Hello, Jiminy Cricket! Or, as he is known in Storybrooke, Dr. Archie Hopper (Raphael Sparge). In last night’s Once Upon a Time Season 1, Episode 5: “That Still Small Voice,” we saw Emma’s (Jennifer Morrison) power rise, Regina’s (Lana Parrilla) power fall, and watched the town of Storybrooke find its conscience.
In the Fairy-Tale World...
We begin with a puppet show: a princess type wishing for someone to slay an evil dragon, a prince in armor appears. Throughout the performance, a young red-headed boy is stealthily stealing pocket change from the townspeople. Away from the town, we see his parents sorting through his treasures. Has Helena Bonham Carter ever looked better? Well, it’s her doppelganger all right — right down to the John Lennon spectacles.
A cricket appears among the ragtag family’s goods, and the young boy speaks about his admiration of the tiny creatures. “Crickets hop from place to place. They’re free.” And then we realize: We’re meeting the young Jiminy Cricket, whom we’ve met in Storybrooke already. He is Dr. Hopper, Henry’s (Jared Gilmore) optimistic (though sheepish) therapist.
Back in Storybrooke...
Henry is in Dr. Hopper’s office, and we gather this isn’t the first time Henry has tried convincing him that he is really Jiminy Cricket. Dr. Hopper asks him, “How do you know?” and Henry tells him that his conscience helps people see right from wrong. (We wish our therapist did that!) There are, apparently, no crickets in Storybrooke, which implies that the town has no moral core, no way for the residents to see the truth. Hmm…
Meanwhile, Emma is with the incredibly hot Sheriff Graham (Jamie Dornan, formerly Keira Knightley’s boyfriend and British model) at the station, being sworn in as the new deputy in town. But she’s not a fan of the “man’s” uniform, choosing instead to just wear the almighty badge on at her side. As soon as she places the shiny metal on her hip, Storybrooke is struck with a strong earthquake. All the phones start ringing. We soon learn that the quake caused a crater in the land out by an empty piece of road. An underground tunnel has emerged. Mayor Regina Mills explains that the area is “honeycombed with old mining tunnels.” Her plan? Bulldoze it, fill it in, pave it.
Henry, as usual, disagrees with Madame Mayor. He thinks there’s something down there that Regina is hiding. She picks up a piece of thick glass that gives her pause.
Henry tells Emma that something made this happen. Something she did today caused this particular piece of land to break free. Again, we close in on the badge. We’ve already seen the curse weakening since Emma got to town. Does her acquisition of power also signify her ability to overtake the mayor? Her rise seems directly related to the mayor’s fall. More importantly, how is the owner of Storybrooke, Mr. Gold a.k.a. Rumpelstiltskin’s (Robert Carlyle) power managed? We saw him weaken in the face of Emma’s negotiation, but somehow we suspect the “favor” he’ll ask of her may be a bigger deal than say, asking for a tissue.
Back to the episode!
Regina tells Dr. Hopper that he needs to be more stern with Henry and his “delusions.” She’ll ruin his life (take away his job, make him homeless) if he doesn’t acquiesce. So good old Archie does his best, telling Henry that he’s showing signs of psychosis, and he might wind up in a loony bin if he doesn’t squash his fairy-tale imagination. Henry, with tears in his eyes, runs away to the scene of the explosion with his trusty flashlight, determined to find what the Mayor is hiding down there.
Back in Fairy-Tale World...
We discover that Jiminy can’t escape his poaching parents. They use him to swindle everyone they meet, and they use their age to guilt-trip him into staying. Yet another precocious young boy offers Jiminy his parasol. An act of kindness, amidst the sound of crickets. We get the idea that hearing crickets is like hearing your conscience.
Back in Storybrooke...
Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin, who we like to call MM for short) is playing Hangman with “David Nolan,” who we, of course, know is Prince Charming (Josh Dallas). She’s trying to figure out the puzzle, only to realize it is “Mary Margaret.” “I almost hanged on my own name,” she says. “I would have never let you hang.” Flashbacks to when Snow White was wanted, and Prince Charming told her he would always find her, always protect her. Meanwhile, in present day, he says that maybe he’ll like these memories (with MM) better. “Mrs. Kathryn Nolan” (Anastasia Griffith) shows up, bringing pictures of their old dog, Ajax. Yeah, he says, he does remember. But maybe he’s faking.
MM and Emma are talking about boys, and we get more insight into Emma's past: She was once involved with a married man, and it didn’t end well. Also interesting because Snow White became involved with the Prince when he was clearly intended for that Regal Blonde (also Anastasia Griffith, and Kathryn’s counterpart) we met two episodes ago.
Regina calls because Henry is missing. Jiminy knows where Henry went: to the crater!
Back in Fairy-Tale World...
