Once Upon a Time 2×15 “The Queen is Dead”

SPOILERS AHEAD

1. As “Bae was a Lost Boy” was always my go-to acceptable reason for his age, I suppose it can be permissible, although really-they cannot take much longer before giving us details.

2. I really love the fact that good queen Eva got the sparkly red gown while Regina appears in the white dress (in the genie episode).

3. Little Snow’s sparkly pink party dress is the ultimate Disney marketing ploy.

4. Mrs. Patmore/Johanna is ALWAYS appreciated by her beneficent masters!

5. How could Snow not know people made it to Storybrooke?  There is seriously not enough reunions and searchings going on since the curse broke.  This is Gus being murdered and no one else from Cinderella showing up all over again!  Shame on everyone.

6. FINALLY, finally Gold has placed magical protection on his shop.  I am SO relieved.

7. When Snow said she had a plan to make Cora distrust her mother I thought she was going to, you know, start talking to her about her mother.  No one likes being told you’re wrong-and-I’m-right OR do-what-I-say-or-else and Snow did BOTH before even introducing anything about Cora to the conversation.  She could have used Henry, she could have used facts she remembered about Cora, she could have done So. Much. Better. in her mission.  But no, she got preachy and I wouldn’t blame Regina if for that reason alone she stopped considering crossing Cora.  The real issue here isn’t weather good wins, it’s weather you can figure out how to be good while still being considerate enough to get over yourself and talk to people, rather than preaching at them or beating them over the head with platitudes.

8. I love the dagger’s hiding place.

9. Seriously, Cora made Regina do the digging when they were searching for the buried dagger, rather than magicing it up?

10. The Blue Fairy continues to be utterly useless at anything other than saying “this is the last of its kind” and often being wrong.

11. So…how exactly did Hook find Gold?  Is he also an excellent tracker now?

12. Seriously, no one thinks to text Gold or Emma again about this your dagger’s been taken issue?

13. Is anyone seriously surprised about Cora’s engineering of queen Eva’s death?  Or anything else?  I could have done with other flashbacks this episode, although I did love the costuming.

14. On Cora-honestly, her death is the best possible shot at happiness for….everyone, up to and including her.  Killing her should be everyone’s logical priority for the side of good winning, not Snow’s crisis of faith about good being workable.

15. I am very much looking forward to the tale of the Miller’s Daughter, though.

 

 

“Once Upon a Time” Apple Red as Blood

Lessons learned (spoilers):

1. It’s okay to give up on everyone and everything you’re supposed to love, so long as you’re dying.

2. Always leave everything up to the kid.

3. It’s okay to kill people that aren’t important and/or You can kill whoever you want so long as it’s not out of revenge.

4. Fairy dust equates to bombs.  I want the Blue Fairy imprisoned somewhere now.

5. If you’ve lived your life hopping through realms via hats, you can apparently hop anywhere you want in just one world without being harmed, as well.

6. When you’ve been through the experience of being framed for murder, your claws naturally come out.  I think it was just that and the fact that she’d begun to feel so close to Emma, and therefore so betrayed at her absence, that made Snow yell about Emma’s dash, not the curse weakening.

7. If there’s pastry involved, there’s no need to worry about persuading people who should know better to eat it.  Much easier than with something healthier like fruit.

8. Either Snow’s personal sense of guilt at causing Daniel to leave was ridiculously strong, or she willingly abetted the disregard of the Queen in favor of celebrating Snow White that took place in Leopold’s castle.  I’m willing to bet this is it-she knew she was coming between them, she knew her presence and relationship with her father made Regina lonely and unhappy, but she encouraged and reveled in it anyway.  Thus, she could be unaware of Daniel’s dire fate, but still feel herself the justified target of Regina’s wrath because she technically caused the marriage of her to her father, and then more importantly played an active role in keeping that marriage unhappy.  Or at least, that’s what I’m going to believe. (Also, this way it can also have to do with the fact that Snow was considered prettier by her father, thus making the pilot’s claim that Regina poisoned an apple because she thought Snow was prettier still have some relevance.)

9. Killing Emma kills the curse.  If they do one of the things where she’s technically dead for a few minutes so the curse breaks and then wakes up again, I will cut things.

