After several weeks off, Once Upon A Time returns with an episode that desperately wants to channel Twin Peaks. Unfortunately the ABC show doesn’t seem to grasp who its audience is. The result is a hilariously inept episode that wants to move some core cast members in a new direction and instead reiterates how far the show has fallen.
Let’s bitch it out…Remember when the Rumple (Robert Carlyle) episodes were the strongest ones of the series? That seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it? With the hilarious trainwreck that is ‘Lacey,’ it’s more certain than ever that Once Upon A Time has lost its way.
I’d point to the moment Belle (Emilie DeRavin) is introduced as the downfall for Rumpelstiltskin. At the time, the attempt to humanize “the beast” was a brilliant reversal of expectations, but each subsequent appearance of Belle has proved more and more damaging. She’s sapped Rumple of his agency and his menace – so that every subsequent Rumple episode afterwards focused solely on his attempt to win (back) Belle. This problem has been exacerbated since Belle lost her memory as we’ve been forced to repeatedly suffer through scenes of DeRavin trying to play amnesiac and Carlyle trying to look like he’s not far better than this material. Neither is successful.
‘Lacey’ wants to be a set-up episode: it’s the moment that Belle’s love for the beast goes wrong by encouraging him to embrace his murderous intentions so that he can return to the dark side. If S2 has been building to a conflict, it has been between him and Regina (Lana Parrilla) as the return of MAGIQUE! to Storybrooke has devolved into the two adversaries playing trying to one up each other all season long. The trouble is that is it laughably executed: not only is DeRavin awful (as usual), but the introduction of a shady club and a lecherous suitor (the groanworthy Sheriff of Nottingham) seems to be evoking Twin Peaks. Where’s Lara Flynn Boyle’s Donna? Is The Rabbit Hole another name for One Eyed Jack’s? Should Gold and ‘Lacey’ have ordered coffee and cherry pie at Granny’s on their date?
All I can say is that had the show fully embraced its homage and delved deeper into the crazy instead of silly showcasing Belle turn to the PG rated whore-y side, ‘Lacey’ might’ve actually been a bit of fun.
Instead it’s just a trial. A groan-worthy, pitiful trial.
- Why, oh why, can’t The Rabbit Hole be a strip joint?! That name absolutely screams single bill establishment. Considering the Fairy Tale Land scenes feature Robin Hood (Miranda‘s Tom Ellis) being tortured and skinned alive, why can’t the show simply embrace Lacey as the lapdance queen of Storybrooke? Embrace the sleaze, Once Upon A Time
- What the eff is going on with Emma’s (Jennifer Morrison) hat? She traded off her collection of hideous leather jackets for a hat with a literal feather in its cap? Ugh – barf
- I love the bored look on Regina’s face when Emma blathers on about fighting to protect her family. Not only is this how I feel whenever Emma speaks, it says a great deal about their relationship that Regina won’t even pretend to care about what Emma says
- Also on the Regina front, I love how she’s back to lurking in the shadows like a stock villain. Like she has nothing better to do than wait in dark alleys for people to go driving by?
- Tonight’s green screen of death is brought to you by the scene in the library between Rumple and Belle. Memo to ABC: Moonlight and cheapo special effects do not mix. On the flip side, the yellow brick road is stronger. Good to know that Once Upon A Time is interested in r*ping and pillaging that classic in the near future
- In terms of woh-woh intrigue, the mysterious team of Greg (Ethan Embry) and Tamara (Sonequa Martin-Green) have brought none other than Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) back to Storybrooke. Ohhh…no one saw that coming! (By which I mean: everyone saw that coming)
- Finally, the opening scene of Gold turning Henry (Jared Gilmore) into stone and smashing him is like my dream come true. How mean of the show to tease us with this tantalizing idea only to reveal it’s a fantasy. So cruel!
What did you think of ‘Lacey’: one of the most laughable episodes of the second season or am I being too mean? Do you think Emilie DeRavin is well suited to this new alter-ego? Do you still like the Rumple episodes? Are you excited to see the show tackle The Wizard Of Oz? And which showdown are you more excited for: Regina vs Rumple or Greg/Tamara vs Storybrooke? Comment away below
Once Upon A Time airs Sundays at 8pm EST on ABC