Once Upon a Time "The Evil Queen" Review: This Show Just Keeps Bagging on Regina/the Evil Queen

Once Upon a Time S02E20: "The Evil Queen"

Remember Season 1 of
OUAT, how when we got to three episodes before the end, those were like can’t-miss episodes? Season 1 flew toward its finale with a clear purpose, drawn  by its mounting storylines as if it were a sled pulled by a pack of fierce wolf-dogs. But Season 2 three episodes before the end is moving like a sled drawn by a pack of three-legged, rabid raccoons: hissing and shrieking at each other, walking off into the snow for a piss, and sometimes jumping up to claw my face. I don’t even want to tell them which way to go to survive anymore, I just want to get the hell away from those damn raccoons.

Last night was approximately the fourth episode of this season that relied completely on Lana Parrilla’s sensational acting. She pulled off an impossible script in both FTL and Storybrooke because she’s capable of captivating the audience with a face of pure emotion, and hey, if Watching Lana Parrilla React was a show, I’d DVR Season Pass that shit. But the way OUAT is writing Regina currently is seriously inconsistent with the fan-favorite character she's spent the last two years building. Regina has been morphing over the last three episodes into a bit of a spaced-out baby-snatcher, and last night Henry acted VERY uncomfortable around Regina, backing away from her and giving her shifty glances even before she revealed her curse’s "fail safe" to destroy Storybrooke. Bitch, SHE CHANGED EVERY DIAPER, SHE WAS THERE FOR EVERY FEVER... show some respect to your mom. She's been the only parent Henry has known for the last 10 years, yet Henry was so callously, thoughtlessly gung-ho about abandoning his single mom to go frolick about in the Enchanted Forest. And the fact that Henry wants Neal and Emma to be together, as his parents? I hope you like Easy Mac and no health insurance, Henry. 

Speaking of Neal—the idea that Emma spent this whole episode sort of staking him out and giggling about him with Henry and snooping on Tamara made my skin crawl. I know when a man teaches you to bump into a door with your mouth open while you’re standing as a lookout, that sort of transcendental wisdom can turn him into a bit of a personal guru. But for Emma to sheepishly be like, "Hey I know this looks bad, like I’m being a crazy ex, let's slap a romantic context on this," and for Neal to be like, "Hehehe oh I guess you want me and my fringey scarf that was popular five years ago," NOPE. Nobody wants any of this, guys. 

I didn't want ANY of the new elements they tossed into the unsavory plot element stew last night. What was with all the never-heard-of-them-before devices that popped up this episode?! Regina blew memory-loss powder off the Book of the Dead from the Mummy, the "failsafe" in the curse was a big plastic gem in a hidden compartment in Snow White’s coffin (sigh), Hook de-magicked Regina with a leather snap bracelet from Hot Topic that Regina recognized as being Cora’s...

Um, Cora had the same fashion instincts as Liberace; in what world would she have thrown on an a leather ska cuff to complement her blue satine hoop skirts? Whatever. I don’t even have time to get angry at what everybody wore the episode, that's how jacked the plot was.

Because Kristin Bauer is way too busy filming True Blood/being too respectable to reprise her role as Maleficent, when Regina led Hook down to the cavern below the library he fought with a bunch of re-animated dust that was only capable of shrieks (sorry, Bauer must not've been available for ADR either), while Regina dug through the glass coffin. Which once again, the one-step-forward-two-steps-back nature of this show: You kill a dragon, and now its dust is a witch-zombie. So does killing it the first time even count? Why have I emotionally invested in any of this? And then to top it all off, the most boring villains in any primetime show ever were waiting to "bag her" once she and Hook returned to surface. Lana acquitted herself beautifully, but the chain of actions her character took this episode simply didn’t link up very well.

Luckily we had the broad comedy of the Evil Queen in FTL to entertain us. For once the fairy-tale flashbacks were legitimately the best part of the show. Lana’s insane militial evening gown and campy, over-the-top lectures to the peasants were infinitely admirable/quotable. The show pulled a genius move in "transforming" her looks without swapping in another actress. Their transformation only missed one small detail:

Ah, much better.

I thought it was sort of bafflingly inconsistent writing that MOMENTS after Rumple hauled her in front of a mirror and explained that no one could see what she actually looked like (she even admired the results and was like, "WOW am I ever disguised! About as regal as a potato!"), seriously less than an hour later in the timeline of the show, she was angry at her guards for not recognizing her. More than that, she appeared puzzled and stupefied that they couldn’t. Then they dragged her through the three chickens they’d rented for that day of filming over to ye olde beheadin’ block, which is out in the market square 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Luckily Snow interceded.

Apparently before rushing her off to the chopping block one of the guards was merciful enough to give Regina some knock-out drops, because she awoke days later in a charming forest house with Snow White tending her wounds. What followed was essentially Snow White telling this perfect stranger how awesome Regina was apropos of nothing, until halfway through a line about how vulnerable the current Queen was—and then they both almost fell into a yawning mass grave of fairy-tale villagers. Whoops!

Here’s my thing with this: Making Regina responsible for a small-scale genocide is not consistent with her modus operandi; she went to a lot of trouble to whisk an entire population to Maine alive and well, and cursed them rather than killed them. And the show obviously recognizes that Lana Parrilla’s emotional depth is one of the two engines keeping this crazy train moving along. So why would they push her character even further into "irretrievably bad" territory? Why undermine the character-building Parrilla has done? How does it really change any of the dynamics to make her a sociopathic mass murderer? It was aggrandized water-treading, and while it cemented that Regina wanted to be good (but just couldn’t stop murderin’!) and that Snow has valid reasons to feel that Regina is irredeemable, these were all things we already knew.

It's my own theory that in the pilot, when Regina told Emma she loved Henry and Emma was like "LIE ALERT ACTIVATED," the show was originally going to make it an important part of Regina’s through-line that she DIDN’T love Henry. 

But because Parrilla is an insanely exceptional actress, she made strong emotional choices and Regina became such a fan-favorite that her love for Henry is one of the driving motors of the show. The dynamic of someone becoming less selfish and more considerate to be a better parent could be so gorgeously rendered because of the foundation Parrilla created for the character, but sadly the OUAT writers don’t seem inclined to capitalize on it.

So yes, we are two episodes out from the pilot with a ton of brand-new information. The beans are all burnt (not that we had that much time to get attached to them) except for a single plant in Regina’s office. Tamara and Greg are up to their very, very boring schemes, which were given almost no build-up over the course of this season. I’m really hoping the next few episodes will pull it all together in some way, but at this point I'm more curious about how far off the rails this is going to fly, I'm not seriously expecting emotional justice.

QUESTIONS:

... Did Regina posing as an old fisherman make you laugh, or were you too busy wondering why Charming and Snow were hanging out under a blanket down at the docks?

... Is Henry essentially Emma’s best/only friend and is that bad parenting?

... Who burned those beans?

... Was "The Evil Queen" what you were hoping for?

