Saturday, June 1, 2013

Once Upon a Time...How Do You Solve a Problem Like Regina?

Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 20: "The Evil Queen"
In the fairybacks, Regina is in pursuit of the fugitive Snow.  After a village refuses to give her any information about Snow's whereabouts, Regina orders her troops to raze it.

Back at her palace, she calls on Rumpel to teach her a shape-shifting spell.  Claiming that it would take too long to teach it to her, he instead offers to cast it for her.  She agrees to his bargain and is transformed into an innocuous peasant.  She hopes to find Snow and kill her, but is told by Rumpel that she cannot use magic as long as she is transformed.

In a town square, the villagers are burning an effigy of Regina.  She tries to convince them to stop, forgetting her disguise, and is taken for a madwoman.  As she is is taken to be beheaded, Snow appears and saves her, escorting Regina to her woodland hideout, where she tends to her wounds.

Regina questions why Snow would help her, and Snow related the story of how Regina saved her from the startled horse when she was a girl.  She never mentions who the woman who saved her was, however.  The two come upon the razed village, and Snow declares that Regina is irredeemable.  Regina retells the horse story, naming the woman as Regina, effectively revealing herself to Snow, who allows Regina to escape.

In the present, Tamara and Greg convince Hook to work with them by telling him that Rumpel is still alive, thus meaning Hook has yet to have his revenge.

David and Snow ponder what to do about Regina when and if the group returns to their homeworld.  They agree that Regina should be left behind to pay for her crimes.  A disguised Regina overhears the discussion, and the next day tells Henry what she overheard and shows him the beans.  She then relates information about the failsafe she built into the curse, telling Henry that the two of them will return to the homeworld, leaving the rest to die.  A disapproving Henry then has his mind wiped by his adoptive mother.

At Granny's Diner, Emma finds a list, which Tamara has dropped, noting the fairy tale characters and their Storybrooke counterparts.  She is certain this is proof that Tamara is the "her" working with Greg, but Snow thinks Emma is acting out of jealousy.  Worried that Henry might try to get his parents back together, Snow advises Emma to keep this distrust a secret, but Henry overhears the conversation and wants to help Emma. The two go to Neal's hotel room while he and  Tamara are both out, and Emma searches the room while Henry stands watch.  However, Neal shows up as Emma is trying to pull up a loose floorboard.  Nothing is found, and Emma tells Neal about the list, which he claims he made for Tamara to help her adjust to his being a fairy tale character.

Arriving at the bean field, David, Snow, and Leroy discover that the crop has been burned, eradicating their plans of returning home.

Hook goes to Regina's office to warn her about whatever Greg and Tamara are planning.  Since Hook had allied himself with Cora, Regina feels that she can trust him and tells him about the failsafe device for the curse.  The two go to the library, where they take the elevator to its unknown depths.  Noticing her mother's bracelet on Hook's person, Regina asks for it back, and he complies.

At the bottom, Regina pushes Hook into Maleficent's lair while she searches for the black diamond that is the trigger.  Hook arrives upstairs before Regina, which surprises her, and as she hands him the diamond, he reveals that he is still working with Greg and Tamara.  Regina tries to cast a spell, but the bracelet now inhibits her ability to cast magic.

This episode proves that the writers really have no idea if they want to redeem Regina or not.  Maybe they think it's entertaining to watch her waver back and forth between good and bad?  I think it's just poor writing.  Make a choice within her character and have her stick with it.  And if it's the wrong choice, at least let a good amount of time pass before rectifying it.

I like Regina.  Really, I do.  But she suffers from split-personality due to the writers on this show not knowing what they want to do with her.  She's still miles above the "good" characters, though.

The final events in the present day seemed a bit too convenient, especially Cora's bracelet being made into a magic inhibitor.  And the black diamond (also an integral part of DC continuity at the moment) seems like it might be a deus ex machina.  I am really hoping the characters don't get a total reboot because of this, as I will be angry.

Emma's suspicions of Tamara, while correct, do come off as nothing more than jealousy.  She needs more than just a hunch or her so-called super power if she wants to convince anyone other than Henry that Tamara is a shady character.  I imagine next episode she will find it, as there are only two left in the season.

Not Smash level bad, but not a good episode either.

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