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.