Once Upon a Time, Season 2, Episode 12: “In The Name of the Brother”
Written by Jane Espenson
Directed by Milan Cheylov
Airs Sundays at 8pm (ET) on ABC
We find chaos is in full effect when we venture into Storybrooke this week. Belle, having crossed the town line, is freaking out at Rumpelstiltskin. Hook, even with broken bones, is being his cocky self. And lastly, there is the stranger that pummeled across the town line, causing even more chaos.
After getting past the first intense minutes of the show we kick of the episode we get into a flashback. This episode’s past is going to be strictly focused on Dr. Whale, or as he is more commonly known, Dr. Frankenstein, and none other than Rumpelstiltskin (who is creeping around in Dr. Frankenstein’s world). It is fun to see the writers touch on other classic tales that aren’t, as Henry pointed out, fairy tales.
The Storybrooke arcs mostly happen at the hospital, with Emma, Snow, Charming, Red, and Grumpy trying to figure out what they are going to do about the stranger. The biggest question: Do they let him live and risk him having seen something? Or do they let him die on the operating table and go about their lives?
The episode is actually pretty intense for Once. The dilemma and intensity in the hospital almost feel like a Grey’s Anatomy episode. The writers definitely prove that they can take these characters into any scenario and do so exceptionally. Of course, the actors should be given props too. Snow, Charming, Red, Grumpy, and Emma have certainly come a long way since the pilot. The actors that play them are comfortable in their roles and know how to handle any situation/direction that the writers want to steer them towards.
Other side storylines that we find in the episode deal with Regina finally being reunited with Cora. After being MIA in last week’s episode, it is nice to see Lana Parrilla back as Regina. We can tell from the spot where Regina is hiding that she has indeed been broken by Cora. Parrilla pulls it off exceptionally well, further proving that this woman is indeed worthy of an Emmy. Even with only a little less than ten minutes onscreen, Parrilla steals the show. She makes us feel sorry for her, but when Cora finally breaks through her shell, our hearts break in disappointment.
Another heartbreaking scene from the episode is between Rumpelstiltskin and Belle. He tries so hard to get her to remember everything, even down to enchanting the tea cup he has kept for so many years. Robert Carlyle and Emilie de Ravin are perfect together in the scenes that they share. Carlyle and Parrilla have always been able to make us feel genuinely sorry for Rumpelstiltskin and Regina while also making us loathe them with a passion, which is what ends up happening towards the end of this episode.
The latest edition of Once Upon a Time is stocked full with treats and excitement. The newest puzzle to unravel is of course the mysterious stranger. Emma questions the person, but we come to find out that he is lying. The stranger arc that is being set up is very nail biting; the old saying goes, ‘curiosity killed the cat’ and that’s exactly what is going to happen when the mysterious stranger yanks that cat out of the bag.
As usual, questions are raised right and left. Is Regina really falling for her mother’s lies? Has Rumpelstiltskin completely turned to the dark side? What is going to become of Belle? What’s going to happen to Hook? And of course perhaps the biggest question of them all, what is going to happen to Storybrooke and our cast of characters?
The writers certainly outdid themselves this week. The momentum of the episode left us chomping at the bit for more, surprised that an hour had passed so quickly, thanks to excellent pacing and flow. The writing and acting are exceptional in the latest chapter, but of course now we have to wait another week before we can find out just what kind of trouble is going to venture into Storybrooke next.