Episode 17: Welcome to Storybrooke

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Benjamin Stockham as Young Owen Season 2 Episode17, Welcome to Storybrooke, ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Benjamin Stockham as Young Owen

With Cora now gone there needs to be a new bad guy, and fortunately they have been introduced. This episode pertains to Storybrooke’s formation even though only Regina knows about it and two campers are a little suspect. See a father and son from New Jersey were camping in Maine when Storybrooke appeared around them. Regina gets bored quickly with how everyone acts the same and no stands up to her. It’s only the outsiders Kurt and Owen who pose any interest to Regina. Basically she takes a liking to young Owen and wants him to stay even if that means by arresting his dad. Regina does managed to arrested Kurt but Owen runs off. When Owen returns with the police but he can no longer see Storybrooke as it’s cloaked or shielded, point is no one can get in unless they are Fairytale people while the curse is active.

In Storybrooke. Regina wants revenge on Snow, Rumpelstiltskin tells Regina to get over it as it will cost her Henry. But Regina has a new curse in mind that will make Henry love and will get rid of Snow White. Meanwhile Snow is in a state of deep depression over what she did to Cora. Henry demands Emma and Charming be honest with him but he can’t believe Snow would hurt anyone.  Henry then thinks he can blow up the magic to stop all this but Regina tells him he can’t but burns the scroll so she can cast the curse.

Snow then asks Regina to kill her as she can’t live with herself. Regina takes her heart but notices a black spot and gleefully tells Snow she will get everything she wants and puts Snow’s heart back. This is all recorded but Greg Mendall who is really little Owen.

So Storybrooke was “founded” in 1983 but the 80’s just missed it as it still in its 2010 styling. Just in case you missed 1983-ness of the setting Owen mentions Return of the Jedi and has a ROTJ blanket. Even his name is a Star Wars reference. Anyway episode was ok. It show why Regina wanted to be a mother and set-up Greg/Owen’s motivation. However it does raise one question, you would THINK Regina should have been suspicious of who Henry was if he could get into Storybrooke. Unless she got him and that negates the shield thing.

This episode wasn’t as good as previous episode but at it’s best ot was just ok. It was somewhat boring in parts.                      

 

Episode 18: Selfless, Brave and True

Eion Bailey as August Booth & Sonequa Martin-Green as Tamara Season 2 Episode 18, Selfless Brave True, ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

Eion Bailey as August Booth & Sonequa Martin-Green as Tamara

Gotta be honest this was a weaker than average episode even though some notable things happen. For instance we learn that the “her” that keeps calling Greg is really Tamara, Neal’s fiancee and her being with him was a ploy. Tamara has some plan involving magic. She also has a history with August as they went to same magical guy in Hong Kong and Tamara killed him.

August is also fully wooden because his motivations have always been selfish but at the end right  thing before he dies, Tamara tried and killed him because he was going to warn Storybrooke,  the Blue Fairy turns into a real boy again and yes he is a boy and he forgot what the warning was.    
Also in addition to being a weak episode the effect work to make August look wooden are really bad. It’s hard to take seriously. Either makeup or a combination or makeup and effects would look better but it was hard to watch puppet August.

Episode 19: Lacey

Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin & Emilie de Ravin as Lacey Season 2 Episode 19, Lacey ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin & Emilie de Ravin as Lacey

The episodes send the plot in an odd direction. Regina uses some spell to revert Belle to her cursed self, which didn’t exist, since had amnesia in psych ward. So Belle is now called Lacey, a barfly who hustles people at pool. Sure, Snow White is a caring, sweet  teacher and Jiminy is a therapist, while bookish sees the good in everyone Belle is a bad girl with a drinking problem, sure  this makes sense.  Anyway the point of this episode is to show that Rumpelstiltskin can try and change. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, sort of depends on who is he with. So while Belle shows the good in Rumpelstiltskin, Lacey likes the bad Dark one.

Also Tamara reveals she has a captive Hook. Emma is introduced to the magic bean crop and Regina finds it.  

In the character’s past Robin Hood steals from Rumpelstiltskin and Rumple tortures him, as he does. Belle frees him and Rumple gets mad and decides he going to track down the thief and kill him to prove a point to Belle. Turns out Robin stole from Rumpelstiltskin to save his dying pregnant wife. Rumpelstiltskin then spares him and Belle feels vindicated, as she does.

