Episode 2.08 “Into the Deep”
[photos: Jack Rowand/ABC]
So, here we are, back with a new episode of Once Upon a Time, and they finally go there. Zombies.
Truth be told, I wasn’t looking forward to this episode after seeing the previews. Zombies? Really? But I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at the restraint with which the writers used the undead, having them basically in about four scenes where they’re moving somewhat normally while they chase Team Snow through the forest.
This week, the goal is to get the one thing that will stop Cora before she gets her hands on the compass that will allow her to cross over into Storybrooke. Snow and Company have said compass, having left Hook up the beanstalk without a paddle, so to speak. When he finally manages to extricate himself from the giant’s lair (still think Jorge Garcia was wasted for that…), Cora tells him she has no need of him anymore because he failed. So of course, Hook being Hook, he’s got her number and figures out a way to get back in her good graces by scheming to get the compass back.
Meanwhile, the Merry Maids have figured out if they can communicate with Henry, they can hatch a plan to stop Cora using information from Rumpelstiltskin. Of course, this puts Henry and Aurora at risk, with the whole “room on fire” thing, but they’re willing to make a go of it to save lives. Aurora, especially, feels like she owes it to Phillip to try to help others. Mulan, is not convinced, and this leads to an interesting undercurrent of distrust that moves through the entire episode.
Of course, everything gets run off the rails when Team Zombie attacks! (no, this is not The Walking Dead recap. That’s over here…) Aurora manages to get herself captured. Oops.
Henry gets the skinny from Gold: there’s a bottle of squid ink in his cell, which was the ink used in the quill that Cinderella & Company used to capture him. Only Henry doesn’t get to pass that along, because Aurora gets snatched away during the undead scramble. This sudden trauma in the netherworld has its physical effects, burning Henry enough that Charming won’t let him go back under, but instead insists that he be put under a sleeping curse so he can connect with Snow on the other side.
Naturally, things don’t go according to plan. Yes, Charming gives Snow the intel, but his plan for her to wake him with True Love’s Kiss doesn’t take into account that they’re dreaming and not really together. Oops.
Props to Ginnifer Goodwin for pulling out all the stops when Snow panics. This royal princess who’s been so self-assured and in control this whole time, because she’s in her world, now loses it completely at the notion that her husband is under a sleeping curse. Goodwin deserves an Emmy nod, I still think.
So, the plan is to go get Rumpelstiltskin’s ink, freeze Cora, steal the wardrobe ashes and get home. Wait. Where’s Mulan? And the compass?
The other end of that trade, Aurora, is defiant — “Charming, to the last,” as Tarkin once said. Cora will use her to get the compass, but Hook manages to sneak in and let Aurora escape. Needless to say, Cora’s none too happy about this, but wait! Hook has a surprise for her.
[BIG SPOILER HERE]
Somehow (exactly how?) Hook has managed to pull out Aurora’s heart. So when Aurora gets back with the Merry Maids, she’s not the one speaking… it’s Cora on the other end of the line!
(But someone’s going to have to ‘splain to me just how Hook — who has no magic — managed to do something that takes a lot of magic…)