Once Upon a Time "Witch Hunt" Review: A Mother's Touch

Once Upon a Time S03E13: "Witch Hunt"


The way you can tell how much I loved this episode is that at the end I was just like:


And people only make that face when they're seriously head over heels in love. Or else poetry is just letters and the moon an inadequate streetlight!

"Witch Hunt" was essentially a showcase for Lana Parrilla’s acting range and as such could be nothing less than stellar. To quote The Game: “How you paint pictures you deserve Grammys and Oscars,” and Parrilla has been putting in 40 hours per week of Oscar-worthy performances since this show began out in the cold, cold woods and in front of green screens. OUAT is always at its best when its wildly talented cast gets to just talk with each other and emote about things that aren’t merely props from a RenFaire, and they did that so much this episode! And on top of that, OUAT winkingly subverted its own tropes,featured both the reappearance of Ruby AND Rumplestiltskin, and gave us some of the show’s best special effects of its entire run. Dang bros! When this show is good, it is very very good. And when it is bad it’s hilarious.

Regina showcased her fierce mothering skills by turning a flying monkey into a stuffed animal before it could snatch little Roland Hood, and then by patiently explaining her plan to retake the castle to Charming and Snow like it was arithmetic and they were five-year-olds. Apparently slow and monosyllabic are the way to go with those two beautiful chumps. Once Regina set aside the sass and got thoroughly explanatory, she was able to make the Charmings comprehend and agree to her plan to disable the shield. Regina also hilariously was like, “I do not need ANY of you to go retake this castle, let’s be real, remember Neverland? Yeah, you guys just sit here and wait for me to fix everything like you’ve been doing, I am too depressed to pretend you’re helpful when Emma’s not around.”







And in Storybrooke, Snow was presenting herself to Henry with a surprisingly sassy fake backstory: She introduced herself as Emma’s former cellmate!





And then Regina gasped, shot to her feet, her coffee cup falling from her hands because there, like some beautiful dream, was EMMA Henry back in Storybrooke! Emma did not lose a minute hurrying Regina to a cozy back hallway for an abrupt reunion.





Regina was like, “Henry looked right through me... but you clearly remember me because you are staring at me with the intensity of a thousand suns, whoa.” and Emma was like, “Stop being gorgeous and give me some answers: Is this curse just a way to get me back, or have my parents just been sniffing glue?” and Regina was like, “Believe you me, I remember nothing and if I was in charge of this curse we’d be in the mayoral mansion right now wearing matching pajamas and making Henry some pancakes.” And then the two cooked up a daring little plan that played on the fact everyone in Storybrooke knows that if Regina gets all angry and flares up then Emma will go chasing her around town and during that time no one should disturb them. 











But first we had an interlude with the Merrie Men, who had knocked over a Patagonia. In Little John’s efforts to kill a turkey he'd crossed the town line and gotten snatched up in an Evil Flying Monkey’s paws. And Hook was like “LOL Emma that’s your boyfriend! You almost married a monkey!” and Prince Charming acted REALLY UPSET that Emma, a 30-year-old woman who has known him for a grand total of three months and who he had planned to never see again, had been considering marriage. Spare me your fatherly indignation, guy—although maybe he was just taken aback at the bestiality? IDK.

But forsooth: In ye year-olde fairy-tale flashbacks, Regina was lifting a giant boulder with her mind! Robin Hood stepped out from a tree and was suitably impressed, and insisted that despite her obvious powers he was tagging along as the dead weight for this mission—like it or not, missy! 



During an extremely treacherous trek through the shadowy soundstage castle’s tunnels where a single wrong step could mean being squashed by a giant garlic press for people, Robin Hood decided there was no time like the present for an expository speech about his deceased wife. Regina was extremely interested, and fellow viewers, I feel I should point out that a death trap is no place for a pity party. And then when they got to a crypt he was like, “Is this Hogwarts?” and Regina was like, “No it’s a crypt” and Robin Hood was like, “Don’t take this the wrong way but you have a mother’s touch,” and she revealed to Robin Hood that she had lost her son forever but probably not the way he thought #itscomplicated #doyouevenknowaboutotherdimensionsbro.




But their crammed-in bonding sesh was brought to a halt when Regina realized someone had broken her blood magick barrier!

First of all, blood magick: That's a pretty intense term getting thrown around like so much confetti. Second: Later Zelena would claim that she and Regina were sisters and thus she could break Regina’s blood magick, but we also saw a monkey retrieve some of Regina’s blood for her last episode, so... probably she’s completely lying about being half-sisters. Hopefully she’s lying. Hopefully it's OUAT playing on its flogged-to-death trope of Long Lost Relatives to fool us with an actual, well-thought-out twist. Hopefully Cora did not have a frenzied, passionate affair with like, Old King Cole—or actually hopefully she DID because I’d love to see Rose MacGowan back. (Maybe she’s Dorothy? Can I guess that Dorothy is the Wicked Witch’s mom? That’s sort of how this thing works, right? We could call her Cora-thy? Who wants to bet me a donut?)



