Tag Archives: fairy tales

once upon a time recapping: straight on ‘til morning

Previously on Once Upon a Time: Second Star to the Right.

This week on Once Upon a Time, it’s the SEASON FINALE! As the destruction of Storybrooke seems imminent, everyone must learn to work together in order to prevent disaster. In Storybrooke, there are new alliances, a few sacrifices, and the revelation of a new “Big Bad.” In Neverland, we catch up with where Hook and Baelfire left off last week.

Once Upon a Time, Hook and Baelfire

In Neverland, Hook and Smee speculate that Bae might belong to “him,” and wonder what they might receive as a rewarding for returning him. However, when Hook goes to question his captive, the revelation that he’s Milah’s son changes his mind. Smee panics as the Lost Ones arrive looking for Bae, but Hook is unwilling give up the key to his revenge. Luckily Bae remains hidden. During a sailing lesson they bond over being abandoned by their daddies, and Bae reveals his father is the Dark One and the dagger is the key to his demise. Later Bae discovers a drawing of his mother on Hook’s desk, and concludes Hook is the pirate that killed her. Hook quickly tells him the real story, but Bae still blames him for destroying his family and asks to be taken home. Hook offers Bae a place on the ship, but the boy is not convinced, claiming that the pirate only cares for himself. It’s enough to turn Hook back to revenge, and he gives up Bae to the Lost Ones. As they hit shore, the Lost Ones compare Bae to a drawing and realize he’s not the one “he” is looking for, but that “Peter Pan never fails.” The boy on the drawing? Henry.

Once Upon a Time, the Charmings

In Storybrooke, Rumple is clearly still worried about the Prophecy and is about to use magic to send his grandson flying from a swing into some convenient pointy rocks (what is it with the death trap playgrounds in this town?) when he’s interrupted by the arrival of the Charmings. As Emma breaks the bad news about Neal to Henry, her parents inform Rumple. They also ask for his help with the self-destruct device, but with his son gone, Rumple doesn’t mind dying. Meanwhile, Gremara take the device down to the mines and activate it. As the Charmings regroup at home, Regina offers to slow down the device to give them enough time to recover the magic beans and portal everyone safely to the Enchanted Forest. Hook arrives, gets punched in the face, and offers to help, since dying wasn’t part of his revenge plan. At Gold’s shop, the dwarves raid Sneezey’s stein since the Blue Fairy has conveniently created a potion (with a hair from Pinocchio’s head) that will restore a person’s memories if drunk out of an object that’s important to them. Leroy offers some to Rumple, since he owes Belle a favor. As the forest starts to reclaim the town, Rumple and Belle have an emotional reunion. Charming and Hook manage to snag one bean from Gremara; Regina prepares to sacrifice herself to save Storybrooke, begging Emma to “let her die as Regina,” not the Evil Queen. Everyone meets up at Granny’s and prepares to go, but Henry refuses to leave without Regina. Snow suggests sending the trigger through a portal like the wraith (since that worked so well the first time), instead of “building a future on Regina’s blood.” Of course, they go down to the mines to discover that Hook has double-crossed them and taken the bean. Convinced they’re doomed, Emma shares a tearful embrace with her parents, calling them “mom” and “dad” for the first time. (Hello emotional turmoil, I’ve missed you!) She then has a “holy crap I can do magic!” moment and combines her powers with Regina, saving everyone from horrible CGI destruction. During the confusion, Gremara kidnap Henry and take him through a portal to “him.” Hook arrives shortly afterward with the bean. Regina, the Charmings, and Rumple sail off to Neverland to rescue Henry, while Belle stays behind with a spell to cloak the town from further minions of the Big Bad.

Image from Once Upon a Fan

In the Enchanted Forest, Aurora, Philip, and Mulan discover a gravely wounded (but alive) Neal on the beach.

That’s it until the fall. Stay magical, my friends!

