Once Upon a Time 4×1 “A Tale of Two Sisters”

Well, I caught up on “Once Upon a Time” just before its new premiere and…I’m still not sure what I think about it. On the one hand…

The Good:
1. Elsa’s character remains intact. After her ominous arrival last season from Rumple’s “I’m-scared-of-this” vault and emergence over the last great evil-Zelena’s-dark magic symbol, I feared for the integrity of her flawed, but good heroine personality.
2. This is one of those episodes where everything looked just as it should. This is very important for a show dabbling in iconic images and moments, but from everything “Frozen” to dancing with Belle, this episode was charming to literally watch.
3. We don’t have to go back to the past again! Yay! Personally, I found that storyline in the last two episodes too much stalling for too little payoff, especially since it’s pushing at Regina in all-too-cliche ways.
4. The mention of Netflix was a funny meta touch.

However, the other hand is weighed down with…

The Bad:
1. Finding ‘The’ author of fairy tales??? That’s just not a good idea and my folklorist heart is already pained. I suppose the most acceptable solution would be to find Disney himself, but…then we’ve got a whole other kettle of meta fish happening that’s just too close to home for magic to keep off the fishy smell.
2. Can everyone just stop messing with Belle already? Just STOP IT. One of the things I liked about last season was how she got to call out her tormentors and remind everyone just how raw a deal this crazy optimist, of all people, got in previous seasons. STOP MESSING WITH HER, I DON’T CARE IF SHE DOESN’T KNOW.
3. Obviously Henry is the best option for Regina-company and deterrent right now and it’s plain stupidity and selfishness that keeps Emma hounding her personally to try and prove that she was right.
4. Look, I’ve been trying to reconcile myself to Hook/Emma for an entire season now and having a hard time of it, having Emma share my hesitation is not helping.
5. If an enchanter comes to claim that hat and dares to call himself Merlin without being the most awesome character ever I will hate this show.

Also, I’m not sure which category this goes in, but according to that timeline, the powers of True Love and pixie dust thought that Regina and Robin should get together before she became the full-fledged Evil Queen who messed with Marian, which has to mean that it thought they’d make a better match than Robin and Marian IN THE FIRST PLACE, EVEN! I’m not sure what to do with that. One voice is crying out-don’t mess with Robin and Marian, it has to at least be history!, while the other is saying hah-see, Marian never really should have gotten him to begin with, go Regina! It’s confusing. What do you think of that?

Of course, we still have those nitty-gritty questions to get into about predictions for this season…

The U(gly U)nknown:
1. Will Anna’s journey in the Enchanted Forest run her into more wolves in the form of Red? That is my greatest hope right now.
2. Will Belle get pregnant with a boy they’ll name Chip as a tribute to their love?
3. Perhaps instead of the author we can get Scheherazade who’s been telling these stories to her sultan? That would be cool. Correction, that could be cool. Could also be a big mess, but at least better than finding any kind of author.
4. Can we count Mickey Mouse as an author? o.O
5. It’s probably all going to have to do with Roland and him getting attached to a savior-Regina with her this time, isn’t it?
6. So are Hans and his brothers “waiting to pounce” ruling the roost back in Arendelle? Or did they follow Anna and trap her to try and get her to marry Hans/one of them a la Penelope in the Odyssey? I do like the image of Sven helping to break that up eventually. Or, could be both!
7. This also makes me think that Ariel and Eric and their island is reminiscent of Calypso, the sea’s daughter, and her lovers’ island, no?
8. Which brings me to Hercules and how on first hearing Regina had a second soulmate, I thought of him. He likes dark women, doesn’t he? (Plus, he could have wanted a tattoo of the lion he defeated.) It would be fun if they could have at least a fling.
9. Who wants to bet that “the truth” about Elsa and her powers is that she really has a different father than Anna does, or was adopted from her sister or something, which will make her actually related to Enchanted Forest folk? After all, this show is nothing if not incestuous! See: Hook, chasing after his stepson’s babymama, etc.

Well, those are my thoughts. What are yours? Any predictions-without spoilers!-or speculations to share?

Once Upon a Time 2×6 “Tallahasee”

Otherwise known as “We’re Bringing Flashbacks Back!”

Spoilers:

To Whom It May Concern,

I have some notes.

First, if Neal turns out to be Baelfire I will have to stop watching.  Granted, if Baelfire turns out to be anyone without a decent reason for staying young for hundreds of years, I will have to stop watching.  I do not understand all these people claiming time can move differently-the curse happened, time froze for 28 years in both Fairy Tale Land and Storybrooke.  Ergo, time moves the same.  Also, magic beans claim to be world jumping, not time jumping.  Otherwise we’d have to worry about syncing up with Hook’s Neverland time, etc., and that’s just not going to fly.  Also, the world jumping power of wood, said to work like the beans, spat Emma and Pinocchio out at the same time, Emma came out after the same number of minutes that had passed since Pinocchio went through the wardrobe, etc.  As far as I can tell, there’s lots of evidence to say that time moves the same in Fairy Tale Land-which is also physically UNDER Storybrooke, making it harder to defy laws of space and time, and absolutely no evidence that time might move differently between them.  Acceptable solutions from Baelfire still being alive are: Rumple, with the Dark One’s power over time, charmed his son to stay forever young, Baelfire became a Lost Boy and therefore did not grow up (most advisable, seeing as it will give Hook interesting leverage with Rumple and make that plotline thicker), or Baelfire came across another world-traveler like the Wizard of Oz and got something to keep him going.

