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Revenge – S03.08 – Secrecy

Miz forgot she watched this until she saw the shorts for next week. However looks like JJ also hasn’t reviewed this, so in massive catch up mode, here are Miz’s thoughts.

– Lydia is alive. Well of course she is! Does anyone ever die in this programme? HOW ON EARTH DID SHE SURVIVE

– Sarah is not a homewreaker but she does seem to actually like Daniel. While I think that is a stupid stupid pairing given their history, I actually think she is one of the most genuine characters in the show. I mean she makes cupcakes, so surely she can’t be mean.

– There was a silly bridal shower where everyone wears white and gives presents to the happy couple. Doesn’t that sound like wedding?

– Silly game at the shower called “This is Your Life” which reveals a secret person in Emily’s past. Suprise suprise, it’s her ex husband, Rohan. Daniel rightfully gets all houghty-toughy but the visa-wedding makes sense and he has to back down. And he’s a Takeda revengy person too. Yahoo.

– Aiden roughed up someone at the Stowaway. Yes the guy was a creep to Charlotte, but Aiden almost killed the guy. Not cool Aiden.

– Vicky is smarter than Conrad. Well duh. Conrad has a shag pad that he tells Daniel about and basically gives you an open excuse to have an affair. But Vicky knows about it.

– Conrad’s excellent marriage advice strikes again: Contrary to what they say, the secret to staying happily married is secrecy.

– Daniel used the shad pad with Sarah (even though I don’t think they slept together) and Emily finds out through Vicky.

– And then shocks of shock: Emily tells Daniel she is pregnant. From: http://www.tvfanatic.com/2013/11/revenge-review-best-kept-secrets/

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Once Upon a Time S03.07 – Dark Hollow

They’ve only been gone 5 days?! This seems far too short a time for the last 6 eps to have happened in! Although it would make Camp Chats-a-Lot somewhat less indecisive.

More importantly, we’re back in the Real World! But soft, who are these two hipsters? OMG if Eric’s one of the hipsters I will be cross. Although it would fit some contemporary imaginings of his ladylove. And back in Storeybrooke, where the Terrible Twosome are headed, I’ve missed Archie! He was adorabubble. More Old-Town Storeybrooke please, writers. Speaking of which, down to the mines we go (because fairy dust), where we learn magic is just about self-belief?! Lame face. Also, more dwarves please. Grumpy’s face when he saw Ariel = happiness. Literally! And then they go to town and Granny is all sassy and it’s like we NEVER LEFT!!! Why would we leave here, writers? WHY? And apparently we’re not mentioning the fact that Red has left the show… that’s not at all awkward.

But now – girly moment in Gold’s shop. Belle and Ariel (who are best friends because of course they are and also SQUEE), *ahem* Belle and Ariel find a Princess-Leia-esque Rumple-projection inna seashell. So sweet to see she’s still on a redemption quest! (inward sigh about men needing to be saved by women who see themselves as weak, thereby belying their own, uniquely female power of healing with devotion…)

Back on Neverland (ugh), we’re shadow-chasing! So this is how the Shadow becomes a big bad – it’s a MacGuffin! Charming and Snow are still having the ‘where will we live oh yeah on Neverland BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T TELL ME YOU WERE DYING’ argument most couples have at one time or another, but you know he’s in the doghouse because he has to call her Mary Margaret. But the one good thing about Snow and Charming – when they communicate? Even if it’s with shouty voices, they communicate good. A+ kids, A+. The others, meanwhile, are off to find more bullshit psychology. I mean the Dark Hollow, or Pit of the Always Dark (Emotions) or something. Gah, whoever designed Neverland lived in 80s fantasy movies. Also I’m pretty sure the entrance to ShadowLand is through the Fire Swamp. No ROUS’s at present though, thankfully (sadly?!).

Elsewhere, lols, Henry is smarter than the average bear. Especially with regards to not going to see the ‘secret things’ with the creepy mini-psycho. Yeah, there was no way to not make that sound molest-y. Pan is just getting creepier and creepier and yet I cannot be bothered writing about him and Henry. He has plans and is epically sketchy, Henry is valiantly resisting but for how long, yadda yadda…

Back to Storeybrooke, where Ariel and Belle are hunting for Rumple’s secret tricksy puzzle. And we get more Ariel lols. Corkscrew! Button! Shiny! When Belle finally realises the ‘strength of their love’ refers to the teacup he used to restore her memory TWICE and GLUED BACK TOGETHER after she smashed it in a fit of amnesiac-pique (which, duh!), they are led to – ta-dah! Pandora’s box! I love Ariel’s very sensible distrust of the most dickish of all the Gods’ curses. Surely Belle’s heard of this before?! I know hope is in the bottom, but there’s a metric crap-ton of dreadful nasties on top, love! Suddenly – villains! *sigh* Why are the baddies always Brits? I know we do good sardonic eyebrows, but typecast much?

