He knows how to work a microwave, thank you: Goon Reviews OUaT “Darkness on the Edge of Town”

Ursula, you need to work on your badass pose.

Ursula, you need to work on your badass pose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, after quite a long wait, we are once again cracking open the storybook and rejoining our favorite bunch of fairy tales in their random misadventures.  Yeah, gonna be honest, not overly thrilled with what I have seen in the promos for the back half of this season, but lets put that aside for a moment, break through the barrier, and return to Storybrooke.

So, brief recap.  Gold was evil, did evil stuff, good guys found out, threw him out of town, and now he is calling on hold friends to sneak back in.  All caught up? Good.

Our flashbacks this week deals with the formation of the much vaunted Queens of Darkness.  Rumpel brings them together promising them their happy endings.  He uses them to get the Dark Curse used by Regina way back when, because he needs them to get past the defenses around it.  Once he gets the curse, he betrays the the trio, locking them in a cave with a demon that apparently eats people who have the potential for darkness.  The three team up to escape the monster, and succeed.  Good for them.

In Storybrooke, life is back to normal, or as normal as it gets for them, after the banishment of Rumpel.  Belle does some digging and finds a spell to release the fairies that Rumpel trapped inside the evil hat.  She find an Oxford professor online who is able to translate the needed spell, and Regina uses it to free the fairies.  Regina asks the Blue Fairy about the storybook, and she reveals that the Sorcerer and the Author are in fact two different people, and despite the Author going missing, he lefts clues behind in his works.  Further investigation is stopped by an attack from the same demon that almost got the Terrible Trio.  Regina and Emma drive it off, but can’t defeat it.  This is when Ursula calls, having played host to Rumpel and meeting up with Cruella to get into town, and tells them about the monster, in exchange for access to Storybrooke, claiming they want to earn redemption.  Emma and Regina lure the monster to the edge of town and cast it over the border, depriving it of magic and killing it.  The evil duo is

Seriously guys, we need a better place to hold staff meetings.

Seriously guys, we need a better place to hold staff meetings.

welcomed into town, despite Snow and David’s warnings against it, and they later sneak Rumpel into town.  We close out with the reveal that the person in Storybrooke with the greatest potential for evil is in fact Emma, and that Snow and David have some hidden past with Ursula and Cruella.

There were some very good parts to this episode, and some not so good parts.  The good being that the characters were just as enjoyable as ever, with clever writing and witty banter.  Seeing Emma and Regina teaming up to fight the monster was just plain fun, and continues to show how they have put all the negativity behind them and are actually friends now.  Regina had an amazing moment when she put herself in danger to protect Emma from the heart eating monster, the willingness to sacrifice yourself for another being the mark of a true hero after all, we need more of Regina being that awesome.  At the same time, Emma basically throwing out any plan that would put Regina in danger shows how important Regina has become to her, another nice mark of their friendship.

Now the bad.  I honestly think that the writers for Once have long since run out of ideas, or at least good ones.  A lot of stuff in this episode was borderline contradictory from  what has been previously established.  For instance, Ursula.  When last we saw her it was back in season three, she was mentioned in the Ariel episode, and was basically worshiped as Sea Goddess, complete with shrines and followers and the like, and now she is evil.  Da fuck is up with that?  I understand not revealing everything and pacing out the backstory, but c’mon, last time we saw her she was hardly evil, and was doing damn good for herself, how the fuck did she end up in New York and wanting to fight the heroes for a happy ending?  And don’t get me started on freaking Cruella De Vil.  Since when she is some dark queen with magical halitosis?  She was a freaking heiress with a fur obsession, not some magcially powered dark queen!  I’m not opposed to her being worked into the show, but the way they did it was just stupid and makes no real sense.  The character does not fit into the magical world of the Enchanted Forest, she has been shoehorned in because the writers are obviously running out of anything interesting to do.  Also, what the hell is up with Rumpel finding the Dark Curse?!  It has been all but stated in the past that Rumpel made the curse, hell its stated that Rumpel designed the curse to break if Emma died! (See S01E21 An Apple as Red as Blood)  So, how could he design the curse with a fail safe, if he didn’t actually make it?

God dammit writers, pay attention to your own damned continuity!

Not only that, according to the promos, we are going to see Emma going darkside at some point.  You can’t see me, but I am rolling my eyes so hard right now.  This whole changing alignment thing is a tired old cliche that rarely is used well, hell, how many times as Regina yoyo’d across the good/evil line?  If this something brief, a one or two episode arch, where Emma gets hit with some sort of magical whammy, then yes, it could be

Her licence plate says Devil!  C'mon people, do you need a flashing neon sign too!

Her licence plate says Devil! C’mon people, do you need a flashing neon sign too!

interesting to watch Snow and David scramble to save their daughter, maybe throw some time limit on there where if they don’t reverse it in time she is perma evil, raise the stakes a bit.  It could allow Morrison to do something new with the character, and give Goodwin and Dallas a chance to shine.  Sadly, I think this will be something  drawn out over the rest of the season, so its going to get really old, really fast.  I honestly think this is just the writers having no idea how to make any interesting new villains, so they have to just take a hero and slap an alignment change on her.  Lazy writing at its best.

Credit where credit is due, Merrin Dungey and Victoria Smurfit played the roles of Ursula and Cruella fairly well, Smurfit getting the look for the character down perfectly, so they may not be horrible to watch, and their hidden past with Snow and Charming could be interesting to watch play out, plus the reveal that the Sorcerer and Author being two different people was nice a twist, pretty much the only thing at this point I am looking forward to at this point.

Overall, the characters were still fun watch, and there are some plot points that could be a lot of fun to watch play out, but honestly, I am finding it hard to be excited about the back half of season 4.

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I have to storm an evil ice cream truck: Goon Reviews OUaT “Family Business”

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I never did trust those ice cream trucks, they always reeked of evil, cold, delicious, sprinkle covered evil.

