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With the return of Captain Hook came a slew of problems for Storybrooke residents, and it all started with a “job.” Once Hook found out that Rumplestiltskin is, indeed, still alive — via seeing Mr. Gold and Lacey laughing while walking arm-in-arm out of The Rabbit Hole, no less — he agreed to help kill him again in exchange for finding Greg Mendell’s father. It all came down to Regina, and watching her team up (and later be betrayed by) Hook was certainly interesting. In the midst of it all, there were a few moments of Cora mourning that almost had us feeling bad for her... and then she cursed her own son and we weren’t on her side. Sigh. Evil Queens, they never change.
On that note, in the Enchanted Forest, we finally saw a missing piece of her puzzle. In a flashback that takes place after the Huntsman doesn’t return with Snow White’s heart, the Evil Queen is up to her crazy ways, on a mission to find and kill her. After she tries in vain to turn the people against Snow, she decides to use Rumple to turn her into one of them, shapeshifting into a mere peasant. This was a throwback to the unnerving times when they used to team up and murder people for fun, and also an eye-opening look at how sad and desperate she truly is.
Watching Snow White rescue Regina was the ultimate form of irony, but throughout the episode, it was interesting to see the push and pull of who would kill whom. It started off with the Evil Queen saying she wanted to snap Snow’s neck, then the two bonded when Snow said she believes there’s good inside of the Evil Queen, and then they stumbled upon the pile of people that Regina murdered and all was lost again. (And spoiler alert: they don’t make up.)
Ultimately, this episode showed that Regina may have a spot or two of goodness inside of her, she is too evil to let it come out. Though The Charmings were considering bringing her back to the Enchanted Forest, she ruined her chances by eradicating the magic beans, and now she’s in big trouble with no one to help her. While it seemed like Hook was dismissing Tamara and Greg’s plan to betray her, he actually double-crossed her by giving her a bracelet that stopped her magic, and now she’s kidnapped — something we thought would happen to Henry.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be a lot of Henry in the finale, as he has a significant part in the Tamara/Hook/Greg problem — he and Emma brought back Operation Cobra (now Operation Praying Mantis), thanks to Emma’s “superpower” that can help detect lies. (Pinocchio could have used that one!) While watching Tamara’s evil plan unfold throughout the episode and seeing Neal be completely clueless to it all — even giving her a list of Storybrooke residents and their fairy tale counterparts — was interesting, the real insanity will happen next week when the trio tries to take Regina’s magic. Well, that’s at least what it looked like, but if there’s anything we know about OUAT, it’s that they always surprise us. C’mon, Maleficent’s “return” was her trapped in Regina’s dungeon as some creepy skeleton monster that tried to kill Hook. Anything can happen!
Overall, the reveals in this episode and Regina’s backstory made for a decent episode. We give “The Evil Queen” 4 out of 5 stars. What do you think? Rate it below!
The next episode of Once Upon a Time airs Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Alyse Whitney is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @AlyseWhitney.