The Box, Part 2

After watching episode 6, of season 2, there is one, major question on EVERY Oncer’s mind- What was in the box?

I’m calling it ‘Once Upon A Time: The Box, part 2’.

Most of you can remember the mystery surrounding August’s box from last season. Thankfully, it didn’t take our writers long to tell us what was in it.

This time around, it’s a total guessing game. The only clue we have is that it makes Neal believe August. What was in it? How long will we have to wait to find out?

It seems necessary to recall August’s words to Emma from last season, in regards to the box:

August: “… you really want to know what’s inside it? … I’m going to make you wait. You’re going to have to wait a longtime and watch me carry it around; hauling it to strange and mysterious places, and with each passing moment the mystery will become more tantalizing, your imagination will inflame, but so will your frustration- never knowing, only guessing, what could possibly be inside that box.”


In episode 6, “Tallahassee”, we, finally, got a glimpse of Emma’s past. We learn how she acquires her famed, yellow, bug, and learn how she meets Neal Cassidy.


We first, got a glimpse of Neal, in the beginning of a strange, opening scene, for season 2 of OUAT. Season 2, immediately had us buzzing with questions. Who was that guy in New York, and who sent the postcard?

Of course, majority of us, jumped to Bae- with some ideas thrown in about him being Peter Pan; Jack, from Jack and the Beanstalk; or Bae who is Bae/Peter Pan. Then there was the idea of him being Bae/Peter Pan/ Henry’s father. Maybe Henry’s father/Bae, but not Peter Pan.

Who is he? In the synopsis for episode 6, we finally got a name- Neal Cassidy.

Is he also Bae? Can he still be Bae? If he is Bae, is he also Peter Pan?

We know, now, that Jack is dead (unless those bones weren’t Jack’s…um…) – we can rule Jack out for now.

Is he Bae? Everyone wants to find Bae! I believe so bad, every new guy with dark hair and dark eyes, is going to be Bae, until they finally reveal Bae- if there IS still a Bae to be found.

What do we know about Neal? I’m still thinking Neal could be a pseudo-name, but for now, I think it’s safe to say- he’s Henry’s father. Unless someone knocked-up, Emma, in prison, Neal is Henry’s father. I don’t think Emma got booty in jail. I feel completely confident that Neal is the father.

After seeing the episode, my first reaction was that there is NO WAY, now, that Neal is Bae. Other Oncers have made some compelling cases, for how he could still be Bae, which have made me withdraw from totally ruling out the possibility, but I believe that likely-hood, is pretty slim.

For some Oncers, the chances of him being Bae, rest on the mystery of the box. August asks Neal if he believes in magic. Neal simply states that he bets August does. August said he’ll show him something to prove magic is real. Then we see August open his box, Neal seems to be shown magic is real, and then August closes the box, and we have NO IDEA what’s inside the box.

What could August have shown Neal, to prove magic exists- so, instantly? It had to be something highly compelling.

This is where the Neal-Is-Bae-Theorists make their case. What if August showed Neal the sketch of Rumple’s dagger? If Neal is, in fact, Bae- these theorists have reasoned, showing him that dagger WOULD make him believe August.

My problem with this theory is that if it were Bae, after being in our world all this time, and having someone suddenly show him proof of this connection to his father, Rumple- I believe, his first reaction would be to take a pause on the conversation about Emma, and jump to asking August a million questions about his father. He didn’t mention a word about Rumple, or ask ‘how do you know about my papa?’ I would expect him to ask about Rumple.

Could Neal still have a Fairytale Land connection? I really don’t think so. I believe Neal is Emma’s true love and Henry’s father.

The Hook-ers and SwanQueen-ers are already screaming, ‘No’, at me- I can hear it already.

Before this episode, I have been hardcore #WoodenSwan – an August/Emma shipper, but after seeing this episode, it seems Neal and Emma are owed a reunion. I love August, but wow, he screwed up A LOT. First of all, taking that money from Neal that Neal trusted him to give to Emma was so shitty of him! Unfortunately, even when we’re supposed to, or should be mad at August, Eion Bailey just oozes this quality or something that makes it impossible to be mad at August.

