Once Upon A Time: “Ruby Slippers” (S5Ep18)

So, I have not been posting about Once Upon A Time because I have not been watching season 5B. I was going to but then I heard it destroyed Meg from Hercules’ character. And she is such an important part of my childhood, I didn’t want to watch that. But, I have been reading reviews about this half season and know what is happening. I decided to watch this episode because I knew Mulan (Jamie Chung) and Ruby (Meghan Ory) were going to be back and A&E have promised a gay story line sometime this season. It didn’t go how I thought it would but shit there was a lady-on-lady kiss on effing Once Upon A Time?!

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I would be more excited about this episode and this show now having a non-straight relationship and three ladies who like ladies but I doubt Mulan, Ruby or Dorothy (Teri Reeves) will appear again this season and if they do the show will probably promote it as another special guest star episode, which is not a good way to feature your LGBTQ representation.

So, going into this episode I knew Ruby fell from the sky at the end of last episode. The hero gang, which has been in the Underworld for a while, took her to the Underworld version of Mary Margret’s loft. They don’t know how she got there. When they flashback and I had to laugh at the time card.

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Good to know this show hasn’t changed too much. Mulan and Ruby are chasing werewolf scent through Oz. They exited “The Bear King” to find Ruby’s pack. They run into Toto and then into Dorothy. I didn’t know she had been recast. She was played by Matreya Scarrwener the last time I saw Dorothy. She was great on the Canadian show Strange Empire but she is significantly younger than Meghan Ory, so I understand the recast.

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Zelena (Rebecca Mader) and Hades (Greg Germann) are a thing now. There was something about her wanting to get home to her daughter and Dorothy being her greatest enemy. Hades was seeming a bit rapey and Zelena was acting a little out of character, which fits with what I have been reading.

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Also Belle (Emilie de Ravin) is mad at Rumple (Robert Carylye) for him signing her child over to the god of the Underworld. And Cruella (Victoria Smuft) is there chewing the scenery and taking out the magical British phone boxes that let people communicate with their loved ones on Earth. Charming (Josh Dallas) sees that and flips out that he can’t call his son, who he abandoned to chase his daughter’s boyfriend who had just tried to murder her and their entire town into the Underworld.

Back in Oz whenever, Zelena has kidnapped Toto. Zelena tells Dorothy she can give her ruby slippers to Zelena or Toto dies. Ruby and Mulan say they will help her with a sleeping curse to knock out Zelena. Mulan stays behind to brew it as Ruby and Dorothy go off to find more ingredients. They have a lot of flirty moments, which confused the hell out of me at first because “The Bear King” really made it seem like Mulan and Ruby had gone off to be gay with each other, but I guess I thought two queer ladies being just friends was above this show. I’m not going to apologizes because you earned that assumption, OUAT.

Anyway, Zelena sends a tornado at them. Ruby turns into a wolf, has Dorothy ride her and they get safely back to Mulan.

Back in Underworld Storybrooke, Zelena tells Regina (Lana Parillia) she has put Dorothy under a sleeping curse, which only true love’s kiss can break. They all flip out for a bit. Ruby thinks the only person who can break it is Auntie M. The rest of Dorothy’s family tried to have her committed to back in Kansas, which she told Ruby in a flashback. Ruby also mentioned her boyfriend in a flashback, so did the show subtly have a commitment to Ruby’s bisexuality? I would be really impressed if I had any hope this would last beyond this episode.

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In the show’s only funny, witty moment, the Blind Witch (Emma Caufield, what are you doing here? You are too good for this show) tells them where Auntie M is and it ends up being at Granny’s Underworld rival that Auntie M owns. OK, that was a good joke.

Unfortunately, Hades is there and melts Auntie M with water from the River of…Lost Souls? I don’t know what it is called. It’s the River Stix. It was the River of Lost Souls in the Hercules movie, I think.

Anyway back in Oz whenever, Mulan asks Ruby why she is acting weird. Ruby tells her it is because she has been searching for a place where she belongs and she thinks Dorothy might be the answer. Mulan gets all smiley and tells her she has to tell her before it is too late and not make the same mistake she did. Damn, can Aurora come back and realize she is in love with Mulan?

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Back in UnderStorybrooke, Ruby has a similar conversation with Snow, when she realizes maybe Auntie M wasn’t the only answer to true love’s kiss to break Dorothy’s curse. It was a rather average coming out to a best friend scene. Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) told her she was her best friend and she knows her. But, I couldn’t stop thinking about how no pronouns where used and it was never explicitly said and that time Ginnifer Goodwin compared gay and lesbian relationships on TV to porn. So, LGBTQ stuff and this show are very complicated.

Through some nonsense about slippers, tombstones and Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) Charming convinces Snow she should go with Ruby to Oz and then to Storybrooke to take care of the child they abandoned. So, Snow and Ruby poof to Oz. They are met with a bunch of Wizard of Oz characters and Mulan. She is happy to see Ruby and says she kept Dorothy safe for her, saying she has experience in this kind of thing. Snow gives Ruby some words of encourage and then she walks up to Dorothy and kisses her, on the lips.

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While watching I was fully prepared to find examples of when this thing has happened in other shows because I thought this would be a cheek or forehead kiss of some kind. But, nope!

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And then it kept going!

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I would be as happy as Henry (Jared Gilmore) looked writing this in his story book or Mulan at her friend getting some…

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…if I had any hope of this continuing but we will not see any more for probably another half season, which is a shitty way to go about this, OUAT. How can this show have a queer kiss but still be queerbaiting?

Oh and the episode ends with Belle pricking herself with a sleeping curse to delay her pregnancy to give Rumple time to find out how to break the contract. Great way to remove Belle from her own story line there, show.

I’m probably not going to watch this show for a while again. I mean, Call The Midwife is also airing on Sundays at 8 p.m. And though there has not been a lady-on-lady kiss yet Call The Midwife handles its lesbian characters so much better.

Also, I’m a little annoyed that the show didn’t put Ruby and Mulan together. I know Dorothy has been in a few 5B episode, but I am not committed to her character like I am with Ruby, who has been around since the pilot episode, and Mulan, who has been around since season two. I would let that slide because Mulan mentioned Aurora multiple times but this effing show isn’t going to bring her and her Sleeping Warrior cock-block baby back to have her leave Phillip for Mulan, so yeah I’m not wasting my Sunday evenings on this show anymore.

 

 


Once Upon A Time: “Swan Song” (S5Ep11)

I know this post is rather late for the aptly named “Swan Song” in which all the characters went to Hell at the end of it and a lot of fans have treated it as the last episode they will ever watch. I almost didn’t write anything about this episode, because it was just so terrible that I didn’t think I could formulate my annoyance and disappointment into anything that resembled words. I thought about writing a good and bad things post where the good was evil cleavage and the bad was everything else, because that was how I feel about it.

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But, I decided I would write something about this episode because it did the impossible. It got me and my super straight Rumbelle shipper friend, who doesn’t believe Emma and Regina have any chemistry, to agree. Our other friend would have been blown away, if she hadn’t fallen asleep. My Rumbelle shipper friend and I agreed that this episode fucking sucked.

