Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Once Upon a Time...Under Suspicion

Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 10: "The Cricket Game"

Quick synopsis: Cora and Hook arrive in Storybrooke, where Cora decides to meddle in Regina's affairs, claiming that Regina is not yet "broken."  This happens shortly after Regina leaves a welcome back party at Granny's, which Emma had invited her to, feeling that the others will never accept that she is trying to change.   Emma had told her she decided to invite her after speaking with Archie, who expressed that he thought Regina was making progress in her efforts.

The next morning, Regina confronts Archie, feeling the patient-doctor confidentiality agreement has been breached, and Ruby sees the argument.  So, of course, when Archie is found "dead" the next morning, the gang immediately concluded that it must have been an angry Regina (while in reality it was Cora glamored to resemble her daughter).  This conclusion is corroborated by evidence gathered from Pongo's memory, which is magically revealed by Rumpel and Emma (who consciously uses magic for the first time.)  By the end of the episode, with Henry believing his mother killed Archie, Regina is sufficiently broken and the audience is left with a final shot of the real Archie imprisoned on Hook's ship.

The fairyback parallel features Regina about to be put to death at the stake, but Snow feels that there is still good in her and calls off the execution.  However, when put to the test, Regina tries to kill Snow and is banished, setting into motion the plans for the curse that would later result in the move to Storybrooke.

Despite garnering some positive reviews from Entertainment Weekly and IGN, I have to say I was disappointed with this episode.  I felt the plot device of an innocent-framed-for-murder was used well in season one when Mary Margaret was the primary suspect in the disappearance of Abigail/Catherine, but to use the exact same idea replacing Regina with Snow and Archie with Abigail makes it seem like the writers are getting lazy.  Was there no other way they could think of that would result in Regina contemplating a return to evil?

Also, the self-righteous attitude of the heroes (especially David) in this episode was disgusting.  I realize that in fairy tales things have absolutes, so this is likely a nod to the black-and-white nature of the original tales, but the audience is much more sophisticated than that.  If the supposed villains Regina and Rumpel can have such nuanced roles, why can't the protagonists?  These "monsters" are much more human in my opinion.

All in all, a somewhat disappointing return.

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