“Once Upon A Time’s” second installment provides some answers and raises more questions as we discover how the curse came to be and wonder exactly how Snow White wronged the Evil Queen.
Storybrooke: “Operation Cobra”
“Don’t underestimate me. You have no idea what I’m capable of.” Regina and Emma repeat this threat to each other throughout the latest episode, which plays out like a fascinating and dangerous game of chess.
Picking up where last week left off, the town awakes to a ticking clock tower and everyone takes notice, especially Regina. She reads through the storybook and realizes the last three pages are missing. She visits Emma, giving her a basket of apples from her garden, as well as a warning to back off. Then Regina sets up a trap by indirectly encouraging Emma to pay a trip to Henry’s psychologist, Dr. Archie Hopper (aka Jiminy Cricket).
He offers up Henry’s file and then has her arrested for taking it. Everyone, including the Sheriff knows the wicked mayor set her up and luckily, the matter is quickly resolved when Henry brings his teacher, Mary Margaret Blanchard (aka Snow White) to bail her out.
In one of the best moments of this episode, Emma charges into Regina’s garden, chainsaws her apple tree and declares, “Your move.” Regina’s cruel counter-attack has Emma betraying Henry’s trust when he overhears her tell Regina that she thinks her son is crazy believing in such fairytales. But all is well between mother and son by the episode’s end.
Emma goes to Henry while he’s with Dr Hopper and apologizes. She explains how she has begun “Operation Cobra,” their plan to throw the Evil Queen off their trail and save the town. Emma takes the storybook pages Henry had given her and burns them so that Regina can never find out how the curse can be broken.
Meanwhile at Regina’s, Mr. Gold pays her a visit and we learn that he was the one who found Henry for Regina. He knows more about Henry and Emma than he lets on and Regina is desperate to figure out the truth. Watch the enigmatic tension in clip provided.
Fairytale: “Revenge is a dark and lonely road…There is no going back.”
Years ago the Evil Queen procured a Dark Curse from Rumpelstiltskin and traded it for a Sleeping Curse from her villainous contemporary, Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent. Heartbroken and distraught, the Evil Queen desired to cast the ultimate curse on Snow White to make her suffer for what she has done. She visits Maleficent at her Forbidden Fortress; her frenemy begs her not to cast such a spell, warning her that the curse will create a “void you will never be able to fill.” Nonetheless, the Queen battles her counterpart until she gets what she wants. After a failed attempt in casting the curse, the Magic Mirror advises her to go to the creator for answers.
Rumpelstiltskin says that in the new cursed world she must promise him a life of comfort and to do whatever he says in the future. She vows to do so and learns that needs the “heart of the one she loves most” to activate the spell, but she says that her love died, leaving her with only one other person to turn to. The Evil Queen tearfully confronts her father, Henry, in a twist of events and cruelly stabs him for his heart, declaring, “I can be happy. Just not here.”
The suspense builds as more questions arise: What did Snow White do to the Evil Queen? Mr. Gold seems to remember everything from his fairytale past, but is Regina’s memory as clear? What does Emma need to do to break the curse? Who is the Sheriff’s fairytale doppelganger?
Tune in next Sunday to find out more. But for now, here are some more highlights from the last episode:
- Jared Gilmore’s portrayal of Henry is absolutely delightful and charmingly persuasive.
- Emma’s expression when Mary tells her Henry thinks she is Snow White – priceless.
- Henry, Emma, and Mary all like cinnamon on their whipped cream and cocoa.
- Emma turns to Mary for advice when she is at a loss.
- It is ironic how Jiminy Cricket goes against his conscience to betray Emma.
- Sydney (aka Magic Mirror) brings Regina the latest edition of Storybrooke’s Daily Mirror.
- Regina’s office decor is all black and white – interesting choice for such a colorful character.
- Amazing transitions from Fairytale to Storybrooke: The Evil Queen turns a dwarf to stone then cut to the present where he is a gnome in Regina’s garden – another awesomely creative shot by Greg Beeman.
What are your questions? What were your favorite moments? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.