This week's "Once Upon a Time" certainly fit in with the rest of ABC's Halloween fare, with an abundance of lightning and shambling monsters and creepy heart stealing -- but the end result left me a little cold.
Good ideas and the exceptional casting of Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook were all that saved this episode, which seemed sadly weighed down with clunky dialogue and the kind of wooden acting that makes Pinocchio look like a real boy by comparison.
"Broken" was a gripping and competently plotted hour -- none of the scenes felt extraneous and although there was undoubtedly a lot of plot and set-up to get through in 42 minutes, the narrative certainly felt more liberated without the curse.
From the gripping opening to the ominous final moments, the finale was exactly what Once Upon a Time was always meant to be: a fairytale come true. We had a courageous heroine, valiant quests, and true love's kiss.
Thanks to my proclivity towards Snow and James' story, I think that "7:15 a.m." was my favorite episode of "Once" to date. The tragic romance of it all was more than enough to crack my cynical critic's heart.