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

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?


QUESTIONS:

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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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!
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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!!!
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-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.
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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.
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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.
*shrug*
Guess pretty much everything is possible with her.
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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...
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Oh, phllleaseeeee someone give Hook some modern clothes, pretty please? :-P
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hahaha the last scene with the plane sound and suddenly ending was so Lost. with Hurley and that scene I kinda got nostalgic :)))
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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?

HELLZ YES!

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.
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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.
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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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Guess Giants are delivered by giant storks because I didn't see any BBW up in the clouds. And were those fireballs flying through the air at the castle? Apparently the humans brought catapults up the beanstalk.

I didn't like that it took a whole episode for Hugo to say that he could still grow magic beans. Where should we plant them? How about the least fertile looking soil in Storybrooke. It was nice to see seven dwarves again, but did it take seven of them to dig a hole?

1. Are you shipping #SnowQueen or #Bed? #sayiddatedcora

2. Ethan Embry's best movie is ___? Can't Hardly Wait

3. Tiny's backstory: Could it have been summed up in two lines? (Hint: YES) Tiny is hairy. Tiny has magic bean stalk.

4. Evil Charming: hot? Not

5. Why did Rumple freak out in the airport, was he tweaking? He realized he's Henry's grandpappy

6. Was this episode a strong return or very little action after a long wait? Very little action, but at least Cinnabons are making a comeback
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I'm still fuming about the other worlds comment made previously, Nice that Jack was hot, not sure why dead prince doesn't kill other giant and steal all the treasures? or get someone in his army to do it. lol they took everyone else out..
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By the way I was a little stumped at how so many tiny people that frankly the giants could just stand on were able to defeat them. A bucket of water, a hose, a broom would do the trick without having to touch a sword. I think I need a little bit more to believe that one.
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Anyone else get a huge Lost vibe this episode? Claire from Lost getting a book called the Mysterious Island... Hugo from Lost helping to plant (like they did on the Island)... three going through and airport and travelling on a plane... My guess is Gold has seen the show and realized he's about to cross into it - that's enough to make anyone freak out!
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You know what would do this show all the good in the world? A long, uninterrupted (no flashback) episode that focuses on the present-day Charming family. Did David actually just say in this episode that he wants to go back to FTL and Emma and Henry will be just fine if they decide to stay in the "real world"? What happened to the man who risked his life to save his daughter from the curse, smiling even as he lost consciousness because he knew he had spared his child?

I thought for a while they were just holding off on reconciliation scenes to shove more of Emma's "toughness" down our throats, but it seems like this is the new normal for their family dynamic. We got to see a little of Emma and Snow while they were in FTL, but Emma's relationship with David is almost purely Sheriff/Deputy. I understand Emma being resistant, but I want him to react like a real loving father would - throw your arms around her, stare at her face to see which of her features look like yours, shed some tears for all the time lost, take off that ridiculous holster vest and get your tongue out of Snow's mouth long enough to have a conversation with your daughter!

The main characters are in a weird holding pattern while we chase down pirates and giants and extraneous princesses. It's time to devote a non-fragmented episode to the main Season 1 cast with particular emphasis on Emma and her parents.

Does anyone else feel this way?
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David is a stereotypical guy in this respect - it's easier to deal with things than feelings. Snow and Emma had a chance to bond as roomies, before they knew they were related; Emma was ready to rip David apart for what he did to Snow (which wasn't all that long ago, really). So it's hard for David to be "Dad" to a grown woman, who's made him a grandpa when he was in a coma!

Charming is a hero and can rise to the occaision if he needs to kill something or defend someone; but I don't see him coming to terms with his daughter until 1) she gets back from her quest and tries to bridge the gap herself, 2) he gets done dealing with the rest of Storybrooke's population, who'd rather be told what to do than learn to think for themselves, or 3) Snow makes him do it.
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I just totally disagree that David's reaction was typical of a man who is a father. I understand their situation is ridiculous, but it's also manufactured by the creators and there's no way to move these characters forward until their relationship is addressed in terms deeper than, "We need a bigger house."
We all waited so long for them to be together, and every time they are it's a total anticlimactic letdown. All the main sources of tension that made the Season 1 finale so amazing have just gone limp.
Sometimes if you withhold something too long, it doesn't make people more ravenous for it - it just makes them lose interest.
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Yup to the power of 10.
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It was nice to see the town mob take the day off to 'pitch' in and help someone for a change.