Not sure why Regina bother with reverting Belle to her cursed form. What good did that do her?  We also see that bow that never misses its target again and Robin Hood is introduced.   It’s was an ok episode but Rumpelstiltskin is pretty much the best character, so episode centering around him are mostly always a bit better.  

Side Note – Trying three episodes  at a time since there is two weeks left in March. Since I want to caught up and string these post along for another year,  there will be two posts of OUAT a week now, once on Mondays and once on Thursday.  The exception will be weeks where the seasons ends, which mean post will be once a week on Thursdays.

Clopin with Puppet Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Clopin with Puppet Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

On March 15th 2017 Billboard ranked every song from the Disney Renaissance (1989-199) and it was done by various staffers. Now everyone is entitled to their opinions but their opinions are wrong. You can read it here if you want.

For Hunchback the ranking are as follows;
42: God Help the Outcasts
41: Heaven’s Light/Hellfire
38: A Guy like You
37: The Bells of Notre Dame
34: Topsy Turvy
30: Out There

Clopin, Phoebus and Quasimodo Court of Miracles Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Clopin, Phoebus and Quasimodo Court of Miracles Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Court of Miracles didn’t count as the article called it “Super Slight” but Trashin the Camp ranked #26 even though it’s just scat, just saying. It’s important to know that the list was out of 45 songs, Hunchback didn’t get even in the upper half. Honestly it doesn’t really matter that as it seem the “staffers” have a very weird sense of what a “Disney” song should be.

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

First off they said God Help the Outcasts was “sombre and flat.” Heaven’s Light/Hellfire was “it’s one least memorable tunes” (Are they saying Hellfire is not memorable??? The Heck you say). The really didn’t say anything bad about A Guy like you. They said The Bells of Notre Dame “lacks a certain je ne sais quoi.” They called Topsy Turvy the “most Disney-like of the entire Hunchback film and soundtrack.” And Out There again nothing bad, though Out THere is pretty much Part of your World 2.0 and that song ranked #9 so it’s really not surprising that these people would like it more that the other Hunchback songs.

Shock the Priest Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Shock the Priest Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Just looking at the way they ranked the Hunchback song I’m not sure these people understand anything about anything. They seem to like either bright happy song, love songs or the I want type song, you know typically Disney stuff. Oddly the highest ranking Villain song was Be Prepared at #15.

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

With that in mind yes, their ranking make a weird sense but how does one say that Hellfire even if it’s paired with Heaven’s Light, is a worse song than A Guy like you? Sure, if you like bright happy things, but Hellfire is one of great villain songs and Heaven’s Light is the perfect foil. My guess is that these “staffers” collectively didn’t like Hunchback as much as other movies as Hunchback is one more a-typical Disney movies.

Clopin with Puppet Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Clopin with Puppet Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

They can rank the songs however they want, with bias or not but but I take their credibility as critics into question with how they dismissed Hunchback songs as being “unDisney” because they are not as bright and colorful as the “popular” songs.

Prove these critics wrong and get the soundtrack

and maybe if Hunchback products make money, Disney will see the merits of a Live-action movie.

Esmeralda & Phoebus, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Phoebus, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Ballets unlike movie have to convey all the story element through only motions and  gestures. This makes ballets more like a silent movie without the intertext panels. For the most La Esmeralda does tell the basic story of The Hunchback of Notre Dame/Notre Dame de Paris however it does have some weird differences that don’t really impact the narrative but should be mentioned.

Esmeralda begging Phoebus o spare Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda begging Phoebus o spare Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

There is no pillory scene and so Quasimodo is never punished for Frollo’s crimes. He does nearly get arrested and Esmeralda begs for his release. This takes the place of the pillory scene as it’s the kindness of Esmeralda he falls in love with. Is it as impactful? No but it’s gets the job done.

 Quasimodo as The Pope of Fools, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Quasimodo as The Pope of Fools, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Quasimodo is crowned the Pope of Fools nearly halfway through the performance. Not sure why they bothered moving this scene so late in the show. Would have been better easier as at this point the division of Quasimodo and Frollo have already started and this felt tacked on and unnecessary. Sure it’s a very important scene in the story but to place it after Quasimodo expresses a love and loyalty for someone other than Frollo shows a misunderstanding of the characters.

