Stay on target Once Upon a Time’s Finale Was Everything We Loved About an Imperfect ShowHenry Screws Everything Up Again on Once Upon a Time This week’s Once Upon a Time shows us that in the wake of the sleeping curse, Snow White, and Charming, much like the show right now, are in a holding pattern. Blaming herself for the curse, Regina is about to go off and hurt the Queen, thereby hurting herself. Emma convinces her to find another way for Henry’s sake. Snow is about to kiss Charming and switch places but stops when she realizes that the Evil Queen is watching through the mirror and destroys it.We see what their new routine becomes over the next few days. Charming stays up all night, cooks breakfast for Snow White and wakes her up for the day shift. They communicate with each other through cheesy notes and recorded messages while they try to figure out how to beat the curse.Regina has come up with a different plan to get back at the Queen. Instead of hurting her, she and Emma will trap her in a mirror. They use Henry to lure the Queen to the beach, but it turns out the Queen is one step ahead of them yet again. She stole the enchanted mirror, exchanging it with a regular one, and traps Regina and Emma inside it. From inside the mirror dimension, they’re able to see into Storybrooke through peoples’ mirrors, but nobody can see or hear them. Regina says that Henry is their only hope of getting out.Emma (Jennifer Morrison) wakes up in the mirror dimension. (Photo: Screenshot via ABC)That’s going to be a bit harder than it sounds. The Evil Queen has dressed up as Regina and seems to have everybody fooled. She convinces Hook that Emma has gone out of town for a few days to look for the dragon and starts helping Henry prepare for his school’s homecoming dance. She then goes to Rumplestiltskin’s shop, who is not fooled by her disguise. She asks for a magic hammer that she plans to give to Henry.Hook starts to get suspicious when Emma doesn’t answer her phone. He investigates the beach where Emma and Regina tried to trap the Evil Queen and finds Emma’s phone on the ground. The Queen appears and throws him against a log, knocking him unconscious. She then goes to Granny’s diner to meet Henry and try to convince him to act more like a prince. She distracts him from Regina and Emma trying to make contact through a mirror and gives him a long talk about how Violet, the girl he likes, should be honored to date a prince like him.Henry finally figures out that he’s not talking to his mom and escapes to the crypt to try and contact his real moms. The Evil Queen appears and shows lets Henry see into the mirror dimension. It turns out the Dragon has been trapped in there the whole time. He tells Regina and Emma that he can’t break the sleeping curse, but he can help them find a way out. Unfortunately, it turns out the Evil Queen has taken the Dragon’s heart and is controlling him. She turns him into a real dragon and has him attack them both.The Dragon is probably the coolest part of the episode. (Photo: Screenshot via ABC)Now that Henry sees his moms in danger, the Evil Queen places the dragon’s heart in front of Henry and gives him the hammer. He doesn’t have magic, but the hammer will allow him to destroy the dragon’s heart, killing him to save his mom’s. He begs the Evil Queen not to make him kill, but she is unmoved. Henry sees another option, though. He uses the hammer to crack the mirror. On the other side, Regina and Emma lure the dragon into blowing fire on the crack, breaking open the portal and freeing them. With the Evil Queen defeated, Henry resumes his date and dances with Violet in Granny’s diner.While all this was going on, Belle visits Zelena. She wants to get out of Storybrooke and knows Zelena can help her escape. Zelena says that she can only do it with the Sorcerer’s Wand, which is locked up in Gold’s shop. They get Aladdin to break into the store, and being the best thief in any town, he steals the wand, along with something else. After his heist, he returns to Jasmine carrying a magic lamp. He says the Genie isn’t inside; he’s been free for a long time. Aladdin thinks whoever is inside the lamp could help them find Agrabah.Belle and Zelena don’t have the wand in hand for long. Rumplestiltskin appears and takes it from them. He also places a cuff on Belle so she can never leave town and take the baby away from him. He’s just following the abusive spouse playbook step by step, isn’t he? He returns to his shop where the Evil Queen shows up, another one of her plans having failed. The two decide to work together as a team, but Rumple has one request first. He wants the Queen to kill her sister.Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) takes the wand. So much for that plan. (Photo: Screenshot via ABC)This far into the season, it’s nice when the show goes a week without trying to shoehorn in a classic story or fairy tale into things. This episode had a self-contained story with some cute moments between Henry and Violet, and a pretty great fight scene with the dragon toward the end. It still feels like we’re in a holding pattern, though. After the Evil Queen’s victory last week, Snow and Charming spent this episode just kind of dealing with it. It starts to wear on them toward the end, but they’re no closer or further away from finding a cure.Nothing’s really changed by the end of this episode. The overarching plot didn’t advance, no characters grew or changed. The Queen introduced a problem, Henry, and his moms solved it. That’s it. Hopefully, the conflict added by Gold asking the Queen to kill Zelena will start moving the story along more quickly next week.
