Once Upon a Time “Street Rats” Review (Season 6 Episode 5)

Once Upon a Time s06e01 The Savior

Once Upon a Time has been on a fairly good course this season, but it took a major dip in quality this week. It all boils down to the simple fact that for all the build-up, “Street Rats” failed to deliver a satisfying take on the classic story of Aladdin. Given that that’s pretty much the only thread the episode had going for it, well… that makes for a fairly disappointing episode.

Alright, I can at least grant this episode a few caveats. Being of Middle Eastern descent myself, it’s perhaps no surprise that Aladdin, both the original tale and the Disney film, is close to my heart; I’m inherently going to be critical of changes. Also, it’s clear the show is playing a longer game than just a single episode with the character, so there’s still more to see of this version.

However, given that this flashback plays out as a sped through adaptation of the Disney version of the story, it’s hard to not be underwhelmed, particularly how much care the show has shown to these stories in the past. It basically boils down to Aladdin and Jasmine wandering to the Cave of Wonders – which is far from wonderful – before Aladdin shows up to stop Jafar. We get some of the recognizable elements from the movie – the giant sand timer, Jafar’s staff, Iago – but none of the life or excitement.

I’m not saying I need an exploding lava cave or an appearance from the Genie – though he’s got to return at some point this season, right? – but the whole affair is just so lifeless. The visuals aren’t particularly exciting either, with the costumes never feeling as close to the iconic looks of the past as they could. And though he improves by the end, it’s a bummer to see how self-centered this version of Aladdin starts off. It’s a downer origin for a classic character, and I’m just left hoping this narrative improves in the weeks to come.

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