Today’s television review is the latest episode of Once Upon A Time, The Other Shoe.
Central character this week revolves around Cinderella, someone we have seen sporadically in this series; one time in season one where she was introduced and in season 4 for a brief appearance.
It is explained that there is more to Cinderella’s tale than we know as Emma, Henry and Hook are at Granny’s diner trying to sort out all the new residents that come from “The Land of Untold Stories” before Ashley, Cinderella’s name in this world, comes in with her daughter, who is a toddler now. When Henry and Emma go to see another person at the diner leaving Ashley and Hook, the former asks him to watch her daughter for a second as she goes over the names to see who has a baby that she can look after (she runs a daycare apparently).
She is surprised coming across some information and we soon learn a little later from her husband, Thomas that one of her sisters, Clorinda, has come back and his rifle is missing. Emma speaks for all of us when she says “Do you think Cinderella is going to kill her step sister?” to which Thomas states that not all wounds go away.
Soon the untold tale is explored.
During the past Cinderella’s tale is expanded more in depth before the ball where we see her being treated badly by her stepmother and two stepsisters. Word comes to them about a ball being held by the Prince’s footman with them treating him poorly.
Gus, the little mouse, offers some solace to her as she weeps and directs her to a small box her mother
The tale goes as told when she gets the confidence to say if she can go to the ball but Lady Tremaine (the stepmother) being very spiteful demoralizes her and has one of her daughters burn the dress along with the name “Cinderella” from the cinder where the dress was burned and Ella, her name, and combining the two.
If you watched season one than you know Rumple (The Dark One) was the one to grant Cinderella her ball gown and glass slippers after he killed Cinderella’s actual godmother (the wand was the only thing left of her mind you and unknown to our heroine).
At the ball Cinderella is in awe at what she sees and bumps into Snow White, who appears rather big (I think Ginnifer Goodwin could have been pregnant at this time or post baby), and gives her a hint of the prince looking at her.
The couple soon have their dance and talk until he has to step away from the moment. That’s when Tremaine makes her move and like a vulture explains how the prince only danced with her out of pity and to make fun of her. Cinderella doesn’t believe it at first but see’s him giving a rose to one of the sisters which causes her to flee in tears and drop one of her glass shoes (which is expected).
We later are told through some explanation that as Cinderella is about to go into the land of untold (unfinished, whatever) stories Clorinda comes and stops her. She soon reveals that she actually isn’t as cruel or heartless as she gave off; she was nice and putting on an act due to her mother and that she was in love with the footman that they mocked earlier. This surprises Cinderella but is happy for her. Clorinda says that she too was trapped by her mother’s cruelty and they were both prisoners but with this chance of escaping she could have her happily ever after. Cinderella soon gives her a chance and gives her the key to go and live her life.
Of course nothing ever goes as planned when Tremaine goes to Cinderella, scorns her, finds out what happened, smashes the shoe and leaves to stop her daugher. Soon Snow and Prince Thomas tries to find Cinderella which they do with Snow’s tracking and a little hint from the mouse Gus and boom the happily ever happen occurs…or so we think as there is more.
Before she could reap the benefits of a HEA (happily ever after), she goes and tries to warn Clorinda and her love but is met with a furious lady Tremaine as she can’t comprehend why the daugher she gave birth to would pick some lesser known male and the fact that Cinderella, the one she has scorned, found love. Seeing the key and taking some pleasure she stabs Clorinda’s boyfriend with her cane, grabs her daughter and soon goes into the world of untold stories to freeze her life and preventing the story from going forward.
All this comes to pass as back in the present Emma uses one of Ashley’s shoes to locate her with Henry and Hook as they soon find out that there was some misconception with “Cinderella” tale as she claims that she was the “evil” sister in her tale that she betrayed her sister unintentionally before running away.
Soon Evil Regina shows up and states her plan to undo all the good Emma has done as the savior and once again pointing that untold stories will play out as they should and uses magic to take her “off the chessboard” (move her to the outskirts of town).