In Shadowland, lighter shenanigans result in the ‘revelation’ that Neal is a douche and Hook is gallant. EMMA YOU ARE A DUNCE CHOOSE HOOK. *ahem* Although ugh Hook her ‘choice’ can be to choose neither of you. That’s still a valid option. Or, actually, both, but with their egos that would be super difficult to juggle. Kind of hot, but super difficult and totally probably almost certainly a bit not worth it possibly. Inappropriate thoughts, interrupted by terribly CGI’d shadows!! But now Emma will use Magic! It’s predictably effective! Although also lol her magic-face is funny. Huh, and in another piece of unknown intra-world symmetry, now we have two magic boxes with horrors and hope inside! Ooooh, parallels…

Back down t’mines, Belle saves the day with the slow-moving cart of doom!! And OMFG the villains are the Darlings!!!!!!!!!! So many happies. That explains the glasses. So we flash back to the ‘carefully prepared Henry trap’ that I’m quite disappointed fooled our Boy Wonder, and it’s baited with Wendy, and holy wow Pan is still very rapey. And his Henry/Wendy set up is super creepy, though I’m pleased she’s not all Stockholm syndrome’d, just kind of weak and hopefully unaware of what she’s doing? Don’t wanna think too much about that, please. Henry, get her back to her brothers ASAP pls.

Finally, back to R&R and a successful mission. More of them please. Better introspection together. Also Ariel is very kind and not at all schemey. I would’ve refused to hand over the box till I got Eric’s new name, address and phone number. Sheesh girl!

Camp-Moans-a-Lot is finally getting some action! In terms of rescuing Henry (TINK’S BACK!!) and Hook and Neal showing their hands. Which means Neal awkwardly adverting to the fact he accidentally and unawaredly (not a word but should be) impregnacised Emma, and Hook being all winky and suave and generally gorgeous. HOW IS THIS A CONTEST?! *breath* Sorry. Although, Neal did apologise, and Hook did utter the lame line ‘It’s not the lighter we’re fighting over’ which, yes is cute and self-deprecatingly acknowledging the silliness of the situation and charming and swoon and all, but still. Kind of a ‘jar‘ moment compared to Neal’s subsequent apology.

So we end with Henry and Pan looking at the creepy skull island where heart doings will happen to ‘save magic’. Yeah Boy Genius is gonna end up flayed and deaded if all goes to Pan. Sigh.

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But Tink’s back and Ariel and Belle are friends and Archie is back, so I am content to say that, for now, all is well.

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Once Upon a Time S03.06 – Ariel

Another belated review of an episode themed around a much-loved character – this time it’s everyone’s favourite pre-teen allegory, Ariel!! TBH I kind of envy anyone yet to watch this ep, because it has the most *amazing* Disney callouts all through it and they. Were. Amazing. I squeed a lot. It was pretty awesome. Ahem. Right, no (more) time to waste, on with this week’s recap of last week’s ep…

More of Snow’s backstory, and thus terrible wig. Ugh. I get that she lives in the forect, but get a friendly hedgehog to be your brush, ok? Also why do we have more inexplicable Antipodeans? In more plot-related news, Ariel is a friendly mermaid. Like, super-friendly. Like as friendly as Robin Hood of ‘hi stranger let me give you my child to use a bait’ fame. Also, if this was Snow’s first ever mermaid encounter why was she so suss of the ones who attacked the boat? Did she later find out that Ariel is the Only Nice Mermaid Ever? Maybe something about the Fairytale lands accelerates bonding but does nothing to inhibit basic species-based mistrust. Anyway, she and Snow are BFFs 4 Lyf now, five minutes after meeting, and Ariel tells Snow about this boy she likes who she’s planning to meet! Yay! But once again we get to see that according to all agents for female change in this show (Snow, Tink, Regina), the only happiness that counts is with a man. Ugh. I don’t even think I’m that ardent/aware a feminist and this is pissing me off. Can we have one character who’s not motivated by the pursuit or loss of love? Just one?

