Once Upon A Time season 3 episode 16 review: It's Not Easy Being Green

Review Kylie Peters
7 Apr 2014 - 06:33

Once Upon A Time takes a back-story trip to Oz this week. Here's Kylie's review...

This review contains spoilers.

3.16 It's Not Easy Being Green

This week’s episode takes us to Oz for the backstory of Zelena, the Wicked Witch.

Zelena has gotten far more screentime than anyone else since the midseason premiere, which is a shame because she remains two-dimensional. If Zelena’s backstory is supposed to drum up some sympathy for her, it falls short. Zelena’s “sad” family life is poorly explained and feels contrived (plus, I am disappointed that the show is once again giving a bad rap to adoptive parents). The actress, Rebecca Mader, plays evil (oops, I mean wickedness) far better than goodness; she just comes off a whiny and needy in the flashbacks. The main issue of her wanting to surpass Regina in Rumple’s esteem isn’t particularly fresh, either.

Aside from the Neverland arc, Once doesn’t spend much time in worlds other than ours and the Enchanted Forest, so it’s interesting to see a bit of Oz. Zelena discovers that the Wizard of Oz is Walsh, a con man who collects magical items. When he says he can’t send her back in time to rewrite her past, she turns him into a flying monkey. Yep, it’s the same Walsh that Emma was dating in NYC. Turns out he wasn’t really a flying monkey, which is a lucky save for Emma. We also learn how Zelena became green: she is green with envy. That is either delightfully kitschy or just plain awful. I haven’t decided yet.

In Storybrooke, the townspeople bury Neal. To help him cope, Hook takes Henry out for some quality time and to tell him about his father. This is a pretty adorable duo (especially when Hook is pretending to know what a GPS is). Hook doesn’t actually tell Henry much about Neal though. If I were Henry, I’d just see it as rubbing salt in my wounds about all the stuff the grown-ups were refusing to tell me.

Now that her identity is out, Zelena starts bullying the townspeople outright and challenges Regina to a witch battle. She’s a big threat because not only is she powerful in her own right, but she also has Rumple under her control. Belle tries to snap him out of it but it doesn’t work. I guess the only thing stronger than true love is a Once writer with an incompatible vision. The witch fight is a missed opportunity to add some action into the show. It could have been really epic, but it ends quickly when Zelena tries to take Regina’s heart and discovers that she didn’t bring it with her.

Regina flirts with Robin, goaded by Tinkerbelle, who reappears on the show out of nowhere. Robin keeps stumbling upon Regina in the forest and stuff, which is obviously because he is a stalker (and definitely not because it’s an easy way to get the two of them together alone for some plot development). Regina asks him to hold on to her heart for her. That’s called symbolism, folks.

Next week, Hook gets his comeuppance for being a manwhore. (I’m pretty sure that’s not what the episode is actually about, but it sure sounds like it.)

Read Kylie's review of the previous episode, Quiet Minds, here.

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