Once Upon A Time Review: A Land Without Magic

Once Upon A Time Emma Regina

Once Upon A Time Review: A Land Without Magic

Episode rating:

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Season rating:

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

Emma and Regina must team up to find a way to save Henry.

Best Moment: I gotta say I did like Emma’s expression just before she decides to go pummel Regina.

Verdict: This episode was a decent but far too rushed episode. I know the writer’s are following the Lost formula of a few interesting episodes at the beginning and end of the season and filler in the middle, but this was just silly.

Emma finally believes, and that’s great but the result of that was very quick. We don’t get to see her realisation that everybody she’s been interacting with is a fairy story. Nope, she has to rush off and save Henry. That sequence with Maleficent the dragon was a tad convoluted. I love dragons, but none of it seemed particularly necessary. Instead, it felt like something they decided to throw in there at the last minute.

Well, let’s face it, the whole smoke monster, ahem, magic unleashed storyline was clearly another moment of making something up out of thin air. When I watch a show, I like to be able to look back and see the through line. There simply wasn’t one with this. Sure, Rumpel’s diabolic nature was hinted at, but there was nothing to indicate that he had magic secretly hidden for a rainy day. Why’d he pick that day? It wasn’t because of Belle, because he’d already sent Emma off for the magic vial before Belle returned.

Speaking of, there goes Emma’s crappy superpower again. Lied to yet again and still she believes him. She really needs to stop thinking she has a superpower. So anyway, she wastes all this time fighting a dragon when all along all she had to do was kiss Henry. Well, duh, we all saw that coming…. Why did neither she nor Regina think of that? Even if it were possible that it didn’t occur to them, how is it that she left her dying son to go find a potion that might save him, without so much as a kiss? I just find that hard to believe.

I did like that her kiss didn’t just wake up Henry, but essentially work up everyone else too. What was a shame, and a real let down to the series as a whole was the way there was no time to adjust to this new Storybrooke. Instead, they rushed off to the next plot point” Rrumpel unleashing magic. We had some truly great scenes from Lana Parilla that almost made you pity her. The return of magic should feel like a return to the status quo. It doesn’t. The writers have spent so little time with the pitiable Regina that when she sees the magic and grins, I don’t think “the bitch is back” I think, “oh, Regina is evil and has power, must be Sunday.” It doesn’t matter that her power now comes from actual magic versus her status as mayor. It’s the same result. She wasn’t out of power long enough to appreciate the moment she gets it back.

I could go on about the sloppy storytelling between David and Mary Margaret. Or the fact that I still don’t believe that Rumpel should be the Beast (he chooses evil and magic all the time!). But I won’t. I think as I’ve said for a while, this series is problematic, and one of the biggest problems is the way it tries to be like Lost. This episode, had it been told over two or three episodes (instead of the dreck we’ve been dealing with) should have been great. It wasn’t. It was rushed and poorly told. This is why I decided to include a star rating for the season.

A shorter season with leaner storytelling might make this a good series. But that’s not what Horowitz and Kitsis have created. It appears that ABC has renewed the series for a second season. However, this is going to be the last review of Once Upon A Time that I write. I’m certainly open to returning to the series if they get it together in season two, but if the writers continue to drag their heels, including unnecessary mysteries and nonsensical plots I just don’t see the point. Personally, I’d rather sit down and re-watch The 10th Kingdom. Thanks for following the reviews for Wince Upon A Time. Hopefully by September I’ll have found a better show to review.