Thoughts/Theories
• Coming to the end of the season, I find myself a little disappointed. The latter half of season 2 just did not pack the same punch as the first half, nor did this season have the same sense of purpose that season 1 did. This fracturing of one plotline (break the curse) into multiple plotlines (Cora in Storybrooke, finding Baelfire, the magic beans, the Prophecy, Neverland, Greg and Tamara vs. Magic) has made the show feel convoluted and disjointed. With so much going on, the jump from plotline to plotline takes away from character development – i.e., the evolving nature of Emma and Snow’s bond in the first half of season 2 that we don’t really see upon their return to Storybrooke – and leaves a lot of plot holes.
• The rules of travel between realms are infinitely frustrating to me. Rumple’s implied scuffle with Peter Pan suggests that Rumple traveled to and from Neverland at least once, and it’s never explained how Hook returned to the Enchanted Forest, especially considering you can “never leave” Neverland. And the dynamic of the magic beans seem to vary: when Neal falls through the portal, it’s implied his destination is totally random, yet when Gremara and Hook use the beans, they have no issue choosing Neverland as their destination.
• Henry is subject of the prophecy, and also the objective of the “big bad,” Peter Pan. Considering we now know that both of his parents are magical, how much do you want to bet that Henry’s got some magic of his own? I have a feeling this will be one of the big storylines of season 3.
• New drinking game: very time Hook gets assaulted or double-crosses someone, take a shot.

Nicole N. decided to justify the countless hours she spends watching television by writing about it here. She is currently watching Call the Midwife and crying into her tea each Sunday. For more tv-centric musings, check out her tumblr.

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once upon a time recapping: selfless, brave, and true

Previously on Once Upon a Time: Welcome to Storybrooke.

This week on Once Upon a Time, August returns only to be taken away from us. (Whhhhhy?) In Storybrooke, August’s actions have finally caught up with him and he’s given up on redemption. Meanwhile, Tamara comes into town with a secret agenda involving magic. Elsewhere in the world, we catch up on what August was up to before he rode into Storybrooke.

Once Upon a Time, August and The Dragon

In Phuket back in October 2011, August wakes up in pain and discovers his leg is turning into wood. The doctor he goes to in Hong Kong sees nothing wrong and thinks August is crazy, especially when he stabs himself in the wooden leg to prove his point. On his escape from the hospital, he runs into a young man who offers to take August to “The Dragon,” a man who can cure things “most people dismiss.” While waiting to see The Dragon, he runs into Tamara in the waiting room. The Dragon (played by Tzi Ma), not only knows who August truly is, but how to cure him, at the cost of a personal item (the string his father used to animate him) and $10,000. August later runs into Tamara at a bar, and they bond over being potentially cured (cancer in her case), and the minute her back is turned he steals the giant envelope of cash she left unattended next to a stranger at a bar. August returns to The Dragon for the vial of his magical cure, but Tamara chases him down and steals it back. Tamara later visits The Dragon – turns out she wasn’t sick at all, but searching for magic – and kills him.

Once Upon a Time, Neal and Tamara

In present day Storybrooke, Nealfire drops the bombshell that Tamara is coming to Storybrooke (and that Hook is back on the loose). Emma is not exactly pleased and she encourages him to tell her the truth. Nealfire, Tamara, Emma and Henry share an awkward bagel breakfast, complete with an endearing “spilled-coffee-love-at-first-sight” tale of how the two met. Henry leaves The Book with Nealfire, and he uses it to attempt to tell Tamara the truth, with disastrous results. Snow finally gets out of bed and heads to the woods for archery practice, where she discovers a completely wooden August hiding in a trailer. Though the lifting of the curse reanimated him, his wooden state is a result of straying from the path of good, and he rejects Snow’s offer to come back to town. Snow, along with Emma and Marco, go to the Blue Fairy to ask her to restore August, but since he strayed from being “selfless, brave, and true,” there’s nothing she can do. Tamara, however, visit’s August’s trailer and offers what’s left of her cure – if he leaves Storybrooke and stays out her way. Meanwhile, Regina realizes Greg’s true identity, and tells him to leave town, since his father isn’t there. On the way out of town, he finds Tamara’s personal item in her car and realizes she was responsible for The Dragon’s death. At the sheriff’s station, he tries to call Emma to warn her, but Tamara has other plans and introduces him to her taser (that works on wood, apparently?). He stumbles outside just in time to “die” in his father’s arms – but Henry recognizes his selfless act, and the Blue Fairy is able to restore him to the little boy he once was, with none of August’s memories of course. Tamara appears at that moment and pretends to be astonished that magic is real. Pinocchio’s honesty has everyone else coming clean: Emma promises not to lie to Henry anymore, and Snow tells Charming about her blackened heart. In a flashback, we learn that Tamara bumped into Nealfire on purpose; in the present, Tamara, a.k.a “Her,” shows up at Greg’s door.

Screencap from Once Upon a Fan

That’s it until April 21, when new episodes return with Robin Hood!