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I have to point out, the show wasn't trying to pin the small genocide on Regina; she was as surprised/shocked as Snow. Her men got way too carried away and she didn't even know about it.
Also, I think you are underestimating how easy it would be to forget that you look like someone else/don't have magic when it's been a part of you all your life. For example: we recently changed all of the light switches in our house and they are almost flat instead of having an actual switch; it took me about a week to get used to them and be able to walk in the door and turn on the light without missing the switch completely.
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I'm a hardcore Regina fan, but I have to say, the writers did have the script say clearly "Kill them all", as in Regina wanted her soldiers to actually kill everyone. Children, Women, and Men. A bit horrific, but I thought it added to the evil of the Queen, which I really hope will be worked on, even if she cannot be redeemed in everyone's eyes, that she will work towards forgiveness even if it is never given
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Why is FTL Snow so capable and frankly kickass but Storybrooke Snow/Mary Margaret is one of the weakest damsel in distress characters I have ever seen? I actually LIKE FTL Snow wheras real world Snow is annoying as all heck what with her lack of any real chemistry with Charming and constant need for rescuing?
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Like the Biblical Samson, all her strength was in her hair? Haha. Good observation, though. I agree. FTL Snow is a badass wild woman rushing around saving and/or beating people up whilst wearing leather and correcting anyone daring to call her "girl" rather than "woman"... Mary Margaret, however, is damn near unbearable in my opinion. Incompetent and self-righteous are the only words that spring to mind. Seriously -- the curse did something to her. Or parenthood. Or the haircut.
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To be totally honest I think I might have given up on this show if it weren't for the amazing Lana Parilla and the strange-lets-not-talk-about-it-feelings I have for her.
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I thought I was the only one who had strange-lets-not-talk-about-it-feelings for her... I am soooo relieved that I'm not the only one. *wipes sweat off forehead*
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"I thought it was sort of bafflingly inconsistent writing that MOMENTS after Rumple hauled her in front of a mirror and explained that no one could see what she actually looked like (...) seriously less than an hour later in the timeline of the show, she was angry at her guards for not recognizing her. More than that, she appeared puzzled and stupefied that they couldn’t."

Not only this, but she also tried to do magic more than once looking, like you so well put it, puzzled and stupefied that she couldn’t, when Rumple had told her that not being able to do magic was the price to pay for that spell.

This show...I don't know, it had one of the more exciting premises I had seen in a while, it had a strong pilot and a fairly strong 1st season. Now it's just a mess! The storylines are boring and the writing has me throwing the remote at the tv. I'll stick around for the remainder of the season, but it's definitely one of the shows I'll have on my "maybe" list for next year.
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Has it occurred to anyone that she may have done all sorts of mass murdering before she realized that power is nothing without people to step on?
Maybe she thought she could kill a few people and everything would turn in her favor. Then it didn't work, so she stopped wasting the energy.
That's the point isn't it? The power struggle.

The main issue with this show is that they have too many characters, so invariably someone gets overlooked with every episode.
It's possible that they have a plan to connect them all together, but I feel as if they're burning their bridges (ie. August)
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Can they kill Regina off? I know they won't, but one can wish. She's the most annoying character this season. I don't know what happened to the Fierce Evil Queen from season 1, but she's gone.

She's worse than all of Regina's apologists combined. Thinks she does nothing wrong and will be blame everyone but herself.

I can't stand her constant whining and crying either. The writers make her do it so much because they want the viewers to feel so bad for poor baby Regina and forget about all the people, even children, she's killed. Doesn't work on me.

Her mind raping Henry was disgusting, she's not fit to raise a child.
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gah! Thank you! Finally someone who is not blinded by Regina's tears and can see things for what they are!
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WHERE IS RUBY?!
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filming another show......
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Given what I am about to say, I am glad that internet postings are anonymous! I am impressed by the heroic attempts of a lot of you to make sense of this show. When compared to many of you, I am entirely irrational in my decision to watch - in fact, I gave up on the show being very good about half way through Season 1. As many of you have pointed out, I do think that a large part of our continued loyalty is anchored in Regina, and the heartfelt way that she is portrayed by Lana Parrilla. I am, personally, living a successful life, and have luckily been placed in circumstances where abuse has never been an issue – and yet, even so, I have done a few things during the course of my life that I deeply regret. Without this profound human ability for self-reflection, and resultant need for forgiveness, I doubt that the Catholic church would still be getting away with some of its ongoing shenanigans. (As a person who was not raised under any particularly chaffing religious yoke, I am not hating on the Catholic Church through those comments - simply that they have managed to get away with quite a bit due to their ability to offer 'redemption'.)

Here’s where I am heading. Even Lily, along with lots of commentators, have indicated that if the producers manage to pull together an even halfway sensible end to this season, then we will all again admire how clever they are. Sorta like ‘If a person really screws up for a very long time, and then finally acts in an acceptable manner even briefly, we will all sing their praises’.

Isn’t this the very stuff we have been lamenting about some of the characters they have created? Why would we consider these producers the best and the brightest when all they have been doing is setting the bar lower and lower, and then finally showing us that they can (Ta-Ta!) step over a bar that is basically at ground level?

Hey, I do know that commerce has its own logic. Disney is providing a product that an (albeit lower and lower) percentage of us are still watching. The show would not exist if the advertisers didn’t know that enough of us will be watching to make it worth their while to pay for the show.

Yet this rationality still leaves me so very fascinated about just which pieces of this show touch our hearts to the point that we still tune in. It’s clearly not the overall show, and it’s clearly not the writing. Could it be that since most of us don’t participate in any organized religion (me neither, and I never have) that this show taps the universal human issues of sin and redemption that our more modern Western attempts at ‘spirituality lite’ simply don’t quite address? That however bad the show may be, the few morally ambiguous characters invite discussion about intentionality, mindfulness, etc?

Would that be the reason that so many bright people are willing to forgive these jokers, if they simply provide something that is not blatantly disappointing during the last 90 minutes of programming?

And if so, might there not be a better way to deal with these issues than by rewarding a badly written fantasy series - that has only managed to create 1-2 morally complex characters, amidst a sea of fictional flotsam and jetsam? Dunno, but I just have to hope that there is a better way to add richness to the moral complexity of life than to depend on such awkward, adolescent guides.
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I felt more like this last season than I do this season. Last season they managed to put together a string of early episodes that captured my interest completely. I sang the praises of this show and tried to get everyone in my circle of influence to watch it. The latter 2/3 of S1 frustrated me more and more with each episode, but I was so invested in the idea that the concept could be great. And then bam, the finale blew my socks off and I couldn't wait until Season 2.

Only with my current hindsight can I see how manipulative this type of show-writing is. I wrote here last week that serialized programming shouldn't be a lesson in ascetic patience. None of us have a problem with suspense, with following arcs or mini arcs, or with watching characters unfold, complicate, develop, etc. But there has to be a carrot we are chasing. There can't be endlessly fragmented or dropped storylines. There can't be total abandonment of core characters (Jefferson, Kathryn, August most of the season, Sidney, Archie, Ruby save one profoundly stupid episode) only to introduce characters that nobody cares about and who don't move the plot forward (Aurora, Mulan, Lancelot, Gerhardt, Jack, etc.). I feel as a viewer that I am wandering aimlessly in a boring, boring, unmapped forest. They aren't asking us to follow as they drag the carrot. They are trying to plant, grow, pluck, and dangle the carrot in a single episode, just like last year.

And S3, if the PTB are so bold as to renew, will undoubtedly be 18-21 episodes of mindless muck with a few nice specimens able to separate themselves from the rest.

