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Monday, December 5, 2011

Once Upon a Time - The Shepherd

Prince Charming/David Nolan takes center stage after his release from the hospital. Henry informs us that the curse isn’t working on him yet. Because of his amnesia, he can’t remember his Enchanted Forest life, but the false Storybrooke memories aren’t there either. Emma’s appearance blocks them for the time being. Can he lose his amnesia and figure out who he is before Regina’s curse can sink in? No. Because it’s this show, and they aren’t giving us the happy endings anytime soon. One of us is bummed by this tradition (as is a commenter) and the other of us is fine with it. As long as good wins out EVENTUALLY, and it will, it's fine.

Regina and Kathryn bond at David’s homecoming party. Kathryn states that she is Regina’s friend, whether Regina likes it or not. As ominous as this is, we were a little happy. Regina needs a friend. We know we are supposed to feel bad for her a little bit. It’s going to be harder after this episode though. David ditches his homecoming party to find Mary Margaret. Mary Margaret gives us one of the best lines of the episode when David says, “Don’t tell me this is one-sided.” She says, “You’re married. It should be no-sided.” Ha. Mary Margaret can’t deny her feelings though, so she asks Emma for advice. Emma says that if you think something you want is wrong, it probably is. That's great advice.

The next day, David leaves Kathryn and tells Mary Margaret to make her decision. Swoon. We wouldn’t have been able to resist. He tells Mary Margaret to meet him at the toll bridge at eight at night if she wants to be with him. Emma tells Mary Margaret that David is fair game now, because he made a clear choice by leaving Kathryn. Umm, what happened to our family show? The ratings have been good partially because parents are watching it with their kids. It is a moral quandary. Is “clear choice” the highest law? Would it have been right for David and Mary Margaret to be together if things progressed as they expected?

The moral grey areas were sidestepped when David bumps into Regina. This sends him to Mr. Gold’s shop where he sees a windmill replica that once belonged to his Storybrooke self. This triggers the curse and David remembers loving and choosing Kathryn. He goes to Mary Margaret and says that while he has feelings for her and doesn’t know whether he loves Kathryn anymore, he has to honor his choice. He says it’s the right thing to do. Mary Margaret replies that the right thing to do would not involve leading her on in the first place. Word. So Kathryn is not really David’s wife, because all of his memories of her are fake and planted by the curse. He didn’t marry Kathryn and she didn’t marry him, although she thinks he did. There is no choice to honor, but our heroes don’t know that.

Mary Margaret goes to the diner to cry. Dr. Whale shows up to buy her a drink and be debonair and whatnot. Mary Margaret gives Dr. Whale another chance. This was probably smart of Mary Margaret, because it seems that Dr. Whale is the only available man in town. Even Sheriff Graham is taken…by Regina. Emma catches him sneaking out of Regina’s house and Emma is ticked. It’s pretty clear that Emma wanted Graham for herself. Understandable. All-in-all, sad goings-on in Storybrooke. Curvygirl will not be pleased.

In the fairytale world, we found out Prince Charming’s backstory, and it was interesting. It turns out the king and queen couldn’t bear children. Rumpelstiltskin made a deal with a farmer (to save the struggling farm) and took one of the farmer’s twin boys and gave it to the royal family. King George raised his fake prince, and the boy grew up to be a dragon slayer. The other twin grew up with his parents on the farm and his dad passed away after a few years, from guilt, apparently. The grown up prince dueled a brute and killed him to prove to King Midas, who was visiting King George’s kingdom, that he could kill a dragon ravaging Midas’s kingdom. In return, King Midas would save King George’s kingdom from financial ruin.

Yes, we did say King Midas. He isn’t really a fairy tale character, now is he? How do we feel about the inclusion of any kind of mythical character in this show? We’re not sure yet. It could provide an opportunity for more interesting characters and lesser-known stories. The prince seemed to kill the brute, saying, “Next time make sure I’m really dead.” Which makes no sense, because there would be no next time. BUT the brute wasn’t really dead and stabbed the prince in the back when Midas wasn’t looking. Take your own advice, prince dude. We were not sad that fake prince died, because, clearly, he was stupid.

