Once Upon A Time is taking Sunday nights by storm - read my ode to the cast HERE - so how could we not dive right into a Round Table discussion about our new favorite obsession?
In our first OUAT forum, writers Christine Orlando, Dan Forcella, Nick McHatton and Jeffrey Kirkpatrick tackle the events from the latest Cinderella-centric episode, "The Price of Gold," as well as ponder theories and the general direction of the series.
How do you feel about the license being taken with major fairy tale moments, such as how Rumplestiltskin eliminated Cinderella's fairy godmother?
Nick: Obviously, a lot of things need to be tweaked and changed to give cohesion to the story, and as long as it's being done it a way that doesn't dishonor the source material I'm okay with that. While it's unfortunate Cinderella's fairy godmother is no more, it did allow Cinderella to take a more active role in her own life, and it made Rumplestiltskin an even more nefarious villain.
Christine: Actually I'm enjoying it. Cinderella's fairy godmother bites the dust. Snow White as a marauding bandit. It's all great fun and they use just enough of the original story to still keep it familiar and believable, well at least in the fairy tale world.
Dan: I love it. If it was the same old stories that we have gotten to know over the many years and many variations, it would not be nearly as interesting. The mingling between stories is the best part. Snow and Cinderella hanging out is awesome.
Jeffrey: To some extent I'm ok with it, but the Fairy Godmother part is a major plot point in the classic tale. They couldn't find a way to work Rumplestiltskin in around that? I'm all for creative license, but I think there is more creativity in working with the classic stories than completely rewriting them.
What are your feelings on the Regina/Graham hookup and the love triangle with Emma they are clearly establishing?
Nick: I'm loving it. Regina and Emma are already at each others throats and this makes it even better. Plus, I'm still wondering who exactly Graham is.
Christine: Saw the Regina/Sheriff hookup coming a mile away. I just wonder if it's just sex or if she has some power over him, besides just being an Evil Queen at heart. I'll reserve judgement on a relationship between Emma and the Sheriff for when I see it.
Dan: I don't have many feelings towards it. It's too early to tell, and if that IS something that develops, I don't think it will be one of the more interesting aspects of Once.
Jeffrey: Well, it's a nighttime drama first and foremost, so it kinda comes with the territory. But I'm for anything that causes even more friction between Regina and Emma cause I'm hoping for a Dynasty-style slap-fest at some point. Though, these chicks seem like the full-fisted types to me.
Any theories on how Henry even knows about the curse to begin with?
Nick: I think it's a suspension of disbelief the audience just needs to go with. That he figured all of this out just by reading a fairy tale book.
Christine: Supposedly it was spelled out in the fairy tale book that Mary Margaret gave him. To her it was just a story but Henry see it as fact. Since we can't read the book we'll just have to go with it.
Dan: Plenty of theories. My favorite is that his fairy tale self manifested in Storybrooke to warn him of what had happened. Does he even have a fairy tale self? Did all of that world cease to exist when the curse began? Or is there an fairy tale Emma and Henry roaming around those fantastical worlds 30 something years in the future? That seems more up Lost or Fringe's alley, but you never know.
Jeffrey: My theory is that Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin is manipulating this whole thing. He was a prisoner in the fairy tale world, with no means of escape. But by helping the Queen and goading her into creating this curse, he was free in a sense. But now he's working against the curse to break free once and for all, and that's why he acquired Emma's child for Regina. Once free he can have real power, surpassing the limits of this snow globe life in Storybrooke. I think somehow he's engineered matters so that Henry was able to put the pieces together.
Do you think it's significant that Henry was unable to deduce Mr. Gold's fairy tale identity when he seems to have done so with so many others in Storybrooke?
Nick: I'm mixed about it. I'm not sure if it's being overlooked as a way to put a fake obstacle in place or if Henry just doesn't have enough information yet since he didn't know all the details like Emma does. Right now, I'm siding with the latter.
Christine: Good point. It does seem obvious so that does seem a little odd.
Dan: Sure. Anything out of the ordinary could be significant, but it might also be that Mr. Gold is just too scary for Henry to want to analyze. Even a kid with his gumption might be scared of this crazy man.
Jeffrey: As I mentioned before, I think Mr. Gold is running the show, and maybe somehow clouding Henry's perceptions when it comes to his identity.
What do you think might happen if anyone in Storybrooke besides Emma attempts to leave?
Nick: Bad things! I guess that's how we know for sure Henry is Emma's child because he was also able to leave Storybrooke without any bad things happening to him.
Christine: The curse says that no one's allowed to leave who was brought over from the fairy tale world. My guess is that either magical circumstances will bring them back or they will meet a horrible fate once they leave. It would be fun to know if anyone has ever tried.
Dan: If they try to leave by car, there will be major traffic and construction issues. Purchase train tickets...that will suddenly be broken. By golly, if someone should attempt to leave by boat, there will be the most ridiculously awful thunder storm. Believe me, Ed Harris will not let these people leave! Wait I'm thinking of The Truman Show. Nevermind.
Jeffrey: Maleficent returns in dragon form and eats them alive? :-) I agree with you Christine. It would be fun to know what happens and if anyone met with tragedy. What I don't understand is that Henry said he couldn't leave either, although he did and then returned. He didn't come over from the fairy tale world, so he should be free to go, but in true heroic form he wants to save everyone else caught in Regina's curse. I guess it's really Henry who is ultimately the savior.
If there was one fairy tale character you would like to see make an appearance on the show, who would it be and who would be your dream casting suggestion to play him/her?
Nick: I loved Mulan as a kid, but I don't know how well that one would translate to this world. I loved Peter Pan, too, and I would love to see some of those character cross over.
Christine: I've never been a huge fan of fairy tales mostly because they all seemed so scary and/or the women usually came across as victims. I think that's why I'm enjoying such a new and unique twist on them.
Dan: Well my answer to the first part is Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, who is rumored to be making his way to Storybrooke at some point. The problem is finding an actor with a swell cleft in his chin, biceps to spare, is roughly the size of a barge, and has every last inch of him covered in hair.
Jeffrey: I wouldn't mind seeing Tinker Bell at some point... maybe as a cameo by Taylor Swift? I don't think he was a real fairy tale character, but since ABC is a Disney property - and he'll have some spare time shortly - how about Zachary Levi and Mandy Moore coming on board as Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from Tangled?
You've heard what we've had to say, now it's YOUR turn, TV Fanatics! How would you answer the questions above, or do you have theories and thoughts of your own? Let us know in the comments below.
Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.