Tag Archives: Once Upon a Time

ONCE UPON A TIME: Boys Behaving Badly

“I know there’s a porta-potty around here somewhere!”

[Cross published at Agony Booth.com]

This week on Once, the writers bastardize Beowulf (which, in their defense, couldn’t be made much worse than it already was). Also this week, Rumple tries twice to prevent his kids from becoming assholes like him, and is sort of / kind of successful, but only based on technicalities? In other news, Alt-World Robin Hood thinks Regina is a stage-five clinger. And the marriage proposal we’ve all been waiting for finally happens . . . but with a slight (kind of crappy) catch.

Stop Ogre-Compensating, Dad!

“Beowulf: Making high school kids miserable in their English classes since 975 A.D.”

Now, it’s been a while since I’ve had the misfortune of reading Beowulf (my apologies to the anonymous dude who wrote it back in 975). But if I recall correctly, Beowulf was a hero who killed two monsters, Grendel and Grendel’s mommy (the one played by Angelina Jolie in the movie), eventually became king, and then died fighting a dragon. (OK, so I may have “refreshed my memory” on the plot with Wikipedia. Sue me!)

 

In the Once flashback version, Beowulf is a major douchebag loser, who lets Rumple defeat the ogres for him, using a specialized Ogre Murdering Sword (because Ogre Murdering Swords were totally the Swiss Army knives of the 900s, everyone had them, but few knew how to press the right buttons to get them to work correctly). Then, the “hero” Beowulf gets jealous of Rumple, because he was too wimpy to kill the ogres himself. So, Beowulf turns the town against Rumple, by saying that Rumple was only able to defeat the ogres because he’s EEEE-VIL. The townspeople believe this naturally, because Rumple wears too many sparkles on his face. And everyone knows you can’t trust a man with face sparkles. (My apologies to Edward Cullen from Twilight.)

What’s worse, according to Once, Beowulf MADE up the monster Grendel entirely, just to lure Rumple into a trap and frame him for murdering some townspeople that HE killed himself! (Some anonymous dude from 975 is totally rolling over in his grave right now.)

So, anyway, Rumple’s other son Baelfire (Memba him?) is all up in his dad’s grill about defeating “Grendel” without using any magic to prove to the town that he’s not actually EEE-VIL, despite all the creepy face sparkles. So, Rumple, wanting to impress his kid, gives Baelfire the magical “you can control me” Dark One sword, to ensure that Rumple stays on the “magic-free” wagon. Then, the pair go off into the forest to fight “Grendel,” who, as I already mentioned, doesn’t actually exist in this bastardized version of the classic tale.

Once there, of course, the father and son duo come upon that douchebag Beowulf, who is totally out to ruin Rumple’s already lousy sparkle-face reputation. “Imma let you finish,” responds Rumple, because that’s what a “good” person on the “magic free” wagon would do.

 

But then Baelfire CONTROLS his dad and makes him MURDER BEOWULF!!!!

 

Almost immediately thereafter, Baelfire starts stroking the Dark One Sword like Smeogol on Lord of the Rings, laughs maniacally while twirling his prepubescent mustache fuzz, and tells Rumple they should use the Ogre Murdering Sword to KILL EVERYONE WHO HAS EVER HAD THE NERVE TO MAKE FUN OF RUMPLE’S SPARKLE FACE!!!

W . . .T . . . F!!!!!

Isn’t this the same Baelfire who ran off to another dimension because he hated all magic, thought his dad was the devil, and was more nonviolent than Ghandi? This is some serious retcon sh*t going on here!

But don’t worry, People Who Actually Care About Plot and Continuity. There’s a fix for that. Rumple just makes Baelfire drink some tea that causes him to forget that he’s actually a shitty human being / murderer with a darkened soul. Baelfire swallows the tea, and is instantly a perfect little angel again. And this, if you think about it, would be a really great and inexpensive way to cure America’s prison overpopulation problem. Just saying . . .

My Handsome Loathsome Hero

Speaking of sons of Rumple who are in desperate need of a spanking, Gideon still wants to murder Emma, the Savior of the Universe, because he thinks this will prove that the Black Fairy is wrong, and he’s a really swell guy. “That makes no sense,” exclaims Rumple, when he confronts his son. “None of this plot makes any sense!”

“Well, you see, Dad.” Gideon begins, “It all started when I was a kid reading that ‘My Handsome Hero’ book mom gave me before I was kidnapped, which she believed would be a substitute for ‘good parenting.’ You know, back when she gave me away to that incompetent Blue Fairy to hide me from your evil ass? Anyway, Black Fairy was all like, ‘You want a be a hero? Then, stop me from beating up this other kid in front of your face. And I didn’t, because the book didn’t have anything in it about how to prevent supernatural child abuse. So, now, here I am, ready to make lots of poor life choices, possibly bring about the apocalypse, and use my effed up childhood as a justification for all of it.”

“Cool,” responds Rumple. “Hey, how would you like some nice tea that will make you forget what an asshole you are. It worked on your half-brother!”

Gideon drinks the tea, then shrugs and explains that it doesn’t work on him.

“Why?” Rumples asks, confused.

“Because the plot says so,” responds Gideon.

So, Gideon continues on with his plan to kill Emma, but first he has to repair the Murder Emma sword that broke the last time he tried to fight her and failed miserably, because Gideon sucks at fighting and at life in general. To repair the sword, Gideon needs the blood of the person who made the sword, who just so happens to be . . . wait for it . . . the same useless Blue Fairy that was responsible for losing Gideon to the Black Fairy, in the first place!

“Perfect,” exclaims Gideon, upon learning this new fact. “Everyone hates the Blue Fairy, and now we finally have an excuse to kill her off the show. I really am going to be a hero!”

But nooooooooo . . . Rumple has to go take Blue Fairy’s blood and NOT kill her, so that he can help his son achieve his stupid and misguided dreams, without darkening his already asshole heart. Dammit! We were this close to finally getting rid of Blue Fairy!

Stupid Rumple! Stupid Conveniently Not Working Forget You Are An Asshole Tea!

Sorry Regina, He’s Just Not That Into You

Elsewhere in Storybrooke, Alt World Robin breaks into Zelena’s house. “Are you trying to steal the baby I tricked the other version of you into putting into my womb?” The Wicked Witch asks nervously.

“Meh, kids are the worst, especially ones made partly from your gene cesspool,” explains Robin. “I just want you to help me skip town, because your sister is sooooooo needy, and keeps trying to fix me. Just in the past hour alone, she’s sent me like fifty texts. And they all say things like: ‘Let’s go to church together.’ ‘What are your thoughts on volunteering at a homeless shelter? ‘Stop kicking puppies and strangling old ladies, because it’s impolite.’”

“Every once in a while, I’ll reply ‘New Phone, Who Dis? But she never believes me,” gripes Alt-World Robin.

Zelena happens to be sympathetic to Alt-World Robin’s plight. She also thinks he’s hot. So, Zelena and Alt World Robin agree to break the protection spell around Storybrooke and skip town together. Unfortunately for them, the potion they make to break the protection spell doesn’t work when they try it.

Eventually, Regina confronts them both, and apologizes for being a Stage Five Clinger to Alt-World Robin. She even offers to help him find a way to break the spell and skip town!

Robin is so thankful to Regina for this, that he considers possibly even sleeping with her clingy ass. But then Regina’s Evil Queen alter ego turns back from a snake to a human, and she’s way hotter and more slutty than Regina. So Alt World Robin decides to sleep with her instead.

The Moral of this Story?: Nice girls who used to be evil, but used a magic potion to separate their evil selves from their bodies, always finish last. Also, don’t be a Stage Five Clinger. It’s a real boner killer!

“Marry Me . . . Even Though I Killed Your Grandfather, But It’s Cool, Because I Didn’t Know It Was Him At The Time.”

So, you know how last week on Once, Hook found out that he killed Prince Charming’s dad, but let Prince Charming go on thinking that the King was responsible for his death, because he didn’t want to screw up his relationship with Emma? (Because murderous secrets NEVER screw up relationships! Right?)

Pirate boots are known for their excellent insulation.

