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ONCE UPON A TIME: It’s the FINAL COUNTDOWN!

Never gets old . . .

(Cross posted at Agonybooth.com)

It’s the end of this show, as we know it, folks. The biggest of Big Bads has finally arrived to battle the Save-iest(?) of Saviors! But first, we’ve got some CGI spiders to mutilate, and a pirating adventure to endure. Also, Henry’s got some gross white goo in his eyes, and that “Evil” Author from last season just really wants Hamilton tickets, dammit!

So, without further adieu, let’s talk about “Mother’s Little Helper.”

Along Came a Spider

Last week we got a CGI Kraken, and this week we got the large furry spider from the movie Honey I Shrunk the Kids. Honestly folks, if a CGI Dumbo doesn’t make an appearance before this series ends, I will be super upset.

But before we get to Ole Spidey, let’s talk about Gideon. He’s in Emma’s house, asking her to help him murder the Black Fairy. Emma’s all, “See, I kinda would have maybe helped you. But then you tried to murder me, and banished my boyfriend on a bluish submarine, where he almost got murdered by a CGI Kraken. And then you threatened to hurt me again, so, ummmm . . . yeah . . . I’m going to pass. Next time just say ‘please.’ A little politeness goes a long way when you are basically hiring a hitman for your surrogate mother.”

To prove she’s serious about the whole “not helping” thing, Emma throws Gideon against a wall using her lightning fingers and gives him a pretty gnarly nosebleed, which, for all you Gideon haters out there, was actually pretty cathartic to watch.

Emma experiences a change of heart soon after though, when Rumple reminds her that basically every bad thing that ever happened to her throughout this entire series pretty much indirectly stemmed from the Black Fairy. (It much more directly stemmed from Rumple himself, but let’s not get too picky here.) Emma then finds Gideon at the clock tower, and agrees to help him kill Black Fairy, but only if Gideon agrees to give her back the Savior Murdering sword he stole from her, and also un-banish her boyfriend.

The two frenemies shake hands over their newly established detente, and head over to Mickey Mouse’s house, where supposedly Emma’s savior magic can be used to open a portal, so that Emma can get to the Black Fairy and murder her ass. Unfortunately, someone beat the pair to the house . . . and by “someone” I mean a Big F*&king Gross Spider.

Gideon and Emma try running away from the Big F*&king Gross Spider for a little bit. But then Gideon turns on Emma, pushes her into a giant spider web (which literally appeared out of nowhere . . . is that how spiders work, because I don’t think spiders work that way, not even Big F*&king Gross Spiders?). Dark One Junior then steals back Emma’s Savior Murdering Sword, and runs off, leaving her to die by suffocation, wrapped up in a spider web like a mummy.

Well, that was kind of rude! Your social networking skills could use a little work, Gideon . . .

Never Trust a Pirate

Speaking of untrustworthy douchebags, Captain Hook challenges fellow fictional pirate villain Blackbeard to a game of cards, in the hope of winning from him a magic bean he could use to portal back to Emma in Storybrooke. Blackbeard agrees to play, but only if Hook agrees to give him his ship, the Jolly Roger, if he loses. Hook ultimately does lose the card game (but only because Blackbeard cheated).

Ahhh, but there’s a twist. Hook admits to Blackbeard that his ship is back in Storybrooke, and Blackbeard can only get to it by using the magic bean, and taking Hook with him. It’s admittedly a pretty savvy move by a character who isn’t always known for being the sharpest tool in this show’s shed.

Unfortunately, because Gideon’s curse has prevented Hook from properly portaling back to Storybrooke, Hook and Blackbeard end up in, of all places, Neverland, where the pair of pirates are promptly chased and shot at with arrows by a hoard of angry Lost Boys (I use the term Boys loosely, because they all look about 40-years old).

Blackbeard finds canoe near a body of water, and quickly knocks Hook unconscious, so that he can escape Neverland on his own, leaving Hook to do battle with the Lost Boys solo. Of course, Hook could have totally fit in the canoe too, but Blackbeard doesn’t care. Just like in Titanic, Jack could have totally fit on the piece of wood Rose was resting on, but she let him freeze and drown anyway. I never understood that about Titanic . . . Maybe Rose was an asshole all along, just like Blackbeard, and we just never knew.

