Monday, 9 January 2012

Once Upon A Time, Episode 8, Desperate Souls

Have you seen this man?

Have you seen this unicorn?

Right away I knew something was wrong when the unicorn wasn't running through the forest. Instead there was some cloaked guy with a torch. Where is the unicorn? I had a lot of plans for that unicorn.

We see Rumpelstiltskin spinning wool. I can tell by his teeth that he hasn't turned into the creepy gold-flecked guy we've come to know.

Ah! This is HIS story.

A young boy barges into the hut with news that the Duke and his horsemen have entered the village.
Apparently the Duke has been at war with the ogres, and once children in his kingdom turn fourteen, he takes them as soldiers to fight the war.

Kids against ogres? Really? This is the Duke's master plan?

When the parents of the latest peasant girl soon to be G.I. Jane, try to fight the Duke, a menacing figure hidden by a hood and cloak sends an invisible choking spell through the air like some kind of psychic Vulcan. The parents fall to the ground, helpless.

The Duke smiles—the hooded figure is called the Dark One, and he's obviously on the Duke's side. This is particularly troubling to Rumpelstiltskin because his son will be fourteen in three days.

Back in Storybrooke, Mr. Gold is brushing up on his decoupage in the back room of his pawn shop. Emma enters (wearing a slightly darker version of her usual red leather jacket, more of a maroon actually). She complains about the pungent odour and he explains something about goats and glue. As they discuss the smelly product, I can only think of two questions.

Where is the unicorn? And why hasn't anyone mentioned Schmexy Sheriff?

Then Mr. Gold confirms my worst fears. The Sheriff is dead. *GASP* It's okay, I still have a theory. By the way, did you know the first stage of grief is denial?

Mr. Gold tells Emma that since it's been two weeks since Schmexy died *GASP* she can be the new Sheriff. He offers her a box of Schmexy's things, left unclaimed. Emma isn't exactly sentimental, especially since the last time she showed her true feelings, the guy she kissed ended up dying.

But Mr. Gold convinces her to take the two walkie talkies for her and Henry to play with. It's important to cherish the time they spend together, he tells her, because you never know when an unexpected ogre war will break out.

Emma finds Henry at the playground and she gives him the walkie talkie and playfully says it's for operation Cobra (their plot to break the Evil Queen's spell). But Henry says they should stop trying to fight the curse. The Mayor killed Schmexy and she could kill Emma.

Then he gets all philosophical and says that being good means playing fair, but evil can do whatever it wants, including hurting people. He doesn't want to upset the Mayor anymore. Then he adds for good measure, “You never really believed, so what difference does it make?” Oh, that's cold.

I believe Henry! Yes, Schmexy may have died, but I believe that wolf with the freaky eyes knows something. Please, someone go to the animal shelter! The animals in this village always have the answers.

*Hangs head* Sorry, still in denial.

Emma goes to the Sheriff's office and looks at Schmexy's badge. Okay! This is when she'll figure it out. The wolf is the key. Find the wolf.

But before Emma can go on my scavenger hunt, the Mayor enters, proceeding to tell Emma she can no longer assume the job as Sheriff, and then fires her as Deputy.

How does Emma deal with this? With a few glass of whiskey and by breaking Mary Margaret's toaster. Mary Margaret walks in and begins putting away the groceries as Emma complains about how the Mayor not only killed her almost boyfriend, but also fired her.

Wow, this sounds exactly like the conversation I had with my mom last week.

Mr. Gold visits with a copy of the town charter. He explains to Emma that two people with a common goal can accomplish many things, but two people with a common enemy can accomplish anything. And two people with a common cold can accomplish next to nothing because they're so miserable and full of mucus.

Rumpelstiltskin and his son, flee into the night. Along the dark forest path a beggar asks for money. Rumpelstiltskin is kind and says he has nothing to offer except wool...three bags full, in fact.

Suddenly they hear horses. Wait! Is it the unicorn?


It's the Duke and his horsemen. The Duke recognises Rumpelstiltskin as a runner, and blames him for leaving the war, causing the ogres to get the upper hand.

