Archive for Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time: And Straight On Till Morning

Hook and Bae

Okay, so it doesn’t appear as if Hook was a good guy in Neverland.  Sigh.  When he realized who Bae was, his first thought was to use him against Rumpel and he did gain knowledge of the dagger when he befriended the boy.  Hook seemed to soften up though and genuinely want a relationship with Mila’s son.  But then, when Bae discovered the truth about Hook’s relationship with Mila, Hook gave Bae over to the Lost Boys.  What?  Where did that come from?  I know Bae demanded to be anywhere but the ship, but couldn’t Hook have found an island or a deserted stretch of shoreline?  Was he being kind — are there worse things than the Lost Boys in Neverland?  And how did they show up so quickly?  Was turning over Bae, Hook’s ticket out of Neverland?  If not, how did he escape?

Back in Storybrooke, things are bad.  Rumpel’s casting a bit of magic to cause Henry to “accidentally” dash his head on a rock when the Charmings arrive.  Believing Bae to be dead shakes Rumpel out of his evil stupor and rattles him to the core.  He says there’s no way to jump between worlds without the beans — um, what about Jefferson and his hat?  Where is Jefferson anyway?  Rumpel’s not interested in saving himself or anyone now that Bae is gone.  However, he will take advantage of the Blue Fairy’s potion to return Belle’s true memories so that he can lean on her.  Um, okay.  I’m glad Belle’s back but I was hoping for something more earth-shattering than the Blue Fairy made a potion when no one was looking.

While the town is being torn apart by vegetation, Regina decides to sacrifice herself — she can slow the self-destruct diamond long enough for everyone else to follow the last magic bean — but she won’t be able to join them.  I cried and I blame Lana Parrilla.  It was the same kind of scene when Regina attempted to remove the magical plug from the wishing well; once again, I was positive that she would survive, but I cried.  Another blogger raised an excellent question — how does this show make us care about characters like Regina and Rumpel?  They’ve done all sorts of evil things and yet some of us still care about them.  Are we secretly hoping that everyone, no matter what they’ve done, can experience remorse and seek redemption?  What do you think?

Once Henry realizes that Regina’s going to die, he gets everyone on board with trying to save her — well, everyone but Hook.  Snow gets the bright idea of sending the diamond through a portal.  Okay, this works for Storybrooke but what about the poor world you’re sending it to???  I’m pretty sure when they pulled that trick with the Wraith, they knew where they were sending it and they thought no one was there.  They were wrong but at least there was some concern for life on the other side of the portal.  But, since Hook pulled a fast one and ran away with the last bean, this plan is abandoned.  Emma suddenly remembers that she’s magical and joins forces with Regina.  And so, Regina gets brownie points for her willingness to sacrifice her life for Storybrooke, but she’s still alive — will she remain good?  She did this for Henry and she can easily slide back into her evil ways if she feels that their relationship is threatened.  Wait, where is Henry?  He was just with Charming and Snow AND YET Greg and Tamara are able to grab him and get away before anyone noticed.  The kid’s always running around by himself — why did they have to wait until Storybrooke is collapsing AND he’s surrounded by family to grab him???  Okay, I guess they had to wait until the last minute because they really did want to destroy Storybrooke TOO.  Sigh.  But if they are as extreme as they’ve been portrayed so far, is it really plausible that they would jump through a magical portal?  I’m not convinced.

Back to Rumpel — now that Storybrooke’s “safe” and Belle has her memory, Rumpel finally decides to accept his fate.  Henry’s his “undoing” but he’s also his grandson and Rumpel decides to team up with the Charmings, Regina and Hook to find him.  For whatever reason, this didn’t hit my emotions as much as Regina’s plea to “die as Regina” but it’s still good.  Belle needs to stay behind and cast a spell to protect Storybrooke from outsiders — why didn’t Rumpel cast this before?  Like after Greg came crashing into town and everyone was weighing the pros and cons of just letting the outsider die, in order to protect Storybrooke?  At the very least, Rumpel would have wanted to protect Belle from outsiders.  It feels like a convenient way to keep Rumpel separated from Belle.

The animosity between the characters has been so ramped up that it will be interesting to see how time spent in close quarters goes.  They may be temporarily united in their quest to rescue Henry but there’s an awful lot of baggage to deal with.