King George needs to either get a decent Financial Adviser or join Gamblers Anonymous - how the H. E double hockey sticks, did he manage to spend all the giant's gold and re-bankrupt the kingdom? Maybe Matthew from Downton Abbey can drop in and give some advice?

What is it with Emma constantly feeding Henry junk food? First chips for breakfast and now an entire cake with frosting all to himself? I think someone is overcompensating......

Oh and WTF is up with Regina FORGIVING her mother? You know the one who bullied her for years and ACTUALLY killed the love of her life? Yet she relentlessly hunts Snow for years because she blabbed a secret as an 8 year old? I know that the writers have explained it as Regina not having anyone else to turn to when the town was against her, and I know she is WAAAY more fun evil and the show would be boring if she was nice all the time. and I know this point has been made already but dang it - I want my Regina/Cora showdown!!

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I don't know which kingdom George owes money to, but he must have borrowed heavily and gotten a ridiculously high interest rate! However, there was still a lot of gold when Emma and Hook visited, so I'm guessing that less gold made it back down the beanstalk than you'd expect. (Remember how not much later, George was sending Charming to deal with the dragon? and marry Midas' daughter?) Maybe Evil James spent an awful lot on wine women, and song...
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that's exactly why I said that King George needs to get some help. 'cos after getting all that gold from the giant he still had to get James ot slay the dragon and marry Midas' daughter. I think you might be right about evil James blowing it all on women and booze. In fact King George may not actually have seen any of that gold at all! :-)
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Yes, the giant's backstory may not have been the most interesting 43 minutes of storytelling that has taken place on Once Upon a Time, but it did serve the purpose of possibly leading us toward part of Cora's motivation for traveling to Storybrooke. She wants Anton to plant the magic bean cutting to grow magic beans which just so happen to let the holders of said beans create portals travel to other worlds. Hmm, Cora=evil and wanting to travel to other worlds. Something tells me she's not really after an apology from her daughter; which she 150% does not deserve, but then again Regina doesn't deserve one from Henry either, but he's not old enough to realize that yet.

James was totally badass, but not in a good way. He was badass in an I don't give a crap kind of way. Which is usually the way that gets you killed. It's hard to believe that James and David started out in the same place and one became Prince Charming the good leader of the realm and the other became Prince James the disrespectful fake son of King George. Do I sense another theme launching here? Similar to the "can people really change?" quandary that has permeated the series, the "nature vs. nurture" debate could be right around the corner.

Belle and Car Crash Guy seemed to hit it off pretty well given that they met in a hospital after being in different parts of the same car accident. The thing that seemed to convince her that he is on her side is the fact that he doesn't think she's crazy. Mostly this is because he wants to know where/what in the F he drove into and since Emma seems unwilling to give straight answers, he'll go find another source. I have to say Emma forgiving his vehicular assault on Hook without doing much investigating was the give away that all is not as it seems in Storybrooke. Ruby wanting to hurry him out of town didn't help much either.

Best parts of the episode: 1) the conversation about Charming's real name taking place whilst Leroy, Snow, and Charming are being chased down Main Street by Anton; ahh comedic timing. 2) Rumpelstiltskin going through airport security and scoffing that everyone has to take their shoes off to go through metal detectors and part with all their possessions for 30 seconds while they go through x-ray scanners.

Worst parts of this episode: 1) waiting three weeks for OUaT to finally air a new episode and then getting this particular episode in return; it wasn't bad, but it could have been better. 2)Ruby and Belle making it obvious to Car Crash Guy that there is something weird going on in Storybrooke; this may be a storyline that will be explored in the future, but I am unsure about how the writers will approach it to make it good.

"Suspend Belief" moment of the episode: Is Anton going to stay small forever or what? I mean if he keeps wandering around eating mushrooms all the time, people are going to start looking at him sideways.

Also, I love your picture of Regina not giving a f*ck about anyone's backstory.
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Lily, HOW COULD YOU NOT MENTION Grumpy's exchange with Charming about his name? I was ROFL'ing!
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I rewound it. :-)
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One major problem in this episode: NO MULAN and mainly, NO AURORA! (Just kidding!) If gold thinks taking someone's shoes off in the airport ins uncivilized, what would he think of Muslim fundamentalists that use airline jets as weapons against buildings? Fairytale land, bow at our evil magic! We from "Normalland" will crush you, especially if you have oil! And they think their magic is powerful...

I bet Tiny in a rampage could have appeared in Google Earth. How cool would that be?

Best Ethan Embry TV show: Freakylinks! His career went downhill after that. And you must be wondering what the heck of a show I'm talking about.

