It figures that when Once Upon a Time finally airs a good episode it airs opposite the premiere of Game of Thrones, standing very little chance of being something watched by the masses. That being said, this was one of the GOOD ONES! It focused on young Evil Queen Regina, and how she came to be so evil. It also shed some light on Snow White, showing us once again that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
The show opens with a flashback of Mr. Gold and Regina striking up a deal to frame Mary Margaret for the murder of Kathryn. They do everything but shake on it.
Then we flashback to Fairytale land to find a young Regina free as a bird riding her horse, taking jumps and laughing, while her father watches happily from the ground. Just as Regina dismounts her steed a well-dressed woman shows up (hey, it’s Barbara Hershey!). Regina addresses her as “Mother,” and Regina’s father looks unhappy. The woman who is indeed Regina’s mom is also the Queen, and the way she shows her displeasure with Regina is by magical torture. Regina fights her until the torture becomes too much, at which point she acquiesces. Wow, abuse much?
Regina takes her horse to the stable where moderately hunky stable boy Daniel is waiting. They declare their love for each other, kiss and pledge their troth. It’s sweet, but more in that “oops I put one too many spoonfuls of sugar in my coffee“ way. A little too contrived.
We then switch back to Storybrook, where David is trying to get Emma to let him see Mary Margaret. She says no! Honestly, David is becoming one useless character.
Regina confronts Mary Margaret in jail..She taunts her with her supposed quilt, and tells her the DA will bring a confession out of her. Which incidentally he does, by simply making her so mad she starts screaming. The DA is good, damn good.
Back in Fairytale Land, Regina sneaks off to be with Daniel, and she tells him that the Queen will never allow them to be together. He is, after all, a lowly stable boy. Just as he starts to actually have a spine, we hear screaming and it cuts to a horse with a little girl on it. The horse is running wild and the little once is screaming bloody murder..Enter Snow White.
Regina saves the child, only to have the King (Snow’s father) show up and propose (isn’t the way everyone shows gratitude?!?). Before Regina can say no, her mother accepts for her. Talk about a stage mother! Sheesh!
Regina runs out of the castle to the stable to tell Daniel, and they decide to run away the next evening.
They passionately kiss and guess who’s watching? Yup, little Snow White, who screams in disgust in a moment that oddly reminds me of the scene in The Empire Strikes Back where Luke shouts “YOU’RE NOT MY FATHER” at Darth Vader and then does a free fall sans hand (Snow just runs into the forest, she doesn’t fall or lose a hand).
Regina chases after her, and then explains it all by telling her love is magical and transforms all things when it’s “right.” Snow buys it and promises to keep quiet.
We jump back to Storybrook for a quick ride with August and Emma out to the crime scene, where we see that August has a leg injury. He passes it off quickly, but I think it’ll be important down the line.
While Emma is looking at the murder scene she finds a piece of broken shovel, they giggle like little kids during recess and hightail it off to Regina’s to find the broken shovel.
Which they do in record time. August makes a ’told you so’ face. Emma gets excited.
When she returns the next morning with a warrant to seize the shovel. it’s gone. Emma blames August (who I think totally did it. He gives her the wounded look as she storms away.
So back in Fairy Tale Kingdom—Snow goes to the Queen and they have a talk about love, in which Snow blurts out that Regina loves Daniel, not her father. She begs the Queen to let Regina and Daniel be together. The Queen calms Snow, who is dumber than a box of rocks at this point.
Queen highjacks Daniel and Regina, who are about to run away, and in one of the most brutal scenes on this show thus far, kills Daniel with a pretty great amount of pleasure by ripping his heart out. Regina goes mental, she and the Queen argue, but again Regina gives in and agrees to marry the King.
In Storybrook, Regina torments Mary Margaret, in her cell this time, telling her she will go to jail. That she knows that Mary Margaret DIDN’T DO IT, but she deserves to go to jail so it’s going to happen. Bravo Regina, perfect evil queen moment. Truly a bitchfest.
Emma has a meltdown because she thinks Regina has won, and throws some flowers Sidney brought against the wall...wait, what’s this? A bug you say? OH HELL NO. Emma gets a clue about Sidney...finally.
She goes to August to apologize (mistakenly, I think) and then they hear this scream. Ruby comes running out from the alley, freaking and pointing and saying ”she’s back there!”
They all run into the alley—guess who is lying there??? KATHRYN!!!!
Mr. Gold does it again. I do love a man bitch.
So we have seen the development of Regina into Evil Queen Regina and the frame job has been brought into the open...A great episode with much possibility for the rest of the season.
Hey, Mikey...I LIKED IT!
When she’s not herding cats or creating art, she works as a part-time bookseller. You can find her on twitter as @psynde.