Let’s use this Oscar “holiday” to catch up on a couple of neglected episodes.
Wow. I hadn’t realized how little an impression the giant story from “Tallahassee” left on me until I looked back and saw I barely mentioned it. Was the giant’s name ever mentioned? Whatever, he returns and we get his back story, as well as his present-day Storybrooke tale. His name is Anton, but all the other giants (in the past, because he’s now the only one left) call him Tiny. Because, apparently, he is, compared to all the other giants. Living in the clouds with his giant family and ridiculed for his size and inquisitiveness, he becomes fascinated with the human world. So much so that he descends the beanstalk to see the other world.
Once there, he meets David Charming’s evil twin, Prince James, and James’s latest paramour Jacqueline, aka Jack. (Did you know garters and stockings were available in Fairy Tale Land? No? Me neither!) The two are sent by King George to trick Anton into taking them to Giant Land so they can steal both the giants’ gold and their magic beans.
James and Jack go to Giant Land. Jack kills all the giants except Anton with a poisonous sword. (Anton’s off scorching the bean fields.) When Jack stabs Olaf, the head giant, with her sword, he returns the favor. James leaves Jack to die as he absconds with the gold.
When Anton returns, having destroyed all the beans, Olaf entrusts him one last bean sprout, encased in a glass jar.
In present day, Anton is in Storybrooke. Cora shrunk him to human size, imprisoned him, and stowed him on Hook’s ship. When Anton sees David, he believes him to be James, and goes berserk. He reverts to giant size, terrorizes Storybrooke, falls in a hole, reverts back to human size, and is rescued by David (who’s figured out why Anton hates him).
Befriended, Anton reveals the bean cutting Olaf gave him. David, Snow, and the dwarfs decide to plant the bean sprout with thoughts of going home. With that, Anton is given a dwarf axe, which names him “Tiny,” and the dwarfs go to work tilling the field.
Elsewhere, Gold, Emma, and Henry head out into the real world. Gold loses his magic and is cowered by just about everything. And Belle, sans memory, is still freaked by Gold and his magic fireball thing. The outsider driver, still hanging around the Storybrooke hospital, comforts Belle by sharing that he also saw Gold wielding the fireball.
Actually, I’d probably give “Tiny”2½ stars if I gave out ½ stars. But I fast-forwarded through a lot of it upon first viewing. And I didn’t really enjoy James and Jack. Or the giants (other than Olaf) for that matter.
The most important—and most interesting—story in this episode took place in (surprise!) Manhattan, where Gold, Emma, and Henry venture to find Gold’s (aka Rumpelstiltskin’s) son Baelfire. Yet ABC has no photos. So, screencaps to the rescue!
But first let’s travel back to Fairy Tale Land, when Rumple was still good, married, and actually brave. He enlists in the army to fight the ogres, but meets up with a seer, a little girl whose eyes have been cut out of her head and sees with eyeballs in her hands. Yes, it’s as creepy as it sounds. She tells Rumple his wife is pregnant, but the son will grow up fatherless because of his actions on the battlefield. So Rumple hobbles himself to get out of the battle. He returns home to find he has a son, whom he names Baelfire, and a wife who’s disgusted with his cowardly actions.
I have to admit, I fast-forwarded through some of this part of the story, mainly because I can’t stand Milah. I think it’s a combination of the character, whom I have no sympathy for, and the actress (no sure if it’s because of the accent or her over-acting). Also, not a big fan of hobbling. But the scenes with the seer where excellent, and more than a little scary.
In Storybrooke, Hook wants to kill Gold/Rumple; Cora and Regina want to find the Dark One’s dagger so they can control him. In this way, they can order Rumple to kill the Charmings and Emma, thus Regina will be blameless and have Henry all to herself. And Cora has finally adopted modern wear. Thank you. Barbara Hershey looks so much better this way.
Now to the adventures in Manhattan. Emma, Gold, and Henry easily find Baelfire’s apartment. But Baelfire? Not so easy. He runs. Emma gives chase and discovers he is… Neal, Henry’s father. Awk.Ward. BaeNeal tells Emma he wants nothing to do with his father, and tells her to lie to Gold, saying she didn’t catch him.
While waiting for Emma and Baelfire to return, Gold buys Henry a hot dog and the two have a wonderful chat. Henry likens Gold’s search for his son to his own search for his mother, but Gold is not nearly as optimistic. I like the kinder, gentler Gold we get when he’s with Henry. “Into the Deep” first explored his fondness for Henry, and we see it again here. He’s almost likeable. Of course, that may all begin to change, as we shall soon see.
Emma returns and lies about finding Baelfire, per his request. Gold breaks into BaeNeal’s apartment to wait for his son. When Emma sees a dream catcher (apparently significant from “Tallahassee” but I don’t remember it), Gold knows she’s lying. When he threatens her, BaeNeal comes to the rescue (more or less). All sorts of family drama ensues. Gold realizes Emma and Bae know each other, and Bae realizes Henry is his son. It’s an extremely touching scene, and all four actors are marvelous. (Yes, even Jennifer Morrison. I take back what I said in “Tallahassee.” For now.) Henry is angry with Emma for lying and compares her to Regina, which is a bit of an overkill.
Bae wants nothing to do with Gold. (I guess because he had to grow up fatherless in our world. Because in Fairy Tale Land, didn’t Bae love his father, cowardice, Dark One and all?) Gold offers all sorts of magical solutions (make Bae 14 again, erase his memory), but Bae wisely rejects them all. (Would you really want to be 14 again? No thanks.)
In one final Fairy Tale Land scene, Rumple has become the Dark One and has sent Baelfire away. He meets the seer again, who has grown into a young woman. He takes her power and mortally wounds her, but he can’t make sense of what he sees. Before she dies, the seer says Rumple will find his son, and a young boy will lead him to Bae, but the boy will be his undoing. Rumple replies, “Then I’ll just have to kill him.”
Cut to Gold, watching Henry. He turns to the camera and his face hardens ever so slightly.
Oh boy, this can’t be good. But the dramatic possibilities are endless. Will Baelfire return to Storybrooke to spend time with his son? If so, what will Regina do? Will Gold turn against Henry? Does Henry have magic? And, as David said, just imagine a Thanksgiving family dinner!
[Tiny and Three Evils photos © 2013 ABC. Screencap of Henry and Gold by rainakthx at screencapped.net.]