The Dinglehopper

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Early Observations about “The Apprentice”

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Everyone knows everyone else better than everyone thinks.  Or knows everyone’s self.  Love isn’t just a battlefield anymore; it’s a weapon.  And the map of shipwrecks reveals its most precious treasure.

Michael’s “Always… no, no… never… forget to check your references.”


Part of the episode focused on Anna, so other than the princess of Arendelle being herself, there wasn’t a lot of clever referencing.  Or I missed it in the midst of convincing our toddler it wasn’t an appropriate time to paint our feet.

However, there was one somewhat obvious nod to “Love is an Open Door.”

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

It’s essentially the title of the episode, but this sequence from Disney’s Fantasia is referenced repeatedly.  The walking broom appeared on the title card.  The bucket featured in the flashback with Zoso and the Sorcerer’s apprentice.  And the hat on Gold’s counter capped the opening chapter.

Both the broom and the hat reappear more than once during the episode.  So does the Sorcerer’s apprentice, who gets turned into a mouse, which was pretty much the funniest thing that ever happened in the Enchanted Forest.

In Storybrooke, Rumplestiltskin takes Henry on as his own apprentice while the bucket sits in the most ominous shaft of light ever to enter a window.  The iconic music plays while Henry begins to sweep the shop.

And Hook learns or at least begins to learn a dire lesson about the careless use of magical shortcuts.  He’s not the only one looking for one in “The Apprentice,” though.  We’re bound to see a few other minorly catastrophic failures this season.

Finally, while it was the Snow Queen leaving puddles and slicks in Emma’s path, the extra water might also have been a nod to Mickey’s predicament.

Lady and the Tramp

As Killian and Emma enter the restaurant in Storybrooke that isn’t Granny’s, we see them framed by a couple sharing a spaghetti noodle, which is much less attractive in real life.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Will Scarlet breaks into the library in order to, um, pass out with a copy of the Charles Dodgson classic or steal a page featuring the Red Queen from it.  This will, of course, be more meaningful to folks who’ve seen the spin-off Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.  But it’s sufficiently intriguing for even the brand new viewer.

Fun Fact: Timothy Webber, who played the Sorcerer’s apprentice, also played the Carpenter on SyFy’s Alice.

“The Snow Queen”

Furthering the theme of distorted reflecting, we see both Rumple and Killian embrace their darker sides.  Snow seems to have gotten a break and rocks some pink an grey.  Regina, however, holed up in her vault, is back in the blues of her youth.  She’s trying to do good and they’ve marked it appropriately.  Henry, on the other hand, is apparently willing to manipulate his grandfather by invoking his dead father to further his formerly and not entirely reformed evil mom’s agenda.  This is exactly what you’d expect from a town under the influence of the mirror in “The Snow Queen.”

Erin’s Happy Shipper Moments

Captain Swan

A large section of the plot rotated around Hook and Emma’s first date, so this will just be the highlights.captain swan date

  1. Hook trades his continued silence for his lost hand so that he can hold Emma with both hands. And then he uses it to present a single rose to her. Awwwww…
  2. Emma wears a dress. Hook wears non-pirate clothes. Clearly both wanted to look their best for the date.
  3. Mary Margaret got to be the excited mom, snapping a Polaroid of the moment. David got to be all protective and then wanted none of the details later, as dads do.
  4. There were some sweet shots of hand holding and a pretty steamy end-of-date kiss. Sadly, we didn’t get enough of the date’s moments.


  1. They kiss! But more importantly they share a heartfelt emotional moment regarding the truth of why her parents traveled to the Enchanted Forest.

Pirate Gold

Here’s me attempting to stretch my shipper sight. Also, this ship has pretty much the best name ever.

  1. Rumple manipulates Hook into thinking that the hand he replaces could be cursed and bring out the pre-reformed pirate-iness. A normal viewer might see this as Rumple getting back at him for blackmailing his help over the truth of the fake dagger. But a Pirate Gold shipper would see the ulterior motive in this–break up Hook and Swan and return Hook to his sexy, swarthy self. When Rumple reveals the truth of the manipulation, he says, “I did you a favor!”
  2. Rumple further blackmails Hook into being his partner (in crime). As Wallace says in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Author: thedinglehopper

The collective authors of The Dinglehopper, two women married with a toddler and a precocious 5-year-old teetering on the margins of hipster-geekism and too much training in social and literary criticism.

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