Once Upon a Time: Season 2, Episode 3

Lady of the Lake (14 Oct. 2012)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Fantasy | Romance
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 684 users  
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Emma, Snow White, Mulan and Aurora head for Snow White's castle to find the wardrobe that sent Emma to earth as a baby hoping they can use it to get back to Storybrooke. In the past, Snow ... See full summary »

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Title: Lady of the Lake (14 Oct 2012)

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Belle (credit only)
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Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
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Emma, Snow White, Mulan and Aurora head for Snow White's castle to find the wardrobe that sent Emma to earth as a baby hoping they can use it to get back to Storybrooke. In the past, Snow finds out what the gender of her first born will be. Written by Anonymous

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14 October 2012 (USA)  »

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Mary Margaret Blanchard: Wanna see where you're from, Emma? That's right. We're going home.
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Lady of the Lake
16 October 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

At the short and sweet of it, last night's episode of Once Upon a Time was, for the most part, pretty cheesy, packed with nearly enough eye-roll-worthy moments to last it its entire season. And yet, despite all of them, I found myself not hating the episode.

That's not to say I foresee "Lady of the Lake" becoming one of the standout episodes of the season or anything, but what I did enjoy witnessing was the show finally deciding on its method of storytelling for the remainder of this new chapter. Only on its third episode, season two already seems to have established that it's definitely dividing its time between present day Storybrooke and a present day Enchanted Forest (a more appropriate name for "fairytale world," no?) in addition to the fairytale flashbacks. Now its challenge, something that it admittedly struggled with in its debut season, will be to focus its narrative on the stories and the characters that actually matter rather than trying to overload each episode with as many familiar fables as it can; a challenge I'm, so far, not convinced the show can yet master.

And there's proof of that in "Lady of the Lake;" you don't even need to make it to the first half of the episode to pick up on the fact that there's a lot going on. This week's flashback introduces Lancelot (Friday Night Lights' Sinqua Walls), in this story, a Knight of the Round Table that's "fallen from grace," if you will, and has joined forces with King George (Alan Dale) to hunt Charming. Kidnapping Snow in the midst of battle, Lancelot takes her to the king who tells her of Charming's twin brother and curses her with a potion that renders her unable to bear children.

Suddenly feeling guilty over the king's crime, Lancelot chooses to lead Snow to safety rather than harm, and accompanies her to a cabin where she is to meet her prince and his mother. Before they arrive however, Charming and his mom are ambushed by the king's troops, and despite the fact that Charming manages to take out every single one of his attackers (and look good doing it, I might add), his mother still takes a poison arrow to the heart. Snow and Lancelot arrive not long after and decide to travel with Charming and his mother to a lake whose waters possess healing powers, in the hopes that they may spare her life.

It's on this journey that Charming's mother learns of Snow's inability to have children, and before reaching the lake suggests Snow drink from its waters as well so that she may be rid of her curse—it's a plan that would've worked had they not arrived at the lake to find it completely dried up. Miraculously, Lancelot manages to discover a small sip of water inside of an old shell, and despite her pleas that Snow drink the water instead, Charming's mother consumes the sip—or so they think. Pretending the water's had no effect on her and insisting she see her son married before she dies, Charming's mother secretly convinces Lancelot to slip the magical water into the cup Snow and Charming drink from during their ceremony (which Lancelot performs, of course), so that Snow drinks the water instead. Fulfilling her last wish, she dies shortly afterwards, breaking Snow of her curse and leaving her son free to father—you guessed it—a little girl.

And that's just one plot strand. In present-day Enchanted Forest, Emma and Snow are released from their prison after officially meeting Regina's mother, Cora, and are temporarily reunited with Snow's old friend Lancelot. Shortly afterwards, the two set off on a journey into ogre-infested lands with Mulan and Aurora to Snow's old castle in the hopes of retrieving a wardrobe that may be able to return them back to Storybrooke–the same wardrobe that transported Emma to the "real world" when she was just a baby. But before they can arrive, Snow must save her daughter from an ogre (naturally), one that looks much less worse than it could thanks to the show's bigger budget. Surviving the face-off, the four women finally make it to the home Snow and Charming once shared, and mother and daughter share a tender moment in Emma's old nursery before Lancelot unexpectedly shows up, acting a little too out of the ordinary. Snow, sensing danger, draws her sword, and Lancelot is revealed to be Cora in disguise. Admitting she killed Lancelot a long time ago, Cora makes it known that she, too, has a desire for the wardrobe, but the ladies aren't giving it up without a fight. Managing to deflect Cora's own magic, Emma unfortunately sets fire to their only potential means home, but she and Snow agree that they can still try and seek someone out with enough magic to restore it.

To read the rest of the review (IMDb form too short) visit: http://custodianfilmcritic.com/once-upon-a-time-2-3-lady-of-the-lake/


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