went ahead and ripped his ex’s heart out of her chest, he’d be going to jail. Rumpy has killed a lot of people. Regina killed her own father. So I guess what I’m starting to think about – good or bad – is if there’s a point where I’m going to stop caring about their attempts to be better? Some people might already feel that way after realizing Regina blames Snow White for something she did as a child. I still feel a little that way about her. It still makes them compelling characters, but we’re watching Rumpelstiltskin murder his wife while at the same time wooing Belle, and it’s a liiiiiiittle questionable right there. It worked for me, but I definitely came out of it reflecting.

Jachelle: Without a doubt villains are redeemable. As long as their character growth is believable. I’m not going to cheer for a villain who has done terrible things in one moment because some ~tragic incident~ was suddenly revealed about their past. Tragic things happen to people ALL THE TIME, it doesn’t excuse becoming evil. I’m talking in a broad sense here. There have been a lot of times in the media when a villain is portrayed, and then some terrible piece of their past is revealed and we, as the audience, are supposed to go “Aww, poor baby.” Um. Excuse me. How about no? Life is all about choices. So if a show takes the time to delve into the motivations behind why a character is making these bad choices, if they show them struggle with the consequences, then I’m far more likely to hope for their redemption. Human beings are incredibly complicated. We’re all in shades of gray and no one is perfect. Hell, even Snow White and Charming, the HEROES of our story, committed adultery last season. People make bad choices. Sometimes terrible things come about as a result of those choices. But if a character can grow from those experiences and honestly strives to be a better person, then yes, they can be redeemed.

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Comments
  1. Data laughing says:

    The question that I took away from this review:

    Dee is in Gryffindor?

    Like

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