Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Once Upon a Time, Season 1, Episode 14: Dreamy

So we start in fairytale land – quite literally! With 2 fairies (including the Blue fairy who we have seen before) and a precious precious stash of Fairy Dust. Nova, the clumsy fairy spills some of said precious dust into a cave full of eggs – out of which hatches a dwarf. Grumpy, I think? Wait, dwarfs hatch and come into the world fully clothed? Well that’s a new twist, I have to say. In fact, it seems dwarfs are hatched to work, to mine diamonds that are turned to Fairy Dust. There are no female dwarfs and dwarfs don’t fall in love or have families, though it’s clear Grumpy remembers Nova the Clumsy Fairy. They gather their axes, all 8 dwarfs (if we recall the addition of Stealthy) except Grumpy is named Dreamy.

But he gets to meet Nova, when she is helpless and needs help moving a lever. Then helps her again when she ineptly nearly destroys the Fairy Dust. And yes, he falls in love with Astrid (after saving her repeatedly helpless self) and they plan to run away together on a boat and see the world (awww. Wait, a boat? Nova, on a boat? She’ll drown before you’ve even left the dock). But the Blue Fairy intervenes – their relationship is impossible and in that realisation he becomes Grumpy (awwwww).

In Storybrook we see Leroy (Grumpy) being grumpy to some of his fellow dwarfs (well, Sneezy and Happy at least – that is Walter and Mr. Clark) in time for Mary Margaret entering the café to try to encourage people to sign up for some community candle selling. Yes, Mary Margaret is one of those people who organises all the little town fetes, bazaars and other things that make you want to cheerfully strangle them. She wants volunteers (see the cheerful strangling again). Of course said volunteering is hard since Mary Margaret is, as Leroy grossly puts it, the “town harlot”. Yes, they’re still slut shaming Mary Margaret – and she hasn’t even had sex with David yet as far as I can see.

Meanwhile, away from Mary Margaret being shunned, we have Leroy (Grumpy) meeting Sister Astrid, a nun (Nova the clumsy fairy) and he is here to save her ineptitude. Astrid takes a prize for being even SOGGIER and more Twee than Mary Margaret. If the two spend any time together they may explode into saccharine sparkles and sugar plumbs. And yes, Twu Luv is brewing here methinks.

Even more so when Sister Astrid’s further ineptitude spends the rent money on helium and, since Gold is their landlord, risks her being evicted – but Leroy will help her sell all the candles and save the Covent! And if selling candles won’t work, he’ll sell his boat to get the nuns the $5,000 they need. Alas, gold doesn’t want to buy because he wants to evict the nuns – he doesn’t like them much. He fails – and ready to kick while down, Mary Margaret points out that since Astrid is a nun, any relationship between her and Leroy is impossible anyway. Mary, you might want to not take that job with the Samaritans, I’m just saying.

Anyway Leroy has a plan – the best way to sell candles is to take out the whole town’s electricity. Uh-huh there’s a flaw in this plan, methinks.

In more plot thickening fashion, Kathryn’s car is found, Kathryn has disappeared leaving her clothing behind. Emma in investigating and so is Sidney (the Magic Mirror/Djinn) who is now serving Emma while secretly serving Regina. Using his contacts (Regina) to feed information to Emma. Information he uses to (presumably) frame David – letting Regina force Emma to bring David in

Ok, this episode on the whole? Was a sweet little fairy tale with some major problematic elements

More slut shaming and slut shunning of Mary Margaret – what is this place, Puritanville? Why not make her wear a big scarlet “A” while we’re at it? And note how it is still falling on Mary Margaret’s shoulders rather than the ACTUAL adulterer, David?

And true love between Leroy and Astrid is based on an almost epicly incapable woman being helped and saved by a man repeatedly. Inept womanhood is saved by the big strong man.

I need to spend a moment pondering the idea of no female dwarfs because dwarfs don’t fall in love or have children – this is the very essence of the male default. When we remove romance and child bearing out of the equation we have… men only? Women can’t work? Or women are only relevant when breeding? And if you’re going to have a monogendered species why would the concept of “female” and “male” even apply? And why is an all male species incapable of falling in love? There are too many implications arising from this very simplistic summation.

Sidney exists to serve – Emma or Regina or both, he serves. And I note that the POC Blue Fairy doesn’t get her own story yet, but we pull a whole new fairy out for one?

There are still no GBLT characters and, frankly, I’ve given up hope of there ever being

All in all, a twee fairy tale episode but I’m not sure how much it added to the plot. Even the messages Once Upon a Time enjoys were twee.