I actually enjoyed last night's episode of Once Upon a Time. I decided to watch the show this season, even though I did not watch the first season, because the documentary summation of the show's plot intrigued me, plus I read that the show has been received quite positively, and, being the sort of person who doesn't want to wade into a show or movie that will end up disappointing me, I tend to put a lot of stock in that (as much of a non-conformist as I am). But, to be honest, until last night, I've not particularly enjoyed the show, for the acting has been rather stilted, the kid has been annoying, and I have had a hard time identifying with or caring about the characters.
Last night's episode was different, however. It focused on the villain
Rumplestiltskin. In the world of fairy tales, Rumplestiltskin was
lampooned as a coward because he did not fight in the war against the
ogres, and his wife was ashamed of him on account of that fact. She
meets a sea-captain in the bar and is enthralled by his tales of the
places he's been, and she leaves her husband and son to go with him.
Rumplestiltskin thinks that the sea-captain is kidnapping her, and so he
goes onto the captain's ship to ask for his wife back. The sea-captain
responds by challenging Rumplestiltskin to a duel, but Rumplestiltskin
cowers and flees.
Later on, Rumplestiltskin attains power, an
ability with magic, confidence, and a reputation as the feared "dark
man". He sees the sea-captain at a bar, and the sea-captain bullies
him. But Rumplestiltskin gains the upper hand, and he challenges the
sea-captain to a duel. The next morning, when Rumplestiltskin goes to
fight the sea-captain, he sees his wife where the sea-captain is living,
and Rumplestiltskin learns that she was not dead (as the sea-captain
told him the previous day), and that she left with the sea-captain
voluntarily because she fell in love with him. In the course of events, Rumplestiltskin chops off the sea-captain's hand (making the sea-captain the famous Captain Hook), and he kills his wife. Captain Hook tells Rumplestiltskin that, even though Rumplestiltskin is more powerful now, he is still a coward.
there's a magic bean, which can transport people across worlds.
Rumplestiltskin made a deal with his wife because he thought that she
had the magic bean, and Rumplestiltskin wanted it so that he could
travel to a world where his son was. But the bean's custodian is a
little portly man. After Rumplestiltskin vanishes, the little portly
man wants something in return from Captain Hook for the magic bean (or
so I gathered), and Captain Hook offers him his life and a chance to be
part of his crew. Hook asks the little portly man what his name
is, and the man replies "William Smee", who is Captain Hook's famous
sidekick in the Peter Pan story. Hook throws the bean onto the
sea, creating a whirlpool that leads into another world. Hook wants to
travel to another world so that he can plot revenge on Rumplestiltskin
for killing the woman Hook loved. When Smee asks where they are going,
Hook replies (of course), "Neverland!"
In the real
world, where Rumplestiltskin is Mr. Gold, Rumplestiltskin also struggles
against his cowardice. His girlfriend Belle (from Beauty and the Beast)
is upset with him because she caught him using magic. Rumplestiltskin
asks someone for dating advice, and the guy tells him that the key to a
successful relationship is honesty. Belle is looking for a job and
loves books, so she'd like to be the librarian at the local library that
is re-opening. Rumplestiltskin gives her the key to the
library as an act of kindness, with no strings attached that she will
continue a romantic relationship with him. He also confesses that he was a coward for not being honest with her.
why did I enjoy this particular episode? First of all, I could
identify with the characters. There was Rumplestiltskin, who was a
coward, and I rooted for him when he became powerful and could challenge
his bullies. There was Rumplestiltskin's wife, who wanted a bigger
life than the one she had and thus followed Captain Hook. There was
Captain Hook, who, although he was a bully and a scoundrel,
loved Rumplestiltskin's wife and knew enough about character that he
recognized that power does not equal courage. There was Belle, who had
her own dreams of becoming a librarian. And Rumplestiltskin chose to
love her unconditionally----whether or not she reciprocated that love.
the episode was exploring what true courage is. I still do not
understand how Rumplestiltskin was a coward even when he was powerful,
but I'm sure that Captain Hook had something deep and profound in his
mind when he made that accusation. Perhaps Rumplestiltskin was a
coward because he did not accept life as it was----he could not accept
that his wife did not love him, and so he felt that he had to get his own
way, even if that hurt other people. At times, courage may entail
accepting unpleasant realities and being a bigger person, as
Rumplestiltskin was in his relationship with Belle at the end of the
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