Welcome back, dearies. (I’m sorry, yeah, that just didn’t work. Don’t worry, it won’t happen again.) We’re discussing Once Upon a Time, its relation to its animated roots, and the 411 in the Brooke of Story.
- Regina’s going undercover. Watch out, Maleficent’s dressed like a detective and she may catch you!
- Rumplestiltskin disguises himself to retrieve his dagger.
- In the Enchanted Forest flashback, Regina helps Maleficent remember who she is. Then, they go to
Pride Rock Aurora’s castle.
For a while, there has been something lacking on Once Upon a Time that is sorely missed. We occasionally see it in flashbacks and, even though it would move the story backward, we all secretly hope to see it more often: Regina being the Evil Queen. Lana Parrilla plays such an excellent villain. However, as Regina’s character developed, her story morphed from being one of revenge to one of redemption. Regina has practiced self-discipline and changed her perspective toward the people around her, working so hard for the sake of herself and for Henry that it would be wrong to toss all that work aside. But, let’s admit it, Regina is most entertaining when she’s on the prowl for some vengeance. I feel like the writers know this, but to express this Regina puts a lot of development down the drain. But now… well, now we’re finally getting to see the Evil Queen in Storybrooke at long last and the results are about as mixed as Regina’s feelings. We’ll see where the next few episodes take this thread of the story.
One thing is for sure: As fun as Frozen was, it’s great to be back to focusing on established characters (rather than new faces). Yes, there’s still the draw of the three new villains, but the difference in their involvement is that as they exist to bring forth new revelations about older characters. The spotlight isn’t completely on Maleficent. The spotlight is on Maleficent’s part in Regina’s examination of her own values. The past few arcs have used new characters to aid in original characters’ development (Pan with Rumple, Ingrid with Emma), but it took them longer to get there. It’s nice to only be in week three and already be at this point.
However, as is the continued conundrum for Once Upon a Time, at the expense of more Regina/Snow time (and even some surprising Pinocchio time!), we get a disproportionate amount of time with everyone else. There are so many characters at the story’s disposal that it must be difficult to make room for them all. Aurora makes her predicted return to the series, but her involvement is minimal and not what I expected it to be. Unless there’s a separate event we don’t know about yet, this week saw the entirety of the Sleeping Beauty story. Maleficent put Aurora to sleep and, remember, it wasn’t until after Regina’s curse is lifted (when Phillip and Mulan find Aurora 28 years later) that the sleeping spell breaks. On the plus side, it’s satisfying, at least, to be back to seeing Once‘s interpretation of a classic tale that hasn’t been told on the show before. The twist with King Stefan being Maleficent’s main adversary strays just enough from the animated film to feel at home on Once Upon a Time.
Back in the present day, it’s becoming a little confusing to keep track of who’s double-crossing whom and what exactly is going on. Until Snow and Charming asked Regina what the Queens of Darkness were planning, I didn’t realize that I didn’t know what they were planning either. Why are they here again? Oh, yeah, Mr. Gold. But, what does he want to do? Come back to power or win Belle back or …something? They want a happy ending. I guess that’s all that matters right now. It looks like Emma will be the eyes and ears of the audience for a while, helping to piece together parts of the puzzle (since she can use her super stalking powers on Regina’s phone, you know). You can tell there’s a bit of teasing for… wait for it… DARK EMMA DUHN DUHN DUHN.
- The What-the-Heck Moment: “You want to prove to us you’re still the Evil Queen? Steal that little boy.” Ummm…
- The Magic Moment: Gepetto teaches Pinocchio to be a good woodcarver in his free time? (Flails.)
- The Whoa Moment: Hands-down, the final moments. August returns! Didn’t see that one coming.
Now, it’s your turn. Discuss in the comments using these questions as a guide for conversation:
- Do you think there’s still more of the Sleeping Beauty story left to tell or was this it? Will we see Prince Phillip fight Maleficent?
- Which do you prefer: This version of Maleficent’s story or the one in the Angelina Jolie film?
- Is Regina making the right decision by going through with her undercover plan?
- The door on Henry’s page means the author is Mr. Tumnus, right?
- Are you happy about August’s return or do you wish Pinocchio would stay a boy?
- What’s Rumpelstiltskin up to?
Sound off, peasants! (Okay, yeah, I’m going to work on my opening and closing for next time.)
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes