Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Once Upon a Time 2.17: "Welcome to Storybrooke"

“Well, you tell yourself you did the right thing. If you say it often enough, one day you might actually believe it.”
- Mr. Gold

As in the last couple episodes I didn’t feel there was enough Neal in this episode. But, considering he’s supposed to be the focus of the finale, I guess I can wait a few more episodes. Overall this episode wasn’t bad and it had some great lines from Robert Carlyle and the ending was rather heartbreaking.

This week’s episode begins in the woods where a father is teaching his son how to do gemp braiding (you know the thing with the plastic and you sort of braid it into knots. I did it at Girl Scout camp). The kid’s not that good but we do learn that he’s a Star Wars fan. Immediately, I knew that the kid was Greg (the guy who crashed into town and mowed over Hook). We’ll see why he’s back later on. His dad gives him one that he made when he was young. Sort of passing down family possessions I guess. Anyway, they’re about to eat dinner when this loud storm rolls in. They dive into their tent in time to see green and purple smoke (hello evil curse) roll in. The next morning, they’re rather perplexed to find an entire town where it had been empty woods the day before. They wander into the town center and are met by none other than Sheriff Graham. Everyone was so excited for his return. Though, to be honest, I’m kind of over the Sheriff. Next, we learn that it’s 1983 and the first day of the curse. Regina wakes up in satin PJs and upon seeing the town sprawled out before proclaims that she’s won. She admires her closet and new fashions before taking to the streets with a smile on her face. She spots Marco fixing a sign and Archie says hi as he walks Pongo. Ruby is arguing with Granny about working the early shift. She tests Mary Margaret to see how much she remembers by taking her to see David in the hospital. Her mood improves during breakfast when she sees Graham for the first time in his skinny jeans. Their moment is interrupted by mini Greg. His dad, Kurt, intervenes and apologizes for his son’s rudeness but it doesn’t stop Regina from being crabby about the outsiders showing up in her town. In the present, Regina is burying her mother and Rumple appears to pay his respects. He tries to talk Regina out of her vengeance kick but she’s not listening. Even when he reminds her that even her mother knew she couldn’t have everything (the reasons he ripped out her heart), Regina wants to have her cake and eat it, too.

In 1983, Regina’s mood is darkening when she finds mini Greg (going by Owen) in her seat at the diner. He ends up giving her the braided keychain from his dad as a “thanks for letting me sit in your seat” present. That seems to soften her heart a little. Unfortunately, Regina quickly gets bored with the hum drum repeat of the town. Literally, it’s like Groundhog Day or The Truman Show. To be fair, I’d get pretty bored, too. She’s so bored she goes to see Gold to complain about how she’s not happy with the town and the people and she wants it to be real. Too bad, he doesn’t remember who he is and therefore, can’t do squat about it. But she thinks she may have a solution. She invites Kurt and Owen for dinner.

In the present Regina is rummaging (perhaps rampaging would be more accurate) through her mother’s belongings in search of something. She finds a tiny scroll hidden in the seam of a dress and it seems to be what she’s looking for. Meanwhile, at the Charming residence, Emma and David start to lie to Henry about why Mary Margaret is so despondent. But Henry calls them on their li and Emma admits the truth. Of course, Henry’s in denial that anyone good could do something bad. I have to say, I’m getting tired of Henry lately. Gold shows up to warn them that Regina is going after Snow. David gets all “Mr. Protector” and demands Gold help them since Snow saved his life and therefore, he owes them a debt. Rumple and David head down to the crypt and Rumple quickly susses out Regina’s plan. She’s going to cast a curse to make Henry think he loves her and she needs the heart of the person she hates most to cast it. So that takes care of Mary Margaret. This doesn’t sit well with Emma or David but Rumple says that it’s a blood feud and the only way to end it is with the spilling of more blood, namely Regina’s. Henry freaks at all the death talk and runs out, Emma hot on his heels.

Dinner with Owen and Kurt is kind of awkward back in 1983. Owen is not shy about saying what he thinks (obviously Regina’s lasagna making improves from the early days to when she makes it for David in season 1). But she and Owen bond a bit over making apple turnovers. His dad brought him to Maine after his mom died to try and help him cope. Owen isn’t too happy with the way things are going at home. Regina suggests Kurt and Owen move to Storybrooke and Owen is on board with the idea but Kurt says no. She is not going to be happy.

Emma takes Henry to the diner for a chat with Neal. Neal tries bribing his son with ice cream but the eleven-year-old is too smart for that one. Henry wants to find a way to get rid of magic in Storybrooke because it would solve all his family woes. Neal agrees but says that until that happens he should take Henry back to New York. It looks like Henry agrees. Neal is pretty pleased with his parenting skills until Emma points out that you don’t take your backpack to the bathroom if you are coming back. And cut to Henry racing through the woods.

We jump back to 1983 where Regina is asking Billy the Mechanic to delay repairs to keep Kurt and Owen in town longer. But Kurt’s already picked up the truck. So Regina gives some magical instructions to Graham on how to detain them. Kurt overhears everything and Graham bursts in, arresting Kurt for drunk driving (as Regina ordered). Kurt manages to get free by knocking the box with Graham’s heart on the ground. And now begins the oddest thing in the history of Once Upon a Time; a car chase. With some fancy driving Regina and Graham manage to cut off Kurt before he can cross the town line. Kurt lets himself get dragged away and orders Owen to run. Regina lets him go, albeit unhappily. Owen later returns with state troopers but they can’t see the town. I guess that explains why he came back all these years later, hoping to crash 9well maybe not crash but still).

In the present, Regina pays Mary Margaret a visit to retrieve her heart for the curse. She wasn’t counting on Rumple standing guard. Meanwhile, Neal, Emma, Ruby and David track Henry to the mines where David figures she nabbed some dynamite. Neal fills in the gap about wanting to get rid of magic and Emma leads the charge of where to find Henry. Speaking of, Henry runs into Greg (literally). They both lie rather clumsily about their reason for being in the woods. They part ways and Henry gets to the magic well and pulls out a bunch of dynamite. My first thought was the fuse was so short Henry would get blown to bits if he tried to light it. The race4 is on now to see how can get there first (Greg calls Regina to give her the heads up). She gets there first and is trying to convince Henry that even if the curse won’t make Henry love her for real, it would be something. Obviously she hasn’t learned anything. Emma, Neal and David show up but it’s Henry’s shouting all the adults that gets Regina to burn the curse. I have to say he wasn’t expecting magic to be so complicated. He wanted magic because it was part of the fairytale world but he sees now how devastating it can be.

We end with Mary Margaret asking Rumple how he lives with what he’s done. It seems she can’t handle it. She goes to Regina and begs the Queen to kill her. Regina rips out Snow’s heart but doesn’t crush it. She spots a black blemish and convinces Snow that her heart is blackened and will continue to darken. She shoves the pumper back in Snow’s chest as the ultimate revenge. Snow will be her own undoing. From the street, Greg captures this latest magic trick on film and climbs into his car, vowing to find his dad.

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