Monday, 13 April 2015

Heart of Gold

After the small hiatus thanks to Easter Sunday, we're finally back! In this Robin centric episode, we get to see his life in New York with Marian & Roland as they were planning on moving into Neal's apartment. But as they settle in, Rumple arrives & tells them to get out, but ends up having a heart attack (caused by his dark morality) & sends Robin to get the Elixir of the Wounded Heart (again, this time at Walsh's furniture shop), but Marian confronts him where it's revealed that she's actually Zelena (I'll explain: after she was killed it turned out the green smoke was her spirit & went back to the past when Emma did & killed Marian & took her form with a glamour spell while she was unconscious after Emma decided to take her back to Storybrooke) & had switched the potions. She ends up making a deal with Rumple (but not before he's so shocked & panicked by the reveal he goes into cardiac arrest) so that he has the elixir to stay alive in exchange for the author to also write her happy ending, which he agrees to do. And Robin decides to stay with 'Marian' in New York, completely unaware of the deception & his life being at stake. Meanwhile, in the flashbacks, Rumple sends former outlaw Robin of Locksley to Oz in order to retrieve an elixir for a wounded heart in exchange for the money for his taxes due from the Sheriff of Nottingham (pretty self explanatory & it also works emotionally as well as physically) as his last meeting with the person who has it didn't end well to say the least. Obviously, I'm talking about Zelena & Robin goes undercover as a guard in order to retrieve it, but she sees through it immediately & ends up only taking one dose of the potion as he had promised another to Will Scarlet beforehand. But as it turns out Will wanted the potion to get over the pain of losing his sister, Robin decides to do the honourable thing & gives him the potion, also starting his reign as Robin Hood robbing the rich to feed the poor. In Storybrooke, we also get to see the Charmings & Hook try to find the Author now that he's on the lose in the town after the last episode, but Rumple manages to find him first & holds Regina prisoner, when she calls Robin, but discovers what Zelena has done & now has to chose between saving Robin from possible death or Emma from going dark.
Given that Robin has been a rather interesting character, it felt rather nice for him to have his own centric episode with his backstory as the framing device for the episode. The origins of his friendship with Will in the past was also nice to see along with the mention of the latter's sister (although I still hope we'll see more of that backstory in the future cos he's such a likeable character & I don't like how they've handled him in his transfer to OUAT from OUATIW) & it was interesting to see how he became the honourable outlaw we know today. Although I may not like Zelena as a character thanks to her actions & bratty personality in general last season, I actually rather enjoyed seeing her again! I had a feeling we weren't going to see the last of her after her 'defeat' in season 3 due to her popularity, but now it looks like she hasn't changed one bit after everything & it looks like she's not gonna stop any time soon...she may still annoy me, but she also entertains me at the same time as a villain I love to hate. It also felt rather refreshing to see what happened to Robin & his family after they left the town (along with not really adjusting to modern day life involving alarms & police during his good deeds), and Rumple's goals now that it's revealed he was pretty much dying thanks to his dark actions & is doing everything now to avoid Robin being in danger & for Zelena to get what she wants. Speaking of, I very much enjoyed seeing more of Rumple's complexity as a character again after coming across as one dimensional this season during his talk with Robin about how to get his happiness, although I wish he'd take his own advice given he's been going the wrong way to get his happiness even if he's only following Zelena's orders in all of this.
As for Marian really being Zelena, I thought it was going to be in some contrived way since Marian happened to be the person Emma decided to bring back from the past & that Robin happened to be with her half sister at the time before she was 'killed', although since it seems that it became a back-up plan after Emma decided to save her from Regina in the past. Although I was rather surprised they took this route, I wasn't 'shocked' per se as Marian had been acting weird in the scenes beforehand & it gave some of it away for me, but Christie Laing's performance was rather convincing along with Rebecca Mader clearly having a ball returning as Zelena.
If I had a problem, it'd be the timing of the episode wasn't really the best as we had just continued from the huge revelations about the Author, what Snow & Charming did & Lily being Maleficent's daughter, but none of them are touched upon in this other than Emma calling her parents out & Rumple taking the Author at the start & it felt like it was slowing down the main story & adding in more complexities now that Zelena is in the picture & threatening Robin if Regina won't work with Rumple.
Despite the order & slowing down the main plot, I wouldn't say this is bad at all! I still enjoyed the episode despite my personal dislike for Zelena (hey, it's better than Greg &/or Tamara returning) along with the flashbacks in New York being enjoyable with Rumple's role throughout, the acting being great & some rather interesting twists & answers to questions. It's a pretty fun one to watch regardless, although this episode somehow managed to do something more disgusting than Rumple & Zelena making out...and it looks like Regina & Robin are in the clear over their 'adultery' from the first half!
Thank you Emma for calling out your parents for what they did regardless of how they were led to the Apprentice!
HAHA! 'You are quite possibly the biggest pain in the ass that I ever had the displeasure of writing about!'
How nice keeping Regina prisoner!
I don't know about you, but Marian seeming to know a lot about Baelfire is pretty fishy...
OK, that is AWESOME!
Nice to see you again Little John!
Nice to see you again Sheriff of Nottingham...speaking of which, what the hell happened to Keith after Gold beat him up?!
Seems Marian could speak for herself back in the day...what happened?
So many feels seeing Neal's apartment again!
'Do you remember what you said to me on our first day as outlaws?' 'I said so many things.' In other words, you don't know!