Questions:  Who is Peter Pan?  What’s his problem with other magical creatures?  What kind of power does he think Henry has?  Am I the only one hoping for a few The Ransom of Red Chief moments?

How did Aurora and Mulan save Prince Phillip?  Who’s with whom?


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Once Upon a Time: Neverland

OUaT Shadow

Peter Pan, or at least his shadow, is one scary dude.  Dang.  I’ve dated a few guys who didn’t want to grow up so I find this totally believable.  Like those guys, OUaT’s shadow seems whimsical and fun at first but doesn’t hesitate to have a tantrum when things don’t go his way.  All joking aside, this is one twisted character.  Apparently he wants or needs to have an ever-growing number of playmates with him — some price of magic or a case of misery likes company?  Unknown.  Or, is he like Prince Phillip in his Yaoguai days (you know, the guy Aurora and Mulan might settle down with if they can free his soul from the Wraith?)  Is he looking for the person to free him from his curse as a creepy shadow thing?  The possibilities are intriguing and that’s why I love this show.

Aside of the mystery behind the shadow and Peter Pan, there’s also a possibility that Hook might actually be a good guy in Neverland.  Maybe.  What will the writers do with the fact that the man who stole Bae’s mother and who intends to kill Bae’s father, is the man who pulls Bae out of the ocean???

I’m definitely intrigued by the Neverland storyline.  I am hating the Rumpel/Lacey storyline.  I get that Rumpel had a moment of weakness after thinking he’d lost Belle for good and so he gave in to his Dark One self.  I get that he’s desperate enough to regain her love that he decides to play Bad Boy because he can see that’s what works for her.  I get it but I don’t like it.  I think Lacey’s intrigued by him and by what he can do for her, but I don’t think she’s falling for him yet.  What will it take for her to fall in love with him again — and can their real relationship recover from whatever awful deed that turns out to be?  I want a happily ever after for Rumpel and Belle.

I also want a happily ever after for Emma and Neal.  Where did he go when he got sucked into the vortex created by Tamara?  Have some faith, Emma!

More questions:

  • Um, how did the Blue Fairy remove an anti-magic cuff?  Does it only stunt the magic of the person wearing it?  That must be it, right?
  • It’s not really important but how did Rumpel come by one of Regina’s tears?
  • Is Greg’s dad really dead?  Likely — Regina did not want outsiders in Storybrooke and probably didn’t want to take a chance that he might escape and find his way back.  Still, Regina’s been known to lie about people being dead, so I have to wonder.
  • Which reminds me — didn’t Sidney Glass, you know, the Magic Mirror, have any friends?  I’m picturing him in his cell tapping morse code to Greg’s dad on the other side of the wall.

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Once Upon a Time: Regina

Regina and Henry

I agree with whomever posted this on Tumblr

Regina!  Lana Parrilla does an amazing job with this character, but the writers occasionally miss the mark.  I still think the “I hate Snow White because she was an innocent little girl who didn’t believe me when I told her that bad things would happen if my mom ever found out about me and Daniel” storyline is lame on its own.  A few flashbacks showing that from Day One all the King did was talk about how awesome Eva was and how Regina will never measure up, leading to a meltdown in which Regina torches Eva’s things, leading to a heartbroken Snow screaming something like “my mom was a true Queen” — give me those and I might be able to see the beginnings of slippery slope.  Throw in a few scenes of Cora hinting that Snow only pretends to be sweet but that she’s really causing all kinds of mischief directed at Regina and I might begin to understand the hatred — Regina’s always been easily manipulated by Cora and Cora would definitely hate Snow because of Eva AND would want her own grandchild to assume the throne.  Finish it off with some good old-fashioned teen angst?  Something.

I didn’t find it any more believable that after spending a little quality time with Snow and learning that Snow really cared about her and wanted to be a family again, that Regina suddenly thought “hey, maybe Snow’s not so bad after all”.  C’mon.  That might have happened in the Snow/Charming days when Snow stops Regina’s execution AND frees her from her cell — I would think that would give someone pause for thought — but Regina just slaughtered an entire village because she hates Snow so fiercely.  To date, we’ve been told her only reason for hating Snow is because of what happened to Daniel — Snow and Regina had years together and it seems likely that Snow was mostly well-behaved and kind towards Regina during that time.  Why would a couple of days of roughing it suddenly change Regina’s mind?  Sure, she’s beginning to realize for the first time how very much the people hate her — does she now see Snow as her ticket to being loved by all?  I find that easier to believe than an epiphany that maybe she and Snow can be BFFs after all.

