Not quite as strong as recent weeks, ''That Still Small Voice'', while decent in parts, and certainly darker than I expected it to be, suffers the most from pacing issues as we hop back and forth between storybrooke and fairytale land. Jiminy Circkets backstory carried pathos and the occasional twist, however the lag is mostly due to a lot of waiting around in Strorybrooke and generating tension from a whole lot of nothing. Apparently all you need in order to become a deputy in Storybrooke is sass and a perky hairdo? Go figure! Neverthless, the acting is still top-notch, and even though the drama felt forced here, Lana Parilla is still an absolute joy to watch, shredding the screen as she chews on her dialogue and spits it over whoever stands in her way. Fantastic!
So.. here we are.. learning more things about more people and their pasts. I like this concept and I love how they weave everyone in together. And there is always just enough new information thrown at us to keep us thinking and guessing and wanting to tune back in.
As for Jared Gilmore's acting... I am stunned by those who continue to bad mouth him. He is doing a great job (like most everyone else) and is adorable to boot. Playing a precocious child is not easy, since most children are not precocious. But he is pulling it off with flying colors. I enjoy his scenes almost as much as Carlyle's.
Fairytale world. We learn about Jimminy Cricket's past and his journey from son of thieves, to a cricket with a consciense. I quite enjoyed this tale. I thought the settings were quite depressing for Fairy Tale land, and looked rather gloomy like something you'd find in an historic movie about war, but the story was interesting and I liked his character and how it became apparent that he becomes involved with Pinochio and Gepetto in the future.
Storybrooke. Henry and Archie get stuck in a goldmine after Henry ran away. The escape was due to an argument between Regina and Archie regarding Archie's treatment methods, causing Archie to say some hurtful things to Henry. The whole town gathers round the mine to try and save them, and they do right after Regina and Emma play on the same side for the first time this season.
I enjoyed it very much. It wasn't exactly surprising, or fresh, or anything but it was fun to watch and quite exiting. I really did think Archie was dead for a second there in the end. One thing I thought was odd though was how Mary wasn't at the mine with everyone. I mean, we all know how fondly she feels about Henry. It just didn't make sense that she not get told about what was happening.
Anyway, a solid installment. Can't wait for the next!
This episode told the story of Jiminy Cricket in the flashbacks and the mine cave-in during present-day Storybrooke.
The backstory was more interesting than the mine collapse plot, which was mostly predictable and the actions taken by the townspeople (eg. blowing up the cave entrance) made no sense, since they could have seriously injured Henry and Archie.
I didn't feel much for Archie before this episode, but his backstory as Jiminy Cricket made me like him. I was disheartened to see Rumpelstiltskin involved again, but it was a good twist showing why Jiminy Cricket got involved in Gepetto and later Pinocchino's life.
The backstory also tied in well with the present-day story, and it was great to see Archie stand up to Regina.
Well, maybe Jiminy is the next to go, but I don't think so. The blue fairy told him he would be alive as long as Gepetto/ Marco was alive.
Did you notice Emma's baby blanket (the one Prince Charming / Snow White wrapped her in after her birth to put her in the magical tree) was unpacked at Mary Margaret's house?/???? (it's in the background).
Also, notice Snow White's wedding dress; it has a lot of "feathers" on it ; kind of like a SWAN as in Emily Swan.
And, Rumplestiltskin is involved in every deal, but Listen to what he says to SW/ PC in the episode where he tells them to put get the baby away. to parapharase: that thing inside you is OUR only hope. She will come back on her 28th birthday to save US all" I don't know if there is good in Rumplestiltskin, but he certainly makes people thinks about what what's important to them and what they are willing to give up sacrifice to get it. He never asked for wealth in his deals (except the last deal with Regina, but even then his real deal is that she has to do whatever he says if he says please), the person pays with something that is of great personal value. It begs the question to me, how far would you go to get what you really want?? It's kind of what Rumpeltstiltskin is asking. My question is what is he going to do with all that in the end.
And what becomes of Henry???? on the subject of Henry, I'm tired of people dogging this little boy actor. He's cute. He reminds me of my 10 yr old son.
You've probably already figured out that I'm talking about Henry, because he's really awful, yet somehow hugely important to the plot of this show. "That Still Small Voice" puts all of Jared S. Gilmore's flaws on displays, and while there's a still, small voice in me that says it's not right to s*** on a kid's performance on a TV series, I can't deny that there's an intense urge to fast-forward all his scenes.
Gilmore struggles to make a connection with his character, so it always looks like he's reading lines. Gilmore is acting Henry, and although it's not easy to get child actors to find an honest emotional place, Gilmore's Mad Men costar Kiernan Shipka is one of the best examples of a child performer that has shown remarkable depth at her craft. While Shipka's material is grounded in reality, it's also much more complex than Gilmore's, and the writers are able to demand more from her because she flies over every hurdle they throw her way. I'm worried that Gilmore's limitations as an actor are going to stagnate his character development; we'll never actually get into Henry's mind at all.
