Episode 5: That Still Small Voice

12.19.2011


Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh I have missed OUAT so much! Ahhhhh I need a life! I actually missed the last episode between work and sleeping (I must have been a bear in my previous life because I practically hibernate in winter). However, Episode 8 isn't airing till January 8....so plenty of time to catch up eh ;)?

Rumple's spinning wheel!

This was hands down one of my favorite episodes. The previous episodes were pretty good too, but most of the emotional resonance thus far has been centered around Snow White & Prince Charming's love imho. This story arc begins developing the back stories of one of the periphery characters - Archie Hopper aka Jiminy Cricket! We find out how Jiminy came to be as we know him today - a cricket and a conscience - and hits you right in the heart in the process. I think this episode is close to perfect in how it ties so neatly to the main Storybrooke storyline while still providing plot momentum, character development/growth for many characters, and fleshing out the worlds of Storybrooke and Enchanted Forest. Archie became one of my favorite characters after this episode and I hope this recap successfully captures why it did.

P.S. This isn't going to turn into a recap blog (believe it or not!).  I have a couple reviews socked away that I need to edit pictures for *sigh*



Episode 5: That Still Small Voice


We open with a puppet show telling the story of a princess longing to be saved by a prince. As the audience watches obliviously, a little red haired boy creeps quietly through the audience cutting purses and stealing valuables.

The parents are supposedly a reference to the Pinocchio characters, The Fox & the Cat (see here).

After the show we see the little red haired boy's family gleefully counting their loot. The parents are a fascinating pair who have a dark sense of humor, few moral compunctions (or as we later find out - none), and little interest in their son's moral development or general happiness. The dad is exceptionally skilled at the sleight of hand and it's clear he is always practicing - after all, making coins disappear serve to both distract young Jiminy from moral questions AND is awfully handy for adding to his own purses ;)


Even as a youngster, Jiminny has a strong moral center and he's unhappy with their life as con-artists. He admires crickets because "they can do whatever they want - hopping from place to place. They're free." To which is his parents wittily reply:

Mom: You are free!
Dad: To do what we want.
Mom: To be who you are.
Dad: And you are who you are.
Jiminy: Well maybe I want to be something else. Maybe I don't want to steal. Maybe I want to be good.
Dad: All that from a cricket......"Good" is another word for "weak."
Mom: Let us do the thinking for you.
Dad: That's what parents are for.
Mom: To help you.
Dad: You are who you are and there's no changing that Jiminy.

Thus successfully summing up Jiminy's relationship with his parents :(


Henry sits with Archie in one of his therapy sessions and comments that Archie wasn't "always a cricket." Archie, in his usual warmhearted fashion, plays along and asks him why Henry thinks he's Jiminy Cricket. Henry tells him that it's because as a therapist, he shows people right from wrong - a conscience. When Archie playfully asks if all crickets in Storybrooke were once people too, Henry points out that there are no crickets in Storybrooke - there never have been. Archie just never noticed.

The conversation takes a serious turn when Archie asks him why it's so important to Henry that the fairy tale thing is true. When he replies that "It just is," Archie tells him to look deeper within himself because "I think something might be buried there."


At the police station, Emma and Graham banter over the deputy uniform having a tie (*sigh* kids ^_~) and their repartee is worthy posting because who doesn't love some smexy bantering ;)!? Clearly Emma's charming flirting techniques she inherited in healthy doses from both parents.

Emma: You don't have to dress a woman as a man to give her authority.
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. [tosses tie+shirt back to Graham]
Graham: Well, at least wear the badge.

Jennifer Morrison is pretty cute when she's being flirtatiousness (rawr) and acquiesces to the badge wearing when Graham points out that wearing the badge means she's trying to be a part of the community. She needs to make an effort and make it official.

I swear there is a star motif going on with Emma!