The dramatic irony would become almost unbearable later, when Snow, reading a baby manual from 1923, was approached by Zelena in plain-face at Granny’s Diner and Snow chirped “Huh, you’re new!” and Zelena threw a lot of “Wow you’re a princess, you’re amazing, I love royalty, I had a commemorative plate of you and Charming” at her and Snow didn’t question for a moment that a new person was suddenly loafing about in Storybrooke. Um... there should've been a Color Guard’s worth of red flags waving in Snow’s brain that there was someone new in town. Come on, princess: NO ONE COULD ENTER OR LEAVE THIS BROKE-DOWN BURG BEFORE, YET SOMEHOW SOMEONE NEW POPPED UP FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 29 YEARS JUST AS A NEW BIG BAD APPEARED ON THE HORIZON, COULD YOU MAYBE QUESTION THAT?! I know Snow White’s naive stupidity is the spackle holding this plot together but geez girl.


Also Grumpy shouted all of his lines with almost no inflection. Was it a bit? Is this just him now? Acting choices.

Regina had a series of very expository scenes with Robin Hood where he was pleading with her not to take the Sleeping Curse and to believe in second chances, but they were totally emotionally outgunned by the scenes they were cut against, scenes with Emma and Regina meeting up in Regina’s office to begin their secret relationship. That’s not even me being cheeky! That’s the news, plainly put: Emma and Regina are secretly working together to figure out who cast the curse, and they are deceiving the town (LOL they are fooling no one) into thinking they hate each other while secretly being partners.




Even if you don’t root for these two as a romantic pairing, they are indisputably the acting heavyweights on the show; their characters are the most developed, and so the scenes they share are necessarily more layered and meaningful. And if you do see them as romantic partners then you know this show can play upon our emotions like Liberace on a baby grand. Emma told Regina that her superpower doesn’t always work but she always knows when Regina is lying. And Regina was like, “Even though you know I can’t live without Henry (a.k.a. I am going to need a full commitment from you i.e. marriage)” and Emma just gave her a moony smile and was like, “There you go telling the truth again” and THEN THIS...


Granted: You might interpret this whole scene as merely being a friendly moment between two platonic gal pals... you know, if you had never met or heard of gay women because you are in an “eternal middle” via cryogenic chamber (hi Walt!). Personally I think it’s one of the most romantic moments I’ve ever seen in primetime. Gorgeous! Keep ‘em coming. 

Another gorgeous moment: the FX on Little John turning into a monkey were seriously well done. The hospital lighting and mundane setting made everything even more impressive. Fairy-tale weirdness in real-world settings: YES. This is why we watch this show! FX team, you did it. And it was wildly entertaining that during this scene, about six people got backhanded by a monkey tail. Don't see that every week.

Back across town, when Regina failed to reproduce the memory potion, Emma decided to “smoke out” the “perp” with a “con” which was all an elaborate ruse to spend her first night in town back with Regina drinking coffee and talking about their son as they “staked out” the Mayoral Manse. This was another exemplary moment of our characters—who spend 80 percent of the season jumping through portholes and yelling at green screens and acting disproportionately confused—to slow down and actually ACT. To have a conversation about a third character who means something to them and who means something to us. 



Of course the person breaking into the Mayoral mansion was Zelena and she green-smoked her way out of the room despite Regina’s blood-magick bond and then Regina was like, “But that’s umpossible!” and then we were back in the Enchanted Forest flashback ville watching Regina effortlessly take down the shield before the sun come up, preparing herself for a long sleep until Henry would kiss her awake. OUAT made a point of having her say it wasn't killing herself, but this is the second time the writers have suggested that Regina has suicidal tendencies. Considering she's also the most powerful character on the show, it's hard not to see a thinly veiled, series-long message that no matter what a woman achieves, she'll never be TRULY happy until she has kids. HMMMMM. Look: Maternal love is beautiful and makes the world go round! But also: Self esteem and simply loving life makes you better at anything, including being a parent or an astronaut or Sandra Bullock, the three of which have plenty of overlap. Anyway. Guys it's 3am as I'm writing this; I can hear the birds singing.

Then Zelena showed up and threw shade at Regina and threatened her with death and Regina was just acting so goddamn hard. She was like, “LOL sure. Whatevs.” Even the revelation they were sisters didn’t really faze her. (After Peter Pan being Rumple's dad, who can be shocked anymore?) But by the time Zelena left, Regina had something to live for: a fight!


Just a thought here: Our new, improved, emotionally grown Regina who's learned to love and sacrifice soooo many many times over the last few seasons... would that Regina be SO eager to kill the last remaining member of her family? After her experience raising Henry and her transformational relationship with Emma, she's become more empathetic even to Arch Nemesis Snow White. Should she be THIS INTO killing a woman she barely knows and who, after all, she probably has a lot more in common with? They're both magical, powerful, proactive ladies with unfortunate labels who know a lot of the same people—even if the witch is coming at her with hostility, wouldn't she be just a little interested in learning more before killing her? 