Once Upon A Time is sometimes my least favorite fandom to be a part of because everyone gets really mad at each other and mostly nobody agrees with one another. I used to ship Rumbelle before it devolved into Rumple being an abusive manipulative asshole and it destroyed Belle, one of my favorite Disney princesses from my childhood.  But my Rumbelle friend and I agreed because she got fucked over by the writers and creators just like me, all of SWEN and any fan of the same-sex pairings on this show have been since, well ever.

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So where do I even go from here? Do I explain how the show barely hit the 12 things I hoped to see this half season? Do I do a quick sum up of how it has destroyed ever strong female characters? Actually, let’s do that real quick:

Emma

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She used to be a badass bail bonds person with a shady past and a strange relationship with her parents, who didn’t know they were her parents. Then she was the sheriff who kept saving the Evil Queen/Mayor because her son she was forced to give up for adoption wanted her too. She then become the only person to see that Regina had changed and was becoming a hero too. But, she isn’t nearly as cool, sacrificed everything for her boyfriend she has zero chemistry with and is bringing literally everyone she cares about into Hell to save him after he tried to destroy literally everyone she cares about.

Regina

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Does anyone remember when this show didn’t humanize its villains the moment they were introduced? Remember when it waited 18 episodes to give us “The Stable Boy” and Baby Braids Regina? And suddenly the hard ass villain had more complexity and was even greater? I will give the show some credit for spending most of last season turning Regina into a hero. Though she has actually been a hero since the end of 2A when she nearly got herself killed to save Emma and Snow because Henry wanted her to. Now, if she could just drop her constipated beard.

Snow

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One time in 2012, I was trying to sell this show to my sister but telling her it made Snow White a badass. She then watched an episode of season four with me and asked me WTF I was talking about. And I didn’t even know how to explain how Snow went from a badass to the horrible, whiny ass mom that she is now.

Belle

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I feel like I shouldn’t even give the show any credit by saying Belle is a hard character to handle because most of the original Beauty and The Beast is dependent on the Stockholm Syndrome of Belle. But, this is the same show that made Snow White a badass, Little Red Riding Hood a sexy, possibly bisexual werewolf and made me be attracted to the Evil Queen,who I used to hide under a blanket from as a kid. So seriously, OUAT? How did you do so bad at modernizing Belle? Women shouldn’t be giving their abusers so many second chances. Are you guys watching Jessica Jones? Everyone, including the writes of this shit, should be watching Jessica Jones or get a stern speech from Det. Benson. That also sums up my opinions on Zelena impersonating Marian and knocking herself up via Robin.

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So, should I address the questions I get asked so often about this show from my Rumbelle shipper friend and my dad (he has a DVR) of if I hate this show so much why do I still watch it?

As I told my Rumbelle friend before we watched this episode, unintentional queer subtext, Lana Parrilla’s face and J-MO’s arms.

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I try to be less shallow around my dad, so my answer is a bit more difficult. I usually tell him, it is because this show used to be good and back when it was I got invested in Emma, Regina, Snow and Charming, multiple side characters before they disappeared and Stroybrooke itself before it turned into the lame ass, barely held together town.

Maybe I still watch this show because my first ever femslash ship I freaked out about was Sleeping Warrior. Maybe it is because it used to be a cool, darkened, feminist version of all the Disney movies I loved as a child.

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I am over wishing this show will ever return to its season one glory and sometimes I get concerned that I am contributing to racist, homophobic television by continuing to watch this, but I am going to watch 5B. Because I love Emma and Regina and apparently Mulan and Ruby, the show’s undeclared queer element, are going to be back and it is going to introduce Meg and Hercules, which are another of my childhood favorites. I doubt the show will do them justice but I still want to see what it does.

 


Once Upon A Time: “Broken Heart” (S5Ep10)

Hey you know what I wanted in the middle of Dark Swan story line, which by its name is supposed to be about Emma? Well, there answer is not a shit ton of Hook. While Emma (Jennifer Morrison) hasn’t been a very dark Dark One and hasn’t been a very villainous villain, the show just seemed to give up on that and let Hook hijack the villain spot. I spent most of the episode arguing with my Rumbelle shipper friend and explaining things to my friend who hasn’t watched since season four, so I’m just going to do a good and bad things post for this episode because you ever tried to explain this shit show to someone? It is distracting. So, here are four good and four bad things about “Broken Heart.”

The Good

1 Regina tells it like it is

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After more than a season of the show ignoring the fact that Zelena (Rebecca Mader) murdered Marian, impersonated her and raped Robin (Sean Maguire) to impregnate herself with his child, Regina called her out for it. It was a little too late in the game and the show did have that whole period when Robin was supposed to stay with Zelena, but hey at least it acknowledged that this story line is fucked up

2 Belle breaks up with Rumple

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Belle finally broke up with Rumple because she realized being with him is kinda terrible and always about trying to fix his dark heart. Of course, the show waited until he was made a hero for no reason for us to feel sorry for him not during any of the previous episodes when he was being a manipulative abusive asshole. Can Belle have a story line of her own now?

3 Operation Cobra Part 2

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While everyone decided Emma wasn’t even allowed to help defeat Evil Hair Hook, Henry (Jared Gilmore) got reasonably mad at her for not telling them and not trusting them to help earlier. But, he agreed to help her later in Operation Cobra Part 2 and they were able to bring back everyone’s memories. I’ve really liked Henry since Jared Gilmore became a Grown Ass Man.

4 The explanation of the memory loss curse

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Thankfully the show finally explained how the Camelot story line devalued into the closing scene from the season premiere. After Evil Hair Hook killed Merlin and plotted with Nimue/all the previous Dark Ones to go to Storybrooke and snuff out the light forever, Emma took his and everyone’s memories of the so nobody would know he was the Dark One…wait, what?

The Bad

1 The reasoning for the memory loss curse

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What? The explanation was good, but the reasoning was rather stupid. So, Hook has been the Dark One in Storybrooke all season? Even if he didn’t remember, he still was so shouldn’t he have been acting more like a villain? Also, why did Emma think she had to do everything by herself? Wasn’t it made clear over the last couple seasons that she needs her family a lot?

2 Hero Rumple

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Why is this story line needed? Why did the show essentially remove all the women from its main story line? Wouldn’t it have been so much cooler to see Dark One Emma fighting hero Regina on that boat with the horrible lighting?

3 Everything about the Rape Baby scene

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Despite Regina calling Zelena out for being a psychotic rapist, the episode still had a “sweet” moment of Regina moderating a parental visit with Robin, Zelena and Rape Baby. Also, why was this scene in Mary Margaret’s loft?

4 So much god damn Hook

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There was so much Hook. There was too much Hook. And Rumple had the chance to kill him but now that he is a hero he didn’t. And I was so disappointed.


Once Upon A Time: “Birth” (S5Ep08) and “The Bear King” (S5Ep09)

In a rare accomplishment for Once Upon A Time, I liked its two hour event. Both of the episodes were good and only had a bit of all the things I hate about this show. But, this wasn’t really an OUAT two hour event. These episodes could not have been more different and after the ending of “Birth” I was really expecting another hour of dealing with the reveal at the end of it. But instead it was followed by the Merida and Mulan Adventure Hour, which I loved by the way. I’m just confused why these episodes were paired together.

