Once Upon A Time: “The Price of Gold” Episode 4 review

16 Nov

This week we get the story of Cinderella. Not quite as good as last week’s true love episode, but not bad. Although it is *mostly* the traditional tale, the powers that be decided to take license with the original story, and honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about it. SPOILER ALERT: At the beginning of the story, Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) swoops in right after the fairy godmother and just as she is about to transform Cinderella (Jessy Schram), vaporizes her and captures her magic wand. Not only was I not prepared for that, I felt like it was a cheat.

While I understand they needed Rumplestiltskin to play the foil, I feel like changing the entire course of the fairy tale takes the premise too far. I’d much rather have seen a side deal with Cinderella and Rumplestiltskin after the Ball. Maybe he won’t let the glass slipper fit unless she agrees to his deal. That makes more sense to me. But at least he wasn’t vaporizing the fairy godmother. And this vaporization, in my mind, violates a tenant that I thought they were keeping on this show: using the fairy tales we all know and have grown up with then transforming the characters into real people. And while certain items in the story can and should be embellished especially if certain parts of the tales have been left out, key elements of the narrative should be held scared. For instance, say, the fairy godmother.

The “extra” part of the fairy tale, once Cinderella gets married and pregnant, is where the writers should take free license. For instance, it is fun to watch Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) attend the marriage of their close friends, Cinderella and Prince Thomas (Tim Phillipps). This storyline takes us into uncharted fairy tale territory and it is what helps make this show so enjoyable. The “real life” section of this episode, although a bit heavy-handed and cliched about a single, pregnant mother, still ultimately worked in the narrative. Making Ashley the exact age that Emma was when she gave up Henry was just far too on the nose. And how much insight was Henry supposed to get into his mother’s dilemma when Ashley ended up not only keeping the baby but getting Prince Thomas’ equivalent in her real world? Finally, I’m not entirely sure I buy that Emma would go ahead and make such an ignorant deal with Mr. Gold. I believe Emma would have negotiated. But that makes it so much easier for the writers to create some ridiculous dilemma where Emma will have to choose down the line. That felt like – pre-cheating.

While this is definitely one of the shows I’m looking forward to each week, I’d still like to see it not take the easy way out. I haven’t decided yet if I like the idea of Emma taking on her new role as Deputy. What I saw coming a mile away was Regina (Lana Parrilla) sleeping with the Sheriff (Jamie Dornan). I’m hoping the Emma/Sheriff/Regina love triangle will not be predictable. But with such a one-dimensional character as the Mayor/Evil Queen, it makes it hard not to be predictable.

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