Well, now Hook has decided to come clean with Emma about the murder, but before he can do that, Emma spills the beans to him that she knows he wants to propose to her. She even gives him the engagement ring she found in his undie drawer, and tells him she will say yes, when he does it. (Way to be presumptuous, EMMA!)

So, Hook temporarily tables his grandpa-murdering confession, gets on one knee and proposes to Emma. And it’s a super sweet moment . . . one that’s totally going to bite the guy with the hook for a hand in the ass sooner, rather than later.

Until next time, folks!

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Once Upon a Time: A Not So Charming Ending

(Cross posted at Agony Booth.com)

This week on Once, we finally found out who murdered Prince Charming’s dad, and it actually wasn’t who you thought it would be . . . until it ended up being exactly who you thought it would be. In other news, someone is getting married . . . maybe. In still other news: Alt-World Robin Hood is a bad kisser, and also kind of a douche.

Let’s hop to it.

Sir Robin of Sucks-ley

How about we get the side plot out of the way first, yeah? Snow White stays asleep through most of this Charming-centric episode, on account of that whole “the couple can’t both be awake at the same time” curse. (Yeah, that’s still a thing.) But the writers do drag her out of bed briefly, once at the beginning, and once at the end of the episode, to talk to Regina about her love life.

That’s right folks, Snow White has officially been relegated to “Sassy Best Friend in a Rom Com” status on this show . . . except, she’s not that sassy. Also, at this point in the show, Regina’s probably tighter with Emma, than she is with Snow White. So, I guess we have to downgrade that role to “Not-So-Sassy Second Best Friend in a Rom Com.”

Anyway, Regina’s all “OMG, Snow I just brought Alt World Robin Hood to the Real World. And he looks just like Dead Robin, because they are both played by the same actor. So, obviously, I am like out of my mind excited about this, because he and I are going to have so much sex that they are going to have to change the name of this show to Once Upon a Porno.”

To this, Snow responds, “Aw hell nah, Girl! You trippin! Have you even watched the first five seasons of this show? Given your luck with men, Alt World Robin is probably either going to be brutally murdered while you watch, in another two episodes, or is going to literally end up being Lord Voldemort (seeing as this series is playing faster and looser with what constitutes “fairytales” and “copyright infringement” with each passing week).

Regina promptly ignores Snow’s advice, like any good Rom Com romantic lead must do, at least for the first 65 to 72 minutes of the movie. She then rushes off to find Robin Hood in the streets where he’s making himself right at home in this new land, by mutilating a basket of small puppies, while attempting to decapitate the Sheriff of Nottingham with his trusty bow and arrow. (OK, OK, the puppy mutilation part is a lie, but you see where I’m going with this, right?)

Really, I just wanted an excuse to post this picture. So cute!

 

Regina manages to stop this Very Public Murder, which she must do because the only other law enforcement official in town (Prince Charming) is currently taking a nap. (Well . . . I guess there’s Emma. Wait . . . is she still a law enforcement official on this show? Or did she quit that job when she got promoted to Savior of the Universe? These are the burning questions that plague me, when I write recaps at 1 a.m. on a work night.)

The Reformed Evil Queen then promptly notices that Robin Hood got a boo-boo on his hand, in the course of his attempted decapitation of another human being. “I have just the thing to fix this,” Regina says excitedly. “Come to my evil lair of potions and spells that you can eventually use to destroy this town, as the probable next Big Bad on this show, and I’ll clean that boo-boo right up, you poor baby.”

(Seriously? Man up, Evil Alt-World Robin Hood! What’s the matter? No one wears Band-Aids anymore? You can even get one of those cute ones with the cartoon characters on them!)

In the Evil Queen’s old evil lair that apparently now doubles as a pediatrician’s office, Regina wastes no time curing Robin’s boo-boo with magic instead of Band-Aids, and sticking her tongue down his throat, in short order. The good news is that he kisses back (otherwise, that would be super awkward). The bad news is the kiss is totally gross, probably because secretly evil Alt World people have notoriously bad dental hygiene.

“Snow, wake up, I made a terrible mistake,” Regina tells her narcoleptic friend toward the end of the episode. “Alt World Robin is a bad kisser, which means he’s probably crap in bed too. What a waste of a perfectly good portal jumping slot. I knew I should have invited Alt World Ryan Gosling instead!”

 

“That should be the least of your problems,” Snow scolds. “Look outside, Alt World Robin is running through the streets carrying your Evil End the World Music Box that he stole from your lair, while punching out The Pope and kicking a baby.”

“Really?” Regina responds. “I should probably do something about that . . . once I finish this delicious mug of chamomile tea you gave me. Is it Sleepytime Brand?”

“Ugh!” Snow groans. “I’m so sick of this sh*t. I’m going back to bed. Wake me up when something interesting actually happens, like the inevitable Apocalypse in two episodes.”

Meanwhile . . .

Cold Case: Charming’s Dead Dad Edition

So much homoeroticism between these two in this episode . . .

The Ghost of Prince Charming’s father haunts his son in the middle of the night to remind him that the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death are a dangling plotline that the show has decided to dredge up again just in time for Captain Hook’s and Emma’s impending nuptials.

That’s right folks. Captain Hook has decided he wants to pop the question to everybody’s favorite Savior. He even went out and bought a ring. Surely, the answer to this Dead Dad Mystery won’t do anything to get in the way of Hook’s dream of marriage to Emma, will it?

So, Prince Charming is pretty uncharacteristically manic throughout most of this episode. (Lack of sleep and hallucinated conversations with ghost dad’s will do that to you.) He quickly enlists Captain Hook’s help in breaking into his daughter’s shed, and stealing her magic Deux Ex Machina. (Hey, we wasted at a third of the episode on Alt Robin’s boo-boos and poor French Kissing skills, so we gotta solve this mystery ASAP.) Hook reluctantly agrees to conspire in Prince Charming’s misdemeanors against his adult daughter, but, fortunately, draws the line at going into Emma’s bedroom stealing her diary, and searching in her underwear drawer for drugs and condoms.

And you do the Hokey Pokey, and you turn yourself around. That’s what it’s all about! *Clap, Clap*

The Purloined Deux Ex Machina informs Prince Charming and Hook that Charming’s dad was last seen in Pleasure Island, a realm featured in the film Pinocchio. And, wouldn’t ya know it? Pinocchio just so happens to be back on the show in a recurring role! This is doubly important, as Pinocchio not only happened to see Charming’s dad, shortly before his untimely demise, he is also The Author with All The Answers to Everything That Happens on This Show!

Through a mixture of flashbacks and Pinocchio narration, we learn that Charming’s dad was a poor drunk who was forced to give up one of his twin sons to Rumplestilskin, in exchange for purchasing the ailment to an illness they both were experiencing at the time. A few years later, Charming’s dad is getting soused at a pub, when the king stops in to inform everyone that his son is missing. The king’s son, just so happens to have the same name as the kid Charming’s dad gave up, James. So, of course they have to be the same person, because who the heck names their kid “James,” right? (I mean, apart from roughly ten percent of the population at any given moment in American history.)

Charming’s dad, who, up until this point, didn’t give two flying f*cks about the kid he did get to keep, is now completely dead set on rescuing the one who is now a rich prince. Baby Charming gives pops a lucky coin for the road, which later ends up being found on his rotted corpse. (Should have gone for a rabbit’s foot or four leaf clover instead, maybe?)

Rumplestilskin, who, as we know, has a soft spot in his heart for screw-up dads hoping to reunite with their kids, so they could screw them up even more, rather willingly offers Charming’s dad the current whereabouts of James. It turns out, the little schmo ran off to Pleasure Island.

Once in Pleasure Island and with a little help from Plot Device Pinocchio, Charming’s dad finds James, who informs his errant papa that he ran away from home, because he doesn’t want to be a knight and murder people. “Would you rather be the dirt-poor son of a drunk shepherd, in danger of losing his farm, and constantly on the verge of homelessness?” Charming’s dad asks hopefully.

“HELL YEAH!” James exclaims, because sometimes kids are dumb.

