Episode 1.5 “That Still Small Voice” recap, review, etc.

Harry Groener Carolyn Hennesy Once Upon a Time

Harry Groener and Carolyn Hennesy, guest-starring as Jiminy's thieving parents


Three things happen in this Jiminy Cricket/Archie Hopper centric episode. We learn how Jiminy became a cricket. We get a clue about what is underneath Storybrooke. And Mary Margaret becomes distressed by the strength of her attraction to John Doe.

Honest Jiminy yearns to break away from his thieving, scamming parents. Then up pops the ubiquitous Rumpelstiltskin, with his double-edged magic. The magic backfires, turning a nice young couple into horrific mummified puppets. We’ve seen them before, in Mr. Gold’s Storybrooke pawnshop.

Couple turned into puppets, in episode 5

In Mr. Gold's pawnship, in episode 4

Worst of all, the couple had a young son, now an orphan – and he’s the cricket-loving boy who had given his umbrella to Jiminy in a rainstorm.

Geppetto giving his umbrella to Jiminy

Later, a fairy godmother tells Jiminy she can’t bring the mummified parents back, but Jiminy can make up for what he did by taking care of the orphaned boy Geppetto (who, strangely, turns out to be older than Archie when they are in Storybrooke). The fairy godmother also grants Jiminy’s wish to be someone other than who he currently is by turning him, at his request, into a cricket.

Marco (the Storybrooke incarnation of Geppetto) is older than Archie

In Storybrooke, at the moment Emma puts her Deputy badge on her belt, an old mine collapses, causing a faux earthquake. (As a former Californian, I jumped.) Regina intimidates Archie, telling him she will ruin his life if he doesn’t “crush” Henry’s “delusion.” And Henry, convinced there is proof of the fairy tale world in the old tunnels, sneaks in, with Archie going in after him to rescue him.

In the end, Archie stands up to Regina, essentially blackmailing her by telling her there may be a custody battle for Henry, and the courts will look to him, Archie, as an expert. While he was saying that, I was thinking that Regina would just have to kill him now –but I was probably thinking of a different kind of show.

Harry found a piece of glass in the mine, and Regina found another that the initial collapse had thrown to the surface. At the end, she drops it down the long shaft, and it lands on something. I couldn’t see what it was, but the folks at the TWOP forum thought it was Snow White’s glass coffin — and that was confirmed by a tweet by @JaneEspenson, the episode’s writer. Does that mean Storybrooke is sitting right on top of the fairy tale land? Is there a way to get back, through the tunnels?

Regina finds a piece of glass

Henry finds a piece of glass underground

Once Upon a Time That Small Still Voice glass coffin

Hard-to-see glass coffin at the bottom of the elevator shaft

In a completely separate storyline, there is amazing chemistry between Mary Margaret and John Doe, but Mary Margaret, distressed by falling for a married man, resigns from the hospital so she won’t have to see him.

Mary Margaret and John Doe

The original Jiminy Cricket story

Jiminy Cricket was a Disney invention, based on what had a been minor, unnamed character known only as “The Talking Cricket” in the 1883 Italian children’s book Le avventure di Pinocchio (The Adventures of Pinocchio). I’m not very familiar with the Disney version, but after reading a synopsis, it sounds like the key aspects of Jiminy’s character are that he is kind, humble, and doubtful -– traits we have seen in Archie in OUAT. The other key aspect of the Disney version of the story is that Jiminy serves as Pinocchio’s companion and conscience.

Who, if anyone, is Pinnocchio in OUAT? It seems like it should be Henry, going by Archie’s devotion to the boy – but Henry, we know, is not a fairy tale character. Or is he?

Theme of the week

You can only be free if you are yourself. You have to listen to “that still small voice” of your conscience to know who you are. Only when you know who you are can you stop letting others control you.

The episode title

The phrase a “still small voice,” used here to refer to Jiminy/Archie’s conscience or sense of self, originally came from the Biblical Book of Kings, in a passage that contains a reference to an earthquake:

And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:

And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.


Archie’s dog is named “Pongo,” which is a name from the Disney film “101 Dalmations.” The real name of the dog is “Cinder,” according to @RaphaelSbarge.

The episode starts with a puppet show, which foreshadows the mummified puppets in the end. Also, Jiminy is like a puppet controlled by his parents, just as Archie is like a puppet controlled by Regina. In the end, Jiminy and Archie both break free from their puppetmasters.

Edited 11/30/11

4 responses to “Episode 1.5 “That Still Small Voice” recap, review, etc.

  1. Don’t you mean Snow White’s glass coffin, instead of “Cinderella’s” ??

  2. Oh, yeah. Thanks. (Grabbing my editing pencil …)

  3. I believe the fairy that granted Jiminy’s wishes is the Blue Fairy. I don’t know if she is in the original story, but is significant in Disney’s Pinocchio.

  4. Henry isn’t Pinocchio; he makes it clear to Emma when they meet archie in the Pilot. In the pilot we can also see how Pinocchio is, when he helps Geppetto building the shrine

What do you think?