Once Upon a Time “The Doctor”

First off-this episode is just silly.  There is no reason to take it as anything but fanfic, as far as I can see.  However, since it is officially cannon, here are some things that can be gleaned from it.

SPOILER LESSONS

1. Either Europe is a  whole different world from the U.S. in this show, or Frankenstein’s from a parallel Europe, where I presume there are also vampires, werewolves, and Dracula.  Maybe a third season will bring us Van Helsing for next Halloween.

 

2. Regina must have very intermittent filing skills, cause though in this episode she claims she has no idea which heart is whose, last season she went straight to the heart belonging to Graham, knowing exactly where it was and who it belonged to when she killed him.

 

3. Speaking of baby-sitting, apparently Charming thinks horses make excellent baby-sitters so he doesn’t actually have to watch Henry.

 

4. It seems we’ve reached Pirates of the Caribbean territory with this magical compass business.  Maybe the giant has a pet kraken here.

 

5. Obviously, when one realizes one’s true love is really gone, the first thing they do upon leaving the body is to go shopping for black leathery outfits.  Right on.

 

6. So, the king just lets Regina wander off with Rumplestiltskin?  She had the wedding in there somewhere between agreeing to study magic with Rumple and what we saw this week, though she’s dressed the same and acting the same in the beginning?  What exactly does he think she’s doing?  He suddenly doesn’t care about having her around to grace his court and look her part, the way he seemed to like having it in the genie episode?  He doesn’t care about not having his new bride physically around right after they were married?  Also, he wasn’t planning on taking her on a honeymoon, apparently?  This is post that?  This timeline just throws everything hella off.

 

7. It doesn’t occur to anybody that the reason bringing people back from the dead with this procedure is that it’s with THE WRONG HEART?  Get the right heart to the right person-maybe it’ll work out right.

 

8. When we get truly to the Pirates of the Caribbean stuff, I want Johnny Depp.  Just sayin’.

 

National Hermit Day

With Hurricane Sandy coming on, it’s far easier than usual to celebrate a day dedicated to holing up on your own, relaxing, and just watching the rest of the world.  Happy National Hermit Day!  Stay in and prosper.

 

You don’t need to fear the storm-

Inside your home it’s nice and warm.

Today’s the day to honor bed,

and get out of work instead.

Remember as you break your fast,

the coming hours serve your repast.

The only time is weather’s hit,

so settle in to be a hermit!

Once Upon a Time “The Crocodile”

Otherwise known as “Women Will Leave You.”

 

SPOILERS:

 

1.What on earth are the information channels around here?  How the hell does Hook know about Neverland? Did he hang out with Jefferson a lot?  Are there like owls that go between the worlds as well as around Hogwarts?  Did Hook come from there and is an ex-Peter Pan type and that’ll be the crux of the war between him and whoever Peter Pan is?  How does he contact Cora in probable-Wonderland or FTL?  How is this working?

 

2. Also, how do these magic beans work, exactly?  There’s no incantation or anything-are they psychic?  Hook thought ‘Neverland’ whereas Bae thought ‘land without magic’, so that’s where they wound up?  Cause in that case it’s no wonder they’re so rare, they have to be bred for telepathy AND world-traveling.  There must be a better system.

 

3. Smee looks exactly like himself.  Kudos for that.

 

4. So, Belle apparently knows Grumpy, who worked in mines or hid in cabins in the woods all his life, but she doesn’t appear to know anyone else from FTL who’s not Rumple or her dad?  How the hell would she know any dwarves????  *logic fail*

 

5. We have yet more evidence that the leader really worth the salt is Ruby.  Always listen to Ruby!

 

6. If your find spell only works on things that belonged to other people, then you probably should’ve given Belle a present, dude.  I would expect you to have covered your bases in this matter.