Anyway, back at Emotioncamp, Snow’s hair looks shorter, like it got brutally hacked back since last ep. Just me? Looked weird. Anyway, I’m quickly distracted by more classic Emma/Regina banter: “You’re a pathetic waste of talent” “And you’re a monster”. Luckily, turns out rage is the magic-trigger Emma needs to end their little witchy lesson, which will be useful as long as she wants to be the protagonist of any 70s/80s horror movie starring mentally unstable teenagers with supernatural abilities. For combat-magic, less ideal. Elsewhere, Hook tells MM and Charming that Pan has told him Neal’s alive. This is smart – it means he’s not hiding the info, but he also has a chance to discuss it before releasing the bombshell on Emma, which would suck for him personally, but also possibly play into Pan’s hands. The Parentals react predictably – Snow’s all ‘No More Lies’ while Charming repeats his mantra ‘Don’t Upset Teh Wimmins’. Also, point of order, “it’s not lying, just not telling the truth” – between this and the “it’s not evil unless you do it yourself”, this camp is all about the shaky justifications that kind of suck when examined in even the most cursory way…

Back in the flash (lols), I am deeply concerned by Ariel’s costume. It makes heavy use of illusion netting, which is never appropriate unless you are an 80s figure skater, or costumed as such for a Tonya Harding biopic/sports stars of yesteryear themed dressup party. Also I love Snow, Queen of Truth, advocating a relationship based on a pretty monumental deception (Ariel’s actual justification – “just let him fall for me [and then I’ll tell him I’m a mermaid and we *literally* live in different worlds and we can never be together unless one of us gives up *everything* about who we are as a person right now]”). And then we go back to the now-forest and she’s blurting out the truth to Emma. Huh. Regina rightly points out that saving Henry from certain danger is kind of more important than trotting off to see if Pan was lying about Neal being about, but Team Emotion win again and they traipse off to find Neal, with Regina deciding if you want a job done, it’s best to do it yourself and leaving. Gotta say, if I was Henry I know which mum I’d prefer right now!

Moving sideways to Somewhere Else in the forest, we see Rumple – yay!! A characters who isn’t Pan or Camp Hairsplitting. Also, this means he’s not Neal’s wicker-bunk-mate, hrm. Gods I hope it wasn’t Tamara. She better be deaded; if she pulls a Padma I am OUT. Could be Marc though? Anyways, Pan shows up to suggest Rumple give up, go back to Storeybrooke and try to get a replacement family (noting that Belle “looks fertile” *sound of uncontrollable retching*), gets shooed off and is replaced by Imaginary!Belle herself! With whom Rumple argues as a figment of his subconscious. Of course, because that’s… rational and totally sane. But then Regina shows up, chokes Belle like a badass mofo, reveals her to be the Shadow and castigates Rumple for being taken in. She is awesome. And I’m still unconvinced about the Shadow being a Big Bad. So far it seems keen to snuggle with Rumple but has shown no agency of its own – it’s just doing Pan’s bidding. Anyway Regina brings Rumple up to date on the Neal news and stops Rumple’s ‘woe is me’ chat about how hard it is to kill Pan (he [still?] believes his own death is necessary to bring about Pan’s, not sure why or how that happened but assume it’s to do with the Henry prophecy?) with a cute one liner: “You’re not going to die at anyone’s hands but my own”. Bless. Their relationship is actually kind of super cute. I like this team up, carry on.

