Thursday, June 18, 2015

Once Upon A Time- Episode Analysis (That Still Small Voice & The Shepherd)

That Still Small Voice
Oh.  OH!  This episode was…. UGH!!!!  Poor Jiminy!  Poor Geppetto!  That…is just…indescribably horrible!  No joke, my heart was just bleeding for these two at the end!  Especially for Jiminy.  I can’t imagine how terrible it must have been for him to live with the guilt over what happened to Geppetto’s parents!  It really was bad luck that he got stuck with such scavengers for parents.  But… how did he get involved with Rumpelstiltskin in the first place?  There's this one scene where he’s just doing some work for him out of nowhere.  Okay, how’d that happen?  Where’d you two even meet?

So, when Emma first entered into Storybrooke, the electrical wires above her head started to spark.  When she got a room at Granny’s Bed and Breakfast, the old clock tower started up again.  Now, when she takes up the job as Sheriff Graham’s deputy and puts on the badge, the mines underneath the town go boom?  Okay, that’s certainly interesting.  What would have happened if she’d actually bought a house in Storybrooke town limits during the course of this season?  Would the animals in the surrounding woods start a conga line?  …..No… that’s just silly.  Forget I even entertained the thought.

We also see more development between the amnesiac David and Mary Margret as David recovers from spending the last 28 years in a coma.  Those two have such great chemistry.  Even if I didn’t recognize them as Snow and Charming, I would probably still love watching those two together.  It probably doesn’t hurt that these two characters are portrayed by a real-life couple.  We also get more bonding time between Mary Margret and Emma as they talk about the whole issue of Mary Margret falling for a man who is supposed to be married.  (Which reminds me- I want those s’mores, Mary Margret!  Gimme some!  Please?  They look so good!)

You know, Regina, if you really wanted Henry to stop thinking you were up to something, maybe, instead of going with your usual tactic of brute force and threatening people, perhaps you might try, I don’t know, being nice for a change?  Cause, you’re not really giving Henry a reason to not think you’re the Evil Queen at this point.  The more you try to impose your way on him (like bullying Dr.Hopper/Jiminy into forcing Henry to stop believing that everyone is really a fairy tale character), the more he’s going to run off and put himself in dangerous situations.  Like running off into a collapsing mine to find physical proof of the curse, for instance.  It was great, however, to see you sorta-kinda working with Emma to save Henry’s life.  It’s a nice testament of things to come.  Although, I get Regina isn’t at that point where she can accept that yet, so it’s not too surprising that she went right back to brushing Emma off again the minute Henry was safe.  Still, a simple thank you wouldn’t have killed you, Regina.  You’re not the only one who cares about Henry.  Deal with it.

Of course, we also get that groan-worthy ending, where we see that if Henry had been able to travel further into the mine tunnels, he would have found the remains of Snow White's glass coffin, which would have been the perfect bit of proof.  Not since the many scenes in An American Tail, when we see Fievel could have been reunited with his family so many times if someone had just bothered to turn around have I felt the need to scream so much.

The Shepherd
So David/Charming’s origin is revealed in this episode.  Also, we get a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘evil twin.’  Turns out, David/Charming was part of a set of identical twin boys born to a peasant woman.  The oldest of the twins was given as a ‘gift’ to King George, who had no heir of his own, by Rumpelstiltskin as part of some sort of deal.  The older twin, whose name was James, grew up to be a strong warrior, but was arrogant and prideful.   In order to obtain gold for the kingdom when it began losing its wealth, King George made a bargain with King Midis (yes, that King Midis).  If Prince James could slay a dragon that was terrorizing Midis’ kingdom, King Midis would reward King George with countless riches.  However, when Prince James’ arrogance got him killed before he could even face the dragon, King George had little choice but to recruit Prince James’ twin, the man we all know as Prince Charming, who had grown up as a simple shepherd.  A plan is devised to have Charming pose as his dead brother for the sake of image, but while he will present the dragon’s head to Midis, it is to be King George’s army who really do the fighting.  But of course, the knights fail to even lay a scratch on the beast, with pretty much all of them dying pretty horribly, leaving Charming to utilize the skills he gained as a shepherd in order to successfully kill the dragon, in David and Goliath fashion.  (Seeing this backstory really makes me think Prince Charming more than deserves to have his Storybrooke counterpart named David.)  And of course, as this flashback wraps up, we’re shown how Charming is being forced to continue his charade as Prince James and marry Midis’ daughter, with King George blackmailing Charming with his birth mother’s life.  (Come to think of it, what exactly WAS Charming’s real first name?  Do they ever reveal it?  I know he said I was James back in the episode when he first met Snow, but this episode seems to indicate he only adopted that name after he was forced to impersonate his brother.  So, what did his mother call him beforehand?)  Our last glimpse of the past shows Charming and Princess Abigail riding off together, en route through the woods, where we all know Snow White is lying in wait to ambush their carriage.  As King George said, ‘On the road to true love.’

 Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, David is out of the hospital and trying to adjust to life with his ‘wife’ Kathryn, but as Henry surmises, his time spent in a coma and subsequent amnesia is preventing the curse from giving him false memories.  His deep connection with Mary Margret/Snow White is also throwing him for a loop, making it hard for him to connect with Kathryn, and possibly making him able to unconsciously resist the curse’s effects.  History really does repeat itself.  Of course, his subconscious memories of his true life also lead him into falling prey to the curse’s power in the end, when he sees the windmill model that supposedly sat in front of the house he was supposed to share with Kathryn and it connects with his memory of the one that stood in his birth mother’s farm.

There’s not much more that’s worth talking about in this episode, sad to say.  Emma finds out about Sheriff Graham’s trysts with Regina.  More foreshadowing to how Regina lost someone she loved.  It is interesting to note that this marks the first time David ever interacts with Emma and Henry, even though you don't get the feeling he feels the same draw to Emma as Mary Margret did.  However, David  was seemingly drawn to the unicorn mobile in Mr. Gold’s shop; the one that should have hung over Emma’s crib had the curse never happened.  So, that does count for something.

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