Once Upon a Time: Scoop on Jiminy Cricket's Journey, Red Riding Hood and a Great 'Loss'

Did someone wish upon a star? Because ABC’s Once Upon a Time is back with new episodes this Sunday at 8/7c, and this time around the series is going to dive deep into Archie’s backstory – that is, the origin of Jiminy Cricket – by literally burrowing beneath the surface of Storybrooke. Here, we have a Q&A with Raphael Sbarge (who plays Archie) as well as some bonus scoop on Ruby/Red Riding Hood and a big loss coming in the winter finale (airing Dec. 11).

TVLINE | You’ve previously done a lot of straight drama, including 24 and Prison Break, as have Lana Parrilla (Regina/Evil Queen), Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin)…. What drew actors such as you to this slightly off-center material?
Look, at heart every actor fancies himself a storyteller and hopes for that opportunity to be a part of a good story. And every actor who read this pilot said they fell completely in love with the story and the characters and the opportunity to kind of tell two stories – in a fantasy world and in a modern world. To then counterpoint them is just an actor’s dream. Before this show aired, I found myself trying to explain it to people and their eyes would glaze over, but I keep saying, “You’ve got to watch it!”

TVLINE | I found myself doing the same.
What’s so thrilling is that in the execution they’ve done something quite magical. I was equating it early on to Harry Potter or The Princess Bride, where there’s a magical quotient to the storytelling that is done in a very heartfelt and untreacly kind of way. I’ve watched now the first season of Lost, and this is sort of from that handbook, where they take a couple of characters and go out in the jungle with a suitcase and do a deep dive into who those people are, and then pull back and have everyone else there. It’s sort of a novel in a way, or a wonderful short story.

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TVLINE | What’s going on in this week’s episode?
Essentially Sheriff Graham makes Emma a deputy, and then this sinkhole appears in town. Henry goes to try and figure out what’s in the sinkhole, knowing in his heart that there’s a clue about the other [fairy tale] world. Archie, being his therapist, is very concerned and follows him, and a journey ensues. What we also then do get a chance to learn about how Jiminy Cricket came to be.

TVLINE | I understand that Jiminy Cricket wants to “leave the family business.” What is the family business?
I’m not allowed to actually say what it is, because it will give some things away. But what they carved out is akin to the way [mythologist/writer] Joseph Campbell would talk about “a hero’s journey.” Jiminy Cricket wasn’t just a noble guy because he said so. What you get to see on this trip are the fire rings he had to walk through to get to a place where he could evolve to develop a sense of doing the right thing.

TVLINE | And he’s a human in this backstory, because I see two or three younger actors playing you at different ages.
Right, there are two other actors, and then there’s me, and then that evolves into Archie.

TVLINE | I’m not familiar with Jiminy Cricket lore, but I assume we’ll see how he became a bug?
That specific moment is actually captured on film, yes.

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TVLINE | Why do you think Archie was fashioned as a child psychiatrist? Is it because Pinocchio in a way had Jiminy Cricket’s ear?
It’s interesting, because you’ve got a character named Jiminy Cricket and he’s a conscience – what the heck would he do in a modern way? Having him be a therapist was inspired, because in a world that is fraught with shades of grey, what a therapist does is sit with you one-by-one and essentially help you decide what doing the right thing is. He tries to help you find what your path is, without any judgment or any imposition of a particular philosophy. Obviously it has huge echoes to Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket in the original [1940] movie. In the original book, Jiminy Cricket was a ghost and didn’t really speak at all, but Walt [Disney], when he saw the first screenplay, wanted to bring the character to the foreground and make him more central to Pinocchio’s journey.

TVLINE | Is there a Pinocchio in Storybrooke? Is he someone’s mailbox or something…?
[Laughs] Well, we saw Geppetto in the pilot [in the jailhouse scene], but I’m not sure about Pinocchio yet. I can’t answer that question. But they are trying to tell these stories and reinvent them.

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Once Upon a Time Bonus Scoop:

IN THE HOOD | Viewers this week will get another taste of Storybrooke’s Ruby, who thus far, save for some scenes in the Cinderella episode, has remained a mystery. “What you see is what you get with her,” teases Meghan Ory, who plays the diner waitress and her fairy tale counterpart, Red Riding Hood. As for Ruby’s tendency to dress and act in a way that draws attention — including, as we saw, from the doc played by David Anders — she says, “Yeah, you see little glances exchanged here and there. She might be a little bit in heat!” But will Ruby at some point cross a line and bait the wrong kind of creature? “I sure hope so!” says the actress. “I hope there’s a Big Bad Wolf in the near future.” Until things get hairy for the lass, TVLine hears that during an Episode 10 flashback, we’ll get a hint of Red’s past — specifically how it involves Snow White.

