Once Upon A Time: Dreamy

Last week’s episode, “Dreamy”, explored the life of everyone’s favourite curmudgeonly dwarf. Before Grumpy developed his sour disposition, he was Dreamy, a starry-eyed newborn dwarf who saw the world a little differently than his brethren.

But let’s backtrack a little bit and discuss the logistics of dwarves in the Enchanted Kingdom. Apparently they are hatched from eggs as full-grown middle-aged men. Huh. Now I did a little research – not a lot, because I’m quite lazy – but I can’t find any other information on dwarves hatching from anywhere in fairytales. So it seems like something Once Upon A Time just made up. They’re certainly entitled, but I think it’s a little bizarre. Apparently there are no female dwarves around for breeding, so the bearded workers just pop right out of their eggs, grab a pickaxe, and head into the mines. Why they don’t grow up like all other species is certainly a puzzle. Birds, fish, dinosaurs – they still emerge as adorable squirming little babies. There’s really no precedent for this weirdness. Also, logistically if dwarves are just born to whistle and work … why middle-aged men? Why not men in their 20s or 30s? From a workhorse perspective, it would make a lot more sense for dwarves to be in peak physical condition!

Anyway, aside from the whole egg thing, Dreamy’s birth was unusual in another way. A clumsy fairy, flying over the mines, accidentally dropped some fairy dust. It swirled straight down and dusted over Dreamy’s egg. Hours earlier than scheduled, Dreamy emerged from his egg and spoke of visions of a beautiful woman, but he was told in no uncertain terms that dwarves cannot and do not fall in love! So Dreamy took it all in stride and went to work with his seven other brothers. (I guess that’s what they call dwarves who come from the same batch of eggs!)

But one day while Dreamy is working in the mines, he meets the mysterious woman who has haunted his dreams. Nova, a sweet, oddball, accident-prone fairy is collecting bags of fairy dust – struggling not to spill any – and Dreamy comes to her rescue. The fact that he’s an asexual dwarf doesn’t stop his palms from sweating and his heart from pounding. He’s smitten … and by some miracle Nova returns his feelings. The two awkward souls romance each other while watching a firefly display and decide to sail away together on an adventure. Dreamy wants something more than a life in the mines and Nova is disillusioned with her journey to become a Fairy Godmother.

They arrange a rendezvous for the following day, and Dreamy returns home to say farewell to his fellow dwarves. The poor little chaps are confused as hell, but happy for him! But not everyone shares in his newfound joy. The Blue Fairy, who has been guiding Nova , intervenes and begs Dreamy to reconsider. If he runs away with Nova, she will lose her wings and never become the fairy she was meant to be. And he’ll lose his place is in the mines, working to make the world a better place in his own way. Every creature has their destiny and they must not veer from it.

A heartbroken Dreamy rejects Nova and returns to life underground, but things aren’t quite the same as before. His personalized pickaxe, emblazoned with the name Dreamy, has stopped working. Dreamy chooses a new pickaxe and the word Grumpy appears on the handle – a new name to match his new disposition

In Storybrooke, Grumpy has taken moody to a whole new level! As the town drunk, Leroy, he is a toxic ball of anger and snark … not exactly the kind of person who goes the extra mile for his fellow man. But that all changes when he meets Astrid, the blushing nun, and finds himself desperate to make her happy. Astrid is just as scattered as her Enchanted Forest alter ego and recently blew the convent’s monthly budget by ordering 12 dozen types of helium with a clerical error. Rent is due to Mr. Gold (of course!) next week and they’ll be out on their holy arses if they can’t come up with the money. Leroy foolishly promises to sell all of the candles that the nuns have made for Miner’s Day (a traditional town celebration), even though they’re barely moved 40 in past years.

And it’s going to be a pretty hard promise to keep, especially since the woman running the Candle drive is the newly christened town harlot, Mary Margaret. Despite her best efforts, she hasn’t convinced a single soul to volunteer. Everyone is still too busy judging her. Leroy isn’t discouraged and drags Mary Margaret door-to-door to hock the candles to everyone in town, but people won’t even fork over the cash to get them off their doorsteps. Leroy gets increasingly desperate, lies to Sister Astrid about selling all the candles, and tries to sell his beaten up boat to Mr. Gold to get the cash, but nothing works and he’s forced to admit failure and come clean to Sister Astrid.

Leroy and Mary Margaret are left commiserating over their terrible brushes with love as they drown their sorrows. It’s a really nice scene, probably one of my favourites so far. If love is brief, is it worth the pain it causes when it’s over? If you pursue love at all costs, is the fallout something you can live with? And what if you know you can never be with the person you love? Is it enough to have one moment of happiness when you put a smile on their face? Mary Margaret doesn’t know whether her fling with David was worth it in the end. Leroy knows that Sister Astrid isn’t a romantic option, but he just wanted one moment with her; something he could cherish forever.

Tired of feeling sorry for himself, Leroy decides to think outside the box. He cuts the power to the town square while everyone is out celebrating Miner’s Day. Without their strings of lights, they’re all left in the dark. A hand-made candle suddenly seems like an ingenious idea and the candle booth sells out. Leroy gets ecstatic gratitude from Sister Astrid and Mary Margaret even gets a moment of kindness from Granny.

In other Storybrooke news, Emma is trying to solve the mystery of Katherine’s disappearance. She at first dismisses David as a suspect … until phone records surface that show Katherine spoke to David on the phone right before she vanished. The fact that those phone records originated from Regina’s office – that’s not suspicious at ALL.


  • Amy Acker was adorable as usual, and her innocent, clumsy, frazzled fairy brought back warm memories of my Fred. SIGH.
  • No Rumpelsiltskin in this episode!!! It was also ‘Regina/Evil Queen’ lite, which was a nice change.
  • Nice cameo from Emile De Ravin’s Belle, encouraging Dreamy to chase after love at call costs. I guess she was drowning her sorrows at the local tavern after Rumpelstiltskin cast her from his side.
  • I really enjoyed the ‘dream’ theme that played throughout both storylines. Should we dream of things bigger than the lives we lead? Dreamy became Grumpy not just because he lost the love of his life, but because he was told he would never have anything more than a life in the mines with other dwarves. When he forced himself to accept that, he lost his special Dreamy charm. Mary Margaret and Leroy were both nursing dreams of love beyond their grasp, and also dreaming of rising above their nasty social stigmas.

Not So Much

  • I’m sorry I just can’t get over the whole ‘egg’ thing. Not a fan of the hatching dwarves
  • What was with the costumes in this episode? Poor Amy Acker looked like she was in a ballet recital styled by Project Runway rejects.
  • I don’t understand why the mines were producing fairy dust, which the fairies then collected and transported. Shouldn’t fairy dust by definition be FROM fairies?

Photo Courtesy of ABC

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