Now we know that coming to Storybrooke was NOT August’s first attempt to make right on his deal with his father, in regards to Emma. Ultimately, he has come to Storybrooke to fulfill his duty.

I still, beyond the Eion-factor, can’t totally blame August. He was only 7 years-old. Who in the world thinks a 7 year-old, boy has the ability to care for an infant? Honestly, the blame here really goes to Geppetto. Though, we can’t really be mad at him either for trying to put his kid first, as has been the theme with so many other parent-child relationships on OUAT.

I feel bad for Neal and Emma. Neal really did seem to love Emma, and they were so cute and happy together. It’s sad how they got broken up. August really needs to set things right by Emma and Neal.

At least, we know August was simply doing what he thought he had to, in order to get Emma on track with her destiny. I’ve seen people compare his work in the shadows, to the way Rumple worked in the back to manipulate Regina, but I call b/s here. Rumple and August had totally different motives for why they were doing, what they were doing.

The synopsis for “Tallahassee” mentioned that ‘a fellow thief’ would try to make an honest woman of her- I thought that ‘fellow thief’ here was referring to Neal, but have realized that ‘fellow thief’ wanting to make an honest woman of her was August. Neal is a thief too, but seriously, so is August.

I hate that Emma got stuck in prison, but August, most likely, thought time in prison would scare her, and make her sit and think about what she was doing in her life.

Imagine if Neal and Emma did settle-down in Tallahassee with baby Henry- Emma would have NEVER gone to Storybrooke to break the curse.

At least in the end, it seems, this time around- August has truly been committed to righting his wrongs by Emma, and he did keep his promise to Neal, to send a postcard.

I just know Neal is on his way to Storybrooke to find Emma.

Just to note: I’m pretty sure August is responsible for Henry making it to Storybrooke. How he managed that, without having met Rumple, I don’t know. There’s a missing hole there between Rumple acquiring Henry to give to Regina, and how exactly, Rumple knew Henry was the savior’s child. I also believe August, did, write that book. He came back to add pages, we know that. I believe he’s the reason it exists to begin with. Regina said he looked familiar. She might have seen him poking his head around town to check-in on Henry, and plant the book for Snow to give to Henry. He’s probably the reason it looks like Emma has some sort of magic protection on her door, when she’s living in Boston. Knowing that August has been working in the background all this time, opens up a whole lot of other ideas on other ways he could have meddled in Emma’s life.

I know after this episode, a lot of fans have jumped on the Hook and Emma ship- popularly dubbed ‘#CaptainSwan’. I can’t lie, here. Emma and Hook had amazing chemistry dripping off the screen. Hook is sort of a lost boy himself, it seems. Hook, Emma, Neal and August all have that in common. August may have had Geppetto- but he was very young when he went through the portal. He’s had to survive on his own in many ways, also. I’m sure Bae could easily join their ranks.

Hook and Emma did/do have a connection, but I believe the real cause for their chemistry was only due to Emma being reminded of her times with Neal. She still has the car, and she wears the pendant he gave her around her neck. She probably wears the pendant, more for, the same reason The Giant wears the bean- to remind her of what she cannot trust. For her, she’s taken that to be love, which is part of why she has been so guarded emotionally.

I believe though, even as she has seemed to demonize Neal in her mind- considering the way she spoke of ‘Henry’s father’ to Snow, she still has a part of her holding on to her past with Neal. She really loved him, and wants to know why he left. She still went to Tallahassee, and stayed there for 2 years. I agree with another fan that she was probably waiting to see if he’d show up.

I predict a meet-up between August and Neal in the near-future, and when Emma gets back, I bet Neal will be already in Storybrooke. August may still be Wood- and I bet telling the Charming family the truth will be the way he becomes a ‘real boy’ again.

After this episode, I’ve converted to shipping Emma and Neal. I’m trying to trend Neal and Emma as #SwanNClyde on Twitter, in honor of our OUAT Bonnie and Clyde. I can’t wait for them to be reunited.

Aside from Emma and family, OUAT promises to have many more twists and surprises in-store for us. Next week Ruby/Red takes center stage.

