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Once Upon a Time: Dreamy

“There are consequences to following through when the world tells you not to.”

'Dreamy' is an episode that is sure to polarize fans. On one hand, it took the show’s premise to an all-out extreme by harpooning us with some of the cheesiest script we’ve seen so far, crossing well over the line into overly cutesy territory, and was a far cry from the surprisingly dark material of the past few weeks. On the other, it was unavoidably touching, with some cleverly materialised parallels and managed to further the show’s overlapping story by marrying it with this week’s standalone one. Personally, I couldn’t wipe the dopey (pun not intended, I swear) grin from my face the entire episode, though that could have been the Amy Acker effect.

I think the most striking aspect of this episode was how downright silly it was. The first thing we saw was Amy Acker dancing around on a cloud in some ridiculous get up, followed by the all too bizarre idea of dwarves hatching from eggs, for God’s sake. Somehow, though, I just loved it. I think a lot of my Disney fandom will make the disgustingly cheesy stuff a lot easier to take than it would for some of you other readers out there, and I have a sneaking suspicion a lot of you were probably gagging at the mouth during this whole thing.

You’ve got to give Amy Acker credit; she does cute like nobody else. Though this role was hardly a stretch for her, I’m sticking by my guns here in saying that she nailed it perfectly. Everything about her performance seemed to permeate that ditsy, curious persona that made Dreamy fall for Nova so much. How quickly fairytale characters fall in love always makes me laugh, though. I mean, you’ve only known them for, like, a day, maybe give it time before you decide to spend the rest of your life with them? That idea seemed to transfer over to Storybrooke quite well, though, with the harsh reality of the world making true love a little more complicated than simply following your heart.

There were a lot of underlying parts of this episode that conveyed just how well the stories we’d seen so far were being brought together. Take Belle’s appearance, for example. After learning for herself just how crazy and inexplicable love can be, she was able to impart her newfound wisdom onto Dreamy, someone going through the same struggle, albeit in a starkly different context. Another example was Sidney’s manipulation, which is starting to be felt in other more important stories elsewhere. It’s been a problem that all of the major developments weren’t being carried over into following episodes, but since ‘Skin Deep’ it seems that issue has been well and truly buried.

I’m a little annoyed with how much the love triangle is being dragged out, and the town’s reaction was waaay overblown, but it’s where it’s taken Mary Margaret that’s been the story’s biggest reward. I think this week’s events came at the most opportune time. Now the town pariah, she was able to use her newfound exile to get to know Leroy in a way no other resident could. By stepping down to his level, they were both able to come to the realisation that love isn’t as straight forward as they thought it was; Mary stepped out with a married man, and Leroy is falling for a nun. Talk about doomed. I’m glad that they managed to find solace in each other, though, and use that as a way to get themselves out of their respective ruts.

I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of mud-slinging directed at this one, and honestly I wouldn’t hold it against you, but my inner child and sometimes outlandish taste made 'Dreamy' a personal favourite.

Plus

Whenever I see Amy Acker playing a role like this, it shocks me to remember how much she owned ones like Illyria and Kelly Peyton. Now that’s versatility.

I loved the idea of the axes giving the Dwarves their names. It made the transformation and subsequent re-naming of Grumpy all the more devastating.

What I didn’t like was the hatching from eggs thing. It was way too creepy.

Henry was absent this week. I actually kind of missed him.

I didn't mind the idea of Astrid being a nun. The watchful nature of the fairies translates quite well. But I'm also unbelievably thankful that the writers didn't make Mary Margaret one.

It was nice of Granny to light Mary Margaret’s candle, especially considering how unfairly judgmental she was to her before.

While we’re on that topic, why isn’t David taking any of the blame? He should be shouldering even more than Mary Margaret; it was his wife.

I loved Leroy’s brainwave to cut the town’s power to sell Astrid’s candles. It was devious, but sweet; two of his most prominent qualities.

Red is finally getting her time in the spotlight next week! I’ve got high expectations for it too.

He Said, She Said

Leroy: “Quite a team we’d make: Town Harlot, Town Drunk. The only person that people like less in this town is you. If you’re coming to me, you’re screwed."

Mary Margaret: “Oh, Emma, help me out. What’s more sympathetic: Scarf, or no scarf?”
The way Ginnifer Goodwin delivered this was priceless. The “Scarf or no scarf” part in particular would make a great .gif.

Leroy: “I’m nobody’s hero, sister.”
Astrid: “You can just call me Astrid.”
Leroy: “I call everyone sister.”