Unfortunately, for Charming’s dad, the King easily hunts down him and James, takes back his prodigal adopted son, and orders his henchmen to murder Charming’s dad and make his death look like an accident.

Upon learning the “truth” about what happened to his dad, Charming wants to murder the King HARD! Captain Hook tries to talk some sense into him, and ends up handcuffed to a bike rack for his troubles. When Charming confronts the King, (who is already in jail, by the way) the latter has no remorse for what he’s done AT ALL! This even further infuriates Charming. But just before he can avenge his father’s death, Captain Hook frees himself from the bike rack to stop him.

Just kiss already, you two!

Captain Hook somehow convinces Prince Charming that vengeance is kind of overrated (and HE would know!). This heart-to-heart talk causes (1) Prince Charming to break down in tears, and (2) the two enemies-turned-bromantic-buddies to share the manliest of back pats with one another. So, Captain Hook, of course, sees this as the perfect opportunity to ask for Charming’s blessing for him to marry Emma. (Smooth move, buddy! Get him, while he’s feeling soft, vulnerable and mushy.)

Charming whole-heartedly gives Hook his blessing and welcomes the erstwhile villain officially into the royal family, as the future Mr. Emma Swan (because, let’s be honest, she TOTALLY wears the leather pants in that relationship).

And this, my friends, would be an excellent, happy, and satisfying way to end this episode.

So, of course, the writers had to go and screw it up.

Two minutes before the credits roll, Pinocchio Plot Device comes scooting by on his motorcycle with the pages of the fairytale that made up the flashback in this episode. Hook glances down at them and sees the face of Charming’s dad. This causes him to remember that it was not actually the king’s henchmen, but Hook himself, who murdered his possibly-soon-to-be-wife’s grandfather, during the course of a robbery of those same henchmen.

Oops. Well, THAT’S AWKWARD! We are probably going to want to leave that little yarn out of the wedding’s champagne toast . . .

Until next week, folks!

 

 

 

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ONCE UPON A TIME: It’s an Alt World After All: (Season 6, Episode 11 Recap)

(Cross posted at AgonyBooth.com)

Welcome back to Storybrooke, folks!  It’s a magical, mystical land where characters leave, die, and return from the dead, age (or don’t) whenever they feel like  . . . a place from which Continuity and Logic escaped together on a romantic vacation about 3.5 seasons ago, and haven’t been seen since.

But that’s OK, because it’s also a land that allows us to see a fat old unwashed version of Captain Hook fight an occasionally wooden, occasionally young, occasionally absent Pinocchio, in front of a massively large tree that can magically move from a forest to inside a workshop, whenever Plot requires it to do so.

Let’s jump right back in, shall we?

It’s a Hard Knock Life for Swan

It’s winter in the early 90’s.  So, it makes sense that young Emma conveniently finds herself homeless on what appears to be the set of the Broadway musical Rent.  Emma is cold, so she’s burning pages of a rather antique, rare, and expensive-looking story book for kindling.  After all, rare and expensive storybooks are super prevalent on the “mean” streets of Minneapolis . . . almost as prevalent as crack pipes and hypodermic needles.

(But wait, if she burns a book that’s her only source of income, how will she pay her rent?  This year’s rent?  Next year’s rent?  RENT! RENT! RENT! RENT! REEEEEEEENT!  Sorry . . . I got a bit carried away there, for a moment.)

Anywhoo, an age inappropriate older gentleman is watching Emma.  He approaches her, and starts making small talk about the fairytales in the book she’s burning, like any seasoned pederast would do.  Emma openly admits to this creeper that she has no family, and no one would be looking for her, were she to suddenly go missing.  (EMMA NO!  What kind of fairytale character-turned-sassy-self-aware-street-urchin are you?  Have you no sense of self-preservation!)

But just when you are thinking that this story is either about to take a very dark turn, or Chris Hansen from To Catch a Predator, is going to pop out of the trash can and launch a citizen’s arrest, you remember that this is Once Upon a Time, when the dumb actions of characters only have real consequences when The Plot desires it.

So, the creepy-maybe Pederast (who ends up being a young version of Pinocchio?) convinces Emma to turn herself in to child services . . . but only after he inspires her with a recounting of his favorite fairytale, The Ugly Duckling, a tale of redemptive transformation that would be doomed to become the theme of superficial high school rom com films for decades to come.

“What’s your last name?”  Child Services Lady asks Emma pointedly at the end of this flashback.

“Swan,” replies the girl, with the self-assuredness to know that she’s going to look like actress Jennifer Morrison in about twenty years.

Tree to Be, You and Me

 

Meanwhile, over in present day Alt World, a not-so-dead, not-aged-a-day, possible vampire or zombie, Robin Hood has stolen Regina’s and Emma’s jewels.  And the shock of seeing her dearly departed love back in the flesh caused Regina, and consequently Emma, to miss their chance to jump into the portal back to Storybrooke, and stand around staring at one another for three months, while the show went on hiatus.

Fortunately, Emma sees a tree (because they are in a forest, duh!).  And this reminds her that, back in Season 1, her baby self and Pinocchio were able to travel inside a tree-turned-into-a-wardrobe to another universe.  But who will build the wardrobe?  Why Pinocchio himself, of course!

Emma and Regina visit Emma’s real-world friend, Pinocchio, who, in Alt World, is a “humble” puppeteer who makes clones of himself for a living.  Emma quickly fills Pinocchio in on this season’s ridiculous plot, and Pinocchio is instantly totally cool with it, because this hour-long tale (45 minutes with commercials) doesn’t allot him any time for reasonable skepticism.  Puppet Man  agrees to build a wardrobe that will get Emma and Regina back to Storybrooke.

Except .  . . wait, where’s Regina?  It appears that in the literally two seconds it took Emma to explain to Pinnochio the plot of Season 6 of Once Upon a Time, Regina escaped, but not before penning to Emma a two-page missive on why she was leaving.  (Evil Queens write fast!)  Apparently, Regina wants to take another ride on the Robin Hood train, zombie or no zombie, before she leaves Alt World for good.  (I hope, for her sake, the sex lasts longer than the letter-writing did.)

“I never wear pants for this precise reason. ‘Always be prepared.’ That’s my motto.”

Little Orphan Angsty

Meanwhile, back in Real World, Prince Charming is super cranky, because he hasn’t slept in days.  (If you recall, he and Snow White are still under that sleeping curse thing where only one of them gets to sleep at a time.)  He’s dead set on killing the Hooded Man who is fated to “murder” Emma Swan during an improbably street duel at the end of the season.  The same Hooded Man who just so happens to be the adult version of Rumple’s and Belle’s baby-just-last-week boy Gideon.

Both Belle and Rumple try to reason with their bratty man child, who apparently turned 28-years old in three months (I’ve heard of rapid aging on TV shows, but this is ridiculous!).  They gamely explain to him that murdering the lead of a series at approximately the same time it’s been earmarked for likely cancellation, before he’s had any screen time, would not be the savviest career move for him.  Also, that killing is bad and stuff.

But Gideon, who has been raised by the Evil Black Fairy for either three months or 28-years, we still aren’t sure, will not hear it.  He is convinced that murdering the Savior will be the only thing that allows him to become a Savior himself, thereby proving to his Evil Stepmother that he is not evil . . . by doing something that is really, really evil.

 

Yeah, I don’t get it either.

Upon failing to convince her son to spare Emma’s life, Belle approaches Prince Charming to reveal the identity of Emma’s would-be killer.  “Promise me you won’t murder my son, who is about my age, and whom I didn’t raise . . . even if he murders your daughter, who is about your age, and whom you didn’t raise either?”  Belle pleads.

Prince Charming reluctantly promises not to kill Belle’s kid, Mr. Whiny McEmo Pants, but you just know he’s got his fingers crossed behind his back when he says it.  So, all bets are off.

Robbing Robin?

 

Back in Alt World, Regina tries to put the movies on vampire or zombie Robin Hood, by cornering him in a bar, and asking him whether he has a happy life, despite the fact that he’s clearly not getting laid regularly. (Hint, hint, wink, wink).  Through their conversation, we learn that Alt World vampire or zombie Robin Hood is a swinging single, who doesn’t steal from the rich to give to the poor, like his alter ego, rather, he steals from the rich to give to himself.