Frollo and Esmeralda, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Frollo & Esmeralda, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Another weird odd change is the movement of the Red Door scene. I didn’t even recognize it as the Red Door scene, or the scene where Frollo tries to force himself on Esmeralda during her sanctuary in Notre Dame, I thought it was an additional scene for the Ballet and I JUST figured it out was the Red Door scene. It’s a bizarre placement as it occurs right after Frollo tries to abduct Esmeralda and she returns to her  dwelling. Frollo hasn’t even stab Phoebus yet, his torture, lust and lack of self control hasn’t gotten to this point yet.  It comes off like an old cartoon from the 1930’s where the villain chases an innocent maiden around a room till the hero bursts in and Quasimodo does bursts in saves Esmeralda.  Don’t misconstrues this, the choreography is lovely but it shows that the people who originally did this Ballet lack an understanding of the characters, mostly Frollo and Quasimodo.       

Artemis & Apollo(?), Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Artemis & Apollo(?), Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

One thing that was really annoying about the ballet is the padding out it does especially with Fleur de Lys’ party scenes. There is one scene where Fleur de Lys is have a performance done  of Artemis and maybe Apollo. I can only guess at Apollo because it would be a clever call back to Phoebus. Performances in performances are intriguing as it makes the audience part of the performance but here it just dragged things on. It could be for a practical purpose of allowing the principal dancers a ten minute breather but again I do not know the ins and outs of ballet. As beautiful as the performance of the myth was it interrupted the flow of the story.  

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

For most people these changes are not going to impact their overall enjoyment of the ballet as it does capture the emotional impact of the story but the seemingly minor changes does suggest that someone in charge at some point didn’t have a great working knowledge of the finer points of the characters and the story. 

(Note- Not all the ballet version of La Esmeralda depict the story like this.)

Episode 15: The Queen is Dead

Bailee Madison as Young Snow White & Rena Sofer as Queen Eva Season 2 Episode 15 The Queen is Dead ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

Bailee Madison as Young Snow White & Rena Sofer as Queen Eva

We got that three story structure in this episode, so let’s just start with Character’s past. This one centers on young Snow White. Snow White’s mother, Queen Eva is dying and Snow White ventures to find the Blue Fairy. The Blue fairy says the only way to restore the queen’s life is for someone else to die in her place and gives Snow a candle that will switch the lives. Very Game of Thrones. However young Snow can’t bring herself to do it and Snow’s kind mother dies. Turns out that Eva was poisoned by Cora who also disguised herself as the Blue Fairy to test Snow White and to lead Snow on a path of darkness. It also seems like Eva and Cora have a little bit of a history.

In New York, everyone is awkwardly trying to bond and then Hook stabs Rumpelstiltskin with a poison tipped Hook. Rumpelstiltskin  says he will die unless they can make it back to Storybrooke. Neal/Baelfire says that the fastest way is to steal Hook’s boat and says he can captain it. Basically Neall did go to Neverland! Was he Peter Pan? Seems like it? Would make sense though Pan learning to sail a Pirate boat? Seems a little off. Maybe he was rouge lost boy? Don’t know  I asked that question back in episode 4.  Also Emma meets Neal’s fiancee Tamara.

The trouble is back in Storybrooke, Regina and Cora are after Rumpelstiltskin’s dagger. Snow calls Emma asking Rumpelstiltskin to reveal the location of the dagger. He tells them and they find in the clock tower of the library but Cora and Regina show up and threaten one Snow’s former loyal servant Johanna. Snow trades the dagger for Johanna’s life but Cora kills  Johanna anyway. Snow then vows to kill Cora for what she did to both Johanna and her mother as she just learned of Cora’s manipulations and murder of her mom.

First off, there is a huge Star Wars reference. Snow White/Mary Margaret says the classic Leia line to Mother Superior, “Help Me Mother Superior, you’re my only hope.

Generally, I liked this episode. It was good to see a young Snow White be the focus of an episode and yet more character motivations in play.                  

 

Episode 16: The Miller’s Daughter

Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin & Rose McGowan as Cora Season 2 Episode 16 Miller's Daughter ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin & Rose McGowan as Cora

This has to be one of the strongest episodes yet.  It explores Cora’s backstory and her rise of a Miller’s daughter to royalty and her lust for power.  So in the character’s past, Cora is a Miller’s daughter or more specifically the Miller’s daughter from the Rumpelstiltskin story. She is delivering flour to the King but Princess Eva trips and her and forced to kneel and apologize for doing nothing wrong.

