Once Upon a Time: Deeply Disappointing

Once Upon a Time S01E13: "Skin Deep"

After weeks of looking forward to "Skin Deep"—the much vaunted "Beauty and the Beast" episode of Once Upon a Time—our friends in the writers room served up some half-baked monkey business that not only butchered the original fairy tale but verged on self parody. As a Valentine's Day episode, "Skin Deep" was more disappointing than a heart-shaped box full of uncooked oatmeal.

It didn't bother me that Rumpelstiltskin was supposed to be the Beast. I had plenty of time to mentally prepare for that, thanks to the episode's promos, but what I was not prepared for was Robert Carlyle's eery, chittering laugh to be thrown in after every line.You could have "a body like Arnold and a Denzel face" and I still wouldn't let you near me if that Leprechaun chuckle came out of your throat. Curly-toed shoes, decades of age difference and rotting prosthetic teeth aside, there's no love that could overlook a shriek-chuckle like that.

Still, the failure here is not Robert's. Fairy tales are embedded with the kind of psychological truths that echo in the most primitive regions of our minds. Plot elements, character names, and details change over the years, but the essential messages, the soul of the folklore, stays the same. OUaT makes a point to tinker with these deep psychological truths that have been honed in hundreds of years of re-telling and upgrade them in some twisty little way. Therefore the classic meaning of Beauty and the Beast (you love someone for what's inside them, not for how they look) became a more amorphous "if someone loves you and you have low self esteem, you will shut them out and lose them." It doesn't bother me that they wanted to graft this more specific message onto the classic moral, but it does bother me that they completely undermined the original meaning. In OUaT's update, Belle returned to the Beast because the Evil Queen told her he could be cured of his beastliness (i.e. body glitter and contacts) with the kiss of true love. Belle sprinted back to Rumpelstiltskin's side in the hope of giving him a magical makeover. That's not exactly the "true love is blind" message shining through.

Also, she really shouldn't love this person. The beloved Disney cartoon, which ABC has unlimited access to borrow from, made a point of giving the Beast an arc that transformed him from cruel bully into protector and friend, and so his relationship with Belle seemed natural and inevitable. What about Rumpelstiltskin won over the beautiful Emilie de Ravin? Was it the time he threw her in the dungeon, or when he didn't whip her with a riding crop for dropping a teacup?

Maybe it was his giant grandmotherly spinning wheel or his promise to get used to daylight or how he said he would tell her about his son and didn't. I have now mentioned the extent of the romance between Rumps and Belle, because in this episode it was not the romance that was privileged but the break-up. And it's a shame, because Emilie de Ravin is fantastic, and created a real chemistry between herself and Carlyle. Yet after a few moments of conversation and an awkward kiss, we spent twice as much time on Rumpelstiltskin's horrible breakdown, screaming into his mirror, terrifying Belle and forcing me to laugh until my sides ached. (You have to step out of this show and laugh at it, or it becomes too claustrophobic.)

I think we got more scenes between Carlyle and Chip the Cup than between Carlyle and de Ravin. Don't tell me they didn't have the time to fully develop their romance in an hour-long episode. All this show has is time. The writers could easily have made this a two- or three-episode arc. Rumpelstiltskin is a major character and Disney's Beauty and the Beast is currently in theaters. Don't tell me that new viewers coming in on the second episode of a multiple-episode arc would be alienated, because this whole show is alienating if you haven't seen every episode before. Sequential viewing reaches its zenith in shows like OUaT and Lost, and if the writers are going to cultivate that kind of loyalty in their viewers they might as well reward them by giving them miniseries-like development for important relationships. That's what they're doing with the loathsome David Nolan and Mary Margaret.

If the Beauty and the Beast story was a slap in St. Valentine's face, David Nolan buying two last minute ninety-nine-cent greeting cards for his wife and mistress was a roundhouse kick to the personal regions. David caught Mary Margaret leaving the saddest girl's night out of all time:

... and gave her a valentine meant for his wife, leading MM to the obvious conclusion that if he really wanted them to be together he would LEAVE THAT WIFE. David promised he would "find a way" for them to be together: David, you don't have to head to the lab and invent a new element, it's pretty obvious what you have to do: LEAVE THAT WIFE. Seriously, what is the conflict in this relationship?

That's not a rhetorical question, I want some answers. Is he not leaving his wife because he is afraid of losing the house and wouldn't be able to pay rent on his animal shelter income? Is it because he genuinely kind of likes the wife that didn't check the local hospital when he went missing for untold years? The series, in its haste to create dramatic suspense, has eviscerated Prince Charming's character and intentionally made him a creep. The promo for next week addresses this head-on, promising that we'll finally see him "manning up" and continuing the now eight-episode arc of this pair failing to get their sh-t together.

