Once Upon a Time 2×8 ‘Into the Deep’

Well, the season seems to have hit its stride now.

 

Spoilery Notes:

 

1. The rules for these hearts are getting way too complicated, now.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but if it’s that simple to turn heartless corpses into zombies, when Regina was royally pissed off and grasping at anything that might spoil Snow and Charming’s lives, perhaps she might have tried her veritable army of heart zombies before destroying her homeland, facing a huge life transition, and killing the person she loved most??  I suppose this might be a a stolen-heart option that Regina didn’t learn.  Still, this bothers me.  Plus, now there’s the puppeteer version of stolen-heart usage.  This puts a new light on Regina’s dealings with Graham when she took him as her sex slave.  Perhaps puppetry only extends to talking and you can’t use it to enforce actions?  Or perhaps this is a way in which Regina is less monstrous than Cora-she simply tells Graham how much power she has over him, but still gives him the freedom of choice about whether to abide by her rules or face the consequences?  Or maybe Regina didn’t know that, either?  In which case, either she was still a lousy student in her power black leather or Rumplestiltskin had majorly changed his curriculum.  Also, so are hearts two-way listening devices?  In order for it to be useful Cora needed to know when Aurora found the others and what she was being asked.  However, we didn’t hear any voices coming through the heart, and also that seems like a bigger magical leap.  Hearts contain life-yes, therefore they can reanimate bodies-fine, people can “speak from the heart”-bit of a semantic-heavy stretch but it does work from the basic full-body control and centralized power of the heart, so alright…I suppose you can also “listen with your heart,” but that’s only got semantics and no other power, tradition, or biological support.  It’s hard to buy, and the show did nothing to try and sell this two-way puppetry power.  Also, it begs the question-if you could just do that than why bother to kill Lancelot and support being in two places?  Surely it’d be simpler to just hang out with his heart and puppet him.  Perhaps she tried to just take his heart, but he was such a good fighter she had to actually kill him?  With so many heart possibilities around, I just don’t understand why these uses do not seem to have come into play before now.  It makes the villains either slow, boring, or unbelievable.  Think things through, show, we do have a complicated backstory to line information up with.

 

2. They seem to be making Cora more like the classic Maleficent all the time: the close crow pet, those heart-zombies did rather resemble the dust-colored minions in “Sleeping Beauty”, she shape-shifts…Plus, this episode was filled with other “Sleeping Beauty” references.  This interests me.  I prefer Cora as the show’s version of Maleficent than the Maleficent from last season in human form.

 

3. There should be more exploration of Belle and Real World things.  They are fun.  Also, they make condiments magical.

 

4. Rumplestiltskin, you had best compose a policy on what level of incident requires you to break a date.  Otherwise I foresee you  never being able to order Belle dessert.  And if condiments are magical, she will be blown away by things involving candy or smothered in chocolate.

 

5. Please, show writers, please let that squid ink be related to Ursula from “The Little Mermaid.”  That is the way to make things awesome.

 

6. This necklace does not seem to be all that Gold promised it would be.  What’s up with that?  Also, David, when you say you’ll guard something with your life, I expect you not to just leave it lying on the floor YOU ARE TRYING TO SMASH.  Plain luck that it landed close enough to you to find again after you got through, and that was your first gift from your grandson, even if it’s not turning out to be all that useful!  I would say thank goodness he’s asleep now and can’t run around making me more irritated at him, except I’m quite sure the show will still manage to work him into all the episodes.  At least he’ll be cut off from having what I consider dis-satisfactory relations with Henry or inadequately running the town.  Just because George is a destructive douche does not make him wrong.  Maybe now everyone will listen to Ruby, as they should.

