TV Talkback – Once Upon a Time S5E23: “An Untold Story”

  • Mr. Gold has lost his mind and is now raining down a purple apocalypse in the middle of New York as a result of his magical mania. This amuses me more than it should.
  • A serum to separate the good from the evil in someone. Well, now I know what the point was of that long scene with Regina talking about fighting her Evil Queen nature.
  • I know it’s not going to have anything to do with Mr. Gold’s character, but all I can picture is how eager Belle would be to seize that serum and stab it into him. Because even if she secretly likes Mr. Gold’s dark side, she still won’t own up to it.
  • Everything about this Land of Untold Stories subplot is dull, dull, dull. I don’t want to spend more time here next season.
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TV Talkback – Once Upon a Time S5E22: “Only You”

  • I’m sure it was just apple juice or something, but I love the idea of Robin Hood’s four-year-old son toasting him with the Merry Men and drinking a full glass of ale.
  • How is Neal’s New York apartment still there with all of his stuff? Why wasn’t it sold or leased to other people ages ago? With New York real estate being what it is, I can’t imagine that place sitting idle for a couple of years. Has someone been paying rent for it all this time? Or did a character just magic it so it would always belong to them and make normal people sort of oblivious to it?
  • That was a really long scene for Regina to vent her issues—seriously, way longer than any character-based moment on Once Upon a Time in ages. I can’t figure out if it stretched that long because the writers wanted to indulge Regina’s feelings, or if they’re just plodding around because they don’t have anything else to do with this episode.
  • GROSS. They CGIed a reading room in a New York library? They didn’t have to do that. Use a real library! If not a New York library, a library in Toronto or wherever they’re filming. I could maybe see the logic for CGI if it was a fantasy library like in S5E17, but this is just silly nonsense.
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TV Talkback – Once Upon a Time S5E21: “Last Rites”

  • I cracked up at Arthur randomly running out of the woods after being out of the story for 10 episodes. He’s just like Robin Hood, coming out of the forest when the story remembers that he exists!
  • The great and legendary King Arthur, after being abandoned by the show’s storyline, only reentered the narrative to be knocked down in a couple of minutes by Hades in one of the least epic and heroic defeats. 
  • I was never a huge fan of Zelena’s character, but the way the show entirely neutered her over a couple of episodes is a bit disappointing. Of course reconciling with your family and opening your heart to other people can give you a better outlook (just like how the Grinch’s heart suddenly grew two sizes), but it’s so weird to me how now she doesn’t seem to care about anything but a house with a white picket fence. Doesn’t she still want power or to rule a place? Or was a lovefest with Cora and Regina really all she needed to de-snarkify, de-vilify, everything?
  • I should be used to it by now, but the terrible CGI sets just grate at my eyeballs.
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A Look Back: Dead Man’s Chest

Despite falling squarely in the middle of my personal “Pirates of the Caribbean Films From Best to Worst” ranking (which is basically the movies in numerical order, except 2 and 3 are flipped), Dead Man’s Chest is not a good film. Looking back on it before this re-watch, I struggled to come up with even a couple of aspects of it that I enjoyed—“ambivalently tolerated” might be a better way to describe it. I like the first and third film, so I’ve watched Dead Man’s Chest several times out of an obligation to bridge them—but, boy, is it a shoddy bridge. And, coming off of The Curse of the Black Pearl, it’s a deeply disappointing sequel that misses almost everything that the first film got right. 

Despite the third film being the most explicitly “epic,” Dead Man’s Chest is the film that I resent for taking the “epic” route. The Curse of the Black Pearl was a fun one-off, but once the creative heads decided to make Pirates into a trilogy, they dug into as many Epic Trilogy staples as they could, and Dead Man’s Chest positively reeks of them: a love triangle, “darker” material, heroes turned antiheroes, a cliffhanger ending (that is such a clear riff on the “characters must team up to save Han Solo at the beginning of the next film” from The Empire Strikes Back that it’s embarrassing), and so forth.

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TV Talkback – Once Upon a Time S5E20: “Firebird”

  • So nearly all of this season’s problems were (apparently) resolved in the first 10 minutes of this episode. I wonder what crockery will be thrown at us for the remaining 3.75 episodes.
  • What, no, Eurydice and Orpheus did not both make it out of the Underworld! It’s common knowledge that Orpheus failed Hades’s challenge and they both stayed down there. Henry even says, “I know this myth” but he doesn’t object to Hades’s incredibly different telling of it. Is this evidence of Hades manipulating the characters, or is this show feeding us lies?
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TV Talkback – Once Upon a Time S5E19: “Sisters”

  • If this episode features Regina and Zelena singing “Sisters” like Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen in White Christmas, it will have my undying respect.
  • Why would Zelena even want to return to Storybrooke, if not to torment Regina? Seriously, there’s not only an entire planet but other dimensions to explore. She could make any place her turf. Why that tiny New England town?
  • When James (a.k.a. Charming/David’s evil twin) challenged David to a fight and David’s eyes landed on a broken piece of wood on the ground, I seriously thought that he was going to stake James like a vampire.
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TV Talkback – Once Upon a Time S5E18: “Ruby Slippers”

  • The idea of an older Dorothy teaming up with an older Red Riding Hood and eventually falling in love is an idea I can get behind. Too bad it won’t be more than a couple of scenes.
  • Wait, so if Zelena’s been out of Oz for all this time, who’s in charge now? Did the throne go to someone like Ozma or General Jinjur? Why is Dorothy still running around like an outlaw? Why does Oz (what little we see of it in the night) look terrible? Shouldn’t it be a time of peace and prosperity? I am way too invested in this Oz B-plot.
  • Zelena traps Dorothy with a sleeping curse, and says that because Dorothy’s family is dead and she’s unmarried, there’s no one left who loves her. Um…what about Toto? Dorothy and Toto have gone through hell and high water for one another.
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