King George (who is Alan Dale from LOST, Ugly Betty, and more) freaks out, because his deal with Midas includes a live son slaying the dragon. King George sends for Rumpelstiltskin, who is unable to speak without raising and moving his creepy hands most of the time. This actor might be having a little too much fun with the character. Rumpelstiltskin reveals that there is an identical twin somewhere on a poor farm that he can go fetch. Rumpelstiltskin goes to the other twin, who is a shepherd as well as a farmer, and persuades him to take the prince’s place. The farm is still failing, so the shepherd takes the job on. Also, he wants to save the kingdom as well, because he’s nice. From shepherd to royalty. It's all very "King David."

The shepherd (who is the real prince/David/guy who falls in love with Snow White, duh) goes with the king’s men to slay the dragon. The king’s men are told to kill the dragon themselves, because the new prince is untrained (and needs to stay alive). The prince is supposed to be the one to bring the dragon’s head to Midas. This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to us. If one of King George’s men slays the dragon, that should fulfill the deal, right? Because the shepherd turns out to be as brave as his dead brother and quite a bit smarter, he actually kills the dragon. With a sword and not a slingshot.

Midas is impressed and offers his daughter’s hand in marriage. She is the fairy-world version of Kathryn, and her name there is Abigail. She’s a way bigger jerk when she was raised as a princess. In Storybrooke, Kathryn is nice. Maybe. So far. The shepherd wants to marry for love and choose his own bride, but King George threatens the shepherd's mother. The shepherd agrees to the marriage and goes to say goodbye to his mother for the last time. We would have been sad, but that mom is a monster who gave away one of her children for money. So…yeah…we weren’t sad. Farm Momma gave the shepherd a ring and told him true love would always follow it.

The shepherd and Abigail set off to Midas’ kingdom where Snow White was ready to ambush them. And that’s how it all happened, we guess. We are miffed that, once again, we don’t know the prince’s fairytale name. James is a fake name. And we’re not calling anyone Prince Charming anymore. We’re annoyed that the Midas deal didn’t totally make sense. Why did it have to be a replacement prince? For the kingdom’s morale? Some sort of exposition was needed there. But, overall, we liked the prince's twisty backstory.

Episode grade: B


  1. Husband and I were commenting last night that we like the slight overacting of the Rumplestilskin guy. He walks a fine line of overacting and being in the full psychotic-ness of the character. I remember a cartoon when I was young that told the Rumplestilskin story and the cartoon Rumple was also very expressive with his hands. Perhaps the actor is drawing from this.

    Also, a lot of people who suffer from mental illness (depending on where they are on the DSM-IV) can be very expressive and overly animated. And if there is one truly crazy fairy tale character Rumplestilskin is it!

    As a sidenote, it might be fun to 'diagnose' each fairy tale character villian......

    Over all - yes the actor walks a fine line as his fairy tale self but then tones it back in his Storybrook self which, for me, makes his dual character one of the best in the show.

  2. Ha. We guess you have a point. We just find that it distracts us from what he is saying/we miss stuff. We'll just have to get used to it. We think the actor is perfectly cast/love him otherwise.

  3. I loved this episode. I loved the prince's backstory and I hope David and Mary Margaret end up together in the real world too :) And Rumplestiltskin is a very interesting character and love the way he is....he's so unique!

    Next week looks awesome!

    Also, first of all I would like to keep laughing for 10 minutes in honour of your new poll. LOL. Btw she DOES look like a horse ;) Sorry Ern!

  4. hahahaha.

    Next week is the midseason finale, right? It looks like the show is going to bring it.

  5. Midseason finale? Damn, I just checked on Wikipedia and you're right. What am I supposed to do for a whole month? Already we have no Vampire Diaries, Secret Circle, Ringer, White Collar, Community and Pretty Little Liars. And I'm guessing there won't be any new Revenge from next week. Sigh. Oh well I have my exams till Jan 6th so I guess it's a good thing...?

  6. Am I wrong or on Episode 4: The Price of Gold, Prince Charming had both a different father and a younger Brother who married Cinderella?!

  7. I don't know about the father, but I think the Prince who married Cinderella was from a different kingdom.