In the ever so Enchanted Forest, we join the always lovely Belle, as she and her mother race to pack up a library as ogre’s are attacking.  The two hide under a table but are quickly found by the large brutes.  Belle black outs and awakens back at her family castle with no idea of what happened, knowing only that her mother died.  Belle is desperate to discover what happened when she blacked out, but her father orders her to stop looking, fearing for her health and safety.  Belle disregards her father’s orders and sets sail for Arendale, hearing that the rock trolls there are able to restore lost memories.  At the same time, Anna has returned home and meets her Aunt, the Snow Queen.  Anna is suspicious of this new woman, her mother having never mentioned an aunt to either her or Elsa, and departs to  visit the rock trolls, thinking that Grand Pabbie will be able to fill in the gaps.  Taking a stop at a familiar trading post, Anna and Belle meet and together depart to visit the trolls.  Grand Pabbie gives Belle a stone that will be able to restore her blacked out memories of the ogre attack and is able to fill in the gaps for Anna.  As it turns out, her mother was one of three daughters of the royal family, the others being the Snow Queen and a third who not much was told about it.  Turns out that the Snow Queen and third sister went missing one day, no one knowing where, and in order to stop the pain of loosing two of their daughters, the king and queen had the rock trolls erase the memories of everyone in Arendale and had the two sisters removed from all records.  The two head back to Arendale, Belle to return home and Anna to expose the secrets of her new aunt, but are waylaid by a magically summoned storm.  Anna slips and falls off the mountain path they were on, Belle unable to pull her up in time, and is taken by the Snow Queen.  Distraught, Belle returns home where her father tells her that her mother sacrificed herself to save Belle and Belle coming up with the plan to call upon Rumpelstiltskin’s help to stop the trolls.  In Arendale Anna awakes in a cell, having been locked up by her aunt, who tells her that she wanted a loving family, but Anna ruined that and would need to be replaced.

In Storybrooke, Emma reveals her still mysterious connection to the Snow Queen to the rest of our main characters, and they set out to find Frosty and get some answers.  Henry has the idea that that hunt down her ice cream truck, and the team sets out, save for Belle and Elsa who go to the library and do some digging for answers on Anna’s whereabouts.  Emma, Regina, and Hook are able to find the truck, conveniently it was parked fairly close to Robin Hood’s camp. (obviously the Snow Queen has yet to fully grasp the idea of keeping things out of sight)  Inside the truck Emma is able to find a bunch of files on her, as well as a scroll that comes from fairy tale land.  At the same

"Eggs, lettuce, milk, bacon...wait a mintue?  This isn't a prophecy, its a grocery list!"

“Eggs, lettuce, milk, bacon…what the heck? This isn’t a prophecy, its a grocery list!”

time, Belle leaves Emma alone in the library and goes to Rumpel, demanding that he take her to the Snow Queen’s hide out.  As it turns out, Belle is wracked with guilt over her not saving Anna and is determined to make things right.  She goes into the Snow Queen’s cave, thinking that she can find the magic sucking hat inside and can use it to get the Snow Queen to admit to where Anna is.  All she finds is the Snow Queen’s mirror.  It’s an evil mirror, surprise surprise.  Apparently this mirror messes with your head and makes you turn on the people around you. (I am thinking the Snow Queen may have seen Oculus one too many times)  The scroll that Emma found is apparently a prophecy that says the Savior will become the Snow Queen’s sister.  The Snow Queen believes this and wants to destroy Storybrooke, leaving just her, Emma, and Elsa, to be a happy family.  Yeah, totes a fool proof plan.

Both of the stories this week weren’t anything great, but they provided some context for things and answered a few questions.  In magic land, it was nice to get more of Belle’s backstory, but I honestly felt it was unneeded.  Never before had Belle expressed any sorrow, confusion, or any real thoughts  to her dearly departed mother, so the question of what happened to her was not one that needed to be answered.  It felt shoehorned in to give Anna another character from the main cast to interact with.  This entire thing also brings up the question of why the Snow Queen needs to lock Anna up?  Anna doesn’t trust her, and wants to answers to what happened to the Snow Queen and why she and Elsa were never told of her.  The Snow Queen just wants a family that will love her.  So, she locks up her niece for simply wanting to know more about this mysterious woman that suddenly appeared in their lives, not exactly a good way to go about getting a happy family.  Why didn’t she just answer Anna’s questions, tell her everything that happened and show her that Anna has nothing to fear.  Oh right, because that would be logical and the OUaT villains are anything but that.

In Storybrooke, we focus mostly on Belle again, desperate to make up for her mistake, even going so far as to use the dagger to get Rumpel to help her.  Seeing Belle so desperate to make up for past wrong doings that she would use the dagger to do it was interesting.  This is a new side of Belle, and it was nice to see her throw everything to the wind to do what she thought was right.  We can see that she was very much inspired by the heroic death of her mother to be a hero like her, and it did pay off.  She was able to uncover more of the Snow Queen’s plot, which again, is a questionable one at best.  The Snow Queen is going to wipe out Storybrooke so that she, Elsa, and Emma can be a happy family.  I honestly have no idea how making everyone that Emma loves turn on, and murder each other, will inspire feelings of sunshine and happiness towards the woman who caused it.   If her plan involves some sort of mind whammy, then maybe I can see it working, but that wouldn’t really be a truly happy family, which is apparently what she wants.  Another question this raises is why the Snow Queen gave Emma up after only a few months when she wanted to be family to her makes any sense, and how she got to Earth in the first place long before Regina cast the Dark Curse.  Granted, these questions were not meant to be answered this week.  This episode was very much meant to raise interest, we got a few answers, but much more questions.  So in that regard, I will say that this episode was a rousing success.  I want to know just how Frosty the Snow Bitch will pull off this plan, because it seems to be a pretty lackluster plan.

The whole Robin and Regina thing was lightly touched upon, Regina telling Robin that she is unable to cure Marian and that all that can be done is for Robin to forget her and fall back in love with his wife.  This was great to see, Regina is actually putting someone else before herself, which is a major step forward from the beginning of the season when she was plotting to kill Marian.  That, and the small bits we got of her with Emma, are showing that she is making some major steps forward, and while it doesn’t look like she has fully forgiven Emma yet, she is definitely on the road to doing so.

