March 10, 2015

thechlorisComing back to Once Upon a Time to watch this episode wasn’t exactly an easy decision to make. So, last week we saw what happened in Darkness on the Edge of Town. This Sunday, a lot of people had their hearts broken. Oh, and word of advice… you might want to stay away from the darker side of the fandom for a while. That being said, let’s have a look at Unforgiven.

Right from the get-go, I want to say that I found it difficult to watch. I really enjoyed the last one and, although the basic idea for this one is quite interesting, the episode wasn’t captivating enough. The focus is on Maleficent, Snow White and Prince Charming and the secret that binds them since before Emma was born. The scenes from the Enchanted Forest show the couple and the Queens of Darkness trying to find a way to stop Regina from casting the dark curse. But they are not allowed access to that answer, not because of what they might have done, but because of what was yet to come. In Storybrooke, things are set in motion to bring Maleficent back to life. Now… whatever happened to “dead is dead”? This just goes to show again that magic does not exactly obey any rules, that people can bend them. Still, there has always been a price to pay. Let’s see what that will be this time.

With the trio reunited, it’s safe to say that things will not get any better for anyone. No, not even for the villains. You know what’s extremely interesting about this part of season four? The fact that they take what is the main theme of a fairytale (the fight between good and evil) and turn it inside out. It’s usually easy to speak about good and evil in theory, in stories. But what happens when you try to apply the same principles in concrete situations? You realize that there’s very little pure light or deep darkness. We are usually dealing with shades of grey. Villains, heroes… are they real? The idea is great, taking such a theme to see how it applies to human nature. It’s always fascinating to see a play of light and shadows (both literal and symbolic), but I can’t help but be a little apprehensive. It’s a delicate topic, one where generalizations have no place. My concern is: will it be handled properly?mr gold

I suppose that this episode reinforces the idea that true love is the greatest magic of all. However, as nice as that sounds, it is also presented as a weapon. Who wields it? What’s the purpose? Add this to what I mentioned before and we’ll see that calling yourself a hero or a villain does not necessarily make it true, that everybody makes mistakes and people can change if they are pushed to their limits. I’m looking at you, Emma. What many characters will have to learn is that withholding information, lying to those you care about, never ends well. Obviously, we can speak of intent. Parents want the best for their children and they will stop at nothing to get it. It’s what Snow White did… and so did Maleficent. Where IS Maleficent’s child anyway, who is the father?

Did anyone else feel the connection between Snow’s little monologue at the end of the episode and the title? Sometimes love is not enough, not when there is no trust to go with it. And it’s not easy to offer forgiveness, not even heroes can do that all the time. As Rumplestiltskin once said: it’s not something for nothing. Every action has consequences and yes, love and trust might be lost, but they can be won again. You can’t actually expect people to forgive just because they have a good heart. Those who wish to be forgiven should offer something in return. It might sound selfish, but it’s only fair. Because if nothing is done, nothing is gained.

And one last thing. Snow’s words are accompanied by glimpses of various characters, the emphasis falling on Mr. Gold, Belle and Will Scarlet. Trust is broken all around in the couple Rumplestiltskin and Belle. But even if I learnt to wait when it comes to this particular fandom, if I were to meet the writers, I’d ask them not to turn this part of the series into a bloody soap opera. Belle was crying and obviously missing Rumplestiltskin just last episode. And now she’s kissing another man, looking happy. I love seeing her smiling, however… call me crazy, but something’s not right here. Where’s the back-story? When did… this come to be? Again, something’s not right; it’s out of character for Belle (and maybe there’s a bit of magic involved, I don’t know) and I almost forgot about Will until now.

Of course, there’s also the possibility of her feeling so hurt that she gave up, but things still don’t add up. Viewers will interpret this unforgiven trust elitereparticular scene in many ways. For me, it is not the best decision the writers could have made. Sorry, that’s useless drama that will hurt both Rumplestiltskin and Belle once more. Why isn’t she given a true friend, for instance? Or a believable way for her to move on and grow. The problems go back to season three. They’re not even complex anymore, they’re just… tangled, messy since no one actually bothered to try to solve them. Let’s see how that goes from this point forth. Until next time!

Image source: first and second – The Chloris; third – eLitere.ro

by Elena Atudosiei

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5 Responses to Unforgiven

  1. Mihaela on March 15, 2015 at 11:16 am

    I have so many questions after watching this episode. Maleficent pregnant…who would have thought it? And the Belle and Will Scarlet thing is unrealistic seeing the fact that according to “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland”, Will doesn’t have a heart for some time now, since Anastasia/The Red Queen left him. So…as you said, it’s pointless and tangled and doesn’t make sense with what they already build up. It just mixed up in a big pile of mess.

    • Elena Atudosiei on March 15, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      You know what also gets on my nerves? The fact that the writers try to make it seem as if Belle is strong only now, wil Will in the picture. Seriously? She was stronger than many other characters since “Skin Deep”. I stand by my opinion, this relationship or whatever it is with Will is a pointless adition and it doesn’t show any development in Belle’s character. Or in Rumple’s, now that I think about it.

  2. Dana on March 16, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Wonderful article that is eloquent in putting many fans sentiments into words. I had read that the Belle character wasn’t originally included in the fabric of the story, but she was brought back because the fans were captivated by their story, and by her horrifying captivity. Now, having brought her into the story, the writers have worked diligently to keep her and Rumpel apart. Perhaps it was always their intention that he remain a villain through to the end, but they are selling this particular arc short at every turn, when they could be giving us a richer story of overcoming one’s demons, or of showing that some people never will be able to do so. The current storyline cheapens Belle’s former convictions that she will always fight for her love, an incredibly short-lived declaration given how much time they’ve actually been allowed to be together.

    • Elena Atudosiei on March 16, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      Thank you! There are a few more articles I want to write about “Once Upon a Time”. One will obviously be about “Enter the Dragon” and another about my favourite couple and the reason I actually started watching the show: Rumplestiltskin and Belle. I heard about Belle’s character and how she was supposed to appear in only one episode and I am thrilled that something like that didn’t happen. Once that decision was made, the plot should have been more carefully planned. I don’t know what’s Emilie de Ravin’s opinion on how Belle is presented now, but I would really love to see some real growth in her. I love Belle, she’s one of my favourite characters. And so is the Dark One, with everything Robert Carlyle offered us. I’m disappointed that the writers don’t see the huge potential of this couple and of these actors. Even as villain and hero, the dynamics could be fantastic. As individuals, as a couple, as archetypes maybe… everything should have been better handled since two seasons ago. The same goes for other characters. I get the feeling that the series is one moment about good vs evil and the next about grey areas. I know that we can have both themes, but they’re handled poorly. The show isn’t what it used to be, unfortunately. Especially because, as you pointed out, it cheapens feelings and convictions. More in future articles. There is so much to say…

  3. Enter the Dragon | eLitere on March 18, 2015 at 9:54 am

    […] Unforgiven March 10, 2015 […]

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