Helper Dwarf: “Dwarves don’t fall in love, Dwarves don’t get married, and Dwarves don’t have children. Why do you think you were hatched from an egg?”
Dreamy: “And what do we do?”
Helper Dwarf: “We work.”
Dreamy: “And we like it?”
Helper Dwarf: “We love it. We even whistle while we do it.”

Nova: “You’re one?!”
Dreamy: “I know. I look young for my age.”

Dreamy: “I believe you can do anything you want, as long as you can dream it.”

Belle: “Trust me. I know love and you’re in it.”
Dreamy: “What’s it like?”
Belle: “It’s the most wonderful and amazing thing in the world. Love is hope, it fuels our dreams and if you’re in it, you need to enjoy it because love doesn’t always last forever.”

Belle: “I’ve had my heart broken enough to know when someone’s reaching out.”

Mary Margaret: “She is a nun, Leroy, could you possibly pick anyone any less available?!”
Leroy: “Says the girl who went after a married guy!”

Leroy: “Isn’t that what life’s about? Holding on to your good memories? All I wanted was a moment with Astrid, one moment to give me hope that any dreams possible. You’ve had all that, Mary Margaret, so stop feeling sorry for yourself and enjoy it, because I haven’t.”

3 and a half out of 4 nun candles.

Previously posted at PandaTV.

7 comments:

  1. I liked it, although that could have been the "Amy Acker effect". :) (I like that. She's been in nearly every show I love.) I liked Dreamy a lot, too. But this episode did make me uber-aware that this is a Disney property.

    Great review, Panda.

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  2. I also liked this episode. I did think Amy nailed that part, so cute & ditsy. The egg thing was creepy, but actually kind of an interesting twist and worked with the whole "Dwarfs don't fall in love, get married, etc" line.
    And I do appreciate that they're tying stories together a little at a time. Like the bit with Belle. Very nicely done. And of course it seems in every story Mr. Gold is a villain.

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  3. The hubby and I are with you, Panda. Quite possibly the hokiest episode yet, but strangely charming, nonetheless.

    Love Amy Acker! She's finally starting to look like a grown up to me. Particularly in her Storybrooke role. She seemed more womanly than girlish.

    I'm with you on the fairytale characters falling in love too quickly, too. It always bugs me when they find lifelong love after, like, a day. It's very misleading for young girls who invest in these tales. Love takes time, people. And "happily ever after" takes hard work.

    One thing that's bugging me: why isn't Emma's BS detector working on Sidney? Is he always careful to use truth-covered lies that she can't detect? Or is he perhaps not being as deceitful as he seems? I can't help thinking that the Genie trapped in the Mirror would have some resentment towards the Evil Queen. And perhaps an axe to grind. Maybe that sentiment carried forward, and Sidney is pulling a double cross on Regina. I think I just want the situation to be more nuanced that it appears at the moment.

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  4. Love Amy and been fortunate to meet her on a couple of occasions!

    However, I found this a bit too twee.

    Next weeks looks awesome though - roll on Red!

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  5. Sam B, if envy could kill, you'd have to worry.

    I like cheesy stuff (except for cheese itself, strangely). I've like it from ep 1, though.

    The egg thing has terrible implications, such as: who lays the eggs? are there giant dwarves abandoning their children to a loveless life of only work?; and more importantly, who came first, the dwarf or the egg?

    Emma's BS detector seems like a on and off thing, doesn't it, Jess?

    As soon as I saw Amy Acker I decided I would love this episode, so I don't ven know if it's good. (By the way, Jess, she looked completely grown up in Human Target. Sexier, too.)

    Amy seems to be trying to dethrone Emmanualle Vaugier as the female Mark Sheppard. No complaints here.

    Panda, this "I just met you and I love you, let's spend the rest of our lives together" is something very common in Western stories. Romeo and Juliet is probably the most famous. People think it's romantic, but they forget that not only were they in their early teens, they died three days later. I think it's actually a cultural problem that we glorify "love at first sight". It makes us a world of adolescents.

    I keep loving the reviews.

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  6. I was expecting the denizens of Storybrooke to pin a scarlet letter to Mary Margaret's clothing..what century are we in?
    The main love story was adorable just like Amy Acker. Yes, it was a bit fluffy but I'm okay with that. Great review.
    Anna

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  7. A bit too fluffy for me; I kept rolling my eyes. And, I am with Anna and the scarlet letter. Huge over-reaction on the part of the town to Mary Margaret's role in the whole thing. It rings a bit false for me.

    As for love at first sight, I agree that literature is filled with examples of it. In real life? Not so much. Now, lust at first sight? Absolutely!

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