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ONCE UPON A TIME: The Quicker Potion Fixer Upper

“Do you prefer eating your deep fried cursed hearts with ketchup or BBQ sauce?”

(cross posted at Agony Booth.com)

There were so many potions used this week on Once to clean up certain dangling plot items, it was hard to keep track of them all. Let’s see, we had: sleeping curse potion, memory forgetting potion, drink pink stuff to create a door to your true love in another realm potion, potion that deep fries dark curses out of your heart, and potion that allows your shadow to travel across realms to fondle your girlfriend’s face and give her a magic wand. This is because, in Storybrooke, potions are kind of like cell phone apps. They allow you to do things you never know you always wanted to do, like, for example, have a conversation with an animated Easter Bunny (That’s a real app, by the way.)

Let’s review, shall we?

Mmmmm, Deep-Fried Hearts!

Regina’s first idea to break the sleeping curse that hangs over Snow and Charming (collectively, but not simultaneously) is to basically rip out both their hearts and throw them into what looks like a deep frier. (Even though a steamer would result in the hearts having way less trans fats and lower cholesterol.) The idea is to “fry” the curse out of the hearts. The plan sort of seems to work at first, until Regina realizes that after you deep fry hearts, they kind of . . . um . . . don’t work as well anymore?

Now, Snow and Charming are not only still cursed, they also both have weak, fatty, cholesterol-filled hearts. And that means if Regina and the gang don’t find a curse cure by the end of the episode, both members of the happy couple will be forced to hang out in the Land of Nod for all eternity.

Oops! Now, if that’s not a PSA for using healthier forms of food processing, I don’t know what is.

Fortunately, there’s a magical solution just around the corner in the form of a pink flower that only grows when evil is around . . . or, more accurately, when the plot requires it to grow. The good news is the pink flower can be made into a potion that reunites separated true lovers, like Snow and Charming. The bad news is that it means the Black Fairy has found her way into Storybrooke, which puts her one step closer to murdering our Savior.

Emma and Snow quickly find a full field of those plot reviving pink flowers. But then the Black Fairy pops by and makes her Stepford Son Gideon magic them away. “Are you going to kill me now?” Emma wonders, since it seems like the perfect opportunity for the Black Fairy to do so.

“Nah, we still have a few more episodes left before the finale,” the Black Fairy insists before disappearing in a puff of smoke.

“Hey, you forgot a pink flower?” Emma calls after the Black Fairy.

But she’s already gone. This means that Snow and Charming have what they need to both have speaking parts in the same episode! Once Upon a Time is about to get a whole lot more expensive . . .

Shadow Dancing

Erotic or Creepy?: You be the judge

So, remember how, last week, the forty-year old looking Lost Boys were chasing Hook with bows and arrows? Well, the good news is Tiger Lily saves him by putting sleeping darts in all their necks. The bad news is she uses a dart on Hook too.

But Tiger Lily was just kidding about the whole “trying to murder Hook” thing. As it turns out, she just wants Hook to help her get a magic fairy wand to the Savior, so that she can use it to defeat the Black Fairy. “Well, what a coincidence, I’m currently boning the Savior,” Hook exclaims.

Using some of Peter Pan’s magic, Captain Hook, though unable to rescue himself from the Lost Boys, is able to send an emissary across the realms in the form of his shadow. The Shadow hands Emma the wand, along with Hook’s Hook, and then turns to leave, but not before performing a bit of heavy duty fondle action with Emma’s face.

This poses an interesting question, if you hook up with your boyfriend’s shadow, does that count as cheating?

A Snow and Charming Do-Over (Under?) and A (Better) Proposal

Back in Storybrooke, Emma worries that the Shadow’s gift of Hook’s Hook to her means that he’s in danger. (She also fears that Hook’s shadow may have given her an STD.) Snow, who is about to take the pink flower potion that will “reunite” her with Charming, and, by extension, cure their sleeping curse, decides to make the ultimate sacrifice and let Emma use it instead to reunite with her boyfriend, even if that means eternal sleepiness, and leaving her baby Neal, who the writers apparently forgot she had, to grow up an orphan. (Hey, Emma was an orphan, and she turned out just fine. She was only incarcerated once for grand theft auto!)

Emma’s all, “Why the heck would you do that? Don’t you care about your other kid at all?”

This brings us to our episode’s flashback of the week, which takes place during the First Curse in Storybrooke, around ten years before the pilot episode. Apparently, during that time one of those plot-convenient pink flowers appeared. And when Snow placed it in the then-comatose Charming’s hand it caused him, and, a few moments later, her, to remember their true identities.

Immediately concerned about the fate of their daughter Emma (who, unlike their other kid Neal, they actually seem to like), Snow and Charming hunt down Rumple and inquire about Emma. He tells them to drink more potion and think about her. This will create a door to Emma’s world and allow Snow and Charming to retrieve her from there.

The problem is that Emma’s only 18 at this time. And the prophecy requires her to be 28 to Save the World from Evil. (Apparently, world saving has an age requirement like drinking, voting, running for office, and buying porn off the internet.) Snow and Charming do end up creating that door to find Emma, who looks super young for 18, like WAAAY too young. (Maybe she has that thing Emmanuel Lewis has that makes you look 10 when you are 18? Or, maybe the writers just took memory potion and forgot that the script indicated her age as 18, instead of 10? The world may never know.)

“I swear, judge, she told me she was 18-years old!”

However, ultimately, Snow and Charming decide that preserving Emma for world saving is way more important than their happiness as parents. Besides, Emma’s a ten-year-old-looking-18-year old. What trouble could she possibly get into without parental supervision? So, Snow and Charming drink the conveniently available memory potion, that causes them to forget their true identities and allow them, and everyone they care about, to live inside the movie Groundhog Day for another decade.

So, basically, it’s a win/win for everyone right?

 

Back in the present day, Emma way too quickly accepts her parents’ offer to kind of/sort of commit murder suicide on one another (and, in doing so, pretty much guarantee that Baby Neal will grow up-to be a serial-killer) in-order-to-improve-their-daughter’s-sex life.

Emma then drinks her parents pink flower potion, creates a portal to Neverland, beats up some Lost Boys, and brings her beau safely back home.

Once there, Hook decides to propose to Emma for realsies. He even gets on one knee. This time, Emma doesn’t try to steal his thunder, by saying yes, before he even gets to ask the question. Everyone is happy. Well, except for Emma’s kind-of dead parents, and Baby Neal, and Tiger Lily who got left behind to hang out with a bunch of Forty-Year-Old-Looking-Lost-Boys for all eternity.

Ain’t “True Love” grand?

Worst Mother-in-Law Ever!

When Black Fairy and Stepford son Gideon pay a visit to Rumple and Belle at Rumple’s shop, the look on Belle’s face tells us she’s seriously questioning marrying into the most screwed-up, evil, and incestuous family of all time.

