6.03 – The Other Shoe (Review)


On my blog I entitled this weeks post ‘evil be thou good’ which I know comes from something creepy, and it probably doesn’t mean what I’m intending it to mean. However, ‘evil be thou good’ keeps popping into my head these days, because often it feels when watching Once Upon a Time that everything is flipped in reverse. The ‘evil characters’ are more good, than the ‘good’ ones.

Anyway spoilers under the cut.

General comments
I know I usually put these at the end but I’m not entirely sure how to split my remarks this week. The opening sequence set the tone really – clips from season one!!! That was awesome, and I loved it. That quote Emma had about “you need to punch back” is one of my favorites from the show.

This week was full of callbacks actually and I really love that! That is actually one of my favourite things a show can do, prove that they haven’t forgotten what has already happened. Like Regina making good lasagna, or Dopey being a tree. Even revisiting Cinderella’s storyline and bringing back the actors, it all makes it feel like a more expansive and in depth universe. I would really like to see more stories revisited, forget bringing in new characters, bring back old ones.

One thing I would like them to occasionally mention, is who is looking after baby Neal all day. I’m guessing maybe dropping in the fact about Ashley running the daycare, sort of suggested that maybe baby Neal goes there.

With Cinderella’s storyline. I really liked the complexity that they hinted at, of the step-sisters being just as trapped by their mother but in a different way. Plus it used the key that Rumplestiltskin had last week, which was a nice touch. However, it didn’t explain how the key came to be in Rumple’s possession. There also wasn’t any mention of the second-step sister beyond the opening flashback. What happened with her?

Also the really big question – what about the price of the magic to heal Ella? That looked like a pretty bad wound and when Robin was healed from a near-fatal wound in Camelot, a fury came to Storybrooke to collect the unpaid price of the magic. I suppose Robin’s wound was poisoned, with poison specifically designed to kill Regina which made it more complicated. However, even so the ‘all magic comes with a price’ rule should be explored more in my opinion.

I really love how Archie has been in every episode so far. He talks a lot of sense, even if he doesn’t go quite far enough, but then he’s just trying to prompt Emma to think about things for herself, he’s not there to pass judgement. Also, he’s focusing on this new problem that she has, rather than all the old issues which were never dealt with.

They also brought back Whale! It looked like he was in his FTL costume which makes sense I guess, if he’s going all ‘mad scientist’ in his garage.

I do love Snow wanting to teach again, that’s another callback to how things were in the early seasons. Plus, I mean are the kids even going to school at the moment? Henry certainly isn’t. Then there was Snow’s speech at the end to David, about getting back to normality and stopping chasing trouble. After all heroes can go tilt at windmills, but what truly matters in life is family. However, I knew David wouldn’t burn that card. I think he intended to but he wasn’t ready. He wants to know what happened, and I don’t think it is purely about vengeance like Snow suggested, I think it’s just closure.

Regina and the Evil Queen
I did laugh when Regina expressed confusion about why the Evil Queen wasn’t dead. It seems pretty obvious to me. First of all, the Evil Queen doesn’t technically exist. She’s not a separate person, she’s part of Regina, and therefore her body is a magical construct of sorts. It’s not flesh and blood, even if it appears that way, therefore a heart doesn’t really matter. I don’t think that you can kill magic with magic. Besides there’s my theory that if one dies, they’ll both die, as they are still connected. So I think magic itself wouldn’t let Regina kill herself like that.

Oh the scene between Henry and the Evil Queen was amazing. It was so telling as well, with how the Evil Queen kept saying “I’m still your mother” – she really wants them to understand that she and Regina are the same. This is what I mean when I say good and evil have been flipped. I think the Evil Queen just wants to be reunited with Regina, and be whole again, and she’s trying to get Regina to realize that.

Can’t forget the ending – the Evil Queen released Hyde! I totally saw that team-up coming, after all they are both the ‘worst self’ of someone, so it only makes sense. To be honest I’m not at all worried about what they might do, they haven’t exactly done anything that ‘evil’ just yet. Hyde is obviously working Emma, but I don’t know why yet.

Emma and Hook
Ah Hook and kids. You know I wrote a oneshot once which had Hook totally out of his depth babysitting. In my opinion Hook’s instinctive panic when faced with the kid was accurate. Him then playing the fool to entertain the child also makes sense. He wouldn’t know what else to do, and it was kinda sweet, but it did only last for a minute. The true test would be if he had to watch a child for several hours.

