Once Upon a Time: In the Name of the Brother (212)

This episode ties in to “The Doctor.”  But since I don’t remember much about that episode, pardon me while I go and read Cindy McClennan’s recap at Television Without Pity.

[While we’re pausing, I want to say I might have given this episode 3 (out of 4) stars, but all the plot holes and conveniences made me kind of nuts.]

Ok, I’m back.  I remembered Dr. Whale ranting something about his brother in “The Doctor,” and I’m sure I wasn’t alone in thinking he was trying to bring his brother back to life.  We got our answer, and we were right.  Sort of.

This episode gets 3 stars.Except that Gerhardt Frankenstein is alive when the episode begins.  He’s the younger brother, but he’s also his father’s favorite.  Hey, another episode about the problem with fathers.  That makes three in one week.  Dad cuts off all Viktor’s funding for his experiments, but Rumpelstiltskin comes to the rescue with a bag full of gold. Geez, Rumpel has his fingers in a lot of pies.  First, he tricked Regina into casting the curse; and here he’s talked Frankenstein into reanimating the dead.  [The Frankenstein scenes are in black and white, except for Rumpel in his red cape and “rosy complexion,” and the bag of gold he lays at Viktor’s feet.  Nice touch, even if it is a monster-movie trope.  I think I shall call this land Black & White Land, since it’s not Fairy Tale Land.]

Dr. Viktor Frankenstein has a brother.

The Frankenstein brothers—in color

Viktor’s digging up a body for his latest & greatest experiment when Gerhardt stops by to disapprove.  Their conversation’s interrupted by a policeman with a shot gun.  The Frankenstein brothers make their get-away, but Gerhardt is shot.  Then dies.  Well, at least now Viktor has a body.  Back at the lab, Viktor tries to shock his brother back to life,  but ends up frying the heart.  So this is where Frankenstein visits Fairy Tale Land to get a magic heart that glows.

The magic heart does the trick.  But Gerhardt is a monster.  Probably because he has all these stitches all over his body, even though this “Frankenstein” wasn’t pieced together (other than the heart).  Gerhardt kills his father and attacks Viktor.  But he stops when he recognizes his brother.  Viktor’s going to put him out of his misery (Gerhardt concurs) but he can’t go through with it.  Does this mean Gerhardt is still “alive” back in Black & White Land?  Perhaps “animate” is a better word.

In Storybrooke, an outsider has driven into the city limits, hitting Captain Hook and crashing into a tree.  Oh yeah, and Belle fell over the city line when Hook shot her, and lost her memory.  Lots of aftermath to discuss.

Hook isn’t dead.  He has broken ribs but he’ll live.  He’s handcuffed to the hospital bed, but is still able to flirt shamelessly with Emma.  Fortunately, she’s not falling for  his bullshit again.  Which is the smartest thing she does in this episode.

Belle doesn't remember Mr. Gold or herself.

Who is the crazy person? And why is he invading my personal space?

Gold tries all sorts of things to help Belle remember—magically healing her, kissing her, showing her the chipped tea cup—but all he does is scare the bejeezus out of her and make her believe he’s loony-tunes.  Bottom line, Rumpel goes evil again.  Like, threaten-to-kill-all-the-Charmings evil.

The driver (named Greg Mendell, for whatever reason) is unconscious and bleeding into his chest.  The townsfolk are at odds whether to save him or not.  Compassion finally wins, but Storybrooke’s only doctor, i.e., Dr. Whale, is 1) drunk, and 2) full of self-doubt remembering his failed Gerhardt experiment.  He runs away, but Ruby and her wolf nose find him.  They have a nice monster-to-monster chat.  He says he wanted his name to stand for life, but everyone just thinks it’s the name of a monster.  (He’s right.  Even Emma thinks the doctor is the one with the neck bolts.  Henry sets her straight.)  Ruby says she ate her boyfriend.

Ruby brings Whale back to the hospital.  He operates successfully.  That’s a bit of a blessing and a curse.  Sheriff Emma interviews Greg to see if he remembers anything, such as Gold’s fireball aimed at Hook.  He says no, he was texting.   Emma believes him, her spidey lie-detector sense apparently working only when it suits the plot.  We know Greg is lying because he calls someone and says she won’t believe what he saw.

Cora gives Gold a mysterious orb and wants to make a deal.  She’ll help him find his son if he’ll help her win back her daughter.  How can Gold help with Regina?  Just one of the many questions this episode raises.  Cora stops by Regina’s house, picks up a cherished memento, a cast hand print of Henry’s.   (Hey, Revenge also featured a cast hand print—of “little Carl,” one of the worst baby names of 2012).

Later we see Henry in the grave yard, going to Regina’s crypt and finding her secret hideaway under the casket.  Oh c’mon, Regina, even I know it’s Cora in disguise.    Regina lets Henry in.  I have to say Jared S. Gilmore is really good, mimicking Cora’s mannerisms to a tee.  Cora reveals herself, saying she’s sorry for everything, ad nauseum.   I don’t believe her, but I’m not Regina.  Cora plays on Regina’s vulnerabilities until Regina caves.  The two team up to get Henry back.  Uh-oh.  That can’t be good.

Gold uses Cora’s mysterious orb, which turns into a mysterious globe when given a drop of blood.  Baelfire’s presence highlighted, and it appears he’s in Virginia Beach.  Gold calls in a favor with Emma, saying she’s to accompany him on his quest outside Storybrooke.  Why?  Perhaps to be his interpreter for such things as airport security scanners and subway turnstiles?  (Like Harry Potter with the Weasley’s.)  He then says tells the Charmings if any harm comes to Belle, he’ll kill them all.  Why the hell would any of the Charmings harm Belle?   Oh, whatever.

And it only took me 3 viewings to catch the “knowing” Dr.  Whale reference.  You know, where Mary Margaret retorts,  “It’s not weird.  We’re past it.  We were cursed.”  In front of Henry, not less.  Hee.

[Photos by Jack Rowland © 2013 ABC]

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3 responses to “Once Upon a Time: In the Name of the Brother (212)

  1. I’d love to hear more about why you rated the episode a 2 out of 4. For most Once episodes I’d tend to agree, but I think “In the Name of the Brother” was an especially good episode, probably in part due to my partiality to the writer, Jane Espenson, because I may have been more focused on the characters and dialogue than the plot holes this time around. I’d love to hear more of your thoughts!

    • I was going to give it 3 stars, but as I was writing the review, I noticed there seemed to be some inconsistencies and questions raised. A lot of it had to do with all the stitches Gerhardt had. Even at the beginning, before Viktor replaced his heart, he had a big cut on his chest. Then, once he was reanimated, he was full of stitches. The original Frankenstein had all the stitches because he was pieced together from many different corpses, but Gerhardt was a complete body. That’s not the writer’s fault, but makeup and the director went a little overboard.

      Then there’s Emma’s lie detector sense, that seems to come and go as the plot calls for it. And I really didn’t get why Cora needed Gold’s help to find her daughter. She seemed to do fine all on her own. And why didn’t Regina realize the Henry really was Cora? Henry doesn’t know about her crypt and secret hiding place does he?

      But yes, overall, it was a decent episode. Except for those places that didn’t make sense to me. 🙂

      • You definitely bring up some good points. The thing that irritated me the most was Emma’s apparently malfunctioning lie detector ability. But in all honesty, I think that’s kind of a silly power for her to have anyway, so I wouldn’t be too disappointed if they just sort of…let that idea fall by the wayside.

        The show as a whole is definitely filled with inconsistencies. Maybe I’ve become too desensitized to it!

        Thanks for getting back to me!

        -MQ

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