Once Upon a Time's Fall Finale: New Conflict Ahoy, Me Hearties!

Once Upon a Time S02E09: "Queen of Hearts"


What an episode! You know, every so often (mid-season and season finales, bascially) this show gives us a one-two punch of forward momentum and emotional justice, and that's what we got with "Queen of Hearts." All the wallowing and flailing and time-wasting was set aside and things went off! We got all the characters in one dimension (except Mulan and Aurora, who pfft do not count)! We also got a lot more dimensions out of our characters. For example, did you know Captain Hook wears crushed velvet and beats women?

I could not believe Belle's thigh-bearing dress slit or her scribbled scratch-calendar all over the walls. Like, how many months had she been there? Did Regina DEMAND she wear a cocktail dress in captivity? But before I could get done asking a Tumblr's worth of questions about her situation, she got socked in the face by Captain Hook. Annnnnd I'm done. I know we all agreed he was a sexy minx before, but the minute you punch a woman in the face I am done with you sir. Forever. DO YOU HEAR ME CHRIS BROWN? Ahem.

The sartorial surprises had only begun with Regina reappearing in her Evil Queen garb looking truly more ridiculous than ever. That hair! That flock-of-seagulls-meets-Grace-Jones'-flat-top updo!! How many empty cans of hairspray were rolling around the floor of the wig styler when the OUAT hair team put that together? It was a thing of beauty. I was so distracted by her hair I honestly didn't hear a word that came out of her mouth, except of course for the thing about Hook going to Wonderland to kill her mom or whatever.

A lot of you brilliant, brilliant commenters guessed that Cora was the Queen of Hearts weeks ago, and I bow to your deductive skills. Also I really enjoyed going back to that over-the-top Masqued Realm. After all, Cora's advice to Regina on how to be Queen, it was interesting seeing her take on it: totalitarianism, matchy-matchy red velvet everything, and rubber floor tiles not unlike what you'd find on the floor of a children's indoor obstacle course. (Think just outside the ball pit of Chuck E. Cheese's.)

Cora instead enlisted Hook to help her fake being a corpse when they returned to FTL. (You'd think this plan would fail the moment Regian asked to see her mother's heart or noticed she was breathing and warm, but whatever. Cora found a way around it. I don't know if you've noticed, but Cora is practically omnipotent: Not only did she create a biodome, protecting a square of FTL from the Storybrooke curse, but she spelled out the entire first season of OUAT to Hook like Miss Cleo. I get that she's magic, but 28 years this and savior that and it's like, are you clairavoyant? Where are you getting this? Oh yes, it's in the script.

Anyway, the most notable thing about the scene where Cora swore up and down that she had to basically kill her mother because she loved her so much (just like her dad!) was the headgear on Regina. Good gracious, being evil plays hell with your fashion instincts. I know it was a throwback to the original Disney Evil Queen, that perfect Marlene Dietrich cartoon whose marvelous lips Lana Parrilla is a perfect match for. Didn't make it any less weird.

Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, villains were doing what they do best: plotting how to kill all the main characters. Nice that Regina was at first sort of against it but Mr. Gold quickly talked her into making the long hike up to the ole Wishin' Well and slamming the portal betwixt worlds closed via green lightning. They did so by stealing all the magic from the diamonds, although if fairies can do that, why do dwarves bother grinding the diamonds into magic dust? Shhh brain, shhh, we're watching OUAT. I don't need you right now.

In FTL, Aurora, Mulan, Snow, and Emma frantically searched for ink and found a dry inkwell and a scroll with a buch of mediocre calligraphy. Cue Cora entering, grandstanding about her fine plans, and locking them into a prison cell with some of the widest-spaced bars on any prison door in the world. Look at those bars—there's no way one of them could wriggle through? Take off those shoulder pads and get to it, Mulan, we all know you only weigh 98 pounds.

Emma had one of her Reluctant Heroine moments before Snow remembered seeing Cora do magic and spellbooks and blew on the sheet and the ink opened the cell (I got very confused, as I thought the special squid ink was meant to open a portal, not dissolve big ol' prison bars, but I'm not here to dissect glitter.)

Meanwhile in Fairy Tale Land, Henry followed Not-so-Nice Regina and Mr. Gold and gave an impassioned speech and then legit rassled with Regina (he's getting so big now, poor Lana Parrilla was S.T.Rugglin' to restrain him). Then of course came the big speech about good and evil. Such a character moment! Um, here's a question: Regina's a sociopath, right? She's killed hundreds of characters outright. Like, if she has the emotional capacity to start feeling bad about it, shouldn't she pretty much go insane? Eh, whatever. After 28 years of wearing pantsuits, administering as mayor, and reading a fair share of help books, she must have figured out how to deal with that baggage.

The newly freed lady warriors took off after Cora (after they hilariously tied up Aurora) and had a long and tedious fight around a CGI wading pool. Hook did a lot more of what he apparently does best: hand-to-hand combat with women. And then Cora almost ripped out Snow's heart, but Emma got in front of Cora's hand like it was a bullet and took a heart-squeezin' for her mom.

In a well-plotted move, Emma's heart blasted Cora as though she'd stuck a fork in a toaster and we got the sense that being the Savior has a little more to it than just kissing foreheads. Which, nice, something to build on in the mid-season finale, since we certainly won't see anything groundbreaking between now and the end of the season. If I were to come five years late to this party, I would only watch season premieres and mid-season and season finales and save myself a lot of strain on my eye-rolling muscles. You would be able to catch up no problem, is the sad thing.

So Reluctant Heroine Regina back in Storybrooke took a sh*tload of lightning so Henry would love her and Snow and Emma crawled out of a well somehow (don't ask, shhh don't ask) and finally, finally everybody was reunited. Ruby woke up from her concussion in a timely manner, and then everyone went down to the old Pawn Shop to wake up David.

Getting old, you two, but whatever. Gold gave Emma a pep talk about her abilities coming from her, not him, which was whatever, but it did make me laugh that they had this long, drawn-out conversation and then when they walked back into the room Snow and Charming were still making out on the cot while the dwarves looked on. Like what? Were they just writhing around in bed as everyone beamed at them and listened to the lip-smacks?

We were then made to feel bad about Henry abandoning Regina after only giving her one hug, and to a large degree I do think Henry is effed up in the way he interchangeably calls the woman who raised him and the woman he's known for, oh, three months "Mom" when it emotionally effects them the most. He manipulates Regina, which is very sad, yet at the same time should we really feel bad for a sociopath whose bodycount is on a par with that of a third-world dictator? I'm conflicted.

So the "good guys" walked, like they do, through the middle of the town's single street (gas stopped being delivered weeks ago, I guess) for all-you-can-eat burgers at Granny's, and then of course the show had to complement a giant leap forward with a burgeoning conflict, showing Hook and Cora on a boat headed toward Our World.

Won't they both be disappointed by the clothes?! Or are they going to be marching in and out of city offices and coffee shops in their crushed-velvet capes? That would be pretty great.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the craziest part of this whole episode: Mulan just put Aurora's heart straight back into her chest. At first I thought they'd just carry it with them or she'd end up, I don't know, swallowing it, but it was much easier that all that. While taking a heart out means having access to magic, putting it back in, eh, it just takes a good shove. Maybe wash your hands first? Not essential. Just hope all the ventricles are lined up and smack it in there!

For a moment I thought Aurora was going to literally drop dead but luckily she was okay and rewarded Mulan's loyalty with the news it was time to find Philip! Fingers crossed by the time they do they are in a hardcore, loving lesbian relationship. Anyone down to 'ship Mulora with me?

