Only one episode back, and already the twists are coming fast and furious. Okay, so there was little that surprised me in this episode (thanks in large part to the episode description on my DVR before I started watching where I had the first 15 minutes nailed), but wow, I can’t imagine where they are going to go from here.
Oh yeah, and did I mention I truly feel sorry for Regina. I was tearing up with her at the end. I never would have guessed I’d feel that way last year. Awesome character development.
So, let’s get to it. And let’s start in the Enchanted Forest that was.
The story there opened as Regina is watching the kingdom “fall” to the forces of good. Snow and Charming have defeated King George. But she’s heard that Snow and Charming are separated. Certain this is her chance to kill Snow, she sets off to find her. Only, it was a trap, and they use fairy dust to take her magic from her and capture her.
There is a counsel about what to do with her. Everyone but Snow seems to agree that Regina needs to die. But Snow can’t get on board with that. She knows Regina used to have good in her and wants to give her a chance to change.
But the execution is set. Regina’s dad comes and begs her to show remorse so they will give her a second chance. And when given a chance for final words at her execution, Regina does show remorse. However, she says her only regret is not being more evil. Oh yeah, and not killing Snow.
Still, Snow stops her execution at the last moment. (Which in a land with magic can be as late as after the arrows have been fired.) She truly wants to give Regina a chance to change. Charming doesn’t like it, but he agrees to go along with it. But how to find out if she has changed?
Enter Rumplestiltskin. He suggests a test, and they quickly go along with it. They even discuss what the price might be, but Rumple says his motives are his own.
So Snow goes to visit Regina in her prison. She offers her a chance at freedom is she will change, but Regina will have none of it. In fact, after Snow frees her, she turns on Snow and tries to stab her with a dagger.
Notice I said tries. Turns out that Rumple has used a protection charm so that Regina can’t harm Snow or Charming “in this world.” Instead of killing her, they banish her.
Our final scene is Regina setting up her new castle when a friend stops by. Yep, it’s Rumple. He again says the terms of the charm, emphasizing “In this world.” “I was very specific,” he says before he vanishes. And knowing that, Regina decides to go crash Snow and Charming’s wedding, which is the scene we saw way back in the pilot.
And again, we’ve got a mirror between Regina in Enchanted Forest and Storybrooke. As one is offered a chance to change and doesn’t want it, in Storybrooke Regina is trying desperately to change and no one is believing her. I can’t blame them, but she is trying.
In Storybrooke, our heroes are having a party to welcome Mary Margaret and Emma back. Just as David is offering a toast, Regina walks in with lasagna. No one is happy to see her, but Emma has invited her. After all, she did save them just yesterday. Mary Margaret is quick to point out that she also tried to kill them, but Emma says that she did the right thing in the end, she is trying to change, and they need to give her a chance.
Not that anyone really is. Regina sits there along, although her lasagna does seem to be a hit. She leaves, and Emma goes out to try to convince her to stay. In the course of their conversation, Emma reveals that she had asked Dr. Hopper about Regina, and he said she is trying to change and has given up magic.
That doesn’t make Regina happy, and the next day, she confronts him as he is out walking his Dalmatian, Pongo. (How did I miss that was the dog’s name before?) He tries to defend himself, even saying he would never break doctor/patient confidentiality. Regina’s comeback was clearly the line of the night. “Need I remind you you got your PhD from a curse.” Ruby witnesses this scene.
And that night, she also witnesses Regina going in to see Dr. Hopper.
Regina tells Dr. Hopper that she wants to talk. Pongo is growling, however. And Dr. Hopper should have taken that as a warning because Regina attacks him, chocking him. At one point, the room fills with purple smoke. Then we see Regina walk out and go behind the building where she turns into…Cora.
Did I forget to mention that our first scene was with Cora and Hook? Cora’s quickly figured out that there is magic in Storybrooke, so they are figuring out how to go about getting their revenge. And part of that is to drive Regina completely away from everyone. Cora has already turned one person into a fish (do we know who the guy who owns the bait shop was?). And she’s hidden Hook’s ship so no one will spot it.
Anyway, the next morning Pongo is running around town crazy, and Ruby figures out that something is wrong. She and Emma discover Dr. Hopper’s body. Naturally, the first suspect is Regina because of what Ruby saw.