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This episode starts with Emma (Jennifer Morrison) bringing the Prometheus flame, which she needs to bind the Dark One dagger and Excalibur, so she can snuff out the darkness and leave only light magic, to Granny’s in Camelot, three weeks ago. This episode actually had a timeline! Emma can’t get the flame to work. The words of encouragement from Henry (Jared Gilmore) and Granny (Beverly Elliot) fall flat, Merlin (Elliot King) freezes them and walks in tell her that he is under Arthur’s (Liam Garrigan) control and he is going to murder her family, which includes Regina (Lana Parrilla, yay!) and Hook (Colin O’Donoghue, ugh).

Emma is quickly able to save them after she ties up Zelena (Rebecca Mader), who is working with Arthur. Hook is able to get free and punch him in the face and he runs away like he isn’t the greatest king in all of British literature.

Back in Storybrooke, all the useless men are chasing Arthur through the woods because they know he lied about the mushroom. They fumble around and suck, until Dark Emma comes and saves them. Hook is kinda a jerk about Emma saving him and then flip flops saying he still loves Emma and doesn’t think she is a monster, despite the fact he said exactly that about three episodes ago. Regina, on the other hand, has been accepting and understanding since the beginning. Emma says she did everything and took everyone’s memories for Hook.

He holds onto the bit of info in the next scene, despite Regina saying Emma has to be manipulating him.

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Hook goes out to track her down so he can ask her about her intentions. He literally tries to commit suicide to get her attention. Again with the self-harm and suicide for attention thing, OUAT? WTF? Anyway, Emma says she can’t tell him everything because her plan is almost complete.

Back in Camelot, Emma is told by Hallucination-Rumple (Robert Carlyle) that the flame isn’t working for her because she isn’t ready to give up the darkness. Henry tells her that Hook what planning to buy her new house in Storybrooke with her when they get back. This culminates into the greatest scene of the episode. Emma is outside Granny’s trying to get the flame to light and Regina finds her. She tells her she understands being drawn to darkness. Regina takes the dagger and demands Emma tell her why she is so afraid to give it up. Emma says she will not be able to protect everyone without it. Regina tells Emma she can lie to everyone else but not to her, which Emma said to her last season.

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But of course, Princess Cockblock, idiot man and the beard come out and stop Regina. Emma runs off. Hook goes to find her. Emma says she isn’t mad at Regina and she made her realize she is afraid of her possible future with Hook and giving up her darkness means it will start. That lights the flame.

Everyone goes into Granny’s and Emma tries to bind the dagger and the sword but halfway through she stops when Hook starts bleeding from the neck. She healed at cut he got, from Excalibur, during the earlier fight. I’m not really sure why but the wound can’t be healed with magic and binding the blades will kill him. Hook tells Emma to still do it to save herself from the Darkness and seriously Regina and the Idiot Duo agree. But, Emma decides a bit too late (and after having a super romantic scene with Regina a lot like in the season four finale) that she wants to have a future with Hook. So, she poofs herself, Hook and the sword out of the diner to tie him to the sword, like how she is tied to the dagger. Merlin says it will make it impossible to get ride of the darkness forever, through it will save his life.

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We only see up until the neck bleeding in the Camelot flashback. Back in Storybrooke, Emma sped up Zelena’s pregnancy to get the Rape Baby out of the way so she could tie the darkness to Zelena and then kill her. She also kidnapped Hook. They decide to work together to stop Emma because Hook thinks she has gone way, way to far for considering killing a psychopathic, murder, rapist. Emma’s parents voice them same concern to Regina as they go to Emma house to stop her. Regina says this is why Emma gave her the dagger because she is the only one willing to cross a line to save her.

Emma freezes them outside and then goes inside to get trapped by some squid ink Hook found. Zelena is still hanging around and shows Hook, via a dream catcher, that he is really dead and Emma made him the dark one too. She reveals that his name is also on the dagger/sword. Hook is super mad and vengeful about this. And J-MO is killed it with facial expressions this week.

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Then that episodes ends and we get an episode of what felt like an entirely different show.

The Bear King 

So over in the Merida and Mulan Adventure Hour, Merida is about to be crowned queen of the united clans when the Witch from Brave comes in to tell her her father owes her a shit load of money for her making a magical helm for him. She is going to make everyone into a bear unless she finds the helm within 24 hours. Merida tells her mother, who looks about 10 years older than her, that he father was wearing the helm during the war and the solider who killed him took it. She is going to find him and take it back.

Flashback to Merida’s kingdom two year ago, she and her father are walking through the troops preparing to fight off the invades from the south. Fergis tells Merida she needs to learn about war before she follows him in. He hired a solider to train her. She is annoyed and says she doesn’t need a man to babysit her but then quiet the opposite defeats her and tells her she is her teacher.

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Mulan (Jamie Chung) and this episode’s other throwback cameo are the reasons I wasn’t even annoyed that Emma and Regina were both not in this episode. So, Mulan starts training Merida and teaching her about honor.

In present day Merdia’s kingdom, Mulan is kicking the shit out of a group of thugs and taking their money because she is working as a bounty hunter it seems. Merida finds her because she needs her help to find the man who killed her father. Mulan is mean and much snarkier than usual. Merida also notices and asks what happened to her. Mulan says she will help, after Merida pays her, but she can’t ask anymore questions. I love that this change in Mulan was included. This was two years ago, so shortly after “Quite a Common Fairy” when Mulan didn’t get a chance to confess her love to Aurora and then disappeared from the show.

Because this episode had to be tied to OUAT with more than a current bit character and two we haven’t since season three, Arthur knows about the magically helm, which makes men follow anyone into battle, and tries to go after it with Zelena. They go to the witch’s cabin and torture out of her that Merida is looking for it. There is also a rather large wolf there that Zelena knocks out with sleeping powder.

Merida and Mulan make it to the field where he father was killed. They find one of Merida’s arrows with the killer cloak still on it. But, Arthur and Zelena find them. They steal Merida’s bow, which used to be her fathers and say they will just use it for a tracking spell and poof away. Merida is pissed that Mulan didn’t want to fight them with her and that she seems like she doesn’t care about her father anymore. She tells her she didn’t used to be so heartless and that she is not being very honorable. Merida goes home defeated, thinking she can’t lead the clans because her father only did because of magic.

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Mulan is too honorable to give up through and goes to the witches cabin to try to find another way. Instead she finds that wolf. Mulan can tell it is really a person and uses magic to make her human and hey Ruby is back!

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She knows who Mulan is because of Emma and Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) telling her and she knows Aurora and Phillip, who are doing well and just had a baby. That hits a nerve for Mulan and Ruby notices. To distract from her heartbreak, Mulan asks the show to explain what the hell Ruby is doing in Merida’s kingdom/Camelot/The Enchanted Forest two years ago.

And it actually does. During the half season party at Granny’s at the end of season three, Ruby tells Snow back by the restrooms that she isn’t feeling like she fits in because she is the only wolf there. She and Tiny were able to save some of the magic beans and she wants to use one to go back. Snow tells her she supports her and wishes her luck. For a show with no continuity that was a pretty good way to retroactive write out a character two seasons later.

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Ruby and Mulan realize they can track down the man who killed Fergis because the show’s greatest tracker is back. They go pick up Merida and head out. Zelena and Arthur and Merida, Mulan and Ruby all met up at the lake by the battlefield. Zelena and Arthur tracked the helm to there and the cloak was Arthur’s. He invaded Merida’s kingdom because he needed the helm to force his men to follow him. It was in the lake because Fergis decides not to use it.