HUH?!
WHAT THE-?!
Wait, why is Rumple acting like they've never met before...?
You mean to tell me he could've called Regina the whole time?!
Only just realized that every member of the Floof Family has now been in hospital...weird parallel, but thought I'd put it out there! And seems his dark deeds are finally taking it's toll!
Feels rather nice seeing Oz again!
Hmm, interesting to see how Robin & Will became friends!
Funny that they remembered Walsh owned a furniture shop...looks like that didn't mean he didn't have to be witty!
Hidden Mickey!
Rather pretty design for the elixir bottle!
Yeah, stealing for the honourable reasons doesn't really translate well to modern day New York when there's burglar alarms & police!
Really not like Marian to say that they should just leave Rumple to die!
Nice to see you again Zelena! Yes, I still find her annoying, but I can't help but love Bex!
AH, so that's how he got his bow & arrow that never missed it's target!
HUH?!
Is it me or does Robin look like he could play Fiyero from Wicked in that outfit?
Uh...why isn't it working?!
What did he ever do to Marian?!
WHAT?! THE?! FUCK?!?!?!
Ah, right, she did it when Emma was in the past! Poor Marian though, being killed twice by both the Mills sisters...
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE ZELENA!? Seems you're still a petty brat...
HAHAHA! God, her impression of Rumple is hilarious!
NO, DON'T TAKE UP HER DEAL, RUMPLE! YOU'RE BETTER THAN THIS!
Aww, I still remember him mentioning his sister to Alice!
Well, looks like Rumple has another reason to be pissed off at Will other than dating Belle!
Rather shameless advertising for Aladdin on Broadway!
Sweet idea to give him Neal's stuff!
'Maybe you should take a piece of advice from a man who pushed away every chance of happiness because it was never enough: If it's in your grasp. If you know where it is & who it's with, then you should run to it, grasp it and never let it go.' Aww, nice to see him give Robin some good advice! If only he followed it himself...
Hmm, pretty badass!
Well, I guess that explains why he looked like Tom Ellis in 2x19!
*Wolf whistles*!
'No matter where we are or what we face, I want to be with you.' NO, IT'S A TRAP!
NO!!!!!
EWW!!! Just when I thought her making out with Rumple was the most disgusting thing!
I hate you Zelena...
Poor Regina!
So saving the Saviour from going dark or saving her beloved Robin from her sister...I have no idea what I'd pick if I were her!

Monday, 30 March 2015

Best Laid Plans

In this episode, we finally get to see how Snow & Charming caused Maleficent to lose her child as they come across a Peddler (played by Patrick Fischler), who tells them to meet the Sorcerer's Apprentice. They make a deal so that they can get rid of Emma's darkness by using a vessel to put it in someone, ultimately choosing Maleficent's egg, until they discover after stealing it that a child is inside of it & that the Apprentice would send it to another realm & while trying to save it, accidentally push Ursula & Cruella into the portal in the process. In Storybrooke, Regina & Emma manage to come up with a plan to stall the Queens & Rumple by planting a fake page in the book along with taking a photo of the real one, with Maleficent casting everyone in a sleeping curse in the process so nobody can get to the page & stop them. However, since Mary Margaret, David & Henry were immune as they were already under the curse, Henry ends up giving Regina the fake page after he discovers the key to the door & the former plan to burn the real one to avoid Emma going dark. But since they are heroes & don't want to make the same mistake by causing someone to lose their happiness (in this case Regina), they decide not to & tell Emma the truth about everything. But then it turns out Rumple knows the fake page is fake & now her cover is blown, also revealing he may have something that will make her work with them. And Rumple reveals what happened to Maleficent's child, turning out that she's Lily, the runaway girl Emma met as a teenager. Mary Margaret & David finally decide to tell Emma the truth about her potential for darkness & what they did to Maleficent's child in order to stop it. Obviously she's not happy about it, but, but not before August reveals that the author is actually a job passed down for eons & that the most recent one was trapped for breaking the rules & meddled with the characters' stories just for his own selfish fun. And it turns out the most recent author was really the Peddler who manipulated Snow & Charming to go & see the Apprentice, and ends up fleeing with Emma in hot pursuit.
This episode definitely was an interesting one to watch & for very good reasons. It was easy to follow from Unforgiven in terms with flashbacks along with the continuity of certain questions which were finally answered & I loved how much the plots tied up together without making them feel too contrived. It was also interesting to see Snow & Charming play the villains in Maleficent's story this time round with kidnapping her child for their own selfish reasons even if they evidently regret it afterwards & had planned on returning it to her. The character development was also well done with Mary Margaret & David as they finally decide to make the right decisions like telling Emma the whole truth about what happened to try & make up for their past mistakes, giving them more dimensionality than we have seen in quite a while. August again was put to great use even if most of the time, it's for exposition & plot progression & I loved seeing Henry taking on a more active role with finding the author & tricking the Queens & Rumple, especially with the use of the fake page (an already smart plan to begin with) & finding the key to release the author. It was also rather nice to see some of the reveals & twists, even if I was rather surprised that they came pretty early since we're nearly halfway through this arc, especially with the reveal of who Maleficent's child was (I honestly thought it was going to be revealed in the upcoming Lily centric episode), but given everyone had predicted this beforehand, it felt kinda nice for that to be shown sooner rather than getting impatient over it. The mythology of the book & the author was also very interesting to see as the job isn't for one person, but for many as it's a title passed on & the fact the most recent one only wrote & tampered with the stories for his own selfish reasons shows so much potential for how they really could have gone.
One thing I also very much enjoyed was seeing a bit of Rumple's goodness finally starting to come out this season not only during his very touching & rather cryptic scene with Belle, but also revealing what happened to Maleficent's child for her despite their deal not going as planned. Given that he also lost his child & knows very well what kind of pain it can cause, it was nice to see him not want Maleficent to go through that same pain any longer. Speaking of, the emotional stakes were also very high, especially with Maleficent's subplot involving finding her daughter now that she knows she's alive, Rumple now that it seems that something's wrong with his heart & has to find a way quickly to get his happiness & from Mary Margaret & David through the decisions they make with Emma.
The only issue I'd really have is that it was a tad on the predictable side during the final act with the identity of the author along with Lily being Maleficent's child, but the additional information about the job of the author made it more interesting & the execution with the reveal about Lily was really well done.
Given that I have to come up with 10 episodes for the best list, it's going to be much much harder now because this was a great one to watch & I can't wait to see what happens next now that the author is loose in Storybrooke & Regina will have to pick a side without double crossing & how Maleficent will go on her quest to find her daughter. With excellent character development, smart writing & emotional stakes, this is definitely an episode worth checking out & there's no doubt it'll go on my best list!
About time they give Ginny a flattering outfit! And interesting unicorns have the power to look into the future...
 