“Gaston is suddenly looking like a mighty attractive option.”

Then, Rumple tries to use some magic against his Bad Mommy. And the Black Fairy, in turn, uses the Control the Dark One sword against him so he can’t do it.

I don’t know about you guys, but if there was a sword around somewhere that could make me the slave of anyone who wielded it, I would keep that sh*t locked up in a vault so far away that no one would ever find it. Rumple just kind of leaves it around on the floor, for the latest Big Bad to nonchalantly pick up whenever the episode requires it.

Not too bright, if you ask me. Fortunately, Black Fairy actually gives Rumple back the sword on her own free will. She insists that after she defeats the Savior, Rumple will gladly and willingly join her on the Dark Side. It’s all very Darth Vader / Luke Skywalker-ey . . . you know, if Luke Skywalker had a real fondness for canes and face glitter.

But Rumple isn’t totally useless here. He gets at least one parting shot on Mommy by informing her that he knows Gideon is only acting like a huge douchebag, because she stole his heart. (Otherwise, Gideon would only be a medium-sized douchebag.) Rumple notes Gideon’s decision to leave one pink “reunite with your lover” flower for Emma and Snow to find as evidence that there is “still some goodness in him.”

See? Even Stepford medium-sized douchebags do nice things, every once in a while!

Naptime!

They literally drank the Kool-Aid . . . Peer pressure is bad, boys and girls!

Speaking of nice things, just in time for the end of the episode, Regina comes up with another plan to wake up Snow and Charming who are now both lying in bed together in identical comas. She brings the whole town together (which seems to only comprise like 20 people all of the sudden), and instructs them each to drink some of Snow’s and Charming’s curse. Regina hopes that this will dilute the curse enough for Snow and Charming to wake up. It also could, you know, kill the entire town, but, whatever.

So all the townspeople of Storybrooke drink the sleeping potion, and Snow and Charming wake up together (HOORAY!), and find the entire town lying around them in a coma (BOO!) . . . but only for like two minutes, and then they all wake up. (YAY!)

And they all lived happily ever after . . . at least until next Sunday at 8 p.m E.S.T. See you then!

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Filed under Once Upon a Time

[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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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: Aladdin and The Temple of Dude

(Cross posted at AgonyBooth.com!)

yelp

“I hope you have good homeowner’s insurance. Otherwise, this place is a real money pit.”

This week on Once, Aladdin lets Jasmine check out his Man Cave. Hook gets crafty with a pair of Emma’s scissors. The Evil Queen and the Wicked Witch get mani/pedi’s from Goldilocks. And a popular fan theory is swiftly debunked.

Shall we review?

What, no Genie?

jaw-drop

This week’s installment of Once finally brought us the bastardized version of Aladdin and Jasmine’s love story, with one notable absence. No Genie . . . which is a real waste, if you ask me. Everybody else got a role, from Jasmine’s doddering zombified father, to Evil Jafar and his pet bird! Even adorable monkey Abu got a small cameo, as a golden trinket that played an important, if silent, role in Aladdin’s first stab at heroism.

abu

However, Good Ole Big Blue must have called in sick from the lamp on the day they filmed this episode. Because it seemed as though Aladdin “Ain’t never had a friend like him.” (See what I did there?)

But I digress. We start our tale in a street market in Agrabah many years ago. There, Jafar turns three thieves into rats, which is a method of crime prevention that would likely be met with approval by one of our presidential candidates. (I’ll let you guess which one.)

turn-to

“It was cheaper than building a wall.”

Aladdin, not freaked out by this Rat-tastrophe in the least, continues to freely and haphazardly pickpocket while its occurring. He’s stopped by a poorly disguised Princess Jasmine, who thinks that wearing a scarf over her head will prevent the rest of the townspeople from figuring out she’s rich. (This is basically the Agrabah equivalent of Superman thinking no one should recognize him at the Daily Planet, just because he occasionally wears classes and a geeky bowtie.)

scarf

“Peekaboo!”

Jasmine wants to “hire” Aladdin to steal something from the Cave of Awesome Stuff called a Diamond in the Rough, which she claims will save Agrabah from Jafar’s tyrannical reign and rat-ification of the entire city’s immigrant population. Aladdin, to his credit, is rightfully skeptical of this poorly-hidden rich person’s invitation to him, a common thief, to enter a Cave of Awesome stuff ripe for stealing. But he goes along with it anyway, because he thinks Jasmine is super hot. (Typical dude, always thinking with the magical genie in his pants, instead of the stuff between his earlobes.)

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It should be noted that Aladdin, though admittedly extremely easy on the eyes, sports this bizarre shifting accent throughout the hour, which served, for me at least, as the episode’s true mystery: What the heck nationality is the guy trying to convey? His intonations continuously morphed from British, to Irish to Cockney to American to Something Just Plain Weird (Pig-Latin, maybe?)

Anyway, Hot-Bad-at-Faking-Poverty Jasmine and Also-Hot-But-Talks-Weird Aladdin quickly head to the Cave of Awesome Stuff, which Aladdin easily opens by saying . . . wait for it “Open Sesame.” (Talk about bad security. Making the password to open your Cave of Awesome Stuff “Open Sesame” is basically the olden-day equivalent of making the password to your online bank account “Password.”)

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I bet I know the location of another “cave” Aladdin wants to explore.

In the center of the Cave of Awesome Stuff, Aladdin conveniently finds an abnormally large diamond perched precariously on a sword. Quickly recognizing the in-plain-sight placement of the Diamond in the Rough for the trap that it is, Aladdin uses an Abu lookalike monkey statue to counterbalance the weight of the diamond, so he can pilfer it. But then, before the pair could make a clean getaway, the “diamond” crumbles to dust, as does seemingly, the roof of the Cave of Awesome Stuff.

Like a true gentleman who really, really, wants to get laid, Aladdin uses his own body to shield Jasmine from falling debris. And when that doesn’t work, he shoots lightning bulbs out of his fingers to stop the building from collapsing. Spoiler Alert: This common thief has magical powers . . . ones that go beyond just being able to alternate between ten unrecognizable accents in five syllables, and that thing he did with the apple earlier in the episode.

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Jasmine, apparently, knew this all along, despite the fact that Aladdin himself was seemingly unaware of it until this very moment. It’s why she took him on this fake diamond extraction errand in the first place. So, he could realize what a special snowflake he was, and agree to help her save the city from Jafar! How exactly Jasmine knew of Aladdin’s Savior qualities is never made clear during the episode. Perhaps, she just assumed all hot guys with weird accents have magical fingers (hint, hint, wink, wink).

