Once Upon A Time Review: The Shepherd

Once Upon A Time The Shepherd

Once Upon A Time Review: The Shepherd

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Kathryn takes David home from the hospital, but he still finds himself drawn to Mary Margaret. Meanwhile in the fairy tale world, we learn more about Prince Charming.

Best Moment: Loved Emma’s line about wishing she was Henry after discovering that Sherrif Graham is sleeping with Regina.

Verdict: Overall, this episode had a lot more heart than previous episodes, and I applaud it for that. We didn’t see any cat fighting between Emma and Regina which is great. The story also moves along the story of David and Mary Margaret, or it does until he walks into Mr. Gold’s store. Damn, I was really hoping he would regain his memories. I had a theory that he was the only one from that world without the fake Storybrook memories because he was almost dead as the spell was cast. Not sure what to think about that now.

I did have plenty of issues with the fairy tale world in this episode however. Firstly, I can’t say that I really enjoyed the idea that Prince Charming isn’t actually James’ name at all. To me, it just seems overly complicated. I can’t, at least right now, see the point of doing that except to make a more “interesting” back story for him and also to bring Rumpelstilskin into the mix…. again. Seriously, has nobody heard of this guy? Why do people in that world keep doing deals with him?

Another problem that any mythology buff would have is the Midas story. Hmm, where to start. Firstly, Midas was never a fairy tale but a Greek myth. Then there’s the fact that his gift was more of a curse, and most importantly, don’t we see him turn his daughter into gold. Wait, is this how Prince Charming is able to get out of his marriage to the insipid Abigail?

Another problem I had with the fairytale scenes was simply what appeared to be some strange art direction. For one thing, when the real James is undergoing his challenge, the effects and action made me feel like I was watching a scene from Dragon Age: Origins. It felt more like I was watching a scene from a computer game than a movie or television show.

Then later, when we get to see James’ twin brother. We’re told that he lives on a farm. However, it’s not much of a farm. One little cottage and a pen that holds a few goats. No wonder they’re not doing very well! What’s more, this farm is in a field with nothing around for miles apparently. This in no ways resembles a mediaeval farm and is quite baffling. I can only assume that they were saving this week’s budget for the dragon which looked fairly decent.

Overall, this was an okay episode. I know many people cheered that Henry was barely in it, but I don’t hate Henry near as much as a lot of people do. The episode managed to ground the story between Mary Margaret and David to a halt for a while, which is frustrating and feels very Lost-like to me. “We’ll give yo a few answers, and then we’ll back-peddle so you don’t get too much info too soon.” I hope this isn’t going to be a habit of the writers or I honestly won’t be coming back for a second season.

Fun Fact: Just to remind you that this is from the people that brought you Lost, Alan Dale makes an appearance as James’ father, playing pretty much the same type of character as he did on Lost. If I hadn’t grown up with him as Jim Robinson I would think he was a one-note performer.