Flashback again, we’re at the ball and… ok. Ladies. This is a ball. Ariel, it’s your first so I’m not gonna talk too much about how scandalously, mullet-ally short and floofy your outfit is, and the bodice is cute, so you get a grudging acceptance. But Snow. No, Snow. No. Are you hiding a baby bump? That dress is ill-fitting, graceless and generally dreadful. Just, NO! However, the clever, clever writers managed to deflect my anger by referencing the amazeballs Diz fork scene and also possibly TBBT? Happy little fangirl looking for references which probably don’t exist. Also, Eric is introduced and he is pretty. I was gonna make a comment about how I couldn’t see how his parents hadn’t married him off to further political chicanery, but then he starts talking and you realise a) he’s adorably credulous and easily swayed and b) a little intense. Dude, just because you’re a prince doesn’t mean you can meet a girl, dance with her for two minutes, then tell her she IS your future (though nice to see a male equating future with mating partner for once) and invite her on your Gap Yah. Later, when Ariel confides this to Snow, she advises Ariel to ask Eric to give up his plans and dreams to be with her… despite his dream (travelling) being hers also. Whut? It doesn’t always have to be a zero-sum game, doll. There can be a win/win. Ariel, prompted by a comment from Snow, goes to ask Ursula for more leg-time, and ends up insulting her/the empty ocean. Srsly, girl, don’t sass a powerful Goddess, especially one whose bounty you’re enjoying, *especially* without giving her time to answer between your backchat lines! At least pause dramatically! But then, shock! Ursula surfaces! Oh, no, it’s Regina!Ursula, and she is delightfully sassy. This is an epically wonderful nod to the Diz, one of my favourite of the ep. Everything is shiny and right and sassy and happymaking. Except Ariel, who is still a ditz. Watery bints handing out favours is no basis for a system of Government! I mean, not something to be depended on, or trusted! Also her casual assumption that Snow would go along with the tail/leg swap plan was hilarious, as it reflected Snow’s casual assumption that Ariel would want to give up everything to solve her immediate problem (being with Eric). But, when they swap back after the cute use of Checkov’s Fork (/Mini-Trident), why couldn’t Regina blast them? Does her magic not work underwater? Is she a fire-based Pokemon? Silly. Anyway, they escape, yay, but when Ariel takes the (belated) advice of the soggy but safe Snow, to maybe just tell Eric the truth, Regina is waiting and steals her voice. So thwarting true love is becoming kind of an Evil Queen hobby in these flashbacks…

[Parenthetically; Ariel’s whole ‘should I leave everything I know, my family and friends, and venture into the unknown for the chance of being loved by a man I’ve never spoken to / danced with once’ is covered better by DISNEY than this episode. This made me cross-face. I genuinely can’t remember it being discussed. I think there was a throw-away line by Ariel herself, but otherwise the whole issue is kinda ignored. Admittedly, she doesn’t turn irrevocably lose her tail/swimability in this iteration, but she sure as hell wouldn’t be going home every weekend, and it would be super awkward for Eric to visit her parents. Be PRACTICAL, fantasy fairytale tv show writers!!]

Meanwhile, Camp Hairsplit’s been on the move, and Emma tells Snowmom about kissing Hook. Slightly rudely, Snow’s response is “Why?”, so Emma justifies herself. Sigh. Emma, the answer to “why did you kiss Hook” is equal parts “because I wanted to and am a grown woman who’s allowed to kiss who she damn well wants” and “have you *seen* his dreamy eyes/hands/face and heard his melodious and sensual voice?!” Just because he isn’t Henry’s (absent, kind of shitty) dad doesn’t mean you can’t love him. Equally, rescuing Neal doesn’t mean you have to get back together with him – see: Neal’s own indifference towards a relationship while trying (and failing) to rescue you, earlier this season!!!! Grr… They reach the Echo cave, and I gotta say, this place is lame. This may be because I was brought up on the Dead Marshes and the Bog of Eternal Stench, and later came to fear lakes filled with Inferi and cities filled with worse, but this place was weaksauce. ‘Tell your secrets and the bridge appears’. Ok, Hook says outside that the idea is that your secrets will destroy you, but Hook’s is that he loves Emma – no real shock to anyone with eyes who gives him half the credit he deserves (i.e., probs not Emma, and certainly not Snow or Charming), Snow wants another baby, again no shock to anyone (and not particularly interesting, either, unless they’re setting her up to stay in Neverland and ‘mother’ the Lost Boys to be close to Charming?), Charming comes clean about the Dreamshade, which earns him the silent treatment but nothing more, and Emma admits she has feelings for Neal (more on which in a minute). Not so destructive. In fact, most of them are good things to have gotten out. Bullshit psychological mumbo-jumbo is bullshit.

Ok, but actually why does Emma still love Neal?! It’s not love, she just needs closure after all the shit he put her through. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Which may just be because I love Hook so hard. So gorgeous and sad and wounded and rejected and brave and argleblarglewah!! I know the ‘bad boy redeemed by love’ is a rubbish cliché, but when Colin O’Donoghue is involved, it’s just so much more attractive. I mean, believable. And attractive.

