Once Upon a Time 2×21 “Second Star to the Right”

This is the episode where they stopped trying to wrap things up for the finale and just threw things into a box.  Fairly sturdy box, though.  SPOILERS:

 

1. Am I the only one who thought the “I love you”s between Emma and Neal were too abrupt and forced?  Perhaps if Neal, as someone who thinks they’re about to die, had started it as opposed to Emma, who was in denial, I could have bought it.  As it is, I just think that there goes another storyline that could have been interesting, super-condensed and disposed of.

2. I feel Disney really missed out on opportunities for fun references here.  I knew hoping for some kind of “Great Mouse Detective” thing in Big Ben was probably too much of a long shot, but shouldn’t there at least have been chimney sweeps?  A Mary Poppins hat?  A chimney sweep’s broom???  Come on, people!

3. This Neverland story doesn’t make sense to me.  If the Shadow just wants boys-Lost Boys-then why bother with Wendy in the first place?  If it was supposed to be a preview so her brothers would want to come, the shadow was pretty stupid to let her stay so long or tell her about the soil rule.  Why on earth would Bae think pots are a good defenses?  If the real plan was to get everyone in the crawl space, why not start there?  If the Shadow started showing up at the same time as Bae, wouldn’t he wanted Bae instead of the brothers in the first place?  How was Bae surprised about winding up in Neverland?  If he had a lighter up his sleeve to make Shadow go away, why didn’t he just try fighting with it before making the deal to leave the Darlings alone?  And on top of all that…taking in a hungry urchin is one thing, but letting him sleep in the same room as your preteen daughter seems screamingly out of place anywhere, but particularly in Victorian London.

4. Most important thing in this episode: Maleficent lives!!! Hurrah!  I’m going to go ahead and decide that she also survived Greg and Tamara due to that super-survival spell and just shape-shifted again.  Perhaps into a raven akin to her companion in Sleeping Beauty this time?  I felt incredibly cheated that we didn’t get to see the real fight with her.  Her shape and strength was amazing and even Hook managed a good line in her presence.

5. Okay, having Regina use her magic ‘obliviate’ just so she can tell the audience what she wants to do, since it’s obvious it makes no sense for her to be saying this to Henry, takes me right out of the story.

6. Also, what’s with the torture?  If they’d referred to things like no one withstanding the machine or this being Regina’s pit of despair I’d be okay with it, but…it just wasted time .

7. The minute Tamara said “unholy” I checked out.  Not that I was ever interested in that storyline to begin with.  However, if their headquarters can just inform Tamara that gem=a curse failsafe, then…First, that’s insane.  Second, I want this to go back to Jekyll and Hyde, the good doctor founded this to try and stop Hyde before its magic curse killed him.  Third, shouldn’t they be interested in using that technology whatever to make more anti-magic shields or whatever, prevention rather than eradication?

8. This complaint is late since haven’t reviewed the last couple episodes, but: You’ve got a field of magic portals that are your only hope for your desired future and you don’t leave anyone on guard???  I feel Granny or Ruby would have thought of that.

9. It’s a little difficult to take seriously the saying “No one steals from a dwarf!” seeing as most of them start life by doing grunt work for the fairies’ dust, which all goes to them, and so they don’t really have possessions to steal.  Even outside of that, they stick in packs, so it should at least be “No one steals from dwarves”?

 

Overall: Thank God that whole Tamara-Emma-Neal love triangle no one really committed to can stop bungling around.  Kudos for Regina for keeping everyone on point with what’s important.  Who wants to bet Antoine’s got some extra beans on his person since he’s learned it’s good to have failsafes too?  Anyhow, not totally great, but not a bad showing, either.  We’ll see how the finale goes.

Once Upon a Time 2×8 ‘Into the Deep’

Well, the season seems to have hit its stride now.

 

Spoilery Notes:

 