Cora attends a ball for the hand of Prince Henry, who is being whored out for a wealthy alliance. Cora tells the king that she can spin straw into gold. So he locks up in a tower and should she produce gold she can marry Henry. Rumpelstiltskin shows up and offers to spin the straw into gold for her if she gives him her first born. She agrees but on the condition that he teaches her how spin gold instead, he agrees. Their lessons gets a bit sexually charged but she masters the process.

Cora and Henry become engaged but he is fifth in line to be King which doesn’t suit Cora. Her and Rumpelstiltskin are also having an affair. Rumpelstiltskin offers her love and asks her to run off with him. They amend their contract so that she would own him his child and he teaches her how to remove hearts so she can kill the king. She instead removes her heart as “love is weakness” and tells Rumplestiltskin she will not be going with him and any child she have will not be his.    

In Storybrooke, Rumpelstiltskin is dying and Cora seems like she wants the power of the Dark one. Rumpelstiltskin manipulates Snow to use that candle to exchange his life for Cora’s and tells her that the heart is in the vault. Snow manipulates Regina to give Cora’s heart back so that Cora will finally be able to love her.  Right before Cora is about to kill Rumpelstiltskin, Regina restores Cora’s heart thus killing her and saving Rumpelstiltskin.   
Both plot were great, one of exciting and somewhat suspenseful and the other was intriguing. Personally I prefered Cora’s and Rumpelstiltskin’s past. It was great to see what motivated Cora to her icy yet power hungry persona and also it gave the reason behind Rumpelstiltskin and Cora’s relationship which has been  hinted at for a while.   It does beg the question is Rumpelstiltskin Regina’s father?  If Cora was pregnant in that instance, which it vaguely hints at it   would make Regina Baelfire’s half sister and Henry’s aunt. But there is not clear indicator as of yet how much time passed between Rumplestiltskin and Cora’s affair and Regina’s birth and with Cora now dead it could be hard to answer that question if it is indeed true though it’s probably not true. Anyway great episode, one my favorites so far.

 Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend picture image

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend

Confession time, Beauty and the Beast was never like a favorite Disney movie of mine, don’t get me wrong, I like it, I’m just not attach to it in a nostalgic ways. Nor am I a big fan of Emma Watson so I don’t have any excitement for the new version.   With that said, let’s look at the music video “starring” Ariana Grande and John Legend.

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend picture image

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend

It’s rather interesting that this version of the song sounds more 90’s than the 90’s version.  This is not a good version of the song. Grande’s voice doesn’t seems suited for it. Like her diction is all over the place trying to sound “pretty.” Legend does better but does very little for the song.

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana-Grande & John Legend picture image

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend

So let’s just move on to the actually video. Well let’s just get this out of the way, WHAT IS GRANDE WEARING? Who designed that and who said “yeah let’s put her in a loofa?” (I realize everyone is saying it looks like a loofa and that because it’s true)  Grande dress is supposed  to look like a rose but this is a monstrosity. If this was on Project runway it would be voted out. It’s like bolt of tulle threw up on her. There are ways of communicating the shape of a flower in cloth without like like a wanna-be-designer.  I don’t want to give the impression of knowing anything about actually fashion design or aesthetics BUT typically when doing voluminous or big gown you need to balance out the portions. So big ballgown more streamlined bodice and vice-versa. This gown, why I get is suppose to be artistic does adhere to that method and just opts bit volume on volume but hey at least her hair in flat and straight. The thing the dress could have been fixed easily, just remove the tulle from the bust and left it smooth or add bead ot embroidery for more close up shots.  The volume isn’t even necessary as you don’t see the dress when the dancers form a rose around Grande.

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend picture image

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend

The dancing is actually one of highlights of the video. The way they form a rose is quite visually pleasing. While I know knowing about dancing the  choreography was very nice.

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend picture image

I get the visual frame but what is it framing? Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend

Though I will say this with the dancers, Grande’s gown, Legend at the piano , Belle and Beast dancing, the over-the-top set and the firework sparkle effects,  it’s a visual overload. The a lot of  shots become cluttered.      

 Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend picture image

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend

This music video is just a case of  more equals  more. With minor tweaks it could have been a well-portion over-the-top grand video but instead it seemed a case of over indulgence all over the place.        

What do you think? Was Grande wearing a Loofa? Did you find this video timeless and elegant  like the song or was over-the-top and over blown?   

