This week in television kicked off with a look into Emma’s past and an exploration of her relationship with Regina in the present on Once Upon a Time, as well as an episode of The Good Wife that made everyone watching cry at its powerful ending. Monday gave us a Halloween episode of Dancing with the Stars and the most chilling killer we’ve seen on Castle in quite some time. On Wednesday’s episode of Nashville, Avery and Juliette started working towards reaching a better place in their relationship, while Rayna and Luke seemed to headed for a rough patch. And on Thursday, the women got (pardon my language) shit done on Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder gave much-needed depth to Asher’s character and gave us a very compelling case-of-the-week.
There were some great moments to choose from this week when picking the best of the best—from Alicia and Diane’s moment of shared grief on The Good Wife to Deacon talking to Maddie after her party got out of control on Nashville. However, when one of my favorite characters on television has another breakthrough in terms of character growth, it’s hard for me to even think about anything else for the rest of the week, and that’s what happened with Emma on this week’s Once Upon a Time.
The final scene of “Breaking Glass” was nothing short of exceptional. It delivered huge amounts of character growth for Emma, but it did so with really beautiful subtlety. Emma opening up to Hook so completely about her past—in all of its joy and its pain—was perhaps the bravest thing we’ve ever seen her do. The symbolism of her putting her past in his hands was incredibly effective, and it was one of those moments where choosing to have the characters say very little increased the emotional impact of the moment. Jennifer Morrison and Colin O’Donoghue played every beat of that complex scene perfectly—from the initial, realistic tension (which made the fact that she still showed him the box all the more powerful) and Hook’s understanding of what a big leap of faith this was for Emma to the sincere support in the gesture of him holding her hand and the lovely little beat where she closed her eyes as she rested her head on his shoulder, finally feeling safe enough to let someone help her deal with the pain in her past. Morrison especially did such a great job of conveying just how exhausted Emma was in this scene, carrying the burden of her past alone for so long. That made her decision to finally let someone stand beside her and comfort her as she faced part of her past again resonate with even more emotional force.
And no discussion of this scene should happen without a mention of the incredible revelation at the end. So many of us had a feeling it was coming, but the way it was revealed was absolutely perfect. It gave that final scene the balance between plot development and character development that the best Once Upon a Time scenes are made of.
What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?
I have to say missed my comedies this week! It was a drama heavy week for sure, which was a bit overwhelming after the dramatic and polarizing episode of ONCE we had on Sunday.
Great pick for moment of the week. Its hard for me to argue with anything ONCE related. I think its worth mentioning again how much I liked the reveal that the snow queen was Emma’s foster mother. While this twist didn’t really surprise anyone, it was still powerful for me based solely on Jen and Colin’s acting. I thought they played their shock/horror perfectly. It kinda reminded me of when Neal learns he is Henry’s father (one of my all time favorite scenes of the show). You knew it was coming, but it was still an amazing moment thanks to everyone’s perfect acting.
My honorable mention would be the scene between Asher and his father in HTGAWM. Learning your role model isn’t the person you thought they were is never fun, and it even worse when they happen to be a parent. I thought both of their reactions were very human, especially Asher’s need to still protect his father even after he kicked him out.
P.s. I can’t even really talk about the whole Emma sharing her past with Hook part of this episode because its so huge and my poor heart is trying to protect itself from the pain that is coming and I kinda just want to smash my face into a pillow because they have come so far and its all going to be temporarily taken away and I’m not ready.
I’ve decided I can’t even protect my heart anymore. The pain is coming, and all I can do is hope it’s short-lived. I just keep saying that there was a big “secret” that caused so much angst on Castle back in the day, and it led to one of the most emotional and beautiful speeches I’ve ever seen on TV. So I’m preparing myself for the angst, but I’m super excited about what will come from the angst, too.
I’m so glad you brought up the Asher moment with his father because that was such a fantastic scene. And I absolutely agree with you about missing my comedies—all of my dramas were very heavy (and very polarizing) this week, and I could have used the little spots of bright light.