Once Upon a Time: Stuck in the mirror with you
Last week on Once, while I was in Spain, the Evil Queen cast a curse on Snow White and Prince Charming, so that they could never be awake at the same time. Specifically, every time one member of the happy couple tried to suck face with the other, the mere act of face sucking would cause that person to fall into a coma. (You may have experienced something similar when trying to kiss someone with morning mouth.) Also while I was in Spain, someone was elected President of the United States, whose name was most certainly not next to the bubble I darkened on my absentee ballot . . . thus proving that bad things happen everywhere when I leave the country . . .
This week on Once, I was back in the country, so Henry saved his moms from the mirror they were trapped in, without darkening his soul. AND he got Violet to admit that she still has the hots for him, despite the fact that their honeymoon period is totes over. Balance is hereby restored. You’re welcome. Now, if I could just fix that OTHER matter . . .
Anyway, on to the review . . .
A Kiss Before Snoring
Because making the best of a bad situation is kind of Prince Charming’s and Snow White’s thing, they decide to equitably divide their shared life in half, so that each gets a chance to take care of their perpetually newborn son, and bond with the rest of Storybrooke, while the other snoozes under the Evil Queen’s curse. Though to be honest, it’s not entirely clear to me how the time schedule works.
Does one person get nights and the other get days? Because that wouldn’t be entirely fair. Maybe they alternate days, and actually both sleep at nights, which would be more fair, but seems wasteful, in the sense that the couple should maximize their waking hours, in order to figure out a way to break the curse. (Like for example, Emma, their child, and also their true love, could wake both of her parents with true love’s kiss simultaneously. I mean, wouldn’t that be an obvious first thing to at least try? Maybe if they didn’t spend so much time sleeping and leaving one another cute notes and videos, they could have figured that out by now.)
Maybe I spend way too much time thinking about the nocturnal habits of a fictional couple . . .
Anyway, we get an idea of what life under a shared sleeping curse is like for the Charmings through a cute montage of the perpetually half-comatose couple to the tune of Colours by Donovan, which could just as easily double as a particularly weepy cell phone commercial.
At some point during all this Verizon-approved adorableness, Snow looks in a mirror and realizes, she REALLY needs to lose that awful haircut. Just kidding! She realizes the Evil Queen is watching her through the mirror and angrily shatters it, which coincidentally, is also a great way of dealing with a bad haircut, you can’t immediately correct. If you can’t see it, it’s easier to pretend it isn’t there.
The Mirror Has Two Faces
Snow White’s aggressive encounter with her bedroom mirror gives Regina the idea to enchant one and use it to entrap the Evil Queen. The only problem with this plan is that Regina and the Evil Queen sort-of / kind of share a brain. And, much like with Snow and Charming’s sleeping curse, only one of the pair seems capable of using it at any given time. This was Evil Queen’s turn at having a brain, so she beat Regina to the punch, switching Regina’s enchanted mirror for a plain one.
So, when Emma and Regina, using Henry as bait, lure the Evil Queen to the beach to entrap her in the mirror, the Evil Queen turns the tables and traps Emma and Regina in the mirror prison instead!
So that the rest of Storybrooke won’t immediately become wise to the switcheroo, the Evil Queen masquerades as Regina. She also leaves a fake message on Hook’s cell phone from Emma, in which the faux-Savior claims she’s out of town searching for help to break her parent’s sleeping curse. After that though, Regina seemingly gains control of the Shared Brain. As a result, Evil Queen does a terrible job at masquerading as her better half, fooling absolutely NO ONE!
Hook immediately becomes suspicious of Faux-Regina, when Emma fails to answer any of Hook’s twelve phone calls inquiring as to her whereabouts. Ahh, the wonders of modern technology, and the power it has to make even the most masculine of guyliner-wearing boys extremely needy. However, it’s Henry who determines with absolute certainty that Faux-Regina is actually the Evil Queen, when the latter chooses a black tie for Henry to wear to the upcoming dance (Regina would have totally opted for red.), and bitches about the teen’s posture. (Regina thinks slouching is sexy.)
Now, that he knows his moms are in danger, Henry graciously backs out of going to the dance with Violet, and proceeds to shout at every mirror he comes upon like a raving lunatic, hoping to connect with his parents. This scene, if you think about it, could also serve as a Verizon commercial. Granted, it’s not a sweet sappy one like what Snow and Charming were filming earlier. It’s more like those old school “Can you hear me now,” ones from that guy that eventually jumped ship and switched to Sprint.
Don’t Wake the Dragon
While stuck in Mirror Prison, the Real Regina and Emma come upon this guy, the Dragon, who magically appears on the show whenever the gang need “mystical” advice from a wise elderly Asian man who talks like Yoda from Star Wars. Not-Yoda tells the pair that they can get out of Mirror Prison, if they repair the conveniently located cracked mirror inside the prison. Oddly enough, Dragon hasn’t used this plan to free himself from Mirror Prison for Reasons.