So Regina is brought in for questioning by Emma and David. But she is genuinely shocked when she hears the news. David and Mary Margaret (who is watching on the other side of the two way mirror) aren’t buying it, but Emma thinks she is innocent. So she lets Regina go.
The trio goes to Dr. Hopper’s office to search, and discover that Regina’s file is missing. Mary Margaret and David are even more certain that this means she is guilty, but to Emma it feels even more like a set up. After all, she points out, there was another frame job in town recently. (And I like the fact they acknowledged this.)
So as they try to decide who might have wanted to frame Regina, they settle on Mr. Gold. They go to his shop and interrupt his lunch with Belle. But he, too, says he is innocent and suggest asking the witness who did it. That witness – Pongo.
Naturally, they are all reluctant to trust anything that Mr. Gold would get from Pongo, but he says not to worry, Emma will actually be the one to use magic. He takes a dream catcher and skims it over Pongo, making it glow. And then he hands it to Emma. She has some trouble at first, but then she gets it to show them the murder. And it was indeed Regina who committed it – best they can tell.
Of course, we know better – it was Cora disguised as Regina. But I was sitting here wondering why they trusted those memories anyway. It was Gold’s idea to use them. And it was Gold who skimmed them from Pongo. So if they couldn’t trust Gold to use magic to view the memories, why could they trust his idea or his collection of the memories?
Emma goes storming off to arrest Regina, but Mary Margaret and David convince her to stop until they have a plan. They get the Blue Fairy and some recently mined fairy dust to take Regina’s powers from her. Only she sees that coming. They confront her with what they know. She uses magic to shove Emma away – saying “Don’t take my son from me” after she realizes Emma will use this to drive a wedge between Regina and Henry. And then she vanishes in a cloud of smoke.
That just leaves telling Henry. Emma is freaking out about that as she, David, and Mary Margaret wait at the bus stop, but they remind her they are family and will get through this together. The bus arrives, and as Regina watches in her car’s side mirror from across the street, Emma tells Henry and then comforts him. Meanwhile, tears are running down Regina’s cheeks.
But we aren’t done yet. And this is the one twist that actually surprised me. Cora returns to the dock and tells Hook that Regina has now hit rock bottom and the next step in their plan is in place. And then she mentions the present she left in the hold of his ship. Someone who knows all about Gold, including his weaknesses. My first thought – Belle. But then I got to wondering… And when they finally revealed the prisoner, I realized my first thought was wrong and my second was right. It was Dr. Hopper. “So, who did you kill,” Hook asks. “How should I know? I’ve been in town one day.”
Our time in Enchanted Forest did nothing bur confirm my theory from this season that Rumple manipulated everyone to get the curse enacted. So, why couldn’t he come on his own? Why did he need Regina to enact this curse? I mean, with all the years he’s been working toward this in Enchanted Forest and all the time he spent cursed in Storybrooke, that’s a lot of waiting. Of course, the curse did take sacrifice to enact. Maybe he couldn’t do it since he had nothing to sacrifice.
I am so glad to see Emma giving Regina a chance for Henry’s sake. She brought up the points I was making after the last episode last month. (I swear, the producers are reading our comments. Never mind the fact that this was probably filmed before we made them. That is irrelevant.) I get everyone not jumping on the Regina train right away, but I’m glad to see at least Emma giving her a chance. And I liked how they mirrored her trying to change now versus not trying in the past. The power of love in the form of Henry has been very powerful on both Regina and Emma.
So who did Cora kill? Someone we know? Or a random citizen? I’m going to have to watch and see who we don’t see in coming weeks. If someone major is missing, that will give us a good clue.
Yes, they reused the framed for a fake murder plot from last season. Just about this point in the season, too. But they are playing it differently for different purposes. Plus they acknowledged it. So I’m okay with that.
Looks like Hook goes after Gold next week. I wonder how long it will be before Cora reveals herself to Regina. And what will Regina’s reaction be? I can’t wait to see that.
And, since Regina is right that magic always comes with a price, what will the price be for Emma using magic? Then again, it doesn’t seem like Regina and Gold see much of a price for using magic, so what might their price be?
All in all, I thought this was a strong episode back and wasn’t ready for the episode to end. I want more and I want it now!!!!
So, did I miss anything major? Any theories out there to discuss? Hit up and comments and let me know what you’re thinking.