When last we left Once Upon a Time, Cora(Barbara Hershey) and Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) were sailing their way to Storybrooke (Season 2, Episode 9: "Queen of Hearts"). Well, we waited nearly a month to see what happens next, but did it live up to our prolonged expectations? Read on for Wetpaint Entertainment's review of the episode, and then rate it yourself.
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Just as we thought, Hook and Cora arrive in Storybrooke in conflict-ory fashion: with an argument! Hook wants to go after Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle), but Cora has other plans. So, after the dark mistress of magic makes Hook's ship disappear, the pair set off on a walking tour of Maine's most magical village.
Later, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Henry (Jared Gilmore) walk in on Mary Margaret/Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and David/Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) having relations. Oops.
Flash forward to Emma and Mary Margaret's welcome home party... and in walks Regina (Lana Parrilla). Awkward. And Emma invited her! No one at the party wants to talk to her. Emma and Regina have it out about Henry, but Emma's still having trouble believing that Regina is trying to change, even though Regina is seeing Archie (Raphael Sbarge) to help her work through her issues. Oops. That was supposed to be confidential. Regina is not happy with Archie. Cut to Cora and Hook spying on Regina. Hook "Well, is she broken?" Cora: "Not yet." We're intrigued.
OK, now we get it. After Regina confronts Archie about revealing her therapeutic habits to Emma, she storms off, but not without Ruby witnessing the whole confrontation. See where this is going? Cora does. She disguises herself as Regina and kills Dr. Hopper. Conveniently, Ruby's wolf sense leads them to his body. This does not look good for Regina.
Luckily for Regina, Emma doesn't believe that she killed Archie. Ems does have that knack for knowing when people are lying. Part of her magical powers? We digress...
The Storybrooke Scooby gang decides that it's all a frame job, and they head over to Mr. Gold's shop because they figure he's the only one besides Regina who's capable of killing. Gold reveals that Archie's dog, Pongo, is a witness and they use a dreamcatcher to call his memories. Then Emma -- yes, Emma! -- uses her magic to decode the memories and see what really happened. Lo and behold, they see Regina (really Cora) kill Archie. Oh boy. This does not look good for Regina.
Mary Margaret, David, and Emma confront Regina, but Regina fights back with magic. Well, that does it. Regina is officially considered evil again by the Storybrooke powers that be.
In the flashbacks to Fairytale Land, we see Snow and Charming capture Regina, and it's later decided that she'll be executed. Regina puts on a good show of non-remorse in her final moments, but Snow's not buying what she's selling and decides to let her live. Turns out that Rumplestiltskin wants Regina alive, too. OK, he's cooking something up... and it's a test for Regina! Snow pretends to set Regina free, but Regina turns the tables and tries to kill Snow but she can't because Gold cast a spell. Test failed. Regina banished. End of story.
Well, not quite. Rumplestiltskin reveals his deal: Regina can't harm Snow and Charming in Fairytale Land, but in any other land, she can play the murder card. Now that's a satisfying twist we loved to watch play out.
Back in the real world, Emma tells Henry that Regina killed Archie, all while Regina watches, teary-eyed. We found this part incredibly heartbreaking. Regina continues to be one of the most complex, intriguing, and sympathetic villains we've ever seen on TV.
The episode ends with Hook and Cora talking cryptically (what else is new?). Turns out Cora has stashed Dr. Hopper in Hook's ship! Phew. Archie is alive, but now he's going to be exploited for all of his secrets.
Overall, we give this ep 4 stars. What do you think? Rate it yourself below!