Lana Parrilla as Regina Mills & Giancarlo Esposito as Sidney Glass
Episode 11: Fruit of the Poisonous Tree
Former Regina minion Sidney Glass, of the daily mirror, wants to team up with Emma to expose Regina’s corruption. After a series events that really do nothing to expose Regina’s crooked ways, Emma does find trust in Sidney. Though it was all a ruse as Sidney is still Regina’s minion and it’s a trap for Emma. Also in addition to that main Storybrooke plot, Henry is trying to get the fairy tale book back as it went missing when Regina tore down the playhouse that he and Emma met to discuss their plans. The Stranger is the one who currently has the book.
The parallel story of the Fairy Tale world is about our favorite Evil Queen meeting the Genie of the Lamp. The Genie was freed by the King and the King gave the Genie his third wish which the Genie never wants to use because magic sucks. The King decides to bring the Genie to the castle and when the Genie sees the Queen he falls head over lamp for her. The Queen seems to reciprocates the Genie’s feeling but she is married and not in love with her husband. The Queen’s father begs the Genie for help to give her a box of poisonous snakes which are from his homeland. However the Genie, convinced that Queen loves him, uses the snakes to kill the King. However it dawns on the Genie that the Queen tricked him and isn’t in love with him at all. He decides to use his wish so that may be with her forever and always gaze on her face and since magic sucks in this world, he is turned into her magic mirror. Sucks for him but this pleases the Queen.
I enjoyed half this episode. I typically like the Storybrooke story more but this time I was bored by most of it but I liked the Fairy Tale world plot. It’s interesting the combination of the Genie of the Lamp turning into Magic Mirror. So often in Snow White versions there is no explanation for the Magic Mirror, the audience is just suppose to accept it, which is fine in a fairy tale. It’s just a nice touch on the show’s end to offer a story behind the mirror. I will just say I did like the twist at the end of the Storybrooke storyline where Sidney is still in league with Regina, it wasn’t mind blowing but it so in keeping with Regina’s character.
Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin & Emilie de Ravin as Belle
Episode 12: Skin Deep
Oh dear god the amount of cultural references in this episode is just funny. First off and not as referential was at the start of the Fairy Tale Storyline where they mention a place called Avonlea that had fallen. Avonlea is where Anne of Green Gables took place and not to mention the Canadian show Road to Avonlea, which i used to love when I was a kid. It was just so random. The second of a Flower shop in Storybrooke called Game of Thorns, I think everyone can get that. David is reading Anna Karenina, which a novel mostly about adultery which he is currently engaged in with Mary Margaret. And then there is a Nurse Rachet which is from One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
So on to actual episode, this week we have Beauty and the Beast. The Beast is actually our old pal Rumpelstiktskin. Rumpelstiktskin helped Belle’s Kingdom out of being conquered from Ogres in exchange for her to be his housekeeper. Gradually they fall in love, however Rumpelstiktskin lets her go in the guise of her running an errand. While Belle in the forest she runs into that pesky Evil Queen. The Queen tells her that true love’s kiss can break any curse, it’s like a super panacea. Belle then tries it on Rumpelstiktskin which starts to work but he gets mad at her and tells her to leave. Belle, who is hurt, tells him that he will be alone forever with an empty heart and the teacup that she chipped, which a Disney’s Chip reference. That pesky Evil Queen shows up at Rumpelstiktskin’s place and she tells him that Belle was shunned by her village, tortured by her father and killed herself. Rumpelstiktskin is devastated.
Meanwhile in the real fake world of Storybrooke, Mr Gold gets something stolen him and he enlists Emma to find it. When Emma can’t find said specific item, Mr Gold kidnaps the guy who stole it and start assaulting him saying that “She is gone.” Emma arrests Mr. Gold because hitting people is wrong apparently. Regina shows up and tells Emma to hang out with Henry so she can be alone with Mr.Gold. Regina asks Mr.Gold his real name. This reveals that they both know about the Fairy Tale past. Also Belle’s counterpart is in a mental ward revealing that she didn’t die in the past.
I’m a bit mixed on this episode. On the one hand I like Rumpelstiktskin as the “beast” but he seems like a swiss-army character. He’s Beast, the Fairy Godmother, the downtrodden cursed one etc. He is everything except Rumpelstiktskin. The only thing “Rumpelstiktskin” does is he spins straw into gold, though in truth he could have been doing anything else like turning lead in gold or making a zero calorie fudge brownie. Also just a side note, the reason why Rumpelstiktskin spins straw into gold in the fairy tale is that a miller says his daughter can spin straw into gold so the prince or king tests her and if she can’t he will kill her, so Rumpelstiktskin does it for her in exchange for stuff. It’s not like a hobby of his so I don’t why Show Rumpelstiktskin do this. Was it mention in his backstory because I don’t recall it or explained in a later episode? The other Rumpelstiktskin thing he does is he wants babies for some reason. I’m going to bet this gets explained and hopefully he doesn’t want to eat them.
Another thing that makes me scratch my head is Belle herself. Aside from dressing like Disney Belle, Belle doesn’t have any of Belle’s personality. I know she is different from Disney Belle but since the episode so far just rehashed Beauty and Beast the comparison between the two is more direct than Snow White and Cinderella. It’s not a big issue but feels more puzzled that Belle, who is one of the more beloved Disney Princesses, feels like an afterthought. I do like that she is in the mental ward, that is a nice call back to the Disney movie.
The main hightlight of the Storybrooke episode was the reveal that Mr.Gold and Regina know.