Season 3, Episode 19 (A Curious Thing)
In less than forty-five minutes, the writers of Once Upon a Time managed to solve several mysteries and break a curse. There was very little time to breathe, but it was an exciting episode. It started with an attack by the Wicked Witch and only briefly slowed down for our heroes to come up with a plan – and for a continuation of the romantic interlude between Regina and Robin Hood – before revealing that Zelena is trying to guilt-trip Hook into disenchanting Emma with a threat to Henry.
In short, Henry got his memories back, the rest of the characters got their memories of the intervening year back, and (as the screen faded to black) Snow White and Prince Charming’s baby decided that it was time to make an entrance.
However, like most of the episodes written by the show’s creators, Regina was the centre of this story. She is the dynamic character of the show; while Zelena is wicked and the Charmings are insanely committed to being good, Regina is visibly struggling to do what is right while maintaining a façade of not caring. She grumbles about going along with the Charmings’ ideas, distrusts Robin Hood in the Enchanted Forest, makes time to kiss him in Storybrooke while the others are trying to make plans, and is still more bent on revenge – to the point that she is momentarily left behind while the Charmings go through a magic portal. Furthermore, she saves Prince Charming for Snow White (even with no guarantee that her magic would work) and proves once and for all that she really, genuinely loves Henry. Everyone is flabbergasted when it isn’t Emma who breaks the memory curse!
Next week promises some more backstory on Zelena’s rise to power before heading into the season finale, as well as the birth of Emma’s little brother or sister. Unfortunately, with Zelena desperate to get her hands on the baby and still intent on destroying Henry, the birth might not be a happy occasion.
Season 6, Episode 21 (Law & Boarder)
Based on the promos for next week and the fact that the following week is the season finale, Law & Boarderwas the last fun and lighthearted themed episode of the season. This week’s theme was extreme sports and the case in question was vintage Castle – good kid from a dark background tries to make things right, taking the law into his own hands, and pays the ultimate price. Viewers could follow the investigation and had plenty of suspects to play guessing games with. Even the one a viewer might have pegged as the killer (but isn’t) is still likely to be hiding something, giving said viewer the satisfied feeling of being somewhat right.
Mainly, this episode was a story about Castle and Beckett planning their wedding. It was fun and sweet: Beckett and Lanie discuss their dresses, Esposito and Ryan vie to be Castle’s best man, and Castle ultimately reveals his choice of best man that is very touching while still maintaining an air of comedy. It was also an episode about how competitive Castle and Beckett are when it comes to their Scrabble games. Even this competition was primarily one of sexual tension. Unlike in previous episodes, there was no inane joking or complaints about the impending nuptials. Everyone is excited.
Nothing about this story surprised me, but it was comforting to watch it so close to the end of the season. Next week, or the week after, it could all come crashing down – but for this week, we are left in bubbling anticipation of a joyful wedding.