This week's ratings:

Product Placement: Nicely done! We got in a reinforcement of the Evil Queen brand. Three stars!

Character Development: Sorry but I absolutely hate that Hook punches ladies in the face. I hate that it happened on TV on a family show, even if it is the action of a villain. I also wanted to believe he would be a romantic interest for Emma, and the show ruined that idea with the punch. One star.

Razzle Dazzle: Pretty entertaining and yet more than a little confusing. There was some fudging, plot-wise, that was sort of distracting in places, so I can only give this four stars.

Annoying References to Bigger Story: Actually the tie-in to Wonderland was nicely done. Possibly it's one of three or four twists the writers planned out before writing anything. Or they just got lucky in looping back to something they'd deliberately kept veiled so they could keep it as a free space into which they could tuck any character. Five stars!

So, 13 stars, not bad! But what did YOU think of the episode?

QUESTIONS:

1. How do you feel about Nice Regina? Should we feel sympathetic toward a mass murderer?

2. Is Henry a jerk a lot of the time?

3. Are we supposed to believe Emma naturally has really long lashes, or do we just assume her character is able to apply false ones even when strolling around another dimension?

4. Regina's hair: Would you dare wear that style?

5. What will Cora and Hook do when they land? Open confrontation or sneak into Storybrooke?

Comments (248)
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I'am a fan of Regina. I do hope she will be able to change just to see the reaction of her Mother.
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The ink was supposed to hold Cora (immobilize her), not to open portals or kill her! =S
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I'm still wondering how Mulan and Aurora are planning to share Philip when/if they find his "soul" all over again, not to mention what this does to the original Mulan and Sleeping Beauty stories.

You can only play fanfiction for so long before you destroy the fairytale.
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Pretty sure fairytales are destroyed the moment they enter OuaT.
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btw Lily the ship is called not Mulora but SLEEPING WARRIOR jfyi
and what a canon ship it is
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She meant Mulan-Aurora lesbian relation"ship" = Mulora
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i know)) and it's called sleeping (as sleeping beauty) + warrior (as mulan)
at least on tumblr (and everybd knows tumblr is always right in this kind of matters)
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There's a lot of lesbian subtext in the show's canon: Emma acting as if Regina was her former lesbian life partner sharing custody of "their son", the flashbacks versions of Red and Snow White sharing the same bed, Mulan and Aurora current relationship, etc.

I don't think I'm imagining this, there's a pattern here.
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you're totally not imagining it. usually tv shows are full of male slash subtext, but not in this case. femslash is all around.
but the most obvs is def. sleeping warrior. i'm not a teen and always can see a difference b/w canon and shipping but in that scene with heart-returting i was just shouting at my screen "now kiss, you fools!!!!!!!!!!!!"
oh, and emma x regina ship is called swan queen in case anybd is interested))
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I'm getting so disappointed in this show. It's a show about fairy tales but some elements of the show are too stupid for even a fairy tale show. The writing has gotten so sloppy. They keep changing the "rules" to suit their stupid story ideas. As you pointed out, Lily, the ink was supposed to open a portal. Now it conveniently gets them out of the prison. There are just too many situations like that, which don't make sense. And are Mr. Gold and Cora both psychic? Mr. Gold wrote the scroll because he somehow knew that after Emma was the savior, she and Snow would be sucked into a portal and be trapped in his cell with Aurora and Mulan....etc. etc... This show was once so exciting and interesting. I won't even miss it while its on it's hiatus. I may not even watch the midseason premiere. I'm sad that I once loved this show and it's gotten so horrible IN MY OPINION.
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I still can't find it in me to feel any sympathy for Regina. I can't stand her. If she died, I wouldn't care one way or the other.
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1. Sympathetic at that scene, not for her entire existance :D Ever since she tried to stop using magic and come to terms with Henry, I knew there would be a point that she'd have to make an important choice. She did it. It's not that simple that everyone will accept her even after that.

2. No. Henry is exactly what his age would do. Quite courages at times. What would you do at the age of 10 if you knew your mom would die before your eyes ? Cry or try to convince someone to do something about it ?

3. Unless she goes bold, it's fine either way.

4. Not at this time :D Maybe if I was around Elvis Presley.

5. I'm pretty sure everyone will notice the ship. I suspect Cora will directly go to Regina alone. And hook will probably sneak around, maybe to Emma, maybe to kidnap Belle. He shouldn't be stupid enough to confront Rumple right away.

On Emma's Love Interest:

noone would stick because ding ding ding, father is coming home. neal got the message(postcard) in the beginning of the season. It was present time, he was wearing a suit, means got a job and settled.
the problem is, who sent the card. At that time, Pino was supposed to be immobilized, we saw him on the bed. And when Gepetto learned his location, he was gone. Maybe he returned to being human, maybe someone was controlling him. It's a highlight of the season.
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Still wondering how Mulan and Aurora are going to find Philip when literally every human is gone from FTL. All that are left are the ogres, remember? Cora made all of the "contact lens" villagers into zombies, and everyone else got transported to Storybrooke. Without Cora to animate them, they're lumps. Are there magic instructions and portal hats lying around? To whom are they going to talk to find him?
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Perhaps some bands of humans survived in the bubble that purposely didn't want to be part of that village. Like small tribes of bandits or something.

But yeh: they have very little magical knowledge and nobody to really ask. Unless there are intelligent creatures left that they could ask: like pacifist ogres or something.
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I seem to recall some commentary from Mulan that all of the survivors had banded together in that village. I must admit the concept of pacifist ogres is one I hadn't thought of...
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Plus it's possible they could find some sort of mystical library: and look for a magical text that has instructions on how to free the prince.
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At this point, I don't care whom Emma ends with, the "candidates" have changed so often -Hook, Neil, August, Graham, etc. - I've lost the interest.
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1. Did feel a little sorry for her..but only for 5 seconds....

2. i'm not a huge fan but hes only a kid

3. they do all have pristene make-up..i guess thats why its a show.

4. Regina's hair: Nope, never - i don't think anything would keep my hair in that odd style

5. Looks like Cora may soften and Hook may fall for Emma...not without a bang first though!
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Cora's omniscience is getting really annoying because its like they ran out bad guys all of the sudden, which is weird because I understand fairytales are filled with them.
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Goodness. I had issues with some plot things, like Regina's confession to her mom, Cora's omniscience, the ink, etc. I do feel bad for Regina. And I ship Mulora so hard.
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Yes, the chemistry between Mulan and Aurora is so palpable even this straight can feel it. Ship away.
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I put off watching this episode for days because I can't bear to look at Barbara Hershey's surgically-distorted face nor waste any of my finite time with her character Cora. But if Rumple and Regina are no longer pure Bad Guys, drama requires a threat to exist elsewhere, so....

That's an Interesting suggestion, that Regina might experience mental disintegration when she comes to terms with her sociopathic past during therapy. Lana Parilla could display some acting chops, and Dr. Hopper could be powerful. Henry and Emma could grow up emotionally and be more compassionate towards her. Regina could be broken and need convalescence, or TLC from Giancarlo Esposito. Could she remedy any of her misdeeds (give back hearts)? That could be an interesting quest.

Exactly how much magic is left in Storybrooke now? Is it limited? Will the inevitable Regina/Cora/Rumple battle use it all up? How would the characters' relationships change when magic is no longer a threat (fireballs) or means of escape?

We all know that Season 2 will end with Emma coming face-to-face with Henry's dad. I predict that relationship will dominate Season 3. Question: why didn't Emma or Mr. Gold use the internet to find him? Changed identity?