As soon as Emma puts on the badge there's an explosion outside! This is very reminiscent of how the power lines crackled when Emma first got out of the car and the clock started turning in Episode 1....her acceptance of the badge has triggered another change ^_^ Clearly, Emma thinks so too as she nervously fingers the badge as phones start ringing off the hook.

Note: How glad am I that Emma isn't stupid? I hate it when TV show characters just don't get it and blindly deny things even when there is evidence otherwise. It's such a cheap plot trick to drag out the storyline and I'm glad that OUAT isn't taking the bait. A bit of denial is understandable and it's good to know that at least Emma isn't dismissing the whole idea out of hand.


At the outskirts of town, the old mines have collapsed and Ms. Mayor is none to pleased to find out Emma has to stay to help contain the crowds as the town's new deputy.

Regina's "bitch face." Can't be good for Graham.

Mayor and Graham exchange rather pointed, pissed off expressions though you have to admit, it can't be nice knowing your boy toy has a crush on the one girl who keeps making her life more difficult. Regina launches into Mayor-mode and tells the bystanders that she will make the area safe by bulldozing the area, collapsing all the mines, and paving over it.


Henry interjects telling his mom that she can't do that because "what if something is down there?" Well DUH. Even MORE of a reason for Regina to wanna pave over it wouldn't you say? Sometimes Henry is simultaneously both a genius and as dumb as a rock. After her speech, something catches Regina's eye and she bends over to pick up a shard of glass....

Ohoho...wonder what this is!

She slips it into her pocket but not before Henry notices - thus sparking his curiosity even more. Regina tells him to go wait in the car *snort* and on cue, less then 5 seconds later, Henry sneaks out and calls over Archie and Emma. Honestly, Regina is either a fool or a perpetual optimist for thinking Henry will ever do what she asks.


Henry, convinced that something is hidden in the mines, reminds them of Operation Cobra. Adorably, Archie is surprised to hear he's included in Operation Cobra though Henry exasperatedly retorts that "Of course you're in Operation Cobra. You know everything!" Uh...really? Anyway, Henry points out there's got to be something in the mines, after all it can't just be a coincidence that these mines just happened to collapse after Emma got here. Henry insists that it is Emma's presence weakening the curse that that Emma must have done something to make the mines collapse. A strange look steals over her face as she toys with her badge again and it's clear what is passing through her mind.


Regina interrupts and sends Emma away to cordon off the area and pulls Archie aside, furiously telling him that they need a new treatment plan. She's PO'ed that Henry thinks everything she does is some evil plot. In her opinion, Archie is just feeding Henry's active imagination and it's time to just pull it out by the roots. Archie worries that ripping away Henry's beliefs so suddenly will hurt him when Regina starts power tripping. If he doesn't do what she wants, everything he has will be taken from him. "This is my town. You will lose your office, lose your house and I will cut you down to size till you are a tiny shrunken creature." (whee cricket allusion!) With that, Archie bends and agrees to do what she wants :(


In fantasy land, Jiminy is now an adult but still very much under his parent's thumb. He pleads to just do the puppet show and cut out the "elf tonic" scam and stealing. His parents are the same as well - his dad is still a sleight of hand master and both are still adept at applying amusing and strangely logical arguments for their thieving lifestyle:

Dad: We steal from them. And they steal from someone else.
Mom: It's called an economy!
Dad: We're a vital part of it.

When Jiminy still wants to leave, his parents start laying on the classic guilt trip - a perennial favorite of aging parents - the "I'm going to die soon" card (some arguments never change, in the fantasy world or this one >_> eheh). "My hip! My liver! I have lumps in strange places. I have burning sensations. Just stay with us till we die!" *sigh*


Jiminy morosely sets up for another puppet show when a little boy with an umbrella bounces up, full of admiration over what he does. When Jiminy says he doesn't like what he does at all, the boy asks why he doesn't do something else. But Jiminy sadly says he can't because this is just who he is.


