Once Upon a Time “The Doctor”

First off-this episode is just silly.  There is no reason to take it as anything but fanfic, as far as I can see.  However, since it is officially cannon, here are some things that can be gleaned from it.

SPOILER LESSONS

1. Either Europe is a  whole different world from the U.S. in this show, or Frankenstein’s from a parallel Europe, where I presume there are also vampires, werewolves, and Dracula.  Maybe a third season will bring us Van Helsing for next Halloween.

 

2. Regina must have very intermittent filing skills, cause though in this episode she claims she has no idea which heart is whose, last season she went straight to the heart belonging to Graham, knowing exactly where it was and who it belonged to when she killed him.

 

3. Speaking of baby-sitting, apparently Charming thinks horses make excellent baby-sitters so he doesn’t actually have to watch Henry.

 

4. It seems we’ve reached Pirates of the Caribbean territory with this magical compass business.  Maybe the giant has a pet kraken here.

 

5. Obviously, when one realizes one’s true love is really gone, the first thing they do upon leaving the body is to go shopping for black leathery outfits.  Right on.

 

6. So, the king just lets Regina wander off with Rumplestiltskin?  She had the wedding in there somewhere between agreeing to study magic with Rumple and what we saw this week, though she’s dressed the same and acting the same in the beginning?  What exactly does he think she’s doing?  He suddenly doesn’t care about having her around to grace his court and look her part, the way he seemed to like having it in the genie episode?  He doesn’t care about not having his new bride physically around right after they were married?  Also, he wasn’t planning on taking her on a honeymoon, apparently?  This is post that?  This timeline just throws everything hella off.

 

7. It doesn’t occur to anybody that the reason bringing people back from the dead with this procedure is that it’s with THE WRONG HEART?  Get the right heart to the right person-maybe it’ll work out right.

 

8. When we get truly to the Pirates of the Caribbean stuff, I want Johnny Depp.  Just sayin’.

 

Once Upon a Time “The Crocodile”

Otherwise known as “Women Will Leave You.”

 

SPOILERS:

 

1.What on earth are the information channels around here?  How the hell does Hook know about Neverland? Did he hang out with Jefferson a lot?  Are there like owls that go between the worlds as well as around Hogwarts?  Did Hook come from there and is an ex-Peter Pan type and that’ll be the crux of the war between him and whoever Peter Pan is?  How does he contact Cora in probable-Wonderland or FTL?  How is this working?

 

2. Also, how do these magic beans work, exactly?  There’s no incantation or anything-are they psychic?  Hook thought ‘Neverland’ whereas Bae thought ‘land without magic’, so that’s where they wound up?  Cause in that case it’s no wonder they’re so rare, they have to be bred for telepathy AND world-traveling.  There must be a better system.

 

3. Smee looks exactly like himself.  Kudos for that.

 

4. So, Belle apparently knows Grumpy, who worked in mines or hid in cabins in the woods all his life, but she doesn’t appear to know anyone else from FTL who’s not Rumple or her dad?  How the hell would she know any dwarves????  *logic fail*

 

5. We have yet more evidence that the leader really worth the salt is Ruby.  Always listen to Ruby!

 

6. If your find spell only works on things that belonged to other people, then you probably should’ve given Belle a present, dude.  I would expect you to have covered your bases in this matter.

 

7. Surely with all the panic someone should’ve thought of guarding the mine shafts that go out of town, too?  That sounds right up Grumpy’s street, and he is after all the guy who began working on this problem.  It’s unbelievable he of all people wouldn’t have caught the passages in the MINE.  If Ruby was in charge I bet she would’ve thought of that.  Speaking of which, I didn’t notice anyone setting up any guards about that STILL after what happened in this episode.  Charming, you’re still failing.

 

8. This episode is the epitome of what I’ve long thought is this show’s main problem: they’re trying to write a lot of strong female characters without being sure about what that actually means.  Take Belle-she’s supposed to be strong in her emotional capabilities and her courage for loving a monster.  This started well last season, but this episode it fell apart.  Why?  Because they thought her just walking out on him would be the stronger move, even though the speech they had her deliver was more of a warning and should’ve just been the precursor for her venturing forth to think and give him space to reflect on her ultimatum.  From that point the episode could’ve gone the same, but no-her just leaving seemed like the ‘strong female’ thing to the writers, so they made that illogical decision.  Then every word she spoke to her dad made her sound like a teenager because they thought her insisting on her rights and independence without explaining anything would make a stronger statement than just telling him things.  Then after the mine ride, she had the weakest lines ever.  Now, it does totally make sense to me that at this point Belle is just done and needs everyone to back off.  After all, she didn’t sleep well, she faced the fact she might have to leave her love for the second time, she began to realize how much she’d missed out on by being shut out of the real world, she got kidnapped, she reunited with a dad who TRIED TO DESTROY HER MIND.  Being saved by the guy she’s thinkign of leaving would only be more confusing, and in any case half of that would be enough to say Just Get Away Everyone.  That lesser statement giving her time to think would have been totally logical and made her new dating thing with Rumple less wishy-washy.  But the writers thought that for Belle to be strong she had to make a “never see again” statement instead, because their ‘strong’=’shows total conviction in what she’s doing even if it’s wrong’, so they made her make less sense and ultimately seem weaker.  I could go on about how similar misunderstandings of  how to write strong female characters have plagued the other women in this show, but let’s just leave it at this most enormous mess, shall we?

