The Dinglehopper

You've Probably Never Heard of Us


1 Comment

Early Observations about “Best Laid Plans”

The Author shines a light on things and brings down the curtain. Even our toddler has had it with Snow White and Prince Charming. And Rumpbelle is resurrected.

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

“To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough” (1785) – Robert Burns

This classic poem draws parallels between a farmer’s situation and that of a mouse whose home is destroyed as he plows. It’s a leveling of the field, as it were, ennobling the mouse and humbling the farmer. While the tone of the poem is companionable and its message universal, it’s useful to Once Upon a Time because it reverses the existing order, the theme of 4B.

http://www.bartleby.com/6/76.html

I’m truly sorry man’s dominion,
Has broken nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion,
                    Which makes thee startle         10
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
                    An’ fellow-mortal!

Specific to this episode, “Best Laid Plans,” references lines 39 and 40, often translated into modern English as, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” We’re meant to note that for all Snowing’s efforts to ensure Emma’s future, they still ended up at the same verbal exchange Snow witnessed in her vision. It’s extra special because the Apprentice, our mouse, was involved.

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
                    Gang aft agley,         40
An’lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
                    For promis’d joy!

The title is also, again, an hilarious pun. Maleficent’s best laid egg…

Bonus: Jacob Grimm, the elder of the Brothers Grimm who recorded scores of household tales including many of those reinterpreted in Once Upon a Time, was born in 1785.

Was he an Author?

August: There have been many Authors throughout time. It’s a job, not a person. And the one trapped in here was just the last tasked with the great responsibility.
Emma: Which is?
August: To record–to witness the greatest stories of all time and record them for posterity. the job has gone back eons,1 from the man who watched shadows dance across cave walls and developed an entire philosophy,2 to a playwright who told tales in poetry,3 to a man named Walt.4 Many have had this sacred job–great women and men who took on the responsibility with the gravity that it deserved… until this last one.

Eion Baily1

August Booth is played by actor Eion Baily. There’s a chance, however slight, that the word choice here was subtly hinting that he’s the current author or at least a journeyman in training. after all, he was able to add his own story to Henry’s Once Upon a Time book. And he knows more about the Author(s) than anyone outside the Apprentice or the tricksie Peddler himself.

Plato2

In The Republic, Plato has Socrates desPlato's Cavecribe a gathering of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to designate names to these shadows. The shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall do not make up reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.

William Shakespeare3

William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. His works have been translated into every major living language. His inclusion in the mythology opens up a huge roster of potential background characters.

Walt Disney4

Often suggested as the Author who’d appear this season, Walt Disney founded the company that owns ABC and has produced several popular interpretations of classic fairy tales. But you knew that.

It’s not entirely unreasonable to suggest that the Author trapped in the book is James Lapine, writer of the postmodern revisionist Into the Woods, the film version of which Disney released last year. It makes Charming’s, “As long as we have each other, we can be the best versions of ourselves,” slyly metatextual.

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Snow White plays Lady Macbeth pretty much straight here. Unable to shake her vision, she pushes herself and her husband to ever more egregious acts of evil until, eventually, she cannot take the consequences anymore.

Isaiah 34:14

Lilith, variously a female demon or wicked fairy. In Jewish folklore she became Adam’s first, equal, wife who refused to submit and rejected Eden. So Maleficent’s exiled daughter has a powerful, resonant, ominous name.

Paradise Lost

Finally, some of the juxtapositions in the Comic-Con trailer make sense. What had been useful as a broad metaphor now has specific referents. The first portion in particular.

Snow: I’ve loved you since the first moment I saw you.
Charming: And I’ll love you until my last

Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,(163)
Our labour must be to pervert that end,(164)

Emma: It’s time for all of us to believe; to believe in each other

And out of good still to find means of evil;(165)

Zelena: I tried to be good once but it wasn’t in the cards.

Snowing sought to secure Emma’s good destiny through an act of evil. Zelena managed to twist several benevolent acts toward her own ends. And, of course, as long as you’ve seen the preview, she’s coming back.

The Poetic Edda

For whatever reason, the building to the left of Gold’s Pawn Shop, if you’re facing it, is fronted with “gudrun.” It could have been there all along, but I only remember seeing it twice this season. In one of the stories in the Edda, Guðrún feeds her husband their sons and burns down his hall.

Once Upon a Time

The non-Frozen portions of 4A really come back in force this episode. We revisit “The Apprentice,” “Breaking Glass,” and “Smash the Mirror” all weigh pretty heavily here. But since we open on Snowing tracking a unicorn for clairvoyant visions, I want to focus on that.

Emma Swan has always been associated with the unicorn and it’s nice to see it brought back into the mythology and reality of the show. The unicorn is a traditional Christian salvific symbol, so it’s entirely appropriate that it be involved with every aspect of her story.

1×01 “Pilot”

This is where we first see the unicorn mobile.  It reappears in Gold’s shop in 1×06 “The Shepherd.”

