Episode 603 “The Other Shoe”
Written by Jane Espenson & Jerome Schwartz
Directed by Steve Pearlman
In this episode, there were a glass slipper, a magic key, and a talking mouse!
In flashback, a girl named Ella (Jessy Schram) was slaving away for her wicked stepmother, Lady Tremaine (Lisa Banes), and stepsisters. An invite from the prince to a ball arrived by the prince’s footman, Jacob (Max Lloyd-Jones). Ella asked to go along stating that she had her own gown. One of the stepsisters, Clorinda (Mekenna Melvin), tossed the gown into the furnace, leaving it blackened. Then, in one of the most creative explanations for the character name, referred to Ella’s gown being turned to cinders and called her … wait for it … Cinderella!
A key belonging to her mother fell out, a key to the Land of Untold Stories. She explained to her dormouse friend, Gus, that she didn’t believe in magic like the key is supposed to be. But yet she believes in talking mice. Riiight.
At the ball, Ella manages to show up, and she meets Snow (Gennifer Goodwin) for the first time. It’s strange how many stories show up and already have a history with our intrepid heroes. As episode writer Jane Espenson told me via Twitter, they’ve found that the audience responds better when our beloved heroes are involved. But at a certain point, at least to me, it starts becoming a bit unbelievable, even for a fairy tale. Couldn’t a protagonist just have a Save The Cat moment?
She then met Prince Thomas (Tim Phillips) and a spark was kindled. The then told her to stay where she was since he had to go do something. Then Lady Tremaine took the opportunity to tell Ella that Prince Thomas was actually making fun of her. So she looked for where the prince was and found her giving a rose to Clorinda. So she ran away and left one of her glass slippers.
That night, Ella was going to use the key to escape to the Land of Untold Stories when Clorinda stopped her. The prince gave her the rose since she was going to marry Jacob, in spite of Lady Tremaine’s preferences. Clorinda ran off to join up with Jacob. Tremaine used the remaining glass slipper as a bargaining tool to force Ella to reveal where Clorinda was going. She gave in, and the wicked stepmother dropped and shattered the slipper anyway. That’s what always got me about Cinderella. She tends to end up with magical (of some sort) outfits, but the shoes are always fragile.
Tremaine locked Ella up and went to go find Clorinda and Jacob. Snow and Prince Thomas showed up at the door. Gus got out and, in mouse talk, told Snow (who apparently is fluent in Mouseish) about Ella being locked up. (Perhaps Dr. Dolittle should show up at some point, with a guest appearance by Lassie.) So they got her out and went to stop Tremaine, who stabbed Jacob, wounded Clorinda, and used the key to take her and Clorinda to the Land of Untold Stories.
In Storybrooke, Regina (Lana Parrilla), Snow, and David (Josh Dallas) paid a visit to Mr. Hyde (one of the few characters who didn’t have a past relationship with any of our intrepid heroes) with Regina’s favorite food in order to try to get him to talk. But they found that the Evil Queen (also Lana Parrilla) had beat them there. He had luxurious furniture and a gourmet meal spread. The only way he would be willing to talk is if they removed the cuffs on him.
At Granny’s Diner, Ashley (formerly Ella) told Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), and Henry (Jared Gilmore) that she was happy being able to help assimilate the children from the Land of Untold Stories into Storybrooke. Then after Emma visited Archie (Raphael Sbarge) about her visions (a character which has been extremely underutilized for way too long), Sean (formerly Prince Thomas) informed her that Ashley just left with a shotgun. Afraid that she might be going after her stepmother, Emma got Hook and Henry and began looking for her.
They caught up with her only to find out she was looking for Clorinda since she was worried about her. As she got away, the Evil Queen showed up and sent them off to the “chessboard” (some deserted road). Henry then used the book to find out where to go.
Ashley found Clorinda in a barn, injured. She put the gun down to check on her. Then she found out the injury was being faked, and Tremaine turned the gun on her. Clorinda discovered that Jacob was still alive, and the two were reunited. Then Ema, Hook, and Henry stopped Tremaine from shooting any of them. So Tremaine simply used her cane and stabbed Ashley. Henry convinced Emma that she could use her magic to heal her. She did. And Tremaine was arrested and forced to clean up trash under Grumpy’s (Lee Arenberg) supervision.
David visited Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) who made a deal with him. Gold would tell him more about how his father died. All he had to do was deliver a message to Belle (Emilie de Ravin). So he took the message to Belle, telling her about the deal. He would find out that his father was murdered in a cart accident. Belle listened to the cassette tape from Gold. That’s right. The man of magic is using ’80s technology.
Snow came up with a plan to help Dr. Jekyll (Hank Harris) stop the Evil Queen and Mr. Hyde (Sam Witwer). They went to Dr. Whale’s (David Anders) lab in his garage. But not before the Evil Queen freed Hyde and the two walked away. Now Frankenstein and Jekyll will be working together. Let that sink in.
The heavy use of new characters intertwining with our intrepid heroes isn’t quite getting old, but is starting to lost believability. Still a pretty decent episode though.
Once Upon a Time airs Sunday nights at 8/7c on ABC.