One little guy with a limp made the difference between a fight between ogres? Come on. Hagrid was half-giant and even he needed an army of wizards to help him.


We also learn Rumpelstiltskin's wife was so embarrassed that he single handed lost the battle that she left him and their son, BellFire. Seriously, that's the kids name—Bellfire. The Duke threatens to kill the boy on the spot. Rumpelstiltskin pleads for his life and the Duke makes him kiss his boot. Hey, worse things have been kissed.

After the Duke rides away, happy to have humiliated another peasant, the beggar wobbles out of the darkness and tells Rumpelstiltskin he'll be his benefactor. can you be a benefactor if you're a beggar?

At the Mayor's office, Emma interrupts a news conference and explains that after reading the town charter, she's going to run for Sheriff against Mr. Glass, aka the talking mirror.

Over a bowl of gruel, in Rumpelstiltskin's hut, the beggar tells him that the Duke controls the Dark One with an enchanted dagger. Realising this will save his son, Rumpelstiltskin makes a plan to enter the Duke's castle to steal the dagger.

At the pawn shop the Mayor confronts Mr. Gold saying she knows he helped Emma. Mr. Gold tells her to never underestimate someone who's fighting for their child...or the last piece of chocolate cake.

Emma finds Henry in a booth at the diner/pub/laundromat. Seriously, doesn't this kid ever go to school? His grandmother is the teacher, doesn't he think she'll notice his frequent absenteeism?

He's reading an article about Emma being in jail as a teenager. She's furious and plans to retaliate with her own smear campaign. Henry reminds her that good can't be evil, and he warns her not to trust Mr. Gold. He keeps those two creepy dolls by the cash register, and more importantly she already owes him favor.

I remember Henry. Emma made a deal with him so Cinderella could keep her baby. Trust me. Go watch the episode.

Emma challenges the Mayor back in her office about exposing her delinquent past. They walk out of the building arguing.

Whoa! A sudden explosion traps the Mayor. While fire burns around them Emma considers her pleas for help. What will Emma do? Run I say. Run like the wind. Run like Forrest Gump.

Rumpelstiltskin and his son are boiling wool outside their hut, making torches. He tells him about the Duke's magical dagger, and that if he owns the dagger he'll own the Dark One. If he kills the Dark One, then he'll have all the power.

Thank you for explaining that because the beggar had me so confused. So, let's recap. Rumpelstiltskin is going to use the power to free children from having to fight in the war. Cool. Okay. I just have one question.

Where is the unicorn?

Back in the burning Mayor's office, Emma runs (yay! let her burn I say) and gets a fire extinguisher, (boo). As Emma helps the Mayor hobble out, the press is there to get a picture.

Emma and Henry can't believe how her reputation as 'delinquent' has suddenly turned 'hero'. And then she a wool rag. Hmm. Who could have planted a combustible material composed mainly of wool???

Emma confronts Mr. Gold about sheep oil and wool, and foreshadows what's about to happen in fairy tale land the next scene. Mr. Gold admits he knew she would save the Mayor and planned the whole thing to give her campaign a boost. Emma is outraged and still refuses to work with him.

Back at the Duke's, Rumpelstiltskin and his son find a stack of hay conveniently left beside the castle and set it on fire. Once inside, Rumpelstiltskin easily finds the dagger inscribed with the name ZOSO.

ZoSo—otherwise known as the district in Manhattan, between Central Park Zoo to South Street.

While Mary Margaret is putting up posters of Emma, she runs into David, who tells her that he's now working at the animal shelter. YES! Quick, take Mary Margaret and talk to the wolf. He will lead you to Schmexy.

Sorry, still in denial.

David puts up a poster of Emma's rival, Mr. Glass, saying that his wife Catherine, is a friend of the Mayor's. He doesn't seem so charming now, does he? Mary Margaret stammers she's out of staples and runs away. I would have stapled an Emma poster to his forehead, but then again, I'm not Snow White.