And speaking of Regina’s sudden realization — okay, I know that OUaT is driving home the fact that there’s a slippery slope between good and evil and that it only takes a few missteps here and there to become The Evil Queen.  I get that.  The writers did a good job of showing us Rumpel’s transition, Cora’s transition, and the effect orchestrating Cora’s death had on Snow’s heart.  What they are screwing up is Regina, mostly because they can’t seem to make up their minds whether she’s diabolically shrewd or unbelievably clueless.  Rumpel embraced the Dark Side but you don’t see him puzzling over the fact that people are terrified of him.  Regina is a smart character — how are we to believe that a smart character wouldn’t see the connection between her actions and others’ reactions?

And with that question, how did you react when Regina confided to Henry that she planned to wipe out everyone in Storybrooke?  Sure, she erased his memory when he didn’t respond with an enthusiastic “Cool!  Can we call it Operation Happily Ever After?” but really, she thought she’d run that past him and just maybe he’d be on board???  She’s a smart woman — she knows that Henry cares about the townspeople and that he loves Emma, Snow and Charming.  Becoming evil didn’t make Rumpel dimwitted — why do the writers insist on giving Regina bouts of stupidity?

I do think Regina will redeem herself in the end — her love for Henry will lead her to try to stop the implosion of the Self Destruct diamond.  The writers can’t keep her vacillating between good and evil forever though and it’s hard to imagine the show continuing without her.  Will she end up in a coma or something to buy time?

Rant over — onto the rest of the episode — sort of.  It’s been a couple of weeks and I’m having trouble deciphering my scribbled notes.  Tamara and Greg are much simpler villains — Greg’s motivated by losing his father and Tamara is motivated by religion.  They pull Hook into their plan — they need to render Regina magicless and Hook’s the perfect guy for the job.  Regina doesn’t question the fact that he has her mother’s cuff — she just wants it and he gives it to her.  What’s cool about this storyline is that we learn that Maleficent is still lurking in the caverns beneath the library.  Apparently on one of her shrewder, less emotional days, Regina anticipated that someone might manage to kill her BFF so she included some magical reboot in the curse to bring her pal back to life, albeit in a different but still scary form.

Teasers — remember back in Season 1 when Henry and then Archie had to be rescued from the mine?  We saw Regina slipping a piece of glass into her pocket that looked like a piece of Snow White’s coffin.  Well, they must have been close to the cavern because that’s where Regina hid the trigger to destroy Storybrooke.

Rumpel reminds us once again that he is a master schemer — it was because he led Regina to cut off trade with King George that the worst-pretend-dad-ever needed to form an alliance with King Midas in the first place.  What is Rumpel’s end game?

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Once Upon a Time: Rumpel and Belle, with a twist

Lacey and Rumpel

One of the highlights of this episode was seeing a bit more of Rumpel and Belle’s story — he shows a bit of a softer side when he realizes that Maid Marian is pregnant and he decides to let Robin Hood go after all.  And then, Belle shows him affection and you can see that he’s thinking it might not be such a bad idea to show a little goodness every once in awhile.

Of course on the downsides of this episode is Belle’s cursed identity, Lacey.  I don’t get this — while everyone was cursed and Belle was languishing in the hospital’s basement, she didn’t know who she was — why wasn’t Lacey in attendance then?  And Lacey is so dramatically different from Belle — I guess the writers are reminding us that the curse emphasized the characters’ weaknesses and I guess one could say that Belle had a thing for bad boys except that she only came to care for Rumpel after he started showing some tenderness.  In any case, I do not like the Lacey/Rumpel storyline.

Everyone seems to think that True Love’s Kiss will restore Belle’s memory BUT kissing didn’t do anyone else much good when it came to remembering their true identities — Snow and Charming were kissing, Cinderella and her guy were kissing — no one recovered their memories through kissing.  Maybe, now that the Curse has been broken, true love’s kiss can work???  Is that the catch?  As long as both people want to kiss each other?

Other recaps:  Entertainment Weekly

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TGIF: Don’t Make Me Shush You

Looking forward to a new Once Upon a Time on Sunday!

Don't Make Me Shush You

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Once Upon a Time: Farewell, Eion Bailey


I like that Tamara has a mysterious, villainous backstory — I just hope it turns out to be a good one.

