Last night was an excellent representation of Once Upon A Time at its best. Don't forget this show has cash — buckets of it. And when it uses its cash to cast good actors and employ great writers, they all have a lot fun juicing out the darkness from these plump little fairy tale pixies.
All this nonsense this show has been spewing since Regina's inevitable betrayal was pushed aside, as clever writing finally allowed this fantastic cast to stretch out and act. And what was delivered was good, really good — watching Disney characters hate-eye-bang the crap out of each other. It was like watching an evil version of Bambi's Mom banging the Crocodile from Peter Pan.
First and foremost, I tip my powdered wigs to whoever cast Rose McGowan as young Barbara Hershey. Not only do these two look like they were cloned from the same test tube, but McGowan added a bit of dept to Cora's consistent coldness. Once Upon A Time may have made a deal with the TV Devil and promised to fulfill some sort of monthly "paternal origin story" plot quota, but out of all the laborious and unnecessary facts the audience was forced to learn about everyone's Mom who ever ate at Granny's diner, this one was my favorite.
Last night's episode was all A-squad. Robert Carlyle was let off the leash and allowed to seduce, and be seduced by, the nymphette Cora. Together they eye humped the scenery like the best actors from your high school rehearsing Romeo & Juliet in their parents' basement. No eye flutter was too little, no lip pucker was to duck-like. I honestly believed if I had to watch two Disney cartoon characters have sex, it would look just like this. Seriously, I loved it.
The love story between Cora and Rumplestiltskin also explains why Cora spends the rest of her life with exuding the warmth of a dead snake. Because she gave her heart away! Homegirl ripped out her own heart to protect herself from falling in love and getting sidetracked from her dreams to RULE THE WORLD! Is it ridiculous overreacting to poison someone's mother because when you were kids she tripped you? Yes. But no heart, ya dead bitch.
But perhaps the very best part of this whole forbidden love story between these two eels is the fact that it allowed us to see the old Regina again. Too long has Regina been victim to bad story-telling and crappy emotional yo-yo-ing. Not anymore. Snow is ready to kill Cora, and tricks Regina by playing on Regina's leftover humanity. This is probably the only time we've seen modern day Regina truly, deeply happy. Only to be ripped to shreds when Snow's plan kills her newly heart-ed mother right in front of her. That was cold, cruel and classic fairytale evil. Fantastic stuff right there.
The heart of the story was great, and the twist and character emotion made the stupid Once side moments fun, not infuriating. Two witches listening in on a phone tap. LOL No? Emma suddenly knows how to power up her hidden magic and cast a spell — because shit why not, she's magic. Then again, the idea of watching a Emma get Mr. Miyagi-ed into becoming a better magic Jedi or whatever makes lunch come back up.
Overall, it was great. We love it. And loved the dialogue, loved the twist and "Looooove[d] that dress."