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Monday, November 2, 2015

Is Anyone Else Tripping On Merlin Being Young And Black? No? Just Me? OK #OnceUponATime #ABC

Is Anyone Else Tripping On Merlin Being Young And Black? No? Just Me? OK #OnceUponATime #DarkSwan #ABC

All pictures courtesy of ABC.

If my blog was more popular I know that someone would see that title and not bother reading the post or anything else on the site before going on a tirade about race. But even if you are a fan of the show and you have been paying attention to the way they treat the black characters, you would be saying the same thing or at least thinking it but being too afraid to say it. Where shall we begin?

ABC's sixth episode of Once Upon A Time (#OnceUponATime) has gifted us with some very interesting debate fodder having little to do with the show. First they brought Black Lancelot back (yes, I will forever call him Black Lancelot as seeing him for the first time after so much whiteness on this beloved show was mind-blowing). Now, they've brought in a black Merlin and I don't know how to react. Fans both white and non-white know that this show has a bit of a minority problem. The one Asian woman who was supposed to be a strong female was controversially turned gay. The few black women on the show have been evil or killed off or both. Black Lancelot was apparently killed and replaced with an evil white woman using magic to disguise herself as him only for him to mysteriously reappear this season. And now Merlin--a guy who was stuck in a tree for a millennia--is on the scene. What troublesome fate lay before him? Well...

Black Lancelot humbly at your service.

After last week's rescue of Merlin from the tree, he and many of the others went down to Camelot's dungeons to free Merida and Black Lancelot after they had been put in prison for treachery to the King. After discovering that King Arthur is actually evil, Snow White, Prince Charming and the rest of the Scooby-Doo gang spent their time trying to figure out what plans he has concerning Emma. As they go off to do their detective work, Merida stays behind with Belle and uses the always clever "what's over there" distraction technique to make an escape with Beast's love. What use does she have with Belle? Why, magic, of course.
Deprived of the magical wisps, she needs another way to find out to where her brothers have been kidnapped. Since Belle has a big book of magic with her, redhead figures the young lady can help her on her quest to save her siblings and her kingdom.

As the two women journey to save the three brothers in fairy tale times, back in Storybrooke Merida has been instructed to make Rumpelstiltskin into a hero capable of pulling Excalibur from the stone. But without the powers of the dark one he's just a plain old wimp like he had always been. Needing more than encouragement and a few forest sparing lessons, Emma instructs Merida to try killing Belle to force Rumpel to become a hero. His plan: flee the small town with his headstrong beauty before the arrowswoman has good opportunity to kill Belle.

She doesn't go with him, instead saying that they aren't the run-from-their-problems type and that he can be a hero. He reveals that the little glimpse of heroism he had back before he became the dark one was yet another lie. He originally told her he broke his foot to escape the troll wars so Bae (his son) wouldn't become an orphan. In earnest, he did it because he was scared of dying. It had nothing to do with his son.

Disappointed, she starts back toward town as he drives off and who does she run into but Merida.

Back in fairy tale time from a few weeks before, she and Merida magically locate her brothers that are to be executed that day so no one in her bloodline ever is able to lay claim to the throne. Brave's plan is to drink a magical elixir that would turn her into a bear. She would then use these grizzly powers to slaughter her enemies... and I can only assume get honey from trees or steal their picnic baskets too (I couldn't resist!). Belle gives her a pep talk about doing it herself and blah blah blah. She replaces the elixir with water, Red jumps from the bushes and is made a fool, she manages to save her brothers anyway by shooting through all three arrows flying toward their three heads.

Lady's got skills! The men then bow to her and accept her as rightful queen--yeah, this whole thing started because they didn't want a woman in power, and because they blamed her for not arrowing the enemy that speared her father on the battlefield. But all ended well there.

Back in Storybrooke she drank the real elixir and chased Belle through the woods where Rumpel made a triumphant return and saved Belle, becoming the hero Swan needed him to be. Going back and making a deal with the new dark one, he pulled the sword from the stone and threw it at her feet.

Wait, what about Merlin, you ask? The side plot involved the Storybrooke gang trying to contact Merlin after re-discovering they had freed him from his tree a few weeks prior. Their problem? Only someone chosen by Merlin could speak with him. First sending in Arthur to use a magical toadstool to summon him, they re-discovered his evilness when they found the unburnt mushroom he had carelessly tried to destroy. They get Henry in as he now holds the title of the author even though he no longer has the pen. They summon a vision of Merlin but instead of talking to him they get a holographic voicemail of him trying to explain how to clear the darkness from Emma. The message cuts off before he gives complete instruction as someone is coming for him. What was even more troublesome was not that they were going to potentially kill the black guy again, but the fact that Merlin magically appeared to Emma during her pick-pocketing days as a child. But wasn't he trapped in that tree for 1000 years? What a mystery!

What do you think? Are you troubled that Merlin doesn't have a big beard (you thought I was gonna say something about him being black again, didn't you? That's racist)? Are you upset that Merida's brothers didn't get to speak? And what the hell was up with that candy bar? Is that a popular candy there? Does the name have some extra meaning? Now I'm intrigued... and hungry. Let me know what you think in the comments below (hint: click the no comments button if you see no comments).

Check out my new comedy novel Yep, I'm Totally Stalking My Ex-Boyfriend. #AhStalking
If you’re looking for Halloween scares check #AFuriousWind, #DARKER, #BrandNewHome or  #ThePowerOfTen. For those interested in something a little more dramatic, check out #TheWriter. The full first season is OUT NOW exclusively on Amazon. Join us on Goodreads to talk about books and TV, and subscribe to and follow my blog with that Google+ button to the right side.

Until next time, that was the day of the dead people. No, not the day of the dead people. The day of the dead, people.

P.S. Don't criticize my grammar. I don't want to start NaNoWriMo in tears. That's a writers' joke... sort of. My sign-off will be better next time.

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