Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 1, Episode 9 of ABC's "Once Upon a Time," entitled "True North."
While "Once Upon a Time" is fast becoming known for its original twists on classic fairytales, the fantasy show generally erred on the side of tradition when it came to tackling Hansel and Gretel in this week's episode. Sure, the blind witch (played by "Buffy" alum Emma Caulfield) was more of a looker than we might remember, but the oven and the gingerbread house were picture perfect ... after all, why tamper with the classics?
Still, all roads lead back to The Evil Queen (henceforth known as "TEQ") in Fairytale Land, and in this week's story, she was the one who sent the twins into the sticky lair of her cannibalistic rival, all to retrieve an infamous red apple. I must admit, I love the idea of warring witches who might be friends but are more likely to be enemies, each with his/her own specific curses and powers.
As intriguing as those connections are, I'd still love to see more of Fairytale Land's geography and politics to work out how everything fits together. For example, how powerful is TEQ compared to Maleficent and the blind witch? If she's stronger, why must she send children to achieve her ends, and if she's not, why is she allowed to rule her late-husband's kingdom unchallenged? When the show began, I mistakenly thought that all of the stories would take place in the same realm, which was admittedly short-sighted of me, given how many princesses there are in the Disney canon. But now, it seems obvious that there are neighboring lands and factions at play, and probably even different time periods being explored. After all, Rumplestiltskin seems to be enough of an established antagonist for Snow White and Prince Charming that his own origin story, shown last week, potentially came years (maybe even decades?) before he was captured and locked away in the mines. The same holds true for Jiminy Cricket's backstory, since Geppetto was still a child when Jiminy traded his human form for a smaller, greener one, but an old man when Snow and Charming married. Read More...