Once Upon a Time S01E09 – “True North”
The fable-twist series is starting to get to the second rung of fairytales, the ones that are recognizable but haven’t received major treatment from the film industry. In “True North” we get a spin on the Hansel and Gretel tale where the Evil Queen sends the children into the Blind Witch’s gingerbread house in order to fetch something for her. In the real world, Emma finds a pair of homeless kids (H&G) and tries to find their missing father before they get sent into the foster home. While there is a lot of nice little touches in the episode which will lead to bigger things later on, mostly the audience is treated to long speeches from Emma about how being a foster kid sucks and about what it means to find you have kids. Overall a bland episode but it does lay the ground work for some hopeful fireworks later on. Solid, but preachy episode.
Score: 3 of 5 Stars
Only a few things I really want to point out in this episode, for one, the costuming continues to be great! From the Evil Queen to the Blind Witch, this alone makes the show worth watching.
Pretty much the rest of the episode is the typical H&G story and Emma trying to find the dad of the real world kids. She is able to use the compass their father gave them to get a name from Mr Gold… who just happened to know it though pretended he had it on record as a purchase. We continue to wonder what his game is.
During her investigation, Henry asks about his own father. Emma tells Henry a lie about who he was/is because apparently he was not a very good man. She makes the dad out to be a hero so this little lie will definitely come back to haunt her… because of course it will.
The children’s father is played by X-Files alum Nicholas Lea, wonderful actor who was just on Supernatural on Friday so good to see him getting more work. He doesn’t know what to make of the news of having kids and decides he doesn’t know how to be a dad so they are on their own. This leads to many more speeches from Emma who is starting to turn into Sheridan from Babylon 5.
In the fairy world, H&G kill the Blind Witch and retrieve a satchel for the Evil Queen who is, amazingly, grateful. She even offers H&G the equivalence of winning the lottery, but they aren’t stupid, she’s Evil, and turn down her offer. In typical Evil Manically Depressed Queen fashion she makes sure H&G and their dad are separated far apart and holds the grudge into the real world.
Oh, the satchel? Holds the infamous Red Apple that Snow White will be eating soon. Nice to see movement on that plot line.
The episode ends with a mysterious stranger showing up (at first I thought he was going to be Henry’s father so nice to see I was wrong). What does this mean for our Storybrooke dwellers? Odds are… nothing good.