Once Upon a Time: In the Name of the Brother

“Regina thought she was punishing us by erasing who we were, but I think she underestimated how much crap we wanted to forget.”

Mid-way through season one we learned that the Enchanted Forest wasn’t all there was to this story. There were other worlds, like Wonderland, that weren’t affected by the curse in the same way that Snow and Charming’s kingdom was. Back in October we were introduced to the show’s biggest stretch of its narrative boundaries; a black and white universe where we can find people like Frankenstein. ‘In the Name of the Brother’ was our first full taste of what that world was like, and even though it felt odd at first, there were certain parts of it that I liked.

Don’t get me wrong, it feels insane to see these characters arriving into a show that was only ever really meant to serve as a re-imagining of fairytales, with characters like Snow and Red being the focal point. But as a show grows, shouldn’t it try to explore new territory? Frankenstein may have been an overly ambitious route to take things in, but it’s a move that should be commended in some way. It also opens up Once’s mythology that bit more, as we’re faced with the idea that more people in Storybrooke might actually be from elsewhere.

Though we may not be seeing many of that universe’s residents for a while, we do get to see some familiar faces from the Enchanted Forest’s curse-free zone. Cora’s plan to reach Regina finally came to fruition this week, as she began her crusade to make herself a part of her daughter’s life again. Though her role in Archie’s murder was unveiled a little sooner than she might have liked, I think the seeds she sewed will work in her favor. Regina is broken; she knows that she may never be accepted by Snow, Emma and Charming, and she mightn’t even want to be. Henry is what she wants, and the promise of getting him back, even when it comes from someone as evil as Cora, seems like enough to entice her back to the dark side.

Even though he managed to succumb to similar temptations in ‘The Outsider’, Rumple had to face the consequences of his war with Hook, now that Belle’s memory of him has been completely erased. Watching that teacup shatter against the wall was like watching his heart break in front of us. It hurts even more to see him walk away but he needs to find Bae, now more than ever. This is one of the first few times we’ll see Storybrooke residents venture outside the town lines too, and I’m excited to see how it’ll play out.

Outside people venturing inside Storybrooke was also fun to watch. It’s kind of ironic that an episode that was all about black and white would deal with something so morally grey. Well, the solution wasn’t all that hard to reach, there was no way they could have let him die, but what were they to do in face of risking the entire town’s safety? Now that someone has seen magic what, or who, will the drag out there?

‘In the Name of the Brother’ felt a little jumbled. There was a lot going on, but I think that might have been the point. If we’re distracted enough by things like Belle’s memory loss, and Regina and Cora meeting again, then maybe we won’t be so mad to see the show attempt the retro look. For the record, it wasn’t all that bad.

3 out of 5 smashed teacups

Plus

I enjoyed seeing Red help Whale out; she seems to have adapted the best to life in Storybrooke.

What will happen now that Regina and Cora are a team? “Not good things” is my guess.

He Said, She Said

Whale:“Rumpelstiltskin says that magic has a price, but from where I’m sitting it seems that science does too.”

Red: “Regina thought she was punishing us by erasing who we were, but I think she underestimated how much crap we wanted to forget. But we can’t let it stop us, she gave us a chance to start over and I want to take it. I think you should too.”

Cora: “You’ve been too bad for too long and now they see you as a snake.”

Previously posted at PandaTV.

7 comments:

Morgan India said...

What the heck did they do to David Anders's hair? Sark would have been appalled.

ChrisB said...

While I thought the story itself was a bit forced and too much this week, I do like the idea of an outsider entering into this world. I'm curious to see where they are going to go with this.

Katherine said...

“Murder is a bad first impression.” Emma to Gold.

Gold attempts loves kiss on Belle, which doesn’t work but does make her smile before she wakes up screaming.

“You’re chained down; he’s on his feet, immortal, has magic and you hurt his girl. If I was to pick dead guy of the year, I’d pick you.” Emma to hook.

Redemption and the return to love have to cost something. Regina has been paying a price trying to control herself. Cora has not; she is trying to buy love on the cheap.

Thanks for getting the review up so fast. I can’t remember a show having quite this hold on my imagination before.

Billie Doux said...

Love David Anders and I think he makes a terrific Frankenstein. But I'm still weirded out by them folding Mary Shelley into this universe. It's just...strange.

Did you notice the Star Wars ring tone sneaking in there like product placement? Disney owns Star Wars now. Hilarious.

Terrific review, Panda.

Katherine said...

I think that is why they named the town Storybrook, because as writers stories float around us like streams that we can dip our creative fingers into. Henry’s realization that Whale isn’t in the book means the rules are currently unknowable.

Jess Lynde said...

It's not exactly Mary Shelley. It's Mary Shelley by way of old time Hollywood. So it's even more of a tonal mismatch. :)

I must be the only one rooting against Gold. I think he's a great character, but he's not at all sympathetic. He's extremely manipulative, and an utterly terrible (and seriously creepy) match with Belle. Plus, I think Hook's desire for vengeance here is completely understandable. I was glad when Belle shattered that cup --- partially because I thought it was silly for them to bring the whole Disney chipped cup into it in the first place --- and I hope she never gets her memory back. She'd be much better off.

This show is becoming more ridiculous by the week. The characters are very inconsistent, and quite often colossally stupid. They basically do whatever dumb thing the plot of the week requires them to do. And yet, I still find myself looking forward to the show most weeks. Weird.

CrazyCris said...

I don't really care for Whale or Frankenstein, so this episode was just "meh" for me.

I did feel really bad when the cup was smashed, and I'm really curious to see where they'll take the visitors and those leaving town for the first time!