This week, Once Upon a Time embraced its inner Twilight with a touch of Underworld. The episode delved into the werewolfy subculture of Fairy tale Land. Last year’s reveal about Red Riding Hood was one of the season’s best and “Child of the Moon” takes that story even further.

The Players:

  • Director: Anthony Hemingway
  • Writer: Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss
  • Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Josh Dallas, Jared S. Gilmore, Robert Carlyle, Michael Raymond-James, Colin O’Donoghue, Jorge Garcia

Episode Title: “Child of the Moon”

After getting lots of love in last week’s “Tallahassee,” the ladies of Fairy tale Land took some time off. “Child of the Moon” shifted our focus back to Storybrooke. We go deep inside Henry’s pesky dreams and discover Ruby aka Red Riding Hood’s parentage.

The Good:

  • Werewolf Mythology: The Once universe is constantly expanding as it creates new connections between tales. Most of them are Disney-fied, but others like Little Red Riding Hood, are outside the Disney cannon. In their world, Red isn’t stalked by the wolf, she is the wolf. This week, we met the rest of her animal pack.
  • Henry’s Dreams: For once, Henry makes it into the good section. His too-real dreams are revealed as another dimension, reserved for victims of coma curses. Like Ruby learning to control the wolf, Henry must learn to control himself in the dream. Unfortunately, there’s no way to stop them, so he has to deal with it. The dream’s revealed to be a link to Fairy tale Land, as Aurora’s suffering from the same vision.

The So-So:

  • CGI: The wolves…well, they could have been worse. It would have been nice if they’d looked less screensaver-ish. Once should either invest in quality CGI or work around the need for it. Done poorly, it dates the show and hurts its longevity.

The Bad:

  • Confident Charming: Ruby, knowing she’s likely to turn into a wolf and have no control over it after so long without magic, wants to lock herself up. Charming stupidly and blindly tells her it’s not an issue because he trusts her. No one believed Snow, he says, when she was accused of murder. And he won’t lack faith in another friend. To that, Ruby scoffs and points out the obvious: Snow never killed anyone. As the wolf, she has and will again.
  • Boring Belle: Is this representation of Belle meant as a “told you so” to the bookish girls in Once’s audience who idolized the Disney version? Does bookish = boring and Stockholm Syndrome = stupid? Belle continues to be worthless on her best week’s and detrimental on her worst. This time, she got chained to a shelf in the library when she was supposed to be locking Ruby up, so she managed to be both.

Overall:

While Ruby’s back story is interesting and it’s nice to see the series finally give Henry something to do, this episode was full of squandered moments. It’s infuriating characterizations make it a low point for the season so far.

Rating: 6/10

Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

What did you think of this week’s episode?