Consider me hooked on ABC’s Once Upon a Time. It’s a great-looking TV show with a high concept that works on all levels. You can’t help but be swept up into the magic. We’ve already met Snow White, Prince Charming and the Evil Queen. Cinderella and the Huntsman have both been part of the action too. Playing Red Riding Hood, or Ruby, in Storybrooke, is actress Meghan Ory. When I watched the pilot and subsequent episodes, she looked familiar but couldn’t quite place where I had seen her before. Then it hit me. I remember her best from her work on two TV shows. She was a series regular on one teen drama and a guest-star in a memorable episode of a scifi drama.
Higher Ground, Fox Family Channel: Higher Ground was a teen TV series set at a sanctuary for troubled teens. Ory played Juliette, a popular girl who had major issues with anorexia and bullimia. Fox Family Channel pre-dated ABC Family and I was a big fan of this show and the cast. Along with Ory, Hayden Christiansen, Jewel Staite, A.J. Cook and Kandyse McClure starred on the show.They would all go on to have successful careers in TV and film.
Dark Angel, FOX: Ory also guest-starred in my favorite episode of Dark Angel of all time, Season 2’s “The Berrisford Agenda.” “TBA” delved into Alec’s tragic transgenic past. We found out how X5-494 went undercover to figure out whether Robert Berrisford had uncovered secrets about Manticore. Ory played Berrisford’s teenage daughter, Rachel. Alec’s cover? He was her piano teacher, Simon Lehane. “The Berrisford Agenda” was a sad but beautiful episode. It showed there was more to Alec than the selfish, sarcastic persona he so often exuded. He had been in love with this girl but had to betray her and as a result, she died. There were many great moments as the story was largely told in flashback. My 4 favorite Alec/Rachel moments:
#1: The Pool. “Simon” goes to dinner at the Berrisford’s and in flashback we see him and Rachel sneaking out the back and heading to the pool. She wisely suggests they go for a swim. In the pool, the two share an intimate moment.
“In case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve been sort of throwing myself at you for the past few weeks. Don’t you like me?” “I like you. (they kiss) I like you a lot.”
It’s clear that this is X5-494’s very first kiss. The way he closed his eyes and sort of continued the movement made it seem like he wanted to remember that feeling forever. Jensen Ackles (Alex/Simon) and Meghan shared a really nice chemistry in this scene.
#2: The dad’s office. “Simon” had just finished downloading information off of Berrisford’s computer for Manticore. Rachel caught him but he said he was just looking for the bathroom. Rachel took the opportunity to make a declaration:
“I love you. Your hands are shaking.” “They are?” “Are you all right?” “Yeah. I’m all right. I’m just happy.”
I just think X5-494 was so naive about this whole relationship thing because he’d never experienced it before. He loved the way Rachel made him feel but he was also starting to feel guilt over what he was there to do.
#3: On the Steps. X5-494 has been given his brutal orders. Manticore wants him to send a message to all their suppliers by eliminating Robert Berrisford AND his daughter Rachel. The transgenic is immediately conflicted. He’ll kill the father but he thinks Rachel is unnecessary collateral damage. Sandoval gives him an ultimatum. So he has no other choice but to set the bomb under Berrisford’s car. However, the transgenic decides to warn Rachel and on the steps of her mansion he comes clean:
“I was sent here to kill your father. It was my job. You were my job.”
Rachel slaps him and runs after her dad. He gets out of the car but, unfortunately, the car blows up and Rachel falls to the ground. It turns out she didn’t die right away. In fact, she had been languishing in a hospital for the two years since the blast went off. This gives Alec enough time to say goodbye.
#4: In the hospital. Rachel’s unconscious and Alec gives her back her mom’s necklace he accidentally grabbed from her on those steps when he tried to warn her. He’s devastated and in tears and you can tell how much he loved her:
“I should have tried harder, Rachel. I should have fought ’em. I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand how much I love you.”
It’s crazy how at the beginning of “The Berrisford Agenda,” two women were fighting over Alec, basically. And by the end, we learn that it was only a couple of years ago, he was this undercover assassin who knew nothing about falling in love. This experience was shiny and new and confusing and he was really so naive about the whole thing. This backstory into Alec’s character was huge and it made him more real. Meghan and Jensen had great chemistry so it was an enjoyable episode that I’ve re-watched a million times. It’s that good so check it out if you haven’t already.
Warning: Supernatural Spoiler Alert
Supernatural: It turns out Ory’s not just doing time on Once Upon a Time. She has a guest-star gig in tonight’s Supernatural, which stars Jensen, so consider this a little bit of a reunion. Even though her bite-worthy role will have a lot to do with Sam, it looks like Ory and Ackles at least share one scene together. Yay!
The CW synopsis for “Adventures in Babysitting”: Still reeling after what happened to Bobby, Dean becomes dangerously obsessed over finding a way to take down Dick Roman (guest star James Patrick Stuart). Meanwhile, Sam decides to help a teenage girl (guest star Madison Mclaughlin) look for her father (guest star Ian Tracey), a hunter who has gone missing. Sam traces his last steps to a truck stop where the help (guest star Meghan Ory) turns out not to be so friendly. Jeannot Szwarc directed the episode written by Adam Glass.
Catch Ory on Supernatural tonight at 9/8c on The CW. Also look for her on ABC’s Once Upon a Time which returns with new episodes on Sunday. Hopefully, the show will tackle Ruby/Red Riding Hood’s story soon.
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