Why did all the giants have to be white and fat? I think it would've been much cooler if the other giants were played by the Harlem Globetrotters. OK, that reminds me of a silly cartoon I used to watch as a child, or a Futurama episode.

Useless statistics: It's the second episode with a giant this week. The first was in Supernatural.

This episode reminded me the other one in which Emma climbed a beanstalk ALL THE WAY TO THE SKY like she was an accomplished mountain climber with no mountain climbing gear, or even a super hero, in what seemed like 15 minutes and without even breaking a sweat. That was EPIC Once Upon a OUaT in its twisted logic!

Have you noticed how Once Upon a time brings about all sorts of silly jokes?
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the harlem globe trotters as giants. Brilliant! :-)
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Crackpot idea:
Lily photo-reviews "Banshee".
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Dear Lily, I truly miss your revenge recap but please stop recaping Once Upon A Time... one can tell by reading your review that you were forced to do it.
Please switch back to revenge....
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It might be interesing, just for fun, for someone to try writing a truly positive review of Ouat. I haven't the foggiest idea how it would be done - but if anyone wants to give a try, PLEASE post it here for the rest of us. It could be really fun to read!
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I love Lily's Once reviews!
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Ok, so....random question that has been bugging me the past few weeks: why should Gold worry about crossing the town line? When the other Storybrooke inhabitants cross, they revert to their cursed selves again....but Gold never had a "cursed" self, right? He always retained his memory of being Rump. So.....what gives? (This would also apply to Regina if she ever wanted to cross the town line)
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As the producers have stated, Mr. Gold did not know he had once been Rumplestiltskin until he heard Emma's name in the first episode. (Myself, I think it was Emma saying her name which was the trigger- I don't believe someone else saying her name would have done it.)

Regina did not have a "cursed" self as such, but leaving town would take her away from the magic Gold brought back. Don't think she'll do that, even for Henry.
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Ah! Okay then. I did not know the producers had said that. Thanks! Makes much more sense now.

And I don't know.....she really loves Henry. And she was trying to live without magic in order to prove herself to him (at least until her mom showed up). But I guess it may be a moot point now.
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The 'cursed' Mr. Gold didn't have magic and in the bathroom he was unable to heal his hand magically so maybe he reverted back to his mortal 'cursed' state.
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"My name is Jacqueline...but my friends call me...."
"WE INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM TO INCREASE DRAMATIC TENSION. ........... THANK YOU. NOW BACK TO OUR PROGRAM."
".....Jack."
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HAHAHA! I was thinking the same thing!
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QUESTIONS:
1. Are you shipping #SnowQueen or #Bed? Neither. Why is everything a "ship"?

2. Ethan Embry's best movie is ___? --Who cares. Noting to do with the episode.

3. Tiny's backstory: Could it have been summed up in two lines? (Hint: YES) HINT. Go review a different show.

4. Evil Charming: hot? No.

5. Why did Rumple freak out in the airport, was he tweaking? How about he was freaking out because the man had never flown a day in his life?

