|A typical Saturday Afternoon|
Once Upon A Time is not a show I honestly thought I would review again, but after hearing about the Camelot Arc I was actually looking forward to reviewing Her Handsome Hero. The minute I heard this episode’s title, I started to have expectations about how the backstory would be handled and if it would would allow me to make my peace in regards to Belle because when thinking about the characters who I despised the most in Season 4; Belle tied in with Anna as #2 both losing to Killian Jones. Luckily from the support from the fandom and this recent season (even including Broken Heart) Belle was back to the status of my favorite character and it actually gives Belle the character development fans have longing to see for her since Season 2. For this episode, we get a flashback of her engagement to Gaston which goes into great detail explaining why Belle is the way she is and in the present show how both Rumpelstiltskin and Belle joining forces to save their child from Hades all while trying to avoid being killed by a vengeful Gaston.
The flashback shows Belle at least a few years before the events of Skin Deep introduced to Gaston by her father in an effort to get her interested in marriage as its revealed Gaston’s family has a strong backing to help out Belle’s kingdom therefore an alliance would suit everyone. I like how this episode handled the introduction between Gaston and Belle as the character does come off being considerate, polite, handsome even sincere to Belle where anyone would naturally be smitten by him at first glance. It actually reminded me of Marianne and Willoughby’s courtship from Sense & Sensibility as Gaston does come off looking like a hero from romance novels that does cause Belle to break down her cynicism and believe perhaps Gaston isn’t so horrible.
As they start to get ready to head back to the castle, the pair finds a baby ogre spying around the castle in which Gaston wants to murder the creature while Belle insists compassion might be the better solution. They head off to the library where Belle shows Gaston the book Her Handsome Hero stating it is her favorite because the book has instructions on how to be a heroic person. I think the library scene actually does explain why Belle is obsessed with heroism because this book isn’t just a gift from her mother but the contents helped her in shaping how the world should be. Think about a movie or a book that you hold most dear, in the pilot; Mary Margaret explains the reasons why fairytales are treasured are because they instill lessons and solutions for those who are unable to make sense of the chaos around them. For Belle, this book did help shape her world but the problem became she didn’t always use the best solution for a problem rather than thinking what occurred in her book than common sense. It doesn’t make her a horrible person, just a woman who is slowly learning the world is not black and white where what she knows can used based on how the situation is viewed rather than believing one solution can work for every problem.
As they find a solution for the Ogre, Belle gives the book to Gaston as a token where at first I thought he was going throw it in the trash but he actually keeps it close to him stating he will cherish since it is her favorite book. By the time Belle gets back with the mirror, Gaston revealed the Ogre escape before leaving the hunter severely wounded. This provokes the men to find the ogre as Belle stops Gaston from killing the creature by revealing the mirror to everyone to show their true souls. However, Gaston strikes the arrow shattering the mirror but it does reveal Gaston is not exactly so pure as Belle and her father were lead to believe causing Belle to break off the courtship and the ogre does flee to safety. The problem from this occurs as the show tries to state it in a bizarre way Belle is held responsible for the Ogre Wars while Gaston indirectly started it. I do have a problem with this recon as it makes the opening scene in Skin Deep rather confusing from Maurice’s perspective. If he thinks his daughter is responsible for the war that resulted in the death of Colette, than why would this man want Belle to be in the middle of an audience with Rumpelstiltskin? It sets up for Belle to do something foolish where the Dark One could have either changed his mind or would have taken the princess as his prize without the scene that does exist to be shown the way it currently is displaced. Nevertheless, Maurice declares Belle must marry Gaston because his family’s armies are strong as Gaston does manipulate the situation by showing the character the audience was introduced to in the beginning with the ogre incident as a moment of weakness stating this marriage will give Belle a chance to be the hero she has always wanted to be. Where you see Belle smile at the proposal almost as if she was seeing her book comes to life in that very moment.