Unicorn Mobile

In addition to the potential Into the Woods connection above, the acknowledgement that the mobile was a gift from Cinderella opens her, via the recent live action Disney release, as a potential focus next season.

1×02 “The Thing You Love Most”

When Regina confronts Maleficent in order to retrieve The Dark Curse, Mal has a diminutive pet unicorn by her side. Ultimately, it’s her concern for this pet that decides the fight against her. It’s interesting that the other unicorn in the story is at least tangentially linked to Swan’s counterpart, Lily.

Unicorn Title Card1×12 “Skin Deep”

This episode reuses the title card from “Skin Deep.” In that episode the unicorns appear on tapestries in Rumpelstiltskin’s Dark Castle.

The first “Sight” from the series The Lady and the Unicorn. The second only appears after Belle attempts to break Rumple’s curse with true love’s kiss. He tears the cover from the mirror and rants at Regina while “The Unicorn in Captivity and No Longer Dead” from the series The Hunt of the Unicorn overwhelms the background. It’s a subtle scenery clue that the savior is integral to his convoluted plans.

At this point, Rumpelstiltskin, Ingrid, the Sorcerer, the Apprentice, Snowing, and the Author all have designs on Emma Swan. With all that pressure, how much control does she have over her own destiny?

Erin’s Happy Shipper Moments

Captain Swan

  • Killian is clearly deeply concerned about the plan to turn Emma into a villain. Emma emphatically reassures him she will not go dark, though Killian speaks from experience when he tells her darkness can creep up on a person. The two share a long comfort hug where clearly they are oblivious to everyone else around them because one foot away Charming and Snow are discussing the thing which cannot be told to Emma and use Emma’s name. That’s a helluva hug.
  • Killian asks how “the wooden man-child” was as a dual conversation starter. Certainly he knows she’s thinking about August’s well-being, but he’s also attempting to dig a little into her feelings for August. Emma sees immediately what he’s up to and tells him, “Now is not the time to be jealous.” “Why would I be jealous?” Killian responds, adding that he knows she’s partial to men in leather jackets. Emma explains that August is just a friend, but since she’s had a rough time making friends, she holds him dear. Then they notice the sleeping curse coming at them and land in the cutest sleeping pose possible, with Emma laying on Killian’s chest.
  • When her parents finally come clean, Killian attempts to comfort Emma by asking if she’s alright and moving to hold her hand, but she pulls it away quickly before he can touch her. She leaves shortly after.
  • Killian finds her later by the pier. She tells him she just needs some time. He knows to skip the discussion of how she’s doing and goes straight to what will relieve some of her anxiety: “August is awake. Your parents are with him.” “Is he?” “He’s going to be fine. Your friend is going to be fine.” Then she hugs him, bringing back the intimacy and comfort she had rejected earlier and allowing him to carry her emotional burden. It’s quite sweet and says much about how much vulnerability she has allowed herself to have with him.

Rumpbelle

  • Finally, a truly substantive moment for the Rumpbelle shippers out there. Rumple takes his opportunity to be close to Belle during Maleficent’s sleeping spell. He lovingly moves her from the floor to a divan, holds her hand, and speaks softly. “My love,” he begins. He goes on to confess that all magic comes with a cost and he’s wracked up so much magical debt, he’ll never be free of it. He has to change the rules altogether, and quickly. He promises to come back for her if he can and kisses her hand before leaving.

Runaways (Emma/Lily)

  • Emma explains the dearness with which she carries August by reminding Killian of her lost friendship with Lily. Later we find out Lily is Maleficent’s child and thus also Emma’s heart of darkness mate. They are now officially two halves to a whole! The two are meant to be together.

Swan Queen

  • Regina intervenes on Emma’s behalf when Cruella makes a comment about wanting to wring her neck while she sleeps.

Snowing

  • Although the role these two play in the episode is largely antagonistic, that doesn’t mean that their intentions weren’t motivated by love. The concern they share for their child’s well-being brings them together. In all actions, they are united, though their visions of the child diverge.
  • After they go through with the nefarious plan to imbue another child (Maleficent’s baby) with their child’s darkness, they are haunted by what they’ve done. Snow notes they are no longer heroes, but Charming is more concerned with their relationship: “But we’re still here, so how do we fix us?” Snow again shows her concern is with them being good again. She asks, “Do you really think redemption is possible?” Charming says they must “spread hope and faith everyday” and be the best version of themselves. The two commit to being better heroes to raise their child and keep her on the right track.

Wooden Swan 

  • August falls ill from so many recent magical transformations. Emma is deeply concerned. She is so concerned, in fact, Killian becomes jealous.
  • When August wakes and Emma returns, he asks her what’s going on. She dodges the question, but he sees right through it, reminding her that he knows lying. When she makes a connection about the powers the Author would still have, he comments that she’s come a long way from the woman who wouldn’t believe. There is clear affection and intimacy in his understanding of who Emma is
Advertisements


Leave a comment

Early Observations About “Shattered Sight”

@OED’s Word of the Day yesterday was Maleficent! First recorded in 1678.