Feel free to comment on my blog, and share your own theories.

Thanks for reading.


Episode 6 of Season 2: Tallahassee

In tonight’s episode, Emma Swan takes center stage. Tonight we are told we will, finally, learn about some of Emma’s back-story, and Henry’s father will be revealed. I’ll be completely blunt- Emma is my absolute favorite character on the show. I cannot wait for “Tallahassee”.

What’s your favorite Emma Swan moment?

** New blog on the way. Enjoy tonight’s episode! I have a feeling we’re all in for a big surprise. Those photos from the promos may have seem to suggest Michael Raymond-James’ character, Neal Cassady, is the father, but there is speculation about whether or not Emma is already pregnant or not when she meets Neal for the first time. Was that a baby bump? The promos have been showing Emma in a lot of baby-doll styles- making it hard to tell if she’s pregnant or not. What we know for sure though is we WILL see a pregnant Emma, see Michael Raymond-James and all his cuteness, and of course, last but, definitely, NOT LEAST- EION BAILEY IS SUPPOSED TO MAKE AN APPEARANCE THIS EPISODE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

…And, yes, that many exclamation marks were necessary! I’ve been dying to see more August! Emma is my number one, but in second place, for me, it’s August all the way!

Go #WoodenSwan!

The Apprentice and The Wizard

Many Once Upon A Time fans were a bit upset over the ABC promo that, pretty much, gave up the identity of Dr. Whale in advance.  Even Mr. Anders, himself, didn’t seem too happy about the promo- especially, since he’s been working so hard to keep Dr. Whale’s identity a secret. I think he was enjoying teasing us, through his Twitter comments, as the big reveal was approaching.

Photo by Chris Helcermanas-Benge – © 2011 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Taken from

Trying to figure out Dr. Whale’s identity was keeping me up some nights. I narrowed him down to being either: The Wizard of Oz, Merlin or Loki. Sunday’s episode, “The Doctor”, did leave some room to suggest that he could still be The Wizard of Oz, in addition to Dr. Victor Frankenstein, but as for my Merlin or Loki theory- I’d say those two theories are out-the-window.

Despite the promo spoiler, “The Doctor” still proved to be full of surprise; and left us with plenty more detective work. The mysteries of Once Upon A Time keep on coming!

Photo credit: ABC

What new things have we uncovered from last night’s episode?

Even as ‘Dark Hatter’; Jefferson is sexy.

David Anders can pull off a SEXY accent.

– Prince Charming can throw a mean right hook.

…Umm…that was the side-list. For this blog:

– Jefferson’s hat only leads to magical realms.

– Rumple is the King of Hearts  one who teaches Regina (and probably Cora, also) how to do her heart-ripping trick.

– We learned more about the nature of Rumple and Regina’s relationship, from the origins of the story.

– We learn how Rumple aids in corrupting Regina.

New questions this episode has raised:

– (I believe number 1) Why does Rumple want Regina so bad? (Other than the fact she’s really hot…)

– How did Jefferson come to work for Rumple?

– What is Rumple and Jefferson’s relationship?

– What exactly IS Dr. Whale’s land?

There are more things to ask, but I’ll get to it. There’s a whole other thread to get into, with Snow and the gang in ‘Post-Apocalyptic Fairytale Land’ with Captain Hook that was setting us up for next Sunday’s episode “Tallahassee”, but there is just SOOOO much to cover. I’m going to start with what I felt was absolute central.

Dr. Whale’s reveal, though we knew who he was, was awesome, but for me the central part of this episode, was really scratching at the center of the relationship between Rumple and Regina. Not just Rumple and Regina- Rumple and Regina’s family. Regina’s family is central to the show in a big way.

The first, real nuggets going into this Rumple and Regina thread stem from the second episode of season two- “We Are Both”. This was a dialogue most of you caught, but as a refresher, here it is:

Rumple: “I knew you long ago, it’s been some time, but I knew this day would come. I’ve been waiting for it and I’m so happy we are back where we belong- together… I know everything about you my dear. I held you in my arms; you were younger- more portable. There is so much history between your family and me. History both in the past and in the future.”

