»» Once Upon A Time: “Rocky Road”
Once Upon A Time: “Rocky Road”
I must start with my favorite part of the episode which leads into my biggest question of the season:
The Knave of Hearts is back!
I’ve missed Michael Socha on my television screen. If you follow my Once Upon A Time blog, you know I’m a huge advocate for Once: Wonderland. I thought the second half was worlds better than the Oz arc. It answered many questions of both shows, had amazing characters, introduced by far the scariest villain through the Jabberwock, and had a perfect ending.
When it was announced that the Knave was joining the main cast of Once, I was beside myself in joy. I was on the fence about this whole Frozen thing. Even if the Frozen arc was terrible (and it’s not. I’m quite enjoying it), I would be perfectly fine with season four having Will back. I couldn’t wait to see how he would rub everyone the wrong way with his logic and snark. He’s a lot like Neal and Emma in the way that he’s been in Storybrooke for so long where magic-deus ex machine solutions are not his first choice. He’d rather use his wit first to fix problems. He also has no qualms telling a person to their face he disagrees which is refreshing in this land of pussy footing around people’s feelings and sugar coating everything. If he tells one of the main couples what he told Alice about how her love story isn’t the only important thing the world, I will fist pump in glee.
I’ve waited for the Knave’s return. I know he’s going to play a much bigger role in the second half, but I hope they build him up until then. I’ve pretty much lost my other favorite characters. Jefferson plays in Marvel land. Victor went to iZombie, and apparently a monkey being the Wizard was far more logical than Frankenstein who has many qualities as the literary version of Wizard of Oz. Archie is reduced to popping in about every four episode for a helpful scene then vanishes when clearly everyone in this town needs twelve sessions with him. I hope Will is here to stay. A lot of people dropped Wonderland in the first half which was arguably slow and much weaker than the powerhouse it became in the second part. I hope they see why Michael Socha carried that show from beginning to end.
He was by far my favorite part of “Rocky Road.” I have many questions about his arrival in season four and the ending of Wonderland. If you didn’t see the end, here’s a quick rundown:
-They defeated both the Jabberwock, the best villain ever to grace Once Upon A Time, and Jafar, who did a 180 midway through and was a scary force to deal with.
-They lost some people along the way. Rest in peace, Lizard!
-Both couples got their happy ending. The show ends with Alice and Cyrus’ wedding. Will and Anastasia attend the ceremony as a solidified couple finally together after wading through tons of pitfalls. It was a perfect conclusion.
-Most importantly for season four, Will is the White King of Wonderland ruling with Anastasia.
-I think it’s also important to note that Wonderland takes place during the season two timeline ofOnce.
While I’m enjoying the Frozen arc, this is not where my time is invested. My personal biggest question for season four is what happened in Wonderland? If they go back and retcon Anastasia and Will’s relationship, I will be incredibly disappointed. Anastasia’s journey from the Red Queen, to Ana, to the White Queen was by far one of the top stories of the show. Her transformation is beautiful. They break her down as they have done to Regina in the past if not more. Will and Ana are true loves. He breaks a curse on her with true love’s kiss. They fought hard to be together. It’s probably one of the best love stories of both shows rivaling Snowing. It’s far better than whatever Belle and Rumpel are doing right now. I’m pretty sure Belle has spoken once in the last two episodes only to say, “No, Hubby, I don’t like the dagger of doom.” Ana and Will are portrayed as real people dealing with real life circumstances. They work through poverty, hunger, betrayal, power struggles with the outside world and each other, and jealousy misunderstandings with Alice. They are probably the most realistic couple written to date for either show. If something has happened where Ana returned to her evil ways, I’m going to have a massive problem in this show.
I do have a small theory since Wonderland takes place in season two of Once. Emma Marty McFail might have hurt the time line and messed up the ending. Even then, I’m not on board with that. It seems outlandish even for Once.
Either way, I hope they continue to have Will in the show. He obviously had a great reaction as “Will Scarlet” trended in the United States for a time on Twitter. I’m both stupid excited and incredibly nervous about his return. When we get to his back story, I would love to see Sophie Lowe, Emma Rigby, and Peter Gadiot return for cameos. I want Naveen Andrews there too, but I don’t see him showing up with Jafar defeated. It would be great to have the old gang back together. The other best relationship in Wonderland was Will’s relationship with Alice. Thinking back, there are a surprisingly few guy-girl friendships that aren’t romances outside of David and Ruby. I would add Snow and the dwarves, but I think of them more as Snow’s family. Alice and Will had a true friendship with no romantic intent. Relationships like these are special in their own right. It’s what makes shows like Sleepy Hollow and Elementary so wonderful! Critics praise these two shows for the guy-girl relationship. People can have friends of the opposite gender without a make out session or sex on the table. I loved that about Will and Alice. I need to see them one more time having an adventure.
