Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Once Upon A Time Season 5 Episode 11 "Swan Song"

Or better title "I Have No Idea"

Let's recap: Seeking revenge against Emma for turning him immortal to save his life, Hook (now a Dark One with the inability to make choices based on empathy) is attempting to literally drag Emma's entire family to Hell.


I have no idea.

Maybe because the mid-season finale needed a ticking time bomb.

There's been so much build up to Hook revealing himself as the man he truly is that I was hoping for a flashback of some substance that would explain why he's unable to fight the darkness like Emma. Who, by the way is acting very much like her pre-Dark One self. And wasn't that the whole motivation for season 4? Making Emma's heart dark? Not really much of a threat after all.

Ever Been To Sea?

Okay, so we see a young Killian and his brother, Liam abandoned by their father. Actually, he sells them into ship slavery before mounting a swimming horse...I think.

Mental note: Are all the parents in Fairy Tale Land vicious? Not one character has had a descent upbringing. Except maybe Grumpy, but he hatched out of a huge egg fully clothed.
Meanwhile, back in Storybrooke, the Dementors had arrived!

And everyone is being branded with a Dark Mark that actually looks like a bumble bee, which acts like a one way ticket on the ferry boat to hell—literally.

The dwarves show up because they have a pivotal role to play in this episode.

Bwhahaha! Just kidding. I have no idea why they're there.

While everyone does nothing and just waits for the moon 'to become it's fullest' Mr. Gold saunters out from the alley to give everyone a lesson on the latest plot hole. If you have a bumble bee mark on your arm you will be swept into hell, no passing Go, no collecting $200.

So everyone, dwarfs included, decide to run to the library because there must be a book about this "Moon That Sends Everyone To Hell".

Before anyone gets a paper cut, Mary Margaret monologues about how she's ready to see the end of the world eating cheese burgers at Granny's with all of her loved ones by her side.

Instead of riling up his wife to channel her inner Snow White and kick some Dark One butt, he says, "True dat, babe. Besides these old books smell like book farts."

Emma says she'll meet them there, then she pulls Regina aside and I'm so excited because finally these two will proclaim their love for each other and it will be the love that spilt the world in half and True Love's kiss will sweep all those dementors/Dark Ones back to hell.

But, no. Emma says she has a plan to save everyone. She's going to use Excalibur to suck all the darkness from Hook and the Dark Ones. Then she'll absorb all that darkness, and kill herself with Excalibur.

I liked my plan better.

Anyway, putting an arm around her shoulders Regina takes Emma to Mr. Gold's shop asking for Excalibur. He hands it over without asking for anything in return and says, "Your a brave woman."

This was a perfect scene based on the inner struggle of all three characters with good and evil and the choices we make and who we was awesome.

The show should have ended right there.

Then Emma tearfully tells Regina before she carries out this epic plan to save everyone, that she wants to spend her last moments with the people she loves the most, so could Regina go to Granny's with her?

Kiss her, Regina! Kiss her now!

And completely out of character, Regina is like, "Thanks, but I have to hang out with Robin and Baby Hood."

Why would she abandon Emma when she needs her the most? They've been there for each other during the highest stakes! Why?

I have no idea.

Family Ties

Regina leaves Emma in order to deal with Zelena, which is ridiculous because all it took was the use of a sparkly wand which Regina was unable to use until this episode because...why?

I have no idea.

Emma drops by Granny's and leaves a goodbye note explaining her save Storybrooke plan even though she's still a Dark One. Saving others by murdering yourself is the most unDark Oneish thing imaginable.

In a desperate attempt to create some kind of last minute loop hole, Regina corners Hook down by the docks and eludes to a super secret past they have together. "Remember the time I hired you to kill my mother?" she starts.

Why would a magical Queen need a drunken pirate to kill her even more magical and even more evil mother?

I have no idea.

