Once Upon a Time: Unforgiven

“Should have known fish sticks and pound puppy were here for more than a second chance.”

When a series with such a complex mythology gets to a certain point you start to see when the characters’ history is being re-written to serve existing plots. Once has been guilty of that a lot in the past, but in almost every instance it hasn’t compromised continuity. ‘Unforgiven’ pushed the boundaries of these revisions but managed to pull it off pretty well.

That Snow and Charming were responsible for something so horrible would be hard to believe, especially if they swept it under the rug and lived with it for all these years, but we’ve known for a while that there’s a lot we don’t know about these characters’ pasts. Though others like Emma seem more likely to be hiding a seedy secret like this, I’m relishing the thought of the Charmings killing themselves over their part in Maleficent losing her child.

It seems like this arc is playing heavily with those morally grey areas, more so than it has in the past, which is great for a show where some characters have a tendency to be very one-note. If it's handled right it could push some characters’ arcs in some really interesting directions.

I’m glad that the producers decided to go another route with Maleficent that wasn’t a part of the recently released movie. This twist feels true to the show that Once is and the stories they’ve had in the past, and I’m really excited to see what happened and how it’s going to affect how Maleficent treats Mary Margaret and David in the present day.

As for Cruella and Ursula, they’ve been a total hoot so far. Ursula hasn’t done much for me yet, but Victoria Smurfit’s Cruella is so unabashedly ridiculous that I can’t help but love every scene she’s in, even if she’s chewing the scenery with reckless abandon. Though I’m more connected to Maleficent’s connection to Storybrooke for now, I’m looking forward to Cruella’s episode already.

4 out of 5 decoy boxes


Will and Belle are now a thing. Don’t think getting on Rumple’s bad side is a good idea right now.

I wonder when we’ll get an answer about how Will ended up in Storybrooke sans Ana. Maybe it’s a season five thing?

So nice to see August's father helping Regina out and giving her a second chance. More of this Regina plot please, show.

Bringing in three villains at once might seem like overkill but so far its working in Once’s favour. I’m looking forward to more sneaky tentacle and vintage car action over the next ten episodes.

Originally posted at PandaTV.


Anonymous said...

I think we beat (again) our record of number of mentions of the words "hero" and "villain" this episode.

Sadly, I didn't like it much and am not convinced at all about the route the back season is taking. Frozen seemed much better than this.

Patrick said...

Panda, I definitely agree with you about Ursula and Crualla. Ursula hasn't really done anything to excite me yet, I don't know how much of it is the writing and how much is the casting. Merrin Dungey's never really been one of my favorites. Victoria Smurfit as Cruella on the other hand has been a total hoot. She's over the top and ridiculous, and I wouldn't have her any other way. Let's face it, Cruella has never been a subtle, low-key kind of character. She was meant to chew the scenery the way a pit bull chews on a rawhide bone. Based on her performance and her twitter feed, Ms. Smurfit is having a blast playing her. I think another part of what makes Cruella the more appealing character of the two is the fact that "Storybrooke" Ursula just looks like a regular person, while Storybrooke Cruella still looks like the Cruella we know.

I'm not sure where they plan to go with this new arc involving the Charmings, but I was hesitant about the entire Frozen arc and it turned out much better than I expected. Though this feels like little more than an attempt to make the Charmings less boring. I actually wonder if Maleficent is the one who will come out of this as the more sympathetic character.

Regina's arc continues to impress, her scenes with Geppetto were lovely(thanks in no small part to the wonderful performance by Tony Amendola, bravo Master Bra'tac). Having her pretending to revert to her nasty ways as an undercover op should be interesting, it's an interesting way to have her continue her struggles without just reverting AGAIN.

Swoooze said...

Another strong episode here. As you said Cruella continues to be fantastic. Who couldn't love her comeback to Regina commenting on her costume jewellery with "These are blood diamonds dear!" with such pride! Hilarious.

I didn't even realise that Ursual is Francine/Alison from Alias. Wow I feel dumb.

The Charmings costing Malificent her child is very dark and I am all for it.

Lastly I did like seeing David drinking Charles Widmore's MacCutcheon's whiskey. A great little Easter Egg for Lost there just like the Oceanic airplane seen previously.