Monday, 29 April 2013

Once Upon A Time, Season 2, Episode 20 "The Evil Queen"

 Or better title, "No One Loves You, Not Even A Little"

Tamara and Greg hide Hook in the broken clock tower and tell him they have a job for him. He laughs and says he could care less. He stabbed Rumpelstiltskin with a poisonous dagger and killed him so his motivation is out the door.

But Greg and Tamara push him to the open window and show him that Rumpelstiltskin not only survived but is having creepy fun times with bad girl Lacey.

Hook is furious at being denied his revenge. Tamara tells him she can help since she knows how to kill magical creatures.

Really? She zapped August and he turned into little Pinocchio.

Anyway, Hook is desperate so he agrees to help Greg capture Regina and grill her about his missing dad.

The Evil Queen looks like she's going to a Prince and the Revolution concert, instead she's on the hunt for Snow White—how original.

She gathers up the local villagers to do a little propaganda about how Snow White poisoned the King. She offers a reward for information on her whereabouts, but the villagers are lock-lipped. The Evil Queen orders a mass killing.

She must find Snow White!

Okay, let's back track, shall we? The Evil Queen is doing this for one reason—because Snow White told Cora that Regina was in love with Daniel the stable boy. Cora then killed Daniel. This is why the Evil Queen is so evil. That's it. That's the thing that has fuelled her hatred all these millions of episodes.
David and Mary Margaret discuss the repercussions of going back to fairy tale land.

The magic beans are almost ready. Squee!

Mary Margaret is worried that Henry will be upset when they leave Regina behind. David comes up with a plan to offer her a choice; come back to fairy tale land but live in Rumpelstiltskin's cell for the rest of her life, or stay in Storybrooke.

He's a genius! No wait. He's a super genius.

But what the super genius doesn't realize is that Regina has been listening to them the whole time. And guess what? She's not into the jail thing.

The Evil Queen meets with Rumpelstiltskin. She can't understand why the peasants like Snow White more than her. He points out they fear her and her mass murdering ways. The Evil Queen is convinced that once Snow White is dead all the kingdom will like her more.

Wow! She's a genius just like David.

She asks Rumpelstiltskin to teach her a shape shifting spell (part of her big plan to kill Snow White), but he tells her it's so complicated it will take weeks. Undaunted she asks him to put the spell on her.

Listen carefully everyone. While the Evil Queen is under the spell she CANNOT do any magic and only Rumpelstiltskin can remove it. She says that's cool since she only wants to get close enough to Snow White to choke her with her bare hands.

"All Snow White did was tell Cora about Daniel..." says the little voice deep inside my heart.

Oh, never mind.

In return, Rumpelstiltskin asks her to cut all ties to King George's realm—I think that has something to do with Prince Charming. She agrees and he changes her into a poor peasant girl.


Regina pays Henry a little visit and shows him the magic beans Mary Margaret and Emma have been harvesting secretly. He tells her he's hoping they will invite Regina when they're ready to go.

Regina's eyes light up at his naivete. “I want to go too,” she tells him, “but the others don't believe that I'm good, like you do.”

Henry is eager to find a way for her to come along because he still believes she's trying to be good and stuff. She tells him about a fail safe button for the curse... as if it never happened. They'll activate this self destruct thing and then run speedy quick and use the magic beans.

Henry asks what will happen to Storybooke and she says it will disappear and everyone left behind will die.

Oops. She should have saved that for AFTER they transported to fairy tale land.

Of course Henry's not going for this at all. Regina gets all desperate and starts spouting the same pathetic reasoning that if she's Henry's only choice, he'll love her most.

Henry points out that if she kills everyone she won't be a hero, she'll be a villain. And he'd never be a part of anything so horrible.

Why would she even think he would help her?

Regina waves her hand and Henry's memory is altered. She will have Henry reverse the curse without knowing the truth.


The Evil Queen struts through a village marketplace in her disguise. But she's shocked to hear people hate the Evil Queen and love Snow White. She talks about treason and causes a scene. Soon two of the Queen's guards come along. When she insists they leave her alone because she's the Queen, they arrest her and drag her away roughly.

