While the Pilot episode seemed to focus on the good creatures from the fairy tale land, this episode seems to focus more on the villains. The Evil Queen is given much more depth now. We see fully how vicious and heartless she is, yet at the same time see a trace of vulnerability in her. Her hatred of Snow White had become so intense that she'd rather kill her own father than bear the possibility of Snow White living happily ever after. However, she spares Maleficent's life because the other villainess is her only friend.
Speaking of whom, Maleficent made for an appropriately neat yet nasty character, the scene with her was so riveting. The Magic Mirror, which finally appears in this episode, was amusing and the sort of character that should be used more often.
There's also another highlight for this episode I have that the other reviewers seemed to not comment on; The Queen's meeting with the other fairy tale villains. The other villains look like such an interesting yet frightening group, big props for the costume and makeup people on the show that created them. Yet, and this may be my favorite part of the scene, with the possible exception of the Giant who may have been from 'Jack and the Beanstalk,' none of the other villains(i.e. The gnome, the blind witch, the axe- wielding dwarf) were really recognizable from any of the well- known fairy tales. Considering that the Queen says they have the "Darkest hearts" in the land, they must have done some pretty evil stuff, which makes me wonder what their stories were, and if we'll see any more of them in Storybrooke.
Back in Storybrooke, Regina seems to be ramping up her efforts to get rid of Emma, but that just makes Emma all the more eager to stay. It was nice to see more of Dr. Hopper, he always contributes interesting insight to the show, and I look forward to seeing more of him on the show.
All in all, a very good episode that makes me hope the series stays around for a good long while.