“…You seek power? The death of your enemy?  The death of your friend?”

Regina: “No- I don’t want to hurt anyone.”

Rumple: “Hard to believe your part of the same family.”


What did Rumple mean, exactly, when he told Regina they belong together?

What do we know from the original tale of Rumple and ‘the miller’s daughter’? The creators have verified that Cora IS, in fact, ‘the miller’s daughter’ from the original Rumpelstiltskin story.

(Check out the story here, if it’s been awhile since you’ve read it or are unfamiliar with the original story of Rumpelstiltskin:

In the original story, there is an exchange of deals between ‘the miller’s daughter’ and Rumpelstiltskin, involving some spinning-of-gold, leading to a final deal that would give Rumpelstiltskin her baby, if she could not guess his name. In the story, she is able to uncover his name, and is able to keep her baby.

Is Rumple bitter from being bested by Cora? Did he mean: He and Regina belong together because he feels he should have ‘won’ her from Cora?

That line of questioning is about all you can derive from that comment from Rumple- if going off of the simple, original story. Of course, however, we know nothing is that simple with the rich histories and worlds our creators are weaving.

Pulling out of the original story, and back to our Rumple- he said there is a long history between Regina’s family and him. What else went down between Rumple and Regina’s family?

We know now, it was Rumple who taught Regina the dark arts, and it was Rumple who corrupted Regina. We also know that Rumple taught Cora. Did he corrupt her as well? Was Cora ever innocent like Regina?

Rumple said he had a long history with Regina’s family. I’m guessing that his involvement in Regina’s family came before Cora.

In “The Doctor”, during the Fairytale Land flashbacks, Regina takes Jefferson and Dr. Whale to the site where Cora was keeping all of her hearts. When she told Dr. Whale and Jefferson to listen, you could start to hear the sound of the hearts beating. Did anyone else think of The Tell-Tale Hearts by Edgar Allan Poe? Remember the story of the man who was going mad from hearing the heartbeat coming from beneath the floorboards? (

I’m curious if this link to Poe’s story was intended, or just me, drawing my own conclusions. Could Cora’s family have a connection to the character in Poe’s story?

Edgar Allan Poe is in the background. The heart is filling the missing piece of the puzzle… These are my notes from watching “The Doctor”. I don’t take notes on the first watch, but after the first watch, I keep paper and writing utensils handy as I re-watch the episodes.

When she’s in Cora’s heart chamber she tells Jefferson and Dr. Whale, when asked, “Who do all the hearts belong to?” that there are too many to keep track of who they belong to, and that her mom was a collector (of hearts). She also tells them that her family has ruined many lives.

Rumple tells her she’s not like her family- when she is still in that innocent, pre-Evil Queen phase, but was that to bring into question Regina’s true parentage? I had a weird thought after “We Are Both”, that Rumple could be Regina’s real father, and what he meant by ‘they are meant to be together’ was that she’s his kid. “The Doctor” episode, in the flashbacks, seem to suggest something totally different. So that theory is out.

In the Fairytale Land flashbacks, the scene in Rumple’s ‘laboratory’ seemed to imply Rumple had some very, non-fatherly ideas for him and Regina. He made a suggestive hand-brushing gesture, as he told her that she should look elsewhere for love or happiness. Then, he went totally out-of-his-way to make this deal with Dr. Whale, with the help of Jefferson, to push Regina further into hopelessness, to get her on the path of corruption he wanted her on. He had to give her that last push to get her to give up her hopes of reclaiming her lost love. He wanted her to get over what was ‘holding her back’, so she would tap into her (maybe innate) power.

When Regina’s ‘Evil Queen music’ cued up after ripping that gypsy girl’s heart out, I had never been MORE riled up over hearing it. It was an – ‘Oh-damn-moment’ for sure.  In season one’s “The Stable Boy” we saw the first stirrings of the Evil Queen rising inside of Regina- thanks to Cora’s influence; in “The Doctor”, we saw Rumple give her that last push and saw the Evil Queen become made.  Feeding a common theme on Once Upon A Time– ‘Evil isn’t born; it is made.’

