Monday, March 12, 2012
"I Know You Say You Don’t Know What You Are, But Whatever It Is, I Gotta Say, I’m Impressed."
This week’s episode was Red-Handed, focusing on Red, who has been involved in things but pretty much on the sidelines thus far. This episode certainly revealed a lot more about her. She is both more vulnerable and more dangerous than I would have guessed. The conflict between her and her granny in Storybrooke felt very realistic, and in Fairy Tale, it provided the episode’s big twist.
As Once Upon a Time goes, this was a pretty violent episode. It certainly wasn’t at the level of Grimm, but a few scenes definitely made me a bit squeamish. Rampaging werewolves and hearts in boxes… blech! Given the situation the Graham was in, if that is Kathryn’s heart, it seems very possible that Katherine is still alive but Regina is yanking her around like a puppeteer. Did she just stash her someplace? Or was this a genuine murder? Obviously I don’t think that Mary Margaret had anything to do with it, but how did Regina manage to frame her?
Ruby has always struck me as a fairly saucy character, so it was interesting to see her so unsure of herself in this episode. Of course, I think that’s how it often is when a teenager runs away from home. Lots of defiance, but once they’re on their own, the world seems a lot scarier. I’m not entirely sure how old she is; perhaps she is in her early 20s, but I wouldn’t guess that she’s any older than that. My guess would be around 19.
Granny initially comes across as overbearing here, but I love the reconciliation at the end. That relationship was the most interesting part of the episode for me. Granny wanted to show Ruby that she trusted her to fill her shoes, but she was too gruff to betray her affection until Ruby went off to do some soul-searching. The brief separation seems to have done them both good. In Fairy Tale, her story was harrowing, and the consequences of her lack of forthrightness were tragic. She believed she was protecting Red by hiding her true nature from her, but all she was doing was allowing her to unwittingly be a monster.
I loved that her boyfriend’s name was Peter, surely a nod to Peter and the Wolf. I can’t imagine how awful it would be for Red to realize that her miscalculation about Peter’s identity and her own hidden animal nature led to his demise. It was a horrible scene. Presumably, since he died before the curse was cast, he’s gone for good, and this is one romance that won’t be allowed a happily ever after. Then again, James looked dead in that first episode, and all was not as it seemed, so there could still be a sliver of hope there.
I’m not exactly sure where in the timeline this story takes place, but Snow White is on the run already, so it’s in the fairly recent past. The scenes of the two of them walking through the snow were gorgeously Narnia-like (and Mary Margaret’s umbrella in Storybrooke in the woods also reminded me of Mr. Tumnus). I loved their cloaks, especially Snow White’s. There’s such a natural camaraderie between those two, and that extends to Storybrooke, while Emma is a tad more standoffish, which is just her nature. Still, Emma and Red make a good team as well, even though Red does ultimately decide that being deputy is not for her.
I’m not sure what to make of David’s temporary amnesia; maybe he’s the one whose heart was in the box. Which would, on some level, make sense, since Snow White did indeed steal his heart. But that wouldn’t explain what is going on with Kathryn or the bizarro magic possibly at play there.
All told, I didn’t find this episode quite as engaging as most, I suppose because it was more violent and action-oriented and ended on such a sour note. Plus, there was no Rumple to be found, to say nothing of poor Jiminy – though at least there was a reference to his dog. Still, it was a solid installment that revealed a lot about Red and gave me a shock or two.