One of the reasons I haven’t worried about Once Upon a Time‘s occasional clunkiness is I know the producers tracked down Jane Espenson after the first few episodes were written and offered her a consulting producer credit if she promised to step in and pen some scripts. I mean, it’s Jane Espenson. She’s a stellar LGBT ally and a helluva fantastic ensemble fantasy writer. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica: Maybe you’ve heard of them. So I realized Espenson episodes were on the way, but hadn’t paid much attention to when we were getting them; then the first four seconds of last night’s snappy dialogue — between Jiminy Cricket’s parents — happened, and I was like, “Espenson is here!” And, lo, her name appeared in the credits and it was good.
OK, I have a confession. So many of you guys have been like, “Ooh, hate!sex! Do it!” about Regina and Emma, and I’ve sort of been like, “Yeah, I guess? Sort of?” but last night I realized you’ve been right, right, right and I’ve been wrong, wrong, wrong. If those two don’t do some actual shagging soon, they’re going to literally explode in a blaze of hormone-saturated glory. Or kill one another. More on that in a second in our new category called I AM THE SWAN QUEEN, but first: Jennifer Morrison was working a tank top again last night. Also, she was working her triceps and deltoids, grasping onto that repelling cable, and my goodness.
I also appreciated the shout out to the entire AfterEllen Bait section when she had this exchange with the sheriff:
Emma: A tie? You know you don’t have to dress a woman as a man to give her authority.
Sheriff Graham: So you think you can get people to do what you want in that red coat?
Emma: I’m getting you to do what I want right now.
She’s right: I’d do whatever she asked me to do in that red coat.
FEELINGS, FEELINGS, FEELINGS
Here’s how you know Jane Espenson has stepped into the writer’s room: The emotional crux of this episode under the pen of any of the other writers so far would have been Henry/Jiminy or Henry/Emma or Henry/Regina. Unfortunately, all of those things have this in common: Henry. And bless his little heart, but the former Bobby Draper is no Sally Draper. So, Espenson added a little Mary Margaret/Prince Charming — I still haven’t bothered to learn that guy’s name. I probably won’t, to be honest — action to the mix. Most of the ladies swooned. Including my darling (straight) sister, who has become some kind of crazed Snow White/Prince Charming shipper. But much like I gawked at Tina and Bette’s first sex scene on The L Word while she fantasized about where to buy Tina’s earrings, she gawked at Mary Margaret and Prince Charming’s walk in the woods while I fantasized about the way Ginnifer Goodwin looked eating a s’more.
Those are my giant gay feelings, and I’m sticking to them.
We got a really solid backstory this week, huh? For one thing, it was interesting because Jiminy Cricket is not one of those guys we’ve been hammered over the head with by Disney. Or, at least his backstory. And for another thing, the actors who played his traveling circus/con artist parents were so fun. I loved their banter, their whimsicality, and their unrepentant evilness. I was actually secretly rooting for them over Jiminy’s whinging angst.
Also, we got our very first look at actual proof that Henry isn’t off his nut. Buried underneath layers and layers of Storybrooke rubble is Snow White’s glass coffin! And it looks like Regina knows it! She sneaked away from the townspeople on her tiptoes and sneaky-looked around in all directions about a hundred times and twirled her mustache and dropped the unearthed shard of that coffin right the hell back down the mine shaft from which her son emerged. Regina, you vixen! More of that, please!
I AM THE SWAN QUEEN
OK, first of all, if you didn’t think Regina and Emma were going to engage in a full-on ten-second Frencher before Emma hopped into that crater to rescue Henry, you are an insane person. The way Emma steps toward Regina and they take turns staring at each other’s lips and looking confused and breathing heavily? COME ON. Even Sheriff thinks they’re about to do it.
And then when Henry does come out of that mine shaft? Since I’ve already brought up Bette and Tina, how about I’ll just quote them on this one: “Hey, Portard, how’s your two moms, you big gaymo?”
What did you think of “That Still Small Voice”?