Thoughts/Theories

  • Ha, I was totally right about Tamara! Who is she really, though? Someone from another realm? Someone from the real world who just happened to learn the truth about magic? And if she’s been in on it with Greg from the beginning, why is she using Neal? What is the master plan?
  • I’m curious what “The Dragon” implies in terms of other realms/magics that have found their way to the real world. The Enchanted Forest seemed to have an “Asian” kingdom, but I have to wonder if each culture’s mythologies/fables constitute a realm? Imagine the possibilities if that were true!
  • Is Regina lying about the fate of Greg/Owen’s dad, or not? I want to believe he’s still alive – maybe hidden in Regina’s asylum.

Nicole N. decided to justify the countless hours she spends watching television by writing about it here. She is currently terrified of Stanley’s oddly-shaped head on Project Runway. For more tv-centric musings, check out her tumblr.

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once upon a time recapping: manhattan

Previously on Once Upon a Time: Tiny.

This week on Once Upon a Time, it’s all about family. In New York, Emma and Rumpelstiltskin find Baelfire and it’s not the reunion that any of them are expecting. In Storybrooke, Cora and Regina bond over their love of evil plans, while Greg continues to meddle. Finally, in the pre-Curse Enchanted Forest, we learn what set all of Rumpelstiltskin’s plans in motion.

Rumpelstiltskin and Baelfire.

In the pre-curse Enchanted Forest, a pre-Dark One Rumpelstiltskin has been called to the front of the Ogre’s War, and is eager for the chance to prove that he’s not a coward like his father. At the front, Rumpelstiltskin is left to guard a child Seer, who prophesizes that Milah will bear him a son but his actions will leave him fatherless – and when they ride “cows into battle” he’ll know she speaks the truth. The next night, he’s told they’ll be riding horses – complete with “cows” or saddles (really, writers?) into battle. Fearing death, Rumple breaks his own leg with a mallet so he’ll be sent home. Milah is waiting with baby Baelfire, but she’s disgusted with the shame her husband has brought on the family. After Rumplestiltskin loses Baelfire, he returns to the now-adult Seer for a way to get him back. She foretells of the Curse, and when she’s unable to give more details he takes her powers – only to find he can’t make sense of the jumble. She offers one final prophecy: a young boy will lead Rumpelstiltskin to his son, but will ultimately be his undoing.

Emma and Neal. Screencap from Once Upon a Fan.

In New York, Baelfire is not expecting company, prompting Emma to leave Henry with Rumpelstiltskin as she chases down his son and tackles him. Baelfire is none other than Neal. Emma freaks out, and Nealfire freaks out that his father has found him. They take their respective freak outs to a bar. Emma accuses him of playing her, but Nealfire swears he had no idea she was the chosen one until August warned him off (the box contained his typewriter with the message “I know you’re Baelfire”). She still feels manipulated, but he suggests their meeting was fate. Emma returns and lies that Bealfire escaped. Rumpelstiltskin is not willing to give up so easily, and as they search Nealfire’s apartment he senses Emma is lying and they get into a shouting match, and his son appears. All the yelling prompts Henry to emerge from the bathroom, which causes Nealfire to realize that he’s his son. Henry is totally disillusioned with Emma, accusing her of being like Regina for lying to him about his father. Nealfire agrees to hear Rumpelstiltskin out to fulfill Emma’s deal, but nothing his father can say will encourage him to reconcile. Emma makes Nealfire promise not to break Henry’s heart, and father and son meet for the first time.

Regina, Cora, and Hook

In Storybrooke, Regina is upset that Henry has left town with Emma. Hook (who along with Regina and Cora can cross the town line without losing their memories, since they weren’t victims of the curse) wants to follow Rumple to New York and finish him off while he’s powerless, but Cora would rather use the opportunity to get his dagger and destroy him that way. Regina visits Belle in the hospital and despite having two good hands she uses magic to search Belle’s purse – solely as a plot device so Greg can record the whole thing on his phone and send it to “Her.” A note from the purse leads Regina, Cora, and Hook to search the library. They find a map that Hook deciphers, after which they knock him out and leave him behind. Regina worries that her mother is only after the Dark One’s power, but Cora says the dagger will allow them to control Rumple and use him to remove all obstacles to Henry.

Next week, Hook heads to the Big Apple for his revenge.

