Oct 9, 2020
Once Upon a Time: Writing Wrongs
Fiction writers wield a great power over the characters in the stories they create. These characters’ happiness, their futures, their entire ability to continue existing, rests at their writers’ fingertips. Consequently, the relationship between an author and his or her characters is one built on trust.
The best writers learn to listen to their characters . . . allowing these fictional, but very real-seeming, individuals to dictate their own stories in ways that feel most true to them. And when an author fails to heed the true intentions of one of its characters, that character won’t be shy about letting the author know exactly how she feels about the decisions made on her behalf.
Show me the fiction writer who claims never to have been slapped around a few times by one of her characters, and I’ll show you a liar . . .
Once Upon a Time has always spent a lot of hot air debating the nature of good and evil. The characters who make the “right” choices are considered “good” and are rewarded. The characters who make the “wrong” choices are considered evil and are pooped upon . . .
But what happens when a character wants to make the right choice and her author takes that choice away from her in order to tell a “better” story?
This week, Once was all about the battles characters engage in daily with their unseen authors. It featured good characters being bad, and bad characters trying to be good . . . also unicorns . . .
. . . dragon eggs, and some guy named Walt . . .
Let’s review, shall we?
In which Charming and Snow Get Horn-y!
We begin our episode with Snow and Charming frolicking together in the woods. “We have to find this unicorn horn and give it a hand job, and it will tell us if our baby is going to grow up to be an asshole,” Snow helpfully explains to the audience.
Speaking of babies growing up to be assholes, has anyone noticed how Snow and Charming seem to have completely forgotten about Baby Neal’s existence this half of the season? I mean, who exactly has been babysitting the little tot these past four or five episodes? Little Red Riding Hood the Baby-Eating Werewolf?
But hey, at least Snow and Charming haven’t stuck this kid inside a tree with a creepy puppet for 28 years. So, that’s progress, I guess . . .
Anywhoo, Snow and Charming find the Unicorn and proceed to get to third base with its head, which I guess could be considered sexy . . . if you are into that sort of thing.
Prince Charming looks satisfied after he finishes giving his hand job. “I saw our baby. And it looked like a baby. And it didn’t smell like poop or spit up in my face. Also, its head didn’t start spinning around in circles, spewing green crap, like the girl from The Exorcist. So, I’ve decided our child will be perfect, and most definitely not an asshole. Hooray!”
Snow’s Unicorn Handjob is a bit less successful. (Possibly because she didn’t use enough lube?) “I saw our child, and she looked like a teenager. And everyone knows that teenagers are always assholes. She ripped out my heart and crushed it with her bare hands while giving me serious stink eye. It could be because she was upset that she had to wear this really ugly dress, but it could also be that our child is a TOTAL ASSHOLE, and not just the regular Garden-Variety Teenager Type Asshole.”
While in the forest, Snow and Charming hear Maleficent in Dragon form howling from what might very well be labor pains . . .
(Do dragons actually go into labor? I feel like this is something I should have learned about in school. Perhaps I was off giving unicorn handjobs on the day they taught Dragon Birthing 101.)
Then, they run into a “peddler,” who says he’s cold. So, they do what any good citizen would do in such a situation . . . they give him a bottle of booze, of course! Personally, I would have gone with “a jacket” to stave off the cold. But, hey, it’s nice to know that Prince Charming is an unapologetic day drinker who can always be counted on to bring the best quality liquor to Unicorn Handjob Hallucinations and other events you’d rather not experience while sober . . .
This explains so much about Charming’s character . . . (Also, knowing that “The Author” of Once Upon a Time has pretty much been wasted since Season 1, explains so much about this series . . .)
The “peddler” is so very thankful to Charming and Snow for pushing him off the sobriety wagon before noon on a Monday that he offers them a nice bit of advice. “If you head over yonder to that cabin in the woods, you’ll find the Old Dirty Homeless-Looking Version of Mickey Mouse. He’ll tell you everything you need to know about Dragons Giving Birth, also about Unicorn Handjob Hallucinations regarding your daughter possibly growing up to be an asshole. Not that I know anything about you guys fondling unicorn horns to ascertain the assholiness of your daughter, because I most certainly do not.”