Too bad the writers have left Belle and Rumple in stasis. It would be nice to have more happily ever after. Couples counseling, anyone?

No way David can police even a small town by himself. How about some more officers-- like Cinderella's prince.
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I agree, Mulan just smushing the heart back in there was total garbage!! For a split second I thought in the midst of all the confusion they had taken Cora's heart instead (she mentioned she kept it somewhere unconventional) and then we would have this badass Aurora/Cora but no ''blah blah Philip blah'' DIE ALREADY!
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Regina is my favorite character, by far. Sure she's killed some people and pulled some fairly evil stunts, but at least she is intelligent. Freaking seriously with these scripts! They make almost every character look like a half-wit. The dwarves just stood around, staring at David while Red went off alone?

If I lived in Storybrooke, I would be thinking, "Forget all this good vs. evil crap. Regina's managed to keep the utilities working and the economy humming along. Technology trumps the hell out of sod farming and sending our kids off to fight trolls in FTL." I would be working hard on her reelection campaign. Her curse kind of just allowed her to play real life The Sims for 28 years. I would easily forgive her so I could continue to enjoy the "magic" of electricity, internet and indoor plumbing.

She should tell Gold to fetch her another baby. Henry seriously needs to be thrown out with the bathwater.

I only watch these days so that I can understand Lily's hilarious recaps and everyone's comments. Although I did enjoy Emma's awkward face when she walked back into Gold's storeroom and saw her parent's STILL making out.
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5. What will Cora and Hook do when they land? Open confrontation or sneak into Storybrooke?

What ever keeps the rating up.
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"Anyone down to 'ship Mulora with me?"
Hell yessss! Mulan is effin hot!!! Her in a hot lovin' lesbian relationship is like the best idea ever.
Poor Regina, of course I feel sympathetic to her even if she is a sociopathic mass-murderer. I'm sure Oliver Stone would call her a "scapegoat" anyway.
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"2. Is Henry a jerk a lot of the time?"

Judging by the way he didn't even flinched when the only mother he has ever known hit into unconsciousness at the well, he easily qualified as the most apathetic, unsympathetic and unrelateable child on TV to me.

The Governor's zombie daughter showed more empathy on The Walking Dead's mid season finale than Henry on this Sunday episode.
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Yeh, she was screaming in pain and all of that while trying to cancel/absorb the spell. Forget a hug, she doesn't even get a pat-on-the-back.

If it was a stranger or even Mr Gold... I cold understand it. But his mother of 10 years (or whatever) should merit more than that.
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Even Jimminy Crickett is closer to Regina than Henry at this point. And that's saying something.
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Also, just gotta say to Lily... Awesome screen-caps again :-)

Contact lense, love-making, the Mulan-heart-boobs thing...

It's like, 1/4 of the fun of watching Once Upon a Time... is coming here to see your grabs.
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1. I like nice Regina, but don't think she will ever be completely nice. She is being pulled from all sides, and seems receptive to whatever Gold/Rumple tells her to do.

2. I like Henry...apparently I'm the only one?! He's cute and is the moral centre of the show.

3. Lol...don't really care. Emma is beautiful either way.

4. Nope...don't have the hair for it. But again, Regina/Lana is gorgeous.

5. I hope they sneak in and don't just go for the attack. I'm not a fan of fight scenes and prefer twists and turns.
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My wish for Regina is the same Daniel had for her: that she could fall in love again. Archie Hopper is a good candidate because of the intimate nature of their therapy sessions (and the fact he's not an actual therapist), but it could be anyone.

I don't care about Henry anymore, he could end up with his deadbeat father conning old ladies in the subway or as bail bondman like Emma for all I care. Can they bring a sympathetic child front and center instead? Jefferson's daughter was actually nice.
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I love how you're more upset about him hitting Belle than you are about the fact that, 10 seconds later, he almost gutted her like a fish (or as Rumple would say 'lika-da-feesh!'). Seriously, worse crimes have been committed on this show (you know, like mass murder)...

ANYWAY, good episode! I'm sad to see Aurora and Mulan go (although I hope they'll return sometime later this season), but I'm glad everyone's back in Storybrooke. The wild-goose chase with the wardrobe, compass, etc was starting to get old. Plus, Regina needs someone to be more antagonistic with - Charming was way too nice.
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Whats so bad about Hook hitting Belle, I mean you failed to mention Rumple using magic to push Red a good amount, though you did mention the concussion, but on another note I loved this episode, it made all the other episodes worth it, all I'm wondering Barbara hershey is not yet a regular, I assume she is recurring so what do they plan to do with her, do they plan to kill her in the finale or something, or will she just stay in that huge ship in some episodes. I know this show already has a bunch of regulars, but Hershey just might be worth it.
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What's with the Harry Potter scarf?! You were born in the REAL world Henry, act like it!
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I kinda like Regina. The thing I fail to rationalize is that how an intuitive, always do the right thing, Henry can "forget" to invite Regina to join them for a meal after saving both Snow and Emma. That's massive. Basic courtesy needs grooming young man! :P
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Not to mention that snubbing Regina in such a way will only make her more vulnerable to Gold, Cora, and Hook trying to get her to return to her evil ways. "Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer."
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I see no problem with a man punching a woman on a TV show (and only on a TV show)
I actually enjoy seeing Charlie getting punched on Revolution every week in fact it is the best part of the show
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I'm not clear yet on the fandoms feelings towards Charming, so forgive me if this would be considered blasphemous, but at one point during this episode I thought I kind of wouldn't mind to see the dude die, if it meant a little something new for Goodwin to sink her teeth into (even though I think she's doing a pretty awesome job with everything she has.) (She basically is a princess, people.) (Basically played the main character in He's Just Not That Into You and she wasn't even top-billed.) (BASICALLY YER LATE TO THE PARTY, HOLLYWOOD.) I mean, nothing against the actor, but the character of Charming is kind of...bland? So is Belle, but at least she has the potential. I feel like there's a world of pent-up anger just waiting to rip out of her in a sunny-yellow tornado, but Charming is just...bleh. Whatever, dude. You're still alive. You're a well-intentioned, all-round good guy. Good for you. You live. Who cares? Not me.

I don't hate Hook for punching Belle. If Belle had been a dude, I wouldn't have minded. I'm still certain the knocking-someone-out-with-one-firm-backhand is a really unrealistic plot device, but for the hundredth or so time, I'll allow it. It is fiction, after all...where was I? Oh, yes, I saw that punch as less of a sexist attack, and more of a convenience thing. He wasn't trying to make a point. It SEEMS unnecessary, really, he wasn't in any danger of being overpowered by her (she hadn't unlocked her Yellow Tornado Rage abilities yet, you guys), but whatever. A mans gotta do what a mans gotta do. Again, he didn't HAVE to hit her just to prevent escape/conversation, but WHATEVER. If a woman had done it to her, I wouldn't have minded. I'd have felt bad for her, and I still do, but I'm trying to not look at it from a perspective of Which Gender Attacked Which and more of a The Villain's In The House And The Only Way To Make Clear This Person Is A Villain Is To Have Em Punch Someone Defencelss kind of thing. Universal Sign of Villainy, I suppose. 'This person poses no threat. I shall punch them to prove I have the upperhand!' *uppercut* 'I'm hilarious'. Y'know, that kind of thing.