This is clearly not a deal breaker to Regina, who, after all, is a serial killer.  (Nobody’s perfect?) But before she can take vampire or zombie Robin to pound town, the pair get arrested by the Sheriff of Nottingham.  (Can vampire/zombies get blue balls, I wonder?)  The good news is that Regina’s and Robin’s arrest is short-lived, as they are promptly rescued by Alt World Rumplestiltskin, who Regina had helped break out of prison earlier in the season.  The bad news is that in Alt World Regina, as the Evil Queen murdered Belle.

So, Rumple locks both Robin and Regina in a tower, where he plans to murder them both.

But then Robin breaks him and Regina out of the tower, because, you know, breaking and entering is kind of “his thing.”

(They are in jail.  They are out of jail.  They are back in jail.  They are back out again.  They are alive.  They are dead.  They are good.  They are evil.  Sometimes watching this show gives me whiplash.)

Captain Un-Hooked?

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Alt World, Pinocchio is trying to carve a wardrobe out of a magical tree, when a fat old drunk arrives to kidnap Emma.

Holy crap!  It’s Captain Hook!  Alt World has not been kind to you, my friend!  I would definitely recommend staying home from the high school reunion.

Emma is easily able to disarm her erstwhile boyfriend (who, let’s face it, even when he’s good looking, slim, and half-sober, has never exactly been the sharpest hook in the bait box), but in doing so, breaks Pinocchio’s magic make-a-tree-into-a-wardrobe-time-jumping-portal chisel.

How will Emma and Regina get home now?  You are going to have to wait at least a commercial break to find out!

Death versus Savior: Round 1

 

Ultimately, Emma is able to use The Ugly Duckling’s tale about “believing in yourself” to convince Pinocchio that, gosh-darn it, he can create a wardrobe with a magic make-a-tree-into-a-wardrobe-time-jumping-portal chisel, even if that magic-make-a-tree-into-a-wardrobe-time-jumping-portal chisel has been broken in half by Captain Hook’s fat ass!

(Sidenote:  Is that what The Ugly Duckling was about, “believing in yourself”?  Because I don’t think that was what the fairytale was about . . . at all!  I thought it was about growing out of your “awkward phase.”  It’s easy to “believe in yourself” when you are a hot swan, who used to be a pubescent duckling.)

In the very next scene, the massively large tree has been instantaneously turned into a beautiful wardrobe and transplanted to Pinocchio’s workshop, because apparently, magic chisels can literally move mountains.   Now, if you recall, from Season 1, a Magical Wardrobe can only fit two people.  This was why Snow, Charming and Emma couldn’t all travel to another realm together, thus setting the stage for the events that launched the series.

In present day, this would mean that only Emma and Regina could travel back to Storybrooke and Vampire or Zombie Robin Hood would have to remain behind.  Fortunately, as I mentioned, Continuity and Logic left this series long ago, and are probably sunning themselves on a remote island off the coast of Mexico by now, while raising their two kids, Credibility and Character Development.  And, because of this, Regina invites Vampire or Zombie Robin Hood to join her and Emma back in Real World, and he instantly agrees.  Why?  Because he’s a dude, and dudes will generally do anything for sex . . . even if that sex happens to be with a deranged serial killer.

Back in Storybrooke Emma confronts Gideon her would be murderer, and has a duel with him.  But it’s not The Duel, because she’s wearing a winter jacket, and the Emma is The Duel is just wearing a white tank top.  (Emma is destined to die in better weather, apparently.)  Gideon loses this duel, but disappears before Emma can finish him off.

Then, Gideon heads up to the clock tower and breaks it, because that’s what bratty man children do, when they don’t get their way, and fail at murdering the lead character in the series, whose very existence on that series keeps them employed.  They break things.

And that’s all that happened this week on Once.  Next week, we get to watch Prince Charming beat the crap out of Captain Hook.  That should be fun . . .

 

 

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ONCE UPON A TIME RECAP: I Dream of Genie

Cross posted at Agony Booth.com

emma-and-henrys-alternate-reality-once-upon-a-time-season-6-epis

EMMA: “Of course, this Alt-World is real, Henry! What would make you think it is fake?” Henry: “Well, we are standing in front of a Green Screen . . .”

This week on Once, Emma gets “wished” into an alt-world, where her hair and makeup are better, but everything else about her is way worse. Also, Aladdin becomes everyone’s b*tch; the Evil Queen unleashes her inner reptile; and everyone who thought Belle’s kid was super creepy, and most likely The Worst, gets to say “I TOLD YOU SO!”

It’s the last Once recap of 2016, Fairytale Fans! Let’s do this!

Sword-of Good News

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In a quest to determine the true owner of the Sword That Will “Kill” Emma Swan (but not destroy that sword, mind you, because the plot requires it to remain in play, at least until the end of the season), Emma, Regina and Hook have a run-in with the Evil Queen in front of Robin Hood’s grave, because “foreshadowing.” There, Evil Queen literally taunts Emma with “your mama” jokes. And this makes Emma so mad that she stabs the Evil Queen in the face with her own death sword. (Talk about Anger Management Issues!)

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When it is plot convenient for them to be treated as such, Regina and Evil Queen are treated as the same person. This means that when Evil Queen gets stabbed in the face, Regina should also bleed. But when Emma stabs Evil Queen with her death sword, for some reason, Regina’s face is still as beautifully Botoxed and pore free as it was pre-Evil Queen Face Stabbing.

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Based on this impromptu experiment, Emma determines that she CAN actually kill the Evil Queen, without killing Regina too! And this would be fabulous, and extremely relevant, news, if the Evil Queen wasn’t rendered a complete non-entity by the end of the episode . . .Oh well! Better luck next McGuffin!

Wish-Y Washy

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When Emma tells the rest of her family that she’s going to use her own Death Sword to kill the Evil Queen, at night, out in the street, thereby basically mimicking the exact circumstances of the vision she had, in which she died at the end, her son Henry is the only one that thinks this is incredibly shitty idea. (Unless you happen to be watching a show geared toward eight-year olds, it’s generally a bad sign when the smartest character on the show isn’t even old enough to shave.)

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Ignoring Henry’s rather logical and intellectually sound warnings, Emma heads off with Hook, Daddy Charming, and her Future Death Sword to tempt fate, recreate her death scene from her vision, and maybe, but probably not, succeed in killing the Evil Queen. While they are en route, Princess Jasmine screams out frantically for help from inside Granny’s diner. It turns out that the Evil Queen has her very loosely tied up in a chair. And when I say “loosely,” I mean to say that, those Chinese Handcuffs we all used to play with as kids are probably more difficult to get out of than the Evil Queen’s half-assed chair knot.

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Nonetheless, Jasmine dutifully stays put like the good, not too bright, hostage that she is. And so, the Evil Queen promptly steals the genie lamp from Jasmine, summons New Genie Aladdin from it, and makes her first wish: that Emma Swan’s erstwhile wish never to become the Savior be granted. So thoughtful, that Evil Queen! Someone get this lady a Humanitarian Award!

Since, Emma Swan originally became the Savior, upon being shipped off to modern times from fairytale land, no-longer-the-Savior-Emma is instead portaled to an Alt World, in which she instead actually grew up in fairytale land with her super rich parents, a la Ivanka Trump.

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In order to rescue Emma from Alt-World, Regina conveniently uses the “Evil Queen and I are technically the same person” card (which appears to be working again, after the whole Death Sword glitch thing), so that she can be whisked to the exact same World.

Princess Emma: The New Disney Heroine that Feminism Forgot

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To say Alt-World is weird, and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense as a viable alternate timeline, is a complete understatement. For one thing, Emma’s parents, the Charmings, are super old. (This part actually, does make sense, because while time stopped in Storybrooke during Emma’s first 28-years of life, in Alt-World, time continued normally, thus rendering Charming and Snow at least 28-years older than they currently are in Storybrooke).

