Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Once Upon a Time, Season 1, Episode 12: Skin Deep

In fairy land we have a war council – a war council of a lord and his advisors discussing the war with the ogres (the same war Rumpelstiltskin ran from?). They wait for a saviour – Rumpelstiltskin. Oh I do like him, yes yes I do. But how desperate do they have to be to rely on him for help? Of course he has a price – and the price is Belle. The daughter of a lord and the betrothed to Gaston (Beauty and the Beast?) Naturally she agrees to save her friends and family. Part of me applauds her firmly saying that she refuses to let Gaston or her father make the decision for her, but she’s still being a traded commodity here.

And she is to be his servant – but not skinning children (I don’t know whether Rumplestiltskin’s sense of humour is bad and wrong or snarky and fun or both). And yes we are in Beauty and the Beast – only Rumpelstiltskin is the Beast. Ansd yes they grow together, share secrets, grow close, Rumpelstiltskin turns Gaston into a flower to give to her, aww sweet. And it seems Belle sacrificed herself to be the hero (a woman’s heroism involves being kidnapped, it seems) and to see the world (by becoming a live in servant) because women don’t have many opportunities in their world (what, so she sold herself to be a glorified cleaner? Nah, I think women generally do have the opportunity to be maids, but I find it unlikely this is the opportunity this well-to-do woman was after).

And Rumplestiltskin loves her and lets her go – as is happily pointed out by Regina, the evil queen who just happens to be passing and also points out that true love’s kiss can break any curse! Even Rumplestiltskin’s! Go Stockholmy! Go, back to your loving kidnapper! Except, of course, Rumplestiltskin doesn’t want his curse broken – his curse being broken would strip him of him quite considerable power (hence why Regina wants it breaking in the first place). Rumplestiltskin loses it several times over not least of which because he feels betrayed and how no-one can possibly love him.

Banished from his home, she returns to her father who shuns her, locks her in a tower and his attempts to purify her of Rumpelstiltskin’s presence drove her to suicide… an all out tragedy. Or so Regina says

Meanwhile in Storybrook, Gold (Rumplestiltskin) is foreclosing on a florist’s van who owes him money (the florist is called Game of Thorns? Oh I love it). For this is Gold and even Regina can’t dictate to Gold. No-one crosses Gold – or do they? Someone has burgled his house (brave brave brave person). After threatening Gold a bit, Emma goes hunting the florist, French (Belle’s father in fairy tale land) has stolen a lot of stuff, including something precious. Now Emma has to get to him before the very unhappy Gold does to find whatever precious Gold is missing (is it the ring? Go on, tell me it’s the ring!)

Gold has his own version of justice, it involves kidnapping, losing it and beating him badly. This ends up with Gold being arrested, so Regina can now talk to him. Is this Regina’s crafty machinations all this time? All hail Regina, putting French up to the theft to manipulate Gold – I’m impressed. And all this? To make him admit he knows his real name… Rumpelstiltskin. Like Regina, Gold knows the truth (yes, I admit, I gasped, yes yes I did). And he calls her “Your Majesty”. Oh and they are not friendly, no they are not.

And his precious? The chipped cup that Belle damaged. Awwww. And of course Belle’s not dead, Regina wouldn’t waste so useful a tool

Mary Margaret and David are still being soggy and googly eyed. And Mary Margaret gets herself invited to a girls night out with Ashley (Cinderella) and Roxy (Red Riding Hood) while Mary Margaret and Ashley have heart to hearts and relationship advice and lots of tweeness. I guess tweeness is needed for fairy tales. But *gasp* David bought Catherine a Valentines card! Angst!

Of course the whole story of Beauty and the Beast is one Stockholm Syndrome full of fail (and beauty is only skin deep! For men anyway. Women? Women have to be so beautiful that their name even means beauty) with falling in love with your kidnapper and enslaver being all kinds of irredeemably skeevy, does it even have to be said? Add, given the ending, her whole character exists to be tragic angst on the part of Rumpelstiltskin

I still love Rumplestiltskin as a character, he’s several kinds of awesome. And I love love love that we have 2 characters who now openly know about Storybrook being fake.