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October 13, 2015

'Once Upon a Time' Season 1, Episode 5 Recap (VIDEO)

by Laura Prudom, posted Nov 27th 2011 11:00PM
Archie and Regina['Once Upon a Time' - 'That Still Small Voice']

Though I had an embarrassingly extensive collection of Disney movies as a child (who am I kidding, I still have them), Pinocchio was never among the VHS tapes I wore out beyond repair. Because of this, the idea of an episode centered around Jiminy Cricket didn't exactly leave me hopping with anticipation.

Still, 'Once Upon a Time' already proved that it is adept at subverting expectations in its first four episodes, and 'That Still Small Voice' proved to be an undeniably satisfying hour of television, deepening our understanding of Archie/Jiminy's character and giving us some welcome development in Mary Margaret and David's tragic romance. I don't know about you, but I really could watch a whole hour of those two playing hangman and innocently flirting and need nothing else from the show.

Thanks to our flashbacks to fairytale land, we discovered that Jiminy and his parents -- played by the always-fantastic Harry Groener and Carolyn Hennessy -- were travelling con-artists, who had a number of impressive tricks with which to scam all manner of unsuspecting folks.

As with Snow White's backstory, the writer (in this case, Whedon alum Jane Espenson) tossed out any notions we might have had for a twee or predictable past, instead using Jiminy's guilt about his parents' lack of conscience to justify how overdeveloped his own would later become. It stands to reason that a boy who once felt trapped by his family's questionable code of ethics would go out of his way to be a beacon of honesty for others who had lost their way.

When the young boy who gave Jiminy his umbrella (and helped set his moral compass straight) turned out to be the boy that Jiminy inadvertently orphaned, I was foolishly predicting that it would somehow be Pinocchio with a bastardized backstory, and that cricket-Jiminy would lead him to Geppetto to raise. Discovering that the boy was actually Geppetto himself was an unexpectedly poignant moment (yes, I cried), as was the inclusion of the wishing star and the Blue Fairy. And now we know where the creepy dolls in Mr. Gold's pawn shop come from.

One thing that wasn't so clear was what Jiminy was doing with Rumplestiltskin in the first place -- it seemed as though he was giving the imp his stolen wares in exchange for gold thread, but it mostly seemed to be a bit of an easy writing fix to get Jiminy into a room with someone who could tempt him with an escape route from his parents, albeit one that would undeniably "come with a price." Similarly, I don't think we needed to see Mr. Gold's pawn shop just to fit in a shot of the creepy dolls; I certainly remembered them from the last episode, so I would have preferred that the producers give the audience a little more credit, instead of needing to spoon-feed us the familiar imagery.

Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, Emma and Regina were still locked in a battle of alpha mom posturing, even when Henry was in mortal danger lost down a mine. It was nice to see Archie gradually regaining his sense of self in our world as well as his confidence in fairytale land, and despite Regina's anvil-tastic threats of taking away his home and basically turning him into a bug, I did appreciate her warning that the only roof he'd have over his head would be his umbrella. It was always one of Jiminy's most memorable possessions in 'Pinocchio,' and it reinforced the idea that as long as the little cricket had his conscience and his umbrella to keep the rain off his head, he would be content with life, which was a beautiful message to send.

Archie isn't quite that unfettered yet (he still has Pongo to think about, after all!), but it was great to see him standing up to Regina, especially when he used a potential custody battle as leverage against her.

Speaking of Regina -- it was interesting to see her finally displaying some true emotion towards Henry, with unmistakable tears in her eyes at the prospect of losing him. We inevitably paint her as the villain in all this thanks to her fairytale alter-ego, but most of the time, her actions in Storybrooke truly do come from a place of overprotective care more than malice, and she undoubtedly does love her adopted son, even if she struggles to show it. That doesn't excuse the bone-headed decision to use explosives to get inside a collapsing mine, though; there's no justifying the insanity of that plot point.

Even though they only shared a few scenes together, Mary Margaret and David were once again my favorite part of the episode, from their sweet game of hangman (and David's insistence that he would never have let Mary lose) to their conversation by the lake when David insisted that Mary was the only part of the world that felt true or right. Those crazy kids are just made for each other!