Overall, this was a weaker episode of the season, primarily acting as filler with just a few new revelations in terms of the overall plot.  Was it a bad episode?  No, far from it, but there was nothing overly great about it.  However, it increased my interest in the story and is making me eager for the next episode, so in that regard it did a damn great job.

Goon out.

The invisible man is real!: Goon Reviews Castle “Clear and Present Danger”

NATHAN FILLION, STANA KATIC

 

I am not certain if you can lock onto a video game avatar and trace it to where the user logged in, can someone please tell me if that is a thing?

Unlike other reviews I do, and Castle reviews in the past, I am changing things up.  Gonna spend less time going over the plot and more time talking about the stuff that happened.  The reason?  Each episode follows a pretty basic format, like most crime dramas, what sets it apart is the various little things they do to make it unique, like this episode, which we will start talking about right now.

Brief summary of our CoW. (has that caught on yet?  please tell me that has caught on)
Open on the victim, who is apparently killed by nothing.  Beckett and Castle find out he worked for an insurance company by day and hustled pool by night, which of course leads them to believe that his hustling caused his death.  They meet with the owner of a pool hall, who says that his marks wouldn’t be the type to seek revenge, and of course introduces our twist for the episode, that the victim got his kills by making deal with the devil.  Castle of course eats this up and concocts his wild theories, which are soon replaced by the belief the invisible man did it.  Beckett denies this until they are attacked by an unseen assailant in the victim’s apartment.  They are able to track down where the victim really works, a government facility working on cloaking technology.  They learn that the victim was unhappy with his work, thinking that no one should have the power of invisibility.  They believe that his friend and neighbor was the killer, but learn that he just used the stealth suit to help him cheat at pool, and commit a minor assault.  Castle and Beckett learn that the victim was basing his research on the camouflage ability of the cuttlefish, something his biologist girlfriend was working on.  She of course, is the killer.  She was enraged that the vic was just using her for her research and killed him in a fit of rage and hurt.

Right from the get go, this episode shows you that its going to be one of the weird ones that make Castle such a fun show to watch.  At the beginning the characters are true to form, Castle immediately diving into the strange and wondrous, while Beckett remains level headed and grounded.  However this does change and helps to set things out from other episodes of the show.  After the “ghost” attack, Beckett is fully pulled into the crazy of this episode, and its amazing. Its always fun to see both Castle and Beckett working on the same train of thought and embracing the wacky, granted its best when done only on occasion, but still super fun to watch.

The CoW itself, when just looking at the crime and the process to solve it, was pretty standard.  We had the usual run of clues, witnesses, and false leads that ultimately lead us to the confrontation in the last ten minutes with the real killer, and as always, it was the characters playing off each other that really made the show.  The personal lives of Castle and Beckett this week revolved around the fact that they hadn’t done the dirty deed since Castle went missing and was found.  This made for fun relationship moments between the two, the best part being midway through the episode when they try to get it on but the recent encounter with the invisible baddie leaves them shaken and uncomfortable.  So how do they solve this?  Castle rigs up an alarm system with dental floss and pots and pans.  Gotta be honest, it was funny, I laughed.  It showcased Castle’s quirkiness perfectly, and Beckett’s response, finding it to be a bit of turn on, shows just why she is with him and loves him, she likes the fun he brings to her life.

For Ryan and Esposito, they of course fall into their usual roles of helping to run down clues and leads, but their role in the case is limited this week.  Instead most of their focus is on their amusing subplot.  Ryan is acting odd, and Esposito accuses him of cheating on Jenny.  Ryan is quick to shoot down this theory, explaining that he has taken a night job as a security guard at a club to make extra money, babies being expensive and all that.  This was funny, as it was revealed that it is a male strip joint that Ryan works at.  So of course we get Esposito giving his friend all kinds of good natured crap, as any good friend would do.   While brief, it was funny to watch, and had an amusing pay off at the end when Ryan turned it around and started tormenting Esposito with the g-string he bought him as a joke.

Overall, it was a fun episode, but I have some problems with it.  It honestly felt just a little to sci-fi for me.  Castle is not afraid to flirt with the weird, its part of what gives the show its charm, but there is always a strong sense of reality to it.  The weird stuff that happens is either explained off in a perfectly rational way or just left vague to let the viewers have fun with it.  But in this case, a full on stealth suit like what he saw, it made the episode feel like something out of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  or a spy show like Chuck.  Castle is at its best when it stays grounded in the real world, but has fun by channeling tropes or other genres, such as the vampire episodes in season two, or the time traveler episode from last season.

While far from a bad episodes, as there were a lot of laughs and the all the characters were true to form, it was just a little to out there to be a truly great episode.

Goon out.

Apparently Castle knows his camping: Goon Reviews Castle “Driven”

What do mean wedding's not happening!?

And we are back with our favorite crime fighting author and sexy cop partner!

When we last left the pair they had just gotten married, it was a lovely ceremony.  Alexis looked adorable in her best man suit, and gave a fantastic speech at the reception, Esposito and Ryan got up to some antics at the open bar, but it was played for laughs, and  Castle and Beckett’s first dance was just tooth rotting sweet.  We closed out with the two driving off on their honeymo…wait,  what did you say? 0
They didn’t get married?  Beckett got a call and found Castle’s car burning on the side of the road?  Wait, what did  I see then?  I distinctly remember a wedding.  A dream, you say?  No, that can’t be right, the writers wouldn’t do something so horrible to us, their loyal fans would they?  They did!

Well, crap.