In the charming way of children, the boy says he came out in the rain to just listen to the crickets. The two share a tender moment as they listen to the crickets together and as he leaves, the boy gives Jiminy his umbrella. You can tell Jiminy is deeply moved by the gesture and the boy runs off saying he can't wait to see the show, leaving a wistful Jiminy listening to the crickets alone in the rain.


Marco pokes his head in for lunch but Archie, lost in thought, has forgotten to tell him that he has another patient. Marco is understanding and kindly tells Henry, who just arrived, to have a good session. Henry inquires if Archie is recruiting Gepetto aka Marco for Operation Cobra but Archie, in no mood for games, tells him to quit it. Undeterred, Henry says he can get proof for Archie and shows him a flashlight and candy bars (aka he's going to the old mines).


Archie snaps and tells him that everything Henry thinks is a delusion - a psychosis - and if he doesn't stop, he'll have to be locked up. Henry storms out leaving behind an broken Archie that seems as trapped as the Jiminy that umbrella boy left behind.


At the hospital, MMarg and David play hangman (ohhh perhaps an allusion to when Charming trapped Snow in a tree ^_^?) As always, this scene is full of cute as David says he'd never let MMarg hang/lose - he would've added "a toes, a hat, a horse." David still has no recollection of his past but has no trouble making new memories...adding meaningfully that maybe he'll like his new memories better (awwww still as charming as ever ^^).


The moment is interrupted when Kathryn arrives and a flustered MMarg excuses herself, leaving a rather lovelorn David behind :( It doesn't help that Kathryn seems to be truly loving and sincere in this life, warmly thanking MMarg for her help and bringing a box of photos to share with David. The last thing MMarg hears is David remembering Ajax, David and Kathryn's dog.


MMarg and Emma share s'mores (why are they always eating yummy chocolate-y things?!) as MMarg bemoans how nice Kathryn and how it makes it harder considering her growing feelings for David. Emma tellingly warns her not to get involved with a married man because it's just not worth the heartache. "Trust me." (Hmm....was Henry's dad a married man?)

Give this boy a cookie :'(

Before MMarg can inquire further, Henry shows up at the door in tears from his session with Archie.

Pongo Pongo Pongo!

Emma furiously confronts a depressed Archie who is nursing a drink with his dog (why is that rather endearing ^^?). She demands to know if it was Regina who put him up to this and wonders what could be worth "drowning out your own  conscience." Archie is defensive but before he can argue, Emma gets a call from Regina. Henry is gone (again) and Archie, already guilt-ridden, tells Emma he knows where he went....


...the old mines...


Rumple is spinning gold thread (a hallmark of Rumplstilskin fairy tales) when Jiminy comes to his lair (clearly before his prison days), bearing possessions and names of the owners. In exchange, Rumple gives him a strand of gold thread. But with uncanny insight (it helps if you can see into the future I imagine), Rumple knows that Jiminy wants something more. Perhaps a potion, which can be drunk/sprinkled/whatever, to set him free from his parents?


Since Jiminy has nothing else to offer, Rumple "generously" offers him the potion in exchange for just leaving him what is left of his parents after the potion has done its work. Suspicious, Jiminy asks what will happen to them and Rumple mysteriously tells him not to worry since they'll be in safe hands. Despite the obvious fact nothing in Rumple's hands are safe, Jiminy takes the potion.


While Pongo finds a candy bar that Henry was carrying (apparently an allusion to Lost, Dharma Institute made Apollo Chocolate Candy Bars), inside the mines Henry finds another glass shard.

Not gonna lie, I thought it was the Magic Mirror.

As he ponders what it could be (or perhaps in reaction Henry discovering a physical piece of the fairy tale world), the ceilings of the mine begin to fall in - an aftershock! Archie dives into the mines just before the entrance collapses leaving Emma calling their names from the outside. At first Henry is thrilled to see Archie but when he sees that he's "still against him," he races deeper into the mines to find proof forcing Archie to follow.