Emma going all gooey watching the scene was expected. However, I have been reading talk on tumblr for days about how ‘Emma wants to give Hook a baby for his happy ending’ and I didn’t see anything like that on this episode. I think it’s another case of the press releases being wildly inaccurate, or speculation getting out of hand.

It was the same with Hook’s throwaway comment about “sleeping on a cot near a pregnant woman that snores”. I’d read so much negative speculation about that, but honestly it felt to me just a casual remark. The sort that you make when you are a little frustrated, and so it’s a bit of goodnatured griping. I suppose Ashley isn’t exactly a close friend, so confiding in her that he wished that he and Emma were moving faster, was perhaps a little inappropriate.

I’m not Hook’s biggest fan but I wasn’t bothered by that comment. I frowned far more at the “if you can read those scribbles” in regards to Henry’s book, as I wasn’t sure whether he was talking about Henry’s writing, or whether Henry had got the people to write in themselves. I was a bit confused on that front, and if it was Henry’s writing, then that was rude. I don’t quite get why they were fighting with sticks, beyond an attempted callback to when Henry did that with David and Neal. Perhaps it would have looked better if Jared wasn’t so much older than Henry is supposed to be.

Finally! Finally! Finally! they remembered Dopey was a tree!

I liked Leroy’s comment of “Got him out weeks ago” because that is quite telling – Emma hadn’t noticed. Had any of the ‘heroes’ noticed? That really doesn’t say anything good about the heroes, especially considering the dwarves used to be the Charming’s biggest allies. However, at least it explains where Dopey has gone, seeing as the actor has left the show.

I did smile hearing that he had left town to pursue a masters degree. Suddenly I’m desperate to know what Dopey did under the curse. He was obviously given curse memories of a regular degree, or he wouldn’t be going for a masters. I wonder what his specialty is – enquiring minds want to know!

Also you know knocking is polite Emma. She just burst into Archie’s office. Poor Leroy, I mean he’d booked a session and then Archie just blanked him because Emma is more important, that was sad. Archie’s advice was on point, it sort of called back to when David talked about ‘happy moments’ in 3B, and how they made life worth living.

Then there was Henry, he believed in Emma, which made her magic work. That was again, a lovely callback to how things used to be on this show.

Rumple and Belle
I am so glad in the promo for next week that Rumple has finally cut his hair. I can’t wait to see the explanation for it, and I really want to see the back of this wig. It looked even worse in this episode, perhaps it didn’t hold up very well to repeated use.

Oh Rumple, taunting David might feel good but it’s not going to help mend fences is it? However, I did have to laugh. He says that David is “very desperate” and so he can demand a higher price. Then all he has him do, is deliver a tape to Belle? I suppose from Rumple’s perspective, it was what he wanted the most from David – it was his most pressing need. However, it’s not exactly a high price for David to pay, and by taunting him about the desperation, it made it sound like he was going to ask him to fight a dragon or something.

You know I put in these reviews every week, that I really do love Belle. However, “sounds like my husband” in reference to the deals was again a very bitter remark for her. It’s not what she said, it’s how she said it. That wasn’t like a fond tone of ‘oh he does love his deals’. It was a eye rolling, ‘can’t he ever do anything to help because it’s right’ type tone. Nothing in life is free, trading favors is not evil and he didn’t ask David to do anything difficult, just to pass on a tape.

I wish that this show was about 3x as long, because Rumple and Belle really need more screentime. With practically just one scene each, it’s really difficult to tell what they are thinking. Although there was hope because Belle mused about ‘fathers and sons’ and said “ they need each other” which sounded like progress to me. Perhaps realizing that whatever happens between them as a couple, they do have a child together and that child needs his father.

The lullaby at the end was as heartbreaking as I expected. I really hope that it made Belle think because it was a wonderful gift. Plus Rumple was outside the ship – outside! He knows where Belle staying and he’s giving her space. He must loathe the fact that out of everywhere in Storybrooke, she’s staying on Hook’s ship, it must burn but he hasn’t said or done anything. All that talk about ‘wrath’ last week was ridiculous because Rumple respects Belle’s choices, even when he hates them.

Hopefully next week there will be some forward movement between Belle and Rumple. They haven’t spoken since Belle walked out on him, after waking from the sleeping curse, and they are overdue a conversation. I know there are set spoilers in regards to the episode but I don’t really pay much attention to those. I don’t like to speculate without context because in my opinion, there just isn’t enough information.

I really liked this episode. There wasn’t enough Rumple or Belle, but that’s par for course really. There was a lot of Regina and the Evil Queen, which made up for it slightly. There were a lot of callbacks to the past and that was awesome. I really can’t wait for next week!