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?

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Once Upon a Time 2×6 “Tallahasee”

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

Spoilers:

To Whom It May Concern,

I have some notes.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, and about this compass:

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

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

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

That is all.

Signed,

wheresmytower

Once Upon a Time 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.

“Wholesome Wonderland”

“Wholesome Wonderland” in honor of Alice Day: a tidbit about Disney, the Jabberwocky, and escape!

Toves slithed round her angular arms as she fell.  Hair hazed around her face and she found herself perfectly confident that she’d land fluidly upright as easily and elegantly as a draped fur.  This was a far pleasanter experience than she’d expected when she leapt under that odd manhole to escape her pursuers.  Outgrabing her limbs in a stretch, the woman touched down-toes first, amid the sounds and colors of mome  raths arguing with borogroves.

“Well!  This place certainly has a distinct sense of style, at any rate.”  Warmth seeped tingling into her translucent skin.

“Get her!  ‘This place’!  What a thing to call us!” chattered the patch of pansies and dragon snaps.

Dappling as she moved, the woman strode through two of the tall hedges leading away from the blooms’ oasis.  A brief mental image of her snappy red car lying wrecked and steaming in the world above flashed through her mind.  She gave herself a brief shake, and glimpsed another shade of red off to the side.  A tall woman, she merely stepped on her toes to glance over the hedges as she moved.  Several bushes full of roses met her eye, about fifth eights of which had been painted the red of her busted car back when it’d been new.  “Fools,” she muttered.  However, when four turns later she spied roses who’d been painted so long ago their dye jobs were turning gray and purple from wear and dust, a lurking grin began to grow.  “They know how to stay alive, no matter what.  But do they have anything worth living for?”

She stepped out of the maze into an orchard by a stream with several extremely odd-looking houses placed along it at oddly spaced intervals.  From the nearest one, pink with enormous elliptical windows and an air of golden smoke to it, hopped a rabbit carrying a pocketwatch and wearing a waistcoat.  He ran right past her on his way to the little foot bridge.  “Late!” vaguely hit her ears.  Then the woman’s eyes took over for that rabbit had the whitest, longest, most luxuriant looking hair she’d ever seen.  Her limbs twitched and gimboled with the thought of running her hands through it, of feeling that length of fur against her skin.  Images of herself as Ice Queen, Snow Queen, Pure Mistress, sloughed through her head.

Without knowing it, she had begun to run.  After the white rabbit!  I must catch him!  She through back her head and laughed.  This was exactly her kind of world, after all!  What were hedges or annoying flowers if she could only catch that rabbit?  ‘After all,’ she mused, ‘I’m sure that roses can be painted black, also.’  The thought of ornately black roses placed artfully over a coat of stunning, rabbity white brought the lurking smile fully out in plain view.

For years afterward, the inhabitants of Wonderland would look back on the days with only the Red Queen as the Wholesome times, before that dashing entrance of Cruella DeVille.