So, after an annoying cliffhanger, and a false hope providing hallucination, we pick up right where we left off.  Beckett scrambles to the burning car, trying to save her husband to be, but the heat of the flames force her back.  Once the fire is out, she sees that there is no body inside, and the team scramble to find their missing friend.  The local police jump on board right away, more than willing to save Castle, who is considered to be one of their own.  The discover tracks leading away from Castle’s car, and get a lead on a black SUV that was seen in the area.  The FBI is able to get a brief lock on Castle’s phone, leading Beckett, Ryan, and Esposito to a junkyard where the aforementioned black SUV is being crushed.  They nab the guy the crushing the car, but he refuses to speak.  The troops are scrambled and the FBI is called in to help, the agent assigned does not seem hopeful they will find him alive, raising the idea that it was someone Castle and Beckett nabbed in the past who is behind it.  We get a brief shot of a devastated Alexis, convinced that her dad will be coming home.  The clues lead to the attack being mob related, which brings about a familiar face from the past, Vinnie Cardino, last seen in season five where Castle and Beckett solved a crime in the Hamptons.  He is upset over the news, having made peace with Castle in the past, and explains that he was paid cash to destroy the SUV, not knowing it was related to Castle’s disappearance.  He tells them where the money drop point was, and our favorite reoccurring tech head Tory is able to get security cam footage of the alley, only to discover that Castle was the one to drop off the cash.  The plot, it thickens!

Beckett is shaken by this news, Ryan is confused, and Esposito is angry.  Beckett tells Ryan to look into Castle, and Beckett goes to interview Martha and Alexis.   They know nothing, but we have a nice moment of Beckett worrying that Castle was having doubts about the wedding, but is reassured by Martha that running was the farthest thing from Castle’s mind.  With this in mind, Beckett knows that something is up, that there is something off about this, but the FBI isn’t buying it, convinced that Castle is just trying to make himself disappear for reasons unknown.  Beckett once more throws herself into the case, determined to find Castle. and we are treated to a montage of her chasing leads.  The episode then cuts to the coast guard coming across a seemingly abandoned boat, but low and behold, there is an unconscious man inside it, that’s right, its Castle!  Castle is brought to the hospital and Beckett and team rush to see him, Beckett monetarily stunned after seeing him in the hospital bed, convinced that she would never him again.  What could have been a touching moment, is spoiled by Castle not gaining consciousness.  Martha and Alexis rush in, and we learn that Castle has no serious injuries but is recovering from exposure and dehydration.  Esposito is still angry over the situation, wanting to know what Castle was doing, but Ryan comes the authors defense, saying that after everything they have been through, he deserves the benefits of the doubt.  Beckett calms the two and gets them back work.  She talks to the captain that found Castle, and they are able to  track down where the boat came from, leading them to Massachusetts, and a new suspect, one Henry Jenkins.  Team Beckett go to the dock, and the mobile home next to it, there is no sign of Jenkins and before they can move in, Beckett gets a call from Laney, who looked Castle over, and made some shocking discoveries.  She finds antibodies for a tropical virus in his blood stream, and a weeks old bullet wound.  The team nabs Jenkins, who says he has no idea who Castle is or how he got into his boat.  Jenkins says he saw a man camping nearby to long ago, and after seeing a picture, confirms it was Castle.  Beckett and Esposito check it out and find the tent full of supplies as well as his wedding tux.  Castle regains consciousness and Beckett goes to speak to him.  Beckett confronts him, but Castle claims to only remember the crash and then waking up in the hospital.  It is then revealed that Castle has been missing for two months, gasp!
A doctor tells them that Castle shows no signs of the usual things that cause memory loss, but doesn’t rule them out, nor does she rule out that Castle may have just walked away from his life.  Beckett is upset, and Castle wants answers.  He asks her to take him to his camp site, but nothing is ringing any bells.  Beckett asks Castle for the truth, but Castle insists that he is telling the truth, Beckett does seem to buy it.  At this point Ryan has also lost faith in Castle, to much evidence points to him being there.  Castle says he never would have camped there, research done on never finished book giving him the knowledge of camping.  Beckett takes him to see the witness, but a different man answers the door, who is the real Henry Jenkins.  This leads them to believe that the camp was indeed a set up, and now everyone is determined to find the truth.

We close out the episode with a touching family scene, and a talk between Castle and Beckett, the two seem to be back on a good page, but knowing that they have some work to do to rebuild their relationship to what it once was.

 

Wow, that is a lenghtly plot summary, but I feel that at least in this case its important.  A lot happened in this episode with virtually no filler in it.

Honestly, I have some mixed feelings about this episode.  The mystery of Castle’s disappearance feels a bit to conspiracy theory for my taste, but I have to admit that it does fit in with Castle.  The character is all about the mysteries, unexplained, and conspiracies, so throwing him into the middle of one, with no memory of it, will certainly be interesting to see him try to unravel it.  That being said, it is just a jackass move on the writers part to throw this wrench into the Castle/Beckett romance.  We waited four years for that to happen, two years for them to tie the knot, and now this.  I get that they feel they need to keep the drama going to keep viewers interested, but this is getting annoying.  It is good that they have not split up, and that Castle is sure they will get back to what they once were.

A lot of this episode focused on Beckett, and this was a good thing.  She progressed naturally with the story, sorrow over Castle’s apparent death, rage over his abduction, hurt and distrust when it was revealed that he was apparently hiding out, confusion over the mystery, and finally hope that Castle was home and that everything would be better in time.  Sadly, Castle was used minimally in this episode, so we didn’t get much of the two playing off each other, but his few scenes were great, and he really sold the confusion and hurt over the situation.

The supporting characters all played their roles well.  Ryan and Esposito throwing themselves into the case, Esposito’s distrust of the situation and Ryan’s loyalty to Castle fit perfectly with the character’s, including Ryan’s loss of faith as evidence presented themselves.  Despite their friendship, he is a cop, and has to go where the evidence takes him.

Martha and Alexis were used briefly, but it made sense.  They weren’t involved with case, staying on the sidelines and showing up to provide some drama to the situation, heartbroken over Castle’s disappearance, overjoyed at his return, and never doubting him for a second.  We even got a brief mention of Castle’s spy dad, Esposito wondering if he was involved, and who knows, maybe he was.

