Monday, March 2, 2015

Once Upon a Time - Darkness on the Edge of Town

In both flashbacks and the present Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) seeks out the help of other villains to execute his plans. In the past we see Rumpelstiltskin use and betray Maleficent (Kristin Bauer van Straten), Ursula (Merrin Dungey), and Cruella De Vil (Victoria Smurfit) to procure a curse protected by a number of obstacles. In the present the powerless Mr. Gold seeks the help of the two remaining witches with the promise of helping them all finally achieve their happy endings.

As Regina (Lana Parrilla) continues her search for the mysterious author of Henry's (Jared Gilmore) book she also performs a spell to release the fairies from the Sorcerer's hat unknowingly also releasing a creature (the Chernabog from Fantasia) who feeds on the potential for great evil. Together Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Regina are able to defeat the creature and choose to let the villains into Storybrooke over the objections of Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and David (Josh Dallas) whose shared past with the witches they don't want to see come to light.

With the villains working together there's the obvious chance at betrayal (as we witness in the flashbacks), but with the stakes so high and the search for the author consuming all the major characters for likely the remainder of the season I'd expect that Rumpel and the witches can keep it together for awhile longer. Although I understand how the witches were able to return to Storybrooke I'm a bit confused as to how Gold was able to step over the barrier when the owner of the Dark One's dagger ordered him never to return. Does this imply Belle's (Emilie de Ravin) control over the dagger is less than absolute (or is it just lazy and inconsistent writing)?

Of the three new villains I have to say the one I was least interested in quickly became my favorite. With Maleficent only show in flashbacks and Ursula stuck with some questionable CGI tentacles, the show's version of Cruella was surprisingly the most intriguing of the threesome and Smurfit (despite that ridiculous hair) brought a swagger to her character the other two women lacked. However, as Gold remarks to end the episode, the woman with the capacity for the most evil isn't part of his little band (as witnessed when the Chernabog continued attacking the car even after Regina teleported out).

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