Lee Arenberg (Dreamy/Grumpy/Leroy) falls in love with Amy Acker (Nova/Astrid) in both worlds — and in both, she is off-limits, someone he is not supposed to love.
Things work out better for them in Storybrooke than in FTL, despite the Storybrooke curse.
True love, thwarted
Amy Acker is a lovely, well-meaning, but clumsy and ditzy apprentice fairy godmother and nun. Lee Arenberg is a dwarf in FTL and the town drunk in SB. They fall in love at first sight in all their various guises.
The dwarfs in OUAT are not really dwarfs, just a bit on the short side. They hatch full-grown from eggs, presumably because dwarfs don’t mate, although that does leave the question of where the eggs come from and how they get fertilized.
The dwarfs mine diamonds, the raw material of fairy dust, which creates the magic that runs the world. It’s a (short) guy’s world down in the mines, though Belle shows up, looking radiant, and dispensing wise, hard-earned advice about love.
A dwarf is supposed to be incapable of loving a woman, though Dreamy feels what he feels. Before he can act on his feelings and follow his dream of running away with Nova and sailing around the world, the Boss Fairy Godmother tells him that he will interfere with Nova’s true destiny and ruin her chances of happiness unless he lets her go. So, gallantly, he does, despite Nova’s protests.
He’s not happy about it, though. In fact, he is Grumpy.
In Storybrooke, Leroy, the town drunk, and Mary Margaret, “the town harlot,” are the two most despised people in town. They get together (a platonic Beauty-and-the-Beast pairing) to raise money for the town’s nuns — Mary M to try to ingratiate herself with the townsfolk, and Leroy to try to be a hero to Sister Astrid.
Leroy succeeds, through a bit of trickery. At the end, he’s still got his boat and a promise from Astrid to sail with him some day.
Katherine and David
The story of the missing Katherine doesn’t get a lot of airtime. Emma takes a quick peek into Katherine’s car. She asks David when he last spoke to Katherine. He says the day before she left, and Emma takes him at his word.
Regina rustles up some phone records, which she gives to Sidney, which he, in turn, gives to Emma. The records seem to implicate David — they show a call he made to Katherine shortly before she disappeared. Emma puts him in her cop car, and that’s the end.
What we didn’t see
We didn’t see Henry, August W. Booth, the Storybrooke incarnation of Belle, or Rumpelstiltskin, and only saw a token appearance by Mr. Gold.
Dreamy is not supposed to love Nova because (1) he is supposed to be inherently incapable of loving anyone, and (2) even if he can love, it’s not his “place” to love her. It’s as if he’s trying to buck a caste system that is just too powerful to be defied. In SB, Astrid is off-limits because she is a nun.
As viewers, we have no doubt that Dreamy/Leroy’s love is true and pure. The show draws parallels to Mary Margaret’s forbidden love of David, not entirely convincingly.
The town harlot
I winced when Leroy called Mary Margaret the “town harlot,” when everyone gave her the cold shoulder, and when her car got red-painted again.
Who do these townspeople think they are — Rush Limbaugh?
Seriously, why is all the blame placed on Mary Margaret? Why does David get off scott-free? He’s the one who is married.
(Edited to add: Steph, in the comments, pointed out that the red “Tramp” painted on MM’s car was left over from last time.)
Even though Storybrooke is cursed, in some ways it seems more attractive than Fairy Tale Land. There are big things, such as the FTL caste system that stood in the way of Dreamy’s happiness. There are smaller things, like indoor plumbing. I’m not totally buying the curse. Why did the curse put the characters down in one of the most picturesque towns on the continent, rather than in, say, the middle of a war zone?
David gets condemned for not being honest. But Leroy gets praised for using trickery and deceit to get to his goal. It doesn’t seem fair.
Once again, I liked the clever editing, especially the first shift from FTL to SB, with cracked eggs on both sides of the jump.
I thought this was a minor episode. The best thing about it was the purity of the love between Dreamy/Leroy and Nova/Astrid, which the episode conveyed well. But except for the brief digression into looking for Katherine, it didn’t advance any of the main storylines. And I missed Rumpelstiltskin, the scaly, golden, giggling, murderous heart of the show.
Do you think David was lying about the phone call? If so, why? If not, what was Regina up to?
What do you think about how things worked out better for Dreamy/Leroy in Storybrooke than they had in FTL, even though Storybrooke is cursed? The curse may be lifting, but what is going on that allows things to work out for the characters in a way that is not just as good, but better than in their original uncursed lives?