Once Upon A Time season 2 episode 8 review: Into The Deep
Sleeping curses and dream worlds are the order of the day in this week's Once Upon A Time...
This review contains spoilers.
2.8 Into The Deep
Finally, some real progress! I agree with Mulan: all that tromping back and forth all over the Enchanted Forest was getting tiresome. This week, some fresh new elements liven up season two’s aging formula as characters in both Storybrooke and the Enchanted Forest harness the power of sleeping curses to contact one another via the dream world.
Their history with sleeping curses allows Henry and Aurora to talk to each other, turning them into unlikely heroes in the quest to get Emma and Snow home. Henry’s determination to help is really sweet, and Aurora is way stronger and more likable than she’s ever been before. It’s a little disappointing when frontrunners Snow and Charming step in to take their places.
Still, the concept behind Charming’s entry into the dream world is interesting. With the help of Rumple and Regina, Charming willingly goes under a sleeping curse. He thinks Snow’s kiss will wake him up in dreamland (not sure where the logic in that is), but that’s a bust, so now he’s snoozing indefinitely and Snow has to hurry home to wake him up with true love’s kiss. You gotta love feminist twists on fairy tales. Although Snow going all Katniss with the bow and arrow this week sort of came out of nowhere, if we’re being honest.
Regina has become mysteriously good-guy-ish, and not in the secret evil plan sort of way. It seems that she really is making a turnaround. Ambivalent characters are great when they’re done right, but this is happening too fast and too thoroughly. Sure, she’s afraid of losing Henry, but that’s always been the case. And yes, she and the good guys have a common cause in defeating Cora, but that doesn’t mean Regina should turn nice all of the sudden. I’d feel better about it if there was some sort of internal struggle visible here.
Hook, on the other hand, they got right. It looked for a while there like he was going to take Emma’s side for absolutely no reason at all, but no, he was just acting the part so he could rejoin Cora on the bad guy team. Although this makes the most sense from a plot standpoint, it’s sort of a shame to see Hook go into evil mode again. Some actors do better as good guys and some do better as bad guys, and I think O’Donoghue’s Hook is more engaging when he’s cooperating with the white hats. Still, any Hook is good Hook for your weekly sexy pirate fix.
Other than the game of Dream World Telephone, the most unusual element of this episode comes at the end when we learn that Cora is controlling Aurora with her heart. The concept is cool and it’s bound to cause some interesting drama in the future, but it’s ill-timed since Aurora was just starting to get cool. (Mulan also got slightly better, though I still keep asking myself why she’s even there.)
It’s a little problematic, though, that heart-stealing has been an element of the story from the beginning but there’s never been anything about controlling somebody with one - otherwise, why didn’t Regina just force the Huntsman/Graham to obey her in season one? Maybe it’s Cora’s special evil power, since they have to find some way to make her worse than Regina was. But right now, it feels like the writers sort of tossed that in there for convenience’s sake.
Next week is the last episode before OUaT takes a break until January. The promo is rather vague, but apparently there are a lot of baddies doing bad things. Regina is involved here, although it’s not entirely clear whether she’s gone back to the dark side in the present or if it’s just in flashbacks. In any case, it’ll be nice to see her as her sporting her old leather dresses and bad attitude.
Read Kylie's review of the previous episode, Child of the Moon, here.
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