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

Frozen

Of course Anna finds hitting someone in the face and trapping someone in a net romantic. Oh my gosh, why didn’t they get married right there!?!

David: “I’m callin’ you iceman. And you’re from Arendelle!  Whattaya doin’ sellin’ ice? The whole place is Frozen!”

Regina’s self imposeDYWTBASd imprisonment offers another opportunity to show the iconic back to the closed doors imagery reminiscent of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman,” used in the early episodes of the season.

The extent of Kristoff’s worst self was more or less “I hate it here and you put off the wedding.” Raised by love experts, he’s not the hating type.

Carrot Sherbert.  The Olaf reference you’ve waited all season for.

In the end, it’s Anna’s capacity for familial love that melts Ingrid’s frozen heart. Gerda’s letter and the memories it contains turn her around, but it’s the the younger Of Arendelle sister that lays it all on the line. I’m not gonna lie, it got a little dusty in the room. And it allowed for Ingrid’s act of true love to save everyone.  Once gets it.

Song of the South

Mary Margaret: “Still wanna hold hands and sing Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah?”

Written by Allie Wrubel and Ray Gilbert, “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1947. It was Disney’s second win in the category.  The first was “When You Wish Upon a Star,” slyly referenced in the last episode.  The controversial film has never been released on home video.

Swiss Miss

Snow points out Anna’s partial resemblance to the mascot for ConAgra’s winter institution. It might be random and it might not. Disney has a long-standing relationship with the food giant going back more than sixty years. Most recently, Disney’s Peter Pan became the official mascot for their peanut butter.

swiss miss

Snow White

And she asks for a poison apple which is iconic to the show, the Disney classic, and the original Tale 53, Sneewittchen.

Home Alone

4x09 Marbles

“Welcome to the Jungle”

It gets worse here every day.  Regina quotes here favorite terrestrial poet, W. Axl Rose, when she confronts Snow White. “I wanna watch you bleed.”

101 Dalmations

Young Emma grabs a stuffed Dalmation with the claw crane at the state fair. This is a subtle reminder that Pongo actually lives in Storybrooke and sets the stage for Cruella’s entrance next week.

Bonus: The ring around its neck can be seen during 4×05 “Breaking Glass” in Emma’s treasure box.

Harry Potter

The boy who lived gets another shout out from young Emma right before her unstable foster mom tries to get her hit by a car.  She wishes she could “poof home,” or Apparate.

Once Upon a Timetrue love

David and Mary Margaret recast the events of 1×03 “Snow Falls,” or I suppose 3×21 “Snow Drifts” and 3×22 “There’s No Place Like Home.”  Series co-creator Adam Horowitz is with Anna, hitting someone in the face is romantic.  He prefers rocks, but when timey wimey goes all wibbly wobbly, you make due.

Snow also references 2×16, “The Miller’s Daughter,” the episode where she effectively tricked Regina into matricide, sullied her own heart (and now Charming’s as well) and set the stage for the angry Mary Margaret we’ve seen this season.

The grand prize winner, though, is 1×18 “The Stable Boy.” Kristoff calls David “stable boy” instead of scruffy looking nerf her… shepherd.  David follows up by selling Snow out with his reference to the first of her many spilled secrets.  And during the climax of their duel, Regina calls Snow on it and she responds with, “I WAS TEN!” It’s also a good way to point out something the two queens have in common.

As usual, there are many, many more, but they seem to have done something special to close up the arc. Every episode of season four gets a visual or verbal nod, whether it’s the trunk on the beach from last week, the Kingdom Hearts door from “Smash the Mirror,” or the Any Given Sundae scene from the photo found in “Breaking Glass.”

Erin’s Happy Shipper Moments

With the Shattered Sight spell in full force, it was slim pickings for shipper moments. But it wasn’t completely devoid of great couple moments, even if some of them were antithetical to their normal relationships.

Kristanna

  • Kristanna fared the best of all the couples who actually talked to each other under the Shattered Sight curse. In fact, the worst Kristoff could come up with for aggravations with Anna was that she kept putting off their wedding and had a sister who brought about eternal winter. Perhaps if she hadn’t knocked him out, he would have gotten around to dishing out his Hans resentments, like: “You sang with him?!” Instead, he ultimately proved to be a pretty good guy, even when at his worst.once-upon-time_6

Snowing

  • Being the First Couple of True Love, of course the Shattered Sight curse was shown to hit them the hardest (and the funniest). Snow called Charming a fraud, and Charming called Snow a spoiled little brat. Charming complained to Anna that Snow hit him the first time they met, and Snow rebutted with the fact that Charming caught her in a net. Anna tried to point out the romance (odd though it was) in these gestures, but the spell kept them at each other until Regina arrived.
  • During the Regina-Snow fight, Charming helps Snow win, despite the curse still being in place.
  • And when the curse is broken, it is Snowing that gets the fantastic reunited kiss.tumblr_ng8rwkSe5f1u3pvl5o3_1280

 

Captain Swan

  • tumblr_ng8s7e2SHi1qdsjzio1_250Hook and Emma don’t share a single moment on screen, but even apart, their relationship gets more relationshippy. First, Hook goes to gather Henry for Gold. Henry: “I never liked you, and I like you even less now that you and my mom are together.” Hook: “Emma used that word? ‘Together’?”
  • In fact she did! When Emma goes to get the ultra-hatred unlocked from Regina, she gloats, “I wanted you to see Hook and I together and happy.”

