Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Once Upon a Time: Heart of Darkness

Episode 1.16

We’re back to focus on Snow and James’ relationship and this is a big episode for them. The last we saw of them, Snow had just swallowed the potion to make her forget her broken heart, and James has escaped his arranged marriage to search for Snow. He’s ridden off with Red to escape King George’s pursuing men and Red has promised to hold them at bay while he gets as far away as possible. Ominously, we see her shed her luxurious red cloak just as she casts her eyes to the full moon and see her eyes flash red …

Meanwhile, the potion has had some negative after-effects on Snow. She has no idea of James’ existence or her love for him and rather than being a good thing, the dwarves are all fed up with her behaviour. She’s turned nasty and vindictive and a terror to live with. When they confront her, she leaves to go and kill the Queen. Grumpy is convinced that this isn’t the right answer and so drags her to Rumpelstiltskin so that he can reverse the potion’s effects.

Grumpy doesn’t quite get what he was aiming for. True love is the most powerful magic and the only potion that Rumpelstiltskin doesn’t have. Rather than helping Snow to remember James, he gives her a bow that won’t miss its target and a map showing the Queen’s route.

James is right on Snow’s heels and appears on Rumpelstiltskin’s doorstep to demand her whereabouts. Rumpelstiltskin tells James that true love’s kiss will make her remember him and in return, Rumpelstiltskin demands James’ cloak for less-than-innocent reasons. He already has a strand of Snow’s hair and in a darkened lab later on, we see him locating a strand of hair from the cloak to combine with Snow’s in a tiny bottle. They entwine together and glow bright in the dark; Rumpelstiltskin now has the only thing that he was missing: bottled true love.

James manages to catch up with Snow and steal a kiss, only for her to punch him and tie him up. For some reason, true love’s kiss didn’t work. Jiminy Cricket comes to rescue him and advises James that he can’t remind Snow of who he is if she’s lost track of who she is. With this thought, he tracks down Snow the next day as she is about to enact her revenge on the Queen. She releases the string on her bow, only for the arrow to lodge itself in James’ shoulder! In explanation, he tells her that he’d “rather die than let you fill your heart with darkness”! They kiss and she remembers! Only for King George’s men to arrive on the scene and whisk James away in a cage! I don’t think this could get any more dramatic.

Snow returns to the dwarves and humbly apologises for her behaviour since she took the potion. Confident that Snow is back to her normal self, they’re going to help her save James and “show the King what Snow White and the seven dwarves can really do.” Yay!

In Storybrooke, MM is getting her pictures taken before being questioned by Emma and Regina. It turns out that the box holding the heart is in fact MM’s jewellery box and a sly remark from Regina prompts Emma to search their shared apartment for signs of a break in. Henry turns up halfway through and tries to persuade Emma that the Mayor set MM up. With no evidence to prove it, Emma can’t and won’t do anything to provoke Regina and possibly lose her job. As if things couldn’t get any worse, Emma finds a hunting knife that had been hidden away.

Mr Gold offers unexpected help to MM in the form of legal services and a desperate MM accepts. David is trying to fill in the blanks created by his blackouts and Archie suggests hypnosis. But for some reason, the images coming to David are those from fairytaleland  … those where he is urging Snow not to kill the Queen … the asshole then goes and confronts MM asking whether she killed Kathryn! As she should, MM tells him to get out. I would say ‘good riddance,’ but they’re meant to be together; I don’t get why David has to make it so difficult!

Emma comes back to her apartment to find Henry waiting outside. In his hand is the huge ring of keys that Emma had come across in Regina’s office several episodes ago (Fruit of the Poisonous Tree?). Henry is certain that it is with these keys that Regina took MM’s box and planted the knife. We saw in What Happened to Frederick? that Regina got into Kathryn and David’s house; Emma doesn’t believe that these spindly keys will have a chance, but she’s proved wrong as the door swings open …

Just as MM is making her bed the next morning, there’s a clink as something hits the floor. It’s a key … that opens her cell door! Emma comes in with breakfast and assures MM that she’s on her side. The results are in and it’s officially declared that the heart belonged to Kathryn. She’s certain after Henry’s revelation that Regina is to blame, but MM must be patient while she gathers enough evidence to clear her name. Emma needs an ally if she is to succeed and she turns to Mr Gold for help, telling him that she’ll do anything to save her friend. It seems as if MM doesn’t have quite the same faith in Emma as the latter may have hoped: the last shot of this episode shows an empty cell …

Gosh, is this episode a heart-wrencher. Whenever we end with a good ending for Snow and James in fairytaleland, the exact opposite happens for MM and David in Storybrooke. James is so perfect in fairytaleland, but it seems that all David can do in Storybrooke is be an asshole! He’s always saying how they’re meant to be together, yet he’s the one who makes the mistakes and forces MM to question their relationship. What kind of man asks his true love whether she killed his wife? David, is who. I can never figure out whether I want to punch him or hug him. He’d better come to his senses soon.

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