REVIEW: Once Upon a Time, S6 Ep4 – Strange Case

In this episode of Once Upon a Time, we finally delved into the back story behind Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. And though some of the details are already familiar to those of us who have read the original classic novel, Once Upon a Time still put its trademark spin on the tale, adding its typical elements. As usual, someone made a deal with Rumplestiltskin (that he later regretted), and there was lost love involved. And then, the characters were banished to the Land of Untold Stories. Familiar territory for everyone in the audience.

Once Upon a Time, S6 Ep4 - Strange CaseIt must be said that Jekyll and Hyde is some pretty dark material to be covered in the show but considering how Once Upon a Time also tackled the stories of Frankenstein and the Werewolf, horror elements are not completely foreign to the show. We didn’t learn much from the backstory other than the fact that Jekyll, for all his timidity, actually still had the potential for darkness and misdeeds as he threatened Belle (poor Belle can’t catch a break on this show!) I was surprised that Hyde left the show this early in the season when in last season’s finale he was being set up as one of the Big Bads for this arc. But there’s really not much left to do with his story and there is still the Evil Queen and whatever shady stuff Rumple (whose new haircut probably has a magical motivation) is up to, so Once Upon a Time isn’t really low on villains at the moment.

More interesting than the Jekyll and Hyde flashbacks were the parallels drawn between the doomed scientist and his Storybrooke contemporaries. Both Regina and Rumple have long been struggling with the darkness inside them (and last season, even Emma succumbed) and they have dealt with their capacity for evil in different ways. Rumple chose to embrace his darker nature, almost rejecting love because he thought it was weakness. Regina’s choice was always more complicated and with her decision last season to tear herself apart from the Evil Queen persona, she has been actively fighting to be a better person.

Once Upon a Time, S6 Ep4 - Strange CaseBut as the episode revealed, the only way to get rid of the dark alter ego is to kill the original. And that is a sacrifice Regina might have to make, so she extracted the same promise from Emma that the latter asked from her last season. But this is Once Upon a Time, so nothing is set in stone and I’m fairly certain that by the end of the season, the heroes will find some kind of loophole for this whole situation.

While Rumple, Regina, Emma, and the others were dealing with Jekyll and Hyde’s mischief, Snow White returned to teaching, a fun continuation of her role way back in Season One. But, as she finds out, she is a different person and so takes a more action-packed approach to homework. How effective this will be is anyone’s guess.

Once Upon a Time, S6 Ep4 - Strange CaseMore intriguing is the first appearance of a lovely new teaching assistant who turns out to be Princess Jasmine, working together with the seer. Jasmine makes an impressive first appearance and I’m looking forward to seeing more of her story and learning about her quest to find Aladdin, whom we haven’t seen since the flashback in the premiere. What has she sacrificed to get this far? Where is Aladdin anyway? And what new hardships await her as her journey in Once Upon a Time continues? Hopefully, we get the answers to these questions soon.