Click here to watch the Video  

Or at least as the Kremlin performance depicts it.

Frollo and Esmeralda, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Frollo & Esmeralda, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Pretty much all the major, overall story beats are hit in this version and this an approximation of the plot, it’s possible things are misconstrued . First we have Phoebus and Fleur-de Lys getting engaged. Fleur de Lys gives him a scarf.   The the court of miracle dance along with Gringoire and Esmeralda. Frollo scares her. Quasimodo stops Frollo from scaring her too. Frollo is torment by his lust for the young dancer. Gringoire follows Esmeralda to the Court  of Miracle where he is nearly killed but Esmeralda marries him to save his life. She also rejects his romantic advances.

Esmeralda begging Phoebus o spare Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda begging Phoebus o spare Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Frollo and Quasimodo are out roaming the streets when Esmeralda just so happens to be wandering by. Frollo has Quasimodo try to kidnap her but Phoebus and the guard show up. Esmeralda and Phoebus fall in love and he gives her the scarf that Fleur de Lys gave him. As the guards are about to take Quasimodo away, Esmeralda beg mercy for him and Phoebus lets Quasimodo go. Quasimodo then falls in love with Esmeralda.

Esmeralda & Gringoire, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Gringoire, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Esmeralda return to her dwelling happy about meeting Phoebus. As she trying to fall asleep Gringoire tries again with the romance, I really hope he wasn’t trying to force himself on her. Esmeralda rebuffs and pulls out her dagger. She basically tells him no and if he acts up he’ll be hanged. So friends they shall be, or maybe co-workers.

Frollo and Esmeralda, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Frollo & Esmeralda, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Esmeralda tries to go to sleep but Frollo enters her dwelling. Frollo tries to win her over with forces, not really sure what he was doing but Quasimodo helps Esmeralda escape and Frollo takes her dagger.

Esmeralda & Fleur de Lys, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Fleur de Lys, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

The there is a party at Fleur de Lys’. Esmeralda and Gringoire perform but when Esmeralda sees Phoebus with another woman she became distraught. Fleur de Lys becomes enraged when she sees Esmeralda wearing Phoebus’ scarf.

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Then the Feast of Fool happens and Quasimodo is crowned Pope of Fools. Frollo is displeased and Quasimodo is sad. Phoebus and Esmeralda meet in a bar for some romance. Frollo follows them and plays the owner to let him hide in the room where they will be. Before Phoebus and Esmeralda can consummates their love  Frollo bursts in stabs Phoebus. Quasimodo shows up and tries to help but Esmeralda is arrested.

Frollo and Esmeralda, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Frollo & Esmeralda, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Esmeralda is arrested and Frollo tries to get her out but she rejected him. Fleur de Lys i having a party again. Things are going when Phoebus enters and beg Fleur de Lys to forgive him.

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Esmeralda is about to executed when Quasimodo saves her. They bond but Frollo bursts in and arrests Esmeralda.  Before Esmeralda is executed Fleur de Lys and Phoebus get married.

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Frollo and Quasimodo have a fight and Quasimodo throws Frollo off the cathedral and the scarf falls too. Quasimodo lays down beside Esmeralda to die as the scarf falls on them.

Episode 13: Tiny

Jorge Garcia as Anton, Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White, Lee Arenberg as Grumpy and Josh Dallas as Charming Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 13 Tiny picture image

Jorge Garcia as Anton, Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White, Lee Arenberg as Grumpy and Josh Dallas as Charming

Ha!!!!!!! That is not what Logan Airport looks like, or I have been using the wrong terminal all this time. Also really a flight to Boston to New York? It’s not that far via car or bus, or train and then none of that take off the cloak Drama. Basically  Rumpelstiltskin is having cultural shock and he can’t use magic.

In the character’s past Prince James, Charming/David’s twin, and his lover Jacqueline a.k.a Jack are tasked with tricking a Giant, Anton, who has come to town. Anton is the giant from the compass episode.  He thinks they are friends but they just want the beans. James and Jack kill all the giants but Anton destroys all the beans and before the giant leader  dies, he gives Anton a new beanstalk seed that can grow more beans.  Also to prove James is more of a jerk, he lets Jack die.

