Sunday, September 30, 2012

Once Upon a Time S2: "Broken"

And with a close-up of a horse (in the present? in the Fairy Tale World? Ah, definitely the present) and Lou Reed’s “Charley’s Girl” playing in the background, we enter the second season of Once Upon a Time.

René from True Blood is walking through the streets of Manhattan and he returns to his apartment, full of old timey paraphernalia. I was watching with my now 8-year-old daughter (she was 7 when we watched season 1, but she’s now a Hurley number), and I paused the scene and asked if she could see anything significant. She walked up to the TV and stared at it with her head cocked to one side.

“He likes records. And old stereos. And… hairdryers?”
“No, those are old radio microphones.” (Heeheeeeeeee...)
“Oh. And books. And he has a very bad window.” ;)

We also noticed “Cleaners and Hatters” on a sign on the wall, along with wooden feet (Pinocchio). He has a rotary phone… so he could very well be from 28 years ago, and never updated his apartment. (Considering the people in Storybrooke came there 28 years ago and have no sense of time passing, it actually does seem a little odd that they’re not all driving cars from the early 80s and dressing like they’re in Bananarama.) He drops his iPod down the fire escape (ah, so he’s NOT all retro) and then along comes a dove that hands him a postcard from Storybrooke, with only one word written on it: “Broken.”

As in, “The curse is.” Who is this guy? We don’t know yet, but I reckon he’ll last a little longer on this series than he did on The Walking Dead (one hopes).

The opening credits have what appears to be a Dementor in it, which we will later learn is a wraith.

And we cut right to the Sleeping Beauty story. Philip (the Charming of this story) is traveling with an Asian sidekick, and I immediately said to my daughter that his companion appeared to be a girl. I thought so mostly because of the jealous way she looked at him when he kissed Aurora, but also because her eyes were very feminine, and later when she climbed the stairs her legs were far too slender to belong to a man. So it was no surprise when she was revealed to us to be a woman, but it WAS a happy surprise to find out she was Mulan! (One of my daughter’s favourite movies.) We both shrieked with delight over that reveal. As soon as Aurora is awakened, a wraith rises up, marks Philip, and he decides to sacrifice himself so the wraith won’t come after one of the other two. He does so, saying, “I love you” over his shoulder before he dies, so that each woman would think he was speaking directly to her. Mulan then reveals to Aurora that the curse that the Evil Queen cast over the land didn’t affect one particular section — their territory — and that they’d been asleep for 28 years but have suddenly awaken, clearly because of the curse breaking in Storybrooke.

Meanwhile, over there, we watch people awakened from a 28-year curse finally recognize each other. Charming and Snow, Snow and her dwarfs (so sweet!), and Henry saying, “Grandpa?!” to Charming, a line that made my daughter laugh out loud. But when they see the villagers stampeding to Regina’s house, they all decide they have to do something; mostly because Henry asks them to save her. At her house, she believes she’s now magical and waves her hands mystically as if to do something terrible, but nothing happens. Dr. Whale (who no one recognizes — I’m watching the end of season 1 of The Vampire Diaries right now and the characters are starting to remind me of each other) wants her to die, but Emma arrests her instead.

As Regina’s being carted off to jail, Rumpelstiltskin stands with Belle, who asks him why he just brought magic back into Storybrooke. We realize already that it will work differently here, and he explains that, but he promises her — interestingly, exactly the same way he’d made a promise to his son — that he won’t seek revenge against Regina, and that he won’t kill her himself. But he’s lying: later he brings forth a wraith from the other land after marking Regina as the target, and then calls Belle on it, “You said I couldn’t kill her,” and she walks out on him because he’s a bleedin’ liar. Of course, she returns because she hopes she’ll be the positive influence he needs in his life.

As the episode ends, Regina opens the Mad Hatter’s “hat portal” to pull the wraith in, and it accidentally nabs Emma and Snow as well. She tries to kill Charming, but he escapes, and Henry sees what she’s done and goes with him. He promises Henry that he will find both of them. Just as we waited all season last year for Snow and Charming to recognize each other, now they’re instantly separated again and we wait for them to find one another again.

At the end of season 1, I can honestly say I wasn’t sure where they were going to take this next, but I really like this season’s set-up, and knowing they’ll keep us in two worlds makes me very happy. Every time Snow tried to talk to Emma about them being mother and daughter, Emma pushed her away. I mean, how do you come to accept your mom is Snow White for goodness sake?! But now Emma will go and be in that land for a while, and maybe then she’ll start to feel more at home with Mommy.

Of course, the moment they appear in the Fairy Tale World, Mulan immediately suspects them as enemies who brought the wraith. So... not exactly starting off on the right foot there, maybe? 

-The reunions.
-The look on Charming’s face when Snow mentions a “one night stand.”

