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Once Upon a Time Review: The World Comes to Storybrooke

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Belle was terrified; Rumple's heart was broken ;and Cora returned to cause more havoc.

But "In the Name of the Brother" may have found Storybrooke's worst trouble yet in the eyes of a stranger.

Belle and Mary Margaret

Back in the Fairy Tale World… First off, Henry was right. Dr. Frankenstein's Monster is not a fairy tale. I've always considered it more of a horror story. I know some will disagree, but I've never been thrilled that they've incorporated this story into the show.

The one I felt true sorrow for was Dr. Frankenstein's brother. All Gerhardt did was try to help his sibling. For his trouble he was shot, turned into a monster and even when he begged to be put out of his misery his brother turned him down. I couldn't quite be sure if he swore to save him out of love, hope or ego.

In Storybrooke, our favorite characters contemplated murder. Even though Dr. Whale was happy to let them off the hook and say that letting the stranger (aka Greg) succumb to his injuries was not technically murder, it sure sounded close enough to it to make me cringe.

But I loved the conversation about what letting Greg go could bring to Storybrooke. Rumple worried that tour buses looking for magic would suddenly be riding down main street and Leroy worried that they'd be inundated with fearful onlookers causing trouble like in movies E.T. and Splash.

Of course having your surgeon drinking while on shift could have been enough to off the poor guy without even trying.

Greg wasn't the only accident victim. Hook was laid up with broken ribs after getting punted by that car. He tried to sound cocky and in control even while flat on his back but Emma was quick to point out the flaws in his logic in this great Once Upon a Time quote

        Keep smiling buddy. You're chained down. He's on his feet, immortal, has magic, and you hurt his girl. If I were to pick dead guy of the year. I'd pick you. | permalink

So very true. I was surprised Rumple hadn't found a way to get to Hook despite the guarded room but he did have other things on his mind.

Belle was terrified... of her one true love and that broke Rumple's heart. Nothing was sadder than seeing her shatter their beloved tea cup that started it all. 

Cora showing her face made for some scenes that made me shiver. First, she was much too humble when she approached Rumple and simpered, "I only know what you taught me." Then watching her snoop through Regina's home and sniff her clothes was just weird. 

I really thought that was Henry searching for him mother and had no doubt that Regina would open the door for him. For all she's done, she truly loves her son.  Unfortunately, Cora's a quick study. It only took one little hand print ornament to tell her how to get inside Regina's heart.

I was proud of Regina for standing up for the townspeople and realizing that Cora's frame up was air tight. Why wouldn't they believe it?

But Cora was quick to play on Regina's insecurities and fear of Emma stealing Henry away from her forever. I can only hope Regina is smart enough to realize her mother is manipulating her once again.

This episode gave us lots of wonderful small moments…

  • Any idea that starts with we just need a body, is almost always a bad one.
  • Ruby telling Whale, how Regina underestimated "how much crap we wanted to forget."
  • Mary Margaret uttering "Has anyone noticed he's drunk off his ass?"  
  • Star Wars finding it's way to Storybrooke…in the form of a ringtone.

As Emma takes off with Rumple to find Baelfire, can anyone help Belle regain her memories?  Will Cora actually confess about "killing" Archie and how will Henry factor in to her evil plan? And now that the word about magic is out there, will Storybrooke ever be the same?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (123 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Part 4.
cont. 7) Preston in Can't Hardly Wait/aspiring writer joining a workshop with Sci-Fi writer Kurt Vonnegut; and Greg in and out of restaurants tweeting about food/restaurants. 8) The name Greg Mendell is a nod to the father of genetics, Gregor Mendel. Genetics meaning creation/heredity/genesis. Is the writer of the Henry's book not the creator of all fairy tale characters that resided in his version of their stories? In 2x12, In the Name of the Brother, Greg is quick to deny seeing anything as Emma questions him. He's uneasy, frightened and would rather be charged for driving/texting than to admit he saw magic. During his telephone call to HER, he says: "You're not going to believe what I saw!" He realized that 3 characters from his book were actually alive.