1. The rules for these hearts are getting way too complicated, now.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but if it’s that simple to turn heartless corpses into zombies, when Regina was royally pissed off and grasping at anything that might spoil Snow and Charming’s lives, perhaps she might have tried her veritable army of heart zombies before destroying her homeland, facing a huge life transition, and killing the person she loved most??  I suppose this might be a a stolen-heart option that Regina didn’t learn.  Still, this bothers me.  Plus, now there’s the puppeteer version of stolen-heart usage.  This puts a new light on Regina’s dealings with Graham when she took him as her sex slave.  Perhaps puppetry only extends to talking and you can’t use it to enforce actions?  Or perhaps this is a way in which Regina is less monstrous than Cora-she simply tells Graham how much power she has over him, but still gives him the freedom of choice about whether to abide by her rules or face the consequences?  Or maybe Regina didn’t know that, either?  In which case, either she was still a lousy student in her power black leather or Rumplestiltskin had majorly changed his curriculum.  Also, so are hearts two-way listening devices?  In order for it to be useful Cora needed to know when Aurora found the others and what she was being asked.  However, we didn’t hear any voices coming through the heart, and also that seems like a bigger magical leap.  Hearts contain life-yes, therefore they can reanimate bodies-fine, people can “speak from the heart”-bit of a semantic-heavy stretch but it does work from the basic full-body control and centralized power of the heart, so alright…I suppose you can also “listen with your heart,” but that’s only got semantics and no other power, tradition, or biological support.  It’s hard to buy, and the show did nothing to try and sell this two-way puppetry power.  Also, it begs the question-if you could just do that than why bother to kill Lancelot and support being in two places?  Surely it’d be simpler to just hang out with his heart and puppet him.  Perhaps she tried to just take his heart, but he was such a good fighter she had to actually kill him?  With so many heart possibilities around, I just don’t understand why these uses do not seem to have come into play before now.  It makes the villains either slow, boring, or unbelievable.  Think things through, show, we do have a complicated backstory to line information up with.

 

2. They seem to be making Cora more like the classic Maleficent all the time: the close crow pet, those heart-zombies did rather resemble the dust-colored minions in “Sleeping Beauty”, she shape-shifts…Plus, this episode was filled with other “Sleeping Beauty” references.  This interests me.  I prefer Cora as the show’s version of Maleficent than the Maleficent from last season in human form.

 

3. There should be more exploration of Belle and Real World things.  They are fun.  Also, they make condiments magical.

 

4. Rumplestiltskin, you had best compose a policy on what level of incident requires you to break a date.  Otherwise I foresee you  never being able to order Belle dessert.  And if condiments are magical, she will be blown away by things involving candy or smothered in chocolate.

 

5. Please, show writers, please let that squid ink be related to Ursula from “The Little Mermaid.”  That is the way to make things awesome.

 

6. This necklace does not seem to be all that Gold promised it would be.  What’s up with that?  Also, David, when you say you’ll guard something with your life, I expect you not to just leave it lying on the floor YOU ARE TRYING TO SMASH.  Plain luck that it landed close enough to you to find again after you got through, and that was your first gift from your grandson, even if it’s not turning out to be all that useful!  I would say thank goodness he’s asleep now and can’t run around making me more irritated at him, except I’m quite sure the show will still manage to work him into all the episodes.  At least he’ll be cut off from having what I consider dis-satisfactory relations with Henry or inadequately running the town.  Just because George is a destructive douche does not make him wrong.  Maybe now everyone will listen to Ruby, as they should.

 

7. I would also like to say “thank goodness the show finally took a stand on Hook’s personality,” but I  foresee them still trying to swing him back into the light before everything’s done.  Personally, the times when I’ve liked him best is when he’s been Cora’s pretty boytoy.  He’s good at that and it keeps his douche-swaggery in check.  Plus, there’s more looking at him and actually hearing sense since Cora does most of the talking.  It’s a good deal.  I can even give up all ideas of Captain Jack Sparrow references if Hook can just stay in his place and stop trying to fill all the male roles the show wants going on at once, even though they are contradictory: anguished lover who lost, cocky player, rebel boy, junior villain, bad boy who needs saving, boy with a crush….get over it, guys-he can’t pull all that off.  Too many roles for only one actual part.

 

8. The original room David found himself Sleep Cursed to is reminiscent of the Phantom of the Opera’s torture chamber.  It would be an interesting twist if the reason the Phantom looks so different and needs to wear a mask is because he never found out how to get out of the burning room, so his flesh is constantly awful, and it was PTSD trauma from sleeping for so long that made him want to create things like his torture chamber.  Can we get that cross-over in here?

 

9. If Cora was such a monster and had such an army of hearts from killing people, why does no one else seem to know about her?  Did she only kill orphans with no friends?

 

 

 

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.

Sleeping Beauty as Stalker

Breezes from Wonderland » Blog Archive » Sleeping Beauty as Stalker.

 

“With Disney in production on a Sleeping Beauty film with  Angelina Jolie starring Maleficent, producer Neal Moritz is moving forward with a comedy take of  the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale that turns the slumbering sweetie into a pesky stalker.