 

9. I’m pretty sure Hook’s name is James.

 

10. I’m pretty sure Belle should’ve showed some kind of horror/shock/SOMETHING in response to Rumple admitting he was behind the fucking curse, not really Regina.  Is the show just assuming this is common knowledge to characters just cause we know it?  Cause it’s not.  And I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t react like that, even Belle.  Man, does that girl have a rotten life.  With that dad at home, betrothed to guy she didn’t like, prisoner of Rumple’s is still a prisoner and slave even if she did fall for him, in a mental institution, let out with no knowledge of the world or the food that is here…..where the hell is Archie Jiminy Cricket???  If anyone needs him, it’s her.

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.

Puppets, Project Runway, and Pictures

This is the part where summer has gone crazy!  During my vacation travels I met a variety of characters, from Queen Elizabeth I: to the Mad Hatter.  I also got to meet many of Jim Hensen’s creations!  Most of them could not be photographed, such as Ernie, Big Bird, Red and Mokey Fraggle, Rowlph the dog, Dr. Teeth ( I saw my reflection in his gold tooth!), Sir Didymous from “Labyrinth”, and the Swedish Chef.  Some, however, were free of that rule!    They all live together, for the moment, at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta (http://www.puppet.org/).

When I returned home things seemed normal again, but now I find myself entertaining thoughts like:

1. It’s almost 2 in the morning.  Time to do laundry!

2. There is a raccoon charging down the sidewalk, straight at me.  What do I do in this situation!?

3. Mondo, the winner of Project Runway All Stars, is clearly the Rumpelstiltskin of the fashion world.  Only, in his version of the story, he was forced to feel that if he kept spinning straw materials into golden garments, he would have to revert to being emotionally, a baby.  Then, when they called his name at the end, as the winner of Project Runway All Stars, the prize rejuvenated him back into being an emotionally-adjusted man.  I find this an interesting take on the tale, actually.  A lot of things make more sense when the imp’s spinning has more to do with his own issues instead of the pitiful gold trinkets, or the distress of a random stranger.  The thought of the baby being an aspect of Rumpelstiltskin that needs to be found or done away with makes me like that story better.  Huh.

First Frost

First Frost

By: Liz DeJesus

(http://www.freewebs.com/lizdejesus/)

Musa Publishing Imprint: Euterpe 2012

A young adult fantasy review

 

Bianca’s life revolves around her mother’s family-run museum.  This museum is special because it holds artifacts from fairy tales, such as Snow White’s apple and Sleeping Beauty’s spinning wheel.  More importantly, the museum is a legacy that has always passed to the women of the Frost family.  At seventeen, Bianca Frost feels ready to break away from the inheritance, the tradition, and the magical objects of the museum.  After all, magic can’t be real.  Unfortunately, the truth about magic and fairy tales proves itself to Bianca in a most brutal way-sending her on a quest to discover her own powers, rescue her loved ones, and enter the story begun by the famous First Frost.

DeJesus writes with timely, vivacious humor.  First Frost is full of references to current sensations like Tina Fey and tokidoki, as well as to the Grimm’s tales.  This flamboyant tone moves the book at a quick rate and makes it easy to digest.  On the other hand, this persistently light feel occasionally overrides the influence of the plot.  It is difficult to sympathize and connect with characters who don’t seem to be taking their own crisis very seriously.  The dashes of romance and sprinkling of real feelings add layers, but don’t necessarily create fully fleshed-out characters.  However, the charm of this book lies in the alluring items, the rambling journey, and the colorful atmosphere.  Too much psychological depth or focus on the heroine’s many obstacles would have turned this into a very different work than the sweet, delicious medley DeJesus’s story is.

First Frost is the literary equivalent of frozen yogurt, covered with many tempting toppings.  It’s not traditional ice cream, and the toppings might leave some tastes less emphasized than you’d expect, but it’s a sweet, cool treat for the summer.

The Rumpelstiltskin Problem

The Rumpelstiltskin Problem

By: Vivian Vande Velde

(http://www.vivianvandevelde.com/)

Scholastic Inc. 2001

A fairy tale anthology review

Vivian Vande Velde’s The Rumpelstiltskin Problem contains six stories that grapple with spinning straw into gold.  More amusingly, this book struggles to understand the characters who appear in the familiar story.  What motivates Rumpelstiltskin?  How did the idea of spinning straw into gold start?  What kind of people decide to marry someone they’ve known over threats for three days or offer up their child for some deal concerning gold?  There are many answers in The Rumpelstiltskin Problem, all filled with quirks and charm.

 

The stories in The Rumpelstiltskin Problem twist and turn the story’s characters into many actors: cruel kings and kind ones, stupid girls and clever ones, generous spinners and hungry ones.  Whatever person you’re a fan of, this collection has a tale where they are wonderful.  Whoever you dislike, there’s a story to mock their distastefulness.  The consistent features are something to laugh at, someone to like, and playful writing that nudges you along like a hayride: the setting is familiar, the new bumps are fun, and it’s part of a world somewhat different from your own.  Besides, as well as all that straw, each of Vivian Vande Velde’s versions provides a little bit of gold.  It’s just hiding in different places.  The Rumpelstiltskin Problem is a very swift ride that will please.  After my trip I recommend it.

 

 

 

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