 

7. I would also like to say “thank goodness the show finally took a stand on Hook’s personality,” but I  foresee them still trying to swing him back into the light before everything’s done.  Personally, the times when I’ve liked him best is when he’s been Cora’s pretty boytoy.  He’s good at that and it keeps his douche-swaggery in check.  Plus, there’s more looking at him and actually hearing sense since Cora does most of the talking.  It’s a good deal.  I can even give up all ideas of Captain Jack Sparrow references if Hook can just stay in his place and stop trying to fill all the male roles the show wants going on at once, even though they are contradictory: anguished lover who lost, cocky player, rebel boy, junior villain, bad boy who needs saving, boy with a crush….get over it, guys-he can’t pull all that off.  Too many roles for only one actual part.

 

8. The original room David found himself Sleep Cursed to is reminiscent of the Phantom of the Opera’s torture chamber.  It would be an interesting twist if the reason the Phantom looks so different and needs to wear a mask is because he never found out how to get out of the burning room, so his flesh is constantly awful, and it was PTSD trauma from sleeping for so long that made him want to create things like his torture chamber.  Can we get that cross-over in here?

 

9. If Cora was such a monster and had such an army of hearts from killing people, why does no one else seem to know about her?  Did she only kill orphans with no friends?

 

 

 

The Borgia Bulletin (Truth and Spoilers)

Ah, my Borgias!  I missed it sorely this last week!

 

On Juan: Goddammit, Juan!  You’re making it so that killing you would be a mercy, and I want it to be shocking and dramatic, even tragic.  *le sigh*  Oh, well.  I suppose you’ve got opium for your problems.

 

On Lucrezia: Man, this show has so many useful lessons with dessert!  Next time I’m in need of a little prodding or learning, somebody bring me delicious sweets to prove the point, please!  Also, I am very pleased that her skills in subtlety have improved since Paolo.  Look at her, all grown up and getting lectures about having “room for two” in her lusts/loves.  Truth be told, it is much more in accord with traditional chivalry that marriage be confined outside marriage, so.  Chivalry thrives, encouraged by the Borgias!

 

On Savonarola: I am highly amused by the Pope’s possession of a “holy” curse to send someone to hell.  I still say threatening to place all Florence under excommunication would be more effective, but damned if that isn’t fun, too.

 

On the Pope: Oh, Roderigo, I felt for you this week.  Surrounded by people who miss the point.  Sons who just bicker and miss reaching their established goals, cardinals who miss the respect due the French king, a daughter who keeps missing the necessity of having to remarry…his cup runneth over with irritations.  At least he has cigarillos, now.  The scene where he visits the fallen chapel to ponder and receives Benito’s story so tenderly places him in the position of being the most morally righteous person in this whole episode.  On odd position for him, but he makes it work.

 

On Michiletto: Is he attracted to Benito, do we think?  Or is he just going slowly over the edge, what with spending so much time in anti-sodomite Florence?  Or is he really just speaking sense about the boy needing killing and since he’s Michiletto it comes out like this?  In any case, the poor man needs some rest.

 

On the Spanish captain: Good man!  “I wish to leave now, before you find my body floating in the Tiber.”  Hurrah for sensible decisions.

 

On the betrothed: Who gives their prospective bride a model of a boat?  I see the significance for proving to the assembly that his house has power and wealth enough to marry with the Pope’s family, but shouldn’t it have been filled with something more for Lucrezia to enjoy?  On the other hand, you personally take care of the panther.  The panther seemed quiet and content with you.  If you have the approval of PANTHER than I salute you, sir, and hope to see you leave Rome with your skin intact when this betrothal gets shot to hell as history dictates it must.

 

On Della Rovere: Well, if that isn’t a case of secretly trying to get someone killed off while convincing yourself that you’re not doing it, than Daedalus’ nephew lived.  Sneaky bastard, you!  No wonder you sit there poisoning the boy over and over if you want him to do ALL your dirty work for you.  The fact that the kid succeeded does give the edge back to your plan, though.  Plus, the fact that this has been your plan for weeks, if not months, and you just now started speaking about the problem of the Pope already having a taster makes me sure that your plan was to get the boy to kill him the whole time.  If you keep up this influence of leading kid with Luke Skywalker hair along to the dark side before sending him off to die, then at least I’ll be able to respect your manipulation.  If you back off now you’re all dead to me.  That’s the deal.  Also, I am not pleased that it was your scene that got to end this episode.  I would’ve preferred something we hadn’t seen coming the whole time.  Perhaps the return of Benito, since it was a real possibility that he wind up dead.