1). The thing about OUaT is that it's very unpredictable, not just in terms of story, but in terms of how well they'll pull something off. The writers can be very on/off in terms of what they bring to the table, but one of the most consistently terrific charcters is Regina, because they're doing a better job than most shows right now of giving us a good anti-hero/conflicted villain. She started off good and pure, innocent, in love, and then her mother killed the man she loved, treated her as more of a prisoner than a daughter, Rumplestilskin manipulated her in a cruel, malicious way (he himself having made a similar journey to the one she was making), and she became someone who FEARED love. 90% of the reason Regina is such a great character is because of Lana Parrilla, but 10% is because the writers seem to actually take this character SERIOUSLY (sorry, Belle). She's capable of immense kindness and love, as we've seen, but she's conditioned herself to believe that her heart is her biggest weakness. All the evil she's done isn't so much forgiveable as it is, to me, removed from the character as she is now. She's still capable of it, but I think Henry has been such a positive force in her life, and Lana pulls it off so well, that I can absolutely care for her. She was robbed of love as a young woman and became as bad as her mother in it's absence. The biggest thing this show sells is that love trumps hate, and to me, Regina's character proves this to a far greater extent than the love between Snow and Charming (though they are cute) (Although please, enough already with the shout-outs to previous situations in which they saved one another. It's getting old. How many times have they said 'I found you', 'You found me', 'I'll always find you'? And then the scene where she wakes him up with true loves nineteenth kiss and then they have a conversation that mirrors the one in fairytale land with the coffin shaped glass case and just OKAY WE GET IT. THEY HAVE GOOD MEMORY).

2). There may be a degree of manipulation to it, but I don't for a second believe the kid has any clear idea of what the hell his family even IS right now. I'm going to forgive him for any inconsistencies concerning who he calls his momma. The kids not exactly in an ideal position. If the word 'mom' slips out when he's addressing one of his motherly suitors and then again later when he's talking to the other, what of it? They're both his mom at this point. His grandfather's pretty much his dad. Which could make Snow a third mom. You see what I'm saying? Kid's not in the best position maternally OR paternally.

3). IT'S NATURAL.

4). Probably (not).

5). Their boat wasn't exactly conspicuous. I don't think they're going to get away with sneaking for very long. I kind of hope the rest of this season just chronicles an all-out war in Storybrooke, whilst Character Development happens in Casa De Mulora. As in, have them acknowledge that they both love Phillip BEFORE they save him so there's no 'Whoops we can't be lady friends any more' aftershock. At this point I want Mulan developed more than Aurora, which surprises me. In the last episode we got a pretty good glimpse of Aurora being a badass without needing to physically beat someone up, which is always a form of badassery I admire. She seems defenceless when she has defences, but you strip 'em away and suddenly she's talkin' fresh and takin' no shit from NObody. I admire that about her. Whereas Mulan, she kicks a lot of ass on her way to saving the man she loves and then stands on the sidelines screaming even though RIGHT NOW IS THE PRIME OPPORTUNITY TO actually SAVE THE GUY. I know Aurora did the same thing, but again, she's not exactly physically capable of saving anyone. So let's get some Character Development goin' on up in FTL, a'ight?
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I agree. I wish they killed Charming and gave Ginnifer Goodwin a partner who would be as great actor as she is. IMO Josh Dallas feels uninspired in OUaT and his character is just boring.
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Really? Sometimes (especially in the fire-y reunion scene) I cringe at her cry-acting. Don't get me wrong, I think she's pretty darn good...but she's hardly better than him. I think they're both strong actors, if not exceptional. Frankly, no one on this show is 'exceptional' not even Robert Carlyle, who I usually like. His Rumple-acting gets worse and worse.
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She had far more chemistry with Dr. Whale IMO, Charming is more of a cliche than a complex character.
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Could not agree with you more about Ginny Goodwin - she kills it! (Although I feel bad for her probably having to defend those "all the good writers moved to television" comments when this show is over.)
But I have to disagree about Regina. I think you did a fine job of laying out how we are *supposed* to feel about her character, but I think the main problem for me is that her reason for hating Snow is so ridiculous. I know she was pushed along the psycho rails by a lot of people, but I just don't buy lifelong rage against an innocent child trying to do the right thing. I kept waiting for the rest of the story in Season 1 - like Regina secretly loved Charming and Snow stole him away.
I can't pity her. I find her character and her motivations laughably preposterous. Plus, I hate it when shows openly try to manipulate a viewer's emotions. They don't let the character naturally evolve, they just hit us over the head with what we are supposed to feel.
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I think that Regina herself is finally beginning to see how far she has fallen, how far her quest for revenge against Snow White has taken her. The seeds of her hatred were planted when Daniel died and Regina blamed Snow. If she had left the kingdom and run away, it is possible that she would have come to accept what happened. Instead she was trapped in the marriage to the king, seeing Snow White everyday as she lived her perfect life and being described as the fairest in the land.

So over the years that hatred boiled and coupled with the influences of a being like Rumplestiltskin the once good and generally just heartbroken girl who was lashing out at the one person she could blame became the evil queen, a woman who wanted power so she would never be hurt again. She began to lash out at the kingdom partially because of her thirst for power but also because Snow White loved the people and thus hurting them hurt her.

Only now she has begun to see what has happened to her. She god Henry so she would have someone love him like Snow White was loved and now he sees her just as everyone does, as an evil queen, and that hurts her far more than anyone elses opinion. So she is trying to grasp on to what little humanity she has left in order to show that she is worthy of his love.

Of course now Emma and Snow are back. Just like before, they are getting all of the love. What is worse is that they are taking Henry from Regina and in many ways she may see this the same as when Daniel was taken. It remains to be seen whether facing these old emotions will cause Regina to once again fall into her evil ways, especially when her mother arrives seemingly there to help her and offer her the love she never gave her as a child.
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I guess I was expecting something more along the lines of "Snow White and the Huntsman" than a childish version of Dynasty/Dallas. Its like, whenever I saw Regina and Snow, I hear my grandmother telling me how "Alexis and the other one" used to fight back in the old days.
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I've never seen Dallas or Dynasty but likely they had similar revenge based storylines. Of course its a common storyline to use in dramas.

While I am probably reading more into the writing than I should, they may be trying to show an aspect of the story which is common in literature, movies, and other shows, the thirst for revenge and losing control of that thirst. It is almost like the Count of Monte Cristo where Dantes is willing to do almost anything to get his revenge even if it means innocent people getting hurt, even his own family.

Regina was so caught up in her quest for vengence she killed her own father, the one person she cared about. Similar in many ways. To tell you the truth, I kind of like the fact that the dynamic between Snow White and the Queen has been written as more than just the Queen being jealous of Snow White. Sure, it is classic but it is a bit one note.
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Why do I keep remembering the good stuff just after I hit "submit"? So, Cora left her cozy throne in Neverland for... this? A silly revenge and waiting in the woods for 28 years? Meanwhile what has been happening in Neverland? Without a cruel queen have they become a socialist republic instead?

Cora's flashback future predicting at this point in the show (in 28 years, a.k.a. season two mid-season finale, this and that is going to happen) sounds a lot like thqat mock clip made by JJ Abrams in which jacob and "Barry" the Smoke Monster discuss all future events of lost as if that had been actually filmed in season 2 or 3 just to "prove" that the writers knew exactly what they were doing. Of course, with the clear difference that this clip was a clear joke, while Cora's speech was meant to be serious.