Aladdin though, is not too sure he wants to be a Savior, because being poor and homeless is so much more fun! After Jasmine leaves Aladdin to his decision, Jafar further compounds his would be nemesis’ indecisiveness by offering him a gift: a pair of scissors he could use to literally “chop off” his Savior-ness.

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But also, like, lots of riches and stuff.

This actually seems to make Aladdin’s decision for him, but not in the way Jafar probably intended. See now, by giving up Jafar’s offer of riches, Aladdin no longer has to choose. He can be poor and homeless AND be the Savior! It’s like pulling a half-eaten dirty piece of cake from a rat-infested garbage can and eating it too.

So, a Happy Aladdin promptly rescues Jasmine from the giant hour glass Jafar has trapped her inside, and frees Jasmine’s dad of the zombie curse Jafar put him under, thereby saving the day! (And he does it while riding a magic carpet, because walking the three steps from Jasmine’s castle door to the center of the room is just too damn hard!)

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When that’s over. Aladdin heads off to fully embrace his poor and homeless Savior identity, while Jasmine stays behind to rule Agrabah, because her dad certainly isn’t going to do it. Even un-zombified, the guy is clearly a mental midget . . . sorry mental “little person.”

As Aladdin heads off on his travels, he receives a parting gift from his old pal Jafar. It’s those darn scissors. Jafar probably figures that, hey, even if Aladdin never decides to cut his Savior-ness off, at least he could use them to make some really gnarly arts and crafts!

Hope Springs Aladdin

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Back in Storybrooke, Emma is following Jafar’s bird again to get more information from the Oracle about that vision of her own death she keeps having. Archie is there too, because how to entertain the delusions of the possibly insane was the first lesson he learned in “I didn’t actually go to graduate school because I got my medical degree from a curse” university.

The good news is that the red bird actually help Emma find the Oracle again. The bad news? This time, she’s dead, thereby seemingly debunking a popular fan theory that the Oracle was actually Jafar in disguise, spreading misinformation to Emma about her possible untimely demise.

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“Well aren’t you just Little Miss Mary Sunshine?”

Near the crime scene, Emma comes upon a poorly hidden Jasmine, and brings her in for questioning regarding the murder of The Crusher of Emma’s Hopes and Dreams. (Again, with the head scarf as a disguise! Does this woman never learn?)

Jasmine claims herself to be innocent of the Oracle’s murder. It’s a claim that Emma instantly believes, because of her supposed super power to tell when people are lying. You know, the one that’s proven wrong at least once an episode!

She then reveals her true identity and purpose for being in Storybrooke, to find Aladdin . . . the Other Savior. Though Emma hasn’t yet revealed her impending death to the rest of the cast, she’s secretly thrilled by this news. After all, the Oracle told her that Savior’s MUST die. But if Savior Aladdin somehow managed to survive, maybe that’s not entirely true . . .

Archie Bunkered

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“Is this because I wouldn’t stop singing ‘When You Wish Upon a Star?”

In slightly less hopeful circumstances at the moment is Archie, whose just been kidnapped by the Evil Queen, so the latter can impersonate him, and trick Emma into revealing all her secrets. The Queen stows Archie at her sister, the Wicked Witch’s house, so he can babysit, while she’s off doing her dastardly deeds.

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The Evil Queen, posing as Archie, does succeed in getting Emma to reveal the specifics of her vision . . . and in front of her entire family, no less.

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The crew is less than pleased with Emma for keeping this from them. Taking the news particularly hard are her beau Hook, her son Henry, who blames himself for forcing Emma to become the Savior in the first place, and Regina, who learns that she’s not in Emma’s vision, which either means she’s already dead by this point in the future, or is the one responsible for killing Emma.

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Looks like someone could use a hug!

While all the Good Guys are suffering from the doom and gloom of bad news, the Evil Queen and Wicked Witch are celebrating their victory with a ladies spa day, and gossip session about the boys in Storybrooke they are currently crushing on! Oh, and they also turn Archie back into a cricket, because, why not?

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The Crypt Keeper

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Now, that Emma’s life is at stake, everyone is freshly motivated to find Aladdin for Jasmine. (Whereas, before they couldn’t give two craps if some one-episode guest star’s boyfriend bit it, because it didn’t impact them personally.)

Since, both Emma and Aladdin have magic fingers, Regina cooks up a spell to link their magic together, so Emma could find the erstwhile thief. The spell leads Emma to an underground crypt that looks kind of like the Cave of Awesome Stuff . . . only without the awesome stuff.

Jasmine gets super teary when she finds a pin she gave Aladdin back in the day, on top of a pile of bones, assuming her would-be lover’s demise. This finding majorly bums out the rest of the crew too, because it seems to confirm the Oracle’s theory that all Savior’s die. (Ignoring the fact that . . . well . . . everybody dies eventually, savior or not, so maybe it’s just a crappy coincidence!)

Emma comforts a distraught Henry, telling him that she doesn’t regret reuniting with her family and becoming the Savior, even if it means she only gets to live a few more episodes. It’s a kind of sweet moment actually.

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“The pilot episode of the series revolving around me as a bail bondsperson didn’t get picked up, so I really had no choice in the matter anyway.”

Aladdin must have thought it was pretty sweet too, because he decides to COME BACK FROM THE DEAD!!!!

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Just kidding! Aladdin was never dead! He was just a really big wimpy baby, who was afraid his girlfriend wouldn’t want to bone him anymore, after he cut off his Savior-ness with Jafar’s scissors. So, he hid out in a cave for twenty-eight years, like the homeless person he always aspired to be!

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Aladdin offers the Anti-Savior scissors to Emma, so she too can cut off her Savior-ness and avoid certain death. He then heads to the park to reunite with Jasmine, who is probably going to dump his ass, as soon as she learns he no longer has those magical fingers . . .and has officially become just like every other smelly homeless guy with a weird accent.

Running with Scissors

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Since she’s been lying to him about dying for nearly five episodes, Emma decides to make things right between her and Killian by letting him hold her Anti-Savior scissors. “I trust you to hide them in a safe place, and not use them on me, while I’m napping on the couch after drinking way too much rum with you and watching those Pirates of the Caribbean movies you like so much.”

So, of course, Hook lies to Emma, and tells them he dropped the scissors 20,000 leagues under the sea, when, really, he dropped them 1/10 of a league into his pants. Because THAT decision isn’t going to come back and bite someone in the ass later this season, now will it?

Until next time, Oncers!

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ONCE UPON A TIME Recap: Arrested Development

The following post has been brought to you by Agony Booth.com

killing-hyde

“Does anybody have any TUMS? I’m experiencing a mild to moderate case of heart burn.”