“Thanks, Peddler!” Charming replies. “I’m sure we will never see you again, because you are most definitely not important to this story at all.”
So smart and insightful . . . that Charming!
Eggs Over Easy Evil
“Hello, Old Dirty Homeless-Looking Version of Mickey Mouse,” exclaims Snow White politely upon arriving at the cabin. “Perhaps you can settle a dispute my husband and I are having. My husband’s Unicorn Handjob Hallucination told him that our baby will grow up to be a baby. And my Unicorn Handjob Hallucination told me that our child would grow up to be a teenage asshole who is slightly more assholey than most teenagers are. Can you tell us which Unicorn Handjob Hallucination was correct?”
“Did you use enough lube?” Old Dirty Homeless-Looking Mickey Mouse inquires.
“Does booze count?” Prince Charming asks hopefully.
“Only if you actually used it on the unicorn and didn’t drink it all yourself,” replies O.D. Homeless-Looking Mickey Mouse.
Prince Charming burps in response, thus telling Homeless-Looking Mickey everything he needs to know.
“Look,” explains Homeless-Looking Mickey. “Every kid has the capacity to be good or an asshole. It all comes down to good parenting. If you are good parents, your kid will probably be good too.”
“Yeah, that’s not gonna cut it,” explains Snow White. “I mean have you seen us lately? My husband’s a drunk. I’m a lousy thief, whose best friends names are Grumpy and Dopey. Clearly, we are going to be crappy ass parents. Can you give us some other assurance that our child will grow up to be a baby and not an asshole?”
“Sure,” responds Homeless-Looking Mickey. “Find me another baby, and I can transfer your daughter’s assholiness into it! This way, that child will be a MAJOR asshole. And your child will just be the daughter of a drunk and a thief who gives bad Unicorn Handjobs.”
“Hooray!” Snow White cheers. “We can use Maleficent’s dragon egg baby. Any child of a dragon should already be a MAJOR ASSHOLE. So what’s the harm of inserting a little more asshole into it?”
“Or we could just try our luck at being good parents the normal way?” Charming posits hesitantly.
“NAH!” Snow and Charming respond simultaneously, erupting into giggles at the idea that they will anything less than the worst parents in the entire universe.
Charming and Snow then sneak into Maleficent’s lair to steal her egg, and she’s all . . .
“Sorry, Vampire Pam, er I mean, Maleficent,” Snow White says, clutching the egg. “We are stealing your baby to make it into more of an asshole so our child can grow up to be less of an asshole, despite our crappy parenting skills. Toodles!”
Snow and Charming bring Maleficent’s egg to Old Dirty Homeless-Looking Mickey Mouse. He puts a spell on it, and it turns into this . . .
“Awww, what a cute little asshole,” Snow White coos. “Can we keep it? Can we, please, Old Dirty Homeless-Looking Mickey Mouse?”
“NO!” O.D. Mickey Mouse shouts. “Assholes this huge have no place in Fairytale Land! I shall send this baby dragon to a place where all the biggest of assholes reside . . . America!”
Then, a portal opens up in the ground, and Baby Dragon Asshole falls through it, along with Cruella and Ursula, who happen to be standing around watching this all go down and, by the way, are also major assholes.
Snow White returns home from her long hard day of behaving like a total piece of sh*t to find that Cinderella has given her a baby shower gift. It’s a baby mobile, made up entirely of Glass Unicorns, so that Snow, Charming and their newborn can give Unicorn Handjobs to their hearts content.
“I don’t like this gift,” complains Snow. “It feels like Cinderella is rubbing in our face that one time (about two hours ago) where we ruined Maleficent’s life, made her daughter into a major asshole, and shipped her off to America with the rest of the assholes, all because we know we are incapable of being good parents on our own. That Cinderella is such a b*tch!”
“Cinderella is kind of a bitch,” admits Prince Charming. “But I think we should keep her gift anyway, because Unicorn Handjob Hallucinations can be lots of fun. Also, because you and I are wonderful and good people, because the show says we are. And this flashback is supposed to be a life lesson for us that ends on an adorably mushy note, with us proclaiming our love for one another and for our unborn newly un-assholey daughter.”
All together now, “Awwwww . . .”
