You know, out of all the episodes that have aired so far, this is the one I have the hardest time sitting through. Not because it’s particularly dull and boring, but because it’s just so mean spirited. It is apparently Miner’s Day, some fancy Storybrooke-specific holiday, and Mary Margret and Leroy (Grumpy’s Storybrooke counterpart) team up to sell some candles in order to raise money. Money that the Storybrooke nuns need to save their nunnery from foreclosure at Mr. Gold’s hands. But because everyone in town still has a bug up their butt about the whole Mary Margret/David/Katheryn thing, they all refuse to buy a single candle from them, going so far as to slam the door in their faces? Nice community spirit you’ve got there, Storybrooke! Kudos! I’m not going to even touch the whole debate about what Mary Margret and David did, because, yes, they probably could have handled the whole situation better, particularly since no one has regained their memories of who they really are yet. But this shouldn’t have been about what they did or didn’t do. It’s about saving the convent! What the people of Storybrooke were doing by snubbing Mary Margret and Leroy’s fundraiser was ultimately going to punish a group of people who had nothing to do with the whole affair debacle. Can you see why I hate this episode? And yes, I realize things turn out all right in the end, but that’s only because Leroy destroyed that electrical transformer thingamajig (which I admit was pretty awesome), but that’s just one little drop of good in an ocean of irritation. And that scene at the end, which is supposed to indicate that Granny has forgiven Mary Margret? Yeah, that’s great and all, but I think Granny, not to mention the rest of Storybrooke, have reason to need forgiveness as well.
There’s also the Enchanted Forest subplot, which explains what Grumpy was talking about back in ‘7:15 AM’ about how he was in love once. This flashback reveals how some fairy dust was accidentally dropped onto Grumpy’s egg (so, in this show’s mythos, dwarfs are born from eggs? Interesting choice.) Only, back then, he was known as Dreamy because, on account of this fairy dust, he was the most optimistic and hopeful of the dwarfs. He happens to cross paths with a fairy called Nova, and the two share an instant connection. But everyone around them dismisses their feelings (i.e. ‘dwarfs can’t fall in love’ etc.). All except for Belle, who made a surprise appearance in this episode. I was really glad to see her again, and it was so sweet of her to encourage Dreamy/Grumpy to be with Nova. This clearly takes place after her time with Rumpelstiltskin, and you can see how her time with him is inspiring her speech to Dreamy/Grumpy. When Dreamy/Grumpy and Nova decide to run away together, the Blue Fairy decides to stick her nose into their business and tells Dreamy/Grumpy to leave Nova. But my question is, why? Why couldn’t they be together? I mean Dreamy/Grumpy was a dwarf who mined diamonds. Diamonds that were broken down into magic dust that fairies like Nova gathered. Sounds like a perfect match to me. Besides, what’s this crap about how being with him will prevent Nova from being a fairy? First off, Blue, why do you care? You made it rather clear in the first scene of this episode that you didn’t think she had what it took. Even if what you said was true, and running away together would prevent Nova from being a fairy, and how Dreamy/Grumpy had a responsibility to mine the diamonds, etc.? Come on, it’s not like there aren’t other fairies and dwarfs running around to pick up the slack. You mean to tell me losing one pair of hands is going to be so catastrophic? Besides, Nova even said, in not so many words, that she didn’t care about not being a fairy anymore, as long as she could be with someone who was clearly her true love. And yes, I do believe that what we were seeing between those two was true love, ‘cause, why else would Leroy and Sister Astrid still feel drawn to each other, even with the curse still in effect? While I get that Nova’s dream was initially to be a great fairy, dreams can change. People can, and oftentimes do, switch paths. Why are fairies like Nova and dwarfs like Dreamy/Grumpy denied that same opportunity? This makes no sense to me. At all. Is this a class discrimination thing? Are you implying that just because someone is from a species apart from human, they are automatically unworthy to the same rights and opportunities? Do you realize how much that sounds like a warped mix of the feudal system and racial segregation?
Needless to say, this whole entire episode just makes me angry, so I’m just going to wrap it up here. Plot stuff happens, Kathryn’s still missing, she never made it to Boston, phone records (which may have been tampered with since we see they came through Regina) indicate she was on the phone with David right before she disappeared, Emma pulls David in for questioning, blah blah blah. Moving on, next episode.
Ruby/Red is a werewolf? There’s a twist to the story of Little Red Riding Hood. (Though, not too original, as that plotline was previously explored in the 2011 movie, which also has the heroine’s main love interest named Peter.) And that whole red herring with Red’s boyfriend, Peter, possibly being the wolf? (Peter the wolf? HA!) My heart really goes out to Red. The knowledge that she killed a boy she loved? I don’t know how I could live with that sort of thing. And what a nasty way for Peter to go, too. (Pffft. Once Upon a Time- a family show!) Still, this whole thing could have been avoided if Granny had told Red the truth from the start. I understand wanting to protect her from the burden, but that clearly didn’t work out. And sometimes, the best way to keep someone safe is to make sure they know what they’re up against, so they can protect themselves as well. At least Granny acknowledges her mistake in keeping the truth from Red, so that does count for something. On a positive note, we see how Red and Snow White first met. (Who else giggled at the obvious origin of Snow’s Storybrooke name?) It’s really admirable how Snow wasn’t the least bit afraid of her newfound friend, even after finding out that she was a werewolf. Instead, she immediately reached out to her and focused on getting her away before the hunters arrived on the scene. I don’t think many people could have done the same. I’m left wondering, though. What happened to Granny after that scene? She clearly survived, as we see her knitting what ends up being Emma’s baby blanket in the pilot episode. Who else is curious to see how she handled things with the hunters?
Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, Ruby’s relationship with her grandmother is strained when, after an argument, Ruby quits her job at the diner. In an attempt to help her out, especially after seeing how well Ruby does at answering the phone, Emma offers her a job as her assistant. It’s by working as Emma’s assistant that Ruby discovers her innate gift of tracking people down, something that’s carried over from her true identity as Red in the Enchanted Forest. First, she helps locate David in the woods when he starts blacking out again. (Can I ask what exactly triggered David’s sleepwalking/blackout thing this time? Did he get bonked on the head off-screen? Or was that happening all along without our knowledge?) Then she discovers a box buried in the ground near the T(r)oll Bridge. A box that has a human heart inside it. While finding that heart proves to be a bit too much for Ruby to handle, leaving her to returning to the diner and making amends with Granny (who tells Ruby that she’d been wanting to train Ruby to take her place at running the diner one day), things take a turn for the worst when tests performed on the box the heart was found in revealed Mary Margret’s fingerprints were all over the box. Really, show, can we please let these people have one moment to just breathe? We’ve barely allowed them to recover from the whole affair blowout. Now they throw this possible murder subplot at us. Still, at least they’re no longer dragging their feet in terms of the plot, so I probably shouldn’t complain.
I was left wondering something about Ruby and Granny after this episode. While it was established that Red needed her cloak to keep her transformations at bay, Ruby clearly doesn’t have that cloak in Storybrooke. I gather that the curse’s power is keeping her transformation from happening, but the full moon clearly has some effect on them. At least, we know it does on Granny, who states that the scar she has on her arm, which was what infected her with the werewolf gene years ago, starts to hurt during the full moon. So, does Ruby feel some effect from the full moon, too? Does she just get more irritable than normal? Is that what led her to blow up and quit in the beginning of this episode?