“Broken” suffered severely from Change-Up-itis, which is happens when a show so radically changes the game and the rules in the previous season’s finale. I really do like it when a show is brave enough to make those changes and was thrilled to see Once Upon a Time go for it at the end of last season. Show could have dragged out Emma’s disbelief and Henry’s scheming for at least another season, so good on Show for daring to be different.
Coming back from that is hard, though, and Show struggled right up until the end of the ep where I finally said, “Now that’s interesting….”
More than anything, the Dementor bugged me. Call it a Wraith or a Soul Sucker or whatever, but let’s face it: that was a Dementor. It was ripped off from Harry Potter (which is Warner Bros., not Disney) and the creature itself looked cheap.
My other problem was Jamie Chung, who was distractingly bad as Mulan. Granted, she wasn’t given much to do other than scrunch her eyebrows at Sleeping Beauty, so maybe she’ll get better as she’s given more to do. I also recently saw her Burning Palms and during this ep kept thinking, “Heh. Your finger smelled like poop….” Because I’m nine.
What I did like was how quickly Snow and Charming discarded the Mary-Margaret and David personalities and forged ahead being all good-hearted, protecting Regina from the townsfolk and the Dementor. I also appreciated that Emma is continuing her emotionally distant ways, indicating that “happily ever after” is going to take some bloody work.
The Fairytale Land sequence threw me off for most of “Broken” because the only thing tying it to Storybrooke was the Dementor. Now, of course, I know there was a purpose to all of that which makes sense and is kinda awesome. While it was going on though, it made the whole ep feel disjointed and blocky.
Unlike every other Fairytale Land sequence, this one was in real time, running parallel to Storybrooke. While life and possibilities in Storybrooke are opening up, life in Fairytale Land is rough and dark and dangerous. And now Snow White and Emma are trapped there.
Even though I wasn’t impressed with most of the episode, it still wound up in an interesting place that’ll probably carry it through the season. That’s why I keep coming back to Once Upon a Time. It surprises me.
Lastly, Belle can keep her damn hands off my Rumpy. MINE!