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References and Shipping in Once Upon a Time “The Broken Kingdom”

The writers revel in Arthurian legend as a matryoshka index. In that spirit, we perform an act of Gonzo Analysis®. And Hook stops just short of screaming, “Now kiss!”

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

The Wasteland

“The Broken Kingdom” is an allusion to the Fisher King myth, of which Camelot became an example.

The Sword in the Stone

A young Kay, later Sir Kay, later dust in the wind, bullies Arthur and tells him a stable boy will never be king. Which is fairly similar to their classic animated relationship.

The Grateful Dead

Technically, this should have been in the post on 5×01 “Dark Swan,” but I totally missed it. Percival’s arms reference the cover of Steal Your Face. That he died in 5×02 “The Price” is kind of funny uh-oh.

5x04 Percival the Grateful Dead

“Come Sail Away”

Killian: “Come on, love. Let’s sail away.”

Random, right? I can’t even believe I’m linking a Styx video on my blog. But the dialog could scarcely be more aggressive about it. I went looking for an old MST3K clip to articulate my feelings about them, and, um, well…

Mystery Science Theater 3000

This is from 506 “Eegah.” Joel and the bots discuss the slow encroachment of hell into the world.

They mention Styx specifically. Once has already given us Charon, the ferryman 5×02 “The Price,” this season. And I bet we’ve seen enough Hercules to know where this season’s going.

The Secret of NIMH

Violet’s horse is named Nicodemus. This’ll come up again. They’ll make it explicit. I promise.

Brave

The Dark One removes Merida’s heart and releases her from a non-lethal bumper crucifixion so that she can train Rumpel.

Emma: “I need you to make him BRAVE!”

The Fellowship of the Ring

This could probably be referencing a lot of stuff. But the angles and movement heavily suggest Gandalf in the library at Minas Tirith. I get the feeling it’s also a nod to Once trash who do stuff like these blog posts.

5x04 Carmarthen

Llyfr Du Caerfyrddin

Arthur’s translating “The Carmarthen Scroll,” a fictionalization The Black Book of Carmarthen. The oldest surviving Welsh text contains references to Merlin and Arthur. Legend even has it Merlin was born outside Carmarthen.

There were a lot of specific episode references as well.

“The Cricket Game” (2×10)

We fade in on Emma compulsively carving dream cat4x04 Love is a Weaponchers. In season two, they were show to be able to see into people’s memories. Given the title of Sunday’s episode, I reckon this will come back into play.

“The Apprentice” (4×04)

In the first real Rumpelstiltskin scene of the season, we revisit one of the Dark One’s most devious declarations: “Love is a weapon.”

“Heroes and Villains” (4×11)

We learn how Rumpelstiltskin came to possess Merlin’s Gauntlet. It allegedly that leads to someone’s greatest weakness. So far that’s always the Dark One Dagger.

Erin’s Happy Shipper Moments

King Charming wrecks in the face of Snowing OTP! Hook totally ships Purple Prose!

hookpurpleprose

King Charming / Snowing

Initially it seems like David is so immediately enamored with and loyal to Arthur, he’s willing to betray his own wife. Snow tells him they cannot trust Arthur with the dagger, but David defends Arthur. Mary Margaret calls him on it: “So that’s what this is about. You haven’t met a king in a while. And you’re starstruck.” David gets defensive, but in the next scene, he’s offering the dagger to Arthur (to the general horror of OUAT fans) in direct opposition to Snow’s wishes.

However, Arthur was not accounting for Snowing being OTP (frankly, we had forgotten too). David only plays Arthur’s special chair lad to test his motivations. And when Arthur proves less than pure of heart, David and Mary Margaret are realigned against Arthur. That is until Arthur’s guard frees him and Arthur Avalon-dusts them into submission.

Captain Swan

Killian is like the perfect partner in Camelot. Maybe too perfect…something is going to go terribly wrong no doubt. This is the kind of wonderful sweetness that gets a character killed.

So he starts by not over-reacting when Emma nearly fireballs him when aiming for head-Rumple. He merely tells her to calm down, reassures her it’s just him, and embraces her. Later, when she becomes semi-catatonic, he and Henry take her away from the castle to rest. Henry’s great idea for a resting spot is Violet’s family stables. When he reveals he’s got a girl…friend….Killian nearly grins his eyebrows right off. Finally, he gets Emma to trust him for a galloping horse ride to get her mind off head-Rumple, and it totally works. It ends in a field of pink roses and CS make outs.

Purple Prose (Henry + Violet)

Henry has to reveal his new girl friend to Emma and Killian when he decides Violet’s family stable will be a good resting place for his mom. Emma is both pleased and concerned with the news of Henry’s first crush. Killian, on the other hand, is over-the-top excited. He ships them so hard.

Arthur / Guinevere / Lancelot

This particular love triangle leaves me cold. Child Arthur and Gwen are so saccharinely sweet, I can’t even. Lancelot is terribly nice in planning a birthday party for his neglected queen, and she does kiss him after he nearly dies, but I’m not quite seeing that love as reciprocal. However, once Arthur traps her in the relationship with the Avalon dust (magic Roofies), of course we all want her to be with Lancelot. He at least respects her enough to let her make her own decisions.

But, really, the whole thing just makes me want to throw in with a new ship altogether…

Meridancelot

When Lancelot is thrown in the dungeon, he hears the voice of fellow prisoner Merida. Now that they are both enemies of Arthur, they shall be fast friends. And I’m hoping, perhaps something more.

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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?)