“I will not listen to child care lectures from a man who put his daughter in a box and shipped her to Maine.”
Back when we first found out what drove Regina to exact vengeance on Snow White, a lot of us assumed that there was more to the story. This was more to the story; or, at least a little bit more. Though we’ve seen a vulnerable side to Regina a few times over the past 24 episodes, it’s never seemed like there was any long lasting redemption there, but just as we saw Regina take her first steps towards becoming the revenge fuelled witch who brought the curse down on Storybrooke, we saw her take her first steps towards becoming her old self again, and it’s all thanks to her mother.
It was Cora who drove Regina to play with magic in the first place. She even tried to make Charming remember, she didn’t come from the same place everyone else did. It all seems like a giant excuse, a lot of the Storybrooke residents we’ve met have had to overcome pasts that we’re just as harsh as Regina’s was, but then again, none of it was ever driven by one woman’s quest for power, a quest for power that ended up ruining Regina’s life and taking away the person she loved most. All of the people in Storybrooke found their happy endings, and Regina has had to live with the remnants of Cora’s selfishness in the face of all of that.
Similarly, it was Cora that drove Regina to attempt to become the woman she used to be, the woman she was before she was forced to follow in her mother’s footsteps. In the face of Henry’s upset, Regina was forced to confront that all too familiar feeling of being trapped in a position she never wanted to be in. Regina tried to convince Henry, and probably herself, that life her way was better for him. But, deep down she knew it wasn’t true. Cora never admitted to that, she was forced out of Regina’s life before she could, but Regina remembered. She remembered Henry’s pain all too well, and though she couldn’t bring herself to destroy Rumple’s book, she at least let Henry go, and that’s a big enough step for her to take right now.
Charming had to take a few steps forward, too. Burdened by his grief over Emma and Snow’s banishment in Broken, he ignored the suffering of those who used to be his loyal followers to get them back. He still has that burning desire to get his wife and daughter back, but he’s the first person to not only remember who those around him are, but remember who he is. He’s not just a grieving father and husband, he’s a leader; he’s not just a Price, he’s a man, David Nolan. He helped to bring Storybrooke back together again through encouragement and a reminder of who they have become, and managed to find hope for Snow and Emma along the way.
They might not be feeling that optimism though. I was a little dissatisfied that this episode didn’t return to last week’s cliff-hanger at first, but thinking about it, it makes sense that it was left until last. What happens in Storybrooke is kind of what takes priority right now, and dealing with Regina’s mommy issues fed into this week’s twist in a really cool way. Though this episode saw the show revert back to it's default narrative setting, the writers have found new ways to make it fresh, and so far it works.
So, does anybody have any ideas about how Cora ended up in Mulan’s makeshift “refugee” camp? I sort of thought she was about to be sent to Wonderland; I know some readers suspected her to be the Red Queen. Will she actually help Snow and Emma? She might not even have the power to, especially if she’s been trapped in that pit all this time. At least we know one thing; she won’t be happy to see Regina when the time comes.
4 out of 5 looking glasses.
August is alive! Yeah, I guess we didn’t see much of him yet, but it’s nice to know we’ll see that size too small leather jacket again.
What does Rumple have planned? He totally freaked out when he discovered what happens when you try to leave town.
Which brings me to this; how odd it was it that Grumpy and the other 5 dwarves were so quick to shove Sneezy into the line of fire? They could have at least volunteered themselves first.
More creepily similar acting from young Snow White again. That girl deserves some award for copying Ginnifer so well.
Jefferson/Mad Hatter had a car full of children’s toys. Did he find his daughter again?
He Said, She Said
Dr. Whale: “Are the nuns still nuns, or can they, you know, date?”
Charming: “David and the Prince; I am both. Just like you. You are both. The town is both. We are both.”
Regina: “I know, I remember, that if you hold on to someone too hard, that doesn’t make them love you.”
Previously posted at PandaTV.