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Once Upon a Time – S01E12 – “Skin Deep”

ABC's Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time – S01E12 – “Skin Deep”

Another classic fairytale gets the spin treatment as Princess Belle willing goes into the service of Rumplestiltskin in exchange for her kingdom’s safety. A refreshingly excellent episode amongst a string of ever degrading fare, “Skin Deep” proves that Rumple/Mr Gold is the most interesting character in the whole show. If they had ditched the lame B-plot and focused more on the Rumple/Belle relationship then this could have been a Five Star episode.

Score: 4 of 5

>Spoilers<

It’s official, I’m a Rumple/Belle shipper, or as I’m calling it, a Rumelle. Being that Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale, “Skin Deep” had to go a long way to impress me, and it did.

Once Upon a Time – S01E12 – “Skin Deep”

Belle goes with Rumple in exchange for her kingdom's safety.

First up, they changed Belle into a princess since obviously she wasn’t going to marry into royalty with Rumple as the Beast. And she’s the one to make the choice to be traded to Rumple in exchange for her kingdom’s protection against Ogres. Belle was always the Disney Princess with the most strength and gumption and Emily de Ravin pulled this off better than could be expected. Especially when she comments that she went with Rumple because it was the “brave thing to do” and didn’t fancy a life with the brainless Gaston. This helps to soften the Munchausen Syndrome prevalent in the Beauty and the Beast story.

The episode does skip through much of the romancing side of the story, taking the stance that everyone already knows what’s going to happen anyway. It would have been better if they dropped the lame Valentine’s Day subplot and spent that time on Rumelle. At least we get a ‘time has passed, been able to get to know a lot about you’ throwaway line to explain Belle’s true love in Rumple. (See writer’s, it’s not so hard!)

Once Upon a Time – S01E12 – “Skin Deep”

Belle has gotten to know Rumple and sees the person within.

The loveliest part of “Skin Deep” was the tea cup. In the animated Disney Beauty and the Best one of the most beloved original characters was Chip, the chipped tea cup. Here, Belle drops a cup and chips it on her first day after Rumple gives her a fright. This worries her as she hasn’t quite figured out Rumple isn’t all that bad, and it becomes the only thing Belle physically brings to the relationship. Rumple becomes sentimental over it when he believes she is dead. (Personally, I think Rumple was too quick to trust Evil Queen but hey, it made for a good scene).

The most engaging scene was Regina confronting Mr Gold as he sets in prison in a wonderful call back to the first episode. It’s confirmed that Mr Gold remembers being Rumple and that there is some kind of power play going on. Both of the characters have an end game, but what exactly is it? Regina seems more transparent but Rumple, well, all magic does come with a price.

However, this episode is drug down by a horribly lame B-plot where real life Snow, Cinderella and Red Riding Hood go out on Valentine’s Day as a girl’s night out. Cinderella does nothing but whine and David gives Mary the wrong Valentine’s card. Total waste of screen time.

A good episode among crap ones, I have a feeling next week won’t be any better. Let’s hope for more Rumelle in the future.

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2012 in Television

 

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Once Upon a Time – S01E11 – “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree”

ABC's Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time – S01E11 – “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree”

In the real world, Mr. Glass is a shamed reporter who is looking for revenge against Regina. In the fairy world, Mirror has one of the most unlikely of back stories. While “Fruit” goes a long way towards moving the fairy-tale story along, its predictability, nonsense, and indecision causes it to fall flat and be the worst episode of the season so far.

Score: 2 ½ of 5

>Spoilers<

Not sure I want to dignify this episode with a play by play so here is the list of everything that is wrong with “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree”.

– Mr Glass suddenly turning his back on Regina? Yeah, like we’re really supposed to believe that? The whole thing being a set up was obvious from the trailer but the episode seemed to try to hide it as a surprise and then gave up half way.

– Wait, Mirror was a Genie? Seriously?

– But hey, we get a Genie, and turns out he’s pretty lame. Come on writers, it’s a freaking Genie! The possibilities are endless but what do they do? Don’t let him do any Genie stuff but give him one of the most overused, cliché, romantic story lines ever… and for once I’m not really exaggerating. Mirror is freed by this guy, goes seeking love, and falls for the wife of the guy who freed him. Even Shakespeare is face-palming right now. If they wanted this story for Mirror, then why couldn’t they have made him something else and used the Genie for another story and really have a go with it. Maybe not Robin-Williams-Aladdin-wild but still, even X-Files did a better Genie story and they didn’t have a fairy world to put her in.

Once Upon a Time – S01E11 – “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree”

Evil Queen sadden by the fact the man she married in order to kill doesn't seem to appreciate her.

– So, is Snow’s dad a douche or what? This statement sparked an interesting conversation, but that aside, think about it. One moment he’s being all noble to the Genie (though it’s easy to give up wishes when you can have anything you want) and the next he is telling everyone how wonderful his first wife was while completely ignoring the fact that his new wife is only sitting a few feet away. He then proceeds to read her personal diary, steal her stuff, and send someone to find out who might possibly be making her happy… instead of, dunno, being a good husband and making her happy by being a good husband? I think the writers might have been trying to garner sympathy for Evil Queen but… something went horribly wrong from concept to screen.

– The “Stranger” is getting the LOST treatment, i.e., vague clips and references as to his real purpose and while at the moment that’s kind of cool, they keep this up and it will turn into a cheap trick stolen from, erm, LOST.

