Wednesday, December 7, 2011

NEW!: Once Upon a Time 1:6 - The Shepherd

Overall Rating: 7.8


Plot Synopsis:

Wikipedia has the details.

The Skinny:

First, I'd just like to say that I love the way the writers are spinning the fairy-tale back-story gradually into the plot and out of order, such that we see bits and pieces and can enjoy how they all come together.  Today's puzzle piece - how did Prince Charming get to where he was and why was he marrying someone he didn't love?  The way they made this piece fit with the piece we got in 1:2 was exceedingly pleasing.  They've obviously thought through very carefully how they're going to merge the various fairy tales into one running story.  Which is really helping to draw in my interest.

Mayor Regina's evil just continues to astound me.  When she doesn't like something you're doing, she can really lay on the skin-crawling scowls and manipulative games.  Ugh.  Obviously though, the main story is poor Mary-Margaret (a.k.a. Snow White) and her struggle to do the right thing.  I must say, however, that although I'm enjoying the story on a visceral, aesthetic level, it currently lacks tremendous depth for me - we're all rooting for true love because we know what these people were like in the fairy tale world, but in a real situation, there is no compelling reason to think badly of a man staying with his wife or a heartbroken woman commiserating with another.  But it's early yet, and there may be more than fairy-tale "love is something external that simply hits you from on high" magic here.  Or maybe not.  Even if this never turns into necessarily a strong moral tale w/r/t love, there are other moral messages it passes and the love is still fun in a "guilty pleasure" sort of way.

Writing: 9.0

Much credit to the script-writing team for giving us our first sense of true continuity in the fairy-tale world and doing a great job of world-building on that side and character-building in the real world.

Acting: 8.5

The performances were also very strong - especially from Mary-Margaret, Regina and Mr. Gold (Rumplestiltskin).

Message: 6.0

For all of the good that's in the script, it is a set-up piece regarding love and the morals thereof and sends no message (yet).  It's just good fun, for now.


  1. Hmm. I probably would've given this episode a higher message score. I'm uncomfortable with the idea that "destiny" should break up a marriage, so I was rather impressed that the writers did not go there.

  2. I can't give it credit for that because it's clear from the framing of the story that WILL go that way (or we're supposed to be rooting for it). But if I'm proven wrong, I'll be happy, I must say.

  3. Well, at the very least, the writers seem to be acknowledging that the situation is not as simple as one might think. That deserves at least a little praise.