Once Upon a Time

Episode Report Card
Cindy McLennan: B+ | 2 USERS: A+
How I Met Your Mother

Holding up his good hand, our pretty pirate knocks on his wrist with his hook. As his wrist glows golden with magic, he explains that he has one more enchanted wrist cuff, because Cora was to accompany him. I really hope Emma, Snow and the whole team, really, don't gloss over this. There's no way that Cora left her own counter-spell cuff with Hook, even if he was or is playing for her side. This is a trap. It's such a trap that I'm surprised the magical glow doesn't form the letters T R A P. Team Princess lets this pass without comment, but I hope it doesn't pass without notice. Hook asks the women which of them will accompany them. "Go on. Fight it out. Don't be afraid to really get into it." We flash sideways and back to...

Portland, Oregon, 11 years ago. Emma is supposed to be 17 or 18 years old. In the recaplet, I already hit the fact that nothing older than 22 can pass for 17, so I won't belabor the point here. Still, with her hair in that high ponytail, and sporting those thick-rimmed glasses, she does look adorable. Using a slim jim, she breaks into the familiar yellow VW Bug. Once inside, she uses a screwdriver to pop the ignition and drives off. She nearly crashes the car when episode 2-1's Mysterious Stranger (played by Michael Raymond-James) pops up from the backseat and says, "Impressive." As Emma gasps for breath, he dangles the keys in her face. "But really, you could have just asked me for the keys. Emma struggles between keeping her eyes on the road and the urge to get a good look at her unexpected company. Our Mysterious Stranger gives her such a smile that I'm waiting for a twink sound effect to accompany it, too. Title card.

The Mysterious Stranger introduces himself as Neal Cassidy. Contrary to what you may have read online, Cassidy is the character's last name (as we'll later see) but yes, it's still a shout-out to Kerouac's bud, Neal Cassady. Neal is ridiculously flirtatious with Emma, given she just stole the car in which he was napping. When she fails to look where she's going, Emma blows through a stop sign. It's not long before a cop pulls her over. Neal tells her to take the screwdriver out of the ignition and replaces it with the keys. When the cop asks for Emma's license and registration, Neal tells him he's just teaching his girlfriend to drive a stick. I am not going with the obvious pun, because the show already has. After a little sexist commiseration about women drivers, the cop lets Emma off with a warning, even though she never produced a driver's license. Once he's gone, Emma figures out Neal's angle. The VW Bug isn't his either. She's just stolen a stolen car. Talk about meet cute. This is so sweet, I'd better brush and floss once it's over.

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Once Upon a Time




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