Once Upon a Time: I Dream of Genie

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EMMA: “Of course, this Alt-World is real, Henry! What would make you think it is fake?”                 Henry: “Well, we are standing in front of a Green Screen . . .”

This week on Once, Emma gets “wished” into an alt-world, where her hair and makeup are better, but everything else about her is way worse.  Also, Aladdin becomes everyone’s b*tch; the Evil Queen unleashes her inner reptile; and everyone who thought Belle’s kid was super creepy, and most likely The Worst, gets to say “I TOLD YOU SO!”

It’s the last Once recap of 2016, Fairytale Fans!  Let’s do this!

Sword-of Good News

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In a quest to determine the true owner of the Sword That Will “Kill” Emma Swan (but not destroy that sword, mind you, because the plot requires it to remain in play, at least until the end of the season), Emma, Regina and Hook have a run-in with the Evil Queen in front of Robin Hood’s grave, because “foreshadowing.”  There, Evil Queen literally taunts Emma with “your mama” jokes.  And this makes Emma so mad that she stabs the Evil Queen in the face with her own death sword.  (Talk about Anger Management Issues!)

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When it is plot convenient for them to be treated as such, Regina and Evil Queen are treated as the same person.  This means that when Evil Queen gets stabbed in the face, Regina should also bleed.  But when Emma stabs Evil Queen with her death sword, for some reason, Regina’s face is still as beautifully Botoxed and pore free as it was pre-Evil Queen Face Stabbing.

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Based on this impromptu experiment, Emma determines that she CAN actually kill the Evil Queen, without killing Regina too!  And this would be fabulous, and extremely relevant, news, if the Evil Queen wasn’t rendered a complete non-entity by the end of the episode . . .Oh well!  Better luck next McGuffin!

Wish-Y Washy

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When Emma tells the rest of her family that she’s going to use her own Death Sword to kill the Evil Queen, at night, out in the street, thereby basically mimicking the exact circumstances of the vision she had, in which she died at the end, her son Henry is the only one that thinks this is incredibly shitty idea.  (Unless you happen to be watching a show geared toward eight-year olds, it’s generally a bad sign when the smartest character on the show isn’t even old enough to shave.)

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Ignoring Henry’s rather logical and intellectually sound warnings, Emma heads off with Hook, Daddy Charming, and her Future Death Sword to tempt fate, recreate her death scene from her vision, and maybe, but probably not, succeed in killing the Evil Queen.  While they are en route, Princess Jasmine screams out frantically for help from inside Granny’s diner.  It turns out that the Evil Queen has her very loosely tied up in a chair.  And when I say “loosely,” I mean to say that, those Chinese Handcuffs we all used to play with as kids are probably more difficult to get out of than the Evil Queen’s half-assed chair knot.

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Nonetheless, Jasmine dutifully stays put like the good, not too bright, hostage that she is.  And so, the Evil Queen promptly steals the genie lamp from Jasmine, summons New Genie Aladdin from it, and makes her first wish: that Emma Swan’s erstwhile wish never to become the Savior be granted.  So thoughtful, that Evil Queen!  Someone get this lady a Humanitarian Award!

Since, Emma Swan originally became the Savior, upon being shipped off to modern times from fairytale land, no-longer-the-Savior-Emma is instead portaled to an Alt World, in which she instead actually grew up in fairytale land with her super rich parents,  a la Ivanka Trump.

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In order to rescue Emma from Alt-World, Regina conveniently uses the “Evil Queen and I are technically the same person” card (which appears to be working again, after the whole Death Sword glitch thing), so that she can be whisked to the exact same World.

Princess Emma: The New Disney Heroine that Feminism Forgot

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To say Alt-World is weird, and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense as a viable alternate timeline, is a complete understatement.  For one thing, Emma’s parents, the Charmings, are super old.  (This part actually, does make sense, because while time stopped in Storybrooke during Emma’s first 28-years of life, in Alt-World, time continued normally, thus rendering Charming and Snow at least 28-years older than they currently are in Storybrooke).

What doesn’t make sense, is how nobody else in Alt World aged one iota.  I let this slide, when it came to the dwarves, because, perhaps, dwarves don’t age like humans do.  However, this fact particularly disturbed me, when it came to Granny, who, had she aged in real time, would have been roughly 110 in Alt World.  And yet, there she was, looking not a day over 85!  (Then again, maybe Granny is actually a dwarf, and nobody told me.  Is that true?  Did I miss a plot point somewhere?)

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Also in Alt World, Princess Emma somehow still met, boned, and ultimately married Baelfire / Neal (who was a knight in Alt World?), resulting in her giving birth to erstwhile fairytale author Henry.

And what I’m still trying to wrap my head around is how all that could have happened, seeing as Neal had left fairytale land, and was actually in Neverland around the time “the original curse occurred.”  If there is someone out there with a way better understanding of the timeline logistics of this show, who could explain to me how this could be possible, by all means, chime in.

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When Regina shows up in Alt World, everyone is super frightened, because they assume that she’s the Evil Queen, (who, in this timeline, Charming and Snow White defeated and banished from the kingdom pre-first curse), who is now back to enact her revenge, and rightfully so!  Alt-World Emma is concerned too, but she’s too busy singing showtunes, and picking flowers in the forest, to really give the whole thing much thought or concern. This is because, apparently, had Charming and Snow White actually had the opportunity to raise Emma from birth, they would have turned her into a pampered prissy simpleton, incapable of defending herself.  Sorry Baby Neal!  This is most likely going to be you in 28-years!

