Episode 19: Sisters

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Rebecca Mader as Zelena Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 19 Sisters review picture image

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Rebecca Mader as Zelena

 

Regina wants to get in the way of Hades and Zelena because Hades is a Villain and the God of Death and therefore cannot be redeemed. Evil Queen, Sure. Dread Pirate Hook Hand, you bet. Snow Queen, sort of. Rumple, jury is still out on that one. But the God of Death is beyond that even though Death is the ultimate equalizer.  

Hades’ plan is now to go to Storybrooke with Zelena and have a life but leave the heros in UnderBrooke so they don’t get in the way so he puts all their names on tombstones for good measure. Regina then enlists Cora to make  Zelena forget Hades. Zelena sees through this but in the end Cora makes them remember an incident from their past a kids where the met and liked each other but Cora made them forget. The sister reconcile and Cora moves on to Olympus. Regina tells Zelena that maybe she can change Hades but before she gets to him, Rumple and Pan kidnap her.

The B plot is about James and David. James’ real motivations for hating David is that David stole his glory. That is so dumb. In the end James take the plunge into the River of Lost Souls. This side plot has yet another case of Emma being lied to and not picking up on it.      

The hero are acting dumb about Hades and Zelena. Maybe if they convinced them that they WON’T get in the way of their happiness, he might let them go home. Hades just seems to care about Zelena right now. Maybe Hades is up to no good but if he is up to some nefarious scheme he hiding with well with all his wooing of Zelena.  

The emotional crux of Regina and Zelena was good towards the end of the episode. The emotions landed well. Having the sisters meet as children was weird as it retconned them and led to a quick reconciliation, guess they had to expedite things. The B plot was dumb, Cruella was the only good part. Hades proposal was cute, asking to make chaos with Zelena. So sweet. This episode was about a B.   

Episode 20: Firebird

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 20 Firebird review picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook

There is a lot going on in this episode.

Hades goes to the Heros for help to save Zelena from Rumple and Pan. In exchange he offers to take their names off the graves. Hades compiles with Rumple and tears up the contract and frees Zelena. They kiss and presto, True Love’s Kiss awakens Hades’ Frozen heart. Apparently Hades knew it was true love. Hades triggers a portal to open but it will be open for a limited time only and Emma can’t split her heart to give to Hook as he’s been dead too  long. Hades tells them about Orpheus and Eurydice and a rumor that could bring hook back.  Hook and Emma descend into a low level of the Underworld to try and get some ambrosia which will bring Hook back but Hades cut it way long ago, thus tricking the heroes. Hook convinces Emma to let him go and go back without him. It’s a very sad scene, actually.

While that is going on. Henry tries to complete Operation Firebird which was to help people of the Underworld move on using his author powers. Too bad he didn’t think of this idea ages ago instead of whining. Cruella and the Blind-witch halt this by trapping them with a spell of Hades gave them in the library. Hades tricked them again. Meanwhile Rumple tricks Pan by saying he got a living heart but it was that river of lost souls AGAIN. Pan’s plan wouldn’t have worked anyway. Tricked AGAIN.

While all the heros are getting tricked Hades, Zelena and the baby leave. Just some backstory that I missed, Hades can only leave the underworld when true love’s kiss makes his heart beat again. Zeus stopped it for reasons.  His heart “fluttered” when he was with Zelena, so he knows it’s True Love with her. He did have plan to go back into time so he could be the one on Mt Olympus but dropped the plan because he wanted Zelena. If they have kids, they will have red hair and be very snappy dressers.   

The past section deals with Emma getting caught by a bail bonds person and how she got her leather jacket or her armor. The final part of that plot was very emotional.   

So true love is apparently easy to find and hard to keep. The scene with Hook and Emma was very emotional and done well. Hades should have just done nothing. The heroes would have left him alone but he ruined with this scheming. He should have done nothing, unless he really does have some grand master plan that has yet to be hinted at. His plans so far have been go back in time,  keep souls and  be with Zelena.

This episode had some winky meta moments. Like the ticking clock that is the portal out of the underworld is an actual clock. And the bails bond lady telling Emma Phoenix isn’t hell, which is where she pretty much is now. 