Swan Queen

  • When Emma needs help, she goes to Regina. Sure, it’s to garner her hate like never before, but we all know how thin that line between love and hate really is.


Leave a comment

Early Observations About “Smash the Mirror”

There’s something for everyone.  There are games and rock operas.  And Outlaw Queen shippers activate chakras.

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

The Who’s Tommy “Smash the Mirror”

You don’t answer my call
With even a nod or a wink
But you gaze at your own reflection, all that
You don’t seem to see me
But I think you can see yourself
How does the mirror affect you?

Can you hear me
Or do I surmise?
That you fear me
Can you feel my temper
Rise, rise, rise, rise, rise, rise
Rise, rise, rise, rise, rise, rise

Do you see or hear or
Do I smash the mirror?
Do you hear of fear or
Do I smash the mirror?

Star Wars

SWA

Frozen

“For the First Time in Forever” Chocolates

I wanna stuff some chocolate in my face

Elsa orders a coronation worthy dessert table to welcome her sister home.

“Let it go!”

While they reconnoiter the dusty room in the East Wing, we’re reminded that the past, well, “It’s in the past.”

Anna’s manacles attached to the floor in the dungeon are similar to the ones that held Elsa in Frozen, though they don’t entirely enclose her hands.

Gloves

Speaking of hands…

Elsa’s wearing her gloves from the movie, and they’re Ingrid’s from last episode.  The gloves haven’t been part of the Arendelle scenes before, but they feature in Storybrooke in the deleted scene ABC released; so their prominence makes a little more sense in that context.

LiG sub

While Anna and Elsa are sneaking around, plotting to trap the Snow Queen, the elder sister halts in reverie before the painting of their parents. The music that plays in the background draws heavily from “Let it Go.” Knowing what she now knows about their intentions in Misthaven, Elsa has to come to terms with that.  The music is a nice touch.

After Anna’s captured Elsa in the urn, she snaps out of her trolden funk with a classic, “Wait… What?

And at the end Emma creates an Aurora…

The Magic Kingdom

…that morphs into fireworks.

fireworks

Enchanted

A DEnchantedisney-esque princess travels through a portal from fairyland into the big city.

Both Ingrid and Giselle enter in full fancy dress.

 

 

Tron

It’s 1982, and this foam rubber and computer animated classic is in the theaters.  Hopefully Ingrid chose to chill with one of the most fascinating movies of the decade before setting up her foster home.

Kingdom HeartsKingdom Hearts

Okay, I suppose I have to admit that this might be a bit of a stretch.

There’s plenty of portal fiction to draw from with homeless doors sitting in lonely landscapes.  The Dark Tower and The Chronicles of Narnia both come easily to mind.

But the darkness of the cave and the absurdity of the door’s colors and patterns, despite being kind of Arenedellian seem like an intentional and intentionally cartoony reference.  And the conceit of the game, a mash up of all the company’s trademarks adventuring together really makes it seem like this is what they were pointing to.

 

 

Fantasia

Every instance of the hat technically counts, but we got a very good look at the colors going on inside it and stretching out from it.  I gotta say it looks a lot like some of the frames from “Night On Bald Mountain.”  I wonder if we’ll see Chernabog.

Bald Mt

BackCat Hat in our post about “Family Business,” I made a quip about the cat with the hat, referring to Rumple.  I even wondered if something like, “A lot of good tricks. / I will show them to you. / Your mother / Will not mind at all if I do.” could be teased out, but it felt like I was going to far. But, but, but:

“My tricks are not bad,” said The Cat in the Hat.

Paradise Lost

One of the Charming parents is in dark grey at all times now.  And they keep letting their judgement be clouded by rationalization and negativity.

This evil from good theme is so deeply interwoven by now that it’s getting difficult to tease out individual threads.  Mary Margaret blurred the line between grace and indecency during her pep talk with Regina.  Robin’s code is nowhere to be found.  Henry ended up injured for trying to help.  Rumple’s using an artifact that was only attainable via an act of goodwill for the most dire of purposes.  Hook’s love for Emma has been subverted.  And the Arendelle parallel was the perversion of Anna’s (apparently not so) indomitable optimism.

Marvel Comics

Regina and Henry read Wolverine and Hulk comics while they avoid talking about Emma.