I feel about Rumpel the way you do about Regina. I don't really care to see Regina get redeemed, and I don't particularly think Lana pulls off the character very well. Robert is able to make Rumpel believable to me no matter what lines he is being forced to deliver. Regina is undigestible... though I do concede she has been given the absolute most ridiculous writing of all. I keep watching because I want to see what happens with Gold, his love interest (who I hope is replaced at some point because Emilie gets on my last nerve), and Neal. That's it. That's the only carrot I've been able to create for myself in the past two years.

It's not really about catharsis or a need for homemade religious experience for me personally, though you certainly lay out a good argument for those who believe the pinnacle of the show is Regina's eventual redemption and not her death. I want to be entertained (not mindlessly or because I'm lazy - in fact, I prefer entertainment that makes me think and predict). The only person who does that for me on this show is Robert Carlyle. The whole cast is brilliant, but they aren't given enough screen time or decent writing to entertain me anymore. The only one brilliant enough to make 3 dimensions out of 1-dimensional writers is Carlyle.
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This show sucks hard now. And not in the good way. Finishing the season, which will undoubtedly include some awesome device that will make me come back for the third season. Le sigh.
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officially done reading your reviews. while the actress behind her might be good, i seriously dont get how you can take a stance for all your reviews of rooting for the character she plays. that character is beginning to give joffrey (from GoT) a run for his money as most despicable character on TV. and you root for her? killing an entire village who may or may not have known about Snow was pretty villainy. And the whole wanting to kill everyone in Storybrooke just as bad. Really hope someone takes over the reviews of this show next season. I can deal with pessimism on quality, but can't deal with actually making an entire theme of your reviews by rooting for someone so Joffrey-like.
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Seriously? where's the tl;dr?
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Did Regina posing as an old fisherman make you laugh, or were you too busy wondering why Charming and Snow were hanging out under a blanket down at the docks?

Hey maybe Snow and Charming wanted to check out what Emma loved so much about it? LOL! But in all seriousness, I do believe this was a character builder in the sense that Regina got to learn that forgiveness doesn't come easy, and when you go around doing what you please people are not going to love you for it. Most likely, her killing those villagers was her way of saying "Betray me and die", because she is just slightly cooked no? But to everyone else it's mass genocide because innocent and defenseless people shouldn't be murdered for no good reason apart from the fact that Regina hates Snow White and feels betrayed that the villagers won't give her up. It's not too much of a stretch to believe she would kill them to be honest. Regina seems very emotionally retarded. She honestly believes that if she gets rid of every other person out of Henry's life then she can have him all to herself and he will love her for it. But obviously Henry isn't going to take to Regina murdering every other member of his family and every other person he's ever known (via failsafe deactivating of the curse) and then love Regina for it. But it's not something we haven't gone over before. Remember 'True North' where Regina didn't understand why Hansel and Gretel wouldn't just agree to come and live with her and be her new adopted children? They wanted to return to their father even though they were not rich or comfortable, because they loved him, but Regina didn't get that. Or even a couple of episodes back, when we saw the first days of the curse, and Regina was sure that if she got rid of Owen's Dad that she could have little Owen all to herself. But he said there was no way he could stay in Storybrooke like that. So she watched him leave all teary eyed, simply because she didn't seem to understand. This is a woman who killed her own father to enact this revenge, and he was the person that she loved mos in the world. It's not a stretch to believe that she'd kill a whole bunch of villagers to be honest.

Is Henry essentially Emma’s best/only friend and is that bad parenting?

I don't think Henry is Emma's best friend. I think she is trying to protect him. She didn't initially want to bring him in on this (granted after a little coaching from Snow, but Emma was never a parent until she got to Storybrooke, and essentially she never had parents herself, so what did she learn about parenting if we think about it logically?) but she knew that he knew and no one else believes her. Let's be serious, if the only person who believed you about something serious was your kid, they'd be the only one you bothered talking to for a while. Everyone keeps shooting Emma down, but really, has she ever been wrong? Lily mentioned the first episode where Emma immediately knew Regina was lying about loving Henry, but if we're honest, Emma was probably right about that. Not because Regina doesn't genuinely think she loves Henry, but because Regina doesn't really know how to love anyone. Blame HER mother for that. If your mother raised you without a heart and no love, then I'm sure you'd all have problems. Essentially I don't think any of them are good parents or bad parents, they all just seem to be pulling out of their asses and doing the best they can.

Who burned those beans?

Obviously it was Regina. Why would she take some of the beans, plan to kill everyone in Storybrooke and leave them an escape route? If she didn't burn the beans, why wouldn't she just leave them there in the first place? No one would suspect a thing if she did. So it's the most logical conclusion that she burned them and took her own little cutting to grow in her office, leaving the rest of the town with no escape route when she activates the failsafe.

Was "The Evil Queen" what you were hoping for?

I'm not quite sure. Greg and Tamara are boring the hell outta me. I prefer Rumplestiltskin and Regina as villains because they have some depth. All Greg can talk about is his father and all Tamara can talk about is how she's dumping Bae the moment she gets all the info she wants. Regina may be emotionally retarded, but at least she has more depth. Rumplestiltskin may be an ass, but even he has more depth too. It's frustrating. I get the feeling that Bae is going to be the next one to actually believe Emma, because he was willing to check and make sure that Tamara wasn't hiding anything in the first place. If he was willing to do that, it won't be a stretch to figure out that he'll be the first one to catch Tamara out. (nods) Anywho can't wait for next week's ep. Hopefully we'll get some interesting stuff going on.
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ooooh, lot of good stuff written here. I really like how you brought up the plight of Hansel and Gretel and how she didn't understand that, and how she repeats that again with Owen and once again how it is reverberates with Henry. I haven't thought about that repeated history, at least not lately.
And yes I agree that she doesn't really know how to love thanks to Cora's influence in her life. Sure she had her father Henry, who seemed to love her unconditionally, but he was a pushover and let everyone dictate his life and that of his daughter's and his marriage didn't have any love in it. (Remember, he never said anything against Regina being married off to King Leopold against her will. Afterall, he himself was sold off my his dad in marriage as well.) It also doesn't help that King Xavier, Prince Henry's dad, was of the same exact mindset as Cora and I'm sure those two had the most influence on her child-rearing and taught her that love is useless and because they are royalty everyone is beneath them to serve them. Whatever love she did learn from her father is what she was able to bestow on Daniel. And with her love loss, and her loss of control in the say of her future, she cracked, and now everyone is just a tool to be used, like she was, as I'm sure she was preached to about growing up.
So ditto to "Emma immediately knew Regina was lying about loving Henry, but if we're honest, Emma was probably right about that. Not because Regina doesn't genuinely think she loves Henry, but because Regina doesn't really know how to love anyone. "


Yeah, I don't understand why people are ganging up on Emma. I don't see wrong in her actions either. She knows now to trust fully in her gut instincts no matter what everyone else is telling her. In first season, no one believed Henry, except for August, then Graham, and then she did (and then she found out Gold and Regina knew). So in her first group of allies in terms of believe, Graham is dead and August is basically dead too. August "died" the first time around in season one getting her to believe by fully becoming wood and this time again he "died" was trying to get her to believe him in something again with his unfinished warning.
So yeah all she has is Henry left as an ally because everyone else believes she broke the curse so her hero days are over and that she is just going after Tamara because she wants Neal back and therefore is just acting like a crazy-ex.
And really she doesn't have any friends left in that town. Her two best friends were Graham, now dead, and Mary Margaret, now mom. Everyone else that she mainly hung out with are either loyal subjects/friends to her parents, and thus would report her. I guess there is possibly the cricket but he was never good at keeping his mouth shut and would probably fall into psychoanalyzing Emma and saying she's acting in jealous irrationality also. So Henry is really the only person she has.