Real Regina and Emma start rebuilding the mirror, only to learn that Not-Yoda the Dragon is actually being controlled by the Evil Queen herself, who is holding the Dragon’s heart in her hands. The Evil Queen promptly turns Not-Yoda the Not-Dragon from a wise elderly Asian man into a Bad CGI version of an actual, fire breathing, Savior and Mayor-eating Dragon. So, now Real Regina and Emma are totally screwed. Or are they?
Oh Henry 2: Electric Boogalo
Hoping to make Henry evil just like her, the Evil Queen gives Henry a magical hammer she procured from Gold, while they were sucking face earlier in the episode. (Yuck!) The Evil Queen explains that if Henry uses the hammer to squish Dragon’s heart, the Dragon will die, and Emma and Regina will live. Henry tells the Evil Queen not to Darth Vader him into taking an innocent life. It’s a solid metaphor, if ever there was one . . . especially since I made a Yoda reference earlier in the recap, and I like to make everything in this show about me. Except, personally, Henry always struck me more as a Chewbacca type, than Luke Skywalker.
Anyway, Henry refuses to kill the Dragon. Instead, he uses the hammer to smash through the mirror, freeing Emma and Regina, while leaving Not-Yoda unharmed, if still in his fire-breathing CGI form. It’s a Big Win for Team Good Guys. Even Hook, who hasn’t done anything during the episode but leave incessant phone calls on Emma’s voicemail, gets in on the action, by making empty threats to decapitate the Evil Queen while looking very sexy, because that’s kind of his thing.
In other good news, Henry attempts to make it up to Violet for skipping out on the school dance, by making his own private party for her at Granny’s. (Oh Henry, you dirty dog, you! Maybe some of the Evil Queen’s Darth Vadering worked after all, if you catch my drift.) At the “dance” for two, Violet admits to Henry that even though she’s been avoiding him like the plague for half a season, she still likes him. In fact, the only reason she’s been treating him like he has an incurable and highly contagious case of the cooties for weeks is . . . wait for it . . . she’s really stressed about school.
Now, in my personal experience, that’s a “let him down gently” excuse, if ever I’ve heard one. But here in Storybrooke it’s apparently totally legit, and so Henry’s thrilled. As far as the little guy is concerned, he’s going to be hammering Violet’s nail really soon! (See what I did there . . . with the hammer . . . because earlier in the episode . . . oh never mind!)
In Aggressively Abusive Relationship News . . .
Nothing says loving like handcuffs, false imprisonment, threats of violence and egregious stalking, am I right? Fearing for her and her unborn child’s safety from an increasingly Lifetime Movie Bad Boyfriend-esque Rumpelstiltskin, Belle forms an unholy alliance with Zelena, in the hopes that the latter can make a portal into which Belle can escape into another realm prior to giving birth. In order to make the portal though, Zelena needs a magic wand, which, unfortunately is in Rumpel’s pawn shop, because where else would it be? Zelena and Belle hire Aladdin to break in and steal the wand for them, which he does, if only so that his character can squeeze out just a wee bit more relevance to this season’s plot than he’d have otherwise.
While in Rump’s shop, the ambiguously accented thief also manages to steal a lamp he claims will help he and Jasmine save the kingdom of Agrabah. Or will it?
Unfortunately, minutes before Zelena can use the spell to make the portal, Rumpel appears at her home and slaps a gold House Arrest bracelet on Belle. Now, Rump will know where Belle is at all times, regardless of realm.
Then, just in case the old “If I can’t have her, no realm can,” line doesn’t render Rumpel enough of a bad boyfriend cliché, he promptly turns to Belle’s frenemy, Zelena, and starts strangling her. After all, violence against women is always a primo characteristic for the romantic male leads on family friendly television shows!
[Sidenote: Honestly, apart from indicating that this entire season has been a bad dream, I’m not sure how the writers of this show have Rumpel come back from this, and still be seen as a viable candidate for Belle’s heart, without sending a scarily bad message to young women about the kind of men they should be hoping to date in the future.]
Interestingly enough, Rumpel’s actions against Zelena actually end up hurting Rumpel himself. This is because, apparently, the Wicked Witch cast a spell to ensure that, anytime the Dark One attempts to hurt her, only he will experience the pain. Basically, this is the magical adult version of “I’m rubber, your glue, whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.”
Do you guys remember that gem of a phrase from your childhoods? No? Damn, I’m old.
This makes Rumpel mad, so he goes over to his new girlfriend Evil Queen, who also happens to be Zelena’s sister, and asks her to KILL Zelena for him.
What a swell guy! Why on Earth would Belle want to let a stud like this slip away?
Until next time, Oncers . . .