But anyway, I still love this show, all craziness aside. I was much more invested in the mid-season finale and will be anxiously waiting for the rest of the season next year.
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Something Cora said made me think FTL was on pause for 28 years. So it's only been a socialist republic since the end of last season. Or possibly when the clock first moved. Unclear.
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Cora was in Wonderland but I can see your point. However, Cora revealed something in this episode that gives a different dimension to her character. She does not want to get to Storybrooke to kill Regina, she wants to help her. She knows that with the curse broken Regina will have lost everything and her life will be in shambles, which she is right about as that is exactly what is happening. From what we saw in the flashbacks to Regina's past, Regina never needed Cora and I guess that hurt her a bit. Now Cora wants to be there for her daughter when she does need her. Granted, it is a bit strange that Cora seemed to have this feeling even after Hook was sent to kill her but maybe, in a really messed up way, that act made Cora a bit proud of Regina and renewed her faith in her.
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Yes, that makes a lot of sense.
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Oh, and one last thing. So Snow, Emma and Mulan face Cora and Hook in a final confrontation. Cora is so all powerful and all she can come up with is lame fireballs Mulan can deflect with a simple flip of a sword? Fireballs as effective as Snow's primitive arrows (not cool arrows like in Arrow)? (Not to mention the fact Snow didn't get one single arrow in the target.)

And Cora's "puff" disappearing act? Where have I seen that trick? Oh, yeah, that's right. That was right out of The Cape! Revolution's David Lyons must be so proud now. And that silly sword fight consisting of more talk than sword-swinging made Revolution's sword fights look masterfully realistic.
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Mulan did say that her sword was enchanted so it could deflect the magic fireballs. That would have been nice to say a few episodes ago rather than have it Deus Ex Machina here though.
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Oh, I hadn't caught that. Well, it was lucky for the group that Cora threw fireballs ONLY at Mulan then.
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Oh, I love it when shows logically contradict know-it-all reviewers who scream PLOT HOLE the first chance they got. So Hook stole Aurora's heart because he was a Mage? No, his hook had a spell cast by Regina: case dismissed! That's a good explanation and Lily didn't even mention that, conveniently.

So, all the "good" people of Storybrooke walk down Main Street triumphantly. How many were they? I counted 11 people. Considering the absolutely incredible number of characters this show has presented so far, and nobody can leave town, just where is everybody else when their fates hang in the balance? At work? At home watching TV?

I felt sorry for poor sexy Regina. I wish I were there to console her. I know she's a mass murderer, but fictional attractive women deserve some slack. There she is totally unloved, with just Rumpelgoldstilskin as her companion. But wait, she has someone who faithfully and unconditionally loves her: Sidney, ex-genie, ex-man in the mirror.

Just where the hell is Sidney? Oh, yeah, I forgot, He's in NBC, where he found a better character fighting in the name of General Monroe. Again, it's amazing how characters inexplicably disappear from the story just like that.
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Also, I think it was implied he's locked up in the asylum. I think someone said that in one of the scenes there towards the end, like when Belle got out, they saw his name on one of the doors.

Of course, there's probably a more actor/contract issue at play. But story-wise they probably go with "he was 'crazy' so we locked him up here"
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Well, I'd like to see Sidney again, for Walter White to be plagued by nightmare's with Gus Fring's ghost and to Major Neville to imprison General Monroe and rename the country Neville Republic and start rebranding people with an "N". How cool would it be to have Giancarlo Esposito in three shows simultaneously?
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Umm, it was whoever was in the pawn shop at the time that got invited to dinner (or was it lunch).

It wasn't "all the good characters" all all of the characters that were "in the know" about what was going on that exact minute and met up in the pawn shop to see if David would wake up.

Though your comment is funny. It reminds me of the end of the animated "Transformers: The Movie." At the end of the war, the flippin' war, the new leader talks to a crowd about how they won and will rebuild cybertron. The "camera" goes back and you see he was talking to the 5 good-guys that survived the film. Wow, what a win.
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Oh and one more thing - this "true love" sh*t is getting weird. Emma's heart can't be removed because she's the product of true love, the most powerful magic in the world. Are we to assume that Snow and Charming's love is the only love in all the world that is true? Like, everyone who CAN have their hearts ripped out - their parents just barely loved each other or worse? The sheer volume of hearts accumulated between Cora and Regina, coupled with Cora's shock that she couldn't remove Emma's heart (like it was the first time that *ever* happened) indicates a serious problem... everyone is running around FTL being separated from their true loves, but none of them are the product of it. We know that true love's kiss has broken Aurora's curse and has the potential to break The Dark One curse from Rumple... so will Philrora and Rumbelle's kids be invincible too? Is Grace the product of Jefferson's true love with her mom? Everyone needs to start procreating and forge an invincible-heart-child-army against Cora!
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Brides are purchased in exchange for gold, cattle or sheep. FTL is an agrarian society. If you want true love you have to leave your husband and child and run off with a pirate. It's not for peasants. Nor is it for royalty, who marry strategically. No, marrying for love is a product of the modern age, and from what I've heard, mostly in the West.
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Arranged marriage is a backbone of the feudal society and as such still present in some areas in Asia and Africa but MOSTLY all around the world people marry for love nowadays. Unfortunately the present, widest concept of LOVE itself is a product of the modern(if not post-modern) age. The MOST important difference for the people everywhere was to be able to choose for yourself, whatever the reason. Me, I would totally be fine with anyone if good cattle is included.
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But so far we have SW/PC, Cinderalla/Frog Prince guy, Belle/Rumple, Abigail/Frederick, Regina/Daniel, Hook/Mila, possibly Jefferson/Grace's mom... maybe there was something in the water? I see your point though - all arranged marriages and women as property back in the day. They just haven't set up FTL as that type of place. True love is everywhere there. Maybe Kannibal is right about it being Emma's parents' love being dripped on the curse, maybe it gave her extra abilities that other true love babies didn't get.
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Yeh, that same thought occurred to me to.

Though, Mr Gold lies and doesn't know everything. It's possible there's more to this than simply "her parents shared true love." Possibly due to his actions like: extracting their true love and putting it back. Or as part of the curse: that her role as a "Savior" means more and that it has empowered her.
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Okay, I admit it. I skipped 2 episodes before deciding I just love to hate-watch this show. And Lily is reason enough to keep watching - it's such a great shot of fun on a Monday. I will gloss right over the petty stuff, but here's a big question for me: how are Cora and Hook on a ship in the Gulf of Maine?
First of all, if they drop the dried out bean into Lake Nostos, shouldn't it just return magic to the bean and create a beanstalk? Secondly, if he had the bean this whole time (since coming down the original beanstalk) and it does somehow magically restore his ship and take them to Storybrooke, why did they go to the trouble of stealing the compass from Emma? Cora saw the bean when he dangled it in front of Emma... why not just chunk it into Lake Nostos right away and set sail?
She just restored enchantment to wardrobe ashes, but when he shows her the bean she says, "Huh? That's just a dried up old legume, silly beefcake. Whatever shall we do with that?" Dumb. Are we sure she's not Emma's real mother?
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I think she said that the ashes would only work in combination with a compass. Since it was a restored piece of the larger whole, it lacked precision.

Meanwhile, we saw Hook use a magic bean to go to Neverland with his ship on a whim without the magic compass and the effect was a wirlpool in the water he sailed his entire ship into. And Baelfire also used the bean to go to a land without magic without the compass.