Once Upon a Time‘s Jennifer Morris Teases Winter Finale

CLIFFHANGERS COMING | Two weeks from Sunday, Once Upon a Time will air its winter finale, and according to the synopsis from ABC, “Storybrooke mourns the loss of one of their own.” Asked to tease that twist, Ory at first quipped with a laugh, “Maybe Granny’s Diner closes down?” Pressed further, she was quite mum, explaining, “I know you want to know things but it would be like showing you your Christmas presents early!” She then allowed this much: “Let’s just say that it will be a very, very memorable episode. There are lots of cliffhangers, and it’ll be a good teaser to get you wanting to come back when we start [Season 1] up again in January.”

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22 Comments
  1. xav says:

    I do hope they flesh out Archie’s character because so far in the episodes and the sneak peeks he’s been a terrible therapist, and I don’t just mean because he’s under Regina’s thumb.

  2. fotreya says:

    I love this show and every character, but my favourite plot is Snow White and Prince story.
    Although Evil Queen is incredible too¡

    • Snow & James Shipper says:

      Agree. I am a Snow/James shipper all the way. They are by far my favorite. Them moment they ruin that story or drag on too long w/ the obstacles, is the moment I stop watching this show.

  3. Angela says:

    Do you thing that Henry could be Pinocchio? Also, what’s up with the sherif Graham??

    • John says:

      Henry isn’t anything, as he was born in the human world, outside of Storybrooke.

    • Deandra says:

      I thought Henry was Pinocchio too since Archie was trying to guide him. Even though he was born ouside of Storybrooke you never know how they can work it in.

    • Snow & James Shipper says:

      Not possible. He was born in the real world. All the Enchanted Forest fairy tale characters were transported to the real world locked in the age they were at the time of the curse & became a counterpoint/opposite version of themselves in Story Brooke. We’ve yet to see Pinocchio – poor kid is probably living an orphan Annie existence or is a wooden chair.

    • Victoria says:

      Yes! And I think that at the end of the series, we will find out that they are all still in fairy tale land and this is alternate modern world is something he’s made up.

  4. Julie says:

    I’m just happy that the show resumes this weekend. It feels like there’s a month passed since we last saw an episode (lol) Over dramatic maybe but this is what happens when a show just clicks! ;)

  5. Paige says:

    So that basically confirmed Graham isn’t the Big Bad Wolf, pretty much meanings he is indeed the Huntsman. Anyway it’ll be nice to see some Ruby backstory, sometimes I get the feeling she working for Regina but who knows.

    I’m not sure how much I’m gonna wanna come back though if the character in question they kill off is Sheriff Graham. As a fan of him and Emma together it would break my heart if they kill him.

    • Meg says:

      I think we can move from “pretty much” to “most definitely” after the scene last episode of him and Regina (nerd sidenote: the Latin transcription of Regina means Queen. Sometimes the writers are beating you over the head with symbolism) in bed together.

  6. rod says:

    the girl who plays Ruby/RRH looks just like Addrianna from 90210

  7. Templar says:

    It would make sense for them to lose Grandma, as she gets killed in the fairy tale. The clue about the diner closing would suggest her demise.

  8. Dan says:

    I have a feeling Ruby will be the casualty.

    • Paige says:

      I thought that to at first but she can’t. E! confirmed she was safe plus they just said we’d learn more about her in episode 10.

  9. clare says:

    I love all characters but my fav is Emma

  10. Liza says:

    After seeing the last episode, when Graham and Regina were in bed together, I was so dissapointed! I love the idea of him and Emma getting together! I really hope that he is strong enough to not give into Regina and help Emma.

  11. peaches01 says:

    I love this show!!!! but it seems like as soon as you start watching a new show they cancel it!!!!!!!Love Emma!!!

  12. Meggo says:

    Ok, when do they start up again? Please don’t tell me its January of 2013?! Like they did with Falling Skies. I hate having to wait a year for a show!

  13. Dawn says:

    I am hooked on this show. I cant wait to watch it from week to week.I want more and dont want to miss a thing. Thanks

  14. Erin says:

    I love Ruby so I appreciate this tease, even if it’s so minor. I may be a bit biased though as I adored Higher Ground, a show Meghan Ory was on as well as her bittersweet pairing with Jensen Ackles on Higher Ground. Still all these little snippets and her appearing in say 5 seconds of each episode (bar the Cinderella one) whilst most of all the other character pop up in ‘their’ episodes , it’s like a carrot dangle and I’m assuimg it’s going to lead up to something big (bad wolf!!!).

    I just wish she’d lay off from those uuugly accessories though (tiny hotpants and heavy makeup and crazy hair are fine. But those earring – vom!)