In Storybrooke, Hook shows Snow, Charming and Leroy, a captured Anton, who is travel size.  Anton goes on a tear when he sees Charming/David. Regina and Hook decide to use Anton as a distraction and Regina makes him big. Charming offers himself for the town. Anton tries to crush him but the size mushroom wears off and Anton’s life is in danger. The town saves him and he welcomes him into the fairy/literature fold. Anton tells them about planting the bean to return to the enchanted forest but warns them that it’s what Cora wanted.

 

At end Snow tells Charming home is where Emma and Henry are and she doesn’t want to leave them. Greg also tells Belle that he saw magic too.  

 

This was not the strongest episode. It some ways it moved the plot and in other ways seemed to stall. Did the giant need a backstory and did it need a whole episode?  Let’s see where it leads but most of it felt like filler.  I do like the irony of a giant being an honorary dwarf at the end.

 

Episode 14: Manhattan

Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 14 Mahhattan picture image

Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin

Confession time, this episode got spoiled for me BUT oh wow!  Amazing twist! You could not have predicted who the true identity of who Neil really was. It fits perfectly and does add to the drama.

The plot of this is fairly simple. Emma, Rumpelstiltskin  and Henry go to Manhattan to find Baelfire and oh boy do they find him quickly. Like Rumpelstiltskin’s globe pinpointed the building.  

So they find him but he takes off running, Rumpelstiltskin sends  Emma after him and to get Bae to speak to him. She catches him but it’s her baby daddy Neal a.k.a Baelfire.  Emma questions that if  his motivates for being with her and if they were part of the curse. He says no and he wants nothing to do with Rumpelstiltskin. Emma withholds the information that he has a son.

Emma reports back that she was unsuccessful and Rumpelstiltskin breaks in to Baelfire’s apartment. Rumpelstiltskin notices Emma acting weird and starts questioning her but Baelfire shows up to defend Emma against Rumpelstiltskin since Emma didn’t really keep her side of the bargain. When Baelfire see Henry he questions Henry’s age and it’s revealed to everyone else that he is the father.    

The character’s past portion is about Rumpelstiltskin pre-dark one and post. Rumpelstiltskin is excited to go to the front but while there he meets a seer. She tells him he will die and it will leave his son fatherless. Or rather his actions will lead his unborn son fatherless. And yes they do. Rumpelstiltskin meets her after becoming the Dark One and she tells him that he will reunite with his son but a boy will be his undoing. Rumpelstiltskin says we will have to kill this boy. The boy is Henry. Seems like invented conflict since Rumpelstiltskin’s motivation have been his son the whole time so it seems a little out of character for him to now want to kill his grandson but we’ll see where this goes. Character’s personality change so much in this show that it COULD be in his character.

Also In Storybrooke, Cora, Regina, and Hook are on a quest to find Rumpelstiltskin’s dagger so that he will be the one to kill those who stand in Regina’s way of being the sole mommy of Henry. I guess that mean she’ll have to kill Rumpelstiltskin too since he have more of claim on Henry than she does. Does that close adoption thing mean nothing now? Did the curse break existing law? How did that law work? I mean Henry was born in Arizona. Someone MUST have brought Henry to Storybrooke  and yet no one could get into Storybrooke prior, unless they were related to the Fairy Tale world. We Know Rumpelstiltskin arranged it but did Regina go? She can leave since she wasn’t a victim of the curse. But Rumpelstiltskin couldn’t leave Storybrooke since he was a victim but he retained his memories. So many questions. How did they get into the town like pregnancy tests or coffee? Does the curse just make commodities appear?   

Also Gregg saw Regina use magic and sent “her” a video of it.

 
Despite raising all sorts of questions with this possession over Henry plot, this was a great episode. The drama from New York crew was on point. They rest of the episode did feel weak by comparison although that seer was kind of awesome.  She reminded of the Harpy in The Last Unicorn. I want to know how she got captured and why? Where is that episode?

 

Bonus Picture Time

The Seer Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 14 Mahhattan picture image

The Seer

Spoilers.

Samurai Champloo picture image

Samurai Champloo

Samurai Champloo  is a highly regarded  anime from 2004. It takes place in an alternative Edo period of Japan as it has a hip-hop feel to it.  The show follows  Mugen, an impudent and freedom-loving vagrant swordsman; Jin, a composed and stoic rōnin; and Fuu, a brave girl who asks them to accompany her in her quest across Japan to find the “samurai who smells of sunflowers.”

