This was arguably the most important episode of the show thus far, divulging pivotal history that essentially fuels the show’s main premise. Without a strong justification, at least in part, for Regina’s actions the series would have fallen apart. It’s wonderful to be able to say that ‘The Stable Boy’ was exactly the right episode to accomplish something so important, and given to us at the most advantageous time.
Among other things, ‘The Stable Boy’ was the most valuable insight into Regina’s persona since ‘The Thing You Love Most’. If you read my last review, you’ll know that one of the things lacking on her part is a bit of depth and divergence from her standard stone cold front. Of course, her meddling and eventual betrayal of Snow is unforgivable, but just as her Storybrooke identity hit a spiteful high, it was unsetting to see her as the polar opposite; young and love-stricken. Major Kudos to Lana Parilla for transforming from a devastated girl, to a malevolent, vengeful woman here.
As the main crutch for supporting Regina’s crusade against Snow, the truth behind her hatred is a little flimsy when it’s looked at outside of her familial context (a theme I’ve discussed as recently as last week). Snow’s small deception is understandable, clearly she wanted nothing more than to protect her new friend from suffering the same loss she did, but it was this one thing that Snow didn’t want Regina to lose that hurt her the most. Parental discord and abuse can hurt even the toughest of souls, and it seems that Regina’s destructive behavior stems from her mother’s crude morals and from a loss that a lot of our other characters have suffered themselves, though not at someone else’s unwitting hand.
Just as Once Upon a Time’s biggest mystery came together, the present day plot finally reached a climax, with Mary Margaret and Regina coming to blows. That scene, you all know which one I’m talking about, was the most striking in terms of contrasting Regina and Snow’s opposing personalities. Snow’s weakness and helplessness wasn’t enough to stir Regina’s inner hatred towards her, who only saw the fruition of an endless struggle to avenge her lover’s death. It was just the moment that this story was waiting for, and since the plot has finally reached its end, Kathryn’s return arrived precisely on cue to turn the story around.
Similarly, it appears that other stories are continuing to throttle forward. Emma’s intelligence level has been a little worrying of late, but opening up to the truth staring her in the face has gotten her to the position she so desperately needs to be for the season’s climax. With Sidney’s deception, Regina’s meddling and Kathryn’s true fate now revealed, she can take that leap of faith Henry so desperately needs her to. It might not happen for another few episodes, but it’s coming, and that’s an exciting prospect.
- Credit where credit’s due, Bailee Madison nailed that weird breathy thing that Ginnifer does. She resembled her quite a bit as well.
- So, did Regina inherit her magic from her mother? I’m assuming she bites the dust beforehand, which would explain her absence from Storybrooke.
- Barbara Hershey did an amazing job as Cora. She was so cut-throat and blunt, and just the right amount of crazy.
- It’s kinda funny that Emma didn’t spot the fact that Sidney’s flowers were hiding a bug in them. It was painfully obvious.
- Do you think August is behind Kathryn's magical reappearance? Or maybe Mr. Gold, for a more sinister reason?
He Said, She Said
Regina: “Love, true love, is magic. And not just any magic, the most powerful magic of all. It creates happiness.”
Henry: “The Eagle is in the nest, and the package is secure.”
Emma: “Henry, I left the codebook at home.”
Henry: “She’s getting in the shower and the keys are under the mat.”
August: “I’m not a liar.”
Emma: “That is exactly what a liar would say.”
Mary Margaret: “I don’t know what I ever did to you, but whatever it was, Regina, I’m sorry. I truly am.”
Regina: “Apology not accepted.”
Cora: “Love is weakness, Regina. It feels real now, at the start it always does, but it’s an illusion. It fades and then you’re left with nothing. But power, true power, endures and then you don’t have to rely on anyone to get what you want.”
Why would a timid man like Henry marry someone so cruel.
4 out of 4 broken shovels.
Previously posted at PandaTV.
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