AND ANOTHER THING. It’s a testament to Parrilla’s ability that she could sell the line “Bring it, Greenie.” BUT IT WAS JUST BARELY SOLD. It was one step away from “Step up, Kermit.” Camp mustn't know it's camp, OUAT! Must I send you the essay?

And then in Storybrooke, Emma brought Regina to meet with Henry, even though he doesn’t remember Regina, and she is the mayor and really since when do mayors want to meet children who are good at English, but it was an incredibly acted scene and afterward, Emma was like, “YOU OKAY?!?!?” and I was like, “Nooooooo where is my little terrier dog I need to give him some cuddles.” 





AND RUMPLE IS BACK! But he’s brought his horrible leprechaun voice with him, just thank goodness his hair is as yet uncrimped. Perhaps he and Zelena can dish about filming wearing greasepaint and how much that sucks while they move the camera to set up shots. Good times!


So overall: Remarkable, entertaining episode, and a master class in nuanced character work by Parrilla. Can OUAT keep the roll going next week? 


QUESTIONS:

... What do you think Zelena’s backstory will be?

... Robin Hood and Regina: You feeling their chemistry?

... Emma and Regina: Define their relationship, please.

... Would you enjoy a stint as a flying monkey?

... How many memory erases can a brain take?

... Why is Rumple talking like a hysterical Dickensian street urchin?

... What did you think of "Witch Hunt"?


Comments (289)
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Sep 28, 2014
I completely agree with your tagline "When this show is good, it's REALLY good"

Honestly when it first started, I wasn't really convinced by Emma's character. But there is really something about her character when it gets paired next to Regina's - synergy of some sort. There's some real magic happening every time they're together. Hey, I want more two-mom stakeout times! But honestly, the smile at the end of the office scene truly says something about how Regina thinks about Emma. Where last time she was her competition for Henry's love, they have moved on from that to acknowledging and accepting one another as integral parts of Henry's life. And Emma's acknowledgement of her belief that Regina is not lying this time is nothing less than her support for Regina, given that just about everyone jumps to accuse her the moment anything goes south. More Swan Queen!

There is just so much to say about her in these past 2 episodes. The way she holds herself up with her sassy 'tude against the Charming lots, against the sudden loss of her confidence when she's alone. She's definitely trying to put on a brave, unaffected front because that is who she has been - the evil queen. Yet deep down she can't help but feel hopeless about her current situation. She's not the kind of person who will live down having to ask for or receive any sort of help - hence the defense mechanisms employed.

Regarding the last thought, I actually thought it was a clever way to end off the episode. I would say that while Regina is mother first, she is still evil queen second! At least with the Wicked Witch on her mind, she's got some way of not having to think about Henry. Plus this time's she's gonna be in the Charmings' side - hey what's there to lose eh?

I'm just blown by Lana Parilla's acting every episode. Seriously hooked on!
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Apr 14, 2014
Regarding: "...and Snow didn’t question for a moment that a new person was suddenly loafing about in Storybrooke. Um... there should've been a Color Guard’s worth of red flags waving in Snow’s brain that there was someone new in town. Come on, princess: NO ONE COULD ENTER OR LEAVE THIS BROKE-DOWN BURG BEFORE, YET SOMEHOW SOMEONE NEW POPPED UP FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 29 YEARS JUST AS A NEW BIG BAD APPEARED ON THE HORIZON, COULD YOU MAYBE QUESTION THAT?! I know Snow White’s naive stupidity is the spackle holding this plot together but geez girl."

...In Snow's defense, Zelena was not the only new person in town. New curse, new group of victims. Robin Hood and his Merry Men were also new in town, for example.
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Mar 26, 2014
I love Emma and Regina's relationship, and I think it's beautiful the way it is - a friendship. A lovely FRIEND-ship! I see them more developing into an Anne-Leslie (SUCH a beautiful female friendship!!!) or at least I'd like to see it end up that way. That is some for-real stuff, guys.

That said, Robin and Regina have NO chemistry that I can sense. Also Hook and Emma have a chemistry rating of .1 on a 10 pt scale, better than Emma-Neal though. I like Snow and Charming; they make stupid mistakes, are gullible, but they're solid. No chemistry though. Nobody has chemistry. OUAT's romance plots were probably written by Henry.
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Mar 24, 2014
I have always preferred for Regina and Emma to be friends, maybe because lately I feel it's hard to find good friendships on TV with Romance taking over, but I have to wonder if the writers are fueling this on purpose, I mean they probably think Emma's love life is the reason people are watching and they are keeping her options open...because I see Swan Queen shippers just as confidant in their ship as Captain Swan and Swan Fire... It's getting annoying, and I really don't care anymore, but I know some people will end up unhappy either way.
Ok maybe I lied, I care that SwanQueen doesn't become a romance because I really like Outlaw queen, they remind me of a couple I really liked in a book series and so I'm instantly drawn to them and interested in how they would make it work, I realize people will feel it's contrived because that what happens with all prophecized love stories, but it would be very amusing.