6. Was this episode a strong return or very little action after a long wait? I think it's yet another episode in the series. Could it have been written better? Yes.
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Nothing like taking something just that little TOO seriously!! I'm shipping Yife (You & a life). Leave the sarcasm to the professionals... Peace out! :)
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Lily please change show to recap.You clearly don't see the greatness of the show.
It is Lost with Direction and without all the boring useless time filling story lines
I find it quite amazing to see how the show evolve and keep so much continuity
(It is a really rare thing in today shows)
Every episode is a peace of the puzzle and every episode you see how it fit quite nicely with every thing that came before.It is not perfect (I really find the most of the "Good" characters (Emma,Henry ...) quite stupid and ridicules but it is better the other crap out there today
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Greatness??? Seriously?
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"...without all the boring useless time filling story lines..."
I feel like that's what 90% of this show is.
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I can say the same about Lost who could have sum up to a season maybe 2 with allot less characters
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I wasn't a Lostie, so this is an honest question. Don't most Lost fans feel that the last couple of seasons were weak? And didn't Kitsis and the other guy just become the lauded 'writers of Lost' during those same last couple of seasons? Again, honest Q.
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If you're speaking mythology, yes. However Lost was at it's best when it was about the characters.
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It was all character development (useless characters)
not much story development
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I didn't watch Lost, but as it involved the creators of Once, I have no trouble believing you.
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Can't Hardly Wait cemented Ethan's place in my heart. Thought everything to do with the giants was stupid and the acting was awful. Is it bad that I am already sick of Belle's amnesia? I get that you don't remember but what is up with the hysterics? I think Gold is afraid of losing his powers and guys seem to like to hit stuff when they are upset. Evil charming is hot but I would rather look at Hook any day. I just wish they would pick a storyline for him and stick with it - is he good or bad, love interest or not, ??? The return was pretty ridiculous and the juvenile writing is a real put off. Really hoping it gets better and that they improve their green screen technology.
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So glad I stopped watching.
Even gladder I keep reading.
Hey, Lily? You can't bring up Ethan Embry without addressing the *important* question. Marc/Mark?
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I gave up two episodes into season two. Rubbish going nowhere.
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2. Can't Hardly Wait
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Is there some additional magic to these beanstalks that I'm missing? "You led the humans to our beanstalk?!" You mean they couldn't find some massive green plant growing up into the sky without assistance? Wouldn't it be the tallest friggin' think in FTL? Now in Storybook wouldn't the giant beanstalk be a bigger security risk than the guy in the hospital with the head injury? Hey, if it's got a magic cloak like Hook's ship I understand, but I don't remember that being established?
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I was wondering about Hook's ship magic too. It's made of enchanted wood, but he still needs a portal to jump realms? Is it a different kind of enchanted wood than Emma's wardrobe wood? What exactly does it do differently than another non-magical ship?
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My best guess is that the ship had to be made of enchanted wood so it could survive portal travel; but it's not a portal itself. Maybe it can go more places than Jefferson's hat; it ought to be able to transport a large group.

Maybe this ship is why there was only one tree left to make the wardrobe out of?
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I'm not really sure who those #names are for, but there aren't any interesting ships on the horizon for this show. We need a new hot guy for Emma. Not dead, not a puppet, or a pirate... well, maybe a pirate.
Dude, I had to look up Ethan Embry and the only thing I recognized was Harold & Kumar, so... no. Fail.
Yes.
Hawt. Again, why are all the hot guys dead! There can be more sexy James in FTL flashback which is fine, but if there must be strangers now in Storeybrooke, it would be much more tolerable if they were Adrian Grenier.
Not sure, does that guy need a reason to freak out? Also, what's with the airport filler? Nothing like the gripping scenes of Rumple cane threatening random strangers who try to take his grandma shawl. I think the real question is, who is Bae? Someone we already know, or maybe he's Jeremy Renner, witch hunter?
Meh, this episode was filler at best leading to what one can only hope to be a season finale of Cora and Regina fire and brimstoning Storeybrooke for good so that we can all climb the beanstock and live in FTL forever!

*amending my 2nd answer, I did like him in That Thing You Do. That was adorbs.

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#SnowQueen = Snow and Regina
#Bed = Belle and Red
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Snow and Regina? WTF?!
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1) Neither... #SwanQueen all the way!!!
2) ???? Don't recall any xD
3) Yes!!!!!!!
4) He was an ass... But so HOT, I liked him more than charming before the curse, that really was an ass, he didn't know what he wanted, at least dark cahrming was true to his selfishness xD
5) I think he feels powerless, he doesn't like to lose control, still love him
6) Soooo weak!!! Still have some things that were amusing, the worst for me was Grumpy/Nova episode

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Lily please recap Revenge instead
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Also, I'm totally loving how everyone keeps referring to Anton as Hurley. #LOSTforever!
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Obviously I'm not missing anything. Glad I dumped this show.
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Lily, will you have a turn at the VD review wheel? :) Your snarkiness might just make up for Price's much-felt absence. :S
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1. Are you shipping #SnowQueen or #Bed? I do not. I ship nothing.

2. Ethan Embry's best movie is ___? Can't Hardly Wait

3. Tiny's backstory: Could it have been summed up in two lines? (Hint: YES) I say in like 10 lines.

4. Evil Charming: hot? More hot than too much lip-gloss Charming.

5. Why did Rumple freak out in the airport, was he tweaking? He has no powers?

6. Was this episode a strong return or very little action after a long wait? I think it was a strong return and it had Regina, so yeah, it was strong.
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hey lily, love your reviews! the snarkiness keeps me entertained after trudging through some of the weaker episodes, I do love OUAT for it's novelty factor but lately the writing has been a bit flimsy. so it's fun to read what someone else noticed was off while watching the episode, to fill in the gaps.

also! the pairing name for ruby and belle is "Red Beauty" apparently, and that's the ship name that most people use on tumblr, twitter, etc, if you're interested in finding more stuff. I'm a big fan and I'm really excited that they acknowledged their friendship this episode. Even if Red Beauty doesn't happen, the fact that their canonically very close friends is nice.

