The identity of Henry’s (Jared Gilmore) father is revealed and he proves to also be the reason that Emma (Jennifer Morrison) doesn’t trust suave bad-boys. Plus, we get a lesson in how to de-age your leading lady!
Let’s bitch it out…There aren’t too many surprises on this week’s Once Upon A Time. For the majority of the first season, fans wondered if August Booth (a welcome Eion Bailey) was the father of Emma’s child – an idea that more or less died when it was revealed that he was really Pinocchio. With the introduction of a mysterious man (Michael Raymond-James) interested in finding Storybrooke in the second season premiere, fans naturally fingered him as the deadbeat baby daddy. And so our suspicions bear fruit in ‘Tallahassee’ a flashback heavy episode that reveals the reason that Emma doesn’t trust men: because she got knocked up and took the fall for the man she loved, a petty thief named Neal Cassady.
Interesting, but hardly revelatory, which more or less describes this week’s outing. For the majority of the story, we stick around FairyTale land as Emma tracks down the
golden magic compass that will allow her, Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin), Mulan (Jaime Chung) and Aurora (Sarah Bolger) to track down the vortex that will take them back to Storybrooke. Sticking around is lovable rogue, Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) who proves to be a fairly handy (pardon the pun) partner-in-crime, which proves both sexily enticing to Emma (chemistry!) but ultimately leads her to abandon him in the giant’s ( Hurley Jorge Garcia) lair. After all, a man with that much guyliner, leather and witty barbs can only be trouble, amirite ladies?
The backstory on Neal is a decidedly simpler affair, less fraught with danger, beanstalks and magic sleeping-powder than with car theft, convenience store shoplifting and watch theft (dum dum DUM!). Even when Neal confesses that the watches Emma recovers for him from a bus station locker are worth 20 grand, it all still feels like child’s play. Perhaps it’s because I’m used to the millions of dollars Walter White hides under his floorboards, or because it seems like the punishment (11 months in a minimum security prison) seems like a light sentence for an adult female, but the whole Bonnie and Clyde crime-spree/doomed romance this ain’t.
On the plus side, at least we can laugh at the show’s attempt to de-age Jennifer Morrison using the tried-and-true teen movie convention involving glasses and ponytails (clip features NSFW language). Too silly!
- Having heard all week about how scary and mean Jorge Garcia’s giant would be, the result has to be considered a letdown. As expected he’s a gentle giant who’s simply been abused by humans. What doesn’t gel is why he allows himself to nearly be jabbed a half-dozen times in the eye with a poisoned sword when he could have easily escaped the trap he’s imprisoned in (as he does mere moments later)
- The fact that Emma even went up the beanstalk in the first place is kinda ridiculous. A) Mulan is a bodyguard who’s lived in FairyTale land her whole life and B) Snow is an accomplished thief who’s at least familiar with this world. Obviously she gets to go because the plot (and flashbacks) dictates it, but in terms of rational decisions, she really would have been third in line
- How fun is it to see Eion Bailey again? Interestingly his return (in flashback) explains who sent Neal the postcard in 2×01, and who orchestrated the return of Emma’s yellow VW beetle, the car that ties Emma to Neal from the start of their relationship as joint car-thieves
- Hook’s comment that Emma has the same “look” in her eyes as the orphaned lost boys in Neverland is a reminder of how groan-inducing this show’s treatment of orphans and single parents is. It’s not as though being an orphan, being raised in foster care, or only having one parent is a damn death sentence!
- Speaking of progeny, in one of the more ham-fisted “groaner” moments of the evening, both Aurora and Henry have the same nightmare (a residual effect of the sleeping potions they were both given – hers in 2×01, his in 1×21). While I recognize that I’ve harped on the visuals in the show – and tonight’s horrific green screens are terrible as usual – it would have a) been nice to have experienced the nightmare rather than the description or b) not have the exact same writing used for both descriptions. Strike another one up for Once’s overly simplistic, increasingly expository dialogue method of storytelling. Use Henry’s book as a guide: show us, don’t tell us!
- Emma (to Neal, after stealing his car): “I said I was sorry.” As though apologizing makes car-theft okay
- Emma (in response to Hook’s comment that he’s perceptive because he knows about Henry): “That’s not perception, that’s eavesdropping.”
- Emma (when Hook wants to window-shop the giant’s treasure collection): “How long do you think magic knock-out powder lasts?” I just loved the words “magic knock-out powder” because I so rarely get to use them in a sentence
So now we know who Henry’s father is. Surprised? Excited? Disappointed? Were you pleased with Jorge Garcia’s giant? Do you see a romantic future for Emma and Hook? And what’s with the Twin Peaks inspired nightmare plaguing both Aurora and Henry? Let us know what you think in the comments below
Once Upon A Time airs Sundays at 8pm EST on ABC