Category Archives: New for Fall 2011

once upon a time recapping: the stable boy

Previously on Once Upon a Time: Hat Trick

This week on Once Upon a Time, we finally discover what Snow did to set Regina on a path of evil and revenge. In the Enchanted Forest, Barbara Hershey reprises the “crazy overbearing mother” role she perfected in Black Swan, ensuring that Regina’s youthful love affair with the stable boy ends in tragedy. In Storybrooke, Ms. Blanchard is set to take the fall for Kathryn’s murder, much to Regina’s delight, until some startling new evidence is found.

Once Upon a Time, Regina and Cora

In the Enchanted Forest, Regina is a free spirit with a love of horseback riding (and let me just say, Lana Parrilla plays the genuine innocence superbly). Her mother, Cora, disapproves. She wants to Regina to act like a lady and marry, and she uses her magic to punish her daughter until she promises to “be good.” Shaken from the abuse, Regina runs to the stable and into arms of her stable boy lover, Daniel (played by Noah Bean, who suffered a tragic end on Damages also). Regina and Daniel later meet for a secret rendezvous. He wants her to tell her parents about their love, but she’s terrified of her mother, who believes her social trajectory must only go up – and a stable boy doesn’t fit the bill. Screaming interrupts them, and Regina saves a little girl on a runaway horse, a little girl named Snow White. The King comes to thank Regina for saving his daughter, and asks her to marry him – and Cora accepts. Regina goes to Daniel, asking to run away together, and he gives her a gold saddle fastening for a ring. They kiss, but Snow sees. Regina runs after her, saying that though the King Leopold is noble man, Daniel is true love, and true love is magic. Snow is impressed by that, and Regina makes her promise to keep the secret. Cora has other plans, and manipulates Snow into telling her about Regina and Daniel. The two lovers attempt to flee, but Cora has made too many “deals” to let Regina throw it away. She gets the two of them to drop their guard long enough for her to rip out Daniel’s heart and crush it. Later, Regina is trying on her wedding dress when Snow says how happy she’ll be with Daniel. Regina confronts her, and Snow admits she told Cora. She swallows her rage, putting on the false Regina face we know so well, and tells Snow they’ll be a family. Her mother is pleased, and Regina concludes she concocted the whole proposal scheme, and wishes she had let Snow die on her horse.

Once Upon a Time, Regina and Snow

In Storybrooke, we flash back to a week ago to learn the nature of the deal between Regina and Mr. Gold. In order to have the charges against him dropped (for beating Mr. French a few weeks ago), he’ll make Ms. Blanchard disappear – and he gives Regina the whole plot: Kathryn’s disappearance, the key in the cell, the curse destroying Ms. Blanchard when she tries to flee. Very interesting. Regina, of course, accepts. Back in present day, Mr. Gold convinces Ms. Blanchard to agree to an interview with the D.A., and Sidney stops by to give Emma some flowers. The D.A., Albert Spencer, turns out to be the Storybrooke version of King George, which does not bode well. He bullies Ms. Blanchard into admitting she wanted Kathryn gone. Emma is desperate, and August tells her to go back to the beginning of the story – the troll bridge. They find a bit of broken shovel where the heart was buried, and later with the help of Henry they match that shovel to one in Regina’s shed. Emma comes back with a search warrant, but the shovel is gone, and she blames August. Regina stops by to gloat to Ms. Blanchard, admitting she knows she’s innocent, but deserves to be punished anyway. Regina clutches the ring Daniel gave her, pleased that they finally have their revenge. The police come to take Ms. Blanchard away. Emma throws her flowers against the wall in a rage, and discovers a bug Sidney planted. She goes to Granny’s to apologize to August. Ruby screams, and in the back alley they find Kathryn, alive and well.

Once Upon a Time, Ms. Blanchard

New episodes return on April 22, where we just might learn why August is really in Storybrooke. See you then!

Thoughts/Theories
o Despite clearing up some major plot points, this episode fell flat for me. Maybe they’ve teased out the threads for so long that it just fails to impress when they’re concluded?
o As I guessed, the heart they found was the one from Regina’s vault, and Kathryn was alive all along. The question is, who brought her back?
o Hats off to Bailee Madison, who played the young Snow. She copied Ginnifer Goodwin’s mannerisms so well, it really was like watching her as a little girl.

