After a couple of weeks off, we return to Storybrooke and the Enchanted Forest– sort of. This week we re-encounter the Giant (played by “Lost” alum and Weezer album cover boy Jorge García), and we meet the (at least according to Hook) legendary Jack.
Up in the heavens of Fairy Tale Land, we return to the Giant Land we encountered a few episodes back. Except it’s not in ruins. It’s prosperous, alive. We hear a dinner bell, and a bunch of giants gather at a table full of food. The last to arrive is the smallest of the giants, and he is teased mercilessly by his brothers for not working in the bean fields. They all call him “Tiny”.
“It’s Anton”, he reminds them. His older brother, Arlo (oddly enough, they all have names that start with “A”) stops the commotion and reminds them of the importance of the hundred year harvest. Anton questions why, but is interrupted when a tiny lyre falls out from his garments. He’s fascinated by human culture, but his brothers dismiss it, saying that humans only want to conquer and pillage. He also questions why the beans are grown if they do nothing with them, and Arlo tells him that the work itself is what matters, That it’s what they do. Another one of Anton’s brothers breaks the lyre, and Anton runs outside, where he climbs down the beanstalk to a world full of humans and wonder.
Down in a castle chamber, we see Charming in the throes of passion with a girl that we presume is Snow White– except it’s not, and neither if Charming. It’s his twin brother James (clueing us in to where in the series chronology this falls). Just then King George bursts in and interrupts, telling James his dalliance can wait. The kingdom is bankrupt, and there are rumors of a giant roaming the countryside. George feels the giant could be useful, so James and his lady-friend set off looking for the giant.
They find the giant outside a tavern, and, with some silver-tongued salesmanship, James’ female companion, named Jacqueline– or Jack, as everyone calls her– convinces Anton to eat a magic mushroom that will shrink him to human size and will allow him to go in the tavern. Once in the tavern, they lead him inside as a guest of honor. James tells Anton that he and his father are broke, and if they don’t find money, the kingdom will be bankrupt. He tries to get info on the beans from Anton, but he deflects the questions and instead proposes to give him some of his treasure, ensuring the kingdom remains intact.
We cut to Anton back in Giant Land. He’s in the treasure room, filling a bag. Arlo barges in, asking what he’s doing. Anton tells him he’s made human friends, and that they’re not all bad like he thinks. Just then, sentry birds fly in, alerting them of intruders. Concerned, Arlo asks Anton if he told the humans where he was going. James and Jack arrive, and Arlo meets them in the courtyard, Anton tells his brother that those are his friends, but James coldly dismisses him, telling him they’re there for the beans. A fight ensues. Arlo tells Anton he’s their only hope, and instructs him to raze the fields. Reluctantly, Anton complies. James and Jack catch up with Arlo, who is stabbed by Jack’s poisoned sword. He manages to catch her and stabs her with her own sword. Dying, she asks James for help. But he tells her he’s sorry, but he has a kingdom to run, and leaves her to die.
Dying, Arlo asks Anton if he destroyed the fields. He says yes, and Arlo gives Anton a tiny bit of a stalk in a vial, which can be used to start a new field someday. Anton is confused, because he was told to salt the fields, but with his dying breath Arlo tells him maybe he will find a new land one day.
In Storybrooke, meanwhile, Gold prepares for a road trip, and arrives at Emma’s and Snow’s place to pick up Emma– his travel partner. She explains to him that, with Cora and Regina skulking about, leaving Henry alone isn’t a good idea, so he’ll need to go. Gold hesitates and protests, but she tells him it’s a package deal. Either they all go, or nobody goes. Seeing as he has no choice, Gold agrees and tells her they’ll need to buy another plane ticket. Before leaving, Gold promises David that no harm will fall on Emma or Henry while they’re away.
Gold, Emma and Henry hop into Gold’s Caddy and head off to Logan Airport in Boston. Shortly after, Regina shows up at the Charming-White’s, who are getting ready to join the dwarves in Cora watch. She tells them she knows they think she killed Archie. Mary Margaret tells her they know she was framed, and apologizes for not telling her sooner. She wants to pick up Henry, but is informed that he’s not there and, because of Cora being back in the picture, the best thing was him to go with Emma on the trip. She leaves, but she’s not particularly pleased with the current situation. She also conveniently leaves out the part where she’s in cahoots with Cora. Charming and Snow head out to find someone that can help them.
Down at the docks, Charming, Snow and Leroy bring Hook, who is still recovering, but is still full of that lovable, roguish sleaze that we’ve come to know and love. They force Hook to bring them to the Jolly Roger, in hopes of finding out what Cora’s got up her sleeve. Being a pirate, and being fully aware of which way the wind’s currently blowing, he concedes and takes them on board. He again insists he doesn’t know what Cora’s got planned, but knows that it involves him. He lifts a tarp to reveal Anton, shrunk down to human size, and out cold in a cage.
The release him from the cage, and he introduces himself to Mary Margaret. Upon seeing David, however, he becomes angered, pointing at him. “You,” he says. “Me?,”, replies David. With that, Anton lunges at David. Mary Margaret stops him with a warning arrow. With that, Anton leaves, saying things aren’t over between them, leaving the foursome bruised and confused.
