After an action packed season premiere, We Are Both, episode 2×02 sought to answer some questions, but kept a tight focus on our Storybrooke characters rather than the Enchanted Forest. So if you were looking for Emma and Snow, we didn’t get to see them until the very end when Mulan and Aurora lead them (bound) into the rundown village.
The Wicked Queen
Regina never wanted to be evil or powerful or queen for that matter. During the first season we met her exceptionally wicked mother Cora played by Barbara Hershey. Perverted by magic, Cora wanted Regina to make a powerful marriage–so much so that she killed Daniel, the stable boy that Regina loved and wanted to run away with for her happily ever after.
The Enchanted Forest “flashback” included Regina fleeing on horseback, only to be trapped by a barrier spell cast by her mother and Regina’s ‘first’ meeting with Rumpelstiltskin. The dark imp offered her some insight into her mother’s abilities and it sounded an awful lot like Regina isn’t actually Cora’s daughter–that Regina, like Henry, was procured for her. But I digress…
Rumpelstiltskin tempts Regina with magic, apparently he likes how powerful she could be. So he does her a favor and gives her a mirror. Shove Mommy Not So Dearest through and she’s free. Just before her wedding to King Leopold, Regina does exactly that–see I thought Cora was the Queen of Hearts and I think that’s where she went. Remember the episode where Regina forced Jefferson to take her through to rescue her dad? Then she left Jefferson there and our delightful Hatter went mad?
Parallel to Storybrooke: Regina wants her son back. She and David have a couple of face offs including the one where he tells her if she needs magic to get her son back then she won’t really have him at all.
I will not take parenting advice from a man who put his daughter in a box and shipped her to Maine.
Incensed, Regina heads off to Mr. Gold. As an aside, I love that Dr. Hopper came to see if Regina needed someone to talk to and reminded her that maybe if she could confront her inner demons she could be free–but no, she’d rather have her magic.
She rifles through Gold’s shop, he’s less than pleased to see her and apparently their old bargain where she had to do what he wanted when he said please ‘lacks punch’ now. But he isn’t in the mood and gives Regina her mother’s spell book and the dig that he definitely sees the resemblance between them now. Regina takes the hit, goes home and inhales some magic from the pages. The rotted apples on her tree turn ruby red again and she’s riding that wave of power all the way to the town hall to reclaim Henry.
She terrifies the town folks and Henry volunteers to go with her rather than let her hurt anyone. As soon as he’s home, he pulls out his tied up sheets and starts to climb down, but is snatched by the tree just like Regina was–she tells Henry he can be powerful and strong and he points out she is making him a prisoner because she ‘loves’ him–echoing every accusation she ever threw at her own mother. But does Regina see just how far she’s fallen?
Desperately Seeking Snow White
David Nolan is weak. And he hurt the woman I love.
Charming is desperate to find out whether the Enchanted Forest exists. Regina says it doesn’t, but later reminds Gold they both know it’s still there. The towns folk are in chaos, they don’t know what to do or where to do it. They want to leave, before the Wicked Queen gets her powers back, but the dwarves discover that if you cross the town boundaries the curse kicks in and wipes away all traces of your previous existence.
They need Charming to lead them. But Charming doesn’t have any answers and he even tells Ruby that Snow did all the talking, he did the fighting. He hunts for the answers to the hat–Regina tells him it doesn’t work anymore. Henry tells him about the Mad Hatter. And David goes to Gold for a tracking potion.
The exchange between these two was actually really quite good. Gold just wants to be left alone, he’s packing a bag with several different maps (going hunting for his son, I presume), but after they trade the mutual hands off agreement and won’t bother each other, Gold gives him the potion and Charming warns him if he goes across the town line, he will be cursed.
Gold is furious and smashes a few items in his shop. Once again, he cannot seek his son. I really do feel bad for him here.
Charming uses the potion on the hat and finds Jefferson trapped in an overturned car. And Jefferson is definitely mad again. He tells Charming there’s nothing he can do, but that the Enchanted Forest is still there so at least Charming has hope.
Ruby finds him and tells him Regina took Henry and that everyone is leaving, so he races out to block the town line and delivers a rousing speech. Reminding them that they are both, and while he finds David Nolan weak and wishy-washy (I couldn’t agree more) and was terrible to the woman Charming loves, he doesn’t regret being both because he sees his own flaws and weaknesses now and where he needs to be stronger. They are all stronger together, so they need to rebuild, regroup, and be the powerful force they were before.
The speech does the trick and everyone heads back home and cleans up Storybrooke to reopen. Warning, Ruby’s crush like gaze on Charming might prove problematic later!
Town squared away, Charming gets his badass on and kicks in the Mayor’s door, sword in hand. He wants his grandson back–now.
Letting Henry Go
Surprising both Henry and Charming, Regina agrees. She calls Henry down and tells him she wants him to go with David. She tells him she loves him, and that she knows she can’t make him love her. This is a moment of raw honesty for the Wicked Queen, is she really turning over a new leaf? We can’t know yet, but Henry scampers off happily with David and leaves her to her loneliness.
At the diner, Henry tells Gepetto about August (whom we glimpsed earlier blinking his wooden eyes) and the man races off to the room where his son was–but is no longer? So where did Pinocchio get off too?
David comforts Henry again that he knows Snow and Emma are still out there, he would feel it if they were gone for good.
Meanwhile, in the Enchanted Forest, Emma and Snow are dragged into a village and Mulan orders them to be locked up. Snow effects an escape, but Mulan takes her down with a thrown weapon, knocking her unconscious the women are then tossed into a dark cell–with Cora. Yeah, that can’t be good.
In Storybrooke, our final scene is Mr Gold standing at the spray painted town line and glaring down the road he cannot travel and I think my heart broke for him–just a little. Sadly, no Belle in this episode and I missed her prescence.
Next week: Lancelot baby!
Overall, it was a good episode, but it lacked some of the punch of last week’s and left me wanting more time in both worlds rather than the little taste we had at the end.
What did you think?
P.S. Since Regina’s love was a stable boy, is it totally inconceivable that we might see him as the Dread Pirate Roberts someday?