OUAT hits 100 episodes, even though most thought it wouldn’t last a season, because it’s crazy enough to work.
Once Upon a Time
The first half of season three of Once Upon a Time was very shaky. Most of it left us agitated, frustrated, and downright bored. However after the very long hiatus, the writers came back rejuvenated and fighting fresh and the first handful of episodes back have been packed with the magic that Once featured in its first season. Episodes 16 and 17 are no different. Both of them have us biting our fingers in suspense and laughing out loud.
Just when we think that Once Upon a Time has forgotten about our beloved Belle, the writers hit us with an episode like “Quiet Minds”. While Belle does not have much of a role in the present day storyline, it is nice to see her and Neal popping up in the past.
Emilie de Ravin has always been a nice addition to the cast and she knows how to hold her own against the big gun characters. She proved that when she first debuted back in the first season of Once Upon a Time. It’s clear that she is glad to be given something to do here and that something just happens to be teaming up with Neal- the two of them are convinced that Rumplestiltskin can be resurrected and they are determined to do just that. Pairing de Ravin with Michael Raymond-James is brilliant on the writers’ part. Like Josh Dallas’ storyline last week, it’s a chance to spend time with characters we never get to see up front and center.
If Once Upon a Time was a roller coaster, then “The New Neverland” would be the very top of the hill, right before we are let off the drop. The writers craft the episode as a slow set up for the winter finale. Unfortunately, while the acting is spot on and the writing is exceptional in part of the episode, certain elements leave a disappointed taste in the audience’s mouth.
There is no time for any slow pacing this week as Once Upon a Time quickly straps us in and shoots out of the gate. Right from the start, “Save Henry” shows potential to be the best episode of season three.
Aside from a quick visit into the past Enchanted Forest, the episode mostly deals with the group saving Henry and Pan’s doings on Neverland. The backstory is a nice little treat; it shows us how Regina came to adopt Henry and the early years of their life together. This is exciting for two reasons. One, we get to see Storybrooke once again. After visiting it briefly a few episodes ago, it’s great to be back with everyone there. The second reason is that Lana Parrilla gets to be front and center once again. Parrilla has always been a main staple on the show and to see her stuck on the backburner for most of season three has been a disappointment. This week we finally get to see her shine. She plays Regina with absolute ease, showing occasional vulnerability as well as her more wicked side.
Once Upon a Time continues to pick up steam with this week’s “Think Lovely Thoughts”. It has suspense, drama, and a little comedy, all things that caused us to fall in love with Once back in the very beginning. “Think Lovely Thoughts” definitely maneuvers its way into the Once Hall of Fame and the writers prove to us, once again, that they still have some dandy little tricks up their sleeves.
Once Upon a Time welcomes us back to Neverland this week and once again the writers kick the episode off in a very interesting, yet dark, way. We are greeted to Rumplestiltskin cutting off his shadow and then sending it on a very important mission concerning the dagger. Props need to be given to the CGI department for this scene. They manage to freak us out with mere shadows and Rumple’s flying off with the dagger, fiery eyes blazing, sends shivers down our backs.
At the close of the second season, the writers of Once Upon a Time set our heroes (and villains) up for a nice journey to Neverland. We know, given how everything was described last season, that Neverland isn’t going to be what we grew up with and with this premiere, we are proven right. In a much more dramatic introduction than we’re used to, the third season of Once Upon a Time gets off to an intense start with the killing of Tamara and Greg mere minutes after they arrive in Neverland.
The destruction of Storybrooke, by Greg and Tamara, was the main focus of the episode. Everyone was on top of their scenes tonight. We found ourselves being pulled into the television set and rooting for everyone. Even the most unlikely of heroes stepped up and fought to help in their own way including, Regina, Rumplestiltskin and Hook.