Monday, October 10, 2016

Once Upon a Time 6.03: “The Other Shoe”

“You just said it. I have to throw the punch, that’s why I came out here alone. You can’t do it for me this time.”
- Ashley

Overall, I really liked this episode. It moved the plot along and it brought back characters from season 1 and told their story in a slightly different way that fit in with what’s happening in present-day Storybrooke. While Regina and the Charmings are trying to help Jekyll find a proper lab so he can finish reverse engineering the potion that split Regina and the Evil Queen, Emma, Hook and Henry are off chasing Ashley (aka Cinderella) once she goes rogue.

Regina is frustrated that she’s still one step behind the Queen and on Snow’s suggestion, she realizes the Queen is exploiting cracks in the family that already exist. She tries to talk Zelena out of being in league with her other half but it doesn’t work well. And Charming has his own drama thanks to the Queen. He goes to Rumple to find out more on what happened to his father. In exchange, Charming has to deliver a tape (I keep forgetting they are stuck in the 80s with most of their technology) to Belle. It was a really sweet verse that he recorded for the baby. Super adorable actually and it makes me kind of root for the two of them to find some sort of middle ground for the kid, at least. Oh and they do end up finding a lab for Jekyll. He gets to team up with Dr. Whale (nice to see a cameo from our peroxide haired former mad man turned zombie). Snow thinks that when all is said and done, they can turn the pair of them into science teachers. See, she’s decided she really enjoyed teaching during the first curse and wants to revamp the school. Good luck getting there, Snow!

Before Emma really gets into trying to save Ashley, she heads over to Archie to complain about how she can’t move forward with her life (aka move in with Hook) because she knows she’s going to die in the near future. This of course, came after Hook was insanely adorable entertaining Ashely’s kid. I will give him that, it was pretty sweet. Still no Neal but whatever. I still don’t foresee any swan pirate babies in the future so I can be happy for now. Oh and apparently Dopey is no longer a tree and he’s getting his master’s degree (which upsets Leroy a lot apparently).

In the Enchanted Forest, we see Ella getting emotionally abused by her stepmother and stepsisters (I wonder if people ever really got that it was such a toxic environment for her) before she makes it to the ball and has a really sweet dance with her Prince. But her stepmother has to mess with her head when she sees the prince talking to one of her stepsisters. She thinks that everything was a joke and she’s going to run away to the Land of Untold Stories when said stepsister comes home and explains that the prince is out looking for Ella and he was passing on a message from his footman (whom the sister wants to run off with and marry). Of course, stepmother would be furious and after some more abuse, Ella admits where her sister’s gone. But after the prince asks Ella to marry him (thanks to some clever tracking by Snow and some help from a mouse in a tiny shirt). But it seems that the stepmother is going to be an evil bitch no matter what and so she takes the sister to the Land of Untold Stories to wait for a time when things will go her way.

In the present, Emma first uses magic to track Ashley but she runs off, insisting that she (Ashley) needs to do this herself. She’s also not going to hurt her stepsister, but rather try to defend her from her stepmother. Unfortunately the Queen gets in the way and poofs Emma, Henry and Hook somewhere with Emma’s magic on the fritz. So with a little prompting from the guys, Emma uses her old skills to track Ashley. They get there just as the stepmother has stabbed Ashely in the gut. Things aren’t looking good but with a bit of confidence from Henry, Emma is able to heal her and reunite the family. This makes me wonder what happened to the other stepsister. Is she around somewhere, too?

Anyway, that afternoon Emma makes the leap to ask Hook to move in because she realizes that she can’t live her life in fear of what’s coming. She’s got to live for the moment (thank you Archie). And Snow begs Charming to let it go with his father (the information he got from Rumple shows that his father wasn’t drunk and he was stabbed). He says he’s going to burn the card so he doesn’t have to think about it and can be there for the family but he doesn’t and I suspect that’s going to be a huge point of contention between them going forward. I also found it interesting that he and Belle had a conversation about fathers and sons. Clearly she’s thinking about Rumple and their child. I still don’t see how they can definitively say it’s a boy at this point. But maybe it’s just because I’d like to see Rumple try and raise a little girl. Just think of all the drama he has to look forward to with dating!

And because our heroes are in a good place, the Queen has to make things worse. She breaks Hyde out of lock up and they go strolling off to wreak havoc. I did like that they brought it back to Emma’s first “save” when she got to Storybrooke. I also like that they aren’t doing the half-arcs this year. It seems to feel like the story can flow at the pace it needs to without trying to squeeze it into a set number of episodes.

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