Meanwhile, back in America, a.k.a. Land of the Assholes, Home of the Brave . . .
Tasked with bringing the picture of the door to Rumpel and the Mean Girls of Darkness, who have since shed their weakest link . . .
Regina shuns the color copy of the picture Emma created and instead takes a picture of the door with her cell phone, because . . . Product Placement.
Bad move, Regina! Rumpel takes one look at the picture of the picture of the door and determines that (1) it is infused with magic, and (2) the Author is literally stuck inside of it. Damn! Regina’s camera phone photography abilities must be slamming! I can’t even manage to take a selfie on my iPhone that doesn’t make me look like a member of the undead . . .
To help Regina steal the actual picture of the door, and not just a picture of the picture, Maleficent helpfully puts the entire town to sleep.
Well, almost the entire town. You see, apparently sleeping curses are like the chicken pox. Once you’ve had it, you are forever immune, which, I guess, is as good a reason as any to make friends with narcoleptics.
This means Henry, Charming and Snow are still awake . . . also Sleeping Beauty, but no one really cares about her, because she kind of sucks . . .
While hiding from the Queens of Darkness and his mom, Henry notices a light shining out of the picture of the door, and that light conveniently directs him to a key, which presumably opens the door, in the picture of the door, and releases the author from it.
Then Regina confronts Henry with the Queens of Darkness in tow to take the picture, but winks at him not at all subtly when she does it, so he knows to give her the copy of the picture of the picture of the door that Emma made, instead of the REAL picture of the door. (This is getting kind of confusing!)
Rumpel immediately figures out that this picture is a fake and punishes Regina by making her take a nap on the street, which is soooo unsanitary!
Shortly thereafter, Charming and Snow find Henry and manipulate him into giving them the real picture, with plans to destroy it and KILL THE AUTHOR, out of fear that, if the Author gets out of the picture, he will turn Emma back into the asshole she was originally supposed to be, before Homeless-Looking Mickey sucked the assholiness out of her and gave it to Maleficent’s kid.
Then, the Charmings reconsider and decide to tell the recently reawakened Emma about their own past dastardly deeds and Unicorn Handjobs. Emma is furious at her parents for lying to her. “I may turn into an asshole now, just to spite you,” Emma huffs, as she stalks out of the house, with Hook hot on her heels.
“All this talk about assholes is making me horny, and I’m not talking about the Unicorn Handjob type of horny” says Hook, as he comforts Emma. “If the Jolly Roger/Metaphor for My Manhood was here now, it would be the size of a Disney cruise ship.”
WAAAAAALLLLLLLT and LIIIIIILLLLLLLLY!
Emma confronts newly hairy Pinocchio August about The Author. And he helpfully tells her that the one trapped in the book is named Walt . . .
Also, that he is just one of many Author’s across centuries whose job has been to witness and record history. The problem with Walt . . .
. . . though, was that he wasn’t content with just recording history and decided instead to screw with it, by, for example, making Old Dirty Homeless-Looking Mickey send Maleficent’s Asshole Baby to America.
Speaking of Maleficent’s Asshole Baby, Rumpel gives the fashionable dragon lady a glimpse of the child, and Maleficent learns that she is (1) still alive, and (2) was named Lily . . . as in, Emma’s star-birthmarked, shoplifting, lesbe-friend pal, who broke her heart by lying to her in last season’s flashbacks.
Elsewhere in town, Emma and co. finally use the key to free the Author, who, SURPRISE, is that peddler guy from Snow and Charming’s Unicorn Handjob Hallucination Flashback! He even still has the bottle of booze Charming gave him, which he was undoubtedly hitting especially hard when he wrote that Frankenstein episode of Once . . . also when he made Peter Pan an evil pervy old dude . . . and not just an adorable childnapper who likes to wear tights, like in the original storybook.
“Hey, guys,” says the Author, “thanks for getting me out of my picture prison. Sorry I gave Snow that awful haircut, and made Prince Charming a drunk, and Pinocchio so hairy, and Mickey Mouse so old dirty and homeless-looking. Smell ya later, losers!”
Then, the Author escapes. And something tells me no one will catch him, at least for another two weeks, while Once is on hiatus.
Until next time, Dearies!