Once Upon a Time

Episode Report Card
admin: A+ | 12 USERS: A+
In A New York Minute
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"Manhattan" is about self-fulfilling prophecy, how we are often our own undoing, and how we need to learn to discern between fate and free will. I've read a lot of comments from people who are dislike the fate or destiny focus in "Manhattan," but our genre is Fairy Tales, so it would be odd to me, were fate to play no part (or even a smaller part) in these stories.

To discuss this episode, I have to delve a little into religious thought -- specifically some Christian (and I think Judeo-Christian) thought. I am religious, but please know I'm not trying to proselytize here. I'm trying to explain how I understand free will in the face of fate and am speaking only of my own understanding. I am not trying to tell you how to understand the world, but I hope I can explain how I think fate and destiny are used in Once Upon A Time.

In my understanding of God, God is, among other things, omniscient and omnipotent. What's more I believe that God's will will ultimately be done. I'm trying not to quote Whistler's speech from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, "Becoming, Part I," but am having little luck because I keep hearing him say, "What are we -- helpless? Puppets?" No. I don't think so. I think we have free will. Whistler would tell you, "The big moments are going to come. You can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's when you find out who you are." And in my understanding of how it works, because God's will will come to pass, it is down to us to decide if we're going to work to further that, or if we will oppose it. In other words, we have to pick a team. It matters what we do after (and before and during) the big moments -- which are out of our control.

In the cosmology of Once Upon A Time, True Love serves as the deity -- a.k.a., the most powerful magic of all. Certain things are fated to happen, but that doesn't mean the characters are puppets. It is up to them whether they will work for Team Love or Team Evil. When people say hate is the opposite of love, they're often corrected by those who believe that hatred is passion gone wrong, and that indifference is love's true opposite. I hate to get in the middle of all that, so let's look at it a little differently: If True Love (emphasis on true is intentional and doesn't have to mean romantic love) is the ultimate good, then its opposite is Evil.

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Once Upon a Time




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