Oh and Rumple's voice is not horrible...I love it!!!
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Mar 24, 2014
Is it just me or does Zelena just sound like yet another shipping pairing from TVD?
In other news I'm so happy Rumple and Ruby are back :)
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Mar 24, 2014
this was a good one, but this week, the fear episode with Charming was lousy. Rapunzel wow worst actress ever. And I have never liked Belle, she is annoying.
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Mar 22, 2014
Lily, I miss your OUATIW reviews. Did you see the kiss between Will and Anna? One million percent hotter than any between Alice and Cyrus.
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Mar 22, 2014
You know what would solve a lot of problems for Emma? Moving in with Regina. Now I ship them to be bffs not lovers (but yes, Emma is a much better suitor than Robin for Regina) so its not for those reasons of convienence. But Regina has a huge house and it is totally cramped in Snow's place and there is a baby on the way. And I'm sure ever since Charming moved in , its been unsatisfactory. So moving in with Regina would not only make the custody over Henry waay easier, but everyone can have a bedroom. And I would think Emma prefers her company and outlook on life anyway.

But alas, I bet you they are making room for Robin and Roland to move on in.
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Mar 22, 2014
Cora-thy killed me. Like I died.
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Mar 22, 2014
Going to put it out there. Given the "this person is secretly your father" tendency of this show, I'm guessing that Zelena is a Cora/Rumple lovechild.

Also - if Zelena is the wicked witch... does this make Regina... GLINDA THE GOOD WITCH?!
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Mar 22, 2014
See that would piss me off as it totally negates that episode in which Cora was contracted to have Rumple's kid and went against it. Not to mention she bore Henry an heir not soon after. And dude, Rumple would know. So it better be someone from before Cora met Rumple like possibly the wizard of Oz.
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Mar 21, 2014
I'm going to say it rumple you've officially gone nuts, full on coco puffs. I loved this episode it was great. I love how they took the piss out of Emma almost marrying a monkey, that was great. I really like robin and Regina together the chemistry is there but it's not to much that it feels forced. I adore hook and very thing that came out of his mouth this episode was gold. RUBY'S back yes i missed her I just hope we get to see a more active role for her something that gets her to use her werewolf side.
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Mar 20, 2014
I loved the episode, so much better than last week. I was right that they were heading for the right direction and the latest episode was just a mediocre transition so we can get to awesome.

Emma and Regina have amazing chemistry together and while earlier I really thought that there wasn't really romantic context there (even though one could interpret it so) I have to admit that the zooming in part pretty much sealed the deal. They have to be intentionally dancing around this. And while Hood is pretty good character, he can't measure up to Emma. Everything Emma and Regina do together is just great.

Regina said there is something for her to destroy, not kill. I don't think she wants to kill Zelena, but I can totally picture being an evil queen and finding a new nemesis very refreshing. And to the relation... I honestly thought for a while she was gonna be Henry's daughter or something, would have made perfect sense in this show.

I don't think the message really is that a woman can't be whole without a child. It's true that Regina ached for a child but that's normal (and she probably would have gotten over it eventually). And it's completely understandable that once you have a child, losing him is the worst thing. But overall yeah, there could be some more extreme life choices here. We're in a fairy tale land but the damn Red Riding Hood is the Big Bad Wolf and humans have sex with flying monkeys, there's no reason for everyone to strive for the heterosexual picket fence with 2.5 kids.

It's good they revealed the flying monkey "mystery" this soon, would be silly if they spent like 10 episodes wondering where all the people disappear to and where all these flying monkeys are coming from.

I'm glad Rumple is back but I hope he snaps out of it soon.


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Mar 20, 2014
Good to see Rumple/Dark One back!!! and looking forward to the Regina going up against Zelena
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Mar 20, 2014
First, this photo here had me doing the literal lol. http://img2.tvtome.com/i/u/cca86346e816437dc342c3c96d994836.jpg

-I too enjoyed this episode a lot. Parrilla's acting range is so top notch. She explained why she makes her voice change in different levels to each character she plays, it makes each character compelling. I of course just enjoy watching and hearing her. Yep, I need to own everything she's even been in, yes, even "Spin City"...

-One funny tidbit, a fan posted on Twitter asking about her outfit in the episode as the Queen and how uncomfortable it looked. Lana admitted it did, but it did wonders for her boobs. She was right, it did. :P

-Ugh, I just can't with Snow, I just can't.

-And people whisper way too damn much on this show.

... What do you think Zelena’s backstory will be? It might be one of those old, "the Queen ruined my life nonsense".

... Robin Hood and Regina: You feeling their chemistry? Eh, not so much. It's forced. It's like watching a good wrestling promotion and they just force feed something onto you until you just have to 'deal with it'.

... Emma and Regina: Define their relationship, please. They are mothers. One is the "true' Mother, i.e. Regina. She was there for Henry through almost everything and he didn't know much about her evilness until he got that damn book.

Emma is the Mother, but not the Mom of the young fella.

They are two Mothers who are fighting for the affection of their child. He'll have to choose eventually.

Also, isn't it a bit icky to have them date, when they are kind of, sort of related? Eek.

... Would you enjoy a stint as a flying monkey? Hell yeah I would. I would want one as a pet too. I wonder what they eat. I'd feed them.

