Once Upon A Time Review: Skin Deep

Once Upon A Time Emilie de Ravin

Once Upon A Time Review: Skin Deep

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Emma responds to a robbery at Mr. Gold’s shop, but Mr Gold is determined to exact his own vengeance. Meanwhile in the fairy tale world, we learn that Mr. Gold has played more than one role in popular fairy tales.

Best Moment: If you like the constant Disneyfication of the fairy tales, there was certainly plenty of headnods to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast such as Chip the cup, Mrs. Potts, Lumiere and Cogsworth. I also enjoyed the headnod to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Verdict: Why must every tale become a Disney personification of a fairy tale? It’s gotten so very old and tiresome. I was attracted to this show because I like fairy tales. Like Henry, I had my own really big, really old book of fairy tales, beautifully illustrated and very addictive. However, they did not even remotely resemble the Disney version of movies. Why should they? They are much older than that. The dwarves didn’t have names like Sleepy and Grumpy and Belle didn’t have a beaux named Gaston. That didn’t make them any less interesting to me. What’s more, not all the fairy tales had happy endings. Some could be quite disturbing. The Red Shoes or (the non-Disneyfied version of) The Little Mermaid, anyone?

Even as a child, I was quite resistant to how Disney messed with The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast because I knew that wasn’t how they went. Still, I can appreciate what Disney did with Beauty and the Beast. So much so, that I used to own a VHS copy of it. Disney had made it their own, and had, in my opinion, finally created a female character who I could relate to. Like Belle, I too adored books and simply wanted adventure in the great wide somewhere. Alas these are the two traits that OUAT excised from their version of Belle.

My problem with Once Upon A Time is that it has not really created its version of a fairy tale and never was this more clear than with this episode, which rips off the movie right down to the costumes. Instead, this episode serves as some sort of advertising. As though ABC is trying to tell viewers, “hey, you like this episode? Why not go see Beauty & the Beast in 3D?” It’s just plain lazy writing. Not to mention that the sets and costumes are just cheap. Perhaps I have Game of Thrones syndrome, but why not try a little harder to make the wild magical world of fairy land look at least a little more real?

Now, you might say that the fact that Rumpelstiltskin turning out to be “the beast” (which we are told in the most forced fashion possible) makes it more original. My opinion is that it makes it lazy. Am I the only one tired of having every fairy tale story come back to this character? Yes, we get it, he and EQ are the big bad. It’s clash of the titans. It doesn’t mean he always has to turn up. Now it’s getting ridiculous.

In other areas of the episode, is anyone else getting tired of the Mary Margaret love triangle? I could get behind the fact that she and her prince charming are destined to be together. However, it’s been a few weeks and David hasn’t broken it off with Kathryn. Not cool. I’m hoping after the Valentines Day card fiasco, Mary Margaret kicks him to the curb, but you know that won’t happen.

So the only major revelations came at the end of the episode. Those being that “Belle” is not really dead like EQ had told Rumpel, and the Storybrook version of her is locked up in a mental institution- so I guess we’ll be seeing more from Emilie de Ravin. Even more interesting however is the fact that Mr. Gold has admitted just who he really is. This isn’t much of a shock to be honest, but hopefully it means the story will begin going in the right direction.