Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Once Upon A Time 6x04 Review: “Strange Case” (The Other Side of Me) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Strange Case”
Original Airdate: October 16, 2016

At last, the tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is told fully in classic Once Upon A Time fashion. With a little help from a certain Dark One, the personality separation serum was born. Now that the Evil Queen and Mr. Hyde have teamed up, the race to catch them before tragedy strikes is in full swing.


Long ago, Dr. Jekyll tried to make a serum that would separate a person’s personalities in order to rid oneself of darkness. We all know how this played out, but Once Upon A Time used a slightly different approach to get to the same ending. Instead of Dr. Jekyll figuring it out on his own, he had a bit of help from Rumple, who appears when Dr. Jekyll is stuck on the last part of the formula. Little does Dr. Jekyll know, Rumple is using him as an experiment for personal gain.

Obviously, things go wrong when two people are sharing one body. One thing I liked about this version of the tale is that Rumple actually gave Mr. Hyde his name. Rumple liked that Dr. Jekyll was hiding the worst parts of himself and suggested his new personality use “hide” to his advantage. A little word play can go a long way. Interestingly, Dr. Jekyll still tries to make Mr. Hyde out to be the villain, which backfires greatly in his first world and in Storybrooke.


As everyone is trying to hunt down the Evil Queen and Mr. Hyde to stop imminent destruction, Snow White decides that she will go back to teaching at the local school. She realized that she has missed helping children and resumes her old job. A new school year comes with a new aide, who is from the Land of Untold Stories. Thanks to the small introduction in the first episode of the season, we know that the aide is lying when she introduces herself as Sharin. She is — in fact — Princess Jasmine, but doesn’t want to reveal her identity for reasons that are still unknown. Since the show abandoned the whole Aladdin thing for two episodes, it wasn’t surprising for Jasmine to pop up. The teaser for next week shows that the episode will be dedicated to telling Aladdin and Jasmine’s story, but what role that will play within the grand scheme of things is still up for question.

It seems odd to bring Aladdin and Jasmine into Once Upon A Time, but one could argue that every new character introduction feels exactly that — odd. These introductions all feels out of place until something clicks and a twist makes the characters believable. There will certainly be a big twist that pulls the tangled mess of stories together, but when will it be revealed? If it takes too long, the season could get useless and boring fast.


The other part of the episode finds Belle being trapped aboard the Jolly Roger after Rumple puts a protection spell around it to keep Belle in and Mr. Hyde out. Dr. Jekyll comes aboard for safety after his lab is ransacked by the evil duo and tells Belle his story. At the same time, Mr. Hyde tricks Rumple to stab him with his dagger, which unfortunately doesn’t kill Mr. Hyde. Instead, Mr. Hyde now is in control of the dagger and Rumple.

As the two make it back to the ship, they find Belle being attacked by Dr. Jekyll, who wants revenge on Rumple for forcing him to create the serum. Upon learning Mr. Hyde had a fling with the girl he loved, Dr. Jekyll accidentally murders the girl. Naturally, he feels that killing Belle will give him revenge. This was interesting to watch play out because Dr. Jekyll was supposed to have cast out all his evil when he split his personalities into two separate people. Seeing that the real you can still come back was surprising and a decent twist.

As Dr. Jekyll goes to kill Belle, Hook comes to the rescue and winds up thrusting Dr. Jekyll onto a fish hook, which impales him. The biggest twist in the episode was that in order to kill the doppelganger, the original person has to die. This is actually a very interesting plot twist that will have deep ramifications for the rest of the season — or at least this half of the season. With Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde dead, Regina knows that she has to die if the Evil Queen is to be stopped. But can Regina die and be revived without the Evil Queen coming back to life? There are a lot of uncertainties with how this magic will work, so this might be a rocky road ahead.

Rumple also reveals to Belle that he originally wanted Dr. Jekyll’s serum to split his personalities so that he could be the man that she deserved. I thought it was a very sweet and noble gesture of his love for her. For once, Rumple actually put someone else in front of himself. But Belle could not care less and doesn’t appreciate this information. She is starting to stand up for herself more and not let Rumple bully her anymore. This relationship may not be salvageable, but there is evidence that Rumple is trying to change something other than his hair. This episode gave a glimpse into how the season may unfold and the tough choices that will have to be made. It was nice for things to come full circle and start to make sense, but let’s be honest — that won’t last past next week.


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