Nicole N. decided to justify the countless hours she spends watching television by writing about it here. She enjoys a challenge and is currently re-watching all 15 seasons of ER. Follow her @nicolemnelson

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once upon a time recapping: hat trick

Previously on Once Upon a Time: Heart of Darkness

This week on Once Upon a Time, Emma is confronted with the truth once again, and may actually be starting to believe it. While out searching for Ms. Blanchard, Emma is kidnapped by the Mad Hatter, Jefferson, who is fully aware of the curse. He wants her to use her “magic” to recreate his world-jumping hat that would allow him to return home and restore his daughter. In the Enchanted Forest, Regina tricks Jefferson into taking her to Wonderland via his hat, and it does not end well for him.

Once Upon a Time, Emma and Jefferson

We start in Storybrooke, where Ms. Blanchard is on the run in the forest. Emma goes after her, because if Ms. Blanchard misses her arraignment, she’ll be branded a fugitive. Emma nearly runs over Jefferson (played by Gossip Girl’s Sebastian Stan) on the road. She offers him a ride home, and he offers her some drugged tea. When she comes to, she breaks her bonds, sneaks down the hall, and slips into another room only to find a bound and gagged Ms. Blanchard. Before they can escape, Jefferson – now with a gun – finds them. Ms. Blanchard is tied back up, and Jefferson needs Emma’s help. She questions his motives, and he reveals he knows about the curse and he needs her magic to make a hat “that works.” Emma puts two and two together, and figures out that Jefferson is the Mad Hatter. Despite her claims of this being the “real world,” he counters that it is a world in a string of worlds that all connect, some with magic, some without it. Interesting. Emma puts together a hat, but it doesn’t work. Jefferson explains his curse is knowledge of the world he lost, and a daughter who doesn’t know him. He needs the hat to set it right. Emma acts like she believes him just long enough to knock him out. She releases Ms. Blanchard, but Jefferson comes back, and in the resulting struggle he gets thrown out the window – but there’s only a hat and no body. Emma begs Ms. Blanchard to trust her, saying she doesn’t want to lose her family. She ends up back in her cell, foiling Regina’s plans, but Mr. Gold promises “her majesty” she’ll get the results she wants. Emma visits Henry, and upon learning of the Hatter’s fate in the book, asks to borrow it. Henry is ecstatic that she might be starting to believe.

Once Upon a Time, Ms. Blanchard

In the Enchanted Forest, the Mad Hatter is living a happy but poor existence with his daughter, gathering mushrooms. Unfortunately for him, the Evil Queen (rocking an awesome feathered collar) needs a favor. She promises him luxury if he helps her retrieve a stolen item, but magic cost his daughter Grace her mother and he’s not willing to dabble again. Disguised as a crone, the Queen refuses to sell a toy to Grace because the Hatter is too poor – it’s the push he needs to agree to her deal. He leaves to help Regina, but promises to be back for tea. At the palace, he uses his hat to create a portal that takes them to Wonderland. The catch is the hat only allows the same number of people to enter or leave, so he’s forced to go with the Evil Queen. Their target is in the Queen of Hearts’ maze, but with the help of the Queen’s magic they grab a box (from a vault that looks suspiciously like Regina’s heart vault) and escape. Regina opens the box, and with the help of a magic mushroom, her father is restored. Jefferson does the math a little too late – the Queen and her father go through and while gets left behind. He is brought before the Queen of Hearts, who in addition to cutting off his head (which doesn’t kill him), demands he makes a new magic hat. The episode ends on the poor Hatter, making hat after worthless hat, going insane.

Once Upon a Time, Mad Hatter

Next week, we finally learn what Snow did to inspire Regina’s wrath. Maybe.

Thoughts/Theories
o Here I thought Mr. Gold and Regina were going to battle it out, but now it seems they are working together as part of a deal (the one with Henry? A new one?) to make sure Snow is punished for whatever she did to Regina.
o I really like Jefferson. I hope he comes back, because: A. I want to know where he went, and B. I want to know about his shady past involvement with Regina.
o I’m glad we got to see the emotional side of Emma this episode. With Henry in the background these past several weeks, and her disapproval of Ms. Blanchard’s affair with David, she’s been a little cold. As much as she refuses to believe, you know there is a part of her that really wants Ms. Blanchard to be her mom. Her speech at the end about family made me love Emma again.