Onto the rest of my likes, dislikes, things I was on the fence about, and questions from “Rocky Road.”
-I loved Elsa and Kristoff this week. I feel like I’m finally seeing them as characters. Both armed with sass, they’re ready to take some shots. It’s natural. I act the same way with both of my brother-in-laws. Though, something occurred to me. There hasn’t been a scene with Kristoff and Anna. Georgina Haig and Scott Michael Foster make the screen shimmer with their chemistry. I hope when Anna comes back that Mr. Foster and Elizabeth Lail have the same energy.
-From a character point of view, I enjoy seeing Snow fail in the mayor role. It’s setting up nice hurtles for her to conquer this season. I wasn’t expecting this direction.
-Operation Mongoose! Did you get the symbolism? Mongooses eat cobras. Sneaky sneaky, writers! I love it!
-Henry and Regina having a direction together. I think this will help Henry to take on more mature stories too.
-I really liked that Emma was snippy this episode. It makes sense she struggles with magic and being the savior. It’s frustrating since she comes from a world of logic. It’s still a huge paradigm shift for her.
-Sven. Is it weird to love a reindeer this much?
-I’ve waited for Hans to show up. After Anna, he’s my second favorite character from Frozen. The animosity with his brothers is a great addition. I didn’t think we would see Hans’ brothers at all. Without dialogue, we can see his motives to take down Anna and Elsa.
-Elsa felt like Elsa. Finally! She wasn’t running and hiding in Storybrooke. She wasn’t making fear caves of ice. She took charge as queen and displayed her power. Love it!
-Is it too soon to start shipping Hook and Elsa? The Emma and Killian relationship is alright to me. Some of it works and some doesn’t. Right off the bat, Killian and Elsa gelled for me. They worked well together despite being personality opposites.
-I’m glad that the Hook and Rumpel tension is not resolved. I didn’t think a vacation to Neverland would resolve hundreds of years of hate. With the promo of next week and Killian getting his hand back, I’m wondering how these two will constantly play around the other. Both will have chips to throw out. Hook knows about the dagger. Rumpel can take back Killian’s hand at any point in time. It’s going to be a matter of who makes that first move.
-They’re laying down a lot of physics with magic. Like the Laws of Matter, magic can’t be destroyed. It changes form. Victor would be proud.
-Archie needs a partner and a baby. I wanted him to hold Prince Neal. Outside of that, some people thought Archie was harsh to Snow calling out her fears. I don’t think so. That’s his job. Sometimes he has to say the truth no matter how much it might hurt. It was more blunt than usual, but I don’t think Snow would have listened if it was sugar coated.
-Is it too soon to ship Charming Knave?
-I thought it was in character that Elsa didn’t want to destroy the urn right away. At first I yelled that the TV screen for her to think about the safety of her country. Humans are selfish creatures. It was also the first clue she had about her magic. On a second watch, I enjoyed this scene. I did not enjoy how easily she gave up to Hans. Elsa is a fighter. We know this from the movie.
-I love that the Ice Queen is quiet. Rumpel has his flourish. Regina is the queen of the grand gestures. Killian uses his charm. Pan used his young looks to deceive people. The Ice Queen is a new type of villain. She speaks in a low, calm volume that drawls you in to listen for each word. Every movement is carefully planned out and crafted. While we don’t have much on her so far, I love where this is going.
-David tried to save Killian. Be still my Davey Jones shipper heart!
-The Ice Queen didn’t seem upset that her sister was lost at sea. If they’re setting up a long series of this queen manipulating Elsa, I’m on board for it.
-I applaud Regina using dark magic for good. Ripping out Marian’s heart completely surprised me.
-I like that the Robin and Regina romance has these twists and turns. It feels natural for Robin to love Regina but stay true to his code. Sean Maguire said it best this year at Dragon Con that it wouldn’t be an interested show if they all went to Ikea and sat around happy.
-I cried out in joy that Emma admitted she loved Graham. Graham is still my favorite romance for Emma to this day. I tweeted so hard during that admittance that I forgot to watch the Killian and Emma kiss. It should be noted that she mentioned her love for Walsh too.
Mini-dislike: I wish they touched on Emma and Walsh more in the Oz arc. These emotions would have been explored in season one. They are now constantly dropped for plot. To me, those moments are more important. Emma was clearly hurting in Oz, but no one sat her down for her to express her feelings. No wonder she’s so upset this season. We should remember that Neal’s been dead maybe a week. It’s probably why I’m not on the Hook and Emma romance as much as I should be. He’s not helping her at all deal with losing someone important to her. Hell, Baelfire was important to Killian through Milah! Did that mean nothing to either of them?
