Once Upon A Time Recap: “Street Rats”


By Casey Rose Frank

This week it’s time to revisit one of the most important films of our youth, “Aladdin”. But be warned, the “real story” is nothing like our beloved movie.

We begin in the Capital of Agrabah, many years ago…

Jafar is making an example of thieves in the square by turning the thieves into actual rats, which feels like the origin story for a pizza rat more than a look into the life of Aladdin. Princess Jasmine arrives in the square after Jafar’s show with the express intent of getting Aladdin to help her find the diamond in the rough. He declines and she essentially blackmails him into helping anyway.

There’s no Abu and I don’t know if I’m disappointed or grateful that there’s no CGI monkey that’s bound to make us all uncomfortable.

In present day Storybrooke Emma and Archie are following the red bird, Emma is done with talk therapy for today, and wants something more actionable, like finding the oracle, AKA, Mystery Girl, again.

Emma’s like, “Hey, we found her!” And the oracle’s like, “Sorry, I’m super dead.”
After this unfortunate discovery, they find Jasmine running away and take her into the police station.

Jasmine says that she is innocent of this crime, but rather she was trying to find Aladdin. Then she says the four little words that set Emma on her path of hope this episode: he was a savior.

In Archie’s office the Evil Queen is waiting is waiting for the doc because she wants to talk about Emma. Hyde told EQ about the oracle giving Emma more details about her visions, so EQ killed the oracle. When Archie doesn’t back down EQ decides to just disguise herself as Archie and get what she needs.

Over in Zelena’s house, she’s rocking what looks like a mini black leather poncho while laying baby Robin down in a little pink outfit. Glad to see green and leather aren’t the styling choices for her infant.

Zelena discovers that Archie has been deposited tied and gagged in her house and is like, “Evil sisters, ammiright?”

Back in the desert Aladdin and Jasmine are going to the Cave of Wonders to find the diamond in the rough because Jasmine wants to better the world by using the diamond to defeat Jafar. Aladdin points out that while Jafar is certainly a baddie, things were terrible before he arrived. The city needs basic help beyond ditching the evil sorcerer.

When they arrive at the “cave” there is a door with a tiger head OVER it. The door isn’t a tiger mouth that asks the extremely relatable question, “Who disturbs my slumber?!” and I am officially over this narrative. Aladdin does however, take a page from another story and shouts “open sesame” to gain entrance.

At Snow and Charming’s apartment, the gang’s all there. No one can find Aladdin.
“Archie” appears, having followed Emma to Snow’s and begins forcing the issue of telling her family about her visions. And everyone is like “Privacy? What is that? Break patient doctor confidentiality!”

Emma gives in and tells them all about the visions of her own death visions, and that according to Hyde all saviors die. Emma admits, “I thought if I could find Aladdin I could avoid my fate.”

Emma says that Regina isn’t in her visions and Regina asks, “Where do you think I am?
Am I dead, or the figure under the hood?” Emma doesn’t know how to answer so Regina decides to go double down on finding Aladdin.

Back in the Small Room of Vaguely Interesting Things (not many plural wonders here) Aladdin tries to get the rough rock from a booby-trapped blade, but the ceiling begins to collapse around them. Aladdin blasts that falling rock away with his hand and Jasmine exclaims, “You have magic!”

Turns out that Jasmine suspected that Aladdin was the diamond in the rough, the one with the magical powers of a savior, meant to defeat Jafar. She doesn’t say how she knows this, but Aladdin ponders this new revelation all the same.

Henry offers Jasmine his Xbox as a distraction and as someone with a sixteen year old brother, my heart completely melts over this sincere offer of help. But Henry’s not your average kid so he offers his condolences to Jasmine over Aladdin’s likely death. Jasmine feels guilty because she put Aladdin on the path of being the savior. Henry realizes that he did the same for his mom. Both sit with their new guilt, but Henry, ever the optimist offers, “Maybe Hyde was wrong.”

Emma and Snow chat about the ramifications of Emma keeping her visions a secret, specifically that it’s not good for the relationship Emma is trying to build with Hook.
When the gang gets word that Archie never showed up for an appointment they quickly assume that it wasn’t Archie breaching basic patient protocol at the apartment, but the Evil Queen and I’m actually pretty proud of how quickly they got savvy to the situation. You can learn from terrible past deeds!

