Sunday, November 11, 2012

'Once Upon a Time' Review - 2.07 Child of the Moon

        On the newest episode of ABC's Once Upon a Time, Ruby's fear of turning into a wolf during the first curse-free full moon is confirmed when one of the town's residents is viciously murdered; Decker (Alan Dale) threatens to expose David as a shepherd and not fit to run the town as sheriff; Leroy stumbles upon some treasure in the Storybrooke mine; and, in the fairytale land that was, Red Riding Hood meets Anita (Annabeth Gish), a charismatic and mysterious leader of a pack of humans who also turn into wolves.

        This week's episode was built around the idea of controlling the inner turmoil of various characters. Anita teaching her daughter how to control and accept the wolf inside her. Ruby worrying about changing and then standing up to those who she had wronged. Henry figuring out how to control the dream world he keeps falling in to. It is a very strong thematic theme that for the most part is executed well even though the hour suffers from predictable plotting.
        After the first two acts, it was really easy to deduce what would next in each story and the hour did stray too far from those guesses. I figured that Spencer was the man behind everything, Snow would "ruin" the life Red was living and several people would discover the means of communication between Aurora and Henry. I was only really shocked by there not being some final act twist revealing that Anita wasn't really Red's mother and thusly alleviating the negative scope set on Granny throughout the flashbacks. Spencer throwing the hat in the fire also surprised me (even though it probably shouldn't have).
        Ruby/Red has always been a fan favorite character and last season's reveal that she was also the wolf was probably the series strongest reinvention of a classic fairytale. This episode was great return to form (after last week's disaster) to the sense of fun and camp. Yes, people can argue that plots and dialog can sometimes be predictable and cliche but the story is sold by these actors who just give everything.
        The bridge between Henry and Aurora was a very compelling discovery during last week's outing and here it is nice to see some quick plot movement. This plot has helped Henry and Aurora seem more important to the overall season two narrative as well as giving them something to do that doesn't completely annoy me. If the show continues to build onto this thread, I am very hopeful that the season's biggest issue will soon be alleviate - very separate hours that heavily limit which characters appear and which don't. I'm still looking for that one hour where the show can balance the events happening in Storybrooke with the ones currently happening in the Enchanted Forest. The sooner these worlds come together the better this season will become. Because right now, two distinct worlds and stories is slowly bringing this series down.

So what did everyone think of the episode? Did you find the hour predictable? How soon until Henry and Aurora start communicating across the worlds? Share your thoughts in the comments.