Once Upon A Time 2.07 “Child Of The Moon” TV REVIEW
Writers: Ian Goldberg, Andrew Chambliss
Director: Anthony Hemingway
THE ONE WHERE In the past: Red meets her wolf family but has to choose between them and Snow White, with tragic results for her mother. In Storybrooke: Ruby wolfs out and apparently kills a man, but it's all a wicked plot by Spencer to steal the Mad Hatter's hat and strand Mary Margaret and Emma in another realm. In the Enchanted Forest: Aurora has a dream and Henry, who's learned how to control his own dreams, talks to her through it.
VERDICT While it's lovely to see more of Meghan Ory's criminally underused Red Riding Hood, it's a shame there isn't a more interesting plot for her to really sink her teeth into (pardon the pun). The Storybrooke stuff is okay, with her freaking out and wailing about the fact she's just killed someone; it's convincingly portrayed, if a little obvious from the start that she's innocent. But the flashback story is plain dull, with Red's family coming off like a bunch of corseted hippies who whine a lot. The Twilight undertones are strong, too, particularly the scenes of CGI wolves running through the forest (they're not too badly done, mind you, given Once 's no doubt meagre budget, although Twilight did do them better). And while it’s nice to see Red and Snow bonding, it’s hard to believe these guys are such good friends when they seem to spend bugger all time together in Storybrooke.
Overall, “Child Of The Moon” isn't a strong episode; it's slow and clunky at times, despite having a few cool moments. Charming appealing to Ruby's wolf side is probably the highlight (you find yourself yelling “Good doggy!” at the computerised wolf), while the cinematography is beautiful whenever that red cloak is on screen. So kudos goes to the crew for that, at least.
As for the boo-hiss villainy of Spencer, aka King George: Alan Dale, yet again, nails it. He's so despicable you have to wonder why he hasn't teamed up with Regina yet. They'd rule the world together, those two.
WAS IT JUST US, OR...? When Grumpy breaks through the mine's wall to find an enormous cavern beyond it, did anyone else think of Reign Of Fire and wonder if there'd be a dragon waiting for him? The diamonds were a bit of a disappointment, really.
WAS IT JUST US, OR... 2? How did Ruby wake up fully dressed with all her clothing and jewellery intact after wolfing out? Surely she'd have lost an earring or a shoe or something ? Magic makes no sense. Bah!
NOT-SO-MIGHTY MOUSE Poor Billy. He barely had time to register on screen before he was brutally killed by Spencer (although the fact his disembodied legs are found sticking out of a skip somehow comes off as funny rather than shocking). It's interesting to note that he was a mouse in the Enchanted Forest – Gus from Cinderella, to be exact – which again raises all sorts of questions about who is human and who isn't in Storybrooke. Will we be getting to see such characters as Abu the monkey from Aladdin, perhaps? And if Dr Hopper's dalmation dog is Pongo from 101 Dalmations , why isn't he human too?
ISN'T THAT...? Red's mum is played by Annabeth Gish (above), otherwise known as Agent Reyes from The X-Files .
IT'S GOOD TO TALK It's kind of sad that the only way the Enchanted Forest and Storybrooke can communicate is through dreams. Someone needs to build mobile phone masts in the Enchanted Forest ASAP. Also, the fiery room FX are really rather good...
THIS WEEK'S OPENING CREDITS IMAGE... Red walking through the forest.
Grumpy: “Just cause it's called Happy Hour, Happy, it don't mean you gotta be there.”
Belle: “You have a wolf hearing, too?”
Granny: “It's not all it's cracked up to be. Especially when you run a hotel.”