Episode 2 of Once Upon a Time brings us back to Storybrooke, Maine, the town inhabited by fairytale characters with a bad case of amnesia...
I agree with Natasha, who wrote about the beautiful scenery in I Want to Live in Storybrook: Once Upon A Time Episode 1—this series is beautiful to watch. It’s filled with lush sets, incredible costumes and a notable cast.
I was, however, really disappointed with this week’s show after last week’s deliciousness. It took an hour to get 15 minutes worth of information, and the script was really choppy. There was so much flipping about of time lines that I am going to hit only the high points.
I will henceforth refer to the Evil Queen as EQ.
The show opens with a shot of the clock tower; the clock is moving and the bell chimes. This causes a near seizure for EQ/Regina, while the rest of the town almost breaks out in song.
EQ/Regina shows up at the B&B with a basket of apples for Emma. She tells her it’s time to hit the road, enjoy the apples and go (right, like who’s going to accept an apple from the EQ?). Emma gets up in EQ’s face and puts the bad in badass, saying she’s not leaving and to get over herself.
~FLASHBACK TO SNOW’S WEDDING~
After EQ makes her threats, she goes to her mirror to have a talk, and her father joins them. She says she has to go visit someone to get her curse back, but they beg her not to! She goes anyway (who here is surprised by that?). Cut to EQ and Maleficent having a chat about how hard life is for a baddie. M doesn’t want to hand the curse over, they fight (in a scene stolen directly from LOTR). It goes pretty bitchfest, and EQ wins. She leaves with the curse. M alludes to the fact that Snow White ruined EQ’s wedding day. Cut to EQ with a cast of evil baddies (giant, gnome, blind witch) who are helping her make the curse take shape.
Aaand we’re back in Storybrook where we see round two, three and four of Emma vs the EQ. Nothing really happens, they just posture a lot.
Emma goes to shrink Archie (Jiminy Cricket) who gives her Henry’s file in an obvious set-up. Minutes later, he is on the phone to EQ. Emma is arrested by the Sheriff, who incidentally, I think, is the Woodsman. Mary Margaret (Snow white) bails her out.
Pissed off as hell, Emma goes and cuts down part of EQ’s prized Apple trees. More bitchfest ensues.
Back to the curse—it seems it didn’t work, even with all those evil dudes around. EQ goes to talk to Rumpelstiltskin about it. Manic and spittle-ridden, he tells EQ that the curse will only work if she sacrifices something she really truly loves. That trying it with the heart of her prized steed was an insult, and she better prove herself if she wants the evil to take shape. "You know what you have to do,” he spits. He tells her that Snow’s unborn child (that’s Emma, by the way!) can break the curse, because all curses can be broken by something. In exchange for the information, he makes a deal with EQ that whenever he says “please,” she must fulfill his every need. She can never deny him. Without thinking she quickly agrees, at which point he laughs manically...oopsie, bad move, Queenie!
Back to StoryBrook where we see rounds five, six and seven of EQ vs Emma. Honestly it’s starting to get silly at this point, and way too soap opera-ish.
Emma visits Mary Margaret/Snow White and they have a “talk.” It’s very mother daughter, and there are many veiled references to “ I feel I have known you before.”
Emma decides to leave town, Mary Margaret talks her out of it.
EQ goes to her father and tells him that in order to make the curse work, she needs to kill him and cut out his heart. He tries to talk her out of it, she waffles, but in the end does what any self-respecting Evil Bitch would do: yup, patricide.
EQ puts Dad’s heart in a cursed bonfire and the dark forces take shape. She places a rose on her father’s grave and we see his name: HENRY!!!!
Meanwhile in Storybrook, Mr Gold/Rumpelstiltskin pays EQ/Regina a visit. The tension builds, as Mr Gold reminds EQ that because of the state of things ( i.e.the curse), he is around to make her life hell. He refers to the fact that he actually orchestrated the return of Emma by getting the book to Henry. He never says anything outright, only veiled references and toothy smiles.
He brings up the name Henry and said what a fine name it is, once again reminding her of the power of a name. He is batshit crazy and it’s great! This was the best scene in the whole hour, and gave more information than the previous 35 had. Someone needs to have a chat with the scriptwriters.
When I asked fellow bloggess Natasha what she thought of the episode, she said “I want the Evil Queen’s office and stylist.” Me too, because the set and style of the show are the most exciting things about this series—Oh and Robert Carlyle, too.
What did you think?
When she’s not herding cats or creating art, she works as a part-time bookseller. You can find her on twitter as @psynde.