Anyway, I hope you brought along your shell phone, Hook. Because you are going to really need to phone a friend, right about now. Just don’t call Rose from Titanic, if you value your life.

Writer’s Block Can Make You Evil

Speaking of needing friends, Regina finds herself totally at a loss for how to break the sleeping curse that is preventing Snow White and Prince Charming from ever appearing in the same episode together, thus saving the Once production crew a lot of money in actor salaries. So, she decides to give Henry a grocery list of potions that might help her on this front.

Side note: Whatever happened to Henry’s girlfriend? Is she also under a sleeping curse, due to budgetary restrictions? Last season, the show introduced an entire high school of kids from the Land of Untold Stories, and this kid still hasn’t managed to find one other friend under the age of 35, except for said MIA Girlfriend. Is it any wonder he’s slowly turning into a mixture of Norman Bates from Psycho, because of the whole Mother Obsession thing, and Jack from The Shining, because of the whole Writer Turned Crazy Person thing?

Anyway, as Henry is writing the list, his eyes go all milky white, and he starts jotting pages and pages of jibberish into his notebook before passing out. When Henry awakens he has no clue what it was he was writing or why, but it looks suspiciously like “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.”

Assuming that Henry’s sudden prolific, albeit crappy, writing abilities have something to do with his Magic Author Powers (up to this point, the so-called “Author” has only been shown writing one sentence at a time, and even then, only when the plot requires it.), Regina and Henry pay a visit to the “asylum,” where the show stores all Big Bads that managed to make it through their season without being murdered. There, they find Other Author Isaac.

Other Author Isaac is willing to instruct Henry and Regina on the former’s sudden Eye Goo Problem, but only if Regina gets him out of the asylum and into a porsche headed to NYC. Also, Other Author Isaac wants Hamilton tickets, because who doesn’t?

Regina agrees to Isaac’s requests (well, minus the Porsche and the Hamilton) only to learn that (1) Henry’s author powers are taking over his body and could eventually make him evil (thus making my The Shining reference all the more relevant, if I do say so myself); and (2) Emma’s battle with the Black Fairy is coming soon, which means the end of the fairytale book, and, possibly this series.

Not for the “Feint” of Heart

Speaking of the Black Fairy, this week’s flashback sheds some light on her parenting skills, and why they will undoubtedly earn Gideon a lifetime of crappy therapy courtesy Jiminey Cricket. First, we see in live action, the tale earlier hinted at by Gideon, of how the Black Fairy tortured Gideon’s boyfriend Roderick when the two were kids, just to prove that Gideon wasn’t brave or heroic enough to save him.

Twenty-eight years later, the Black Fairy instructs Gideon to hunt down the person who stole her keys, and that person winds up being Boyfriend Roderick all grown up. Roderick begs Gideon to help him sneak into the Black Fairy’s study and use some Magic Eight Ball looking thing to call the Savior and get help to defeat the Black Fairy. But before they can do that, the Black Fairy finds the two guys and punishes them both. She punishes Roderick by turning him into a spider, and squashing him under her shoe. (That’s two too many spiders in this episode, as far as I’m concerned. Bugs are the worst!)

She then punishes Gideon by . . . taking his heart out of his chest, controlling him, and using him to trick Emma into helping him open the portal to free her from the outer realm and bring her into Storybrooke.

Well, at least now we have an explanation for Gideon’s utter douchebaggery! Then again, maybe Gideon is just a garden variety douchebag like Blackbeard or Rose from Titanic, and the whole evil fairy holding his heart thing is just a distraction from that basic truth. The world may never know . . .

Back in present day, Rumple saves Emma from permanent mummification and kills the Big F*&king Gross Spider, which is great, because, as I said, bugs are the worst, whether they are giant CGI versions, or normal-sized ones that used to be your childhood boyfriend.

And yet with the Black Fairy in Storybrooke, Gideon under her control, and her son Henry potentially going full-on Evil Author, Emma’s got a lot more to worry about now than a bad case of arachnophobia.

Until next time, Oncers!

