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.
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