So why not give Robert Carlyle a little extra time to develop an epic romance? Was Emilie de Ravin that booked? I just don't understand why Once Upon a Time insists on rushing us through all the emotional highs so we can continue to tread water in the giant emotional low of Storybrooke. I love this show dearly, but NOTHING EVER HAPPENS. Forward momentum comes only in the form of reveals that may one day possibly be important, and in this episode three possibly important things happened:

1. As discussed, MM told David Nolan to go home and stop making her creep, creep yeeeah, just keep it on the down low, nobody is supposed to knoooow.

2. Mayor Regina put a lot of time and effort into putting Mr. Gold in jail so she could force him to admit he remembered being Rumpelstiltskin in the long-ago before-times. (Which apparently happened on ANOTHER PLANET? In his words, "I've been Mr. Gold as long as I've been on this Earth.") This moment was a small highlight in a lot of grim darkness.

3. Deep in the bowels of the hospital, guarded by a nurse with circular bangs and a spooky emo janitor, Regina was keeping Belle prisoner, as possibly a mental patient? Belle was looking out at daylight despite being apparently three stories underground, is all we know.

This is fascinating, because Evil Queen Regina told Rumpelstiltskin that Belle had been driven to suicide by her father. Now she has a trump card she can play at any time to undermine Rumpelstiltskin, which may one day be a key plot point (several years in the future, when the show finally kicks the plot into gear). Three times a charm: I love this show, but with the fine actors, lovely costumes, and meaty premise available to them, "Skin Deep" was essentially an origin story for Chip, and that disappointed me on a profound level.


QUESTIONS

... You caught the "Game of Thorns" reference on the flower van, right?

... How did Regina not know that Mr. Gold remembered his fairy tale identity? Wasn't that the subtext of many of their previous conversations and part of their "Please" deal? Why does this knowledge benefit her—because she can now use Belle as a bargaining chip?

... Are you excited about Ashley's proposal? Were you stunned that her Prince worked at a cannery?

…Did you miss Lumiére and Cogsworth?

... What is keeping David Nolan from LEAVING THAT WIFE?!

... Do you still have love for "Creep" by TLC?

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Yes, the "emo janitor" is a reference to the 1970's novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. His in a native american psychiatric patient whom everyone thinks is dumb, but is later revealed to have been narrating the story.



This leads me to suspect that "story"brooke is open to every story, especially with the Peter Pan and Alice references. Apparently anything in the public domain is game as well as some more contemporary literature.



I'll be honest, I have only just started watching some of this show. I didn't really like Lost or get into it, though I enjoyed the multifarious allusions. The plot was too obviously made-up on the spot. I'm hoping that the writing team have fixed that problem (perhaps by creating a solid outline of their story, if possible) because I really like OUAT. Mainly I like it because of Rumplestiltskin; he is one of the few things that make the show interesting. And his romance with Belle was completely out of the blue for me. Though I agree that there was no development, I'm content with it, and I hope they'll continue to develop that relationship as it is one of the most interesting relationships in the series.
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I just started watching the series in June, months after you all so I probably don't even have the right to post anything with the hopes that anyone will read it. However, this episode really boiled my britches and so I have to say something.



First, Lily I love your pov, clever writing and genuine humor even when I do not agree with you (that happens occasionally) so naturally I keep coming back for more of your hilarious stills and well founded critiques. I hope these people eventually calmed down by the end of the season. Fans tend to get really emotionally caught up. I should know, I am a fan.



Second, I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU. For two reasons, mainly because I am a purist and if you are going to have the Disney rights use them for more than chipping teacups and recreating Belle's ball gown. But also because you are fundamentally right in the end after the writers asked me to be patient and suspend my disbelief about the beast

Q:

- Why, why why is the beast not the beast? They are going to introduce more character's aren't they? they could've found an actor and made him look beastly in other ways apart from fur, horns and canines. They missed a unique opportunity to "remake" the Beast ! That was just lazy. I am not accustomed the gentle giant beast as some sniveling 100lb man. ( No offense to Carlyle he is a brilliant Rumple)



- Why is bell's wardrobe backwards? It didn't seem to serve much of a point especially after Rumple allowed her into his good graces- shouldn't she get a clothes upgrade? I assume she wasn't still sleeping in the dungeon after he took a liking to her.