This week on Once, the Beast tries to win back Belle’s heart by incarcerating her. (Hey, it worked last time!) Snow White learns that she’s a terrible teacher, when the subject is anything other than making a birdhouse. The Evil Queen’s kryptonite is finally revealed. And yet another sort-of villain is given a hasty partial redemption arc, before meeting his untimely demise.

Let’s review, shall we?

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beast-Holder

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Nothing makes you feel worse about your appearance than staring at yourself in a magnifying mirror. It’s the closest most of us will ever come to knowing how awful we’d look on HDTV.”

Being dumped by Belle (again) has good ole Rump feeling a little down on himself. So, he does what most of us do after a bad breakup. Get drunk on cheap wine. Eat an entire box of Cheez-Its in a single sitting. And watch on repeat that horror movie where a guy who looks like your ex gets brutally murdered in the first half hour. He gives himself a makeover!

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Apparently, Rumpel felt as though the root of all his dating problems was that he had longer hair than Snow White. Her being “the fairest one of all” and all that jazz.

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But now that the two characters have the exact same haircut, for sure all the ladies in Storybrooke will want to rumble in the sheets with Rumpel! The Evil Queen certainly seems to like her frenemy’s new ‘do.

ONCE UPON A TIME -

Then again, she is so gosh darn horny all the time, she’d probably make love to a mop if it fell in her general direction.

Speaking of the Evil Queen, she and her new beau Hyde have come to Rumpel’s store to steal an ugly necklace. And they do it in this super stealthy way. Basically, they stomp into the store and loudly announce, “I’m going to take your ugly necklace.”

No wonder Rumpel’s pawn shop revenue isn’t what it used to be. Security has apparently gotten a bit lax. Shrinkage. It isn’t just what happens when George Costanza from Seinfeld goes for a swim anymore.

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Infuriated by the loss of yet another ugly antique, Rumpel tries to Jedi Mind Murder Hyde.

Rumpel fails miserably at this, of course, as he does with pretty much every action he attempts throughout the course of this episode. It’s a wonder the guy was able to cut his hair, without accidentally chopping off his right arm.

Speaking of failures . . .

Those who can, do. Those who can’t . . . SNOW.

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Last week, I predicted that Snow would end up being a bad teacher, because she spent twenty eight years teaching the same students how to build a bird house, every damn day, and they still couldn’t do it! It gives me no joy to be right about this. (Who am I kidding? I was thrilled! I’m an awful person, in case you haven’t figured that out by now!)

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Oddly enough, since most of Storybrooke’s new homeless population is apparently in high school, Snow has gone from teaching bird house making to teaching physics for REASONS. After seeing Snow suck at teaching (Every single one of her students failed her exam!), her new teacher’s aid, Princess Jasmine, wonders why Snow doesn’t stick to stuff she’s actually good at, like playing with dwarves, and faking sleep so some hot guy will make out with her.

This seems like solid advice from a total stranger. And this is why Snow decides for her next lesson, to take all her students out into the school yard, and teach them how to shoot deadly weapons in each others’ general direction. Public education is the greatest, am I right?

“Anyone who gets accidentally murdered gets an automatic A.”

After class, Jasmine heads off into the woods to meet the girl, who is obviously Jafar in disguise, even though they haven’t officially told us this yet, and asks for her help in finding Aladdin. Because THAT’S not going to end badly at all . . .

You know what else is going to end badly?

Houseboat Arrest

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In what will likely be the only non-snarky thing you will hear me say in this recap. I’m totally digging the burgeoning friendship brewing between Hook and Belle, the latter of whom, up until this point, always seemed somewhat separated from the main cast. It’s exceedingly rare for television shows nowadays to showcase a 100% platonic male/female relationship. So, when one appears and it feels genuine, I appreciate it.

I mean, so what if Hook tried to kill Belle a few seasons back? What’s a little attempted murder among pals?

Anywhoo, Hook is moving his stuff off the boat, so he can move in with Emma permanently, when Rumpel comes and puts a spell on the boat so Belle can’t leave it. Rumpel claims that he does this for Belle’s “safety.” Riiiiiiight. Because nothing says safe, like being trapped in a small wood mass surrounded on all sides by water, with no immediate avenue of escape, apart from plunging one’s self into the drink. Has Rumpel never seen the movie Dead Calm or Jaws, for that matter?

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“Don’t worry Belle. You don’t have to come to me. I’ll come to you!”

Upon hearing of Belle’s incarceration, Hook, being a swell guy, tries to cheer up his very pregnant pal, by offering her booze and a fake telephone.

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connected

Meanwhile, Regina and Jekyll are racing to obtain the serum that will destroy the respective dark sides of their souls, before their sexier, better dressed halves, the Evil Queen and Hyde track it down first.

Of course, this wouldn’t be Once without the bastardization of a well-known classic tale. So, it’s time for a flashback, in which we learn that Hyde is just a misunderstood hipster with a bad case of pinkeye. And Dr. Jekyll is the sociopathic douchebag, “If I can’t have her, no one can,” Guy from every Lifetime movie you ever saw during the 90’s.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jerk-ll and Mr. Hide Me

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“Even my sideburns are sad.”

Once upon a time, Dr. Jekyll wanted to be admitted into some fancy schmancy society, and tried to convince his rich lady crush, Mary’s dad, to let him in, by showing the latter his experiments with the duality of the human soul. Mary’s dad is unimpressed, and tells Jekyll his work is too dangerous for recognition by the society. Jekyll is angry, and you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

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(Actually, he just kind of pouts and throws a tantrum like a baby, but you get the basic idea.) Enter Rumpel, he of the permed hair and glitter-logged face to offer up his episodic dose of bad advice to a suitably naive and desperate party.

Rumpel, who apparently was trying to find a magical cure for his love for Belle, helps Dr. Jekyll to finish his serum, and persuades him to use The Dark Side of His Soul to help him gain entrance into the fancy schmancy society, and get into Mary’s pants.

Dr. Jekyll does is instructed. And Mr. Hyde, upon taking over Jekyll’s body, promptly does exactly what he was designed to do. First, he blackmails Mary’s dad (with evidence that the latter is boning a minor, naturally) to get Jekyll into the fancy schmancy society. Then, Hyde approaches Mary and reveals to her Jekyll’s heretofore hidden affections. Mary predictably has no interest in the milquetoasty Jekyll. But she’s totally bananas for the “passionate and scary, but in a good way” Hyde. (Every girl loves a bad boy, after all!)

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Less than five minutes later, these two crazy kids are having sex. And I wish we as viewers got to see it, because I bet it was friggin awesome!

Instead, we find a horrified Mary waking up next to dull as dog poopy Jekyll, and she is understandably freaking the hell out. Jekyll quickly puts two and two together. And, upon realizing that Mary boned the dark side of his soul, Jekyll gets really angry and (accidentally?) throws Mary out a glass window? Oops! Don’t you hate it when that happens?

