TV Time Quickies: Once Upon a Time 2.07 and Castle 5.07

Thanks to a much-needed mental health (aka shopping) day off yesterday and a never-ending battle with allergies, I’m a little bit behind in my recapping/reviewing duties this week. As such, I’m going to combine my reviews for this week’s Once Upon a Time and Castle episodes into one neat little recap package, summing up five observations I had about each episode in addition to my usual two-sentence summary and favorite lines.

Enough of my rambling; let’s get on with the shows!

ONCE UPON A TIME 2.07

Title Child of the Moon

Two-Sentence Summary As Ruby faces the first full moon since the curse was broken, she becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation and the target of an angry mod, led by King George, who is determined to get revenge on Charming in whatever way he can. In flashbacks to the Fairytale Land that was, Red finds her mother and learns to control the wolf, while the princesses inhabiting present-day Fairytale Land experience a shock when Aurora reveals that Henry spoke to her in their shared nightmare.

Favorite Line “I’m sort of an expert when it comes to rehabilitation.” (Belle)

Five Fast Observations
1.) Red/Ruby is definitely one of my favorite Once Upon a Time characters. Hers is a story about learning to love yourself for everything you are, both the good and the bad. This is such an important and empowering kind of love to represent on this show. The real monsters of Once are the ones who use their power to knowingly cause harm to others. Red is fascinating because she could so easily have become such a character, but she instead learns that just because she has the power to become a monster doesn’t mean she already is one. In fact, she’s probably one of the most inherently warm and selfless characters on the show.

2.) I like that this episode focused on the beauty and depth that can be found in platonic love. It’s so rare to see a completely platonic relationship between an attractive man and woman on television, and that is exactly what we saw in this episode between Charming and Red. You can tell how deeply they care about one another and have faith in one another, but never once did I feel like there was anything but respect and friendship between them. It’s also rare to see female friendships depicted as deep, positive relationships in the media, but this episode showcased two incredibly positive examples of female friendship: between Red and Belle and between Red and Snow. Once Upon a Time does a great job of showing that romantic love isn’t the only kind of love to exist and have power, and “Child of the Moon” showed that both platonic love and self-love can be incredibly powerful.

3.) “I didn’t save you. You saved yourself,” might be one of the most important and influential lines these writers have ever written. With so many girls, families, and young women watching this show, it’s a big deal to have a Charming tell this to Red. This show is not one for subtlety, and in this case it’s a very good thing. There’s no doubt that Red is the one in charge of her own journey, but she also doesn’t have to take that journey alone.

4.) While the main cast all gave incredibly strong performances this week, I have to admit that I was disappointed in the acting by the guest actors in the flashbacks. The line delivery was incredibly stilted in the werewolf hideout. This cast excels at taking dialogue that could be cheesy and making it resonant, but this week’s guest actors gave surprisingly flat performances.

5.) I found myself incredibly moved by the running theme of light and darkness as displayed in each character. Besides the main storyline of Red struggling to balance the good and destructive forces within herself, Regina and Rumplestiltskin were both able to show moments of total humanity with Henry, and Charming’s dark side was heartbreakingly shown by Josh Dallas when George tossed the hat into the fire. Love is able to bring out both our best and our worst selves, and the line between them is often dangerously fine. It’s a credit to the actors that they are able to tread that line so convincingly.

CASTLE 5.07

Title Swan Song

Two-Sentence Summary The murder of an up-and-coming rock star brings a documentary crew into the 12th precinct, revealing those that are camera-shy and those that are performers at heart while also revealing a little more than Castle and Beckett would like about their relationship. In uncovering the story behind the music, the team encounters groupies, stalkers, volatile bandmates, and one very dangerous cult leader.

Favorite Lines (While watching a video of a hookup between a band member and a groupie)
Gates: I hope you’re not going on the timestamp of this video. That could be fake, you know.
Beckett: That’s not the only thing in this video being faked.

Five Fast Observations
1.) This was a great episode for the entire ensemble. I loved getting to see each actor really flex their comedic muscles in a unique way. I have to give special credit to Jon Huertas and Penny Johnson Jerald for their standout performances. I never thought I could laugh so hard at Esposito or Gates.

2.) The small moments of each character interacting with the cameras really made this episode for me. Their eyes, their body positions, their facial expressions, and their line delivery really sold such a high-concept episode. You could tell while watching that the cast must have had a blast filming this episode; it showed in the excellent comedic performances each one of them turned in.

3.) I liked being reminded of the introvert that Beckett really is underneath the sassy, bright exterior we now get to see thanks to her relationship with Castle. In Seasons 1 and 2, it was clear that she was one to shy away from unnecessary attention rather than revel in it, and it was nice to see that character trait brought back. Kate Beckett is a private person, and that little bit of character continuity was nice to see and created some hilarious reaction shots from Stana Katic.

4.) I understood the need to show Castle intimately touching Beckett’s face from a plot perspective (and I’m never one to object to Castle/Beckett physical contact), but it seemed out-of-character for them to be so openly affectionate in the precinct. I feel like the cameras should have caught them like that outside or in the car.

