A not-so-large giant arrives in Storybrooke and Mr. Gold sets out on a quest to fulfill a long-desired yearning. Major happenings abound in our favorite Maine town in the latest Once Upon A Time episode, “Tiny”.
Note: This recap may contain spoilers!
Mr. Gold arrives to pick up Emma and learns Henry is coming, too. Their destination requires not only leaving Storybrooke behind, but also flying on a plane. David tells Gold to take care of Emma and Henry — a request, not a threat. Gold promises no harm will come to them. He and Charming have a deal in place.
David and Mary Margaret are determined to find Cora. They visit Hook and search his ship for clues about Cora’s plans. An amusing scene occurs with Hook, Leroy, and Charming attempting to out-quip each other. How do they know Hook is telling what he knows about Cora? Snow knows. He’ll help because he’s a pirate. He goes the way the wind is blowing, and right now, it’s gusting in their direction. Hook reveals one important piece of information he does know. Whatever malice Cora plans for Storybrooke, her weapon of choice is onboard the ship, hidden in a crate. When they peel off the cover of the crate, a large, unconscious man is inside it. Emma’s giant is back and in Storybrooke. Emma met him in Episode 2.06, “Tallahassee”.
In the Fairy Tale World, we join the Giants for dinner. The Giants, a peace-loving race, desire to be left alone to grow their magic bean crop. The youngest is Anton. His brother giants have nicknamed him Tiny, the smallest in stature. Misunderstood by his brothers, Tiny is fascinated with humans and their artifacts. The giants disagree on the motives of humans, especially in regard to the crop of magic beans. Why do the giants keep growing the beans if no one uses them? It’s the work they do. Tiny slips away from the group and climbs down the beanstalk to visit the human world. The role of Anton is reprised wonderfully by Lost alum Jorge Garcia (Hurley). Not only does he have the stature to play a convincing giant, he also exudes the humbleness and warmth needed to make the character sympathetic.
Mary Margaret wakes Anton. He recognizes the Prince and doesn’t react well. He goes after David and is only stopped when Snow threatens him with her bow and arrows. He promises to make the Prince pay for his evil and runs off the ship. The shrunken giant is loose in Storybrooke.
At Granny’s diner, the threesome of MM/Snow, David/Charming, and Leroy/Grumpy discuss the giant and his accusations. David realizes the giant has suffered a classic case of mistaken identity. The giant’s beef is with David’s twin brother James, the original Prince raised by the ruthless King George as his son (“The Shepherd”, Episode 1.06). Their real dilemma is convincing the giant David isn’t the one who wronged him.
Josh Dallas has charmed his way into the hearts of many female fans as the dashing hero on a white steed Prince and keeper of order in Storybrooke, David. However, he also does a stellar job playing the opposite of Charming – the arrogant, rude, entitled, and selfish Prince James.
At the request of King George, Prince James and his ladyfriend go out to meet the giant running amok in the outer villages. He introduces himself as the Prince of the Realm who wants to give Anton a warm welcome. Anton wanted to see human customs for himself. The dubious duo offer to show him around. But there’s a problem. Anton is too small for the giant world, but too big for the human world. The woman offers him a mushroom that will change his size for a period of time. Finally, she introduces herself: Jacqueline, but most people just call her Jack. I did like the twist of making Jack female. It’s a good, surprising reveal because the writers did a decent job strongly implying with the mushroom bit that she was possibly Alice from Wonderland. James and Jack take the small giant to the tavern. Under the offer of friendship, they question him for information about the giants and their treasures. James tells Anton a sob story about how deeply in debt the realm is and how much they need some of the treasure. He tries to convince Anton to share with the humans.
In the world beyond Storybrooke, Mr. Gold becomes a fish out of water, a situation he finds uncomfortable and almost unbearable. Only his desire to find his son keeps him going. Mr. Gold has never been out of Storybrooke before. He can’t risk using magic; he has to be just like everyone else. At the airport, the writers have a chance to poke fun at the current, often frustrating, procedures of the security line as we see it through the eyes of Mr. Gold/Rumple. Like his comment when Emma informs him he has to take off and put his shoes in the bin. He responds with an offended air: “How terribly uncivilized.”
