Monday, November 7, 2011

TV: Once Upon a Time (episode 3)

After only the second episode of Once Upon a Time, ABC has already green-lighted the show for a full 22 episodes for the seaons. Now that's a vote of confidence I like hearing. The ratings for week two held solid from the debut.

This week's episode was entitled "Snow Falls", as we get more details of the first meeting between Snow White and Prince Charming. Let's get to the episode breakdown, shall we?

In the fairy tale world, it turns out Prince James has a fiancee Abigail. His carriage is ambushed, with the ring he was about to give her stolen. The thief, he soon learns, is a woman - Snow White. So, he lays a trap for her to get his stuff back but she's already sold it. Turns out she is wanted by the Queen for murder, treason and treachery, all charges she denies. Though she does admit to ruining the Queen's life (what did she do? That's a tale for another time.) We soon learn that she's as sharp tongued as she is resourceful, sarcasticly nicknaming him "Charming" and sticking with calling him that. We also learn that Snow is not a believer in true love or the magic of the first kiss (she won't stay a non-believer for long). At the first chance she gets, Snow dumps the Prince in the river and runs for it, only to be caught by the Queen's guards. They have their orders: cut out her heart. The prince saves her life. Suddenly she sees him in a different light - you can tell by her eyes. See, now she's a believer. She agrees to take him to the trolls to whom she sold the ring. They live under a bridge, naturally. The deal goes south, Charming is captured and now Snow must return the favor and rescue him. When she does, you can see the light in his eyes sparkle too - he has started to fall for her even though he has another. They part ways, reluctantly.

In the present time in Storybrooke, Mary Margaret is having dating problems. It does not help that her date has more eyes for Ruby the waitress (I look forward to an episode about her). Mary finds out Emma is sleeping in her car and offers her spare room; Emma, feeling awkward as this could be her mother (according to Henry) declines. Henry is visiting comatose John Doe, tells Emma about him, and suggests that Mary read to him. The two women decide to humor the boy. As Mary reads to him about Snow White and Prince Charming that night, his hand moves and grabs hers. He's awake? Doctor comes in and says no. After Mary leaves, he calls Mayor Regina with the news. The next morning, John Doe is missing. We also learn Regina is his emergency contact, having been the one who found him on the side of the road years ago. Turns out, John Doe left the hospital during the night. The Sheriff, Mary, Emma and Henry search for him and find his body down by the river under the toll bridge (with an 'r' on the sign making it 'troll' - clever). Mary's CPR (aka "kiss of life") awakens him but he still has no memories. They get him back to the hospital. Lo and behold, a woman shows up named Katherine (played by the same actress who was Abigail in fairytale world - nice touch). She claims to be his wife and that his name is really David Nolan. David hugs her weakly but notices Mary Margaret. Turns out Mary Margaret has the ring (that Charming was going to give to his fiancee). Emma does not believe that Regina just now found the woman after all these years, so she takes Mary up on her offer to move in.

So, I have to admit I did not like this episode as much as last week's or the premiere. Here are a few problems I had with it:

- not enough romantic tension between Snow and Charming. This is supposed to be the great love affair but I am not feeling it yet. She is fine; he's a bit stiff and dull.

- Mary Margaret totally lacks Snow's spark. I enjoy her character in the past more than the present. Hopefully as she discovers who she is we'll see more of those qualities emerge.

- the trolls: I just wasn't as impressed with the make-up on these guys as I should have been. I guess the effects budget wasn't as big this time around.

- not enough of Emma, Regina/Evil Queen. I really like those two characters a lot.

Next week looks promising with a lot of Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold, Emma, and a knocked-up Cinderella(?).

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