 

On Cesare: Wow, did you get diplomatic.  Played Benito just right, careful modulation to both Juan and Roderigo…I guess all you really need in order to maintain your composure is to stab the hell out of the man who hurt your sister.  Right, then.  Carry on.

 

The Borgia Bulletin (The spoilers at Forli)

Now, this episode was wonderfully balanced again!  Intense offset with seductive hijinks, action balanced with watching bits of history unfold.

On Juan: JUAN!  Oh, how nice it is to have Juan back with his Gob Bluth attitude.  He got it back-the confidence!  He pulled off the begetting-an-heir trick by sealing the deal with his wife and returned to his supportive father!  Then, of course…he lost it again.  He failed to notice that Catherina had an ally and fell away from his army into the pool of shame, losing the confidence along with the victory that would have exonerated his treatment of Catherina’s son.  His STD made me go ‘ouch’ for awhile whenever I saw him on a horse again, but honestly, it was only a matter of time.  On cigarros: everything was perfect.  The lesson, the presentation, the faces of every actor present.  On panther: every show needs a panther!  I kindof think he did it for revenge, knowing Lucrezia would get close and then injured.  The ultimate payback for murder attempts is via panther!  I want all my grudges to be pantherized.  Likewise, Lucrezia’s use of the panther in her marriage intrigues was awesome.  Also, in the Bluth family code, it announced Lucrezia has no intention of marrying the suitor.  No tricks at the wedding.  Is anyone allergic to cat hair?  Hup!  No tigers/panthers!  No panthers at the wedding=no wedding to Genoa dude.  In conclusion: PANTHER.

On Della Rovere: This is up here to get it over with. I’m glad you recognize the Borgia family plans, but I want someone to punch you in the face.  Someone please come up with something better for Colm Feore to do.

On Cesare: Perfect!  So I could, in fact, help my brother.  I’m torn.  My brother, you know.  I mean, Juan has created a lot of problems in this family and by coming back has made it impossible for me to become the  military commander I was born to be, but…maybe I’m not so torn.  Juan’s got my papal army-let him take care of himself.  (Am I the only one who wished he’d chosen ‘rock’ and thrown something at the “angel” kids below?  Who wanted all the guys on the balcony to start pelting the children? Eh?)

On Michiletto: Nevermind the Borgias and burning, Savonarola’s greatest danger, as far as I can see, is Michiletto getting pushed past his edge and taking him down.

On Machiavelli: It finally happened!  You and Cesare AND Michiletto all together!  I love it!  Also, pretty much everything you said.  “I don’t hear any knocking.”  “As you can see, with my face, I have no vanity.”  Here’s an owl.  The end.

On Catherina Sforza: She delivered her “means to produce ten more sons!” line brilliantly.  I had to watch it twice.  I cannot wait to see her actually commanding some fighting and getting reintroduced to Cesare.  I must say, though, in that situation I would’ve expected her to order the archers to kill her son so that he would not be tortured anymore.  Killing Juan wouldn’t have done that much.  Catherina of all people should know Cesare is the real brains of the family, besides which, the Pope would only send someone else.  In short-killing Juan would only have made the siege longer, allowed much of the army to retreat before being surprised by Ludovico, and would have earned her son worse no matter what.  This is not helpful.  I expected the order to shoot her son and put him out of his misery.  If they hadn’t included the historic line about the means to produce more sons, I would’ve been left most disappointed.  As it is, it works.

On Rafael: The costumes here are always marvelous, but something about his silver diamonds and gold and black stripes made his even more amazing this week.

I cannot wait to see how they end the season.  It looks like Juan might even die next week, so they will have to top that!  Aaah-no show climaxes like a Borgias show.