They butchered it. Oh well, I am of gonna keep watching. Looking forward to reading your other reviews!
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Carlyle is the most interesting Beast I've ever seen. I'm glad they went with him instead of remaking the character. The gentle giant is boring to me; the only thing to him is the way he looks and that makes for a truly shallow story. Rumpelstiltskin as the Beast has never been about appearance; so many fans have that wrong. Belle clearly states, "I might love him - I mean I could - but something evil has taken root in him." It's not about looks; it's about a good person with a tremendous flaw. To me, that was always the point of Disney's version as well. As far as goodness went, Beast and Gaston weren't really all that different in the beginning. The Beast changed; Gaston couldn't. It was never about appearance and if that's what held you back - "a sniveling 100lb man," I think you missed the point of the story. In the original fairtyale the Beast is not much better than an actual animal - it's not that he's ugly; he's literally stupid. And that's the point - there has to be some personality there that's worth engaging with - that's why Disney's Belle, and much more convincingly de Ravin's Belle, fall in love with their "captors." (Can he really be a captor if she agreed to go with him?) Carlyle brought a new dimension to this story, and a breath of fresh air in, imho.
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No way! I totally disagree, this was my favorite episode yet. I lovef how you get to see a softer side of rumple and even though its doesnt follow the original story i dont really mind because its suposed ot be adapted and stuff. Belle didnt just go back because she couldnt love him uness he was normal, she went back because she wanted to help him and i think really she was just trying to find a reason to go back because she loves him. LOVED IT
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Damn you Lily! I really liked this episode until I read your review. You make some pretty valid points. still love this show though. annoyingly because I am in the Uk and only just getting to catch it now I can;t really contribute to the review comments 'cos everyone has already read them! Oh well.
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Hi, Lily! Posting while I wait for your review of last night's episode...



Is it possible that the lesson we're supposed to learn from the flawed love story isn't Rumplestiltskin's, but Belle's? "Don't go into a relationship expecting to change the guy"? or "Accept him as he is, not as a term project"? I've known too many people who think "True love conquers all"- so if partner slips into (or back into) bad habits, it must be because they haven't been loved enough, or properly, or some such rot.



This negates the one life lesson I have actually grasped- that relationships are WORK! It's worth doing and it makes life worth living, but it's not all hearts and flowers and mushy crap. Sometimes it's cleaning up barf at 3 am together because your kid is sick- it may not be classically romantic but still one of the most truly loving things I've ever seen.
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for once i totally disagree with you Lily, that's a first.



I absolutely loved this episode and was one of the best this season!

Robert Carlyle is such a good actor, I love him in this and though i hated Lost

and didn't like Emilie on that, she was fantastic in here as The Beauty.



Also, the reveal at the end was frickin awesome...god i love this show!
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LOL @ some of these comments. If you get this frustrated and angry over someone not having the same opinion as yours, I'm sure it's a real joy to talk to you in real life.



I also don't get why these people also bother to read reviews online if you can't handle having it be of a differing opinion... Do you need that much validation and approval of your own beliefs that you must only read reviews that agree with you?
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can we just talk about the show?

if people get hot and bothered don't waste comment space telling them they have problems with other people's opinions. seriously, there's like ten comments just like this one.



btw, love the Hobbs profile pic
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and a gotcha...you missed the hat worn by Mickey Mouse in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" from Disney's 1940 film Fantasia. (me too, the first time thru.)
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"Don't forget this was developed prior to Lost and it seems they may have "just dropped the baby at the sitter's"!!"

Skin Deep

Director: Milan Cheylov

Writer: Jane Espenson(also gave us Eps. 8 Desperate Souls.)

Horowitz & Kitsis return for Eps. 14

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"Deep in the bowels of the hospital, guarded by a nurse with circular bangs and a spooky emo janitor..."



???



Yo Lilly, ever see a movie called "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"?
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Was the time well spent or would it have given the main story more time and depth to skip the homage?
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oh hello reason, I've missed you.
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What's with the Game of Thorns? & TLC will still rock for ages to come :)
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Lily taking alot of heat from this review... Don't get it. 9 out of 10 times shes spot on as a critic. Just because of 1 review that most fans don't agree with doesn't warrant this level of criticism. I could see if it was something she does on a regular basis but it is not. Like i said i disagree with this review i loved the episode but keep doing your thing Lily....... your a solid critic .... And yes Who doesn't love creep?
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Maybe I'm biased, because I really love Rumplestiltskins as a character (if that's not made clear by my profile picture; and i like his laugh) but I thought the episode did progress the romance enough to the point where we knew there was a definite attraction between the two. I think more of the emotion comes from the regret we see from "Rumps" (as you called him) that he was never able to explore the romance furthur. The fact that he had a girl who loved him and because she screwed up once, he freaked and lost her forever. We even see that he wants her back. When the queen mentions her father threw her out, his first thought is "she needs a home! I have a house!". I don't know...I know that the de Ravin comes back on March 4 to play belle and the girl in the nut house. And I'm definitely counting on Regina using her to manipulate Rumps. I think it's too soon to tell if they butchered this story, there's obviously more coming. And I really do just love Rumplestiltskins, but like I said, that's just me.
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SPOILER ALERT:

also, next weeks episode is ALL about snow and prince, and also about Grumpy falling in love I guess.