Once Upon a Time

Henry was first seen reading Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk in 1×09 “True North

Page XXIII of (which might also be a Lost reference) of the Once Upon a Time book depicts the scene from 3×03 “Quite a Common Fairy” where Regina walks away from true love.

The shard of mirror Ingrid uses to cast Shattered Sight on Anna is exactly the same shape as the piece she was missing in 4×05 “Breaking Glass

Shattered Sight 2

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

Will: “She’s really something, all right. If evil queens are your type.  Which I get.”

Erin’s Happy Shipper Moments

Outlaw Queen

This is the best Outlaw Queen episode ever.

  • outlawqueensmoochRegina’s getting her shoes on. Robin walks in half dressed. Robin: “That was the best…sleep…I’ve had in a very long time. How would you like to come back to my camp and let me cook you breakfast?” She remains all dour about their chances to find a happy ending. He finally makes her smile. Robin: “There’s that satisfying but elusive smile I think about every time I close my eyes.” Regina: “I should have listened to that stupid fairy.”
  • She shows the book to Robin, a sign of trust. Her admittance of failure a sign of vulnerability. They do it again on outlaw logic.
  • Robin goes to Will for help. Will’s answer: Under the magical clocktower? “A libe’ry.” Wherein Robin magically finds alternate page XXIII in his satchel, depicting the meeting that Tinkerbell attempted to make happen but that Regina walked away from.
  • Robin shows her the new page and she starts to believe what Mary Margaret said, that she just has to believe grace is there for her if she makes good decisions rather than evil ones. Robin: “I take it as a sign. Hope.”

altpagexxiii

Captain Swan

I can’t help but be a little perturbed that Robin and Regina got to have the sex (twice!) before Hook and Emma even got to second base.

  • Hook spends much of the first part of the episode looking very, very worried. Until, of course, he realizes that she’s going to use the hat, and has “trusted the crocodile.” Nice moment: he calls himself Killian on her voice mail.
  • hookpainHook, desperate to save Emma, finally comes clean on her voice mail. “I wanted to be a better man for you, Swan. But I failed… I hope you never forgive because that means you’ll have got this in time to save yourself.”
  • Gold: “Don’t worry. You’ll get over her. Just like you did Mila. That only took how many centuries?”
  • Hook gets his heart ripped out by Rumple. Afterwards, he runs in to find Emma, the look of concern and the knowledge of his own corruption and demise all over his face and actions. Emma, being the lukewarm fish she is, pulls away from his kiss. Emma: “Easy tiger, we’ve got company. I didn’t realize you were such a fan of my magic.” Hook: “Why would you say that, Swan? I’m a fan of every part of you.” Emma: “If you look at me any harder, you’re going to drill a hole in my head.”
  • Unfortunately, no one is ever going to notice that Hook has his heart ripped out, because it becomes ever clearer that there is a love imbalance in the Captain Swan pairing. Hook has far more attention and care for Emma than vice versa. For instance, after Hook and Emma are reunited at the end of the episode, she fails to notice that he doesn’t leave the house with them to be together and enjoy the fireworks. The least the writers could have to done was tag it with some line about him needing to use the “head” or something.

Emma/Elsa = Ice Swan?double-swans

Ingrid: “They really are quite wonderful together…”

  • Elsa saves Emma from giving up her powers, being the one who understands her and is willing to risk her life to save her. Their hands touching make the “true love’s kiss” light show and cures Emma of her overclocked power. There are fireworks.

elsaemmalightshow


Leave a comment

Early Observations About “The Snow Queen”

The deuteragonist of Frozen make an appearance.  Once gets self referential.  And Will Scarlet hands out relationship advice.

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

Frozen

There were, like, three qualifying “Let it Go”‘s.  But only Regina’s, “I need to let it go,” was word for word.

Ingrid’s, “You’re going to let me go,” was close enough, but nothing compared to her  all out recuperation of Elsa’s story.  From hiding herself away to injuring (okay, more than injuring) her sister, the Snow Queen even borrowed some lines.  Her, “What have I done?”was pitch perfect.

In her first scene, her ice shard appears to graze Emma as it passes.  Will that be significant later?

Anna Hit

And we got to see the gloves provided by Rumplestiltskin with some ambivalent dithering about whether they were magic or not.  It was a nice touch.  He also delivered sn homage to Anna’s tenacity with, “Twu wuv comes in many forms, but the sisterly bond is worth its weight in magic.”

King Harald apparently passed his awkwardness on to his granddaughter, Anna.

However, it looks like she got some of her best qualities from her aunt Helga: the aforementioned sisterly love, determination, and sacrifice.  Unfortunately, she seems to have picked up her poor taste in suitors as well.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Duke of Weselton!

Weselton

The moment we saw him, we begged him to dance for us.  He obliged.

He was true to scheming dissembling character and managed to accuse Ingrid of sorcery. He inverted the scene Frozen, saying, “Stay away from me,” a line Elsa will say to him years later.  Perhaps his best line echoed the movie directly.  “…Did I just say that out loud?”