This episode was alright. It had some great emotional moments but again Emma didn’t notice a lie. Will we see Hook again? Maybe not  but who knows. Glad to know Cruella got a bit of a happy ending. Cruella is going to run the Underworld now, good for her.

 

Episode 17: Her Handsome Hero

Emilie de Ravin as Belle & Wes Brown as Gaston Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 17 Her Handsome Hero review picture image

Emilie de Ravin as Belle & Wes Brown as Gaston

Not one for mixing references but they could have given Gaston the surname of Leroux but instead they went with LeGume as in a bean. Is Gaston’s Kingdom in bean trading? Or they COULD have made it Avenant from the 40’s version as it was name originally considered for Gaston.

This is a Belle heavy episode and she puts her foot down on Rumple using Dark Magic. Hades enlists the help of Gaston to get his revenge on Rumple for his death. Hades does this since he knows Belle will insist that Rumple not hurt Gaston. Hades also makes Belle a deal that if Gaston or Rumple knock the other into the River of Lost Souls, her baby is safe. Belle tries to save Gaston but ends up pushing him into the water to save Rumple. Oops and it doesn’t free the child from the contract.

The reason for this is supposedly souls make Hades more powerful and he doesn’t like the hope going around town as flowers are starting to grow. Flowers growing from hope is super sappy. Hades, you seem like a god of moderate intelligence, why not just let Hook and everyone go and count your loses? Sure your down some souls but there is no hope floating around. Sounds like a win-win. Instead he does more antagonist stuff and pines for Zelena.

Past plot was Gaston is a jerk who doesn’t like ogres but does like Belle. Gaston is a nicer rendition of his Disney-self. Was it just me or did the ogre looks similar to Quasimodo? Especially in the opening sequence. Oddly Her Handsome Hero sounds like Star Wars. As it’s a story about compassion and forgiveness, though lots of stories are about that. And LeFou got a name drop, which is more than Olaf got in season 4.

B plot is simple. Emma has a scary dream and it turns out to be Ruby/Red.

This episode was alright. Not a huge fan of Belle and Rumple anymore. Rumple did make a point about dark and light being a point of view. As Belle was ok with stealing property to help someone even though that didn’t happen.

Episode 18: Ruby Slippers

Meghan Ory as Red/Ruby & Teri Reeves as Dorothy Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 18Ruby Slippers review picture image

Meghan Ory as Red/Ruby & Teri Reeves as Dorothy

Is some ways this is a filler episode as it takes focus off the Hades’ plot, which is fine, but it does somethings to move things a little bit. The theme of this episode it to take the risk on love. Zelena does it with Hades and Ruby does it will Dorothy.

Ruby and Mulan’s quest leads them to OZ to find Ruby’s pack. They get there just as Zelena returns and they meet up with Dorothy as Zelena dog-naps Toto in exchange for the slippers. Other than hating Zelena, there was no point in Dorothy keeping the shoes. The crew’s plan is to put Zelena to sleep with the poppy sleeping potion. Dorothy and Ruby bond while getting the poppies and Ruby crushes hard on Dorothy. After the potion is made Dorothy goes off on her own and Zelena puts her in a sleeping curse and takes the slippers. As Dorothy just has the love of OZ she doesn’t have true love.

Ruby follows Zelena to UnderBrooke and hijinx ensue. Mainly they want to get Aunty Em to blow a kiss into a bottle but Hades liquidates Aunt Em to make Zelena happy. While that is happening the Haunting booth is removed and Snow begs David to leave with Ruby with the slippers that Zelena did give back. Snow can’t leave because her name is on the headstone BUT Hook crossed her name off so David stays for her. Hades enchanted his Hook so he could engrave names on the stones. So Snow leaves with Ruby. Ruby kisses Dorothy and she wakes up and Snow goes back to Neal. Also Belle figures she doesn’t have nine month to save her child so she puts herself under a sleeping curse, that Zelena gave her. Not sure if that was a great plan.