We end with Regina and Rumple (I’m’a call them R&R) calling up Ariel, Regina returns her voice and they convince her to carry Rumple to Storeybrooke, where Eric apparently lives. Huh. How’d we miss such a cutie in ss1+2?! Humph. This feels rushed, again. But yay more Ariel, and Belle (if Rumple’s going back, no way she’s not becoming a regular again)!!!

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**Also I have just discovered that Once Upon a Time in Wonderland has started and I have missed three episodes already?!? So, that will have to go on the to-do list. Along with this actual week’s Once (Original Flavour). Eep!!

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Once Upon a Time S3.05 – Good Form

So, this post is the day after the latest ep, which I also haven’t yet seen, because my life is currently too busy to recap A HOOK EPISODE. That is how busy I have been. Consequently a different approach to today’s (/last week’s) episode – brought to you by the letter D (for O’Donoghue. Ok, just because lots of these started with D. Shhh, it’s late here).

Drool. Ok, so this was Hook’s backstory, where we finally see what turned him into a pirate (no-one that cute is born bad, it’s just science), so obviously the main bonus of the ep was lots of Hook screen time. Also included was Hook’s inexplicably Australian brother. Huh. I love the whole “universal” vibe they’re apparently trying to pull off with accents from all over the world happily sharing a postcode, but brothers (especially those who are also BFFs) generally have the same accent. Or at least accents from the same hemisphere. Unless Aus (Oz?!?) is next to Jolly Olde Englande in Hook’s world? Too many conspiracy theories. Moving on.

Disappoint – the backstory went as follows: Hook is the Britishest Britisher that ever Britished, and a thoroughly Good Sport, wanting to see Good Form and Fair Play by all. He’s 2IC to his big brother’s Captain on some King’s ship, and they’re off to a Secret Location (*Hint: Neverland*) to find something their King has assured Captain Broski is a Miraculous Salve to Heal All Wounds and Restore Potency. This is obviously a terrible idea because whenever more than one sibling sets out to accomplish a task, it ends up as a Highlander situation, but they must have missed that memo. They rock up to Neverland, meet Pan being creepy, dismiss his warning that the ‘miracle cure’ is actually the deadly Dreamshade (because he’s just a spirited lad and they are Emissaries of his Majesty Whomever), find the Dreamshade and when Hook sensibly expresses doubts that Pan could be telling the truth and therefore the motives of their King might not be entirely pure and he might know full well that the Dreamshade is poison most foul, Big Brother (in a typically masculine show of stupidity and bravado) rips off a vine and scratches himself with it. He has about three seconds of condescending ‘see, don’t you feel silly for doubting our wonderful King?’ before he dies. From the super-poisonous plant that the friendly (though creepy) native warned you about. Sigh. Ahh the British.

Dastardly – suddenly, Pan appears and tells Hook he can save his brother by giving him water from the waterfall flowing behind the massive Dreamshade bush. Hook does so, Broski revives, all is happy and they return to the boat to get the crap away from creepy Neverland. All is well until, upon leaving Neverland, Broski dies. Turns out the water only reverses the Dreamshade’s effects in Neverland. Outside its nebulous boundaries, you’re toast. For some reason, this trickery of Pan’s is almost unremarked upon by Hook, who instead directs all his anger at his erstwhile King, who would send his men off on a journey to an uncharted land (ruled by a pint-size psychopath) to recover what they now know is a super-deadly poison, presumably to help in their vague and unspecified but apparently long-running war against a Power or Powers Unknown. Cannons which can obliterate entire ships full of men are all jolly hockey sticks, but poison is Not Good Form, apparently. So, what’s a man who has received second-hand orders which turned out to contain inaccurate information from which he was able to concoct an elaborate conspiracy theory to do? Turn pirate, of course!!! This is apparently done by mussing up one’s uniform and shouting a lot. It is not apparent at which point the eyeliner is busted out, but I like to believe he burned his silly hat and, as he squinted into the flames of his old life, some of the ashes settled delicately, catching in the lashes around his gorgeous, dreamy eyes… I’m sorry, I Drifted off.