Ruby and Mulan knock out Zelena, with a sleeping curse, and Merida is able to take the helm. Zelena and Arthur poof back to Camelot and Merida realizes she can lead her people because he father never used magic. After she is crowned, she is saying goodbye to Mulan and Ruby and asks Mulan what happened. Mulan tells her she was trying to get over a broken heart, which was caused her by waiting to long to confess her love. And again, the show avoided using pronouns. I really thought Mulan was going to say “she” at the end of her dialogue but nope.

Ruby asks her if she wants to travel with her to try to find other werewolves. She might not have good dating advice or be good at dating, what are we trying to say here, OUAT? But, Ruby still thinks it would be better if Mulan wasn’t alone. That was kinda cute OUAT, but that better not fucking be the LGBT story line you promised us this season.

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And to connect this back to the actual story line of OUAT, Merida promises to make Arthur pay for killing her father.

So, overall both these episodes were pretty good. The first was actually interesting. It had more Hook than I like but it was still interesting and J-Mo and Lana were great. The second was slightly messy and not as queer as I hoped it would be but still enjoyable and fun. I hope Mulan and Ruby return at some point.


Once Upon A Time: “The Bear and the Bow” (S5Ep6)

This season of Once Upon A Time has gone down hill fast and recently there has just not been enough to keep me all that interested. Even the SwanQueen heavy episode last week left me slightly annoyed and bored. This week was worse, so here are two good and five bad things about “The Bear and the Bow”

The Good

Emma and Zelena’s scene

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Ignoring all the rape baby horribleness, I liked the scene between Zelena and Emma because she pointed out some interesting points. 1) Emma is sneaking around and hiding everything she is doing from Regina. 2) Emma is afraid of being alone. That was a perfect piece of dialogue for this show. Despite everything that had happened, Emma is still trying to get Henry, Regina and her parents to forgive her. She seems to have given up on Hook since he will not except her for who she is now.

Swan-Mills family feels

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Henry agreed to help Regina and Snowing communicate with Merlin because he also believes his mom is still there behind all the darkest.

The Bad

Rape baby

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Mostly I dislike pregnancy story lines but make them mythical or the result of a rape and I fucking hate them. So that is my thought on every scene Zelena is in. If this was a different and darker show I might be more OK with this because it is super dark. But this is a “family show” that will not make any of it’s super queer seeming characters actually be queer.

Hero Rumple? 

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Are we making Rumple Storybrooke’s greatest hero? Please no. If we are going to make a formerly evil character a hero the obvious choice is clearly Regina. That is what all of last season was about. But hell, Belle was more heroic in this episode than Rumple was. But of  course we can’t have anything positive or feminist happen with Belle. Go back to your lying, manipulative, abusive husband, Honey.

Music swells

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Holy music swells this episode. Between the Rumbelle cuteness and the overt Scottish-ness the soundtrack was a little overly excited this episode.

Show, we know

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With Rumple’s backstory and Merlin’s introduction, the show spent a lot of time telling us shit we already know. And not just know but like have seen before.

Timelines? Who cares about timelines?

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I actually laughed at this. Emma just asks about the show’s timeline fail about how Merlin was in a tree in Camelot and an usher at a movie theater in Minnesota at the same time. And Merlin just shrugged it off like, “IDK. Don’t question it.” Good continuity, show.


Once Upon A Time: “The Broken Kingdom” (S5Ep4)

I might need some reassurance here. It is still 2015, right? It is still season five of Once Upon A Time, right? I didn’t some how get transported back to 2011 when Once Upon A Time was a good fantasy show that re-imagined fairly tale characters in cool way and made Prince Charming and Snow White interesting, did I? I seriously enjoyed this episode and in like the way the masses are supposed to. I wasn’t enjoying it because of unintentional queer subtext, I actually enjoyed Snowing (Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas) in this episode.

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Now that my shock is out of the way, let us get into this episode. Despite its season one elements, this episode still had all the good old OUAT problems. This week’s list included vague timeline distinctions, incredibly powerful magically objects we will never hear of again, a bit too much humanization for its villain, Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) and tragically little Regina (Lana Parrilla).

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So in Camelot many years ago, a young Arthur is telling a young Guinevere about the prophecy he got from Merlin, who was already in that tree, that he will reunite the broken kingdom of Camelot and become king. He is super sweet in this scene and then bullied by some older kids.

We then jump to the scene from the first episode of the season. He finds the sword, lies to the kingdom about it being whole and makes plans to Guinevere (Joana Metrass) to find it and reunite it so the prophecy will come true. Arthur (Liam Garrigan) starts becoming obsessed with finding the dagger and pushes Guinevere away and closer to Lancelot (Sinqua Walls). It seemed like a lot of humanization for two characters the show made into the villains last week.

Back in present day Camelot, I guess that is how I am going to word that, Arthur tells Charming about the sword not being whole and that the Dark One dagger will complete it and destroy the darkness. Elsewhere in the castle, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) is being drawn to the Dark One dagger. She is being taunted by Hallucination-Rumple (Robert Carlyle) that she can break the protect spell and take it for herself. She tells him no but also accidentally shoots a spell at Hook. She then goes catatonic for a bit, I’m not sure. She ends up surrounded by all the worried good guys and then leaves for a quite place with Hook and Henry (Jared Gilmore).

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Charming and Snow get in a fight over what they want to do. Charming wants to trust Arthur and give him the dagger. Snow says they can’t trust him because Lancelot said he was a bad guy.

Five year ago in Camelot, Guinevere and Lancelot team up to go find the Dark One dagger to complete the sword so they can get their king/best friend/husband back. Guinevere uses that magically gauntlet that leads you to the person you love’s greatest weakness, which is a magical item repeat. It leads them to the portal Emma came to Camelot in that has the Dark One vault below it. They get to the dagger but not before Lancelot gets attacked by the Dark One goo and Guinevere saves him in a very similar to Emma saving Regina type of way. Of course, they got to kiss afterward.

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They are met by Rumple when they get to the dagger. He says he can’t give it to them but he trades the gauntlet for magic sand that makes something broken appear whole. Once they get back Lancelot decides to leave Camelot because of their kiss. Guinevere tries to fix the sword but decides she doesn’t want to fake it and wants Arthur to choice his marriage and the kingdom. He doesn’t though and uses the sand on her and then on the Kingdom. OK, that was a good twist. Guinevere isn’t actually a bad guy and Arthur just got worse.
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Back in present day Camelot, Charming tries to give the dagger to Arthur but finds it missing the box because Snow took it and is meeting Lancelot over at Granny’s. Snow and Lancelot head to the vault to hide the dagger so Emma can’t get to it. Arthur catches up to them in the vault. Snow hands over the dagger to him and he tries to call Emma, but it is the fake dagger and then Charming appears because their double crossing each other was faked! And the banter between them was actually good again and they are being all right parents.

They capture Arthur and take him to the diner to try to find out what to do with him. Just as they and Lancelot are planning to make Guinevere the leader of Camelot, she appears as the diner is surrounded. She has Lancelot arrested and uses the sand on Snow and Charming.

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They get back to Regina and tell her they were wrong about Arthur. They can trust him and giving him the real dagger is the best way to help Emma. Luckily, Regina seems to be finding this switch slightly skeptical. Lancelot is thrown into the dungeon and quickly befriends Merida (Amy Manson), who is in the neighboring cell.

