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TV Review: Once Upon a Time – “Tiny”

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Earlier this season on Once Upon a Time (“Tallahassee”), Jorge Garcia (Lost) guest starred as Anton the giant (as in Jack-in-the-Beanstalk’s). Garcia gave a sympathetic and far too brief appearance that suggested much humanity underlying the monster (a very common theme in the series). It is a pleasure to see him reprise the role as this week’s “Tiny” as he has climbs down his beanstalk retreat and ventures into Storybrooke, Cora’s kidnap victim. That streak of humanity not only informs Anton’s behavior, but the behavior of all the giants, benevolent beings who have suffered greatly from humankind’s greed and lack of compassion for all things.

Now being held on Hook’s (Colin O’Donoghue) ship and shrunk to human size by the malicious Cora, “Tiny” is released from captivity by David (Josh Dallas) and Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin). But mistaking David for his twin (and dead) brother James, Anton seeks  revenge for the harm James and his father George did to the last of the giants back in Fairytale Land, fueled by Regina’s friendly advice (and her ability to temporarily bring Anton back up to giant-size).

Revenge certainly seems justified, as after befriending the childlike, trusting giant back in Fairytale Land, David’s twin brother James (with sidekick Jack) betrays Anton, stealing the giants’ gold and murdering Anton’s father. In a new twist on the Jack and Beanstalk, this time, Jack is Jacqueline (Cassidy Freeman), and she is the adventuring sidekick and lover of Prince James. (Hey, if Elementary can craft a female Watson, why not?)

Now back to his giant proportions, Anton wreaks havoc on Storybrooke; however, Snow and David’s kindness eventually win him over to their side, and the good guys have now acquired a great ally, and one with preserved magic bean cuttings. The magic beans, if you recall, are needed ingredient for portal jumping. With a beanstalk, the good folk of Storybrooke will be able to come and go as they please, living dual lives in our world and their own. Of course if Cora gets her hands on the bean crop, they’re all in trouble.

Meanwhile, Rumple (the amazing Robert Carlyle), Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Henry (Jared S. Gilmore) head out of Storybrooke. I was really looking forward to seeing Mr. Gold deal with the outside world, and I was not disappointed, and Carlyle conveys Gold’s anxiety dealing with the airport, the TSA and just being out of his safety zone. He is worried, and he tries concealing his fear, but when he has to go through airport security, Gold has a panic attack. It’s a brilliant moment; you can practically feel Gold’s heart thumping frantically as he passes through the metal detector, reluctant to remove the scarf. When he gets through, although he assures Emma that he’s okay, he is clearly not. Is it just panic or is it something else? 

Emma is worried for him, and I love the way their relationship is evolving. He trusts her, and he has to. There is definitely a certain degree of caring there.

Although Gold remembers who he is, he is still clearly worried; something happened as he passed through the detector. And when he goes to the lavatory, intentionally hurting his hand to test whether he still possesses the power to heal, he learns that his magic is gone. He is devastated, but he hides this bit of information from Emma and Henry.

As they sit on the plane headed for New York, Gold is clearly worried (along with being unnerved at the entire flying experience). He must feel powerless and weak, a bitter reminder of his life before he became the Dark One, wondering how he can survive without it. Emma sees his fear (and his badly bandaged knuckles). She must realize what happened, and although he says nothing, he doesn’t have to. He wants to believe it when Emma tries to reassure him that they will find Baelfire, but he clearly looks in shock as he sits on that airplane. 

How will Rumple fare without magic? And will it return once he is back in Storybrooke? Without his magic power, Gold will be helpless against Cora and Hook; he will need to rely on courage and inner strength (and perhaps that’s what will win back Belle!). 

Both Rumple’s story and Anton’s are much to do with learning trust after years (hundreds of years) trusting no one. As much as Rumple must trust Emma (especially now, since he is without his powers, not only disabled, but unable to really defend himself at all), so has Anton had to trust David and Snow. Trust is also going to be important in Belle’s recovery; right now, she trusts no one, even those who love her.

Speaking of Belle, she’s still in the hospital, heavily sedated by Nurse Ratched. Still without any recollection from before the accident, Belle just wants to be left alone; even Ruby agitates her. The one person who doesn’t is outsider Greg Mendell, who is mighty curious about what Belle had witnessed. She is easy prey for the snoopy Mendell. I’m sure we’ll find out more of his story as the weeks go by. (And I’m still very, very curious about why his ringtone is the theme from Star Wars!)

Next week’s episode is the highly anticipated “Manhattan.” Gold comes closer to finding Bae, and we finally (!) get back story on Rumple’s role in the Ogre Wars. (I don’t know which excites me more!)

