Once Upon a Time 2×17 “Welcome to Storybrooke

See, this is exactly the episode I did Not want to see.  Spoilers in the reasons why:

 

1. See, this kind of monotony is exactly why the show started AFTER Emma showed up.  It is Boring.  I was bored then.

2. If Regina is also bored, as she seems to be, she doesn’t have to keep doing the same thing day after day-that’s the reward of having her memory.  Is she really that unimaginative?  No, but this episode was.

3.We know it took Regina maybe a week to get that bored, which is ridiculous.  We know this because Kurt and Owen arrived right after Storybrooke’s creation.  So, about a week into her 28 year curse, Regina’s discovered that what would truly make her happy is a child.  Henry was 8 when Emma showed up.  Mr. Gold, without his memories, might take…shall we say a year at the most to get Regina a child once she’s asked him?  So that leaves us with a swiftly discontented, lonely Regina who’s been shown exactly what she wants within the first fortnight of the curse and…she does nothing about it for 19 years?  Nineteen YEARS?  Come on, people!  This is all just nonsense.

4. By the by, that Owen thing’s another mark for “All Mothers Die” being the true secret name of this series.

5. I never want to see Lana Parilla standing there looking helpless because the writers and directors couldn’t think of anything for her to do while two men struggle.  Ever.  But it’s particularly heinous when her character is, in fact, the one with all the power as she is in this episode when Graham originally tries to arrest Kurt for drunk driving.  That was character assassination by negligence.

6. That curse Regina so conveniently found that so conveniently would get her both of the things she’s been craving forever, that came at the most convenient time is too…what’s that word?  CONVENIENT.  Where was Gold stepping out into the writers’ room and announcing, “You didn’t think it’d be that easy, did you?” when it counts.

7. Also, Gold was the one standing strong and victorious at the end of last episode-all he gets to do this one is roll over and be a guard dog?  That’s just not good television.

8. So, how exactly did Greg get Regina’s cell number?

9. For that matter, how did stalker Greg manage to have no reaction at all to the name Storybrooke or seeing Regina as precisely herself, as opposed to simply reacting to magic?  I call bull.  Total bull.

10. This thing where Regina does the right thing at Henry’s bequest and Henry immediately goes to the other side…I feel I have ranted on this before.  It’s the worst possible handling.  Even worse, in this instance it didn’t even make sense.  Henry clearly felt equally upset at both sides and Regina’s the one who actually stood up and gave him what he asked for.  It would have made far more sense for his character to hug her first.

11. If Henry needs to be out of the way but won’t go to New York, I strongly advocate he spend his days with Granny and Ruby.  No one’s tougher than them and they can teach him how to make all the delicious pancakes he can eat.

12. See, these times when people are depressed and won’t get out of bed and turn suicidal is generally when you call in folks like Dr. Hopper.  Seriously, no one takes that cricket for anything, do they?  It’s just sad.

13. Lana Parilla did rock the ending.  Sadly…it was after 40 minutes of things I can’t care about and I couldn’t muster up the will to care by that point.

It’s sad.

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 2×14 “Manhattan”

I may be the only one, but…I am disappoint.  SPOILERS:

 

1. As soon as you reveal Neil as Baelfire, than all the other relationships and interactions become Extremely Predictable.  I am not in this for extremely predictable things.

2. They have yet to even TRY to explain how the hell he’s still just that age.  No one is allowed to talk about time differences at this point: time froze for 28 years in Storybrooke and FairyTale Land, when Emma and Snow went through the portal time was parallel, there were even exact hour arrangements for people meeting in dreamland proving that time moves the same in both worlds.  Aside from all that, Baelfire would have been out growing older with Emma for those 28 years everyone else was froze, so by now he should technically be almost as old as Rumpelstiltskin at the very least.  They’re not even trying.  This bothers me enormously.

3. I honestly thought that after all those years Rumpelstiltskin would have had a better pitch.  I find it rather ridiculous and out of character that he did not.

4. Hook is now officially reduced the the 10-year-old brat living inside him.  He sounds exactly like a kid in a long car trip about finding Rumpel to “get his revenge”.  Besides, he already DID get the ultimate revenge with Belle already, so just *sigh*.  I kindof hope he’s dead, just because he got that level of irritating and I don’t care to see him trying to redeem himself in any way.  Or find out what other bad lines the writers have in store for him.

5. The Seer said Rumpelstiltskin’s actions “on the battlefield” would leave his son fatherless.  From what I saw, Rumplestiltskin never made it to the battlefield.  I suppose you could generally call “the front” where they’re camping a field, but…unless there’s actually been a battle there sometime that’s not the battlefield.  The Seer lied.

6. If the Seer had just given Rumple all her foresight than how could she give him that one last insight out of gratitude?  Perhaps she remembered…but then why the drama with the hand still?  Just habit or what?  Didn’t quite add up.

