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"Once Upon A Time" Review/Recap: “The Tower”

Emma Doherty ‘16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Josh Dallas and Alexandra Metz in the Once Upon A Time episode "The Tower." Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC.
Josh Dallas and Alexandra Metz in the Once Upon A Time episode “The Tower.” Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC.

This week’s Once was both wicked and creepier than ever. Whatever fans were expecting, it certainly was not this. The episode started with a heart breaking moment that was both sad and eerie.

David (Josh Dallas) faces his fears unconsciously about having another child. Of course he would be terrified because he lost the only child he’s ever had not once, but twice. The scene was absolutely flawless and the vision of what Emma (Jennifer Morrison) would have looked like had he been a part of her life and kept her in the Enchanted Forest was breathtaking (Emma Swan cleans up nice!). Her words or better yet his true feelings were devastating to hear when she flew back and yelled “You failed me! Theres nothing you can do, don’t fail the next one”. Despite the sadness of the scene it showed a lot of character progression. David no longer blames Regina (Lana Parrilla) for losing his daughter. You can see through his subconscious that he knows he is to blame and through this episode we can see him wanting to become better.

This episode took an emotional toll on David and it was great to see an episode that revolved around his character. We usually do not get to see this because he is often portrayed as just an extension of Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin), doing knightly duties and heroic tasks without making any big decisions or moves on his own. Tonight we got to glimpse into his mind and understand how he is feeling about the pregnancy, himself, and his daughter.

Josh Dallas and Alexandra Metz in the Once Upon A Time episode "The Tower." Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC.
Josh Dallas and Alexandra Metz in the Once Upon A Time episode “The Tower.” Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC.

It was so great to see the show delve into the fearful and creepy aspects of fairytales in the process. David’s way of dealing with his internal struggles is to face himself…. literally. While on the hunt for the Wicked Witch (Rebecca Mader) in Storybrooke, David ventures off on his own and is met with the same fate that Rapunzel was back in the Enchanted Forest. In order to face your fears fully, one has to eat a root found only in the depths of the Enchanted Forest. When this happens you literally face yourself. This was such an interesting representation of an important lesson. The only way one can grow is to acknowledge that you’re scared. Now I’m not sure what anyone else was thinking when that creepy hooded figure lurked and shot around the forest, but I was certainly not prepared to see a dark maniacal Prince Charming.

My only question is, why did Zelena want him to face his fears? Zelena slipped him the root during an awkward conversation between the oblivious charmings and their new “midwife”. Now we know that as a result she got his sword and a representation of his courage, but what could that possibly mean? And why did she have to go through such great lengths to get it?

This show continues to incorporate new and classic fairytale characters and this week we were introduced to Rapunzel (Alexandra Metz) (with a twist). It was good to see the show incorporate some color into the cast because there hasn’t been any representation on the show since Tamara in the first episode of the season. Her storyline was fascinating and showed a deeper meaning to a classic tale. The fact that she was being kept captive by herself and not an outside force was such an interesting concept. She was actually trapped by her regrets and fear and along with Charming, could only defeat them by facing them head on. This was an incredibly interesting way to portray this lesson: we are often to blame for holding ourselves back from what we are really capable of.

Back in Storybrooke, Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) and Emma are also on the hunt for the Wicked Witch. At this time in the show, it seems that the writers intend for these two to become a pair but after this episode… it seems the chances of that are diminishing quickly (especially with next week’s trailer with Neal). When Emma confided in him and spoke about her broken heart and how she felt about Walsh, Hook said that he was happy she was suffering. He said that if her heart was broken it meant that it still worked…. Anyone else think that was a truly idiotic thing to say? Emma is the saviour and is known to have a huge heart. Someone who truly cares for her would not wish for it be hurting. This is just one person’s opinion but aside from the romantic music in this scene, there was no chemistry between the two.

Robert Carlyle and Rebecca Mader in the Once Upon A Time episode "The Tower." Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC.
Robert Carlyle and Rebecca Mader in the Once Upon A Time episode “The Tower.” Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC.

After they find where the Wicked Witch is living they see the locked door to her outside cellar where Rumple (Robert Carlyle) is being held captive. But of course they want to keep the suspense and Emma goes to call Regina for backup. Only then does she see the missed call from David and leaves to help him with the Witch, leaving the cellar and Rumple trapped inside. Speaking of Regina, we get to see yet another emotional scene between her and Henry (Jared Gilmore). Henry tells her about his new life and its hard to understand what she’s feeling. She has to be very reserved in order to keep her emotions at bay… It’s hard to imagine how much she is truly hurting. Her patience and character growth shined through in the end of the scene when she assured Henry that she thinks one day he’ll have more family than he could possibly imagine. This was quite a remarkable thing to say because not only does she have confidence that he’ll get his memories back, but she’s also acknowledging that the Charmings are his family.

Speaking of family, Rumple is being kept captive by Zelena and the reason why is still unclear. The scene between the two was quite creepy and the sexual tension that occurred blew my theory of Rumple being her father out of the water. So just why does she want him going insane? And why does she want his blood?

At the end of the episode, the group in Storybrooke go back to the cellar and break the suspense that was created since the first episode back from hiatus. But when they see that the lock has been broken and step inside, Rumple is no where to be found. That wasn’t the only mysterious thing about the episode’s ending. What did that smirk on Regina’s face mean when she saw that straw had been spun to gold? Is she happy to know she has a powerful ally back? Or maybe she was glad to know he had been suffering? Hopefully we find out next episode.

Overall Episode Grade: A-

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