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.

 

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.

Then there is Hook who in the past section meets his father who abandoned him and his brother and sold them. 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.

Anyway 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.

 

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

 

Episode 5: Dreamcatcher

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 5 Dreamcatcher picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

This episode has Emma and Regina freeing Merlin from the tree or in tree form. To do this, they need a tear of lost love. Emma gets this by manipulating Violet, Henry’s Camelot crush. Henry however sees this in Storybrooke via a dreamcatcher. Making Dreamcatcher is to Emma what spinning straw is to Rumple; a hobby to pass the time once filled with sleep. Dark Ones don’t need sleep.

Anyway they do free Merlin and he can free Emma if she is willing to let the dark power go. Clearly that didn’t happen since Emma is manipulator and like Cora.

There are a few nitpicks. If Merlin was a tree or stuck in the tree how did he visit Emma in the movie theater in 1989? Was it a vision? Second nitpick, why didn’t David look at the security footage after the guy died by drank the poison in the jail which Arthur convinced him to do? I mean Arthur wouldn’t have know about security footage. But no, they are going to plan a dance for Hope. Or maybe a Hootenanny of Hope. It just prolong things.

The show is really good at prolonging this just enough to give the character some easy out for completing their next task. In this case a Dreamcatcher shows Emma the anti-venom to fix Merlin and the task is done in the same episode. And David and Snow are all better too. Or are they in theory broken since the “sand” that “cursed” them “fixed” them? Doesn’t matter.

Boring episode. The date was awkward and Camelot is a bore.

Episode 6: The Bear and the Bow

Amy Manson as Merida Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 5 review picture image

Amy Manson as Merida

While it’s nice to escape the dullness of the Camelot plot not sure how much the Brave location adds. It feels like a rehash, like Merida wants to be a bear so she can save her brothers from the clans who don’t think she is fit to rule. Belle convinces her she don’t need magic just her bow and confidence.

The Storybrooke plot is Merida trying to get Rumple to be a hero so he can pull out Excalibur. Her method for motivating him is threatening Belle. Also Arthur is still a douche and the Charmings, Regina, Hook and Henry get Merlin’s voice mail, seriously. Merlin tells them the way to beat the Dark One is find someone called Nimue. Nimue is another name for Vivian a.k.a the Lady if the Lake. Though I’m pretty sure Lancelot mentioned in season two that the Lady of Lake is his mother, so could be his mother. It’s about time we saw other Arthurian ladies like Vivian or Morgan le Faye. This show could have had a field day with Morgan le Faye.

All in not much to this episode. It’s on the line of being alright but again I’m bias, not a fan of Brave. Emma and Zelena’s interactions were fun. Not sure how I feel about Jennifer Morrison’s acting on Dark Swan but the attitude is still preferable than her whiney attitude.

Episode 3: Siege Perilous

 Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 3 Siege Perilous review picture image

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

I found this episode mostly boring. It centers on David and Arthur going on a quest to get a mushroom so they can chat with Merlin who is a tree. Arthur turns out to be sketchy as he steals the mushroom from David in the flashback and convinces a dude to kill himself in Storybrooke. To be fair, Arthur was sketchy in the legends as he tried to murder his incest baby and killed the May Day babies, so he wasn’t that great. At least Lancelot reappears to tell Snow about Arthur, sometimes you just got to tell these people or they won’t learn who the villain is.

In other events Emma tricks Hook and learn how to wake Rumple up so he can pull excalibur for her from the rock in her cave-like basement. Apparently he is a perfect hero as he is a blank slate. Not really sure how the makes sense. All his karma is wiped away because he not the Dark One? Good thing he cured his heart of darkness from the last season. And hey, where is Lily and Maleficent? Guess the show dropped them too.

Aside from a few action set-pieces and Emma’s crafty new attitude this episode was a bit of a snooze.