Emma’s lack of control over her emotions and, consequently, her powers parallels Elsa’s both in the film and at the beginning of the season.  She even get’s a, “Stay back!” similar to Arendelle’s queen.

Distance

For all that, I missed the “Wait… What?” this week.

“The Snow Queen”

The folks in Storybrooke spent most of the episode trying to figure out what the big deal about the apparently fake mirror was, which was all according to plan.  But we learned that Pabbie and the rock trolls have the power to alter the memories of entire kingdoms and he even said, “All magic comes wit a price.”  Depending on the translation of “The Snow Queen” the original mirror was created by the devil, a sprite, goblins, or, yup, trolls.  If you were wondering why they kept coming back to him, I think we just got a hint.

Disney Princesses

this is almost too adorable.  Aurora, Cinderella, and Snow White are all together at mommy and me class.

Baby Class & Mickey

The Magic Kingdom

On top of that, the infant to Aurora’s right is dresses head to toe in Mickey Mouse pajamas.

“Fantasia”

Henry’s got the broom again and he’s itching for some magic from the master, but all Gold’s offering is an opportunity to polish wood.

Paradise Lost

See our posts on “White Out,” “Breaking Glass,” and “Family Business” for more on this.  These images of two of our queens are somewhat illustrative, though.  The villain’s in white and the striving hero’s in black.

Mirror Queens

Ingrid tells Rumple,”What you want, is what all villains want… Everything.”  Remember near the beginning where Mary Margaret says, “Well, I want him to have everything”?  The villain isn’t dressed in snow white for nothing.  And Snow’s been empathizing with evil Regina and being a terrible mom to Emma.  She was dressed in medium greys this week.

The Lord of the Rings

Elsa: “Can you read this?”

Emma: “Elvish?  No.  I didn’t even see Lord of the Rings.”

Thor

We caught another glimpse of Mjolnir.

Once Upon a Time

Gepetto's Parents

Gepetto’s parents, or what’s left of them at the end of “That Still Small Voice” are hanging behind Rumple as he greets and deals with the three sisters.

There are a couple of reasons for mentioning this one, since arguably every episode is referencing those that came before in multiple ways.

First, they tend to prop these unfortunates up when they want to remind sympathetic viewers that Rumplestiltskin is a monster.  That the Dark One isn’t a pet name.  They denote schemes within schemes and ultimately disastrous deals.  Demanding the symbolic sisterly bond in exchange for his magical assistance guaranteed its failure and we’ll eventually see how it furthered his agenda.

Second, Jiminy called on the blue fairy for help after assisting with this atrocity.  We haven’t seen her for while, but she features prominently in the other episode overtly referenced in “The Snow Queen.”

Regina’s looking at her near execution, stopped just in time by Reul Ghorm in “The Cricket Game.”  Oddly enough, Jiminy might have been the deciding voice in planning that execution.  Are we going to see more of both of them later?

Storybook 1

The Cricket Game

Saturday Night Live

I wish I had an embedded video, but I encourage you to check out “Sentimental Value Pawn Shop.”  It’s pretty self-explanatory.  The premise of the sketch is that the more emotional impact an object has, the more value it has in trade.  For example, a plastic ring used in a proposal is worth more than the 2 karat diamond bought later.  After the more subtle Hans and Franz reference in “Rocky Road,” this one jumped out before Rumple claimed the ribbons as his price.  And of course, there they were in the pawn shop at the end.

Bonus: questionable meta-references

The Walking Dead

Young Ingrid is the same actress who played Lizzie.  Lizzie’s relationship with her sister is complex, too.

Star Wars

The Duke of Weselton is on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan Arendelle.

Batman

“You’re the queen Arendelle deserves.”

Erin’s Happy Shipper Moments

Outlaw Queen

  1. This was the Outlaw Queen’s episode. In the first of the two tense, romantic scenes between Robin and Regina, we had him expressing his inability to forget her to save Marian. She again attempts to push him away, but it doesn’t work.
  2. Though Regina was absent from the scene, she’s, of course, in Robin’s mind as he has this exchange with old frenemy Will Scarlet. Sure, it starts as a reminiscence about Marian, but it clearly turns into a flashing red arrow pointing straight to Regina. And it leads to the wonderful scene embedded below.

Robin: Did I ever tell you about how I met Marian?…

Will: She said, “There’s good in him, Will. And when you see the good in someone, you don’t give up on them. Especially if they don’t see it themselves. And if you’re ever lucky enough to find true love, you fight for it. Every day…If you find someone you love enough to ruin your entire life for, it’s always worth it.”

Captain Swan

  1. When Emma is overwhelmed by her magic powers, Hook is the one who approaches her to comfort/help her. Unfortunately, his movement towards her sets off the electrical feedback that sends the light post toppling on David. But perhaps that is just an indication of the power of Emma’s feelings for Hook.
maxresdefault

I imagine I’m alone in this, but I kinda miss the traditional Hook costume. Or perhaps his skinny jeans make him look like he has clown shoes.