As for Greg and Tamara- well I have extreme sympathy for Greg. I hope he doesn't get killed in his pursuit to find his father because I really feel sorry with how Regina f***ed him up. I also totally want to know what happened to his dad too.
The only thing Tamara brings to the table is the case of the current girlfriend of the heroine's ex/current love and is a villain with no love for the boyfriend and her own selfish agenda, so that the boyfriend can see the light, help his ex eradicate her and so the two can be reunited. I have always, always, hated this plot trend because its such a cop out to having to deal with real life emotions and an actual thought of plot/situation. (Not to mention, I really hope that Emma does not hook up with Neal again because of how he has and continues to treat her. She deserves better, and Neal has in no way whatsoever redeemed his actions and even then I don't think I will root for him unless possibly it takes many seasons to win me over but she has better options available who have yet to leave their scar on her.)
However, whatever technology/science they have on their side, from what we have seen, is utter crap and totally ridiculous. It makes me gag.
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You make a good point about Regina's marriage. As for the whole magic against science thing, I REALLY don't get how all of a sudden they can use science to stop Regina using magic. After all, wasn't the whole point of the ep "The Doctor" about how Frankenstein had to admit that magic was more powerful than science? A lot of twisty turny stuff lately in OUAT. I may just give up if something really good doesn't happen soon. Then again I'm always wnating to find out what happens in the end of something so I probably will keep watching it to see how it ends. I got fed up with Ghost Whisperer after a while, but I still watched it to see how it ended. I watched Lost until the end and I was never so angry at wasting years of my life watching something for it to end in such a cruddy way. (nods) So I'm hoping OUAT doesn't let me down.
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I think Regina wasn't really paying attention to Rumple when he was explaining to her that the townspeople won't recognize her. She didn't care and only was thinking that whatever she thought was right was right 100 percent. I also think that when she acutally saw how much the tonwspeople hated her and wanted her dead with a passion, she forgot what Rumple told her and just "lost it." Regina is completely desperate in telling Henry about destroying Storybrooke to be together. Rumple could have told Regina about the "fail safe," or Regina have included that just in case things go awry. Still, Regina is more desperate than ever, and may be exeriencing some kind of "meltdown." I'm hopeful about Fairy Tale Land for the next episode, but Tamara calling magic "ungodly" worries me. Where is this show going? We'll have to see, but I hope they still have Regina, Rumple and Hook as the serious "threats" to the other characters, and continues exploring those dynamics. Please end the Tamara/Greg storyline with Season 2!
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BTW , was talking with my gf today about this latest episode and our dislike with it , when it came to me ... Failsafe in the curse. I am amazed she knows about it when its not even HER curse , its Rumples. The entire lot seems to me like it is "forced" .
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Well yes its his curse but she is the one who performed it. So it's like he is the coach and she is the athlete, He trained/taught her all of it, with his payoff in mind, but she is the one who performs it and decided to add a special play in the game that he did not have written in his playbook.
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she was that noob she sacrificed her horse heart , and didn't know why it went wrong . So basically she had no clue about the curse, doubtfully she though about implementing this. And even if she did , i would rather see how , and her though process . not the Trigger coming out of nowhere so suddenly
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I think with Cora gone Regina has taken herself to disguise as everyone and everything, homage to being Cora'd.
I have to agree with most of what you've written. It indeed felt very out of character for Regina to think of blowing up Storybrooke, but I think she is slowly reaching the last straws of desperation. Maybe it's the fact that she will definitely lose Henry if the Charmings do use the beans to go back. But why would you think explaining termination to Henry would work, in which world, was she using the memory spell as fail safe, like she can pretty much say anything and if she didn't like the reaction just use the memory spell. If it is that convenient why not use it on others. Her character development arc would only work if she gets help, because as sad as it was when Regina said she has no one to talk to it was also true, and with Cora's death I don't know how she is able to stay stable.
I really wish they just didn't let things go and move on to the next plot bunny. I feel so disconnected sometimes to what is happening.
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I stopped watching this show long ago. Looks like I'm not missing anything good. It just keeps getting sillier and more inconsistent.
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I agree in total with this article .I was writing on the OUAT fb page about the inconsistency of the story . I think the writers simply gave up on OUAT, the story is getting more and more childish and boring . I think the last interesting episode was when OWEN started recording what he saw.... Anyway, think i will cut off OUAT from my "to watch list" after this season is over
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GREAT article...taser regrets and news of Aurora and Mulan included, but be aware, there are spoilers
http://www.etonline.com/tv/133446_Once_Upon_A_Time_Season_2_Finale_Spoilers/
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*SPOILER* Oh great - Tamara, Greg, Aurora, and Mulan. Just who I was hoping to spend the final episodes with. >:-o
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Every time I see Henry and Emma spending quality time together she does somthing that makes me wonder if Henry wouldn;t be better off with Regina.....

Speaking of which - if Regina has raised Henry from birth why isn't he a bit more evil? I understand there is the whole nature vs nurture thing but I'm assuming that Regina isn't the type of person who would teach Henry to 'share with other kids' or NOT to pick on the class weakling. How on earth did he turn out to be such a goody-two-shoes?

Just when I was starting to respect the writers (I loved that Rumple asked Regina to stop trading with King George becuase he 'needed him bankrupt'. It was a welcome sign that the writers are capable of adding a bit of depth every now and then) they go and ruin it by dumbing down Regina - I refuse to believe that out of all people Regina would forget the terms and conditions of a spell. Especially after she remembered to ask what the price is upfront.

LOL @ Hook. If there was a nuclear holocaust that guy would outlive even the cockroaches! I was going to comment on how he should start thinking about going solo as the majority of his partners tend to leave him for dead. . Then he turned it around (as usual). I love how he gains people's trust by straight up tellling them that he WAS going to double cross them, and he acutally DOES double-cross them.

I wish Emma would drop the whole 'super power lie detector thing' Not even her own mother takes this seriously anymore.... and did you see the embarrassed look on Henry's face at the time?

Which dwarf liner do you guys think is funnier? "no-one tosses a dwarf? OR "no-one steals from a dwarf?" I personally have to go with the former but the latter was delivered well.
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Hook is indeed amazing- he can tell people he was going to do something, if only they'd worked with him; and somehow make it sound like it's your fault he's forced to act against you. No one plays "Evil " like Lana, but Hook's getting close.
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To be honest I no longer know where they are going with any of this...Lana Parrilla is a fantastic actress, that is all I know at the moment. We'll see how they decided to end it...
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This episode to me was a "delay" episode, you know when almost nothing happens close to the finale so the finale will have everything in too little time (Smallville used to do that but those episodes were always fun)

The problem with Tamara & Owen being villians is the casting is so far off its laughable. Wrong casting can ruin even a good storyline & this one is like the made the decision the night before filming.