Emma’s story line in Camelot was a stupid thing about Hook being able to help her get Hallucination-Rumple out of her head because he has defeated demons too. What demons, you Disney pirate? Her story line in Storybrooke is stupid too but actually important to the plot. She has Rumple tied up because she is going to make him, instead of I don’t know REGINA, the hero to remove the sword from the stone. But, she needs to make him brave first. Luckily, she has just the person for the job tied to her bug.

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So yeah, it still had its problems. But, it made Snowing interesting again and made me care about Lancelot and Guinevere more. The Camelot story line just got a lot more interesting with multiple people being cursed. Hopefully, the show can stay this good for a least a few episodes.


Once Upon A Time: “Siege Perilous” (S5Ep3)

It usually takes a few episodes for Once Upon A Time seasons to get this terrible, but season five is breaking the record in sucking this much in episode three. Like last week, this episode is not worthy of a full post so here are three good things and six bad things about “Siege Perilous.”

The Good 

Lancelot

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Despite him being alive three seasons after we were told he was dead, I am glad Lancelot (Sinqua Walls) is back. I liked him, but that was because he was in season 2A, which was the last good half season. So, I give the show about four episodes before it totally ruins his character. But, whatever. Having him be the person to introduce the fact that Arthur (Liam Garrigan) might be the bad guy was a good move. Lancelot was always an honest trustworthy character, who helped our main cast.

Hook doesn’t love Emma anymore

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This isn’t only about my anti-Captain Swan feels. I like that Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) doesn’t like the Dark One version of Emma (Jennifer Morrison). He says she isn’t the same and not the girl he went on that annoyingly re-enacted date with. Hook can’t see past the Dark One label and see that the Emma he loves is still there. But, last week Regina (Lana Parrilla, who had a tragically small amount of screen time this episode) told Emma she knows the normal, savior her is still there and she can tell because she knows her better than Hook does. This is a love triangle, right? This is really sounding like a love triangle.

The last five minutes

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This seems to happen a lot with this show. The majority of an episode is terrible but the last five minutes is good. So after Lancelot randomly reappears and warns Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) that Arthur might be bad, we find out that he is. He hid the magic Mario mushroom from Charming (Josh Dallas), he lied about having a magic bean and he conned a servant into lying for him, taking the fall and then poisoned him. I was so quick to agree with all the fans that thought Guinevere (Joana Metrass) would be the surprise villain because she is a non-white woman, so I did not see this coming. As the show seemed to establish with that sonogram photo scene with Hook and Robin (Sean Maguire), Arthur would not know what security cameras, which are all over the sheriff station as we found out last season, are. If that does not come into play at some point, I’m going to be mad.

The Bad

Everything with Arthur and Charming 

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You know what I don’t want to see on this show? Two bland white dudes running around looking for a magical Mario mushroom. Regina and Belle (Emilie da Ravin) figured out they needed the Mario mushroom to communicate across dimensions with Tree-Merlin, couldn’t they have come along to find it? So, watching two characters I don’t care about run through a lame Lord of the Rings dead marshes rip off for apparently no reason, until the too late in the episode reveal that Arthur stole the mushroom to smoke it himself as my dad commented to protect Camelot was stupid.

Does Arthur really not know who they are? 

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In Camelot, Charming — who is still being called David for some reason — has a long explanation of how King Arthur is a legend in our world and that is how he knows about him and his round table. But, he adds about two seconds later that he and Snow know Lancelot because the Enchanted Forest and Camelot are basically neighboring kingdoms. So, why does Arthur not know who they are? Lancelot clearly did before he met them back in season two. Also, Arthur knights Charming as Sir David (isn’t his real name James?) of the Enchanted Forest, which doesn’t make any sense because he is already the King of the Enchanted Forest. And what was with Arthur whole explanation for the circular table meaning equality and Charming being surprised that Arthur, as the King, didn’t have a special seat? Charming, that has been your and Snow’s set up since the beginning of the show and in the alternate reality four episodes again. Just an hint of continuity would be nice, OUAT.

This fucking chase scene 

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Where the hell is this taking place? Storybrooke isn’t that big. Why does that dude have the apparently only horse the curse brought over? Why isn’t it in the stables? Storybrooke has stables. Also, King Arthur can drive a truck? That is an interesting skill for you to have, person who has lived in Camelot until like three days ago.

You are not the sheriff!

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Charming, you are not the sheriff. Your daughter was elected sheriff back when Storybrooke had some actual structure as a functioning town. You, a pet shelter worker in the cursed realty, made yourself sheriff after your daughter, who has actual experience in law enforcement, fell through a portal. Call yourself the town guard or the legal authority of Storybrooke, but not the sheriff, you idiot.

The CGI 

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Arendelle was bad, but Camelot might be worse. The castle establishing shot looks like the graphics from the Spyro the Dragon PlayStation One game. And there was so much unnecessary CGI in Arthur round table room. The weapons on the wall, the candles, the chairs, the weird 9th grade volcano project table center piece (my dad’s snark was on point this episode). You are a widely successful network television show, OUAT. You can’t afford to buy candles?

Hero Rumple 

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Just no. Emma needs a hero to pull Excalibur from the stone. “A hero” is all that Hallucination Rumple (Robert Carlyle) said. Hey you know who we spent all last season establishing as a hero? Regina! Later, Emma tells Rumple it has to be someone with a pure heart. So, like the heart of the truest believer? You know, Henry (Jared Gilmore)? But sure show, let’s “clear the heart” of our former dark one and make this lying, manipulative, borderline abusive asshole our new hero because you know there isn’t a person Emma would have thought of before this.

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See you next week.


Once Upon A Time: “The Price” (S5Ep2)

This episode was terrible and I couldn’t bring myself to write a full post about it so here is the five good and five bad things about it.

The Good

 

Regina and Emma scenes 

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Now let me get this straight this is not the scenes with Emma (Jennifer Morrison) in them or the scenes with Regina (Lana Parrilla) in them, it was only the scenes with Regina and Emma in them. They both got caught in a lot of stupid little scenes with Robin (Sean Maguire), Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), Zelena (Rebecca Mader) and Snowing (Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas).

The first scene they had together in Stroybrooke with Henry (Jared Gilmore) was great. Mostly because of how it set up the season’s action and the absurd levels of sexual tension. Emma taunts Regina about what happened in Camelot, but Regina points out it must be bad if she took the memories from everyone. Emma warns Regina that something is coming to Stroybrooke that only the savior can stop. Regina says she can be the savior now but Emma isn’t buying it.

In Camelot six weeks ago, Regina is covering for Emma and telling everyone she is the savior so Emma doesn’t have to use magic. Regina is worried that she is going to go dark. I hope the shows plays it up more of Regina using the dagger to control Emma by accident because it adds a really great new level to their relationship and power dynamic.

Also, Regina says she will release Merlin from the tree in Camelot so Emma never has to use dark magic. Emma agrees to save Robin in Camelot and pay the price herself despite Hallucination Rumple (Robert Carlyle) saying it is Regina’s price.

Hook and Belle bonding 

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Some of the scenes were terrible, but the show contrasting Hook and Belle (Emilie de Ravin) was clever in the show’s canon. Hook thinking Emma being the Dark One was a curse that could be broken with true love’s kiss was horrible because clearly it is not a curse you idiot. But Belle trying to explain to Hook that loving the Dark One is harder than hating them was good. Also, showing them together while Rumple was talking about love was a good bit.