Hook visits Regina in her black and white Mayor's office. He asks for protection from Rumpelstiltskin, then tells her Greg and Tamara asked him to form a fake alliance with her. Instead, he's super anxious to get back with the mother/daughter tag team from hell.

Regina drops the bomb that Cora has died. Hook looks shocked and tells her that the only thing Cora ever wanted was for Regina to have her revenge. Regina then shows Hook her own little magic bean plant and lets him in on her plan of total destruction.


Tamara picks up lunch at Granny's pub/diner/laundromat and bumps into Emma. A list of fairy tale characters and their Storybrooke names is neatly typed on a sheet of paper and conveniently falls out of her purse.

Here's a tip, if you have a master plan to fool the whole town, don't carry around evidence linking you to suspicious activity, especially evidence neatly typed in New York Times Font size 12.

There's an awkward 'past girlfriend/fiance' moment but Tamara tells Emma that she can trust her with all the fairy tale land stuff.

Emma isn't fooled and explains her theory to Mary Margaret that maybe the new chick is the 'her' August was trying to warn them about right before he died and was turned into a little puppet boy.

Phew. That was a long one. Let's take a drink break. *sip*

Mary Margaret is worried Emma is still holding a torch for Neil, and disregards the list of names. But Henry is super excited because this means operation Cobra is back on.

Regina takes Hook into the library and down the secret elevator.

I guess since Belle is now Lacey, she's at the pool hall instead.

The Guards take the Evil Queen up to the gallows, ready to behead her.

For impersonating the Queen? Really? Harsh much?

Just as the blade is raised, an arrow is fired into the hand of one of the guards. He drops the sword and a cloaked figure swoops into the scene beating both the guards and rescuing the Evil Queen. The crowd rejoices and the hero pulls back her hood—it's Snow White.

Regina and Hook enter the bottom lair. She notices his leather bracelet. He tells her Cora gave it to him so he could climb the beanstalk. Regina is jealous and asks him for it. She slips it on her own wrist and smiles with satisfaction.

Gee! I wonder if that completely random moment is going to be important later on?

She takes him further into the cave where the trigger is guarded.

Remember the Queen from Sleeping Beauty who turned herself into a dragon? The one Prince Charming and Emma both had to fight?

Hook soon realizes that he's the bait. Except this time the Dragon Queen is some king of zombie skeleton thing. There's a lot of running and hiding behind rocks. Meanwhile up-top, Regina finds the glass casket and retrieves the trigger (a big black diamond).


The Evil Queen wakes up to find Snow White wiping her brow. She tells Snow White her name is Wilma and that her husband Fred, works in the quarry.

As she cleans the Evil Queen's leg wound, Snow White tells the story of how a woman saved her on a run-away horse once and that woman taught her there can be a genuine love and connection between two strangers. The Evil Queen is touched and she asks what happened to that woman.

Snow White looks melancholy and says, “She's gone, but I hope someday she comes back.”

Emma and Henry wait in her yellow bug, stalking Tamara. Henry says how awesome it would be to go to fairy tale land. Emma asks if he would want that. Before you can say, 'hocus pocus' Henry guesses the giant brought back a bean and they're growing them in Storybrooke.

He's also excited because if they find out that Tamara is evil or at least up to no good, then Neil and Emma can have their own castle.

Emma successfully breaks into Tamara's room, letting Henry be her look-out. She notices one of the floor boards is loose. Before she can rip up the floor, Neil arrives and stops the search. When Emma tells him her theory and the crazy list, he tells Emma he made Tamara that list to keep all the cray-cray in one organized place.

Emma is still unconvinced and asks him to lift the suspicious floor board. They find nothing.

The Evil Queen is well enough to move along. Snow White gives her a sword and they set off deeper into the forest. The Evil Queen asks Snow White, if she had the chance, would she kill the Queen?

Snow White says no, she wants to be guided by love. She's convinced the Evil Queen has some good inside of her. The Evil Queen has a Grinch moment and her heart grows three times it's size.

