Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Once Upon a Time, Season 1, Episode 15: Red Handed

In fairy tale land we follow Red Riding Hood, her Granny and an interesting interpretation on the “huff and puff and blow your house down” line and a very handsome man, Peter. And the theme is Red wanting to get away from where she is. Especially since they’re under siege by a wolf – that is repelled by red (hence the hood) and her Granny is keeping her very firmly under the thumb (but Granny is kind of badass so she’s totally forgiven).

And Red meets Snow White stealing eggs, alas, before Snow White developed several levels of badass which we have seen her with, there’s an edge of her Storybrooke persona’s wet lettuce about her. I do like that they had her pick Margaret and Mary as her alias, though. They go to fetch water – and find a lot of massacred wolf hunters. See, Granny was right. Listen to Granny in future.

There’s a town hall meeting to discuss killing the wolf while Granny schools the town on how the wolf is something you hide from rather than fight, especially since its predecessor killed her family and bit her. Listen to Granny, people.

Sadly red decides not to listen to granny and, listening to Snow White talk about love, she decides to run off and kill the wolf all on her lonesome – because daylight alone will turn the tide. Listen. To. Granny. Be told! But no, it’s hunting REALLY BIG wolf time for Red and Snow. And tracking it’s paw-prints… which become foot prints and, guess what, the wolftime (when the wolves appear) is once a month at full moon. Can we guess what it is yet? And those footprints end up at Red’s window – where Peter was the night before. After a pretty damn good speech by Snow, red is pushed to try to talk to Peter in order to stop him killing the hunters or the hunters killing him.
So plan is planned! Red goes to Peter and ties him up to control his wolf, while Snow tricks granny. But Granny is worried – for it’s not Peter who is the wolf, it’s Red (hence the footprints going to Red’s window) and poor Peter is tied up next to her. Red’s mother was a wolf – and so was granny, though with age all she has left is her sense of smell to track Red with.

Following from last week, Emma has to question David (Prince James) about the disappearance of Catherine since there’s an unexplained phone call between them on their phone records (supplied by Sidney, working for Regina). Emma’s lie detectors skills are powerful and, besides, there’s no case yet – though David needs a lawyer. And Emma takes the time to let the naïve Mary Margaret know that the town is going to look down on her and David; suspecting David murdered the missing Catherine.

In Storybrooke, at Granny’s Diner, Ruby (Red Riding Hood) is flirting with August, our writer mystery fellow (sorry, Ruby, I think he’s pencilled in for Emma) and, again, the theme or Ruby wishing she could go to other places than Storybrooke. And, of course, her controlling Granny. I didn’t appreciate the “drag queen” remark Granny made, but Ruby officially wins a medal for her rejoinder “and you dress like Norman Bates when he dresses as Norman Bates’ mother” a prize for the woman over there please. Sadly, this brilliant exchange is cut short by Ruby quitting.

Both David and Snow decide it’s a great idea to go searching alone in the woods where Catherine disappeared to find her. Uh-huh, no-one ever said Mary Margaret was the sharpest tool in the shed. But something has happened to David – he’s confused and repeating the same phrase over and over

Ruby’s later found by Snow and Emma by the bus stop waiting for a bus to leave town which, of course, doesn’t exist. A forward planner she is not.  Naturally, the Wet Lettuce Mary Margaret invites her to stay with her, hang around the station and end up becoming Emma’s assistant.

Ruby has low self-esteem and very little confidence of her own abilities, but Henry vouches for the capability of Little Red Riding Hood and, besides, Emma’s not going to let anyone walk around feeling useless and Ruby finds David for Emma. David’s had a massive memory black out for the whole day. Of course, black outs raise the question of whether he did harm Catherine and then forgot.

Red goes out searching again using her super senses (now where do they come from I wonder – interesting, we have supernatural abilities over in Storybrooke now as well) and finds a box, a little wooden box with a human heart inside it. They assume this belongs to Catherine since she’s the only missing person – and the box had Mary Margaret’s fingerprints on it. Now, as I recall, it’s Regina who did the whole boxed hearts thing.

Red Riding Hood as a werewolf? Oh this is just a perfect interpretation of the Red Riding Hood story! I love it. Love it love it love it.

Ok, so this is a wonderful story about growth. How the terrified and low self-esteem Ruby finds her inner confidence and capability, grows a lot, grows up and becomes more capable and aware of her capabilities. And it’s actually really well done, brilliantly acted and generally a great episode. It’s touching and powerful and heart-warming. But I do have to cast an eye over the fact that irresponsible, low self-esteem Ruby dressed in provocative clothing with dyed, styled hair – while “mature” Ruby covers up and has her hair in a more conventional, uncoloured style. There’s some coding there