Episode 612 “Murder Most Foul”
Written by Jane Espenson & Jerome Schwartz
Directed by Morgan Beggs
I really enjoyed this episode’s transformations, role reversal, and characteristic twist ending.
Okay, this whole Snow/David (Gennifer Goodwin/Josh Dallas) Ladyhawke subplot needs to come to an end. It was great for a while. It’s overstayed its usefulness. Somehow, the curse needs to be lifted. Leaving video messages for each other before trading consciousness, although romantic in the way that they do anything to make it work, has become tiresome. It’s past time to move on.
With that out of the way, the rest of the episode was pretty good. We got an excellent dramatic performance from Josh Dallas and a nice twist ending. With the Gideon plot somewhat sidestepped for this week, it made the two other story lines more presentable.
This is the second consecutive episode featuring August/Pinocchio (Eion Bailey). The circumstances are completely different in both. It almost feels like he was either being shoehorned in, or they’re setting him up for a major role in the last part of the season. I really hope it’s the latter. They’ve forced characters into stories rather oddly too many times over the course of the series. With the current story line getting ready to wrap up at the end of the season, I hope there are actually plans for Archie (Raphael Sbarge) and August, who have been appearing a bit more.
I’m intrigued at where they are going with the Robin Hood (Sean Maguire) subplot. At first it seemed a cheap way to reintroduce a dead character. But the idea that it’s clearly not the Robin they know makes for an interesting potential wild card. Taking a magic box from Regina’s (Lana Parilla) vault only deepens the mystery surrounding the new version. The previous incarnation of Robin of Locksley was a bit of a whiner. This one seems dangerous. And much more interesting. Especially when he’s trying to kill Keith (Wil Traval), aka the Sheriff of Nottingham.
Redemption arcs seem to work well on Once Upon A Time. The flashback to David’s father is no exception. Having been told that his father, Robert (David Cubitt), died a worthless drunk, seeing the opposite was quite refreshing. Being forced to sell one of his twin sons to Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) to become a son of and heir to the king in order to pay for medicine to save the other, Robert seemed like a coward. But when he risked his life to save his former son, turned prince, from Paradise Island and pleading with King George (Alan Dale) to allow him to take his son back showed heroism. And he gained sobriety in the process. Ordering Robert’s execution only made the king/Albert appear all that much worse.
But the highlight of the episode was David’s complete meltdown. Upon finding out about his father’s bravery and King George ordering his death because of it, he went to confront Albert at the mental hospital for a duel to the death. The fight was interesting to watch. The thing that got me though was that it was a knife fight, but wasn’t choreographed as a knife fight. It was more like a sword fight with baby swords. Killian (Colin O’Donoghue) broke up the fight and talked David down. The pirate had truly changed his ways. For David to have gone overboard and Killian to be the voice of reason was an interesting and refreshing change of pace. The hallucinations that David experienced of his father were a bit odd though.
Of course, there was that ending. King George’s men didn’t kill Robert. Pirates, led by Captain Hook, intercepted them. Killian killed Robert and then made it look like a drunken accident. So what happens when the word gets out what really happened? Killian just got David’s blessing to ask Emma to marry him. This could be … well, awkward.
I’m looking forward to seeing how Pinocchio plays into the final episodes. Please tell me he wasn’t just pointlessly shoehorned in. And please bring an end to that infernal sleeping spell! It worked for a while, but it’s run its course and now it needs to stop.
Once Upon a Time airs Sunday nights at 8/7c on ABC.