Once Upon a Time “Heartless” Review (Season 6 Episode 7)

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Last week, I complained a bit about Once Upon a Time going through the motions in order to give a main cast member a focus episode. It was an episode that put the spotlight on Hook without adding much to his character. Still, that episode at least tried to give us something, bringing back Hook’s brother and introducing Captain Nemo. “Heartless,” however, didn’t even bother with that; it’s an episode that entirely focuses on repeating plot beats from the past without adding any new shading or dimension.

More than any other characters, we know all there is to know about Snow White and David. Their romance fueled the show for the better part of its first two years, and while they have a place as members of the team, there’s very little to learn about them. They have true love, they care for their daughter and grandchildren, and they will, of course, always love each other. As David himself says when they touch the sapling, “As if we needed reminding.”

This may be an immediately cynical tone, but the truth is that I do like these characters. It’s just that the show hasn’t really known what to do with them for a while now – and yes, that can be said for numerous characters – and this episode hitting the same familiar beats is a bit exhausting. At the very least, the ending suggests a solid twist on the old sleeping curse favorite. Still, I’d like to see the two get a story outside of one another again.

I don’t know, I guess it’s just frustrating to see the show pull back on its initial intriguing premise for the season. The new characters from the Land of Untold Stories bring a fresh energy to the show, and even with some of the stranger classic characters being chosen, it still makes for intriguing new opportunities. The past two weeks have abandoned that, as well as the new arc with Aladdin, to focus too closely on the classic characters. It’d be fine if the show could come up with something new to say, but that’s seeming more and more unlikely.

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