Duty – Back in the present day, Hook decides to save Charming’s life by tricking him up to the Dreamshade fountain by telling him he has a compass which can get them out of Neverland once they’ve rescued Henry (turns out that does exist, but we don’t yet know where it is). He has to do this because Charming would rather die trying to save his family than take time to cure himself. Charming also claims Hook is selfish because he’s only helping Emma because he loves her. Um, WTF? First off, if you can save yourself, you’ll be around a lot longer to help with the saving-your-family thing. Also, why is it selfish to help someone you love? Hook hasn’t made his help contingent on Emma’s hand in marriage. He hasn’t bartered a single smooch for his inside info (their chemistry, btw, still amazing. Or maybe it’s just his. I get distracted so it’s hard to say. Also the antagonism is totally working. Very Emily and Cranky!Jack. Ahem). ALSO also, Emma rejecting him was deeply ouch. Again, much like Jack and Emily. His gorgeous wounded beautiful sad soulful eyes!! *ahem* Thirdly also, I resent how willing Charming is to die away from Snow and Emma and leave Hook to a) bring back his body b) explain how he died and c) deal with any (fairly reasonable) suspicion of tricksy Charming-killing that may come his way as a result, especially as Pan tried to get him to go all stabby-stabby on the Charmster anyway (sidenote – why? That will need to be explored in future eps, as will Pan’s weirdly seductive tone with Hook. Not ok Tiny Terrorist, although you do get some good lines).

Double Dilemma – Hook, being the Thoroughly Decent Rapscallion that he is, tells Charming of the water’s curse before making him drink, so that he can make an informed choice. Charming decides to go through with it, as it gives him a better chance to help his family. DUH!! Anyway, back on the forest floor, Regina is convincing Emma to let her disenhearten a Lost Boy and puppet-master him back to Henry with a magic mirror so they can talk to him and tell him they’re coming. Snow says no, Emma is desperate and agrees. Regina makes the slightly odd point that ‘that’s what she’s there for’ – she gets her hands dirty so Snow and Emma don’t have to. Couple of points. 1) Lana Parilla is really good at this cold, haughty, yet tragic thing. I wanna see her on revenge taking down Victoria Grayson. 2) Whut? Just because you’re not actively doing something it doesn’t absolve you of any responsibility. Emma agreed and Snow didn’t stop Regina. Consequently Emma, at least, is equally in the wrong. Anyway, Henry gets the message so he’s shiny for the time being, though Pan’s started drawing out his magic. I foresee the onset of the Terrible Teens when he gets back to his mothers, backed up with magic. That’ll be fun!

Darling – Regina and Emma’s simultaneous ‘yech’ at Charming and Snow kissing. KYOOT. Also, obvi, The Kiss. When Charming and Hook turn up, Charming tells them all Hook saved him in a non-truthful fashion (and they fête him by nicking his rum, rude!) and Hook and Emma have a truly adorable ‘oh, I’d kiss you, but you couldn’t handle it’. ‘No, *you* couldn’t handle it’. ‘Nuh-uh, you!!’ back and forth, followed by a paint-blistering smooch. Also, Emma does an adorable Dick-van-Dyke-esque English accent and Hook says ‘As you wish’ and I Died. A lot.

aDditional Dilemma (shhh, late)! We end the ep with yet another quandry. Pan turns up and tells Hook that he’s disappointed in him, and so, to test whether Hook is as good as he apparently thinks he is, Pan tells him that Neal is alive, and on the island right now* – so will Hook tell Emma? Please don’t… but then don’t get busted! Yeah, that’s an awesome plan. So, Denial and Deception until next week, then? Jolly good.

*in case we’ve forgotten that this is true, we immediately afterwards see Neal being hoisted up in a fetchingly rustic, people-sized bird cage next to a Mysterious Other Captive. My money’s on it being Rumple. They need more father-son time. Also, couldn’t Henry have mentioned Neal being on the island via mirror**? Hmm, seems like a natural reaction would be ‘oh, moms, yay! are you with my dad who I heard of recently? No? Ok, well camp is fine, but a bit weird, pls come rescue me soon…’ etc.

**I’m sure he knows, doesn’t he? Memory hazy… If not, forget I said anything, carry on.

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Revenge S3.04 – Mercy

Whew there was a lot of double-crossing in the air tonight! Hot on the heels (in show-time) of the revelation that Oh-Gods-Why-Is-He-Back, aka Aidan, was working *with* Ems, this episode’s Tricksy Little Hobbit award has to go to Patrick, for swapping teams with a fluidity that would make a dolphin jealous. But most importantly from him tonight – HE CALLS HIS MAMA VICKY. That means I can, also, because reasons. Yuss!!! However, their relationship is still really, really far from being healthy. Stop making it awkward, writers/directors/actors!!!