Episode 4: The Broken Kingdom

Liam Garrigan as King Arthur & Joana Metrass as Guinevere Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 4 The Broken Kingdom review picture image

Liam Garrigan as King Arthur & Joana Metrass as Guinevere

I mostly liked this episode. The exploration of Guinevere and Arthur’s broken relationship was the most compelling aspect of the episode. Guinevere didn’t like Arthur’s obsession with getting excalibur mended at the cost of ignoring his Kingdom and wife. He basically uses a sand that fixes things to brainwash her into being supportive. Arthur is a selfish A-hole.

I more like like the fake-out between David, Snow, Arthur and Lancelot but since Arthur uses that sand it doesn’t amount to anything. Might as well not had the plot at all since it doesn’t seem to further the arc. The only thing it add was getting Lancelot locked-up and apparently Arthur wants to kill Merlin for some reason. Could be as simple as Arthur hates that the sword was broke. Made he thinks Merlin is making fun of his manhood.

Emma and Hook have a date to make her forget the voices in her head. It was visually pretty with the flowers and Emma’s white cape. I really like the cape. Speaking of the costumes I do like Emma’s dark one jacket. Nice nod to the crocodile.

The only part that took place in Storybrooke is Emma using Merida to make Rumple “Brave,” they literally name drop the movie. Though you could have made a drinking game with the number of times they say “Frozen.” Oh and Merida is in Arthur dungeon and she doesn’t like him very much. While I don’t love the character of Merida, I do think the actress, Amy Manson does a good job.

 

 

Episode 1: The Dark Swan

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 1 Dark Swan review picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

So I have elected to finish the Once Upon a Time reviews. Not sure how in-depth the reviews will be but here we go with season 5.

Ok, Hold up, only 30 seconds in and I have an issue. I thought Emma was in Boston till she ran away to Minnesota when she was 13 or 14. She is clearly a kid in 1989. Was she moved to   Minnesota and then moved back to Boston and then ran back to Minnesota? I know it’s part of the show to change everyone’s past when ever but this is a  headache to people who are paying attention.    

Confession time, I don’t like Brave so seeing Merida doesn’t bode well. This episode has Emma re-solidifying as the Dark One at vault of the Dark One. Emma sees a vision of Rumple who is the embodiment of all the Dark Ones to train her in the ways of the Dark Side. Emma however is trying to resist. Rumple-vision tells her the way to find Merlin, who can help her, is through the will-o-wisp which is how she meets Merida.

While that is going on the Storybrooke crew is trying to get to Emma. The apprentice gives them a wand but only Zelena can wield it. After some tricky they get her to open a portal and the crew goes to the Enchanted Forest via Grannies along with the Dwarves in a cyclone.

The crew gets to Emma and convinces her not to kill Merida. Then go to Camelot BUT then there a flashforward back to Storybrooke where 6 weeks have passed but everyone has forgotten what happened after they entered Camelot. Emma is also a fully-relieved Dark One. So we have another memory loss plot. They did it  again. Third Time in 5 seasons?

Nitpick time, someone who recalls season one, when Rumple became the Dark One, did he go to the vault? Because I think he remained where he was and just transformed. Unless Emma had to because she in the Land without Magic  And someone who recalls season 2, didn’t Hook use that heart taking potion to take Aurora’s heart in season 2? He mention how he got it but did the writer forgot him taking Aurora’s heart?

I did like this episode, even with a Disney character I don’t particular care for. It does seem like Merida was very on the nose, making it seems like she will be recurring. It’s weird how sometimes the Disney characters are straight out their movies and other are different.

I also like how the Dark One’s dagger is the tip of excalibur, that is  neat plot development.  The design on both is a given away.

While I don’t like how liberally this show used the memory loss trope for drama we’ll have to see how this Camelot/Dark Swan plot goes but  the whole Light and Dark side of magic is Star Wars……. #Reginaisvader   

 

Episode 2: The Price

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Jared S. Gilmore as Henry Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 2 The Price review picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Jared S. Gilmore as Henry

So we’re back to magic having prices. This concept of the show never really went away but it hasn’t been mentioned in a while. What price does Regina pay for silencing Zelena or fixing sneezy or transporting everywhere?

