Sunday, March 1, 2015

LIVE Once Upon A Time thoughts - March 1, 2015

8:57 - Ohhhhh, I like that little twist that revealed that Rumple was the one behind the release of the monster and was actually behind the e-mail exchanges (and a nice throwback to Rumple getting an e-mail at the beginning of the episode.  Well done.

8:49 - Intriguing development -- given somewhat away by recent commercials -- that Emma is the one with the potential with the darkest heart.

8:41 - That was an awfully convenient bargaining chip.  What would the plan have been if that monster wasn't there?  And Rumple and crew would have no way of knowing that the monster was there.

8:20 - I always find the selective use of magic on the show interesting, too.  Like, Regina will need to get someplace right away and you'll see her running off.  Other times, she has no issue whatsoever just teleporting.  So right now, seeing Regina and Emma searching the office for a bottle opener had me shaking my head a bit.  We just saw Regina shooting fire from her hands 10 minutes ago!

8:10 - I am interested in seeing how they incorporate Cruella, who was an ordinary (but evil) person in the Disney Universe, in the Enchanted Forest.  We see that she had some sort of control over animals (or possibly just dogs), but I'm interested in seeing how other elements of her character fit into the world Once Upon A Time has created.  Her 1920's attire does seem somewhat out of place in the Enchanted Forest, but let's see.

8:05 - I don't know, I find it a bit of a stretch that Hook cares THAT much about the fairies being trapped in that hat.  Showing a soft side because he loves Emma is one thing....being that selfless seems slightly out of character.

7:43 - It's been a while since I've written anything about Once Upon A Time, so I thought I would provide my LIVE thoughts on it's mid-season premiere.  Before the show begins, I thought I'd talk a bit about my thoughts on the status of the show as a whole.

As you may remember, this was one of my favorite new shows of the season when it first premiered.  I found it incredibly clever and I truly enjoyed their unique spin on various famous fairy tales.  And I loved the way they tied in different stories.  I thought they broke the curse way too early, but I do think that they recovered with a strong second season.  Since then, the series has relied on half season story arcs, which I think have -- for the most part -- worked nicely.  I thought Peter Pan was interesting (although it had its share of flaws, such as not properly explaining why Rumple and the Evil Queen were limited in their powers in Neverland.  And focusing exclusively on the main characters, without much development or movement, resulted in some dragging) and the Wicked Witch was fun as well.  I thought they did a fantastic job with the Frozen characters, which is good because it came across as very commercial.

Really, my one criticism of the series is my favorite character:  I'm REALLY disappointed with what they've done with Rumple's character.  He's fallen into HRG (from Heroes) territory, where the character became so popular because he danced between hero and villain.  However, the writers relied too much on that complexity that they didn't allow the character to properly develop.  On Heroes, HRG would ultimately do the right thing (after doing many, many wrong things) and would seemingly see the light.  Then come the next season, he'd be back to his wicked ways because that's what the writers thought made the character fun.  But ultimately, the character became difficult to rally behind.  The same thing is happening with Rumple.  They did an awesome job with his redemption story at the conclusion of the Peter Pan arc.  His role as the reluctant pet who was forced to do bad things even though he didn't want to during the Wicked Witch story worked as well.  I could even forgive his revenge killing of the Wicked Witch, because he did it for his son.  But within the very same episode of promising his dead son that he would be good, he was back to lying and scheming.  Every other villain is seemingly allowed to develop into a more complex, happy character (Regina and Hook immediately come to mind) but they seemingly refuse to give that honor to the best character of them all.  And it's very frustrating.

Not to mention that I read in various interviews and saw in several specials how Rumple did all the bad things during the Frozen arc because he didn't want to be taken advantage of again, like he was with the Wicked Witch.  They tried to portray him as somewhat sympathetic.  But throughout the half season, the show itself did nothing to explain that (they SORTA did at the end, in his discussion with Regina and later Belle).  Instead, he just came across as somebody who chose power over love, again.

I'm hoping they will give Rumple redemption the remainder of this season.  And I hope it lasts.  I recognize the difficulty in making Rumple a good guy -- he's so powerful, no villain could measure up to him and be a legitimate threat.  But that should be no excuse for holding a character back.

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