Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Once Upon a Time: The Thing You Love Most

“Don't underestimate me, Ms. Swan. You have no idea what I'm capable of.”

Neither did we, Regina. We know now you’ll go as far as necessary to carry out your vengeance. However conflicted you feel, it is your top priority, so you’ll sacrifice both Henrys and hire the Smoke Monster to do it. We’d feel more if we knew what you want revenge for, but this episode got the job done if you wanted to show you’re merciless.

Once Upon a Time is sending us a message: they won’t deal with the characters the way we’re used to seeing. Usually, the villain’s side is shown only far into the show; sometimes as far as the third season. And here we are, episode two is dedicated to understanding better our Big Bad (so far). It is also intriguing that, to show that the normal order won’t be followed, they told one of the most famous stories in our culture, the biblical myth of creation, with its elements out of order.

I’ll explain what I mean. The characters went from knowledge in a vast world to ignorance in a limited one, the opposite of Adam and Eve. Where they live there’s an apple tree, but instead of forbidding it, the one who created it keeps pushing the apples to Emma; and the gesture of defiance was not eating it, but destroying the tree. In addition, in the original myth, besides being banned from paradise, Eve (and all women) was doomed to bear their children, whereas here, having the child is what will take them all back to where they were.

Henry may think Operation Cobra has nothing to do with what they intend to do; it was the snake that started the process of acquiring knowledge, though. And what does he do on exactly the same scene? He takes the apple away from Emma (like mother, like daughter) and tells her not to eat it. The apple has the contrary significance of tradition. The only one who dares eat it is the one who seems to already know what’s going on: Mr. Gold. It’s still unclear whether Mr. Gold knows what happened, though. His lines are always dubious.

Perhaps it doesn’t make sense in all levels, but the elements are there. So, do I think the writers thought of that? Maybe. Did the audience realize it? It doesn’t matter if we consciously pick up on it, because we feel that something familiar to us is off, and that we’re not heading the same way we always do. It’s a new way to tell a story, and I like it.

Bits and pieces

- Maleficent was played by Kristin Bauer, who plays Pam in True Blood. Nice surprise.

- Regina said Maleficent was her only friend. I thought she’d rip her heart out, instead of Henry’s.

- How cute is it that the Magic Mirror in this world writes for The Mirror?

- Henry is so aware of the story and everybody’s roles he sounds like a mini-Abed sometimes.

- Where was Emma’s BS-detector when the doctor handed her Henry’s files?

- It was beautiful when Emma realized Mary is her mother. I can already feel the tears I’ll cry when Mary discovers it too.

- Robert Carlyle continues to appear little and please a lot.

- By the way, if Mr. Gold knows it all, it looks like he’s not on Regina’s side.

- I wouldn’t mind more screen time for (Not Little anymore) Red Riding Hood.

- Before the question is brought up, I don't think our Henry is Regina's father over there. It wouldn't make sense because Henry has a definite past here. Regina just named him after her father as a homage.


Regina: Take my advice, Ms. Swan, only one of us knows what's best for Henry.
Emma: Yeah, I'm starting to think you're right about that.

Mary: For what it's worth, I think you're innocent.
Emma: Of breaking and entering or just in general?

Mr. Gold: If Ms. Swan is a problem you can't fix, I’m only too happy to help. For a price, of course.
Regina: I'm not in the business of making deals with you anymore.
Mr. Gold: To which deal are you referring?
Regina: You know what deal.

Mr. Gold: Henry. Did I ever tell you what a lovely name that was? However did you pick it?

Three and a half mocking gnome statues.


  1. Yes!!! i was so pleased to see Kristin Bauer in this!!
    And, as always, love your blog. i will definately have to follow this one to understand more than half of what is going on in this show.

  2. Terrific review, Gus. Their second episode was even stronger than the pilot, and I'm impressed. Robert Carlyle in particular is amazing. Who would ever think that Rumplestiltskin could be so shuddery?

  3. Excellent review for a great episode! I'm really looking forward to seeing how this series develops... but what has most got my attention is trying to figure out what on earth Snow did to the Queen to piss her off to the point she's willing to cut out the heart of what she loves most! Brutal...

  4. I'm with CrazyCris with this one.

  5. This is the only new show this season (so far) that has truly captured my attention. Ringer, POI, Grimm - not so much.
    AND I can watch it with my 13 year old who is also really loving it. So that is doubly nice.
    Has it been confirmed that Regina remembers all from her Evil Queen days? I am not convinced that she does. Mr Gold sure seems to know what is going on - but the things he says are ambiguous enough that is could just be a ruse - that he is really referring to events in Storybrook that we haven't witnessed yet.
    I like how they keep going back to fairytale world to fill us in a little at a time on the events that happened prior to the curse.
    My question is - why is it that Henry knows everything? He got a book...but then takes it all at face value? Is that Mr Gold's plan? Just stirring up trouble, knowing that Henry is somehow special and can see through the curse? Hmmm...lots to look forward to ahead.
    Gus, great thoughts from you, as always.

  6. Four out of four gnomes for your review, Gus. I love this show, and I love that you do it justice.

  7. I only started watching because I read about it on here and I love it! It's dark nd gothic but still quirky, right up my street! Will def be watching more. I've only watched one episode of Grimm so far, and will probably watch again, but I'm just not as excited by it. Also, I have too many shows to watch and not enough hours in the day!!!

  8. Fantastic second episode and amazing review, Gus. I read it twice, smiling. What a great interpretation of the Biblical myth. Well done!

    I have been in love with Robert Carlyle since he played Hamish Macbeth and Gaz back in the middle '90s. Simply amazing actor and, wow, is he showing his chops here!


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.