Regina is "justified" to becoming "evil" again in Storybrooke, they killed her mother, making her kill the peasants in FTL is like saying oh she was always rotten & takes away the impact of Cora's death.

They made a whole deal about Snow White now having darkness in her heart, & then they have an episode with a flash back making her a selfless hero? We've seen Maleficient & Sleeping Beauty wake up, but not their story, we have no idea where Mulan & Sleeping Beauty are now, or Whale either. Also is Bae, Peter Pan after all?

They've have introduced science being a kind of magic thru Whale/Frankenstein (Magic is science we don't understand yet - Arthur C.Clarke) Now wouldn't it be cool if Whale had made the devices?

I love this show but I am also starting to get angry with the way things are going lately. We shall see
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I think we're getting info that will be important later, but not sure where the writers are going. They probably aren't either!
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Although I pretty much agree with you. I have to point out that they did do some backstory on Whale. I think it was the episode when Regina raised David from the dead.
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Sorry if I did not make myself clear, I said where is Whale (I have always loved David Anders)
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oops! sorry. :-) yeah I was sonderng about him and Jiminy cricket.
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You read my mind with this, if not for Lana Parrilla's amazing acting skills I would have stopped watching long ago. The plot makes less sense and gets more boring every episode. They manage to throw this things out of the blue that are suddenly so important and WAIT AN EFFING SECOND, WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?! Also, I feel like eeeevry episode they try to make this thing about Regina being so evil and despicable and hunting down Snow and Snow wanting to help the queen redeem herself and Regina gets all warm and fuzzy and then some bad juju she did at the begining of the episode comes up and Snow starts almost crying because Regina is just way too evil to be saved, and they go back to hating each other. WE'VE GOT THE DYNAMICS BETWEEN THESE TWO CHARACTERS, WRITERS, no need to do it every episode.

Also, your reviews are the best part of every episode.
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I agree with this review! this show used to be so much better and I was way more into it. Now is getting painful to watch I cant deal.
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The TV gods gave Lana Parilla two chances to find individual success on a television show - the first was a summer burn off show that was the only show I've watched every episode of on CBS - "Swingtown" (it was awesome, she was awesome in it) and the other was this utter piece of shizbit, and this is the one that lives. Its a damn shame I think she's the one that's cursed.
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Terrible episode. What happened to this show? It had so much potential. What a shame.
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Maybe the electroshock therapy will do Regina some good and they will stop writing her so wishy-washy.
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That is an interesting anticipation. Maybe that's why they tried to make her look like a psychopath at the last episode.
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All I could think about during the trailers though for this ep was Return to Oz and how they put Dorthy under electroshock.
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I'm 2 episodes away to saying my goodbyes to OUAT. But this time forever!

Season 1 was a great season, but from the beginning it was pretty clear there wasn't so much going on to make this trip interesting for several seasons. I really believe season 2 has proven that! Besides Regina and Cora ( well, and Hook for pure eye candy reasons), there hasn't been anything captivating my attention!

Moreover I don't think this shows writers and producers have a destination planed for this trip and I really don't feel like getting into another " Lost" kind fiasco! So goodbye, au revoir, adios, sayonara, auf wiedersehen!
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Yea the show is going to die, after cora's death it all went downhill . THEY HAD TO INTRODUCE TAMARA with her high tech devices that kills dragons and whatnot ... soon they will bring aliens to FTL that will probe Ogres .. this how silly the show became.
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high tech as in a taser? lol
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new high tech crystal sniffer .. they analyzed the crystals in 2 hours and already know how to use it ... so pro
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Science? They want to bring something as absurd as science into this show? Stuff that for a joke. What is stopping her from taking the bracelet off? Bone magnets? Not happy Jan!
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oh no no no, they already analyzed her while she was sleeping , and found out the centers of the brain that control magic. So hey lets make some metal bracelet that acts like kryptonite !
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My understanding was they used a near-impenetrable metal that fastened once it went around her arm. So since we're stretching the imagination already with everything going on and with the two of them knowing how to cancel out magic, I guess some super-Titanium bands within the leather.

Or, since they own Marvel now... Adamantium :-)
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i was thinking the same thing - but how come Hook could take it off and she can't?
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I'm with you on this -- Regina is a fan favorite simply because of her possibility of being redeemed. But I guess this show needs a more concrete and permanent villain because that's what it seems like they're making her into. I just wish they hadn't spent all that time humanizing her this season because now I want her to find the good in her and it seems clear they aren't going that way. And now that I know that, I find myself being less interested in the show because Snow, Charming, Emma, Henry, even Neal's characters are boring as hell and I can really live without them. Regina's the only one of the Magical First Family that I even give a damn about any more simply because she's interesting and I wish they wouldn't keep trying to pigeonhole her as only the "Evil Queen" all the time... :\
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Am doing a bit of an odd thing here, and posting before reading Lily's review, or any of the comments. Make no mistake, I look forward to having a very good laugh in just a few minutes, but first I wanted to post my thoughts.

I did click into the ratings, and know that the show has hit its all time low. I am not surprised, as you can’t expect the average viewer to reward writers for expecting them to be stupid – which they are not – for most of 2 seasons. Even despite an awesome original concept that enchanted literally millions. And even despite some dedicated ‘I will throw myself on the sword of these horribly written words’ performances. (Hopefully, the cast is making some pretty good dinero for that act of sacrifice.)

We’ve never had good characterizations, which has led directly to never having interesting relationships – we just jump from one adolescent fantasy to the next. As far as the writing of Regina, we are looking, after all, at a magical realm of fairy tale characters, so they don’t need to follow specific diagnostic categories. But it does bother me that the writing jumps between a complex character with severe PTSD, and someone with all the simple makings of a sociopath. In the real world, over a 2 year period, the two are usually distinguishable. But in the OuAT world, the character keeps morphing from one to the other.

I don’t have any particularly purist complaints about this, as in any fantastical show, dragons can morph into people, and back again. But the problem is simply a practical one, as this sort of writing simply makes a rich character so much less interesting – which makes ratings continue to fall.

I do continue to wish that these writers would realize that they are not as good as they think they are, and simply be the ‘conceptualists’, (now, doncha think that should be a good enough title for anyone?) while actually getting out of the way.

OK, now I'm gonna read the review written by an actually good writer, and have some good laughs while doing so!
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Just me again. Read the review, and hahaha. Clever, as expected, and also accurate, in my opinion, and also so very, very sad. Requiem for a great concept.
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Did Regina posing as an old fisherman make you laugh, or were you too busy wondering why Charming and Snow were hanging out under a blanket down at the docks? I found her posing as the old fisherman lady to be pretty good. Her interview about this very episode that I read, made me chuckle more.

When Snowing are on together, I tend to switch stations.

Is Henry essentially Emma’s best/only friend and is that bad parenting? I really think that he is because, after-all, she has yet to chill with anyone really. She's sort of standoffish at times. I'd like to see her hang with Red, Granny Goodness and others more.

Henry is the one who needs friends. He does go to school, or has that stopped?

Who burned those beans? We would like to think it's Regina, but it could be Rumple or someone who left their campfire on.