Nicole N. decided to justify the countless hours she spends watching television by writing about it here. She enjoys a challenge and is currently re-watching all 15 seasons of ER. Follow her @nicolemnelson

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once upon a time recapping: heart of darkness

Previously on Once Upon a Time: Red Handed

This week on Once Upon a Time, we pick the thread of Snow and Charming’s tale, while the cards are stacked against Ms. Blanchard. In the Enchanted Forest, Snow has forgotten her love for Charming and is determined to kill the Evil Queen, and Charming is determined to make her remember him, while avoiding King George’s guards. They’re happy for a record five seconds before they’re torn apart again. In Storybrooke, more damning evidence is discovered points to Ms. Blanchard as the killer. Emma thinks she’s being set up, but David starts to doubt her.

Once Upon a Time, Ms. Blanchard

In Storybrooke, Emma is forced to book Ms. Blanchard. Even though the sheriff doesn’t believe she’s a killer, she must pursue the evidence. Emma interrogates Ms. Blanchard, with Regina present to ensure objectivity, and it’s uncovered that box is actually Ms. Blanchard’s jewelry box. She claims someone broke in and stole it, but Regina points out to Emma that there was no break in, and a woman scorned in love will do anything. Emma goes back to their apartment to search, and Henry shows up to help (hi, Henry! I miss you!), claiming Regina is framing Ms. Blanchard because she hates Snow White. Unfortunately for all of them, Emma finds a knife in the heating vent. Henry drowns his sorrows in hot chocolate at Granny’s, and August tells him he should look for answers in his book – the book that just happens to contain stories that really happened.

Henry is ecstatic that someone believes, but August tells him Emma is the sort of person that needs proof. Emma starts to think that Ms. Blanchard needs a lawyer, and Mr. Gold appears to offer his services. Henry’s proof is the ring of skeleton keys from Regina’s office, and when Emma tries them in the door to her apartment it opens. David starts to think his blackouts are the key to Ms. Blanchard’s innocence, and visits Dr. Hopper to retrieve his memories – unfortunately he goes so deep in his hypnosis he remembers Snow talking about killing the Evil Queen. He confronts Ms. Blanchard with his doubts, and she’s crushed he would think her capable of such evil.

The next morning, Ms. Blanchard also finds a skeleton key – one that opens her cell. Emma brings her breakfast and bad news: the heart was Kathryn’s, and Regina appears to be framing her. She promises to clear Ms. Blanchard’s name if she has faith. Emma is taking no chances on this one. She goes to Mr. Gold and is willing to play dirty if it frees her friend. Ms. Blanchard, however, is not willing to sit around and find out.

Once Upon a Time, Snow White

In the Enchanted forest, we pick up where we left off at the end of What Happened to Frederick– Red and Charming on are the run from King George’s army. Red goes wolf-like to hold them off, and they split up. Meanwhile, forgetting her love has given Snow the personality of a sullen, bitchy teenager. The dwarves are so concerned they call on Jiminy Cricket to hold an intervention. Snow decides to spare the dwarves her bitchiness and take it out on the Evil Queen – by murdering her. Before she can put her plan into action, Grumpy wants to take her to Rumpelstiltskin, the man who can do anything. But Rumpelstiltskin can’t cure Snow – even he doesn’t have the potion to restore true love – and instead offers Snow a magic bow to kill the Queen, at no cost. Charming learns of Snow’s intentions and visits Rumpelstiltskin.

In exchange for his cloak, he gets information on how to find her, and a warning that if she succeeds with her plan she’ll become as evil as the Queen. Charming finds Snow’s hiding spot and forces a kiss on her. It doesn’t work, and she leaves him tied up while she continues on with murdering. Luckily, Jiminy frees him, and he shows up just in time to take Snow’s arrow. He tells her he would die for her, and its enough to make her see past her anger. This time she kisses him and remembers. Of course, King George’s men show up at that moment to tear them apart – again. She goes back to the dwarves to apologize, and they promise to help her free Charming. Just in case we’re thinking Rumpelstiltskin let everyone off easy, he combines a hair from Charming’s cloak with the hair he got from Snow, finally creating a potion that gives him power over love.

Once Upon a Time, Charming

Next week, Sebastian Stan (aka Carter Baizen from Gossip Girl) plays the Mad Hatter. Our fairy tales have already included murder and adultery, so why not throw in some insanity too?

Thoughts/Theories
o After disappearing for a few weeks, everything seems to have fallen into place for Mr. Gold. Though I’m not exactly happy that he’s using Emma and Ms. Blanchard as his pawns, I’m hoping Kathryn’s murder trial will be the battleground where he takes some wind out of Regina’s sails.
o August claims he’s here to help Emma believe in the curse. I’m going to be hopeful here and think that’s actually the case. It’s about time Henry had an ally, and I hope this means good will start winning a few battles against Regina.

