Thursday, 16 August 2012

Once Upon a Time: The Thing You Love The Most / Snow Falls / The Price of Gold

Or Episodes 2, 3 and 4

We're currently going through something of a Once Upon a Time marathon in my household: so what started as a round-up of one episode has become an amalgamation of something like ten. We're watching them too fast for me to write a single review for each, so this is going to be a really quick round-up. It’s got to the point where I can’t even round-up in a single post anymore because there are too many episodes to do it for.

Beware of some MAJOR spoilers. Had I done individual reviews, I would have probably tried to hold off for as long as possible, but considering all that I've now seen (and how all the episodes are blurring together in my head) it's not really possibly anymore. So here we go.

Episode 2: The Thing You Love the Most

Evil v. Good
Emma is more determined than ever to remain in Storybrooke, Maine (for reasons that I didn't mention in my first post and will still not do so here - much too spoilerific!) despite the Mayor (Evil Queen's) attempts to push her out. The Mayor/Evil Queen is Henry's adopted mum and it's clear that he is very unhappy with his home life and is deeply caught up in the book that everyone else thinks is just a crazy fantasy. His mum has been sending Henry to a shrink for years.

Emma tries to get to grips with Henry's belief that everyone in the town is a fairytale character and Emma is the missing link who will save them all. We still don't know how Henry knows all this because it seems like he and Emma are the only ones who don't have an alter-ego in the fairytale world. Emma is still a non-believer. I hadn’t mentioned it before, but Emma is Henry’s birth-mother which makes for some interesting scenes with the Mayor who tries to keep Henry away from her. He’s a clever kid for tracking down his mum on his own.

Meanwhile, back in fairyland, we get flashbacks of Snow and James' (Prince Charming) wedding (which we've already seen in episode 1) and the Evil Queen's gatecrashing appearance. I didn't really understand why we had to see the same thing again, but it did ultimately have a purpose. We see that the dark curse that the Evil Queen unleashed in episode 1 that banished all the characters to this halfway-world didn't actually work at first and she was forced to go back to the person who gave it to her to see where she went wrong. This leads to the Evil Queen making a pact with Rumpelstiltskin that you know will only end in trouble.

I guess this is pretty confusing with all the different character names, so here's a rough guide to who people are – it includes characters that we meet in later episodes, which will explain why it might be a bit confusing if I haven’t met some of them yet.

Key: modern-day name / fairytale name

Mary Margaret Blanchard / Snow White
David Nolan / James, Prince Charming
Regina, Madam Mayor / Evil Queen
Mr Gold / Rumpelstiltskin
Graham / Huntsman
Ashley / Cinderella
Sean / Prince Charming
Ruby / Red
Granny / Granny
Sidney / Genie
Dr Archie Hopper / Jiminy Cricket
Katherine / Abigail

Episode 3: Snow Falls

You do know each other! You do!
In the fairytale world, Snow and James don’t know each other – I’ve yet to figure out if this is because they haven’t even met, or the curse has made them forget one another like in the modern world. I’m swaying toward the former theory. James is about to get married and is travelling with his fiancée in a carriage to their new home when they’re stopped by a fallen tree. Only it turns out that the tree was cut on purpose and while James is investigating, a cloaked Snow steals into the carriage and steals James’ purse which holds the ring that he’s going to give to his soon-to-be bride.

Snow is a fugitive and wanted for treason. She’s become something of a Robin Hood figure, only stealing from the Evil Queen’s carriages, but her intentions are not as honourable as Sherwood Forest’s most famous export. Instead, she will use the money to pay for her journey out of the kingdom to start a new life for herself in a different realm.

When James catches up with Snow, she’s already sold his jewels on but agrees to get the ring back for him. In a strange sequence, we see them collaborate and a hilarious adventure hunting trolls thus ensues. When they finally part, it’s on good terms, with James promising that he’ll always be able to find her.

This fairyland drama takes place interchangeably with the goings on in Storybrooke. Mary Margaret (MM) and David (James’ name in this world) don’t know each other. David has been in a coma for years and has still not been identified and claimed. Henry is convinced that if MM reads to John Doe from his Once Upon a Time book, he’ll wake up. Henry is right. But just as John Doe wakes up (with amnesia, obv) Regina (David’s emergency contact since she was the one to find him several years ago) finds David’s wife Katherine and they have a happy little reunion. At least, on Katherine’s part; David has no idea who she is and MM is sad for what might have been.

In other news, Emma finally gets sick of living in her crammed little car and accepts MM’s offer to move in with her. Yay! – mother and daughter together at last!

Episode 4: The Price of Gold

Disney Princess, much?
In this episode, we see the appearance of the first fairytale character who doesn’t play a major role in later episodes: Cinderella. Just as we see her fairygodmother promise to present her with her greatest wish, Rumpelstiltskin appears on the scene and turns her to dust. He in turn promises to get Cinderella to the ball, but not without signing a contract first. And, like most people, Ella doesn’t bother to read the small print – or any of the print for that matter – before signing.

As expected, Ella meets Prince Charming (how can there be two??) and they fall in love and get married. Even more confusingly, Snow and James appear together at their wedding so this must be before the EQ interferes in their life but after what happens in episode three. Soon later, Ella is pregnant and Rumpelstiltskin comes to demand his price. Ella had been under the mistaken belief that he’d wanted gold or jewels; of course not: only Ella’s first-born child will do.

With James’ help, they create a complicated ruse to trick and trap Rumpelstiltskin so that his spell will never take effect. Their trick succeeds but not without a price: Prince Charming has gone missing and only Rumpelstiltskin knows how to get him back.

In Storybrooke, a heavily pregnant Ashley Boyd is doubting her decisions to give away her baby once it’s born. Her boyfriend has abandoned her and everyone else has questioned her ability to take care of the baby, being little more than a child herself. Emma gives her a good talking-to and Ashley decides that she’s going to renege on her contract with Mr Gold and keep her baby after all. Such a thing comes at a price and Emma finds herself owing a favour to Gold in exchange for allowing Ashley to keep her baby

The Sheriff is similarly appalled
In other news, Emma is offered the job of deputy by Graham which begs the question of how does he leave so that Emma becomes Sheriff as I’ve seen in the later episodes. It’s clear that Graham has gone behind Regina’s back in doing so and she would never endorse such a move, and his position is made even more precarious when we discover that Graham and Regina are sleeping together! How could they do that to someone so hot with such a sexy Irish accent?

This post (and the ones following) could have been better, so I apologise. But if I didn't do them now, I would never do them.

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