... How many memory erases can a brain take? Listen, no one really knows, but it's a bit annoying probably.

... Why is Rumple talking like a hysterical Dickensian street urchin? He's on that stuff.

... What did you think of "Witch Hunt"? I thought it was well done, well acted and had so much sass that it was off the charts.

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Mar 19, 2014
There's 4 things I say in all my comments or most of them:
1- LANA Parilla is a superb actress
2- Regina/Evil Queen is the best character of the show since ep 1
3- Prince Charming is sooooooo not charming (unless dumb is charming!)
4- Lily's reviews are the Best... I love you

About the episode:
Loved it!
Although I'm not really a SQ shipper there's no denying that they have amazing chemistry. Lana is brilliant, Jennifer not so much, but in every SQ scene somehow Jennifer is better than usual.
Robin Hood being Regina's true love? I'm not feeling it yet, but who knows...
Wicked is Regina's sister: that's not really surprising considering that Pan was Rumple's father. I mean, anything is possible with these writters.
And I really loved the way The Queen looked happy by having someone to destroy. It gave her something to look forward to and Lana delivered that line amazingly well!
I don't care what the Rumple story is, I just love that Robert Carlyle is back! I read in one of the comments bellow a good theory though: Maybe the Witch killed Neil (sorry, not sorry) to bring Rumple back and that's why he seems so crazy! I like it!

Is it sunday already?

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Mar 19, 2014
When was Cora pregnant then with rumples child.. she met him right before having Regina...and marrying... remember the straw to gold scene
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Mar 20, 2014
I don't think she said Rumple was her father, she just said he taught her like he did Regina.
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Mar 19, 2014
If they really are sisters, that would make Regina the other Witch. (One is East, One is West.......)
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Mar 19, 2014
Random thought. Why do we need Emma? Since the Charmings are expecting again, couldn't this new child end up being the "savior" since isn't it also the product of "true love" just like Emma?
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Mar 19, 2014
I guess we need Emma until the new baby turns 18 or at least old enough to be a savior. Then Emma can have her happy ending and not worry about having to save the world...
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Mar 19, 2014
If Zelena is the daughter of Cora, then Rumple must be her father. But if thats the case, why has Rumple never mentioned he had a daughter? He's always been after getting his son back, but couldnt care less about abandoning his daughter? doesn't seem right. Unless Cora never told Rumple that Zelena is his (Rumple should suspect it though, no?). So I'm not sure I buy the whole sister thing. But if it is true, then the wicked witch is Henry's aunt by blood and adoption! And Neal and Regina have the same half sister!

Robin and Hood and Regina; Not at all. I don't see it, it feels so contrived and forced, like they were thrown together and told to fall for each other.

I think the creators are aware of the Emma/Regina shippers and are just messing with us now. This episode definitely showed a hint of feelings for one another, but i honestly have not felt it in any other episode.

I wanna see Neal and Emma interaction next episode. I ship Emma/Hook but I'm awaiting a proper apology and or love confession from Neal. He still hasn't done either. He really is just like his father...
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Mar 19, 2014
Finally got to read this review watch the episode and agree that more Regina = better show. The scenes with Regina & Henry = Major FEELS. Lana is amazing.

Favorite review line: "It's good to see you too but statement prints and color blocking?" For God's sake, someone get Emma a tank top!

Zelena - knew it was going there and predictable is never good. These writers have serious family issues they are working through.

Emma/Regina - I liked them better when they were fighting but perhaps I have issues I'm working through too.

Robin/Regina - Not feeling it yet but it's being pushed too fast. And I don't like being told what to think in the first place.

The three female leads are getting softened too much. Regina, Emma, and Snow were so bad ass in S1. I really miss that.

Thank God Rumple is back.

More Hook please.
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Mar 19, 2014
Grumpy has to have the best line in this episode - is it the wicked witch of the east or west? Snow "Does is matter? They both sound bad". Grumpy - "Well one you drop a house on and one you throw a bucket of water on".
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Mar 19, 2014
OMG Lily this episode was just awesome!!! This is definitely going on the list of my favorite episodes of OUAT along with Red-Handed, Desperate Souls, Hat Trick and Skin Deep. Now as for your questions;

... What do you think Zelena’s backstory will be?
I think it will be very similar to Cora's. Edward and Adam said that we won't see much of Oz this season or something. I'm not sure about her being related to Regina. It's either a lie or I've seen too much of OUAT's crazy family tree *cough* *Pan and Gold* *cough* .

... Robin Hood and Regina: You feeling their chemistry?
I'm not sure about those two. I could barely concentrate on those too "bonding" when their scenes ran along with Emma and Regina's. Honestly, I have yet to like Robin Hood and he is on the same list as Neil which is saying something as I HATE NEIL!!!

... Emma and Regina: Define their relationship, please.
I don't know. I think their relationship is kinda similar to that of Rachel Berry and Quinn Fabray. Regina and Emma are now in that stage of "We are kind of friends, huh?" "Kind of" (remember that scene? Glee S03E08? anyone? just me?)