Twice this episode Archie asks Henry why he thinks it's important that his fairy tale delusion is real, and both times Henry's answer is a colossal letdown. The first time, he purses his mouth to the side to show that he's thinking about it and says, "It – it just is." For everyone complaining about Henry's convenient knowledge of Storybrooke's true nature, that answer is just more kindle for the fire. Maybe his second will be better. Stuck in an old elevator shaft, he answers, "'Cause this can't be all there is." It's vague and doesn't tell us anything we didn't already know, but the answer brings Archie and Henry's narratives together with a pretty bow so it will just have to do.
Like a good fairy tale, Once Upon A Time makes it very clear what the moral is at the end of its 42 minute story. This week, the moral is that parents are evil and need to be escaped from, whether it is by turning into a cricket or creating an elaborate fantasy world. The episode starts with young Jiminy not-yet-a-cricket picking pockets while his parents put on a puppet show, and despite what his conscience tells him, he remains a slave to his parents until he's an adult with a receding hairline. Honestly, Jiminy needs to grow some balls and leave his parents behind. Maybe the story would have worked better with a younger actor, because a Jiminy in his late thirties that is still indentured to his criminal parents isn't tragic, it's pathetic.
I rewatched Sondheim's Into the Woods this past week, and this week's episode definitely has a "Children Will Listen" vibe to it. During the final number of the show, the ensemble sings:
Careful the spell you cast, Not just on children. Sometimes the spell may last Past what you can see And turn against you.
Jiminy's parents tell him that there's no way for him to change his life situation and he accepts it, whereas Henry is aware that what his parents tell him is a lie and fights it. Archie is a mix of Sondheim's Baker and Jack, trying to escape the criminal legacy of his parents while yearning to explore the greater world, but he doesn't have the courage to venture into the woods on his own. Henry is basically the physical manifestation of the above verse: caught in the middle of a spell, turned against his mother. I'm sure none it is intentional, but it's fun to point out.
Jane Espenson writes this episode, and her name is one of the reasons I have faith that this series can find its footing and establish a voice for itself. She's been a major presence on two of TV's best ensemble series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Battlestar Galactica, and she can do crazy and fantastic while keeping the story grounded in a human, relatable place. Most importantly, she can balance a big cast, and this episode juggles the expansive character roster of this series better than its predecessors.
Some of the appearances are shoehorned, but Espenson brings Rumpelstiltskin into Archie's backstory in a way that increases his threat on the series by showing how connected he is to the other stories. Robert Carlyle is at a scenery buffet when he plays Rumpelstiltskin, but he's grown on me since his original appearance, thanks in large part to the chilling intensity of his Mr. Gold. The Evil Queen may be the primary villain of the series, but Rumpelstiltskin is building into the antagonist with a stronger tie to the rest of the cast. To put it in Buffy terms: Regina is the Master, but Mr. Gold is Angelus.
When Emma puts on her Sheriff's Deputy Badge and "officially joins the community," a mineshaft collapses, causing an earthquake that shakes the entire town. I'm not sure if any of the science involving the earthquake and crater science is at all correct, but this show has magic as a built-in out for stuff like that. Earthquake acting is always so much fun to watch, with the shaky cam and actors pretending to be on rocky ground that is completely still, and everyone does a good job this episode, even if Jennifer Morrison is wearing boots with a three-inch heel.
Parilla has a few strong moments when she shows genuine concern for Henry's safety after he goes into the mineshaft, but she still remains a largely two-dimensional character.
In what I predict will be a weekly feature formy OUAT reviews, it's time for Regina's Big Groaner Line of the week! There's tight competition this episode, and her speech to the concerned citizens of Storybrooke around the mineshaft almost takes the title, but Regina's threat to Archie is the winner-loser: "I can cut you down to size until you're a tiny shrunken little creature. And this will be the only roof over your damn head."
There are some solid-to-awesome elements in tonight's episode. Mary and David's interaction? Solid! The little boy in Jiminy's flashback being Gepetto? Cool!! A glass coffin under the town? AWESOME!!! Bringing back Mary and David's budding romance shows Espenson's experience at balancing multiple storylines, and it's a more personal conflict than Henry being trapped in the mine. David doesn't remember nor want his wife, but Mary Margaret isn't going to start an affair with a married amnesiac. Matt Dallas and Ginnifer Goodwin have strong chemistry, and I find myself rooting for them as a couple. It's understandable why Mary Margaret would resign from her position at the hospital, and it's wise that we're never given any reason to dislike Anastasia. That will likely change during next week's Prince Charming spotlight episode, and I think at this point it's fair to say that David will be the first person to remember his pre-Storybrooke life.
As great as the glass coffin cliffhanger is, the buildup is that kind of Once Upon A Time stupid that I'm sure we'll all grow to love. Regina inconspicuously checks to make sure no one is looking, then stares perplexedly at the piece of glass for way too long before dropping it down the elevator shaft. I added a "Mwahaha!" in my head, because it would have been perfect.
That Still Small Voice was a great episode of Once Upon A Time and I really enjoyed watching this episode because the story and symmetry between both worlds was entertaining and fun to watch. This episode had me wondering at certain points if perhaps Henry is delusional and it all is just a fantasy he created, which would be crazy. It was great to watch Regina and Deputy Swan interact over Henry. It was great to see the past fairytale history of Jiminy Cricket and Gepetto. The ending of this episode was interesting and I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!
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