If they keep cranking out episodes of this general quality, I'll be quite happy.
The official site has a recap here.
Boy, do I have questions upon questions! For example:
- I'm starting to think I may be wrong about Regina. Indeed, I'm starting to wonder now whether Emma will ultimately defeat her by offering her redemption. When she scolds Jefferson for leaving his daughter, it almost sounds sincere -- like she truly believes that turning one's back on family is a terrible crime. Of course, she eventually outdoes Jefferson in that department; succumbing to the attractions of a comfortable life and cutting out your father's heart to satisfy your thirst for vengeance are two acts that belong in entirely different categories. But still -- if, at one time, Regina did have the capacity for love, can it be restored?
- I'm also eager to know more about Rumpelstiltskin's endgame. What is he trying to do for Regina and why? Is it possible that he escaped a prison sentence for assault by promising Regina he'd help her destroy Snow White? And is he really on Regina's side, or is he merely looking after his own interests? (I'm going to hazard a guess and pick the latter on that last one. Rumpelstiltskin has always been a chaotic element.)
- And one last thing: How many people in Storybrooke currently know who they are? Is that number growing the longer Emma sticks around?
As for the stand-alone tale in this episode, I liked it. A few of the special effects seemed very low-rent, but I don't care about that nearly as much as I care about the depth of the story, which leans very heavily on the theme that family matters far more than material comforts. True -- this is not necessarily a new message. But it is a fact of human nature that desperately needs to be reiterated at a time in which the attitudes of envy and entitlement seem to rule our politics.
Although it doesn't quite reach the "holy crap, this is awesome!" level, this script still has much to offer.
Here, we have another slate of strong-but-not-astounding performances.
A palatial mansion is worth nothing if you have no one to share it with.