Stream all of Doctor Who now for free with your Amazon Prime membership.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. You know Daleks and Davros and Missy the Master, Angels and Silence hell-bent on disaster. But do you recall the most underrated Doctor Who villains of all?Each week, I will dig into the depths of the Whoniverse to examine one rejected, misjudged, or altogether forgotten big bad.Today is Dec. 1, which means the start of my UVoW advent calendar: A different yuletide monster every Friday, leading up to Christmas—starting with this intergalactic plunderer.Not someone you want to meet in a dark alley (via BBC)SYCORAXFirst appearance: “The Christmas Invasion” (2005)—season 2, Christmas specialHome planet: Fire Trap (JX82 system)Doctor: TenthCompanion: Rose Tyler, Jackie Tyler, Mickey Smith‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the Earth, creatures were celebrating, while an alien spaceship took berth.All eyes are on Harriet Jones, Prime Minister (yes, we know who you are), as she prepares for a live broadcast from space probe Guinevere One, set to land on Mars.Instead, Britain’s own Christmas miracle is intercepted by a giant vessel rocketing toward Earth. And the first images transmitted live “from the depths of space” are not of the red planet’s rocky terrain, but the red eyes of a craggy alien face.“On the 25th of December, the human race has been shown absolute proof that alien life exists,” a TV news anchor calmly tells viewers.And it’s not pretty.Sycorax wear mantles of bone to hide their grisly features (via BBC)The Sycorax wear mantles of bone, usually keeping their grisly features concealed under helmets. Proficient in the use of certain weapons, the skinless humanoids can deliver a bolt of energy that simply disintegrates its target, leaving only a pile of bones.They travel in a retrofitted asteroid, which used to be their home in the distant JX82 system, known as Fire Trap. Now, the Sycorax use it to raid other “inferior” planets—like Earth.That pixelated glimpse, however, is all most people ever see of the superstitious creatures, who lead a third of the world’s population in a hypnotic trance to just shy of committing assisted suicide.Say it, don’t spray it (via BBC)Meanwhile, Rose—keen and cunning after 13 weeks of touring with the Doctor—bides her time with the Sycorax, fending off her impending death. And those of Harriet Jones, Prime Minister (yes, we know who you are) and Mickey. Until the Doctor wakes up.The first full-episode appearance by David Tennant, this Christmas special kicks into high gear when the bathrobed Time Lord steps out of the TARDIS and into a sword fight the likes of which has never been replicated on Doctor Who since. (Much to my chagrin.)The Doctor’s hand is severed, the Sycorax leader falsely claim victory, the Doctor regrows his hand, the Sycorax leader attempts to attack from behind, the Doctor throws a satsuma at the ship’s sensor, dropping the Sycorax leader to his death.Our Gallifreyan hero orders the Sycorax to leave Earth and never return. We’ll never know, though, if they would have kept that promise—for Harriet Jones, Prime Minister (yes, we know who you are), orders Torchwood to destroy the alien ship.Mickey makes friends everywhere he goes (via BBC)Eagle-eyed Whovians may remember Sycorax from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Though she dies before the play begins, Sycorax is described as a witch who was the mother of the beast Caliban.The name is referenced in “The Shakespeare Code,” when the Doctor finds a horse skull in The Globe and remarks that “Reminds me of a Sycorax.” (Also a nod to writer and then-showrunner Russell T. Davies, who reportedly based the alien’s facial structure on the skull of a horse.)You just can’t keep a good villain down: The Sycorax make a brief appearance in Eleventh Doctor episode “The Pandorica Opens,” as part of The Alliance formed to trap the Time Lord.Later, in “The Name of the Doctor,” the Great Intelligence mentions them as a faction that left the Doctor “blood-soaked.” Stay on target ‘Doctor Who’ Underrated Villain of the Week: Mire’Doctor Who’ Underrated Villain of the Week: Zygon