Second, I’m impressed August actually did manage to track her down in those circumstances.  I’m sticking with my idea that there’s a connection between August, Neal, and Pleasure Island, and that the box held some magical proof August had been there.  If Neal had been there too he would recognize it and be forced to admit that yes, he had experienced magic.  Alternatively, the White Rabbit possibility has gained watches.  Perhaps August came across something Wonderlandish somehow.  About how he sent Neal the postcard-I feel the show covered this.  August explained he needed magic because he was turning into wood.  Ergo, when magic returned, it made Pinocchio’s woodiness no longer a problem and he could therefore send postcards.  On the issue of August’s high-handedness, well-Pinocchio was never very smart, was he?  It’s true that if Emma was happy in the real world she probably wouldn’t want or need to go looking for another, more magical one.  The end.

 

Third, the writers put no thought whatsoever into that giant story.

1.Turning Jack and the Beanstalk  into Jack the Giant Killer is simply switching tales.

2. Indicating that wars happen with one totally good side and one totally bad one is always overly simplistic, and the details of this one make it absurd.  The giants did have the magic beans, and they do have a lot of treasure.  Are we to not believe they were plundering the worlds?  Perhaps they did it peacefully, perhaps they considered it their right, perhaps they had legal trading rights, but surely they were gathering wealth from the worlds.  Sure, this means FTL probably fought them in order to get the treasure more than anything else, but then-that’s the giants’ motivation too, right?

3. Also, why would the humans want the beans destroyed?  Any way you look at it, that makes no sense.  All around more likely that the giants did destroy them themselves when they were losing-in a just war or not.  Also, they’d be the ones who’d know how to make the beans non-functional but still present.

4. Speaking of which, there’s a way to make the beans non-functional even though they’re physically present?  Those things make less sense all the time.

5.How does giant Hurley eat?  There didn’t seem to be any livestock or agriculture up there, he doesn’t seem like a cooking type, and he doesn’t even have beans anymore.  Does he just spout the magic number and it sustains his life?

6.The cage with the trip wire was giant-sized.  Were there other giants who tried to get Hurley’s treasure back in the day?

7. In what world is it believable that the cage could hold down giant Hurley?  That whole section was ridiculous-the giant had no reason to be afraid or or talk to Emma other than to move the story along.

8. Emma couldn’t ask Mulan how long the poppy powder would keep the giant out?

9. Hurley just left the body of Jack the Giant Killer in the middle of his house until it turned into a skeleton?  If Hurley’d even eaten Jack he wouldn’t still have held his sword like that.  Is that a reminder that humans are killers?  If so, why do you also need to wear a bean-that’s the best reminder right there.  Also, why in the middle of the floor?  Do you never actually look through your treasure?

10. Engraving sword blades is reserved for the name of the SWORD, notes about what the sword entitles its owner to do, and possibly a riddle or instruction.  That is it.  It is NOT for engraving the name of the sword’s wielder.  That’s just ridiculous.  Granted, Jack could’ve  named his blade Jack, but that indicates that he’s vain, unimaginative, and/or extremely fond of bad wordplay jokes.  None of those options make me like this guy no matter what the real story of the Giant wars was.  Am glad he’s dead.

11. Not to mention, leaving sharp, bloodless blades (in spite of the fact it was still held by the skeleton of a long dead man and apparently not moved-perhaps Hurley got Jack cause the vain idiot just had to clean his sword?  Fits the character of someone who’d engrave their own name like that.) lying around in the middle of your room, does leave you somewhat open to attacks by said blades.  Giant Hurley should probably just wake up.  Or maybe get that kraken pet to keep him on his toes.

12. How do people know what these giants have in their collection if everybody’s dead or a ridiculous giant living alone and barely speaking, therefore not spreading rumors about their stash?

I can’t talk about that anymore.  Let’s move on to Hook.

1. You can’t simultaneously sell a character on being a charming rake AND an anguished bereft lover at the same time.  You can arc from one to the other in an actual story, but you can’t just take the same guy and switch him back and forth.  No.

2. He is the most inefficient person yet.  We want the giant out-hey, I’ll yell at him and hope you have decent aim, assuming he bends over enough for you to conceivably hit him in the face with that magic!  We need to find the compass before the giant wakes up-perfect time to meander about, daydream over random gold, and hit on the girl!  THAT’S the guy you want on your team.  Yep.