She's ready to ask Snow White for forgiveness and to become a family again!!! What could possible ruin this moment?

Then they stumble upon the mass murder from the beginning of this episode. Snow White sees her wanted poster and quickly surmises the villagers lost their lives because they were protecting her. She vows to never forgive the Queen—obviously she has no good in her.

Snow White needs to stick to one idea.

The Evil Queen still wants to talk about how awesome she used to be when she rescued little Snow White on the horse. But she slips up and Snow White realizes the young peasant girl is the Evil Queen disguised by dark magic.

Snow White draws her bow. The Evil Queen has no power...and apparently has no skill with a sword. She runs off into the forest.

Regina comes up from the cave and sees Hook waiting for her all cool and lovely. She's been duped. He brings out Tamara and Greg, who apparently DO have ways for killing magical creatures, including skeleton things that live under libraries.

Regina takes a step back and proceeds to produce a fireball or something, but her magic is gone.

*cough* bracelet *cough*

David, Mary Margaret, and Leroy check on the magic bean field and see that all of the plants have been destroyed.

Mary Margaret actually says, “Who would do this?”

Seriously? She has no idea?

The Evil Queen arrives at Rumpelstiltskin's castle very angry. She finally understands the people will never love her, but that's just fine because instead of revenge she also wants to punish everyone.

Regina realizes her mother's cuff is to blame. Greg tells her inside the bracelet is the toughest metals known to man, working like little machines to stop any of her magic from working.


He also tells Regina he's not only looking for his father, but has a greater mission. A mission so great it's super in the writer's haven't figured it out yet.

Stuff I Like About This Episode.

#1. Lots of stuff happened.

#2. Hook was in a lot of scenes.

#3. We were spared a make out scene with Mr. Gold and Lacey.

Stuff I Didn't Like About This Episode

#1. Snow White's eyebrows.

#2. Henry accepts things waaay too easily.

#3. David's stupid plan.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Once Upon A Time, Season 2, Episode 19 “Lacey"

Or better title “Racy Lacey is so Spacey"

"I wish I had a normal family."
Henry has a birthday!

Is this the part where Hagrid shows up?

Mr. Gold offers him anything in his shop. Henry chooses a wand.

*cough Harry Potter cough*
Mr. Gold takes the wand and turns Henry into a statue, then smashes him with his cane. He yells something about fulfilling a prophecy about how he will be the boys undoing.

If this sounds familiar it's because the chick with no eyes told him in this episode.

Mr. Gold wakes up in a cold sweat.

Phew. No worries peeps, it was just a dream, but it reminds us Mr. Gold has some issues to still be worked out.

Henry and Neil play sword fighting as Mr. Gold watches from a safe distance. Regina shows up and he drops the bomb that Henry's biological dad is Mr. Gold's son.

She calls him out saying he rigged it from the whole start (duh!) since he's the one who brought Henry to Regina in the first place.

Dear ABC,

How did he do this? He couldn't leave Storybrooke?

Regina reminds him that he will never be the Grandpa he strives to be since he has that heart of darkness and all that.

Mr. Gold shows up at the hospital to visit Belle.

Dear ABC,

Why is the amnesiac still in the hospital?

But Belle has come to an understanding that Mr. Gold must have obviously been an important part of her life because she can tell he's been hurt.


She asks him if he can help her remember who she is...or was. Then he asks her to help bring the good out in him again. She smiles and says, “We can help each other.”

Rumpelstiltskin visits Belle in the dungeon of his castle. He complains that her constant crying is making it hard for him to spin gold. They trade snide remarks like the beginning of any good romantic comedy, but they're interrupted by the sound of shattering glass.


A man with a quiver of arrows is stealing some of his valuable possessions. Belle hides in the corner like any good prisoner and watches as the dude who is obviously Robin Hood ignores Rumpelstiltskin's warning and pockets a wand, then tries to kill him with a magical arrow.

An arrow that always finds it mark.

Remember that, okay? I think it might be important.