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5) In Can't Hardly Wait, we have characters who are called: Watermelon Guy, Stoned Guy, Crying Drunk Girl, Girl Whose Party It Is, Headbanger, Hippie Girl, Yearbook Girl, Reminiscing Guy, etc. Amanda, who is the girl Preston (Ethan) is so enamored with, it often referred to as HER, thus another nod to the name HER. 6) In the movie, we find out that Ethan's character Preston, is an aspiring writer who ends up leaving to go and join a workshop with true life, American Sci-Fi writer, Kurt Vonnegut. More nods to a Sci-Fi writer. 7) On Greg Mendell's phone we see many pictures of him dining out along with a picture of a seafood menu, while standing outside the restaurant. He tends to tweet about his dining experiences and travel quite a bit. This leads me to believe that he is making a living writing as a food critic or writing a travelers guide. This is the third clue pointing to him being a writer. We have nods to George Lucas, a Sci-Fi writer; Preston in Can't Hardly Wait/aspiring writer joining a workshop with Sci-Fi writer Kurt Vonnegut; and Greg in and out of restaurants tweeting about food/restaurants.

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Part 2
3) More nods to George Lucas and Sci-Fi. In episode 2x12, In the Name of the Brother, we see Star War references such as Greg's cell phone ringtone starts playing the Star Wars theme; his charger that Emma plugs into the phone has a huge star on it; and one of the hospital rooms is R2-42 (4th letter of the alpha. is D thus R2-D2). In a live blog, Jane Espenson said to remember that ring tone. 4) Ethan Embry's 1998 movie, Can't Hardly Wait, is a teenage cult movie. It propelled many young unknowns to the front lines. Seth Green, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Peter Facinelli to name a few. The story takes place at a high school graduate party somewhere in PENNSYLVANIA. So the plates are a nod to Ethan and his teen cult movie.

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I have a theory that Greg Mendell is the writer of Henry's book and creator of Storybrooke and all the characters within it. Clues that support this theory: 1) Greg's license plate was 2TFL138. George Lucas' first full feature film was THX1138. The numbers 1138 and 138 are quite often referenced in other Lucas' films. We see it numerous times in Star Wars movies and in American Graffiti where Milner's car is THX 138. 2) In THX1138, all the characters in this movie were given 7 digit full formal names consisten of 3 letters and 4 numbers. However, they were all called by their first three letters. Main characters were THX, SEN and LUH. When we see HER on Greg's phone, it is another shout out to the George Lucas movie. Not saying that HER isn't someone we may know and they don't want to give it away, just saying that's it's another nod to the writer and the movie. We also see a 4 digit numeric code (1670) that Emma enters. Another nod to the 4 numbers 1138. 3) More nods to George Lucas and Sci-Fi. In episode 2x12, In the Name of the Brother, we see Star War references such as Greg's cell phone ringtone starts playing the Star Wars theme; his charger that Emma plugs into the phone has a huge star on it; and one of the hospital rooms is R2-42 (4th letter of the alpha. is D thus R2-D2). In a live blog, Jane Espenson said to remember that ring tone. 4) Ethan Embry's 1998 movie, Can't Hardly Wait, is a teenage cult movie. It propelled many young unknowns to the front lines. Seth Green, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Peter Facinelli to name a few. The story takes place at a high school graduate party somewhere in PENNSYLVANIA. So the plates are a nod to Ethan and his teen cult movie. 5) In Can't Hardly Wait, we have characters who are called: Watermelon Guy, Stoned Guy, Crying Drunk Girl, Girl Whose Party It Is, Headbanger, Hippie Girl, Yearbook Girl, Reminiscing Guy, etc. Amanda, who is the girl Preston (Ethan) is so enamored with, it often referred to as HER, thus another nod to the name HER. 6) In the movie, we find out that Ethan's character Preston, is an aspiring writer who ends up leaving to go and join a workshop with true life, American Sci-Fi writer, Kurt Vonnegut. More nods to a Sci-Fi writer. 7) On Greg Mendell's phone we see many pictures of him dining out along with a picture of a seafood menu, while standing outside the restaurant. He tends to tweet about his dining experiences and travel quite a bit. This leads me to believe that he is making a living writing as a food critic or writing a travelers guide. This is the third clue pointing to him being a writer. We have nods to George Lucas, a Sci-Fi writer; Preston in Can't Hardly Wait/aspiring writer joining a workshop with Sci-Fi writer Kurt Vonnegut; and Greg in and out of restaurants tweeting about food/restaurants. 8) The name Greg Mendell is a nod to the father of genetics, Gregor Mendel. Genetics meaning creation/heredity/genesis. Is the writer of the Henry's book not the creator of all fairy tale characters that resided in his version of their stories? In 2x12, In the Name of the Brother, Greg is quick to deny seeing anything as Emma questions him. He seems uneasy and frightened. He would rather be charged for driving and texting than to admit he saw magic. Later, during his telephone phone to call to HER, he says: "You're not going to believe what I saw!" I believe that he was frightened and very much on guard. I think they showed us his OMG moment when he realized that 3 characters from a fantasy book he had written, called Once Upon a Time, were actually alive. When we put everything together, all the nods to Sci-Fi writers and to the father of genetics/creation, we have the writer of Henry's book.