Was "The Evil Queen" what you were hoping for? Actually she was and more. As I wrote on my Tumblr page, her hat alone did it for me. Plus, because I observer silly things at times, she and Bo from "Lost Girl" shop at the same place for their bustiers and leather pants.

I really liked that even though she saw the good that Snow did for her and had in her, she still stayed mean and angry.

Is it me or does Neal mutter everything when he talks? It's hard to understand what he is saying. Thank goodness for closed-captioning and his scarves.
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Sadly, if Henry actually had friends he wouldn't be Henry. Poor kid's got one mom on a power trip because she wants to be loved, one mom who's "the Savior" and way messed up about it, and then his new dad who's not really a grownup either.

Myself, I wanna see Grace (and Jefferson) again!

Has anyone else wondered whether Regina took Owen to Wonderland and left him there so she could get Jefferson back? By then Cora was in FTL, theoretically dead; so Regina could go there without running into her.
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Sorry folks- rereading this, I realized my error. "Greg" is OWEN- but the character who went to Wonderland in my theory should actually be "Greg's" dad. THAT'S why Regina doesn't know what's happening with him!
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He does need to chill with someone his age though. I don't see either Mom changing their ways, so he'll be stuck.

And speaking of 'the Savior" Mom, what's the deal with that? Have they dropped that story?

You know, your theory could be a good one there.
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I think Owen got away and has been growing up in our world. They had that scene where he brought the cops back to the city limits but nobody could see the town. Once the curse was broken and people could enter, his plan (or whatever the hell he's doing) could be enacted. But I like your explanation way better. So many commenters here would be better show writers than the ones they've got!
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Emma used to chill with Snow before she believed in the whole curse thing. They had girl chats and such. She seemed friendly with Jiminey Ceicket, Granny, and Ruby.

Beyond that though her only other friend was Graham the dead sheriff
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But why did it stop?
It's as if after she found out about her parents, she sort of dropped them. That's mean and sad.

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I'd like to see Emma teaming up with Ruby again- they worked well together. Unless Ruby starts hanging out with Lacey...

There has not been enough Meghan Ory on the show lately!
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Ory's got a show pilot I think.
I agree, the lack of Red on this show is bothering me.
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You're right. I guess that's what happens when you get moved up to a series regular? The guest stars get waaaay more screen time than the regulars do.
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1. I think you have to admire the commitment that Regina put into not posing as a bunch of random people up until not. You'd think that one of the most effective ways to frame Snow White for murder would be to appear as her and murder someone, making sure that there were witnesses. Speaking of which, when Cora did exactly that to frame Regina, you would think she'd have told everyone: "hey guys, that was probably just my mom or even Rumple changing her/his appearance to look like me. It's probably just a prank." But yeah, now that the writers have finally decided that Regina does have this ability, I think that she should shape-shift every episode. Imagine if she pretended to be Henry and told Emma that he hated her. Hilarious.

2. Yep, she's pretty much his only friend. Neither Hansel and Gretel, nor even child Pinocchio, want to hang out with him. Though I wouldn't say that this is bad parenting, since Emma isn't really Henry's parent. It's more like they're friends but she has the final say on everything. So you know it's annoying for Henry when they're deciding on who to stalk during stakeouts.

3. That was obviously Regina. Unless you mean "burned those beans" in a metaphorical way, in which case all of them at some point.

4. No, it really wasn't. I find it really annoying when seasons of character growth are tossed aside because in one episode someone in a flashback (from more than thirty years ago) happened to say that Regina is hopelessly evil, so therefore she suddenly has to seem to be hopelessly evil in the present. And while there were a couple of things that you said, Lily, about things randomly showing up that weren't exactly true (blowing words off of books is how several of the characters on this show have done magic in the past, and the bracelet using science to combat Regina's magic flows nicely from the taser that killed the dragon August), there were still a lot of things that randomly showed up. Especially that Maleficent dust creature that randomly became a giant and whaaaaaattttttt?

Ultimately, I did find this episode enjoyable (though it's annoying that of the three times that Regina tried to use magic in this episode but couldn't, it only made sense one of those times that she was surprised), but considering this is one of the last episodes of this season, it should have been a lot better. Like you, Lily, I am hoping that the writers will bring everything together in the finale, though it kind of seems doubtful. In general, I think the main problem with this show is the fact that, as audience members, we're required to have a huge amount of faith in the writers that everything will make sense at some point. So while in hindsight we can now see a theme running through this season of science versus magic, though it's only showed up in three out of twenty episodes so far, the moment that Tamara used a taser to kill a dragon and a wooden man made absolutely no sense at the time.

Similarly, for all we know the writers have a brilliant way to bring everything together in these next couple of episodes, and what's more, they have answers planned for every single question that gets asked on this show. However, most of the time it would seem that Storybrooke and FTL are run on crazy gravy and the dreams of confused children. So yeah, I'm hoping that, for the sake of this show, the end of this season will wrangle all of the messed up logic, seemingly meaningless character growth, skewed senses of morality, seemingly random plot threads that receive a lot of attention, poor use of incredible actors, and insubstantial sparkles of these last twenty episodes into something that remotely stands on its own two feet. And while I think they might just pull it off, and I really hope they do, I have my doubts.
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LOL! I 'm still chuckling at your first point. Genius. although I'd argue that it would work better if Regina morphed into emma and convinced Henry that Emma didn't love him. I think she'd be able to wrok around the whole 'Emma having an alibi thing' I mean if Cora could do it without really knowing much about Storybrook or having an idea of her daughter's daily schedule, Regina should definitley be able to pull it off....
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For starters... we learned that pre-kiss Storybrooke that Regina was practically without magic. The only things that really worked were a handful of items / artifacts from FTL. The hearts, some items on her drawer to resuscitate the Hatter's hat, etc. She didn't really get her POWER back until Emma kissed Henry.

But even if she had it back then... not THE best way. Graham's wife vanished; they didn't know the exact time or whatever. So framing Snow via hologram is tricky... how can you be SURE that someone didn't see her across town? If you knock her out and/or kidnap her to do the deed then she'll tell people.

So you'd have to do it when you were 101% sure she was in her apartment and wouldn't step out or make any calls or anything while you were doing the deed.
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You're completely right, of course. I momentarily forgot about Regina not really having magic in Season 1, so naturally changing her appearance would have been downright impossible for her. However, I still think that she could have used that ability (if she had it, which she didn't) to throw suspicion on Snow. For instance, if she had someone see Snow with a bloody knife on the night of the murder, then it would go a long way towards making everything think she did it (especially this town, which is quick to condemn anyone). Making sure that Snow didn't have an alibi for that time is also something that Regina would be capable of pulling off, since all she'd have to do is pull Emma away from the apartment at night for some reason, which would have been very easy to do.

Also, killing David's wife (it's David's wife, not Graham's wife. Graham never had a wife, and he was dead by this point) while in the form of Snow is still a good idea. If she had planned to do this, then she wouldn't have kidnapped his wife at some undisclosed time, but would rather have did something similar to what her mom did with Archie. She would have picked someone who would be up that late (Ruby working in the diner, for instance), and then made sure that that person saw her (as Snow) go back and forth near where the body would be found, maybe even carying a bloody knife or something like that. Or if it was really important for the wife not to be killed in the first place, she could have left a bloody hand or heart in an alley, or something like that.

