TV Review: Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 9
So the identity of The Queen of Hearts is finally revealed!
Oh, it’s Cora. Naturally.
TL;DR The plot actually takes a big step this episode, which has gotta be a first for Once Upon a Time. Emma gets some bullshit superpower, though.
I’m no longer ashamed to admit that this is the show I most look forward to each week.
Okay, yes I am. But shutup.
So the plot this episode has Emma and The Girls looking for the magic ink Gold told them about to defeat Cora. This leads to them being trapped in Rumple’s old cell and Cora revealing she has SB’s heart and stealing the compass. Emma, Snow and Mulan escape and do battle with Cora and Hook before they can get through the portal to Storybrooke, which they’ve made with the magical lake water and wardrobe ash. Cora tries to steal Emma’s heart but is unable to do so because plot. Snow and Emma jump through the portal. Meanwhile in Storybrooke, Gold convinces Regina to booby trap the portal on their side to kill whoever comes through, because they think Emma won’t be able to defeat Cora. Regina goes along with it until Henry guilt trips her, and she diffuses the spell. Everyone is reunited! And we get some flashback action with Hook as Queenie tasks him with killing Cora in Wonderland. Cora thwarts him and a beautiful partnership is born.
You know, Once Upon a Time can be pretty generous with its filler, but I am honestly impressed that the whole “trapped in fairy tale land” plot has been resolved by this, the ninth episode. Kudos.
That said, in order for the plot to lurch forward as much as it does, we need some hilarious plot pandering. This comes in the form of Cora being terrible at battling The Girls. You’d think she’d be a bit more cutthroat when she’s standing literally on the edge of her plan’s fruition.
Worse, Emma has some “power of love” shit that prevents her from being heart-nabbed. Because she’s the main character and she has contractual immortality. Absurd.
Why I hate this episode:
I really hope this isn’t leading Emma back down the path she used to be on. After I praised her, too. Tch.
Mulan leaves the battle with Cora and Hook after Hook gives her SB’s heart. Because returning it to SB just simply couldn’t wait for the gang to finish fighting the strongest enemy in the land. Rude.
The whole “find the ink to defeat Cora” thing turns out to not make any sense. The Girls find a scroll with “Emma” written on it many times (by Rumple) in the ink, but all they use it for is to open the cell. Which they wouldn’t have been trapped in if Rumple hadn’t told them to go there in the first place. Emma later confronts Gold and asks him why he didn’t use the ink to escape when he was in there, and he remains mysterious. But why would he send Emma there to learn that? (and it’s a pretty big ask for Emma to be able to figure anything out, anyway)
Regina’s sub plot is all about her feeling guilty for going along with Gold’s booby trap plan and lying to Henry. Bitch, if Cora comes through there, she will probably murder or horribly maim everyone in town. The plan is sound. And you’re the parent. You don’t need to explain yourself to that little runt.
Henry also has some big spiel about how Regina needs to have faith in him. Ugh. Made worse by the fact that Henry obviously has little (and what little he does have is completely conditional) faith in Regina. Hypocrite.
When Cora tries to rip out Emma’s heart and fails, she just vanishes. Umm, she should have just taken her arm out of Emma’s tits and jumped into the portal. Stupid.
Snow kisses David to life without any drama, making her hissy fit last episode even more unnecessary.
After the reunion, Henry goes off to have food with Emma and ditches the shit out of Regina. Douchebag.
Oh, and after they’ve failed, Hook is like “Lolz, I have a petrified magic bean I took from the giant. We can just dip it in the lake water and hey presto, new portal.” Why didn’t they just do that in the first place? Cora and Hook could have just left The Girls running around for MacGuffins while they quietly slipped out to Storybrooke. Hmm.
Reasons to watch:
Fucking Henry actually earns himself some redemption this episode. I am as appalled as you are. After Regina absorbs the death-lightning that Gold put on the portal and Emma and Snow come through, Henry actually gives Regina credit for being the one to make it happen. Nicely done, Henry.
He picks up best line when he corrects an unjustly irate Emma and Snow: “She saved you. She saved both of you.” Yay!
Queenie in flashback form is even more fabulous than ever. What, with her jewels and weird headpieces. And instigating matricide is pretty much the classiest thing a magic-powered, evil queen can do.
Barbara Hershey gets another pimped out dress to swan around in as The Queen of Hearts. Her confrontation with Hook is delicious. He uses an enchanted hook-hand that Regina gave him to try to take her heart (which explains how he snatched SB’s), but it isn’t in her chest. Because she’s practical as fuck.
Belle shows up in the opening flashback sequence of Hook infiltrating Queenie’s dungeon. He lies that her father is in danger from Rumple and he needs her to tell him about a weapon that can kill him. She doesn’t know, so Hook gets fed up and tries to kill her. Queenie intervenes. I lol’d.
Gold uses that fairy wand he acquired a while back to steal magic from the mines to power his trap. Callback!
Hook gloats over Emma being locked up. Deserved.
It is revealed that Cora’s magic is what protected the surviving section of fairy tale land from Regina’s curse. Continuity!
Mulan and SB remain in fairy tale land and go off in search of Phillip’s soul. The journey continues.
Henry also nabs second best line. Sure, I wanted to punch his face off when he said this to Regina, but it was too snark-tacular to pass up: “Good always defeats evil. You should know that more than anyone.” Sass-ay.
Emma is starting to realise that everything that’s happened has all been coordinated by Gold/Rumple. Juicy.
Oh, and Cora and Hook totally use the magic bean and the end of the episode is them sailing menacingly into Storybrooke. It begins…