Once Upon a Time “The Other Shoe” Review (Season 6 Episode 3)

We’re still early in this year’s run of episodes, but Once Upon a Time is still finding new ways to return to the set-up of its first couple of seasons. “The Other Shoe” takes us all the way back to the show’s fourth episode, bringing back a classic fairy tale character that surprisingly hasn’t been seen since: Cinderella.

It’s admittedly a pretty big retcon how Cinderella is connected to the Land of Untold Stories – that her stepmother and stepsister were trapped there is obviously not something planned all the way back at the beginning – but it works in further establishing this season’s return to more focused, one-off tales set around the citizens of Storybrooke, new and old. Plus, as far as the show’s tendency to meddle with its own history goes, this is a fairly tame one, as the larger audience may not even remember Cinderella’s first appearance anyway.

As is, it makes for a fairly strong story to hang an hour on. Once is at its best when it’s actively reinventing and remixing the classic fairy tale stories, so it works well enough to have Cinderella’s story end so differently from how the original tale does. It also helps that the supporting cast in this story is so strong, with Lisa Banes chewing just the right amount of scenery in her performance as Lady Tremaine.

If there’s a major complaint with this episode, it’s how slight everything related to our main characters is. Already, Emma’s sense of self-doubt is getting a bit repetitive, and her refusal to tell anyone but Dr. Hopper what’s bothering her suggests we’re in for several more weeks of unnecessary secret keeping. Does she really think, after all the trouble secrets have caused, that she’s doing anyone any favors by not being more open and honest with everyone? Snow and David, meanwhile, are still lacking much of a reason to remain as main characters on the show, though it seems Snow’s main story arc will be building a better school for the town’s children? Not the most thrilling storyline for show about magic and evil twins.

There was at least some forward momentum, though, with the Evil Queen freeing Hyde from his jail cell, once again allowing the Storybrooke prison to live up to its terrible reputation. Between those two and Zelena – who Regina never actually finds this week – the show will hopefully give us some bigger developments in the coming weeks.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!