So I guess:
- fully built cupboard == precise destination
- magic bean = precise destination
- restored handful of cupboard ashes = need a compass

Or, you know... plot hole.
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Very concise explanation! At this point, we have seen many portals opened in different ways. It appears they all have slightly different properties. There is also the magic hat, that we have seen being used several times to go to Wonderland. And once from Storybrooke to FTL. So I will add to the list:

- magic hat ==precise destination
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Lol! I super <3 your last sentence.
I understand him driving his ship into a bean vortex and coming out in Neverland on a ship. But... how did his ship get to Maine? Maybe the bean vortexed them to Neverland where he got on his ship, kidnapped Tinkerbell and stole her fairy dust, sprinkled it all around, tied himself and Cora to the bow, and thought happy thoughts of bitchslapping enslaved females until the entire ship lifted into the sky and flew into Storybrooke.
Or, you know... plot hole. :D
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In the midst of all that sarcasm, I would like to point out that we don't know where or how Hook's ship came into play, only that they definitely used the bean to open the portal to Storybrooke. Perhaps we will learn more about how this happened later, or maybe we're supposed to be more focused on what's going to happen now that Hook and Cora are in Storybrooke! For those of us who care, of course.
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Of course. ;)
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I just loved this episode...finally they are back!!! No more Aurora and Mulan yeah....:)
I love Hook...so is so divious...he can be good or bad, which it suits him at that moment better.
Of course i already knew that Cora was the Queen of Hearts...i was so happy that Emma had defeated her ( till in the end,you saw her coming on the ship with Hook....and it looks like she is pissed off, so can't wait how that is going to turn out...

I actually felt sad and sorry for Regina this episode, escpecially when they all went out to grab something to eat, when Henry said....see you later and they all walked out leaving her all alone...:(:(:(:( poor thing, she is trying...really trying...give her a break...

Can't wait what is going to happen next....!!!
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They're home! They will change clothes !! I'm sick of seeing Snow and Emma in the same outfit.. I can't stop thinking about how they must smell..
I don't mind Hook being brutal with anyone (girl or boy), I enjoyed the scene with Belle because I want him to be controversial. The scenes with Emma telling him that he would have left her in the Giant's home and he replying that he wouldn't was great. Hook seemed deadly sincere which was touching. the heart think was nice too.
Yes he is for hire, but he's a pirate for blood's sake !

1. How do I feel about Nice Regina? I can't help but to feel sorry for her. Yes she did terrible things but the show did a good job at explaining us why she became like this... I hated her when she killed her own father and our beloved huntsman but no matter what she does seeing hurt by the little prick is unbearable.
I trust she will have to choose between her dark/bright side when she will have to defeat her mom.
2. Henry is a manipulative son of a b**** !I think the writers should find ways to make us likable (again?), he became so annoying lately and has no moral issues... I don't know why they're fighting over him!
3. Of ourse! they do not shower or eat but they keep their hair bright and shiny and perfect make-up on !
4. Regina's hair was not that shocking, it fits wit hthe character
5. Maybe Cora and Hook can be like Ulysse when he got home. Disguised themselves to see what's going on in storybrook.I hope the writers will come up with something good...


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I'll board your 'ship, Lily. I've been saying it since Philip "died." I expect nothing less from the network that brought us Ellen and Roseanne.
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Ohh I was totally down with this episode! One of the better ones this season, for sure! I'm still conflicted about Hook - I think he really wants revenge on Rumple but he may still have some good in him (like saving Aurora's heart) that might come out should he rid himself of "the crocodile". Punching Belle was not cool but then again, Belle's like Aurora to me so meh.
I love that Emma's got some superpower we don't know about yet! That is spectacular how her heart is the only one Cora can't rip out! I literally LOL'ed when Mulan totally threw Aurora's heart back in her chest. Worst moment of the show but then again, it comes during an Aurora scene so not so surprised!
My question is, without the compass, how the heck did Hook & Cora manage to sail to Storybrooke? Especially after stating that they needed the compass to jump in the water and get to Storybrooke or else risk landing in some other realm. That was poorly written and how the heck did he get his ship into the portal? Or are we to believe the only used the portal waters to restore the bean and then his magical ship just knows where to sail??
Still, can't wait until the show is back :D
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Maybe the magic waters restored the bean, and then they returned to Hook's ship (somewhere nearby) and used the bean in the same way he once went to Neverland. And as was explained above, the compass was only needed with the ashes from the wardrobe, because they were damaged or incomplete in some way. Apparently, a bean can work on its own. Portal jumping is very confusing business indeed!

I agree that Mulan putting back Aurora's heart was the worst piece of writing thus far. Although I wanted Aurora to be whole again (poor girl has never done anything bad to anyone), it should have been more complicated than that, or at least performed by someone with magical powers. The writers were in a bit of a rush to make everything right in this episode, and that part was glossed over.

But fantasy is what it is, and this is a family show after all, so whatever...it's fine as long as it doesn't happen on a regular basis.
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Good point. I must have missed that part about the compass being only for the ashes. I have to admit, the silly side of me keeps imagining Hook pulling out his tiny ship from his pocket, setting it into the water and watching it grow, kinda like the things we used to have as kids. You know, those spongey things the size of a pill, soak 'em in water and it turns into a big ol fish? Does anyone remember those things or am I just seriously weird? lol
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Yes I loved those things! (Gah, it didn't take much to entertain our generation did it? Ha!) Come on, writers - let's see a dimension of expandable water toys!
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Exactly!! lol I'm so glad I'm not the only one that is easily amused :P
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This episode was awesome I like how they explain all the little past mysteries
It is nice that they keep continuity and avoid any plot holes
I really feel bad for Regina although she did some bad things I think she is really trying and I think Henry was a real jerk for just leaving her behind while he goes to celebrate
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Henry is a kid...what about the adults! They're the ones who should have included Regina after she just saved their lives. That should have been worth at least a lunch!
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But she wouldn't have had to save their lives if she hadn't created the thing that was going to kill them first. That's like hiring a hitman to shoot someone and then giving them a bulletproof vest - putting someone in danger and then changing your mind about it doesn't mean they owe you a thank-you dinner.
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Brava!
-I have a history of loving and feeling sympathetic for sociopathic characters on TV so I may not be the person to ask. Seriously, Regina was a reluctant hero and it was kind of good, and her tears are so prettiful they look like sparkly diamonds glistening over her eyeballs...and I was so in LOVE with her outfit (not the hair) but the outfit she was wearing in the beginning of the episode. I kinda had a girl crush on Lana Parilla in this episode for some reason. But even though Regina is Regina, it was kinda heartless how Henry just threw up a hand and skipped with the rest of the town down to Granny's. I mean dude. Have a heart. And in that moment the ongoing battle between nature versus nurture continues, because Henry be cold. Henry be cold like Regina. Learned behavior. Although if I were her I probably would have just tagged along with them.
-See first point.
- It's a throwback to Snow White having ridiculously long lashes I'm gathering. I had so many questions about things going on in another dimension that wouldn't have lined up with our dimension.
- I like to blend in not stand out. So no.
- WTH was that? Like I had the exact same thought about what the people on their yachts and "Amanda's" would say when these two villains trot into the nearest Stowaway looking like they just escaped a Renne Faire. Like is Stonybrook on a secluded island somehow where normal people from normal places don't visit or what?
I just laughed. Those two are ridiculous.
-- One doesn't ship Mulaurora..Lesbihonest, they just have legit sapphic vibes between their two characters. At any given second it always appears as though they'll start making out. You don't have to go looking for it either, it's just there. Phillip better watch out, either it's going to be some serious polyamorous stuff going on or Carole and Susan are totally going to make a fool out of Ross.
-I was pulling for Hook. He was kinda useless but sort of charming enough to be annoyingly endearing. But he's basically an accomplice for hire. for the right price he'll be on your side, which contradicts the subtle attempts they make at giving him a moral code...the constantly slapping broads kinda does that too. But he's a pirate...and I wanted to smack Aurora a few times myself, and every time I see Emilie I have Roswell flashbacks...man I loathed Tess. I liked the chemistry he has with Emma but...yeah. Hook is pretty to look at but I wonder if they even know what they want to do with his character. I'm trying to support him but then sometimes I just can't? I don't know. Keep Calm and Wear Lots of Eyeliner man.
-I'm tired of seeing Snow and Charming make out. I love y'all but for pete's sake,get a room you two, preferably one that doesn't have an audience because that is just weird.
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I liked it, I mean it was okay but a bit too predictable - the whole Cora/Queen of hearts, not to mention that ending. That being said, I do feel it set up what could be a really fun and exciting part 2 of the season. Three things that really bothered me:
1) I've always hated Henry, but he was especially annoying this episode not to mention a jerk to Regina.
2)WTF, Emma??? So blame Regina even when it's borderline illogical, but Gold's motives you choose to understand and find justified?!?? I repeat, WTF???
That moment in the dungeon when Emma figured out that Rumple had put a plan in place even before she was born, I almost thought she'd have an epiphany and realise he manipulated more than one life (Snow's, Charming's, Regina's etc). But no, Emma is clearly not one for epiphanies. She's content to keep blaming Regina and take Gold at his word. Good thing she's got her looks, family reputation and magic, so she doesn't need to rely on her brains.
3) How frustrating was this episode? Every single person with the exception of Daniel wanted Regina to change to conform to their ideas of what she should do (and what should benefit them). When she did good, she was shut down. When she did evil, she was shut down (understandable). She tries to do the right thing --- and actually DOES come through to do the right thing and she is shut down. Henry was basically "Have faiith in me so I can have faith in you".... so that he can have bio mom. And that was all that mattered. I understand Regina did a lot of shit but every.single.time. she is told that she is NOT good enough and every single time she is brushed aside because SHE doesn't count. In the long run, Regina always loses because how is she supposed to pick the right way when nothing she does is good enough? OUAT seems to go by the "good always wins" logic, but they have an "except for Regina" rule or something.
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1. How do you feel about Nice Regina? Should we feel sympathetic toward a mass murderer? I am still not convinced she has actually changed. Doing the right thing at the last minute because your son is guilt tipping you doesn't really count as having changed. Every time she breaks her promise to not use magic it's always because she is "protecting" Henry or trying to save someone else from some horrible fate or whatever. I think she can change, but she hasn't made it yet.