Let’s just unpack Belle’s plan. The Sleeping curse on her was practical matter by the show as Belle’s actress was pregnant hence the big red coat she wears. You can see her abdomen sometimes. So this was just a necessity. If you look at in the context of the show, sleeping curses do stop aging but does that apply to an embryo? Shrugs. Doesn’t seem like a great plan but not sure how much Hades REALLY cares about Belle and Rumple’s kid, he just likes the leverage and deals.

Then there is the crux of this episode Mulan is all still alone. Ruby and Dorothy are true loves because I guess they both felt like outsiders and liked dogs. Not a bad start to things. I hope Mulan will finds someone too. She was cute with Ruby but I guess they were just friends on a mission to find Ruby a place in the world, and she did. To be fair, I don’t know what’s up with Dorothy. I don’t mean her character but her costume. Can’t quite put my finger on it but it looks like something out of steampunk. With two patterns going on. Warrior grab with a gingham skirt? NOT sure hot to feel about that one other than confused. The pairing on Ruby and Dorothy was ok but it was contained to one episode so while there is an attachment to Ruby and Mulan, there isn’t one to Dorothy as show depicts her.

Another curiosity in this episode is the guy removing the Haunting Booth is named Claude. I do feel like I’m being mocked here. First the lady at the dinner, then the ogre now a random dude named “Claude.”

This episode was fine. Ruby and Dorothy got their happy endings while the others are in Hell. Still not bad not amazing but it was ok episode.

 

 

Episode 15: The Brother Jones

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 15 The Brothers Jones review picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook

Meet the brother’s Jones. One is an eyeliner wearing emo and the other is self-righteous to a fault. If you have to guess, you don’t watch the show. Though there are three brothers and two are named Liam so who really knows what Liam number 2 is like.

This episode fills in the gap between Liam and Hook getting sold into servitude as boys and joining the navy. Ah, the Navy, where you can sail the seven the seas and put your mind at ease. Turns out the lads nearly had enough money to get out but Hook gambled it away and Liam couldn’t leave him. So as the their captain was leading the ship into a storm from some sapphire, Liam and Hook lead a mutiny and as Liam is plotting a course GUESS WHO TURNS UP WITH A DEAL. Hint not Rumple, though he does like deals. Nope it’s Hades and he wants souls. So in return for leading a lot of guys to their death by horrible drowning, Liam gets to live as well as Hook PLUS the stupid sapphire which will pretty much grant them anything they want from the King. But Liam is too moral of a person, nah he takes the deal and him and Hook join the Navy.

In UnderBrook, lots of plots are going on. Liam doesn’t like Emma because of the whole Dark One thing and being selfish about not letting Hook move on. Hook is mopey because he thinks he shouldn’t be saved. Henry wants to be a Hero. Cruella wants David who is pretending to be his twin brother James. And Hades wants pages of the Storybook destroyed because he has a past with Zelena. Well of course he does because how else is Zelena going to factor into the plot. You think Regina sending her to Oz last season was the end of her? Actually I have no idea where this thing is going.  

How did Hook know the sailor’s unfinished business? Tell me show. He just assumes that a bunch of people have the SAME unfinished business. What if one of them regrets not being a dentist to make his mother proud after a deathbed promise when he was eight? Bit of a leap you took there  Hook with their salvation. But whatever they were just extras, existing solely for Liam and Hook’s story.  And how did Liam get “saved?” He was going to put his brother before himself and that was his business? Is this business things part of being a good person or do you solve your issue and the you get to move on to Zeus?  Does a horrible person in life get to move if they figure out their business? Wasn’t there some judgment talk? Or is hell for those who didn’t solve their problem but think they did?  I feel I’m going insane asking all these questions, the show doesn’t know it’s just a nicer ending to have Liam and the sailors move on so that Hook can feel good about wanting to be saved and have a life with Emma. I mean that is what the people want!

Not the best episode. It does moves things along but it’s boring. Aside from Cruella  who is just too delightful.    

