REVIEW: Once Upon a Time, S6 Ep5 – Street Rats

We finally meet Aladdin and Jasmine and learn more about the fate of a Savior in this episode of Once Upon a Time. Various parallels are drawn between Aladdin’s and Emma’s lives, as former street rats reluctantly enlisted to become saviors of their worlds. It’s an interesting take on the story, and the addition of Agrabah and its inhabitants is just another way that Once Upon a Time has expanded its universe.

Once Upon a Time, S6 Ep5 – Street RatsThe Evil Queen manipulates things to make sure that Emma has to admit the truth about her morbid visions to her parents. They also find a distraught Jasmine, who has been desperately searching for Aladdin. Turns out, the latter was in Storybrooke all along but he tampered with his fate because he was afraid of dying.

There’s something too vague and frustrating about this “new” aspect to Savior-hood. “Death is the fate of the Savior,” the characters say ominously. But really, isn’t death everyone’s fate anyway? Once Upon a Time has to clear this up and perhaps add something a bit more specific, like an “early” death or a “painful” death or something to make the prospect truly horrifying. As it is, the terrible fate of the savior is to have tremors and visions and to die just like any other person.

Jasmine and Aladdin’s scenes were enjoyable and it was refreshing to see that theirs was not exactly a “love at first sight” situation. There was chemistry there and a lot of longing looks but it seems like, after all these years, they still haven’t gotten together. Duty got in the way, Aladdin admits, and though this must have been disappointing for them, it’s great to see a narrative where the princess takes charge, takes her responsibilities seriously, and chooses her duty over her personal desires. Jasmine is smart, capable, and inspiring and I really hope we see more of her this season.

Awkward family photo.

Awkward family photo.

The Evil Queen and Zelena had some fun bonding moments. I dreaded to see these two create chaos together, so it was relief to see them simply enjoying a spa date. It was also fun to see them rope poor Archie into their twisted family dynamic. I’ve always enjoyed the chemistry between Regina and Archie in previous seasons so I was glad to see them sharing the screen together once more, even if it was with Regina’s evil alter ego. She was right to appoint Archie as impromptu babysitter, though it’s sad that Zelena turned him back into a cricket. Poor guy can’t catch a break, even when he’s only trying to help.

 

Once Upon a Time, S6 Ep5 – Street RatsMeeting Aladdin revealed that, since this is Once Upon a Time after all, there is a loophole when it comes to the Savior’s impending doom. A pair of shears owned by the Fates (a Greek mythology reference, somehow linking back to the fifth season) may sever any ties Emma might have to her destiny. Once Upon a Time seems fond of these kinds of destiny-altering blades, with the dagger of the Dark One coming to mind. Speaking of the Dark One, we didn’t see Rumple in this episode. No doubt he’s up to some serious trouble.