Apr 2 2012 12:35pm

Once Upon a Time Season 1, Episode 18: Mother Knows Best

Once Upon A Time’s original Evil Queen and stable boyIt 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.

(Need to catch up? Check out previous Once Upon a Time recaps: Episode 12 | Episode 13 | Episode 14 | Episode 15 |Episode 16 | Episode 17)

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.

The Queen Mother, Cora, and the current Evil Queen, Regina

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.

Regina and the King in Once Upon a Time

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.

The King and Queen in Once Upon a Time episode 18, The Stable BoyQueen 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!


Synde Korman talks music and books on her website Tombstone Tails, along with creating a line of literary jewelry on her etsy site Cemetery Cat Designs.

When she’s not herding cats or creating art, she works as a part-time bookseller. You can find her on twitter as @psynde.

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1. wsl0612
Hey Synde, I do not have HBO so I did watch this ep :-) Really appreciated the (Finally!) backstory.
Did not think much of the actor who played Daniel, very meh and no chemistry with EQ :-(
Loved the moment where EQ confronts MM in jail, so eeeeviiillll! Thought the whole "oh you rescued my daughter, you are the only woman I've found in the kingdom interested in her, I want to marry you" moment, all WTF?? That's all it takes to get a king to marry you? Act nice towards his kid for one moment?
One question I have on your recap - was EQ's mum really a queen too? I didn't get that impression I just thought they were a wealthy family. Also, I loved the ending, I was so psyched and can't wait for another Regina/Gold showdown!!
Glass Slipper
2. GlassSlipper
Loved this episode! Barbara Hershey was terrific, and the actress playing young Snow was amazing! She even looked/had the same mannerisms as Ginnifer Goodwin.

I actually felt sad that Regina was once a happy, nice person, and she let bad circumstances turn her into a bitter witch! Forgiveness is a powerful and cathartic thing, Regina!

I knew the shovel would be gone when Emma started crowing to Regina about having a warrant. At least Kathryn was found, so that will bring Regina down a few pegs and free Mary Margaret.

Wait. Did Mr. Gold put Kathryn in the alley?
3. Leanner
I was able to watch both! OUAT was on at 7 and GoT was on at 8. Perfect! Anyway, my thoughts for this episode ran along the "THIS is why Regina hates Snow?! For something she did as a kid?" Lame. Really lame. But agree it was a really good episode!
Stephanie Treanor
4. Streanor
okay i had a big problem with this episode:

1. why wasn't the stable boy hotter? whats with ABC?! He's not bad looking but its so drab and dull. They really can't pull some sexy soap star actors to come fill in for some princes/rebels etc (considering Soaps are droppping like flies these days i seriously doubt they would be hard to find)

2. They need to get working on the relationship building plots. I'm really sick of seeing all the after and not the "how we got together" story lines. They love each other great! Uhh can you please explain because like @wslo612 said.. no chemistry! Why you may ask? Because we have no idea how their romance evolved so what context do we have to understand why they love each other?

3. Really EQ? Thats your beef with Snow? Really? I thought it was super lame and i hope the writers have something else up their sleeve as to how/why EQ became EQ. It just wasn't enough to convince me.

The things i did like were of course her mother, little snow (she was really great! i hope we get to see her more) and the Kathryn return at the end.
5. EC Spurlock
I think what we were supposed to get out of this episode was that in her grief Regina is taking it out on EVERYONE who had anything to do with Daniel being taken away from her, and Mom not being there (and what DID happen to Mom???) she is taking it out on Snow, possibly in the belief that Snow told Mom on purpose so Regina would marry her dad the way she wanted her to. (And boy that child actress was like Ginnifer Goodwin put through age regression, she was such a perfect little re creation!)

Great choice casting Charming's Evil Dad/Charles Widmore as the DA - he'd scare anyone into confessing to anything.

And whoa, here's a question -- if Kathryn's back, but they identified the heart as hers through DNA testing, where is the heart now? I'm assuming Regina has had it in her possession all along in her wall of safe-deposit-heart-boxes? (Obviously she learned a FEW things from Mummy.) And I'm assuming it is NOT inside Kathryn at the moment?? And does anybody remember Mr. Gold was burying something a few episodes back using a strangely familiar shovel? Hmm...
Darlene Marshall
6. DarleneMarshall
This was one of the better episodes, but I agree that a truly EQ needs great motivation, and loathing a little kid for acting like a brat just isn't enough.

That said, I loved how wardrobe made young Regina look very pre-EQ: light make-up, powder blue riding jacket, loose hair, very jeune fille.

Yay for Mr. Gold. He's the most watchable character, still. Emma is being so stupid and non-logical most of the time (not to mention her fashion disasters) that I keep wanting her to move off-screen so I can see more of Red and Mr. Gold and Regina--the interesting characters.
Synde Korman
7. SyndeKorman
everyoone makes some great points.. It's what I love about recapping this show.. Everyone elses take on the show... well that and Mr Gold.. hah!
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