 

7. Surely with all the panic someone should’ve thought of guarding the mine shafts that go out of town, too?  That sounds right up Grumpy’s street, and he is after all the guy who began working on this problem.  It’s unbelievable he of all people wouldn’t have caught the passages in the MINE.  If Ruby was in charge I bet she would’ve thought of that.  Speaking of which, I didn’t notice anyone setting up any guards about that STILL after what happened in this episode.  Charming, you’re still failing.

 

8. This episode is the epitome of what I’ve long thought is this show’s main problem: they’re trying to write a lot of strong female characters without being sure about what that actually means.  Take Belle-she’s supposed to be strong in her emotional capabilities and her courage for loving a monster.  This started well last season, but this episode it fell apart.  Why?  Because they thought her just walking out on him would be the stronger move, even though the speech they had her deliver was more of a warning and should’ve just been the precursor for her venturing forth to think and give him space to reflect on her ultimatum.  From that point the episode could’ve gone the same, but no-her just leaving seemed like the ‘strong female’ thing to the writers, so they made that illogical decision.  Then every word she spoke to her dad made her sound like a teenager because they thought her insisting on her rights and independence without explaining anything would make a stronger statement than just telling him things.  Then after the mine ride, she had the weakest lines ever.  Now, it does totally make sense to me that at this point Belle is just done and needs everyone to back off.  After all, she didn’t sleep well, she faced the fact she might have to leave her love for the second time, she began to realize how much she’d missed out on by being shut out of the real world, she got kidnapped, she reunited with a dad who TRIED TO DESTROY HER MIND.  Being saved by the guy she’s thinkign of leaving would only be more confusing, and in any case half of that would be enough to say Just Get Away Everyone.  That lesser statement giving her time to think would have been totally logical and made her new dating thing with Rumple less wishy-washy.  But the writers thought that for Belle to be strong she had to make a “never see again” statement instead, because their ‘strong’=’shows total conviction in what she’s doing even if it’s wrong’, so they made her make less sense and ultimately seem weaker.  I could go on about how similar misunderstandings of  how to write strong female characters have plagued the other women in this show, but let’s just leave it at this most enormous mess, shall we?

 

9. I’m pretty sure Hook’s name is James.

 

10. I’m pretty sure Belle should’ve showed some kind of horror/shock/SOMETHING in response to Rumple admitting he was behind the fucking curse, not really Regina.  Is the show just assuming this is common knowledge to characters just cause we know it?  Cause it’s not.  And I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t react like that, even Belle.  Man, does that girl have a rotten life.  With that dad at home, betrothed to guy she didn’t like, prisoner of Rumple’s is still a prisoner and slave even if she did fall for him, in a mental institution, let out with no knowledge of the world or the food that is here…..where the hell is Archie Jiminy Cricket???  If anyone needs him, it’s her.

Once Upon a Time “Lady of the Lake”

I know, I’m late with this, but I have some notes (involving spoilers):

 

1. Everyone needs to lay off Aurora.  Yes, her lines are kinda whiney and her costume designates her the ‘princessey’ one, so she’s an easy target for derision.  But let’s think about this: she woke up to find her whole world gone-everything was changed, she couldn’t stay at in the place she knew, and all the things she knew about her world were gone, but she was willing to be happy anyway because at least she had her love.  Then her love died, and she was still game for going along and making the best of things because at least perhaps she could avenge him.  Then her new leader, in the new, uncomfortable place which was all she had left, not only denied her vengeance, but offered the people who did, in fact, play in to Phillip’s death comfort, help, and friendship-in short, all the things she no longer had.  To top it all off, Mulan-the only person who is even familiar at this point, is to go with them and left Aurora alone in this dirty, awful, small, and for her infinitely lonely place.  Is it any wonder she came after them-if not to keep to her vengeance plan, at least to stay with the only connection to familiarity, friendship, and Phillip she had left?  Just the fact that she had been trying for happiness in the first place after that waking up proves that she’s a very willing, brave, and great-hearted gal, when you really think about it.  I have no doubt that now there’s at least something new for her to cling to now, as a plan, she’ll swiftly turn out to be a good ally.  Also, to be fair, she is not dressed for walking in the woods at all.