This was far from a bad episode, and honestly was one of the better season premiers, it was full of drama and twists, grabbing the audience and not letting go until the end.  They didn’t drag out Castle missing, instead just using it to set up the new overarching plot for the show.  The real problem with it is the whole conspiracy thing surrounding Castle’s disappearance.  While it’s not horribly out of place for the show, it does feel a bit gimmicky, and could get really old really fast.  If this is handled in the same as finding the murderer of Beckett’s mom, with it being in the background and coming up every once in awhile, new pieces of the puzzle occasionally being revealed throughout the course of their investigations, it will be good.

Overall, this was a great premier to the season.  A good, well paced story, and the introduction of a new overarching plot.  There were some missteps taken, but they were minor and don’t hurt the show.  I look forward to seeing this mystery unravel.

Goon out.

Wanna go home and see whats on Netflix: Goon Reviews OUaT “A Tale of Two Sisters”

once-upon-a-time-season-4-frozen

Hey everyone, how you been doing?  I know I haven’t been around for awhile (not counting my weekly reviews with Snooty) but there is a reason for that.  I ended up watching pretty much no new shows over the summer, so didn’t have much to write on.  But all that changes now!  My shows are back, and so are my reviews!

So with no more dilly dallying lets return to Storybrooke!

As always, lets start in the past and work our way forward.

We open several years in the past, with Anna and Elsa’s parents on the boat ride that killed them.  The ship is going down and the Queen is desperately scribbling down a note, with the explanation that their daughters’ must know the truth.  She seals the note up in a bottle and tosses it overboard before the boat sinks.  Yeah, I’m sure that won’t be important at all.
We then cut to the Kingdom of Arendale five years later, after the events of Frozen,  Anna is planning her wedding to Kristoff and Elsa surprises her with their mother’s wedding dress and a fancy snowflake necklace.  While Anna tries on the dress, Elsa pokes around the attic and finds a diary, written by their mother,  that states the reason for their parents trip was related to Elsa and her powers.  Naturally Elsa does not take this well, and runs off.  Anna tracks her down and says they need to find out the truth behind the words.  They pay a visit to Grandpa troll, but he is unable to give them more information.  Anna has the idea that they need to go to Misthaven to find the truth of their parents trip.  Elsa refuses, saying it is too dangerous and that because she is the Queen she can’t just up and leave.  So Anna does.  We are then introduced to Kristoff, who distracts Elsa so that she can’t stop Anna from leaving.  He succeeds.  Yay!  Elsa is of course worried, not knowing anything about this land that her little sister is sailing off to.  Kristoff reassures her, telling Elsa that she is probably more familiar with the name the inhabitants of Misthaven use, The Enchanted Forsest (dun dun duunnnnn)

Back in Storybrooke, we pick up right where we left off last season.  Regina leaving the party after Marian’s appearance.  Emma chases after her, trying to make things right, naturally this does not go well, Robin and Marian follow them out, an argument happens, hurtful words are said, and Regina storms off to be alone.  Emma and family are naturally worried that this newest upset will turn Regina back to the darkside, and their not wrong.  We see Regina go to the hospital where she goes to the psych ward and we see Sydney, aka the Magic Mirror, who we have not seen since way back in season one.  She puts him back in the mirror and plans to use him to discover where from time Emma pulled Marian out of so she can go back and kill her before Emma saves her, assuring her happy ending with Robin.  While this goes on, we see Elsa wander towards town.  After an incident on the road where she freezes Grumpy’s van just before it runs her over, she makes her way into town while the Grumpy runs around screaming about an ice monster in town.  Emma and Hook spring into action and follow an ice trail to an empty building, where they encounter everyone’s favorite snow golem, Marshmellow!  Using the distraction of her fine and frosty friend, Elsa slips away and finds a newspaper with a picture of Gold in his shop, a familiar necklace on his counter.

Hook and Emma quickly realize that the snow monster will only attack if it is threatened and follow it as it stomps off to the forest, where it encounters Robin Hood and co.  Ignoring Emma’s warning about not attacking the snow creature, Little John shoots it and the creature goes on the offence.  Emma tries to muster up the magic mojo to meltdown the massive monster (is that some nice alliteration or what?) but fails and the group is knocked back.  Just as the creature is about to kill Marian, Regina shows up and saves her, throwing a fireball that causes the monster to go boom.  We get a brief relationship moment between Emma and Hook, before she goes off to find the cause of the snow goon, while Regina hatches a plan.  She decides that everything wrong in her life is the story books fault.  The book describes her as evil, ensuring that she will never get her happy ending.  So she decides to change that.  She is going to find the author of the book and have him rewrite her story so she gets happy ending.

We close out with Elsa breaking into Gold’s shop and taking the necklace she gave to Anna, vowing to find her sister.

This was a great open to the season, and was massive step up from the relatively crappy second half of season 3.  We have Elsa setting up to be the villain, but unlike the previous baddies on the show, she isn’t evil.  What little we know so far is that her sister, her only living family, is missing.  Given everything in her past, and her relationship with Anna, its no surprise that Elsa would go to any lengths to save her sister.  While I am upset that we didn’t get any interactions between Elsa and the Storybrooke inhabitants, and no explanation as of yet for why she was held prisoner in Gold’s vault, this wasn’t bad.  Buildup, it’s a good thing, and from the looks of the preview, we will be getting her confrontation with the others characters next week.  What we got here was great, an introduction to the new baddie, the basic plot, and an interesting subplot.

Also, shockingly enough, I actually really enjoyed the flashbacks this time.  It may have been because of Anna.  Elizabeth Lail did a great job with the character,  and it honestly felt like I was watching the animated character from the movie come to life.  Equally so with Georgina Haig as Elsa.  The two played off each other well and it actually felt like I was watching two sisters.  Kristoff was solid was well, wasn’t great, up definitely good.  We saw that he legitimately cared about Elsa, and was starting to consider her to be his sister.  Elsa didn’t seem as open with him, which I admit I didn’t like.  From what we saw in Frozen I don’t think Elsa would have any reason to be cold (no pun intended) to Kristoff, but this wasn’t a major thing and was more played off for laughs than anything else.  If it continues I will be upset, as I would love to see a true friendship and sibling love grow between them, but at this point all we can do is wait and see.