But first Hook had to prove he had the gumption to carry out the deed by murdering his own father. Wow, could it really be him? After all those years? Yes, Hook's dad works in a pub. But he reveals that he's a changed man and is truly sorry for selling little Hook and his brother, Liam. He fell under a sleeping curse, was kissed awake by his nurse (his true love) but then she died from a plague.

Though Hook was a fierce pirate who was bent on revenge, he can't kill his dad. Instead he demands he leave the country. His dad is fine with this, but then Hook discovers his dad had another son and called him, Liam. How dare he!

Hook is so upset that he ends up killing his dad anyway.

This dude is out of control.

Fare Thee Well, Love

Back in Storybrooke, the pure hearted Mr. Gold does his best acting and suggests that Belle take his car and go see the world. He gives her a talisman that will allow her pass the town line and says, "Go on, no one uses the library anyway. Enjoy some espresso and IMAX. We'll be waiting when you get back."

Belle is easily fooled and grabs the keys without looking back.

After applying some lipstick Emma gets Excalibur but is confronted by Hook. All the drama and tension has led up to this moment. They argue about love and who will pay the mortgage on the house now. Then suddenly Henry is in front of her. Emma goes all slack. Henry takes the sword and transforms back into Hook.

Why did she fall for that?

I have no idea.

Suddenly everyone is at the pond (portal to hell). Hook confronts Emma (AGAIN!) about how he couldn't wait to get revenge on her for saving his life and making him a Dark One.

Um...before he was like, "I love you, let's live together in this house with an awesome view of the sea." And now, just because he's a Dark One, he's sending her entire family to hell—except baby Neal because everyone has forgotten about him.

Anyway, he snatches Excalibur away from Emma so easily while everyone just shuffled around and watched. Regina finally shows up and says, "Hook, you're being a big jerk. Grow up."

Hook replies, "Shit, you're right. I'm going to suck all the Dark Ones into this sword and then Emma will stab me and I will save the day."

Why did he change that quickly?

I have no idea.

Emma's like, "No! I can't lose you. I should be me."

He says, "Your family needs you. I deserve to go to the underworld. And there's that kiss between you and Regina that still needs to happen."

FYI: You can't be the hero if you fix the mess you made.

Emma stabs Hook!!!!

Instantly, red leather jacket Emma Swan is back. Hook's grotesque neck wound reappears and he dies in her arms.

Regina is by Emma's side, "Be strong girl. Chin up, buttercup."

Kiss her, Regina! Kiss her! 

Dumb and Dumber

Across town, completely naïve about the portal to hell, Belle returns red cheeked and runs to Mr. Gold's arms. She says, "You can't get rid of me that easily." They kiss and make-up and Mr. Gold is starting to realize that Belle, while well read, has zero street smarts.

Wandering Storybrooke, Emma senses Excalibur is close by. She follows the sound to Mr. Gold's shop. And he's all, "Okay, you got me. I performed a quick spell that somehow cleaved apart the Excalibur. When you stabbed Hook, all the darkness returned to the dagger. I'm the Dark One again." And he shows her the dagger, now engraved with the name, Rumplestiltskin.

How come Emma isn't still the Dark One? Her name was the last on the dagger? Why?

I have no idea.

She says, "You fooled us all. So all that awesome character development and struggle with your character these last few seasons was...?"

"Pointless," he answers. "Yes. It's just like season one again. Including your wardrobe."

And here's the big cliffhanger!

Emma makes a deal with Mr. Gold for the thousandth time, she'll keep his secret from Belle if he gets her into the underworld to save Hook.


Who was the MVP?

#1. Hook's half brother

#2. Emma's lipstick

#3. Mr. Gold's car

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

30 Questions for Your Outline

Congratulations to all the NaNoWriMo winners!

You wrote a book! Awesome, good on ya'.

Now that the celebration has cooled off it's time for REVISIONS! Hey, don't give me that face, you know I'm right.

Before you launch your best seller at friends and family for glorious feedback, give it this test to see if it's ready.

