Subtext Recap: Once Upon a Time 2.18, 2.19 & 2.20

Three weeks behind on Once Upon a Time recaps, which means:

a) the subtext has been painfully non-existent
b) the show has been so painful, I don’t want to relive it
c) I’ve busy with more important things
d) all of the above

Answer: d, but mostly a (if there had been something truly worth my while, I would have found some time)

As it is, though, I have been rather bleh in my Once viewing lately, even considering the ‘stop watching and catch it on the flip-side’ viewing technique, knowing the entire time there will come a scene in these last few episodes that will suck me right back in.

So, in the hopes that just that scene is on its way, like tomorrow, I realized I should catch up on subtext (or lack thereof) ‘caps.

As usual, spoilers…

2.18 – Selfless, Brave and True

An August-centric episode, in which I realize, yet again, that I truly like only a few characters on this show, and August is one of them.

Before we get to the main event, though, a few things that don’t happen:

1 – A woman who just attempted to kill your mother runs into her at the door of a diner you’re sitting in, and you just sit there and wait for your cue. In fact, you wouldn’t even disregard the entrance of said deadly foe, whether your mother was there yet or not. I get not wanting a lot of set changes for production purposes, but for plot purposes, let’s stop pretending master bounty hunter and lie detector, Emma Swan, doesn’t notice anything happening around her until the bell on Granny’s door sounds. For the second time.

But the “blackened sole” line was killer, so bully for the comedy. It’s much better when it’s intentional.

2 – A woman meets a man in a bar, and leaves the wad of money she just showed him in his possession. Yeah, that’s a two-fold ‘what the fuck?’ right there.

3 – A woman recognizes a man she had one of her only real human connections with in 28 years and threatens him within two minutes. Evil queen or not, no.

So, after zero subtext or even interaction, despite them being in the same fuckin’ scene, August makes it back to Storybrooke and gets reverted back to a young boy and bygone fashion sense. At which point, the girl in me who wants to actually like the show she spends so much time on thinks, “Really, they just got rid of one of the few characters I care about,” and the shipper in me thinks, “One suitor down.”

2.19 – Lacey

As previously discussed, this show has been character assassinating all season. So, at this point, it’s kind of like, “Eh, whatever.” But, damn. While Belle’s transformation into Lacey actually gave her something to do, I’m not sure it’s anything I’m gonna want to watch her do.

Bye bye another character I like.

Also, how proactive of Regina to start serving as acting mayor again, and how understanding of the noble-hearted citizens of Storybrooke to just not give a good goddamn.

Continuity, the other white meat.

On a slightly better note, Emma and Regina share a scene in which they actually notice each other. In which they discuss the dynamics of their family. And Regina wants Emma to explain why she didn’t tell her that she has new competition in town in the form of Henry’s father. And Emma tells her she was going to tell her, but she was busy keeping from getting dead at Regina’s hands. And, while Regina doesn’t look apologetic exactly, she does seem to respect the explanation, and she doesn’t tear out Emma’s heart either.

Then, Regina wants to know why Neal’s there, and Emma’s all “Relax. Dude’s just here to hang with Henry,” as if it’s not Henry Regina is concerned about. Basically, projecting her own queen love and hoping it comes back at her. Then, she gives Regina some sincere advice, hoping they can keep their not-so-happy-but-still-destined family together.

Also, the scene was on benches. Which is awesome. And I love that Emma never looks frightened of Regina when she approaches, like “Bitch please, you ain’t gonna do nothin’.”

2.20 – The Evil Queen

Ah, meat, where have you been? You tasted so good in this episode.

Subtext? Not so much.

Everything that makes this show watchable? Word.

The truth as I see it –

Regina is the soul of this show.

Emma and Henry are the heart.

All three of them should be in every episode, or I don’t know why I’m watching.

The scenes between Regina and Snow were amazing. And, seriously, how can I love Snow so, and be so ready for Mary Margaret to leave my screen whenever she appears on it?

Emma and Henry were actually fun. What a welcome relief. Until, of course, after referring to Regina as Mom, he was perfectly ready to dump her to live in a castle with Emma and Neal in the Enchanted Forest. How quaint, and biological-family-advocating.

Also, Regina wants love. Regina wants family. Regina wants forgiveness. Regina wants to be a hero.

Mostly this, though –

“Why would you even tell me this?”

“Because I don’t have anyone else to talk to.”


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