:/

is it just me or does that seem unnecessary?
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its just you... lets give it a shot before we start calling it unnecessary
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well said.

I love the show no matter what though.
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Man, Lily!! when you stir things up you use the Blendtec Smoother Q-Series 20 Amp !!

Great job!! I love seeing thought going into a discussion. Now if we can just teach 1 TV exec how to read....
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I assume you're referring to Chris Harrison....:)
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LMAO, nah that's a lost cause. Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis really do need to put hands on for this show. Don't forget this was developed prior to Lost and it seems they may have "just dropped the baby at the sitter's"!!
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Wow! Lily, your review has inspired a lot of discussion! I may re-post this after the next episode, but in the meanwhile, I'd like to take advantage of the site being a bit quiet for a few days. In retrospect, my comments last week about the writers at OUAT may have slipped a bit into snarkdom. I do, indeed, get frustrated with the level of writing, and Lily, not to put words into your mouth, but I agree with you that this show has so much potential that it is hard to watch some of the more cring-worthy moments. So I do want to write an addendum, but this time without the snark.



I do advocate for actors. My cousin is an actress, mostly theatre, some TV. There have been a few periods when she has been first tier, but most of her career has been second tier, much better known on the East and West Coasts than in the Midland. It has been fascinating to occasionally see the process of artistic creation up close. I've seen shows where the creative juices are really flowing between producers, director, writers, choreographer, and actors, and everyone is having the time of their lives. In contrast, I've also seen one show where blood was literally spilled backstage, and several shows where the performers are treated like chattel.



I have a good friend who found out that she was being replaced as the lead in a New York musical by reading about it in Variety, for Pete's sake. (But after a few days of licking her wounds, she was back out auditioning the next week. These are very brave people.)



The one thing that you'll never see even if a writer or producer has just thrown a temper tantrum backstage is an actor come out and give anything less than his or her best. (Yep, I know, cue Ethel Merman :-) Truly, these folks are consummate professionals. I am a doc, often considered a demanding profession, and I also happen to be a survivor of a commercial plane crash. But, straight up, there is no way that I would have the guts, the personal fortitude, or the dedication to be a professional actor. So yeah, I truly admire the group, and my natural tendency is to be an advocate.



So that's why I do get frustrated when these writers just seem to be phoning it in sending down some clever concepts, no doubt, (the 'surprise of the week'), but all too often wrapped within vapid dialogue and shallow, inconsistent, characterization. Lily, I support you absolutely for holding the writers to a higher standard. If they are capable of providing better, more consistent, material (and I have begun to wonder whether they are capable, but if they are), then they should do just that. This is a talented cast, and there's so much more at stake than just the writers' egos.



OK, got that off my chest. Clearing channel Oncer :-)
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Didn't see it.



I felt over this show last ep.



I am only commenting because I think Lily is catching undeserved heat. All her criticisms are backed up with examples and explanations. And I agree with them because I felt a lot of those same irritations and insults to my intelligence were present in the previous ep.



This show had a lot of potential but didn't live up to it. That is my opinion. Those of you who still enjoy it, more power to you. But I don't think attacking Lily because she is pointing out some elephant sized flaws is cool.
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I disagree with Lily. What do you mean that no one could love the beast with all that prosthetic and rotten teeth. Didn't Beauty in Beauty and the Beast love the beast? And by the way, I loved the episode. Not disappointing to me nor I'm sure to many fans. I wish when these bloggers write their blogs, they ensure that they speak of themselves and not let it seem like it was disappointing to anybody else, unless they have done a survey.
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I'm sorry, but that's not how criticism works. In an editorial, the idea that its the critic's opinion is assumed, so its redundant to say "Well this is just my opinion but..." that is implied by the fact I'm a critic and my name is at the top, not a giant banner that says "THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS SHOW." Its a subjective process written from as objective a viewpoint as possible, written purely without influence from third parties. I write my review after watching an episode without reading anyone else's opinion and I put it under my name, and you are free to agree or disagree with it. This is not a verdict, this is not a consensus, this is one person's analysis of a tv show. Why people think the fact I put up reviews is an excuse to hurl the kind of abuse at me that would make them appear like a sociopath if said aloud in public is for psychologists to decide.
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Go Lily!
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I like reading reviews of the shows I like not to have a summary or a blind-praise but to learn what other people thought. In particular this review made me think about the subtext of the B&B story, something that I didn't notice or I didn't eviscerate while watching the episode.. You (raviespecial and all the others that sounded off in the comment bashing over Lily) must learn to discuss with someone that hasn't your same opinion without criticizing their work or undermining their professionalism. You don't agree: fine. Say so. But stop all this hate against the author. It's her right (and her job) to express HER opinion. Just let her do her job. If you want just enthusiastic review there should be someone out there, with their fan blog, that suits your needs! I prefer to read a person whose opinion I learned to respect reading all her reviews than some huge fan. But it's just me.
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the tv.com critics...have such thin skins....NYYYEEEEEHEEEHEHEHEHEEEEE
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I see a lot of comments and even replies by the author Lily Sparks about how this should have been stretched out to two or three episodes. Hell no.