I read a mention somewhere that Ruby wearing her big fur coat added a lot to the whole "Beauty and the Beast" comparison the couple often gets. And I'm curious as to what else was in the basket! I like to imagine Ruby brings Belle iced teas during her breaks when she goes to check on her.
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!.) Lol.... I didn't even think of that coupling before now but it's not a bad one.
2.) eh.....
3.) Nah.... well yes but I do like Jack.... wished they hadn't killed her...
4.) I dunno.... the leather is nice but the whole blatantly evil thing is a turn off. I like good guys... such as his twin brother.
5.) Lol, no. I think it was just because he realized how dependent he is on magic and how he isn't anywhere near magic. I mean, it's pretty scary to think of that situation. "I'll lose my memory without magic...." "New york has no magic" 0o
6.) I liked it really. Backstory is fun to me! I like the giant and the beanstalk. I wish they had down a bit more on Jack, but the writers will be writers and tend to just focus on one backstory when they could have fit ten in there.
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Wait a second...David, the shepherd who eventually becomes king?

Fairy tales are par for the course...and I can tolerate the additions of Carroll and even Shelley...but they better not be going Biblical on us.
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Don't forget fighting a giant. I actually didn't catch the shepherd/king clues until reading your comment, but I was definitely thinking David and Goliath during this episode.
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1. Neither. #Mulora all the way.

2. That Thing You Do.

3. Try two words. "Undersized Giant."

4. Hardly.

5. Maybe he just wanted to be doubly sure he didn't have any magic.

6. Yes.
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I like how I still just see Red giving Belle stuff a nice gesture. We need OUAT back on it's proper ways to help Lily making up Shipping scenarios, haha.
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Rumple may be worried about becoming a powerless coward again, and the knuckle-pounding was just a futile fight against not having access to his powers outside Storybrooke.

I also think he may be possibly afraid of how Bae will react to seeing him again. Last time they were together, Rumple betrayed Bae and choose the Dark One's power over life as a normal human father in the real world.

Now that Rumple's in the real world, powerless, travelling around with a role model mother and her kid I'm sure Rumple realizes he could be setting himself up for another heartbreak (just like when Belle got re-cursed-- Bae is probably not gonna either remember or forgive Rumple).
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SnowQueen and Bed? How quickly we forget about #Murora.
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I have to ask: did I miss something or how the hell were two tiny people able to kill whole giant family???
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Again to be fair it wasn;t just the two of them. Prince James brought an army as well. they were mentioned but we didn't see them.
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It was stupid. Apparently a human army with poisoned swords was assembled in advance and then arrived at the perfect time after climbing a ginormous-but-previously-hidden beanstalk. The giants could have kept their distance and thrown tables or solid gold harps or something at them, but instead chose to get stabbed in the legs.
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In their defense, by the time the giants realized they had poison most of them were probably dead. I mean there were what... 3 brothers besides Hurley and the father.
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Poisoned swords. One jab and you're dead.
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Well it must be one heck of a virulent poison to kill giants instantly, given that a heartbeat is proportional to their size. Just saying. :)
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Considering this is fairy tale land. I wouldn't put magic poison out of the equation.
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Oops. Sorry Kerkesh. Meant to click Reply but I guess your post is too far down to have one. Didn't mean to Flag.

Anyway, the giant-poison scenes all happened in Fairy Tale Land. And magic is now back in Story Brooke, though it takes a while to learn again.

No prob: it's hard to tell when someone is pulling my leg about this show. I have people in r/l honestly complain about x/y/z happening in the flashback scenes in FTL due to logic and stuff. Like conservation of mass when turning into a mouse, or square-cubed law when dealing with giants. And have to say "dude... magic. give it a rest"
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I'm just pulling your leg here, but isn't the point that this is happening in our world and not a fairy tale? "magic poison" is a weird concept , but okay.
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Oh, I forgot to say how completely sick I am of Hook. Unremitting misogeny is never sexy, even on a good looking Scot. What horrible writing!
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He's Irish, not Scottish.
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That changes everything. Misogynistic Irishmen are the bee's knees.
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You're complaining that the villain is evil. Did I miss something?
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Nope. I'm complaining that one of the villians, who is apparently supposed to be sexy, is boring.
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But you weren't complaining about boring writing in your initial comment. You were complaining that he was too misogynistic and apparently not 'sexy' enough for you, when you're not supposed to be attracted to the villain.
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Haha, is he boring or is it "misogeny" (sic)? I would take your complaints more seriously if you could stop calling the actor 'sexy' or 'good-looking' in every sentence, especially the ones where you complain about m-i-s-o-g-y-n-y. ;-)

But zeofan1 is right. Hook is doing his Patriarch Act because he's a villain. I don't remember anyone whining about Evil Queen's anti-feminist use of sex as a weapon when she seduces The Huntsman in S1.

