Thursday, November 8, 2012

Once Upon a Time 2.06: "Tallahassee"

“You love her, good. That means you have to do right by her. Then leave her.”
- August

So I was really excited when we first hear that this episode would be Emma backstory, including pre-Henry life. I have to say, “Tallahassee” did not disappoint. Plus we got a lot more present Fairytale Land which I think was sorely needed. We pick up pretty much where last week ended. Hook gives a bit of an info dump on their version of Jack and Beanstalk. Apparently the giants were evil and used the beans to plunder. Jack died fighting them and one giant survived (hence why no one simply climbs the stalk to grow more). And Hook rather delightedly explains that Cora gave him a spell so they could climb and he wants the ladies to fight it out.

We flash back eleven years to eight-year-old Emma in Portland, Oregon. She jimmies the door on the yellow VW bug and makes off with it, only to find a guy hiding in the back seat. His name is Neal Cassidy and at first he gives the impression that he’s the owner. When they get pulled over for Emma running a stop sign, she realizes that he stole the car first. And thus a thieving romance is born. Back in the Fairytale Land, the girls are arguing about who is going. Mulan thinks she’s best equipped but Snow disagrees. Aurora makes her case that she’s basically cannon fodder (she’s got no one she’s trying to get back to) so that the group could continue on if she didn’t make it. Emma ultimately wins out. Not a surprise there. She gives Mulan instructions to cut down the beanstalk and keep moving if she’s not back in ten hours. She also gets some knock out powder for the giant.

As Emma and Hook are climbing, he tries to make small talk and makes some accurate assumptions about Emma. He points out she came along because she’s most motivated (thanks to Henry) and that she wants to get back to him so that he won’t be alone like she was most of her life. He makes reference to Neverland and the lost boys. He also comments that he thinks love was rare in Emma’s life. She says she’s never been in love and we flash back to Portland. Emma and Neal have been petty crooks for a while and they’re pulling the lost couple with a pregnant wife rouse. Emma is snagging stuff and hiding it in her baby bump and a guy spots her (she was stealing an Apollo bar which for any of you Losties out know is a sweet little shout out). Luckily they manage to get out before the manager catches on (he was kind of an idiot). They hit a motel and manage to sneak into a room before housekeeping shows up and they end up picking Tallahassee to settle down. It seems that Emma is very much in love.

Down on the ground, Mulan has drawn a marker to keep time. She says it’s to keep track of shifts but we know better. Snow takes the first watch and she and Aurora bond a little over the whole sleeping curse thing. Snow offers to watch over Aurora while she sleeps (Aurora had nightmares thanks to the curse). Up the stalk, Emma and Hook make it to the top and we learn that giants can smell blood (Hook pours some rum in Emma’s hand laceration and flirts a bit while tying a strip of cloth to staunch the flow. He is really very pretty. We see he’s got a tattoo of Milah’s name on it and Emma surmises that Rumpelstiltskin took more than just his hand. And she admits that she may have been in love once (you think?). We jump back to Portland and things aren’t looking good for the Tallahassee adventure. Neal stole some expensive watches before they met and apparently the heat hasn’t died down. He tries to tell Emma he needs to make a run for it to Canada alone but she convinces him to let her get the watches (he hid them in a bus station locker) since no one is looking for her. Back in Fairytale Land, Emma and Hook work together pretty nicely to lure out the giant (aka Hurley) and Emma knocks him out using the powder Mulan gave them.

Back on the ground, Aurora is having another nightmare and Snow gets her to talk about it. Honestly, it sounds kind of creepy. She was in a room with no windows or doors, the walls were blood red and the curtains were on fire. Oh, and she wasn’t alone. All she could see of the other person were his eyes. By Snow’s reaction, she obviously had the same dream before. She manages to calm Aurora down (guess those mothering instincts are coming into play now). Up the stalk, Hook is getting rather tempted by all the treasure. Emma is skeptical of how they’re going to find the compass in the mess of stuff. We then cut to her at the train station. She manages to get the watches and get back to Neal without being caught and it looks like Tallahassee may be back on. As she and Hook continue their search she narrowly saves him from a trip wire. He thinks she’s flirting but she’s kind of grossed out by it. Back in Portland, Neal is off to meet the fence so they can get their cash and head home when Neal gets chased and tackled by none other than August W. Booth. And boy does he have a story to tell.

He explains in a roundabout way that he and Emma were in the system together and he was supposed to look out for her. Obviously he hasn’t done a very good job. And Neal isn’t impressed when August tells him to let Emma go so she can fulfill her destiny. Neal is skeptical when August starts spouting off about magic but when he shows Neal what’s in his typewriter box (the book maybe?) he starts believing. He agrees to leave Emma as long as once all the drama is over and Emma is destiny-free, August sends him a message, a postcard. And thus the mystery from the season premiere is answered. I still think he is really Baelfire and he’s just yanking August’s chain about not knowing anything about magic. Emma is waiting for Neal and gets nabbed by the cops (he gave her up apparently).

Emma and Hook are still searching for the compass when the Giant wakes up from his powder nap. So not good. Hook gets pinned under some falling bits of ceiling and Emma gets Giant-napped. We jump to two months after Emma’s arrest and the boys meet up in Vancouver. Neal wants August to give Emma the car and the money he got from fencing the watches. August agrees and lets him know that Emma got eleven months but that she’ll be fine. Yeah, I’m thinking that money is never getting to Emma. Back in Fairytale land, Emma manages to get free of the Giant by biting him and traps him in his own cage. She negotiates for the compass and one other favor. She pulls Hook from the rubble and snags his magic cuff so he can’t follow her down. For ten hours (that would be the other favor from the Giant). She makes it down to the bottom of the beanstalk just as Mulan is starting to cut it down and Snow is fighting her. We cut back to the past and Emma gets mail from Phuket (another Lost reference) with the keys to the VW bug. And she is pregnant (hello Henry). Speaking of, we end for a very brief moment in Storybrooke. Henry wakes from a nightmare and when he describes it to Charming, it’s the same exact one as Aurora had except he saw “her” eyes. I’m guessing they shared a dream. Creepy.

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