The way OUaT has operated so far is to slowly move ahead with the this-world-storyline each episode and show a segment of the life of the involved from the fairy-tale-world that plays into who or what these people are.

This episode was about Rumpel. It was not about Belle (who is not [yet] a main character). It was about the fight between Rumpel and the Evil Queen. Not about the romance. Granted it did start a side storyline that might become important in the future but for now it just served as an explanation about why Rumpel was beating the crap out of this florist and why Regina got Mr. Gold to admit that he knew he was Rumpelstiltskin. That last bit was really the point about the whole episode, the romance was just part of the way that took us there.

When this becomes more important in the future I am sure they will revisit the story between Rumpel and Belle but for now the episode did pretty much what it was supposed to and that it did great.
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I agree too. I enjoyed the romance but the big thing was that Mr. Gold remembers who he is AND he declares that he is still more powerful than Regina. The only reason we had to know about Belle was so we weren't all "Why does he care so much about the cup?" and "Who's the chick in the looney bin?"

It's back story, and well thought out back story too, I think.
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agree with Daniel but not just because he is also a Stargate fan like me. lol I hope the new world Bell meets Mr. Gold and they end up as a real item. Hope others from Lost etc guest or join too. Better yet, Stargate!
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I really liked the episode, the fact that they made Mr. Gold into the Beast means that there is still hope for him. Loved it and Ms. De Ravin as Belle is just awesome!
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pretty much word for word :)
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Why do I even bother to read this site's peudo-critics? Each time I try, they have less and less credibility. I'm done.
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I agree with others here:



-Loved it. Top 5 of the series.

-Lily is too hyper-critical. Maybe TV.com needs to find someone who enjoys the ride OUaT is giving us.

-David is really annoying.
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I actually thought this was one of the strongest episodes yet. Not sure what you were watching.
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I agree completely. I listen to what "so called" critics say and wonder what world they live in.
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No need to bash the critic, it is always a matter of opinion. It is already bad enough she sat through an hour of something she did not like. No need to pile on. Opinions are opinions.
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Yes, but she makes it seem as if she has done some survey with the fans and that fans have said they were disappointed. Maybe she needs to write in a question form and ask if people were disappointed, not make it a statement. That's why I came to the article, cause I wanted to see why someone would say it was disappointing when I was thoroughly captivated by the episode.
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Didn't you want to see more of R and Belle's love story? More fun than the Catherine/David?Mary Margaret triangle- that's getting aggravating!
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I liked this episode better than some others, but the Beaty and the Beast story line was a pretty lame far stretch (I thought they could have done better). BUT glad Chip made an appearance. And David is a jerk.



...Who's Ashley again?
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Ashley is Cinderella. "Girls' night " was a bit contrived, but I liked the chance to see Ruby in something besides her diner uniform. Although she's almost more of a predator than prey, wouldn't you think?
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wouldn't that be an interesting twist? Red Riding Hood more dominating rather than submissive? When do we get her back story???
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two things stood out for me. The Beauty and the Beast Story seemed to be merged with The Hunchback of Notre Dame and I think the Janitor in the mental hospital is Quasimodo. Number two was the mention of "that mermaid".
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will she be an evil ''Ariel''?
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the queen mentioned SHE had a problem with "...a certain mermaid..."

is ariel really gonna fit? I mean, we'd probably end up with something cheesey like a girl who likes to swim

or a girl who likes fish...

there's really no good way to take that one. I think it was just a clever allusion.
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And also I loved the Edward Cullen reference...I never understood how a man that sparkle can be sexy...until I saw Carlyle...I found him quite attractive as Rumple...
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THANK YOU

nobody ever agrees with me that he's attractive.
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check out Stargate SGU, ''Rush'' aka Robert C. aka Mr. Gold/Rumple/Beast. He is my fave next to Mary/Snow White and new biker guy and Lana[Queen].
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This episode left me heartbroken...But I agree with your take on the Beauty and the Beast message and all. In my mind, I simply substituted memory of the B&B (the Disney one) with Rumpelstiltskin and Belle/The Ravin...I think they are giving Regina too much power in this world and Rumpelstiltskin too much power in the fairytale one...I get it, they are connected to anyone in some way...but..sometimes it seems forced to me..and please, Jennifer Morrison is a wonderful woman...stop dressing her like an homeless one...with no offence to the homeless woman intended...
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My best guess on the wardrobe thing is that Emma didn't bring much with her- anyone else wondering if she went back to clean out her apartment (shown in the pilot)? Because the dress she wore to snag that guy who jumped bail was pretty- she's got to have owned more than tank tops and jeans, so maybe that's all she bought at Ye Storybrooke Walmart when she decided to stick around.
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mentally prepare ? psychological truths ? Geez , it is a tv show about fairy tales!

