Monday, May 8, 2017
In Which I Review Once Upon a Time (6x20)
Let's face it: this episode was always going to be a tough one for me to blog. I'm not exactly CaptainSwan's biggest fan (lolz). But, I was an Emma Swan fan from the beginning and while I believe her character has undergone a radical and negative transformation over the past three years into someone I don't particularly like, I do believe the show can be at its best when it focuses on Emma's journey into both being a true Savior and into selfhood. With that said, I was delighted that this episode did not turn into a full on, no holds bar, CaptainSwan love-fest but instead was really about Emma, her parents, and her son. It's where the show began and it's still the sweet spot for OUAT. I do want to start with some negative aspects of this episode first before dovetailing into the more positive moments of the show so let's consider why this final hurrah for Emma's character is happening on the day of her wedding. The culmination of this week's plot is Emma realizing that she's never been alone, that she's carried her parents, and everyone's, magical "song" in her heart; she does this with Henry's help. All of this is in the wheelhouse of OUAT's own specific brand of family relations. The issue happens that directly following this moment is Emma's wedding, in fact the scene transitions from Emma's triumph to Hook standing at the alter as if the final moment of selfhood is marriage and that for Emma to truly complete her journey she has to be unified with another person, while wearing a (truly ugly) white gown. It's fairy heternormative and misogynistic that a woman's big moment is a wedding; the question to ask is did this episode and this moment in Emma's journey need a wedding to feel complete? No; it didn't. Emma's emotional growth would still have happened if the wedding had not. So, you might be asking yourself, why not have the wedding if the emotional growth would happen regardless, the answer is that the wedding adds a sour note to that emotional journey.
--For the sake of my own sanity, I am going to skip over even thinking about discussing yet another memory wipe.
--Emma's wedding dress isn't the only unfortunate outfit here. Putting Hook in velvet takes the tux to a cheap place and makes him look like a black hole. Also, Snow? Get rid of whatever you're wearing...quickly.
--Favorite song? Probably the opening number "Powerful Magic;" Hook's pirate rock song "Revenge Is Gonna Be Mine," and Emma's solo "Emma's Theme"
--Least favorite song? "The Charmings vs The Evil Queen" because it's just a rehash of two previous songs. Something new there would have worked better.
--"And my! Do I sound...good!"
--Oh, hey. The Black Fairy cast the Dark Curse and apparently Emma now has to do what it once took her a year to do in two hours. Cool.
--Speaking of, does anyone really understand the motivations of the Black Fairy? Why is she even doing any of this? Simply because she's dark and Emma's light?
--"I'm sorry, dearie. Do you think the Dark One sings? I'd rather scratch my eyes out with a rusty fork."
--A big ol' whatever to the nonsense that is Hook and Rumple reigniting their feud.
--So was Belle not even invited to the wedding? Even after she went through the trouble of finding Snow's wedding dress for Emma? You know for a season that focuses heavily on her son being controlled by the most evil being in all of existence, she's had shockingly little to do or say.
--Two to go! See you all next week for the season six finale!