Monday, October 15, 2012

Once Upon a Time Post Mortem: Lady of the Lake

The Lady of the Lake title of last night's Once Upon a Time was a little misleading—or was it? The theme for the episode tightly focused on the love between a parent and a child and wow did they show a wide variety of this type of love:

  • ·         Grandpa James(Charming) & Henry
  • ·         Regina & Henry
  • ·         Snow & Emma
  • ·         Emma & Henry
  • ·         Jefferson & Grace
  • ·         Cora & Regina
  • ·         James & His Mother
  • ·         George & James

The episode also managed to make me feel sympathy for Regina—call me heartless, but even when we learned the back story of what happened to her first love Daniel, I felt bad for her, but I didn't feel sympathy. When Henry used her feelings and need to connect with him to lure her out of her office so he could steal her keys—yep, that did it. It also demonstrated that Henry is just as much Regina's son as he is Emma's. He played on the Wicked Queen's vulnerabilities, something she excels at and he got his way.
While we saw only that one brief scene with Regina in the episode, we later learned she figured out what Henry was up to and rather than confront him, she called Charming and sent him after his grandson. Could it be that Regina really does have a chance now that the curse is broken to make a good attempt at real love for her son?  With Cora's shenanigans in the Damaged (formerly Enchanted, but not so much anymore) Forest, I have a feeling it will only last so long.

Three Layers of Storytelling
We had flashbacks to Snow and Charming rallying their troops to fight King George and George's obsession with destroying "James" because he refused to be his son. Seriously, that King is more than a little petty. His child died, we understand that, but punishing his twin brother because he didn't want to be the King's heir much less marry a woman he didn't love and who didn't love him—wow.  It seems Lancelot is now a mercenary after having to leave Arthur's court over a woman, the troops call him Leviathan, but he manages to snag Snow and turn her over to King George. George then curses Snow the way his wife was cursed—so she can never give James a child.

This is pretty devastating and really displeases Lancelot because it's a cowardly thing to do. Lancelot ends up helping Snow and they rush to James's cabin where he's taken out several of George's men, but his mother has been shot with a poison arrow. They take her to the lake where James got the water to free Kathryn's true love, but only a drop remains. Out of love for her son, James's mother only pretends to drink the water, then she and Lancelot arrange for Snow to drink it to remove the curse. Lancelot also marries Snow and James and his mother dies. It's a poignant moment, but also telling. Because James' mother was willing to die to protect her son and ensure his happiness.

Damaged Forest
Locked up in the dungeon beneath their embattled isle, Emma meets Cora—but the moment Snow awakes, she tells Emma to stay away from her and don't say anything. She doesn't trust Cora, and she warns "As bad as you think Regina is, Cora is worse." 

Lancelot, it seems, is the leader of the survivors. He serves them grilled chimera. I give Emma props for going ahead to eat it, she thinks it sounds a lot like Turducken. Snow also has a plan to get home, she convinces Lancelot to let her go to her old castle and he sends Mulan along as a bodyguard (which is good because Aurora's still got her nose in a twist about Phillip and tries to murder Snow. Unfortunately, Snow is no shrinking lily). 

They face off against an ogre after Emma fires her gun and the blind critters find her—what an awesome scene as Emma comes face to face with that nightmare. The dragon did not prepare her for this, but Snow bellows for it to get away from her daughter and drops the beast with an arrow through the eye.
Emma meet Snow White—the badass.

They travel across the broken land to the castle and it lays in ruins. Inside the devastated nursery is the wardrobe constructed by Gepetto. The magic is gone because it sent Emma through—but maybe they can activate it again. Lancelot shows up and offers to help them bring it back, he's being cagey and Snow realizes it's not him—it's Cora.

Cora's magic is still very alive and well and rather than give her a key to get to Storybrooke where she might hurt Henry, Emma burns the wardrobe.  Cora escapes, but Snow and Emma have a profound bonding moment—because no one's ever put Emma first before, and because she just gave up a chance to go to Henry in order to protect him—she has a better idea of why Snow made the choices she did. Their hug was very emotional—but the scene that broke my heart was when Snow looked back at the nursery and saw all the promise and love and hope it once contained and grieved for the life she lost with her daughter.
In the meanwhile, Mulan nominates Snow to lead them now that Cora's duplicity has been revealed.

In Storybrooke

Henry is upset that Grandpa isn't letting him help look for a way to get Emma and Mary Margaret back. Determined (and stubborn like all his relatives), Henry tracks down Jefferson and implores him to reach out to Grace. Because the worst thing for a child is to not know why their parent didn't come back and to be separated. Together they can overcome everything. Jefferson also tells Henry about the Queen's vault.
Jefferson takes Henry's advice to heart and he is finally reunited with Grace. *tear*

And of course, as I kicked off this post mortem, Henry gets into the Queen's vault and he studies the floor scrapes to realize how to get downstairs. Smart kid. Of course, the box he opens is the one with Genie's nasty snakes in it *shudder*.  James shows up and closes the box and chastises Henry, but he tells him he won't keep him out of it anymore.

It seems Henry doesn't think it's fair that he's not over there with Emma and Snow, learning to ride and to sword fight (because it's all an adventure), but also because he wants them back. James agrees to teach him to sword fight and produces two wooden swords to begin Henry's training—meanwhile across the street and watching with an ugly look on his face is George.

Seems he still has it in for James…

Whew.  Very little Regina and Ruby in this episode and no Rumple or Belle at all and yet so much was going on – love Once Upon a Time.  Next week?

Captain Hook and baby, he's HAWT.


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  2. omg, Heather! I didn't know you did these Post Mortems for Once Upon a Time, too!! I love this show but can't seem to catch it the night of... I was soooo excited to read this :D

    1. Thanks hon! I just started it for this year. I had a lot of fans asking if I would do it for OUAT like I do for Vamp Diaries. I adore this show. It's a fun way to kick back with the mini each week.