 

Episode 16: Our Decay

Greg Germann as Hades & Rebecca Mader as Zelena Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 16 Our Decay review picture image

Greg Germann as Hades & Rebecca Mader as Zelena

They missed a chance to do the “I’ll get you and your little dog too”  line. This episode focuses on Zelena and Hades and their special connection. To fair it’s that special connection is standard for this show; it’s True Love. Hades and Zelena actually do have a connection as they are both bitter about their siblings getting more from life than them. Hades got the Underworld while Zeus got Olympus, Zelena was abandon and Regina was kept and made Queen. They actually feel like a natural couple. Expect Zelena rejected him in the past because she thought he was after the time-travel spell and currently she thinks Hades is after her baby for the same spell when he had Rumple bring the baby to the Underworld and Belle and Zelena get inadvertently pulled through the portal. Not sure how she  got from OZ back to Storybrooke but the show glossed over it so we will too. Hades claims he was trying to get Zelena’s baby away from the heroes.

Let’s just touch on ort “heroes” for a bit. Apparently in their book it’s ok to leave your infants  to save friends in hell if you think they died in vain. Maybe one of the Charmings should have stayed with their third season plot point, or infant son.  But Robin thinks being noble is more important than his baby or his small motherless son. And he going to hide the small baby in the forest of hell instead of the nice apartment Robins is also super annoying with regard to Zelena and the baby, maybe if he was trying to cut her off the baby she woudn’t act out.  Siding with the villains on this one. Though Hades could be lying as his reasons for getting the baby, don’t really think he is. Think he is in love with Zelena.  She’s the reason why he created the Underworld in Storybrooke’s image, because she wanted to cast the Dark Curse.      

Oddly there is a neat little tie into the Hades’ myth that makes him and Zelena makes sense as a couple. When Zelena joined the sister witches of OZ she represented the West which stood for innocences. Persephone also represented innocence. Also Zelena was born on April 15th, which is tax day and is in the Spring.  So Zelena is Persephone. I wonder if this was intentional by the writers or a happy accident.

Then there are other characters. We have Henry going all teeanger because his parents can understand his artistic methods. Apparently he black out when he writes. Henry’s plans is to record the stories to get the missing pieces about Hades so they can beat him.  Snow White and David haunt their baby via  a Haunting Booth, which is a payphone. There is a fine line between being clever and dumb. This seems to taking that step over the line.

Then there is Rumple. Rumple tells Belle about the contract, her condition and his Dark one status. Rumple’s character arc this whole time  isn’t one of redemption of anti-hero but accepting the man and the beast. So he can be slightly nicer and loving but not a hero. Rumple doesn’t want to change he wants love and power. I guess he is being honest…?

This episode was pretty good. Somehow Hades and Zelena are super compelling but they need to stop with the flaming hair. It’s just uncanny valley. Can also have done without super self-righteous Robin and the Haunting Booth.

 

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

After seeing a lot of version that felt like no effort was put into them it was refreshing to see that this ballet version tried to create an all round good HUnchback adaption. It told a version of the story that fit limits of a ballet but also catered to the advantage the medium can provide. Was this a perfect version? No, it did make some weird decisions with regards to the source material and add-ons, like that greek myth in the second act and have the Pope of Fools also in the second act.

For the most part this Ballet was good which why it’s harder to review. It’s a decent version of the book but even better if you let yourself get lost in the artist of ballet. Also helps if you like/appreciate ballet more than I do.

Like I said, Good Version of Hunchback are harder to review so let’s go for a not so good version.  What version should be next?

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Poll won’t expire for a while, may not get to the next version till the fall. This summer been hard/busy for me.

Episode 13: Labor of Love

Bailee Madison as Young Snow White & Jonathan Whitesell as Hercules Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 13 Labor of Love review picture image

Bailee Madison as Young Snow White & Jonathan Whitesell as Hercules

We get  Hercules and Megara in the episode however Hercules follows his original myth more and Megara is a seemingly normal girl. Both of them were killed by Cerberus and are in the Underworld. Not sure what Megara’s unfinished business was, the show doesn’t say but her only personality type is afraid of the hellhound and not too filled with hope. Enter Snow who was a childhood friend of Hercules who taught her how to fight and stand up to ruffians. She and Herc have a childhood attraction and a kiss. It was nice to see young Snow again.  

Cruella makes an appearance and asks Henry to find the author’s quill he broke to restore her to life. Apparently the quill is a living entity and it’s in the Underworld too and its whole existence is unfinished business.     

