This is the reason I watch Once Upon a Time. Tonight’s episode. “Quite Minds,” had all of the best elements the show has to offer, plus a twist I hated that I saw coming. (I’m getting better at predicting things that happen in this show.) Also, the CGI was ACTUALLY REALLY GOOD in this episode. It was a miracle to behold and one of the main causes for my rejoicing. I didn’t laugh at the setting once which is no easy feat when watching OUAT.
This episode was about about the return of Neal, the search for Rumplestiltskin, and the reminder that Henry is still on the show all mixed in with scenes that seem to be created specifically for people with Outlaw Queen tumblrs. This episode was so great because it mostly took place in the present day which is where all the good action takes place anyway. These flashbacks to the past, while occasionally important (like this week), are becoming less and less interesting. I liked seeing the whole “Kill the Witch” mob mentality of the people in Storybrooke as everyone tried to find Rumple so they could find out who the Witch is. (It’s like the classic “Bruce Wayne leaves Gotham the same time Batman does and the people of Gotham are none the wiser” thing…there’s ONE new person in town and NO ONE thinks she may be the Wicked Witch? Come on people.) So David and Emma are off leaving behind “the best tracker in town” Mary Margaret (who has had no role lately), Belle the researcher and her protector Hook. Regina is off on her own once more looking to see if the Witch left any traces of magic around. But guess who comes back? Neal! Like everyone else he can’t remember a thing and he asks to talk to Emma alone which is only worth mentioning because of THE LOOK Hook gives Emma. Emma runs off to find Rumple leaving Hook to take care of Neal in a pretty funny scene involving green jello. Neal decides he wants to join in on the fun and look for his dad and Hook obliges, not before giving Neal the most awkward hug ever. It’s even creepier once you remember their past together. Hook was with Neal’s mom and now he’s trying to get with Neal’s ex-gf. It’s NBD though in OUAT.
Neal of course runs into Emma and they have the requisite talk about Emma almost marrying a flying monkey and Neal almost marrying “an evil minion of (his) grandfather’s.” Michael Raymond-James’ face was priceless during this scene because you could tell he was really laughing at the ridiculousness of his lines. Also, Neal and Emma have THE TALK where basically Neal tells Emma he’s laying down his sword/totally okay with her getting with Hook “as long as she’s happy.” So that’s taken care of.
In Regina-land we have her royal highness meeting her One True Love by being almost killed with an arrow because that’s how these things work. The Adventures of Robin and Regina part 2 start with witty banter and her catching an arrow, but to them it seems like they’re meeting for the first time. Robin’s a total charmer from the start saying that if they had met before he’d totally remember unless “it was during that pesky missing year.” I loved seeing calm and cool Regina undone by a total hottie flirting with her. Don’t worry girl, we’ve all been there. They go off to the Wicked Witch’s house where more flirting ensues and not a whole lot of looking for clues about the baddie. Which is totally fine. Especially when Robin goes to break out the whisky…and his sleeve slips. Oops, his tattoo is revealed and Regina freaks out and leaves. How dare you flirt with/actually like your One True Love! To be continued…
Back in the past Belle, in the world’s cutest Fairy Tale adventuring costume, and Neal are trying to figure out how to bring back Rumple. They meet Lumiere the candlestick from Beauty and the Beast who is possibly the best CGI work this show has ever done. Seriously. He tells them about a key and a vault where the original Dark One was created, but of course he’s working for Zelena. Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain. Neal puts the key in the vault and a molten lava looking Rumple appears which is the episode’s second best CGI work to date. But as we all know: MAGIC COMES WITH A PRICE.
Come on people, after all this time still nothing? A life for a life, meaning Neal’s life for Rumple’s. Rumple absorbs Neal inside himself to protect him (weird) which is why he was going all nutty; there was only so much space inside his brain and he couldn’t hold it all. Emma uses her suddenly very strong magic to separate father and son and then the moment I have been expecting since Neal’s return happened: he dies. Not before getting a very long death soliloquy about how Rumple taught him the true meaning of sacrifice. The worst part is, Henry still doesn’t remember his father. (ALL THE TEARS.) Why did no one try to wake him up using True Love’s Kiss?? Guys, I think his death might be real this time. Someone has to die, right? All of Emma’s beaus end up dying on this show, I would have a serious complex if I was her. And while recently I may have prefered Hook, I do enjoy MRJ as an actor and the past Neal and Emma shared.
The episode ends, heartbreakingly with Emma sort of coming clean to Henry about why they’re in Maine. His father was in trouble and she didn’t get the person who killed him. But we all know Emma now has revenge in her heart and if we’ve learned anything from Regina, that’s a pretty powerful weapon. Also, MM was completely shocked to learn her new BFF was the Wicked Witch. This girl better have her baby soon, she has one major case of pregnancy brain.
I couldn’t even be that snarky about this episode because I loved it so much. It was one of the first episodes where I noticed the cinematography, especially near the end and the acting was on point. After last week’s lackluster episode this is just what we needed. I’m slightly worried about next week because the promo looked reallllllly campy with an “Evil vs. Wicked” showdown, but something tells me if anyone can pull it off it’s Lana Parrilla and Rebecca Mader.
- David knows how to use a cell phone now? I’m so impressed!
- Who has 2 doors leading to their bathroom? (Aka the scene when David and Emma bust down BOTH BR doors to find Zelena)
- Emma: A week ago Henry and I were playing video games and eating fruit roll-ups. Now I’m running through the woods looking for The Dark One and the Wicked Witch.
- Neal: (Brb sobbing)
- Belle: Something better then magic, books.
Because it reminded me of this: