Took to writing about television and movies on Tumblr, because that’s where it’s at. Mostly teenage girls, but regardless, everyone clusters over there for fandom-type things. I think I wrote somewhere, too, that professionals cluster on Tumblr. It’s pretty much THE hippest website out there, if you think about it, for posting media like photographs and artwork. At least, in the same manner as a Twitter feed. Not anything to compile an archive with, or anything, where it’s easy to navigate from entry to entry, but certainly easy to share, by “reblogging,” and “liking,” which they do on Twitter and Facebook. Social media, which sucks us in so powerfully it’s startling to me, even to this day.
In the dark, during the hurricane, it was a relief to get away, but then again, I was still wrapped in fictions, wracking my brain writing a story. I edited and re-edited the story today and yesterday, which is pretty lame and kinda sad. I don’t think other people would like it. I know it’s not “in character.” I don’t know how to still convey what I wanted to convey without stomping on canon – that foolish restriction that comes with playing with other people’s copyrighted work. You can make your own characters do what you want.
Other people’s characters – their thoughts are mere speculation. I know that in canon, Regina wouldn’t let herself be seen as vulnerable in front of Jefferson. If they fucked, it would be impersonal. Fun. A challenge. A sort of contest, competition, struggle for control. If anything, she’d pull him apart, leave him broken and hating her, because that’s what we see, so far, in the show. (Of course I’m talking about that ABC fantasy series Once Upon a Time.)
It’s heavily implied that once she lets go of Daniel, realizes he’s lost to her, truly deceased, that she begins to unravel – old Regina is buried, replaced by a vindictive dictator that would go on to manipulate herself into power, wearing a mask of compliance until she had the opportunity to kill her husband and send a huntsman after her step-daughter. We know this about Regina’s past, from all the Lost-style flashbacks over last season and this season. All we know about Jefferson is he’s shattered in the present, and he was once haughty and kind of an asshole in his youth. Anything in between is pure speculation, at this point, and because Regina is one of the five main characters, we see all of her, and her development. Her origins and how she’s evolved.
“Evil is not born, it’s made.”
For about five minutes, we see a naive Regina put her faith in Jefferson, despite the fact he’s a brusque businessman who feigns sympathy so obviously it’s shocking she doesn’t notice. But this is an origin story, after all. Of Regina’s final push into evil queen territory. Of their relationship, if we get to see anymore of their history together. In the final scene of the episode, she kills a woman in cold blood, to the giddy delight of her tutor Rumpelstiltskin. Like two flashbacks earlier, she’s crying over her dead boyfriend, crumbling with the agony of crushed hopes. She’d been hugging onto Jefferson in fear of Victor’s lightning just a second ago. (BTW, worst fake-out ever. Victor spent like two seconds pretending to resurrect Daniel. You’d think he and Jefferson would put a little more effort into the act, but Regina saw what she wanted to see.)
It came out and nags at me, that she’d still be uncertain about her evil-queen-ness just after this incident. But Rumpel cheerily tells Victor and Jefferson they successfully helped him make his monster (Victor Frankenstein objects to people saying he’s created a monster back home; he’s just trying to resurrect his own brother, or at least he thinks he is) and sends them on their way. Victor gets his heart, Jefferson gets his money, and Rumpel gets Regina.
Regina swans in and kills the girl. And maybe she’d still fuck Jefferson anyway, for fun, but in my story she worries, throughout internal monologue, that this rebound sex (Leopold doesn’t count) will crack her mask. I partly wrote it because it’s happened to me in real life, and partly because they wear dual identities in Storybrooke, anyway. Everyone there tells Jefferson he’s insane, that he’s imagining the 28 years repeating over and over and over, with only subtle differences and fake backstories. No one aging, until Emma walks into town.
Regina could swan in and confuse him. She’s a lawyer. She’s a sorceress. He’s had a mental breakdown. Or…he’s had a mental breakdown in another universe, in Wonderland. She broke him and he had to slowly patch himself back together, unsuccessfully, because no one understood or believed him. An even worse fate, he thinks, than anything else that she’s done to him.
So it’s such a delight to see him so very, very different when the two of them were young. Sebastian Stan is the hammiest fucking ham in the show, after Robert Carlyle, but it works, I think, even though I cringe a little at it. He’s a smarmy fake, and that’s the point. So if anyone could get into young!Regina’s pants, it would probably be him. In the present, it seems obvious they used to fuck. I hate that few others see it.