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[Cross posted at Agony Booth.com]

This week on Once, Storybrooke finally gets a new bar! Snow White gets wasted! Emma becomes that cliché lady who pours her heart out to a bartender! Aladdin and Jasmine learn that sometimes all it takes is a little tongue action to save the world! And Captain Hook delivers a very important message on his shell phone!

It was a busy boozy episode . . . one that featured a giant CGI octopus . . . for about two seconds. So, let’s get on it, shall we?

IT’S TIME TO RELEASE THE KRAKEN!

Too soon?

A Disney Princess, An Evil Queen and a Savior Walk Into a Bar . . .

It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, right? But the Bar Crawl (Can you call it a crawl if it only involves one bar? Is it more of a Bar Sit?) was actually the highlight of this week’s episode . . . for me anyway. For one thing, it only took six seasons, but Storybrooke finally found itself a hangout for its residents that isn’t snoozy Granny’s. So what, if it seems like the only patrons of Aesop’s Tables are fat old ugly Vikings? It has potential dammit.

Because after a few “artisanal” drinks, who knows? Maybe a Viking like this . . .

. . . could end up looking like this . . .

It all starts with Emma finally breaking the news to her dad that her fiancé killed her grandfather. Prince Charming, who, just a few episodes ago was all revengey and murderous ragey, when he thought that old rich guy killed his dad, just seems slightly bummed by the fact that his buddy and soon-to-be-son-in-law did it. This is probably because the writers are SO DONE with this whole Dead Dad storyline, and so am I!

Anyway, Emma’s still kind of sad and broody over the fact that she thinks Hook abandoned her in exchange for living out the rest of eternity on a bluish submarine with Captain Nemo, but apparently not broody enough for Regina. Regina, who is super into therapeutic emoting and “getting in touch with your feelings,” ever since she cured her case of multiple personality disorder this past week, by sending it into another dimension with a guy who looked like her dead boyfriend, decides that getting Emma drunk as a skunk, and enabling her alcoholism, is the healthiest way to deal with her pal’s tendencies toward emotional repression.

 

So Regina and Snow White trick Emma into hanging out with them at Storybrooke’s new bar(!), Aesop’s Tables. There, Snow White gets so wasted after two sips of alcohol that she picks a fight with a couple of Vikings and makes fun of their silly hats, which is actually kind of racist, I think. She then challenges the dudes to a game of darts . . . probably to make up for the whole being racist thing.

Elsewhere in the bar, Emma pours her heart out to a sexy bartender over Captain Hook’s abrupt departure, while dabbing her dewy eyes on a bar napkin. (Important later.) And just like that! Emma’s Emotional Repression is cured, and for way cheaper than the cost of a session with Jiminey Cricket the Terrible Shrink Who Doesn’t Understand Rules of Patient Confidentiality! And the moral of that story, boys and girls? Alcohol RULES, can solve all your problems, and help you beat Vikings at darts!

Much Adieu About a Kraken

Meanwhile, back on a bluish submarine, Captain Hook can’t get back to Emma’s realm without the blood of a Kraken to help steer the underground ship across portals. Fortunately for Hook, there’s a Kraken just chilling outside the submarine, patiently awaiting its demise for this exact purpose. Unfortunately, for Hook, stupid Aladdin and Jasmine pop up in the water at the worst moment, and scare the Kraken away . . . you know, because Evil CGI Octupuses (Octupi?) are super frightened of unarmed folks in row boats.

Then, the writers remember that they never resolved Jasmine’s and Aladdin’s storyline about saving the kingdom of Agrabah from about a year ago, so Hook reluctantly invites the couple onto the bluish submarine with him, even though it’s totally not his submarine. Hook is absolutely that friend of yours who you let crash at your place for a few days, only to come home from work to find that he’s eaten all your Lean Pockets, used up all your toilet paper, and invited 12 of his closest friends to watch the Lakers game on your couch.

Apparently, Jasmine and Aladdin have spent an entire year wandering around a forest aimlessly looking for a lost kingdom. What’s worse, all this time, these two incredibly hot people never once decided to use one another’s bodies as scratching posts. They haven’t even so much as kissed!

Seriously? I know monks who are less chaste than this. No, really, some of my best friends are monks, and they can be pretty randy, when they want to be . . .

