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Once Upon a Time: Mother

“I’m so tired of standing in the way of my own happiness.”

Most of this episode was great, but some parts were kind of frustrating.

Lana Parrilla always nails each stage of Regina-ism when it comes to the Evil Queen flashbacks, and ‘Mother’ was no exception. It’s still amazing to see how she strikes the perfect blend of villainy and remorse, the quantity of which are dependent on whatever part of her history we’re exploring at the time. Here she’s pretty much all the way there, though Henry’s still lugging around so maybe she’s about 90% super bitch? Either way, she’s bad, and a visit from Cora sets her over yet another hurdle bringing her one step closer to the witch we met in season one.

Her mother’s appearance here was a little baffling. I always got the impression that the Wonderland banishment was a lot more permanent, not just a short trip down a rabbit hole away, though I did appreciate the White Rabbit shout out. Cora spends most of her time here doing some classic Cora meddling, all with the goal of supposedly helping Regina. I wasn’t fully convinced by her confession at the close of the episode that bringing in the Sheriff and forcing an heir out of her daughter was all to help Regina out. Why after all of her time supposedly thinking, would Cora still lie and scheme behind her daughter’s back?

In the present day, Regina brought back a little of her own scheming to get the author to help write Zelena out of existence. Thankfully that didn’t happen; it just took Zelena reminding Regina that what she was doing made her just like mommy dearest. It’s a bit of a leap, but maybe she wasn’t too far off.

I like my Regina quick and snarky, but still one of the good guys. It’s satisfying that she finally realised that getting her happy ending isn’t something she can force, she has to not just earn it, but feel like she deserves it, and it looks like she does now that she’s not standing in the way of it happening anymore, though Rumple still appears to be taking the coward’s way out.

Elsewhere the mommy drama was still in full force, with Maleficent and Lily’s reunion. I’ve been hesitant since Ursula’s pacification about how easily certain players have been knocked out of the game, but Lily bringing Maleficent around is something I liked. Sure, watching the mother daughter team tear into the lumps that are Snow and Charming would have been cool, but I’m just as eager to watch Maleficent change along with the rest of Storybrooke, and Lily coming to terms with her existence is a big part of that.


Regina stopped herself from ever having children just to get rid of her mother and prove a point. Is that decision reversible? Since she has Henry I don’t think it’s something that really affects her either way anymore.

He Said, She Said

Regina: “You didn’t know our mother, Zelena, but I did, and yet we both suffered.”

Though certain aspects of ‘Mother’ felt like desperate attempts to shoehorn things into place for the finale, it still had some wonderful moments and it looks like things are about to get interesting. Rumple and the Author’s plan to “update” the story could dramatically affect everything that happened this week. Judging by the promos the finale will take the possibilities all the way, which is very exciting.

3.5 out of 5 magic quills

Originally posted at PandaTV.

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