But Rumpelstiltskin is too smart and he tells Robin Hood all magic comes at a price.

Belle sits in her hospital bed and starts to pack her bag, eager to get her memory back. Regina shows up and introduces herself as the mayor and wanted to make sure she was okay.

Regina pretends to pick up a match book off the floor and asks Belle if she dropped it. Belle looks at it closely and her eyes light up!

“I think I remember who I am,” she says excitedly.

I'm guessing someone who is easily fooled by stupid tricks.

Greg shows Tamara a map of all the places he's seen magic in Storybrooke. They talk about a secret package that she's hidden just outside town limits, and her plan to bring it to him tonight.

*cough Shameless cliffhanger cough*

Dear ABC,

Why didn't she just bring it with her?

Mary Margaret and David promise Emma they have a big surprise for her.

I'm guessing it would have to be pretty amazing to surprise her.

They walk through an invisible barrier and she sees the magic beans are growing! It will be harvest time soon...or whenever it's convenient for the plot.

Emma is unsure, but Mary Margaret and David try to woo her with images of castles and happily ever afters.

Mr. Gold arrives at the hospital but Belle is gone. All that is left is the match book.

Dear ABC,

If the matchbook was the only clue Belle had to go on, wouldn't she have taken it with her?

Mr. Gold goes to the address on the matchbook, the local bar called The Rabbit Hole.

It would totally make my day if the Mad Hatter was the bartender.

Boo! No Mad Hatter. Instead Mr. Gold grills the dude behind the bar about Belle. The bar keep says that description only fits one girl, and her name is Lacey.


We see Belle scantily dressed in black lace and tight jeans while playing pool and doing shooters with one of the dwarfs.

Seriously, I did not make that up.

Dear ABC,

Why isn't he tending the bean stalk?

She lets Mr. Gold know that she's remembered she's Lacey, and to stop calling her Belle.

Back in Rumpelstiltskin's castle Robin Hood is suffering a gruesome torture of being skinned alive. Except when Belle helps him escape, he only looks like he was in a hockey fight. He asks her to go with him, but she declines siting a promise to serve Rumpelstiltskin so that he may keep her people and her kingdom safe.

Mr. Gold pays Regina a visit and he's super mad that she gave his only girlfriend memories of Joan Jett. She tells him the curse prevents Belle from ever being herself again.

Mr. Gold says there's always a way. How about true love's kiss? Regina reminds him he's creepy/has bad teeth/is wrinkly/skinny and short. Belle's way too cute to be in his league.

Mr. Gold goes to David and asks for romantic advice.


He convinces David to spill the secret to true love by reminding him that he will owe him a favor. And a favor from Mr. Gold is as good as landing on Free Parking in Monopoly.

David leans in close and gives up the big secret that will help Mr. Gold make Belle fall in love with him...or something like that. David says all Mr. Gold needs to do is show Belle the man she fell in love with.

Dear ABC,

That's it?!

Rumpelstiltskin sharpens his knife in front of Belle preparing to finish skinning Robin Hood. When he realizes the prisoner is gone Mr. Gold is so mad at Belle he makes the book she's reading disappear.

Oh! How horrible!

Mr. Gold tells Belle she was tricked and the camera pans back so that we see the wand is missing.

Dear ABC,

Rumpelstiltskin was just standing there three seconds ago. Why didn't he notice it was gone?

Belle insists she can see good in Robin Hood, and that you can't tell what's in a person's heart until you truly know them.

She didn't know Robin Hood, though.

Rumpelstiltskin forces Belle to go with him as he hunts down Robin Hood so she can watch his death and know she's responsible.

Um...actually I think the skinned alive thing would have killed him anyway, so that doesn't make sense.

Lacey (you know, Belle-Gone-Wild) is doing Tequila shots at the bar. Mr. Gold and David show up and by the time they make it to the bar, she's on rye. David tries to coach him on how to pick up chicks.

Lacey slinks up to Mr. Gold and says she's heard the whole town is afraid of him. But he says that's just silly rumors. She says okay and makes plans to meet up with him at Granny's that night.