This episode has  Robin’s life being threatened by a fury who wants to drag him to hell because Regina had Emma saved him Camelot. The power of friendship saves the day in the end. That is actually what happens.

I do like Emma’s new attitude especially considering how whiny she was in season 3 and 4. Can’t really tell how much she committed to being the Dark One or if it’s part of some larger plan. Emma does have a nice house though.  Speaking of being whiney, Hook is the whiney one now trying to figure a way to save her.

This episode did introduce my new favorite character The Nonchalant Duck on the pond as the hellish ferriman comes. The duck is like “hell is opening? Whatever.” Seriously my eyes go right to the duck just swimming by.  

I also liked Emma’s flower child ball gown. It’s like they’re trying really hard to make the juxtaposition of her as Dark One before she “embraces” the darkness and after so they dress her as innocent as possible. Her outfit in the season opener looked like moss. She seemed more like a forest hermit than a creature of pure darkness.

And they mentioned a pull to the light, #EmmaisKyloRen so is Rumple either Snoke or Palpatine? Guinevere is quite pretty. She is played by Joana Metrass. Do you think she would make a good Esmeralda?  

 This episode seemed average. Seems like most of this arc will deal with the 6 missing weeks and Emma’s dark plans. I’m sure there will be other flashbacks.

The Ferryman and the Duck Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode  2 The Price review picture image

The Ferryman and the Duck

 

Episode  21: Mother

Lana Parrilla as Regina Once Upon a Time Season 04 Episode 21 Mother review picture image

Lana Parrilla as Regina

So Rumple needed Emma to go all dark side to charge the author’s ink but turns out Lily could do that because she had Emma’s potential for darkness. And instead of writing  a fix to Rumple’s heart problems, Isaac is going to rewrite the rules so that villains win. But since the author can literally write whatever he could just literally fix Rumple’s problem without this fate changing thing they are doing.  Also if Rumple issue’s was his heart going black from bad deeds why can’t he do good deeds? Also Rumple was FINE prior to the flashback. Sure there was time gap and he took some medicine but there was no indication of his heart dying.  This plot has too many outs and variables to be compelling.

The real theme of the episode is mothers, as you can tell by the title. Emma FINALLY forgives her mother and stops acting like a pouty child. Lily meets Maleficent. At first it didn’t go great as Lily expected a “Dragon Bitch”  and not a normal snappy dresser who can turn into a dragon, but they reach an accord.  

The past section was about Cora trying to get Regina some love in her life along with a baby. Regina thinks this a power grab on Cora’s part and takes the infertility potion to thwart her mother. This backstory also leads Regina to not erase Zelena from the book because of the pain Cora inflicted on both of them.

I dunno why but I love Zelena, I think it might be  the actress more than anything. She was also an episode of 30 rock, in Season 7 Episode 8 My Whole Life is Thunder, where she was virgin widow nymphomaniac. Kermit the Frog was also in that episode but in a different scene.  

You know what else is stupid about the author and Rumple’s plan? Aside from Cruella, who was a bad egg from the start, all the villains got their happy endings. So this changing fate is EVEN MORE DUMB. Just going to say it again, the author can write a cure for Rumple on a slip of paper even. Like Rumple can have his Dark one powers without the limits of being the dark one if Isaac wrote it down.

This show depiction of Maid Marian pisses me off. I have seen MANY versions of Marian even that BBC version that was weird but this Marian’s only value to the plot has been sick/dying and a manic pixie dream girl to Robin (sort of). She didn’t have much personality and even Disney Marian did and she barely in the movie.

This episode was mostly fine. It worked mostly but the plot of this arc has been too all over the place and seems to be leading to a dumb conclusion.

