Sunday, December 4, 2011

Kingdom Come & Kingdom Fall For 'Once Upon A Time's' David...

When kingdom come, you ready? (I will be)
When kingdom come, uh huh (I will be)

I'm just going to come right out and say it: Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) is a fool. A pure-hearted, truly good princess type fool. For purposes of the on-going television drama within Once Upon A Time, I never expected Mary Margaret and David (Josh Dallas) to be able to be together this early on in the series. But "being together forever" is very different from hooking up. Any sixth grader these days can tell you that. And personally, I think Mary Margaret deserves a little happiness-- the curse won't prevent her from partial gratification, will it? I had hoped not, and I was on the edge of my couch all night waiting for Emma (Jennifer Morrison) to teach her mom how to grow a pair and take life-- and maybe even David himself-- by the balls, throw caution to the wind, and do what felt right. At least a kiss-- a kiss is innocuous enough, right?

...Okay, I know a kiss is anything but in a fairy-tale, but still; if she doesn't do it soon, I will!

I went into "The Shepherd" knowing that not only was this David's back story episode and therefore almost a companion to "Snow Falls," the season's previous episode that dealt with how Snow White (Goodwin) came to be who she was, but also that we were going to learn David had a twin. Dallas had revealed the "Prince and the Pauper" twist during my October set visit, though admittedly once he teased it, my mind began racing with possibilities of where this twin was in the Storybrooke world. Learning that, in fact, one man had died in the fairy-tale land long before the curse was enacted-- long before Snow and Charming ever met and fell in love-- simplified things a lot. It also explained why the so-called Prince was so willing to overlook things like class and status when he first met Snow in that aforementioned episode, "Snow Falls." He didn't grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth; he was out in the woods just like she was. He saw something in himself reflected in her, and it sparked intrigue but also gave him a connection-- a way to hold onto to his own life. Taking another look at "Snow Falls" after knowing what I know now from "The Shepherd" certainly shows a new layer to Charming. He certainly looks a lot more bored with his lap of luxury life than he did at first-- and not just for a faddish rebellion that would most likely end in pain for Snow when he gave up his youthful rebellion and ran running right back to mommy and daddy.

In Snow, Charming saw who he truly was, and in Storybrooke, that is exactly what David sees now that he has awoken-- literally. Is Henry (Jared Gilmore) right that being in a coma the whole time gave him the blank slate none of the other members of the town can claim? Sure, he doesn't have false memories implanted in his mind by the curse, so he might be the most clear-headed of everyone to understand who he should be with, but he still doesn't know who he truly is. He knows his personality traits, his interests-- his instincts-- but he has no idea that he was once a prince, let alone a pauper in a prince's clothing. Again, it would be too easy for him to just wake up and remember, especially this early into the series, but it's a start. And it might be the best lead Henry has because the rest of his family still thinks he just has an over-active imagination. I can't help but hope Henry will just yell out "Grandpa!" to David just to see what happens.

The curse, of course, kicked in before the episode's end (admittedly, that seemed a little too easy, too), with David remembering his life with Kathryn (Anastasia Griffith), but that opened a new can of worms for me. If at one point in the fairy-tale world David (well, actually, we don't know what his real name was back then, as he masqueraded as James) agreed to marry Abigail (Griffith) simply so his kingdom wouldn't crumble, how did he convince his family otherwise later? As we saw in the pilot episode, he and Snow successfully married. Perhaps the kingdom would have crumbled around them had the curse not been created at that right moment, we'll never know. But what I really am curious about is what was gained in Storybrooke by the coupling of Kathryn and David. Surely it has something to do with Regina (Lana Parrilla), who seems to be Kathryn's only other connection to the town, but a little part of me thinks the good ole doc (David Anders) is involved in some way, too.

It was so sad to see Mary Margaret get her hopes up-- to finally take action and put herself out there based on a gut instinct, only for David to tell her he remembers "everything" (oh, how little that word seems to mean in Storybrooke!) and therefore remembers loving his wife and that he will be returning to her. But as sad as it was to watch Mary Margaret get hurt-- and as sad as she must have felt-- that in itself is yet another step toward breaking the curse, in my opinion. It certainly seemed that before Emma arrived-- before the clock started ticking again-- Storybrooke was trapped in a kind of Groundhog Day scenario. The exact day may not have been repeating, but the characters were certainly stuck stagnant. Maybe it was because they called her "Sister" Mary Margaret in the pilot, but I imagined she was alone the whole time-- never putting herself out there for love or anything. Now she finally did-- at Emma's convincing. Emma's impact is multi-fold. And sure, Mary Margaret was rebuffed, and it hurt, but she'll heal, and she'll learn, and she'll grow because of it. And growth is movement forward, and when these characters move forward, little cracks in the curse begin to appear.

All that really matters anyway is that Mary Margaret is wearing David's mother's ring-- the ring that "true love follows wherever it goes." They may not be together right now, but true love always wins out in the end. At least that's what television has always taught me.

"The Shepherd" was supposed to be focused on David and Charming, but something that stuck out even more was Rumple and Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle)'s thread of interest in babies. He seems to try to collect them the way American Horror Story's Murder House does! Though I have no doubt he is the one truly pulling the strings, I can't help but wonder why he has had such an interest in children at every point in time in this story. Maybe I just need to research the "real" tale of Rumplestiltskin to get my answer; maybe I just need to wait to see how Once Upon A Time plays out their own. It's truly fascinating, though, especially knowing that the deal that matters the most-- bringing Henry to Storybrooke-- is the one that could send him back to the fairy-tale world where he was once truly powerful but imprisoned at the end. Why would he want to go back to being imprisoned when here, in Storybrooke, he wields more power than he ever did in the fairy-tale world?

Also, Granny's B&B sure is turning into the seedy motel of Storybrooke. All the elicit affairs go down there. Who knew!?

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