Time to show you the world of fairy tales, magic and drama as Once Upon A Time hits episode 5 “Street Rats”.
Going by the title you can take a guess whose the focal point in today’s ep. Yup it’s Aladdin and we explore what went on when he was named the savior, Jasmine and the evil Jafar.
During some periods we are given glimpses of life in Agrabah, the people live in fear of the royal guard and their brands of justice to street rats, all perpetrated by the new evil visor of the Sultan, an evil man by the name of Jafar.
He pretty much is what you remember in the Disney movie but more mean as he curses at the people, calling them petty “street rats” before turning some into rats. What stands out is that he’s not even made a genie and utilizes magic. Of course no one should be surprised given what we viewed in the beginning of the season with him.
Jasamine, who has snuck out of the palace it seems, finds Aladdin in the act of stealing some goods from the people who witnessed some being turned to rodents. She convinces him to help her stop Jafar’s evil that has corrupted her kingdom. What she’s looking for is the “Diamond in the Rough”.
Aladdin, being a tad bit more aware of the situation regarding Agrabah, is at first amused and jokes about the little princess stepping out of her comfort zone but in the end, you know he will follow her. And that place is the utopia we all know and ream about…that’s right it’s The Cave of Wonders!
Okay I was going to say Avalon, since I’m a big Arthurian fan but I have to keep this concise.
So whenever we see this duo in the past, they find said cave and have to get the “Diamond in the rough”, which is a saying but an actual diamond in this case.
But of course it’s not simple as Aladdin notices it’s booby trapped and uses quick thinking to disable it with a small golden statue, a reference to Abu as it were, and gets the diamond. Until a pillar almost squashes our heroes until surprisingly, Aladdin uses magic to destroy it and save their lives.
Yeah I’m not kidding, Aladdin used magic in this iteration and it’s all because that he is the savior. This adds something new in the act of being called “the savior” it’s a title passed on to one’s chosen by fate (more or less) and when it is established they are given magic as a way of protection from the darkness.
I for one thought that when it came to Emma being the savior and utilizing magic was being the union of a powerful love from Prince Charming and Snow White (with a dab of providence as well) but to think it was the title of being a savior that is the cause. I feel conflicted with it.
But on with this, when Aladdin realizes that Jasamine knew what would happen of him being the savior and being a weapon to fight Jafar, our hero is a little miffed mixed with disbelief but somewhat accepts it. Giving the “you’re our only hope” speech (somewhat) Jasmine leaves to tell her father the news.
Aladdin is still in awe until Jafar appears, in a batch of red smoke no less, to give him his praise along with a warning of the fates of saviors. Using a red bird, who isn’t Iago but I guess another homage to him, it shows him a glimpse of his future, he dies.
This leaves him shaken with Jafar giving him shears from the 3 fates, the ones from Greek mythology, that he could sever his fate of said savior if he cuts it. Not sure how you can cut fate but I guess there’s some invisible thread linking to a ball of fates in the Fates world in the ether?
Upon returning to the palace Jasmine sees her father playing with some toy figures, another shout out to the movie! Boy this is turning into a rip-roaring good time! She tries to tell her father about Jafar being the big bad before said skinny manipulator returns in a puff of smoke all dramatically and traps her in a hourglass as the sand starts pouring.
As she’s about to meet Saint Peter in the sky (not sure what religion she follows, sorry)
Aladdin arrives on a flying carpet in style, blasts her free and destroys Jafar’s staff that is controlling the sultan before he makes his escape.
Jasmine is delighted and relieved he appears as she was worried that he would be selfish and not help and Aladdin admits that he almost did but he had a friend waiting for him. There is romance in the air.
Later they go outside as Aladdin is going to help people, since he’s the savior and saves people in need to bring about their happy endings, which will mostly be in Agrabah and asks for the princess to come with him. They almost have a heated moment until she says that the capital needs her to set things right as “Jafar isn’t the one to make Agrabah like this, it happened before him and a friend pointed that out”, something she learned from Aladdin upon meeting him.
That’s where the past scenes take place but going by intel we saw in the beginning of the season and from Jasmine’s brief talk on the matter, Agrabah did fall but she doesn’t know why.
Those answers are revealed in the present Storybrooke as we see Emma chasing a red bird with Archie; she complains that even with talking with him her shaking spells still occur along with mentioning she still hasn’t told her family or Hook about her impending fate to die.
Soon she sees the Oracle from some episodes ago dead and a fleeing Jasamine. The princess trips (which is expected in this show) before being taken to the sheriff’s office where she’s interrogated by Emma and her dad.
With some callbacks to Ems “superpower” that hasn’t been said in a long while, Jasmine goes free as she had nothing to do with the oracle’s death and is surprised that Emma knows Alladin.