Nicole N. decided to justify the countless hours she spends watching television by writing about it here. She enjoys a challenge and is currently re-watching all 15 seasons of ER. Follow her @nicolemnelson

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once upon a time recapping: red handed

Previously on Once Upon a Time: Dreamy

This week on Once Upon a Time, Ruby finally gets tired of doing nothing other than waiting on the citizens of Storybrooke, considering Granny’s is the only diner/coffeehouse/bar/stalking hideout in town. More developments are made in case of Katherine’s disappearance, and new evidence shifts the blame away from David. In the Enchanted Forest, the story of Red Riding Hood is revealed. Red teams up with an on-the-lam Snow White to slay the wolf that’s been terrorizing the village, but not all is as it seems. Naturally.

Once Upon a Time, Granny and Red

In the Enchanted Forest, Red flirts through the window with her love, Peter, before she’s called away by Granny. A group of men are at the door to form a hunting party but Granny tells them they’re fools for going after the wolf and not wearing red (which repels wolves). They leave and the women barricade themselves in for the night. The next morning, Red goes out to the hen house and finds Snow – on the run, calling herself Mary – and invites her to come in. They stop by the well first and discover the mangled bodies of the hunters. People are clamoring for the wolf’s blood, but Granny tells them how the wolf killed her entire family, and that there’s no outsmarting it. Later, Snow and Red exchange some girl talk about Peter. Snow thinks that Granny is using the wolf to trap Red, so they decide to hunt it. They follow the prints, which become human and lead to Red’s window. They think it’s Peter, and Snow begs Red to tell him before he kills anyone else. He agrees to be chained up and she decides to stay with him. Granny discovers Snow in Red’s hood and panics – the wolf isn’t Peter, but Red. As they go after her, Granny explains how she passed the wolf curse down through her family. When they find Red, use they her red hood – which is magic – to turn her human again, but Peter is dead. Granny apologizes for keeping the truth from her, and Red must flee before the hunters discover her.

Once Upon a Time, Ms. Blanchard and David

In Storybrooke, Emma doesn’t really believe David’s a killer, and she lets him go but suggests he gets a lawyer. Ruby flirts with August before Granny calls her away to tell her she’ll be working Saturday nights. An argument ensues and Ruby quits. Ms. Blanchard joins Emma for a walk, and the Sheriff warns her that people are going think she plotted with David to dispose of Katherine. The next day Ms. Blanchard finds a disoriented David in the woods, who wanders off before she can stop him. At the Sheriff station, Henry (who is no longer being kept from Emma?) is trying to help Ruby find a job. She starts answering phones and Emma offers her a job as an assistant; Ms. Blanchard comes in and warns Emma about David. Emma decides to take Ruby along to the woods, and she hones in on David, who has no memory of the night before. At the hospital, Dr. Whale says the blackouts are similar to David’s memory loss after his coma, and Emma wonders if he could have done something to Katherine and not remembered it. Regina rushes to David’s defense, and Emma sends Ruby to the toll bridge to see if David left evidence. Ruby uncovers a small box, opens it, and screams. Back at the station, Emma tells Ruby that she’s impressed with her. This is apparently what Ruby needed to hear – she cleans herself up a bit and returns to the diner, ready to take on the responsibility Granny wants to give her, no longer afraid she’ll screw up. Meanwhile, Emma finds David and Ms. Blanchard at the pet shelter. The box contained a human heart. David tells Emma to arrest him, but the box had Ms. Blanchard’s fingerprints are inside the lid.

Once Upon a Time, David, Emma, and Ruby

Thoughts/Theories
o The plot thickens. I’m curious about Regina’s 180 this episode. Last week she planted evidence to blame David. This week she’s defending him, and planting evidence to blame Ms. Blanchard. Is she taking them both down, or solely going after her nemesis?
o Despite the grisly heart discovery, we all know from what happened to Graham that as long as it’s intact, Katherine is probably still alive. With Dr. Whale smarming his way back into the plot, I think she’s probably in a cell next to Belle.
o While it’s great we’re getting a new plot thread to consistently develop over the next couple episodes, I feel like we’re losing sight of the fairy tale charm. I miss Henry and his enthusiasm. I need this Katherine disappearance thread to play into the curse somehow – is Emma making progress, or not?