Over in the hospital, Ruby arrives to visit Belle, who is still recovering, and who still has no memory of her FTL self. Ruby brings her a book, but Belle isn’t interested. Ruby continues to try and connect with Belle, but Belle, still in a fragile state, becomes increasingly agitated, until a nurse runs in and sedates Belle. Before leaving, Ruby approaches Greg “the stranger” Mendell, who’s been watching the situation. After finding out he’s doing better, Ruby replies that it’ll mean he can be on his way out of SB soon.
At Granny’s, David, Mary Margaret and Leroy are going over what’s happened. David realizes that Anton isn’t angry with him, he’s just confusing him with his twin brother James, and they head out to figure out what exactly James did to get this Giant angry.
Meanwhile, our road trippers have arrived at the airport and are going through security. Gold is asked to remove the shawl, and Emma protects him, promising that he won’t forget who he is. The make it through without incident and prepare themselves to wait, with Henry running off to find Cinnabons.
Back at the docks, Hook waits for Cora, but instead is met by Regina, who informs him that she and Cora have kissed and made up. She asks if the Charming-Whites have found the ship. Hook asks why Cora can’t ask him herself, and Regina informs him it’s not really a good idea for Cora to be out and about at the moment. She tells him Cora needs some things from the ship, and Hook informs her she’s in luck, because their “guest” took a look at David, got a murderous look in him, and ran off into town. Sensing that having a Giant running amok in SB may be the distraction she needs, Regina leaves.
Anton, meanwhile, is running through town, angry and confused with this new environment, almost getting hit by a couple of cars in the process. David and company watch, telling the people of SB to get off the streets. They approach the giant, and David tells him it was really his twin brother James that caused whatever is making him angry. Mary Margaret tries to reassure him and tells him he knows their daughter, Emma. Anton agrees to stop if Emma can vouch for them. Unfortunately, Emma is out of town, and Anton, enraged, chases after David, Mary Margaret and Leroy.
At the airport, Henry and Emma wait for their flight, with first-time flyer Gold pacing back and forth. He excuses himself to the bathroom. After making sure there’s no one else there, he locks himself in a stall and goes berserk, hitting the walls until his hand bleeds. He waves his hand over the injury, and—nothing. He’s still human, and in a land without magic. Henry pops his head in to let him know they’ll be boarding soon.
Rampaging Anton continues his tear through town, chasing David, Mary Margaret and Leroy. Eventually, David hatches a plan and turns to Anton, offering to surrender himself if Anton will stop this madness. He accepts, but as Anton is going to smash David, Mary Margaret pushes David away, making Anton crash though into a sinkhole. The effects of Anton’s temporary giantism wear off, and he shrinks back to human size, falling through the sink hole and ending up dangling perilously from a plank.
The folks put together rope, and David spelunks down to Anton to save him and drag him back to the surface. After some back and forth, David convinces Anton to trust him, and David is able to rescue the not-so-giant and bring him back to the surface safely.
They all return to the diner, and they continue to try and convince Anton that he should stay. He insists that he’s not the “fitting in” type, but they reassure him that SB is precisely the place for those that don’t necessarily fit in—fairies, dwarves, werewolves. You name it. Anton asks why they don’t just go back home, and David tells him there isn’t a way. Anton pulls out the stalk in a vial that Arlo gave him, and tells them there may just be a way.
They head out to a field behind the diner, and Anton plants the stalk. He knows that’s why Cora brought him there, and is afraid of what may happen. Leroy gathers the dwarfs and informs them of their new mission– to protect the fields. Leroy asks Anton if he’s up for some help. Anton says he does, and Leroy asks Happy to give Anton his own pickaxe. When Anton grabs it, the name “Tiny” appears on the handle. He remarks that it was what his brothers used to call him, and the once-again Seven (not-quite) Dwarfs begin the task of planting.
In the hospital, Greg goes to Belle’s room and tells her he overheard her talking about the man throwing a ball of fire and confesses to Belle that he believes her.
Charming and Snow spend some time discussing the whole Anton/magic bean issue, and wondering about “what ifs”– it had been David and not James that was raised by King George. They also discuss where “home” is, with Snow concluding that it’s with her family– David, Emma, Henry– and that place right now is Storybrooke.
Somewhere over the Eastern seaboard, Emma and Henry are enjoying each other’s company on their flight out of Logan, while Gold is a white-knuckled customer. Emma tries to reassure him by reminding him that they will find his son,
“I know”, he replies
Next week– New York City, baby! Emma. Henry and Gold land in the Big Apple, while #evilregals Cora and Regina look for Rumple’s dagger.
Theories & Observations:
Overall, I found this episode a big improvement from the snoozer that was “in the name of the brother”. Even though we got some reference markers towards the bigger story, and the overall continuity was addressed (by involving James, Charming’s dead twin brother), the events themselves felt like they moved along at a breezy pace. Hopefully this feeling is carried on in future episodes.
- Funniest exchange of the night–
Leroy: James, David, Charming–what, is David like a middle name?
David: No, it’s my name name.
Leroy: You know, what if I call you whatever I damn well please!
- The dwarfs becoming seven again (with the addition of Tiny).
- For a while, I was of the mind that the dude in NYC (which turned out to be Emma’s ex-boyfriend) was Rumple’s son. Now that it’s pretty evident he’s Henry’s dad, my attention is turned to “stranger” Greg. I mean, what other reason would there be for the writers to put him there? And if he isn’t, they better resolve that double-quick.
- Speaking of ex-boyfriend Neal, how will he react when he sees his son?
- What’s the deal with Regina? Is she genuinely teaming up with Cora, or could she maybe still be looking for revenge against her mother, and this is just part of a long con?