Regina finds Emma on the waterfront and blasts her about keeping Henry's father a secret. Emma barely lifts an eyebrow and tells Regina she should keep her nose out of everyone's business and be the mother Henry wants her to be or else...nothing.

But Regina isn't buying it and she's going to find out what Emma is keeping secret.

Maybe it's a package at the edge of town?

Or, sorry that's Greg and Tamara's storyline.

Lacey meets Mr. Gold and she's surprised he's so charming for a ruthless dictator she's been hearing about. Then she drops this bomb, “You can't tell what's in a person's heart until you truly know them.” Mr. Gold is so excited, he spills his wine. Lacey laughs and runs to the bathroom to clean up.

Rumpelstiltskin and Belle are in a carriage looking for Robin Hood and basically have the same conversation they just had at Granny's. There's good in your heart...blah, blah, blah. They come across a drunken Sheriff of Nottingham.

He knows where Robin Hood is but asks to have Belle for some fun times as trade. Rumpelstiltskin decides to answer this by removing the Sheriff's tongue until he agrees to tell him the whereabouts of Robin Hood.

Mr. Gold checks his watch and notices Belle has been in the bathroom a long time. He discovers she's gone out the back and ditched him.

                                           Robin  Hood and Maid Marion, not exactly as shown.

Rumpelstiltskin and Belle come across Robin Hood. They argue about good hearts and making examples of people who steal from the Dark One. Belle insists they should let him go as they watch him use the magic wand to cure a sick woman.

He forces Belle to watch as he draws back the bow. The woman stands and we see she's pregnant. Belle pleads that he wouldn't let a child grow up without a father.

Rumpelstiltskin fires the arrow and it hits the wagon. Robin Hood and a very pregnant Maid Marion escape. Belle looks smug. He says he missed, but she reminds him the arrow is magic and it always hits it's target.

He meant to hit the wagon!

Mr. Gold limps through the darkened streets of Storybrooke and finds Lacey up against a wall reuniting with the Sheriff of Nottingham...or rather Naughty-ham.

Mr. Gold easily scares him off, but a very unsatisfied Lacey confesses that she only agreed to go out with his wrinkly, crooked toothed, limpy, skinny, stringy haired self because she was being nice.

Hey, we've all been thinking the same thing, right?

David lets out a pickup full of dwarfs right outside Granny's. Regina watches him drive away and casts a spell on the road. A green neon trail leads her to the magic bean plantation.

The Sheriff finds Mr. Gold and profusely apologizes for making out with his date. Mr. Gold is jilted and decides to skewer the Sheriff with his cane.

Rumpelstiltskin and Belle arrive back at the castle. He shows her a new room—his LIBRARY! He pretends he wants her to clean it but we all know it's because he DOES have good in his heart.

                                             Rumpelstiltskin and Belle, not exactly as shown.

Meanwhile back in Storybrooke, Mr. Gold is beating the drunken Sheriff like he's a bowl of meringue. Lacey shows up and surprises Mr. Gold in mid-swing. And she's into it. Seeing him go all ballistic is her cup of tea. She likes the Dark One and his dark, dark ways.


Neil shows up at Emma's with a very sleepy Henry. They put him to bed and talk about how weird it is that August is now a little kid. Emma brings up the warning he tried to give before he went junior. Who was he trying to warn them about, she wonders.

Greg meets Tamara at the edge of town and she shows him the 'secret package'. She opens up the back of a U-haul and we see Hook bound and gagged.

Stuff I Liked About This Episode

#1. Hook showed up.

#2. Belle finally made it out of the hospital.

#3. David didn't have many lines.

Stuff I Didn't Like About This Episode.

#1. Mary Margaret's eyebrows were way too heavy.

#2. Why did they think the Blue Fairy's invisible shield was stronger magic than Regina's?

#3. They brought back the wrong Sheriff.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Are You Still A Hunger Games Junkie?

Did you see the trailer for Catching Fire?!?!

