More thoughts on ABC’s Once Upon a Time

I think I’ve written before about how I got hooked on ABC’s show Once Upon a Time. There is, however, one thing that irritates me about the show. I don’t like how the world is divided between good and bad and there is little room for anything in between. I think this is the reason why I like the character of Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold as much as I do as the only character that is morally ambiguous. Since I’m going to talk about the current season and possibly have spoilers, I’m putting the rest behind a cut for those of you who don’t want to be spoiled/don’t want to read me rant about the show.

What really bothers me in particular is Snow White’s attitude. In the episode The Cricket Game, she and Charming captured the Evil Queen, and it was decided to execute her. Now, I’m as against the death penalty as the next bleeding heart liberal, but I saw their point. If there was no way to successfully keep her detained and their kingdom safe (though they were able to keep Rumple imprisoned) then, after a trial, I can see how the death penalty would be appropriate. NB, I’m against the death penalty in our world, in part, because we do have ways to keep people successfully detained. But in the fantasy world where some people are super powerful and evil and there’s just nothing anyone can do about it and there is no room for even a shadow of a doubt regarding her guilt, well, that’s different.

Anyway, rather than accept this, Snow decided to spare her life and release her! WTF Snow? I mean, I can suspend my disbelief for the whole forgiving the Evil Queen because Snow felt so guilty for what she did as a kid, but this is just stupid! Even with Rumpel’s spell that meant she couldn’t hurt Snow or Charming, weren’t there still citizens of the Enchanted Forest who weren’t protected by that spell that the Queen had no qualms about hurting? It’s not like Belle was locked up or anything.

So, boneheaded move, Snow.

regret

The exact moment Snow begins to regret her decision. Before Regina goes all stabby.

But let’s move on.

A few episodes later In Storybrooke, Snow kills Cora. Fuck yeah someone finally realized that she has to get her hands dirty! But then she gets all whiny about it! Shut up, Snow! You should not be bitching about “oh no! Now there is one fewer person who wants my family dead!” Fucking breathe easy for once.

But she doesn’t. She whines and she goes to Regina and begs her to kill her. Because this will really help keep Snow’s family safe! Regina rips out Snow’s heart and sees, oh, what’s this?

Could be cancerous. I'd get that checked out if I were you.

Could be cancerous. I’d get that checked out if I were you.

Snow has begun to turn evil.

So killing Cora to save, um, everyone’s lives was evil. I’m not buying it.

As proof of Snow’s descent into evilness, she slaps Marco after Marco reveals that he lied to her 28 years ago. Two people could actually go through the wardrobe, so a minutes-old infant didn’t have to be dropped off who knows where alone.

Yeah, I’d be pissed too. But Snow apologizes (fine, slapping people is wrong) and says that she would have done the same thing.

WTF? How is that not evil? How is lying out of selfishness and abetting child abandonment ok but killing in self-defense and defense of others evil? As I said, tree hugging hippy here, but even I acknowledge that sometimes killing is necessary and it’s not evil to stop that shit.

So grow up, Snow! Stop making this show suck!

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About emmawolf

I'm a freelance writer living in Baltimore with my husband, son, and two cats. I'm working on editing my first novel. I love reading, traveling, and the cello.
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2 Responses to More thoughts on ABC’s Once Upon a Time

  1. Ryan says:

    It’s one thing for a show’s characters to express their own stupid ideas about morality. It’s another for those ideas to be expressed as essential truths, as shown by a character’s heart turning dark as a result of a particular action. I don’t watch this show, so I don’t know if there’s already any ambiguity about the meaning of darkness in a heart, but I would want the writers to indicate at some point that an “untainted” heart is not necessarily a good thing and a “tainted” one is not necessarily a bad thing.

    Problems like these have begun to interfere with my enjoyment of the fantasy genre in the last few years. Many writers seem uninterested in establishing even the appearance of plausibility in their magical mechanisms (how are RUNES supposed to work?) or exploring what it means to be good or bad. They instead choose to create some of the most stereotypical characters in nonsensical worlds who are never really morally challenged. I always point out to my wife when a story seems to put the protagonist in a tough spot (e.g. where he has to choose between saving his lover or saving several strangers), but then allows him to escape without any consequences when he makes the “right” choice (e.g. he saves the strangers, but someone else shows up to save his lover just in time and she never complains about his choice). There is a lot of garbage like that out there, so I find myself drawn more to sci-fi.

    • emmawolf says:

      This was pretty much the first time we had any idea that you would get little back spots on your heart if you’re a bad person. We even saw the heart of one of the big bad’s (Cora) and it looked red and juicy. No black spots. So…consistency? Or maybe Snow should get a second opinion.

      I can’t think of any examples of what you mean about the fantasy genre and making right choice and deus ex machina, but I have a feeling that as soon as I start looking for it, I’m going to be overwhelmed by it.

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