... Would you enjoy a stint as a flying monkey?
A flying monkey? Nah... No way!!! No freakin' way at all. An eagle or a falcon maybe. Or a flying horse. Or.....

... How many memory erases can a brain take?
As much as it can take. Well, considering the crazy plots, I'll say it's infinite.

... Why is Rumple talking like a hysterical Dickensian street urchin?
Maybe something went sort of wrong when Zelena brought him back. Anyway, I'M POSITIVELY THRILLED HE'S BACK!!! (tbh, crazy rumple is the best)

... What did you think of "Witch Hunt"?
THE BEST EPISODE OF OUAT EVER, HANDS DOWN!!!



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Mar 19, 2014
I put off reading this review because I knew it'd be nothing but a Lily shipping-fest. And I know you like to try everything to make Snow look stupid, but I think you must've stopped paying attention to some scenes to plan Emma and Regina's wedding menu. Zelena clearly told Snow she "missed the last curse". You know, like how Robin Hood, Little John and the Merry Men weren't in Storybrooke the last time either? There is a collection of newcomers in Storybrooke. Zelena is not the only one and thus does not stick out that much. Snow jumping up and down and pointing out Zelena is a NEW PERSON IN STORYBROOKE would only have shown she wasn't really paying attention. But I guess she wouldn't have been the only one.
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Mar 19, 2014
Wow! This is the best Once Upon a Time episode I have seen in a long time! The main reason I watch this show is because of the outstanding acting of Lana Parrilla, so the Regina-centric episodes are my favorites (although I also love Rumple and Hook). I hope there are more episodes like this in the future!


I originally thought that Zelena would be Regina's sister (the child of Cora and Rumple), but I hope that her being a long-lost relative isn't the case (since she did have a flying monkey take some of Regina's blood). I also hope she will have a better motive than "oh, you were the favored sibling, so I will have my revenge!"

One would think that Snow would have picked up on the fact that there was someone she didn't recognize in town, but I suppose it is justified by Snow not being the brightest crayon in the box. In addition, some people that weren't in the range of the original curse were affected by this one (such as Robin Hood and his merry men).


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Mar 19, 2014
I think Rumple is Zolena's father because she is green. Remember Rumple and Cora were (BLAAACH!) lovers.
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Mar 19, 2014
I also think they're going to make Rumple the Wizard.
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Apr 12, 2014
Oh God, that's a horrible enough prospect for the writers to do it.
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Mar 19, 2014
And, why is Snow so gullible, as has been observed, to trust a mysterious stranger?
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Mar 19, 2014
I think Rumple is Zolena's father....that's why she's green? Remember, Rumple and Cora were, uh, ah, BLAAACH, "together".
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Mar 19, 2014
I'm so glad you brought up Sontag's essay on camp. You're so right. VIVA LA SWAN QUEEN!
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Mar 18, 2014
I would also like to see more of Ruby.
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Mar 18, 2014
I love our Charlotte playing the green witch! :D She fits perfectly for the role!

I am so happy Rumple is back and that he is his dark self again, seemingly. He is so great like that. I want him to "WIN" sometimes though, lol. I feel so sorry for Belle. She is the unluckiest person in love of them all it seems. She'll always be miserable in that relationship, lol.

Robin and Regina has no chemistry yet. I am not sure I will like their romance either, since Regina is obviously going to turn bad again - intent on destroying her newfound sister, lol.

Emma and Regina seem friendlier now. That's good, because I am kinda tired of them going up against each other because of Henry. I hope there will be less focus on that same old mother-son triangle.

I love the new Oz storyline.

A black Rapunzel is also interesting, but I am afraid Charming will cheat on Snow since he is the one rescuing her. That seems a little worrying.

I hope we get to see more of Ariel soon too.
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Mar 18, 2014
... What do you think Zelena’s backstory will be?
I don't have any idea, but I don't believe she is Regina's sister. I think she is lying.

... Robin Hood and Regina: You feeling their chemistry?
NO, NOT AT ALL. They look terrible together.

... Emma and Regina: Define their relationship, please.
If they can't define, how can I?

... Would you enjoy a stint as a flying monkey?
No.

... How many memory erases can a brain take?
Apparently, a lot.

... Why is Rumple talking like a hysterical Dickensian street urchin?

Ha! Good one!


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Mar 18, 2014
I LOVED the episode and sincerely I didn't even notice Robin and Regina's bonding time so wrapped up I was in dat swan queen moment and then RUMPLE is back I was practically doing backflips by that moment finally Robert Carlyle is back and that stubble *faints*
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Mar 18, 2014
I think the wicked witch wants Snow's baby!
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Mar 18, 2014
Lily I really enjoyed your review!!
I couldn’t stop laughing all the time (Lovesongs in the car?? Gorgeous!!)
I always read them but normally I don’t comment (sorry)... but this one is REALLY good!!

OK This is a show with plenty and tons of imagination... so let’s imagine!!