With some quick thinking from Henry of getting the whereabouts of Clorinda.
We soon see the reunion of Cinderella and Clorinda as they have a little bit of strife with the former’s alleged betrayal (which it really wasn’t) until Cinderella gives her news. It’s revealed that Clorinda’s boyfriend didn’t “die” in the Enchanted forest and was transported to Storybrooke due to the first curse, living on a farm, to the shock of Clorinda.
As the wicked stepmother (need to keep things fresh) shows up with the farmboy and is about to get revenge on her daughter about “being the one to be taken care of this time around” Cinderella tries curving the anger but is met with a cane to the stomach as Emma and the others come. Bleeding out this could be where Cinderella’s tale really leads, with her death but thanks to encouragement from Henry given Emma can’t use her magic due to her own issues at the moment, the savior is able to save Ashley while Trasimene is soon given to Grumpy to work off her bad deeds.
Some other plots are shown in this episode, being one of Emma dealing with her inability to use her magic when she has a “trembling” spell (her hands shake) over vision she worries over and discuss to Jiminy (the human turned cricket turned human in this world). Through this interaction we learn via Grumpy that Dopey got a masters and they broke his “being turned into a tree” curse a long while ago which surprises Emma. This shows that while the main adventure the Charmings and fam go through on the show that other untold tales of what transpires in Storybrooke occur that the residents don’t always need a savior to help or save them.
During what happens with Cinderella, Emma can’t use her magic at crucial moments which is brought to Henry and Hook’s attention and thanks to some encouragement via the duo she is able to make it work in the end. Though when she isn’t worried over the trembling she can utilize her magic just fine, example when she conjured Ashley’s shoe and used a location spell.
Evil Queen Regina makes her appearance known in some ways as being in contact with Hyde and spicing up his jail cell (giving him a luxurious suite) along with having an apparent reaction on Henry when she states that she is much his mother as her other self is, raising him and such. EQR also states that she is going to undo all the good Emma has done and letting the untold stories of everyone play out. She also gives us another hint when it comes a savior always saving someone and without that, what does that make Emma.
Another plot goes into David trying to find out what really happened to his father, making a deal with Gold, who of course needs a price. David gets what he wants and needs to deliver a tape to Belle, who is staying on Hook’s ship (and apparently snores). David and Belle share a nice conversation over the foundation of fathers and sons. Belle shows being wise figuring out that David had to do to get his info. At first she’s apprehensive with getting a tape but by the end she plays it and it’s Gold saying a nursery rhyme he likes to his unborn son.
One other minor plot revolves around Snow figuring out that she wants to go back to teaching and having Frankenstein and Jekyll trying to discover a way to make a potion/medicine to vanish the evil queen once and for all. Along the way making the science bromance into a way for a kind of new school Snow and Regina might be doing to make Storybrooke “normal” and not just big adventures that always seem to take them away from their child and friends every season. Whether this plays out remains to be seen.
I felt the Cinderella story intriguing with adding some little crumbs for us to see that it’s not exactly what we were told though the sister felt rather pushed into the storyline. It must have been the performance because when she states that Ashley should help them it sounded pushy which I didn’t like.
Emma continuing to go through the motions was okay since this is episode 3 and will continue being a factor. I also forgot to mention she finally ask Hook to move in with her which is a big step since Hook mentioned to Ashley early in the episode that they were “going slow…too slow” and it’s always good to see the Emma/Hook coupling going strong.
David’s storyline was okay but not really needed nor the Gold angle with Belle for this story. The show shouldn’t divide it’s characters plots in little snippets and go with the main one of the story and one small plot or two and that’s it.
Zelena is seen briefly which is always a treat. You notice that she’s got some booty? Damn it’s nice!
There was some nice references from this Cinderella centered plot from seeing Gus again in mouse and human form, it’s sad that he died in season one though. Along with the quote Emma offered to Ashley about punching back when the going got rough (me paraphrasing) so it’s a bonus.
For the episode plot progression, characterization, scenes and imagery I’ll give this one a 6.5 out of 10.
Till next time!