The 21 Jump Street producer is developing a modern-day retelling that finds the male protagonist accidentally awakening Sleeping Beauty and finding that he can’t get rid of the lovestruck heroine.”

 

Here’s the thing about this: doesn’t it sound just like the beginning of Twilight?  There’s a ‘special’ guy (prince/vampire/just rich guy(?), what’s the difference in this vampire fetish age?) who attracts the attention of a young girl.  The young girl feels this man is the source of her ‘awakened’ self, her interest in this new world she finds herself in, and refuses to let him shake her off.  If this Sleeping Beauty starts stalking the guy without knowing what makes him ‘special’ then the similarities get even scarier.  At least a prince’s sparkles, no matter what time period he’s in, are likely to be confined to his clothes.

Familiars, Ferrets and Fairy Tales

Today marks the anniversary of the trial, in 1549, of Joan Prentice.  She was accused of sending an imp, in the form of a ferret, to bite children.

 

“She confessed that the Devil appeared to her as a dunnish colored ferret with fiery eyes and asked for her soul. She couldn’t give her soul because it belonged to Jesus, but gave the ferret blood from her finger and cheek. His name was “Bidd”, and when she wanted him to do anything for her, she said:

      “Bidd, Bidd, Bidd,
      come Bidd, come Bidd, come Bidd,
      come suck, come suck, come suck”.

Bidd was a “familiar,” or animal kept by English witches that performed evil deeds for them and was rewarded with sucking their blood from witch teats.)

Joan Prentice’s trial was on 5 July 1589,and she was hanged within two hours after sentencing. “(Source: Robbins, Rossell Hope. The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology. New York: Bonanza Books, 1959)

Other reports say Joan had two imps, or familiars, named Jack and Jill.

 

Now, here’s the thing: why aren’t witches’ familiars allowed to be so active anymore?  Now they get to be cats that are black or dark birds with knowing looks-sometimes they get to deliver messages.  Always, they are underused.  Think of all the things they could do!  All the things they could explain!

1. Why did Humpty Dumpty fall off the wall?  An imp ferret pushed him off!

2. Why did Snow White actually let the old woman into the cottage after being warned by the dwarves and knowing full well she was in danger?  The imp ferret pushed the door in and the woman was just chasing after her poor, lost pet!

3. Why was Sleeping Beauty clumsy enough to prick her finger on the spinning wheel?  Maleficent’s ferret imp was lying in wait on top of it and Sleeping Beauty was reaching out to pet it, when the imp moved so she pricked her finger instead!

4. How did the witch visit Rapunzel before she was old enough for her hair to grow long?  She’d send up a rope with her ferret imp, he’d tie it securely and she could climb up.  When she left, the ferret would fetch it back down so the girl couldn’t escape.

5. Why does Cruella DeVille want all animals made into coats? As a child a witch sent her imp familiars in their animal forms to bite her!  She particularly likes dalmatians because she finds the spots comforting-the witches’ animals were always all one color!  Hence, her reaction on seeing the spot-less puppies: “What a horrid little white rat-eech!”

Also, I feel this is an entire form of vampirism that has somehow been passed over.  Say!  Perhaps Draco is really an imp!  When turned into an animal his form was a ferret, he’s mighty pale, and he does have an obsession with blood.  This is fun-I am thankful to Joan Prentice and her ferrets for all these scrumptious thoughts.  Anyone else have some theories or uses for a ferret imp?

‘Once Upon a Time’ Finale A Land without Magic (Spoilers)

The finale, A Land Without Magic, far exceeded my expectations!  That could be because the characters I like were more central and those I dislike were abed.

I am fondest of this show when they reference what Disney does best-the classics.  They did that tonight with Maleficent’s dragon.  The same postures, the same cliff, the same method of defeat…aaah.  That was lovely.  However, the rule is that Maleficent is not allowed to die.  I feel much more strongly about this than I do about Henry or August.  Also, the hiding from the beast behind pillars like that reminded me of Frodo and the Cave Troll.  Emma should really look into mithrill.

Who’d have thought?  Emma finally believes and to achieve her ends she’s working with…Regina.  Not her parents.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not surprised the writers want the summer to figure out how to write a reunion between a child and parents who are all the same age.  After all, this is Disney here.  But no, she goes STRAIGHT into deals and trust with the Evil Queen who she finally believes cursed everyone and tried to put her to sleep with the famous enchanted apple.  More surprising, I think this episode went fast enough that it actually WORKED.  It conveyed desperation and that Emma was so focused on this one thing that she just couldn’t deal with anything else.  However, for those who have commented the episode went too fast, just think: how would Emma’s behaviour have gone if it had been slower?  I know I’d have been sitting there calling her a damned fool and wondering why she wasn’t seeking advice from Snow instead of August.  In this case I can say it’s because of the focus and that she can only deal with the characters who already know because she feels crazy enough already, and also she can’t emotionally deal with another big incident while her son’s like this.  But, still…if they’d given us time we would’ve been demanding to see more of those reasons and feelings and frankly, they’re not that interesting compared to what had to happen in this episode.