So... you're complaining that the villain is evil. Plus using double standards and goal-post changing based on your gender preference. Did I miss something?
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Typo - not the first or last for me, I'm sure. And total my bad about Irish rather than Scottish. Honestly, not trying to make something boring seem interesting simply by talking about it. But if anyone finds Hook's lines either seductive or clever, please speak up. Personally, I simply find him a wonderfully likeable actor, in a potentially interesting role, that has been squandered by a tsumani of lame, lame lines.
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Love the new 'tude, Lily. Problem is, sooner or later, we will be given a show that is actually GOOD, and then we'll go back to getting angry when the writers return to waking only long enough to count to their money.

Your commentators have pretty much already said it all - except perhaps simply to repeat the line 'Grab my hand, Tiny' - REALLY, Charming??? - while dangling from the bitter end of a rope???

But to your questions:

1. Swan Queen all the way! The glow from our LGBTQ youth would be visable from outer space, and what a rich concept - The Evil Queen and The Savior. Oh, wait, these writers have already kinda wasted several rich concepts, haven't they? Ah well - maybe they'll do this if the ratings tank, as Iust googled 'Swan Queen' and it looks like that fandom is probably about 90% of their support base - back again to that counting their money thing.
2. Dunno
3. Yep
4. Immediately when he came onscreen, Evil Charming was wonderful. What a breath of fresh air. And although I know that Insipid Charming and Snow have a thing for each other in real life, I think that the chemistry between EC and Jackie is the best on the show so far.
5. Rumple was just channeling what everyone feels when in airports these days.
6. Weak, weak, weak. Tiny, move it along to the killing someone part!!!
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Ha, so glad you brought up the "grab my hand" line. I rolled my eyes so hard. Sure, David Charming Dumbass. Tell the 300 pound man to grab your princely arm so he can climb over you to safety. I half hoped when Tiny came out of the hole first that he would have David's arm from the elbow down in one hand.
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LMAO!!!!
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Nice to see Cassidy Freeman and she looked quite fetching in both the outfits they put her in. I do feel that the Jack storyline was included mostly because there is a movie coming out. I like the reference to Alice giving Jack the mushroom.

Rumple freaked out because of what happened when he took off the enchanted rag, he was possibly starting to lose his memory and was struggling to hang on. This means that he may never be able to fully be free of storybrooke without that rag.

One thing about the episode is that it makes clear what Prince Charmings name is. First we thought it was James but that turned out to be his evil brother whose life he assumed. Up till now we never heard his real name in the fairytale world. It turns out to be David, his cursed name. I do wonder if this will lead James to reveal the truth to the citizens, that he is not Prince James but that he was the good man they knew.

As for Embry, I hope he is given more to do. He was great in That Thing You Do as the Base Player and he was also good on the Dragnet reboot a while back before they retooled it for the second season and dropped his character.

And the beans are going to be used to open a portal back to the enchanted forest rather than grow a beanstalk. However, how do they expect to guard an open field from Cora? I think this is mostly a plot device to play up the drama between those who want to stay in storybrooke and those who want to go back to the other world. Snow wants to stay because Emma and Henry are here, while David wants to return because that is their home.
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Gotta ask- was that leather outfit the same one Belle wore in her adventure, just with a different shirt underneath? Looked that way to me. Jaq must have been popular to set the "female adventurer" fashion standard.
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Dragnet was an excellent chance for Ed O'Neill to return to his dramatic roots...but alas, a decade as Al Bundy doomed him to a life of comedy.
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O'Neill was really good in Dragnet as Friday, but you're right, it was simply too soon after Married With Children left the air and too big of a departure from what he was known for. Sad since he was a dramatic stage actor once.

