Because the analyses for the next two episodes are rather short, I'm going to combine them in one post.
The Thing You Love Most-
So, first it was don’t drink the water in Mexico, now it’s don’t eat the apples in Storybrooke. Good safety tip; thanks, Henry. Anyway, in this episode, quite a bit of stuff happened. We learn of how Regina went about casting the curse in the first place, including how she got it from Maleficent (who had originally obtained it from Regina at an earlier point in time in exchange for the sleeping curse Regina used for the whole Poisoned Apple incident) and how it was apparently created by Rumpelstiltskin. We’re also shown how she even ended up killing her own father, whom she did love, (why else would she end up naming Henry after her father?) in order to complete the curse. Which begs the question, what kind of woman would willingly sacrifice someone she loved in order to achieve her goal? It’s in that basic question we’re given the chance to see how desperate she is to obtain her victory over Snow White. Regina even briefly hints at her reasons for her actions in this episode’s flashbacks, even though we’re not yet told exactly what happened between these two women. However, I do wonder who exactly were those other people who helped Regina cast the curse in the first place. Like the blind old hag or the black-bearded gnome (who is now apparently spending eternity as Regina’s garden ornament). What exactly was their story? The world may never know.
Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, Regina really goes out of her way to try and force Emma to leave town, from trying to get her lackey Sidney Glass, dig up the dirt on Emma’s past to an underhanded frame-job by forcing Dr. Hopper to willingly share Henry's therapy files with her and then claim Emma had stolen them. Unfortunately for her, the lengths she goes to only make Emma even more determined to stay. Seriously, lady, did you ever read Order of the Phoenix? You remember the part when Hermione commented about how Umbridge forbidding all Hogwarts students from reading the issue of The Quibbler that featured Harry’s interview was the best way to ensure everyone would read it? The same thing applies here. The more you try to drive Emma away, the more you are convincing her that she needs to stick around. (You would think the fact that Emma went after Regina’s apple tree with a chainsaw would have tipped her off. I know that scene made me think ‘Wow! Remind me never to get on your bad side!’ But nope, I guess it didn’t.) And the fact that you intentionally dragged Henry into your schemes only further cemented Emma into staying. You’ve just proven to Emma that you might just be a threat to the kid she’s starting to care about. Seriously woman, Sheriff Graham even told you that it might be a good idea to ease up and change tactics. Try listening to the advice of the people around you for a change. Ever think you might be happier in the long run if you did?
Also in this episode, we see two things happening that were only briefly touched upon in the pilot episode. The first of these two things is the growing bond between Emma and Mary Margret, the latter of which has yet to remember their true connection. In spite of that, Mary Margret is still able to sense that she can trust Emma and helps bail her out of jail after being set up. The second is the subtle way Mr. Gold, Rumpelstiltskin’s Storybrooke identity, shows himself as the cunning serpent he is. Yeah, Gold, don’t even try to act like you don’t know exactly what’s going on here. We all saw your reaction to hearing Emma’s name in the last episode. We know you’ve maintained your memories from the Enchanted Forest. Don’t pee on my foot and tell me it’s raining.
This episode is particularly noteworthy for introducing Emma’s fondness for cinnamon in her hot chocolate, something we quickly find out is a trait she shares with Henry and Mary Margret. So, was that just something they put into the show to further illustrate the family connection between these three characters, or is that something that’s going to come into play in a much later episode. Like, is cinnamon going to end up being the key ingredient in a life-saving potion or something? After all, the brief research I did on the spice does suggest it has medicinal properties. Then again, maybe I’m just reading too much into it, and the whole love of cinnamon is just an ongoing joke, like the Pineapples in the USA show, Psych and the whole ‘it’s bigger on the inside’ thing from Doctor Who.
Oh, this episode! I think this is the one that really got me into the show. This is the episode that shows us how Snow White and Prince Charming first met, and it’s a WAY better first meeting story than having the pair instantly falling in love by just hearing each other sing by the wishing well. (The fact that the animated version of Snow White’s singing voice is capable of making ones ears start bleeding is beside the point.) By the time the Enchanted Forest plotline for this episode ended, I was sorely disappointed that they stopped there; I wanted to see the story of Snow White and Prince Charming continuing on for much longer. What made the episode even more enjoyable was seeing the parallel story occurring in Storybrooke, which perfectly complemented the Enchanted Forest plotline. Mary Margret is seeking companionship from the opposite sex, but isn’t having much luck, as shown by her horrible date with the guy we’ll eventually know as Dr. Whale. (Ugh. It’s such a dirtbag move to leer at someone else while you’re on a date. I don’t care if the girl you’re looking at is wearing an outfit as revealing as Ruby/Red Riding Hood. I get that jerks like that exist, but why even bother agreeing to go on a date with someone if that’s all you what you want to do?) However, the day after the bad date, Henry, while visiting the hospital as part of the Storybrooke’s school program of visiting hospital patients, comes across a comatose patient and surmises, based on the man’s chin scar, that this is Prince Charming’s Storybrooke counterpart. I admit I was grinning like a loon seeing Mary Margret ‘connecting’ with her soulmate when she didn’t remember who he was, and how, even when unconscious, Charming still can sense his true love’s presence. He even slept walked to the location of the T(r)oll Bridge, where they first began to form a solid connection. That is just indescribably awesome. These two people were so in love, even when their memories of each other are locked away because of the curse, their subconscious minds still recognize each other. It’s no wonder these two are considered the very essence of True Love. And let’s not forget how, when Charming/David was reunited with his ‘wife’ Kathryn (Princess Abigail’s Storybrooke counterpart, whom Charming was originally going to join in an arranged marriage with prior to meeting Snow White), he still maintained eye contact with Mary Margret/Snow. Oh, the parallels! I can’t even begin! As for Regina, while I did like seeing her back off a bit from her tirade against Emma, which was prominent in the last two episodes, this episode began my season-long habit of yelling ‘GO AWAY!’ at the screen every time she appeared. Believe me, I get how she can’t stand the thought of Snow being happy and all, but come on lady! Still, it is a bit chilling to see how she’s got the whole town in her back pocket, and how everyone reports to her immediately after anything happens. Last episode, it was Archie calling Regina after he gave Emma Henry’s files. This time, Dr. Whale calls her up when a change in Charming/David’s brain activity is detected. Henry wasn’t kidding around when he said the whole town’s afraid of her.
One question. So, the bridge Snow and Charming fought the trolls at was transferred into Storybrooke’s town lines. But we clearly saw trolls living there. And we did see a dragon flying by in the pilot episode, when Regina's curse was rolling in, as well as Maleficent's pet unicorn that we saw last episode. Which means there were other mythical creatures living in the Enchanted Forest, right? What happened to these mythical creatures when Regina’s curse hit and created Storybrooke? Were they spared from the curse, or did they all become inanimate objects, like Regina’s gnome garden ornament? If anyone has any thoughts on this topic, I'd be glad to hear them.