What doesn’t make sense, is how nobody else in Alt World aged one iota. I let this slide, when it came to the dwarves, because, perhaps, dwarves don’t age like humans do. However, this fact particularly disturbed me, when it came to Granny, who, had she aged in real time, would have been roughly 110 in Alt World. And yet, there she was, looking not a day over 85! (Then again, maybe Granny is actually a dwarf, and nobody told me. Is that true? Did I miss a plot point somewhere?)

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Also in Alt World, Princess Emma somehow still met, boned, and ultimately married Baelfire / Neal (who was a knight in Alt World?), resulting in her giving birth to erstwhile fairytale author Henry.

And what I’m still trying to wrap my head around is how all that could have happened, seeing as Neal had left fairytale land, and was actually in Neverland around the time “the original curse occurred.” If there is someone out there with a way better understanding of the timeline logistics of this show, who could explain to me how this could be possible, by all means, chime in.

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When Regina shows up in Alt World, everyone is super frightened, because they assume that she’s the Evil Queen, (who, in this timeline, Charming and Snow White defeated and banished from the kingdom pre-first curse), who is now back to enact her revenge, and rightfully so! Alt-World Emma is concerned too, but she’s too busy singing showtunes, and picking flowers in the forest, to really give the whole thing much thought or concern. This is because, apparently, had Charming and Snow White actually had the opportunity to raise Emma from birth, they would have turned her into a pampered prissy simpleton, incapable of defending herself. Sorry Baby Neal! This is most likely going to be you in 28-years!

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It looks like Regina has her work cut out for her, if she wants Emma to remember who the heck she is, and get the two of them back to Storybrooke in one piece. Did I mention, the episode is only half over at this point?

A Charming Failure

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Meanwhile, back in Storybrooke, the B team is proving themselves to be even more useless than Regina in their attempts to rescue Emma from Alt World. First Charming tries to take the genie lamp from the Evil Queen, so he can wish Emma back home. But instead, he just wishes that the Evil Queen will “get what she deserves.” It’sa super vague, and dangerously objective wish, one that anyone who has ever read a fairytale, let alone starred in one, would know not to use under any circumstances whatsoever.

Not surprisingly, Charming’s wish accomplishes precisely nothing in either defeating the Evil Queen, nor in getting Emma back. So, Charming returns the Genie Lamp to Jasmine, since she’s most likely boning the guy inside it, after all. And when Jasmine offers to use her first wish (She does have three, I might add) to wake up the Sleeping Snow White, and break the curse that prevents the pair from being awake at the same time. Charming’s response is, “Meh, I don’t really need her anyway. You guys do what you gotta do.”

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And so, Jasmine and Aladdin wish themselves to Agrabah, taking with them, the gang’s seemingly best chance at getting Emma back from Alt World and/or waking Snow from a potentially eternal slumber. GO TEAM!

Robin Hood-winked

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Regina, for her part, is fairing slightly better in Alt-World, as she seeks a captive Rumpelstiltskin’s help in awakening the currently completely useless Emma’s memories of her life as the Bad Ass Savior. Rumpel gamely suggests that Regina do her best Evil Queen impersonation, in order to scare Emma into turning heroic again. He even offers Regina a bean that will open a portal to get her back to Storybrooke with Emma, in exchange for his freedom from captivity. Regina accepts this deal, because making deals with the Dark One always ends so well for everyone on this show!

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Dressed in her Evil Queen finery, Regina puts on a Super Sassy Show at Henry’s knighthood ceremony, even going so far as to kidnap Charming and Snow White, because that should really piss off Princess Emma. Right?

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Wrong! Prissy Emma responds to Regina’s Evil Queen’s taunts by . . . wimpily giving the Evil Queen the key to the city, in exchange for her parents’ lives. Yikes! Growing up with the elderly Charmings in Alt-World has made Princess Emma super soft. Regina is going to have to up the ante, if she wants Bad Ass Savior Emma back.

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And so as the Evil Queen, Regina KILLS THE CHARMINGS by thoughtlessly crushing their hearts in her bare hands. (This version of them is old and fake anyway. Plus, they clearly did a crappy job raising their kid, and, therefore, don’t deserve to live.)

Does the death of Princess’ Emma’s parents snap her back into action? Nope, it just makes her sit on the floor and cry like a total b*tch. Knight Henry though, he’s ready to kill Regina / Evil Queen. And worse, he’s going to do it with the all-powerful Emma Death Sword, which somehow made it to the Alt World along with Emma.

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Now, while Regina would gladly kill the Fake Charmings, she can’t bring herself to kill Fake Henry. So, instead she just stands there, and awaits her demise. And THIS . . . THIS is what finally causes Emma to snap out of her Wishy-Washy stupor and return to herself. She uses her magic to freeze Fake Henry just in the nick of time, and, in doing so, saves Regina’s life and the fake version of her son’s soul.

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Then, Regina and Emma head to meet with Fake Rumpel, pick up the portal bean and prepare to go home. So, of course, just as the two are about to enter the portal, Regina comes upon Fake Robin Hood, who is alive in this fake timeline, and conveniently about to rob them. Not willing to pass up time with her sweetie, even a fake version of him, Regina lets the portal close, and with it, her and Emma’s only chance to get home and kill the Evil Queen.

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No worries. The Evil Queen is about to disappear as a problem anyway, at least temporarily.

Blue Fairy, You Had One Job!

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Meanwhile, back in Storybrooke, Rumpel uses some magic hair to attempt to track down his newborn child. Understandably he is super disturbed to find out that the kid completely off the grid. Predictably, Rumple comes to Belle with this conundrum. Shortly thereafter, the two learn from a thoroughly beaten-up Blue Fairy, that Fairy Lame-Mother was able to care for Baby Gideon, for all of two minutes, before she lost him to the Ultimate Evil. Great job, Blue Fairy!

In worse news, Rumpel’s mom, the Black Fairy, was apparently the one who kidnapped Gideon. And this means either that she’s going to eat him, or he’s going to turn evil. Maybe she’s going to turn him evil, then eat him?

Anywhoo, a man in a black cape, who looks suspiciously like the guy who kills Emma in her vision, appears from a portal, and promptly turns the Evil Queen into a snake in a cage, because, why not?

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He then removes his hood, revealing himself to Belle and Rumpel, as Gideon, their “son”, a.k.a. the same creepy guy who kept hitting on Belle in her dreams, and convincing her to give the baby version of him away to the useless Blue Fairy.

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And this just goes to show you that you should never trust a guy with a bad Julius Caesar haircut, who haunts your dreams, and claims to be your son, but still hits on you like he’s your boyfriend / your stalker. Words to live by. Trust me, I know from experience!

Until next March 2017, Oncers!

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Once Upon a Time Recap: Baby Mama Drama

Cross Posted at Agony Booth.com

birth-giving

This week on Once, Belle’s “baby” keeps haunting her dreams, while not so subtly hitting on her, and no one is supposed to think that’s weird. Aladdin becomes a Genie, and moves into a lamp, which I guess beats his prior job of living in a cave and being unemployed. Emma finds the sword that will eventually be used to “kill her,” but doesn’t even consider destroying it, because we still need to drag out this storyline for another few months. Meanwhile, in the past, we meet Rumpel’s mommy, and she’s precisely as awful as you imagined her to be.

Let’s get on with it, shall we?

Baby-and-Switch

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Once Upon a Time, Rumpel was holding Belle hostage in his castle (a.k.a the golden years of their relationship). One day he brings home a baby he kidnapped, turns to Belle and says, “Whatever you do, please don’t try to save this baby from me,” knowing full well that Belle will do exactly that. Using reverse psychology, i.e. the oldest trick in the book, Rumpel then tricks Belle into translating a fairy incantation he will need to call upon the baby-eating Black Fairy.

Belle, who has grown pretty attached to the kidnapped baby (probably, because it hasn’t cried or pooped in days, and, therefore, is likely some form of robot baby), feels super bad about the part she unwittingly played in it maybe becoming some evil fairy’s Lean Cuisine.

And so, Belle follows Rumpel into the forest where he uses the robot baby to summon the baby-eating Black Fairy. As it turns out, the baby-eating Black Fairy is Rumpel’s MOM! Rumpel didn’t really want the baby to be eaten! He just wants to know why his mother decided to abandon him, when she could have just eaten him, like she does all the other babies in town!

