Ashley is intent on settling unfinished business with her step-family; Regina tries to bribe Mr. Hyde for information on how to beat the Evil Queen; David makes a deal with Gold for informat... Read allAshley is intent on settling unfinished business with her step-family; Regina tries to bribe Mr. Hyde for information on how to beat the Evil Queen; David makes a deal with Gold for information about his father.Ashley is intent on settling unfinished business with her step-family; Regina tries to bribe Mr. Hyde for information on how to beat the Evil Queen; David makes a deal with Gold for information about his father.
The sixth, and penultimate, season opened with a great, and very promising first episode in "The Saviour". The following episode "A Bitter Draught" was also very good, if not quite as good that had much more brilliant than it had not-so-good. "The Other Shoe" is every bit as great as "The Saviour", very close to being even better perhaps.
Not really all that much wrong here. Belle is neither interesting or that necessary here but that is all.
Conversely, there is lots of evidence of forward momentum and character development advancing, the characters true to personality and not distorted or going round in circles. One learns a lot and it doesn't get over-stuffed or jumpy, making it not a difficult episode to follow. A feat for such a lot going on and with so many characters.
Still love the characters, both the existing characters, the new ones and the relatively new ones continuing to grow. Will always love Regina and Gold especially. It is most interesting for the back-story of Cinderella (or Ella)/Ashley, and it's a back-story that has intensity, surprising twists to stop it from being overly-familiar and relatable heart, and she is so easy to like and invest in. The tensions between David and Gold, Regina and Hyde and especially Ella and Lady Tremaine are never less than intriguing. The Evil Queen is a believable threat yet is not too much of a cliché.
The acting from the solid ensemble cast is hard to find fault with. Jessy Schram is likeable and heartfelt as Cinderella and even more so as her Storybrooke alter ego Ashley, infinitely better than the later Cinderella of Dania Ramirez. Lana Parrilla makes Regina rootable in a way that's moving, while also showing an intense side that doesn't get camp. Robert Carlyle is never less than riveting, he has fun with Gold and has the right amount of charisma, gravitas and shadiness that doesn't make him a standard villain or a character softened too much.
Josh Dallas lives up to his fairytale character's name and Ginnifer Goodwin is every bit as charming. Sam Witwer makes Hyde one of the better and more interesting later 'Once Upon a Time' villains. Lisa Banes is a suitably beastly Lady Tremaine. Hank Harris has lost none of the promise he showed since being introduced at the end of Season 5. Gus is simply adorable. Jennifer Morrison handles her increasingly conflicted material beautifully, have really felt for Emma these previous three episodes.
Furthermore, "The Other Shoe" is a very handsomely mounted episode visually, the settings and costumes are both colourful and atmospheric, not too dark or garish and never looking artifical. It is photographed beautifully too. The music is haunting, ethereal and cleverly used with a memorable theme tune.
Writing has the right balance of humour, pathos, mystery and intrigue, nothing campy, shallow or soap-operatic. Compared to when 'Once Upon a Time' first started, the writing mostly came on a long way (less so in the last season).
In summary, great. 9/10 Bethany Cox
- Sep 29, 2018