Not really know personally, just from the movie. You know “I can show you the world” kind of thing.
EQR makes her appearance to Archie to get info on the dreams that has plagued Emma and reveals she killed the oracle. Using magic to disguise herself as Archie and banish him to Zelena’s place, she goes about her business to get the info. Which she does and reveals to the fam as Archie to Emma’s surprise.
You know the drill, the fam jump over Emma like a pack of cards attacking a blond girl wearing a blue dress before she is able to calm them down and explain the why. Regina is shocked that she’s not in the vision of the alleged future before catching on that she could be the figure that kills Emma.
She’s rightfully stunned and takes sometime to gather her thoughts of what the future could bring.
Henry shares a moment with Jasmine as it’s brought up how the latter laments that she could have been the cause for Aladdin’s fate, she was the one to bring him to being the savior which Henry understands as he did the same thing.
Emma shares some words with Snow over hiding what she knew and though Snow states that she and David will always forgive her since she is their daughter, Hook has a right to be angry over the love of his life will or could die in the end.
We return to Regina as she continues to help Emma find Aladdin due to him being alive in Storybrooke and not dead as we believed. Making a potion that locates one’s savior’s magic to another the group wind up in a crypt.
Jasmine is shocked to discover that this place could be where her beloved is (they never made it offical, I’m just using that) and gets proof by finding a badge she gave him while he was still in Agrabah. The big group leave with Emma staying behind to gather her own thoughts that without Aladdin being alive, it means that he couldn’t avoid his fate.
Henry joins her and apologizes in his part of bringing her to Storybrooke to break the first curse but Emma puts his fears aside and states that he is the one to make her believe and found her family and that’s the best magic she could ever ask for (the shaking spells still make it hard for her to access it despite healing Cinderella previously).
That is until a figure appears and it’s Aladdin, alive and well and not so surprisingly, handsome with a mischievous smirk. He tells that after Agrabah fell he went to the Enchanted Forest where he was swept in the first curse (and the second one too I guess) and that Emma wouldn’t have been able to find him initially due to her work as the savior in the past couple of season to ever notice this place.
Emma wonders why he’s alive until she figures out that he used the shears that Jafar gave him all those years ago. He states that he’s the reason that Agrabah fell, due to his own cowardice of his fate and used them to cut his ties to being the savior. This explains the shaking spell in the beginning of the season that it did became too much for him to bear.
Emma and Henry give him some words of telling Jasamine he’s still alive due to her caring about him very much.
The potential couple meet and hug of course Aladdin has to tell her his reason. We don’t know what happens after that.
Emma and the fam meet up at Snow’s as she tells them about the shears. She wants no secrets between them as Aladdin didn’t tell his loved ones his troubles either and that they always find a third option. Snow and everyone rally happily as much later Hook and Emma are at the pier where the former gets rid of the shears.
Emma is happy that she can trust him and as she turns away Hook, not surprisingly since we need more drama and intrigue, it’s shown he still has the shears. It is apparent that he will not allow Emma to meet her fate of dying easily…but that’s for more episodes to happen to see if he will use them on a stalwart Emma to continue her journey as the savior to the bitter end.
Plot B’s story was about EQR and Zelena bonding. Evil Regi takes Archie hostage while she was disguised as him with an annoyed Z as her evil sister is using her place as a storage place for victims.
Archie tries psychoanalyzing her but Z wasn’t having that and doesn’t do a thing to help. Soon EQR returns as she states that her and Z need some sisterly bonding. With a warning of “if the baby dies, you die”, they vanish in a swirl of smoke to a mani-pedi.
Z is wondering how she can be on the straight and narrow but EQR tells her that she should embrace who she really is and to just be honest with her daughter. Show her daughter her ways to give her the choice of accepting her, something Evil Regi wishes she did with Henry when she raised him.
Returning refreshed Z takes her baby sister’s advice and turns Archie into his grasshopper form from when he’s in the Enchanted forest. And to make matters worse, the cage is located over Robin’s crib.
It seems the sisters will be causing some wicked-evil trouble on our heroes.
Street Rats is an episode I enjoyed more than last week’s episode. It’s sticking to the main crew, not taking any unnecessary routes with other characters and some good info of the savior mythos.
Granted I know this season is supposed to focus on other characters stories but we all know it will come back to Emma/Regina and the rest and not the rest of storybrooke characters.
For plot, characterization and progression of the episode I give this episode a 7 out of 10! I also liked the litter refs or homages to the Aladdin movie with presents spread throughout the episode.
I also enjoyed Aladdin’s portrayal as it really captured his personality and witty behavior along with Jasmine’s as well.
Let’s keep up this momentum!
Take care everyone!