2. Is Henry a jerk a lot of the time? No, he's 11. But for some kids it amounts to the same thing. Regarding your comment about Henry using the word "mom" selectively, I don't think he does it on purpose. Unless you can become a sociopath by being adopted by one...

4. Regina's hair: Would you dare wear that style? If I lived in the FTL and that was the thing to do, maybe I'd think about it.

5. What will Cora and Hook do when they land? Open confrontation or sneak into Storybrooke? Tough to say. Open confrontation presents more opportunities for them to use magic on innocent bystanders and cause a scene to draw Regina/Rumple out. But a surprise attack gives them the element of surprise because I don't know if a lot of people know who they are or what they look like.

Bonus question: How did Cora and Hook mange to sail from FTL to Storybrooke? This is one thing that has always bugged me about shows/movies that make a dig deal out of there being two separate worlds and that traveling between them is a pain in the butt. But then one time a while later, it becomes not a big deal. Do the writers think we've forgotten all of the past discussions/complaining of the characters about how big of a deal this is to travel between worlds? Another "suspend belief" moment right there.
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Personally, I am glad that they brought Emma and Snow back to the "real" world. While they were away it was a little too much of throwing random fairy tale stuff every week. I mean, save something for later! I just hope they have a direction for this season.
I kinda miss watching everyone live their everyday life not knowing who they are! I also liked the Red focused episode, cause it shows someone adjusting to this new life. They should do that more often, instead of this crazy magic stuff all over the place.

1. Oh, I do fell sorry for her! I am just a sympathetic fool! I'm not saying it's the right thing to do, but still... I nearly cried when they left her there! Actually, I understand why all the Fairy Tale characters did it, but at least Henry of Emma could have done something?!? The promo for the next ep shows that Regina doesn't approve.

2. They make it seem like Henry is using Regina. It's like "Oh, I like this new mom better, but I am still going to emotionally blackmail you as much as I can."

3. "Have perfectly long lashes. In every world!" This could work as an ad.

4. Hair AND that dress! I usually don't pay attention to these things, since I'm a guy, but this time was just too much!

5. Hmmmm. It's not like Hook to just skulk around, but Cora might be doing something just like that! We have to wait and see!
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1: I believe Regina is being made from villain to reluctant hero-helper, as more evil bad guys are arriving. Regina was always a little conflicted in terms of evil doing, despite her killing so many people, but with King George and Cora back in business, she is probably going to do a Spike.
2. I like Henry better than most kids on tv, perhaps because he is manipulative. But he does still annoy me with his "just have hope!"-candysweets.
3. I... have no comment on that as I didn't notice it. But the same goes for the curls everyone has when there is no iron in sight, in the most primitive land ever.
4. Not even on Halloween.
5. I think sneak in. King George is blunt, Cora isn't.

Who needs Philip? Bring on Mulora!
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Awesome episode!
I like nice Regina and do feel for her.
Henry is being like any kid his age would be in the face of changing family dynamics.
I hope Hook and Cora make a grand entrance or sneak about in disguises.
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Ooh, very good episode this week! It felt really long, but in a good way (if that makes sense), because there was so much going on. And yeah girls, just forget about what-ever-his-name-was. Mulora ftw!
1. About nice Regina ... I can see why OUaT would like some character development on her account, and I always appreciate when the audience is shown many different sides of someone, but at the same time it's cheating. Fairytales are fairytales, with good and evil, and Regina has been up to this point evil, so why change it?
2. His adoptive mom is the evil queen and his biological mom was a bounty hunter with false eye lashes. 'nuff said.
3. Lol but of course there are beauty salons in FTL. I can totally see it. Now we know where the wraith disappears to during the day.
4. Speaking of beauty salons ... Reginas hair ... no.
5. Cora and Hook: definitely sneaking into Stoorybrooke, maybe for a burger at Granny's? Then some dueling!
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"Fairytales are fairytales, with good and evil, and Regina has been up to this point evil, so why change it?"

Well, Regina has been on Team Good all her youth, until her mother killed her True Love. So She went from good to evil, why is it so hard to believe that a person can get back to good? Once evil, always evil? I hope not! ;)
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Yes, you're right, if you look at it that way, Regina wasn't born evil. I meant that generally in fairytales there's allways good and evil and a very distinct line in the middle, but of course this isn't a kid's show. On the other hand, would you try to humanize Regina too much you would lose the very essence of this show, which by definition is good/evil. Unless Cora steps up to take Regina's place as the Big Bad.
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Well, Hook did bully Rumple when he appeared like an old beggar on the street. He was a jerk then, he is a jerk now, hitting a defenseless person. As for Aurora and Mulan, good riddance, but I'd totally ship them if there wasn't this true love blah blah thing with Philip.