It's also refreshing that Kathryn is being portrayed as a sympathetic character (unlike the nagging princess she was in 'Snow Falls') so that, as Mary pointed out, crushing on her husband doesn't feel as easy as it could otherwise. I can't wait for next week's Charming-centric episode, which should further deepen their relationship in both Storybrooke and fairytale land.

I only counted one "kid" from Emma tonight -- but a whole mess of flasks in the final scene. If you're not going to commit to the drinking game, 'Once,' then don't play at all!

But the biggest question remains: how did Snow White's glass coffin end up in the mine, and is it possible to get to fairytale land from there, as Henry suspected?

'Once Upon a Time' airs Sundays at 8PM ET on ABC.

What was your favorite moment in 'That Still Small Voice'? Was Jiminy's backstory what you expected? Did you catch any extra 'Lost' or Disney easter eggs? Share your thoughts below.

Follow Laura on Twitter: @LauinLA

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I'm going to throw out a long shot theory here...what if Henry is Pinocchio and his story is included in the missing pages of the book? If so, we could find out at the end of the series that he's in fairy tale land and has made up this "alternate universe" in modern times.

November 30 2011 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I find myself wanting more from the Regina storylines, even if she did come off as more human tonight.

Nothing against Raphael Sbarge but this wasn't my favourite episode (I'm biased against all things Pinnochio), though I loved seeing Harry Groener and Barb from Cougartown in the Fairy Tale side.

Check out the full recap on bitchstolemyremote.com here http://wp.me/p1VQBq-61

November 29 2011 at 8:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So...Henry still has the piece of glass he found from Snow White's coffin in his back pack, right?

November 28 2011 at 4:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Any Lost fans see the little Lost moment in this week's episode? Henry's candy bar that Archie found at the mine was an Apollo bar. Love the little things that these incredibly smart former Lost writers put into this show. The way the show is developed is obviously very reminiscent of the storytelling in Lost, but adding these little extras are really incredibly fun.

Loved the revelation that the little boy that Jiminy takes after was Gepetto. I too thought that they were going to reveal Pinocchio. Initially I thought the little boy in the beginning was Pinocchio but it ended up being Archie and then I again thought it was Pinocchio when it ended up being Gepetto. Incredibly smart of the writers not to introduce that character yet. We are only on Episode 5. And I know like Lost it becomes frustrating not to get all the answers in an episode, but I just love the way they are telling these stories.

Snow White and Prince Charming are just too cute for words. Definitely think something is up with that lady he is "supposedly" married too. If every character in the "real world" except for Emma and Henry are characters from the fairy tale world and therefore have in them innate qualities from that fairy tale world, then that lady isn't as nice as she seems. Remembering from a few episodes back she was a nasty kind of lady, very spoiled, so something is definitely up with her, even though we don't know just what it is yet. Plus where was she all of these years that Prince Charming was supposedly in a coma, I don't trust her story.

Can't wait to see next week and see who else we get to learn about.

November 28 2011 at 2:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I LOVED the Jiminy Cricket story and finding out the psychiologist's best friend was the elderly Geppetto and at the end his wish to be a cricket was granted.

November 28 2011 at 12:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just a correction but it was a mine that was collapsing, not a sinkhole. Too much mining made the area unstable but nothing ever happened until Emma arrived in town. Good catch on the dog Pongo, I never managed to hear the dogs name,lol. Can't wait for 101 Dalmatian puppies.

November 27 2011 at 11:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rtms77's comment

It was being referred to as a sinkhole in all the press materials, so it's kind of ingrained in my mind that way, but I don't mind changing it.

November 28 2011 at 8:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ashley M

I'm excited to see more of Prince Charming backstory. The love between him and Mary Margaret was so palpable and innocent and pure and it was just perfect! I agree that I could watch them playing hangman and innocently flirting for an entire episode! One moment that got me thinking towards the beginning was when Emma and Mary Margaret were talking in the kitchen while eating smores. Emma made a comment that made it seem as if she knew what it was like to be involved with a married man...Henry's father perhaps?

November 27 2011 at 11:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ashley M's comment

Interesting observation - I never thought about that but it's certainly possible that Henry's father was a married man, that would definitely add a little more depth to Emma's backstory. Considering that she's the "savior," I can't help but think that Henry's dad must have an important role to play somewhere down the line too, rather than just being a random throwaway. Nice catch!

November 28 2011 at 8:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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