Once Upon a Time Season 7 Episode 6 – TV Review
This episode is titled Wake Up Call.
And thank goodness it is.
TL;DR Regina is awoken; because as it turns out, Adelaide Kane is the true villain and is the one who cast (the latest) dark curse; flashbacks show Regina trying to mentor her; Rogers pretends to still matter to this show with some blink-and-miss-it scenes involving his missing girl case.
Tilly even helps. Because why wouldn’t you trust the psychotic, med-fucked runaway who tried to murder your partner?
So OUaT manages to keep its ensemble cast in its pants for once, as the episode focuses almost exclusively on Regina/Roni. In the flashbacks, we watch Regina come to accept Henry is a grown man now and doesn’t need her as much, anymore. When she happens upon Drizella trying to hone her innate magic abilities and recognises a fellow victim of a bad mum, she takes her under her wing. Gold then appears, and warns that Lady Tremaine would surely be aware of what they’re up to, and it’s revealed that Tremaine plans to have Drizella learn magic enough that she believes in something, and then she’ll rip her heart out to restore Anastasia. Yikes. Regina tries to stop a crushed Drizella from murdering her mum, but psych, Drizella instead murders the prince, therefore blackening her heart beyond use for Tremaine’s purposes. And she also picks up Regina’s Queenie-era tip of casting a dark curse. Meanwhile in the present, Roni investigates that photo of her and Henry with Carlyle’s help, and discovers via adoption papers that she is Regina Mills. Adelaide then shows up to confirm this. And also reawakens her as Regina to gloat over the fact that all her plans to fuck with Victoria are settling in to place, and she needs Regina’s help to keep Henry from squeezing out a True Love’s Kiss with Jacinda, lest something dark and terrible happen (I assume Drizella has tied Henry’s life to the curse staying in place or something). Cool. And Rogers has a few brief scenes where Tilly gives him a contact name for his missing girl investigation: Eloise.
The little brat who lives in that hotel?
So yeah, a Wake Up Call this is. Once Upon a Time shouldn’t have held the Regina episode for so long. But after being stranded in the desert for five previous episodes, it does come as a welcome respite.
But did we ever learn anything about Roni?
Why I hate this episode:
So long, Roni. We didn’t know ye. Because you always seemed to be just standing around in your mostly-empty bar.
The reveal of Adelaide/Drizella as the true villain is juicy, mainly for the fact that she’s much more fun than Victoria. But it doesn’t seem to me that Victoria, the target of Adelaide’s machinations, is suffering much at all. Adelaide yaks on (as a good villain is wont to do) about how her plan to show her mother true pain is nearing completion. But why did she have to wait for all this circumstantial shit to drop into her lap? She even says that Henry and Jacinda’s relationship threatens the curse. Why not just have Victoria miserable and tortured from the outset? Regina made that work successfully in Storybrooke for, like, thirty years before Emma came along. Of all the plays Adelaide stole from her, she didn’t take that one? What the hell, girl?
Captive British Woman still remains a puzzling enigma. At least give us some kind of tidbit hint about who she is.
Who cares about Rogers’ subplot? Next.
Oh, and Gold/Rumple/Carlyle just seems to be kind of hanging around. It’s pretty clear that his character has nothing left to accomplish, but the fans wanted him back, so here he is.
But it’s not all bad:
The brief scene of him with Regina in the flashbacks was a nice change of pace for him, though. A humble, at-peace Gold was refreshing. So then why did he turn back into a crooked gangster cop in the curse? Whatever.
The episode, and if she plays her cards right, the season, belongs to Adelaide Kane, though. She shakes off the worry of her trite, tragic backstory in the flashbacks to be a booze-swilling, bitchy, straight-up villain in the present. Her complete lack of empathy for Regina gives me hope that she won’t end up roped into some bullshit redemption arc. Be your bad self, baby.
And as for her tragic backstory, it’s not entirely without its charm. While I rolled my eyes at the “mummy doesn’t love me” stuff and the Regina parallels (again, stop copying yourself, OUaT), I enjoyed the twist of viciously impaling the prince to death in order to taint her heart. That takes commitment.
Could the name drop of Cora mean that Barbara motherfucking Hershey could show back up? If any character is going to return and bring the baggage of OUaT past with them to suffocate this supposedly new iteration, I would object the least to her.
On a side note: wouldn’t it be cheeky if Jessy Schram showed up to have a slap fight with Jacinda? Just a thought.
The magnitude of Regina’s horror when she awakens in Hyperion Heights and remembers the “hero proof” clause Adelaide added to her dark curse implies that Henry’s life is at stake. Not that I care, but watching Regina so distraught made me think that I might want to care at some point. Possibly. And that’s new to me.
Oh, and Adelaide is no Katherine Pierce yet. But if she keeps at it, she might be in with a chance.