Ginnifer Goodwin, Meghan Ory and Beverley Elliott in ONCE UPON A TIME - Season 1 - "Red-Handed" | ©2012 ABC/Jack Rowand

Ginnifer Goodwin, Meghan Ory and Beverley Elliott in ONCE UPON A TIME - Season 1 - "Red-Handed" | ©2012 ABC/Jack Rowand

Stars: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Robert Carlyle, Lana Parrilla, Jared Gilmore, Josh Dallas, Raphael Sbarge
Writer:
 Jane Espenson
Director:
 Ron Underwood
Network:
 ABC, Sunday nights, 8 p.m.
Original Telecast:
 March 11, 2012

There is something vaguely unsatisfying about the “Red-Handed” episode of ONCE UPON A TIME. It could be my mood, but the episode feels like more back story than actual moving along of the plot. Yes, I get that when you’re trying to spin a tale over the course of multiple seasons, you don’t want to play your cards too fast. Fair enough. But after a while, the returns start diminishing. Sure, it’s nice to know how Grumpy got that way, or in this case, who Red Riding Hood really is, but after a while what you really want to see is some Evil Queen backside getting kicked.

The episode picks up right where we left the last one – with Emma (Jennifer Morrison) taking David (Josh Dallas) in to the Sheriff’s station to question him about Kathryn’s disappearance. Only Emma can tell when someone is lying and David clearly isn’t lying when he says he can’t explain there being one last call to him from Kathryn.

Over at the diner, the stranger Arthur (Eion Bailey) is chatting up Ruby (Meghan Ory) about going around the world, which is creating more than a little bit of tension with Granny (Beverley Elliot). Turns out there’s plenty of tension going on with their fairy tale counterparts. Red likes a young man she’s been meeting through her window, but Granny’s more than a little insistent that Red stay inside. A terrible wolf is roaming the area at night, and it’s usually fierce. In fact, it kills a whole hunting party at one time. In the meantime, Red finds Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) hiding out in the henhouse and takes her in.

Back in Storybrooke, Ruby quits her job as waitress and hooks up with Emma.  Mary Margaret (aka Snow White) decides to go looking for Kathryn, herself, and finds David in the woods seriously messed up and out of it. Emma discovers that Ruby can not only handle phones, she’s pretty good at tracking, and sure enough, Ruby leads Emma to David, who has no memory of how he landed in the wood and thinks that maybe he did do something to Kathryn. Emma sends Ruby out again and she finds an all-too-familiar box buried near the river, and, yeah, that is a human heart in there (euuwww), which pretty much sends Ruby back to Granny’s.

But things in the fairy tale world are getting grimmer. Red and Snow track the wolf back to Red’s cottage and they think it’s Red’s young man who is the wolf. Spoiler alert – they’re wrong. Way wrong, and the young man ends up eaten as a result. Turns out Red is the wolf – part of a family thing that Granny never told her and should have. So she and Snow go running off together.

Ruby and Granny, however, make up. We still don’t know for sure who’s heart is in the box, but guess who’s fingerprints are on the inside? Mary Margaret’s. And that’s where we end things, desperately hoping that the writers have not written themselves into a corner.

Again, it feels more like back story than advancing the plot about breaking the curse that put everyone in Storybrooke in the first place. And while Emma is supposed to be the lynch pin for the whole thing, she doesn’t seem to be getting very far. Of course, Emma doesn’t really believe in the fairy tale world, either. So, a rather unsatisfactory feeling all around, which could be just crankiness on my part. But I don’t think so.

AGREE? DISAGREE? LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD – COMMENT BELOW

Related Link: Exclusive Photos from the PaleyFest 2012 event for ONCE UPON A TIME
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Article: TV Review: ONCE UPON A TIME – Season 1 – “Red-Handed”

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Comments:

  1. Pingback: Once Upon A Time "Red Handed" Reviews 1x15 | My Kind Of TV

  2. I really think you’re right on the crankiness part, because the story is going along fine, and according to the previews, the next few episodes are all leading up to the finale with Snow and the Evil Queen back in the spotlight.

    These background stories are important, as you can see they are focusing on two characters that seems to be very important in Snow’s life: Grumpy and Red. Up till now we only see how close Snow and Red are but never knew why. In a world where Twilight can make it big with absolutely no character development, it’s nice to actually watch something that focus more on characters than on plot. Not to say the plot is not important, but you can only go so far with plot if you don’t have connections to the character.

    So… smile more and be less cranky! 😀

    Sorata

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