This week’s episode was an adorable interlude from our Mary Margaret-Katharine-David Love Triangle programming. There was still a little sad violin in the background as inexperienced sheriff Emma Swann attempted to solve the case of the missing Kathryn Nolan. The massive underlying theme finally brought to full light in this episode almost made up for the lack of Princess Abigail’s quips.

We focused on Fairy Tale’s number one powdery export: fairy dust. In a disgustingly magical cloud scene we watch a fairy spill magic powder like it’s the penultimate scene in Scarface. The Blue Fairy, a familiar face, chastises her pink protegĂ©, while laughing in the face of her dream. She explains that fairy fust is responsible for all of the magic “in the land,” and therefore its most valuable substance. Nova wistfully asks when she will be a Fairy Godmother, The Blue Fairy calls her a “Dreamer” and the two fly off together.

No, this is not a screenshot from a life action Rainbow Brite. That's two fairies on a prime time network television show.

But not before Nova dumps more than a handful of the shimmering stuff onto the earth below. It floats down, and settles into an egg that resides in a room full of other eggs!

Enter Fairy Tale’s banana republic: the magic-stone mining Dwarfs. Turns out that Dwarfs hatch, fully bearded, from eggs. No “When a Mommy Dwarf likes a Daddy Dwarf’s Beard,” no 30 years of loveless marriage and ten kids, nothing. Once hatched, they’re cleaned up and put to work in a job they were literally made for: Mining. They’re so into mining the first ax they hold magically names them.

An ax that gives a dwarf hatched from an egg his name: not the weirdest concept in this episode.

Our Fetal Fairy Powder Syndrome egg hatches ‘Dreamy.’ His 7 brothers are named for the Disney Dwarfs, with the exclusion of Stealthy, who we already saw die, and Grumpy, conspicuously missing from the line up.

A year after their birth, Dreamy meets the extremely forward fairy Nova, who is still an apprentice. They talk about their dreams for a while, and the klutz accidentally puts the year’s supply of Fairy Dust into peril twice. Both times she could have saved the day with those wings we keep seeing, but why would they solve a problem that simple with anything but a “hero” (man) coming to “save the day” (trope alert). In an entirely un-PC move, Nova attempts to pick up her rescuer while on the job. By pick up, I mean invite him to a steamy session of watching fire flies on a hill-top and giggling a lot at everything he says.

The chemistry between Amy Acker and Lee Arenberg save what could have been a disastrous storyline.

Being a clueless, loveless Dwarf, he unwittingly turns her down. To the bar! Luckily, Belle from two episodes ago is chilling in the same locale, and gives him some friendly advice on love. Assumedly this is hours before she is tortured by her father and throws herself from a tower because of the man she’s in love with. “You need to be with the person you love,” says the woman who just got hit by the guy she was shacked up with.

We need to discuss how Belle has apparently fled her horrible father, her abusive lover/boss and has turned to drink in an underground bar populated by mining drone/dwarfs. I love you Belle. Never change.

Dreamy and Nova meet up, kiss, then decide to run away together and sail.  Unfortunately, if this happy ending is reached Nova will lose her wings, the Blue Fairy her apprentice, and Dreamy will be very happy. It’s slowly revealed that the magical dust from Dreamy’s conception gave him the lamest super power ever: the ability to love. Instead, the Dwarf turns down a life of happiness and adventure, and returns to mine, morphing from a friendly, happy little worker, to “Grumpy.”

Which brings me to my massive underlying theme. Review the stories we have been told so far. Briefly, in your head.  Prior to the Evil Queen’s dark revolution that tossed all our classic characters to Storybrooke, Maine: who was happy? Could her attempt at tyranny have in fact been the catalyst needed to propel Fairy Tale from the dark ages to hippie commune of love and prosperity we’re supposed to believe it was?

That's right. She's secretly the heroine. DEAL.

Back in Storybrooke, we explore the town drunk: Leroy. Leroy’s fallen for a nun named Astrid (Nova). To the backdrop of a fundraiser for the town’s favorite festival, the two have some hit and miss interactions all based around Leroy as this hapless nun’s “hero.” To raise money for the nun’s rent from the nefarious Mr. Gold, the “town harlot” (Mary Margaret), and the “town drunk” (Leroy), have to team up and sell an unspecified amount of candles. They must be pretty posh candles, because the target is $5,000 over the course of a day. After some adventures, this is finally accomplished by Leroy smashing the transformer supporting the festival’s lighting, witnessed only by Mary Margaret.

How did NO ONE see this besides Mary Margaret?

The two proceed to make a killing selling candles to the unilluminated crowd, Leroy gets a nice hug, Granny symbolically lets M.M. back into the Storybrooker “not a tramp” club: happiest ending ever.

Except that in the background Emma was being terrible at investigating crimes. She relies on the two-faced Sidney Glass to get her Kathryn’s phone records from an anonymous source. The source, of course, is Regina. Using the logic of entirely unmolestable paper evidence, Sheriff Swann unofficially brings in David Nolan for his wife’s disappearance, in front of the entirety of Storybrooke. Dun dun DUN.

  • I gotta say, I loved this episode. It was beautifully absurd and even some of that absurdity carried over into the “real” world with MM and Leroy’s relationship.

    It was also nice to see MM be sassy and kind of a jerk like her Fairy Tale counterpart. Though the illusion of fun times and fairy tale characters trying to exist in the real world was ruined whenever Emma showed up to be confused and scowled. She’s kind of becoming problematic?

    I also really liked the show’s attempt to step away from heteronormative relationships with the Nova/Grumpy relationship. It was the most obscure allusion to homosexuality I’ve ever seen but it was also addictive storytelling. Acker and Arenberg really, really sold us on what should have been a relationship that just makes you cringe throughout.

    More of this craziness and more of the Evil Queen playing it dastardly and close to the vest and things will be allll right.

    And next week! Red Riding Hood and Snow White turn into idiot teenagers and go wolf hunting! I am really excited.