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Love, hate, revenge and the Evil Queen on this week's Once Upon a Time

TV Review: Once Upon a Time – “The Evil Queen”

On this week’s Once Upon a Time, the entire town of Storybrooke is under threat from Regina (Lana Parrilla) as she plans her escape into Fairytale Land alone with Henry (Jared Gilmore), only to leave Storybrooke a ruin. She believes that in so doing, she will leave Henry with no other social support but herself and he’ll have no choice but to turn to her for family. It is this twisted notion of love that’s caused the Evil Queen much of her heartache both in Storybrooke and in Fairytale Land.

 

In the meantime, Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) switches sides as suits his advantage, going from the dangerous mortals Tamara and Owen (Ethan Embry) who “know how to kill magical creatures.” They promise to assist Hook in getting his revenge on Rumplestiltskin if he will help them find Owen’s father, was taken by Regina 28 years ago. 

“The Evil Queen” is a morality tale about the cost of hate and thirst for revenge. Hate is toxic. It may have a legitimate trigger: a terrible injustice or a misunderstanding, but held onto, hate corrodes the heart until there is nothing left but bitterness and the thirst for vengeance.

Regina’s thirst for revenge against any who oppose her ultimately prevents her from believing that it is not too late to give up her hatefulness and find peace and redemption, and maybe love and family. She finds this in the presence of Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin), who comes to her aid not knowing she is the Evil Queen. Snow explains her understanding of why Regina is the way she is, and that all she needs to do is to let go of the pain and the blame and she can alter her path. That is, until Snow uncovers Regina’s mass murder of an entire village. This is too much even for the kind-hearted Snow White!

Regina is unknown at first to Snow because Rumple (Robert Carlyle) has put her under a spell making her appear a peasant. The cost is merely the temporary sacrifice of her magic and the promise to Rumple that she will bankrupt King George (whom we know Rumple will later need to place David in position to find Snow White for the first time!).

In the Storybrooke story, Hook also remarks about the emptiness of vengeance, brooding about the fact that once he takes his revenge upon Rumple and kills him, there will be little left to live for. His entire life has been about getting his revenge. He has nothing else to show for his existence: no love, no family, no friends. Only his hate of Rumple.

Regina is also treading close to this line, and even when she enlists Hook as an ally, she almost immediately betrays him, sending him into a pit with now even more monstrous Maleficent. (Of course, Hook does betray Regina just as easily; I think they are quite made for each other!)

And speaking of betrayal, what about Tamara? That girl has a list of everyone in Storybrooke and their fairytale names. She and her buddy Owen (AKA Greg Mendell) have nanobots to kill the magic in magical beings.

Aha! So now the name Greg Mendell begins to resonate with me. If his device “science, not magic,” he explains uses tiny creatures/devices absorbed in through the skin, it makes sense that they do something to the genetic makeup of the host. I really love this little crossover into hard science fiction. I can just imagine the little nanobots working their way through Regina’s system working away at the magic embedded into her genes. Cool.

And what is Greg’s true mission? He’s not telling. I can’t wait to learn his agenda, and who he really is! 

Next week? It’s off to Neverland as Baelfire (Dylan Schmid) is back, and I’m pretty confident that he is in fact Peter Pan. And who is it that ultimately deals with Captain Hook, setting upon him the crocodile? I can’t wait to see how this plays out between Bae, Hook, and Rumple!

Tune in tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. ET to Let’s Talk TV Live on Blog Talk Radio to continue the discussion of this week’s Once Upon a Time. 

About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org). Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel, called "Anne Rice meets Michael Crichton," The Apothecary's Curse The Apothecary's Curse is now out from Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books.Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras is a quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show. Barnett is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA's HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as "The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture," "The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes," "The Hidden History of Science Fiction," and "Our Passion for Disaster (Movies)."

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