5.) My favorite thing about Castle in this episode was how much he wanted to show off Beckett for the great detective she is. It’s apparently not enough that he’s written four books about her; he wants everyone to know—in whatever medium he can get involved in—how amazing Beckett is at her job. I have always loved that Castle is most attracted to Beckett for her strength and intelligence on the job and in her life, and he has been since the beginning. He doesn’t want the cameras to show how pretty she is or how sexy she can be; he wants them to show how she excels at her job. His proud smile when she was interrogating the suspect was one little detail that showed more about their relationship than any page of dialogue or traditionally romantic scene could say.

 

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6 thoughts on “TV Time Quickies: Once Upon a Time 2.07 and Castle 5.07

  1. Agree with your comments..the acting was great and the Beckett Castle moments were sweet. still this is my least favorite episode . Still enjoyable but maybe when I watch it again!!

    • I can see where this might not be someone’s favorite episode. It was quite a departure from the norm, but I think that’s what I liked most about it. I liked the playful feeling that ran throughout the cast, showing us sides to these characters we’ve never seen. Was it my favorite of this season? No. Was it incredibly memorable? Not really. But I think I liked it a lot more than some of the people in the fandom did.

  2. I totally agree with you on pretty much every point! :p

    OUAT:
    Red is one of my favorite characters, though to be honest there aren’t many characters on this show I don’t like haha, so I loved getting to see more of her backstory in this episode!

    In terms of your love of Charming saying “I didn’t save you. You saved yourself,” I would also like to add where Red tells her mother that she didn’t choose her friend (Snow) over her, she chose herself. She chose not to be a murderer for herself. I love so much that this show has such a strong focus on women taking control (or keeping control) over their own lives and on them not allowing others to make them into something that they don’t want to be.

    And also, yes yes yes to the Charming & Red relationship being strong and deep but not romantic. I love how she’s kind of Snow & Charming’s second-in-command, and to see her and Charming interact, and him to have so much faith in her, was so wonderful. I want to see flashbacks of Charming and Snow taking back the kingdom once they start winning the fight, with Red by their side helping.

    Lastly, I love Belle so much. She is my spirit animal, only braver, and I love how she refused to give up on Red and Red had to chain her to the library to force her not to help. Her line in this episode about rehabilitation that you put as a favorite line was one of my favorites as well.

    [A very last sidenote – I’m still curious about/confused over all of the characters and their names – they keep switching back and forth in calling each other by their fairytale or Storybrooke names, and I’m curious as to if this has any significance (when someone is called by a different name and by whom, especially in how they refer to themselves as well) or if it’s just a side effect of them now having two lives worth of memories in their brains…I guess we’ll have to keep watching and see if they deal with that at all this season!]

    Castle:
    I loved this episode, I was laughing pretty much throughout the whole episode. I loved getting to see the characters interact with the camera, and their different personalities really coming through in when or whether they chose to acknowledge the camera and what they said. I bet the cast had a blast filming this and being able to actually act like they had knowledge that they were being filmed! 😉

    I love almost all Castle episodes, but I love that in the midst of this season’s Castle/Beckett new relationship storylines (which I am loving) they give us this episode which is so heavily whole-ensemble/whole-precinct based. I love this little family and any time where we get to see them teasing each other and being a family is perfect to me.

    • I agree with everything you said about Castle, and I loved that you brought up points about OUaT that I didn’t have time to bring up in my review!

      Red’s “I chose me” line made me so happy to hear. I completely agree with you about the running theme of women taking control over their own lives/destinies on this show, and Red’s story is one of the most overt examples of that. I’n hopefully going to write a big post on her this weekend, and I can’t wait to share all of the reasons her character is so inspiring to me.

      I also complete agree with your confusion/wondering about the names. My sister and I talk about it after almost every episode. I feel like there has to be some significance to the use of their names, and I’m really hoping we figure it out soon because I’m running out of guesses! 😉

      Finally, Belle is totally your spirit animal. I couldn’t agree more. ❤

  3. ouat: “Once Upon a Time does a great job of showing that romantic love isn’t the only kind of love to exist and have power” –> as much as I love shipping people, i also really enjoy great friendships, especially between m/f when there /isnt/ a romantic tension between them since it’s so rare.

    “The line delivery was incredibly stilted in the werewolf hideout.” yes, the dialogue is often cheesy but it was extra noticeable this week, especially with the wolves.

    castle: all of your thoughts are great and i’m glad you enjoyed the episode as it seems many people didn’t. i almost wish they had taken a step further and really gone for parks/office style and had talking heads, but it was a fleeting desire haha. i loved the comedy of the episode, i laughed aloud more in this episode than most. glad you could enjoy this one too. (suuuper excited for monday [as i always do when there’s a new episode of castle ahead!)

    • I’m super excited for new Castle tomorrow too! I was surprised by the reaction in the fandom to this episode because I really liked it. Not every episode is going to be hugely meaningful; I’m more than happy to just have some fun with these characters every once in a while.

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