Once Upon a Time Season 3.19 Review: A Curious Thing
April 27, 2014 – ABC
I like to immerse myself in television. Even when I’m not watching, I’m reading about it. Previews, spoilers, cast interviews. You name it; I read it. So some of the reveals from “A Curious Thing” were not so surprising. When I’ve been told to expect the unexpected, I naturally think of what I expected and then imagine the opposite (unless this is American Idol, in which case I fear that my favorite is going to get kicked off and then curse the producers for trying to inject drama into an otherwise normal results show). The unexpected did happen, much to my not surprise, but Once still revealed enough new information to keep me on the edge of my seat while wiping the tears away surreptitiously. Because that’s the thing about spoilers. Even if you expect it, you can still thoroughly enjoy a scene when it is delivered with such emotion that you cannot help but feel it. I’m looking at you, Ginnifer Goodwin!
FTL: Surprising Sacrifices
In the FTL that was, the Charmings are ready to announce that there is a baby on the way. But Belle crashes the party to reveal what happened to Neal/Rumple and everything grounds to a halt. Everyone is appropriately horrified, because who has ever watched one person absorb another except in some weird alien/horror movie? Apparently that is normal enough for FTL, because no one freaks out as I would.Discuss OUAT
What is most pressing is that Zelena is even more villainous than anyone expected. She really needs to be stopped. Snow wants to charge ahead, but Regina and Aurora both urge caution. Regina has faced her sister and lost already, and Aurora is hiding a secret. Before Storybrooke was transported back to the Enchanted Forest, Zelena had visited Phillip and Aurora and asked when Charming and Snow would be returning. She also happened to threaten them and their unborn child if they ever told. And now that Aurora has told, Zelena appears to “make good on [her] promises.” Now that they’ve spilled the beans, our fairytale couple gets turned into monkeys. I would love to know what happens to these characters if their monkeys die. Are they gone for good? And if Zelena is defeated, will the monkeys revert back to their true forms. Aurora and Phillip have not been used much lately, but I would like to know if there is a chance of them returning. Either way, monkey Aurora and monkey Phillip fly away and Zelena takes a moment to threaten those who remain. She checks out Snow’s baby bump and decrees that the child is perfect for her purposes. Then she leaves, because she has a flare for the dramatic. Snow et al immediately try to figure out what to do to protect the Charming baby.
Eight months later, still no answer, and Snow is more pregnant than ever. Their only hope is to find Rumple and ask for his advice, but that means breaking into Zelena’s castle. Regina gets into an argument with Robin Hood about the safety of such a plan, and the tension between the two is just delicious. Especially since the argument gives way to the image of the two kissing in present day Storybrooke. Beautiful segue. More please!
With help from Robin, they do successfully break into the castle and find Rumple in his cage. Driven “mad” with two minds, he doesn’t’ seem to offer much help. Just bring in Belle to clear his mind. “Light magic. The good witch of the south,” is his response. It looks like Glinda was banished to the dark forest. “Through the door, step inside, if pure of heart, then she won’t hide,” Rumple advises cryptically. So off they go. Why they don’t try to save him, I do not know.
I did not enjoy Charming and Snow usually, but I love that they “stopped to smell the roses” when on their new quest when Charming spies a snowbell. When Regina questions them, Snow just turns to her and repeats with a questioning look on her face, “Snowbell!” How could Regina not see the importance? They have regained their adorableness. Between Charming and Snow and Regina and Robin, I am just overflowing with rainbows and butterflies. Oh, and Regina couldn’t walk through Glinda’s door, not being pure of heart, and that just filled me with laughter, so I am happily full of good feelings.
Glinda used to be friends with Zelena (back before she taught her how to be popular). She gave Zelena a pendant that she uses to focus her power. To defeat Zelena, someone would have to remove the pendant with pure light magic (magic created from love). So that means only Emma can defeat Zelena.
Snow realizes there is a way back to Emma, but there is a high price. They have to reenact the dark curse. Let’s go to the expert. Regina would have to destroy that which she loves most, which is Henry, so that’s not possible. And there are no more portals. The only way to to get back to Emma is for Snow to cast the curse, using Charming’s heart. That’s a flat no. No surprise that the good guys had to cast the curse, but plenty surprised that Charming’s heart had to be sacrificed to do it and that they actually went throught with it. Ok, they weren’t my favorite couple, but watching Snow crush Charming’s heart was still far, far too sad, especially after the previous cuteness. Regina’s reaction didn’t help. When your former enemy can’t take the heart out of your chest without looking devastated, then what hope is there for the lowly audience?
