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Once Upon a Time: The Cricket Game

“You can pretend all you want but we know how you are, and who you will always be.”

Rehabilitation is commonly referred to as a journey, not a destination. It takes time, and a lot of it. It also takes patience and understanding not just from you, but from those around you. What Regina lacks most is a solid support system. Here we saw that come into play as lack of trust and naturally a few external forces, threw Regina’s recovery off course.

Without her father Regina’s missing that little nudge towards a better life. There’s no security there, only the hope of a stronger bond with the only remaining person she cares about. She focuses all her energy on changing people’s perceptions of her that she’s crossed that line between determination and desperation. Obviously, none of this would have happened were it not for Cora’s meddling, and the precarious death (or kidnapping) of a Storybrooke resident, but there was still a fundamental lack of trust there.

Don’t these guys live in a world where framing someone is a lot simpler than it needs to be? Emma and Snow saw that when Cora tried to trick them into giving her access to a doorway back to Storybrooke. I guess Regina’s past betrayals ring louder than their more recent experiences with her mother. I get that their first instinct would be to steer clear of the same mistakes they made before though, and not to fall prey to Regina’s signature manipulation. They’ve seen what she’s capable of, and what she once would have done if given the opportunity.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that this situation is a complicated one, and it’s one that’s being told in a well constructed way. No two sides are being ignored, every angle of this story we can see and understand. We know about what Regina once did to Snow, or tried to do at least, but we also know that Regina really is trying to change. We can also watch Cora’s eventual return manifest itself in a strangely indirect way, which I’m assuming is all about setup for the remainder of the season. The question remains, can Regina prove her innocence, and build that bond with Henry she wants so badly?

I think she will, eventually. It will take time though, and I think this framing scenario will last a little while longer, if only to pin Cora as the high queen of evil bitchdom and keep her center stage as this season’s big bad. Maybe what this season needs to do is really give these characters a chance to see behind each other’s walls, and see that they are all changing, for better or for worse.

4 out of 5 dream catchers


Why was Emma eating fries for breakfast?!

I was fully convinced that Belle was going to be Cora’s secret weapon, I was glad to see that this show shocked me for once.

Regina Fashion Watch: Hello to that amazing number at the start of the episode; who knew chainmail could be fashionable?

I have to side with Emma with the whole tie on the door idea. Not nice to walk in and see your parents doing it, while your own child watches with you. Super awkward.

He Said, She Said

Ruby: “Everything okay here?”
Regina: “Private conversation, go take yourself for a walk.”
Indirect wolf humor never gets old.

Regina: “I will not let you poison Henry against me.”
Emma: “That’s an interesting word choice, since you already did.”

Previously posted at PandaTV.


  1. I was told to expect Lana Parrilla at "the best she has ever been", but I wasn't prepared for that. You know you've become seriously invested in a character when you can't physically watch because you hate seeing them suffer. I hated seeing all of Regina's hard work this season go out of the window due to Cora's scheming and the Charming's almost laughable skills as detectives. Seriously, they are terrible. Before they 'question' Pongo (which was Gold's idea) their entire case against Regina was so feeble Lionel Hutz could've got her off with ease. They should've made Sidney Sheriff. I know I would feel a lot safer with Gus Fring patrolling the streets.

    I hope Regina Fashion Watch becomes a regular fixture, Panda.

  2. I would never have guessed this last season, but my heart broke for Regina during this episode. She is trying so hard, but the sins of her past are too strong. I like the idea of rehabilitation being a journey, Panda. This journey is certainly proving entertaining!

  3. It's scary how much I love Regina now. Lana Parilla is simply superb! She used to annoy in the fairytale world but even that was great here. And her stuff in Storybrooke this season and this episode in particular is outstanding. She plays the vulnerable side SO well.

    Seriously she could be the heroine (or anti-heroine) instead of Emma and I wouldn't even miss the latter!

    Thanks Panda for the read!

  4. In defense of Snow and Emma... there's no way they could suspect Cora of being in Storybrooke! After all, they were supposed to have come through the only possible portal.

    I was more worried about the lack of mention of Emma's lie-detector instincts! Wasn't that an almost-magical ability of hers? Or did she just shut it all down when confronted with the overwhelming evidence from the "witness"?

    I was soooo relieved to see Cora's secret weapon! They surprised me on that one! :o)

  5. Is it me or was it really Cora's voice when she pretended to kill Archie? Anyway, I was impressed with Lana's abilities, the difference between Regina and Cora disguised as Regina was subtle, but noticeable.

  6. Lana Parrilla does such a terrific job portraying Regina... no wonder The Evil Queen has such a huge fan base.
    I love Regina and I can´t wait to see her reunion with Cora.

    The first time I watched the episode I thought Rumple was going to be the one saving Regina from execution so I was surprised when it was Snow.

    Great review Panda! And I agree with Mark, you should keep the Regina Fashion Watch.

  7. Speaking of fashion, I like the way Emma did her hair here. It's much softer than usual.

    I'm glad Archie's alive, especially for Pongo's sake. Who did Cora kill? Will it turn out to be a nobody or someone we know? I loved all one liners this episode. 'Don't forget you got your degree from a curse!' "Take yourself for a walk" was the best of the episode. Why can't I look as good as Ruby when I go jogging?

  8. Poor Regina she really can't win can she? Love Cora's black parasol of evil, guess her daughter has inherited her sense of style.
    Hope they rescue Archie somehow.

  9. This site is eating my comment. Why?

  10. I don't know, Anonymous. It's not hiding in the spam folder and no one deleted anything; it just didn't appear.

  11. Anonymous, there's nothing in our spam folder; your comment was never received. Are you making sure to enter the captcha phrase at the bottom?

    You may also want to try changing your browser. I have the same problem on another website that I can only fix by switching from Firefox to Internet Explorer.

  12. I will try again. I love this site and now that my daughter has grown out of the dancing bear stage of entertainment, she loves it as well. She is enjoying reading the reviews of Warehouse 13 and Eureka; they help pass the time between new offerings.

    The opening has hints of Pirates of the Caribbean with music and Jack Sparrowish stance and robe grab.

    “It’s impressive that we can still provide her with a few traumatic childhood memories at this stage of the game.” My whole family laughed out loud.

    The interesting psychological aspect is Regina’s anger should be centered on Cora, but is instead focused on Snow. The child couldn’t have culpability for Cora’s murder of Daniel. It is easier though to hate the innocent rather than an all-powerful mother.

    Free will is also getting a bit of a workout in this series. Much evil flows from Cora initially subverting Regina’s free will to make her own life choices. Regina is repeating this in her relationship with Henry.
    This conflict and her efforts to overcome her own desire for control are at the heart of her rehabilitation.

    There is also the importance of being able to seek out and extend and receive forgiveness. Played out nicely when Regina goes off on Emma.

    I love that they showed us the lasagna was all eaten.

    Thank you for letting me post my thoughts here. No doubt yesterday’s problems were the result of user error.

  13. Katherine - "It is easier though to hate the innocent rather than an all-powerful mother." Well said!! I too, liked that all the lasagna was eaten.


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