The episode was great , the story in the fairy tale land was good plus Emilie de Ravin is great and the present day story was not bad at all .
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OK. We get it. You really don't like Once Upon a Time. Can we move on now? Maybe you could write about a different show and let someone else write about OUaT.
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CHILL dude, I've championed and defended this show from the pilot episode. I've made flipping paper dolls about this show, thats how into it I am. I really don't understand what makes people type things anonymously on message boards they would never feel comfortable saying in real life. I guess its partly cowardice and partly exhibitionism but altogether it makes me pretty sad about humans .
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heck I would have made paper dolls with you, my team was not in SuperBowl this year. lol I hate that other networks even cable rerun marathons and too coward to go up against a sporting event. Same goes for Olympics, tennis etc. I love Netflix!
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I vote for the writers' version. I loved it. You just got up on the wrong side of the bed.
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still loving slutty red ridind hood!
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Is she the waitress at diner? Will she hook up with new biker guy with typewriter?
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Agreed! I love the way the original tales were much darker until Disney made them all puritanical and boring... Good for OUAT to add some edge...
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I thought this was the best episode of the series to be honest. The acting was better than it had been over the past few weeks (the previous episode was so bad that softcore cinemax films had better acting).



The Beauty and the Beast story was well paced and I didn't think there needed to be more time to develop it since it was shown it took place over good amount of time and not just one or two days.



The story with snow and the prince is just dragging on though to the point I stopped even caring. They need to do something to give it life.



Also, Regina just wanted confirmation that he still knew who he really was. It had been hinted on since day one that he hadn't forgotten his past and she needed a way to get him to admit it since she had suspicions but no real proof and as a result her keeping Belle prisoner wouldn't help if he didn't remember.
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my friend has a theory that maybe they're keeping de Ravin in the looney bin because she remembers being Belle, like somehow loving Rumple blocked her from the curse like he blocked himself. and to keep her from telling people Regina was just like "here's a crazy girl who thinks she's a fairytale character. lock her up please?"

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i wondered if writers would have used her as 2 characters, first beauty in B&B and then sleeping beauty (having had a real hard time but not dead as the EQ implied) obviously she's not sleeping so prolly not ;)



however i also like your friend's idea, might even be better given that prince charming had already been a sleeping character
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THIS IS A GREAT THEORY. I will wholeheartedly champion it in future.
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The Rumpel's part, one or two good references and that's it!!

The rest was a mess... and that girls night out... GOOD GOD!! :/
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I don't know if anyone else has said that but i liked that this episode established a couple of good things:

first is that true love's kiss can break all spells which explain why graham started remembering things when he kissed Emma.

When I saw that episode ages ago i was like "whaaaaat? now we have to get everybody to kiss Emma and the whole course is going bye-bye?" but *sigh* that won't be possible knowing that premise.

second is huge development in Rumple's caracter to us.

Now we know he holded a grudge against Regina long before the Belle incident and didn't want to let her be the most powerful person in the fairyland; he was still kind of "human", had feelings and wanted to forget things before regina's spell and he is not the all seeing all knowing person he seemed since he couldn't see that Regina was going to manipulate Belle and that she was still alive and being held captive by the queen.



But all in all it was a okay episode.
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Regina knew his name, she just wanted him to ADMIT that he was Rumpel.



The whole "I've been Mr. Gold as long as I've been on this Earth" thing.... He didn't mean planet Earth, he meant this physical world. He didn't mean to infer that the storybook world is somehow on Venus or something.



Belle's purpose of removing the curse wasn't to make him prettier, it was to remove the evil that she sensed inside him.



Come on, Lily....
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I think that Regina wanted his real full name for the whole "control the dagger, control the power" thing...although I think in Fairytale land Regina may have already known his name, or maybe she just knew "Rumple". And yeah. I was kinda annoyed at them for not making this arc larger, considering that the show doesn't really move. (Arc even coulda been longer by Emma questioning Mr. French with a "hey why was he talking about your daughter?" "Oh yeah, her. She's in the psych ward." Or SOMETHING) But no. Let's wait like, 5 episodes to see this arc go anywhere, because we just GOTTA focus on Mr. and Mrs. Snow White.