My answers:
1. I don't like Regina being nice. Leaves me conflicted. I do feel sad for her when she is left all alone but she deserves it doesn't she? Just because she said sorry, I won't do it again doesn't take back what she did. wow, look at me getting all serious over a twisted fairy tale.
2. I realized I ignore Henry completely. It's a gift.
3. Man, I was fixated on her eyeliner. Sleep in the woods, fight some ogres, climb bean stalks, make nice with giants, put on make up, fight some other evil people and so on. Just her routine I guess.
4. I'd dare. For a costume party.
5. They'll sneak, collect some hearts, cause some mayhem, drag the story out.
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wasn't Cora a dragon in StoryBrook in season 1? Didn´t Emma had to fight her for some item they needed to save Henry? I'm lost.
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Yep, as Mikema and Llostris said, the dragon is Maleficent, the "evil queen" of Sleeping Beauty. Rewatch episode 2 or 3 in the first season, you can see her quite well in her human form, when she is fighting against Regina/Evil Queen so she (Regina/Evil Queen) can get the famous Curse back!
And the actress playing Melificent is Kristin Bauer from True Blood (she is playing Pam)

So no new plot holes there, sorry :)
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yep, I actually remember the story, but didn´t remember the dragon thing - no big deal, but I was getting crazy trying to match it with the latests episode story to Cora being the dragon LOL no wonder!
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ooooh I seeee - all this time, I was sure it was Cora :) Now, as there are not enough plot holes, here I come with some extra LOL
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your waaay lost. that wasnt cora that was maleficent that was a dragon. lol
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It wasn't Cora, but Maleficent - an evil witch responsible for Aurora sleeping curse.
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My dear Lily, you've missed one important point while you were looking at Regina's weird hairdo (which I agree there xD), She enchanted Hook's hook(...) with a spell that would allow him to take someone's heart out, like she and Cora do, which explained how he could remove Aurora's heart in the previous episode! I was very pleased that they explained this! As Cora's heart is somewhere safe (as she said I guess), Hook still got the spelled in his hook since then.

And another thing, you wrote "Meanwhile in Fairy Tale Land, Henry followed Not-so-Nice Regina and Mr. Gold etc"
I think you mean "Meanwhile in STORYBROOK, ..." ;)
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1. How do you feel about Nice Regina? Should we feel sympathetic toward a mass murderer?
We all live in glass houses, its easy to throw stones. The way I see it she was traumatized by her mother and corrupted by magic. If loving her "son" who is a very "UNLIKEABLE" kid is helping her achieve redemption so be it.

2. Is Henry a jerk a lot of the time?
Henry is very annoying; he does what he wants, when he want's anytime he wants and when his parents try to keep him out of danger; he just gets sneaky. Sounds like a villain in the making to me.

3. Are we supposed to believe Emma naturally has really long lashes, or do we just assume her character is able to apply false ones even when strolling around another dimension?
It comes with being the Savior, just like being locked up in the dungeon and spending weeks in the woods without a brush or make up and looking flawless even when fighting very bad cgi trolls.

4. Regina's hair: Would you dare wear that style?
I think it's cool; fashion statements don't just happen; I'm sure there's a drag performer taking notes somewhere as we speak.

5. What will Cora and Hook do when they land? Open confrontation or sneak into Storybrooke?
That's too easy; we have to get several episodes of Snow and Charming being torn apart again (eye roll) and Emma and Regina arguing over Henry; and then some more fairy tale reveals and then during February sweeps we'll get a confrontation.
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1. How do you feel about Nice Regina? Should we feel sympathetic toward a mass murderer?

Mass murderer?!? Umm.... let's put things at face value here.
She is a mass murderer, and a RAPIST!

Did people forget the fact that she ripped the huntsman's heart and told him that if he doesn't put out at her demand she'll kill him?

Hook just punched Belle and you are all up and about it, but Regina raped the poor huntsman over and over again and you are just fine with that?

Talk about pathetic double standards! So no, I can't accept Regina turning good. It's stupid, pointless and totally undeserving.


Other than that, episode was pretty good. I'm surprised there was no mention of what's-his-face - Henry's father. The season opened with him on his way to town...

Should I mention how if Regina really loved Cora then wouldn't she need to sacrifice her for the curse to work? Or how come there are so many ways to get to the real world? Gold who can see the future couldn't figure out a simpler way? Shhhh brain shhh

Anyhow, the ink squid thing was supposed to bind Cora the same way they bound Gold in the Cinderella storyline. Although it seems that they imply that the ink is like a no magic zone?
Who knows. But the bigger question is:

How on earth did they know when the portal would be open? And while we are at it, if the portal was based on the wardrobe magic, shouldn't it have opened where Emma and Pinokio were brought out?
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The poor huntsman got laid by a hot evil queen; yeah feeling real sorry for him
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So if you are attractive, it doesn't count as rape? Should he be happy that he was killed by the "hot" woman too? Or can he be upset about instead?
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Yeh, as much as part of me wants to say "Regina / Lana Parrilla can make me her love slave any day" ...

Rape is rape. It doesn't matter if the offender is hot, cute, guy, girl, etc... it's wrong. She had the ultimate control: in FTL he lost his heart and was told it was "do or die" And in Storybrooke, the curse made him her gigalo; and I believe he said to Emma that he felt compelled to do it as opposed wanted to do it.

Which is why to this day I HATE the movie "My Super Ex Girlfriend" A guy psychologically and PHYSICALLY tortures a girl, it's monstrous and horrific. Yet a girl doing the same to a guy was supposed to be funny? Really?
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As for where the portal would open... solid question.

My guess is after the curse was executed, that well became the "link" between world A and B. Hence Gold using it to bring magic back. Or perhaps the green spell did two things: act as a trap, and as a magnet to ensure the portal went there instead of some random place.

But then, the magic bean apparently let them come in from some random point in the ocean/lake. So... yes, inconsistency. I was imagining that the episode would end with 3 hands and a hook appearing from the well trying to climb out.
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They said in season one with August that the well was supposed to tap into the magic lake water, so the connection of lake to well made sense. The portal to lake thing is a bit weirder, maybe it reimbued the wardrobe ashes with their magic as well?
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Well, most likely she loved her father more than her mother. Since her father was always kind to her (on camera). It's possible to love a parent, in the most basic sense of the word, even if said parent was a complete d-bag.

The curse didn't require that she destroy everything she loved: just what she loved most. At that moment, it was her father.
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The episode was the perfect midseason finale.
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All of these things can be explained in the script, if we want to get very detailed about it (which I don't but just for the sake of it):
Mr Gold had arranged all this so that Emma would find herself confronted with Cora and realize she has magic. So the squid ink isn't supposed to kill Cora, he just told them it was to get them there.
The cell is enchanted, so they can't get out even if the bars are really wide.
Fairies don't have magic in Storybrooke, so the dwarves had to make the fairy dust.
It's a fairytale, they're not supposed to make sense anyways :p

Answers to questions above:
1) I like nice Regina, "mass murderer" is a bit of a stretch, like I said it's a fairytale not a report on the Bosnian war. I'd like to see her storyline develop further into this direction
2) Henry is starting to get a bit annoying with all the back-and-forth, who's-my-mommy drama
5) I think Cora will come to Storybrooke with a bang, but there will be complications with her magic which will allow the others to defeat her. She'll probably reconcile with Regina and get a happily ever after ending.
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But in Fairy Tale Land, we saw that mining diamonds was along and drawn out process... including large machines.

So, in Fairy Tale land... why not just have the fairies recharge by waving a magic wand?


I guess, realistically (if we can call it that), but mining the diamonds and turning them into power might make them good as "portable" magic. IE, a way to do magic without relying on returning to a diamond mine every day or something to recharge.
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I suppose so, there would need to be a little more fuss to make it believable. But then again, in the other realm there were enormous quantities of these diamonds, whereas in Storybrooke, there's only a small amount and maybe they don't need so much machinery?

I guess Rumpel would've been able to give the fairies back their power somehow (with a magic wand or something similar as you say) but he always has his own agenda! Although I do like the guy lol! It turns out the magic can be "portable", but he kept it for himself - when he infused it into the dagger/sword that he had
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