Saturday, November 3, 2012

Once Upon a Time 2.05: "The Doctor"

“As long as you live in the past, you’ll never find your future.”

“The Doctor” was the first episode of “Once Upon a Time” this season where I didn’t really hate the present-day Enchanted Forest plotline. Captain Hook was added to the mix this week, and he made things interesting. I was a little disappointed in the flashbacks this week, though. They once again largely focused on Regina and her descent into evil. I’ve learned enough about Regina’s secret pain, thanks. She has layers. I get it. What I did think was cool about the flashbacks was that we learned the later-ego identity of Dr. Whale (finally!). He’s (spoiler alert) none other than Dr. Frankenstein. There is a scene in his lab at the end of the episode that is especially appropriate, given that this was the episode that aired closest to Halloween. I kind of wish that the flashbacks could have been more focused on him and his awesome black-and-white horror movie world.

We’ll start with the present-day Enchanted Forest story since it’s my favorite of the three this week and it’s kind of stand-alone. The ladies return to the safe haven island to find that Cora has completely leveled the place. She’s torn out the hearts of most of the refugees, leaving the dead strewn everywhere. The ladies can only pull one survivor from the wreckage, and that survivor is none other than Captain Hook. Emma is very suspicious of Hook, and she goes into full Sheriff/PI interrogation mode. She thinks that he was a plant among the survivors courtesy of Cora. Hook offers to help the ladies in their quest to go back to our world, but Emma wants the full truth from him first. Emma goes a little too far with this, really, and she ends up tying Hook to a tree and whistling to attract Ogres. It does finally get him to talk, though. He admits that he’s been working with Cora, but he’s willing to switch sides. Cora has the wardrobe dust to open a portal, but in order to actually navigate her way to our world, she needs an enchanted compass. Hook just happens to know where that compass is located. Hook takes the ladies to Jack’s beanstalk, and he says that if they can defeat the giant at the top of the beanstalk, they’ll find the compass. From the previews, it looks like the giant will be played by Jorge Garcia, so the next episode should be pretty awesome.

Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, Charming makes the mistake of telling Dr. Whale that the Enchanted Forest probably still exists, and other lands that were hit by the curse may still exist, too. Regina’s in a session with Jiminy (she wants help with quitting magic use for Henry) when Whale interrupts. He demands that Regina send him back to his home. Jiminy, however, sends him away. Nobody interrupts one of Jiminy’s therapy sessions! Jiminy focuses back on Regina and asks her to start thinking about why she’s so stuck in her past. We then get our first flashback of the episode. In it, Regina is working with Rumpelstiltskin to hone her magic skills. She has successfully frozen a unicorn in place, but now Rumpelstiltskin wants her to take out the unicorn’s heart. Rumplestiltskin ends up having to do that part of the job, but he then wants Regina to smush the heart in her hand to kill the unicorn. Ewww. It seems like Daniel’s memory has been holding Regina back, both in the past with honing her magic skills and in the present with trying to give up magic. Jiminy tells Regina not to hold on to the past, and Regina storms out of the therapy session. Driving in the rain, Regina has a vision of Daniel, and it seriously freaks her out.

At the Storybrook stables, Charming gives Henry a horse as part of Henry’s training to be a “knight” and instructs Henry to muck the stall twice a day. Then Charming leaves to attend to other matters. Because that always ends well when the worst grandpa ever leaves Henry alone. Elsewhere in Storybrooke, Regina goes to her family mausoleum, and she’s very disturbed to find that Daniel’s tomb (where he is supposed to be frozen) is empty. We then get another flashback, and this time Regina is asking Rumpelstiltskin if he knows how to use magic to bring back the dead (she wants to bring back Daniel, obviously). Rumpelstiltskin tells her she can’t do that. Jefferson overhears this while delivering a crystal ball that is supposed to help Rumpelstiltskin travel to our world, presumably to find Bae. Jefferson couldn’t find the other items on Rumpelstiltskin’s list, though. Jefferson has a little chat with Regina and offers to find “the Wizard” for her in exchange for a royal passport. He thinks the Wizard might be able to bring Daniel back from the dead.

Jefferson does indeed bring the Wizard to Regina, and it turns out that it’s none other than Dr. Whale. He’s been experimenting with bringing people in his world back to life, but he needs a stronger heart than what he had available back home. He’s heard that Enchanted Forest hearts are so strong that they glow, so he thinks this is the best place to try and conduct his experiments. If Regina can get a heart, Whale thinks he can bring Daniel back to life. Regina won’t kill anyone, but she thinks she knows where she can find a heart. She takes Whale to her mother’s vault, which looks disturbingly similar to the vault Regina would eventually create for herself. It’s full of little drawers with hearts inside. Whale chooses his preferred heart, and he’s almost giddy with anticipation at operating on Daniel.

Back in Storybrooke, Regina pays a visit to Whale’s lab. It’s a complete mess, and it’s obvious that somebody trashed the place. Regina finds Whale under a table, and it’s pretty clear he’s injured. It turns out that Whale stole both Daniel’s body and another heart from Regina’s mauseleom, and he was indeed able to bring Daniel back to life. He’s not the Daniel that Regina knew, however. He’s a monster, and he’s responsible for the destruction of a lab. I thought this was becoming a kind of weird combination of the Wizard of Oz and Franenstein. Charming questions Regina about the lab attack, and he’s really unhappy to hear about Whale trying to bring Daniel back. Regina thinks Daniel might have gone to the stables, since he died I the Enchanted Forest stables. This means Henry’s in trouble, of course. Henry is grooming his new horse when the horse starts going crazy and knocks Henry over. Then Daniel appears on the scene.

The rest of the flashbacks of the episode show Whale’s failed experiment. We see him doing the heart replacement procedure on Daniel, but he comes out and tells Regina that the procedure didn’t work. This pisses off Regina so much that she goes to Rumpelstiltskin and proves to him once and for all that she has the fortitude to (literally) crush hearts. We later see Whale, Rumpelstiltskin, and Jefferson consipiring. The whole thing was a set-up, and Whale and Jefferson were just doing whatever Rumpelstiltskin told them in an attempt to get something out of the royal family, no doubt. As payment, Rumpelstiltskin gives Whale a strong, glowing Enchanted Forest heart.

Back in Storybrooke, Regina and Charming arrive at the stables just in time to save Henry from shuffling zombie Daniel. Charming wants to kill Daniel right then and there, but Regina wants to talk to him. At first, Daniel is pretty much just aggressive and “grr…brains,” but Regina gets the real Daniel to break through. What he says isn’t what Regina wants to hear, though. He’s in a lot of pain (presumably from the procedure that brought him back to life), and he really just wants Regina to let him go. Regina won’t do it at first, but then Daniel starts slipping back into “grr…brains” mode, and Regina has to kill him with magic before he attacks her. Regina tearfully returns to Jiminy and confesses to using magic again.

Meanwhile, Dr. Whale shows up at Rumpelstiltskin’s shop, asking for help reattaching his arm. Whale (whose actual name is Victor, by the way), tells Rumpelstiltskin that he reanimated Daniel because he thought Regina would send him home in gratitude. When he gets home one day, he wants to try to reanimate his brother again. Apparently the first time didn’t go so well. We then get one final flashback to the beginning of the reanimation gone wrong. Whale is actually Dr. Frankenstein, and his world is black-and-white horror movie goodness. It will be fun to explore more of this aspect of the story in the future, for sure.

No comments:

Post a Comment