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Jekyll then drinks the serum, so Hyde can take the blame for his murderous actions. And Rumpel appears AGAIN! (You would think a guy who has such great surveillance on the entire universe would be better at securing his personal property and the wife who despises him.)

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Rumpel takes one look at the weepy Hyde, and knows instantly that his plan has failed. Hyde, despite supposedly being all dark, twisty, and hipster-like, was apparently just as much in love with Mary as that douchenozzle Jekyll. (I guess: There’s Just Something About Mary!)

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And this meant that Rumpel would never be able to rid himself of his feelings for Belle, no matter how inconvenient they might be. Pissed, Rumpel decides to banish both Jekyll and Hyde to the Land of Untold Stories, giving both half-men a vendetta against the Dark One, which was sure to come back and bite him in the ass, by the end of the episode.

Another Two Bite the Dust

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Ironically, even though everybody spent the entire episode fighting for this Magical Serum that could supposedly kill Hyde and the Evil Queen, the darn vial ended up being a total McGuffin!

First Hyde uses Dead Mary’s necklace, the one he stole from Rumpel at the beginning of the episode, to track down Jekyll and snatch the serum. Then, Hyde breaks the vial, snatches Rumpel’s Dark One sword, and uses it to control Rumpel, and get him to give up Belle’s location. Now, as we know from earlier in the episode, Rumpel has put a spell on Belle’s boat so she can’t get off it, and Hyde can’t get on it.

Unfortunately, for Rumpel (and Belle, as it turns out), because the spell was (moronically) limited to Hyde, Lifetime Movie Villain Jekyll was able to just waltz onto that boat and attempt to kill Rump’s lady love. Uh oh, Belle! Time to call for help on your fake phone!

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I wonder if accidental smashing is covered under the Fake Phone insurance plan . . .

Lo and behold, Hook does actually end up hearing Belle’s cries for help. He magically manifests himself on the boat, and promptly stabs Jekyll to death, which is good! But he also kills Hyde in the process, which kind of sucks, because the latter was actually a fun guy!

In addition to being bad news for Bad Boy, Hipster, and Pink Eye Lovers the world over, the circumstances surrounding Hyde’s demise are also pretty crappy for Regina, who just figured out that the only way she can kill the dark side of her soul is to . . . well, commit suicide basically.

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A distraught Regina makes Emma promise to murder her, if things get too tough with the Evil Queen wreaking havoc on Storybrooke.

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“Just make sure that my funeral is better attended than the Evil Queen’s otherwise I’ll be super embarrassed.”

Speaking of uncomfortable conversations, how about the one where Rumpel has to apologize to Belle for trapping her and her unborn child on a boat with a total psycho?

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Yeah, I think it’s safe to say the honeymoon is pretty much over for these two lovebirds . . .

Until next time, Oncers!

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Once Upon a Time: Cinderella, armed and moderately dangerous!

Cross posted at AgonyBooth.com!cinder-with-a-gun

This week on Once, Cinderella goes POSTAL . . . for a few seconds. Also this week, Hook and Emma get baby fever. Rumpel makes Belle a mix tape. And the Evil Queen comes up with a nefarious scheme . . . to perfect her adopted son’s bad posture.

Let’s review, shall we?

The Hunger Games

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Everyone knows that the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his pants stomach. (We’re going to go with stomach here, because it’s an 8 p.m. show owned by Disney.) And this is why both Regina and the Evil Queen attempted to FEED Hyde into giving them information about the town’s new burgeoning population of homeless people. The only difference, of course, is that the Evil Queen arrived first at Hyde’s prison cell with a five-course meal, wine, and a team of set designers from the recently canceled television series, Hannibal. Regina, on the other hand, brought a pan of re-heated microwavable lasagna that she probably re-plated from a Stouffer’s TV Dinner, and the only two members of the town’s Neighborhood Watch, Snow and Charming . . ..

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“The carpet in here doesn’t match the drapes. Plus the grass on the lawn is an inch over regulation height. You are going to have to fix that.”

Understandably, Hyde is unimpressed with his new, less than Michelin Star, accommodations, and refuses to give up any hobo gossip to our heroes, unless Regina frees him from the pokey, ASAP. This, Regina cannot do (at least not with Neighborhood Watch literally breathing down her neck).

Maybe Regina should have chosen to make a move on Hyde’s heart through his pants, after all . . .

Baby Steps

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I guess it really shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Hook is good with kids, especially when you consider the fact that, over in Neverland, apart from a few unwashed smelly pirates and a crocodile, prepubescents were literally the only people around with which he could share his Man Pain. Of course, up until this week, Emma has been too mired in her depression, carpal tunnel pain, and endless supply of pillow cases with holes cut in the arms for t-shirts (She wore one AGAIN this week! Why Once Wardrobe Team? WHY?) to notice.

So, Hook, whose sex life this season has consisted entirely of one hastily aborted couch fondling session, sets off on a major campaign to get himself laid more regularly. And that campaign involves him temporarily morphing into the male version of Mary Poppins with anyone under the age of 18 he can find.

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Emma, who sees everyone around her having babies, and then promptly forgetting they exist, when plot dictates that they do so, is super turned on by the notion of “getting a little Hook in her,” both figuratively and literally. The only problem is that she is quite certain she’s going to croak by the end of the season, which doesn’t leave her with much time to get knocked up and carry a baby to term.

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“If they bury me in one of those pillow case t-shirts and not my red leather jacket, I swear I will haunt them for all eternity.”

Emma discusses these fears (again) with her shrink, Jiminy Cricket. Jiminy tells Emma to Carpe Diem, basically, because she’s the star of a show where logic, plot and timeline consistency aren’t exactly top concerns. So, if the writers decided they wanted Emma to have a baby with Hook and die by the end of the season, they’d probably get it done in the span of two episodes, via a hastily explained “time jump” or “magic, speed-up-the-birthing-process spell.” (The latter of which, was a plot device that was actually used on this show with Zelena and HER newborn.)

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This explanation is good enough for Emma, who, by the end of the episode, invites Hook to move in with her, while evoking thinly veiled allusions to the couple’s shared leather fetish . . .

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Once alone, Captain Hook celebrates his good fortune, by twirling his mustache, and laughing maniacally, while shouting at the top of his lungs, “My evil plan worked! She bought it.”

Then, he proceeds to punch a couple of babies in the face, just because he can. Just kidding. He probably did something like this . . .

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Now, if only Emma could finally work up the courage to tell the future father of her children / fellow leather fetishist the truth behind her crippling carpal tunnel condition . . .

“Would you believe me if I told you that it’s caused by excessive use of a vibrator?”