Oniwakamaru, Samurai Champloo Redeye Reprisal  picture image

Oniwakamaru, Samurai Champloo Redeye Reprisal

In episode two, entitled Redeye Reprisal, we get a situation that is very reminiscent of Hunchback. Won’t say it’s on purpose since the trope is common.  In the episode Fuu meets a very ugly man. The man who is called Oniwakamaru is liken to an ogre. He is described as bald, fat, tall, muscular man. He has a somewhat wrinkly face with a swollen right eye that appears closed and two scratch marks on the left side of his face. He is a bodyguard for Sasaki Ryujiro, who is mentally unstable and has zero issues with torture and murder. Oniwakamaru is actually very kind by the years of being ridicule make him lose control when people talk about him or see his face.

Oniwakamaru, Samurai Champloo Redeye Reprisal, picture image

Oniwakamaru, Samurai Champloo Redeye Reprisal

Fuu, the young pretty girl, gets kidnapped by Ryujiro. Fuu tells  Oniwakamaru that he isn’t scary to her but that he does have a sad look in his eyes. When Ryujiro is about to kill Fuu Oniwakamaru kills him instead because she was the only one not afraid to look at this face.

This seems very much in line with trope of the monster and the pretty girl but Oniwakamaru was working for the antagonist who kidnapped a girl. The girl showed him compassion and he dies for her. His looks are also very much like Quasimodo aside from the iconic hunch.  Again not saying this episode was intentional resembles Hunchback but it’s eerily reminiscent of the story.

Carlotta Grisi and Jules Perrot, La Esmeralda picture image

Carlotta Grisi and Jules Perrot, La Esmeralda

Well break is over, I can’t hold off anymore on not reviewing another Hunchback version. So here we are instead of some stupid annoying dumb knock-off Disney animation waste of time that makes me dumber as I watch it over and over instead we’re going a classy upscale version of Hunchback, a Ballet. Even though if you have seen The Forsythe Saga, Ballets aren’t cliche as opera because it’s young women dancing. I digress in today society Ballet is more an upscale art form and it something I know nothing about. The closest thing I got to a dance class was tap dance and I got run out the class by the mean students and the incompetent teachers.

Let’s just start with some basics. The ballet is called  La Esmeralda  and it’s done in three acts and five scene. It was originally choreographed by Jules Perrot to music by Cesare Pugni, with sets by William Grieve and costumes by Mme. Copère. It was first presented by the Ballet of her Majesty’s Theatre, London on 9 March 1844, with Carlotta Grisi as Esmeralda, Jules Perrot as Gringoire, Arthur Saint-Leon as Phoebus, Adelaide Frassi as Fleur de Lys, and Antoine Louis Coulon as Quasimodo.

Alexandra Timofeeva as Esmeralda, La Esmeralda Bellet, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Alexandra Timofeeva as Esmeralda, La Esmeralda Bellet, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

The first time it was performed in America was in New Jersey in 2004. Most Western ballet companies only perform two Esmeralda-related pieces—La Esmeralda pas de deux and La Esmeralda pas de six—and the Diane and Actéon Pas de Deux, which is actually not excerpted from the ballet, but often mistakenly credited as having been added by Marius Petipa to his 1886 revival of La Esmeralda. So it’s not a very common ballet to American but you do seem the part performed for like ballet competition. It’s a good allegory of Hunchback a piece work that is superficially  known by the general public but the story isn’t understood.

 

The version we’ll look at and review is by the Kremlin Ballet Company of Moscow. Alexandra Timofeeva plays as  Esmeralda. While I could be wrong this production was done in April 2016. Though there were performs in 2014, so it could something they perform periodically. 

I feel very much out of my  depth with this one.

Episode 11:  The Outsider

Emilie de Ravin as Belle Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 11 The Outsider picture image

Emilie de Ravin as Belle

Or how Mulan met Phillip. Actually this episode centers around Belle. In the character’s past Belle goes a monster hunting. She is encouraged to go by Dreamy who gives her some Fairy  Dust. Belle proves that books and knowledge are useful as she tracks down a fiery monster. Mulan is also tracking the monster but isn’t as good at tracking. Belle corners the monster but the monster asks Belle to save it so she uses the fairy dust to cure the monster who is really Philip. This is how Mulan meets Philip and at the end of the episode Regina captures Belle. It’s a good bridger episode as it showcases Belle as kick-ass yet compassion person of action and how she got captured by Regina.   

