Last week's premiere of Once Upon A Time went for bust, when it revealed that the Enchanted Forest land still existed. That was interesting! Then it teleported Snow White and Emma straight into the clutches of the hopefully soon-to-be-smooching Mulan and Sleeping Beauty. TWEEST! We were in — pass the popcorn and remember to drink every time Robert Carlyle says "dearie!" But then this weeks episode came trundling in. And what the heck was that?
Last night's episode picks up right where we left off. Charming tried to jump into the hat portal right after Snow and Emma (which was very funny). Now he's stuck in a town filled with people containing two sets of memories — their fake cursed human memories and their Enchanted Forrest personalities. All hell is breaking loose, and everyone is looking to Charming to fix things. Which... when did the Prince make a royal decree that all the people of Enchanted Forest land should call him by his wife's pet name?
Anyway, Charming is running around, furiously trying to use his Enchanted Forest logic, which is rapidly decreasing, along with that of the rest of the town. Charming is not particularly good at multitasking. He tells the town to meet him in two hours and then "forgets," while trying to beat the portal jumping information out of the Mad Hatter. It's... not good.
Meanwhile Regina gets her magic back, and we get a Regina-centric flashback showing that her Mom is still a witch, and that Rumps is the reason Cora has power. As Regina's flashback ends, she finds her Mom's old spell book, gets some power, gets Henry back — and then returns him to sender, to prove that she's not evil.
And we are exactly back where we started. Nowhere. It's just a big circle of odd storytelling that doesn't seem to do anything but let new viewers in on Snow and Regina's backstory. A total waste for those of us who suffered through the fairy/dwarf courting episodes from last year. But alas Once needed the big Cora reveal at the end to have some weight so it rehashed old stories, but at twice the pace and without any of the emotional backdrop. However we did learn that Regina doesn't want to be her Mom and Rumps had a bigger hand in her baby life and magic than we suspected. Ok. Hopefully that will be helpful later when Rumps actually starts cashing all the favors he's owed. For now, though, let's all just agree that the flashback was a waste.
Especially after showing the Enchanted Forest in real time in the premiere. What happened there? We only got around 5 minutes of real Enchanted Forest time, and that didn't make a hell a lot of beans either. Why are people throwing a big time ruler, Snow White into a dungeon? Is it because she has a haircut? Because I'm pretty sure I would remember the chipmunky cheeks of Ginnifer Goodwin even if she had the top of her head lobotomized. Fairy folk fail!
So Cora is back and Regina is attempting to be good. OK fine.
Meanwhile back in the real world a new plot rule was
just made up now discovered. If you leave Storybrooke, you lose your memories from the Enchanted Forest. So the only memories the character would retain are their "cursed" ones. This is a silly plot device — but whatever, so is having human form Pinocchio showing up looking the way he is and not having sex with anyone (speaking of which — Pinocchio is gone, does this mean there is a freakish wood man terrorizing the United States?). Anyway, so the new rule: Cross the line, lose your mind. When Regina shows up with all her new magicks, everyone in Storybrooke freaks out and packs all their Earthly belongings atop their cars and screams GTFO.
But wait. If these people crossed the line like Sneezy did in the introduction, wouldn't they too lose their memories and think, "What am I doing here, best go back to my life in Storybrooke?" Why would they need to pack anything? This doesn't make any sense. Thankfully we don't have to deal with this complication, because Charming makes a speech and everyone decides to not lose their memories today.
Everyone but Rumps, who stands at the painted line wondering if he should cross. Who do you think he's worried about? Did Belle run away? She's not in this episode. Has she lost all memory of him? What about Bae? Does he want to go after him? We don't know, but what we do know is that he looks excellent in a wool coat.
By the way my current theory on who Michael Raymond-James is playing is that he is both Bae and the father of Henry. BOOOM! I'll just let that marinate in your brain for a bit.
And that's really it. The most exciting part was the last five minutes when Snow was knocked unconscious, KA-POW and Emma started freaking out. The Cora reveal was cool, but we saw it coming a mile away after the whole episode of Cora flashbacking. Clearly she's not to be trusted yada yada. Let's hope we don't have to spend any more episodes on needless flashbacks. There's good meat here, let's explore it.