Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Once Upon a Time 2.15: "The Queen is Dead"

“It's a sad truth that the people closest to us are the ones capable of causing us the most pain.”

So this is the second episode I’ve written about this week where people have issues surrounding their birthday. I think Snow White’s birthday issues trump Juliette and Deacon’s though. Considering that’s when Cora killed her mom and all. This episode begins to really explore the depths of the feud between Regina and Snow’s families. It’s not just about Snow accidentally getting Regina’s boyfriend killed. This goes back to things that happened between their mothers, Cora and Queen Eva. We learn even more about this in the next episode, but “The Queen is Dead” begins to put the pieces together. Meanwhile, in our world, Emma and her family continue to work through all the implications of the reveals of the last episode as they work to resolve a serious health crisis for Rumpelstiltskin. Overall, the drama is really brewing in this one, and it’s only going to get more intense from here as we head full steam ahead towards the season finale in a couple months.

The flashbacks in this one focus on Snow White as a young girl. Her birthday is coming up, and it’s going to be the Enchanted Forest version of a debutante coming out. She’s basically going to get her tiara and be presented to the kingdom as their future ruler. Young Snow still has a lot of growing up to do, though. She sees her maid, Johanna (aka Mrs. Patmore from “Downton Abbey”) trying on her tiara and has a bit of a freak out. Her mom, Queen Eva, puts the kibosh on that pretty quickly, though. Queen Eva reminds Snow that Snow is being raised to be a benevolent ruler and always be good. Snow realizes she’s done wrong, but the warm fuzzies don’t last for long because Eva faints. Later we see the quintessential bloody cough of TV death.

Snow knows things are dire, and Johanna recommends that Snow try to contact the blue faerie. When Snow tries to do that, she instead encounters Cora in blue faerie disguise. Cora gives Snow a candle that she says can heal her mother. The catch is that Snow would have to kill someone for the magic to work. Snow tells her mother about what the blue faerie told her, and her mother pleads with Snow not to use dark magic for her sake. Eva couldn’t stand for Snow to be anything but pure good. Kind of a lot of pressure on a little kid, right? So Snow lets her mom die, and the funeral is just devastating. Little Snow doesn’t want to leave her mother’s coffin after the service, but Johanna makes her get up and keep going on.

In Storybrooke, it’s Snow’s birthday. Charming is trying to make her breakfast, but Snow, understandably, wants no fuss whatsoever. Somebody’s delivered her a present, though. It’s her old tiara, and it’s from Johana. Snow didn’t even realize that Johanna was in Storybrooke, which I found kind of strange. Anyway, Snow and Johanna have a nice little reunion and a little catch-up time before Snow hears something strange in the woods. She follows the sound and finds Regina and Cora. They’re digging for something, and that something turns out to be the dagger that controls Rumpelstiltskin’s powers. It seems like they want to use it to control Rumpelstiltskin, or that Cora might want to kill Rumpelstiltskin with it and take the Dark One powers for herself. Snow immediately tries to send a message to Emma and Rumpelstiltskin, who are still in New York.

Speaking of the currently in New York branch of the Charming family, Henry is still being a brat about the fact that Emma lied to him about his father. Sure, it was a crummy thing to do, but it was nowhere near the evil that Regina has been responsible for. Kid need to realize he’s got a good thing going. Anyway, the crew heads back to Neal’s apartment so Henry can get his camera, but they get a nasty surprise there. And that would be Hook. He manages to give Rumpelstiltskin quite the gash with his hook before Neal and Emma can stop him. We find out later that they stuffed Hook in a basement and left him there, a convenient cover-up for the broken leg of the actor who portrays him. Ah well- Hook certainly deserved to be left behind. Rumpelstiltskin is in bad shape after the attack, and it seems like the only shot he has at recovery is to get him back to Storybrooke. That seems like kind of a bad idea since Regina and Cora are closing in on the dagger (which presumably wouldn’t control Rumpelstiltskin as long as he is outside Storybrooke), but I guess they have no choice. They need a car to get to Hook’s pirate ship (which they plan to sail up to Maine), and they obtain one pretty easily, courtesy of Neal’s fiancée. Emma isn’t especially thrilled by that little discovery.

Anyway, the crew finally convinces Rumpelstiltskin to tell Snow and Charming where his dagger is so that they can get to it before Regina and Cora. It turns out that it’s up in the clocktower, which was a pretty great hiding place. As soon as Snow and Charming get the dagger, though, Regina and Cora show up. And they have Johanna. They take Johanna’s heart and start crushing it, and Snow has to make a decision about what to do. Does she turn over the dagger and save Johanna or keep the dagger and be partially responsible for Johanna’s death. Johanna wants Snow to keep the dagger, but Snow turns it over. It doesn’t do any good, though. As soon as she gets the dagger, Cora pushes Johanna out of the clocktower window, and Johanna is killed instantly when she hits the ground. Poor Snow is devastated, and she wants to take more extreme measures to stop Cora and Regina from hurting anyone else. Charming, however, reminds Snow that her mom always wanted her to be good. Snow has quite the dilemma going forward.

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