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See guys? Rumpel’s really a good guy! He just has Mommy Issues! And that should totally excuse him for all the terrible stuff he’s done over the past six years!

Anywhoo, baby-eating Black Fairy doesn’t seem to have a really good reason as to why she abandoned, rather than ate, Rumpel. (Maybe all the glitter on his baby face would have caused her indigestion!) This gives Rumpel a major case of the sads. No one likes to be rejected by their parents, even if being rejected could potentially save them from having their arms chewed off.

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The good news that came from all this was that the kidnapped robot baby never got eaten either! So, Belle got to return him (or her?) to its rightful owners. And they all lived happily ever after . . . except for Rumpel, who was sad, and his mom, who was still hungry, and Belle, who was still being held hostage . . . So, basically only the kidnapped robot baby and his (or her) parents lived happily ever after.

I’m a Genie in the Bottle, Baby!

Meanwhile, in present day, Jasmine and Aladdin want to use the Genie lamp they found to return to Agrabah and save it from Jafar and other assorted Bad Stuff. But when they shake it, they find that there is no Genie in it, which means they totally got ripped off, and should return it for a full refund. But then, Aladdin says, “Hey, what the heck? I’m broke and homeless, and just got suckered into owning a Genie-less lamp. The least I can do is use it as a rent free apartment and a job opportunity.”

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And so Aladdin becomes a Genie, which means that the next person who gets that lamp is also going to be getting a raw deal. Robin Williams this guy most definitely is not. I mean unless the owner is wishing for someone who can alternate between twelve accents in a single sentence, they are probably out of luck.

The Sister Act

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Rumpel tells the Evil Queen that she wants to keep boning him, she has to kill her sister, the Wicked Witch, first. As, we’ve previously established, the Evil Queen is super horny, and, therefore, sees this as a small price to pay for some nookie. So, the Evil Queen goes to the Wicked Witch’s house to murder her, but instructs the Witch to put down her daughter first. (See? The Evil Queen isn’t a TOTAL monster. Then again, maybe she just plans on feeding the Wicked Witch’s kid to the baby-eating Black Fairy.)

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Right when the Evil Queen is about to murder the Wicked Witch, Regina stops her, using their shared heart as leverage. When the Wicked Witch thanks Regina for saving her life, Regina responds, “I didn’t do it for you. I did it because I’m a ‘good person’ now. And being a good person gives me the right to occasionally be a self-righteous prick, and save people’s lives, just to prove how much better I am then them. I still hate your guts though, so toodles.”

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The Sword and the Boning

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While in Rumpel’s shop to help Belle find the squid ink she believes will protect her from Rumpel (more on that in a bit), Emma and Hook come upon a sword with a red jewel in it that makes Emma’s carpal tunnel and death hallucinations act up really bad. Emma eventually figures out that this is because the sword with the red jewel in it was the one she was stabbed with in her “vision.”

“We should totally have this sword destroyed,” says Hook. “If we do, then we will know that at least one part of your vision won’t come true. And maybe your fate will be changed, and your life will be saved.”

(Or, at least, that’s what Hook would have said if he had a brain in that sexy head of his.)

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Instead, Emma and Hook decide to take the instrument of her death home with them, so that she can sleep with it next to her on her bedside table every night, making it super easy and convenient for her killer to take it and use it on her. (Because Emma Swan is nothing if not thoughtful and generous with those who wish her dead.)

Now, for the main storyline of the hour . . .

Belle’s Baby . . . He’s Not Just the Creepy Stalker Guy in Her Dreams Anymore

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Belle’s fear that Rumpel will speed up her birth, so he can use the Magical Un-Savior scissors on the pair’s son, so the baby will love his daddy more or something, is confirmed when Rumpel turns a young Asian nun into an old Asian nun, and sends her to Belle as a warning . . . also, I think, as an advertisement for moisture cream and Botox.

As Belle researches a magic spell that will protect her and her unborn child from Rumpel and his Magical Un-Savior scissors, her future “son” Morpheus (who I am growing more and more convinced isn’t actually her son, but rather just some guy who has a mommy fetish and a really creepy crush on Belle) keeps dragging her into his “dream world” to remind her to keep him away from Rumpel (Is that what the cool kids are calling sex nowadays? Dream World? Come on, you can tell me!).

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Of course, being an annoying Dream World guy, Morpheus never actually tells Belle what she has to do to win this Game of Keep Away. Instead, he just keeps cryptically telling her that “she knows what to do.” (For you guys out there who are reading this, all 1.5 of you, this is basically like when your girlfriend or wife is mad at you for some reason, but rather than telling you what it is, just continues to insist that “you know what you did!” It’s totally The Worst, am I right? And this is coming from a woman!)

Rumpel runs into Belle at some point during all of this, and insists that he will never give up on trying to get back his son. Take it to court, buster! Then, Belle leaves and goes to Granny’s Diner, where SOMEONE has laced her tea with quick birthing magic. So, Belle immediately goes into labor.

The nice thing about Quick Birthing Magic, is that it makes labor super easy. So Belle gives birth in about two minutes, without even messing up her makeup or her hair. She’s basically like, “Ow, ow . . .oh, there’s my baby.” Quick Birthing Magic also ensures that the baby is born completely clean with nary a drop of blood, placenta, or guts on his forehead.

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Remind me again why Belle was so against this happening? Has Quick Birthing Magic been FDA approved yet? Because I’m willing to bet this drug could make a fortune!

Belle, who believes her baby will never be safe if he’s in Storybrooke with her, gives her child to Blue Fairy to care for “temporarily,” (i.e. until he can come back next season as a surly 15-year old, played by a sexy 25-year old). Belle names the baby Gideon, after a character from her favorite childhood fairytale, and sends him on his way. (Wait, I thought the baby’s name was Morpheus! I told you Creepy Dream Guy was a liar!)

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Rumpel arrives shortly after the super speedy and clean birthing has taken place, and is heartbroken that he missed a chance to see his son in his baby form, because the kid is probably going to be ten years old in about three minutes. Belle refuses to tell Rumpel the name of his child, which is kind of cruel. But, in her defense, she may still be confused as to whether his name is Gideon or Morpheus.

Rumpel goes back to his shop to find the Evil Queen gloating. It turns out it was SHE and not him, who dosed Belle with Quick Birthing Magic, in order to put another nail in the coffin of their already deader than dead relationship. “Nice to see Belle left your kid with a fairy, because they totally make the best moms. I mean, look how good YOU turned out,” Evil Queen muses, which is awful, but also kind of hilarious.

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Now, Rumpel is super mad at Evil Queen and they are enemies again, which means that their inevitable next Hate Sex scene is probably going to burn my retinas.

Until next time, Oncers!

 

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ONCE UPON A TIME Recap: Stuck in the Mirror with You (S6: Ep 8)

Cross posted at Agonybooth.com

funny

Last week on Once, while I was in Spain, the Evil Queen cast a curse on Snow White and Prince Charming, so that they could never be awake at the same time. Specifically, every time one member of the happy couple tried to suck face with the other, the mere act of face sucking would cause that person to fall into a coma. (You may have experienced something similar when trying to kiss someone with morning mouth.) Also while I was in Spain, someone was elected President of the United States, whose name was most certainly not next to the bubble I darkened on my absentee ballot . . . thus proving that bad things happen everywhere when I leave the country . . .

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This week on Once, I was back in the country, so Henry saved his moms from the mirror they were trapped in, without darkening his soul. AND he got Violet to admit that she still has the hots for him, despite the fact that their honeymoon period is totes over. Balance is hereby restored. You’re welcome. Now, if I could just fix that OTHER matter . . .

Anyway, on to the review . . .

A Kiss Before Snoring

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Because making the best of a bad situation is kind of Prince Charming’s and Snow White’s thing, they decide to equitably divide their shared life in half, so that each gets a chance to take care of their perpetually newborn son, and bond with the rest of Storybrooke, while the other snoozes under the Evil Queen’s curse. Though to be honest, it’s not entirely clear to me how the time schedule works.