Towards the present, we see Belle gives Rumpelstiltskin an ultimatum about how it’s easier to use light magic and if a future between them is possible then he must try this in order to save their child. This scene did cause many fans to be upset as it portrayed Belle as a Milah 2.0. I disagree because Belle at this point is scared and desperate as she knows the best person to help her is her husband but at the same time is trying to understand him better hence why she goes back rather than asked Emma or go off on her own to find Hades. Hades makes the situation worse by bringing back Gaston who wants revenge by using arrows made from the river of souls. As Gaston continues to hunt them, Belle and Rumpelstiltskin head to the animal shelter in which Belle believes she is Gaston’s unfinished business because he still has the book she had given him. Belle demands she confront Gaston on her own where Hades arrives a little later revealing a deal if Gaston or Rumpelstiltskin kill one another then she can keep her child but Belle tries desperately to save everyone even confronting Gaston about why he still has the book. It is then revealed Gaston blamed his death on Belle because the book’s content poisoned his head causing him to go alone to the dark castle to rescue her than have an army by his side. We see Gaston is so blinded by his ego and anger that he blame everyone for what happened to him rather than admitting his death was a result in believing rescuing Belle would be a piece of cake. The show tries to put the blame on Belle for it but its apparent from the writing Gaston is beyond saving even as she commands Rumpelstiltskin to spare his life, Gaston tries to murder them both resulting in Belle throwing him into the river of souls. Due to the recent events and Hades revealing Belle went back on the deal, she now becomes hopeless in the quest of save their child believing darkness is the only solution.
I think Her Handsome Hero would be considered one of my favorite in the show as a whole as it does meet all the expectations that where required of it. This episode is actually very well done in terms on how Belle’s character is handled that it shows the reason her character was poor handled in Season 4 was due to an incompetent writer because Belle goes from an idealistic little girl to someone who is willing to due to anything to save her family. She even declares her love for Rumpelstiltskin where it does feel this woman perhaps has now become more empathetic towards his struggle and they will try to find a solution. Throughout this episode, we see how Rumpelstiltskin and Belle are acting like a typical married couple with disagreements over using magic and still being supportive towards one another while still keeping true to their characters. That last shot of them being so hopeless over their child does give a little bit of optimism in seeing how this is another struggle they have to battle but you still keep rooting for them to make it.
I do have two major criticisms regarding this episode. First comes from Hades where in the previous episode, it is revealed he wanted Zelena’s baby because he wanted to bring life into Storybrooke as nothing can grow there. We see in the beginning a flower blooms causing Hades to summon Gaston as he expected Belle to become so hopeless, the flowers now wilt. Hades’ motivations are all over the place as he rules over the underworld yet the way the writing for this world comes off, it seems the Heroes went to Purgatory instead. There are moments in which you get where he is coming from but then other times he does get portrayed as the devil character the writers wanted Rumpelstiltskin to be in Season 4 expect without any audience explanation to fill in the gaps. Another criticism is in how this episode tries so desperately to state Belle is at fault for the events. I suspect this was done as a way to point out all the criticisms this character had last year that were largely ignored but it was done in a way where the show was outright blaming her rather than giving her a chance to defend herself and the one time she does, it is played off as though Belle is acting like a stubborn child. In the scene between Gaston and Belle at the shop, I would have loved for Belle to call Gaston out as a monster when he blamed her for his death because he directly states her very existence is what got him killed. The character of Belle does need to be criticized but at the same time she does also have to acknowledge her faults where I felt the episode didn’t try hard enough in doing this. Perhaps it was not this episode’s responsibility to give a resolution as we have seen throughout this season; Belle’s progression has been ongoing where each time we see her she is willing to change where Her Handsome Hero could be the Revelation portion as her journey is still not over. Maybe the next four episodes will become the Atonement and The Return for Belle and Rumpelstiltskin but for now, Belle Gold has officially returned to being the great heroine she was always meant to be.
|Hola soy un estudiante en mi tercer ano viviendo en los Estados Unidos en la Universidad estudiando psicología pero no se en que ver hacerlo todavía si cuando no me vuelvo loca. Desde era chica, siempre estuve usando la camera donde en todos los clubs que estuve en las secundaria me dieron el trabajo del fotografiá y no puedo salir de me casi sin mi camera. Mis programas favoritas son True Blood, Walking Dead y Game of Thrones pero lloro cuando se terminen porque no tengo nada a vera después pero eso es en el Inverno y solo quiero descansar después de un semestre dura.|