Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Once Upon a Time 2.20: "The Evil Queen"

“Careful, dearie. A queen striding amongst peasants might not like what she hears.”
- Rumpelstiltskin

Overall, I enjoyed this episode more than “Lacey”. We got some interesting and emotional backstory filled in for Snow and Regina and there were some cute Neal/Emma/Henry scenes which have been long overdue. We begin up in the clock tower as Greg and Tamara enlist Hook in their plans. They offer him the chance to kill Rumple (that must be getting old) if he helps hunt down Regina. I really wish these two would just take a hike off a very short cliff. Or at least be done with the Tamara/Neal relationship. As viewers, we know they can’t possibly last.

In the Fairytale Land that was, Regina is hunting Snow down shortly after she sends the Huntsman for her heart (and he fails). She butchers an entire village when no one will give up Snow’s location. So Regina calls on Rumple for some help. In exchange for cutting off trade with King George, he uses a shape shifting spell to make Regina look like a peasant so she can move amongst the masses undetected while searching for Snow. But she doesn’t have magic while the spell is working and Rumple is the only one who can end it. Back in Storybrooke, Regina (using the same spell which she’s obviously mastered by now) overhears David and Mary Margaret trying to decide what to do about taking Regina back to the Enchanted Forest. Regina is going to beat them to it, though. We already know she’s found the bean fields. And she pays a little visit to Henry and spills the beans (pun intended) that she has a self-destruct button that will basically blow up Storybrooke and everyone in it but that she and Henry could get away first. I don’t entirely know the point of that since, you know, she makes him forget right away. I guess they needed a way to explain there is something that can make the town go boom.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Regina is horrified to see that villagers are making a game out of defacing an effigy of her. She tries to stop them but some of her guards show up and arrest her (well when you’re holding a burning torch it does look bad). And of course she forgets she has no magic so her attempt to prove she’s who she says she is and send the guards flying fails. They’re going to cut off her head when Snow shows up and saves her. She blacks out due to a leg injury. Meanwhile, as Regina admires her stolen magic beans, Hook pays her a visit, sharing Greg and Tamara’s desire to have him betray her after making an alliance. He suggests they skip the betrayal part and get back in cahoots. He’s saddened to know that Cora’s dead but says working with Regina to help her achieve her goals would honor her memory. So if he agrees to help Regina, she’ll detonate the failsafe and blow up everyone in town, including a certain unkillable imp.

Elsewhere in Storybrooke, Emma runs into Tamara at Granny’s (literally) and sees that her ex’s new lady love has a list of people in town and what their fairytale names are. This obviously leads Emma to suspect Tamara is August’s murderer. But Mary Margaret isn’t so sure. She thinks Emma may be reacting emotionally given her history and potential torch-bearing-ness for Neal. Emma of course denies she still has feelings for him (girl just admit it already) but promises to not tell Henry her theory. That lasts all of five seconds until said moppet comes out of hiding, having heard the whole conversation. Operation Cobra 2.0 is on!

Before Regina and Hook can blow up the town and make off with Henry, they need the trigger to the self-destruct. This happens to be a two-man job. On the way, Regina demands to have her mother’s bracelet back (the one that allowed Hook to climb the beanstalk). Regina will get said trigger while Hook keeps the security system (aka a zombified Maleficent) busy. Hook kind of gets his ass kicked a bunch while Regina breaks into Snow’s coffin and retrieves a black diamond (aka the trigger). She heads back up to the surface and is surprised to see Hook there. She’s even more shocked to find Greg and Tamara. The cuff is preventing her from using magic. Greg explains it as super-duper science. And then they kidnap Regina. Yeah I don’t by the whole science angle of metals and gadget-y bits. It’s ridiculous. But whatever.

Back in the Fairytale Land, Snow is tending to disguised-Regina’s leg wound. She distracts her while changing the dressing on the wound by recounting the day Regina saved her as a small child. Snow hopes one day that version of Regina will return (without actually namedropping). A couple days later and Regina’s leg is better, they have to take off because Snow spotted soldiers not far off. As they trek through the woods, Regina asks Snow if the Queen has any chance at redemption. At first Snow is a firm believer that anyone can come back from evil. That is until she happens upon the village of slaughter innocent peasants. Snow finally figures out that its Regina and instead of killing her, she just lets Regina escape. Regina finally has to truck all the way to Rumple’s palace to make him change her back. She admits she didn’t like what people said about her but she’s done trying to be nice. She’s embracing the Evil Queen moniker.

And finally, in what was probably my favorite set of scenes, Operation Praying Mantis (Henry wanted a new name and he vetoed Operation Tiger) is in full swing. Emma breaks into Neal and Tamara’s room (I don’t know why she didn’t just ask Granny for the key. Granny’s cool like that and wouldn’t narc on them). Anyway, Emma tells Henry he has to hit the door if anyone comes back. Again, she denies that she and Neal are getting back together. Henry is optimistic though once they prove Tamara’s evilness, his dad will be single and in need of some rebound loving (or just really long overdue make up sex). Sure enough, Neal shows up and is kind of pissed that Emma broke in (and that she roped henry into being her accomplice). She explains her Tamara theory (denying it has anything to do with jealousy) and Neal waves the list of names off because he helped make it to help acclimate her to this new version of reality. Emma points out a loose floor board but nothing is there (my guess is Tamara keeps the Taser on her all the time). So I guess Emma has to back off now. Though Henry still believes her suspicions and isn’t willing to give up their new mission just yet. And probably the best part of this whole thing was Emma and Neal’s banter about her superpower. But things are definitely kicking into high gear for the final three episodes of the season. Next week we finally get some much needed Neal backstory. Bring on the penultimate episode!

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