Hercules and Megara do get to move on to a paradise which is Mt.Olympus. It would have been nice if they were recurring characters like Hades.  Why does Hades whisper almost all his lines? It’s distracting. Is he Jimmy Whispers?  It’s curious though that Hades is close to his Disney movie counterpart but Hercules was close to his myth. Though Regina called him “Wonder-Boy,” so there is that.  Megara was a glorified name drop as she doesn’t resemble her Disney counterpart or her myth where she was the daughter of King Creon of Thebes and Hercules’ first wife. Although Hercules didn’t start his labors till after Megara’s death. They did get the first and last of Hercules’ labors correct though according to the myth Hercules strangled the Nemean lion not torched his fur. But they got the fur right.

Doesn’t really matter if they got the myth corrects or not, it’s interesting that something like Brave was literally forced into a narrative and was pretty much a sequel/ prequel like Frozen was but Hercules was done in one episode like Rapunzel.  I wish knew their thought process on picking which Disney movie to work with and how close to make them to the movies. Box-office returns seem to help. Though with Hercules they did both methods with the characters.  Though I hope the show does add a bit of Hades’ myth, like have Persephone in the show.

Speaking of Hades, how does this Underworld work? Do Storybrooke/Enchanted Forest people die often with unfinished business?  A bunch of Dark One get a Real World Visa and Hades doesn’t care but three souls  leave and he goes into vindictive mood? What are souls in Hades’ ambition? In the movie, Hades didn’t care about the souls as he wanted to rule Olympus.

His motivation thus far is keeping the souls put which means there will be more flaming hair and hope speeches.  Or he has some other plan.

Also Snow dropped the identity of Mary Margaret, which should have happened while ago.

This was an  enjoyable episode. Sure Hercules and Megara are relegated to one episode but there was at least and arc with them as they both faced their fear and saved each other. The past section was nice and tied in well to the Underworld plot.  It was a solid episode.

 

Episode 14: Devil’s Due

Greg Germann as Hades Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 14 Devils Due review picture image

Greg Germann as Hades

This is a Rumple focused episode. Rumple finds out that Belle is pregnant and wants to get back to her. He then decides to be helpful in the Hook’s recuse and enlists his ex-wife’s, Milah, for help. Turns out Emma has been with all the men Milah has really loved, Hook and Neal. Kinda of messed up but Milah lets it go and helps Emma save Hook even though she knows Hook loves Emma now. As Emma is recusing Hook, Milah and Rumple are watching the boat, Hades makes a deal with Rumple. Hades will “poof” him home if he destroys the boat. He does but  Hades enacts an old contract that Rumple made with some healer to save Baelfire from a snake bite in exchange for his second born child. Milah was none too happy about that as Rumple sold her future. Hades now owns the contract, so he going to make Rumple work for him. Also Milah got pushed into the River of Lost Souls, she really didn’t deserve that fate.

It is curious that Rumple was always making deal to get babies but then he thought he voided the contract when he killed the healer but deals don’t get voided with death. The legal matters in this show are crazy. It’s an interesting plot development design to give reason for while Rumple was originally after babies in the first two seasons as is in the case with his fairy tale but he thought he had voided it anyway, so why was he after babies?. Bit weird though this development explains what pushed Milah to Hook whom she met in this episode and Rumple’s motivation to work with Hades. Still hate Hades.  

In other plots going on, Regina learns from Cruella about the graves in UnderBrooke. Everyone has one there. If it’s tipped over, the person went to Olympus. If it’s cracked, the went to I guess Hell. Regina finds Daniel’s grave and sees it has been tipped over. Then a weird scene happens, Regina sees a fallen horse and uses her magic to help it up. Apparently this returns her magic to her, didn’t even know it wasn’t working, must not have been paying attention. However before Regina can split Emma’s heart for Hook, Hades traps Regina, Snow and Emma in UnderBrooke by writing their names on tombstones. Hades likes the ladies.

This episode was decent. It’s nice to see Rumple in a pawn position even though he has his Dark powers back. The episode has good pacing, decent character development and moves this arc forward.

Beside the horse scene there is another weird moment. That silent girl behind the diner counter is curious. She has no lines but her styling is suspect. If this show never has Esmeralda or Hunchback, just consider this Esmeralda.