Be sure to stop by Let’s Talk TV Live tomorrow night for my live broadcast at 9:00 p.m. ET. (You can also tune into the podcast available shortly after the episode airs.) I’ll be doing a Once Upon a Time Special both February 11 and February 18 because I’m sure there will be much to discuss. I’ll be joined by Blogcritics TV writers JeromeWetzelTV and RHeart Chrissy who are big fans of the show. 

In the meantime, be sure to follow me on Twitter.

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is publisher and executive editor of Blogcritics, as well as a noted entertainment writer. Author of Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D., her primary beat is primetime television. But Barbara writes on an everything from film to politics to technology to all things pop culture and spirituality. She is a contributor to the book called Spiritual Pregnancy (Llewellyn Worldwide, January 2014) and has a story in Riverdale Ave Press' new anthology of zombie romance, Still Hungry for your Love. She is hard at work on what she hopes will be her first published novel.
  • WML

    This was an interesting episode. So David is still David. It is apparent to me that Snow actually wants to stay in Storybrooke and David wants to go back to FTL. Even though the bean is there (Anton is really the gentle, kind, somewhat naïve giant), it will take 100 years before the beans are ready. So it won’t be David and Snow going back “home.”

    The Emma/Gold/Henry story, though shorter, was actually more interesting to me. Carlyle is just a superb actor – you can see the worry, the angst, the tempered excitement, the focus (short temper) in Mr. Gold. And the preview was interesting. When Emma says “you!”, I just said YEAH!

    Why do they let patients visit other patients in their rooms? Lax security? Better storyline?

    Hook is getting better. His snideness is cool. And an evil Regina! Welcome back, dearie!

    I can’t wait for next week. And hopefully, Jack will stay dead. I don’t really want to see her again.

  • Betsy

    I liked the episode, but the Belle parts REALLY infuriated me.

    First things first:

    I’m not a fan of Emma/Gold, never have been. She is a good person and obviously she feels for him in a human way. I agree that he does trust her as much as he would trust anyone outside of Belle, but that’s pretty much it.

    Seeing Gold so terrified and genuinely fearful was scary and sad. He’s physically vulnerable in this world, out of his comfort zone. He’s still devastated about Belle, he’s been put through hell via the whole security screening process, he has no idea what he’s going to find out there…..and he doesn’t have anyone he can turn to. If only he had Belle. In the Outsider scene in the shop when he smashed the pirate ship, Belle was there to calm him, to place her hand on his arm and soothe him……..and she did. She’s his balm. Now she isn’t there and he has no one. Sure Emma is very kind and she’s supporting him as best she can, but what Gold needs is love and real warmth. If only he knew that Belle was watiing for him…….but he doesn’t even have that. Poor baby.

    When Charming requests that Gold take care of his family because he’d be devastated if anything happened to them, Gold got this look on his face of complete understanding. Then he said rather flatly that he would make sure no harm comes to them…………BECAUSE THEY HAVE A DEAL. Yes, that deal – Belle is on his mind, she’s always on his mind.

    He looked SO upset; he misses her SO much.

    I find it very interesting and cool that Belle AND Gold are freaking out; it rather shows again how incredibly bonded they are, despite the curse, despite Gold being many miles away

    Bobby was incredible tonight. That bathroom scene was amazing, all of Gold’s pent up fears and frustations finally finding an outlet. When he pounded that metal container, I wanted to cry for him – and then I wanted to cry some more when he realized he couldn’t heal himself. He’s physically vulnerable now and it’s SO scary for him. All I wanted to do was hug him to me.

    That scene in the plane was beautifully done. He looked like any other white-knuckle traveler…… and then the plane started taxiing and FEAR spread on his face: fear of the unknown, fear of this crazy white bird he’s on. The man is from the Middle Ages – god, no wonder he’s freaking out. What can he know from such technology? He’s probably wondering how this thing is going to stay up?

    My Belle stuff will be in a separate post

  • Betsy

    Ugh, my entire post was rejected. Great.

    Well I’ll get to the other stuff again, but first to the things that REALLY pissed me off (and too bad because I liked the episode).

    Belle. What. The. Heck.

    1) Belle was perfectly fine until Ruby refused to tell her about the magic. She doesn’t want to be told she’s crazy and I don’t blame her.

    2) Belle was NOT that upset, she didn’t need to be sedated. The fact that she’s being kept constantly drugged is scary. Why? I doubt a lot of people have visited her, so nothing would set her off. She’s “fine” without a trigger (though NOT good; she looked defeated). What kind of hospital is this? I want her out of there now.

    3)Really Charmings? Have you forgotten about her already? I like Anton, but really? You guys and the dwarves take him out to lunch, treat him like family – and Belle gets crap from you? Snow was the first person aside from Gold to touch Belle, wouldn’t you think she’d care about HER?

