Apr 20, 2019
Once Upon a Time: Lord of the Assholes
This week on Once Upon a Time’s dramatic two-part season finale, the Author proved himself to be the crappiest alt-world fanfiction writer ever. Snow White got a new, even worse haircut. (Yes, it is possible!) A few people died, then un-died. A long-awaited “I love you” was exchanged. Old Dirty Homeless-Looking Mickey remained Old, Dirty and Homeless-Looking, then died and stayed dead. And Storybrooke got both a new Author and a brand new Lord Assholes to rule over the other Assholes, both of whom are most likely exactly who you expected them to be based on watching previews of this episode . . .
And so without further adieu, for the last time this season, shall we review?
In Which The Author’s Crappy Origins Are Finally Revealed
If you are unhappy with any of the recent plot points of Once, please feel free to blame the shoddy hiring process that was utilized to pick the person who wrote the story. (The real-life writers and producers of this show couldn’t possibly have been more self-deprecating in establishing this particular story arc.) Apparently, the job of writing the “book of life” for the characters in “the greatest fairytale ever told” goes to the failed TV Salesman who chooses the coolest pen from a table full of otherwise really forgettable pens. (I’m pretty sure I even saw a Bic in that group.)
“The previous author died about ten minutes ago, and we need to fill the position, ASAP. So, we don’t have time to do smart things like call your references, or ask you questions about your job experience, or do a criminal background check, or make sure you know how to read,” explains Old Dirty Homeless-Looking Mickey to future Author Isaac.
(In a clever nod to Disney verse, Isaac’s flashback actually took place in 1966, the year of Walt Disney’s death . . . thus confirming our suspicions that the man who created Disney World and Mickey Mouse has excellent taste in pens.)
“Look, there’s a magical door. Go play god for the rest of eternity,” offers Old Dirty Homeless-Looking Mickey carelessly, which kind of makes you wonder how he got his job.
Perhaps he had to pick the grossest beard from a table of otherwise forgettable examples of facial hair . . .
EMIT A NOPU ECNO (That’s Once Upon a Time backwards, FYI)
If you want to venture a guess at the quality of the alt-world fanfiction Author Isaac writes at dying Rumpel’s behest, you may wish to consider the fact that he seemingly wrote the entire thing in about an hour tops. “Finish that book in T-minus ten seconds, or my prunelike black heart will turn to dust and I will become the Biggest Asshole this world has ever known. Also, there will be an Apocalypse. But no rush. Please, by all means, take your time determining the fate of all humanity,” Rumpel gently prods.
Author Isaac barely has time to spell check, let alone storyboard a cohesive plot. So he does what most of us would do in this sort of life-or-death situation. He cuts corners. He plagiarizes himself a bit. A “story where villains get their happy ending” becomes a “story where certain characters Freaky Friday one another and the good guys still win, except for the fact that the good guys in this story look exactly like the assholes from the other story he wrote.”
It’s all very confusing, and yet oddly familiar. Also, the Author writes himself his own happy ending in which he’s a bestselling author in the real world, most likely by writing the world population into mindless illiterates who have terrible taste in pens . . .
But Evil Author Isaac didn’t count on one thing . . . a boy with the power to screw up all his plans, ruin his day, and expose his book for the middle school grade piece of fanfiction it actually is . . . a boy who has positively no friends his own age, has weird codependency issues with his mothers, and has nothing but free time. He’s Norman Bates from Psycho basically, a.k.a., at least in this world, Henry.
Thinking fast, Henry decides to jump into Evil Author Isaac’s crappy book to save his family, much like the character in that 80s music video with the bad pencil drawings and the inexplicable car races . . .
Once there, Henry learns that his grandma Snow White has swapped personalities and a wardrobe with Regina. (But because Regina’s awesome Evil Queen hair is already taken, Isaac gives Snow the hair of a popular fast food chain icon instead . . . one whose name, unfortunately, does not rhyme with Blonald BlicDonald or Blendy).