This is a handy little tool I first saw on Pinterest a few years ago for outlining—I've modified the questions a bit to match my revision style. It helps me get to the meat of the story and showcases the stuff I need to polish, and the stuff I need to weed out completely. Plus, it keeps me motivated and saves loads of time because I lose focus easily ... oh, something shiny!

30 Questions for Your Outline

1: What does your character want?

What do they want most?
A heart, a way home, a brain, courage.

2: Why can't they have it?

3: Can you suck other characters into the main character’s problems, thereby broadening the conflict?
4: What is the hook for the readers on page one?

5: What is keeping your character from getting what she wants?

6: What character flaws are stopping your main character from getting what she wants?

7: Who is her greatest ally?

8: Who is her enemy?

9: What external forces are stopping your main character from getting what she wants?

10: How does the main character try to fix her problems? What is the consequence? 

11: How does she try to fix it the next time?

12: What is the mood of your story? Keep it consistent.

13: Is your setting recognizable? Make it unique to the story, as seen through your MC's eyes.

14: Do you have ongoing mysteries/questions that will keep your reader guessing?

15: What are the surprises and twists in your story?

16: Is the subplot developing at the same rate as the main plot?

17: Do each of your characters have a role to play? Are they unique? What if they weren't in the story?

18: What makes each character special/significant to your main character?

19: What are your characters’ secrets?

20: Have you created a sympathetic main character? How?

21: Is your story building up to something big? Can you make it bigger? 

22: Who/what is your antagonist?

23: How do they challenge your main character?

24: How can you make your main character’s voice unique?

25: What tools does your main character have to gain in order to win in the end? What do they have to overcome? How?

26: Do you have a ticking time bomb? If so, what is it? How does it escalate the tension?

27: What are your characters’ back stories?

28:  What mistakes does your main character make? And what does she learn from them? 

29: What is your story's theme?

30: Does your ending reflect the tension in the beginning, ie: what has your character has learned since that moment?

What are some of your tools for tackling revisions?

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Once Upon A Time Season 5 Episode 10 "Broken Heart"

Or better title "Hook Becomes A Total Arse"

Let's clear the air, when Hook didn't know he was the Dark One he had zero issues with good and evil, however, since Emma spilled the beans about making him immortal so he wouldn't die, he's gone completely cruel and totally jerk face boyfriend.

Plus, he's the one who cast the 'oh my god, not again' purple curse to get everyone back to Storybrooke, murdering Hot Merlin in the process.

Why does this show keep killing off the hot guys?

Hey, I get it, Once has a plot like a wad of hangers all tangled up at the back of the closet, but why would they make it so easy for Hook to go bad...and really bad. He has one line in this episode that made me cringe while holding back vomit—we'll get to that.

Meanwhile, Emma, despite doing magic so dark she brought two men back from the dead, has it together enough to patiently sit through her parents trying to understand why she saved Hook if it meant making him immortal.

Now that Hook is evil his first matter of business is to race over to the pawn shop and challenge Mr. Gold to a duel to the death to finally exact his revenge. Because instead of killing him on the spot, it makes more sense to orchestrate a fight for later.

When Mr. Gold finds Emma and lets her know of Hook's somewhat pathetic revenge plan, David rushes into the room announcing that all the dreamcatchers Emma hid in the shed have been stolen. Not only that, but Belle suddenly remembers there's a set of books called the Dark Chronicles in the library that no one has thought to look at, even though Storybrooke has had two Dark Ones in the last few months.

This makes no sense. That's okay, we all gave up on this show making sense. In fact, I watch it for the senselessness of it all.

Hey, where is Lily the dragon by the way?

Meanwhile back in Fairy Tale Land, a freshly resurrected Hook reunites with Emma, who is no longer wearing her white velour robe, but now the black leather Dark One ensemble we know so well. But Hook is distracted by visions of Rumplestiltskin urging him not to trust Emma.