As Casa Zelena, she’s enjoying tea while Archie holds the baby. EQ poofs in and wants Zelena to leave the baby with Archie (upon threat of death) and go.

Which brings us to the Three Bears Day Spa. Z and EQ are gossiping in color coordinated robes and turbans while they get their nails done and I am DYING. I need to join them.

EQ insists that Zelena’s wicked days don’t have to be over, saying Regina tolerates you, but I choose you because you’re wicked. She even encourages Z to embrace her wickedness so that her daughter might be delightfully wicked as well! Hooray!

In the vault Emma finds Regina boiling away and asks, “What are we making in this jar of nightmares?” And now I have a fabulous new version of “what fresh hell is this?” She’s brewing up a new locator spell that will link Emma’s savior magic to his, allowing them to see if Aladdin is alive and in Storybrooke.

Back in the cave Aladdin is pondering his future as hero when Jafar arrives. The red bird is an oracle, not Iago (okay then) and the bird’s red eyes show Aladdin his future. There are bones and a blood flood. Jafar says that Aladdin’s future isn’t set in stone, and that he can alter his destiny with sheers from the fates. “You’ll longer be a savior, you can have all this treasure!”

In the palace Jafar is ready to officially take over everything and poofs Jasmine into the hourglass (this is the true movie moment we get?) Aladdin shows up on the magic carpet, saves Jasmine, and breaks Jafar’s staff.

Jafar points out that Aladdin is a thief who’s never had to pay for anything, and we finally understand that when there are constant mentions of all magic coming with a price, that means the savior magic as well…

Regina’s locator spell brings Emma and the gang down to a forgotten crypt beneath the cemetery. Jasmine finds the scarab she gifted to Aladdin in a pile of bones and accepts that he is in fact dead. Emma looks crushed as she realizes she can not escape death. (For the record, no one can, Em.)

Emma asks for a minute alone in the crypt, but Henry soon returns to confess his guilt that he started her on the savior’s path. Emma explains that she wouldn’t trade any of it. Thanks to Henry she became a mother, found her family, and she considers Henry to be the best actual magic she has.

After hearing this touching moment from the shadows, Aladdin emerges ready to talk from one savior to another.

Back in Agrabah, Aladdin doesn’t want riches, he just want to save people, and he’d like to do it with Jasmine. But Jasmine declines, newly committed to helping the city and its people.

As Aladdin leaves slightly dejected, a rucksack appears on his shoulder. In it are the sheers and a note from Jafar. “For when the saviors burden becomes too much.”

In the crypt Aladdin confesses that eventually he used the scissors to cut himself from his fate as the savior and Agrabah fell. He ran away to the Enchanted Forest and was swept away to Storybrooke during the curse like everyone else. “I didn’t intend to reveal myself, but after I heard you and the boy I couldn’t keep these (sheers) to myself.”

Henry asks why Aladdin wouldn’t reveal himself to Jasmine, and he admits that he was ashamed to let Jasmine see how far he had fallen, and that duty had always gotten in the way of love. Our dear Henry encourages Aladdin to see her all the same.

Aladdin does go to Jasmine, and they are relieved to see each other, but for completely different reasons.

Jasmine: We need the savior!
Aladdin: Yeah, about that…

Spa Day now over, the evil ladies return to Zelena’s house. And in a show of embracing her evil ways, Z turns Archie back into a cricket, and keeps him in a cage. Sigh.

Emma brings the scissors to everyone to be honest about their existence, but not to use them. She says that Aladdin didn’t trust the people he loved and that’s why he failed.
“If my magic does come with a price, I’ll pay it.”

She gives Hook the scissors to hide away in the water, saying she doesn’t want to them to fall into the wrong hands. When he returns from his task, saying the sheers are down in the darkest depths of the water, Emma kisses him and essentially invites him home for some Netflix and chill. Happy normal couple stuff!

Hook says he’ll be right behind her, but with a storm coming he wants to make sure the ship is secure. Emma leaves smiling. He’s smiling. I’m smiling.

Just kidding, Hook still has the scissors.


Well, Oncers, what did you think of this week’s episode?

Like Chekov’s gun, I assume that the sheers will be used one way or another, so who will get their fate snipped?

And where is Raja?

Casey is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click HERE.

{photo via Entertainment Weekly}