Once Upon A Time: ‘Dreamy’
“You can do anything as long as you can dream it”
Despite being mostly filler, this was actually an enjoyable episode of Once Upon A Time which focused on a recurring character that we haven’t seen that much of so far: Leroy/Grumpy. We were briefly told Grumpy’s story back in 7:15 AM, although that story seems to come after what we saw this week. Like many of the stories in this world, Grumpy’s was all about love and loss, and also about dreams as we learnt that Grumpy’s original dwarf name was Dreamy.
The episode started in the Fairy Tale Realm, as we saw a fairy (Amy Acker!) spill some fairy dust on an egg from which Dreamy was hatched. I love how the dwarves are hatched rather than born; it’s little things like this that make the show so charming. Because of the fairy dust, Dreamy was dreaming of the fairy, Nova, even before he was hatched and when he finally meets her he falls in love with her, and she with him. They make plans to run away together but unfortunately, because apparently the mines are like the Night’s Watch and dwarves aren’t allowed to fall in love, Dreamy is convinced by Bossy and the Blue Fairy that he can’t leave with Nova and breaks it off with her, which turns him from Dreamy into Grumpy. The conversation in question is incredibly emotional and fantastically acted by both Lee Arenberg and Amy Acker, and is one of the highlights of the episode.
Meanwhile, in Storybrooke it is Miners’ Day and Mary Margaret is helping the local nuns, including Astrid i.e. Nova, sell candles. Leroy meets Astrid and falls in love with her, and tries to help her fix her problem of not having enough rent to pay Mr Gold. Initially he and Mary Margaret try and sell candles but because they are “the town harlot and the town drunk” nobody is willing to buy from them. Leroy then tries to sell his boat to Mr Gold, but that doesn’t work either, and eventually Leroy realises how they can sell the candles: he blows the power at the festival so that there are no lights. Everybody buys a candle, and Leroy ends up in Astrid’s good graces.
The Storybrooke plot itself is fairly inconsequential, with the main purpose being simply to show us how everybody hates Mary Margaret and then to convince her that she could be worse off because she does at least have the memories of good times with David. Nonetheless, it is a fairly enjoyable plot even if it isn’t massively significant and it does provide some great moments. For example, Mary Margaret thinking that Leroy was going to jump off the building and his response “I’m not going to jump […] Are you crazy? I could hit someone. You know how much damage I could do? I’m solidly built.” is hilarious, as is Mary Margaret asking Emma is she looks more sympathetic with or without a scarf, Bossy saying “You’re going to trust a dwarf that got his medical degree from a pickaxe?”, and Mary Margaret realising Leroy is in love with a nun.
The background plot this week was of Emma and Sidney Glass investigating Kathryn’s disappearance. We still don’t know what happened, but it looks like Regina was somehow involved and now Sidney is giving Emma false phone records in order to set David up. We also saw the return of Emma’s “I can tell when someone’s lying” powers, which are incredibly useless. She hasn’t any idea that Sidney is playing her, nor has she ever noticed any of the other lies people have told her in recent weeks. She can however tell that David is telling the truth and takes him in for questioning anyway because of the phone records. She really is a useless sheriff.
- The title card this week featured the dwarves with their pickaxes, although only seven of them, which is strange considering Stealthy should still be with them.
- The magic of the fairy dust powers the world, apparently. Could that be significant for the future plots of the show?
- The dwarf who was watching the eggs is Watchy, and his boss is Bossy. They’ve got really original names.
- Both Emma and Mary Margaret were wearing their beanie hats this week, and scarves. It must be very cold in Storybrooke.
- The fairy is called Nova. According to Wikipedia: “A nova is a cataclysmic nuclear explosion in a white dwarf star”.
- Bossy tells Dreamy that the dwarves whistle while they work, clearly referencing the song from the Disney movie, and that tune is actually whistled during the episode. Also, at the end Bossy and Grumpy say “heigh-ho”.
- The dwarves getting given their names by the axes is a fantastic scene, and is another small detail which makes this show wonderful.
- There are dwarf cardboard cut-outs with their faces missing in the background of the scene with Mary Margaret and Leroy in the school.
- The nuns sold 42 candles the previous year.
- Who was the guy eating the carrot at the house Mary Margaret and Leroy visited? Is there supposed to be some significance to him?
- We saw Belle again this week, encouraging Dreamy to go after the woman he loved. Is this implying that Regina was lying when she said she died, or did it happen after this scene?
- What does Mr Gold have against the nuns? Or is it that the fairies did something to him in the Fairy Tale Realm?
- How do the dwarves go from working in the mines to rescuing Grumpy from jail? Did they leave simply for that purpose, or were they out beforehand?
- The conversation with Leroy and Mary Margaret at Granny’s is reminiscent of the conversation between Grumpy and Snow back in 7:15 AM where he encourages her not to take the potion because our memories are what define us.
Overall, while this episode wasn’t especially crucial to the overarching plot, it was a good, enjoyable one. This wouldn’t work if this kind of episode made up the majority of the season, but having one now and again is fun. There was a little set up for next week here, such as David being taken in for questioning by Emma, and I look forward to seeing where it goes, but in general this episode was simply an enjoyable story where we learnt more about another of Storybrooke’s residents.