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Does one person get nights and the other get days? Because that wouldn’t be entirely fair. Maybe they alternate days, and actually both sleep at nights, which would be more fair, but seems wasteful, in the sense that the couple should maximize their waking hours, in order to figure out a way to break the curse. (Like for example, Emma, their child, and also their true love, could wake both of her parents with true love’s kiss simultaneously. I mean, wouldn’t that be an obvious first thing to at least try? Maybe if they didn’t spend so much time sleeping and leaving one another cute notes and videos, they could have figured that out by now.)

Maybe I spend way too much time thinking about the nocturnal habits of a fictional couple . . .

Anyway, we get an idea of what life under a shared sleeping curse is like for the Charmings through a cute montage of the perpetually half-comatose couple to the tune of Colours by Donovan, which could just as easily double as a particularly weepy cell phone commercial.

At some point during all this Verizon-approved adorableness, Snow looks in a mirror and realizes, she REALLY needs to lose that awful haircut. Just kidding! She realizes the Evil Queen is watching her through the mirror and angrily shatters it, which coincidentally, is also a great way of dealing with a bad haircut, you can’t immediately correct. If you can’t see it, it’s easier to pretend it isn’t there.

The Mirror Has Two Faces

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Snow White’s aggressive encounter with her bedroom mirror gives Regina the idea to enchant one and use it to entrap the Evil Queen. The only problem with this plan is that Regina and the Evil Queen sort-of / kind of share a brain. And, much like with Snow and Charming’s sleeping curse, only one of the pair seems capable of using it at any given time. This was Evil Queen’s turn at having a brain, so she beat Regina to the punch, switching Regina’s enchanted mirror for a plain one.

So, when Emma and Regina, using Henry as bait, lure the Evil Queen to the beach to entrap her in the mirror, the Evil Queen turns the tables and traps Emma and Regina in the mirror prison instead!

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So that the rest of Storybrooke won’t immediately become wise to the switcheroo, the Evil Queen masquerades as Regina. She also leaves a fake message on Hook’s cell phone from Emma, in which the faux-Savior claims she’s out of town searching for help to break her parent’s sleeping curse. After that though, Regina seemingly gains control of the Shared Brain. As a result, Evil Queen does a terrible job at masquerading as her better half, fooling absolutely NO ONE!

Oh Henry!

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Hook immediately becomes suspicious of Faux-Regina, when Emma fails to answer any of Hook’s twelve phone calls inquiring as to her whereabouts. Ahh, the wonders of modern technology, and the power it has to make even the most masculine of guyliner-wearing boys extremely needy. However, it’s Henry who determines with absolute certainty that Faux-Regina is actually the Evil Queen, when the latter chooses a black tie for Henry to wear to the upcoming dance (Regina would have totally opted for red.), and bitches about the teen’s posture. (Regina thinks slouching is sexy.)

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Now, that he knows his moms are in danger, Henry graciously backs out of going to the dance with Violet, and proceeds to shout at every mirror he comes upon like a raving lunatic, hoping to connect with his parents. This scene, if you think about it, could also serve as a Verizon commercial. Granted, it’s not a sweet sappy one like what Snow and Charming were filming earlier. It’s more like those old school “Can you hear me now,” ones from that guy that eventually jumped ship and switched to Sprint.

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Don’t Wake the Dragon

While stuck in Mirror Prison, the Real Regina and Emma come upon this guy, the Dragon, who magically appears on the show whenever the gang need “mystical” advice from a wise elderly Asian man who talks like Yoda from Star Wars. Not-Yoda tells the pair that they can get out of Mirror Prison, if they repair the conveniently located cracked mirror inside the prison. Oddly enough, Dragon hasn’t used this plan to free himself from Mirror Prison for Reasons.

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Real Regina and Emma start rebuilding the mirror, only to learn that Not-Yoda the Dragon is actually being controlled by the Evil Queen herself, who is holding the Dragon’s heart in her hands. The Evil Queen promptly turns Not-Yoda the Not-Dragon from a wise elderly Asian man into a Bad CGI version of an actual, fire breathing, Savior and Mayor-eating Dragon. So, now Real Regina and Emma are totally screwed. Or are they?

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Oh Henry 2: Electric Boogalo

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Hoping to make Henry evil just like her, the Evil Queen gives Henry a magical hammer she procured from Gold, while they were sucking face earlier in the episode. (Yuck!) The Evil Queen explains that if Henry uses the hammer to squish Dragon’s heart, the Dragon will die, and Emma and Regina will live. Henry tells the Evil Queen not to Darth Vader him into taking an innocent life. It’s a solid metaphor, if ever there was one . . . especially since I made a Yoda reference earlier in the recap, and I like to make everything in this show about me. Except, personally, Henry always struck me more as a Chewbacca type, than Luke Skywalker.

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Anyway, Henry refuses to kill the Dragon. Instead, he uses the hammer to smash through the mirror, freeing Emma and Regina, while leaving Not-Yoda unharmed, if still in his fire-breathing CGI form. It’s a Big Win for Team Good Guys. Even Hook, who hasn’t done anything during the episode but leave incessant phone calls on Emma’s voicemail, gets in on the action, by making empty threats to decapitate the Evil Queen while looking very sexy, because that’s kind of his thing.

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In other good news, Henry attempts to make it up to Violet for skipping out on the school dance, by making his own private party for her at Granny’s. (Oh Henry, you dirty dog, you! Maybe some of the Evil Queen’s Darth Vadering worked after all, if you catch my drift.) At the “dance” for two, Violet admits to Henry that even though she’s been avoiding him like the plague for half a season, she still likes him. In fact, the only reason she’s been treating him like he has an incurable and highly contagious case of the cooties for weeks is . . . wait for it . . . she’s really stressed about school.

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Now, in my personal experience, that’s a “let him down gently” excuse, if ever I’ve heard one. But here in Storybrooke it’s apparently totally legit, and so Henry’s thrilled. As far as the little guy is concerned, he’s going to be hammering Violet’s nail really soon! (See what I did there . . . with the hammer . . . because earlier in the episode . . . oh never mind!)

In Aggressively Abusive Relationship News . . .

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Nothing says loving like handcuffs, false imprisonment, threats of violence and egregious stalking, am I right? Fearing for her and her unborn child’s safety from an increasingly Lifetime Movie Bad Boyfriend-esque Rumpelstiltskin, Belle forms an unholy alliance with Zelena, in the hopes that the latter can make a portal into which Belle can escape into another realm prior to giving birth. In order to make the portal though, Zelena needs a magic wand, which, unfortunately is in Rumpel’s pawn shop, because where else would it be? Zelena and Belle hire Aladdin to break in and steal the wand for them, which he does, if only so that his character can squeeze out just a wee bit more relevance to this season’s plot than he’d have otherwise.

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While in Rump’s shop, the ambiguously accented thief also manages to steal a lamp he claims will help he and Jasmine save the kingdom of Agrabah. Or will it?

Unfortunately, minutes before Zelena can use the spell to make the portal, Rumpel appears at her home and slaps a gold House Arrest bracelet on Belle. Now, Rump will know where Belle is at all times, regardless of realm.

 

Then, just in case the old “If I can’t have her, no realm can,” line doesn’t render Rumpel enough of a bad boyfriend cliché, he promptly turns to Belle’s frenemy, Zelena, and starts strangling her. After all, violence against women is always a primo characteristic for the romantic male leads on family friendly television shows!

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[Sidenote: Honestly, apart from indicating that this entire season has been a bad dream, I’m not sure how the writers of this show have Rumpel come back from this, and still be seen as a viable candidate for Belle’s heart, without sending a scarily bad message to young women about the kind of men they should be hoping to date in the future.]

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Interestingly enough, Rumpel’s actions against Zelena actually end up hurting Rumpel himself. This is because, apparently, the Wicked Witch cast a spell to ensure that, anytime the Dark One attempts to hurt her, only he will experience the pain. Basically, this is the magical adult version of “I’m rubber, your glue, whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.”

Do you guys remember that gem of a phrase from your childhoods? No? Damn, I’m old.

