I was really looking forward to this season’s shake up with Once Upon A Time. It seemed like an opportunity to put our characters in new circumstances and see how they respond and develop.
There’s some response, but not a lot of development happening. Regina, Snow, and Charming are all exactly the same. Emma is outwardly acting like the lost girl foster child she always was, but had been trying to suppress for the last two seasons.
The only characters showing any sort of growth are Rumpy and Henry. Rumpy, while still tricksy, has become less selfish and even is willing to sacrifice himself for his grandson. Henry, while still the truest believer, is doing what all children do: growing up and becoming self-sufficient.
I loved the bit with the magic mirror-talkies. Emma, Regina, and Snow on one end, bubbling, “We’re here to rescue you! It’s Operation Cobra Rescue!” And Henry was all, “Yeah. I’ve gotta go.” And he cast the magic mirror-talkie aside.
Cuz he’d just been in a sword fight earlier that day. Cuz Henry is a ninja, now.
Sounds great, but for some reason, season three is losing me.
Then I figured it out. This season is about boys’ stories. Moms and love and subverted princess themes don’t have much of a place in that. But, there’s a lot of fighting and abandonment issues and flailing around a fire.
It’s not that I’m disinterested in boys’ stories. I just hold them to the same standard to which I hold girls’ stories and Show isn’t living up to that. The boys’ stories they’re telling here aren’t being given the same depth and are doing nothing to subvert the traditional narrative.
Also, Captain Hook is an idiot.
He took a huuuuuge leap in logic when deciding to become a pirate. His king is without honor, so he’ll become a pirate because at least there’s honor among thieves? What? Spoken like someone who’s never met a thief.
Jerk. No wonder he lost a hand.
Hook was also the butt of the best line of the night, spoken by Peter Pan. Possibly the best line of the series:
Hook: “She’s seeing me for the man I am.”
Pan: “A one-handed pirate with a drinking problem?”
I wonder how hard it is for Captain Hook to put on his eyeliner with one hand.