Making sure that Snow didn't have an alibi would be as simple as getting Emma out of the apartment at night for some reason, which Regina could easily have arranged without Emma even knowing that she was involved. And as this would take place at night, Snow would be asleep, and therefore wouldn't be making any calls or anything like that. To make sure she wouldn't randomly get up at 10:00 pm to go for a walk, though, Regina could have given her a sleeping potion (she has/had keys to every house and apartment in Storybrooke, remember).

Regardless, Regina didn't have that ability at the time, so it really doesn't matter. Still, that doesn't detract from my point that Regina should have 1. been changing her appearance throughout this season, as it is a great way to get intel and just walk around town without people giving her hate stares (Granny must practice those in the mirror every morning and night), and 2. Should have pointed out the fact that either her mother or Rumple could very well be framing her for Archie's murder by appearing to be her. And it also doesn't take away from the fact that, based on who has used this changing ability and at what times, the writers only came up with it relatively recently, since it's only been used for this season.

What's more, they waited until this episode, when Regina has a flashback to first experiencing this ability, for her to actually use it in the present. However, there are so many times this season where being able to change one's appearance would have made all the difference in getting what she wanted, yet she didn't use this ability. And while I'm happy that we don't have to watch every single scene on this show wondering if one of the characters is actually Regina, or someone else, in disguise, it does take away from the realism of the show (it's a fantasy show, granted, but you know what I mean) when there is an obvious solution to a characters problem--one that they have used several times before--and yet they don't use it until an episode where there is the relevant flashback.
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Not to rain on the parade- Rumple did the spell in this episode. We do know that Regina learned the spell at some point, since she was a gypsy in the episode where David squashes the hat (what a hero!)

My guess is that Regina felt she wouldn't be believed no matter what she said about the disappearing cricket; plus I'm not sure whether she did know Cora was in town at first. So she let her hurt feelings take over.

BTW- maybe she has been disguising herself lately! How else can she get intel with Sydney and Cora gone? Maybe she didn't bother earlier because she had other more reliable sources of information (like wiretaps!).
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^Genius. You have the best comments!
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I was just thinking. Since just about any fictional character may appear on OUAT, such as Robin Hood or Dr. Frankenstein, then is it possible someday we'll find out FTL includes Westeros? You know, they have dragons, after all. Just imagine Joffrey and Regina plotting and scheming together, and Joffrey complimenting her on her exceptional parenting skills, and Regina saying Joffrey was the son she has always dreamed of, not that annoying Henry. At this point, anything is possible...
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Joffrey IS the son Regina always wanted Henry to be! This sheds new light on why the poor kid is in therapy...
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Licensing issues. Between some fairy tales being fairly open and many popular VERSION of fairy tales being owned by Disney they have a lot to play with. Heck we might see Wolverine team up with Luke Skywalker since Disney own Marvel and Lucas.

But as far as I know they do not own or license the Game of Thrones content.
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Just to be clear, I'm aware of such issues. Disney, which owns ABC, also owns a whole bunch of things, but that does not include the works of George RR Martin. I was just missing on the absurdity of the idea, as OUAT has become a show where anything goes despite clarity or good plot development.
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Somebody call Dr. Whale, so Gregowen can show him that science really IS superior to magic.
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Yeah where is Whale lately?
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Didn't Regina burn the beans
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I have been annoyed in the past with your reviews and with what I considered to be unjustified criticism of this show, but today I agree with about 90% of what you said. This episode sucked monkey balls. Regina was soooo incredibly stupid in this episode. It's like she lost all her brains when her mother died, or something. Just NOTHING she did made any logical sense. And almost every piece of dialogue was painfully awkward. I didn't see the Emma/Neal gushy vibe that you were complaining about, which is good. Because I would've hated this episode even worse if I had. I used to love this show. I bought the season 1 DVD the minute it came out, but now...now I am so completely dispassionate, almost to the point of throwing my hands in the air and giving up on this mediocrity.
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are you like not the best writer ever?
because you totes are
every review coming from you makes my heart sing
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I haven't commented most of this season, but gotta say I still love Lily's writing and analysis as much as the show and still love OUAT in spite of its many flaws. Does anyone else think that the long-haired dude janitor in the asylum is Owen's father? Is anyone else waiting for the return of Aurora and Mulan's quest to find Philip's soul? Remember, last year the finale ended with the same scene as the beginning - the horseback chase to the sleeping princess. Is it possible this season's finale will also wrap up with Philip's chase to the sleeping beauty Aurora? There are too many characters left in the dust, from Ruby to Dr. Whale to Grumpy with his boat waiting to take his fairy away...I'm looking forward to Neverland, esp. after hearing the sweet voice of Wendy talking to Baelfire in the preview, but I'm so disappointed in the lost opportunities of this year. Captain Hook has been the best addition to this year, but I agree with the commenters who have said that the writers really dropped the ball with Rumple and Neal's relationship issues, since that was getting at the core of the curse in the first place. Sigh . . . unfortunately still glued to this show!
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I don't think "the Chief" was Owen's dad (wrong profile), but we can't rule it out completely. Still, when Owen was in the hospital they'd have run into each other- wouldn't they?
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1. Did Regina posing as an old fisherman make you laugh, or were you too busy wondering why Charming and Snow were hanging out under a blanket down at the docks?

All I could think was, "The guy who played the fisherman was really lucky to have played one of Lana's characters!"

2. Is Henry essentially Emma’s best/only friend and is that bad parenting?

More or less.
It's not necessarily bad but it ain't all parenting. There's a huge difference between taking care of a child and raising one, and Emma's only done a bit of the former. She's never gone through the full nitty-gritty aspects of parenting, and even then she turns to MM and David (and we know David truly sucks at it).

3. Who burned those beans?

I've got nothing. ;/

4. Was "The Evil Queen" what you were hoping for?

Throughout the whole episode I was just shaking my head, laughing, and saying, "This is so stupid." Regina pulling stupid moves is one thing and not new, but half of them were moves even David/Charming wouldn't do. The only good parts were seeing that Queen/peasant Regina actually took the time to know the names of her Royal Guards, and when SB Regina pushed Hook off the cliff to be the bait distraction.
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The guards did just about everything short of calling Regina a witch- I expected them to burn her at the stake rather than beheading her! I didn't like the fact that they didn't try to drag the peasant version in front of the real Queen. ("She knows too much- she must be a spy!") Would have been interesting.

But I forgive Regina any and all foolish things she does as long as she keeps wearing those amazing movie-star medieval hats!
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Regina's disguise was not very surprising (but how did she know who to follow and when?)

Henry and Emma are best friends, but I think that it's more of a connection to the bond they established in Season 1 (a superior-in-many-ways season). Since the way she treated Henry in Season 1 was genuine, I consider this just a continuation of that bond. Emma is obviously happy that Henry's no longer upset with her about lying to her about her father, and I smiled when he asked her if "Operation Cobra" was back on. It reminded me of how much I enjoyed Season 1. Unfortunately, the episode just became too awkward between Emma and Neal. It was still suspenseful, though, as Tamara could have caught them (then again, what could Tamara actually do to them?).

Regina burned the beans. The episode didn't show her burning the beans, but with that smile upon discovering the beans coupled with her taking one (or more?) beans for her own purposes, that was not really a question for me.