I mean common! I don't want to go back to Mr. and Mrs. Snow White! I get that once they realize who they are then Storybrooke's freedom from the curse can jump a major leap, but Charming is just so uncharming that it's painful. I love the picture of "I will find a way to have sex with the two of you." That about sums it up for all of us.



Lol...it was an origin story for Chip!
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I MISSED LUMIERE AND COGSWORTH!!
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I actually loved this episode! i think that Rumple was just so, so convinced that no one could ever love him that he really couldn't believe that she did. And really, from his point of view her random meeting with the queen must've seemed kind of sketchy...

He was a little freaky beating the flower dude with his stick but other than that I like Mr. Gold, he's one of my favorites.

That hospital-prison thing was a twist. I wonder who else is down there?
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Maybe Graham since we haven't seen him buried or anything...a girl can dream right?
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I love Rumpel and Beauty and the Beast is my favourite story so I was excited to see this episode, but I agree that I was a little disappointed. Completely agree that his laugh was too much, and he repeated it so many times. I don't care what he looks like, I could get past all that, but not that laugh like you said. That's a great idea to have to story over 3 episodes. I wish there was more romance between them. There was no point even bringing up the fact that he had a son since he didn't tell her anything about him and they didn't use it to show a softer side of Rumpel either. I agree with everything you said actually. I hope we get to see lots more about Rumple and maybe he could be the Big Bad Wolf for Red Ridding Hood too, (as I've seen many fan-fictioners suggest) and maybe this time they would do a better job with his character.
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Can't see R as the Wolf- I still want Graham to come back for that part! But I hope Mr Gold is in jail long enough to do some reminiscing on the topic. Or maybe Belle, since they've got her in a cell...
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Graham was the Huntsman. Do you not watch the show? And to Genni, Rumple is Rumple, he's not the wolf!



What the hell is wrong with you people?
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I know who Rumple is but as you see with this show one character can actually take the form of many other characters. Since this post we've seen that Rumple is also the crocodile after Hook.
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I thought that all of Rumpelstiltskin's power was in his name...so why does everybody know his name??
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Don't be nitpicking. They threw all the tales in a blender and now hand it out by the teaspoonfull.
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it's not that. they changed it remember?

now there's a dagger with his NAME on it and if he's killed with it, the person who stabbed him gets his power.

so the power isn't in knowing his name now, it's in possessing the dagger that bears it.
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I understand that people all have their own opinions. Most liked the episode and there were a few that didn't like the episode. But that is no reason to attack Lily or be disrespectful.
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Being critical of Lily being critical of the show is not an "attack" so long as it is not disrespectful.
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Yes, you're right. But I have read these comments since the article first went up and several people did "attack" Lily and some were beyond disrespectful. Insults and name calling just because you don't like someone's opinion? That's not okay.
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Staff
I'm kind of flattered how many people need my approval for the show they like. If you like it, keep on liking it! My opinion cannot control your eyeballs. Have a good one.
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You're absolutely right. It's just a show. There's no need for petty attacks. Lily, I still love you sweetie!
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Aww thank you!!Right back at you!!! I love all the discussion that this has drummed up, and I really do have amazing commenters who give me a lot of insight into the show. Sometimes I attract a few tomato-throwers, but its worth it to hear from everybody else.
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Was I the only one pissing myself at the Australian accents? Being aussie myself, it was SO WEIRD to hear Belle and her dad bellowing in our bogan tongue. Made me LOL so hard. Particularly because the most well known 18th century version of Beauty and the Beast, as well as the Disney adaptation, were both set in France.
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Belle in the episode was played by Emilie de Ravin. She's Australian.



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...I know. Hence, the accent. Just found it interesting she stuck with it instead of doing her American accent for the 100th time.
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I wasn't pissing myself, I just enjoyed it, mate! Maybe they filmed it in Queensland, and the accent just sort of slipped in? I was half expecting Belle to make a Vegemite sandwich! :-)
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LMAO we're such a cultured bunch haha
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A few things: The biggest complaint I've had about OUAT as a whole, so far, is that nothing really happens. There's very rarely an actual plot development from one episode to the next. So I agree with that.



Secondly, I also agree that the romance between Rumple/Beast and Belle/Beauty was rushed and forced. I didn't see any reason for her to fall in love with him. He seemed nicer than the monster he's supposed to be, sure, but if that can get women to fall in love with you, I wouldn't be alone on Valentine's Day (aww, hehe).



But I'd still say this is one of my favorite episodes of OUAT. Yes, it lacked actual plot development again, but it was quite dramatic nonetheless. There also wasn't as much bad dialogue as usual.
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Well, I thought they implied she'd been there for a while... at least long enough to explore the entire place. They mentioned "Spring was coming" at one point, did they mention (or allude to) any other seasons?