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It looks like Regina has her work cut out for her, if she wants Emma to remember who the heck she is, and get the two of them back to Storybrooke in one piece.  Did I mention, the episode is only half over at this point?

A Charming Failure

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Meanwhile, back in Storybrooke, the B team is proving themselves to be even more useless than Regina in their attempts to rescue Emma from Alt World.  First Charming tries to take the genie lamp from the Evil Queen, so he can wish Emma back home.  But instead, he just wishes that the Evil Queen will “get what she deserves.” It’sa super vague, and dangerously objective wish, one that anyone who has ever read a fairytale, let alone starred in one, would know not to use under any circumstances whatsoever.

Not surprisingly, Charming’s wish accomplishes precisely nothing in either defeating the Evil Queen, nor in getting Emma back.  So, Charming returns the Genie Lamp to Jasmine, since she’s most likely boning the guy inside it, after all.  And when Jasmine offers to use her first wish (She does have three, I might add) to wake up the Sleeping Snow White, and break the curse that prevents the pair from being awake at the same time.  Charming’s response is, “Meh, I don’t really need her anyway.  You guys do what you gotta do.”

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And so, Jasmine and Aladdin wish themselves to Agrabah, taking with them, the gang’s seemingly best chance at getting Emma back from Alt World and/or waking Snow from a potentially eternal slumber.  GO TEAM!

Robin Hood-winked

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Regina, for her part, is fairing slightly better in Alt-World, as she seeks a captive Rumpelstiltskin’s help in awakening  the currently completely useless Emma’s memories of her life as the Bad Ass Savior.  Rumpel gamely suggests that Regina do her best Evil Queen impersonation, in order to scare Emma into turning heroic again.  He even offers Regina a bean that will open a portal to get her back to Storybrooke with Emma, in exchange for his freedom from captivity.  Regina accepts this deal, because making deals with the Dark One always ends so well for everyone on this show!

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Dressed in her Evil Queen finery, Regina puts on a Super Sassy Show at Henry’s knighthood ceremony, even going so far as to kidnap Charming and Snow White, because that should really piss off Princess Emma.  Right?

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Wrong!  Prissy Emma responds to Regina’s Evil Queen’s taunts by . . . wimpily giving the Evil Queen the key to the city, in exchange for her parents’ lives.  Yikes!  Growing up with the elderly Charmings in Alt-World has made Princess Emma super soft.  Regina is going to have to up the ante, if she wants Bad Ass Savior Emma back.

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And so as the Evil Queen, Regina KILLS THE CHARMINGS by thoughtlessly crushing their hearts in her bare hands.  (This version of them is old and fake anyway.  Plus, they clearly did a crappy job raising their kid, and, therefore, don’t deserve to live.)

Does the death of Princess’ Emma’s parents snap her back into action?  Nope, it just makes her sit on the floor and cry like a total b*tch.  Knight Henry though, he’s ready to kill Regina / Evil Queen.  And worse, he’s going to do it with the all-powerful Emma Death Sword, which somehow made it to the Alt World along with Emma.

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Now, while Regina would gladly kill the Fake Charmings, she can’t bring herself to kill Fake Henry.  So, instead she just stands there, and awaits her demise.  And THIS . . . THIS is what finally causes Emma to snap out of her Wishy-Washy stupor and return to herself.  She uses her magic to freeze Fake Henry just in the nick of time, and, in doing so, saves Regina’s life and the fake version of her son’s soul.

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Then, Regina and Emma head to meet with Fake Rumpel, pick up the portal bean and prepare to go home.  So, of course, just as the two are about to enter the portal, Regina comes upon Fake Robin Hood, who is alive in this fake timeline, and conveniently about to rob them.  Not willing to pass up time with her sweetie, even a fake version of him, Regina lets the portal close, and with it, her and Emma’s only chance to get home and kill the Evil Queen.

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No worries.  The Evil Queen is about to disappear as a problem anyway, at least temporarily.

Blue Fairy, You Had One Job!

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Meanwhile, back in Storybrooke, Rumpel uses some magic hair to attempt to track down his newborn child.  Understandably he is super disturbed to find out that the kid completely off the grid.  Predictably, Rumple comes to Belle with this conundrum.  Shortly thereafter, the two learn from a thoroughly beaten-up Blue Fairy, that Fairy Lame-Mother was able to care for Baby Gideon, for all of two minutes, before she lost him to the Ultimate Evil.  Great job, Blue Fairy!

In worse news, Rumpel’s mom, the Black Fairy, was apparently the one who kidnapped Gideon.  And this means either that she’s going to eat him, or he’s going to turn evil.  Maybe she’s going to turn him evil, then eat him?

Anywhoo, a man in a black cape, who looks suspiciously like the guy who kills Emma in her vision, appears from a portal, and promptly turns the Evil Queen into a snake in a cage, because, why not?

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He then removes his hood, revealing himself to Belle and Rumpel, as Gideon, their “son”, a.k.a. the same creepy guy who kept hitting on Belle in her dreams, and convincing her to give the baby version of him away to the useless Blue Fairy.

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And this just goes to show you that you should never trust a guy with a bad Julius Caesar haircut, who haunts your dreams, and claims to be your son, but still hits on you like he’s your boyfriend / your stalker.  Words to live by.  Trust me, I know from experience!

Until next March 2017, Oncers!

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