Henry gets a love interest 

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While in Camelot, Henry meets a girl named Violet (Olivia Steele-Falconer) at the ball Arthur held for them. He meets her again in almost the exact same way in Storybrooke. The curse Emma cast to bring everyone back to Storybrooke also brought a bunch of Camelot folks. I’m glad Henry has gotten a love interest and the show has acknowledged the fact he isn’t the useless kid that he used to be. Also, did Violet remind anyone else of Lily? Aw, the Swan side of Swan-Mills having similar first loves.

The return of Hallucination Rumple 

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Emma’s reaction to seeing Hallucination Rumple was what sold me on the idea. She seemed to think she was done with his guidance because she embraced the darkness, which makes me think there is a larger reason for her turning dark. This might be me trying to add too much meaning to this mess, but I really hope I’m not because it would be good and interesting. He also lead Emma to the sword in the stone in the basement of her stolen house. He tells her she can complete the sword and snuff out the light forever.

Emma’s costumes 

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Sleeveless outfits on Emma are always a good thing. So, good job costume department.

The Bad

That dance scene 

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Bo Peep being a warlord might be the last thing that pissed me off as much as this dance scene with Regina and Snowing. Regina doesn’t know how to dance? You mean Regina, who was raised by Cora who was dead set on having her daughter marry up so she could become a queen did not teach her to dance? I get that the show as trying to do something cute and vulnerable with Regina, but when it goes so much against her backstory it just comes off terribly.

Why with the kissing? 

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There was so much kissing in this episode. Emma and Hook didn’t even kiss in the 4B finale but they kissed twice in this episode. One was Hook idiotically trying to break the non-existent Dark One curse, but the other was after Emma saved Robin in Camelot because Robin almost dying made her think of how much she likes Hook? Because after such a dramatic scene with Regina the show has to remind us they are straight by having both of them kiss their dude love interests? Regina and Robin made a bit more scene. He did almost die in Camelot and Storybrooke, but Regina’s interaction with Emma about saving Robin was way more dramatic and heartfelt than her reaction to Robin almost dying.

That is not how Greek Mythology works 

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Every so often this show poaches from Greek mythology like it is a normal fantasy show and not a show about fairy tales Disney owns the rights to. It always turns out bad. This time the show had a harpy — though it called it a fury — attack Robin and try to pull him into the underworld. So yeah a harpy, not a fury, which causes madness. The terribly CGI’ed harpy fury takes Robin to Lake Didn’t Exist Until Season Three, which doubles as the River Styx, I guess. Charon then floats out, but Regina, Snowing and a few dwarfs that are hanging around like they are main characters again share the dementor’s kiss from its and it goes away? I don’t even know. That is not how Greek mythology works.

Curse names?

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When did Snow and Charming start going by Mary Margret and David again? Everyone was using fake names in Camelot, which I understood for Regina who didn’t want everyone to know she was the former Evil Queen Regina right out of the gate. But, it has been established that Camelot is a realm of the Enchanted Forest so wouldn’t Snow and Charming have more authority going by Snow and Charming?

Town line crossing= A tree?

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The episode started with the dwarfs voting someone to cross the town line to see what happens because they don’t want to deal with Storybrooke and all its dangers without a savior. Dopey crosses and turns into a tree. Regina says, “that’s new.” Also, Merlin is a tree in Camelot. None of this was explained. Hopefully this is something for a later episode to reveal because if not what?


12 Things I hope to see in Once Upon A Time 5A

Because we are getting close to the season premiere of my favorite hot-mess of childhood nostalgia and subtext, Once Upon A Time, I decided I would do another things I hope to see post. I did one of these before 4B started and a follow up on how it did, which was terribly. So let’s try this again, shall we? Season 5A starts in 12 days, so here are 12 things I hope to see when it returns.

1. Ruby!

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It is actually going to happen this time! We are actually going to get Ruby (Meghan Ory) back. Ruby randomly disappeared during season three, because Meghan Ory got cast in a now cancelled NBC show. The show never wrote her off and continued to mention her like she had just gone on vacation for a while, which is impossible because I’m pretty sure people can’t leave Storybrooke and return without the assistance of magic. I’m assuming the show is just going to have her randomly reappear with no explanation and I am fine with that. I’m just glad she is going to be back.

2. A consistent season long story arch 

ONCE UPON A TIME - "Operation Mongoose, Part 1 and Part 2" - The Author proves to be a formidable wild card and forges an alliance with Gold. Emma, her parents, Hook and Regina scramble to stop them, but when Gold and the Author turn the tables on heroes and villains alike, the prospect of any happy outcome appears worlds away. Henry discovers he has big shoes to fill as he steps up to save his family before the story's final page is turned. It's a race to the finish, and everything culminates with a shocking twist that will leave the residents of Storybrooke reeling, in the captivating two-part season finale of "Once Upon a Time," SUNDAY, MAY 10 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Jack Rowand) JENNIFER MORRISON

You know what would be fun? A story line that actually lasted longer than a half season and appeared in every episode. This show has followed a simple formula since the second season. The new characters are introduced in the first episode. Usually in episode two or three we meet the big bad. The middle episodes fumble around and give us some un-needed backstory. There is one great episode devoted to Regina (Lana Parrilla) and Emma (Jennifer Morrison)’s dynamic. One terrible episode devoted to back story we don’t need. In episode 11, the plot returns. And then in the last two, everyone bands together, somebody falls through a portal or is cursed, the big bad is defeated and everyone celebrates at Granny’s.

It would probably be too much of a challenge for the writers, but if it would take all of season five for the hero gang to find Merlin or an alternative Dark One that would be cool. Devote less time to introducing new characters, slow things down and give more time to Regina, Snowing (Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas) and Henry (Jared Gilmore) dealing with the aftermath of Emma becoming the Dark One.

3. Diversity 

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Yeah, this is a repeat request but it is still needed after last season wrote off the only non-white Queen of Darkness (Merrin Dugny) first and aged up Lily from a Latina teenager (Nicole Munioz) to a white adult (Agnes Burkner). I don’t know if I want to have any hope in the show after that, but the Camelot story line might hold some promise. The show has cast Portuguese actress, Joana Metrass to play Guinevere. Also, Lancelot (Sinqua Walls) will be returning. I’m guessing that means he will only be in Camelot flashbacks because he was killed before we even meet him in season two. And again, I exclude Regina from the show’s diversity points. Yes, Lana Parrilla is Porto Rican but we have been given no indication that Regina is supposed to be.

4. A justification for the love interests

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Now, maybe I am just being blinded by my fancy for every gay ship on this show, but why am I supposed to be invested in the straight ones? I feel like the only two canon relationships we have gotten to see much of is Snow and Charming and Rumple (Robert Carlyle) and Belle (Emilie de Ravin). Snowing is boring as hell now and I am over the cuteness of them. Rumbelle used to be cute but now I feel like it has gotten almost abusive because of how manipulative and horrible Rumple has been.

I have never seen the appeal of Emma and Hook (Colin O’Donoghue). She is our goofy, lovable idiot hero who is always trying to do the right thing no matter how dangerous it is. I have never liked Hook. Actually, I liked him in the alternate reality in season four when he was a sensitive, wimpy hero. But, regular Hook? No, he just seems too cocky and entitled and just wrong for Emma. As for Regina and Robin Hood (Sean Maguire), is there a reason they are together beyond the story book saying Regina’s true love has a lion tattoo? I bet lots of people have lion tattoos and at least one of them has to be less bland than Robin Hood.