A Curious Extra or maybe Esmeralda Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 14 Devils Due review picture image

A Curious Extra, Maybe Esmeralda?

 

Episode 11: Swan Song

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook with Caroline Ford as Nimue & Dark Ones Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 11 Swan Song review picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook with Caroline Ford as Nimue & Dark Ones

Must be fun to be extra playing a Dark One. I swear though one of the Dark One’s capes has the same fabric they used with Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens. What is a group of Dark Ones called? A Gaggle? A Constitution? An Unpleasantness ? A Murder? A Darkness?

Still not sure how the Dark Ones are really coming back other than they are a Vista from Hell or the Underworld and need the souls of the living for the exchange. Does seem like there were more Dark Ones than Storybrooke sacrificial lambs.

The plan of the Dark One does seem odd. Why would a Dark One want more Dark Ones around? Just to “snuff out the light?” And then what? Dark Ones are going to terrorize Storybrooke and compete for whose the Darkest? Doesn’t matter because Hook comes to his senses and sacrifices himself to put out the Darkness except he doesn’t because Rumple pulled out a double-cross and used the sword as conduit to be the Dark One again. Only this time he has all the powers of the Dark Ones. But wasn’t that the point, all Dark Ones are connected to the other Dark Ones. Didn’t the repeatedly say the pervious Dark Ones are inside the mind of the Dark One? Or do the Dark Ones communicate even though they are in the Underwood? It doesn’t make much sense and the murkiness of the explanations and the revelation doesn’t help, point is Rumple once again lost his redemptive arc and went with power. This show is a cock tease with Rumple’s character development.

The there is Hook who in the past section meets his father who abandoned him and his brother and sold the. Then Hook’s dad was put under a sleep curse, met a girl while asleep, fell in love, got that kiss, married her and had another son. I guess this lady who died before we could meet her, I bet her name was named Adelaide and loved vegetables. Comment if you get that reference.

Anway Hook meeting his dad was a test by Regina so Hook could kill Cora and go to Land without Magic to get his revenge on Rumple. He was going to spare his dad but killed him after he learned his new son is named Liam. So if he had a girl it would have been different? Actually Hook is mad about the abandonment and figures he hasn’t changed. Funny, that Hook never bonded with Emma about being orphans. Did anyway in this show NOT have a tragic childhood?

Hook’s redemption felt really rushed. So the drama of his sacrifice didn’t have enough impact.

Anyway it’s off to the Underworld with everyone to save Hook. Also we see that Nonchalant Duck again. That Duck and that Dove from season three should get more screentime.

 

Episode 12: Souls of the Departed

The Heroes in the Underworld Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 12-Souls of the Departed review picture image

The Heroes in the Underworld

Hey this is the 100th episode! And Welcome to Season 5 Arc 2 a.k.a Hell of Color-Correction. The Underworld looks like a dilapidated StoryBrooke with an ultra red tone.

So far this is the arc of dead character cameos as we see the Blind Witch from Season 1, Cruella drove by, Peter Pan, James and Henry(Regina’s dad) and Cora. Also Neal, who isn’t in the Underworld. Who knows who else will see again? Do the creepy marionettes that were Geppetto’s parents count as a cameo?

This episode focuses mainly on Regina’s parents Henry and Cora. Cora has set-up some plan to get Regina out of the Underworld but Henry begs her to stay to bring hope and help her friends. Cora tries to sent Henry to I guess even worse Hell but in the end he is set to Paradise, not sure what it is but it seems nice. Henry going to his reward was a nice emotional scene.

The backstory did answer a weird element from season 1, how Henry got trapped in Wonderland. Nice to get an answer, wondered if anyway was wondering how that happen.

A new character we meet is Hades. Not a fan. He looks like an asshole and whispers nearly all his lines. Maybe he will get better. Curious about the other character from Hercules. Like is the girl giving Hades a pedicure Megara? Could make sense.

Not a bad episode, had good moments with Henry and Regina but it’s the arc opener so there isn’t much going on yet aside from meeting Hades, the Crew’s quest to save Hook and help the Underworld people move on. I hate the Hades Blue Flame effect.

