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Once Upon a Time: The Apprentice

“I don’t pillage and plunder on the first date, just so you know.”

What annoyed me most about this one was how circumstantial all the planning was. Looking back, though, I think that’s something that’s always plagued Once.

All of the plotting, be it to get a curse in motion or trick a naive princess into doing your dirty work, comes with a lot of skepticism on the viewers' part. I usually find that sort of thing easy to overlook and enjoy what this show does best, but in ‘The Apprentice,’ it got on my nerves a little.

Rumple has a keen sense of what motivates people and he’s always known what they would do in certain situations given the right encouragement, but his tricking Anna felt a little false and her not seeing through his manipulating made me like her a little less. It was so obvious what he was up to when he coaxed her into killing him, and we all knew that she wouldn’t do it. It got the story to where it needed to go, but I couldn’t ignore how contrived the whole encounter was.

Now that Anna’s trip to the enchanted forest is over, I’m really confused as to how their story forced Elsa into Rumple’s trap. My assumption was that Anna got both of them in trouble leading to Elsa being locked in that magic urn, but now I’m not sure what to think, other than knowing the Snow Queen was involved in it all.

Regina’s quest to uncover the author is different than I thought it would be. I took from the premiere that it would involve a lot of bloodshed and dark magic, but I’m relieved that it’s something that’s a lot less sinister, and that it’s bringing her and Henry back together. I still haven’t forgotten about Sidney being locked in the mirror though (he is still there, right?).

Emma and Hook’s date was as I expected it to be, but Hook falling for Rumple’s lies about his reattached hand was painfully predictable. As much as I enjoy watching Emma and Hook cozy up to one another, I hope it isn’t all going to fall apart and push Hook back into his pillaging and plundering ways. He was so quick to use the hand as an excuse to act like a douchebag, but it does seem like he wants to change. Please, can we have a happy medium? I wouldn’t want him to lose his edge, either.

Focusing on characters like Emma, Hook and Regina gave us a bit of a breather from Frozen this week, but Anna popping up in the flashbacks kept the story moving forward. I just wish that things were a little less flimsy when it came to getting us to the next stage of the story.

3 out of 5 apprentices turned into rats


What’s the connection between Emma and the Snow Queen?

Snow and David were even more pointless this week, but the show still runs just fine without them getting in the way.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland spoilers below!

Will broke into the library and stole a copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and he had a torn page with the Red Queen in his pocket. What happened to him that he ended up in Storybrooke without Ana? Maybe he got ripped away from her during the second curse...

Originally posted at PandaTV.


  1. Can I just say that I'm tired of revisiting the exact same thing with Rumple's character? Haven't we already (repeatedly) seen Rumple fall into darkness? I feel like by bringing Rumple back to the exact same place all they've done is make us hate Rumple (one of my favorite characters) and make Belle look like a complete idiot. I felt like so much of season three explored Rumple's struggle against his darkness, and seemed to conclude that he had made strides towards changing. But now he's lying to Belle about the dagger and he murdered the apprentice guy all in the search for power....again.

    I could even handle his current actions if they made it look like it was some kind of struggle. If they gave us any indication that Rumple was struggling with his actions. But so far, nothing. They just make him mostly villainous again because it suits the plot. Ugh.


  2. Mandy, I completely agree. I find the whole drama of Rumple lying to Belle tiresome. One of my mottos in life is if you find yourself hiding things from people you love and want respect from, it's a sign that you either shouldn't be doing those things or you shouldn't be hiding them.

    Same goes for Hook hiding things from Emma. If he were upfront with her and told her what was going on right away, she might be angry at first but she would get over it. Instead you know this is going to lead to more lies and cover-ups and she's going to eventually find out and be really angry at the long-term cover-up.

    Yes Anna was foolish in flashbacks, but that's totally within character so it didn't bother me. (I remember reading a description of Frozen before seeing it that referred to her as a "hopeless optimist.") Basically I found that story tolerable but not really compelling so I really hope it's leading somewhere.

  3. Loved the broom motif and its homage to Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer's Apprentice. Once Upon a Time sure milks everything from Disney.


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