Why I Watch: Once Upon A Time

While this Sunday eve marks the end of the weekend, it also brings us another episode of my favorite freshman drama, Once Upon A Time. Blending classical fairy tale characters with contemporary storytelling, OUAT quickly became my LOST substitute. Don’t worry 815 survivors, I said substitute. Not replacement.

So before tonight’s episode, I thought I’d get out what questions/wild theories I have and holy Smoke Monster, Batman, it feels good to have them again. Be warned my friends: all sentences henceforth reserve the right to be spoilerific so if you aren’t caught up, tread carefully.

Much like our favorite Island show, we have been treated to two narratives: a complex story unfolding in real time and a series of flashbacks that flesh out the characters and mythology of OUAT. And while creators and LOST writing alums Edward Kitsis and Adam Horrowitz have just begun to explore the world(s) they created, visions of cliffhangers and grand finales already dance in my head.

Here are a few of the blue fairies that have been buzzing around my bonnet:

Rumpy & The Queen: “Only one knows the truth…” promises the show’s opening sequence. I don’t buy it. At first I didn’t even buy that Regina (The Evil Queen) fully knew what was going on. After all, she got the curse from Rumplestiltskin back in the Enchanted Forest. Any doubt I had about Regina’s knowledge melted faster than Elfaba in a shower when she threw the final shard of Snow’s glass coffin down one of Storybrooke’s mine shafts (1×05).

A trickier question is how much does Mr. Gold know? His alter-ego Rumplestiltskin has certainly meddled in more lives of of our fairy tale friends than the Queen. Yes technically she meddled with every life when she cast the curse but Rumpy’s slithery brand of sinister is much more personal. Let’s not forget the deals our favorite Imp made with Snow and Queenie. In exchange for knowledge of the curse, Snow gave him the name of her then-unborn child while The Queen received curse instructions, promising him a powerful life in the new world about to be spawned.

Also he made her swear she’d do anything he said simply by saying “please.” Not only was Mr. Gold ominously fascinated with Emma’s name upon meeting her, the look in his eyes when he forced Regina’s with that simple, polite word will was chilling. Cards on the table: I think Mr. Gold knows exactly what’s going on. He gave Regina the curse, he knows everyone’s dirty secrets in both worlds–he knows. My question: what is his endgame?

The Book: Henry, Emma’s biological son and the adoptive son of Regina, set everything in motion when he shared with his bio-mom a bedtime story. Mary Margaret (Snow White and Emma’s mother) gave the book to Henry, hoping to inspire his imagination and make his crappy home life stink a little less. Here’s the thing: where did what is basically the annotated history of the Enchanted Forest come from? If the Queen was for realsies when she got all curse-happy, how did a full account of her dirty work survive the magic? I didn’t have a theory until last week’s episode, “7:15 A.M.”

Mr. Write: “Someone’s in town. Someone new.” My theory about the book involves Storybrooke’s newest drifter. What’s that, you say? Strangers don’t come to Storybrooke? That was definitely Regina’s understanding until Mr. Leather Jacket rolled into town. First of all, it’s totally against the laws of the curse. Emma is the exception because it has been prophesied she’d return to break the curse; what’s this guy’s excuse? More intriguing than his sudden appearance is the fact that he is a Writer. A Writer with “something to do,” he claims. I capitalize not because I’m full of myself but because my impulse theory is that this guy will turn out to be a Jacob-esque “Creator” character. Maybe he wrote the original book that has come into Henry’s possession. Maybe Emma needed to weaken the curse so Mr. Writer Guy could enter Storybrooke and conceive new happy endings for all of the characters. Regardless of how radically right or (most likely) wrong these ramblings are, there is no doubt this character’s arrival will shake up things for the series. Cue the show’s signature dum dum dum dumm dummmm

"I find this place provides inspiration. Don't you?"

As you can see, I had no chance when this show premiered. It’s so good to have a series that you can theorize about where things are going, that you can see little pieces scattered throughout. And you know these pieces will eventually form a picture but you can’t help but try to arrange them yourself. I’m hooked on Once Upon A Time and I’ll keep watching until the inevitable “THE END” captions flash across the screen. Be sure to watch tonight’s episode and check back in a day or two for a recap and a fresh batch of theories/questions.

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3 Responses to “Why I Watch: Once Upon A Time”

  1. This last episode has me thinking – I wonder what hand Sidney/Magic Mirror (aka Gus Fring, obviously, haha) will have in upsetting the balance between the two. Because for him, life in Storybrooke is better than life in the storybook. He’s not trapped in the mirror (too soon for a Man in the Mirror joke?) there, and is thus so much more invested in staying in Storybrooke, as we see with his partnership with Regina. Can’t wait to see what happens!

  2. Great theory!

  3. I AM LOVING ONCE UPON A TIME. I didn’t even think of the new guy being The Writer!! Brilliant. I love it all.

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