Anyone that has yet to watch tonight’s episode of Once Upon A Time, entitled ‘Dark Hollow’, now would be a good time to do so before reading ahead. This is not a spoiler free blog. THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS! You’ve been warned.
Okay, can I just begin by saying how bewildered I was when I learned it’s only been five days since they reached Neverland? That’s just plain ridiculous, we’ve had more episodes this season than we have had days passed. They could’ve at least had each episode equal one day because Henry is going to age faster than this series can keep up with if this is the way they’re going to write the series.
Aside from that, this was a surprisingly good episode. Perhaps it’s that I kept an open mind, but I actually thought that the acting had mostly improved in this episode. The only two that really stood out as not being very good were Belle and Henry. Otherwise, I really liked the rest. Not only that, but there was a nice balance of characters this week. I got my fair share of Emma, with Neal and Hook tagging along, and everyone else was able to get their fair share of the rest of the cast. I really think this is more of the direction this series should go in, definitely an improvement on past episodes.
I have to say that I was surprised by Wendy being the other prisoner, although it made sense with the way they wrote the Darling’s into this episode. I just think it would’ve had more emotional depth to it, had it been Rumplestiltskin’s father. Still, it was a nice way of keeping her and the Darling’s involved with the series, as well as Neverland. I’m just not sure why they would’ve needed to destroy Pan if Neal had kept the shadow from taking them when he was with them.
At first, I actually thought Henry was getting smarter and that I was going to start to be able to like him again, a thing that hasn’t been true since the pilot. But then he goes and gets all naïve again, and I’m back to thinking of his character as merely a plot device. I mean, really, he’s not a good actor, what other need do they have for him other than progressing the story? Also, what’s this heart of the truest believer nonsense? His family basically had to prove to him they were there to get him before he stopped believing in Pan for that millisecond of time. He just, he really aggravates me sometimes. Why couldn’t they have found a stronger child actor?
Elsewhere in the episode, I was really happy with Ariel this week, and her unchangeable optimism. Her perky but clueless attitude perfectly played into her scenes. Although, when Regina said she’d just have to trust her, I think it was less that than Regina was basically her only hope of reuniting with her prince with legs. Also, I once again have to state how much I love Hook. He’s amazing, with his quiet bad boy-ness. I may have loved Emma and Neal being together last year, particularly during that flashback of their past together and when they found each other again, but this year it’s Emma and Hook that seem to have more chemistry. I’m just glad they’re not going the True Love root just yet. It may come eventually, being that this is a series about fairytales, but I’m glad it hasn’t happened yet.
All in all, this was a good episode this week. Very enjoyable, full of drama and emotional scenes. I loved the whole speech between Snow and David, but let’s be real, they’re going to find someway of getting him off that island alive. For a series that is mostly iffy each episode, this one made me very evenly happy. This is definitely the way this show needs to keep going, aside from Henry being so blatantly stupid. If only they could just swap actors for the character, or get the boy some acting lessons and a bottle full of talent… I don’t know, but otherwise I’m happy.
My rating: 7.5 out of 10.
“You might want to believe a little harder.” – Grumpy tells Belle.
“Now you’ve got a dress code? I seem to recall some Ruby outfits that are seared into my brain.” – Grumpy exclaims to Granny.
“Well, this is awkward.” – Hook mutters after relaying the kiss he shared with Emma to Neal. More like awesome.
“He’s a prince… The kind with legs.” – Ariel says to Belle, concerning Eric.
“So when I win your heart, and I will win it…” – Hook begins his speech to Emma, with a squeal worthy confidence.
“Welcome to the twenty-first century.” – Neal says to Hook, regarding lighting the candle and his lighter.
“Or a fin. Whatever Eric’s into these days.” – Regina mutters to Ariel, after enchanting her bracelet so that she can have legs or fins of her own choosing.
Okay, I’m off to watch Revenge now. Stick around for my review of that.