Gold/Rumple doesn’t deal well with the unfamiliar. To get him through security without being arrested, Emma pretends he’s her father who is nervous about flying for the first time. For once in his life since the curse, Gold is shaken. If he removes the shawl, will he forget who he is and lose his one chance to find his son? Emma promises not to let that happen. The sequence is both humorous and touching. I wonder if a bit of foreshadowing is thrown into the mix. If his son turns out to be Neal (which I think we’re all expecting), that would make him Henry’s grandfather.
Once they are through security, Mr. Gold excuses himself to the restroom where he has a total freak-out meltdown. He tries to heal his scraped knuckles but his magic doesn’t work. Cue the ominous music.
Hook meets with Regina who claims she’s made amends and is working with her mother, Cora. Hook hasn’t been in touch because he’s been tied up in bed, “not in the good way.” The giant escaped his custody. He took one look at the Prince and turned murderous. A giant in town trying to kill Charming — for Regina, it’s the distraction they need. Regina finds Anton sitting by the river. She offers to help in his quest for revenge. She gives him a Wonderland mushroom that will return him to his original giant size. He eats it and grows. The way Regina acts in this scene makes one wonder if it was really Regina or Cora posing as Regina.
Back in the giants’ realm, Anton has an argument with his worried eldest brother. He went down the beanstalk and met humans. They accepted him better than his own family does. They hear a commotion. The humans followed Anton to the beanstalk and are invading the giants’ home.
James and Jack climb the beanstalk to the giants’ home. They’re not interested in the treasure; they want the crop of magic beans. They never were Anton’s friends. The giants may live in peace but they will fight to protect what belongs to them. Human armies overrun the giants’ home armed with poisoned swords that can kill the giants. Anton’s eldest brother charges him with the task of destroying the beans to prevent the humans from gaining their use.
In Storybrooke, Anton is on a Godzilla-style rampage. With all the adventures they’ve had together, this is the first time the Charmings have tried to stop a giant. Anton accuses David of destroying everything in his life. David tries to convince him that Anton is mad at his twin brother, James, not him. From Anton’s point of view, all humans do is lie, cheat and kill, and he’s sick of it. He refuses to stop his destruction of the town.
David offers a deal to Anton. He’ll surrender if Anton will spare everyone else in Storybrooke. The giant takes the deal. His plan for revenge is to squash David. When he hits the ground, he sinks. The mushroom wears off and he shrinks. When David and Mary Margaret look in the hole, Anton is hanging by his fingertips from a water pipe. The residents of Storybrooke pull together to save the giant from his predicament. David is lowered on a rope and rescues Anton.
Jack stabs Anton’s brother while James fills a large sack with treasure. The giant picks up Jack and stabs her with the poisoned sword. James refuses to come to her rescue and leaves her behind to die. Anton promises his brother he destroyed the beans. He gives Anton a cutting from the stalk. Someday, he can grow more beans in a new land.
The people of Storybrooke welcome Anton and encourage him to stay. They all miss their original land, but Storybrooke is their home now. Without a way to create a portal, there’s no way to get back. Anton has kept the cutting from the beanstalk. If it will grow the beans, the people of Storybrooke will have a way to return. The Dwarves offer to help. Anton thought they were miners. Miners, farmers — work is work, and it’s what they do. They present him with an axe. As Anton holds it, the name “Tiny” appears. At heart, he’s a dwarf, not a giant.
The episode closes on the plane with Henry, Emma, and Gold. Henry is excited. His first plane ride, a trip with Emma, and going on a quest — just like one of his books. Emma reassures Gold that they will locate his son. He’s certain that is true, but, for the first time since he became the Dark One, Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin is terrified.
A lot of events occurred in this episode, more than one could imagine for an hour-long show.The episode is the pivotal set-up for the rest of the season. If the creative team stayed on track, looks like the rest of the season could be a doozie, echoing the tone, themes, and thrills of the first season. Next episode — Finally, we find out who the identity of the real Baelfire. Have we all guessed correctly?