Jiminy and family approach a cottage, zoning in on their new victims. Jiminy is still reluctant and his parents still don't care. They're going to pull the elf tonic scam whether Jiminy wants to to or not. The reasoning Jiminy's parents have for doing these crimes is quite astonishing and the episode is worth a watch just to hear them pigeonhole Jiminy with their oddly logical arguments. The Dad gives Jiminy the "elf tonic" which is in an identical bottle to Rumple's potion (I KNOW THIS IS TROUBLE).


Under the cover of a son with elderly parents needing a place to stay, the sweet couple welcomes them in. During the meal, the parents launch into a sob story of how the next town over is being ravaged by the plague. However, they're immune since they're taking elf tonic - something they only have a single bottle of left.


After cleaning them out, the parents waltz off leaving a guilty Jiminiy to hand over the little bottle. Their innocent gratitude has a profound effect on Jiminiy and after apologizing, he flings Rumple's potion at his parents.


Nothing happens O_o and after a beat, the dad laughingly reveals that he's not a sleight of hand master for nothing (I KNEW THE IDENTICAL BOTTLES WERE TROUBLE.) Horrified, Jiminy races back to the cottage.


But he's too late...

The dolls that we saw a glimpse of in the last episode.

We see just how callous Jiminy's parents are as they delight in the prospect of having new puppets for the show. To make matters worse, a familiar young boy runs in calling for his Mother and Father.


It's Umbrella Boy :(!

This was easily one of the saddest moments in this episode. Even with the Umbrella Boy's wobbly acting, Jiminy was just on-point, completely capturing his character's inner turmoil and helplessness. And I don't understand how actors do the "filling your eyes with tears without spilling a single drop" trick...! It's very moving when done correctly and boy does Jiminy deliver ;_;


Frightened, Archie is trying to convince Henry, who is distracted by "something shiny down there," to stop going deeper into the mines. Henry is still angry at Archie for saying he's crazy, but Archie's sincerity and blunt confession of how he's afraid not because of Henry's "craziness" but because they are friggin trapped underground with no way out - finally gets Henry to realize they are, in fact, in lots of danger.

How much do I love how Red is just lounging in the background holding Pongo's leash ^^?

On the surface, they are unsuccessfully trying to re-open the entrance. Marco is touchingly faithful in his belief Archie will keep Henry safe as the workers dig at the collapsed entrance.


Emma and Regina fight: Regina lashing out at Emma for encouraging his imagination and Emma accusing her of making Henry feel like he has something to prove. The level of distress on Regina's face is something we haven't seen since her father's death (or shall we say murder :\) and surprisingly, Regina actually asks Emma to help her. I was starting to question it, but it seems that despite everything, Regina does love Henry in her own way. Marco comes up with the idea of using explosives to punch open the entrance.


Meanwhile, by following the sound of Pongo's barking (yahhh!!), Archie and Henry find an abandoned airshaft that goes straight to the surface. Unfortunately, just as they get the elevator working, the workers on the surface set off the explosives.

Awwwwwww! Pongo's scared little whimpers just before the explosion went off brought a tear to my eye~

The explosion 1.) does not punch through the entrance and 2.) causes the elevator to stop working and 3.) is a glorious excuse to see Pongo looking all kinds of adorable in a fire truck.


At the hospital, David persuades Emma to escort him on a walk outside, which is part of his physical therapy. As they walk, he confesses that he still doesn't remember anything and in fact lied about remembering their dog. It's just that Kathryn is so loving that he feels guilty that he can't remember anything; he grumbles how anyone could name a dog "Ajax" anyway. He reveals how he "feels like he woke up in a strange land and none of it feels real"...except her ^_^


With impeccable timing, Kathryn *sigh* shows up bearing cranberry muffins, which used to be his favorite, and says she came even though visiting hours are over because she just wanted to see him - confusing MMarg even more :(


Meanwhile, since the explosives didn't work, Gepetto suggests that if they could just find exactly where they were underground, they could drill down to them and lift them up. Emma is way ahead of them and Pongo quickly finds where they are underground aka the entrance of the airshaft.