7. Saying that the young boy will be Rumplestiltskin’s “undoing” just tells me that Henry will be the instrument of making him not the Dark One.  Furthermore, Cora’s storyline is bringing Henry fully into Gold’s fate, no matter what he does.  So…really there’s two ways to look at that-either it’s not new information because we already know how Cora’s using him, or it’s too much information that will make other things as Extremely Predictable as this episode.  Neither is something I’m happy with.

8. Yes, the acting was good.  I am criticizing the storyline and the plot, not the actors.

Once Upon a Time 2×13 “Tiny”

Right, this episode sent us right back down into crumbling plots with crumbs that deserve picking territory.  This was for the SPOILER-FULL crumb -picking!

 

1. See, NEWCOMERS SHOULD BE THROWN OFF BY CARS.  How did Hook bypass this?  Cars should be even more dangerous to him since they are more threatening to human-sized folk!

2. Emma is really not doing her job-she knew that was coming.  She could have helped Gold roll up yon scarf and stick it in his pants pocket, or tie it round like a bad belt, or at least warned him about this.  That being said, Gold’s reaction to his scarf/magic problems are perfect and the very best things about this episode.

3. Seriously, people are just letting Hook wander around, leading them places?  You know if Cora really WAS on that ship she’d be waiting with the mother of all booby traps, and Hook would probably know it-you keep him in cuffs or something.  Also, you guys didn’t even pat him down to find out if he had anything useful like, ya know, giant-cage keys on him? You two really do need Emma and her half-ass sheriffing skills.  And you DEFINITELY don’t let him just waltz off to be unmonitored, allowing him to rendezvous with Cora messengers and whatever the hell else.

4.I know I complain about this every time, but…You don’t get to hit on people when you’re justifying your rampages on revenging losing your true love!  Somebody choke him or punch him in the face or something-rib aches are really unsatisfactory-you never actually see it and it just gives him an excuse to make annoying grunting noises while nonsensically smarming around.  For the love of God, just stop it.

5. On this Jacquelyn, there are several points: 1. Hook said “he” when speaking of Jack the Giant Killer and obviously there wasn’t enough time for the story to get warped and misremembered by the time he would have heard it. 2. Did Hook hear it from Cora, or what?  He was in Neverland before that happened!  And Cora would know, but she doesn’t seem like much of a storyteller.  Also, she definitely would have kept in the part about the villain being a woman.  It makes no sense. 3. So now we’re supposed to believe Jacqueline has the stupidity to have her sword engraved with the word “Jack”?  Just no.  4. Tiny told Emma the story of the slaughter-and he pointed to Jacqueline as the big bad, not James.  You’d think he would have mentioned it-he had nothing to do but sit there and babble at her, after all.  Mention all the bad guys you can, guy.  That’s just purposeful obscurity for the show that the character would never actually do, and that is my pet peeve.  Bah!  5. And how did she travel to and from Wonderland?  This is important.  Also, it provides more evidence that Cora would have known about her as a woman and would have no reason to mislead Hook.

6. So, how did Hook escape from Tiny after Emma left, now?  He mentioned something about getting past the stupid giant-we think he let him live?  That’s out of character and not the implication I got from that.

7. On the plus side, the poison on the swords thing does explain why Tiny can’t really clean up the skeleton on his floor or move the sharp sword out of the way.

8. No one tried to call Emma on their cell phone so she could talk Tiny down?  You guys aren’t the ones new to modern technology, at least try these things.

9. If James stole all that treasure to pay back King Midas, how come he was still supposed to kill the beast?  Does he have a gambling problem?  Or King George?

10. Man, Charming’s hands must have killer rope-burns.

11.  It’s now just official that Belle must just remember nothing other than stereotypes about Maine life, not even her time in the asylum.  This makes me very upset, but I’ll be more upset if I keep trying to make it match up and make sense, since that does not appear to be happening, ever.  I shall endeavor to let that go.  For her scene in this episode, however, the lack of continuity made me so ticked off that I can’t even think about anything that’s happening with her and stranger dude.  You know it’s bad when Ruby can’t save a scene.  *le sigh*

Here’s to a Gold-focused episode next week!

Once Upon a Time 2×11 and 2×12

SPOILERS AHEAD

2×11 “The Outsider”

1. If Hook had any intelligence at all, he would have realized Belle was important to Rumpelstiltskin after Regina stopped him killing her in Fairy Tale Land.  This could well be the case, but I’m trying to give this character the best chance I can, so let’s say he can put two and two together.  Ergo, he found out about the shawl from Archie, not Belle.  In that case: how does Archie know?  We never see Mr. Gold going to counseling.  Once Hook has it, why doesn’t he burn it or tear it or something?  Much more sure than just luring him after it.  Is his whole plan just to lure Gold there so he can alienate his girl by killing him?  That seems more calculated than Hook is capable of, and also not particularly satisfying to Hook as he wouldn’t get to see Rumpelstiltskin being in pain.  This whole thing with the shawl is just strange when he stashed it somewhere but didn’t do anything to harm it.