    I’m beginning to think that I don’t want to see Belle be so warm and caring towards everyone because they treat her like she’s nothing to them, like she’s worthless. So much for the Charmings taking care of her. The only one who cares about Belle is Gold.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/barbara-barnett barbara barnett

    Well, Betsy, the fact that it’s Nurse Ratchet sedating her… I wonder if Regina has put her up to that?

    I really liked the episode and I just adored the Emma/Rumple story line. Emma is great with him; she sees his anxiety (part the fish out of water role he’s suddenly in, and part his angst over the loss of his magical power) and offers words of support. I really liked that moment on the plane. He’s confused, scared, anxious, worried. I thought he was going to keel over from his panic at going through the metal detector without Bae’s shawl.

    He’s actually in a lot of danger right now, especially if he doesn’t recover his magic once he’s back in Storybrooke.

  • Betsy

    Hopefully this will go through.

    I liked the episodes sans the Belle stuff, which frustrates me. I didn’t actually think she necessarily wanted to be left alone; Ruby agitated her because she made Belle feel she was crazy.

    I am NOT an Emma/Gold fan at all, never have been. She’s a kind person and is supporting him, which is sweet – though she really has no choice. I think Gold sort of does trust her, as much as he can trust anyone outside of Belle. So, while I loved all the scenes, it was because of Gold and Bobby.

    That bathroom scene was amazing, all of Gold’s pent up fears and frustations finally finding an outlet. When he pounded that metal container, I wanted to cry for him – and then I wanted to cry some more when he realized he couldn’t heal himself. He’s physically vulnerable now and it’s SO scary for him. All I wanted to do was hug him to me. I did not think he pounded the metal box on purpose, I thought he was just unbelievably frustrated.

    He’s still devastated about Belle, he’s been put through hell via the whole security screening process, he has no idea what he’s going to find out there…..and he doesn’t have anyone he can turn to. If only he had Belle. In the Outsider scene in the shop when he smashed the pirate ship, Belle was there to calm him, to place her hand on his arm and soothe him……..and she did. She’s his balm. Now she isn’t there and he has no one. Sure Emma is very kind and she’s supporting him as best she can, but what Gold needs is love and real warmth. If only he knew that Belle was watiing for him…….but he doesn’t even have that. Poor baby.

    That scene in the plane was beautifully done. He looked like any other white-knuckle traveler…… and then the plane started taxiing and FEAR spread on his face: fear of the unknown, fear of this crazy white bird he’s on. The man is from the Middle Ages – god, no wonder he’s freaking out. What can he know from such technology? He’s probably wondering how this thing is going to stay up?

    I never assumed that Gold would have magic in the outside world. Storybrooke is a land that Regina created (or the curse did), so that’s not the same as the “real” (our)) world.

    I’m sure Gold will get his magic back when they get back to SB, but the question is whether he’s still cursed and can be controlled by the dagger.

    We know Gold is going to do something to try and restore Belle – and I think it will be something very interesting and dramatic. I actually think at some point that Belle may have to save Gold if he’s seriously injured by the dagger.

    Ugh, Hook is still as bad as ever; he’s just awful – just terrible.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Betsy, I was able to release your earlier rejected comment. Hopefully BC’s filtering software will now accept that you are not a spammer and you will have no more commenting problems!

    Dr Dreadful
    Blogcritics Assistant Comments Editor

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/barbara-barnett barbara barnett

    Thanks Dr. D

  • Betsy

    Sorry for double post.

    I have to ask why is Nurse Ratched still the same post-curse breaking as pre? She really should be a different person.

    I never assumed that Gold would have magic in the outside world. Storybrooke is a land that Regina created (or the curse did), so that’s not the same as the “real” (our)) world.

    I’m sure Gold will get his magic back when they get back to SB, but the question is whether he’s still cursed and can be controlled by the dagger.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/barbara-barnett barbara barnett

    I thought it was interesting in the restroom scene when Rumple stared into the mirror. i wonder if he was considering shattering the mirror, but then thought better of it, opting for the privacy of a stall.

    If he broke the mirror with his fist, of course he would have done much damage to his hand (and the restroom), so it was interesting to see him think it through and not act as impulsively as he often does.

  • Betsy

    Hi Dr..thank you!

    Sorry for the duplicate comments,everyone!

    The funny thing is, Gold does not use magic in SB on an every day basis – but he obviously likes having it in case he needs it.

    I believe in Gold’s abilities and that he doesn’t need magic – but HE has to believe it. It would be hard to defeat Cora and Hook without magic, but I really think with his intelligence, with his ability to think strategically, with his patience, he can outdo his foes. Naturally I’d like to think he’s not in this alone – the whole town is. Belle IMO would be a huge asset because all of the qualities I ascribed to Gold, Belle has.

    I guess I should add Regina to that list of foes; she’s a horror.