I Got The World on a String Ring . . .

Through a flashback, we learn that (1) Jasmine and Ariel are pals, who gossip about boys, and occasionally ride one another’s magic carpets, and (2) Jafar once tricked Jasmine into agreeing to marry him, so he could hide her entire kingdom inside a wedding ring, for no other reason than that he’s evil, and hates people.

I feel you, Jafar. People are the worst! They can all go hide in rings for eternity, as far as I’m concerned!

Back on the bluish submarine, the ship appears to be taking on water, thus forcing Hook, Jasmine, Aladdin, Nemo and the rest of the crew to abandon it, by using Aladdin’s temporary status as genie to “wish” all of them to a nearby island, so they don’t, you know, like, drown and stuff.

This island just so happens to be the place where Jafar is currently hanging out. We know this because the bluish submarine has a sort of GPS on it that locates Man Pain, and there’s no Man Pain like a Disney Villain Man Pain.

Also, conveniently, this is the island where Ariel and Prince Eric live in a shack decorated by Ariel’s obvious hoarder problem (She’s got gadgets and gizmos of plenty, whositz and whatsits galore. You want thingamabobs, she’s got twenty!) Quite a step down from the palace where you used to live, huh Prince Eric?

Anyway, amongst all her scary hoarder items, Ariel actually has something useful: Red powder that can turn Disney villains into creepy walking canes! OK, kind of random, but definitely something Captain Hook should consider taking back to Storybrooke in a doggie bag for future use . . . I, for one, can think of a lot of annoying Once characters, I’d like to see turned into creepy walking canes!

Armed with the knowledge that she’s literally just one sneeze away from vanquishing her greatest nemesis, Jasmine finally defeats Jafar!

But wait, what about the whole “kingdom stuck in a ring” thing, and the whole, “my boyfriend’s my genie slave” thing. Well, apparently, all Jasmine had to do this whole time to solve both of these problems was stick her tongue down Aladdin’s throat! So, True Love’s Kiss resolves this entire year-long storyline that nobody really cared about in the first place, in literally two seconds.

The moral of this story? Chastity is for suckers, so make out with hot men (or women) in the woods, whenever you get the chance. You just might be saving the world from eternal ruin by doing so!

Speaking of eternal ruin . . .

You Used to Call Me on My Shell Phone . . .

Now stuck in the no-longer-encased-in-a-ring Agrabah, but still unable to get in touch with Emma, Hook finally encounters a stroke of luck when hoarder Ariel presents him with another surprisingly useful item: a shell phone. “I have a phone just like this at home,” exclaims Hook. (That’s not even a joke. He actually utters this cheesy line!)

Hook uses the shell phone to connect with Emma, and tell her that he didn’t really dump her ass. He just got trapped on a bluish submarine by the guy who is trying to murder her, and almost eaten by a CGI Octopus. Well, isn’t that a relief!

Speaking of the guy trying to murder Emma, “Aesop the bartender” pops by Emma’s house late at night to reveal that he’s actually Douchebag Gideon, son of Rumplestiltskin and would-be-murderer of Emma. As it turns out, Gideon posed as the bartender and made Emma think that Hook abandoned her, just so he could make Emma cry, collect her tears, and use them to close off portals to other worlds, like the one Hook would need to get back home.

(Did you know Savior Tears close portals? Neither did I. Neither did the writers, I presume, until about five seconds before writing this episode.)

Do they have to be real tears? Would artificial tears work just as well?

Apparently, Gideon doesn’t want to murder Emma anymore. (Because the whole “Emma is fated to die” plot is SO last week!) What he really wants is to blackmail Emma into helping him kill the Black Fairy, by using her now-trapped-in Agrabah fiancé as leverage.

Really Gideon? She’s the Friggin Savior! Killing villains is kind of her thing! You moved a submarine across dimensions, then created an entire bar (which was cool) and a whole new sexy face (which was weird and random) to get Emma to do your bidding, when, really, all you had to do was ask . . . (or shove your tongue down someone’s throat . . . or throw red powder onto someone and turn them into a walking cane . . . because those are all ways to solve problems on this show that are easier than what you did.)

Until next time!

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