Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Once Upon a Time, Season 1, Episode 6: The Shepherd

David – Prince Charming – continues with his amnesia and having a great big party with all the people he doesn’t remember any more.

Of course Henry knows that it’s because the curse didn’t work on him and he has no fake memories and it’s hard for Emma to question him when it was Henry’s ideas that woke him up. Madam Mayor keeps pushing David’s wife Catherine back to him meanwhile David is clearly more interested in Mary Blanchard (Snow White) and how he loves her really. Of course, Mary is far too good (wet) to entertain the idea of seducing another woman’s wife and nobly pushes him away. Y’know, fairy tale snow white has a sword and kicks arse, Mary has, what, some wet celery and kind of crumples damply all over the place.

Mary’s coping method seems to be to clean. Thankfully Emma introduces her to the much more sensible tactic of copious amounts of booze and the sage advice that creeping on the married amnesiac is, indeed, not morally sound. Meanwhile Catherine tries to get David to come to bed with her but Davey boy’s having none of it because he looooves Mary. Madam Mayor swoops in to tell Mary to keep her distance from David, you naughty home wrecker! Mary responds to this terrible and unjust insult by… looking tearful and wet. Oh good gods, Davey, stay with Catherine until Mary develops an actual spine. But no, David decides to romantically stalk the protesting Mary instead.

Mary naturally has no way to make a decision so runs to Emma to make the decision for her. Oh dear gods, could she be any soggier? Of course, it doesn’t work out because David falls into Mr. Gold’s clutches (Rumpelstiltskin) and creates false memories for David sending him back to Catherine and away from Her Dampness. This, naturally, prompts more soppiness from Mary, at least she learns to get her drink on and make moves on the cute doctor. Maybe there is hope for her.

Meanwhile in fairy tale land, a prince engages in some of the most inept swordfighting I’ve ever had the displeasure to witness. Seriously, the man spends half his time with his back to his opponent, only avoids death because the guy with the spear seems to pause and stand still whenever Prince charming sprawls on the floor/presents his back/nearly falls off the cliff and both of them move like they’re up to their necks in treacle (now, remove the metal armour, have them rolling in treacle? Much more entertaining fight). I actually wondered for a moment if it were a really cheap way of trying to do Matrix slow-motion. Apparently this inept treacle-fencing is a test to see if he can slay… a dragon! (I’d say no, unless the dragon is elderly, wounded, has advanced leprosy and has lost all desire to live). A dragon that is plaguing the kingdom of king Midas – him of the golden touch. In return, Midas will pay them enough gold to completely destabilise their economy… errr, to make them rich. Oh and he turns his sword to gold – but it wasn’t like he knew how to use it anyway.

And after all that, he hasn’t even killed the guy, turns his back and gets himself well and truly stabbed. Very inconvenient – the poor king needs to find a dragonslayer stat or he doesn’t get the gold. In comes Rumpelstiltskin to make a deal, he pulls out the prince’s hidden twin goatherd (James – Prince Charming/David) brother for some dragonslaying and he gets to know where the fairy godmother hangs out (I remember this fairy tale J).

Said goatherd has an impoverished farm and a mother who wants to marry him off for some cash. But no, goatherd wishes to wait for true love – and in comes Rumpelstiltskin, already bought his twin brother and now looking for a 2 for 1 deal with extra dragonslaying. Well, standing outside looking heroic while the soldiers go do the actual dragonslaying. Yeah, soldiers against a dragon – we know how that ends don’t we? (At least the soldiers get better armour – full suits of chain while the prince only gets some badly boiled leather).  After the predictable char-broiling, the goatherd levels up to Big Damn Hero and makes with the dragonslaying (after the dragon conveniently forgets how to breath fire and he gains a sword with an edge even sharper than those late night knife adverts on the shopping channel).

But Midas has a master plan beyond making tacky gold ornaments and ruining the economic stability of the land – he wants to unite the kingdoms by having his daughter – Abigail (Catherine) marry Prince James (David) aha, now we know why they were betrothed from… So much for James’ plan to only marry for love and not money – but hey it’s Midas, that’s a WHOLE lot of money.
We learn that she, the evil queen lost love as well. Oh please please please don’t make this entire curse be about a woman scorned! Please don’t. Make it be about her being a megalomaniac with a god complex, I’d be much happier.

And a hugely bad moment. Emma catches the sheriff sneaking out of the mayor’s house (the sheriff and the mayor are having sex) and is horrified that they’re having sex while henry is in the house. Why? What, she’s supposed to be celibate because she’s a single mother? It’s not like the house isn’t big enough for her to ensure Henry doesn’t walk in in the middle of things. And if he does by mistake once? Son, your mother has sex. Deal with it, everyone has to cope with the realisation at some point.

Y’know, someone should have really stabbed Rumpelstiltskin at some point. Would have solved a lot of problems. He’s way more the villain here than Madam Mayor.

It was a bit flat this episode. Not much happened, not much developed and we didn't even have the big moral issues any more. Kind of disappointing.