Hurrah for Jefferson, standing up to the Evil Queen!  I wish we’d seen at least a shot of his daughter’s face, perhaps just as he ran up behind her.

To be honest, I mainly spent that whole end montage going: show me Belle and Rumplestiltskin!  Show me BELLE!  We just saw her being told she’d remember!  SHOW IT!!!  And that…did not go as well as I wanted it to.  I’d like to sit down Rumplestiltskin and have a bit of a chat.  First of all, how will there be time for loving times with Belle AFTER the cloud of doom if that means going back to being unable to kiss without losing your magic powers?  Second of all, you do realize you’re killing the dream Bae bought for you even more disastrously than you did the first time, right?  Third of all, how is the thing you need to do not related to the dagger now that everyone will remember about it and presumably want things even more here than they did in FTL?  Fourth of all, what security have you got on that shop of yours, cause I didn’t notice you smuggling out the things you’ll want people to bargain back from you.  Surely this is something you should’ve thought of?  I’d expect that much of you.  Fifth of all, you seem to have a great idea about fashion, so how long  is it going to take you to do something about Belle’s asylum attire?  Sixth of all, did you notice how Belle just forgave you?  I wouldn’t trust it, or at least I want you to go about making gestures FOR her, not just in front of her.  Get on it!  Seventh of all, your motivations are now the exact opposite of what I predicted and wanted from this show.  Make it up to me.

Speaking of memories, Henry will no longer be the authority on what’s happening.  He will, in fact, be the least in the know after this point.  How will he handle that, do we think?  This show wants him to be the cute kid, but if it’s realistic at all, I’d say not well.  Of course, then he and Emma will have an even greater bond over being outsiders than they had over Operation Cobra, so.  Also, as Henry was born outside of FTL and does not seem to have any magic, will he be able to return to FTL ever?  Or will it need a special little extra jot of magic, a deal with Rumple or Regina?  I feel like that will be the main conflict of Season three if they get that far.  Season two to work out Rumple’s plan here and find Bae for him and the way back to FTL for everyone else.  Then Season Three will have this Henry thing and the how people will reconstruct their lives in that world.  Also, will the writers be able to continue their flashback format in season two?  It’d have to be more individuals remembering their own lives than overall context, I suppose.

Regina’s problem seems to be that she takes out her life’s issues on all men, as well as Snow.  The Huntsman, the genie, Jefferson, she tried to use Charming…I feel like she blames them for not being Daniel.  If only she’d play nice with them once in awhile and follow through, she wouldn’t have all these problems.  Charming escaped-because the Huntsman wanted to strike back.  I am so glad he got the opportunity for that!  Now she’s lost Belle as a bargaining chip because Jefferson is getting back at her.  Geesh.  I really hope her stance in Season Two goes into things other than a simple: you need therapy for issues with men territory.  By the way, I am also extremely happy that the episode ended with her smiling.  I didn’t want her to descend back into Caricature Catfighter.  She’s lost so much this episode, she needed to get something back in order to be viable.  And I like her to be viable-I like the actress.  Next season I want her to go to Oz to try and make alliances against Rumplestiltskin, and also so she’ll have another land to go to instead of back to the FTL she wanted out of so badly she killed her father.

Both Henry and August technically died, but that was the lamest outcome to give us after reporting there’d be a shocking death.  Nothing is shocking about either of those.  Also, Henry woke up and since August technically now fulfilled his promise to mentor Emma into performing heroic deeds, I expect he’ll come back to life.  Possibly still as wooden, but you know.  That’ll only last til they get tired of paying for the special effects.

So, in short: that was awesome!  I have many thoughts, and I was shocked that they were even able to make David more of a wussass than ever in his conversation with Snow before the curse broke, but they did.  HOWEVER.  All of that pales in front of MALEFICENT THE DRAGON.  She must come back.  *nods*  So long as that happens, it’ll all be okay.  Right.  Carry on, show.  Go figure out how to bring me my witch, and my Jefferson moments, and my desire for Oz next season.  (You figure out that whole parent/child/age conundrum on your own time.)