Mary Margaret meets Emma backstage as she prepares for the debate with Mr. Glass. I can't help but notice she's wearing ANOTHER leather jacket. Who is the sponsor for this show anyway? Emma talks about wanting to show Henry that she can win and be the hero.

Mr. Glass takes the stage and stammers a bit. Why is the mirror unable to speak in his human form? Just cleaver irony on ABC's part? Maybe he should hold an empty frame in front of his face.

As Rumpelstiltskin runs out of the burning castle with the dagger, he tells his son, Bellfire (honestly they have such weird names on this show), to return to the hut and wait for him.

He summons ZOSO and the cloaked figure appears. Rumpelstiltskin is shaking with fear as the Dark One reminds him that it's his son's birthday and the Duke's Guards will be showing up to collect him for their army. He convinces Rumpelstiltskin he's too scared to use the power to stop the Duke, goading him on. Rumpelstiltskin has no choice, and he stabs the Dark One. His hood falls back and his face is covered in gold glitter.

Gold glitter? Where have I seen that before?

The Weasleys
Slowly, the Dark One turns back into...the beggar. The beggar laughs, and says he's finally released. Power and magic, he warns, always come with a price.

Of course it's expensive, ask the Weasleys.

Rumpelstiltskin realises he's now cursed, and asks why he was chosen. With his dying breath, the beggar tells him he recognised his desperate soul. Rumpelstiltskin's hands begin to turn gold.

Mr. Glass is on stage giving his closing remarks as the Mayor mouths the words from the front row like a mother on Toddlers and Tiaras. Emma gets up and tells the crowd the fire was a set up by Mr. Gold, and she doesn't want to win by lying. Everyone turns around to watch as a disgusted Mr. Gold hobbles out.

Emma goes to the only establishment in town, the pub/diner/laundromat for a drink. Henry shows up and gives Emma one of the walkie talkies. Smiling, he tells her that he's proud of her, and they should start working on operation Cobra again.

Do know what else you should work on? Operation unicorn.

The Mayor begrudgingly gives Emma the Sheriff's star. The people liked that she stood up to Mr. Gold and voted for her. Conveniently the victory party is in the room out back. It must suck for other businesses in Storybrooke.

Rumpelstiltskin arrives in his village all glittery and nasty looking just as the Duke is taking away Bellfire (giggle) to fight the ogres. Rumpelstiltskin tells them he's the Dark One now and goes crazy stabbing the Duke and all of the guards.

Terrified of this creepy version of his dad, Bellfire backs away. Is anyone else having 'The Shining' flashbacks?

Anyway, Rumpelstiltskin tells him not to be afraid. He won't have to go to war now, and that he will always protect what belongs to him. Grinning his dirty smile, Rumpelstiltskin cackles that he's not afraid of nothing.

Well, except brushing and flossing.

Emma walks into Schmexy's old office and sees his jacket hanging on the coat rack. She looks a little sad, and I have to say it's about time. There hasn't been a lot of mourning going on for Schmexy this episode.

I'm now in the 'anger' phase of grieving.

Mr. Gold walks in and tells her everything went exactly how he planned. Everyone is afraid of the Mayor he tells her, but they're more afraid of him.

Emma asks why he wanted her to be Sheriff. That old trickster gives her a look and says, “I know how to recognise a desperate soul.”

He reminds her that she owes him a favor, and now that she's Sheriff she'll be more useful to him.

Predictions for next episode: Henry goes to school long enough to film a scene. A wolf starts following Emma around and she makes it Deputy. Ruby finally gets more than three lines. And where is Sleeping Beauty?!

Do you think Schmexy will come back? And what happened to Bellfire?



Jennie Bennett said...

Schmexy's totally coming back. I mean, they said ever curse has a counter-curse, right? My thoughts are along the lines of, Emma has to find that freaking dagger and take Mr. Gold's power away. Ugh, so frustrating and so good!

BR Myers said...

Of course! The enchanted dagger. I never thought of that. I bet it's in the shop somewhere...

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