I could go into the range Lana Parrilla continues to pull-off in playing Regina, but seriously, all I need to say is- Lana made us love-to-hate-her for an entire season, and has come back this season to make us love-to-hate-her and flat-out love her at the exact, same time.

Rumple’s suggestive hand-brush and careful words seemed to imply, he wants her, wants her. Why did Rumple want Regina? That is a huge question. Was it a kind of revenge on Regina’s family to take one of their-own? He said him and her family have history both in the past and the future. That ‘in the future’ part is important. Was his plan to have a child with Regina? Has he been trying to use these babies to try and move on from Bae? There are some big holes to fill. I’m sure we will see these questions answered, in the not-so-distant future. Especially with Cora coming more into play.

How did Rumple and Jefferson get tied together?

Back in Rumple’s laboratory, there is this strange, thick tube with blue liquid and a red thing inside. My first thought was that it may be a heart. I was concerned it may be Jefferson’s heart, and that Jefferson was working for him as a lackey, basically. I have thrown out that idea. That tube still intrigues me though…

When Rumple tells Jefferson he needs to get to a ‘land without magic’, Jefferson scoffs: “Who would want that?”

From Jefferson’s comments to Emma, back in “Hat Trick”, in regards to magic, he seems to be very pro-magic-having. Jefferson seems to see magic as a solution. Most of the magic we’ve seen on the show so far, has been bad, however, we know from The Blue Fairy that there is good magic. With Jefferson, being a man who has traveled to multiple, magical realms, it would seem he’d be familiar with magic on both ends of the spectrum- AND the areas in between.

I’m guessing, as with anything else with Rumple- Jefferson and Rumple’s past relationship existed in terms of certain deals struck. Rumple, though the hat, as we now know can only lead to magical realms, is still of value to Rumple. There are other ways to get access to other portal-openers, such as the magic beans and a certain pair of slippers that can or could get Rumple to ‘a land without magic.’

I’m pretty sure, Rumple’s part of the deal was to utilize Jefferson for his portal jumping abilities. He told Charming in “We Are Both”, he does not have that ability himself. In exchange, Jefferson gets some sort of magic? Gold? I can only speculate with everyone else. I know we’re going to get more into this back-story eventually. I can’t wait to learn more about Rumple and Jefferson working together.

There was a concern brought up by a fellow-Oncer in the Once Upon A Time Fans Facebook comments, in regards to the rules of the hat. Since I didn’t ask if I could quote her, I’ll say ‘FB user’.

‘FB user’ posted: “In Season 1, didn’t Jefferson say that the same number of people that go through the hat has to be the number that comes back? That’s why he was left in Wonderland when Regina grabbed her father and left. So how is Jefferson making these trips back and forth? He had to go alone to get Victor, but then Victor came back with him.

A suggestion posted in response to ‘FB user’, was that Jefferson had someone go with him as a ‘place-holder’.  It was suggested this ‘place-holder’ could have been Jefferson’s wife. They said he ‘lost’ her- they never said she died. Our writers are pretty careful with their word choices. ‘Lost’ here leaves a likely possibility of her being ‘found’. More suggestions went on to say he could have had his wife be a ‘place-holder’, but maybe she gave birth, and he had to leave her behind to bring Grace through, and then his wife was lost. If she was, I’d say Wonderland would be the likely place she was lost. Wonderland is symbolized with images of mazes, and Jefferson said in the episode “Hat Trick” that he hates Wonderland. If that is where his wife got lost, that’d be a good reason to hate Wonderland. More, just speculating, but these things are possible explanations.

Another interesting thing to notice was Jefferson and Rumple’s exchange about a pair of slippers, Rumple wanted, to get to our world. I’m sure most could guess exactly what slippers these are- Dorothy’s slippers. The Wizard of Oz has been teased many times already, and interestingly they were saying people refer to Dr. Whale’s character as ‘The Wizard’. (My reason for thinking Dr. Whale could be Victor/ The Wizard of Oz.)

They never did make it completely clear, exactly where or what Dr. Whale’s world is.

