Who knew the tears of our favorite fairytale characters would taste like sweet, sweet nacho cheese? Last night, ABC premiered Once Upon A Time, and it was everything we were hoping for — and more.
Ginnifer Goodwin made copious cry-faces, plus there were lots of evil Witch turbans and talking bugs. Let us be clear, this is not a great work of art. But we're going to have a lot of fun recapping it. We drink your tears, Snow White — we drink them up! Spoilers ahead...
The pilot follows the 28-year-old smokin' hot bail bonds "person" Emma, as she chases down some criminal or whatnot, and then spends her birthday alone. Lighting the saddest cupcake candle in the whole world, Emma wishes herself a lonely b-day. Which is definitely what late 20-somethings do when they're alone on their birthdays. They definitely don't drink 2 bottles of white wine, sob through High Spirits, and then spend the rest of the night screaming Les Misérables showtunes into the dark night so loud that not even God himself can turn a deaf ear. Not even God. Not tonight, you soulless prick on a cloud. Not tonight.
Or you could buy a cupcake and blow out a candle, you're young and crazy — so be it! Emma makes a wish and DING DONG, there's a kid at her door. But not just any MRSA-covered scabby orphan, it's HER child. The child she gave up for adoption. And get this, he's from a Fairy Tale — well, technically, he's not really from a fairy tale, he's from Emma's womb, which is a fairy-tale womb, so he's fairy-tale by association. Clearly. Anyways it's time to go back to the fairy tale world because Emma's 28. These are the rules folks.
The rest of the episode is split between the two realities: one populated by gorgeous blondes in 12 inch heels who chase down bad men, and the other by large-breasted fairies.
So by now you may think you know the plot to Once Upon A Time, but you don't. Here's the twist. The Evil Queen banishes all fairy folk into "someplace horrible" — i.e., Maine. Everyone is ripped out of magicland and forced to inhabit our world, without any "happily ever after." For example, in the real world, Geppetto is without child forever, because he never whittled his boy Pinocchio. It's sad. Moving on.
The fairy folk are stuck in a time bubble town called Storybrooke (Oh yeah, it's funny because it sounds like a STORY BOOK). Which means, as Rumpelstiltskin (no, for real) puts is, time is their prison. So no one ages and they are all trapped in their own misery forever. It's kind of like the place suicides go in What Dreams May Come — but with clam bakes.
Emma is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Something Something, and right before the Evil Witch's curse is enacted on fairyland they shove their baby into a magical tree (phew) and transport her into the real world. This way Emma is NOT touched by the curse, her mind will not be wiped, and she will not be stuck in time forever without her happily-ever-after. And the legend that was made up right on the spot explains that when Emma turns 28, she'll come back and save all the fairy folk from being trapped in godawful Maine. Except when the legend, that is being made up right at that moment, is explained to her parents, Emma's just a baby! So she has no memory of her upbringing. But when the candle for her 28th birthday gets blown out, the wheels are set in motion.
So here's my problem with this set-up. One, how has the rest of the world not noticed the little town that never ages? So it's not really "our world," is it? Also the Evil Mayor (formerly the Evil Queen) adopts Emma's kid, and raises him in Storybrooke during the 28 years that Emma is growing up, how the hell is that possible? Did he age while the rest of the town stayed the same age for, I dunno, 10 years? And no one noticed? Also, is he the only child in the town? Where does he go to school?
Also ALL of the fairy book characters are now stuck in the real world, including Jiminy Cricket who is an actual FUCKING CRICKET in fairy tale world, but a child psychologist in the real world.
No time for answers — moving on. Emma brings back her son to his adopted mother the Evil Queen/Mayor. But then he runs away and Emma crashes into the Storybrooke sign. Which means she's arrested for a DUI, but instead of taking her to the hospital, the local sheriff locks Emma up in the jail from Tombstone. Then she wakes up and they all agree to not charge her for driving drunk, because of her solid "there was a wolf in the middle of the road" excuse.
Brenda Dickson shows up and uses Emma's sleuthing skills to find their son.
When all she really had to do was look at her son's wall to see that he knew that she was an Evil Queen.
Through this detective work we learn that Snow White has now cut off all of her hair and is a teacher at a school. She teaches the children valuable lessons about building bird homes.
But the best is yet to come Emma finds her son on a beach and he pleads with her to stay for just one week and break the curse. He cries about how his life sucks and that his "mother" doesn't love him. Emma then starts arguing with the child she put up for adoption over who had/has the shittiest upbringing! The loser is the audience.
But in the end Emma decides to take a room at Red Riding Hood and her Grandma's disgusting bed and breakfast. Because she hasn't really violated this family's choice for a closed adoption enough, apparently. So there you have it. The daughter of Snow White and the now comatose Prince So-And-So has to save a whole city of Fairy Tale people. We're in. Especially if it means more scenes of Robert Carlyle in gingham (oh yeah he's Rumplestiltskin / Mr. Gold and he owns the town, bitches).
Here's a promo clip from next week's episode, which seems to indicate that the majority of these episodes will be split between fairy tale flashbacks and the real world. And I'm not entirely sure what to think about that yet. I like more Wicked Witch Turbans, that's always a plus. But if we already know what happened to these fairy schmos to get them trapped in Maine, doesn't that defeat the purpose? Perhaps, but we guess it's as good an excuse as any to blow the budget on MORE TALKING CG CRICKETS.