  • Betsy

    Barbara, you’re not concerned that Belle seems to be treated like a 3rd class citizen by everyone? She’s being treated just terribly…..not just by the hospital. I feel so sorry for her.

  • Barbara barnett

    I don’t think she is. I think her story was just on tonight’s back burner

  • WML

    This setup is perfect for the Bae is Neil storyline. Can’t wait for next week. You think the dagger that Cora/Regina/Hook finds (in the preview) is THE “dagger”? It could be a facsimile, knowing Gold. Who knows? Although I think it will take Gold making a sacrifice of some sort to restore “Belle.” Maybe it has something to do with giving himself to harm, with the dagger, that breaks the curse on Belle? In any case, lots of stuff to look forward to.

    I do think that Rumple/Gold has become the centerpiece of OUAT. Can’t wait to see what Henry calls his grandpa. And what the Charming’s reaction will be. And Emma’s.

  • Betsy

    Boy, the fanbase is up in arms tonight and rightly so about Belle.

    My theory about how Gold might help Belle:

    I wonder if maybe dreams will play a part in this. Perhaps Gold thinks that all Belle needs is some sort of prompt for her memories to kick in, maybe a potion that can allow her to dream about their past. Perhaps he’d be relatively confident that if she dreams about them, she will be curious to know why she’s dreaming of this strange man in another life, a strange man who loves her and who she loved. Maybe the potion can bring out her true feelings, feelings which are buried beneath the curse.

    I would sort of love this or a variation thereof because I love the idea of Gold having utter faith in their love and by him trusting in Belle’s memories of them, he would be showing a great deal of faith in the incredible strength of their love.

    I just don’t see them taking the long route of her falling in love with him – and I hope not, too, because as much as she’d be drawn to him, that would take up a large chunk of time. We’ve been through the process of them taking it slowly, post-Croc. Ok, we really didn’t see it aside from the burger date, but the point is it happened.

    It sounds like Gold is going to do something and something relatively big, which makes sense because this story warrants it. I suspect Belle will feel more kindly to him and be drawn to him, but I think TLK will come into play in another way; I don’t think she’s just going to fall in love and then when the time is right, kiss him at an ordinary moment, thereby breaking her curse. I think that kiss will happen at dramatic juncture somehow.

  • WML

    If Henry is Rumple’s grandson, and if he ends up battling Regina and Cora (they get the dagger, somehow he is not under their control) to save Henry and his family, don’t you think that this action, out of love, will validate what Belle has said about Rumple – that his heart is true? One episode and then a break before more episodes. The interludes are insane!

  • WML

    Barbara,

    Lots of spoilers, lots of speculation. Here’s one that I posted in letstalktv (somewhat as a strange speculation). What if Cora’s heart is in Rumple and that by stabbing Rumple at his heart (the three Amigos of Hook, Regina and Cora) they end up killing Cora instead?

    I really hope Regina’s dad isn’t Rumple, but that would be SO delicious.

    From what you said, and knowing the producers of this show, they don’t say things for nothin’, so to speak. So Belle has been saying that Rumple’s heart is true. Which would mean he isn’t truly evil, that there is a lot of good in him. If the three Amigo’s get the dagger, it is this good that will allow him not to be controlled by Cora?

    I am really interested to see how Baw and Belle interact with each other and around Rumple. And Henry and Emma! This is getting to be REALLY interesting.

  • WML

    Another thought. All these snippets from the script, about Gold being powerless outside Storybrooke, how he can be killed. Hook did not come to Storybrooke because of the curse. He’s an outsider. He ought to be able to leave Storybrooke without losing his memory. Cora as well.

  • Pixie Michele

    Thanks for the Ogre Wars hint Barbara. With that in mind, I’m looking forward to a decision of great courage from Rumple next episode. I love the juxtaposing in the show’s writing, so…if his role in the Ogre Wars is revealed, his decision of corwardice in FTL will show before his choice of courage in Manhattan. That gives the greatest payoff for the character. Or maybe it will be a baby step of courage to give Rumple room to grow and the show will last longer. Win either way, so…
    I’m not guessing anything past that decision. I’ve discovered guessing specifics is taking my fun away. I’ll ride with the storytellers and find out.
    Everyone have fun cheering for Rumple! He may not have his magic, but he took love and hope (symbolized in Emma and Henry) with him to Manhattan. They conquer all, and, unlike magic, they can heal his beloved Belle.

  • WML

    Lots of spoilers coming now, and a hint about the last thirty seconds breaking one’s heart. I am wondering. What if Milah always loved Rumple and basically told him she didn’t love him to protect him and their son? And he finally finds out that he killed her not knowing that she never really lost faith in him. Would that not be devastating for him?

    Conjectures. Sunday can’t come soon enough.