I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this latest episode of Once Upon a Time. There is a lot of neat stuff going on in Our World in this episode. We learn some surprising and not so surprising things about Regina both in Our World and back in the Enchanted Forest of the past. This is great, because unlike last week’s seemingly pointless Enchanted Forest flashbacks, these one bring a lot of new information that inform our knowledge of our characters; including an unexpected connection between Rumplestilskin and more major Enchanted Forest events. And we have the return of Captain Killian “Hook” Jones, which you all know I have been greatly looking forward too! We also get some insights into why Tamara and Greg may really be in Storybrooke, and it may not be the reasons we assumed.
This week we’ll also take a closer look into how so many things especially in the past Enchanted Forest fit together.
We already knew that Regina’s motivation for pretty much everything is a desire to be loved (she kind of defines love a little differently than other people is all). Even her ostensible goals of revenge are motivated in form or another because of love. She hates Snow White because she got Regina’s love the stable hand Daniel killed, which is the impetus for her entire story arc. She hated Cora because she killed Daniel, but still desperately wanted her mother’s love, which she couldn’t give because the lack of a heart. She wants Henry to love her because she not lonely lost Daniel, but her father Henry as well (well OK, lost him in the sense that she killed him for his heart to enact the curse but of course she doesn’t really consider that her own fault).
What we didn’t know is that she was once on the verge of asking Snow White for forgiveness and wanting Snow White to lover her again. Using a disguise spell crafted by Rumplestilskin, which she intended to use to kill Snow White, she discovers how good Snow White really is and is prepared to try to reconcile; until Snow discovers that Regina had an entire village massacred because they helped Snow and wouldn’t tell Regina where Snow is hiding and Snow decides Regina isn’t worth saving or forgiving. Of course we know that eventually changes, as evidenced by all the different chances Snow gives Regina to change but is ultimately betrayed every time.
When you look at it, Rumple really does have this centuries-spanning master plan, with his hands in pretty much everything. When Regina asks him for help disguising herself, Rumple’s price is she cut off all trade with King George’s kingdom stating “I need him bankrupt, what’s it to you?” Obviously Rumple need George bankrupt so he can be desperate enough to appeal to King Midas, get Prince James killed so Rumple can replace him with Charming, ultimately leading to Charming and Snow White getting together and creating true love. He manipulates Cora into becoming even more power hungry and then puts her in a position where she can do something about it (little hiccup comes when he supposedly falls in love with Cora, but everything works to plan in the end) causing Cora to have even bigger aspirations for Regina. He plays everybody in the Enchanted Forest like a finely tuned fiddle towards his ultimate goal of getting to Our World to find his son Baelfire/Neal. Though it turns out that Neal may have ended up in Neverland first, so it’s not clear why Rumple eventually settles on Our World as his ultimate destination. It seems that you could probably use Jefferson’s hat to travel to Neverland as there is magic there.
Emma finally figures out that Tamara is the “she” August was trying to want everybody about but predictably she can only convince Henry. Everyone else is convinced that she’s just not over Neal. Though even Henry is convinced once Tamara is out of the way Emma and Neal will get back together and they can all be a family.
Regina, having destroyed most of the magic beans she discovered in the field but keeping a plant for herself, plots to destroy Storybrooke and escape to the Enchanted Forest with Henry killing everyone else. She enlists the aid of Hook (who is now in a conspiracy with Tamara and Greg, who tell him they know how to render Rumple powerless and killable) to retrieve the failsafe built into the curse that will destroy Storybrooke. She betrays Hook, using him as a diversion for Maleficent, who is a different form after being “killed” by Emma in the season 1 finale. But he betrays her in turn; Greg has apparently devised a scientific way using metals and tiny machines to counteract a person’s ability to use magic. Greg informs her that his real purpose isn’t to just find his father and he and Tamara place a bag over her head.
In the previews for next week we get a glimpse of Peter Pan’s Wendy talking about Neverland to Baelfire, so we can assume that we finally get a glimpse of Neverland. I am excited to see if this story Hook and Pan are at each other’s throats or if they take a different direction. We also get a snippet of Tamara talking about how magic is an abomination. So, it seems rather than wanting to steal magic for their own power and find Greg’s father, their purpose may be some kind of crusade to keep magic out of Our World.