“Once Upon a Time” Review and Spoilers: Lingering Questions from “In the Name of the Brother”
By John Randolph
Las Vegas Informer
In the “Once Upon a Time” episode “In the Name of the Brother,” Dr. Frankenstein’s backstory was explored further. Also in this episode, a stranger came to Storybrooke, Cora seemingly made a truce with Mr. Gold and Regina, and Mr. Gold called in his favor from Emma in order to get her to help him find his son Baelfire.
(Warning: Spoilers ahead!)
Dr. Frankenstein’s backstory was artfully executed, shot in black and white. It showed the difficult relationship he had with his father, Alphonse. It also showed how it contrasted from the relationship his brother Gerhardt had with his father as well. It seemed Gerhardt, a decorated military veteran, is his father’s favorite.
Dr. Frankenstein truly wants his father’s approval, which drives him. This forces him into the bad decisions he makes, like trying to steal a corpse that ultimately gets his brother shot and killed. It also opens him up to needing help from Rumpelstiltskin, who visits Dr. Frankenstein’s world.
Part of the artful direction is that Rumpelstiltskin appears in color in this black and white world.
So Gerhardt ends up reanimated, but ultimately is just a monster. The Dr. Frankenstein story created as many questions as it answered. As Henry noted, Dr. Frankenstein is not in his book of fairy tales. He is not from Fairytale Land. This left a lingering question: who all got brought over by Regina’s curse? What other realms were affected?
Also, why did Gerhardt not get brought over? Or is he already somebody in Storybrooke, somebody we haven’t met yet?
One of the most touching parts of the episode was Mr. Gold trying to get Belle to regain her memories. Unfortunately, Mr. Gold, in a lapse of character, is so desperate he does not realize how traumatizing his attempts are. The look on Belle’s face when Mr. Gold starts talking about magic and his castle said it all.
It came as no surprise when she smashed the chipped cup.
Using “Once Upon a Time” logic, I am surprised that Mr. Gold did not try to restore her memories by having her drink the water from the well, the well whose waters are supposed to return what was lost. Hopefully this will be attempted in a later episode.
When Cora came to town, I was expecting a massive fight between her and either Regina or Mr. Gold. What we got was something entirely different. Cora is a brilliant manipulator. In this episode, she also served as a plot device to keep the story moving forward for both Mr. Gold and Regina.
Cora, in a sign of truce, gave Mr. Gold the means to find his son. For someone who hated Cora so much, I was expecting more of a fight. But this can be explained by Mr. Gold’s anguish over Belle’s new memory loss. Cora sealing their truce with a kiss came as a surprise. I am sure this will be explored in the upcoming Cora backstory episode.
Cora was smart in tracking Regina. She knew by disguising herself as Henry that she would lower Regina’s defenses. It was disappointing though that Henry did not find Regina himself. Regina’s family crypt would be the one place Henry would definitely look.
Ultimately she played Regina brilliantly. Even I felt that she only wanted to be reunited with her daughter; much like Regina wants to be reunited with Henry.
When Cora remarked that she will help Regina get Henry back, it is clear there will be a dastardly plan hatched.
In the end of “The Outsider,” a stranger crashed his car in Storybrooke. The stranger, Greg Mendel, caused a lot of panic among the town people, who are fearful of outsiders coming to Storybrooke and learning their secrets. A discussion took place on whether to save the stranger or allow him to die, but ultimately it was decided to save him.
When asked by Emma what he saw when he crashed, the stranger said that he saw nothing, he was texting while driving. Later, when alone, Greg used his cell phone and made a call. The town’s worst fears are true, he did see something.
But who is Greg Mendel exactly? When he received a phone call on his cell phone, the Star Wars music played. Can that be a hint? Is he some other non-Fairytale Land character affected by the curse?
There may be some clues in reality on this. Gregor Mendel is the name of a scientist who lived from 1822 – 1844. His primary work focused on pea plant breeding.
Then there is his license plate: 2KFL 138. Does this hold any significance? The original “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” was 138 pages in length.
Plus Henry did mention rather emphatically how the curse brought over people who are not from Fairytale Land. It might not have been a simple, “wow, I did not understand everything about the curse.” It could have been foreshadowing for the arrival of more people affected by the curse.
Emma will reunite with Neal in New York City in an episode titled “Manhattan.” According to a Tweet from Michael Raymond-James, he will be in all of the remaining episodes this season after “Manhattan.”
Rena Sofer has been cast in the role of Snow White’s mother, Eva, in a two-part episode scheduled to air in March. According to a TV Guide article, she has a surprising connection to someone we know. Could it be Rumpelstiltskin? Or could it be Cora?
The two-part story features the following episodes, “The Queen is Dead” and “The Miller’s Daughter.” Expect young Cora to be involved in at least one of these episodes. Cora once referred to herself at the Miller’s daughter, which may indicate that “The Miller’s Daughter” is the episode that will explore her backstory. Rose McGowan has been cast to play young Cora in an upcoming episode.
Also in episode 15, “The Queen is Dead,” Lesley Nicol, (Mrs. Patmore from Dowton Abbey) has been cast to portray a character with a connection to Snow White.