Emma, as per usual, was an important part of the episode, trying to get through to Regina to patch things up between them, but at the same not showing any regert over saving Marian’s life, just sadness that it hurt Regina.   I am very nervous about what is happening to Regina.  They have spent so much time having her try to redeem herself, fail, and try again, that if she goes evil again I am going to be pissed, and convinced once and for all that the writers for this show have no new idea’s left.  That being said, the search for the author does have me interested, as I have been curios as to who wrote that book from the get go.  Emma’s closing line to Regina, that Henry brought her to Storybrooke to bring back the happy endings, including Regina’s, so she that is what she was going to do, was fantastic.  It shows just how far Emma has gone, and just how much Regina means to her now.  It honestly appears that at this point Emma honestly considers Regina and friend, and wants to make amends for what she did, to fix their friendship.  I can’t wait to see how this plays out.

We did see some brief moments with Rumpy and Belle.  They paid a visit to Neal’s grave, where he apologized about everything he did and what he became, realizing now that he didn’t need power, all he needed was his son.  This wasn’t a bad scene, but far from great.  We are all well aware that Rumpel loves his son more than anything, maybe save Belle, but it was still a good scene and Robert Carlyle showed some great emotions here.  The rest of them was pretty blah, save for one small moment.  Belle takes them to a fancy and empty house for their honeymoon, where they dance in the trademark outfits from the animated Beauty and the Beast film, with the song of the same title playing in the background.  Apart from that, all we got from them was that Rumpel is up to something and is keeping Belle in the dark, pretty par for the course.  There was one other twist, and that being Rumpel summoning the hat from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.  I’m sure that won’t be important at all.

My one other criticism for this episode was the lack of Snow and Charming.  They were around sure, but both were pushed back to secondary character status, only having a few minutes of screen time.  Same with Henry, around, but didn’t do anything.  There was some comments made that he may be uncomfortable with both his mother’s having new men in their lives, but its an offhand comment from Hook with nothing to really back it up.

Overall, this was a great premier.  The story flowed smoothly, the new characters are interesting with actors who are clearly comfortable in the rolls, and we have some great subplots that will be a lot of fun to watch play out, and hopefully answer some the mysteries that still linger in this show.  I eagerly await next week’s episode.

Cutest best man ever: Goon Reviews Castle “For Better or Worse”

Kick him in the crotch and run!

Kick him in the crotch and run!

Seriously, f’ing seriously!  We have been waiting six freaking years and you end it with that?  I am very disappointed in you Castle writers, very disappointed.

Okay, lets save this rant for later on and deal with the plot.

We open with 72 hours remaining before Castle and Beckett get hitched, we are treated with an amusing opening scene of Castle, Martha, and Alexis tackling pre-wedding problems before they become problems, which is a truly great scene to watch.  Team Castle is a well oiled machine and they are able to take care of  any problem that may come their way.  Except for one.  As Castle and Beckett are off to get their marriage license we learn that Beckett is already married. (cue dramatic music here)  As it turns out, Beckett had a Vegas wedding back in college, and not thinking it was a real deal, put it out of her mind.  Refusing to let this little bombshell get in the way of their happy ending, Beckett goes off to track down her husband and dissolve the marriage while Castle stays behind to make sure the wedding stays on track.  In true television fashion, this does not go as easy as the simple signing of a piece of paper.   It starts out simple enough, Beckett’s ex, one Rogan O’Leary (played by the ever so great Eddie Mclintock) needs her to break into his girlfriend’s car and swipe the garage door opener and won’t sign the papers until she does.  Beckett pulls it off without a hitch but before the papers can be signed, Rogan gets snatched and taken away.  Castle hurries to her side, leaving the handling of the wedding in the capable hands of Martha and Alexis.  We then treated to usual CoW tactics.  With a little help from Tori, our favorite NYPD tech wiz,  Castle and Beckett get to work, which leads them to a stripper, (with the most fake looking one dollar bills stuffed in her bra that I have ever seen) a black mailed priest who partook of the stripper’s services, and a biker gang who Rogan owes money to.  In the end they are able to track Rogan down to the home of the stripper’s boyfriend, where they find him tied up in the barn.  Before they can make their escape it is learned that the farm is owned by none other than a wanted mafia hitman who has been on the run.  As it turns out, Rogan had pictures of the hitman and unless they were handed over, they would all be killed.  In a clever move, Castle and Beckett lead the mobster and his two goons (no relation) to Rogan’s apartment, where the biker gang is waiting.  Through some quick dealings, they convince the bikers to take the mobster and turn him in for the reward.  With the papers signed, and Castle helping Rogan patch things up with his girlfriend, Beckett and Castle are off to get married.  What should have been a happy ending, with Castle and Beckett finally getting married, was a sad one as Castle doesn’t show up to the wedding and his car is found burning on the side of the road.

Honestly, despite the ending, this was a really fun season finale.  compared to a lot of Castle finales in the past,  this one was rather light and upbeat.  Instead of a crime to solve it was wedding to save.  While there were some definite cliches to the episode, none of them really detracted from it, quite the opposite, they made the episode fun.  Going into the season, when  Beckett said yes, we all knew that their wedding wouldn’t go off without a hitch, but I was glad that they took a light hearted approach to it.  The entire story of Beckett trying to get the papers signed was played for fun, Castle throwing jokes about the whole thing left and right only just made it all the better.  The best part was Beckett’s freak out about the wedding.  With everything that happened, its only normal that panic would seize hold of one of them, at least for a bit.  But, completely unphased by this, Castle calms her down.  Again,  a bit cliched, especially when Castle pulls out the fairy tale metaphor, but it was sweet, and amazing to see Castle keep such a cool head throughout it all.  He and Beckett have been through a lot, and he knows this, what they’re dealing with now is just a minor bump in the road, one that they can easily overcome.  And they do.  And it was pretty awesome.