There is a lot going on in Storybrooke in this episode. Rumpelstiltskin figures out a way for him to leave the town. All that is needed is an object of GREAT personal importance and a potion. However Hook steals Rumpelstiltskin’s object, a cloak of Baelfire’s  and Belle tries to retrieve it and in the process frees Archie. Belle gets in a confrontation with Hook but Rumpelstiltskin comes and beats Hook up and Belle begs him to stop which he does.

Rumpelstiltskin is getting ready leave town at that cursed townline but as he says goodbye to Belle Hook shows up, shots Belle sending over the line making her forget everything. Rumpelstiltskin cures her wound with magic but as that is happening a car from Pennsylvania hits Hook and crashes.  Also Archie tells Emma and Henry that Regina was framed by Cora.

The character past was alright. It was good showcasing of Belle that was good mirroring of her actions in Storybrooke and helped established Mulan and Phillip.

The Storybrooke stuff was alright till the end, then it blew up. The redemption arcs are all well and good but between Rumpelstiltskin and Regina it’s getting repetitive. Henry and Belle should hang out more. The end with Hook, Belle losing her memory and some outsider literally crashing into town made this episode way better.  It will be interesting seeing Rumpelstiltskin move forward with Belle having so much amnesia.      

 

Also Snow and Charming are having drama again. She wants to settle in Storybrooke and get a house and Charming wants to try and go back to their world because if something is worth it you have fight for it but Snow is tired of fighting.  So much drama with these two.

 

Episode 12: In the Name of the Brother

Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin & Emilie de Ravin as Belle Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 12 In the Name of the Brother picture image

Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin & Emilie de Ravin as Belle

Sigh, it’s another Frankenstein episode. This one takes place  before and after the events of the first Frankenstein episode. It seems like Victor was the 2nd favorite child, out of two, and his dad doesn’t get his art erm science, so he is cutting him off. Rumpelstiltskin shows up and offers him money for learning about his science and sets him up with a heart. Victor tries get a body but his brother dies in the process and his brother becomes his monster.  

In Storybrooke everyone is freaking out. Rumpelstiltskin is trying to get Belle to remember  and also sets up a truce with Cora who wants her daughter’s love back. Cora also offers Rumpelstiltskin a globe thing that can locate his son.  Cora sneaks around Regina’s house then disguises herself as Henry. The two do make up but who knows what Cora REALLY wants.

The Outsider is brought to the E.R and everyone is freaking out that a normal dude could have seen Rumpelstiltskin using magic. Dr.Whale is having issues dealing with being a monster but Ruby convinces him to live with his past and he saves the guy’s life. Emma questions him and he said he didn’t see anything because he was texting but at the end of the episode it’s revealed that he may have seen something.  

Also Rumpelstiltskin is cashing in of the deal that Emma will do him a favor, it’s from the Cinderella episode. Wonder what she is up to? And what happened with Katherine and her love who is now the Gym teacher?  Anyway Rumpelstiltskin wants Emma to go with him to find Baelfire.  Does this mean a Roadtrip with Rumple???

DEAR GOD SHOW STOP IT! Emma’s lie detecting sucks. Stop making it a thing. Or Stop reminding me it’s a thing with it working sometime and not other. It’s such a plot crutch. Or did she not believe him?  Who is this Greg Mendell guy? And who is “her”? The so-called lady who keeps calling him.    

BUT wait there is more. So first thing, love that the Outsider’s ringtone was the Star Wars Theme. It was cute wink at Disney’s acquisition of Star Wars a few months before the episode aired.

Henry brings up a fair point that Frankenstein isn’t a Fairy tale character so they don’t know who else is in town, You know what else isn’t a Fairy Tale? Alice in Wonderland didn’t stop that one being in the book. Also where is Alice?   So does this mean Frankenstein’s world is not the “real” but some book world? Do all books dwell in the same world like fairy tale world? But if the book doesn’t have magic is the same as the really world? I’m confused. Rumpelstiltskin has no issue going to the “book world of Frankenstein” but only the curse/bean can go to the real world? But also is Neverland is separate?  Do all books have different worlds but Fairy Tales characters  live together except Mulan who is originally for a poem?  Hey Henry brought it up first? It just add so many more questions.
The episode was good for the most part. I’m not a fan of Frankenstein so Whale’s past and his conflict felt like filler. This episode seems to be trying to move the plot but it’s still setting itself up. It was good in parts, meh in parts and raised all sorts of confusion.