Once Upon a Time Recap: New York, Giants

COLIN O'DONOGHUE, JOSH DALLASThis Sunday on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, a familiar face surfaced in Storybrooke carrying a giant grudge, the first leg of Mr. Gold’s road trip took an unsettling detour and a seed was planted for the fairytale land characters to one day return home.

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ON THE ROAD…. | Mr. Gold came calling for Emma, to begin their search for his son Bae, and Emma insisted that Henry come along. Wearing the “talisman” shawl around his neck, Gold survived the first hurdle — actually crossing the town line — but an unexpected test came at Logan Airport, when a TSA agent insisted he remove the article. Gold was anxious about taking off the shawl, but he appeared to endure the brief separation fine enough — until later in a washroom, when he purposely blooded his hand but could no longer heal it. Once on the plane — an Ajira Airlines (!) flight to New York City — Emma took note of Gold’s bandaged hand, while Henry seemed determined to plug a certain cinnamon danish chain.

IN STORYBROOKE…. | David and Mary Margaret are determined to find Cora, but first bump into Regina, who is “shocked” to learn that her mother Cora crossed realms, and that Archie is in fact alive. The Charmings meet up with a recouping Captain Hook on the pier, then board his ship looking for clues to Cora’s whereabouts. There, Hook “reveals” to them one of Cora’s weapons — a captured, shrunken giant. Upon being freed, Anton believes to recognize David and begins pummeling the prince, After a bow-toting Mary Margaret intervenes, Anton storms off to terrorize the quaint burg — helped in that cause by Regina, who gives him a magic mushroom to return to his giant size.

In the hospital, Ruby greets amnesic Belle, who gets into a tizzy and needs to be tranq’d whenever she thinks about what she saw that night, with Mr. Gold and the ball of fire, his magically healing hands and all. Greg Mendel, the wayward driver, overhears, then later tells Belle he saw the same fireball.

David interrupts Anton’s rampage to explain that he is not his twin brother James, while Mary Margaret somewhat successfully plays upon the big guy’s recent run-in with Emma (who’s sadly “out of town” at this instant). The giant remains riled, so David offers himself in trade for all the others. Just as Anton takes the deal, he simultaneously falls through a sinkhole and shrinks back down. David enters the chasm to save the stranger, and then they all make merry at Granny’s. When Mary Margaret notes that they, like Anton, miss their old land, the giant reveals a beanstalk cutting handed down to him by his brother Arlo. With it, they could grow new magic beans and traverse back home — for anyone who wants to. The dwarfs agree to protect the crop from Cora (“Work is work,” Leroy shrugs), and they bestow Anton with his own axe, which emblazons itself with the nickname “Tiny” — just as Anton’s brothers called him.

After, Mary Margaret beams about the fun they had, how she misses their adventures. “We could do it all the time,” David counters, alluding to his want to go back home. Mary Margaret, though, doesn’t wish to separate from daughter Emma again.

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IN THE FAIRYTALE LAND THAT WAS…. | We learn that Anton’s bigger, more brutish brothers (ER‘s Jerry aka Abraham Benrubi included) tease him, in part because of his interest in the humans on the ground far beneath their beanstalk kingdom. Anton sneaks off and descends the stalk, soon bumping into James and his recent conquest Jacqueline. “Jack” offers Anton a bit of mushroom that she received as payment from a wise woman for killing a Jabberwock in a far-off land, saying it will reduce him to human size. Upon shrinking, Anton accompanies the two in a tavern, where he gets wind of James’ indebted kingdom and the threat upon it. Anton offers his treasure above to help his new friend, only to later learn that they only intended to follow him to his beanstalk kingdom and steal the magic beans. As his brothers get picked off one-by-one by the human army and their poisoned swords, Anton razes the bean field, lest the humans bring their violence to other realms. Anton’s last surviving sib, Arlo, shares with him a beanstalk cutting which he one day, and for the right people, can use to reap new beans, while James dashes off with treasure to save his father’s kingdom, leaving a slain Jack to die.

TIME PIECES | Mr. Gold, in response to David’s threat to chase after him: “Crossing the town line? And what, David Nolan will come after me in his animal rescue van?” …. Hook to Mary Margaret: “I see where your daughter got her gumption”…. Ruby gifts Belle — played by Lost alum Emilie De Ravin, and who was watching Exposé on the TV — with a copy of Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island. Heh…. Gold deeming the airport security line process “terribly uncivilized” as he removes his shoes…. Leroy trying to process David’s twin tale and many names while sprinting from the giant…. Catch the Jack the Giantkiller movie commercial running right after the Jack/giant flashback scene? Similarly, a Twitter follower noted, a Peter Pan ad ran shortly after a Captain Hook scene.

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What did you think of this “Tiny” episode? Feel the road trip story got short shrift? (Of course, it’s the main plot next week.) And if Dr. Whale gets back in the swing of resurrecting people, maybe he can bring back James — his cockiness and horndog nature was refreshing.