Of course you did. Why else would you click on a blog post titled, "Are You Still A Hunger Games Junkie?" if you weren't?

If you haven't taken the original Hunger Games Junkie quiz, you should click here.

Okay, now you're ready for the next step.

You're STILL a Hunger Games Junkie if...

#1. You've done this to all of your t-shirts.

#2. You refer to your neighborhood as the secret district 14 (even more secret than district 13. Shhh).

#3. You cheer everytime Katniss kisses Gale, even though you're rooting for Peeta.

#4. The scary bagpipe music has made you leery of any Scottish holiday festivals.

#5. Donald Sutherland's beard is the stuff of your nightmares.

#6. You set your alarm for 5 AM, in order to have enough time to braid your hair like this.

#7. You've forgotten all about that sparkly vampire dude that you wanted to marry and have vampire babies with.

#8. You re-read the entire series and try to ignore the bits the movie gets wrong.

#9. You go 'aw' when you see little yellow flowers growing in the ditch and immediately get an appetite for homemade bread.

#10. You've started building a time machine with the sole purpose of making it November 22 sooner.

If you said yes to any two of these questions, congratulations! You're STILL a Hunger Games Junkie and in the company of a lot of cool people.

See you in the line up!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Top 5 Plot Holes on "Once Upon A Time"

Is it any wonder that the creators of LOST have us once again scratching our heads? But the 'write as we go' method seems to be working out, partly because the first season was so good that we're already invested in the characters...and some of us are still hoping a certain Sheriff will return permanently *ahem.*

However, there are some plot holes that are too glaringly ridiculous to ignore.

#1. If Regina is the daughter of Cora and a Prince, she would already be royalty. So why did Cora plan and execute an elaborate plan (ie: kill another Queen, spook little Snow White's horse etc...) when Regina was already set to inherit a kingdom?

#2. Where did the "Once Upon A Time" story book come from? Mary Margaret gave the book to Henry, but where did she find it?

#3. How did Hook find Neil's apartment so easily? He just happened to defy the laws of physics and sail to New York from Maine in a day? And then he just happened to find Mr. Gold in a city of over eight million people?

What does he have to say for himself?

#4. What is up with Tamara and her super powerful tazer? How can she electrocute and kill a man made of wood? Shouldn't she have set August on fire instead?

#5. So August abandoned baby Emma, then traveled the world for the next twenty-eight years until he ended up in Hong Kong? Did he forget all about the curse until he started to turn to wood?

BONUS! If no one could enter or leave Storybrooke, how did Henry ever manage to get adopted by Regina?

What plot holes drive you crazy about Once Upon A Time?

Monday, 1 April 2013

The Other Face of Rejection

 Being on submission is like being at the high school dance, standing all alone by the punch bowl, praying the cute guy will cross the gym floor and ask you to dance.

Getting rejections is when that same cute guy crosses the gym floor and asks the girl next to you—and then you have to hold her purse and watch as they fall in love.

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

"...just not right for me." 

"I didn't connect with the main character the way I had hoped."

"I'm not sure how we can make this stand out in our current list."

I am an unpublished writer trying to get my YA contemporary coming of age story noticed. It seems like there isn't even ONE editor on the planet who is willing to take a chance on me.

But I know I'm not alone. I read somewhere that only 2% of manuscripts get published. That means for every hundred novels an editor reads, they'll only pick two.

EGAD!!! I can't imagine having a job where I do 98% of the work for FREE.

I love my job. I'm a Nurse and it's very fulfilling, but I wouldn't do it for free.

Editors, I now realize, aren't people who start the day rubbing their palms together wondering which writer's dreams they shatter with a form rejection.

Editors are people who are SO in love with words that they're willing to slog through ninety-eight novels (think of the paper cuts!) not driven by a salary, but by the HOPE that they'll find a story to fall in love. Otherwise, what's the point?

So, while you're leaning against the refreshment table, trying to make googly eyes at the cute guy across the gym, remember he's looking to fall in love too.

I raise my glass to all the love connections that will happen this year. I hope you're one of them—and me too.

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