Once Upon a Time
has revised a childhood nightmare, the flying monkeys of Oz. These vicious cuddly looking creatures in the movie are scary but nothing like the ones we have in Storybrooke. Yet, a new fear has entered the picture. Here are 3 reasons why the flying monkeys are the scariest thing to happen to OUAT
and that's not a bad thing.
They are Scary to Look At
Once Upon a Time
has moved the flying monkey concept to a new level. In The Wizard of Oz
, they are more like cute chimpanzees with wings. The Storybooke variety is much more scary having no cute features, a triangular devilish face, and evil eyes that follow the victim's every move. The Storybrooke monkey cannot be considered cute no matter how many Regina turns into stuffed animals. The flying monkey appearance is the first trigger for folks to beware. Much like the ever popular vampire, they give viewers the sense of dread in their animal form.
You Can't Trust Any New Characters
The original Oz flying monkeys are just that--a monkey with wings. They do not have the ability to change appearance. On Once Upon a Time
, they now can be human. Their appearance helps them do the Wicked Witch's bidding.
Let's look at Walsh. Walsh is a man who has every characteristic that Emma wants in a companion. Who wouldn't love a man who is a hunk, gallant, charming, likes her son, and wants to be there for you? Under all this though lies a heart of pure evil with a mission from the Witch.
In this case it is to keep Emma from remembering the past. And much like the popular vampire, Walsh weaves his spell. He was a little too good to be true for viewers to accept.
That may be why the unique twist that the executives of Once Upon a Time
use with Walsh works so well. When Walsh realizes that Emma remembers, he attacks in his human form. When the fight sends him over the balcony, he turns into the flying monkey. He wants blood-- Emma's blood--to prevent her from saving Storybrooke. Razor sharp teeth make for a good weapon.
We see the extent of the viciousness of the flying monkey attack in "Witch Hunt" when it slashes its victim's neck. Like the vampire in our present lore, or even a werewolf, the monkey turns its victim into a creature that serves the Wicked Witch. This new element will cause the heroes of Storybrooke to be on their guard. We know that Walsh can pass for human. How many others are "flying monkeys" who seem to be normal people?
You Can't Trust Your Favorite Characters
Using the twist, these storytellers are developing a more dark and grim version of the Oz characters that caused fear for some of us in our youth. No longer appearing as a simple chimpanzee with wings, Storybrooke's version appears evil, draws blood and kills. Their duties have changed from merely bearing messages to actually killing. The changes have taken the flying monkeys of the past to a new level which invoke more (and darker) fears from the original.
By Once Upon a Time
reinventing the creatures and giving them the ability to become human, we are left guessing the true identity of our favorite townspeople. Can you trust your favorite character to be who you remember? We haven't seen Red all year and now she's back? Could she be worse than a wolf? This new development will lead to many discussions as the season progresses.
So just what role will the flying monkeys have on the people of Storybrooke? Their appearance, while evil, means that their mission has a purpose and the Wicked Witch wants something. The problem is that the people of Storybrooke have no clue (and neither do we) what is up.
Their appearance puts the townspeople (and viewers) on the edge of their seat as we wonder what will come next. When they appear in human form will they remember any of their pre-monkey friendships and ties? When they become monkeys, do they lose the capacity to care and love? Robin Hood has lost his most loyal friend and follower to the Wicked Witch. Little John, when he appears as human, can he be trusted? And what about people while they were in the Enchanted Forest? Were any of them "turned" before they returned to Storybrooke? If so, what secrets are they hiding.
What do you think of the flying monkey twist? Is it too scary? Which characters do you no longer trust? Sound off in the comments.
ABC's Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8pm.
(Image courtesy of ABC and Warner Bros.)