... What do you think Zelena’s backstory will be?
I don’t think she’s Regina’s sister, so why will she need her blood? To brake the spell, because they aren’t sisters.
I think that her story could be a “new one”... let me see... uuummmhhh... Maybe she’d have lost her boyfriend/husband because of Regina or her mother and she’s planning her revenge (yes! Totally ironic)
No really... please don’t make it “a vengeance” because someone “stole” my lover or killed my fiancé or something like that... pleaseeeeeeeee
I think that Rebecca Mader plays a really good villain (in every show!!!) and her performance is brilliant!
Come on... Parilla and Mader together is going to be hilarious!!

... Robin Hood and Regina: You feeling their chemistry?
Absolutely NOT!!! Come on... She has more chemistry with his bow (he’s a mixture btw Charming and his horse)
I have the feeling that the Merry Men don’t belong to this show... don’t you think?

... Emma and Regina: Define their relationship, please.
I’m a totally huge supper fan shipper for Regina/Emma. And I don’t think it will be impossible...
They already have a child together!! Really it could be a real possibility... why not?
Two strong female charaters in love? I would love it!!! They’re from the same world, they have magic, they have chemistry (yes... Real chemistry!!), they have issues with their mothers, they have poor silly fathers (sorry Charmings) and... they are so HOT!!

... What did you think of "Witch Hunt"?
Really good episode
I enjoyed a lot Emma and Regina working together
I’m thrilled to see what happened in the enchanted forest one year ago... and why is everyone back in Storybrooke?
What is the connection btw the Wicked Witch and Rumple...?
With Regina working with the “good guys” we needed a real “bad girl”... and Wicked is perfect!!
Why is Hook the only one who seems to know things? And how did he arrive to NY? Is he working with the bad guys?
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Mar 18, 2014

I saw the sister thing coming as soon as they showed the previews. For whatever reason I pictured it going something more like this though.
As soon as Regina walked in.....
Regina: I should have known
WW: Hey sis, long time no see
Regina: Not nearly long enough

Not really liking the "I'm your cast of half-sister nobody loved" thing. Believe it or not, it think it's too convoluted and too much drama. I would have been happier with an old fashioned sibling rivalry.

However, I do love the Evil Queen needing someone to destroy. LP is at her best when she's not so nice.

Same with Rumple, I absolutely love the crazy Rumple, I'm sure if he and EQ team up, Greenie and her flying monkeys will be toast. But not til the end of the season of course.

.. What do you think Zelena’s backstory will be?
Don't really care. But if I have to guess, a rival, looking for an "in" to the real world. Or a place to hide from Dorothy and her pail of water.
... Robin Hood and Regina: You feeling their chemistry?
Sort of, they have potential.
... Emma and Regina: Define their relationship, please.
Frenemies, moving to real friends
... Would you enjoy a stint as a flying monkey?
Yes, there are a few people I would love to swoop in on and whack upside the head, without them seeing it coming.
... How many memory erases can a brain take?
As many as the writers feel like making.
... Why is Rumple talking like a hysterical Dickensian street urchin?
Reminding us he's crazy Rumple and not Mr. Gold.
... What did you think of "Witch Hunt"?
OK, slightly predictable with the sister thing, but overall decent.
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Mar 18, 2014

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Mar 18, 2014
that ship has sailed already...
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Mar 18, 2014
Oh, another thing occurred to me - I had long figured that the reason Hook went to NYC to get Emma when he did was that he was cursed back to Storybrooke with everyone else, and as one of the few people who have ever been able to cross the town line without consequences, was detailed to fetch Emma. Instead we find out that he got the Jolly Roger back, left FTL, and was just sailing through the realms, and only bothered to go to NYC to get Emma after he got the note telling him to do so.

Didn't love her enough to change his outfit, move to NYC, get a job, "accidentally" meet an amnesiac Emma and work his charm on her, huh? A flying monkey managed it!
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Mar 18, 2014
Also we barely got to see Ruby, and I where is Mulan.

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Mar 18, 2014
There is no need for Snow to be suspicious of Zelena. Yes this is her fist time in Storybrooke but it is also Robin Hood and his men's first time. And Rebecca Mader is great as the wicked witch.
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Mar 18, 2014
She should be NOW, though. Zelena was wearing a giant emerald in their scene together. She would know that emeralds are significant in Oz, and Regina cited the green color of the smoke as a clue. The writers better have Snow mentioning the strange woman wearing an emerald first thing next week.
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Mar 18, 2014
Zelena on serbian means green :)
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Mar 18, 2014
So MAYBE the flying monkey that Emma was dating was originally a human working in a furniture store in New York and then turned into a flying monkey by the witch to keep tabs on Emma. That makes me feel a little better about "Swankey". Don't know that I'm feeling the chemistry between Regina and Robin Hood.
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Mar 18, 2014
RUMPLE IS BACK - oh happy day; happy, happy day! Traallaaa! Ahem......sorry, I don't know what happened there. Ahem.....so, being more serious, I think his mind is a bit broken due to dying, losing belle and waking up in a cage....just saying. Or it could be the dark bloke he used to be - crimped hair approaching - but I doubt it.