The Tale of the Forgotten Stepsister (and the REALLY Forgotten Stepsister)

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This week’s Fairytale flashback is a revisit of the same Cinderella story we’ve already seen twice on the series, which makes the season’s promise of “Untold Stories” a bit of a misnomer, at least as far as this episode is concerned. That said, we do get some tweaks to the well-known tale here. One change is that Cinderella leaves the ball, way before midnight, not because she fears her dresses will turn back to rags if she stays, as commonly believed. But rather, because she’s insecure about being poor, and fears that everybody at the ball, the prince included, is secretly laughing at her.

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This fear is confirmed for Cinderella, when her Stepmother tells her she looks like a trash bag, and has the same education level of the family’s pet cat. That line itself is really not important to the plot. I just thought it was funny, but also racist / species-ist? against cats. Because some cats I know, like mine, for example, happen to be super educated, just saying.

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Harvard Grad, Graduating Class of 9 Lives

But I guess the most important two tweaks to this story, at least for purposes of this episode, are the fact that: (1) Cinderella is so convinced that the prince will never love her that SHE is actually planning to go into the Land of Untold Stories to escape the feared inevitability of her spinsterhood; and (2) it’s actually her “ugly” stepsister Clorinda, who convinces Cinderella to stay in Fairytale land, so that she can be around to accept her Prince’s inevitable proposal.

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As luck would have it, Clorinda has also found love . . . SECRET FORBIDDEN LOVE . . . with the prince’s footman, a union of which the Evil Stepmother will never approve.

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This gives Cinderella an idea!

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Clorinda can escape to the Land of Untold Stories with her Footman, where the Evil Stepmonster can never find them and get in the way of their true love. Everything seems to be going according to plan, until Evil Stepmonster uses Cinderella’s insecurities against her AGAIN, to get the latter to spill the beans on Clorinda’s whereabouts, before she can escape to the Land of Untold Stories with her Footman. As a result, Evil Stepmonster ends up dragging Clorinda into the Land of Untold Stories with HER, while Poor Footman is left out in the cold, doomed to never have a name, or more than one line of dialogue in this portion of the story.

Speaking of no name or dialogue, Cinderella also has another stepsister. But she gets no name, and pretty much stares at the screen dumbfounded for the first half of the flashback, only to be never heard from again shortly thereafter. No one is looking for her. Nobody cares that her entire family abandoned her for another universe. Basically, Evil Stepmonster’s under-achieving cat gets more personality development than this chick. Talk about an Untold Story!

Defeat and Repeat?

our-life

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Meanwhile, Regina rushes around town trying to figure out a way to defeat her eviler and hornier half. This results in her ultimately hiring Dr. Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll to cook up a potion that will allow her to kill herself, for lack of a better term. (Let’s hope it goes over better than Regina’s lasagna.) Snow White finds herself to be suffering from a bit of an existential crisis.

And why shouldn’t she? The show has been going on for six seasons now. And every season, Snow has to battle two big bads, one of whom is often someone she’s battled before. In fact, Snow has been so busy battling Big Bads that she hasn’t had time to fix that hideous haircut of hers!

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So, Snow tells Charming that she’d like to go back to being a teacher, like she was in season 1. She thought she was pretty good at it. And hey, if you forget the fact that time was on a Groundhog Day-esque loop throughout most of the first season, which meant that Snow pretty much taught the same “How to Make a Birdhouse” class to the same exact students for 28 years, I guess you could say Snow was about average, as far as teachers go.

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I wonder if Snow White’s birds get a better education than the Evil Stepmother’s cat . . .

Speaking of students, since Storybrooke’s one kid over the age of 2, Henry, seems to be reaching adolescence, Snow has decided she wants to start a high school. She figures Dr. Jekyll and Dr. Frankenstein can teach there right along side of her, bringing the faculty of said high school up to THREE people. Nevermind, the fact that Dr. Frankenstein also happens to be the ONLY DOCTOR in Storybrooke too . . . (I hope he forms two unions, each including only himself, to fight back against these unfair working conditions.)

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Storybrooke’s equivalent of a sweatshop worker.

But hey, I guess when you live in a town where half the population is homeless, and the others are trashbags with the education level of cats, you have to improvise a bit when it comes to job creation.

Follow that Stinky Sneaker!

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Back in the Cinderella portion of the story, now that Clorinda and her mother have crash landed in Storybrooke, and joined the town’s excessive homeless population, everybody’s favorite Friend to Rats and Rider of Pumpkins decides she needs to find her stepsister. (Again, Clorinda, not the other stepsister, because no one cares about her.)

Cinderella steals her husband’s rifle in anticipation of this meeting, because nothing says, “I’m sorry I ruined your sex life, possibly for all eternity,” like waving a firearm in their face like a raving lunatic. Cinderella’s husband asks Emma for help, because he’s worried that Cinderella will KILL Clorinda, because the latter said some mean stuff to his wife, back when the two women were teenagers. (As good a reason to commit cold-blooded murder as any.)

In order to find Cinderella, and prevent her from becoming a homicidal maniac (After all, the town’s only jail cell is currently occupied by Hyde, so no one else is allowed to commit crime.), Emma uses her magic to produce Cinderella’s stinky running sneaker, and then follows it’s disgusting aroma to the gun-toting princess’ whereabouts.

In the midst of all this toxic shoe sniffing, Emma and the gang come upon the Evil Queen, who despite living inside the dark part of Regina’s soul for the majority of her life, somehow comes fully equipped with a designer wardrobe, complete with a treasure trove of weaves and hair extensions. (It’s rather impressive, actually. Perhaps, Emma and Snow should consider temporarily moving into Regina’s soul. They could learn a thing or two about fashion.)

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Evil Queen, who is in full “throw shade at Emma and make her feel insecure” mode . . .

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Thank you, Captain Obvious! I thought the problem with being a Savior is that you have to wear pillow cases for clothing . . .

. . . actually makes some really good points about how she’s just as much Henry’s mother as Regina, seeing as she was hiding out inside her soul, while Regina raised him. (This, bringing Henry’s mommy count up to three, for those of you keeping score.)

She even has some motherly tips for Henry about improving his posture so as to project confidence to those around him. Solid advice that Henry’s biological mother could probably benefit from herself, especially since she’s taken to wearing shapeless white sacks on her rescue missions.

Anywhoo, Emma and Co. eventually track down Cinderella, just as she is falling into a trap set by her evil Stepmother, using Clorinda as bate, to MURDER HER WITH HER HUSBAND’S RIFLE! Families are just the best, aren’t they?

Clorinda kind of wants Cinderella to die too, due to whole “sex life ruining thing,” but then Cinderella reunites Clorinda with her lost love the Footman, and all is cool with them . . . until Evil Stepmother stabs Cinderella in the chest.

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Fortunately, Emma’s on hand to save Cinderella’s life. Unfortunately, she has a bad carpal tunnel attack just as she’s about to do it, and Cinderella starts bleeding out right before our very eyes.