 

Sets

Sets of La Esmeralda Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Sets of La Esmeralda Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

For the most parts you don’t really notice the sets in this Ballet, mainly because so much of the attention is focused on the dancing, as it should be. If you do happen to  look at the sets you would see they are quite lovely.

The only set that is noticeable  would be  drop cloths that are used as transitions. They usually appear when characters are crossing the stage so there is little dancing taking part. The designs on the cloth is typically maps and   they have a nice cross hatching on them that make them feel like antique book illustrations. The concept of a basic though nicely done dropcloth does seem a little on the amateurish side but it does help set a tone.

The other sets are very well detailed and are more representational opposed to symbolic of Paris and Notre Dame. Meaning it looks like Notre Dame  instead of  columns and a gargoyle like  in Notre Dame de Paris. Neither approach is wrong just a style choice. Also Notre Dame is for most always seen in the distance. Always omnipresent. The realistic sets are also a good counter to the symbolist representation of the story through dance.

 

Lighting

Lighting of La Esmeralda Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Lighting of La Esmeralda Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

This is one of the strongest aspects on the show. It always convey the right mood and drama for the scene. The best use of lightening is during Frollo’s meltdown with  dancers bathed in red contrasted in cold blue of Frollo. Also the Pas de deux between Quasimodo and Esmeralda at the end in a wash of blue added to the tragic ending.

 

Music

Conductor of La Esmeralda Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Conductor of La Esmeralda Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Not as crazy about the music. It sounded like it was trying to be the Dance of the Hours even though Ponchielli composed Dance of the Hours in 1876 and Pugni composed La Esmeralda in 1844. I don’t know much about 19th century music but the music didn’t to move me.  It wasn’t bad or incompetent by means. If you like the music that’s great but I do not. I  could just have unrefined tastes in music. 

4th of July Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Happy 4th of July

This is a re-post but the message is still the same, Happy 4th of July even if you’re not an American you can still have a Happy 4th of July since it’s just a date ^_~.

I need to work on my photoshop skills.

Episode 9: The Bear King

Amy Manson as Merida & Jamie Chung as Mulan Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 9 The Bear King review picture image

Amy Manson as Merida & Jamie Chung as Mulan

Well more Brave but also the return of Ruby and Mulan so that is a good get. Most this episode was okay. There was no Storybrooke or the main crew so the show is prolonging the mystery of what happens now that Hook is a Dark One.

Arthur is the one who killed Merida’s dad and took his helm that the witch lady wants back or she’ll turn Merida’s people into Bears. The show’s treatment of Brave is so on the nose. Anyway Arthus wants the helm because it can make people follow the wear into battle. Arthurs’ motivates for this plot are really dumb. He convinced a guy to commit suicide for Camelot, he REALLY doesn’t need the helm.

Merida was a little more likable in this episode. Less combative more open. Her interactions with her mother and Mulan were good too.

Mulan is the one who taught Merida to fight and helped in the operation “find the helm.” Ruby went back to the Enchanted Forest to find her pack but the witch enchanted her and now Mulan and her are all of a quest to find her pack. Got say a few episodes of them on adventures sounds better than either Camelot or Brave.

Episode 10: Broken Heart

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 10-Broken Heart review picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

Welcome to Dark Curse Number 3 in five seasons. Hook becomes a Dark One and in just seconds reverts to Evil Hook and has a grand plan. This Grand Plan of his which is more than just revenge on Rumple is to bring back all the Dark Ones so they are not just aspects in his and Emma’s mind but in the flesh. The show makes it seem like they were in the underworld but also part of the Dark One so it’s confusing.

The twist of Hook crushing Merlin’s heart to enact the curse because Nimue loved Merlin was good but again are the Dark Ones in the Underworld or a part of the Dark One(s) psyche? It seems like it shouldn’t be both but it is I guess.

All this is pretty dumb if you think about it. How could Hook not have known he was a Dark One? Does a memory wipe just cancel out the darkness? Why didn’t Emma just make herself forget she was ever a Dark One in the first place then? Then no one who have remembered anything and they just could have lived until they relived they couldn’t die. Can someone using the dagger just order the darkness to go away?

