Once Upon a Time Review: Tiny

Tonight’s episode was brought to you by Cinnabon!

And if you don’t know what I’m talking about then go watch the episode before you read this, because this article contains SPOILERS! 

Come on Once Upon a Time, you’re better than this.

I really mean that, you are better than this. The premise for this show is truly original and genuinely compelling. When you do it right, this series is really, really good. But so often you fail to live up to the potential of this brilliant world you’ve created, and that makes it that much more disappointing for the fans.

Two words for this episode: Sloppy and Boring. This makes me sad because “Tallahassee” (the previous episode featuring the giant) was a great episode. I found the giant an empathetic and intriguing character. This time…he was just fat Ariel. “I wanna be where the humans are!”



On the subject of Jorge Garcia (Anton), I was incredibly disappointed with him. The way they hyped him up I was kind of assuming he was a skilled and popular actor (I’ve never seen Lost). Maybe he is. Again, I liked him in “Tallahassee,” but in this episode it didn’t seem like he was even trying. A few actors on Once Upon a Timseem to think that playing a fairy tale character means they have to be more stilted and less emotionally engaged, like when the very talented Richard Schiff interpreted Snow’s daddy in a painfully dull manner. The fact is that these characters excel when the actors take the outlandish stories of fairy tales and deliver them as naturalistically and honestly as possible. I think the best example of this is Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas in the pilot.

Oddly believable, right? “She poisoned an apple because she thought I was prettier than her.” Woops, guess we forgot about that loose end…

Speaking of which, plot holes abound in this episode. Let me list a few.

-Why are they letting Hook wander free? Didn’t he just shoot someone? Sheriff, Princey poo? We gonna maybe put him in jail? Nah. Let’s let him go where he likes. Sounds like a plan.

-Anton believes the “It wasn’t me! It was my…evil…twin brother! Who was raised by an evil king! And is dead now! So you can be satisfied!” story. But he can’t believe the idea that Emma is out of town for a few days. Paid vacation in this economy? A likely story.

-James and Jack are the biggest dicks ever. I don’t mean that as an audience reaction, I mean that as a plot hole. These guys are like pokemon villains. There’s just no reason for them to be that nasty. This show goes out of its way to show that evil always has a motivation. No one is inherently bad. James’ motivation: he needs money for his kingdom. So wouldn’t a (literally) Giant bag of treasure, freely offered, take perfect care of that? Why did he have to kill all the giants for the beans? They don’t seem to need the portal, he’s only concerned about his kingdom. So we wage war because…? Yup, because we’re dicks. And when Jack is dying, it doesn’t seem like it would take that much effort to save her. But no, he had to be a dick. Can’t lift you and the treasure…not like my identical twin brother can lift himself and Jorge Garcia up a well….oh wait.

While we’re on the subject of Jack…why was she made a girl? I’m not against it, it just seems like there should be a plot or character driven reason for the change beyond the desire to add over-the-top medieval cleavage. But apparently that’s enough for Once writers.


Look, boobs! That will totally appeal to our primarily female demographic!

-Why don’t they just tell Belle there’s magic, instead of making her think she’s crazy? Not like they can’t prove it. It might make her believe her past and help her work through her amnesia. But, hey, the doctors all got their MD from a curse so their neurology department might not be great.

-Rumplestiltskin looked way sketch in the airport. No way he doesn’t get strip searched.

-How, in any fantastical realm, were a family of giants defeated by two humans?  Sure, they mentioned an army, but it sure looked like it was just two people fighting a bunch of giants (#budgetproblems?). So why didn’t the giants just take their big fat hairy feet and squash the little buggers? My house could be taken over by an army of ants, doesn’t mean I’m not gonna win. Why? Because I’m bigger. This whole thing was just so comically ridiculous. Seriously, Anton’s big brother/daddy thing was killed from, essentially, a paper cut to the ankle. Must have been his Achilles heel.

See? Why didn't you do that to the giant dicks?

See? Why didn’t you just do that to those dickheads?

-Anton seems happy when the axe names him Tiny. …what? This makes no sense. That was the exemplification of the way his family emotionally abused him. If I wanted to remember and honor my dead loved ones, I’d pick a different way. Besides, it didn’t in any way relate to his emotional journey of learning to trust again. The axe is supposed to symbolize your deepest self. At the end of the episode, Anton didn’t seem “tiny” in any way. So what was the reasoning?

It was all very sloppy. There was a good episode wanting to come out, maybe, in a couple of drafts. But it certainly wasn’t this. Even my usual favorite, Lana Parilla (Regina), felt schmaltzy and shallow in her acting. But I’m hoping that’s because Regina is just playing her own double/triple game (and/or is Cora shape shifting) and Parilla is tipping her hand a bit too much instead of just phoning it in.

Things I enjoyed this episode? That’s honestly hard. I can only think of two things:

1. It has been 3 episodes since their last “I will always find you.” Congratulations. One day at a time, writers. One day at a time.

2. Leroy. I love the actor, and I love the character. He was the only saving grace in the episode. I would especially like to thank him for channeling the audience’s sentiments towards Prince Charming/David/James’ name. That was cathartic.

Oh, and sorry Hook, you know I love you, but Lee Arenberg can out-pirate you any day.

‘ello, poppet.

What did you think?