Nicole N. decided to justify the countless hours she spends watching television by writing about it here. She enjoys a challenge and is currently re-watching all 15 seasons of ER. Follow her @nicolemnelson

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once upon a time recapping: dreamy

Previously on Once Upon a Time: What Happened to Frederick

This week on Once Upon a Time, we are treated to another tragic love story (really, is there any other kind on this show?). We learn more about the relationship Grumpy alluded to in 7:15 A.M. – back when he used to be called Dreamy, and was in love with a fairy named Nova. Meanwhile, Emma investigates Katherine’s disappearance while Leroy and Ms. Blanchard bond over being mutually reviled by the entire town.

Once Upon a Time, Nova

We start in the Enchanted Forest, where a charmingly inept fairy named Nova (played by the lovely Amy Acker, recently seen on Dollhouse and also known as Winifred “Fred” Burkle to Angel fans) has been put in charge of collecting fairy dust, the most powerful magical substance in the world. So naturally, she spills some, which lands on an egg underground that hatches the dwarf we know as Grumpy, only this version’s on happy pills. The newly hatched dwarf is explained the ways of the world – they mine fairy dust, they don’t fall in love – and his axe dubs him “Dreamy.” Nova visits the mine for her fairy dust shipment, and her ineptitude almost destroys it until Dreamy grabs it at last second. She mopes about her clumsiness, but he tells her she can do anything she dreams, and she hints at meeting later to watch fireflies – a hint he doesn’t get. Later at a tavern, Dreamy complains he doesn’t feel right. Belle (!) overhears, tells him he’s in love, and explains the firefly invite means Nova wants to see him. They both want to see the world, and agree to meet the next night to run away together. On his way to meet her, the Blue Fairy warns him that Nova will lose her wings and never become the fairy she was meant to be. On the hilltop, Nova shows him the ship they’ll sail away in. He reminds her of her dream of being a fairy godmother, and that dwarves can’t love. Upon his return to the mine, his old axe breaks. His new ax dubs him Grumpy.

Once Upon a Time, Belle and Grumpy

In Storybrooke, Ms. Blanchard goes to Granny’s looking for volunteers to help with Miner’s Day, a fundraiser that celebrates an old local tradition when the nuns traded candles for coal. No one acknowledges her, and on his way out, Leroy (aka Grumpy) reminds her that she’s the “town harlot.” Leroy runs into the nun Astrid (Nova), and is wooed by her charming ineptitude. He fixes some Miner’s Day decorations, and she’s so impressed she tells him he could do anything he dreams. Emma is called to investigate Katherine’s abandoned car, and Sydney stops by to lay the blame on David. He shows up that moment, but swears to Emma he hasn’t talked to Katherine. Leroy signs up to sell candles, which is especially important because Astrid’s ineptitude with money means the sisters are short on rent. No one wants to buy candles from Leroy or Ms. Blanchard, despite their “annoy them door-to-door” strategy. Leroy can’t bring himself to tell Astrid though, and now he needs to come up with five thousand dollars. He tries to sell his boat to Mr. Gold, but he would rather evict the nuns. To top it off, Astrid stops by to give Leroy a pie and finds the unsold candles. Emma is also having a bad day, since Sydney’s shadily acquired phone records indicate David talked to Katherine despite saying he didn’t – and possibly implicate him in her disappearance. After some moping and drinking with Ms. Blanchard, Leroy decides to take a pickax to the power line and ends up selling all the candles in the resulting blackout. He patches things up with Astrid, and the townsfolk show Ms. Blanchard some kindness, but the feel good vibes are ruined when Emma is forced to bring David to the station for questioning.

Once Upon a Time, David and Emma

Thoughts/Theories
o I’m really curious about what happened to Katherine, and how much Regina actively had to do with it, and how much is the curse just working on its own.
o Other things I really want to know: what did August do to the book, and when will Regina and Mr. Gold have their showdown? When will Mr. Gold call in that favor from Emma? We’ll probably have to work through at least 5 more tragic love stories – and an upcoming investigation/trial over Katherine’s disappearance – before I get my answer.
o Point of interest – Mr. Gold has a problem with nuns. I’m assuming nuns are the Storybrooke equivalent of fairies, and his problem with fairies is their control of fairy dust. Just a theory, though.

Nicole N. decided to justify the countless hours she spends watching television by writing about it here. She enjoys a challenge and is currently re-watching all 15 seasons of ER. Follow her @nicolemnelson

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