Once Upon a Time "Tiny" Review: Take Us to the Beans!

By Lily Sparks

Feb 11, 2013

Once Upon a Time S02E13 "Tiny"

If you had a delightful strawberry shortcake, with cool whipped cream and soft yellow cake and sweet, fat strawberries at the beach, and then some fool idiot trying to get a volleyball game going kicked up a spray of stand that pelted your dessert with tiny pieces of sand and grit: Would you eat it?

What if I told you it was the LAST STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE in the world? I, personally, would enjoy every last bite, as much as I could, and spit the sand out toward the volleyball players just to teach them some M-F’n manners.

That’s my relationship to OUAT, which I am often accused of not liking. I don’t like it when OUAT parks itself for an episode and goes absolutely nowhere but wallows in tedious backstory (which it absolutely did last night), but in what world am I ever again going to get a weekly drama about fairy-tale characters living in a cozy Maine town? And there were so many elements I loved about "Tiny" that while I grew very angry at the whole giants storyline, even the Loving Lewbowski Giant, I just thoroughly enjoyed OUAT being back in my living room, sort of the way an avid Renaissance Faire-goer’s heart warms to the first breath of spring or an “Of Montreal” song played on a mandolin.

So today I just want to celebrate what was right and good and wonderful about this episode and try and veer away from the sandy parts—like the fact it went absolutely nowhere, gave us backstory on TWO dead characters, and had more plot holes than Turkish Star Wars.

And while I’m not sure I was feeling the boys-only socialist farm co-op run by giants, my favorite thing about the episode was Dark Swan Prince Charming in the fairy-tale flashback, a.k.a. Charming’s evil twin James. He made the tedious flashback worth it with his leather pants, black poet’s blouse, and the brazen balls to bed a wench right in front of his dad! Is there no way to bring this alter-ego Charming back to Storybrooke to like woo Snow or something? That would be amazing, but like every vaguely sexy guy on this show, he was killed off long ago.

(Hook is inches from doom. Inches. That Hot Topic wardrobe is the only thing keeping him in the game, as it tamps down his heat.) As for Jaclyn the Giant Slayer, sure, why not? It cracked me up that she offered the size-changing mushroom after explaining she had “slain a Jabberwock.” This was one of those moments where the writers found a logic thread and made the most of it: Jabberwockys are a Wonderland trope, as are size-changing mushrooms, and Cora was the Queen of Hearts in Wonderland so it makes sense that she would have virtually unlimited access to 'shrooms, which explains why Regina was peddling them. (Best line of the episode, Regina casually appearing with a chunk of mushroom all, “Look, I hear you're in town because you want to kill someone.” She has zero f-cks to give about anybody’s backstory or issues and just wants the plot to move forward. JAH BLESS I am on the exact same page.)

A nice #SnowQueen moment (yes, okay, I am up on all the lesbian ship tags on OUAT, they make this show interesting no matter how lazy the writers get): Regina looking AGHAST when she found out Emma had headed out of town without so much as saying goodbye.

I am a big fan of Emma, Gold, and Henry taking their field trip: I like the three of them thrown together, and it's nice to see Gold operating in a space where he’s neither a whispery enemy nor a bemused lover explaining diner food. Although his tweaking fit in the airport bathroom was alarming: Anybody have theories on why he hammered that ass gasket dispenser? What dark impulses was he barely reining in? Or was he merely testing to see whether he could use magic outside Storybrooke (and if that’s the case, isn’t there a way to test your magic without splitting your knuckles)?

The other cool thing about Emma and Henry shuttling off to wherever (Florida?) was Snow and Charming getting the apartment to themselves for a bit and sexily strapping on their weaponry in front of each other. I loved that they grabbed a gun and a bow and arrows before hitting the streets. Snow was straight-up wearing a bow and quiver and brimless ho-hat. It’s that weird mashup of medieval references and modern Starbucks nicety that gets me about this show.

But back to what we're all here for, the shipping: #Bed fans got a really nice moment this week when Ruby showed up to the hospital in a faux fur and a picnic basket full of what her GF likes best: books and hamburgers. (We didn’t see the hamburgers but trust me they were in there.) Belle didn’t remember Ruby, more’s the pity, and she had a freakout so epic that Nurse Ratchet had no choice but to run over and sedate her (as in, she stood up and raised her voice! Cast a net over her and fire up the electroshock therapy pads!). But don't cry for Belle: She's in a perfect position to upgrade from Gold to dating mothah-futtin Ethan Embry, who is handsomely chilling in the same injured persons/psych ward. (You mix up mentally and physically injured patients in hospitals, duh. Makes things interesting for everyone!)

