So last night on "Once Upon A Time," we explore one of the harder characters to believe in. That is the saintly Mr. Hopper who is as we all know actually Jiminy Cricket. Now I don't know about you dear readers but this is a stretch for me to buy. Firstly, the few CGI shots of our fellow in his original form didn't really help. Secondly, one had to wonder why he took the human form he did. There's nothing ... um... cricketish about it.
Well last night episode actually worked to cover the second point and to add quite a bit to a character that can in the wrong hands become an annoying self righteous jerk. It starts in the fairy tale world and we see a young boy picking pockets at a puppet show. Later we see him with two grifters who are dressed so over the top that they would be considered chewing the scenery if they had just stood still for two minutes. At first I thought this was a boy Pinocchio with the cat and fox. It turns out that the young cut purse is none other than our Hopper. So much for being a conscience.
Meanwhile back in the real world two things happen. First Emma actually officially joins the police force of Storybrooke, and secondly the Mayor Queen pushes on Hopper to be hard on Henry. The results are more dramatically felt from the moment Emma took the badge. Suddenly there's a rocking and explosion. Turns out there are a lot mines (dwarves ya' know) that have been abandoned on the edge of town and obviously some old dynamite or something must have gone off. Henry believes though it happened because of Emma and she is slowly breaking the curse just by being in town. In doing so for the first time things are changing.
Unfortunately, it is now that Hopper chooses to challenge Henry's belief. Thinking there might be proof in the mine (why exactly is a little unclear), our young hero goes off into the hole looking for fairy swag. Meanwhile Snow White is still trying to get her head around the new Prince Charming situation. It's not easy since they are both still under the curse. They both feel there's something off but can't get a bead on it.
Back in the Fairy world we now see the familiar Hopper as an adult. He's still under his no good parents thumb which still doesn't speak well for his moral system. He wants to get away from them but he seems unable to. He makes a deal with Rumplestiltskin for a potion to fix his parents so he can finally escape. If you know Rumplestiltskin you are immediately on edge since he didn't really make much a deal. It's turning out that Rumplestiltskin is definitely the big daddy baddy and that's a good thing since Queen Mayor falls more and more into "Desparate Housewives" territory.
In the real world everyone realizes where Henry has gotten off to and head out for a rescue. Hopper, out of guilt, goes into the dangerous mind to save Henry. Ah, but who will save Mr. Hopper. What happens is the usual mine catastrophe we've seen a billion times on TV. It doesn't deserve much more mention than that.
Back with the old Jiminy we see him try to zap his folks after they did a flim flam on some nice farmers. They just laugh cause daddy did a gypsy switch so guess who got the bug a boo juice? Jiminy is horrified and goes back inside. Sure enough, that sweet young couple is now a pair of truly baboon butt ugly wooden figures. Jiminy can't help but not they are still holding hands. It gets worse, suddenly a young kid they didn't know was around runs into the house and sees his parents as dolls. It's not pleasant. In the end Jiminy had to get away from that scene and finds himself wishing. Luckily for once he gets visited by the Blue Fairy for wish consultation. Turns out that he can't bring the parents back, but maybe he can help the child through life. He responds that he still can't get away from his folks. The fairy says perhaps you can if you wish you were somebody different. Well, you can guess that he choose cricket as the perfect thing to be. Oh and the kid? His name is Gepetto.
All in all, a very nice episode even if it had some major cliches. I certainly like the character of Jiminy Cricket a bit more. We are also given another peek into just what a player Rumplestiltskin is. I have the feeling he's going to start playing some major mind games with both Emma and the Queen Mayor. Can't wait.