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Once Upon a Time: 7:15 A.M.

[Let's give a warm welcome to Panda, who will be reviewing Once Upon a Time and The Secret Circle for us. Welcome to the site, Panda!]

“I wish feelings could be helped, but they can’t.”

In an effort to give Mary Margaret and David’s forbidden romance a chance to develop, there’s been a lot of delaying tactics at work in the Once Upon a Time universe, but after weeks of never ending tension and upset, everything finally fell into place in one of the most rewarding episodes to date.

One of my favourite aspects of this show has been the writers’ ability to flesh out the central story of Snow White and Prince Charming into something worthy of long-term story telling. Take last week’s all too standard interpretation for example; a side step into predictability can be a dangerous thing, but the new and innovative ways in which the love story is being tackled have simultaneously stepped out of the box, and stayed true to the foundations of its source material. All of the different blockades to their reunion are set up in spectacular fashion, with a waiting fiancĂ©e and a lot to lose if they give in to temptation and break the rules.

Mary Margaret spends a lot of this week being the slightly over bearing do-gooder that she is, attempting to reunite a lost pigeon with its flock. The episode made it clear in all-too-certain terms that that both Mary Margaret and David are incomplete and lost without each other, just like Mary’s newfound pet is without its flock. That satisfying kiss we ended this week’s chapter on was one that came at the right time and in the right way. They’ve tried to fight their feelings for each other, they’ve tried avoiding each other, and nothing’s worked. So what else could they do? There’s so much to lose, but with a love like theirs, it’s all just semantics.

The timing between all of this week’s interweaving scenes was the best it’s ever been, with a lost Snow making her way back to Charming, and breaking his heart, just as she attempts to do the same in the real world. Pairing the scene of Snow’s decision to forget about her heart-break with Mary and David’s big kiss created a strange blend of two completely different emotions but somehow, it just worked.

Of course, it wasn’t all perfect this week. The mysterious visitor’s ominous secrets were unbelievably frustrating. I wish there was a greater way of getting a story that’s obviously meant for another time to still be rewarding as it progresses. There’s a way to build up tension and mystique, but a typewriter and promise aren’t enough to keep me satisfied.

Bits and pieces

— Grumpy finally made his fairytale appearance, as did the other six dwarves.

— Too bad about Stealthy, though...

— When will Red get a chance to come out and play?

— Does Alan Dale always seem to play the same type of character on every single TV series he’s in, or is it just me?

— Storybrooke provides its newest resident with “inspiration.” I wonder what that could mean.

— Will Emma live up to her promise and go out with him? Of course she will; it’s just a case of when.


King George: “Love is a disease, and like all diseases it can be vanquished in one of two ways: a cure or death.”
What a sentimental guy.

This exchange broke my heart:
Grumpy: “You okay, sister?”
Snow: “Not even close.”
Grumpy: “You didn’t find him?”
Snow: “Worse, I lost him.”

3 out of 4 lil’ dwarves.

Previously posted at PandaTV.


  1. Poor Stealthy. I shouldn't have laughed at that, but I did.

    Does Alan Dale always seem to play the same type of character on every single TV series he’s in, or is it just me? It's not just you. :) Of course, he does a pretty good job with that type of character, which is probably why they keep hiring him. Only the accent changes.

    Again, welcome to the site, Panda!

  2. Welcome indeed Panda. Enjoyed your review. It was a great episode. Looking forward to your future reviews of OUAT which I love and The Secret Circle which I have very mixed feelings about (but am still watching!).

    I first encountered Alan Dale on Australian soap Neighbours 25 years ago, playing Jim Robinson, loving single parent to several children, including popstar & Kylie's ex Jason Donovan...

  3. Welcome to the site Panda! Can;t wait for more reviews.

  4. Billie: It took me ages to realize that he had an English accent in Lost. I had totally forgotten about that!

    There was one episode of Ugly Betty where he appeared as a figment of her imagination, dressed in a Xander-esque Hawaiian shirt and everything. It was bizarre seeing him like that and it didn't suit him that well, so I can see why he sticks in his comfort zone.

    And thanks again to everyone for the warm welcome. I should be up date with all these reviews within the week!

  5. “I need my pain! It makes me who I am. It makes me Grumpy ”

    Was anyone else having Star Trek V flashbacks when he said that?

    Congratulations on your first review for the site, Panda.

  6. Hey, don't I know you from somewhere? ;)

    Congrats, Panda.

  7. Mark: I'm a Star Trek virgin, so that reference is lost on me! But I think I'm already in love Grumpy. And thanks :)

    maxpower03: Thanks, Adam. I don't you'll ever be able to escape from me :P

  8. Welcome Panda! I'm glad you're reviewing this show. I almost gave up on it but it gets more interesting every week. I loved the dwarves. They are just a great illustration of how the writers round out characters we've known for most of our lives and give them new dimension. Can't wait for you next review.

  9. Panda, no shame in crushing on Grumpy. I had a crush on Doc when I was little.

    [I can't believe I just admitted that.]

  10. I'm an old, sentimental softie and I love nothing better than a good love story. Here, I'm getting two for the price of one and I'm loving both of them.

    I try very hard not to take too many firm, moral stances and I try not to judge decisions others make that I may not agree with. Adultery, however, never sits well with me. I really hope James leaves Katherine before anything else happens with Mary Margaret.


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