Well, my lovelies, today I will speak about an episode from Once Upon a Time: Darkness on the Edge of Town. I’ll admit, with how boring season 4A was for me, I was one step away from not watching this show… however, here I am. Now, if you haven’t seen the episode, I suggest you have a look over my little review later on. Just know that I recommend it and I’m curious to see how the story will unfold.
Looking back to the first time I watched an episode from this series, I recognize now the same feeling I got when I discovered it: we are urged to prepare for a new story, while we are made aware that there is so much that has already happened. I’m glad that we were offered scenes with characters we’ve grown to love. To me, the new season looks like a puzzle at the moment; important pieces were brought forth and put in their proper places, while others are yet to be uncovered. I hope we will not be disappointed with the final picture.
So what do we see in Darkness on the Edge of Town? New villains, for one. Scenes from the Enchanted Forest. I love those, my only complaint is that the transition between that world and this one could be smoother. We get to see Rumplestiltskin and the Queens of Darkness (Cruella, Ursula and Maleficent) plotting AND we learn a bit more about the Dark Curse and its origin. Tthe entire episode is basically a story told by Rumplestiltskin, his plans and his greatest wish. Obviously, certain aspects remain hidden; we wouldn’t be talking about the Dark One if he gave all of his secrets away. Speaking of him… when I saw the scene from many years ago, I was hoping to hear the imp’s voice (high-pitched, delivering lines as if everything’s a game, all with a dash of insanity). It didn’t happen. Who knows?! Maybe we’ll see that part of him in another episode.
What else? We are allowed to have a look at Mr Gold’s life outside of Storybrooke. We see Emma, Regina and Henry trying to find out who the Author is. It seems that now, more than ever, the emphasis is on the happy ending. Now, call me crazy, but while I do love happy endings and I hope that our beloved characters will get theirs, I feel that the stories themselves are more important than that final point. Unless, of course, the happy ending is actually the chance to BE happy, to love and hope and rise once more if you fall… then I can understand why everyone wants one.
Surprisingly enough, I loved the dynamics between Emma and Regina. And the way it was shown that the monster from the hat wasn’t after Regina before Rumplestiltskin speaks about that particular aspect. Also, I was beyond happy that this episode actually has proper scenes with Belle. What made me question the ideas for the series (again) was the friendship (?) between Belle and Hook. Seriously? This… whatever it’s supposed to be rubs me the wrong way and it looks fake, forced and out of character. One last point before we move on: Snow White threatening Cruella and Ursula. Is it wrong that I started laughing when that happened? I’m sorry, princess, you’ll have to do better than that.
I cannot finish this without having a look at my favourite couple, Rumplestiltskin and Belle (I’ll write an article just for them one of these days). The actors give their best when they bring the characters to life, but I was extremely curious to see what Robert Carlyle and Emilie de Ravin would do with their parts. I was not disappointed. Belle feels guilty and blames herself for not seeing that something wasn’t quite right with her husband’s behaviour. I can’t tell you how much I’d love it if we were shown more of how the weeks gone by affected her (though I doubt that will happen). And Robert Carlyle was brilliant, pushing forth different sides of Rumplestiltskin: the spinner, the Dark One (both still very much afraid, even if one hides it better than the other) and Mr Gold. I swear, that scene when he enters Storybrooke once more was impeccable. As someone who adores Rumbelle, I appreciate the fact that things have been set in motion for when they will meet again. Though I bet it will take some time before everything falls into place… and then the fans can fill in the blanks.
All in all, Darkness on the Edge of Town has a little something to offer to everybody. There’s humour, angst, love, hope, pain. It’s dark in all the right places and it has got a heartbreaking undertone. I was left with a lot of questions and a few guesses and, hopefully, the answers to “who is the Author?” and “who is the Sorcerer?” will be worth the wait. Oh, and… will we see the Chernabog again? That thing’s scary and it would be a pity not to have it appear in the series, at least in flashbacks. Have fun (re)watching the episode, my lovelies!
by Elena Atudosiei