Captain Charming

  1. When Hook and David (with Elsa and Belle) are checking out the mirror Ingrid has installed in the clock tower, Hook boasts: “It must be broken. I’ve been staring at it all day and I think I’m even more devilishly handsome and charming than usual.” He then shares a brief look with David.

Swan Queen

  1. Man, if there’s anyone that Emma needs during this episode, it is Regina.

Rumpbelle

  1. Well, there was that line where Gold condescendingly states that he’ll help since his beautiful wife is asking. No, I’m kidding. Ever since these two got married and had their ballroom dance, this relationship has been as flat as Australian crepes. (Get it? Cuz Disney’s Belle is French, but Once’s Belle is, like, Australian?)


1 Comment

Early Observations about “Family Business”

“You’ll have to excuse us, but this is family business.” Title Drop.  Frozen references abound in Arendelle while a sinking ship stays afloat.

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

Frozen

Anna heads to Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post and Sauna.oaken2

  • “Yoo-hoo!”
  • Half off the sauna.
  • Anna gets rope and a pickaxe

Elizabeth Lail gets herself into pretty much this same position with Belle looking on instead of Kristoff.

Anna Cliff

Grand Pabbie pretty much pulls the memories from Belle’s head the same way he took Anna’s.Snow Cave

Anna falls off a cliff again, just like she did after Marshmallow threw that tree.  Except this time there isn’t twenty feet of powder to cushion her fall.  No blood, no foul.

Regina keeps upping the ante on the unconventional “act of true love.”  First, she tried to help Marian.  Then she vowed to cure her.  Now she’s letting Robin go.

The entrance to the Snow Queen’s batcave looks an awful lot like the one where Olaf got impaled.

Belle discovers the rock trolls in a book that looks exactly like the one the King of Arendelle uses in the movie.  She even has a similar map.

Frozen Futhark makes another appearance.

Samantha Lee – @SamsJag at Once Upon a Fan

Several people translated the Futhark runes briefly visible in the promo spot this week. There were three lines obscured that we saw in the episode.  Here’s a full translation of the entire scroll, since Elsa cliffsnoted us.

I have travelled the world near and far

My search knows no bounds

My obsession will not leave me

My search continue to the ends of the Earth

One thing I know for sure

The name of the savior is Emma

The Savior shall be my sister

The family must be complete

And Anna gave us our weekly dose of, “Wait… What?”

“Fantasia”

The cat with the hat is back.  He didn’t tip his hand until Ingrid’s mirror messed with Belle.

The Snow Queen’s always, like always always, eavesdropping like Eucrates in Philopseudes.

“The Snow Queen”

Anna and Elsa’s mother was Gerda, the nominal protagonist of the Hans Christian Andersen classic.

The disappearance of Helga and Ingrid is analogous to the disappearance of Kay with the Snow Queen.

The mirror’s effect on Belle is precisely what it should be.  All she saw were the worst parts of herself.  They played it as a conversation to save time and exposition.

Belle, however, was already coded bad by her unusually black wardrobe and dagger scarf.  She tried to command Rumple with the dagger and by the time they got to the cave she was disturbingly casual about it.  Gold himself was in all black this episode, lying to Belle and playing for power with Ingrid.

We caught a glimpse of other mirrors over Rumple’s shoulder in the shop.

Paradise Lost

For more information, last week’s post on “Breaking Glass.”  Everyone this season’s been a little bit less than heroic.  With the addition of Belle’s compromising backstory and her present abuse of trust, even the most noble characters are losing some ground.  We saw how her mistake lead her to accepting the Dark One’s deal.  And we know her influence on Rumplestiltskin has been just about the most humanizing influence he had.

If then his providence
Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,
Our labor must be to pervert that end,
And out of good still to find means of evil

There seems to be an exception to the trend in Regina, though.  She started the season enraged and evil.  But in this episode, she offers her own happiness up for sacrifice in the hopes that Marian might be saved if Robin can relinquish his love for her.  With that in mind I took a closer look at the epic poem.  Toward the end, in Book XII, almost mirroring the lines from Book I, we get this:

That all this good of evil shall produce,
And evil turn to good; more wonderful
Than that which by creation first brought forth
Light out of darkness!

So, while I think the goblin mirror will probably affect everyone at the midseason (4a) finale, I expect the salvation of Storybrooke to rest in Regina’s hands as the season carries on.  Heck, Rumple’s plans with the hat might put him on a strange path as well.

Beauty and the Beast

Belle’s mom was an obsessed bookworm, too.

Mirror Belle says, “Deep down, you know what kind of beast you’re dealing with.”

Erin’s Happy Shipper Moments

Rumpbelle

  1. rumpbelleLots of plot revolving around their secrets kept from each other and the betrayals therein. Belle is the first to break down and tearily reveal the secret she’s been keeping. The mirror tells her that she doesn’t have the true dagger, but Rumple explains it away. The worst of it, she says, “You’d never lie to me,” but of course he has and he will continue to do so.
  2. What’s up with Belle wearing a dagger-imprinted scarf? Seems a bit inconsiderate, but she’s kind of in that mode this episode.