Underground, Henry apologizes for running off. Archie apologizes too and admits that he doesn't think Henry is crazy. He explains that Regina just gets scared when Henry wanders off the path she sees for him and adds that despite her wishes, Henry should be free to do and think what he wants. When Henry asks why he said all those things to him if he doesn't even believe it, Archie sadly replies that he's just not a good person...he's not the man he wants to be. Henry voices his faith in him and tells him that before he was a cricket, Jiminy Cricket was also a man, a man who took a long time to figure out who he was.


With the shaft open, Emma and Regina argue over who should go down to them though Regina eventually gives in since she has been behind a desk for the last 20 years :\ However, she pleads to Emma, in a way only Regina can, to just Henry back to her - a command wrapped as a request that unequivocally claims Henry as her own. Also, am I the only one who is wondering why Sheriff Graham isn't offering to go down there!?


Still waiting in the elevator, Henry and Archie share a candy bar and talk. When Archie asks again why the fairy tales are so important to Henry, he shows his first sliver of doubt as he answers that there just has to be more to life than this. He wistfully says he came into the mines to find proof for his beliefs, but didn't find anything. Archie comforts him, saying that before Henry found him, he was lost. Even though he doesn't "remember (his fairy tale origins)", he does now remember the kind of person he wanted to be, he just needs to listen harder :)


Just then Emma comes to the rescue, but just has Emma gets Henry into her arms, the elevator begins to shift with Archie still inside! Archie's last words before the elevator crashes down to the bottom of the shaft is that it will be okay ;_;


And it is! Thank god (my heart dropped with the elevator seriously) - the umbrella has saved the day! Archie hooked his umbrella to Emma's harness at the last minute. I didn't see that little twist coming at all - so unexpected and perfectly thematic ^_^!


Back on the surface, warm hugs all around (with Regina pulling Henry away from Emma). Most touching is the heartfelt embrace between Marco and Archie. I think this is when having strong actors for the side characters takes a good show to a great show - even though Marco has had a relatively small role, the emotion on his face when he sees Archie just really kicks the scene up another level~ I definitely shed a happy tear!


Sadly, Emma is quite literally pushed away from Henry and told to go clear the crowds while Regina lovingly tends to Henry.


Afterwards, Archie pulls Regina aside and tells her that he will continue to treat Henry the way he sees fit. Regina may do her worst, but he will always do his best. In any case, her threats are empty. He sees a custody battle in the future (ohoho) and to judge who is the most fit parent, an expert will be brought in. As the therapist who has treated the child, it would unquestionably be him. Keeping that in mind, Regina should let him treat Henry as his conscience tells him.


Looking up at the night sky, Jiminy wishes "so loud" that the Blue Fairy comes to his aid. But to his dismay, she can't bring the boy's parents back though Jiminy says he would trade his life to reverse the spell. The Blue Fairy suggests that although he may not be able to bring his parents back, he could perhaps help the boy, who will face many challenges. In despair he says he can't go to the boy because of his parents, they define who he is. However, if he could be anything he wanted...to the sound of crickets chirping, he makes his wish.


The Blue Fairy transforms him into an adorable cricket and he chirps in delight over how free he feels *squee* If he just finds the boy, he will live as long as the boy needs his help.


Jiminy: How will I? I don't even know his name.
Blue Fairy: His name...is Gepetto.

Whaatttttttt! I thought it would be Pinocchio or something - though it makes sense that it's not since we've already seen Pinocchio to have red hair. Speaking of, I wonder if a coincidence that the same red haired kid plays both Pinocchio and young Jiminy.... Anyway, it's so much more fitting that it's Gepetto after all :) And I don't even like bugs but the seeing a cricket dressed up in a little suit with an umbrella just...awww.....