Apparently Alt-Snow is super pissed at Alt-Regina because Alt-Regina told a secret that resulted in Alt-Snow’s love interest being murdered. (Sound familiar?) The interesting twist here is that Alt-Snow’s true love is not Prince Charming but rather his douchey twin James. (Hmmm, Snow Dark and Douchey James Charming, now THAT is an alt-world fanfiction I’d like to read . . . except not if Isaac writes it.) So, to compensate, Alt-Snow uses Charming’s heart to control him, Regina/Huntsman style, in order to make him (1) do douchey things to her in bed while she screams out his brother’s name and (2) wear ridiculous amounts of guyliner and two-shades too pale foundation so she feels less bad about her Bob’s Big Boy Haircut.
As for the Erstwhile Original Evil Queen, she now lives in a tree like a Keebler elf (I hope it’s at least a rent-controlled tree) . . .
. . . and tries to steal from the rich and give to the poor, but can’t because Robin Hood Prince of Babes is always getting there and doing it first. (Sexist Author is Sexist . . . not to mention stupid; doesn’t Isaac realize that most readers of alt-world fanfiction are women? Talk about not playing to your audience. Oh, and speaking of playing to the audience, I didn’t get any smut in this fanfiction. Did you get any smut?)
Speaking of Robin Hood, he’s pretty much the exact same character he was in the original story (which kind of goes against the whole “heroes become villains and get shitty endings” concept), except that he’s marrying Zelena while making *fuck me* eyes at Regina, instead of Marion . . . who ended up being Zelena in disguise, anyway.
(Also, Roland’s not around in alt-world, probably because he’s still sleeping off his drug coma from all the magical pills Robin stuffed him with back at the beginning of the season.)
Elsewhere in Alt-World, Rumpel is a knight, an Ogre Killer, and the father of Belle’s child. Belle is pretty much her regular self, right down to the orange dress and her being completely inconsequential to the story, except to coo at Sir Rumpel in his ridiculous tin pot wardrobe.
Hook is a cowering wallflower of a deckhand to Blackbeard, who drinks goat milk, because he’s allergic to rum. (WORST FATE EVER!)
Emma is locked in a tower a la Rapunzel, guarded by dragon Lily, and seems weirdly allergic to sunlight . . . and combs?
And Maleficent is a sassy vampire who manages a sexy theme bar in Shreveport, Louisiana . . .
(Actually, Maleficent is not in the episode at all. But, seriously, talk about a missed opportunity!)
Failing just as miserably to get Alt-World Regina to believe the whole “I’m your kid. Fairytales are real. Making out with someone else’s husband is OK as long as he is your soulmate” thing as he did with Emma back in Season 1 . . .
. . . Henry tries an alternative route to victory by hijacking Blackbeard’s (formerly Hook’s) ship and heading off with the sexy pirate-turned-deckhand to rescue Emma from her little castle in the clouds.
This, Henry is able to do fairly easily, because, apparently, Shitty Life Choices Lily is also crappy at doing basic dragon stuff like flying without crashing into trees or buildings, remedial fire breathing, and crying Skittles tears . . .
One Wedding and Four Funerals
Because Evil Author Isaac is dumb and telegraphs plot points to his enemies in a way that will make them know exactly how to defeat him (much like a super villain monologuing his way through the final pages of a comic book when that time would be much better spent murdering Batman or something) . . .
. . . the now reunited Emma, Hook and Henry know exactly how to escape the Author’s Derivative Alt-World Fanfiction. Apparently, it involves Regina crashing Robin Hood Prince of Babes and Zelena Princess of Evil Skanks’ wedding, The Graduate style, and sticking her tongue down Robin’s throat before the wedding bells ring outside the chapel, thereby signifying “the end” of the Alt World fanfiction.
It’s Emma who ultimately convinces Regina to do this, by admitting that there is nothing worse than letting someone die without them knowing that you love them . . . well, except for maybe genital warts, and root canals, and crabs, definitely crabs. . .
Emma comes to this realization after tragically losing Alt-World Hook, who sacrifices his life for Emma and dies at the hands of Emma’s dad, Alt-World Charming. (Well, this is going to make for some awkward family dinners back in Storybrooke!)
Meanwhile, the Author is trying desperately to keep his spinoff series from being cancelled by indoctrinating all the current villains of this story–Snow Dark, Hipster Charming, and their evil army of dwarves (except for the one Snow killed . . . Doc, maybe?), plus Sir Rumpel the “Good-Hearted” Knight, because why not–into the “Let’s Murder Annoying Henry” club.