2. Why is there not something somewhere to indicate that Hook had to learn what cars are?  My first thought at the end was, “Of course Hook gets it-he doesn’t know about cars.”  Yet clearly he followed Gold and Belle in their car.  It still makes sense he’d be less aware of the car sounds that mean danger and thus get hit, but the point is: Hook should be in a totally foreign land and we’ve seen him being nothing but totally self-assured.  I have a problem with this.

3. Belle escapes from Hook by going into….the elevator.  Granted, the mechanisms in that building look whackadoo, but are we really supposed to believe a pirate can’t turn the knobs and figure it out?  He did just see her do it, after all.  The most obvious answer is that we find out Hook just wanted a diversion, not to get to Belle, but still-how did Belle and Gold fall for that?

4. Speaking of Hook’s strange behavior at the library, why in the hell would he need a random rope knot there?  Did he just drop it as a clue?  I mean, really.

5. Most importantly, as I’ve been saying since season one: RUMPLESTILTSKIN, OF ALL PEOPLE, SHOULD HAVE ALL KINDS OF SECURITY ON HIS SHOP.  I do not understand this lack of security-he knows he’s got a lot of people’s valuable things, he knows the people have now remembered the things they want, he knows he has enemies, he has magic, HOW DOES HE NOT PUT MAGICAL SECURITY ON HIS GODDAMN SHOP?  This will never stop vexing me.

6. Why didn’t Philip write in other languages, too?  He’s a prince, he probably learned more than one.  The language of the realm you’re in is an excellent place to start, but if that doesn’t work, why not try others?

7. The ending was wonderful and did manage to save this overall sloppy and vexing episode.  Let’s face it-that ending was awesome.

2×12, “In the Name of the Brother”

1. The dilemma of whether or not to let stranger die makes no sense.  In their very first look at the cell phone, they say that if people don’t hear from him they’ll come looking.  If they let the guy die then not only will people come to Storybrooke, they’ll come already armed with lawyers, coroners, and police.  This is far from the solution to everyone’s problems.  Make sense, please.

2. You’d think with Emma’s experience with the law she’d be better at playing sheriff.

3. Rumplestiltskin is doing everything I expect him to do.  Trying to cure her with true love’s kiss, check.  Trying to convince her even when he shouldn’t, check.  Managing to make the cup a talisman raises questions as last episode he claimed he didn’t have enough potion to enchant anything after the shawl and therefore she couldn’t come.  The shawl’s been enchanted and hey, presto-he’s made some more.  Clearly, he just didn’t really want Belle to come along or else didn’t care enough about it before to wait, or else he could’ve just stayed the extra, what-day?  And made Belle her talisman before.  This is a fly in the ambrosia of their love story. (In my head the real answer is that he feels it’d be unfair to her and that it will go better if he shows up alone instead of with a for all intents and purposes stepmother, but still.  Don’t lie about it, just say that.)

4. Belle’s behavior does not sit well with me.  If she doesn’t remember Gold at all, than she must only remember the asylum.  If she only remembers the asylum, how the hell would she know if castles and magic are crazy or not?  She shouldn’t.  Someone telling her she was someplace she couldn’t remember would still be freaky, particularly with a gunshot wound and no memory of how she came to be in that circumstance, but she shouldn’t be sitting there telling him magical things are crazy.  Get away from her-yes, magic isn’t real-no.  Moreover, we saw her being rescued by a genuinely crazy and creepy-talking man: Jefferson.  She was far from freaked out at him.  Thus, even Belle’s awareness of creepy guys should not be this high.  Again, some yes, with the gunshot wound and outside of the place she remembers.  But they had her talking like someone with memories of a normal Maine life, and she. is. not.  (By the way, this is not to be construed as me being angry at her for putting Gold off or breaking the cup, because even without specifically knowing magic is bad and having lowered creep awareness, that could well have happened.  I am upset at the writers for making Belle’s behavior inconsistent with their own story.)

5. Again, Ruby rocks, saves the day, and should always be in charge.

6. Why is no one concerned with Dr. Whale operating when he’s drunk?  This just doesn’t seem to be a thing?

7.  I do admire Cora.  Wish there’d been more explanation of the globe, however.  Also, it does not vex me that she managed to get into Rumple’s, hopefully at least by now, MAGICALLY SECURED shop.  She’s the Queen of Hearts.