The Evil Queen, in some ways was just what I had hoped for. Unfortunately, the Greg and Tamara thing was too much of an anchor for me. I loved everything about Fairy Tale Land this episode, but FTL has yet to disappoint me. While Cora was alive, though, I was thoroughly more engrossed in the plot than with some boring couple trying to profit from the magic of Storybrooke. The writers either need to make these two people more interesting (doubtful), or end this Tamara-Greg insanity in the next two episodes. Regina, Rumple and Fairy Tale Land save this show a great deal. Without those three elements, this show would be one of the worst on cable, and would be cancelled very soon. Fairy Tale Land FTW (For The Win)!
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As for Greg's dad being Flynn from Tron, it would have worked better if instead of Flynn they chose Tron, Rom, or any one else that is not Flynn that was part of the Grid for Greg's Dad to be. He would have been sucked into it around the same time and could have been one of the players. After all, supposedly Regina has no idea where he went. I guess he can always be Kevin Flynn's brother or something and after he escaped Storybrooke he went to his brother first (hoping he had Greg) only to be sucked into the grid.
Though I guess it work with him as the Flynn too by altering the original timeline around which they have done to ther stuff anyway. I guess when Tron3 comes out they might have an episode.
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WTF is up with OUAT. They've become pure crap. Only the fact that their actors try, sincerely try, to make it work does it actually feel tolerable. But honestly, honestly! I just kept cringing.

Has this show been renewed for a third season?
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Ehh, this was so-so chapter, still Regina is amazing! XD
Lana is such a good actress, she went through a roller coster of emotions and successfully believable. I'm sorry but I love her character, maybe I'm biased but I don't care \○/ #EvilRegal
I was in a WTF moment when the stupid human (I don't recall hus name) said "the bracelet is made from the strongest metal/technology known to man". Come on! If this thing is not made from the metal of Captain America shield then with a lot of patience and a really good cutting pliers from home depot Regina will be good as new LOL
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Umm, you go ahead and try to cut something like titanium with cutting pliers. Let me know how that works out for you.
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Yeah, when Regina tried to take the bracelet off, and Owen/Greg gave his quick little explanation for why she couldn't, I looked at my sister and said, 'Uh, was there actually a real explanation in there somewhere?" And my sister was like, yeah, no, don't think so. And that's pretty sad on a show where you can pretty much just use magic as an excuse for anything. Lazy writing.
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Alright, its up to Whale to go find Capt Nemo, Rotwang, Dr. Moreau, Griffin, Oz and the other fictional scientists to combat Greg and Tamara with the use of their brain over brawn and magic.
I would like to see them be the heroes for the battle.
Cause otherwise this Technology that Tamara and Greg wield is utterly ridiculous and it could at least serve this purpose.

They'll be their own League of Extraordinary Gentleman (actually might as well just gather up that crew since half those I listed are in it.) to show the rest up.

And then Whale can have respect and friends and they can have a secret lair/ tower (probably best to just steal the one in the library for now..unless they can have one in the hospital) and they can be a fun new poker group and do other fun group activities. Awwwwww....someone wants to write that up as a fanfic for me, don't they?
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I like the idea of Whale being the pivotal force against these two. It would certainly explain why he got two episodes for himself this season and then just disappeared again.
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Exactly! Make him more of a player (not playa). Afterall the Hatter is always busy and possibly getting a spinoff, August is now a child...Man-up your remaing supporting cast. They did give him the love interest of Ruby so clearly they are allowing to do more with him. David Anders is no stranger to playing vulnerable kick ass anti heroes ( operative/superspy Sark, immortal samurai Kensei, vampire hunter Gilbert, Eminem....) so he can so take on the action. Plus, have people use brain power as opposed to brawn for once. More cunning, please.

Red and Whale need to go to B&W monsterland and have their own adventure plot because as Frankenstein and the werewolf both fit in so well.

Stop under utilizing him!
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From Belgium : I love your review ! Made me laugh my ass off !
I'll come back every week !

I think Henry burned the beans, just like Walt burned the raft.
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When they used the cuff to take Regina's Magic I found myself wondering where the story was going. Who are these people and who do they work for, some shadowy group looking into odd happenings....as I write this I can't help but think "Dharma Initiative" that would be the ultimate of ultimate crossovers.
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what is this bad spirit about this episode, it was really great, i really enjoyed and it make smile all the time and i believe Once is getting better and better, is the best show ever and they prove that in every episode. You have to believe.

1.- I was busy wondering why Charming and Snow were hanging out under a blanket down at the docks.
2.- Is her son and they love each other and want to spend time together. I believe Emma is a great mother.
3.- I think that Regina did.
4.- IT WAS MUCH BETTER ;)
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Seriously Lana and Robert are the only people keeping this show alive. The others are fine actors but they don't get a chance to throw themselves into their characters like Lana and Robert because their characters are just downright BORING. I will be hunting Adam and Eddie if I have to put up with Swan Thief and I'm tired of the plot device named Henry. Either that kid gets a reality check or the kill him because at some point I will snap.
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I hasve been upset for a while. I am upset that when Belle and Rumple finally met in the season finale, it was treated as a simple side line. This year, it was treated with a little more depth, but Bae and Belle should be more of an emotional impact then what it has been. They set these two stories up so well, with young Bae and Rumple, then when they meet, it was kind of flat, it was more about Emma and Neal, where it should have been more about father and son. Belle and Rumple in Skin Deep were fantastic and again have been treated as filler with only two good episodes with them. I miss SNow and Charming as hero's. The show needs to focus on the core characters next year. It is ok to have characters hit and run, but they need to move on. That is why the Mad Hatter and August worked, they moved along the storyline, but didn't stay forever. I want to see the inner workings of REgina, Gold, Bell, Charming, Snow,Bae and he relates to Emma, Henry, etc. The family dynamics have changed and I want to see them all cope with this in new situations. I loved season one, season two is good, but only half the season has been worth anything. I want to see them come together to fight common enemies, but still not trust each other fully until their happy endings finally come around.
More+
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Yes to all this. The thing is, one a show like this, most people would probably be okay with the plot being a little ridiculous if the focus was on the CHARACTERS. If they actually tried to develop real relationships between characters, and develop real characters arcs for people.
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Wow, in reading this I remembered how much I miss the Hatter. Come back, Sebastian!!! This could have really been a season about reconciliation and developing these characters and their relationships to one another. The curse is broken but the joyful reunions I expected to see have been noticeably scarce.

Think if they'd spent more time fleshing out Rumpel/Belle/Bae, David/Snow/Emma, Jefferson/Grace, Gepetto/Pinocchio, Frederick/Abigail, Thomas/Cinderella/Alexandra, hell even Dreamy/Nova. That would have held my attention for a full 22 episodes, and there would still have been plenty of room to move forward with the return to the Enchanted Forest (which seems to be where all this mess is headed).
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Well said.That abandonment of most of the core characters' development-bordering at times on regression-was the biggest disappointing for me this season.I feel like season 1 held more emotional truth and depth, which is ironic since people didn't know who they were and how they were connected to one another.So many relationships and stories set up and no follow through..
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*disappointment
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Storybrooke, Maine: A cute case of stupidity.

Storybrooke, Maine: Watch for plot holes!

Storybrooke, Maine: Blinded me with science!
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