Gold, Emma, and Henry begin their search for Baelfire. Prince James and a hunter named Jack form an alliance against the Giants, which causes problems for David in Storybrooke. Here is a recap and review of "Tiny."
Henry tags along with Mr. Gold and Emma as they journey to New York City. When Gold goes through airport security, he must take off his shawl, which causes temporary disorientation. Gold panics in the bathroom and repeatedly punches the stall, but cannot magically heal his hand.
Onboard the ship, Mary Margaret, David, Leroy, and Hook discover that Anton, the now human-sized Giant, was caged by Cora. As soon as Anton lays eyes on David, he sends David flying, having mistook David for his brother, Prince James.
Feeling demeaned by his brothers and intrigued by humanity, Anton goes down the beanstalk. Jacqueline, aka Jack, and James' alone time is interrupted by King George, who tells them that a Giant is loose. In the Enchanted Forest, Jack shrinks Anton to human size and reveals that the King is in debt to another land. Anton offers to help by retrieving his people's treasure and magical beans. Arlo, another Giant, finds Anton plundering their treasure, while Jack and James invade the Giants' home. Per Arlo's order, Anton burns the bean fields. Arlo stabs Jack, but Arlo soon dies from poison. James gathers the treasure and leaves Jack dying there.
Anton, having been returned to full size by Regina, terrorizes the streets of Storybrooke. David tries to convince Anton that he is not James and pauses running. Anton jumps towards him and falls into a hole where magic shrinks him. David repels down and brings Anton up. At his welcoming at Granny's, Anton mentions that he has a way to grow the magical beans, which can give them a way home, so the dwarfs help plow a field and plant it. Greg visits Belle and assures her that she is not crazy, saying he also saw Gold holding a ball of fire the night of the crash.
"Tiny" continued to reestablish the familiar vibe of Once Upon A Time in an episode that garnered sympathy for a fearsome Giant in both the Fairytale Land and Storybrooke. Though not without its faults, "Tiny" was a pleasant part two to the Giant's originally unimpressive story.
Any creative liberty that involves Cassidy Freeman is automatically a win. Freeman perfectly carved Jack out to be a partly mischievous, partly warm-hearted, fully intriguing character. The writers' decision to turn Jack, the infamous beanstalk climber, into a woman made this story infinitely more interesting. Not only did it introduce other methods of her acquiring the desired treasure (i.e. flirtation), but it also deepened her motivations beyond wanting to provide for herself to wanting to protect her own land and please her love interest. My only complaint is that I wish they had given her more, especially more crazy things, to do aside from one stab of the sword. I'm refraining from saying that she has perfected the art of fake dying, given her track record, because I'm holding out hope for a return appearance. Side note: to whom do I send baked goods so they won't kill Cady off Longmire?
Speaking of her love interest, Prince James has been one of those characters metaphorically hanging out in the very, very, very back of viewers' heads. His only purpose appears to be that he is a sharp contrast to the pristine Prince Charming.
The introduction of the Giant earlier this season almost washed him over as a bitter, vengeful man, but this episode justified his actions of wanting nothing more than to protect his peoples' treasures from humans. The "introduce now, explain later" method of storytelling is a theme with this show, for good reason. Watching the explanations of the characters' backstories unfold has been more compelling than knowing everything from the beginning. In terms of Anton, it almost polarizes the performance and gives the actor more range. Jorge Garcia somehow manages to portray a doe-eyed innocence when he's not threatening to squash humans.
Anton's new ax reading "Tiny" provided a nice recollection of the dwarfs' sagacious axes. The name that appear on the axes encapsulate a quality that the bearer portrays, whether it's being grumpy or happy or bashful, etc. Even Doc portrays his leadership. So what more appropriate name is there than Tiny - that which his brothers teased him about and how he also sees himself in his human size.
Considering Cora was responsible for stowing away Anton, she was oddly absent from the episode. Or was she? Regina was acting awfully unlike herself, in that she appeared to be working for her mother, so there is a good chance that Regina is actually tied up somewhere and Cora is masquerading around town.
Some of the explanations that Once Upon A Time has given lately have been head-scratching or done so matter-of-factly that they are suspicious. First, the reveal of David's true name being David, while it is the most fitting name for him, was anticlimactic and too awkwardly done as he was fleeing for his life. Second, when Leroy asks if Hook's ship can transport them back to the fairytale land, Hook completely brushes it off as an option and in a roundabout way says the attempt is useless without a portal. Didn't they come through a portal? Or are those things only one-way now? Of course the logical solution to this problem is to grow magical beans, as if the giant puff of purple smoke wasn't enough magic in the town. Why can't Emma just travel between worlds at will, a la Olivia Dunham from Fringe?
The drama between Mary Margaret and David about where their home is has been strangely not concerning. Even when differences of opinion threaten to keep these characters apart, there is nothing more heartwarming than their determination to protect their family. Mary Margaret's concern that Emma will not return to the Enchanted Forest may be unfounded. Emma has no connections in Boston or elsewhere that would keep her tied there and she has been seeking answers about her birth for so long that it may push her into wanting to see the Enchanted Forest in all its glory.
The scenes between Gold, Emma, and Henry were by far the weakest in the episode and were, quite frankly, unnecessary. I imagine Gold going through airport security was done for the sole purpose of preventing viewers from pointing out a plot hole later down the line if there was no mention of Gold ever taking it off. But about plot holes, if Gold's magic does not work outside of Storybrooke, then how exactly is the shawl working? On a different note, you know I'm always excited about a Lost shout-out, so the reference to Ajira Airlines, along with Henry's affection for icing, provided a little relief to this storyline.