During that time she probably saw him soften up; catching him, talking about his son, etc. She probably felt there was a good person in there.



Meanwhile, they had to squeeze all of that stuff into less than 20 minutes anyway since it was (at best) half the episode. So really, the whole "getting to know him" thing had to be like 5-10 minutes of screen time.
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Haven't you ever seen "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", the 5 Oscar winning, IMDB 10th best movie of all time, starring Jack Nicholson? The end scene in the insane asylum was an homage to that movie, with Nurse Ratched at the desk and Chief mopping the halls.
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I've seen the movie but I realized the connection only after your comment..
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Am I the only one that sees Belle as an extension of Claire from lost?
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I never really got into Lost, but I'll always see Emilie as Tess from Roswell.
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I think each episode is trying to challenge our perspective on things and they're using them like a see-saw. When Rumplestiltskin manipulated Emma for his own needs I saw how nasty he actually was, now we see how much the Evil Queen has tried to hurt him and how far she would go, your sympathy can shift to the more human and vulnerable Rumplestiltskin again. They need to do it quickly to keep you on your toes - if the 'love story' were longer they'd find it harder to shift the sympathy. The shorter it is the quicker we forget. By making him so violent in Storybrooke they kept you remembering how nasty he can be...
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What? Disappointing? Whoever wrote the article either is getting some competitors networks sweety gifts to write such nonsense lies or didn't understand anything about the series, characters, plot and style and of course got a bad taste overall.

This was one of the best episodes in the series so far. There is nothing to complain about.
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I WISH I was getting gifts from competing networks. NBC, CBS, send me some fruit baskets! Or a visor or frisbee or something! As it is I just write off my honest reaction to the show, and then the sh+t hits the fan as they say.
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I agree I think OUaT should of drawn out the Belle/Ramp story arc, I would of loved to see that playing as a B or C story over the next couple of episodes, or at the very least they could of just dropped the horrendous Girls Night out and used that time to further develop the BelAmp (?) Rampelle (?) story. Oh and loved the pictures!
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Exactly! You put it better than I could.
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Loved this epi and Rumple (haha, that could be his nickname). My fave epi so far. Its not another planet. Isnt it another dimension? Isnt that universally understood about fantasy?
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Although I disagreed with the review... congrats Lily for generating a Price-worthy amount of comments... Normally only the TVD reviews generate this volumes...
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Too bad so many of them seem to be personal attacks! TVD commenters (although ship crazy) for the most part seem to respect Price and appreciate his recaps even if they completely disagree (see the Bill Forbes debate two eps back). They get that we're all here because we love a show and we criticize because we want better, which is a HUGE COMPLIMENT. After all, the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.

These comments however make me feel like I'm on youtube. Trolls, do us all a favour and GTFO. Quit the personal attacks. It's fucking Valentines day. Have a little heart.
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Yep it was a bit meaner than necessary but I guess not everyone read the part about 'No Personal Attacks - Just Agree or Disagree...' ...



But I thought getting a lot of comments had a positive side....
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I sure hope lily agrees with you. I would be running for the hills!
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Once I start reading the comments for a particular article, I usually feel compelled to finish ALL of them. This was the first piece where I didn't, purely b/c some of them were just so darn MEAN. The ones I did read made me, for the first time since registering with the site, regret being in this community. At the risk of sounding like a stereotypical middle-aged mom: I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed.
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Jeff: Oh, c'mon Shirley. Don't be mad.

Shirley: I'm not mad, I'm disappointed.

Jeff: That's mom for mad.



Hehe.
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Agreed. I think I might stay away from this recap from now on, because it just keeps going! for what it's worth, I've done my bit. Let's hope next week is better...
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Apparently there was about 18 of footage that had to be cut from this episodesooo maybe we can blame editors and the need for commercials, not just boo at the writers.



I think most the problem the show is trying to always fit in Storybrooke and Fairytale happenings together, I see no reason there can't be one or the other ONLY for an episode. Just cut out the nonsensical filler (maybe all the times Regina had to threaten MM or Emma, really we get the point) and have what matter in the show.



Anyway I could complain all day if I put my heart into, not out of hate but I always think things could be better. I love this show and I liked this episode for what they gave us.



p.s. David Nolan=jackass

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On the Regina-Mr. Gold thing: he REALLY didn't want to discuss it, so I'm guessing he'd hoped to keep Regina guessing a while longer (time for something else to develop?) But Regina was forcing the issue. Since she knew enough to tell Moe the florist to look for Chip, then there was no point to NOT admitting the Rumplestiltskin identity. (I did like the "as long as I've been on this earth" comment, but took it in the sense of land, not universe) She knows, he knows, she knows he knows, and he knows she knows...now where are we going? CRAZY!
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