Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Once Upon a Time: Season 2, Episode 7: Child of the Moon

Fairy Land Past

Snow and Red are fleeing the Queen’s guards and occasionally beating them into submission despite being unarmed and very inappropriately dressed for combat and running through the woods. They escape – but Red rips her cloak and is worried it won’t work to stop her shifting. They split up for one night to be on the safe side and she and Snow reaffirm their friendship despite the whole monstrous eating people thing.

She wakes alone and finds her cloak works even ripped so goes down to the river to meet Snow. When she takes off her cloak, a man steals it. She chases him and finds him threatening to burn her cloak. He calls her a wolf and she leaps on him, pinning him to the ground, he flips her other and his eyes glow golden – he is a wolf as well. He’s Quinn and he wants to show her how she can control her wolf. With that carrot, he leaders her to a sunken castle, opulent and luxurious with several figures walking round – a whole pack of werewolves, until he introduces her to Anita – who claims to be her mother.

Anita tells her Granny stole her as a baby because she was ashamed of the wolf and wanted to hide it from her. She can teach Red how to embrace the wolf and control it. She teaches her to embrace and become the wolf in an awesome scene.

Which is when Snow shows up, a little shaken but willing to understand Ruby’s pack and her need to stay with them. Right until the Queen’s guards show up, shoot Quinn with an arrow and then – get utterly slaughtered by a pack of irritated werewolves. Unfortunately Quinn dies and Anita blames Snow and demands Ruby and the pack eat her.

Ruby’s not enamoured with snacking on friends, it being a major social no-no. When Anita shifts and stalks towards Snow, Ruby leaps on her in wolf form, knocking her fatally into an inconveniently placed ornamental spiky thing. Anita gasps “you chose her” but Ruby says she chose herself – she’s not a killer and she and Snow leave.

The rest of the pack apparently let her take the body and bury it. Ruby says she protected her family when she protected Snow since Snow was the only person who accepted her as both a wolf and a person. Not either/or

Storybrooke Present

After much gruelling work in the mines, Leroy/Grumpy and the rest of the dwarves finally break through and find – diamonds, the kind that can be turned into faery dust. Celebration time at Granny’s! Drinks all round, much happiness and Red gets to meet Billy the mechanic again – only this time learning his fairy tale identity – one of the mice in Cinderella’s pantry. And he wants to have a drink with her. But she already has plans with Belle, or so she quickly claims. Belle clearly considers it a rescue though she likes the guy.

Charming notices Henry drinking coffee – drying to stay away in fear for his nightmares. He reassures Henry in time for King George/Albert Spencer to drop in with some threats – Charming may have won in fairytale land but George knows he’s just a shepherd and he will turn the town against him! Have to say Charming, your whole “they know me better” would have more strength if we’d seen you do more.

Still Charming has an opportunity to show off his great leadership skills by giving advice to Ruby (who would be a much better leader for Storybrooke). She and Granny are clearing out the freezer to make a cage for her – its full moon and she’s about to turn wolfish. Since she hasn’t changed in 28 years she’s worried her control might fray. Charming is there with reassurance – he’s sure she’ll be fine. Red’s taking precautions though.

So – Red, while hopeful about the whole shapeshifting into a monster thing, is taking precautions to make sure she doesn’t eat anyone. Charming is relying on good intentions and a positive attitude to make sure no-one is horribly mauled by a giant wolf. See, this is why I want Red to be leader and Charming to retreat to the background and be brought out to smile and look pretty.

Unfortunately the precautions don’t work and Granny arrives to find the freezer door ripped off and everything covered in claw marks.  They find Red in the woods – without any memory of what she did last night. They go checking and find Billy’s truck – and Billy’s body (seriously Once Upon a Time? You introduce a new POC to kill them off not 10 minutes later?) – Ruby instantly believes it was the wolf and starts to have the screaming meemies.

At Ruby’s insistence, Charming locks her up in a cell – which is when George/Albert makes his move and demands she be handed over as a murderer to town justice. Charming kicks him out and George incites the town against Ruby, leading a mob to the gaol – where they find the cell empty. Ruby has been moved to Belle in the library to be chained up.

As the moon rises, Ruby urges Belle to leave but she has seen the good in Ruby and is sure she is safe (dear gods really? Is Charming’s Lawful Foolish catching or something?! Just because she’s good doesn’t mean she’s not dangerous when she loses control!). Ruby chains Belle up and decides to give herself to the mob to pay for the people she killed (actually, since the moon is rising it’s less “I will hand myself over to the mob” and more “Ohh a tasty mob full of chew toys! Fun!” but let’s not ruin the dramatic moment of self-sacrifice)

Meanwhile, using Granny’s super-senses, Granny and Charming track Billy’s killer to a car – in which is a blood stained axe and Ruby’s cloak. The car belongs to George (he left ID in the car. Damn, you’d think a DA would be better at concealing evidence of his murders). They hear wolf Ruby howl and run, worrying someone will kill her (don’t mind Ruby she’s just eating the mob, nom nom nom).

They arrive in time to stop George the Whiny shooting Ruby. Charming makes one of his speeches and assures them that Ruby’s just scared – she won’t hurt anyone. He approaches the Big Bad Wolf with lots of reassuring words and calms her down until he can put her cloak over her, shifting her back to human.

George does a runner and they catch up to him having a bonfire. In petty revenge, George throws the Mad Hatter’s hat on the bonfire, the only way they have to find Snow and Emma in fairy land. Charming punches him and points a gun at him but Red stops him (there’s at least a week’s worth of meals on him!) because he’s a good man and it’s required to leave the villains alive to come back again and again and again and again.

Henry has another of his fiery dreams (shared with Aurora and maybe Snow) and is woken by Regina, looking after him while Charming responds to the emergency. Only this time, he doesn’t just dream of fire, he wakes with a burn. Regina takes him to see Rumplestiltskin about it who tells her it’s a side effect of the sleeping curse – and it’s remarkable how little Regina knows about her own curse. She snarks back that her victims aren’t supposed to wake up so the side effects are irrelevant – until now. The side-effect is that while a sleeping curse victim sleeps, their soul goes to a netherworld between life and death that is very real – and after they wake they can still return to that world when they go to sleep again. He can’t stop it, but Rumple can give Henry a necklace that will let him control the dreams. Since it’s for Henry, Rumple even makes it a freebie.

Fairyland Present/Storybrooke Present

When Henry goes to sleep to his fiery dream he finds Aurora – also in the fiery dream. Using the necklace he extinguishes the fires.

When she wakes up, she tells Snow and Emma she saw a little boy put out the fires. She tells them he said his name was Henry.

Billy is one of the few POC on this show – after the servant-and-now-missing Magic Mirror, the quickly killed Lancelot, the even-more-quickly-killed Fairy Godmother and the desperately-needs-more-lines Mulan. So another is good – but in this show which has drawn on not just a plethora of classic fairy tales, but also Lewis Carol, Arthurian Legend, Frankenstein and Peter Pan couldn’t you do any better than a MOUSE? But he’s just there as an expendable victim anyway so why worry about it?

Once Upon a Time, this is a Problem that token inclusions like Billy only make worse, not better.

And I still find Charming kind of annoying. This whole earnest goodness before common sense is irritating.