Episode  22: Operation Mongoose Part 1

Lana Parrilla as Regina Once Upon Time Season 04 Episode 22 Operation Mongoose Part 1 review picture image

Lana Parrilla as Regina

Isaac has vanity issue which makes him the worse of the “villains.” We also get a bit of a backstory on Isaac, it’s nothing super amazing or interesting. Just a writer wannabe who can’t sell TVs in the 60s.

This episode bring us to an alternative reality where the former villains are heroes and the heroes are villains. So Rumple is a kindly knight who saves people and Snow and Regina are literally swapped. Henry enters the book with Isaac to try and save the day    

Henry however enters at the final chapter which means there is a ticking clock. He has to change the ending so the book loses its power, I guess. I don’t know literally theory or principles, but why would there be an inciting incident in the final chapter?  The  inciting incident  is the event or decision that begins a story’s problem. So no. Wrong term writer with a job.  

The trouble is Villains can have happy ending UNLESS Ursula and Maleficent were never really Villains? Gasp, Disney needs to rebrand them.

While the episode is handle well it seems like a concept was childish. Snow White as the evil Queen is painted as just cruel and evil whereas Regina was shaped into a heartless bitch because of her mother killing her boyfriend.  Snow lost her love because of Regina but she was already cruel before that, so the only point of this is to see Ginnifer Goodwin acting “evil” which we saw in season 1 when she forgot about loving David. Also I think the styling of Regina as “Snow White Bandit” and Evil Queen Snow should  have expressed their own characters more than just costume switch.

Also poor Graham, he for written out of the story too.

This of course is a two part episode so we can’t fully look it till….. Right now!

 

Episode 23:  Operation Mongoose Part 2

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 23 Operation Mongoose Part 2 review picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

Full Disclosure, I been watching Once on Netflix and the image between episodes is Dark Swan so the twist of Emma taking in the darkness and being the new dark one wasn’t too much of a twist for me BUT I can imagine this when it aired because it’s a neat twist. The show does do twists well. Should mention Emma took on the darkness to protect Regina’s happy ending and it finally gave Emma the push to tell Hook she more than liked-liked him but loved him.  It also tied into the Emma asking her parents to remove the darkness from her again. So the all plotpoint did converge fairly well even though the it seemed all over the place for most of the season.  

As for the second part of this episode, things got wrapped up neatly from the alternative reality. Regina self-sacrifice saved the day and Henry became the new author. I did hate that Rumple was called the “Light One.”  I get that it’s the direct opposite of the “Dark One but it doesn’t sound as good. Light One literally sounds like the first idea the writer came up with. “Lighter Bringer” would have been better, “Pure One,”  “Luminous One,” “Bright One”  I get the magic is called Light magic but “Light One,” Super Meh.

I  did love the Star Wars reference,  Kashsyk is the wookiee  homeworld and Henry is a wookie. So in a way George Lucas true hero of this arc.

We also learned a few new things about the Dark One. Apparently The Sorcerer, or Merlin, tethered darkness to a soul to contain it. Not sure what is special about this particular darkness. Or is it all darkness?

This was an enjoyable episode. Sure, it was more amnesia but it was handle moderately well.  Glad to know the show hasn’t forgotten Black Beard and he also got a happy ending, he got the Jolly Roger.

Episode  19: Sympathy for De Vil

Victoria Smurfit as Cruella De Vil Once Upon a Time Season04 Episode 19 Sympathy for De Vil Review picture image

Victoria Smurfit as Cruella De Vil

So it was the dragon egg that helped Ursula and Cruella stay young? Great! Good thing we got a half-hearted explanation. It was Dragon Placenta, it does wonders for the skin!

Mostly I really enjoyed this episode. Cruella’s backstory was great twisted play on both the trapped princess in her tower type story and  101 Dalmatians. It’s also nice to see a character that doesn’t have any shades of grey, she just psychotic and much crazier than she Disney counterpart.  Also love that she hair is the result of the ink. But something is nagging me, how did she get to the Enchanted Forest? Remember when Realm hopping was hard?