8. It makes total sense to me that Gold wants Emma with him.  This is no longer going to be the long-as-it-takes, reunion with his son that he planned.  Gold wants to get back to Belle as soon as possible, making this a fetching trip.  Gold no longer has time to accustom himself to the outside world, it’ll go faster with someone who knows it.  Moreover, he doesn’t know if Bae will want to see him, let alone want to come back to Storybrooke with him, and having someone along with him will help Gold control his urges and get his son to come back without alienating him too much.  Or at least, the chances would be better in Gold’s head.  Moreover, Emma reunited with her son after years apart and therefore should have more sympathy for him and his quest than the others.

All in all, a much better episode.  I am excited to see what comes next!

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 2×7 “Child of the Moon”

Huzzah for Ruby!  Why is she not central to more episodes?
Spoilers:

 

On King David: I don’t know what to do with him.  It seems he is trying to compete with the likes of Lord Voldemort in convoluted plans, but he’s not great with them.  He could’ve just started with burning the hat.  If all you need is a diversion, you don’t have to murder and frame people.  (Speaking of which, does Charming not do ANYTHING for himself?  Keep an eye on your damn hat, dude.)  He could’ve gone after Henry-I’m guessing the reason he didn’t is because Regina’s protecting him.  Perhaps he really just loves efficiently and is going all-out in this one plan to take care of shepherds, werewolves, and mice in one fell swoop.  He always did have issues with anything that was sortof a different species.  If that’s the case…okay, but you’ve got too much time on your hands, dude.  Also, how did you call up a mob so quickly?  I mean, wouldn’t people frightened enough to lynch a person want them to stay locked up until after they weren’t-ya know-A WOLF anymore and then kill the much-more-easily-lynched girl?  Either David is really good at whipping up mobs or these people all owe him something-perhaps subjects he was good to or that worked with him as the attorney general.  It’s true that he’s good at getting Charming to express his hubris.  Maybe he is good at psychology?  I dunno, in that case I’d expect him to make me care about him more.  I just can’t get worked up about a the man.

 

On Ruby: Love her  more, as always!  The backstory did seem rather cliched, but they did it well and it made her Storybrooke persona’s paralyzing self-doubt much more grave and meaningful.  Also, it solidifies her ties with Snow, which will hopefully mean that Ruby will in fact finally get a large say in running the world once people are back together.  She had lines in here that could’ve been super cheesy and Ruby delivered them so well that they only evoked emotion and understanding.  Plus, she is standing up for all the liberal, boundary-crossing, not speciest beliefs that King David is spiting, making her ultimate foiling of David’s scheme a highly political and poignant moment.

 

On Gus: First, I LOVE that the mouse asked the wolf out on a date.  Second, I’m not sure how it makes sense that he was a truck guy in this world.  Third, he was really cute!  Fourth, I really wish King George had used an accomplice named Luke (short for Lucifer) who used to be Cinderella’s stepmom’s cat to actually kill him.  We would have had Lucifer, the convoluted part of the plan would have actually made sense if George was working with someone else who had to be made happy too, and then perhaps Bruno could’ve come forth and been made deputy sheriff.  Bruno would make an awesome sheriff or deputy.  Also, just how anthropomorphized did animals have to be to become humans in this world?  If all the talking animals were made human, surely the town should be bigger.  Fifth, shouldn’t Cinderella or Jack or someone showed up when Gus got killed?

 

On Anita: I am impressed how much you look like your TV-wolf-daughter.  You could’ve looked a little less maniacal in the beginning, though, so that when you got all speciest it would be more surprising.

 

On Snow: Again with the wearing the white when you need to be able to hide in the woods!  Also, how did you get free after Red attacked her mom?  I didn’t see anyone untie you.

 

On Snow White and Rose Red: I really wanted there to be a bear.  It was wolves this time and that’s good, too, but come on, show: a bear who turns into a love interest should come into the mix aaaanytime now.  You don’t even need a pesky dwarf who put a spell on the guy, you’ve got Gold and he would be perfect for that!  Absolutely no excuse for this tale not to happen-I know you know it.  Get on that!

 

On the FTL part: Like I said, Emma, if you’re going to lose Hook you should’ve got intel on where Cora’s at.  What kind of a head start can you possibly have when he knows where he’s going and you don’t?  Well, the nightmare got cleared up much sooner than I thought.  That’s good, although one wonders why all these people who’ve been under the sleeping curse don’t wake up totally burned.  I can only assume that when actually under the curse the dreams are person-specific and it’s just the aftermath where it’s this particular place.  Still, though-why isn’t Aurora getting burned?

 

On the fairy dust: Did it bother anyone else that there was absolutely no mention of: And now we can restore Sneezy!  Yay!???  Because there SHOULD HAVE BEEN.  It makes me dislike people.

 

Overall: Much better than last week, guys.  Let’s keep the spiral going up.

 

“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.