Thoughts/Theories
• Dear Show, I love it when you prove me right and make me happy. Love, Me. I’m SO EXICTED that Neal is Baelfire! Now that he’s being thrown into the mix I’m really excited to see how this convoluted family dynamic develops.
• Speaking of family, I can’t believe that Regina is actually going to go along with Cora’s plan. After all, Regina saved Emma and Snow only a few episodes ago – I doubt she would break Henry’s heart like that.
• Knowing what we know now, I wonder if Rumple’s ability to see the future and the Seer’s prophecy had anything to do with him bringing baby Henry to Regina.
• Who is “Her”?

Nicole N. decided to justify the countless hours she spends watching television by writing about it here. She is currently upping her political savvy by watching all of The West Wing. For more tv-centric musings, check out her tumblr.

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once upon a time recapping: the cricket game

Previously on Once Upon a Time: Queen of Hearts.

This week on Once Upon a Time, everyone is reunited, but their happiness doesn’t last long. In Storybrooke, Emma tries to give Regina a chance, but Cora’s plans to “break” her daughter lead to accusations of murder and destroy any chance of chance of reconciliation between Henry’s two moms. In the pre-curse Enchanted Forest, we learn that Regina was not so adept at accepting second chances.

Once Upon a Time, Regina and Snow. Screencap from Once Upon a Fan.

In the pre-curse Enchanted Forest, King George’s forces are defeated and Regina tries one last time to kill Snow. Unfortunately for her, Snow and Charming anticipate this and with the help of the Blue Fairy they block her magic and capture her. After some debate, it’s decided that the evil queen must be executed. At the execution, Snow spares her at the last second, unwilling to kill the woman who saved her life without giving her a chance to change. Rumpelstiltskin is of course happy to provide Snow with a way to “test” Regina. Snow visits Regina in her cell (with a dagger hidden up her sleeve) and offers to let her escape. But the minute she’s free Regina pins Snow and plunges the dagger into her gut. Snow is fine, however, and thanks to Rumpelstiltskin’s protection spell, there is nothing Regina can do to harm either Snow or Charming in their land ever again. Rumpelstiltskin later visits a sulky Regina, reminding her that she can’t harm Snow in this land, but other lands are up for grabs.

Once Upon a Time, Regina and Emma. Screencap from Once Upon a Fan.

In Storybrooke, Cora and Hook make landfall. Hook’s ready to get his vengeance, but Cora demonstrates that magic is here – by hilariously turning the world’s dumbest fisherman (played by David Nykl of Stargate Atlantis fame, ha!) into a fish – and that going after Rumpelstiltskin is not a good idea. She conceals the ship and they decide to do some recon. The next morning, Emma and Henry walk in on Snow and Charming having some sexytime and she is hilariously traumatized. Later, Granny’s hosts a welcome home party – and they’re none too pleased when Regina appears. Emma argues to her parents that the mayor is trying to change. When Regina leaves early, Emma follows her out the door and reveals she’s giving her a chance based on Archie’s advice. Regina tentatively asks to see Henry, but Emma gets on her high horse and shuts her down. Regina is not pleased with Archie; Ruby happens to see them argue. Cora later walks into his office disguised as Regina, and kills him in front of his dog, Pongo. So when Emma and Ruby discover the body they immediately suspect Regina, who is appropriately flabbergasted by the accusation. To her credit, Emma believes her in spite of her parent’s misgivings. Suspecting a frame job, they go to Mr. Gold – who laughs off their accusations and suggests they question Pongo instead. With the help of a dream catcher and Emma’s magic, they recover the dog’s memory of “Regina” killing Archie. Enraged, Emma confronts Regina, accusing her of being incapable of change and promising she’ll never see Henry again. This of course leads the mayor to lose her cool and use magic to attack Emma, who nastily states that Regina just proved her point. Regina disappears, only to later watch from a distance as Emma tells Henry his mother is a murder, leaving her effectively “broken.” A gloating Cora returns to Hook, offering him a gift – someone privy to all of Storybrooke’s secrets. Cut to Archie, tied up in the ship’s hold.

Once Upon a Time, Regina. Screencap from Once Upon a Fan.

Next week, Rumpelstiltskin and Hook face off.

Thoughts/Theories
• I never thought I would say this, but I’m starting to side with Regina in the Battle of the Two Moms. She has a valid point – she did take care of Henry for ten years. And no matter how she’s treated him in the past, these last few episodes have shown that she really, truly loves him – enough to consider sacrificing her own happiness. I repeat, Emma, SHOW SOME RESPECT.
• I’m glad Archie’s alive and somewhat well, but of course the question remains – who did Cora murder? Not that I want Archie or any other main character to die, but having it be someone who won’t be missed feels like a bit of a cop out.