 

2. Last week’s Regina Redemption felt a bit quick and surface to me, but this episode I had to really applaud her for her actions with Henry.  I expect much more of these interactions with him will swiftly drive her back to the dark side, and was surprised she resisted even one.  I salute her.

 

3. Henry really should’ve known better than to stand her up, as well.  However, the blame still rests chiefly on David, for trying to shut him out of everything.  If Henry wasn’t trying to prove his usefulness to his grandpa, he might’ve had thoughts to spare for Regina.  Luckily, the end of this episode showed grandpa finally acting like a good guardian and showing proper interest in Henry.

 

4. Okay, Charming’s work by the cabin was badass.  He certainly worked at redeeming himself this week.

 

5. I breathed a sigh of relief when Lancelot was really dead.  There were just so many things…First, if you’re going to do King Arthur, do it right-not just cameos and references flung around. Second- actually, nevermind.  It’s too much to go through and after all, he’s dead.  It’ll be okay.

 

6. Seriously, no one asks Emma about killing the dragon in Storybrooke?  Last time I checked, Snow was not around for that story and might’ve been proud, or at least interested enough to find out if it’s true that Maleficent’s really dead?

 

7. Jefferson’s facial expressions should have a much larger role in this story because they’re amazing!

 

8. Why are people always questioning Red?  Always listen to Red-from everything we’ve seen so far, unquestioning obedience to her would make life a lot easier for everyone.  Perhaps if Snow had just left when Red said to she never would’ve been captured in the first place.  Granted, it’s Lancelot so she should’ve been, but on the other hand-this Lancelot is not really Lancelot, so.

 

9. Snow’s battle gear is ridiculous.  Her gloves are clean white, she’s wearing WHITE for crying out loud, her hair’s in an attractive coif, the sensibility of pants is almost totally undone by the long coat, her vision might be impaired in crucial situations by the collar and puffy sleeves…ridiculous.  This should be Snow having-a-picnic attire, not military garb.

Arrested Development: Classic!

I cannot tell you how much I adore this photo.  There MUST be fanfic.

Once Upon a Time 2×2 ‘We Are Both’

The story is moving, but it feels too slow. Spoilers ahead.

 

1. Did it occur to anyone else that Cora’s tyrannical hold over Regina could have stemmed from concern about Rumplestiltskin?  We know he’s wanted Regina to lead him to the other world since she was a baby, we know he was only too happy to have her under his wing and out of Cora’s magical reach, we know the main point of Cora’s manipulations of Regina was to keep her with Cora.  If Cora had to fight Rumplestiltskin for Regina when Regina was a baby, is all this just lingering protection?  You must stay with me because then you’re safe from him, you must marry the king because he’s the only one who Rumplestiltskin couldn’t make a deal with?  After all, that king was the only man who refused to be swayed by magic when he met the genie.  Not to say Cora didn’t want power, that’s clearly also true, but it seems to me there was always a power struggle over Regina between her and Rumplestiltskin and Cora was actually right about needing to keep Regina from him.  After all, look where Regina’s collusion with Rumple led things.  I’m guessing we’ll get Cora built up as another evil character and then get her backstory where she really did fight like a bear mama to save Regina from the imp to humanize her, as well.  It’s the trend with this show.

Also, I think she’s definitely the Queen of Hearts.  She went through a looking glass-of course she went to Wonderland.  It explains what Regina’s father was doing there.  Also, we know that people who’d been in Wonderland but were originally from FairyTale Land did get transported because of Jefferson.  I’d easily believe that Cora retained enough power to maneuver any transitional power to take her where she wanted to go instead of where the spell tried to take her.  Hence, she wound up in FairyTale Land.  I believe that part of it remained untransported by the curse because of Cora’s counter-force of using the magic to get back to FairyTale Land-the part of it her magic took her to remained FairyTale Land.  The Curse simply froze it.