In more palatable story arcs, just in case we were confused about Conrad’s recent change of heart, and starting to doubt whether his two-dimensional villainy might be developing a third, morally ambiguous dimension, he becomes one of the few people to have a near death experience and decide to become a worse person because of it. Awesome. Also, he killed Fr Paul, and that makes me stabbity. Ems too, so his goose is well and truly cooked. And Daniel well and truly throws his lot in with papa and co., even going so far as to take relationship advice from the Man With No Friends, so no way will Ems spare him now. And that is all I will say about him. Because blah. Oh, except to say that his parting shot to Daddykins, about “I’m building this on hard work, not legacy”? Um, no. If you weren’t a Grayson, no-one would have invested in the mag, and you wouldn’t have even known who to approach. Asschapeau!!

In prettier news, I appreciated that Nolan told us he and Patrick were meeting at a Beach Club, because genuinely I had no idea what that weird pool-changing-room-sun-lounger-repository place was. For realsies! I thought it might have been part of someone’s house, or a Home for Gorgeous Menfolk What Have Become Entangled With Emotionally Stressful Wimmins. But no, Beach Club (whatever that is).

Back at chez-Noles, the techno relapse was adorably done, even if I’m still not sure how he intended to, y’know, *live* without tech. But he’s back in super hacker mode now, so yay! And digging up the dirt on Patrick! Yay! But still wearing a child’s grody bandana as an accessory. NO. BAD NOLAN. We talked about this just last week!!! *sigh*

I’m pleased to see how no-nonsense he is with Mystery Lady #17, aka Patrick’s Wronged Missus – “oh, hi, I know stuff. Wanna chat to me and my big wad o’ cash*?”

*Not a euphemism. Probably.

Ahem. Anyway, speaking of probably cynically calculated ‘romantic’ entanglements, the man himself (Patrick) was in fine fettle tonight – appearing to steal from Mama Dearest, only for it to turn out to be an *extremely* elaborate plot for her to punish her condescending and bitchy frenemy and steal a gallery. Nice work! The family that grifts together… should still not be so inappropriately Lannister-y! Gosh…

While I remain staunchly opposed to Jack becoming involved (because he needs to be the Good that Emily can turn to at the end of her wee journey), I do love them Doing Adventures together, plus being pressed up against derelict cars is good for the romantic tension, and turns out Jack is kind of awesome at Detecting. Also, I love watching Emily trying to protect Jack. Hopefully at some point he’ll realise and be grateful for her attempts to keep him safe, even if she did sort of make it sound like she might be planning to head to the altar with 2lb of Semtex as her ‘something new’. Which would somewhat preclude the possibility of a horse-and-Jack-and-sunset ending for her on account of she’d be spread thinly over a sizeable blast zone.

But I think we can all agree that the saddest point of the episode was when Conrad made his grandiose lol-I’m-still-a-jerkface / the-bitch-is-back speech, and mentioned his intention to take his “rightful position” as Master of the House, and then DIDN’T break into song. Such a waste. 😦

And finally – OH MY GODS AND GODDESSES I HAVE NO TIME FOR THIS I *TOLD* YOU THIS WOULD HAPPEN YOU INVOLVE AIDAN AND THINGS GET MESSY WHY WOULD YOU TRUST HIM WHY YOU KNOW HE IS A LOOSE CANNON AND NOW JACK IS IN DANGER AND IT IS ALL. YOUR. FAULT. *ahem*

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Once Upon a Time S03.04 – Nasty Habits

Ok first of all we need to clear something up. If you hire a charmingly lanky youth to lurk about in a hoody looking menacing, don’t then give him loads of dialogue. It doesn’t gel with the character and it’s annoying. You don’t pop round to the local council estate to engage the lads tinkering with their scooters in spirited repartee. *ahem*

Anyway, tonight’s ep had the distinctly un-Grimms-brothers-esque title Nasty Habits. They really get a kick out of saying the title name, but in this case it’s really only applicable to Rumple, and the continuation of his psychological odyssey (unless you count Snow and Charming being co-dependant and Pan being full-guano-crazy as ‘habits’, which I don’t). Belle’s there again, sometimes being herself (sweet, kind, vaguely sassy, and belligerently optimistic in a way which is somehow less annoying than Snow’s, perhaps only because we see less of Belle) and sometimes being slightly twisted, as befits a figment of Rumple’s subconscious.