10. If you have true love in Fairy Tale Land, apparently you have a kind of visceral-epathy where you can feel magical things inflicted on your partner.  This is intriguing.  I want this to be a kind of rule that’s useful instead of just cheesy, but do not have high hopes.

“Once Upon a Time” The Stranger (Spoilers)

On Pinocchio:  Okay, I don’t think you can really blame a small child for taking advantage of an escape option if it’s presented instead of trying to take care of a baby, particularly since he was obviously in a situation where he couldn’t do much.  HOWEVER:

-He must somehow have become affluent for years before this-he couldn’t bother to try and look her up?  That wouldn’t exactly have been the huge burden a baby would have.

-Plus, completely ignoring Emma means he wasn’t just deciding not to care about her, but that he no longer cared about ANYONE from his homeland-including dear, old dad.

-Trying to convince Emma because he’s starting to took back into wood and realized he’s dying  is HARDLY just “realizing his mistake and trying to fix it” out of remorse or his own goodness, the way Pinocchio let Gepetto think it happened.  That’s coercion, not kindness or really rectifying.

-He seriously thought convincing Emma would be that simple?  I know he’s not the psychologist, but he’s the one who’s been around other people in this world most of his life, he knows how hard it is for most of them to believe.  He seriously thought that getting her to acknowledge “I’m the boy who found you” would automatically lead to “so the curse is real”?  Also, no one should understand better Emma’s qualms about accepting responsibility.  Pinocchio couldn’t make allowances for that in his plan???  Dumbass.

-So, now he’s just going to go do woodwork with Gepetto, having given up on Emma for the second time.  Quitter.

-I knew I hated the idea of him being Pinocchio, but did they have to make me hate August, too?

-Oh, and that scene with him and Mr. Gold?  “Trust me” and the answer’s about knowing his Pinoccho instead of “you lied about being my son”!?  Also, “that’s none of your business”?  Didn’t think of that when you were getting me to confess and apologize to you, now did you, Pinocchiboy?  I hated that Mr. Gold never called him out on that.  I’ll just assume that Gold’s wish not to remember his difficult moments is purposefully avoiding them.

 

On Gepetto:  It’s amazing to me how so many people here have similar resentments, and so few of them actually draw the lines and recognize the connections.  Gepetto tells Jiminy that the debt he owes can never be repaid-that debt being depriving Gepetto of his parents.  Therefore, he should just let Gepetto….send two small children into a world where they’re not only deprived of parents, but everything else familiar???  Great thinking, that!

 

On Disney: Also, the repeated idea of Snow going through the wardrobe is interesting.  Do the people not know that time will stand still?  Is everyone aware that wold mean that  Snow would be reunited with her prince when she’s decades older than him now?  You can almost hear the sigh of relief that Gepetto stopped that from happening-true love surviving in such disparate ages all of a sudden just wouldn’t be Disney!

 

On the Blue Fairy:  What is up with this lady?  First, she seems to have a lot of access to “the last one” of things.  Is this a coincidence?  Are her fairies somehow not taking care of the magical elements of this world properly and that’s why?  Has she used up her resources so indiscriminately over the years?  I feel like she needs to watch “The Lorax” on magical trees, seeds, and probably other enchanted items.  Second, she really seems to have a thing for Gepetto.  Other people are lucky if she, or any fairy, shows up once.  Gepetto had her magic him a permanent caretaker, help him get a son, turn his son real, agree to lie for him…Did she have a crush on his dad or something?  Third, just what kind of preparations could her fairies make before the curse took over, and how were they more important than making sure Emma, and possibly Snow, went through the wardrobe?

 

“Once Upon a Time” musings

So, I am now officially caught up on the TV show “Once Upon a Time” after a long absence following Rumplestiltskin’s transformation to the Dark One.  I have several (spoilery and speculatory) thoughts:

On Rumplestiltskin:-I know it’s sweet that Rumpletstiltskin created the Dark Curse to find his son, but….goddammit, anyway, I prefer my version!  From the instant I saw his backstory, I assumed Rumplestiltskin had spent years learning about magic’s price, deciding that all magic was evil.  After all, at that point the people we’d seen him destroy were who?  A fairy with a very powerful wand, Archie’s maliciously “magical” sleight-of-hand parents…I was sure he had created the curse as a way of eliminating all magic-which he considered the greatest curse of all.  This would explain why he needed the curse in place, but still wanted to break it.  He’d want it broken so everyone could go home and be happy, just without the dangers and evils of all that magic lying around.  Clearly, this theory is now gone, but I mourn it.  It’d would’ve been so interesting.