But rest easy folks. Cinderella doesn’t die. The writers of this show only like to kill off attractive menfolk. For the most part the ladies are invincible. And so, Emma successfully revives Cinderella, and the latter lives to make exceedingly poor life choices, based on insecurities and a love of assault weapons, for another day . . .

One Track Minds

Speaking of poor life choices, sometimes our fixation on certain aspects of our lives, causes us to act out impulsively, and do things we wouldn’t normally do, in pursuit of one specific goal. This appeared to be the case for the Evil Queen, who let a literal monster out of jail, because she was horny . . . also because he was going to help prevent Regina from killing her, but mostly because she was horny.

For Hyde’s part, he allies with the dark side of Regina’s soul seemingly just because he really likes her cooking, also because he wants to get out of jail, but mainly for the cooking.

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Then, there’s Prince Charming, who makes a deal with Rumpel to find out the truth about what happened to his father. And we all know what it means to make deals with Rumpel. Spoiler Alert: Usually it means bad things, very bad things. (Although, in this case, all Charming had to do to get this information was give Belle a mixtape, because apparently Rumpel is a 13-year old boy circa 1990.)

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And Belle, well she listened to the mix tape, despite the fact that it was from Rumpel, a man her unborn son had told her was up to know good, in a dream she had, in which said son was totally inappropriately hitting on her, and it was kind of gross. Rumpel . . . a man with dark magical powers, who could have filled that mixtape with evil spells that would make her become his lover again, against her will . . . or worse . . . really bad singing / music. But Belle listened to that mixtape from start to finish, despite the apparent risks, because the thought of having her soon-to-be born child grow up without a father simply seemed to much to bear at the time.

And then there was Snow . . . who believed her husband, Charming when he told her he wasn’t going to seek vengeance against the man who killed his father. She believed him, even though he was staring straight at the camera winking at us, with his fingers crossed behind his back, and rolling his eyes intently, when he told Snow he was going to let the matter drop. She believed it, because she really needs to think that after the Storybrooke crew battles their 12th villain of the series, things will go back to normal . . . She’ll become a teacher again. She will grow out her awful hair . . .

Actually, maybe it’s just me that needs to believe in that last one.

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And that’s where we leave our friends from Storybrooke at the end of episode 3, determined, desperate, and clad in some super ugly outfits. Until next time, folks!

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ONCE UPON A TIME RECAP: Flirting with Vengeance (Ep. 6:2)

(Cross posted at AgonyBooth.com)

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This week on Once, a sex deprived Evil Queen hits on everyone from a newborn baby to herself. Also, the writers kill another sexy male guest star because, apparently, they hate me; Emma wears her feelings; and we are again reminded that all the characters on this show have SECRETS!

Let’s review shall we?

Blood Magic

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“Incest, schmincest. We can’t make a baby together, so it’s absolutely risk free!”

Ever wonder how an Evil Queen and her Wicked Witch sister spend their Saturday nights? Apparently, they toss back a few appletinis (Fun!); and then spend the rest of the night skulking around a cemetery. (Slightly less fun.) Since No-Longer-Evil Regina sealed her Crypt of Hearts and Episodic Deus Ex Machinae using blood magic (Amateur!), the Evil Queen (who obviously has the exact same blood as Regina) is able to easily remove the spell and open the crypt. Evil Queen steals something from the crypt, but we won’t know what it is for another two commercial breaks.

Zelena, understandably, is hesitant about trusting the Evil Queen. Therefore, the Evil Queen tries to earn her sister’s trust, by invading her personal space, speaking to her seductively, and staring for way too long at her cleavage. One of the downsides of spending an entire lifetime as the black half of somebody else’s soul is that you never ever get laid.

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“Hello! Anybody out there? Feeling a bit sexually frustrated in here! What’s the devil on your shoulder gotta do to get a back rub around this place?”

In light of that, who can blame the Evil Queen for trying to make up for lost time? So what if some (read: ALL) of her targets are patently inappropriate? Since basically everyone in this town is already related to one another, the definition of what constitutes incest has to be a bit more loosely interpreted . . .

Vengeance: A Dish Best Served Cold (Preferably, with a Side Salad and Baked Potato.)

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This week’s flashback involves a new character, who apparently hails from the Land of Untold Stories. It’s the Count of Monte Cristo. He’s very nice to look at. So, I instantly like him and am rooting for him, because I am an extremely shallow person.

The Count is apparently a very rich guy, and he throws an entire ball just to murder this guy, the Baron, who apparently, killed his fiance, got him thrown in jail, and stole all his family’s money. He does this about two minutes into the ball, which causes everybody to leave. Now, I know these people are all obnoxiously wealthy and stuff, but to me, this just seems like a really bad waste of good booze and food. I mean, why let something silly, like a maiming, ruin a good party?

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“Party poopers!”

The Evil Queen conveniently shows up after everybody left (possibly to pick up the leftover booze and food, because that’s my girl!). She’s holding a piece of paper with the names of all the other people who screwed over the Count. And she offers to give it to him, if he kills Snow White and Prince Charming for her. That seems pretty risky of Evil Queen, waving her only leverage against the Count right in front of his face, where he can easily grab it and run away. If it were me, I’d at least hide it in my underwear or something. Come to think of it, hiding something a guy wants in her underwear seems right up Evil Queen’s alley . . .

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The Count, masquerading as a poor townsperson whose town the Evil Queen burned to the ground, manages to sweet talk his way into a job as Snow White’s and Charming’s wine steward. This means he gets to hang around the castle all day doing nothing, except for the one or two times a day, he has to pour five ounces of liquid into his bosses’ glasses. Nice work, if you can get it!

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“Do you provide 401K contribution matching?”

A Case of the Sads

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“You get a cardboard box! And you get a cardboard box! And you get a cardboard box!”

Back in Storybrooke, No-Longer-Evil Regina is giving the town’s new excessively large homeless population pep talk about not being afraid of what the future has in store for them. Easy for her to say. She’s not the one who is going to have to sleep in a garbage can, next to a pet rat named Stinky.

Shortly, thereafter, Emma politely excuses herself to attend her head shrinking session with Jiminy Cricket. Emma is obviously super depressed about her recent carpal tunnel affliction, and the fact that SHE’S GOING TO ALMOST, BUT NOT ACTUALLY, DIE IN THE SEASON FINALE. We know Emma is having a serious case of the sads, because she dressed herself in an old ripped pillow case with two holes cut out for her to put her arms through . . .

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Well, you won't be a fashion designer.  That's for sure.

Well, you won’t be a fashion designer. That’s for sure.

I think I wore the same costume, when I dressed up as a pilgrim for Thanksgiving in Elementary School. If that shirt is not a serious cry for help. I don’t know what is!

