Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Once Upon a Time, Season 1, Episode 16: Heart of Darkness

We start in fairy tale land with a doublem load of epic – Prince James and Red Riding Hood running from the guards pursuing James while he runs to seek Snow. He needs a head start - and it’s full moon. Take it away, Red.

Snow, meanwhile, is being as twee as Disney could wish, well for 5 seconds, before she tries to kill the blue bird. Yes, since taking Rumplestiltskin’s potion, Snow Whit has changed and the Seven Dwarfs and Jiminy Cricket are actually holding an intervention for her. Yes, Snow White is getting interventioned – how classic is that?

Snow is very very angry – and is deciding to go for some vengeance against the Queen. Rather than taking her anger out on the dwarfs, she’s going to kill the Evil Queen. Something she pursues by… asking nice questions – torture, theft and plotting murder. Hey, this Snow is fun. Though Prince James disagrees when he finds the man Snow was nicely talking to and is perturbed that Snow White has become so bloodthirsty

Grumpy is also not a big fan of bloodthirsty Snow and wants her to go to Rumplestiltskin and change back – after all, Rumplestiltskin is the most powerful man in the world. An idea that intrigues Snow White. Rumplestiltskin says she changed because she removed her love and he can’t replace it –but Snow doesn’t want it anyway, she wants help to kill the Queen which he’s very happy to set up for her – with a magical bow and a perfect ambush spot. Prince James arrives but a little too late to meet Snow – and he confronts Rumplestiltskin. Of course the way to cure her is with True Love’s Kiss – and Rumplestiltskin is happy to tell him where she is for his cloak (yes, Rumplestiltskin is definitely playing his own game – from the cloak he extracts a strand of James’s hair to put with Snow White’s – and behold, he has bottled love). Though I consider it dubious that if Snow kills the Queen she becomes as evil as the Queen.

Of course, True Love’s kiss doesn’t work – Snow White can’t remember James so how can she love him? She knocks him out and leaves him tied up for Jiminy Cricket to rescue and then James to make a big big gesture to risk his life to save… the Evil Queen. But it’s really to save Snow White from being evil, proving his love by nearly dying for her – sort of – True Love’s kiss time! And the magic is broken. But King George’s army arrives to take James away.

This means we no longer have angry Snow White. We have angsty Snow White making amends to the dwarfs. And the dwarfs are rallied- watch it King George, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs are coming (I just love how this show lets me use lines like that, yes yes I do).

In the real world Mary Margaret is being arrested because of her finger prints on the box full of a human heart. Emma has to arrest her even though she knows Mary Margaret is innocent. Thankfully, Emma is talking a whole load of great sense about why Emma has to arrest Mary Margaret – though Mary can’t imagine it, how could she hurt anyone? (oh her fairy tale self begs to differ)

She is taken to questioning with Emma and Regina. The box the heart was found in is actually Mary Margaret’s jewellery box. Regina continues the theme of Mary Margaret changing and being corrupted by loneliness and anger – as she herself knows. A broken heart can lead you to do unspeakable things (so says Regina, Queen of Unspeakable Things).

Henry and Emma go back to Emma and Snow’s flat so they can check to see if anyone broke in to steal Mary Margaret’s jewellery box. Henry thinks it’s Regina – but for fairy tale reasons of course. And under the floor they find a very big knife – that was making noises for some reason.

Henry and Augustus talk about Henry’s book – and Augustus lets Henry know that he believes the Fairy tale book is real – and he encourages Henry to find proof. Meanwhile David meets with Regina who is very sure about the nature of evil – in many many hints of how close evil really is. David is determined to prove Mary Margaret innocent.

Meanwhile Emma wants Mary Margaret to hire a lawyer – and Gold (Rumplestiltskin) offers to help. Oh yeah, this would be a great great idea. While Emma is against the idea – Mary Margaret is much more sensible and it quick to get Gold on side.

Henry brings Regina’s keys to Emma – and shows that she has access to every house in the city with her keys that open any lock. While David is getting hypnosis with Archie (Jiminy Cricket) for some memory reclamation – but it goes too deep and he remembers Snow White not Mary Margaret – remembers Snow White determined to “kill her”.  Unfortunately he takes this memory to Mary Margaret and, well, implies she killed Katherine. Mary Margaret does not take it well.

Then there’s one of Regina’s super keys in Mary Margaret’s bed. Emma arrives and reveals that the heart is Kathrine’s – but also asserts that she’s on Mary Margaret’s side and she knows Regina is the enemy – but that they have to tread carefully because Regina is very very crafty indeed. And Emma remembers there was only one time she managed to beat Regina – when she worked with Gold. And she is willing to use any methods that Gold uses to help save Mary Margaret. Oh yes, Gold versus Regina, this is going to be good

I do like the constant message that evil isn’t born, it’s made. And that evil isn’t easily spotted and that anyone can become evil. It’s especially powerful in the world of fairy tales when so often the binary of good and evil is presented rigidly with little nuance or explanations

I also get the very powerful feeling we’re going to see some very real epic coming up really soon