I like that Snow likes to listen to Joan Jett while she’s getting her archery practice in.

Those two likes aside, I was disappointed with this episode.  Why, why, why would Pinocchio go to the emergency room?  Did he really think anyone non-magical could stop his return to puppet-form?  I know he panicked but I still don’t buy it.  As far as his decision to go to NYC and look for the potion — did he assume that non-St0rybrookers would see him as his formerly hunky self instead of his currently wooden self — or did he assume that New Yorkers wouldn’t think anything of a wooden man walking about town?  And then there’s the ending — he realizes that Tamara is up to no good and comes back to town to warn everyone but she zaps him with her tazer.  He doesn’t manage to name her or point a finger in her direction before he loses all of his magic.  We’re teased with hope — his last actions were brave, selfless, and true so we all think that the Blue Fairy can save him.  She can but he comes back as a kid with no memory of recent events.  Ugh.  Good for Gepetto, but otherwise bad and a total cop-out.  Gepetto gets a second chance with his son and gets all of those missing years back but Pinocchio loses all of the lessons that he’s learned over the years AND he has to go through puberty AGAIN.  And did I mention cop-out?  The one person who knows that Tamara is up to no good conveniently loses his memory?  UGH.

Who is Tamara and what kind of tazer is that?  Did it kill the Dragon and Pinocchio by draining them of their magic?  How did Owen and Tamara meet?  Does Owen use ambiguous names for all of his phone contacts or just Her?

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Once Upon a Time: so that’s who Greg is


It was a little freaky to see fairy tale characters driving around town their very first day in Storybrooke — I had a moment of near-envy in which I thought it would be cool if Regina cursed me with the ability to speak several languages, Cheryl Burke level knowledge of dancing, and the ability to remember all of my pin numbers.  The Matrix also inspires this type of near-envy, more so because I could choose what I wanted to download — Regina would probably just give me hundreds of ways to shush people.  Sigh.

Anyway, we knew from the beginning of this show that the curse created new identities for everyone and thoroughly Americanized them.  What surprised me was the fact that the curse didn’t allow Rumpel to retain his memory — he had to wait for Emma to appear in order to recover the true knowledge about himself.  Why?  Regina cast the curse but he created it.  Was it some price of magic or was he afraid that he’d be bored out of his mind until Emma’s arrival?

It was satisfying to see that the curse didn’t turn out the way Regina expected — she became bored quickly.

Back in present-day Storybrooke, Henry continues to annoy me to no end.  Emma and Neal had a good plan for protecting him and what does he do?  Run away, steal dynamite, and come dangerously close to blasting himself into oblivion.  Okay, it turned out for the best because he didn’t blow himself up and he did convince Regina to not curse him — but still.  Henry has a good heart and he has good instincts but he’s only 11.  Emma needs to have a firm heart-to-heart talk with him.  Parents will make mistakes, especially when trying to protect their children.  Emma is not Regina — he can trust her to do what’s right, not just what’s right for her.

Loved the heart to heart Rumpel had with Regina — it’s too bad he doesn’t apply the same insight to himself.  Vengeance has ruined Regina’s life just as magic has ruined his.  Hated Rumpel’s blase attitude about Henry’s death — that was COLD.

And finally, the big reveal:  Greg Mendel is Owen Flynn, a child that reawakened maternal feelings in Regina.  Was there a clue to his identity in the license plate?  Or is this license plate just a license plate?

Great moments:

  • Snow’s conversation with Rumpel:  he tells her that he lives with himself by telling himself that he did the right thing — and that if you repeat it enough, you learn to believe it.
  • Snow’s scene with Regina because it helps me to understand how Regina became the Evil Queen — “once you blacken your heart, it only gets darker”.  That said, I do NOT want to see Snow travel the same path.
  • Regina let both Owen and Henry go.  There is hope for her — there is hope for Snow White.

Weird moment:  Regina using Graham’s heart like a walkie talkie

Lingering questions:

  • Where is Kurt?  In the secret cells in the hospital?  Why hasn’t anyone fessed up to these yet?  Someone knows.
  • Who has Owen been talking to?  Does this person also have ties to Storybrooke?
  • If outsiders can’t see, much less enter Storybrooke — and residents can’t leave, how did Regina adopt Henry???


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