That said, I think that the show would have had a longer run had they not changed the formula into an ensemble show and dropped Embry from the cast. He and O'Neill had a great chemistry carried over from their work in the movie Dutch.
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I had forgotten they were in Dutch together. Just like I initially forgot that Numb3rs co-stars Peter MacNichol and David Krumholtz were in Addams Family Values together.
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I think you mean SwanQueen, not SnowQueen. ;P Snow Queen would have nothing to do with Emma.
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Like you Lily, I do enjoy this show very much, but at the same time it irritates me how ridiculous and awkward a lot of the things can be. Anyway, question time:

1. I'm actually rooting for Belle and Rumple, so I'd have to say I'd prefer #SnowQueen over #Bed. I suppose Belle, Rumple, and Red could have a really awkward threesome, in which case I'd be fine-ish with Bed, but that won't happen now, will it? It won't, in fact. I just checked, and not even in the supposedly unlimited fanfiction universe has that happened, which is probably a good thing.

2. I know no one is going to agree with me on this but I'm going to go with "Timeline." Hey, at least I'm not going with "Eagle Eye"

3. In so many ways yes. I remember in those good old days when this show was about making fun of fairy tales, and having surprising little twists in its backstories. Remember when we first met James, though we thought he was David, and he straight up died? That was shocking. And while this backstory kind of had a little twist with the whole Jack character, there was nothing surprising about it at all. We knew all the giants were dead from the previous episode with Jorge Garcia. We knew from the giant's reaction to seeing David (before the flashback even started) that he was going to be betrayed. We knew that all the beans were going to be destroyed. Nothing was surprising or shocking or anything. And the fight sequences weren't even that interesting.

And to add insult to injury, the eldest giant pretty much told Garcia's character that "hey we're totally aware of the fact that we pick on you and make fun of you and pretty much give you a really hard time all the time, but...we're related to you by blood...so it's all good right?" I happen to have a couple of brothers myself, and I don't know if my situation is extremely unusual in this case, but I don't treat my brothers badly just because, and if I did they wouldn't just shrug it off because we're related. The only enjoyable things about this episode's flashback was the giants' kingdom/home place, which looks really cool, and the addition of the beanstalk farm, even though I agree that giant beanstalks will be noticed (except since the bean cutting shrunk along with him, maybe the stalks will just be normal sized.

4. Honestly I couldn't get over how blatantly mean he was, mainly so that it would be easy to tell him about from good Charming. He even had his own evil voice that just sounded weird. But yeah, if you're going for that bad boy look and don't mind that he'll probably leave you for dead at some point, I can see the appeal. I did admire the fact that he wasn't put off by his father at all when he was discovered with a woman in his bed, that was pretty good.

5. I think it's more than just Rumple losing his magic. When he took off his scarf he was very dizzy and disoriented for a bit, and that's when all the weirdness started. My guess is that he's having trouble keeping his memories and personality in check. He might be starting to forget things or lose his grip on reality. Unfortunately it could be that the writers are just using this as a lame reason for him to be a straight-up villain again. Especially now that Regina is back to doing bad things now, it's likely that the show is trying to slip back into some familiar rhythms again. Although, I'm hoping that Regina is not really allied with her mom and is just pretending to be, since their make-up scene seemed way too forced, and way too unrealistic: "Hey Geeny baby I just framed you for a murder to show you how the town hates you," "But Mom you made such an airtight case for my guilt that anyone would believe that I was guilty. When I framed Snow and David thought she did it the evidence wasn't nearly as compelling as it was in your frame job," "Yeah honey but I can give you what you really want: your son. By being evil like me we'll force him to be with you, even though you already learned that that isn't what you want, but you can trust me right? It's not like I've ruined your life at least three times already?" "I can't argue with your logic, mom" Seriously, there had better be more to this whole Regina/Cora alliance. I'm hoping that Regina was responsible for he giant shrinking again, and that the mushroom's effects simply hadn't run out, since in the flashback the effects lasted for a much longer time.

6. I'd have to say yes and no to that. The show didn't make that strong of a return, as this episode certainly wasn't one of the best. But it did make a return, and it was one that I mostly enjoyed, though as usual these new storylines are starting to pile on more and more plot holes. For instance, the townspeople should be finding out soon enough that Regina is acting evil again, and I'm surprised that they haven't found out yet. She's the one who gave the giant the mushroom, and the first thing I would ask him after he had returned to human size was "how did you suddenly get so big" after which he would give a description of everyone's evil queen. And then there's this whole curse business: there really should no longer be any such thing as a long-lasting curse in Storybrooke, not as long as Charming and Snow continue to go at it with each other with as much frequency as they are currently knocking their vintage boots together. Every time they kiss there should be a shockwave of pure magic that flows outward to eliminate everyone who has amnesia, as well as everyone who's been turned into a mouse. Speaking of which, where is that amnesiatic dwarf that no one is talking about? Is he locked up somewhere? Oh, and Grumpy, don't go around saying: "no one steals our crop," because that actually happened earlier this season. Remember when Gold (I think it was Gold) stole all the fairy dust? And that was underground. How exactly do you plan on protecting an entire crop of magic beans from a woman who is very proficient at magic?
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Okay, I will be the snarky one before I get into what I liked...