Rumpelstiltskin is spooling thread. (Anyone else feel a pang for Jacob spooling thread on the Island? We did.) Jiminy brings him some of the treasure he and his family have been stealing, along with a list of names of the people we assume they were stolen from (Sigh. A list of names. Oh, Lost.) He knows Jiminy wants something else, with magic. Jiminy explains how he wants to be free from the wagon, but something is holding him back. “It’s my parents.” Rumpel turns a spool of golden thread into a black cylinder with a potion inside.
“After the potion does its work, leave them where they are. It will be my fee.” Rumple says they’ll be in safe hands and then Jiminy will be free.
We next see the Cricket family planning their next con on a perfectly lovely and sweet young couple. Helena and Mr. Cricket convince the Lovelies that there is a plague approaching the town and the only way to become immune is to douse themselves in “elf tonic.” What do they want in exchange? Oh, just all their money and some household goods as well!
Jiminy just can’t stand it anymore, especially seeing as how lovely the Lovelies were, so he pops his own magic tonic out and sprays it on his parents. Oops! His parents had conned him too, switching the black cylinders, meaning the Lovelies had just poured Rumpel’s poison on themselves. In a truly tense and frightening scene, Jiminy enters their home to see exactly what Rumple’s tonic was intended to do. We see two little wooden puppets holding hands on the bed, with shocked expressions.
To really twist the knife, that parasol-toting boy comes in looking for his parents. Jiminy and his conscience really light up with pain.
Back in Storybrooke...
Dr. Hopper (cute, right?), Emma, and the mayor are gathered at the site, arguing over who gets to go in and save him. Archie wins, but as soon as he goes in, another explosion/avalanche traps him inside. Meanwhile, we see Henry searching for something, coming across another piece of that darn glass. Archie and Henry find each other, and after Henry convinces Archie that he needs to become the man he wants to be, to remember his purpose, they begin looking for a way out.
After a series of exaggerated avalanches and drilling plans and more explosions, and Emma lowering herself down an air shaft, the pair is saved. After what looked like a truce, the mayor immediately returns to shooing Emma away and enclosing Henry in her grasp.
Mary Margaret is heading home from Storybrooke Hospital, and the Prince, er, David, starts talking to her. He needs to start walking 30 minutes a day outside with an escort. Maybe she’ll be willing to help? Off they go. “It’s like I woke up in some strange land,” he says. “What about when you’re with her?” He admits he lied about remembering the dog. “She’s just so loving. I didn’t want to disappoint her. Who would name a dog Ajax? None of it feels real.”
Finally, David says, “Actually one thing does feel real: you. You’re the only thing in this whole place that feels right.” Wouldn’t you know, Kathryn, the mayor-influenced supposed wifey, shows up again! She made some cranberry muffins, saying they “used to be your favorite.”
Back in Fairy-Tale World:
Poor Jiminy. He indirectly caused the death of two good people, and rendered an innocent kid an orphan. Sulking with his very guilty conscience, he speaks a silent wish. The Blue Fairy (Keegan Connor Tracy) shows up! In case we hadn’t noticed, the Blue Fairy rounds out the main characters of the classic Pinocchio fairy tale.
She explains that she can’t bring back the boy’s parents, but he can help. He wishes once more, and poof. He’s a very dapper little cricket dressed in a tux, who can now hop around from place to place, protecting the boy for the rest of his life. Who was that boy? Oh, you know, just Gepetto. Who, of course, is Dr. Hopper’s best friend in Storybrooke.
Summing Things Up...
The story didn’t progress much at all. We were given another character’s back story and we met Tinkerbell, who oddly favors huge cleavage and pounds of makeup. Mary Margaret and David grew a little closer, but MM’s conscience told her to stop getting too close to a married man.
Emma was put into a position of power in Storybrooke, immediately causing the curse to weaken.
While the story didn't move forward much, here's what we did learn...
Interesting Thought No. 1: We learned a lot about Regina this episode. For one thing, we actually buy the fact that she has no idea why she would be hiding anything in an old mine. When she picked up that piece of glass, no thought bubbles or sudden memories flashed across her face. She just felt a connection.
Also, when Henry was in danger, those were genuine tears she was crying. She really does want to keep him safe. She cares about him just like a mother would. It’s just that she has the opposite of what Jiminy Cricket has: an evil conscience. And bad manners, too.
Interesting Thought No. 2: Dr. Hopper threatens the mayor with the idea that, someday, she will be involved in a custody battle. He will be the “expert” called upon to provide insight, so she better stop messing with him. We learn that, unsurprisingly, Henry is the mayor’s one weakness; and more importantly, that the mayor will be combating either Emma or Mary Margaret (or both) for custody!
Interesting Thought No. 3: The glass pieces are shown to be part of a large, fallen tree trunk located underneath the town. It seems to be made of glass and wood. But with those pieces reattached, we suspect that, the more the curse is weakened, the more the Enchanted Forest will begin to overtake Storybrooke — from the roots up! Just listen to those crickets chirping now.
Interesting Thought No. 4: If Archie is Jiminy Cricket, his pal is Gepetto (which I’ll get to...), and we’ve met the Blue Fairy... is it possible that Henry is Pinocchio?
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