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Once Upon a Time, Ep. 2.08, “Into The Deep”: “Touch the spinning wheel; touch it, I say!”

Once Upon a Time, Ep. 2.08, “Into The Deep”: “Touch the spinning wheel; touch it, I say!”

Once Upon a Time, Season 2, Episode 8: “Into the Deep”
Written by Kalinda Vazquez & Daniel T. Thomsen
Directed by Ron Underwood
Airs Sundays at 8pm (ET) on ABC

If there is one thing you don’t want to do it is make Cora angry. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what Captain Hook did, which in turn caused Cora to bring forth her army of undead. Can we just take a time out to say, CREEPY! And with that Cora issues her army to go find Snow, Emma, Aurora, and Mulan.

After a quick glimpse of Cora being delightfully evil, we are taken to the four girls (Snow, Emma, Aurora, and Mulan) where it is confirmed by Aurora that she was actually speaking to Henry in the netherworld. Up until recently Aurora has simply just been there, going along with the other three on the journey. It’s a nice change to see Sarah Bolger actually being used and not just backdrop. She’s had the look of Aurora, but she just hasn’t been given material that she could work that well with and it’s always come off as annoying more than anything, so it’s good to see her being of more use and actually doing a pretty decent job of it.

The episode is a quick jump episode between Storybrooke and the present Enchanted Forest, mostly dealing with the four trying to communicate with each other. The focus is on the main characters from season one; no side characters and there is no past story, just a fun-filled episode that certainly moves the story arc along. It’s nice and interesting to see Regina and Gold actually working with Charming and the interaction between Charming and Henry is heartfelt and genuine; again it’s good to see Josh Dallas be given more of a steady role.

Perhaps one of the most delightful things about the episode is getting to see more of Cora and Hook. Barbara Hershey and Colin O’Donoghue are fantastic in their respective roles and are certainly giving Regina and Gold a run for their money as villains. The casting for the two could not have been done better. Who would have thought that Captain Hook and the Evil Queen’s mother would make such a pair? Props have to be given to the writers for how they keep everything so neatly intertwined and creative. Dare we say that the guest stars are actually outshining the regulars this season, from Mulan, Hook, Aurora, the Mad Hatter and, of course, Cora; they are all hitting it out of the park.

One of the biggest shocks comes about halfway through the episode when Charming and Regina decide that Henry is not to be let back into the netherworld as it is hurting him. Charming then declares that he will be given a sleeping potion and go to communicate with the others himself. The way the potion gets into Charming is a nice salute towards the Sleeping Beauty story, with Charming having to prick his finger on a spinning wheel. After he falls under the curse there is a touching reunion between him and Snow; with a brutal, typical Once twist. It is one that only the writers can give us and it leaves us with our mouths wide open.

The fast paced story between both realms is actually quite entertaining and while the past Enchanted Forest storylines have become a staple in Once, it is actually nice to have an entire episode where those scenes don’t come into play.  We can tell that the writers are gearing up for an epic winter finale. Several questions, of course, are raised like Is Charming going to be stuck in the netherworld until Snow gets back? Will Cora beat the girls to Rumpelstiltskin’s jail where the quill that trapped him was? Did Regina and Gold know that Charming wouldn’t be able to kiss Snow in the netherworld? And, without giving too many spoilers, how exactly did Hook do what he did at the end? Sadly though, the winter finale will probably leave us with more questions than answers, but hopefully a lot more Barbara Hershey!

Joshua Bouye