1. Belle - I really don't get the whole over the top freak out over everything..I was fine with it relation to the Gold stuff, until I thought about it too much, but more on that in a sec. And Ruby, she was still on the calm side of her hysteric when she overreacted to her name...ask her what her name is. She had to have had one, right? Or for 28 years when the orderlies would feed her, was she simply hey you? There had to be orderlies, after all what else was Jefferson dressed as when he broke her out. This then gets me to the Gold issue, Jefferson gave her albeit confusing but clear instructions when he broke her out of Regina's asylum. Belle then went to Gold and while he was weirdly clingy for a stranger, she stayed with him long enough and trusted him enough to follow him to the well before the curse was broken. Shouldn't she have reverted to that person with that person's memories? And that person had some level of trust of Gold, the first person she saw waking up.

2. Hook - while I know we all have discussions about the glossed over legal system (ie who is legally Henry's mother, exactly what were they doing with the whole Archie murder investigation), Emma at least had him handcuffed to the hospital bed because HE SHOT BELLE!! But Snow and David let him free to find the boat, sure they get surprised by the tiny giant, but Hook was still there on the boat. Why not take the five minutes it takes to walk around this town to deposit him into jail?

3. And can we stop the surprise build up as to who Bae is? Clearly we all know it is Neal. And while I thought Emma tackles August possibly in next week's previews, looking back, the person is much shorter than August, which means it is Neal.

4. Okay, I understand actor contract issues, but since so many various factions are trying to get portal access, perhaps they want to consult their local portal jumper...I thought of this when thinking, I wonder if we are going to see Anton as much as we actually see Jefferson.

I didn't mind the giant storyline, it kind of seemed weirdly meta to me. I have this weird issue that I read a lot of different versions of the Jabberwocky stories and the Jack & the Giant, I am confused as to which were originals.
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You've voiced a lot of the same things I've wondered about this show, especially when it comes to criminals and proper punishment. Hook should certainly still be in jail, but more importantly, what about King George? Hook hasn't actually killed anyone, he just shot someone, which honestly isn't that bad of a thing for this show. But Alan Dale's character straight up hacked someone to pieces with an ax, and they didn't have any scene where he was put in jail or had anything done regarding him. And while I understand the desire to not allow a mob to kill Regina on the spot, she is a murderer and should have at least gone to trial. Similarly, the giant played by Jorge Garcia is a very lovable character, but he is guilty of attempted murder, big time (pun intended). He should at least be punished for destruction of property if nothing else.
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I hadn't even thought about King George...I don't actually remember them telling Emma (she is the only one I give the benefit the doubt too because she hesitates a lot and seems aimed to do the right thing, but ultimately she has simply been elected to the position, or maybe appointed, I forget exactly). You would think that someone would wonder. I figure, I will get past Ruby because a) it happened in FTL, clear jurisdiction issues and b) it happened while she was a wolf so there might be some sort of insanity justification that would work there. I think we all forgive Arrow for killing nameless henchmen. But with Hook, there are witnesses to what he did and he outright admitted it.

You might even think that the town might think that banishment would be the best punishment, they forget who they are and then point them away from the town and if they do something like that again, let the real authorities deal.
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The problem with banishment as a punishment is that, if you think about it, it's pretty cruel and unusual. You're basically giving someone a lobotomy, since you're erasing someone's real memories and leaving them with only fake memories concocted by a curse. And depending on the person, you'll be changing their personality quite a bit. If I had committed a crime in Storybrooke, I would much rather hang out in jail for the rest of my life then be banished.
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Now it makes even less sense as to why Regina and Cora didn't try and get Hook to chase Gold as a distraction (and I grant you previews for the next episode seem to indicate that he does) just to get him out of their way. Nothing would have happened to him.
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Probably you are right (like as much as I find Belle kind of annoying, I really don't like this Belle and Gold seemed to imply his cursed persona is horrible, but I am not sure what his standard is).
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Yes I totally had the same questions! They should change the welcome sign to Storybrooke: A Safehaven for Deadly Criminals.
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