Emma and Henry watch the two friends hash over the day's events; their closeness seems to be almost that of father and son. As everyone gets up to leave, Henry suddenly remarks that he can hear crickets! Something has changed...the crickets are back :)

DOTH I SEE A GENIE'S LAMP!? Omg, I would love to see Jasmine, Aladdin, and Genie! This can't be a coincidence! We got a glimpse of these dolls in the last episode so fingers crossed that we'll see the Aladdin crew soon.

The camera pans through town and we see Mr. Gold closing up shop with familiar dolls as company and MMarg submitting a letter of resignation from her volunteer position.


As the rescue party celebrates a successful day, Regina stands apart from the crowd, toying with the shard of glass she put in her pocket earlier (speaking of, what happened to Henry's piece of glass?) She seems to know what it is and drops down the airshaft.


...where it lands among the shattered remains of a familiar glass coffin....

Comments
There's a lot I liked about this episode, but most of all, I enjoyed how heartfelt it was. I think many people can connect to the struggles of becoming who you want to be and the longing for a different life. Marco and Archie's friendship are the core of this episode and I love how the fairy tale back story added a new depth to their friendship. The twist of how the little boy was in fact Gepetto, not Pinocchio, was surprising (to me at least even though it was pretty obvious it wasn't Pinoccohio now that I think of it >.<). I wonder if they will explore what happens when/if Gepetto ever found out who Jiminy Cricket was in human form...

The banality of evil also resonated with me. At first, Jiminy's parents just seemed to be greedy, selfish, and generally lacking a moral compass...but not evil. At least until we see how they delight in the absolutely unjust misfortune of the couple. I think their total lack of pity for the people who were kind to them - they even wanted to use them as puppets for god's sake - drove home the point that evil isn't always so...obvious and magical, like Rumple. Evil does not always crawl around on ceilings cackling psychotically. Evil can be common and rooted in everyday actions - Jiminy's parents were ultimately just as evil as Rumple and indeed their manifestation of evil is more dangerous because it seems so ordinary. There is nothing distantly magical about their evilness - their brand of evil is found everyday in the people that act selfishly without a care for others around them, in our very own world.

Last comment: Gosh, I love how Pongo got a small yet ever so important role in this episode *sigh* omg, can Pongo meet his mate too? And Jiminy Cricket...the miniature umbrella, top hat (in Episode 1), and waistcoats are just killing me...so cute. And the umbrella - an inanimate object saves the day!

We didn't get too much Snow-Charming this time around but the next episode is all about Charming so I can wait ;) Overall, this was sweet, well-thought out episode that was a fresh outlook and added a human touch to a classic fairy tale character.

2 comments :

  1. This series sounds so good! I may have to search for streaming links for the UK :P
    A very late reply to your comment >< but:
    I can't wait till I can afford a new laptop and get rid of this laggy one haha I like Mac for the graphics and colours, but I think it would be too much effort for me to learn how to use it xD I'm so impatient that I'd get annoyed super quickly!
    I agree that being open minded is the only way to treat religion :)
    Ahhh I love k dramas!! Haha the more recent ones have seemed to be less depressing and more cutesy :P I watched 'My girlfriend is a gumiho' recently (even though it's old-ish) and I prefer these romantic comedy type dramas that they're producing now, to the more 'Winter sonata' type ones where everyone would just cry in every series XD
    Phew, hope my reply wasn't too long :P Hope you're having a good Christmas holiday! Merry Christmas Elle :) Xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. This looks like a really good series! I don't have cable in my apartment right now so I've been missing out on a lot of tv shows recently >< I love all the classic children's fairytales though, so I have a feeling I would probably like this series a lot too. Even though I don't have cable right now, reading through your episode summaries makes me feel like I had just watched it myself haha :D

    ReplyDelete

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