TV Thursday: No one mourns the wicked

True fact: A Downton Abbey rerun was on the other day, from pretty early on in season 3. Matthew and Mary are walking through the foyer wondering what Reggie Swire’s lawyer wants. And every dang time Matthew’s face fills the screen, I am filled with this white-hot burning… rage.

This is perfectly normal. I don’t have any issues at all, or become attached to people who don’t exist, or take it personally when the person playing a character makes life-changing decisions about his or her personal life. Not me. No sir, I am the paragon of class.

Annnnnyway

We need to talk about Once Upon a Time, as in what in the AITCH is happening?!

SPOILER ALERT EVEN THOUGH THE LAST EPISODE IS FOUR DAYS OLD. ACTUALLY FIVE, SINCE YOU PROBABLY WON’T READ THIS UNTIL FRIDAY.

Episodes in question: “The Miller’s Daughter” (3/10) and “Welcome to Storybrooke” (3/17)

1) Cora is dead. Everyone is shocked, but I have to ask – what did “we have to stop her!” mean to them all. season. long?

2) I am having a hard time following why Snow/Mary Margaret’s heart is turning black over this. I understand she is supposed to be pure and kind – she has shown mercy and mercy and more mercy to Regina – and that killing Cora was so out of character for her that it can only be explained by bitterness taking hold in her heart. HOWEVER. Cora was evil. She destroyed lives, including that of Snow’s own mother. She put into motion the events that led to Regina casting the curse. She is Ursula, Malificent and Mother Gothel all in one – and – FAKE SPOILER ALERT – they all die in the end. Do any of us think Ariel was wretched for killing Ursula? Do we want to send Philip or Flynn to therapy for destroying their true loves’ nemeses? No. Some evil is so horrific, so toxic, so devastating that only death – not imprisonment, banishment or rehabilitation – can fully end it.

I appreciate character development as much as any former English major and can understand the writers taking Snow/MM down this path… but if it were up to me, and if I had any screenwriting skills at all, I would like to see Once tackle the topic of Doing the Right Thing Even When It is Painful. Snow could struggle with her decision to kill Cora, with not wanting to tick Regina off any more/finding a way to punish Cora humanely/hoping there’s still some good in her somewhere that can be rehabilitated vs. recognizing all the havoc she has wrecked/wanting just retribution for the deaths of loved ones at Cora’s  hand/needing to protect others – countless others – from further damage. In my version, Snow would understand that even when Cora had her heart, she still chose ambition over love, and that the destruction she brought – and could and would continue to bring – was too great for regular discipline, and kill her, because it was the right – though difficult – decision (also in my version, Once Upon a Time would be a musical and the happy inhabitants of Storybrooke would prance around to “Ding Dong The Witch is Dead,” which I realize is not from a Disney movie, but let’s be honest, there can’t be a Wizard of Oz/Disney mashup too far away).

3) NEAL IS BAE. What. the. What. I had hoped this would be the case, but the more convoluted the fairy-back timeline became, the less possible I thought it was. This also means Rumple is a GRANDPA. Have fun at that family reunion, Henry. An interesting point brought up in the EW recap of “Welcome to Storybrooke” – is Neal/Bae’s lady love also a fairytale character? The recapper suggested Tiger Lily, which is possible, given Bae’s hint at a stint with Captain Hook, but I’m rooting for someone from a story we haven’t touched on yet. Tiana, maybe? Or Pocahontas? Esmeralda?

4) The Bass Player finally has a reason to be on the show! Although after it was revealed that Greg was actually Owen, the little boy from the flashback, all grown up and looking for his father, I thought, “Good god, Lemon. How many more daddy issues can this show take?” It all feels like an unnecessary subplot – there’s too much going on elsewhere for me to be invested in this right now. On the other hand, I watched Lost long enough to know that the details I think are insignificant turn out to be Henry Gale (speak of the devil, there’s an Oz reference for ya!), so perhaps I best sit down, shut up and pay attention.

5) Does anyone else feel that Josh Dallas (David/Charming) and Jennifer Morrison (Emma) have a little too much chemistry? As in an “It’s awkward that we’re supposed to be playing a father and daughter” kind of way? ZORPF what if Jennifer played Snow and Ginnifer was Emma? MIND. BLOWN. (I just now noticed the Jennifer/Ginnifer similarity. Mind. blown. again.) Also, I don’t know why I said “ZORPF” but it’s my dream to coin a phrase that goes viral, so spread it, dearies.

Also of note:
Curse you, Edward and Adam. How do you make Regina so evil and so sympathetic all at once? 
Well hey there, Sheriff Hipster Skinnyjeans. We missed you. Thanks for coming back into our lives for one brief, shining episode.

Where is Hook? Did they just leave him locked up in a storage unit in New York?
Poor, lonely Rumplestilskin. He does not have a great track record in the love department.
In “The Miller’s Daughter,” all signs were pointing to Rumple being Regina’s father for a while, but it was ultimately implied not to be the case. Buuuut this is Once, after all… could it still be possible? On the other hand, I have also watched Lost long enough to know that the details I think are important turn out to be nothing, so I’ll leave this one on the back burner.
During the flashbacks in “Welcome to Storybrooke,” it looked like each day was generally the same, with mild variations here and there. Does this mean that the Storybrooke residents basically repeated the same day for 28 years before Emma showed up? Dang, no wonder Regina is so cranky. Groundhog Day was painful enough; having to live it would just be torture.

Alright, Once-ers, your turn to chime in! What are your thoughts on the last few episodes?

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