3. Guy does not have a decent pickup line in him.

4. I really believe he’s just there so the writers can force him to say more painfully shoehorned references like “Tick-tock.”

5. If he heard Emma’s negotiating with the giant, which he seems to seeing as he’s complimenting her on it as she pulls him from the rocks, then how did he miss her arrangements with Hurley over him?  It’s not like they were whispering.

6. Also, Emma?  Ever heard of keeping your enemies closer?  I’m pretty sure that’d be a good idea here.  Also, he’s the one who knows where Cora is and all-that could be pertinent information that I didn’t see anyone prise out of him.  Plus, what’s your obsession with 10 hours?  Couldn’t make it 12 or like, a day?

Oh, and about this compass:

1. Since when do you need that to find worlds?  Bae didn’t need it, Hook didn’t need it before….this is very confusing and inconsistent.

2. I am disappointed by the lack of Pirates of the Caribbean.  Perhaps Hook will fall down the beanstalk and start moving like Captain Jack Sparrow.  Best possible thing that could happen to the character all around, really.

On Aurora and Henry’s nightmare: well done, the best thing this episode.  There are too many wonderful possibilities to expound on here.  Just don’t let me down.

That is all.

Signed,

wheresmytower

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.

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.

Once Upon a Time 2×1 “Broken”

SPOILERS

1. The reunion between Emma and her parents was every bit as awkward as anticipated.  I suspect a lot of the resentments about Emma’s upbringing were immediately thrown in there mainly to distract everyone from the sheer awkwardness of their age discrepancies.  David’s interaction with Henry made me quite irritated with him-he’s only interested in using him bolster his own self-image and determination by impressing them on Henry-probably subconsciously as he clearly means well, but that’s all I saw.  Of everyone in his family YOU do not know this kid-you could talk to him, ask him what he thinks, thank him for believing in you (I think Mary mentioned things like this to him) or pushing Emma to save everyone?  No?  I cannot be behind this as a proper family meeting.

2. I have many feelings about Rumplestiltskin.  After the last episode I had a lot of questions for him, and the answers don’t really alter my need to sit him down and have a chat.  As far as why Belle knows he’ll be able to canoodle with Belle after magic is brought to Storybrooke, I suppose the whole “magic works differently here”, already covering a multitude of sins, can also manage to cover for Rumple’s ability to look normal and kiss Belle.  My criticism that as a looks-conscious man Rumple should’ve leaped to redress Belle did get addressed.  I was both glad to see Rumple talking fashion with Belle and sad that it came up mainly as an excuse to be alone instead of the sincere thing it should’ve been.  It did seem that everyone else was too busy reuniting and getting angry mobbish that Rumple’s store was safe, but still-I would expect people to be trying to get back their objects anytime now.  The dagger, though…he’s really still going with leaving it in the woods, where these people run around regularly, knowing that Ruby’s got wolf powers for finding objects and that he’s actually shown Pinochio (who may not be dead and if he was I don’t think Rumple necessarily knew it) where its hiding spot is?  That seems like the height of stupidity and I expect more of him.

3. I was happy with the show’s take on Sleeping Beauty’s kingdom “sleeping for years” along with her.  Phillip is clearly the dashing hero I want him to be.  Unfortunately, the love triangle with Mulan meant that their feminine-stereotype fight, which might have led to really awesome feminist breakthroughs or at least a shattering of said stereotypes, led only to a love-triangle.  This is not okay.

4. Our clues for the new guy are: he’s in a big city, he’s got a postcard, there’s a significant pigeon.  Right now the strongest possibilities of the ones I’ve seen seem to be the White Rabbit or Peter Pan, as both of those had the ability to traverse worlds.  My personal theory is that he’s the boy who befriended Pinochio on Pleasure Island.  Pinochio may well have confided in his best friend his mission, his conversation with the Blue Fairy may have been about the sending of this postcard to an address at a ‘certain time’, or Pinochio may have survived and sent it himself.  Further evidence comes from the pigeon-in Disney’s Pinochio he found out where Gepetto went because of a message dropped to him by some birds that resembled doves or pigeons.  Hence, the significant pigeon points this way.  Also, this version of Pleasure Island IS a part of the normal world, so of course he would be there.

5. Dr Whale is unknown by David.  And possibly Regina, though was an integral person who collaborated with her, which argues she is lying.  He is a doctor.  He is a womanizer.  Is he Smee?  Smee performed caretaking duties, is tied to the sea, and could be imagined as a womanizer pirate like the others.  I like the idea that he’s the wizard from Wizard of Oz-he could have ballooned in from FTL, or passed through there, which would explain how he got there-but he would be unknown.  The wizard performed ‘operations’ on heads, hearts, etc., so could easily become a doctor.  The wizard is  a natural collaborator, explaining his switch from cooperating so well with Regina to hating her so much.  He’s manipulative, which could lead to lying and womanizing.  Also, perhaps his balloon was named or shaped or bore the image of a whale.  It could totally work.

6. Where is Jefferson???  He is needed here.