The flashbacks leading up to Bael’s abduction by Pan were so very, very sad, with Robert Carlyle flexing his chops to make you desperately aware of how powerless Rumple feels as an ineffectual father, and how his attempts to keep Bael close just alienate him more. He’s one of the most fully-realised and three-dimensional characters in the show, and it’s definitely not just the writing.

This is why it becomes so frustrating seeing him so deeply committed to the idea of atoning for his sins through suicide-by-Pan – even after a tearful (and violent, and awkward, because this is Once) reunion with his son, he is deeply unwilling to consider any alternative plan where he doesn’t get to die. And once we see him and Pan together, we start to realise where his plan to effectively swap his life for Henry’s comes from – turns out Pan and Rumple used to be mates, and Rumple’s desertion may have been the trigger that set the tiny psycho off on his mission to collect Lost Boys (yeah, there’s no way to make that sound un-creepy), meaning that all of this is, however indirectly, Rumple’s fault. Honestly, between him and Regina, we can probably pinpoint the reasons that the Dodo died out and Russel Crowe got cast as Javert.

Incidentally, it also means that all three generations have sojourned with Pan, and escaped him, even if only for a time before all ending up back with him again (yes, a very brief escape in Henry’s case, and he was unconscious for most of it. But still). I can’t help but think this will be important. Also, Pan’s comment to Rumple – ‘Being abandoned is what you’re good at’?! Ouch, dude!!

But also!!! We are definitely heading for a Hook/Neal showdown – Hook’s teasing but persistent pursuit of Emma (which I’m choosing to believe is presented flippantly to shield his gorgeous feelings if she rejects him – swoon!) is contrasted with Neal’s ambivalence towards her; he never talks about wanting to be *with* her, it’s all just rescue Henry and ‘get my family back together’. Not, ‘rescue my son and the woman I love‘, so I’m still very much Team Hook (shock, surprise). And the pigtail-pulling bromance between Hook and Charming is progressing nicely, so I’m hoping he’ll be in the Eyelined One’s corner come wooing-day – one of my favourite moments this ep is Charming’s “You have no idea how hot I am” – he’s starting to enjoy playing the game and it is adorable!! OTOH, it’s a good thing he’s super-commitment guy, because Oh Holy Wow is Mary Margaret clingy! Yeeech. I can’t even deal with their relationship right now.

Also, can we just take a moment to talk about how awesome Regina is being? Because she is. It’s as if the writers were all a bit emotionally drained after the events of last week, and just decided to have her go Full Emily. And I freaking ADORE it. Also? She’s being pretty damn awesome about the whole “I could poof myself to Henry, kidnap him and leave and NONE OF YOU COULD STOP ME, PUNY HUMANS” / “no-one is recognising the role I played in Henry’s upbringing and ok yeah there were some questionable calls but I loved him and provided a very stable home!” things… I’m just loving her a lot right now and she felt unappreciated this ep. Which made me sad. As did Tink’s ‘lol you’re all mad cya’ because she’s fun and I want more Tinktime pls.

Aaaand once again we have to talk about bad CGI. People of Once! Listen to me, the Speaker of Truth!! It does not impress us when you manage to make it look as though your villagers live in a stage set, it looks weird and means we spend more time thinking about why they couldn’t just make it *slightly* less shit than being impressed about your use of the pan pipes to tie Pan to the Pied Piper (lols). I mean, for srs, my friend Dan knocked this up in a (very stressed, sweary) weekend on his laptop in 2011. And it looks about 8 times more legit than Hamlin. GET IT TOGETHER, PEOPLE. You imported Tink from NZ, send her back to bring over some Weta staff! The Hobbit must be nearly done; I’m sure they will be happy to help out.

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My parting wisdom: if I’ve learned anything from Harry Potter, and I have, it’s this – when dealing with prophecies, pay VERY CLOSE ATTENTION to the specific wording used. (This is also point number one of most Law exams. Which is why lawyers wear robes. Because we’re wizards. Aaaanyway…) Rumple’s seer never said Henry would lead to Rumple’s *death*, just his *undoing*, which could mean any number of things. The collapse of his business, losing his power as the Dark One (which is where his romance with Belle / soul salvation is tending anyway) or even, on more aptly psychological level, the destruction of all the psychological walls and the healing of the emotional scars, so that he can be reborn like a beeeeautiful butterfly into a happy shiny life with Belle, Bael and Henry!! Ok maybe not. But still – don’t trust seers!! Gosh.