Seriously I love Embry and I’m looking forward to him becoming a lynchpin in this series. I look at him and see a darling boy at Empire Records dancing with an en pointe ballerina wearing headphones. I look at him and see Renee Zellweger shaking a bunch of speed out of Liv Tyler’s mini-backpack and screaming “Diet pills?! DIET PILLS?!?!” He truly never got the full acclaim he deserves but maybe OUAT will change all that by making him the REAL savior of Storybrooke: the guy who brings the feds to this latent war zone and saves these weirdos from their own self-destruction.

I mean, the latest genius plan of these so-called good guys is to grow giant beanstalks all the way to Heaven, right? Do they have any idea how many flight patterns that will disrupt? Sucks to be you, mail carriers in Vermont and New Hampshire! You can’t tell me some foreign power’s satellite didn’t pick up on the giant running amok down Storybrooke’s one main street last night.

I loved the detail that Tiny caught on the electric lines. It pleased me so much it even made me forgive the horribly feathered edge/green-screen effect going on. Small touches like that are what make me so glad this crazy mess is back in my living room.

But more importantly, what did you think?


1. Are you shipping #SnowQueen or #Bed?

2. Ethan Embry's best movie is ___?

3. Tiny's backstory: Could it have been summed up in two lines? (Hint: YES)

4. Evil Charming: hot?

5. Why did Rumple freak out in the airport, was he tweaking?

6. Was this episode a strong return or very little action after a long wait?

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  • googlehoop Feb 18, 2013

    The only question of merit here is #5 - why did Rumple freak out in the airport? I think it was because he felt powerless without his magic and completely out of his element. It reminded him of what he used to be - a coward.

    Good episode - love you Hurley/Tiny!

  • OuAt Feb 17, 2013

    Just want to say, totally preemptively and with complete sincerity, that I am looking forward to "Manhattan". I say this because I am surprised by it. After all the disappointment of this season, the show still has the power to intrigue me. It just proves to me that even though I know there will be screw-ups, if they can get the plot focused back on the proper storylines there is still a huge opportunity for this show to be great. Please, please, please don't eff this up, Once!!!

  • bleumystique Feb 16, 2013

    -evil charming was kind of hot. Damn black leather. Gets a girl every time.
    -LOVED that Jack was a chick. That was kind of wicked. I approve.
    -It's like Hook sucks. I want to like this guy but he doesn't really offer much but snarky one liners and flirting. Like I should hate this guy...but there is something about him that makes me ignore just how insignificant he is and just enjoy him for being vapid and pretty. Like he pulls off just being...there. He makes me chuckle.
    - I loved seeing how vulnerable Mr.Gold was and how he was putting everything into Emma's hands and she noted that and just helped him through it all w/o really acknowledging how unlike their typical relationship it was. It was liking watching her interact with her godfather, or ....father in law? Because I'm thinking that Rumple's son is Henry's father. I was thinking that before and this episode and the previews for the next one pretty much sealed it for me.
    - I got to say this because it is irritating me to no freaking end. The blatant disregard for the adoption process is unfathomable and just damn disheartening. I don't care who or what Regina is...but the nerve, the audacity they had in telling her that basically if she's lucky Emma will let her visit Henry. Visit? On paper SHE is his mother. End of story. Let's not ignore the fact that Emma gave her kid up and Regina has been taking care of him. I'm all for Emma and Henry bonding, I have been since the beginning, but the way that they are freezing Regina out of her own kid's life...that has been getting on my nerves for some time. Fairy tale characters or not, what Regina expected was the ability to raise the kid that she adopted, in a closed adoption, with no interference. What she ended up with was this woman returning and taking her kid a way and suddenly Regina is standing on the doorstep being treated like the deadbeat dad. Like WTH is that?! She should have been consulted that her son was going out of town with his birth mom and that dude who wreaks havoc. Regina is the at times sympathetic villain...I'm fine with that, but I don't like when they villianize her over things that she shouldn't be villafied for. The line between her and "The Charmings" being the "bad ones" at times gets a bit too blurry.
    -Oh yeah and Tiny. Tiny and the dwarves. That works.

  • angeleys151 Feb 16, 2013

    1: neither, I don't tend to get on board with much slash or ship or whatever the crazy kids are calling it these days.
    2: Empire Records hands down.
    3: I liked Tiny's story, then again I'm not looking at this as anything more than cheap Sunday night thrills.
    4: Evil Charming is way hot, probably because he's evil. Good Charming (who's real FTL name we finally got this week: really? it's David there too?) did talk about how he could have easily been evil since they are twins, so maybe someone will put a spell on him turning him evil and leather clad for an episode.
    5: I thought he freaked because he almost lost his memory when they made him take off his hobo shawl.
    6: I don't know if I would call it a strong return, since I still don't understand why they took more time off in the first place, but it was entertaining.