Besides, once he sees Belle and the whole RumBelle kicks off again all will be right with the world....well, mine anyway and yes, I am that sad. ;) Now, I am going to go eat some celebratory chocolate and do a happy dance in my kitchen that RUMPLE IS BACK. :)
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Mar 18, 2014
how about hood's new green scarf??
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Mar 18, 2014
I barely stopped myself from reaching through my TV and slapping away the hand of the wicked witch when she touched Snow's pregnant belly!
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Mar 18, 2014
While watching this episode, I kept thinking about you, Lily! I'm not really a Queen Swan fan, but in the scenes Regina and Emma had together, it felt like the writers were giving YOU some personal fan service!

... What do you think Zelena’s backstory will be?
=& I don't buy the "half-sister" story. I think she's messing with her. Anyway, why would she need her flying monkey to steal herRegina's BLOOD for, if not breaking the BLOOD magic locks?

... Robin Hood and Regina: You feeling their chemistry?
=& YES! And anyway, Robin's character was introduced for the sole purpose of giving Regina a (male) lover, so we're kinda obligated to feel their chemistry, otherwise, we'll just be disappointed when they end up together...

... Emma and Regina: Define their relationship, please.
=& Lana is WAY TOO GOOD for Jennifer! There's NO WAY they'll EVER be together! (Sorry) But Regina's last curse, giving them (fake) years together + giving them a real year together made Emma and Henry closer and made Emma Henry's mother, just as Regina. So now I guess they're "co-moms". Before this curse, Regina was (IMHO) Henry's ONLY mother. Emma was just the girl who'd abandoned him, and realized her mistake when she saw him 10 years later. I don't really blame her, but being a "birth mother" is not the same as being a mother! Your mom is the one who feeds you, bathes you, reads you stories, puts you to bed, nurses you when you're sick, loves you as you grow up, make your first steps, say your first words... Before the curse, Emma hadn't done any of that and therefore had no legitimity calling herself the "mother" of a kid she met 3 months before! Even if she regreted abandoning him, even if she fell in love with him the moment she saw him, she was NOT his mother before Regina's curse! But now Henry has 2 moms! (but no father! Sorry Neal, the same rules apply to you, and you'd been a total jerk...)

... How many memory erases can a brain take?
=& Haha! Given the creativity of OUAT's writers... A LOT!

... Why is Rumple talking like a hysterical Dickensian street urchin?
=& No idea. This one's weird. I'll have to re-watch the beginning of the season to remember precisely how he "disappeared" and come up with a theory...

... What did you think of "Witch Hunt"?

=& Good episode! Mainly because it included a LOT of Lana Parilla &3
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Mar 18, 2014
What do you think Zelena’s backstory will be?
How she was left at OZ by her mother (due to her skin condition, Cora was like 'NO POINT INVESTING IN THIS CHILD.. ONLY THE HULK WILL FALL FOR THAT').. How she was humiliated by a lion, tin man, little girl in a red shoe and a scarecrow.. (Ironically only they can overpower her...???
I DON'T KNOW.. RUMPLE IS ALIVE THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS!!! I am just so happy that she has the decency to revive him...)
... Robin Hood and Regina: You feeling their chemistry?
Oh ya, When Regina saved his son, he was like 'I am in love.. '
... Emma and Regina: Define their relationship, please.
Two mothers, working together. Goal? It is all for Henry. THAT IS SO OBVIOUS!!
... Would you enjoy a stint as a flying monkey?
Honestly, they are annoying. The wicked witch of the west just gave her identity away when she used these minions of hers. Belle would be like, I'd read them in books.. Deja Vu.
... How many memory erases can a brain take?
Let's just say it is like a VCR Tape, you can record new movies over and over and over again until it worn out!
... Why is Rumple talking like a hysterical Dickensian street urchin?
Telling us that she Zelena is a big dumb-ass for feeding him and regaining his strength means getting his powers back and he will break out of this pathetic bamboo cage (i forgot what cage was it) and deal with you imbecile.

... What did you think of "Witch Hunt"?
So far, the process is fair.. The story seems logical to me.. with its magic!!

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Mar 18, 2014

I loved Regina saying 'seriously, I've never met her' and everyone being shocked
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Mar 18, 2014
I want to start by saying LOL @ Snow's face when Emma said "he wouldn't be the first flying monkey I've dated". Hahaha oh this show.

I really, really liked this episode, and the acting was superb in this. I cannot bow down to Lana Parrilla enough! Every scene where she was either talking to or about Henry was like taking a bullet. The emotion was very raw and very believable. I also LOVE the female bromance between Emma and Regina - they work very well together and it's extremely refreshing (for the moment) to not have Regina be perceived as the villain (at least in present Storybrooke by our main crew). I'm looking forward to more!
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Mar 18, 2014
Lana Parrilla - pure MAGIC!
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Mar 18, 2014
In their first conversation with each other, Regina and Zelena were arguing over someone borrowing the other's clothes without asking permission, mocking each other's looks, and whining about who had the tougher childhood and who their mother loved more.... maybe they are sisters after all!

Maybe the Wicked Witch is just the fairy tale equivalent of Jan Brady.
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