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Episode 1.21: An Apple Red As Blood

This week's episode is 1.21, "An Apple Red As Blood," in which we go barrelling headlong towards the first season finale and a major turning point in the series.

I'm starting the discussion this week because masqthephlsphr is on vacation. So here's the (somewhat disconnected) thoughts I had while watching:

Poor Emma is clearly getting very, very stressed, between the difficult job of trying to do what's right for Henry (and, indeed, trying to figure out what's right for Henry), and dealing with Regina and all these people who seem to want her to believe crazy things. It's hard to blame her, really.

Regina, too, is obviously feeling the strain, complete with disturbing nightmares. I find it kind of interesting that in her dream, people are telling her that they want her to feel their pain, that they want to rip love from her the way she ripped it from them. Is this some subconscious manifestation of an ability to feel actual guilt and empathy? Or just Regina projecting her own motivations and emotions? Either way, of course, she deals with it in typically duplicitous and destructive Regina fashion.

Rumple suggesting that "perhaps you giving up Henry is just the price to keep the curse unbroken" is interesting, isn't it, in light of the S3 mid-season finale and Regina's realization that giving up Henry is the price to keep an even worse curse from happening. I suspect that's probably accidental, but I find this sort of thing pleasing. It makes the entire series feel as if it hangs together very nicely as a whole, somehow.

It's not necessarily the most exciting fight scene in the history of television, but I rather like assault on the castle, just because it features such an entertainingly unlikely band of motley heroes. The air support fairies are an especially nice touch, although I'm surprised Blue could be persuaded. How is this sort of thing not against her precious fairy rules? By the way, it's interesting to note that Snow, who I think people sometimes see as a bit too much of a goody two-shoes innocent, is apparently killing people left and right in this assault, including giving one guy a pretty vicious knife to the ribs. Of course, killing people in battle is traditionally viewed as a very different sort of thing than murder, so maybe it's not too surprising if she also draws that distinction. It is interesting, though.

This episode provides a nice example of the way this show reclaims fairy tales for its female characters, giving Snow White the chance to rescue the Prince as well as vice versa, and making her eating of the apple a deliberate act undertaken with her eyes wide open, rather than painting her as naive and easily duped, as the fairy tale original seems to be (and the Disney version certainly is).

I'm trying to decide whether Jefferson seeing the picture of Daniel and asking "Who's that?" and Regina not being surprised he doesn't know (and not telling him) constitutes a continuity problem with "The Doctor" or not. Should Regina have expected him to know what Daniel looked like? I don't seem to remember the details of that episode as well as I ought to.

I think we've been over this before, but the fact that Jefferson is able to reach back in time to grab the apple pretty unambiguously demonstrates that portals can travel across time as well as between universes. Which I think provides the answer to the perennial question of why Rumple would even think his son was still alive 300 years later. No doubt he programmed to curse to take him to not only where Baelfire was, but also when. Although he might not have been able to fine-tune it perfectly. If he were, I suppose he could have arranged to have the curse broken the same day the kid arrived.

Henry is such a brave little kid, so full of belief and faith, so willing to step up and make a sacrifice in order to be the hero. It ultimately has very good consequences here, of course (and echoes his grandmother's similar sacrifice in the flashbacks), but of course it will get him into a lot of trouble later on.

And, finally: Is it completely crazy that I'm suddenly craving apple turnovers?

Comments

astrogirl2
Feb. 18th, 2014 04:45 pm (UTC)
I think I found the siege awesomer on first viewing, when I really wasn't expecting it.

And I think you might be right about Jefferson. I kind of hope so. It's nice when the continuity all works out.