5. More Grown Ass Man Jared Gilmore

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My opinion’s on Snow and Henry have completely flip-flopped. I used to find Snow awesome and badass and interesting and I found Henry annoying and lame and just wished he would get off the screen. I credit my hatred of Snow to the writing and Henry now being my third favorite character to Grown Ass Man Jared Gilmore. Despite about five seconds supposedly passing between the end of season three and the start of season four, Jared Gilmore went from a child to a grown ass man. With his foot of height, he also gained a lot of acting ability and familial chemistry with Jennifer Morrison and Lana Parrilla. I hope to see some more of it.

6. Integration of new characters

ONCE UPON A TIME - Saturday, August 15, 6-7pm, Stage 23 - "Once Upon a Time: An Evening with Snow White & the Evil Queen" - "Once Upon a Time's" savior has gone dark! As Emma Swan transitions into her role as the Dark One, join the resident fairy tale characters as they cope with Emma's new role and begin the search for Merlin. This is a journey that will take our heroes from the Enchanted Forest to Camelot and along the way bring many surprises, including Merida from "Brave," as "Once Upon a Time" introduces its first Pixar character. Join co-creators and executive producers Edward Kitsis ("Lost") and Adam Horowitz ("Lost") along with series stars Ginnifer Goodwin and Lana Parrilla as they discuss the upcoming season of unexpected twists, evolving characters, new adventures and new rivalries. This panel is sure to bring some surprises you don't want to miss and an exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming season premiere! The Q&A with this fairy tale team will be moderated by D23's Jeffrey Epstein. "Once Upon a Time" returns for its fifth season on Sunday, September 27 at 8pm ET/PT on ABC. (ABC/Jack Rowand) AMY MANSON

Camelot is going to be our flashback kingdom for the season. The show has already established that Camelot is part of the same realm as the Enchanted Forest. Lancelot was a friend of Snow and Charming’s while they were trying to win their kingdom back from Regina. So, I’m not sure how the show is going to integrate them with the existing characters. Probably with a continuity or timeline fail. Also, Merida from Brave, our first Disney/Pixar addition, is running around. Is she is Camelot too?

7. A less fucked up handling of Zelena’s story line

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I saw that at Comic-Con A&E compared Zelena to Hannibal Lector in terms of her unpredictability. Haha, no. There is a difference between an manipulative, intelligent psychopath and whatever Regina, monologue obsessed crazy Zelena is. I really wish she just would have stayed dead, but now that she is around — and a season regular — could we please make her story line less fucked up. She killed Robin’s wife, impersonated her, essentially raped him, got pregnant and now he is supposed to stay with her? Now, that is Hannibal Lector level messed up. But, god forbidden anybody is queer.

8. No magic infertility cure 

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Regina making herself infertility to piss off Cora might be my least favorite thing to come out of season four. It was not needed. It gave a really messed up self-harm message. And nothing is more cliched than a strong female character’s big weakness being infertility. But now that it is here, I hope the show sticks with it. As I have seen a lot of fans say, the show shouldn’t create a magic cure for what I assume they introduced as a relatable aspect of Regina’s character. Also, the show did that cure already with Snow in season two and Regina is clearly cool with adopting.

9. Less focus on Snowing 

ONCE UPON A TIME - "Lily" - Emma's potential for darkness is looming over everyone, but when Emma realizes Maleficent's daughter Lily is in fact her closest friend from her foster care days, she resolves to find Lily and reunite her with her mother. Regina joins forces with Emma and together they set out to track down Lily and to warn Robin about Zelena. However, neither of them is prepared for the harsh realities they'll encounter in the outside world. Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, Gold faces a crisis involving Belle. In a foster care flashback, things are looking up for young Emma with her new family until Lily's appearance threatens to destabilize everything, on "Once Upon a Time," SUNDAY, APRIL 26 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Jack Rowand) JOSH DALLAS, GINNIFER GOODWIN

Last post I asked for something cool for them. It didn’t happen and I’m beginning to think it never will again. So, let’s just not focus on them so much. This show has enough characters to support itself without the horrible parent, idiot duo.

10. Continuity

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Continuity seems like a lot to ask from this show. It has no idea what time line’s are, with Aurora popping up about 10 years in the past about the same age as she is now and everything in the Frozen time lines happening “a long time ago.”  But, if the show could try to have some in this season I would be pleased. Make a few references to last season, have Emma and Henry tease someone about the alternate realty or make comparisons between Emma becoming the Dark One and when Rumple did. Just something to make it seem like each half season, isn’t its own self-contained mess.

And of course:

11. LGBTQ representation

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I think I have made this clear already, but I would really like to see some LGBTQ representation on this show. This show acknowledged the existence of homosexuality in season four in 2014 and I got excited about it. That is how bad this show is at it, despite there being a ship name for any same-sex pairing you can think of. The show may have written off Ice Swan, Sleeping Warrior, Little Beauty and Fairy Queen but Ruby is coming back so Red Beauty and Red Snow are too. Dragon Queen, Hooking, Runaway Swan and Snow Queen are still running around. Plus, the reason I still watch this show, SwanQueen.

12. Mulan 

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It is not going to happen but I had to include her. She is one of my favorite Disney characters from my childhood and the show made her badass and queer. She supposedly joined the Merry Man after Aurora and Phillip’s cockblock baby stopped her from confessing her love to Aurora. I just hope she is off defending some random hot chick where ever she is.


The 20 things Once Upon A Time did wrong and 8 it did right in 4B

Back in February, 28 days before season 4B started, I did a post called 28 Things I hope for when Once Upon A Time Returns. I decided I would revisit that post now that 4B has ended and see how the half season did. It wasn’t very well.

1. Anything cool for Snow and Charming – Verdict: Failed 

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They got to do stuff, but it wasn’t in any way cool. After already being the couple everyone is over and laughably stupid, the show tried to rewrite and darkened their characters but ended up making them even worst characters and even more horrible parents.

2. Diversity – Verdict: Failed 

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Somehow the show get even worse at diversity this half season. I really didn’t think it could be possible. Of course, the only non-white member of the Queens of Darkness was the first to be written off. It killed off Marian to replace her with a white character, but technically she was never even alive in the entirety of season four. And then the worst example, of the show aging up Young Lily, played fantastically by Hispanic actress Nicole Munoz, to a white lady.

3. No villain plan monologues Verdict: Failed 

ONCE UPON A TIME - "Mother" - Emma returns to Storybrooke to reunite Lily with Maleficent while Regina and Robin struggle to cope with the implications of Zelena's pregnancy. When Gold's health takes a turn for the worse, Isaac looks to a new ally for help procuring the magic ink he needs to re-write history. In a Fairy Tale Land flashback, Cora returns from Wonderland to beg Regina's forgiveness on the anniversary of Daniel's murder. Cora vows to help her daughter find true love, but Regina remains suspicious of her mother's intentions, on "Once Upon a Time," SUNDAY, MAY 3 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Jack Rowand) REBECCA MADER, LANA PARRILLA

It wasn’t being too bad at this at first. The QoD and Rumple said they wanted their happy endings but never said what they were. Then Zelena was re-introduced and the show didn’t stand a chance.

