Saturday, November 17, 2012

Once Upon a Time 2.07: "Child of the Moon"

“I know who you really are, Ruby, even if you lost sight of it.”

“Child of the Moon,” like season one’s “Red Handed” focused mostly on Ruby/Red, and I think the episode was the better for it. Part of what made the episode better than most this season was the focus. There was a little bit of movement on the Snow and Emma stuck in the Enchanted Forest plot, but the vast majority of the episode was centered on exploring Red’s backstory. Oh, and we also got another appearance from Alan Dale as King George/Spencer in all his Charles Widmore evil glory. The other stand out performance in this episode was, of course, from Meghan Ory as Ruby/Red. A British Columbia native, Ory was a local find (“Once Upon a Time” films in the Vancouver area), and the creative team certainly lucked out with her. Red goes through a lot in this episode, both in Storybrooke and in Enchanted Forest flashbacks, and Ory was definitely up to the task. Her struggle against self-loathing at both points in time was captivating to watch.

The episode opens on a rare happy moment in Storybrooke. The dwarves are doing their mining thing, and just as they’re about to give up and go to happy hour, Grumpy throws a little tantrum and manages to find the diamonds needed to make fairy dust. This, naturally, leads to a big celebration at Granny’s. Billy the tow truck driver (who was Gus, one of Cinderella’s mouse friends back in the Enchanted Forest) flirts with Ruby a little. Ruby wants to reciprocate, but it’s the first full moon since the curse was lifted, so it’s kind of a bad time. Belle manages to save Ruby from that awkward explanation by telling Billy that she and Ruby were already planning to have a girls’ night. King George (known as Spencer in Storybrooke) rolls up to the party and threatens Charming. He’s enjoying having a second chance to ruin Charming’s life. After Spencer leaves, Charming heads down to the basement of Granny’s, where he sees Granny and Ruby building a cage. Charming reminds Ruby that she used to be able to control the wolf, but Ruby is afraid she will have forgotten how considering she hasn’t changed in 28 years.

We then, of course, start seeing some flashbacks to show how Ruby first learned to control her wolf side. The first flashback is of Snow and Red running through the forest in the dark, trying to escape the Queen’s men. Red’s cloak gets a small tear in it during the chase, and Red is terrified that it won’t prevent her from changing anymore. It’s the full moon, so she and Snow decide to split up for the night. Someone is watching them from behind the trees, though. Ruby wakes up the next morning, relieved that the cloak seems to have done its job. As she’s getting some water from the river, though, the man who had been watching from the trees the previous evening grabs her cloak and starts to run. It turn out that he’s a werewolf, too, and his name is Quinn. Quinn has Red follow him to the nearest werewolf den, and at the den, Red meets her mother, Anita. Granny had told Red that her parents abandoned her, but apparently that wasn’t actually the case.

Back in Storybrooke, it’s also the morning after a full moon. Granny goes down to the basement to let Ruby out of the cage, but it turns out that Ruby has escaped and the cage has been torn to shreds. Ruby herself wakes up out in the woods. She doesn’t remember the previous evening, which is a sign that she wasn’t in control of her inner wolf. Granny and Charming find Ruby out in the woods, but before they really have a chance to figure out what to do next, Charming gets a call about a double parked vehicle he needs to deal with. The vehicle in question turns out to be Billy’s tow truck, and Billy is dead. Ruby screams, convinced she killed Billy while she was the wolf. Ruby demands to be taken to jail, and Charming reluctantly complies. At the jail, Spencer approaches Charming and makes it clear that he set up this whole chain of events so that the town would think he was incapable of leading.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Anita tells Red that Granny stole her (Red) as a baby to try and keep her from embracing her wolf. Anita tries to convince Red that being a wolf really isn’t a bad thing at all. In the time she spends with her fellow wolves, Red gets to run with them, and she also learns how to keep control when she changes. Eventually, Snow catches up, and she finds Red at the den. Anita is very wary of Snow, because she thinks all humans are murderous, but Red convinces her that Snow is okay. Just as Anita is about to accept Snow’s presence, an arrow flies into the den and kills Quinn. It’s the Queen’s men, and they followed Snow to the den. A battle ensues, and the wolves prevail. Anita is furious and blames Snow for Quinn’s death. She ties Snow up and demands that Red kill her. Red refuses, so Anita tries to do the job herself. Red stops Anita from going in for the kill and inadvertently kills Anita in the process. Red is sad, but she doesn’t really regret her decision. She considers Snow her family, not Anita.

Back in Storybrooke, Spencer riles up the always convenient (and kind of stupid) angry mob to try and kill Ruby and oust Charming. Meanwhile, Charming and Belle work on setting up a hiding place for Ruby in the library. Ruby has other ideas, though. She locks Belle up in the library and goes to face the mob. She thinks that their wrath is what she deserves for killing Billy. Over by the Sheriff’s station, Charming and Granny find Ruby’s red hood in the trunk of a random car. The car turns out to be Spencer, of course. Now Charming has definitive proof that this has all been orchestrated by Spencer. There’s a big confrontation out in front of the Sheriff’s station where Charming tells everyone that Spencer killed Billy. Charming also shows the mob that Ruby is actually in control of her inner wolf. Once the situation has deescalated, it becomes apparent that Spencer has escaped. Charming, Granny, and Ruby find Spencer out in the forest, where he tosses Jefferson’s hat into a fire. Charming is convinced that he’s never going to see Emma and Snow again. After tucking Henry in, Ruby reassures Charming that he’ll get his family back, and then she goes for a run, having finally embraced her wolf.

While all this was going on, Henry was continuing to deal with the fire nightmares. He wakes up to see Regina watching over him (because, as always, Charming is the worst grandfather ever). Regina notices that there are burns on Henry’s hand, and she takes Henry to Mr. Gold to find out what can be done. Mr. Gold says that this is a residual effect of the apple curse. Henry keeps going back to where he was when he was cursed when he sleeps. Mr. Gold, however, has an amulet that should help. The amulet should help Henry gain control over the dreams. In the Enchanted forest, the ladies are all gathered around a fire at night. Aurora wakes up from her own fire nightmare. She tells Emma and Snow that she saw Henry in her dream and that he put out the fire.

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