by Sherry Lipp
We are looming closer to the mid-season finale of Once Upon a Time. So far this season I’ve been mixed on how I feel about the show. I feel that it has lost some of what I liked about the first season. Slowly this season has been building a more focused story arc, so I am happy to see that. This episode, “Into the Deep,” expanded on the mysterious dream shared by Aurora and Henry. It also furthered Cora’s (Barbara Hershey) plans to reach Storybrooke to take revenge on her daughter. I have to admit a revenge plot between mother and daughter is enticing, though I think they could be taking it further at this point. Regina (Lana Parrilla) hasn’t had a whole lot to do with anything so far. This episode was was kind of average for the most part, but it did have a cool ending.
What I want to see is more Regina and Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle). They were in this one, they figured in prominently, but they didn’t get to do anything interesting. These characters are made to be scene stealers. They should get more of a chance to do it. Still, I was glad to see them directly involved in the storyline. At the moment, Regina is in nice mode because she is trying to get on the good side of Henry (Jared Gilmore). Hopefully things will get liven up once she and Cora are face to face. Mr. Gold seems to be biding his time waiting for something that will give him the chance to look for his son. Cora wants revenge against him to, as does Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), so I’m hoping to see things amp up soon – and by soon, I mean the next episode. I want some excitement before the break.
Things were heating up, quite literally, as Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Emma (Jennifer Morrison) tried to figure out a way to connect with Storybrooke. Snow finally revealed that she had had visions of the fiery room when she was under the sleeping spell. This came at the right time because Aurora (Sarah Bolger) was captured by Cora and was no longer able to tell them her dream communications with Henry. As it turns out, the dreams are not really dreams but kind of another realm, and that means getting very real burns in the fiery room (kept waiting for Freddy Krueger to turn up, too bad Disney doesn’t own the Nightmare franchise). Not wanting to put Henry in further danger, Charming (Josh Dallas) demands that he be cursed with the sleep spell. This is where Mr. Gold and Regina come into things. They cooked up a potion and Charming was out. But magic works differently in Storybrooke, so we now have Charming back in an unconscious state like he was in the first season (good thing, because Charming is boring as all get-out).
There are a few good things about this. First of all, it adds some much needed tension to the show. Now we have even more motivation for Snow to get back to Storybrooke. We also have Henry without a guardian, meaning he will likely have to go back to Regina. There is a little part of me that hopes Henry will get interested in learning about magic from Regina. Maybe he will become a little conflicted over the use of magic. That could be interesting. Just about anything (that doesn’t involve new characters) would be welcome at this point.
In the meantime, back in Fairytale Land, Aurora escapes from Cora and returns to Snow, Emma, and Mulan (Jamie Chung), but things are not as they seem. Captain Hook has captured her heart and she’s under the control of Cora. I thought that was a cool little twist. Now every main character is in some kind of peril, and the show just got a lot more interesting.
One other note – a few episodes back, Belle (Emilie de Ravin) asked Mr. Gold if he would have a hamburger with her sometime. In this episode they finally did. I thought they worked this in cleverly, without making a big deal out of it. It wasn’t overly cute or corny. It was just the two of them at the diner eating (and getting charged extra for pickles). I thought they did a good job referencing back to that in a fun way. Hopefully the burgers were cooked thoroughly, as we wouldn’t want Mr. Gold getting E. coli.
I’m very cautiously looking forward to next week. They left a lot of loose ends this episode, particularly with Aurora. I’m seriously hoping we get to have more with Regina and Mr. Gold. They need to do something cool to close out the mid-season. As it stands at this point in season two, it seems like the writers are just making it up as they go along. Hopefully the mid-season finale jumpstarts this stalled motor before it’s too late.