It’s been teased since SDCC but with this episode Once Upon a Time finally took us to the fabled city of Agrabah! While it’s true that this episode was slightly weaker than the previous two I truly enjoyed it (except for a few surplus scenes). Maybe I’m slightly biased though because I’ve been wanting and waiting for an Aladdin storyline since I first started watching this show and the fact that it’s connected to Emma Swan? That is just the cherry on the top. Street Rats showed us the story of how Aladdin and Jasmine met, how he became the savior and everything that came afterwards.
A Million Miles Away
Like I mentioned Aladdin has always been one of my favorite Disney movies and it’s also one of the Broadway soundtracks I listen to most often so I was worried if they would do my favorites justice. Not only did they do them justice but they quickly became two of my favorite Once Upon a Time characters. Part of what made them so endearing to all of us is the way Karen David and Deniz Akdeniz played Jasmine and Aladdin, it’s so beautiful and pure that it makes us fall in love with their story all over again as if we were just watching it for the first time.
I’d loved Karen David from her days on Galavant and she did not disappoint, her Jasmine is smart, caring and showed a willingness to realize her own faults yet making the strides to change. On his side Akdeniz’ Aladdin is just as magnificent, still the same thief we’ve always loved but there’s an honesty to the way
Akdeniz plays him and a vulnerability that is there right beneath the surface. You know that he has seen hardship and perhaps hasn’t had much support or love in his life and that colors his viewpoint. It’s very reminiscent of the way Jennifer Morrison plays Emma and it makes the connection between the two characters feel a lot more poignant.
Street Rats does something that the show hadn’t done in a while, turned the tale on it’s head while still keeping true to the core of it. Here, Jasmine is the one that goes looking for Aladdin’s help in defeating Jafar who has her father, the Sultan, under his thrall. He initially refuses to help, claiming he only helps himself then Jasmine technically tricks him into helping. She gives him the scarab of Agrabah and then starts saying the scarab has gone missing, it’s a very clever way of getting him to help. David and Akdeniz’ chemistry shines in that moment as they take us on a journey through a whole new world that is shining, shimmering and splendid.