Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Once Upon a Time, Season 6, Episode 4: Strange Case

Rumple is sporting a new haircut. This is important or worthy of comment apparently. He also gets a visit from Hyde and EQ which kind of frustrates me

It frustrates me because, in seasons past, I would have laughed at the idea of these two making such a blatant enemy of Rumple’s. In seasons past, I would have gleefully looked forward to Hyde fully regretting trying to out manipulate the most manipulative of them all. With his power, his schemes, his deals and his ability to see the future, manipulating Rumple will always end painfully. Even his attempt to throttle the unkillable Hyde seems half-hearted (like being unkillable means Rumple couldn’t do terribad awful things to Hyde).

But this season? Not so much. And it’s not just because Hyde and EQ are just so much more craftier than Rumple. I could run with that. But Rumple isn’t even trying – and that’d be fine if he was so depressed and focused on Belle that he didn’t want to play the game any more – but he keeps on playing; just badly and with a fraction of the skill he once had.

So he does very little when EQ and Hyde help themselves to a pendant from his shop – not even trying to make a deal over it.

Hyde plants the pendant in Jekyll’s home to freak him out because of the memories attached – and Jekyll and Hyde’s past revealed

Dr. Jekyll was experimenting on his serum but not getting a whole lot of luck in making it work – or getting the prominent Dr. Lidgard to support his work. Or his beautiful daughter Mary who Jekyll is totally obsessed with.

The solution to his problem comes from Rumplestiltskin – back in his Dark One days – who provides the last key to making the serum work: magic. The magic allows the creation of Dr. Hyde, filled with all the elements of Jekyll that he wants to hide (hence the name). He’s passionate and driven – and willing to blackmail Dr. Lidgard to get all what Jekyll wants

In the present Rumple continues to fail – deciding to “save” Belle by imprisoning her on the pirate ship with a defensive spell. Needless to say, Belle is furious with his version of protection which keeps out Hyde and locks Bell in: clearly Rumple could have created a spell to allow Belle to pass (since it allows anyone else to pass) on and off the ship but he has deliberately removed her choices because, as ever, he decides he knows best.

After Hyde and EQ rampage through Jekyll’s lab where he’s trying to recreate the serum – Jekyll only manages to preserve a small amount of serum which Rumple claims (since they still need his magic to make it work) by means of ripping out Jekyll’s heart to compel him.

Jekyll flees to the ship since, thanks to Rumple, it’s the only safe place against Hyde while Rumple puts his own plan in motion and stabs Hyde with his Dagger covered in serum… only to have it fail. Because Hyde switched the serum: Hyde has outsmarted Rumple. And, again, it’s not because Hyde was so cunning but because Rumple just isn’t using a tenth of his brains any more.

Hyde’s plan is to get to Belle – but not himself, but by another evil. Jekyll

Continuing the flashback we see Mary falls in love… with Hyde. She’s not remotely interested in Jekyll, a man who considers passion and emotion flaws to suppress; she wants a man like Hyde, driven by passion. When Jekyll realises this, he kills Mary (in a fit of passion no less) and then drinks his serum again to disguise himself as Hyde and escape the blame.

And in the present when Belle realises that Jekyll isn’t so nice, she tries to flee and Jekyll attacks. Gold watches, helpless while under the thrall of his dagger. Killian has to show up to save Belle – and stab Jekyll. An act which kills Hyde as well. The way to kill a double is to kill the original

Which means that to kill EQ they need to kill Regina. Something Regina is very aware of. And, just as Emma asked Regina to kill her if she became dangerous to her family when she was Dark Swan, Regina asks Emma to do the same if she turns evil – because clearly the serum is not a cure against evil.

Ok… so what does the cure do? I can see it separating parts of yourself you don’t want – but if Jekyll considered emotion and passion to be negative and that’s what created Hyde, let’s be clear that he didn’t succeed. Jekyll’s fury over Mary choosing Hyde was an emotional, passionate act. So what was separated? What does the serum do?

One thing it doesn’t do is what Rumple wanted – remove the capacity to love. He interfered because this was way back in the days when Belle first arrived in his castle and he was beginning to fall for her and wanted some way to stop that

This is one of the many things he tries to tell Belle to explain how he loves her, that’s why he locked her up and she better start loving him or their baby will be killed by all the people who hate him because of the evil shit he’s done.

Belle is not convinced by this pitch.

Alas, we have to catch up with Snow White. She’s a teacher now (because being a princess without a kingdom is not a job with a lot of time commitment, or wealth for that matter) and she’s super sad because apparently she sucks at teaching and her whole class fails. Shireen her TA and fanpoodle declares she needs to be the best she can be and not Snow White pretending to be Mary Margaret which would be interesting. Except Snow interprets this as “Screw it, I suck at teaching science so I will teach archery instead”. Storybrooke doesn’t have a curriculum it seems.

But Shireen is actually Jasmine in disguise and looking for Aladdin. That one sentence makes her vastly more interesting than teacher Snow.