 

2. I’ve been saying since last season that Pinocchio’s ‘death’ would end up just him being alive as a wooden man.  More evidence to support my theory that the guy with the postcard is Pinocchio’s friend from Pleasure Island.  I expect when they track him down he’ll be able to bring them wood from that magical tree he came through to this world, and it’ll lead to at least some folks changing lands again.

 

3. Red is clearly the real hero of this episode.  David ran around, selfishly seeking his own family, and only ever pretended to give thought to the town’s predicament when everyone yelled at him to do it.  Moreover, he STILL has not had an actual conversation with Henry, wherein he listens as well as talks.  He just keeps saying reassuring things and ignoring anything Henry does or any of Henry’s knowledge.  If David was halfway competent he should’ve realized that Henry is the best key to calm people down-he knows these people and can advise them about their family members, which we know is a big deal because of Red’s remark.  Also, again, he does not seem to CARE about the other people until Red basically smacks him over the head with ‘you’re-going-to-lose-your-subjects.’

 

4. Dr. Whale is hilarious.  I look forward to seeing more of him.

 

5. Rumplestiltskin, I’m surprised at you.  You’re supposed to account for every eventuality.  What happened to that?  Also, again, I EXPECT YOU TO USE MAGICAL SECURITY SYSTEMS ON YOUR SHOP.  Been saying since last season.  You’re slipping, my dear.

 

6. Regina’s redemption arc hits like a sledgehammer.  I have no interest in this until it gains some nuance.

Shadowfell

Shadowfell

By: Juliet Marillier

(http://www.julietmarillier.com/)

Alfred A. Knopf 2012

A young adult fantasy review

 

Neryn’s homeland of Alban brims with magical fairies, stonie mons, and other creatures.  Unfortunately, King Keldec has been systematically taking control of all Alban’s magic by turning it, and those who wield it, to his personal service for life.  Anyone who cannot be converted is ruthlessly stamped out.  Neryn, with her gift of seeing the fairy folk, knows about running, about hiding, and about the perils of trust.  What Neryn does not know is if Shadowfell, the fabled home of a resistance force, is real.    Yet, between the enemies that hunt her and the mysterious strangers who help her, Neryn becomes determined to make her own resistance count.  After all, battling Keldec’s oppression involves far more than a place.

Shadowfell includes many of the most recognizable themes concerning magical lands, tyrants, and discovering personal strength.  Marillier manipulates them into a modern, edgy atmosphere that balances the story’s tension against its familiarity.  The result is a story where the small events draw you in and keep you engaged despite the plot’s overall predictability.  It may be the type of story you’ve read before, but here it feels less like following a cast who knows they’re in a story and more like experiencing unsettling emotions applicable to real situations.  The personalities of Neryn and Flint center the story.  The relationship between the hunted girl and the mystifying man grows in complexities and questions as they near Shadowfell.  Seen through Neryn’s eyes, the dynamic is easy to empathize with and the shifts in the relationship are realistic.  Marillier deftly uses the relationship to illuminate the issues Shadowfell discusses.  Best of all, she does it without trying too hard.

Akin to a cross between the Tiffany Aching books and Legend of the Seeker, Shadowfell serves up a journey for those who like their protagonists to think.  For those who prefer lots of action or more light-hearted magical quests, this book might be a bit heavy.

 

Personally, I found myself drawn in after the rather stereotypical introduction.  I really enjoyed reading the book and I overall did like the characters.  Thinking back on it now, though, I cannot really recall why I liked it as much as I did.  It has a lot of qualities that I personally don’t care for, though they were turned to good account for those who like that sort of thing.  I can only hazard a guess that it was the balance between all the elements-I was never left with just one aspect long enough to get really unhappy with it.

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