After last week’s final reveal of Jasmine in Storybrooke, this episode of Once Upon A Time focuses solely on the Aladdin story, offering a retelling of the Disney film. Meanwhile, Emma decides to reveal her big secret, and the Evil Queen and Zelina bond.
The episode is dragged down on the whole by odd casting choices, in particular Deniz Akdeniz as Aladdin. Akdeniz puts on the strangest accent for the character, which is some odd combination of Cockney and Liverpudlian, making him instantly off-putting. It isn’t helped by the characterisation of the character, which sees the reluctant hero essentially turned into a coward. Karen David makes a slightly more impressive Jasmine, though she is given little to do throughout.Meanwhile, Emma’s storyline sees some progress this week. After revealing to her family that she is likely to die, she hunts down Aladdin in the hope she can escape this Saviour’s fate. A convenient plot device that will allow her to survive at the expense of her powers is thrown into the mix, and it seems likely this will come into play further down the line. For now she is still struggling with her powers; one unintentionally hilarious scene features her trying to defeat someone with jazz hands. It’s obvious this story will carry on into at least the mid-season finale and it really feels like the writers are stalling.
The Evil Queen story also continues to move at a snail pace. This week she discovers Emma might die, and then takes Zelina on a spa day. Zelina at least seems to finally embrace her dark side, so hopefully we won’t have to see another episode of her being tempted. The Evil Queen just continues to feel like a minor nuisance and has yet to do anything especially evil or even slightly troublesome. It’s distressing how little has actually happened this far into the season and once again I’m left hoping that something big will happen to shake things up next week.