I don’t know why we hope for non-canon pairings to be canon so badly. For one thing, about every fan – mostly lesbians; some straight, I believe? – slashes Emma and Regina. They find the pairing undeniably obvious, but I never saw it. Yes, I saw the slashy vibe, but I don’t slash them, myself. I don’t know if it’s because they’re women, or because I honestly don’t see it. I think it’s because they’re women, and I’m a straight woman, because if it was a man and a woman, or two men, I’d probably be ‘shipping/slashing it as loudly as anyone else.
It IS a relief that this show has strong female characters who pass the Bechdel Test. But that’s par for the course in an adventure show, where there are much more dire things at stake than your love life. One romantic comedy that passed the Bechdel Test with flying colors was Bridesmaids, which was refreshing as ever. (It also had people shitting in sinks, and they were women, and they could be as crude as any guy from the Hangover.) It was about female friendship. And Once Upon a Time is about female friendship and family. Sure, Snow White spends most of her time running around trying to find her husband, but she also spends most of her time running around trying to fight evil. Trying to survive. Trying to find justice. Her daughter, grandson and husband, her friends and her kingdom, all take turns in her heart, as her priorities. Snow White is a strong woman. Mary Margaret spent a lot of time whinging over David, but in her flashbacks, she didn’t always need him. She fell in love with him, not because he awakened her with a kiss, but because he was there fighting by her side during the years before it.
Or maybe Snow White just whines about her man. I dunno. But Emma and Regina fight over their son, and Regina’s hold over the community, and her schemes against Mary Margaret, and her general evil attitude. Emma and Regina, if they were men – their slashiness would be obvious to me because of that tired trope of Foe-Yay. I’m a straight woman, so I see two straight women duking it out.
I will admit that Emma wants to see some good in Regina, but it’s next to impossible. It is impossible to feel sympathy for her, I have Jefferson say, in my fanfic’s narration. Others start to feel it, though, and see behind her carefully constructed mask. Archie does. Now David does. Henry may, in the future, if she treats him better and stops bullshitting him. Stops trying to force her love, buy her love, and merely nurture that familial love her neglected son always needed. Stop lying to him. Even Victor did something selfless for her, out of a stupid notion that lost him his arm. I’m sure he’ll go back to hating her again, especially since he got his arm ripped off.
Ugggggh, this show makes me want to tear my hair out, just like Lost used to. A part of me wants to marathon through Season 1 again, but then that blush would rise to my cheeks and I’d feel embarrassed, like I always do, about the fanfiction I wrote. Which is strange, because plenty people write playfully bad fanfiction and they don’t get worked up about it. They have “real” writing to do, elsewhere. Essays. News reports. Press releases. Research papers. Advertising copy.
We know how they first met, and we know how he first fooled her into trusting him. But what was their relationship like after that? And why do I care so much? The Mad Hatter is kinda douchey, though you do feel sorry for him. So sorry for him, until that cathartic moment he’s reunited with his daughter. His story has come full circle – leaving his daughter in EF (“You don’t abandon family”), because he had to do one. last. favor. for Regina. Trapped in Wonderland and driven crazy, trapped in Storybrooke and convinced he’s sick, counting the hours until he either got his old life back or died.
Some people wonder if, perhaps, it was karma, that the smarmy conman tricking a young Regina for money would end up so undone by the evil sorceress he unwittingly helped create. But that’s not really fair. The responsibility for how she turned out rests on Cora and Rumpelstiltskin. Victor and Jefferson just did as they were told. They couldn’t even conceive what Regina would become. It’s not fair to think they should be punished so harshly for it. But it’s kinda funny, in a twisted way, that Jefferson was.
I see why they wrote that this season. And perhaps you can stomp your feet and get mad about it – excuse me; angry – but it doesn’t not fit him.
This crush is embarrassing. This ‘ship is embarrassing. I wish I could feel like this:
but mostly I feel like this:
But remember when we had this:
and then I feel like this:
Anyway, we can wonder about other people’s fictional characters all we want, but I have a feeling I’d have trouble constructing a romance from scratch, anyway. My uncle said if I’m so damn keen on writing erotica, then I should give it a shot doing my own Fifty Shades, because me and half the Internet would do such a better job, and now that it’s acceptable, people would eat it up.
I have this inability to write PWP. Or to separate sex from emotion. Not from love, necessarily, but from infatuation, certainly. I can’t really see any of these characters in Once Upon a Time not caring, inside, about what they’re doing. Blah blah blah, Regina is an awful person with a cold heart. Yeah, I know. But we know her Achilles Heel was Daniel, blah blah blah. If you won’t let me have her feel conflicted over fucking Jefferson, then give me some great PWP with none of that. But I recently read the greatest PWP to ever grace my screen in years, and still, in internal monologue, the two of them had thoughts about what it was like before they were so hateful. Blah blah blah, being a ‘shipper is messed up and so…