Just as The Author had predicted, everything comes to a head right around the time of Robin Hood’s nuptials. There, a brawl of sorts ensues with Snow, Charming and Rumpel versus Good Guys Regina, Henry and Emma. Regina ultimately sacrifices her life (and the taste of Robin Hood Prince of Babes’ sweet sweet tongue kisses) to save Henry.
Then, the wedding bells do toll, making it seem like all hope is lost and that the next 85 seasons of Once will take place inside Evil Author Isaac’s crappy fanfiction written with a really nice pen. But then Emma punches Isaac in the face. This gives Henry time to steal Isaac’s pen, dip it in his mother’s blood (because that isn’t gross, unsanitary, and likely to result in the spread of diseases at all!), and use it to write the last words of this terrible story.
Well, thank f*&King goodness!
Henry’s words serve to undo the last hour and a half of Once (though fans will never really get that time back), conveniently revive all the people who died during it (particularly, and most importantly, that sexy leather-pants wearing person whose name rhymes with “book”) . . .
. . . and ship the entire cast back to Storybrooke, Maine, where they can live happily and boringly ever after . . . or, at least, until the next commercial break, whichever comes sooner . . .
One Asshole to Rule Them All . . .
Back in Storybrooke, everybody seems happy . . .
. . . well . . . except Lily, who has just found out that she’s the product of dragon sex (which I guess beats bestiality) and wants to find her true father.
Henry, who decides he doesn’t want to be the Author after all, angrily breaks his pen . . .
. . . and Evil Former Author Isaac, who can now go back to his life working the cash register at Best Buy because his malevolent plan to get back at a crappy boss (who looked absolutely nothing like Prince Charming) by screwing over Prince Charming failed, and also because, as it turns out, he’s really bad at writing alt-world fanfiction.
Meanwhile, Rumpel is still dying of a broken and gross rotten plum heart.
(OK, so I guess only about half of the characters on the show are actually happy . . .)
Anywhoo, Belle decides she loves Rumpel, asshole or no asshole, and wants to stay by his side until the bitter end, because the Dark One is such a good listener when he’s a corpse! However, Rumpel tells her to run and warn everybody what a major asshole he’s about to become once his plum heart rots away.
In a last ditch effort to prevent this Asshole Apocalypse from happening, Old Dirty Homeless-Looking Mickey attempts to vacuum up Rumpel’s Assholeness into a hat box and offer him a clean heart that doesn’t look like a dying plum. (You know, because Homeless-Looking Guys just so happen to have a bunch of clean hearts lying around their house at all times.) The problem is, Old Dirty Homeless-Looking Mickey has all the strength in his arm of an eight-year-old girl and, therefore, doesn’t close the hat box tight enough . . .
(You had ONE job, Old Dirty Homeless-Looking Mickey. One job!)
Because of this, the hat box farts big black globs of Asshole all over Old Dirty Homeless-Looking Mickey, turning his eyes to goo and stopping his heart. Then, the black asshole gas flies off, and Old Dirty Homeless-Looking Mickey, with his dying unbrushed teeth breath, tells the group that Merlin the Sorcerer is the only one with the power to defeat SO MUCH asshole. So the gang must go and find him immediately . . . or after the four-month hiatus, whichever comes first.
Outside in the street, Asshole Farts try to latch onto Regina, but Emma decides to take one for the team and bring the black farts onto herself. As she is doing this, she FINALLY tells Hook she loves him and begs him to bring her back from the asshole brink next season, when she’s mean, crotchety, unlovable, and inevitably has terrible hair. The whole scene between these two ridiculously attractive people would be so very romantic if it weren’t marred by SO MUCH STINKY ASSHOLE FARTS . . .
Really kills the mood, you know?
That is when Emma Swan, the Savior, officially becomes Lord of the Assholes, the Asshole to Lead All Assholes, or, in Once speak, The Dark One.
Bet Nu-Author Henry is wishing he hadn’t broken that pretty pen now, isn’t he?
Until next season, my Dearies!