4.  Belle keeps her cool – Verdict: Failed 

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Belle didn’t get much for a story line this half season. But in what she did, she was either shoehorned into a pointless new relationship, being handed off from one man to the next or forgiving her lying, manipulative, abusive husband.

5. Less questionable relationships the masses are supposed to believe is endgame – Verdict: Failed 

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I expressed my Rumbelle frustrations above, but every canon relationship in this season seemed to have some questionable element to it. Or it was just so bland I was questioning its existence. Robin is supposed to stay with Zelena after she tricked him into impregnating her. Regina and alternate realty Regina are both with Robin just because she was told it was supposed to happen. And feel free to attack me Captain Swan shippers, but why are Emma and Hook even together? They are so boring.

6. Less CGI – Verdict: Failed 

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Do I even need to explain this one?

7. Continued acknowledgement of Regina’s character growth – Verdict: Passed

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The show did excellent on this one because Regina getting her happy ending, a privilege reserved only for heroes, was one of the focuses of 4B. She also put herself in dangerous situations to help protect Emma and Henry and got to the hero of the alternate reality.

8. More Swan-Mills family moments – Verdict: Passed

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I wish the whole series could be like how these three interacted in the alternate reality. But, Emma and Regina teamed up multiple times to save Henry and protected each other throughout the half season. Hopefully, Regina and Henry team up to save Emma next season.

9. An explanation for Cruella de Vil – Verdict: Passed

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As stupid as it was, the show did explain it. Cruella has magic because the Author decided to give her powers for no real reason and yes, 1920s London is it’s own realm. Ugh.

10. Same for Maleficent – Verdict: Passed

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This one was actually done well, with the other Queens of Darkness conning Snowing into helping bring Maleficent back to life so she could take revenge on Snowing for stealing her child.

11. Less Hook – Verdict: Failed 

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As I said in the original post, I’m not sure what he is still doing here apart from wanting to get in Emma’s pants. He’s contributed almost nothing to the plot and has just been standing in the background as a visual reminded that Emma is supposed to care about someone more than she cares about Regina.

12. No more new characters – Verdict: Passed

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I’m really surprised the season passed this one. The Author was the only new character that was added in 4B. And despite him being annoying as hell and me generally hating him, he and expanded characters Lily and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice actually worked to push the plot forward.

13. Regina’s mansion – Verdict: Failed 

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Has it stopped existing?

14. Not Robin – Verdict: Failed


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I’m still really annoyed that the show brought him back. He was fairly written off, that Marian/Zelena twist was stupid and Regina’s happy ending is not a man!

15. Magic lessons – Verdict: Failed

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From what we have seen in flashbacks, it seems like it took years for Regina to master her magic skills. How has Emma done it in less time with no training?

16. Ruby – Verdict: Failed 

ONCE UPON A TIME - "Snow Drifts" - While Mary Margaret and David celebrate the naming of their son at a coronation in Granny's Diner, Emma and Hook are pulled into Zelena's time portal and find themselves in the Enchanted Forest of the past. But in their quest to discover a way back, they must be careful not to change ANYTHING or risk altering the lives of their friends and family -- as well as their very own existence, on the two-hour season finale of "Once Upon a Time," SUNDAY, MAY 11 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Katie Yu) MEGHAN ORY

Hey, guess who is still missing? Granny was even on alternate reality Queen Snow’s council, but Ruby wasn’t.

17. Only needed back story – Verdict: Failed

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The season devoted an episode to Ursula’s back story just for her to be written off at the end of it. Another episode was devoted to Cruella’s just for her to be killed off at the end of it. The Author’s was mostly pointless, except for a tiny bits of information that told us how the authors are selected. I’m not sure the one with Regina in “Mother” had a point that wasn’t a messed up infertility reveal.

18. Mulan – Verdict: Failed 

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I hope she is off defending random hot ladies on the Island of Missing Characters.

19. Less incredibly convenient plot devices – Verdict: Failed 

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It would require good writing for this problem to go away. This show does not have good writing.

20. LGBT representation – Verdict: Failed

ONCE UPON A TIME - "Lily" - Emma's potential for darkness is looming over everyone, but when Emma realizes Maleficent's daughter Lily is in fact her closest friend from her foster care days, she resolves to find Lily and reunite her with her mother. Regina joins forces with Emma and together they set out to track down Lily and to warn Robin about Zelena. However, neither of them is prepared for the harsh realities they'll encounter in the outside world. Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, Gold faces a crisis involving Belle. In a foster care flashback, things are looking up for young Emma with her new family until Lily's appearance threatens to destabilize everything, on "Once Upon a Time," SUNDAY, APRIL 26 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Jack Rowand) JENNIFER MORRISON, LANA PARRILLA

Really with this show’s history of non-inclusion and everything that happened this season, if we are ever going to get any LGBT representation at all it would only make sense between Emma and Regina. Well, maybe Lily and Emma or Lily and someone we haven’t met yet. But, I’m going to keep hoping for SwanQueen. I’m going to leave it at that. If I start getting into this show’s horrible queerbaiting practices, I’m just going to piss myself off.

21. No more memory loss – Verdict: Passed

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The show actually went a full half season without anyone undergoing a memory loss curse. Sure most of the characters suffered from memory loss in the finale but that was an alternate reality and it gave us bandit Regina so I’m going to let it slide.

22. More of excellent Regina’s dialogue – Verdict: Passed

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One time she called Emma, Snow, Charming and Hook “the Charming softball team and their pirate mascot.” I love sass queen dialogue. It is the only thing this show writes well.

23. No Will Scarlet – Verdict: Failed

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Why was he here? His show was cancelled. And Belle confessed that she never loved him, so what was his point?

24. Tinkerbell – Verdict: Failed

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Cora apparently got to see Tinkerbell, whenever that episode took place. But, sadly we didn’t get to see her at all. Hopefully, she is hanging out with Mulan and Ruby on the Island of Missing Characters.

25. The characters from the Baby Class of Missing Characters – Verdict: Failed

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I guess Aurora, Ashley and their children are on the island too. I’m not counting Aurora’s appearance in “Enter the Dragon” because that was too much of a time line fail.

26. The characters getting an explanation for Zelena’s death – Verdict: Passed

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This did not play out the way I thought it would. The characters got an explanation for her death. She didn’t die, she floated around in the season three finale, killed Marian, morphed into her and returned as a villain. She really seemed like she was about to reform in that jail cell with Regina before Rumple randomly killed her. But, I guess the show just gave up on that since it has been so bad with other characters’ redemption arches.

27. Baby Braids Regina, if there is story for her – Verdict: Failed

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I am glad that we got to see Baby Braids Regina again. She’s my favorite flashback character. But, she really didn’t need to be in the Maleficent flashbacks in “Enter the Dragon.” The Regina we met in the “Mother” was about half Baby Braids Regina, but that entire flashback was pointless. Bandit Regina was pretty similar and that’s a different category. Damn, that is four different versions of Regina in this half season. That is Tatiana Maslany level shit, Lana. Good job.

28. The rest of the missing characters – Verdict: Failed

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Again only our main characters were around when a town wide crisis was happening. Belle even crashed the half season party at Granny’s to alert everyone of the crisis, but Storybrooke still seemed empty when Emma was sacrificing herself for Regina in the middle of the street about five minutes later.