Before the curse can start to take effect (remember it takes, like, forever, so that a million things can happen before doom actually sets in), Zelena swoops in an adds a potion to the brew that will make everyone forget. Now that makes sense. She also takes a moment to rub in that Snow’s sacrifice will mean nothing because she will be looking for her Charming and will not remember why she cannot find him. “Pay attention sis,” she mocks, “This is how you take away a happy ending.” She swoops away again and leave them to contemplate their awful fate. Because what can they do in Storybrooke without their memories?Discuss OUAT
Snow has faith that since her heart always belonged to Charming, it can save him now. She begs Regina to take her heart out and divide it in two, hoping that she literally has enough love for the both of them. After much arguing on Regina’s part, the former evil queen does as she was asked and divides one heart between the two lovers. Charming wakes just before the curse settles. I’ve said before that the whole “just have faith in pure love” stick was getting a bit old, but they made me believe again. Ginnifer Goodwin was brilliant in both her heartbreak and her blind faith. And don’t get me started on Josh Dallas’ Charming as he told Snow that she would be able to see his love looking back at her in the face of their unborn child. Maybe it has something to do with the real life romance behind the scenes (the engaged pair finally tied the knot on April 12th), but whatever the reason, I fully believed in true love by the time the curse took hold.
Storybrooke: Breaking the Curse
Ok, speaking of sharing hearts, Robin is completely adorbs. “Use mine for the both of us,” he urges Regina when she tells him that without her heart she can feel, but not fully. Even better, Henry walked in on them kissing. It would have been fabulously embarrassing, except that Henry does not remember that Regina is his mother. So really it ends up being sad.
Everyone, sans Hook, has gathered to determine what to do about the Zelena threat. Emma has the smarts to question what Zelena would gain from bringing everyone to Storybrooke. How would she even have the ability to cast it? Regina wonders. In the end, it doesn’t matter for now, except it plants more doubts in the viewers’ heads. They come to agreement that they must have found out how to defeat Zelena in the past, and she had to cast the curse to stop them from stopping her. To break this new curse, they need Henry to believe, and for that to happen, they need to find his storybook.
Hook was not missing the meeting for no reason. Rumple kidnapped him and took him to Zelena so she could interrogate him and convince him to kiss Emma. She will start killing people, starting with Henry if he doesn’t acquiesce to her request and kiss the powers out of Emma. If he goes through with it, I hope the kiss is worth it.
After a storybook searching Emma yells at Henry when he asks for the truth, the bullheaded boy decides to run away. Hook finds him trying to get into Emma’s car (with her keys, but somehow still unsuccessfully). Hook stops him. Methinks Hook will try to “help” Henry leave in order to keep him safe, so it is no surprise when Hook takes Henry to the docks to try and get him on a boat back to New York. Unfortunately for his plan and Henry’s fairytale innocence, they get attacked by flying monkeys. Cat’s out of that bag. Luckily, Regina, Emma, Charming, and Snow arrive with swords and fireballs blazing and take out their winged foes. Hopefully none of those monkeys were Aurora or Phillip.
I accept the necessity of Jared Gilmore, but please never use a close up of his face to try and convey emotion. That’s just plain stupid. Anyway, Henry only has to hold his book to get his memories back and call out to his two mothers. So sweet and rewarding to see Regina finally catch a break. Too bad Zelena zaps Henry away before Emma can break the curse and proceeds to threaten his life, as promised.
Emma is too strong. She uses her magic to burn Zelena. Regina looks like she might die after being attacked by her sister, but she doesn’t. Regina is able to break the curse and return everyone’s memories by kissing her son’s forehead. Another nice reversal and a great end to this battle round.
A Little Bird Told Me
Now that the danger is over, Emma confronts Hook and learns of the curse Zelena cast on him. It explains things, but she no longer trusts him to tell her the truth, which sets that relationship back even further. And more importantly, Snow and Charming now have reason to question him as well. He claimed that he received a message from them that sent him to Emma with a memory potion in tow. With their memories back, Snow and Charming know they didn’t send that message. So who did? Is Hook lying yet again?
Immediately after adding the memory element to the dark curse, Zelena returned to her castle and used her time wisely. She concocted a memory potion that would preserve her memories against the curse’s effects. She also made one for poor Rumple, though she did not care if he actually took it or not, so she left him alone. Before Rumple could take the potion, Neal separated from his father long enough to write a message and send Hook that potion. Another heroic feat from the dearly departed Baelfire and another twist I did not see coming but welcome with open arms. Suddenly, it all makes sense (if any of the crazy things on Once can ever make sense).
Back in Storybrooke, Henry gets to see his father’s grave while knowing how heroic he really was. Emotions would run high, if they weren’t suddenly interrupted as Snow feels the baby start to come. Full speed ahead!
Quotes of the Night
Once is always a quotable show, but “A Curious Thing” was particularly on fire. Our Evil Queen was especially quotable, though that should be no surprise.
“You’re announcing you’re pregnant. It’s not like you reinvented the wheel.” Regina to Snow White.
“Well if I didn’t know any better, I would say Haagen Daaz was smitten with your stomach.” Regina to Snow, after she said Regina looked smitten
“Where you come from, people bathe in the river and use pinecones for money.” FTL Regina to Robin.Hood
Charming: “Why do women keep their shoeboxes?”; Snow: “Because after true love there is no more powerful magic than footwear. It has to be protected.”
“It’s quite a common name in the seafaring world.” Hook explaining to Henry why Smee is named Smee.
“I never liked pets.” Regina, before she uses a fireball to incinerate a flying monkey.
Next week, we get more Oz mythology from “Kansas,” the last full episode before the 2 hour finale!