Well, after a short hiatus we are back and ready for the final sweep to the finale of Once Upon A Time, season 2. Lacey was not a high action story, by any means. Hopefully this has the final pieces in place to get us to a climax and resolution, though I suspect there may be some more positioning in the next episode, The Evil Queen. We did get yet another character (ok, actually three) entered into the story and this does cause some concern that I will discuss later.
Still, after all this time, it was nice to be able to see some of our old familiar and nearly forgotten characters again. It was also particularly nice to get some more of the backstory to Rumple and Belle.
Speaking of which, I suspect the “RumBelle ‘shippers” must be pretty much soiling their knickers after this one…
The contrast between Belle and Lacey is probably one of the most extreme fairy tale/cursed personality differences we’ve seen yet. To be completely honest, just before Granny made that comment about “raiding the back of Ruby’s closet,” I had turned to Anthea and said that it looks like Ruby has some competition. Of course, the dress is the wrong color for Ruby.
Hey, and where did Belle… I mean Lacey… get it? As a matter of fact, where is she living now? I’d assume it’s not at the library.
On one side, it seems both Lacey and Belle have some of the same ability to sense things about people. The problem, of course, is that the attraction is to opposites. So while both can sense the good and the darkness in Rumple, Belle is attracted to – and pulls out – the light while Lacey seems adept and bringing out the darkness in Rumple. In a perverse sort of way, one could say Gold took David’s advice about “show[ing] her the man she fill in love with.”
Speaking of which, wouldn’t you think that after being around for several hundred years that Rumple would have learned to ask a girl out? The irony that he has to run to Prince Charming for “girl help” is an excellent touch by the writers.
The Belle and Lacey stories were a study in contrasts. While Belle is softening Rumple Lacey is hardening him. Seeing both Belle and Lacey making the same comments to Gold throughout the episode but in the opposite context was just painful. You could see the pain of it in Gold’s face. I do think he answer of “Much darker” is telling himself as much as Belle/Lacey.
And the conflict is a brilliant piece of story-telling. Rumple has an – I believe – sincere desire to be his best. Not just for Henry, but because he’s seeing the chance for a complete family again. He was clearly bothered by that nightmare of Henry’s birthday party at the beginning of the episode and obviously doesn’t want to go down that path. Yet he can only get it by being his worst.
I predicted that Belle would get her true self back by True Love’s Kiss. However, I certainly didn’t think it would be with this twist. So what happens when Lacey kisses bad boy Gold with True Love’s Kiss and becomes Belle again? How far down will Rumple have sunk and what will it take from her to bring him back? Frankly, this cursed memory thing with Belle is about as low as I’ve seen Regina sink.
Driving Gold into giving in wholly to the Dark One, though? I have a feeling that Regina is going to regret being so petty with Gold. I think she’s over-estimating how far she can push him. In my opinion, Regina’s darkness comments makes it clear that Gold will end up choosing light, but when and how? Regina is just setting herself up to be foiled on this one.
I will say… I can’t wait to see Thanksgiving at the Charming house…
Speaking of the Charmings, for women who were trying to kill each other a few weeks ago, Emma and Regina are being mighty civil. I do like that Emma still seems willing to give Regina the chance to turn around. There’s more Snow in her that she realizes.
In fact, Emma has some serious thinking to do. So now Snow wants to go back. She may be right about the idea of her heart mending by saving her home. Where will Emma go? Though with that many beans, I’d think it’d be an easy visit between lands.
Speaking of beans, when is Anton going to say “Dude.” It was good seeing Hugo actually on the show, rather than just being mentioned, but I do wish they’ll use him for more than a walk-on. And Regina has found the beans. Will Anton be involved in protecting them from her? She’s really seeing plots and schemes where there aren’t any and obviously she has some nastiness hatching in her twisted brain.
One part of the Charming family that we’ve been seeing bits of, but no real development has been Henry. Does Gold’s dream mean he’s going to end up involved with magic himself? Is he going to need the sword skills he is developing? The writers seem to be throwing out a lot of potential hints, but there’s not much time left this season to go anywhere with them.
They did provide some development on the Tamara/Greg story in this episode, as well. For starters, it’s plain that Tamara is playing Neal. Greg is mapping magical events throughout Storybrooke. Why? What are he and Tamara up to? Is she playing Greg, as well?
I am beginning to think I may be wrong about Tamara being the wraith. I did say it was a wild theory, after all. However, if she’s not, then perhaps it is Greg’s dad, Kurt. Who knows what effect getting caught in the crossfire of the curse had on him? I am convinced that the wraith is going to be someone from our world. It’s the best way I can think of to tie in the Aurora/Mulan/Philip story and I simply cannot believe they would invest a third of the season into it simply to abandon it.
And this brings me into one area where I do have some concerns for the series. We have the dropped Sleeping Beauty storyline. We have half the cast more or less abandoned. I mean when was the last time we saw Ruby actually as a part of the story and not as a plot device because they need her nose? And yet, this late in the season they introduce more new characters?
That is more than a little worrisome. They’re not using the ones they have effectively. And too many have dropped off the radar entirely. Of course, this could be a great setup for future seasons (if they have them). All the dropped characters and all the hanging storylines are becoming a hindrance for the show, in my opinion. It’s not so much that they are hard to follow, it’s that there are just so many of them it’s becoming difficult to muster the desire to follow them. At the moment, it’s still a fun ride, so fine; let’s just see where the writers take us. But that is not going to keep people for very long. I’m seeing and hearing irritation in the blogs and podcasts that doesn’t bode well.
I don’t believe the fans will support them through a big cliff-hanger for next season. There needs to be some real closure to at least the major storylines this season if they want fans to continue to trust them. And it needs to be done elegantly. A slap together resolution just isn’t going to sit well. They’ve asked us to trust them and we have, but the price of that trust is to see this chapter closed well.
I do hope they pull it off. It’s clear listening to Kitsis and Horowitz that they do have a plan. This is the only show on TV that the whole family can sit down and watch – and rewatch – together. It’s a lot of fun arguing the nuances of Regina’s plots with my 9 year old son. So yes, I still have faith in their “magic.” Yet, as Rumple will tell you, magic always comes with a price and the clock on paying that price is ticking.
While I am sure there will be a third season, the next few weeks will make or break it for the show. If they pull it all together – and do it well – then I believe they will not only have ensured a third, but a fourth season. We will know in a few weeks.
Until then, take the second star to the left and go straight on ’till morning.