Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Once Upon a Time: Part Three

Read Part One Here
Read Part Two Here

Here's more of me going through each episode of Once Upon a Time with quick reviews of a few sentences each! I'll actually finish this week (probably tomorrow) and next week I'll be posting about the show Revenge.

Fruit of the Poisonous Tree: I hated this episode, to be honest. I feel like it was yet another failed attempt to give Regina some dimension and make me think she was as interesting or cool a villain as Rumpel. Sorry, it was just her harping on and on about "Emma, you need to think about RESPONSIBILITY with Henry!!" Shut up already Regina. Also, the fact that Emma falls for the Regina's plot in this ep just makes me want to shake her. I hate watching people do stupid things and embarrass themselves and that's what this entire episode was full of.

Also, the picture we get of the King in the Enchanted Forest doesn't really make him out to be particularly consistent. He shows up and he's this great and wise man who wants nothing more than the health and happiness of the people in his kingdom. But then he's a stupid oaf to his wife (well, kind of, he's just a bit dense really). When he thinks his wife loves somebody else, he goes all jealous and weird. Wait, how does that make any sense with anything we know about him? Yay, inconsistent characterizations!

Skin Deep: Okay, so at this point I'd gone through a lot of episodes that would have made me stop watching a show just to get to this one. I already knew pretty much the entire plot, and thanks to tumblr, I'd seen half of it too in gif form. So I was a little worried that it wouldn't live up to what I had built up in my head.

I was wrong, it was every bit as wonderful as I thought it would be. The acting in it is top notch, and I can even get over how silly it is for Rumpelstiltskin to be sparkly all the time because Robert Carlyle is just amazing. This is exactly what I want from stories like this, a villain with layers and dimensions, who still makes the wrong choices sometimes. Or are they even wrong? He has a reason for turning Belle away, we know him too well to think it's as simple as it seems. Not to mention that it is true, he doesn't believe he can be loved because he loathes himself so much. How powerful is that story?

Kudos to the show for really taking Beauty and the Beast and giving it a good twist and making it so much more interesting and fun to watch. The only problem I have is that we don't get any indication of a reason for Rumpel to believe Regina's story at the end. Why the hell would he take anything she says at face value? Did I miss something?

This is one of the rare cases where I was following the story in the real world as much as the Enchanted Forest. Rumpel's reactions to the theft of his cup were so perfect and so moving. His interactions with Regina made her interesting and made me care. It was just a perfect episode, and I hope that the show realizes this is it's best episode and strives to be like this more often.

What Happened To Frederick: I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen in this episode, as a counterpart to Skin Deep. I didn't have the faintest clue, and I'd never even looked up any spoilers for it. So it was all relatively new to me, which was fun. I quite enjoyed what they did with Abigail/Kathryn and I think it was the best way they could have treated that part of the story. It was a good resolution of a lot of different threads. I actually quite liked Snow's character here, because she has character. She has specific values and she's going to stick to them, despite how drawn she is to David. The only problem I have is the town's reaction to Mary Margaret, which I'll get into in a bit.

Dreamy: Holy cheese on toast on a cracker, talk about flipping things around. Normally I wish we could avoid the real world stories and focus on the fairy tales, and then this happened.

There's a lot about it I could have liked, but SERIOUSLY? First off, let's remind me all over again how stupid the fairy are in this world with their little twirly outfits, so sugar coated and silly that it undermines every single scene they are in. I was okay with the dwarves being hatched from eggs and all that, I could live with it. I even enjoyed Belle's cameo. But the pink sparkly duffle bag of fairy dust and everything else about this just made me roll my eyes repeatedly. It was trying so hard to be serious when it was so ridiculous.

Meanwhile in the real world, Grumpy is quickly becoming my favorite character. Yeah, he does some stupid stuff but it's all understandable. He's honest, he's a realist, but he's also just smitten with somebody and he sometimes says the wrong thing. His resolution to his problem is quite honestly perfect, and I actually cheered when it happened.

However, this episode was also the focus of the "everybody in town is slut shaming Mary Margaret" storyline. It was so stupid. First of all, there's not any indication in any episode that Mary Margaret and David actually did anything more than meet up and make out. They keep saying she had an affair, but it never seemed to me like they were sleeping together, just kissing a lot. Nobody in town even seemed to KNOW Kathryn before David woke up, and they knew Mary Margaret and liked her before this. So their extreme reaction was just painful to watch because it was so unrealistic. I was glad it was resolved quickly because it was stretching it's credibility.

Red-Handed: I knew going in that Red had something cool in her backstory, but I figured as much anyway because there's a wolf in that story and wolves tend to make things pretty cool (with a few notable exceptions). I admit I was about five minutes in before I figured out what the twist was, but I definitely didn't care. Red was awesome, Granny was amazing, and even Snow was pretty impressive. The episode went a lot of places I didn't expect it to go and was pretty gorey for this show. I was disappointed with Ruby's final decision, because I thought they could have gone somewhere more interesting with it. But in the end, it was another really strong episode, and I think it's like Skin Deep, if the show could just be like this all the time it would be really great.

Part Three Overview: This is when the show really won me over into being a fan, instead of being on the fence. But it was because of episodes like Skin Deep and Red-Handed. The side characters were starting to really make a difference and make me love them, but I still don't care about Regina and I still think that the art direction for The Enchanted Forest is designed to keep me from taking the show seriously, and is working against it.