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 2×9 “Queen of Hearts”

Well, that was a veritable cheesecake of cheesiness, family-home toppings, and crumbling plot points.  I’ll allow it because the holidays are almost here.

 

Spoilers and Thoughts:

1. For an episode called “Queen of Hearts” there was disappointingly little Wonderland.

2. They are doing it again, with trying to make Hook everything all at once: he’s the anguished, heartbroken lover who can’t rest without revenge.  He’s the callous pirate about to murder Belle for no reason other than frustration.  He’s the chivalrous pirate who freely returns Aurora’s heart.  He’s the badboy player who makes lots of references to sex and women losing their hearts to him.  He’s trying to have chemistry with Emma.  Just STOP IT.  Also, saying right out you would’ve betrayed Cora if Emma hadn’t tied you up right in front of the witch-mother herself was an absurdly stupid thing to do.  Why she just smiled I can’t say.  Perhaps she assumed it was a lie.  Simply couldn’t waste time on the fool when she’s close to reaching Regina.  Whatever-it was idiotic.

3. I am Extremely Gratified to see that with David out of the picture people did indeed begin to call in Ruby when there was an emergency.  Very good.  Perhaps we can keep that up as he will be busy with his family.

4. I am unclear on why no one but Ruby and Henry ran after Rumplestiltskin and Regina.  If no one steals from a dwarf, shouldn’t the dwarves have gone?  The only reason is that the show needed it to be only Henry who convinced Regina to switch sides in order to bake in more cheesy goodness.  I’m not adverse to that result, but there should be a reason why others couldn’t come.  Perhaps holding vigil over sleeping cursed people is addictive and they just couldn’t look away?  Could be the start of the fascination with zombies in Storybrooke.

5.  So, did Hook kill the giant in order to get the dead bean and we just totally glossed over that bit?

6. If they try to make the whole convoluted ‘we all get back because there’s really two ways that Hook knew all the time’ thing something he kindof did on purpose because he likes Emma and just wanted her to be in the new land with him, I will cut things.

7. Goddamn, Belle’s history gets more glum every time we see it.  Someone get the girl a tasting position on Iron Chef for the foreseeable future.

8. I dearly hope Cora’s keeping her heart the same way the villains do in Russian tales-in an egg, in a duck, in a fox, in a chest, at the top of the tallest tree (or similar things), and guarded by a fierce beast-in Cora’s case, the Jabberwocky.  I need this to happen.

9. I think everyone’s forgotten that Rumplestiltskin would also have ruptured feelings upon seeing a son abandon the parent who just magically tried to do everything they could to protect them.  After all, that’s EXACTLY what happened to Rumplestiltskin.  Granted, the details would give Rumplestiltskin a lot more guilt than Regina’s, but that will only make his emotional trauma worse.  His taunts to Regina could well be the automatic mechanism he’s built up in order to deflect his own tumultuous feelings.  Not that I promote taunting, but if we’re going to feel sympathy for Regina in this situation, Rumplestiltskin deserves a little, too.

10. Do we think the show will remember that magic is supposed to be different in Storybrooke and make her have trouble, or will they conveniently bypass that aspect on the argument that she came from a magical world to one which currently also had magic?

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 2×2 ‘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.