If the names Anderson and Grimm ring a bell, you probably already know that their stories were cautionary tales detailing the most creative of punishments for disobedience. However, with the ever growing popularity of everything Disney, it’s hard to remember fairy tales being anything but happy. Today’s post seeks to amend this by drawing attention to three works that manage to find beauty in both light and darkness.
While the dark may not be your cup of tea, it certainly makes for some interesting twists and turns along the way.
Welcome back, TV lovers! This week, Once Upon a Time gave us journeys of re-discovery for Mary Margaret and her old pal Hercules, played by Jonathan Whitesell. Hades (Greg Germann) continues to shine as the harsh ruler of the Underworld, but I still don’t get the point of his CGI hair.
After mixed reactions to the Frozen and Search for the Author storylines last season, Once Upon a Time managed to rejuvenate itself in an unlikely fashion. Emma Swan, the protagonist, sacrificed herself and became a villain. It sounds far-fetched, and yet has been the exact boost OUaT needed. If you couldn’t tell from my weekly recaps, I’ve been in love with Season Five. Jennifer Morrison finally has more to do than say, “I’m the savior,” and argue with Regina.
However, I was a little disappointed with how the Dark Swan arc wrapped up in last week’s mid-season finale. Emma was prepared to sacrifice herself again to save her family, but Dark!Hook had a last-second change of heart and died instead. Some magical nonsense turned Rumplestiltskin into a uber-powerful Dark One, and Emma blackmailed him to take her to the Underworld to rescue Hook.
I didn’t love this episode as much as the earlier ones in the season, but it definitely wasn’t bad. Instead of Camelot flashbacks we got a look at Hook/Killian Jones’s past: a father who abandoned him and his brother, and whom he later killed when Evil Queen Regina was testing him as an assassin. The recurring theme of the episode is: “What type of man do you want to be?” which comes into play with both Hook and Rumple/Mr. Gold (more on that later). In the present, we have Emma preparing to face off against Hook and make the ultimate sacrifice to protect her family.
Previously, on Once Upon a Time: Regina’s wicked half-sister Zelena announced that she’s pregnant by Robin Hood after masquerading as Maid Marian for months. Isaac the Author teamed up with Rumplestiltskin to write a new story before the latter’s heart turns completely black. Emma’s friend Lily turned out to be Maleficent’s long-lost daughter (also a dragon). And Will Scarlet, my beloved Knave from Wonderland, gets no screen time except when he’s a plot device.
So yeah, it’s been a pretty wacky season, and that’s not even considering the Frozen arc. While last year’s finale dealt with time travel, this year’s was alternate reality. Isaac wrote a new story that would give him his OWN happy ending, breaking the cardinal rule of being an Author. With everyone from Storybrooke having disappeared into Isaac’s best-selling book, Henry tracks down the rogue author to get his family back.
This week on TV… The Flash had a guest appearance by Mark Hamill as a terrorist named Trickster, and Arrow reached a tipping point in Ra’s al Ghul’s plans for Oliver. On Once Upon a Time, Snow and Charming’s dark secret and the fate of Maleficent’s lost child is revealed. Meanwhile, Agents of SHIELD picked up steam as SHIELD’s very existence was threatened.
I love to read; it’s been a hobby of mine since I was a wee tot, and, while I’ll always enjoy a good novel full of interesting, well-developed characters, intriguing themes and an entertaining plot, I’ll never say no to a good short story or poem. It’s remarkable what sort of emotional impact of some artfully-composed stanzas can have, or how an intelligently-written narrative in prose can grip the reader despite its brevity.
In addition to her children’s and young adult books and tales, which range from factual to fictional, Jane Yolen has also crafted some incredibly thought-provoking and poignant little treasures in both her short stories and poetry; I’d like to share some of my favorites with you.