Did You Notice?
-As mentioned, the man at the beginning is listening to Lou’s “Charley’s Girl,” which sounds strangely like his “Walk on the Wild Side”:
Everybody said that you'd better watch out
Man, she's gonna turn you in
And me, you know that I thought that I looked out
Now look at the trouble that I'm in
you know, you'd better -

Watch out for Charley's girl
Watch out for Charley's girl
Watch out for Charley's girl
Watch out for Charley's girl

It happened on New Year's Eve
They said everybody had to leave
They had a warrant in their hand
They wanted to bust the whole band
I said if I ever see Sharon again
I'm gonna punch her face in
you know you, you'd better -

Watch out for Charley's girl
hey, now, now
Watch out for Charley's girl
you know she'll turn you, turn you in
Watch out for Charley's girl
Watch out for Charley's girl
she'll turn you in you'd better, huhh -
Watch out, you'd better -
watch out, you'd better -
You'd better watch out, you'd better
you'd better watch out for -
Charley's girl
-Note in the lyrics above that he mentions punching someone in the face, which is a threat that Emma makes to Gold later in the episode.
-When Sleeping Beauty wakes up, the spindle is right there beside her grave. Who put THAT there?!

Any Questions?
-When Snow and Charming “come to,” so to speak, it’s like those 28 years never happened and they’re right back where they were. They refer to each other as “Snow” and “Charming” and the dwarfs immediately form the Group of Seven all over again. So… why do they call Regina, well, Regina? And why does Snow say she’d been looking for Emma for 28 years when she hadn’t been looking for her at all? She would have had her memory wiped the moment the curse happened, so she wasn’t even aware she had a daughter.
-Aurora looks at Mulan and explains that she laid on that cold slab because “you’re not the only one who knows about sacrifices.” What does Aurora know about sacrifices? She pricked her finger and ended up on the slab. While I’ve always thought the story was ridiculous — I mean, just TELL THE GIRL NOT TO TOUCH A SPINDLE, but oh no, let’s just NOT mention the thing that will put her into an endless sleep and hope the hell she doesn’t come near a spindle — but there’s no willing sacrifice in that story. Will they alter it as they have many of the other stories? I hope so, because I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ll do with it.


Dusk said...

So cool! Charming family vs. the wraith and the hairspray-fireball were great.

Maybe I saw it wrong, but I thought Snow said she's missed her daughter for 28 years. The writers have said these years do matter, and Belle remembers her time locked up, so Snow would rememeber the hole she felt without her family. It's also rumoured they are doing flashbacks of Storybrooke before Emma came, so this stuff does have a role to play.

Mystery man lives in NYC and will apparently be revealed early in the season.

Rumple used the wraith madalion to summon it and when it first appeared in Storybrooke, it wore the madalion around it's neck area. Phillip sliced a madallion off it's necked and was marked with it. Subtle hint Aurora/Mulan/Phillip story was not a flashback.

Looks like Maleficient got deafeated by Aurora's mother because Regina taunted Maleficient about losing long ago early last season, but Aurora was down and out when the curse hit.

Emma does have magic! She got the hat to work!

It's long been speculated Regina/Jefferson have a bigger story, their has to be a reason Regina pretends not to know Jefferson to Emma.

Glad to see they haven't forgotten the favor Emma owes Rumple from Episode 4.

Best effect: The vines on the wall wrapped around Charming.

When Snow/Mary is pouring booze to light the railing on fire why does she call her husband David? Does she not know his actual name?

What happened to August?

So Henry does care about Regina. Is this the first time he's called her Mom?

Nikki: Did your daughter ask what a one-night stand was? LOL! It's a family show, but still etertaining for adults, that has certain perils!

Suzanne said...

Great to read a review from you, Nikki. I can't get ovef how quick you were. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts each week.

Austin Gorton said...

I am very pleased to see the show embracing the fantasy elements it worked so hard to ignore last season. Allowing the characters in Storybrooke to be their fairy tale incarnations while stranding Emma (the show's biggest impediment to its fantasy elements) in Fairy Tale Land will hopefully force her to stop being such a stick in the mud, and make for some entertaining TV.

she walks out on him because he’s a bleedin’ liar.

Ah, Nikki, you just don't have enough laywer in you. :)

So… why do they call Regina, well, Regina?

Mulan referred to her as such in Fairy Tale Land, so presumably Regina was her name even before Storybrooke, something which may or may not have been revealed last season (I can't remember how she was called in the episode where we learned why she hated Snow so much, before she was The Evil Queen).

I mean, just TELL THE GIRL NOT TO TOUCH A SPINDLE, but oh no, let’s just NOT mention the thing that will put her into an endless sleep and hope the hell she doesn’t come near a spindle

I know, right? For all the hoops those fairies jumped through to protect her, that seems the obvious one.