Captain Swan

  1. When moving to infiltrate the Snow Queen’s ice cream truck, Regina snarks, “It’s bad enough having to be here with you and Captain Guyliner making eyes at each other.” Emma retorts, “We don’t make eyes,” just as Hook passes her, says, “Ready, love?” and gives his signature making of eyes at her. Emma sheepishly attempts to stop herself from returning the eyes.

 Swan Queen

  1. Regina’s defensive walls arise again when Emma attempts to connect over the issues with Robin but Regina wants Emma to be no part of it. She jealously snarks, “It’s bad enough having to be here with you and Captain Guyliner making eyes at each other.”

Kristanna

  1. ELIZABETH LAIL, SCOTT MICHAEL FOSTERAdorable outpouring of emotion and Anna lays out her mistrust of her new aunt. She has to dodge Sven’s antlers to maintain eye contact with Kristoff. There is some kissy-face. And Kristoff renews his having of her back, unless she’s going to do something dumb, and then he would tell her. (As he did in Frozen when she told him she was going to marry a man she’d just met.)

Outlaw Queen

  1. Robin attempts to talk to Regina, despite her avoiding him. He says he shouldn’t have told her he was still in love with her. She says that’s not why she’s been dodging him. She didn’t know how to tell him that she doesn’t think she’s got the power to reverse the spell on Marian, that his best chance is to forget about her (Regina) and find a way to fall back in love with his wife.
  2. Stipulation: You know what would be really, like Shakespearean-style, tragic? We’ve been waiting for a twisty act of true love (ala Anna’s act in Frozen) to defrost Marian. What if Regina casts a spell/curse on Robin that allows him to forget about her, all in order to save Marian, and that act alone breaks the freeze spell because it was out of true love? Then Robin wouldn’t need to fall back in love with Marian, but his love for Regina would have already been wiped away.

Bellanna

  1. Oaken offers a 50% discount for use of the sauna to Belle for being a friend of Anna. Sadly, we do not get Belle and Anna sittin’ in the sauna.


Leave a comment

Once Upon a Time “Breaking Glass” Previews and Predictions

 Coming Tonight: Once Upon a Time 4×05

CAUTION: clips, chatter, and a spoiler warning

“Breaking Glass”Regina reluctantly teams up with Emma to search for the Snow Queen after Sidney, who is once again Regina’s prisoner in the mirror, discovers her whereabouts and agrees to lead her to the location. With Belle babysitting baby Neal, a nervous Mary Margaret and David prepare for their first date night away from their child and find themselves on a mission to track down Will Scarlet, who has escaped from the town jail, and Elsa sees Anna in the Storybrooke woods. Meanwhile, back in the past, young Emma finds herself a kindred spirit when she befriends a girl who, like her, is a runaway orphan, written by Kalinda Vazquez & Scott Nimerfro and directed by Alrick Riley.

Here’s the promo that aired after last week’s episode:

Once again we’ve got two sneak peeks this week.  In the first, Elsa exits the vehicle to investigate a voice in the fog.  There’s something shimmering…

In the second, Regina, at her wits end unable to help Marian, turns to the Magic Mirror for help finding the Snow Queen.

We’ve been reflecting on the use and placement of mirrors since the first episode of the season.  In “Rocky Road,” it was hard to miss them in Any Given Sundae.  I’ve been suggesting that Sidney’s working with the Snow Queen as a result, but it’s been sort of intertextual fanfiction.  However, it looks like even that can point in the right direction.

Snow Queen Compact

This still from the promo shows The Snow Queen holding something in her right hand.  Something that looks a lot like a compact pocket mirror, which would be incredibly convenient if you wanted to communicate easily with Sidney Glass on the go.

It might also shine strangely in the fog.  We’re fairly certain the Magic Mirror isn’t so much helping Regina as leading her into a trap.  And Elsa definitely should have stayed in the car.

Given what we see in the sneak peek, though, who can blame him?  He’s been trapped in the mirror again and now Regina’s reneged on, “it’s only temporary,” and resorted to further threats.  It’s pretty much exactly the same stupid mistake Hook made with Rumple.  And look where that got him.

Emma and Regina teaming up, even or especially under duress should shake out the a heart to heart Ms. Swan’s been trying for since the party at Granny’s.

The voiceover for the promo is, “When darkness falls and terror rules the night, magic springs from cruel desire and evil comes to light.”  It sounds a bit Thriller to me, but then I’m seeing Jackson everywhere this season.  Still, this is more or less the Halloween episode.  Masks will come off and secrets will be revealed.

We should get flashbacks exploring Emma’s history with the Snow Queen hinted at over the last two episodes.  The credits list Idun and Adgar, so here’s hoping we discover their relationship to her as well.