Deechelle Discusses: Once Upon a Time 2.5

Posted: November 2, 2012 by Dee in Dee, Deechelle, General Media, Jach, Once Upon a Time, Recaps, Television
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This episode introduces a whole new element to the show: fictional characters outside of fairy tales being free game. Let’s get right into it.

Flashback to Enchanted Forest – Regina’s working with Rumpelstiltskin but he can’t seem to get her over the ‘murder everyone’ hump. She won’t even kill a unicorn. He does figure out quickly that what she wants magic for is a way to bring her fiance Daniel back. He says it can’t be done and sends her away. While he does this, Jefferson the Mad Hatter shows up with a globe and mentions something about slippers (could they be ruby perhaps?). They joke around together like old friends and when Rumpelstiltskin leaves, Jefferson offers Regina the chance to meet someone who could help her raise Daniel from the dead if she offers him freedom on her borders. They meet a very strange and precise man from another world (Dr. Whale) who says he can do it if she gives him one of the hearts her mother collects. They try, but Daniel cannot be brought back. Of course it’s fairly obvious they’re all playing her around this time since the bringing back Daniel part is a farce joke. She gives up and decides to embrace evil, murdering Rumpelstiltskin’s new pupil and joining him on the dark side. He gives the Doctor a heart for his part in it, and Jefferson probably gets a lot of gold. We see the Doctor is Dr. Frankenstein and he was trying to raise his brother, which as we know did not turn out well for him or for anyone else.

Storybrooke – Regina’s decided to talk to Archie about weaning herself off magic, and he’s very understanding and supportive of her efforts. Dr. Whale comes crashing in demanding her help to get him back to the other world, since he heard from Charming that it’s still there. He wants to go back to his brother. She shoos him off. It’s revealed she’s kept Daniel and her father preserved all this time, unable to let go, but when she goes to see Daniel he’s missing. She finds Dr. Whale in the creepy psychiatric ward with his arm ripped off and him unconscious. He’s stolen a heart and she knows (from the flashback) what has happened. He’s brought Daniel back to appease her, but he’s turned into a monster because of it. He goes to the stables because that’s the last place he was alive, and Henry is there because Charming wanted him to bond with his new pony. Daniel attacks him but they get there in time. Regina wants to keep him alive, but he’s in a great deal of pain and he begs her to free him. She’s devastated but she does, and she goes back to Archie to make more progress on moving on with her life and redeeming her past actions. Dr. Frakenstein (dum dum duuuuuum) admits to Rumpelstiltskin he needs magic to fix his arm.

Emma/Snow/Girl Team – They come back to camp to find that everyone is dead. Cora’s ripped out all their hearts. Good thing they don’t have to explain Lancelot now, although they do have to apologize to me for that still. They find Hook underneath a bunch of bodies and he says he was an innocent refuge and managed to hide during the chaos. Emma’s like ‘lol right’ and doesn’t believe him for a second. He’s taken captive by them instead. Emma ties him to a tree, demands answers, and when he doesn’t give them she makes noise so the ogres can find him. He’s understandably like holy shit. He tells them he works with Cora and he’ll make them the same deal, if they can get him back to Storybrooke to kill Rumpelstiltskin, he’ll help them. That seems fine by them, but they know he’s a lying backstabber so watching him anyway. He shows a giant beanstalk shooting out of the ground (remember the bean?) and says they have to go up that and past a giant for more answers. Cue next week!

General Opinion of the Episode

Dee: I liked it, although I’ll be honest, I think I could’ve done with less flashback/Storybrooke and more Emma/Snow and co. Right now them finding a way back is a priority for me as a viewer. I care about Regina’s redemption and her back story, and I’m glad to have some of that, but I think we’ve had a lot of time dedicated in that direction. There are some times where backstory is a priority, and some times where other things need to come first. Next week is supposed to be completely about Emma and Snow’s group, so that’ll be great, but I did feel like times in this episode I’m like okay I really care more about everyone getting back to where they belong. I loved parts of this episode and I do like the entrance of Frankenstein for reasons to talk about below, but I felt it was treading water a little this episode. Last week felt that way too in parts, although I think it did end up being plot driven since it was necessary to know how Hook got there and Belle’s character development past where she was before. I’m not sure I can say that we learned anything new about Regina. She’s accepted Daniel’s gone, that’s great, but she was already on the redemption path, I’m not sure it was of vital importance to this show right now to do that storyline. Not when there are bigger issues. But it’s only the fifth episode. They have twenty-two. They probably need to tread water here and there to keep it going. That was a problem with LOST too, and since this follows a similar formula, I can’t say I’m surprised. I did still enjoy it, but I had my moments of “okay okay get on with it!”

