‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’
After the Evil Queen activating a new sleeping curse on Snow and Charming, Regina has finally decided to do something to stop her. However her attempt to trap her in a mirror world backfires, leaving Emma and Regina stranded there whilst the Evil Queen takes Regina’s place.
The mirror world is a seemingly interesting concept but in execution is a bit dull, full of mirrors through which you can view the real world. There they find the mythically obtuse Dragon, who spouts nonsense yet may be the key to stopping the Evil Queen. The most interesting element of this story is the Evil Queen using Henry, attempting to get him to kill Dragon who is secretly under her control. The dragon isn’t too bad an effect for this show, working quite well.
This week’s episode starts with a surprisingly effectual montage of Snow and Charming suffering from the new sleeping curse. The pair are unable to be awake at the same time, meaning they leave each other some sweet notes and gifts but are unable to interact. The sequence is enough to almost make me care about this tired romance, as well as being rather well shot. Sadly this element is dropped until the end of the episode, but at least Charming stays mostly absent.
Belle and Zelina decide to team up to escape Mr Gold and the Evil Queen, to get away with their respective babies. The plot doesn’t go much of anywhere but it does seemingly place Zelina on the hero’s path once again. Shame that she has switched back and forth so often that it’s a bit hard to really figure out which side she is on.
This week’s episode is another non-starter, it still feels like the plot hasn’t advanced much since the first episode with many elements still feeling disconnected from the overall story. It’s hard to see how all these disparate threads will tie together down the line.
‘Changelings’At its core this episode is about babies, the flashback exploring a time when Rumpelstiltskin stole a baby, whilst he tries to steal his own child in the present and Emma attempts to stop Mr Gold from taking his child from Belle.
The flashback isn’t particularly exciting, mostly offering a revelation that is obviously created to force a parallel with the present day plot. For the most part it’s there to show that Mr Gold is evil for a reason, but it’s a bit too late to really attempt to humanise him. The present day plot meanwhile, doesn’t present much new, the cyclically ruined Gold/Belle romance being the big focus. A bit more is revealed about their mysterious child but it’s mostly cryptic clues about his important future – I still think he’s going to be the villain of the latter half of the season.
The Evil Queen v Zelina throw-down promised in the last episode is a total letdown, amounting to one fireball before being interrupted by Regina. This wouldn’t even be an issue if it allowed the sisters to reconcile but this plot is still left dangling, with Zelina even more of a disconnected story thread now.
A few other plots get vague check-ins this week. Jasmine and Aladdin’s story is also still a thing that exists, with Aladdin becoming a genie in an attempt to get them back to Agrabar – with what happened next left for a future episode. Their storyline has been criminally underused this season, with a lame backstory episode and then little involvement from either in the main plot. Agrabar in particular doesn’t feel like it matters to the main storyline, making it very hard to care about these versions of beloved characters.
Emma finds the sword that is destined to kill her in Gold’s shop, seemingly suggesting he is her killer. They take it in the hope that having it will prevent Emma’s death, but maybe that’s what causes it.
Belle’s birth at least advances Gold’s plot, with his focus now shifted to finding his son. Meanwhile, the Evil Queen appears to be struggling to find a purpose and I fail to see how her storyline will even sustain itself to the approaching mid-season finale.