On The Stableboy:-This story was well done and incredibly acted by Lana, but…wow, is it a cliche.  This is precisely the stereotypical backstory I was expecting the writers to avoid.  It certainly works, but after all that buildup and suspense, I was expecting something we couldn’t have seen coming a million miles away.

On August:-I really wish that paperweight donkey hadn’t been pointed out as a clue.  That donkey does point pretty clearly to the Pinocchio story.  I hate the idea of him as Pinocchio, especially since a lot of the stated reasons for believing this are that he is somehow turning back into wood.  If Graham can walk around with no heart inside his chest for years, I fail to see why a wooden history should cause problems.  Besides which, we saw Gepetto’s parents sitting around still being puppets, so I expect that Pinocchio would be either fully human or fully wood in this world-not dying from limbo.

-On the other hand, the Pinocchio story has other characters directly connected to Pleasure Island-I wonder why no one is discussing them?  Honest John comes to mind, the character who lures Pinocchio down his dark paths in the first place, and the second one to donkeyhood.  Significantly, he calls himself “Honest John”, while still twisting the truth all the time…just like “August W. Booth.”  Also, his sidekick was mute in the Disney movie-and I cannot think the line “Well, even a mute can draw a picture!” is not a clue.

-Also, so long as I’m talking here, my original theory was that August was a version of the Fisher King/Grail hunger legends.  If FairyTaleLand has King Midas, why not Arthurian characters?  August’s profound veneration for water plays into this, as well as the fact that til this week the time when his legs acted up was when he got close to the water.  He needs it, but he needs it to be magical.  The scene where they cause him pain elsewhere scuttles part of that, but he still clearly pays attention to water and it’s properties.  Again, I don’t know why no one else is focusing on this.  Not to mention that the Fisher King is traditionally dying and in great need of magical intervention.

-My non-Pinocchio theory still in play has to do with the Wizard of Oz.  It’s been noted that his motorcycle has Kansas plates.  I submit that the white scar around his neck mirrors the drawstring holding the Scarecrow’s head on.  Given that the Mad Hatter’s neck-line was still red, in spite of spending a long time in Wonderland, leads me to believe that August’s neck marking has to do with something other than the Red Queen-like being the scarecrow.  Clearly, he prides himself on his brains-going into detail about how Emma’s mind will be tortured by not knowing what’s in his box, fooling Mr. Gold, etc.  This theory also uses his focus on water-he’s seen water melt down the Wicked Witch of the West.  Also, if he regained(?) human form after being stuffed, particularly since the flying monkeys “rearranged” that stuffing rather roughly, it makes sense that his legs might not have enough mass/muscle/form to work without being painful.  The Scarecrow also has the best shot of being someone out of Storybrooke, because he could have traveled with Dorothy via her red slippers.  The fairy who told him of the dagger could’ve been Glinda-I’m betting that when the Blue Fairy said she knew no other way to travel, she spoke the truth.  Also, this means the person on the phone could’ve been the wizard or, my favorite idea, Dorothy.  If only that donkey weren’t there….oh well, I still want him to turn out to be the Scarecrow.  After all, he never did actually answer Gold’s question about coming from the same land as him-he just pointed out Gold already thought he had the answer.  He could still totally be from elsewhere to begin with.

On themes: I find it really interesting how we’re beginning to branch out into the men now.  Originally, the tales focused on women’s evil, how various women become villains or nearly follow other women down the wrong path-which it still does.  But it’s only in these last few episodes that we’re getting to see what the same forces of love, loss, and self-recrimination can do to the men.  In this light, Archie and Gold become doppelgangers.  After Jiminy’s impulsive deed creating a gulf of guilt and loss, he had the boy Gepetto to focus on and make amends to.  After Rumplestiltskin loses Bae, he has no one to make amends to-only characters who scold him in his time of despair (right or not, that was not well played or kind) and who he can only see focusing on to vent his anger and power.  It could have gone the other way for them as easily as things could have been for Regina and Snow.  I like that.  The genie also shows how a twisted love can change the life of men as easily as women.  I can’t wait to see more of this-I hope Jafar still gets a spot sometime.