Jachelle: This was sort of a middle of the road episode for me. I didn’t dislike it, but it wasn’t a real stand-out for me either. Of course I love Regina, so I appreciate more backstory on her, but I guess a lot of the information felt a little unnecessary. Kind of like when you’re watching deleted scenes from a movie, and sure everything is interesting enough but you don’t really need a whole lot of the info to advance the story. It’s like Dee said, it felt like treading water. And I feel like if you’re going to tread water on a show like this one, you need to step up your game a little bit. This is a heightened fantasy world, I expect more from it. Also, I have to admit that I think I’m the last person on the planet who figured out who Dr. Whale really was. Apparently most people figured it out from the promo alone. It took this girl until halfway through the episode. It’s cool, I’ll pause for your laughter. I completely missed the memo about non-fairytale characters being incorporated into the show this season, so Frankenstein wasn’t even on my radar. Pathetic.

Favorite Scene

Dee: There aren’t many times a show surprises me, but I’ll say I was genuinely taken aback when they get to camp and everyone’s dead. Holy crap. I’m shocked too because this is more or less a “family” show. They do plenty of dark things, don’t get me wrong, but seriously a camp of corpses is pretty intense. Wow! I’m also glad that when they found Hook it didn’t end up the way I expected it to go, so bravo to you show. I tip my hat to you … if only it was Jefferson’s hat. Although I will say here Mulan didn’t really seem to care all her friends were dead. Hm. I guess there wasn’t much time to worry about that.

Jachelle: Definitely the scene where Emma pawned Hook. When they found him buried amid the corpses I was all set to roll my eyes and give a dramatic “here we go” sigh. But nope! Our girls saw right through his stupid lie. I was so pleased. And of course they’re still working with him, but at least he’s realized he’s going to have to work a lot harder to pull one over on these ladies.

Least Favorite Scene

Dee: Seriously Charming you just left a ten year old by himself at the stables? I get you think that it’s mostly a safe place, but that’s a really stupid assumption considering you saw Belle kidnapped just last week. There are plenty of people with their own agendas in this town. Not to mention he could’ve been kicked or hurt by the horses or who knows what else could’ve been wrong. Remember when he opened Regina’s snake box? For crying out loud do not leave that kid alone! While I appreciated the emotional impact of Regina’s last scene with Daniel, I’m not a fan of ham fisted stories, so ‘then love again’ made me roll my eyes. I wonder if Regina’s going to get a new love interest and it’s okay now because Daniel told her to!

Jachelle:  Monster!Daniel. I genuinely liked what we saw of his character when we first met him. And I get that the show needed Regina to not move on at first so her grudge would hold the impact that it did. That was all fine and dandy, but now they need her to move on so she can redeem herself and this was how they did it? The whole thing felt pretty contrived. And I really dislike that they took a character I enjoyed and sent him out this way. Now his memory is tarnished with my annoyance at the situation. But that’s the way it goes. I am glad that Regina’s finally moving on, though.

Favorite Character

Dee: I’m going with Emma here, because it was fantastic she saw right through Hook’s shit in about ten seconds flat. She said before she could tell when people were lying, and she sucked at that in Storybrooke (maybe because everyone was a lie?), but this was great. I entirely expected them to buy his story for awhile. She might not be comfortable in the world she’s in, but she knows a silver tongued bastard when she sees one. She also knows a trap when she sees one. She really stood out strong in this episode and even sort of taking lead over Snow. I’m looking forward to next week when it looks like she and Hook take on the beanstalk and Giant together.

Jachelle: Emma! For the same reasons Dee listed above. It made me so happy when she immediately called Hook out. There have been a few times when Emma just annoys the crap out of me, but I really loved her this time around. This is definitely the Emma that is going to find a way to get them back to Storybrooke.

Yay/Nay For Using Outside Fictional Chars

Dee: Absolutely yay. Last week the promo made it pretty clear that Whale was Dr. Frankenstein. While they’ve used some classic non-Disney fairy tale characters so far, I didn’t think they’d be broadening their horizons so far to general fiction. There was an interview when they said they planned on opening it up to endless possibilities, and I think that’s a fantastic idea. There was a reference too about The Wizard of Oz – Jefferson and Rumpelstiltskin talking about magic slippers – and who knows how many doors this opens for them. I don’t want them to go overboard and gleefully add every story they possibly can just because, since we still have a core plot and characters to worry about, but it was so much fun to see Frankenstein thrown into the mix. I love how they openly utilized him as someone from a “world without magic” who was nevertheless fictional in nature. Thumbs up for this idea.

Jachelle: WELL NOW THAT I KNOW ABOUT THEM ::cough:: Yes, absolutely. And hopefully the next time one appears I won’t be so completely oblivious. As long as the writers continue to do well with it and make the stories work for the overall mythology of the show, then I’d love to see different sorts of characters introduced.

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