Once Upon A Time season 3 episode 3 review: Quite A Common Fairy
Declarations of love abound in this week's entertaining episode of Once Upon A Time...
This review contains spoilers.
3.3 Quite a Common Fairy
Getting a little tired of your typical fairytale love story? Once has got you covered. Forget Snow and Charming. How about some Regina and Robin Hood? Or better yet, Mulan and Aurora? It’s like the Once writing room has been taken over by fanfic writers and Tumblr bloggers, and while it isn’t neat and pretty, it’s a whole lot of fun.
On some advice from Neal that love should be voiced, Mulan rushes back to the Aurora and Phillip’s castle, where she wants to tell Aurora something. Before she gets the chance, though, Aurora announces that she is pregnant. A heartbroken Mulan leaves to join Robin Hood’s Merry Men.
What to make of this scene? We know Mulan loved Phillip once, though we aren’t sure if she still does. I never interpreted Mulan and Aurora’s friendship as having any romantic subtext, but that might be because I never expected this show to feature a homosexual relationship. Regardless of what came before, the scene in today’s episode struck me as a clear attempt by Mulan to confess her love for Aurora. Some are arguing that Mulan meant to tell Aurora that she loves Phillip, but why would she say that to Aurora and not Phillip himself? Add to that the body language and subtext surrounding it, and I’m going to call this one. Mulan loves Aurora.
Huge kudos to the Once team for not being afraid to take it in this direction. Mulan and Aurora make an adorable couple, too. On the other hand, it’s a little frustrating to see Mulan with yet another unrequited love. Once is usually quite feminist, but oddly enough they seem determined to make Disney’s toughest heroine needy. Also, from a non-plot-based perspective, I would have liked them to choose someone more feminine to be lesbian. Cross-dressing, swordfighting Mulan is the stereotypical choice. But beggars can’t be choosers - it’s really awesome that the show is embracing different forms of love.
Regina’s tangled past with Tinkerbell is revealed, and unsurprisingly, things didn’t end well between them. Tink breaks all kinds of rules to help Regina find happiness by leading her to her true love using fairy magic. But Regina is too afraid to approach the man, and later spurns Tinkerbell’s friendship. Tink gets her wings taken away by the Blue Fairy and launches a vendetta against Regina.
Season three so far has been lacking in villain philosophy moments, but this week we got a good one. Regina admits that she was afraid to go after the man purported to be her true love because she did not want to find happiness. She didn’t want to let go of her anger because that was all she had. Though it is often idealistic, Once demonstrates just as often that it has a firm grip on reality. And once in a while, as in this scene, it draws on not only on familiar reality but on the deeper stuff we don’t see every day. These are my favorite moments in Once Upon a Time.
The man with the lion tattoo, Regina’s true love, turns out to be the one and only Robin Hood. It’s hard to picture them as a couple, but I guess it wouldn’t be any fun if they were instantly compatible. I’m not thrilled about the idea of Regina in a relationship, though; I quite like her as a feisty independent woman. I also took some issue with Tinkerbell’s nearly synonymous definitions of “happiness” and “true love.” It’s heavily implied that Regina needs a man to be happy.
Neal uses Robin Hood’s toddler son to summon the shadow to take him to Neverland. Endangering a little boy for his own purposes is sort of a dick move, but he’s worried about his own son so it’s sort of understandable. Robin Hood’s son needs to be in every episode. Those chubby cheeks!
At camp with Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, Pan tells Henry that Neverland runs on belief, and that’s why they need him, the truest believer. Magic is dying, and only Henry can save it. Is this true? It’s hard to tell with Pan, but even if it is, I’m betting once Henry fixes magic Pan plans to do something diabolical with it.
In the background of all this, Hook and Charming get chummy over the fact that Charming got stuck with a poison arrow and is going to die soon. It’s obvious Charming isn’t going to die, but I am enjoying the Charming/Hook bromance this is creating.
Next week, the Lost Boys have an orgy to the seductive sound of Peter’s pan pipes. Also, Rumple paints lines on his face. That’s all I could get out of that commercial.
In other news, actors Ginnifer Goodman (Snow) and Josh Dallas (Charming) got real-life engaged this week. Congrats to them!
Read Kylie's review of the previous episode, Lost Girl, here.
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