Then there was Rumple being the key to opening the way to the underworld. Rumple and Belle are also off again. They are so back and forth so many times that you can’t root for them anymore. Henry and Emma teaming up. Basically Emma had to learn had to work in a team again to earn back Henry’s trust. And Zelena gets to hold her baby under Regina and Robin’s strict supervision.

Honestly this wasn’t a bad episode there is just too much confusion and weirdness to this plot to help it now. Also why was Merida, a ruling Queen, just riding through Camelot? I know they needed to explain why she was in Storybrooke but the whole of the Brave subplot and Merida has been really forced into the narrative. Frozen at least was the plot in season 4.

 

Episode 7: Nimue

Caroline Ford as Nimue & Elliot Knight as Merlin review picture image

Caroline Ford as Nimue & Elliot Knight as Merlin

This episode was great. The plot revolved around the origins of the Dark One which out turns out to be a flip side of Merlin. Merlin drank from the Holy Grail and became a do-gooder wizard. He the fell in love with a lady, Nimue, who secretly drank from the grail and gave into to darkness thus creating the Dark one. Giving into darkness is killing and revenge. This show does take a simplic path to evil despite the grey tone to many of the characters.

Also in the episode Merlin’s soul get tethered to Excalibur as he tethered the Nimue’s dark magic to the dagger or other half. The Dagger and Excalibur are also made from the Holy Grail. Merlin made into a sword to cleave his magic and immortality, Nimue is the one that broke it and Emma restored it at the end of the episode despite Merlin’s warning in 1989 not to put the sword togather. Excalibur can destroy either the light or the darkness so probably not too good pending on Emma’s true plan.  This plot is getting more Star Wars all the time.

One minor problem, if the Dark One and dark magic were created 500 years before the events of Snow White, Regina and David and Rumble was the Dark One for 200 years given Hook’s revenge plot. Seem like it should have been more than 500 years.

I have another issue. Last episode, Merlin’s voice mail said that to get rid of the darkness they should find Nimue, the original Dark One. Either it was a clunky line of dialogue to promote mystery of who Nimue is or only a Dark One can destroy the Dark One.  Also Nimue and the Lady of the Lake are separate characters and there is no hint of Morgan le Fey.  Boo.

I do like how this arc doesn’t have a new bad big bad, Arthur hardly counts, he is a douchey mid-boss at best.  All in all the mythos of the Dark One was great. Interesting and decently compelling.

If I were in this show I would want to be a Dark One extra       

 

Episode 8; Birth

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 8 Birth review picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook

So Emma’s massive Dark One plan was to save Hook because she made him a  Dark One when she tethered his soul after he got a nick by Excalibur and to save him from the darkness she wants to put the collective darkness in Zelena then kill her but before she can do that she needs to evict the baby so she used dark magic and spiked onion rings to expedient the Zelena’s pregnancy.   

Well it’s a twist Hook being a Dark One but doesn’t make much sense since the tethering of one soul SHOULDN’T have created a Dark One. I thought the darkness was born out of a Holy Grail drinker giving into to dark impulses Nimue was a Dark One before Merlin tethered her soul to the dagger. Does beg the question, how did Nimue successful touch and drink from the grail since the dude with Merlin was turned to ash.

And it turns out Dark Ones all get resolidified at the vault expect Rumple since that is where Dark Hook appeared. It’s a continuity error because the writers invented  the vault in season 3,  guess  it’s more Dramatic.

So are we really to believe that when Emma took Hook’s memories he didn’t have an inkling of the darkness? Seems like he should have known something was up in his mind. He does have more of a temper this season but Emma was the Dark one, he has a history of hating the Dark One so his anger made sense but this turn of events seems like overkill.

Also Emma’s motives were out of place of love so it makes her Not quite a villain, she just has darker methods.

Gotta say most of the characters have been really flat this season. Most of their conversations are about how Emma is the Dark One but she isn’t Emma but she is but she isn’t.   

This episode does pull a big twist and the execution was bit all over the place.

Caroline Ford as Nimue, The Original Dark One Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 7 Nimue review picture image

Caroline Ford as Nimue, The Original Dark One