Once Upon a Time: Poor Unfortunate Soul Review

We find out the new origin of Ursula's evil beginnings, which seems a lot like The Little Mermaid. If only it had stayed under the sea...

On Once Upon a Time, over-thinking anything can be your proverbial undoing. If you start wondering why Emma isn’t continually pointing out that there is a very successful entertainment company that has made comprehensive classics out of the lives of the characters dwelling in Storybrooke, you begin to dismantle the very magic upon which the show relies. I tried fiercely to remind myself of that this week, when evil Ursula’s backstory was revealed but my god, it was incredibly difficult to do.

It turns out that Ursula’s father was the king of the sea, known to you and I as Ernie Hudson, who ain’t afraid of no pirates. Ursula was gifted with a beauteous voice that she used to trill songs from the opening of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Her mother was also a singer….a singer whose beautiful voice got her killed by humans.

One can only assume that this drove Ernie Hudson so mad with grief that he saw nothing wrong with wearing an elaborate amber-type necklace to accentuate his rather cheap and silly-looking steel chest-plate. Haters gonna’ hate, and I do.

The parallels between Ursula’s story and that of The Little Mermaid would be fine…if the show didn’t already feature Ariel as a character, and if it they hadn’t already featured Ursula – ANOTHER Ursula – earlier on in the show’s history. “So wait,” my roommate said with deep consternation. “THIS Ursula is in no way related to the sea witch goddess lady who Lana Parrilla pretended to be back in the day?” Apparently not. If you would all like to take a moment to reflect on this GIF for a while, I totally understand and respect that choice:

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I was too flummoxed by trying to figure out whether or not Ariel and Ursula are sisters (WHO IS THEIR MOM EVEN?) to truly appreciate the nature of her history with Hook. What little mental space I had left to relegate to tracking that arc was clouded and distracted by Killian’s complete lack of appeal. I should have swooned when he told Emma that she was his happy ending. Instead, I gagged and then tried to pick something out of my teeth.

He seemed to sleepwalk through the episode to the extent that I couldn’t even muster indignation at how he wronged young Ursula in days of yore. “Frankly, I’d be more pissed at Ernie Hudson,” I said to my cats, who are coincidentally, always pissed at Ernie Hudson. Just when I managed to get on board and suspend my disbelief, Ariel made an appearance this week, and I threw my hands up in total disbelief.

While this storyline was a tough one to swallow, Regina going undercover continues to delight and inspire. Quick question: if she could take over someone’s body to pass on a message from go WHY DOESN’T SHE DO THIS ALWAYS AND FOREVER? I’m glad the goon squad has figured out what’s up with the author. I look forward to seeing Regina furiously try to climb inside a book while August stares on, fondling his overgrown sniffer.



2 out of 5