-I don’t know what’s going down with the Ice Queen and Rumpel, but I can’t wait to find out. While they have a past, I believe the Ice Queen is the first villain outside of Greg, Tamara, and Pan who has turned down a deal from Rumpel. This is pretty new ground for Once. A villain doing things on their own without Rumpel interfering? I’m excited to see what she does.
-Some of the best moments of the episode are in the deleted scenes on Good Morning America. Last week was Regina relinquishing her mayor powers to Snow. This week were helpful plot points about magic that will more than likely come into effect later in the season. While I love character moments, I wish they would use those as the deleted scenes for GMA instead of major plot developing moments. Mr. Horowitz did confirm that any season four deleted scene on Good Morning America is canon. Whether or not this is true for past deleted scenes on the DVDs, it’s still in the air. We need to pay attention to these just as much.
-The title cards used to be so clever. What happened?
-I don’t even know what to think about Belle. Outside of “Skin Deep” and “The Outsider,” she’s an extension of Rumpel. There’s so much wasted potential there.
-Who exactly is Marian? Well, she’s Robin’s wife. Okay… is there anything else to her?
-No one listens to Archie. He’s always been the voice of reason constantly overpowered by the louder people around him. His character episode is called “That Still Small Voice” for a reason. I don’t know why Archie isn’t mayor. He’s patient, actually listens to those around him, and the purest heart in town.
-Along that line, the minor characters are continuing their downward spiral that started late season two. What happened to their development in season one? They listened to each other. They helped each other. They didn’t follow blindly or jump to conclusions (as much). To put it blunt, they’re reading as hopeless masses that can’t stand on their own two feet anymore.
-I’m getting tired of characters losing their memories. I don’t know how often they can come back to this story. It worked three seasons ago. Now it feels like they’re running out of ideas.
-Even though I mentioned above that I like the direction of Snow in the mayor position, I want someone to stand up to her. No one voted her into office. The royals have always run the Enchanted Forest and Storybrooke. They have done a swell job! (Can you hear the sarcasm in the last sentence? They’ve done a SWELL BUT NOT REALLY job!) With David and Emma as Sheriffs and Snow as mayor, the good guys don’t have to answer to anyone. They are the law. It’s perfectly okay for them to constantly let Regina and Gold off the hook. And Hook too for that matter! Let’s take a count of the terrible things the good guys have done (stick with me on this. I’m being critical for a reason. I’ll prove my point in a moment):
Regina: Evil Queen. Murdered Graham. Hurt countless people. Was mayor forever.
Rumpel: The Dark One. Enough said. Oh, and murdered Milah. Still roams free as the Charmings’ magical help desk.
David: Assaulted Whale and Jefferson. Broke and entered into a car without a warrant. Attempted murder on George and incarcerating him without a trial. Seriously, where is King George in all of this? He’s the DA in Storybrooke and knows the law. George should have taken over the town when all the good guys have left for Neverland. David is still Sheriff.
Snow: Not quite as bad as some of the others, but she made a kingdom wide war against Regina where innocent people lost their lives
Killian: Pirate. Attempted murder on Belle. Bad ship puns. Probably raped and pillaged. Free to roam around, because he’s a love interest.
Emma: Emma is not as bad as the rest of them. She’s a thief, yes, but it’s not as bad as the murderers. She actually has the most lawful head on her. She does play favorites with everyone above. She would let Hook and Regina off easy before Tamara.
These are your leaders of Storybrooke. Don’t get me wrong. I’m being very critical here. I’m being very critical on purpose especially since David and Killian are two of my favorites. I’m bringing all of this up, because I think it would be an incredibly interesting story if someone stepped up and said, “Why should they be the leaders? Shouldn’t Storybrooke decide who leads us?” They’re not in the Enchanted Forest anymore. There’s no kingdom to run. There is no kingdom. In season one, there’s clearly a democracy for the town to vote and have a say. I think it would be a fun story for Snow to have someone run against her like Emma had to deal with Sidney way back. A princess’ job is to serve her people. If the people are unsure about her rule and her position, she should rise up and change to best serve her people. That is what would make Snow White a true princess. Not some de facto place because she cast the curse.
-Is the book in flux with Regina and Robin’s romance? Has anyone checked to see if it’s automatically changing the ending? I’m wondering since it’s already changed before to add Emma and Killian
-Did one else notice the Ice Queen making ice palace plans? Maybe one of her plans for Storybrooke?
-Soooo… did Hans die?
-I’m wondering how much the Ice Queen is lying. She set up Elsa to take the fall for Marian. The Ice Queen is going to manipulate the heck out of Elsa in the flashbacks. I don’t think Anna put Elsa in the urn. Maybe it was the Ice Queen?
-How does the Ice Queen know Emma? Where did Rumpel find this knowledge too?
That’s it for “Rocky Road!”
Have a good week!
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