Back in Storybrooke, Merida was left to guard Emma while Mary Margaret and David leave to save the day (as if). Hook shows up and makes it clear he's not so into Emma anymore. He makes fun of her hair, calls her an orphan and also an anchor.


Because he's a Dark One and he hates that she did this to him. Confusingly enough he also loves being a Dark One. Again, I'm dumbfounded by Hook's sudden transition into jerk-wadness based solely on becoming a Dark One.

In other news, Zelana shows up at the hospital to claim her baby where it's the same nurse who also works the psych ward and the long haired dude who is always mopping the floors. Anyway, Regina is there and tells her that even though "Baby Hood" is now with Robin, she'll let Zelena see the baby since people with legitimate abandonment issues should get snuggle therapy.

Zelena was like, "I gave birth two hours ago, don't mock me."

Meanwhile, after her fragile ego was crushed by Hook, Emma manages to track down Henry and after a heartfelt talk, he forgives her for (whatever) and takes the No Magic cuff off her wrist. They decide to go find the dreamcatchers since no one else in town is doing anything except reading books upside down at the abandoned library.

Back in Fairy Tale Land Hook is still lamenting to Emma about how she should have let him die (yeah, I'm starting to wonder that myself) he would have much preferred to die.

Emma is all "I am so so sorry I have control over you. But I'll never try to control you ever again. Here, take the sword. It's yours. This is how much I love and trust you. And don't forget I'm so so sorry. Can we make out now?"

Hook is all for that, but it was only a trick so they would go back to Granny's and kill Hot Merlin and cast the purple curse!

On a personal note, I cannot believe Hot Merlin was killed off instead of bumbling Merida or useless King Arthur.

Back in Storybrooke, Mr. Gold arrives at the Jolly Roger for the above mentioned duel. Hook reminds us all this moment is strictly for the revenge of Milah, his true love and also Rumple's wife. By some miracle Mr. Gold defeats Hook. Perhaps he became all riled up when Hook referred to Milah as 'soiled'.

*cringe, barf*

Seriously? Soiled? I understand we're doing a lot of time travel each episode but this was straight out of the dark ages. Gross, OUAT.

He could have said, "...your wife would have returned to you, still in love with me and my love making skills." Or maybe "She'd go back to you, but the smile would be from memories of our nights together." Anything. ANYTHING other than, 'soiled.'


Light on his feet, Mr. Gold quickly goes to the well where he arranged to meet Belle if Hook didn't turn him into a kabob. He told her earlier, "I have a pure heart to offer you now. Please, give me a second chance." If she was there, it meant she was ready to love him again.

She's there!


Oh-uh. But then she tells him, "I have to take care of my own heart." And she leaves him broken hearted in the forest.

Whhhat? This is more confusing than the evil Hook storyline. Now that he's the man she always wanted him to be, she's walking away?

Across town, Emma and Henry arrive with the dreamcatchers they found in the clock tower and gives them to her family, choosing to trust them. Even though she is the Dark One she makes positive choices in regards to her loved ones happiness—which Hook is incapable of.
Then we're treated to this scene. Brain sucking dream catchers.

Emma is like, "Oh crap. I remember what Hook is planning now! He's going to open a portal to hell!"

A portal to hell?! At last.

The camera's whisk to the lake where Hook and the Rumplestiltskin hallucination wait for the arrival of a boatload of Dark Ones. Nimue (Merlin's true love) is both the original Dark One and the ferryman to hell. She's brought all the Dark Ones back "in the flesh" to snuff out the Light.

Vague much?

Even though Hook seems to be slipping further into TAT, total asshole territory, a battle of Dark Ones against Emma, Mr. Gold, Regina and perhaps Zelena seems promising. And hopfully, Hot Merlin will be resurrected somehow.

Who was the MVP?

#1. Baby Hood

#2. Hot Merlin's heart

#3. The dude mopping the hospital floor

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