While Castle and Beckett are running the divorce gauntlet, our lovable cast of supporting characters were working hard to make sure the wedding goes off without a hitch.  Some problems they deal along the way include:
A too small tux for Ryan
The loss of the venue do to first time fire breathers (did not see that one coming)
A ruined wedding dress

Again, nothing overly original, apart form that fire breather thing, but everything worked.  These scenes worked to break up what little tension was building throughout the story, and gave us some honest laughs and cringe worthy moments.  Everything about it really made you care about what has happening to the characters.  The ruined dress had me distraught, and I found myself desperate to find out what how that obstacle would be overcome.  The loss of the venue, in such a ridiculous way,  and the too small tux had me laughing, knowing that while these were pretty big problems, they would be solved in fantastic ways.  That is what made the heavy use of cliches work, because we care about these characters and we know that nothing ever runs smoothly, but we also know that nothing can stop them.  After Beckett’s solving of her mother’s murder, we know for certain that there is nothing that can stand in their way, that working together, Castle, Beckett, and all the others can accomplish anything.

Which now brings us to the end.  After everything they went through, the wedding was finally there.  The divorce was filed, the guests had arrived, Beckett was looking drop dead gorgeous in her mother’s wedding dress, nothing was standing in the way.  Except a mysterious black SUV.  As Castle is on his way to the wedding, he is tailed by an unknown SUV, when he tries to get away, it pulls up next to him.  We cut to Beckett and the others wondering where he is, and Beckett getting a call.  Our closing shot of the season being Beckett breaking down as she see’s his car lying burning in a ditch.

This left me torn.  As a fan of Castle, and a hardcore supporter of the Castle/Beckett paring since day one, there is not enough words to describe how upset this scene made me.  We have watched them overcome countless obstacles in their relationship, go through so many things to make it work, and finally we were getting the pay off, we were going to watch them get married, only for the rug to get pulled out from under us.  I wanted the see the wedding, I wanted that happy ending we have been waiting six freaking years for it!  What do we get instead?  A burning car and a crying Beckett.  It felt like a slap in the face.  And if there is one thing the Goon doesn’t like, its being slapped in the face.  Seriously, it’s not fun.

However, on the other hand, I am also a reviewer, so I do have to appreciate the ending for it was.  A damn good season closer.  There are three purposes to a season finale:
1) Wrap up story
2) Introduce a new story
3) Get us psyched for the next season
A finale must meet one or all of these for it to be good, and Castle did.  We got wrap up of a major story, the murder of Beckett’s mom (granted that was last week, but still, it counts) and I can’t say the same for you, but I know that I am so pumped for season seven.  I can’t wait to find out what happened to Castle, and who was behind the attack.  Current theory is that it was the mafia that the hitman was part of seeking revenge.  Most of all, I can’t wait to finally see Castle and Beckett get married.

Despite the last few minutes, this was a great finale, plain and simple.  It was a lot of fun, all the characters had a role to play, even Tori, who is a tertiary character at best, (and is still one I want to see more of.  Here’s hoping she is a more regular cast member in the next season) and the upbeat nature throughout most of the episode was a solid balance to last week’s drama heavy episode.  The two work together and balance each other out, creating what I consider to be an amazing two part finale.  I am ever so eager to find out what happens next season.

Goon out.

That’s a lot of gold: Goon Reviews OUaT “Snow Drifts/There’s no Place Like Home”

JENNIFER MORRISON, GINNIFER GOODWIN, JOSH DALLAS

 

To many time travel jokes, to little time.  So lets just skip those and get right down to it.

Also, I know I missed my reviews of the last few episodes, but I have a very good reason for it.   I was busy watching Clone  Wars on Netflix.  What can I say, Goon loves the lightsabers.

Brief recap, Zalena did evil stuff, and as we learned in flashbacks, was an idiot that can’t let go of the past.  She wanted to go back in time and rewrite history, stole Snow and David’s  new baby to do it.  The good guys stopped her, after a few roadblocks, such as Emma losing her magic to save Hook.  In the 11th hour, Regina dug deep and busted out the White Magic and laid a mojo smack down on Zalena.  Rumpel was freed from her control and killed her, resulting in her magic being released from the pendant that contained it and opening the portal to the past.  There we go, all caught up.

Snow and David are happily celebrating the birth, and safe return of their new born son.  They are planning a potluck coronation for him at Granny’s where they will announce his name.  At the same time Emma is planning on returning to New York with Henry now that the bad guy is taken care of, but has not yet told her parents.  The cat is let out of the bag by Hook, leading to some unpleasantness in the Charming Family.  Emma storms out of Granny’s with Hook giving chase, hoping to talk her into staying.  The festivities come to an abrupt halt when a pillar of light is spotted across town, this being Zelena’s portal to the past.  Emma and Hook spot it as well and go to investigate.  When they arrive the discover that the portal has some sort of vacuum effect and sucks them both into the past.  It doesn’t take long for Emma to screw with the past, in this case interrupting the first meeting of her parents.  Desperate to fix her mistake, and return to the present, Emma and Hook go to pay Rumpel a visit and are able to convince him of the truth and get his help to return home.  While Rumpel works on that, Emma and Hook go about rewriting the past in order to save her future.   We are treated to a fun adventure as Emma and Hook bumble their way through the past in an effort to right to fix her mistake.  Along the way they punch out past Hook, crash a royal ball, dance, Emma gets arrested by past Regina, her parents and Hook team up with Red to bust her out, save a woman that Regina was going to put to death, Emma watches her mother die only to discover that she used her Dark Fairy dust to escape being burned alive, and set things up for David and Snow to begin their truly epic love story.  In the end, she and Hook are trapped in Rumpel’s magic vault without a way to activate the wand that will send them home.  When Emma finally realized what she was missing, how badly she wanted to get home, her magic came back and she was able to open the portal, sending her, Hook, and the rescued prisoner back to the future! (who needs a Flux Capictor?)  We close out the episode with Emma telling her family she will be staying in Storybrooke, explaining what happened in the past, and discovering that the woman Emma rescued is none other than Marion, Robin Hood’s “dead” wife.  Yeah, that is gonna throw a wrench into the developing Robin/Regina pairing.  We also get a brief look at what I am assuming is our new villain, who I will talk about below, before cutting to black.