– Oh, and the trailer for this episode really made it look like it was going to be something tense but it just dragged on and on…

– And lastly, instead of admitting that he doesn’t love his wife anymore, asking for a divorce and doing all the stuff a man in his situation should do, David starts a full blown affair with Mary. Great, two classic literary characters from my childhood have now been reduced to soap opera harlots.

So, my biggest question after watching this episode is: Do the writers even know what they are doing at this point? I mean, the show started good but has slowly devolved into something just above Days of Our Lives territory. They had a clean slate with this concept and could have had so much fun, given us something so juicy without the soap opera tricks… I don’t know if they can drag themselves out of this hole they’re digging themselves into.

Next week they tackle my favorite Disney tale, Munchausen Syndrome for Kids more commonly referred to as Beauty and the Beast. Seems they already messed it up majorly but Rumple/Mr Gold has been the most interesting thing about this series, so we shall see what we see.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Television

 

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Once Upon a Time – S01E10 – “7:15 A.M.”

ABC's Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time – S01E10 – “7:15 A.M.”

Snow White and Prince Charming’s story takes center stage as the wedding of Charming and Abigail nears. In the real world, Mary and David start circling each other, both unable to get past their feelings. The forbidden romance comes to a head in both worlds but what will be the consequences? Meanwhile, Emma discovers the Stranger’s reason for coming to Storybrooke and the answer opens up more questions. “7:15” is not quite as preachy as “True Noth” but the constant exposition on love and romance does start to wear thin. Nevertheless, another solid episode which pulls us further down the rabbit hole. Wait, is Alice in Wonderland applicable here?

Score: 3 of 5

>Spoilers<

Once Upon a Time – S01E10 – “7:15 A.M.”

We see Red Ridding Hood for the first time and she's helping Snow White.

As many unanswered questions as this show leaves us with, I am constantly left to wonder… if no one comes to Storybrooke, then how do they get products in their stores and how does the economy not collapse? I’m told it’s because of magic but that doesn’t really satisfy me. I could write a whole article to the effect of how Storybrooke is just not physically possible. Of course, this comes from a girl who watches shows like X-Files without blinking an eye. I get hung up on the weirdest things sometimes.

Moving on, the episode gives us a congruently running story of Snow White trying to forget Charming and Mary trying to forget David. Snow goes to Rumple, who has mad ninja skillz btw, and asks for the cure for a broken heart, which happens to be a magical memory eraser potion. That’s pretty hefty so she wants to think about it first. Rumple gives her the potion in return for a lock of her hair… yeah, that’s not going to end well.

Mary takes a less noble route and effectively stalks David. She tries to quit but finds a wounded bird which she takes to the animal shelter he works at (in mimic of the carrier pigeon Charming sends out to find Snow in fairy world). Mary becomes determined to get the bird back to its flock but a major storm is brewing, literally.

Okay, so the licensed Veterinarian… how does that work? Was he a woodsman or something and the curse just flopped him into a roll and downloaded all the information into him like Neo. “Whoa, I know Veterinary Medicine!”

Once Upon a Time – S01E10 – “7:15 A.M.”

Snow White joins the Seven Dwarves after leaving Prince Charming.

Typical blah blah trope trope later and Mary and David get stuck in a cabin waiting out the storm while Snow’s plan to see Charming lands her in the dungeon. Insert more forbidden romance hyperbole and an eighth dwarf. Now, I am all for adding more dwarfs but seriously, ‘Stealthy’. You name a dwarf Stealthy and then kill him off because you don’t give him mad ninja skillz? Writers. I.am.disappoint.

Charles Widmore then appears and goes all evil on the Snow/Charming relationship because that is what Charles Widmore does. Eventually both Snow/Charming and Mary/David split up because it’s the right thing to do. Of course, in one of the most interesting, if a bit strange, divergences, Mary/David end up kissing in the middle of the street and Charming dumps Abigail for Snow only she’s drank the magic potion and promptly forgotten him.

We know that Snow and Charming end up together, so why is it the writers chose to create more angst and obstacles in that relationship and hook up Mary and David already? It’s possible they (the writers) like the dampened angst of the Snow/Charming relationship (since we know they get together) and they also dislike the will they/won’t they trope relationship that could build with Mary and David? Time will tell and it’s these small touches which keeps us, or at least me, interested.

Oh, and the Stranger? Turns out he’s a writer who is in town because he has something he needs to get done. Could he be a descendent of Grimm or Anderson? Is he from the fairy world? Is he the writer of Henry’s book? Is he Emma’s own ‘Prince Charming’? Will this all end in a church? Actually, that would work out quite nicely…

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2012 in Television

 

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Incoming

I have a few updates I need to finish, last nights Once Upon a Time, new Grimm and Royal Pains along with some overviews of shows which are between seasons like Haven. But what I really need is to start putting up some film reviews.

I used to see at least one movie a week but since I changed jobs I have more time to write and less to go out and see a movie unless I really want to see it. While I work on trying to figure out what to do about that I’m going to start posting movies which have already been released. I wasn’t sure where to start so going to begin with my all time favorites and move on from there. I should have one up tonight.

As for books, I think I’ll start with the same idea and go from there. Maybe focus on film-related books? It’s always the ‘getting started’ part that is the hardest, isn’t it.

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2012 in General

 

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Once Upon a Time S01E09 – “True North”

ABC's Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time S01E09 – “True North”

The Evil Queen with Hansel and Gretel

The Evil Queen with Hansel and Gretel

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

>Spoilers<

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.

The Blind Witch

The Blind Witch

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.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Television

 

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