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KingOfHearts

S02.E12: In the Name of the Brother

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Dr. Whale is tasked with mending Hook’s wounds and performing surgery on the stranger whose car crashed upon entering Storybrooke. But some of the townspeople fear that the stranger may have seen magic – which could expose their true identities to the world – and think that leaving him to die would be the best solution. Meanwhile, as Mr. Gold tries to reunite with a despondent Belle, Cora attempts to reunite with daughter Regina; and in the land that was, Victor desperately wants to prove to his disapproving father that he can, indeed, bring back the dead.

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On paper, I liked that they were still exploring stories of the supporting townspeople.  But this was another case where an actor who really impressed me on another show (Dr. Whale as Sark on "Alias") ended up becoming very bland in this one.  Was the writing to blame?  

Spoiler

What was the point with the Black and White world, if they were never going to revisit again?  

Why didn't they just wait for him to become stable, and then Emma could drive him and drop him off at a hospital in a nearby town?  Maybe keep him drugged up so he would be disoriented?  I suppose the "should we let him die" discussion was amusing, but it felt like there was a simple solution.

Spoiler

I guess without Regina on their side, and before Emma could learn magic, no one in town could do a simple memory spell?

Edited by Camera One
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While the flashback is pretty forgettable, I mostly like the episode:

- The show's supporting/minor cast is used, and reasonably well

- The characters have to confront a logistical issue related to the breaking of the curse, in the question of the need to protect SB from the rest of the world. 

-Though, again, the flashback itself doesn't do anything particularly interesting or surprising, it deepens Whale's character in the present somewhat, and leads to a nice scene with him and Ruby.

-Emma gets to be sensible in keeping with her greater knowledge of the real world in noting that in a normal town, a sheriff doesn't bring along her parents to question a car accident victim. Though, hilariously, she doesn't point out that before Greg got around to questioning why she was bringing her parents, he'd probably first want to know why she and her parents were the same age.

-It takes the time to have a little bit of fun with the absurdity of the situation. Snow asking "What happened when we were gone?" as people start dropping references to Whale being Frankenstein and Daniel returning from the dead, the final scene (before Rumple's entrance) when Henry reacts to Whale's identity, and then they're all "Yeah, Captain Hook and Rumplestiltskin had a fight, but Frankenstein patched things up," with a full awareness of how ridiculous this is.

-Snow's reason for wanting to find Regina being "Because I hate to think of the damage she and Cora could do together," as opposed to guilt. Also, Regina telling Cora that anyone would have believed the frame-job against her, rather than blaming them for having done so.  Less good was Ruby telling Whale that Regina had given them a chance to start over, but even that comment is only offensive in the context of last week's Regina apologetics. If the show otherwise consistently acknowledged Regina's evil, it wouldn't bother me.

-Cora does a good job manipulating Regina, in that she pulls out the same cards that Regina is using - more sincerely - with Henry. Of course Regina, who told Henry she didn't know how to love right, would respond to the same claim from Cora. Not that that justifies following Cora in whatever manner of dastardly plan she's about to propose, but it gives some credence to her initial willingness to listen.

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5 hours ago, Camera One said:
Spoiler

What was the point with the Black and White world, if they were never going to revisit again?  

 

Spoiler

Still ticked off Dorothy wasn't from there. Seriously - that would've been such a great homage and would've fit perfectly.

Edited by KingOfHearts
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5 hours ago, companionenvy said:

Cora does a good job manipulating Regina, in that she pulls out the same cards that Regina is using - more sincerely - with Henry. Of course Regina, who told Henry she didn't know how to love right, would respond to the same claim from Cora. Not that that justifies following Cora in whatever manner of dastardly plan she's about to propose, but it gives some credence to her initial willingness to listen.

I think the Cora manipulation and Regina falling into her lap works. It's not flip-flopping as much as it's a testament to Cora's control over Regina. She always had it, even after being banished to Wonderland. 

Spoiler

The show gets really blunt about it in the two times Cora visited Regina in later flashbacks.

It's not so much, "Bah! Being good sucks! I want to be evil again!" but more like, "I miss Henry, everyone hates me, and my controlling mother is back to making me feel like a child." It's natural for the character, no matter how frustrating.

Spoiler

It's after Joanna's death and Regina finding out Cora manipulated the Stable Boy events that I start to really side eye her. Here it's okay because she's in a moment of desperation and just started her redemption path. She acts more stupid as time goes on in 2B.

Edited by KingOfHearts

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To add to our logical leaps from the previous episode, how did Emma and the ambulance arrive so soon after the accident? I somehow doubt Rumple would have bothered calling 911. He'd already healed Belle, and as he said at the hospital, the guy had already seen him using magic, so it would be better if he just died. Belle was still baffled by what was going on, and Hook didn't have a cell phone. Did Greg's car have On-Star that automatically called for help when the airbag deployed? And wouldn't Emma have mentioned that as something to worry about, since their dispatchers would have been who contacted the nearest authorities for help, and that would mean that the outside world knew where the accident had happened?

Irony of the night: I'd just watched "The Trolley Problem" episode of The Good Place right before watching this one, so after seeing all the dilemmas about killing one person to save many, it was interesting seeing these characters wrestling with whether to let Greg die in order to protect the whole town.

Spoiler

In retrospect, maybe Rumple was right. It would have prevented a lot of problems, though I guess Tamara would have still come with Neal and a lot of the same things could have happened, only with her even more angry because of her boyfriend's death.