I’ve already seen it thrown out there that Dr. Whale’s brother could be the ‘Tin Man’. Another possibility could make Dr. Whale the ‘Tin Man’ as he was the one who had to go out and search for the heart he needed. As he said “the last piece of the puzzle.”

Could that heart being the last piece have a double-meaning as to the identity of the Queen of Hearts? Did we get the last piece of the puzzle to solve the mystery of the Queen of Hearts identity?

Most of us Oncers have been pretty confident that Cora IS the Queen of Hearts. Notice- even at the center of her spell book, there is a little heart in the middle.

Back to the slippers- Jefferson told Rumple that the slippers were already taken to another world. We all know where those slippers ended up. “There’s no place like home…”

Who else do we know that is connected to Kansas? August. Remember, August’s motorcycle license plate is from Kansas. That Kansas plate cannot be a coincidence. I remember ‘once upon a time’ many of us thought August could be the Wizard of Oz.

Some did not like the last seen with Dr. Whale back in his laboratory, but I loved it. Come on- it’s Dr. Frankenstein! They had to take us there! I was giddy when he said it… “He’s alive.” I almost expected a ‘bah-hah-hah’ out of Anders.

I love how Dr. Whale brought in the science versus magic debate to Once Upon A Time. Who do you think really needed who?

Did Dr. Whale need Rumple’s magic heart to make his science work, or did Dr. Whale’s science help fight magic’s limitations?

The show seemed to make it apparent that Whale, as he had to confess to Rumple, to get his arm back, that he “needed magic,” but is there still room to question it?

Maybe, get back to the ‘need’ for magic in a later blog. I will definitely get back to Emma, Snow and Hook later. For now, I think this got long enough. I did warn you, and you saw for yourself though, there is a LOT to cover.

As always, feel free to share your ideas with me in the comments, or send me a tweet @vprism.

Breaking News: New Recurring Cast Member, Ethan Embry, to Join Once Upon A Time

OCTOBER 27, 2012 08:43 AM PDT Once Upon a Time Exclusive: Ethan Embry Books Mysterious Storybrooke Visit



Ethan Embry

photo from


Once With Vanessa ~

I’ve read a strange comment today, stating the ‘mysterious stranger thing is getting kind of


There is going to be so much more to say about this new character announcement, however, I’m going to have to take some time to research. I will right now say though, to squash some, already thrown out there theories- he CANNOT be Bae, and he’s NOT Peter Pan (What’d I say before about Peter Pan being the go-to-guess? lol). Just saying.

Someone on the Once Upon A Time Fans, Facebook page, mentioned he looks like a young Merlin. From a certain, upcoming-character description, I feel the Merlin theory might be more in line with solving this new mystery. I need a few days between school work, and trying to do more productive things to think, and research, but I have a feeling about this one. I’ll definitely come back to speak on this. Before though, I have some things to say about the next two episodes coming- The Doctor and Tallahassee. 

I’m excited for the Dr. Whale reveal, but more importantly, I CANNOT WAIT to, finally, get a glimpse of Emma’s back-story, and have Henry’s father revealed. I’m dying to learn how baby Henry got to Storybrooke- as I’m sure most fans are, as well.

This isn’t really an official blog post- I just feel, a new character announcement, deserves to be on the front page. All other breaking Once Upon A Time news will also be posted to this front page.

Back to why I thought that comment was strange- How can anyone be sick of the mystery, character game? Half-the-fun of this show is trying to solve these mysteries, and uncover these identities!

Yes, they’ve done it before, a few times now, but let’s enjoy the show having this on-going game. Isn’t it more fun, having us keep guessing and speculating, and making theories?

Come on. People complain about EVERYTHING. lol.

Enjoy the game, and join me in my comments and on twitter, in trying to solve these mysteries, as they say on OUAT, Together.

(My Twitter @vprism –

** After reading this again, I have to say… he COULD still be Peter Pan. lol… We know he’s got to be out there somewhere. I’m still hoping to see the Bae/Peter Pan theory work out though. I know for certain he’s not Bae. As far as being Peter Pan, we’ll have to see. Time to do some reading and Twittering 🙂