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?