Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In the beginning...

So I was intrigued by the trailers for "Once Upon a Time" that ran over the summer, started watching the show, and am really enjoying it. I've also discovered that I'm fairly decent at predicting some things, and am having fun trying to keep track of the details of all the different characters' backstories. So I thought, what the heck, why not blog about it all.

So two shows ago ("That Still Small Voice"), it was revealed for the first time that all this fairyland/curse stuff is real, and not just a figment of Henry's imagination. Prior to this, it was entirely possible that the fairyland stories we were being shown were just coming out of either the book, or Henry's head. However, right at the end of the episode, we were shown that the fairy world really is there underneath the real world: when Regina dropped the shard of glass down the mine shaft and it landed next to Snow White's glass coffin.

This past show ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter"), it was revealed for the first time that Regina definitely knows about the curse and her past fairytale life as the Evil Queen. Her knowing was strongly hinted at numerous times in previous episodes (and I was of the opinion that she did know), but her pushing aside the tomb lid in the real world and going down into the vault so she could grind Graham's heart into dust made it pretty obvious that the curse doesn't affect her memory.

The preview for next week's show ("Desperate Souls") shows Mr. Gold (not Rumpelstiltskin) decked out in medievalish garb and trying to work magical summoning spells (and also spinning at a wheel), so it looks like my opinion that Mr. Gold has also retained his memories might be proven correct.

Next week's preview also begs the question of why Mr. Gold would dress up in medievalish garb and engage in spinning and witchery; it'll be interesting to see that question answered! Another pertinent question about Mr. Gold is what the hell he's doing "gardening" in the middle of the woods, with nothing but a spade, wearing a three piece suit, with only an apron to protect the nice threads. It's also bizarre that Graham, local law enforcement head honcho, didn't twig at all that such behaviour might be strange and worth investigating. As a real world cop, wouldn't your first assumption be that Mr. Gold was burying a body? I say hell yes. However, as someone in the know about the characters' fairyland pasts, I'd say another possibility was that he was planting magic beans.

I'm still on the fence as to what Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold's motivations are in this situation; whether he wants to get back to fairyland or whether he's quite content to stay rich and powerful in the real world. After all, with the exception of the imprisonment he was experiencing toward the end of the fairyland era, he seemed to be sitting quite pretty in the fairy world. He's an extremely mysterious character and I'm really not sure what his ultimate goals are. It's easy to theorize that he's only in it for his own gain, but I suspect as more information about his past is revealed, we'll find that there's more to him than that. For instance, he seemed genuinely sad when he was telling David the origins of the windmill in his shop. And I'm really curious to know what the deal is with his baby obsession.

The preview for next week also hints that we'll be seeing more of the Prince James/Snow White backstory, and Hansel and Gretel. In the real world, following what certainly appears to be Graham's death from this week, Emma tries to take over as the sheriff, and Regina (duh) tries to stop her. There also appears to be a clash between Regina and Mr. Gold, plus an explosion/fire in some kind of house that's undergoing construction or renovation, just as Emma and Regina are in it. Regina's panicked "I can't move, you have to help me!" suggests that she's been paralyzed by the blast? Either that or her legs are buried by rubble and she can't get out by herself.

This week's show also gave us a bit more information about the Evil Queen's overdeveloped sense of vengeance. In previous shows it was revealed that she used to have a shot at love, but it was somehow "lost". According to the conversation that the Evil Queen had with Maleficent in "The Thing You Love Most", that happened when the Evil Queen was about the same age as Snow White was when she married Prince James. Assuming very roughly that the Evil Queen is 35ish and Snow White is 20ish, that gives us a timeline of 15 years prior to The Curse that the Evil Queen lost this "love".

Now, based on how vague the dialogue has always been about this "love", I think we are meant to assume that it is of the "twu" (i.e. romantic) variety, but that is never actually said outright. So I'm not ruling out the possibility that this "love" was for someone else, such as a child. In multiple episodes, we are shown that the Evil Queen blames Snow White for whatever horrible thing happened in the Evil Queen's past, which is, I'm assuming (although that could of course be wrong) the loss of this "love". We don't have many details of how this came about, but it's slowly becoming clearer. In the "Snow falls" episode, Snow White freely admits to Prince James that she is indeed responsible (although from her expression, I'm sure there's a s**tload that she's not saying about that point). In this week's episode, Snow White's letter reads "I undertand that you will never have love in your life because of me." In this week's episode, the Evil Queen refers to Snow White's father's death as "One down, one to go," which implies that he was also responsible for whatever wrong was done to the Evil Queen. (This also puts paid to the theories I've seen from others that Snow White's father was the Evil Queen's "love".) And, most specifically, the Evil Queen revealed to The Huntsman this week that "I shared a secret with her, and she couldn't keep it. And that betrayal cost me dearly." (Of course it is always possible that the Evil Queen was just lying there, but I don't think it's a stretch to assume that she was being honest.)

The thing is, though, that, if my assumptions about the age difference between the Evil Queen and Snow White are correct, whatever Snow White "did" to the Evil Queen was done when she was about five, give or take. What could she possibly have done at that point?

Yep, I'm quite curious about that particular backstory.

Incidentally, here is the text of Snow White's letter of farewell to the Evil Queen:

Dearest Stepmother,
By the time you read this, I will be dead. I understand that you will never have love in your life because of me. So it's only fitting that I'll be denied that same joy as well. For the sake of the kingdom, I hope my death satisfies your need for revenge, allowing you to rule my father's subjects as they deserve: with compassion, and a gentle hand. I know what you think you're doing is vengeance; I prefer to think of it as sacrifice, for the good of all. With that in mind, I welcome the end. I want you to take my last message to heart. I'm sorry, and I forgive you.

Miscellaneous musings:

  • It's interesting that Snow White is also a person who offers apples. (To the Huntsman, in the woods.)
  • I'm sure we'll be seeing Snow White using that MacGyver-esque whistle in a future episode. Maybe it summons the dwarves?
  • Once Graham remembered everything about his fairy world life, why the hell was his first reaction to make out with Emma? Shouldn't it have been, "Oh CRAP, the Evil Queen really does have my heart and is an evil beeyotch, let's hightail it back to that vault to stop her before she makes me go into cardiac arrest!"
  • How did Prince James manage to get Abigail out of the picture so he could marry Snow White? Obviously with the big fancy shmancy wedding in the castle, he must have had his father's approval (although perhaps his father died, but that would make him "King Charming", which sounds weird); and since Abigail made it into the real world as Catherine, she can't have died. was the engagement broken? Someone pointed out online that in the Midas story, he turns his daughter to gold with his touch. So perhaps that's what happened - Abigail accidentally gets turned to gold so Prince James is free to seek another wife.
  • I kind of object to the whole Midas story being brought into the series, though, since it's not a "fairy tale" per se. Does this mean we can also expect to see Medusa? Icarus? Hercules?
  • Will Gepetto's parents ever get un-doll-ified?
  • Why was Cinderella's skin so orange?
  • It's been pointed out that Regina's last name, Mills, may be a hint that her origins in fairyland are that she is the miller's daughter from the Rumpelstiltskin tale. That is a theory that has all kinds of interesting possibilities.
  • Now that time is running forward, will there be mayoral elections? If so, will Emma run against Regina, or will she persuade someone else to?

And that's all I can think of to blather on about for now. Looking forward to the next episode!