I really enjoyed this one, and think it was the perfect follow-up to last week’s setup-heavy episode. Not only did it move the plot along quite nicely (especially the Author storyline), it also had some of the great character moments (looking at you, Hook and Emma), that really set this show apart. So let’s dive into (pun intended) “Poor Unfortunate Soul”.
1. I thought the way that Ursula’s history was similar to the Little Mermaid’s was really, really interesting. Now, her hatred of Ariel, a girl with a beautiful singing voice who betrayed her father and had the nerve to come to Ursula looking for a happy ending, makes total sense. This was also another instance of this show executing a storyline so well that they convince me it’s Disney canon; now it’s going to be hard for me to watch The Little Mermaid without feeling a little sympathy for Ursula.
2. I was curious about what the OUAT version of torture looked like, as it’s pretty solidly a family show, and I think the nose bit was a clever way of showing that Rumple meant business without it getting too dark or messing with the show’s tone too much.
3. Poor Snow was kind of put through the ringer this week, first as a sound box for Regina and then as Ursula’s boa constrictor pawn. But she did get to show off her bandit ways (and knock Cruella out), so I guess there’s that.
4. I was kind of bummed that Ariel didn’t interact with anyone besides Hook, but it was nice to get a mention of Arendelle and Elsa. I’m forever impressed that a show with this many characters and plot points still manages to throw in these little touches.
5. Cruella driving up to get Rumple, Maleficent, and Regina totally made me think of Mean Girls (“Get in losers!”) and now I want to see a parody staring the four of them in the worst way.
6. That. Emma/Hook. moment. Yes, I was kind of yelling at Emma (affectionately) when she didn’t put it together that she was his happy ending, but it also, sadly, jived with what we know about her past. For a long time she didn’t think she would ever get her own happy ending, so I can definitely see her being oblivious to the fact that she might be someone else’s. But the way that he told her was so, so sweet, and the tears in her eyes that showed how much his confession meant to her (as well as that smooch!) just made it all the more perfect.
7. So is this really the last we’re going to see of Ursula? For all the talk of this being a “Queens of Darkness” arc, I would be surprised if they redeemed one so early on, but I also kind of like the idea of the three of them finding their happy endings one by one, eventually leaving Rumple alone in his plan.
8. With Operation Mongoose and the numerous villains in town, how are Emma and Regina going to find time to track down Robin? It makes total sense that he’ll have to come back soon (as he plays a huge role in Regina’s happy ending), but I’m surprised that it was brought up in an episode that already made such huge strides with the Author.
9. I love the idea of the Author being trapped inside his own book, and I’m looking forward to seeing how Emma, Regina, and Henry will get him out.
10. The promo for next week looked great, and I’m pleasantly surprised that Emma (seemingly) learns that her parents have been deceiving her in that episode. I expected it to be an “end of the season” type reveal, but it’ll be nice if they don’t end up waiting that long.
One last thing before I sign off, my recap of this ep with be up soon over on ScreenPicks, (where I just got hired as a contributor, yay!), if you feel like checking it out.