4   +   5   =  

‘The Other Shoe’

Once Upon A Time’s third episode brings back Cinderella, a character the show seemingly forgot about a few years ago, to reveal her connection to The Land of Untold Stories. When the Evil Queen threatens Cinderella’s life, Emma is determined to save her but needs to overcome her magical issues to do so.

Emma is still struggling with her impending death, this week revealing that it is preventing her from moving in with Hook and in general living her life. Not much progress is really made with this storyline this week. Emma is able to overcome her fears slightly, allowing her to perform magic and also take a big step with Hook but she still has yet to tell her family about her visions. This storyline is clearly going to be a slow burner throughout the series but it would be nice if something was revealed about Emma’s visions soon.

For the most part this episode’s flashbacks follow the traditional Cinderella story with little variation; in fact many scenes feel like they’re taken right from last year’s live action movie. The only real change is the twist that one of the stepsisters isn’t all that evil. It appears Carinda was only pretending to be evil to fit in with her family, planning a new life for herself before Cinderella messed it up – choosing to run away to The Land of Untold Stories. It’s not a bad twist exactly but doesn’t do much to change the story, simply providing a reason to introduce Carinda who will probably never be mentioned again.

Whilst all this is going on the Evil Queen is making deals with Mr. Hyde, finally releasing him from his cage at episode’s end. Considering that Hyde was introduced as this big bad and has done absolutely nothing since, I truly hope he gets something to do next week.

★★

‘Strange Case’once-upon-a-time-season-6-episode-4So four episodes into a season that set itself up as being about Mr. Hyde, we finally get a Jekyll/Hyde episode and it appears to be the end of the character. I mean this is Once Upon A Time and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they suddenly brought Hyde back to life in a few weeks, but for now the character feels absolutely wasted. It’s a misuse of the character and Sam Witwer to keep Hyde locked up, spouting menacing phrases to then kill him off as soon as he’s released.

For the most part the episode isn’t too bad, presenting the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story with the twist that Hyde actually isn’t a bad guy – and that Jekyll himself may be the monster. It helps that the source material is less familiar to the general audience, meaning that even a rehash of the story feels fresher than say the Cinderella story of last week’s episode.

Sadly the Belle and Rumpel storyline is feeling like a total repeat of what we’ve seen before. She wants nothing to do with him because he’s evil; he just wants to protect her. Inevitably I’m sure she will for some reason fall in love with him again before remembering he’s pure evil and, frankly, I’m just fed up of this weird narrative loop the characters are trapped in. It doesn’t feel like much will change when Belle gives birth, which is about the only original element to their storyline so far this season.

Meanwhile, Snow is going forward with her plan to get back into teaching, in an attempt to return things to normal. Of course things don’t go simply for her, with her teacher’s aid being more than she appears, having an untold story to tell. The final twist of this episode gives the first real hint about where this storyline is going, but it is still very unclear how everything will fit together down the line. Particularly the Evil Queen’s scheming has yet to amount to more than irritating the heroes and its hard to see how she has a place in The Untold Stories plotline.

★★

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