I am still laughing to myself about the fridging of the old sheriff to give Emma and Regina angst AND to provide space in the town for Emma to become sheriff. I just... I so rarely see this treatment for a white straight cis male character. I'm a bit irritated that they shoved in the new guy on the motorcycle so that Emma will continue to have a scruffy hetero love interest, but whatever. Clearly her relationships with Mary Margaret and Regina and Henry are still much more important.
The show keeps continuing the "yay biological family" thread that bugs me with the Hansel and Gretel episode. My main reaction was that if the father didn't want his kids, it was probably best for everyone involved that he not be strongarmed into taking them.
I was a bit ambivalent about the turns the David and Mary Margaret relationship was taking, largely because I liked that Mary Margaret told him to make a choice and was sad that she backed off a bit and started with the affair. On the other hand, I like how they have been handling the situation with Katherine, which I had been very worried about. It's refreshing to have Mary Margaret tell David to be honest with his wife, and David's hedging to save Katherine from hurt made me headdesk. I am SO GLAD he was called on that, because that is one of those things that drives me up the wall re: break ups, both in real life and in fiction. And I am so happy that Katherine got to keep her dignity and not come off as a terrible shrew (Hi Glee S1, this is partially why I stopped watching you!). I'm very much hoping that her disappearance will mean seeing more of her as a character and not her being fridged, and given how the show has been treating all the women so far, I trust them with the storyline.
... it is so rare when I get to say that, sigh.
I also think the characterization of Abigail was a bit retconned, unless you go with her playing the ditz precisely so James would be put off by her, but I don't care, because I am happy she got her happy ending and that once again, James gets rescued by assorted women.
I'm still not quite sure what to think about the extended Rumpelstiltskin backstory. I think it's one of the few instances in which biological parents hurt their children (the other being Jiminy Cricket iirc), and I find it interesting that it's in the light of Rumpelstiltskin wanting to help his son out. On the other hand, I was very disappointed with the Beauty and the Beast take, since a) that is one of my favorite fairy tales, b) it is my favorite Disney Princess movie, and c) I really don't care that much about developing sympathy for Rumpelstiltskin.
I don't think it's an accident that the Rumpelstiltskin storyline is basically the one in which we have one of the most passive heroines in a fairy tale retelling. I do like that Belle chooses to go with him, but she doesn't get much development after that save "idealistic heroine." (And, as a side note, I know the show is mostly going for the Disney fairy tale take, but wow this one had a lot of it. And, as a completely minor and unimportant note, I was a bit miffed that they went down the Disney line with Gaston and Chip and etc. and didn't make Belle a reader!!)
I think developing Rumpelstiltskin as a more sympathetic character also doesn't quite work because of how he plays off of Regina. Alas, much as I love Evil Queens, Lana Parilla really hasn't impressed me, and it's mostly having her more personally-driven evilness contrasted with Rumpelstiltskin's malice that has lent more depth and nuance to her character. But... we'll see how they run with the storyline.
Annnnddd on the big minus side: OH WRITERS NO. Really, Arabian Nights is the only way we can get POC into fairy tales? Because you know, there weren't any in Europe ever. And it's not like there aren't things like fairy tale archetypes across cultures. Plus the entire Magical Negro thing, and Sidney basically being the pawn of white women/there to help white women, and just... SIGH. I AM DISAPPOINT. I am also trying not to go on rants about how we can have shows that put women front and center, but only if the main character is blonde and there are no POC in sight anywhere, and hi Joss Whedon, I love Buffy, I do, but I also want more.
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