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Once Upon a Time: Witch Hunt

“I’m going to take everything away from you.”

So far those behind this new arc have done a fantastic job of making sure that it’s been fresh and exciting, and have avoided it becoming a weak attempt at recycling used plots. Everything here feels different and my renewed enthusiasm for Once didn’t falter during ‘Witch Hunt.’

We’ve seen the curse in action already. We’ve seen the town turn on Regina already. And we’ve seen more than enough of them acting like hypocritical fools. What’s great about this storyline is that it hasn’t felt like we’ve done any of this before, because it’s a completely different take, not just in the reversal of roles between Emma and Henry, but in the memories, or lack thereof, that everyone has now.

There’s so much history there, that it all means a lot more than it did before. After the town ganged up on Regina so easily, I was seriously worried about the direction this plot would take. What happened to those who had started to forgive her for how she’d changed?

Despite giving us the run around with her development it seems like the writers are finally committed to seeing Regina grow and change. I was delighted that the big show in the town hall was just that; a charade. I’m not sure who exactly was in on it, but the one person I was hoping would be on Regina’s side was placing more trust in her than anyone: Emma. For me that’s all that matters.

Naturally, Regina hasn’t completely changed her stripes. It was devastating to see that after giving Henry up she thought that the sleeping curse was all that was left for her. We saw a glimmer of the old Queen we all remember as she vowed to destroy the Wicked Witch. I’m not sure it’s going to be something that changes her journey so far, but it could mean that she thinks little of what Henry wanted for her when he’s not there to encourage it.

Destroying “Zelena” might be her downfall, but it might also mean that Regina gets to channel her frustration into something good: saving the Enchanted Forest, and sure, facing off with her wicked half sister who has vowed to ruin her.

The Wicked Witch’s true identity makes sense since Once is all about family. Pretty much everyone is related to someone in the Charming family, why would she be any different?! I’m really happy with what they’ve done with “Zelena” so far, too. She’s approximately 109239 times the villain that Pan was, and Rebecca Mader brings a lot more to the role than played out animosity. She’s clearly having a lot of fun, and so am I.

It’s still strange looking forward to what happens next, and not worrying about it. Finally the series is back on track, and with flying monkeys and green bad guys all around, it seems like there’s a lot more craziness to come.

4.5 out of 5 sleeping curse needles


I wonder how long Rebecca Mader’s make up takes.

Henry and Regina’s reunion was really sad, but also really touching.

I loved seeing Ruby again. It was nice of Meghan Ory to pop back in so we knew she was still floating around Granny’s.

Rumple is back! And he’s crazy, too?

He Said, She Said

Zelena: “I’m going to take everything away from you.”
Regina: “It’s too late. I’ve already lost everything that matters.”
Zelena: “Oh Regina, you haven’t lost anything yet.”

Regina: “The sleep curse wasn’t the answer [...] I just needed to find something to live for.”
Robin: “And you found it? What?”
Regina: “The one thing I haven’t had in a very long time: someone to destroy.”

Originally posted at PandaTV.


  1. I loved this episode, and I've been loving this whole post-Pan arc(Pan was one of the lamest villains ever, seriously). What's been impressing me most is the pacing. Getting Emma's memory back so quickly, learning who the villain is(and especially that it's NOT Regina), etc. I'm OK with Henry not having his memory back quite yet, but I hope they don't wait until the end of the season. Watching them jump through hoops and make up stupid stories to keep the truth from him would get old FAST. Plus, Regina really needs it. Speaking of Regina, I think it's time she took some more permanent steps forward. The disconnect between her desire to earn Henry's love and her committing acts that are unmistakably evil is getting to be too much. She needs to have her epiphany moment. And I think the only one who can get her there is Emma. Certainly not Snow. Snow's got her own issues, and the two of them have too much history. But the real threat to Regina is Emma, since she sees Emma as the one who can keep Henry from her. I loved how Emma was towards Regina in this episode. Initially wary, but once she knew Regina wasn't behind the new curse, there didn't seem to be any animosity at all. You could tell that meant something to Regina. The only other thing I wish Emma had done was thank Regina for the life she'd given Emma & Henry. By all accounts it seems like they've had a good one(or at least the memories of one). That might be the one truly good and selfless thing Regina has done in a long time, it should be acknowledged.

    Still not sold on the chemistry between Regina & Robin Hood, does she even know he's the guy with the tattoo?

    Wait, didn't Mulan join Robin's gang? Where is she? Oh that's right, she's on NBC right now.

    Of COURSE Rumple's back, woohoo! They couldn't keep him away for too long. Can't wait to see just what sort of state he's in.

    Love the casting of Rebecca Mader as the Wicked Witch. She should never not be on TV somewhere. She seems to be having oodles of fun, which is even more impressive considering the make-up she's in.

    On behalf of red-blooded men everywhere, thank you for bringing Storybrooke Ruby back, ABC :) (although that scene highlights yet again why Henry needs to get his memory back pronto)

  2. Finally a decent villain..loved Zelena so far. And we saw Ruby and Archie and dr Whale. That's great. I'm going to pretend Mulan is on a super secret mission to retreive a mysterious artefact to save everyone..
    Regina vs. Zelena should be fun. Bring it.
    As for Rumple..we all knew he wasn't really dead, but so soon? Okay then.

  3. I'm not convinced Zelena is actually Regina's sister. I think she used the blood the monkey retrieved to break the blood curse and trick Regina with the sister story.


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