Once Upon a Time review: There’s a She Wolf in the Freezer

Call me Britta Perry because I am the worst. So, I moved for the second time in a few months and was going to not recap  just one episode, and somehow it’s now like four episodes later? I understand it’s pretty linear, but I will never get how time works. I even had things to say about the previous episodes and only really disliked one of them! That feels like a record for me. Okay, I didn’t love last weeks’, but only because Hook and Emma feel really forced, and “Into The Woods” already taught me that giants can be good, and I didn’t need to relearn that lesson.  Though speaking of that, this week’s episode featured Red and a refresher course about learning how to control her wolf.

It’s difficult for Red because while everyone else is both, she’s three different things: Red, Ruby and the wolf. Red learned control, but Ruby has been a human for over 20 years and doesn’t want to hurt anyone. Despite all the conflicting lessons, only David and Snow knew that she could not just be human or wolf but had to come to terms with both parts of herself.  This storyline could represent all kind of things, and I may have just been projecting, but all I could see was how this relates to mental illnesses. She was desperate to rein the wolf in, which just doesn’t work; Mama Wolf was right when she said to accept the wolf.  However, the wolf pack told her to just let go and essentially wanted her to forget her human self. Things like depression, ADHD, anxiety, whatever don’t just go away because you want them to. It’s impossible to try and act “normal” but neither can someone just succumb to those things and expect to be okay. I guess this is my way of saying that I both found this episode really interesting in that context and it was super powerful for me personally. Plus, having Snow stand by her and Red saying Snow was her family was really moving and the first time I cried at OUAT this season. Also, Red is totally adorable. It should have been cheesy when she said she wanted to let her freak(wolf) flag fly and run, but her face was so cute and earnest.

Red’s crisis this episode is facilitated by Charles Widmore acting like Charles Widmore even when his name is something I don’t remember.  His revenge plot was pretty stellar considering my original thought was that the wolves were screwing with Red. Even though he couldn’t undermine David or kill Red, he managed a better victory by burning Jefferson’s hat and making everyone think there is no way to get Emma and Snow back. Also awesome is that Henry and Aurora’s nighttime trips to a world for magically induced coma patients will probably be how everyone contacts each other/gets back home. Not awesome: I was already sad that the attractive guy who flirted with Red died, because how cute was it that he was a Cinderella mouse? Even with the name tag I didn’t make the connection immediately that he was Gus-Gus. Which made me sad again. Whhhhhy? Seriously, killing Lancelot is still not something I’ve forgiven the show for, but why drag poor Gus-Gus into this?

Also in this episode were my favorite people acting like my favorite people even though they weren’t together. Rumple did something not evil and for reasons that are not, or not yet revealed to be, selfish. First time for everything! My favorite part of this episode was Rumple telling Henry that once he had control he didn’t need to be afraid, I’m adding that to my list of inspirational sayings I don’t look at enough. And Belle was a total BFF to Red and was basically like “Okay so what you’re a monster, I’ve dated worse. We’re going to have this girl’s night even if you’re in chains and a Wolf!Girl.” Seriously, Belle’s first thought is not to assume Red is a monster but is concern because of how it must feel to be hunted.  That is so beautiful and exactly why I love Belle. She always sees beneath the surface and is never afraid of what she finds, and I will take this opportunity to say there is still not enough of her on this show. I would not be totally adverse to a spinoff where Red and Belle… well I don’t actually have anything in mind, they would just be on the screen more if they had their own spinoff.

This may be my favorite episode of the season; the death of Gus-Gus not withstanding. Plus, Widmore called Red a she wolf and now I’ll probably be listening to that Shakira song for a week and howling along to the arooo’s. So, looking forward to that. I hope you enjoyed this one too. What should Belle and Red’s spinoff be about? Something with cooking and books? Or maybe Belle can rehabilitate a different fantasy character each week while Red protects them from danger. And what should it be called?

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About the author: Nicole
Nicole
I like writing, watching TV, and doting on my two adorable dogs until they get annoyed with me. Though it's first on this list, writing is unfortunately not usually my priority. Writing reviews gives me a chance to combine two of my hobbies. As a bonus,maybe I will stop annoying my family and friends so much with my all my TV related rambling.

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  • Neiro

    Lol I love the last idea about Belle rehabilitating characters… I bet that would be interesting.
    I think my favorite part of this episode was just getting to see more of Red and other season 1 characters, most of them were left hanging so is nice to learn more about them.
    I’m still anoyed about the lack of Pinocchio, but I was dying to have Henry be an important part of operation plot again so I’m happy with this episode.

  • m

    beautiful review. this episode was so powerful for me personally. sidenote, why do all the guys on this show get killed off? graham, daniel, gus, stealthy, phillip, lancelot, peter. LITERALLY we get one episode with some of them and they’re gone. I don’t really ship anyone on this show because the men usually die.

    • Jaya

      That’s one of the reasons that I’m skipping ALL the ladies. The other reason is that they’re just very shippable.
      Although I really doubt that it is going to happen, I ship Ruby/Belle SO HARD. I never really liked Rumple/Belle, so it would be brilliant of Ruby could be her new Beast. I also read the whole ‘accepting the wolf as a part of her’ and ‘being both’-thing as a metaphor for bisexuality. And for a moment when Ruby chained Belle, I thought she was going to kiss her. Sad face.

      • Jaya

        Eh. *shipping. Shipping all the ladies. Obviously.