Her “happy ending” is getting her killing ability back as the author, Isaac, took it way so she CAN’T take a life. Just a nitpicky question and honestly this the SAME Question I had for Return of Jafar, can she set-up someone’s death? Like had she tied Henry to a railroad track? I mean she wasn’t she driving during the mean girl test with Regina back in episode 15? So either she can arrange death or they were never in any danger on the railroad track. GAH, it’s confusing

I guess another slight nitpick I have is that Cruella’s story realm, as they are called, is the 20’s but 101 Dalmatians is set in the 60’s. That means 101 Dalmatians in the context of the show is set in the 20’s  because time doesn’t move. Or is the show implying  Cruella was was in her like in her  50s or 60s during the events of 101 Dalmatians, assuming she was 18 in 1920 making  her born in 1902 but it’s very clearly said in 101 Dalmatians that Cruella was Anita’s school friend making them roughly the same age. Easier to assume 101 Dalmatians was just set in 20’s than to do mental hoops. One other question does Cruella’s story realm have other stories set in the 20’s? Like The Great Gatsby? I mean Isaac was reading  that book in this episode so one can assume that that story is in the realm.   

In Storybrooke, Emma is still whining about her parents lying to her. Basically, Emma holds them to a higher standard, so them lying to her is a super big deal to her. Whereas  former villains, like Regina and Hook, Emma okay with because they were honest. So having remorse over something that Snow and David did with wrapped good intentions and knowing what they did was wrong  is less redeemable than two people who did bad things for the hell of it and out of revengence. Emma needs to grow up she met her parents at the age of 28 and kept them at arm’s length for a awhile, not sure how time passes in Storybrooke. Anyway Emma’s constant complaining about her parents is not a good character arc.

Speaking of Emma, she kills Cruella setting her on the path of darkness like Rumple wants. Though she was acting in defense of her child, so it’s leap to think that this puts her on a “dark” path. But speaking of the Dark one,  Rumple’s motivations for all the fate rewriting is that because of all his dark deeds his heart will be incapable of love. So his “evil” motivation does come from a place of love which is typical of his character but it seems a little too late for him to get back to being interesting.  All Rumple had to do was nothing back when he saw the sorcerer’s hat but he couldn’t resist power so he not sympathetic  because it was the second time his chose power over his family so now that his heart is becoming devoid of love isn’t enough.

I did like this episode, especially the past potion with Cruella. I do wonder how long she will stay dead?  Though Graham and Neal of still dead.

       

 

Episode 20: Lily  

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan and Agnes Bruckner as Lily Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 20 Lily Review picture Image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Agnes Bruckner as Lily

So Emma is Anakin Skywalker and Rumple is the Emperor, he trying to get her to the dark side but gasp girl-pal Regina is a more successful Obi-Won. I do like Gal-pal Regina on their magical road time to save Robin and find Lily.

They do find Lily in Lowell Massachusetts. And hey, the show got the distance between Lowell and  Boston right.  So as you MIGHT have figured this episode is about Lily, Maleficent’s daughter and it’s a mixed bag. Emma is still whiney about her parents till she runs into Lily, who knowing everything about the Enchanted Forest people, wants revenge on the Charmings. Emma is about to kill Lily but Gal-pal Regina talks her out of it and Lily joins the road trip to NYC to save Robin.

The past section is about young Emma and Lily. Lily gets into trouble and gets Emma kicked out or new foster family’s house. After Emma pushes Lily away again, even though fate wants them to be together, the apprentice tells Lily everything. I have a minor major issue with is plot development. The apprentice could have sent her to Storybrooke and given her the entry scroll like Ingrid but instead he tells her the story and leaves her to fend for herself.  I did like the yoda line but I like Star Wars.    

It was mixed episode but the shock at the end was interesting, Zelena is pregnant. I do wonder how long Zelena could kept the Marian glamour going since the child would presumably looked nothing like Marian. She could be lying as Zelena does because she is a liar.