Once Upon a Time: Tallahassee


by Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)


It appears that season two of Once Upon a Time is about delving into character’s pasts. We’ve taken a look more into the pasts of Regina and Rumple, learned about who Dr. Whale is and now, FINALLY, we have some background on our very own Emma! Let the review begin…

Past Emma breaks into a car, not realizing until she was driving that someone is in the backseat: one Neal Cassidy. It turned out it wasn’t his car, either, but he was a sweet-talker when the police pulled him over. Flash forward, and a pregnant Emma and Neal were in a convenience store. While she picked up food, he distracted the clerk by asking for directions. However, when a man walked in, saw him pick up two Apollo Bars (Lost!) and began calling him out on it, Emma faked labor and they escaped. Outside, Emma pulled the bag of food out from under her dress… so much for being “pregnant.” Next, they snuck into a hotel room, where he suggested they find a real place and “retire the Bonnie and Clyde act.” She decided on Tallahassee.

Another flash forward and we see an obstacle to that plan in a wanted poster for Neal. Neal wanted to go to Canada alone, but because she loved him (and he loved her), she decided to help out and instead sell the watches he stole so they could change their identities and still go to Tallahassee together. She got the watches out of the locker easily, and he gave her one to keep before going to sell the rest. However, he was chased and grabbed by August, who said to come with him if he wanted to protect Emma.

August described himself as Emma’s guardian angel and said they were in the same home. He thought she’d be safe in the system. He told Neal to leave her if he loved her because she had a destiny, going on to show him something to make him believe in magic before explaining Emma was the key to breaking a curse. Two months later, Neal found August in Vancouver. He wanted to know if Emma was okay, and August said she would be. Neal argued he should be doing the time, but August insisted she’d be fine. Neal made him promise to be there for her and get her the car and money from the watches. He also wanted word if Emma did the job–the postcard. In prison, Emma got the keys by mail, so she’d have a car when she got out, and a baby.

Hook brought Emma, Mary, Aurora, and Mulan to the beanstalk, explaining the sole surviving Giant at the top stood between them and the magical compass they needed to get home. But could they trust Hook? He claimed his allegiance lay with whoever got him to Storybrooke fastest. Emma insisted on going up with Hook and took powder from Mulan to knock out the Giant. He could tell she was motivated to get back to a child so she wouldn’t abandon him like she was abandoned. He saw the same look in her eyes he saw in the lost boys of Neverland. He could tell love was rare in her life, and she said she had never been in love.

On the ground, Mulan suggested they organize shifts to rest. Aurora said she’d stay up with Mary at first, commenting she had nightmares, but Mary told her own story of nightmares and Charming watching over her and offered to watch over her. At the top of the beanstalk, Hook explained they’d wait for the Giant to fall asleep, but Emma wanted to use Mulan’s powder. When she saw his Milah tattoo, she realized that was part of why he wanted to kill Gold. They went with Emma’s plan, and after Hook lured him out, she took the Giant down with the powder.

After waking Aurora from a dream, Mary had her tell her about it. Aurora was trapped in a red room and the curtains were on fire. There was someone else there with her in the corner. Mary told her the nightmares would fade away. Meanwhile, Emma and Hook were looking for the compass, and of course, Hook was interested in more treasure. During their search, they came across Jack’s skeleton and a trip wire. As they were looking, the Giant woke up and captured Emma who explained she needed the compass to save her son. She freed herself by biting him and made a run for it, trapping him in his own trap with the trip wire and grabbing Jack’s sword. He gave her the compass, and she let him live. For that, when he freed himself, he showed her the way out and let her free Hook from under rubble. That was when she cuffed Hook because she couldn’t risk being wrong about him. She was giving herself a head-start. Mulan had been keeping time and went to cut down the beanstalk when ten hours had past, like Emma wanted. Mary refused to let her, and then Emma returned. Mary told her they were going back together.

Back in Storybrooke, Henry awakes from a bad dream and tells David about it, which turns out to be the exact same dream Aurora had! Why is it that Henry and Aurora are having the same dream?

Tallahassee was probably the most substantial episode of the season thus far and I really liked the chemistry between Emma and Hook. We’ll see where the writers decided to take that “relationship” as the season progresses. As for the special effects, I can usually disregard them not being so great when it comes to television, after all, TV doesn’t have the budget in one hour episodic dramas that big budget Hollywood films have, but this episode was pretty bad, all things considered. But the presence of Jorge Garcia (Hurley from Lost) made everything worthwhile.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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