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.

Lana Parrilla as Regina Mills & Giancarlo Esposito as Sidney Glass, ABC's Once Upon a Time, Fruit of the Poisonous Tree picture image

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, ABC's Once Upon a Time, Skin Deep picture image

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.

Lana Parrilla as Regina Mills & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan Once Upon a Time Season 1 Episode 2; The Thing you Love the Most picture image

Lana Parrilla as Regina Mills & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan in ABC’s Stone Once Upon a Time

This episode mentions Honey Crisp Apples which are super delicious and the apples I have been eat all week  and unless Honey Crisp have a massive variation of size and color the apples in this episode are not Honey Crisps. They look more like Red Delicious. But I know nothing about apple varieties and this a classic case of tangental nitpicking, so on to the actual episode.

First thing be ye first thing, I really enjoy the pacing of the show.  The fairly seamless back and forth between the Fairy Tale backstory and Real Life curse breaking detectives is fun. I liked the not so subtle choice of cinnamon to infer the characters of the possible connection between them, Snow White/Mary Margaret, Emma, and Henry all like cinnamon on their hot chocolate. That sounds good, am I related them? I kid.

The bitch game of one-up-mannanship was a little tiring, one frames the other and the other hacks the one’s non Honey Crisp Tree, what a cliche! Anyway the fairy tale plot centers around how the Evil Queen’s curse. Apparently in this world of Fairy Tales, Curses can be traded. Ok, that’s weird. Also I didn’t care for the styling of Maleficent. Why does she look all soft? I know it’s a re-imagining but I don’t get the choice of it. In fact the Snow White’s Evil Queen looks more Maleficent. Also I also don’t know why but the Evil Queen’s Leather pants and lace widows peak gives me an odd combo of amused and cringing. I get the stye is going for a Shabby Chic style, kinda like that movie The Secret of Moonarce.  Why are Fairy Tales Shabby Chic?

Anyway, so Evil Queen knows that this curse means amnesia and not being in the fairy tale world. And she activates the curse so she can be happy and all she has to do is make a deal with Rumplestiltskin, who the one who gave her the curse before she traded with Maleficent and she has to kill her father because she has to kill the thing she loves the most. Her father is also named Henry… Dun… Dun… Dunnnn. I actually liked that plot point. Rumpy a.k.a Mr Gold also seems to knows about the curse or he know something. Rumplestiltskin seems to be more OP in this version. Wait why was he in jail in this first place? And if he knows that Emma could break the curse and brought Henry to Regina so that Emma would come someday,  why would he want the curse broken? He has a pretty good thing going on with the curse. Like what is his motivation for wanting to return to the fairy tale world? Or is like an impulse where he know there a curse and wants to break it but doesn’t know what it means or the details but then again he remembers the details of the deal he made with the Evil Queen?  I’m just going to stop and let the show answer the questions because I have more and I’m sure they will get answered.

 

Anyway it was a fun episode, still don’t care for the boy though.