This makes Rumpel mad, so he goes over to his new girlfriend Evil Queen, who also happens to be Zelena’s sister, and asks her to KILL Zelena for him.

rump-cut

What a swell guy! Why on Earth would Belle want to let a stud like this slip away?

Until next time, Oncers . . .

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ONCE UPON A TIME RECAP: The Passion of the Pop Tart

Cross Posted at Agony Booth.com!

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“Back on the Jolly Roger, this is what my crew members liked to call foreplay.”

This week on Once, Captain Hook learns that, contrary to popular belief, the best way to make friends and influence people is not by taking their Pop Tarts and murdering their dads. Also this week, the Evil Queen develops a southern accent for some inexplicable reason, and reconnects with an old flame. Oh, and Belle gets an ultrasound . . .

It’s a very wet, but not particularly wild, episode. So, let’s get to it. Shall we?

We all live in a blue-ish submarine . . .

unda-da-sea

Once upon a time, Captain Nemo kidnaps Captain Hook from the Jolly Roger and forces him onto his submarine, the Nautilus. Nemo does this, apparently, because he has this magical object aboard his ship that acts as a GPS for Man Pain. And nobody has more Man Pain than the guy with the hook for a hand.

missing-fam

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Captain Nemo, an expert on all things vengeance, believes that its super unhealthy for Captain Hook to spend his life seeking revenge against Rumpel for murdering his side piece (who also happened to be Rumpel’s wife). More healthy? Stomping around under the sea in a scuba suit, while trying to avoid being eaten by a giant CGI octopus.

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(And this is why you shouldn’t take advice from a guy who shares his name with an adorable cartoon fish with a really bad sense of direction.)

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Like all the other guest star characters this season, Captain Nemo has been searching for a key to the Land of Untold Stories . . . a place where he can go to avoid having to face all the people he was a dick to in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

Helping Nemo to find this key is his first mate, Liam, a guy whose Man Pain Sonar apparently was bleating just as loud as Hook’s, after the murder of his father left him an orphan at a young age.

Hook, Nemo and Liam eventually find the key. Shortly thereafter, though, Hook figures out that Liam is actually his baby brother. This means that Hook is the reason for Liam’s Man Pain, because HE KILLED BOTH THEIR DAD’S! (What a friggin coincidence, right? Of all the Man Pain Submarines 20,000 leagues under the sea, Hook and Liam both ended up on this one!)

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Having never been much for confrontations, unless he’s the one starting them, Hook attempts to make a hasty exit from the Nautilus. Unfortunately, Nemo finds Hook before he can do this. Nemo, bless his heart, truly believes that Big Bro and Little Bro can hash out the whole Dead Dad / Orphan for Life thing over milk and animal crackers. But Liam, upon overhearing Hook’s true identity has other ideas. He wants to KILL HOOK BIG TIME!

A scuffle ensues between the Brothers Man Pain. And Nemo, who dumbly puts himself in the center of the fracas ends up mortally stabbed.

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This gives Liam extra incentive to hightail Nemo to the Land of Untold Stories, so the latter won’t die. It also gives Hook the incentive to get the eff out of there!

Leggo My Pop Tart!

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Though Henry never seemed to have any issue with his mother dating Hook before, this week, he exhibits some plot-convenient “Mom’s New Man is Trying to Be My Dad” angst, when the pirate tosses Henry’s Pop Tart in the trash, and tells him to eat grapefruit and fish for breakfast instead. (Ew?)

Nobody gets in between Henry and his Pop Tarts! Nobody!

pop-tart-moves

This Pop Tart is pissed!

Evil Queen, who seems to have the same Magical Man Pain GPS system as Captain Nemo, appears out of nowhere to take advantage of this new crack in the otherwise perfect fairytale family unit.

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Under the guise of familial concern, the Queen reveals to Henry the “Cut of Your Savior-Ness” scissors that Hook was supposed to destroy for Emma, but instead kept poorly hidden in his tool box. (Because Hook is kind of a tool. A sexy tool, mind you. But a tool, nonetheless.)

An enraged Henry then takes the “Cut Your Savior-Ness” scissors himself, planning to finish the job his mother had initially assigned to her boyfriend. Hook finds the teen seconds before he can flush the darn things into the sea. And that’s when the pair get kidnapped by, you guessed it, a blue submarine!

This time, Liam, not Nemo, is piloting the submarine, since the Magical Time Stopper of being in the Land of Untold Stories is no longer around to prevent Nemo’s mortal chest wound from running its course. And you don’t need a Man Pain GPS to tell that this brother is PISSED with a capital P at Captain Hook!

Knowing that Liam only wants to kill Hook, not Henry, and believing there only to be one scuba suit aboard the Nautilus (even though there were at least three just minutes earlier in the episode). Hook gallantly offers Henry the escape hatch back to Storybrooke, while the pirate remains to take his death medicine. (Hope Henry knows how to scuba!)

hooky-up

Fortunately for Hook, Henry must have a Man Pain GPS too, because he only appears to escape the Nautilus, only to return at the exact moment when Liam is about to murder Hook, thereby saving his new father figure’s life. All together now: AWWWWWW!

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You see, apparently, Henry DOES actually consider Hook to be part of his family . . . he just happens to be a part of the family that steals pop tarts and scissors, and has terrible taste in breakfast foods.

Back in Storybrooke, Liam is rushed to the hospital for the injuries he suffered during his ill-fated attempt to murder his big brother. It is there that Liam is united with another patient at the hospital: Nemo. Apparently, in Storybrooke, mortal chest wounds don’t have to be so mortal after all. Anything, for the sake of a happy ending!

Also in Storybrooke, Henry and Hook, having decided to be a Big Happy Family Again, finally drop the “Cut Your Savior-ness” scissors into the sea togeteher. It’s a slightly better hiding spot than inside Hook’s tool box. But not good enough that those scissors don’t find themselves in the wrong hands by the end of the episode . . .

Speaking of wrong hands . . .

Kiss-Tastrophe

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This week hasn’t been a really great one for the Evil Queen. Not only did she fail to drive a permanent wedge between Hook and Henry by taking advantage of the latter’s undying devotion to sugary breakfast foods. She also lost her captive, Jiminey Cricket, to her better half’s employment of the oldest trick in the book: the “oh look over there, it’s a bird” distraction technique.

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I would have expected better from the lady who imprisoned an entire cast of characters in a twenty-eight year daily reenactment of the movie Groundhog Day . . .

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But things start looking up for the Evil Queen when she retrieves the “Cut Your Saviorness Off” scissors from their crappy hiding place at the not-so-bottom of the sea, and offers them to Rumpel (who wants to use them to cut off Belle’s being pissed off at him . . . or something), in exchange for some Evil Queen / Dark One tonsil hockey . . .

Also in this scene, the Evil Queen reveals her true motivation for the season. It is . . . wait for it . . . to rip out Snow White’s heart.

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Ugh! Again! This has been the Evil Queen’s motivation for six seasons. Get a new hobby lady! Just don’t let that hobby be making out with Rumpel, because that was really gross to watch . . .

It should be noted that the Evil Queen inexplicably decided to sport a Southern accent throughout this episode, despite illustrating no evidence of actually being Southern at any other point in her life. Perhaps, she was taking a page out of the Aladdin School of Accents and Acting Playbook, just to spice things up a bit.

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Speaking of Aladdin, Emma convinces him not to run away from his girlfriend, just because he was a total coward and cut off his saviorness. Emma is sure that Jasmine will like Aladdin anyway. (I mean, it’s not like he cut off his p$%@s . . .) Aladdin offers to help Jasmine save the kingdom of Agrabah from total destruction. But Jasmine tells Aladdin he can’t . . . because the kingdom has already been destroyed.

What a bad boyfriend that Aladdin turned out to be! Not only is he Sans-Saviorness, he can never be bothered to be on time!

In other bad boyfriend news, Belle has a slight change of heart after seeing her first ultrasound, and decides to share a photograph of the blessed event with Rumpel. Of course, while she’s slipping the photo under the door of his shop, the Dark One is busy contracting mouth herpes from the Evil Queen.

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With boyfriends like this in Storybrooke, it’s amazing that the female characters haven’t all decided to become lesbians . . .

 

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