Is Storybrooke real? Is it covering up something nefarious? What's Rumplestiltskin up to?
After a few weeks off, our Round Table is back in action! Join staff writers, Dan Forcella, Jim Garner, Christine Orlando and Nick McHatton now as we discuss this week's "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter," hoping to tide you over until Once Upon A Time returns in January. Read on. Enjoy. Chime in...
Do you think Graham is really gone?
Dan: I haven't heard anything but - SPOILER ALERT - his IMDB page says that Jamie Dornan is credited for 22 episodes. Take that as you like. It would be difficult to see him go, but if he's gone, I like that the show is willing to prove there are stakes in this universe at an early point in the series.
Jim: Sadly, I do. Horowitz and Kitsis used this same trope in Lost where they kill off a major character but keep the Actor around for flashbacks. Sorry Dan, if you check, Dominic Monaghan was listed in a lot more episodes than Charlie was alive for. This was one of the reasons I stopped watching Lost, I got tired of the characters I liked being killed off.
Christine: Yes, I think Graham is gone, and just when I really started to like him. I think they needed to prove that no one in Storybrooke is safe. As for seeing the actor listed in other episodes, let's not forget that we may still see the Huntsman in the fairy tale world. He's still alive.
Nick: As much as I would like a fairytale ending for Sheriff Graham, it’s pretty hard to come back from a heart squeezed into dust. As heartbreaking (ha pun!) as it is to watch one of my favorite characters (probably) die it certainly heightens the stakes, and helps show just how dreamless and depressing Regina’s Storybrooke can be.
With Regina's vault of hearts being underneath the mausoleum, is Storybrooke just a facade for fairy tale land? Is this long forgotten place literally underneath Storybrooke?
Dan: That's as good of an explanation as anything else. What better place to hide your fairy tale world than directly underneath the fake world that you send everyone away to... live awful, terrible lives with no happy endings? Oh, you think it should be somewhere really far away so it would be more difficult for her enemies to figure out? Well, that is not how television works!
Jim: We saw Snow White's coffin at the bottom of the mine, now the vault of hearts, certainly seems like our reality is sitting on top of the fairy tale land.
Christine: It looks like the fairy tale world is beneath Storybrooke which should give us hope. At least it's still intact and our beloved characters can make their way back there once the curse is broken.
Nick: I think it’s a bit of both, I believe Storybrooke is real, but it’s also covering up fairy tale land. It would certainly make things interesting if the land is actually underneath Storybrooke, because the possibilities of our characters traveling back and forth between them sounds like a lot of fun.
Any theories on what Rumplestiltskin was doing in the woods?
Dan: It's the newest way to make money in Storybrooke! Lumber is going for $100 per log. He's building his fortune. Seriously, though, the second half of the season has to give us more insight into what Storybrooke Rumpy is all about. We all know he's up to something, but what is it?
Jim: A bit of gardening, as he said. Of course, he may have been planting a body, but it would still count as gardening, right?
Christine: I have no idea what a pawn shop owner was doing in the woods with a shovel. The mind reels with possibilities. As Dan said, I'm hoping we get more of Rumplestiltskin's story in the second half of the season. We need to know what makes this guy tick.
Nick: He probably has a pot farm back there. I’m only slightly kidding, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has one. I’m with you Dan; I really need some light shed on him in the second half, because he has a lot of deals out there.
Now that Regina and Emma are literally coming to blows, what happens next between them?
Dan: Kiss? Sorry I dazed off a bit there. What was the question?
Jim: I think Emma will be elected Sheriff (as Sheriffs get voted for) and that will put them both in a position of power, and then the real sparks are going to fly.
Christine: Pull yourself out of that daydream, Dan. I think the best you'll get is an all out, kick ass girl fight. But honestly, I think this will be more of a power struggle than an out and out brawl. Pity.
Nick: I can already hear the shipping names for the two of them Dan. I think Jim’s on the right track though, Emma is making waves in Storybrooke, and the best way for her to continue her path of conquest against Regina is being Sheriff.
Finally, give the fall run a grade.
Dan: I will go with an A-. The characters are great. The stories have been interesting. The one thing I can't get over though, is how bad the special effects are. Hence the minus on that A.
Jim: Prior to killing Graham it was running a solid A, However, as I hate this trope and wanted to see Graham/Emma teaming up to fight the queen; now we are back to "it's all in your head Henry" so it get a B.
Christine: I'm going with an A-. The special effects are hit or miss (that deer this week was pretty bad). I didn't know what to expect from this show when it started but now I find myself looking forward to Sunday night more and more.
Nick: I’m going to go with an A. As sad as I am about Graham being gone (maybe!), I hope to see him soon in fairy tale land. The special effects don’t bother me at all, even when they look a little cringe worthy it just adds a touch of whimsy for me. The hour passes by quickly for me, and that’s what it’s all about.