TV Korner: Once Upon a Time 4.16 “Poor Unfortunate Soul”

By staff-writers - March 22, 2015


“Those poor unfortunate souls.. So sad… So true.” Here we learn Ursula’s tragic backstory. She wasn’t born a villain, it wasn’t always for revenge. But can a purer heart mean she has a chance at a happy ending after all?

This episode heavily focuses on Ursula backstory. Ursula’s singing voice symbolizes her mother’s love. We discover that Ursula is not acting out of true Malice but out of loss. She is more jaded from her past that evil.  Ursula was once a brave and kind girl. Her soul was crushed after being deceived by her own father.  Poseidon tried to strike a deal with Hook, and when Hook doesn’t obey, things start to spin out of control.  Hook and Ursula are caught, Poseidon takes back the ink.  Hook being a true pirate gets back at Poseidon by stealing Ursula’s singing voice. – No one will hear the voice again.  Feeling betrayed not only by Hook but by her own father, Ursula takes her father’s trident and uses it become the Ursula we have come to know.

Out of all the episodes, this one has the strongest connection between flashbacks and present day Storybrooke. Hook seems truly remorseful for his past deeds and acts with a true code of honor. Poseidon apologizes for his action explaining how it was his pain that lead him away from happiness. He was blinded by revenge and lost more in the long run.  Ursula’s character shows depth and complexity. Even though she spent years upon years being evil- she isn’t destined to stay that way. Forgiveness and family make it possible for Ursula to receive her happy ending.

The concept of a happy ending is a driving point in Once Upon a Time. Happy endings start with hope and they can often change. As the characters progress through their life challenges and quests, each happy ending gets redefined.  Emma’s destiny as a savior is to bring back the happy endings- only now her own happy ending seems to be in question. After Hook makes amends for his past deeds and reunites Ursula with her father Hook is beaming with pride but seems hesitate to be happy. Once alone with Emma he explains why. He came close to giving in to the man he once was and he is afraid that darkness could come back. Even with Emma’s reassurance, Hook believes nothing outweighs the fact that he was once a villain.  There are rules to Storybook, villains don’t get their happy endings and now that he has found his- he doesn’t want to lose it. Emma looks at him in disbelief, once she realizes that she is his happy ending.

Could Ursula’s happiness be the exception to the rule? Or does Hook, and even Regina, stand a chance against Storybrooke’s rules? And is any of this in the author’s control?

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