  • Epsilon Feb 15, 2013

    Does anyone else think that it's at least possible that Regina isn't Regina at all?
    I mean Cora was nowhere to be seen and she did pose as her daughter once before.
    I just find it hard to believe that she would give up on her progress so easily, then again she IS the Evil Queen and ripped out her own beloved fathers heart.
    Guess pretty much everything is possible with her.

  • Dracomom Feb 16, 2013

    Hadn't thought of that, but possible. Cora would know that Tiny wouldn't accept magic mushrooms from her- and there's no way to be sure Hook isn't going to be questioned again as soon as Charming remembers to look for him, so Cora wouldn't want to tell him anything she didn't have to...

  • ptkitty Feb 15, 2013

    Oh, phllleaseeeee someone give Hook some modern clothes, pretty please? :-P

  • Devon39219 Feb 15, 2013

    hahaha the last scene with the plane sound and suddenly ending was so Lost. with Hurley and that scene I kinda got nostalgic :)))

  • MariaMahoney Feb 14, 2013

    Okay I wasn't too hyped to watch this episode, but I did it, and it wasn't so bad, so I thought I'd come and read Lily's review and answer the questions. (not that I don't read Lily's reviews for OUAT every time, but sometimes I don't have much to say) So here are my answers to Lily's review questions.

    1. Are you shipping #SnowQueen or #Bed?

    Neither. It's just not my thing. LOL! If I was going to ship a lesbian couple it'd be Emma/Regina. I actually like Now Charming and Rumple Belle. LOL!

    2. Ethan Embry's best movie is ___?

    Hmn..... well I've only ever watched one film that he appeared in, and that was "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle AKA Harold and Kumar Got The Munchies' which I loved and was epic and he was good in it. So I guess that's the answer for me. LOL!

    3. Tiny's backstory: Could it have been summed up in two lines? (Hint: YES)

    It could've but where would be the filler fun in that? After all, the producers need some filler or how else are they going to cram all the action into 22 eps? I mean they want to make as many series' as possible, and if there's no filler everything would've been over last season. (NODS)

    4. Evil Charming: hot?


    5. Why did Rumple freak out in the airport, was he tweaking?

    He was freaking because he couldn't smack that Douchebag behind them in the security line. I would too. Totally. I'd wanna go smack someone who opened their mouth at me in the airport. Come on it's one of the most stressful places. The moron should've known better that to open his mouth in an airport. Think of the airport rage.

    6. Was this episode a strong return or very little action after a long wait?

    I thought it was very little action after making us wait for ages. I was hoping for more with Emma, Henry and Rumple's road trip. Well, field trip, plane trip, whatever the hell you wanna call it. I want to call it a road trip. Of course when it comes down to it, not every ep can be a winner and I think they're saving it for 'Manhatten' where we will get more Rumple backstory and epicness where Emma's baby daddy will be revealed to be Baelfire. (nods) Come on the promo totally gives it away.

  • AdaHui Feb 14, 2013

    I quite enjoyed this return to Storybrooke, had some great quality moments. I'm still unsure what Regina's end-game is -- is she really hooking up with Cora or has she got some double-crossing? Not really into the shipping you got going although I love the idea of hot evil twin, James coming back. 'Course it can't happen until they bring Graham back!!!!

    Best part of the show for me was during the scene when giant Anton was chasing David, MM and Leroy and the two were going back and forth about what David's name was. That was classic gold.

  • Ninjaandy Feb 13, 2013

    1. Are you shipping #SnowQueen or #Bed?

    Neither. People who see lesbianism in OUaT are, I suppose, the same people who see homosexuality in the LoTR movies. But I don't see it.

    2. Ethan Embry's best movie is ___?

    Ethan who, now?

    3. Tiny's backstory: Could it have been summed up in two lines? (Hint: YES)

    Yes. Clearly just a plot to make Hurley a semi-regular character.

    4. Evil Charming: hot?

    Not really, no.

    5. Why did Rumple freak out in the airport, was he tweaking?

    He probably suspected he wouldn't be able to use magic outside Storybrooke, and now that it's confirmed, he's ticked off/worried/afraid. And, you know, the whole Belle thing has got him riled up.

    6. Was this episode a strong return or very little action after a long wait?

    Not a strong return, despite the giant-related rumble through town at the end. We've definitely seen better lately.

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