TV Review: Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 2
Mark it down, bitches. This is a milestone episode for Once Upon a Time.
Emma only gets 1 scene. At the end. And she doesn’t do or say anything hypocritical, retarded or melodramatic.
My whingeing really is changing the world.
TL;DR David does a bad job of leading Storybrooke (never thought Emma would actually be more competent at something than somebody else. Huh), Regina gets to be a badass and sensibly vulnerable. Little progress is made.
That’s just how Once Upon a Time likes it.
So it looks like I jumped the gun last time. They’re still gonna do flashbacks. But namewise, I’m just gonna call them whatever I want. DNC. I’ll make it easy enough to follow.
Okay, so this episode, Storybrooke is still reeling from the Wraith attack. David is de facto leader of the town and is not very good at it. He splits his time between making overblown speeches and hunting down Jefferson to find a way back to fairy tale land. Meanwhile, Regina finds a way to restore her powers, but has to give up Henry on her path to redemption. She is inspired to redeem herself after reflecting on her pre-evil ways (this is the flashback back to fairy tale times. Keep up). Pre-evil Regina is suffocated by her mother (Barabara Hershey is back!). She turns to Rumple to banish Babs, and in turn discovers a taste for magic.
Oh, David. You are so boring. So dull. So unfit to lead anyone, let alone an entire population of recently traumatised fairy tale creatures. Fucking Emma was less frustrating as a leader than you. That’s fucking embarrassing as fuck.
Although I appreciated Emma and Snow being relegated to a last minute appearance, I was hoping we could start moving forward with the non-flashback fairy tale plot already. Stop milking it, ABC.
Apart from that, though, this is a fairly solid episode. Regina saves it (as she always does) by being awesome and having a heart. Frankly, I don’t know why she’s on a quest to redeem herself (unless I just see her differently than everyone else), but hopefully this will lead to more heartfelt moments from the show’s most complex character. Emma ain’t shit.
Why I hate this episode:
You thought David was boring when he was with Snow. Well, you better buckle up for the mind-numbing solo adventures of David the Disappointing.
Another plot point involves the Storybrooke barrier. Although the curse has been broken, anyone who steps foot over the barrier is cursed again and loses their fairy tale memories. Again. It’s so obviously a plot device to keep everyone in Storybrooke. Unsubtle.
Worse, once everyone finds out Regina has regained her powers, they flip their shit and flee to the border. This gives David the opportunity to make his big, retarded speech. However, they all already know that crossing the border means being cursed again. Are they really scared of Regina’s possible retribution that they would take a definite curse again? Wtf?
Henry gets a bit more screen time this episode. His most offensive moment is when he brags that the curse was broken because of him. Fuck off, Henry. You’re just Regina’s morality pet. You don’t need to speak.
Regina also offers to teach him magic and he rebuffs her. Ungrateful.
Gold wants to leave Storybrooke (and is pretty pissed off when he finds out he can’t). Why? He’s got everything he needs there.
After finding his resolve, David bursts into Regina’s house (to rescue Henry) brandishing his sword. It’s as ridiculous as it is rude. Rude.
The remaining characters in fairy tale land don’t seem to recognise Snow. Is it the crap hair? How shallow.
Oh, and flashback Regina has a fantasy where she tells young Snow that she ruined her life, got her lover killed, and then she strangles her. It should have been real.
Reasons to watch:
It’s a Regina heavy episode, so isn’t that reason enough?
Pre-evil Regina gets to show off her good side. Her mother’s oppression is pretty awful, so I gave a damn when she resorted to summoning Rumple to help her. And she doesn’t immediately fall into abusing dark magic. Bitch be moral.
The relationship between Hershey and Regina is echoed by Regina/Henry. Regina actually comes to understand this and decides to amend it by letting Henry go with David. They hammer the parallel pretty hard, but it still gives Regina a sympathy and depth that Emma could only dream of. I think the writers are definitely on my side here.
The scene where Regina offers to teach Henry magic is where she makes the realisation. And it’s totes sad.
The revelation that Rumple is behind not only Hershey’s magic but also the corruption of Pre-evil Regina will hopefully provide some tension.
Hershey gets to be a fabulous cow. Evil just comes naturally to her. Regina fucking OWNS her though when she punts her into the magic mirror. She also turns up at the end of the episode. Emma and Snow are thrown into “The Pit” by Mulan. Hershey is also there and looks like she’s going to “help” our ladies.
Pinocchio is still wooden (and goddamn terrifying). I lol’d.
Granny breaks out her crossbow. Just in case.
Regina confirms to David that fairy tale land still exists.
Which means his pursuit of Jefferson will be even more important. He does manage to track him down this episode, but Jefferson escapes before David can get any help.
Also, Regina is still playing dumb about Jefferson. Not sure if something has gone wrong and she honestly doesn’t remember him, or she’s just being a bitch. Either way, I’m interested.
Regina gets second best line this episode. She sneaks out of her house and Hopper confronts her. She’s not sure why, then she gets it: “Oh, right. The ‘conscience’ thing.” Burn.
She also gets best line quickly thereafter, with this darkly stoic rebuff of Hopper’s offer: “I know who I am.” I love her.
Oh, and Gold’s “please” trick no longer works on Regina. They’re finally on equal ground. Now, fight!