Otherwise, I found this one pretty dull. I liked the conversation between Whale and Ruby, but while I like the idea of Frankenstein and a werewolf getting together, he'd have needed a huge growth arc to be worthy of her because he was kind of a jerk and a sleaze. I liked the scene between Hook and Emma in the hospital.

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There were a couple of issues that this episode brought up that I liked. It would have been nice to see it explored a bit more though. Whale and Ruby were two characters that had some aspect of their lives improved by the curse. Not remembering having eaten your boyfriend or your role in your brother's death wasn't such a bad thing. It is not something to thank Regina for however. That there were positive consequences for some people doesn't make the curse a good thing. They could just as easily have taken a memory potion and experienced the same thing. 

I also liked the worry about outsiders discovering the town and the dilemma it created. Still unclear why Blue couldn't have cooked up a memory potion for the guy and then played his brief amnesia off as a consequence of his crash. Or why Blue or any other fairy couldn't just have healed the guy straight up.

I hated the "Her" on the mobile though. No one would ever list someone like that on their phone. Maybe an initial or "Baby" or some unidentifiable nickname, but "Her" was stupid. 

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It might be interesting to re-watch the deleted scene that came with this episode.  There was the amusing blue jello, and also a nervous Snow asking Emma if she would consider returning to the Enchanted Forest.

Edited by Camera One

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I admit, I have a soft spot for this episode, as basically pointless as it turns out to be. It reminds me of a time when this show actually kind of cared about its supporting cast, and I think it actually used them really well here. Obviously Whale/Victor, but also Ruby, Grumpy, etc. in ways that are in character, and build on stuff we already know, even if it rarely comes up. I like the backstory for Whale/Victor, and I think this is a pretty good version of Frankenstein. Him trying to resurrect his brother adds some personal stakes beyond For Science, while keeping the mad science theme, and having him be creepy, but basically well intentioned throughout. Well, beyond letting his zombie brother kill his dad. But that guy was a dick anyway. I also really love the interaction between him and Red, and the talk they have about how losing their memories wasn't all bad. Monster bonding! I so shipped it!

I also liked the dilemma of saving Greg or leaving him to die, to protect the town from outsiders. Its an interesting moral dilemma, and the whole "hide magic from the muggles, what happens if they find out?" stuff is always solid to mine stories from. Granted, I think a quick memory spell could do in a pinch, but whatever.

As much as I roll my eyes at Regina rolling over for Regina by the end of the day, I can actually understand her thinking here. Regina was in a bad place, was afraid of losing Henry, and while she knew how her mom is manipulating her, she still fell for it anyway, falling into old habits in a moment of weakness. I still think it shows a certain lack of character and strength in her, but it is at least something I can understand. 

Spoiler

Of course, like many early episodes, this episode is significantly sadder in retrospect, because most of it means absolutely nothing. We never see much of Whale after this (didnt he get turned into a monkey?) we never get closure for him and his brother, he and Ruby never really interacted again (and I was so sure they were setting them up to be a thing!), and the whole debate about Greg turns out to be a big shaggy dog story. Really, they should have just left Greg to die, it would have saved them a whole lot of problems, as he turns out to be a stupid cardboard villain who exists to make Regina look good even though she ruined HIS life, and was the start of the stupid "Home Office" stuff, one of the shows most embarrassing plots in the shows history.

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I love Whale and Ruby's talk and really wish they had ended up together. I liked when we used to see backstories of secondary characters. I like the moral dilemma with what to do with Greg. I do think they had plenty of easier ways. A simple forgetting spell or something surely the fairies could have mixed up something. 

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I really love the way Frankenstein's world was filmed, with the black and white and the dramatic camera angles, and the general Hammer Horror vibe of the costumes, acting, and sets. It made Rumple appearing in color, with colorful clothes and golden coins, stand out all the more. It really sold that this was a person from a totally different reality from the one we are seeing, and that this is someone important. I am also intrigued by Rumple nothing that the horror movie world has some magic left, if only a little. Maybe its that caped vampire in Transylvania? or the guy who keeps turning into a wolf and freaking out about it? Its so cool finally seeing another world that seems so different than Maine or the EF, even more so than Wonderland.

Spoiler

I am forever bitter we never got to see that world again. Not only do we get no closure with Victor/Whale, but I wanted to explore his world more. And, sadly, its really one of the last times in a LONG time we will find a world that actually seems to be really different from the EF, and from a truly different genre. From now until the Land Of Untold Stories, or that brief look at Cruellas Flapper world, its basically just medieval forest after medieval forest that, with some minor aesthetic differences, is basically the same vibe as the EF. Hell, they even stuck Tiana in some weird medieval New Orleans because they couldn't imagine writing anything else! 

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On 9/23/2018 at 1:24 AM, Camera One said:

It might be interesting to re-watch the deleted scene that came with this episode.  There was the amusing blue jello, and also a nervous Snow asking Emma if she would consider returning to the Enchanted Forest.

I miss Hook flirting with everything that moved. His spying Red made me chuckle.

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16 minutes ago, KingOfHearts said:

I miss Hook flirting with everything that moved. His spying Red made me chuckle.

Spoiler

I generally agree, but given what's coming, my reaction to his flirting with Snow in the next episode was very much "You do not want to do that. Trust me."

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