Once Upon a Time “I’ll Be Your Mirror” Review (Season 6 Episode 8)

I fully get that some fans of Once Upon a Time are completely happy to just enjoy seeing these characters on a weekly basis, regardless of how much actual plot progression happens. Plenty of shows function just fine with a “weekly hangout” style. However, Once is built on its ongoing narrative, so the fact that “I’ll Be Your Mirror” finally gets things going again makes it the best episode the show has turned out in a while.

Now, I’m not going to defend each narrative arc as entirely coherent – I honestly have no idea what Zelena’s actual motivations might be – but things are happening, introducing new twists and turns to the narrative. Last week, I gave brief praise to the new sleeping curse enacted on Snow and David, and I want to expand that praise this week. We don’t get much time with them, but the montage of the two adjusting to their new situation gave a fantastic job of showing their frustration. It was also a surprisingly creative bit of cinematography for the show, so bonus points there.

Moving to the main plot, I was happy to see the Evil Queen stay on the warpath, turning Regina and Emma’s plot to trap her against them. The mirror dimension had the obvious CGI sheen that all of the fantasy realms on Once tend to, but it made for a neat backdrop, giving our trapped heroines a chance to peek in on the residents of the town. This arc also gave Henry some strong development as he continued to deepen his relationship with Violet and prove he’ll never be the son the Evil Queen wants.

If there’s a major flaw so far this season, it’s that the Evil Queen, weirdly, isn’t evil enough. She’s supposed to represent everything flawed and twisted inside Regina, and yet she’s still motivated by a love for Henry, still willing to spare the heroes and give them a chance. It makes sense that she can’t kill Regina, but you’d think everyone else would be in far more danger, especially given her power level. I’d like to see the show have her really push the boundaries of how dark she can be to reinforce what a threat she is.

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