Ace

Given the new information of how Cora and Rumple used to "seal" their agreements, it wouldn't surprise me if Regina ended up being Rumple's daughter and Bael's half-sister.

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how do I delete this account I'd rather comment as a guest. Would someone please help me, I'm so frustrated!

Tvgarth

Let's face it, Cora is up to no good. She wouldn't know "good" if it hit her in the face...and I wish somebody would! No..she will never fess up to framing her own daughter and all of Storybrooke is simply much too blase about what the stranger saw or did not; regardless, they should be taking every precaution "just in case." But alas, I suppose that IS the show and we shall see what becomes of them in the future as the world looks on. I, too, wonder how on earth anyone could deliver that line-"I ate my boyfriend"-with a straight face but the humor has become yet another interesting and FUN character in the show. Kudos to the writers and I'd like to see even more fairy tale characters show up, even if it's only a cameo appearance. Keep this juggernaut moving along...but be clever about it!

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Not a fave episode for me...but I love their lines! Writing for this show must be a blast! Fave lines... Red: "you're Frankenstein & I'm the werewolf...I ate my boyfriend..."(how did she say that with a straight face???). Regina: "Let's go wake them up, Emma, Henry and the two idiots." Regina is my fave hands down!! They need to quit dumbing down Snow, Charming & Emma...they are going from awesome characters to barely tolerated characters. I was impressed with Emma standing up for Regina but that was short-lived once she looked thru the dream catcher at the doggie memories. Emma is best when she trusts her gut & goes with it...don't take that away from this character. Since the beginning I've wondered how they can keep this material interesting without getting too bizarre...this episode brings that worry back. I hope they get back on track. I like the expanded roles of Red and Grumpy....find a way to use them more, please!

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I freaking love this show! I can't believe that no one in Storybrooke would think that Greg would actually lie about what he saw. The minute Emma started talking to him, I knew that he had seen"something".

Chrys

This probably wasn't the greatest episode...I was very excited in the prospect that we would get to explore a whole other land except for the two established ones but in the end Dr. Whale's backstory didn't work for me.
Also i'm getting extremely frustraded with how Emma's ''power'' is depicted. Has she ever been right? The one reason she got to stay in Storybrooke was because she asked Regina if she loved Henry and according to Emma's radar she lied when she said yes. Well...We can see now that she was obviously not lying.
Maybe she has guessed a few right...but never the ones that matter. Need i remember the fiasco with Sydney? Anyway...i'll just show good faith for now and accept that she might have 2nd thoughts about the stranger but doesn't want to share them with the others.
I am very worried that it will be now that Emma and Rumpel left from Storybrooke that Neil will come to find her.But really... What's taking him so long!

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