Once Upon a Time 2×17 “Welcome to Storybrooke

See, this is exactly the episode I did Not want to see.  Spoilers in the reasons why:

 

1. See, this kind of monotony is exactly why the show started AFTER Emma showed up.  It is Boring.  I was bored then.

2. If Regina is also bored, as she seems to be, she doesn’t have to keep doing the same thing day after day-that’s the reward of having her memory.  Is she really that unimaginative?  No, but this episode was.

3.We know it took Regina maybe a week to get that bored, which is ridiculous.  We know this because Kurt and Owen arrived right after Storybrooke’s creation.  So, about a week into her 28 year curse, Regina’s discovered that what would truly make her happy is a child.  Henry was 8 when Emma showed up.  Mr. Gold, without his memories, might take…shall we say a year at the most to get Regina a child once she’s asked him?  So that leaves us with a swiftly discontented, lonely Regina who’s been shown exactly what she wants within the first fortnight of the curse and…she does nothing about it for 19 years?  Nineteen YEARS?  Come on, people!  This is all just nonsense.

4. By the by, that Owen thing’s another mark for “All Mothers Die” being the true secret name of this series.

5. I never want to see Lana Parilla standing there looking helpless because the writers and directors couldn’t think of anything for her to do while two men struggle.  Ever.  But it’s particularly heinous when her character is, in fact, the one with all the power as she is in this episode when Graham originally tries to arrest Kurt for drunk driving.  That was character assassination by negligence.

6. That curse Regina so conveniently found that so conveniently would get her both of the things she’s been craving forever, that came at the most convenient time is too…what’s that word?  CONVENIENT.  Where was Gold stepping out into the writers’ room and announcing, “You didn’t think it’d be that easy, did you?” when it counts.

7. Also, Gold was the one standing strong and victorious at the end of last episode-all he gets to do this one is roll over and be a guard dog?  That’s just not good television.

8. So, how exactly did Greg get Regina’s cell number?

9. For that matter, how did stalker Greg manage to have no reaction at all to the name Storybrooke or seeing Regina as precisely herself, as opposed to simply reacting to magic?  I call bull.  Total bull.

10. This thing where Regina does the right thing at Henry’s bequest and Henry immediately goes to the other side…I feel I have ranted on this before.  It’s the worst possible handling.  Even worse, in this instance it didn’t even make sense.  Henry clearly felt equally upset at both sides and Regina’s the one who actually stood up and gave him what he asked for.  It would have made far more sense for his character to hug her first.

11. If Henry needs to be out of the way but won’t go to New York, I strongly advocate he spend his days with Granny and Ruby.  No one’s tougher than them and they can teach him how to make all the delicious pancakes he can eat.

12. See, these times when people are depressed and won’t get out of bed and turn suicidal is generally when you call in folks like Dr. Hopper.  Seriously, no one takes that cricket for anything, do they?  It’s just sad.

13. Lana Parilla did rock the ending.  Sadly…it was after 40 minutes of things I can’t care about and I couldn’t muster up the will to care by that point.

It’s sad.

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Once Upon a Time 2×16 “The Miller’s Daughter”

Now, this-THIS is the kind of episode I’m talking about!  *applauds*  SPOILERS AHEAD:

 

1. Rose McGowan was absolute perfection as young Cora.  She had a matter of minutes to take everyone on a journey, make Cora’s life understandable, make her death meaningful, and add more layers to Rumplestiltskin and Regina.  She hit a home run.

2. Granted, her story was not as perfect as the acting.  It’s hard to think there wouldn’t be a separate entrance for deliveries, particularly ones like flour that generally go to the pantry/kitchen area.  The straw into gold claim was…not great.  But she sold it so well I don’t even care.

3.  Rumplestiltskin sure does know how to make a girl feel powerful.  Mixing this gift of power with his attraction and affection would definitely make it harder for someone like Cora to understand the benefits of love on its own, without being intertwined with power.

4. It is very clear to me why Cora’s loving embrace did not affect the Dark One’s powers the way Belle’s kiss did in Fairy Tale Land: Cora loved him as the Dark One.  If anything, her kisses would keep him the Dark One, not efface it.  Belle loved him in spite of being the Dark One.  Hence, her true love’s kiss could turn him into the man she saw him as.

5.   Snow became real again this episode.  It was highly abrupt-if only she could have used that gift for persuasion on Regina at their meeting in the diner before the dagger was found, this could have all been different.  It was highly poetic justice for Cora-her first offer to corrupt Snow and achieve one of her vengeful goals comes true so as to kill her and parallel Snow’s pain in Regina.  Cora needed to die for many reasons, including the show’s pacing.  With Cora in the works there are just too many villains running about throwing off any sort of balance of power and absolutely wrecking Regina’s role.  Snow could never really have controlled Cora through her heart-she has enough sense to know that Cora would get it back somehow and it would all just start again.  Additionally, she probably knows that if she touched Cora’s heart she wouldn’t be able to keep from smothering it.  Most of all, Snow felt how ultimately unsatisfying it would be to kill a woman without a heart.  Cora was already bereft of everything Snow cares about-in order to really exact revenge Cora needed to die with her heart intact.  Rumplestiltskin did not really play a part in Snow’s calculations when she was acting.  He had shown her a path that gave her everything she ultimately wished about Cora-Snow had to carry it out that way because it was the perfect death for Cora, saving Rumplestiltskin’s life had no part in the thought process once she began.  I doubt Regina had much to do with it either-Regina could reach Cora and replace the heart.  Snow would never be able to get that close.  It was as simple as that.

6. Gold’s deathbed call to Belle was perfect, as was his simple follow-up with Bae.  It was the best way for Bae to start mending his relationship with his father.

7. Cora died wonderfully.   I’ve been thinking a more accurate name for this show might be: “All Mothers Die.”  Eva, Cora, Ruby’s mom, Mila, Gepetto’s mom, Jefferson’s wife, Hansel and Gretal’s mom, Cora’s mom is presumably dead, Snow’s chance to really be a mother to a child was killed so symbolically Snow-as-mother died, between giving up Henry originally and the current split from her lie, Emma’s motherhood is still at least not well, Regina’s ability to be a mother is questioned and denied constantly, even mother figures like Johanna get flung out of buildings…   The only mother who I think has escaped the curse is Cinderella and she’s not really in the show.  Plus, pretty much all the main storylines are running on mother deaths-Snow’s motivation, Regina’s motivation, Rumple’s arching misery, etc.  Ergo, “Once Upon a Time….All Mothers Die.”

8. I just adore it when Gold wins everything in the end.  I am Just Fine with that.  Bring it on, Gold.  It’s gonna be good.