Nicole N. decided to justify the countless hours she spends watching television by writing about it here. She is currently upping her political savvy by watching all of The West Wing. For other tv-centric writings, check out her tumblr.

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once upon a time recapping: queen of hearts

Previously on Once Upon a Time: Into the Deep.

This week on Once Upon a Time, it’s the winter finale!

Once Upon a Time, Regina and Hook

In pre-curse Enchanted Forest, Hook stages a rescue in order to learn how to kill Rumpelstiltskin from Belle, which ends about as well as you’d expect. Regina (rocking an AWESOME dress) finds him in the cell and cuts him a deal. She intends to transport Rumpelstiltskin to land without magic, where he will be easily defeated. In order to do that, however, he needs to kill Cora for her first. With the aid of Jefferson’s hat, Regina sends Hook to Wonderland with a now enchanted hook to rip out her heart. The Queen of Hearts is none other than Cora (who else?), but Hook’s murderous attempt fails since she isn’t foolish enough to keep her heart where everyone else does. She uses him to bring her back, where she intends to steal Regina’s heart. However, as Cora feigns death, Regina admits she killed her mother because she loves her, and love is weakness. This prompts Cora to wait out the curse instead, so she can return to aid her daughter once it’s broken.

Once Upon a Time, Emma

In present day Enchanted Forest, Emma and Co. reach the cell, where they find an empty ink bottle and a parchment with Emma’s name written over and over. To add to the bad news, the heart-controlled Aurora lowers the gate and traps them in the cell. Cora and Hook arrive to steal the compass and gloat. They then go to Lake Nostos where Cora restores the waters – the final element they need to create a portal. Snow has an epiphany and realizes the parchment contains a spell written in the ink, and uses it to destroy the bars of the cell. Aurora asks to be left behind; Mulan promises to restore her heart. The heroes arrive at the lake just in time. In the heat of the fight, Hook saves Aurora’s heart just before it falls through the portal and gives it to Mulan, who rushes off to aid the princess. Emma and Hook have the most innuendo-filled fight ever until she gets the compass and clocks him in the face with it. Cora tries to steal Snow’s heart but Emma gets in the way. Emma’s special brand of magic – love – keeps her heart intact and knocks Cora down. They go through the portal. Mulan returns Aurora’s heart, and they vow to save Philip. Hook and Cora use plan B – a magic bean.

Once Upon a Time, Regina

In Storybrooke, with David under a sleeping curse, Mr. Gold and Regina have no way of knowing if their message got through. The only way to ensure that Cora doesn’t reach Storybrooke is to destroy the portal. Regina argues they could be preventing Emma and Snow from coming home, but Gold calls it a win-win: they either stop Cora or Regina becomes the only parent in Henry’s life. It’s enough to tempt her, so she lies to get Henry out of the way and then the two steal the fairy dust from the mine. Ruby and Leroy discover this and break the bad news to Henry. Gold and Regina go to the well that “restores that which was lost” and use the dust to create a barrier. In a heart-wrenching scene, Henry arrives and begs Regina to reconsider, asking her to have faith in him. She destroys the barrier just in time for Emma and Snow to return. Henry thanks Regina for choosing good, Snow revives Charming, and everyone goes off for a celebratory dinner at Granny’s – without inviting Regina, of course. Just when I’m starting to think this way too much of a happy ending (for everyone but the mayor), we zoom over to a pirate ship in the harbor, bringing Cora and Hook to poor Storybrooke.

Once Upon a Time, Cora and Hook

See you all in the new year!

Thoughts/Theories
• Hats off to Lana Parrilla, because she is killing it this season. Regina has grown so much, and deserved so much better than what she got this episode. C’mon Emma, SHOW SOME RESPECT, PLEASE.
• How much does influence does Rumpelstiltskin really have over Emma’s destiny? She may have her own special brand of magic, but I want to believe his power over her name will have some meaning in this plotline.
• I am so excited for all the havoc Hook and Cora are going to unleash!

Nicole N. decided to justify the countless hours she spends watching television by writing about it here. She is currently indulging her addiction to medical dramas by rewatching all of Grey’s Anatomy. Follow her on twitter @nicolemnelson and check out her tumblr.

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