You Can’t Go Home Again

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In other sad and homeless news, Belle has dumped Rumpel, because she had a dream that her unborn son told her to do so, before said unborn son made out with her. This means that she, like half the current population of Storybrooke (a place that consists of basically, two houses, a library, a jail, and a diner) is also without a place to hang her hat.

Fortunately, for Belle, Captain Hook feels kind of guilty about that time he tried to murder Disney’s most introverted princess. So, he decides to make up for it, by letting Belle live on his boat. Belle is bowled over by Hook’s kindness and generosity, and thrilled she won’t have to get a pet rat (Though it worked out OK for Cinderella!). As an added bonus, the fact that Belle is now pretty much guaranteed to constantly reek of fish guts will positively ensure that Rumpel never wants to bone her again!

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In other home-related news, the Count of Monte Cristo has landed in Storybrooke and has left polite word with Charming and Snow White that he wants to murder them, by way of their grandson, Henry. (Because that’s what all the best hit men do, warn their targets that they are coming by writing them a love note on pretty stationary.)

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“If your grandparents could be on time, I’d really appreciate it. Nothing irks me more than when folks are tardy for their own beheadings. So, inconsiderate.”

Upon hearing that the Count wants to kill her parents, Emma snaps out of her doldrums long enough to give mom and dad a ride out of town. Unfortunately, the town now has a spell on it, preventing them from leaving. This is the same spell, which, undoubtedly, the Evil Queen stole from Regina’s crypt earlier in the episode. Emma and Co. are now beginning to suspect the Evil Queen’s reappearance in their lives, if only because the season’s other Big Bad Hyde is holed-up in their only jail cell, nursing a bad case of pink eye . . .

Best Laid Plans

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Back in the past, the Evil Queen gives Professional Wine Pourer, the Count of Monte Cristo, poison to put in Snow’s and Charming’s drinks. The Count is about to go through with murdering the couple. Though, of course, we know he won’t succeed. Because, if he did, they wouldn’t be alive to on this show for six seasons. (Way to spoil the ending for all of us, OUAT!)

The reason that the Count ends up not going through with murdering the Charmings is not something honorable, like a crisis of conscience, or something. As it turns out, the Count spares the Charmings’ lives because, if he poisoned them, he’d also have to poison their handmaiden, and she is really hot. (Apparently, like me, the Count of Monte Cristo is also a very shallow person.)

Unfortunately, for the Count, Rumpel is not so shallow, and he poisons the handmaiden, despite her hotness. You see, Rumpel wants the Charmings to live, so the Evil Queen will cast the spell that takes them to Storybrooke and starts the OUAT television series. And in order for the Charmings to live, shallow hot guys like the Count of Monte Cristo can’t kill them.

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So, Rumpel, who is no dummy, uses the Count’s soft spot for hot chicks to get what he wants. He tells the Count that the only way the latter can save the handmaiden from dying from the poison is by bringing her through the portal to the Land of Untold Stories, so her “Poisoning Story” stops and she gets to live. Granted, the Count could probably just toss the handmaiden through the portal and get the same result. But that wouldn’t help our plot.

Long story, sort-of short, the Count carries this fellow hot person through the portal to the Land of Untold Stories, where the pair undoubtedly have lots of extremely attractive sex with one another. And Charming and Snow are left mourning the fact that they will now have to pour their own wine and dress themselves (which actually explains a lot about why Storybrooke Snow’s hair and wardrobe choices are so hideous).

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“I knew I should have hired an ugly handmaiden!”

Unfortunately, once removed from the Land of Untold Stories, the handmaiden suffers insta-death. The loss of his fellow hot person makes the Count super mad and murderous once again. Then again, maybe he’s murderous because the Evil Queen has his heart and is commanding him to finish the job he started. (Not the wine pouring job, the Snow and Charming murder job.)

OUAT Giveth, and OUAT Taketh Away

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Oh, Count of Monte Cristo! You of the fluffy hair, perfectly arched eyebrows, soulful eyes, and questionable moral code. We barely knew ye. (I especially barely knew ye, because I never had to read The Count of Monte Cristo in high school. I did watch the first two seasons of Revenge though. Does that count?)

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The Count arrives on the dock to murder the Charmings. But, in his defense, he feels really crappy about it. The Charmings, for their part, try to ward off the Count by . . . recreating a sequence from the hit Broadway musical, Stomp?

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And so Regina, who knows the power of musical garbage can lids will not be enough to save her new pals, the Charmings, from an untimely impalement, does the “honorable” thing and impales the Count instead.

Wait. WHAT????? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU, OUAT? WHAT DO YOU HAVE AGAINST HOT GUEST STARS, AND THE SHALLOW PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEM FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN THEIR PERSONAL APPEARANCE???????

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R.I.P. Count of Monte Cristo. I’ll never forget you . . . or at least, I won’t forget you until they hire Ryan Gosling to guest star as Count Dracula . . .

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“I vant to suck your blood, while showing off my six pack, naturally.”

Seeds of Doubt, Sprinkled Everywhere

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Question: When you do sex stuff with a disembodied version of yourself, is it considered incest or masturbation?

Question: When you do sex stuff with a disembodied version of yourself, is it considered incest or masturbation?

Evil Queen conveniently appears just in time to see No-Longer-Evil Regina murder someone hot in cold blood. Apparently, this was her plan all along . . . not for the Count of Monte Cristo to kill the Charmings, but for Regina to kill the Count in their defense, and realize she’s still kind of a crappy person! Murdering the Count makes Regina feel like total junk. But Evil Queen, who lacks social skills, having lived beneath Regina’s breastplate all these years with minimal opportunity for social interaction, misinterprets this as Regina being horny, and hits on her shamelessly.

The Evil Queen then warns that all of our lead Storybrooke characters still have deep dark secrets that the show hasn’t managed to mine in six seasons, but they will all come out now, gosh darn it. Like Rumpel, for example. He has a bondage fetish.

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And Prince Charming. He may have killed his own father!!!!! But worse, he collects coins! How nerdy!

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And Zelena’s two-month old baby! Well, she surely has the darkest secrets of all!

"What exactly are you hiding underneath that rattle?  Is it crack?"

“What exactly are you hiding inside that rattle? Is it crack?”

With threats of deep dark revelations popping up everywhere as a result of Regina’s sort-of-kind-of-but-not-really self-defense killing of the sexy Count of Monte Cristo, it’s no wonder that Emma is starting to question whether she can really trust Henry’s other mother, especially when Regina was one of the few main characters from the show strangely absent from Emma’s death vision. Could Regina be Emma’s future Almost-But-Not-Actual Killer?

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Tune in next week to receive a few more red herrings, but not actually find out.

 

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