I’m not going to say to much more about the story, this was a two hour episode so there was a lot there and I don’t feel like going to deep into it.  You all saw it, you know what happened, so lets just talk about it.

This was an interesting way to close out the season.  Instead of a climatic showdown between the forces of good and evil, we got that last week.  Instead we had a mini adventure with Emma and Hook that revolved around the idea of Emma finding her home.  This was emphasized by the two, blessedly short, flashbacks we got this week.  The first showing a teenage Emma at a group home, heartbroken that she had never been adopted, never had a home.  The second being a scene with her and Neal, shortly after they met.  The two broke into a fair and talked about their pasts, Neal commenting that you know you have a home when you are sad to leave it.  This is a lesson that takes time for Emma to fully understand.  It wasn’t until she saw her mother “dying” and not being recognized by her and David that she realized what she had, and what she was ready to walk away from.  Honestly, this was a beautiful moment, there is no other way to describe it.  Emma realized the pain she was unwittingly putting her parents through, and decided that she couldn’t live with herself if she kept doing it.  From this point Emma works hard to get her parents to fall in love, not just to save her life, but because she wants her family back, she refuses to lose her home.  This episode was strong in character moments for Emma.  We finally, after far far to long, got to see her stop running and finally embrace what she has been wanting for so long.

Emma wasn’t alone in this journey though, throughout her trip to the past Hook, who had been trying to convince her to stay in Storybrooke because that is where her family is, was right there to provide support and some genuinely fun moments.  Hook definitely took on more of a supportive role in this episode, but it worked amazingly well.  This episode was primarily about Emma finding out where her home was, but she couldn’t do it on her own, she more or less needed a guide, someone to help her to that realization, and that is Hook provided.  He helped to keep Emma on track, and did his best to minimize the damage to the past.  His best moments coming from his little jabs at Emma during the ball, and his discussing how he was in love with her with David.  He added some levity and humor to a fairly drama heavy episode.   Hook’s presence in the episode also served as moving his and Emma’s relationship forward.  They smooch, a lot.

Relationships were another significant part of the episode.  We not only were treated to a new take on the beginning of Snow and David’s love story and the beginning of Hook and Emma’s, we got some pretty major ones with other characters as well.   Rumpelstiltskin and Belle tied the knot!  How great is that?  While this was a small part of the episode, it was great to see their relationship finally take a major step forward. They really love each other, and have a lot thrown at them to keep them apart, granted I am sure this is gonna fall apart when Belle finally discovers that Rumpel didn’t actually give her his dark, but rather a fake one and hid the real one away, but for now, lets just enjoy the fact that these two got themselves hitched.  We also saw more of the new relationship between Regina and Robin.  This is something they have spent a good part of the season hinting at and building up to, they finally got together a couple episodes back, and it was great.  Regina has finally let go of the past, she has made peace with Emma and her family, basically she has become part of her their family, and has a new love in her love.  One of the greatest parts of the episode was the scene where Regina, Robin, and Roland were holding hands and walking towards Granny’s.  It was sweet because it was just some normal, and happy.  This is the happiest we have seen Regina’s character since the start of the show, it was heartbreaking at the end when Robin was reunited with his wife.  Regina’s heartbreak, sorrow, and rage were perfectly set, and her directing that hatred at Emma, I shuddered, there was shudders.  To be honest, I am rather annoyed with this new twist, not only is this going to introduce an ever so despised love triangle, I was so glad to see Regina get some well deserved, and real happiness for once.  Not only did I love this pairing, it was so nice to see things going well for Regina.  I hate that she is getting the short end of the stick just to introduce some pointless drama that we don’t need.  I only hope that this won’t last too long and Robin and Regina will end up together.

And finally, the closing moments of the episode.  When the time portal to send Emma and Hook home opened up, it also sucked in an urn that Rumpel had locked away.  We see it burst open and some blue goop pour out of it and finally form into a woman in a very familiar looking dress.  She shoots out a blast of ice and walks away into the night.  That’s right folks, its looking like our new villain is none other than Elsa, the cryomancer from Disney’s Frozen.  Admittedly, it is possible that this character is in fact the Snow Queen, the title character from the story that Frozen is based off, but given that look of the character and the outfit, and the popularity of the movie, I am willing to bet that we are indeed going to be looking at Elsa for the baddie next season.  This is an incredibly interesting development for the show, especially when you consider the fact that Elsa wasn’t a villain, she was more of a victim.  I am honestly intrigued to see how they will spin her as a villain, looking at her story in the movie, there is a lot there that could lead to the birth of a villain.  Whatever happens, this little teaser served its purpose, to wet our appetites for the next season and get us talking about.  Personally, I can’t wait for the fall to see what will happen with these new developments in Storybrooke.

Overall, it was a great season finale, I think the best one we have had so far.  Instead of being the climax of the season’s events, it was instead basically a stand alone story devised to help Emma settle with her past and embrace her future.  There was some great moments for the characters, an interesting new twist on the story of Snow and David, solid relationship moments for Regina and Rumpel, and best of all, great set up for season four.

The season overall was a fantastic story that took us from Neverland, to New York, back to the Enchanted Forest, and finally home to Storybrooke.  Villains became heroes, old grudges were laid to rest, family secrets were revealed, and in true fairy tale fashion, good once again triumphed over evil.  There were several ups and downs, the Wicked Witch definitely being one of the downs, but it was a great season, and I can’t wait for the next one.

But, until we return home Storybrooke,

Goon out.