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"Once Upon a Time" Heart of Darkness (2012)

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

BEST episode of Season 1!

10/10
Author: hnt_dnl from United States
27 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I haven't actually reviewed the show itself yet(waiting for end of Season 1) but ONCE UPON A TIME is fast becoming one of my favorite shows in years and I think THIS is the episode, Heart of Darkness, I've been waiting for to justify my love of this show! Two of my previous "best of Season 1" eps were the Snow/Charming-centric Snow Falls and 7:15AM and they were both outstanding and are probably still going to be in my top 5 come season's end, but it was this ep, Heart of Darkness, that took everything on this show to another level. While technically, HOD is a Snow/Charming ep, they actually only have a couple of direct scenes together and most of their action is separate from each other, with major interactions with the other main characters.

HOD's plot is that Snow is acting different as she is under a spell from Rumple's potion and has forgotten Charming completely and is now on mission to kill the Evil Queen, while the Dwarfs are against this new path of hers and Charming must save her in time before she loses herself. Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, Snow's real-world counterpart Mary-Margaret is in jail under suspicion of murdering the wife of David (Charming's real-world counterpart) and while town sheriff Emma is trying to clear her best friend Mary-Margaret, town miser Mr. Gold (counterpart of Rumple) offers to defend MM, while town mayor Regina (counterpart of Evil Queen) is soaking it all up as she hates MM and is most probably the one setting her up.

HOD is an ep where all the MAIN characters of the show interact and the best traits that makes each character so unique really shows. It's not a "single-character" backstory ep like others have been. Its' more interactive and fast-paced. Every scene in this episode just WORKS! The Charming/Rumple scene in FT land is the standout, but every character interaction is so well-written(a staple of this show) and performed and placed within a an involving episode that it is addictive! The fairy tale scenes (the aforementioned Charming/Rumple scene, the Snow/Dwarfs scenes, and the two Snow/Charming scenes) are very entertaining, laced with snappy dialog, genuine humor, and wit, while the more serious Storybrooke scenes, (the MM/David and Emma/MM scenes at the jail, the Regina scenes of her holding in her hatred of MM/Snow and the Emma/Gold scene at his shop) really grab the viewer and holds it's attention that things are getting serious. Both stories are told with flair and one can sense the plot moving forward in both FT land and also in Storybrooke. After this ep, I can't wait to see what OUAT has in store next!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Snow White's story arc continues in this riveting episode

Author: gavin-thelordofthefu-48-460297 from United States
17 April 2016

Heart of Darkness is another great episode and continues the story arc for Snow White after the events of 7:15 where she left Charming by telling him that she doesn't love him by the order of The King. My only quibble is that the dialog is a mixed bag. Some of it is really engaging and smart particularly with Snow White and Charming as well as the scene where Mary Margaret is forced to admit that she killed Kathryn after hiring Gold as her lawyer. However, some of it is really corny (Although I do like the reference "With A Smile and A Song" from the Disney cartoon. Kudos.). Everything else turned out fine.

The performances are still good, the dialog is still good, the story's well-written, the script's nice, the pacing is much tighter, the music score/scenery are still beautiful and the directing improved over the course of the episode. So, overall, another great episode and only six episode left until I'm done reviewing this season.

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1 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Heart of Darkness

6/10
Author: tbmforclasstsar from United States
20 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Every time I watch an episode of Once Upon a Time, I can't help but think of The 10th Kingdom. Does anyone else remember that show? It was a 2000 NBC miniseries that asked "what happens after happily ever after?" For me, it was one of the first times I'd seen fairy tales with a twist; you know, taking familiar fairytale characters and scenarios and presenting them in rather unconventional ways (an approach that's becoming increasingly popular, not just with shows like OUAT and even Grimm, but recently in Hollywood as well). Call me nostalgic, but I think it's because The 10th Kingdom was one of my first exposures to this genre, if you will, and because it was a series that I was so easily charmed by, that I often use it as a point of reference for this show; it's what I think OUAT should be, and what I secretly hope it will become. And maybe that's why week after week I'm so disappointed.

Okay, maybe "disappointed" is a bit too strong of a word. And maybe it's unfair of me to even try to compare this show to The 10th Kingdom; after all, OUAT is its own show, and I respect it as such. Not to mention the fact that that it has been twelve years since I've seen The 10th Kingdom (God, I'm getting old), and for all I know my memory is better than the miniseries itself (although, I sincerely doubt it). I guess the biggest letdown of this show, for me, is that it's never lived up to its fullest potential, especially since it doesn't have to worry so much about being hounded by the Disney police for copyright infringement. But, in all fairness, the show does have its moments (which I think is one of the reasons I'm still sticking around; Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas are probably the two other reasons).

Take last night's episode, for example. It's not perfect, but I did think that it did one of its better jobs of effectively paralleling the Storybrooke plot with the fairytale flashbacks (and it revolved, yet again, around Goodwin and Dallas, so yay).

To read the rest of the review (does not fit IMDb form), visit: http://custodianfilmcritic.com/once-upon-a-time-1-16/

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