Aww!
Nice to see you again Young Emma!
What on earth-?!
Poor August! Seems the many magical spells he's been put under are finally taking it's toll, bless him!
Good plan using a fake!
Hmm, not so sure a photo's gonna make them fall for it...
Well, at least they've told her part of the truth about Gold's plan...
Huh?!
Seems Hook is still the jealous type...
Interesting Sleeping Beauty reference!
Hi Phil from Lost!
Nice to see you again Sorcerer's Apprentice!
OK, given that he needed help finding his son despite his magic, I'm not so sure he can help look for Maleficent's child!
Wait, why aren't they asleep...?
Haha! 'Id be lying if I didn't say I'm tempted to wring her scrawny neck right now!'
Phew! Thank God he's taking advantage of the fact he's awake & has the page!
Love Regina going full on Mama Bear mode with Henry!
Wait, where the hell's he off to?!
Given that magic ALWAYS comes with a price, I'm not so sure making a deal to get rid of their child's darkness is a good idea...
Rather cool effect!
Come on, I wanna know who the author is!
'Henry Daniel Mills!' Wait, she also named him after her true love her mother killed?! AWW!
Well, it's nice to see that it's not the end for Ursula in terms of flashbacks!
HAHA! Nice callback with the poppy pollen to make people fall asleep!
Rather nice design for the egg! Well, given that in most folklore dragons lay eggs, it's not really a surprise that Maleficent's child is in one!
Did they really think it'd be that easy?!
'Please! Mother to mother! Have mercy! I can't lose my child!' Poor Maleficent! Even if she may be evil, she's still a vulnerable mother at heart!
Good plan giving Regina the fake page!
COME ON!
AWWW! And people say chivalry's dead!
AWWWWWW!!!!!!
How the hell did he know the page was a fake?!
You know, maybe you should've told them you'd send it to another realm before they decided to take the egg!
ARGH! 'CHARMING, IT'S A BABY!' Yeah, regardless of whether it was a dragon or human infant, it's still an innocent child, Snow!
Nice way of explaining how Cruella & Ursula ended up outside of Storybrooke!
Hmm, seems I was right that she had darkness in her heart before she killed Cora!
About time that they told her everything!
Poor Emma!
Hmm, I wonder what he has that'll give Regina no choice but to work with them...maybe Robin?
Interesting Cinderella gave them the unicorn mobile...the symbolism makes me see it differently now!
Given everything she's been through, at least give her something in return & let her know what happened to her child! You should know more than anyone what kind of pain of losing your child can cause!
I KNEW LILY WAS HER DAUGHTER!!!
Aww! At least she knows she's alive now!
There have been many authors?! Very interesting that it's a job passed down instead of one person doing it all! What if the one named Walt had the last name Disney...?
Hmm, definitely thinking the Peddler is the most recent author!
Thought so!
Uh...where's he gone?!