Once Upon A Time: “Welcome to Storybrooke”


Grade: B

Airdate: 3/17/13

After Once Upon A Time killed off its only real villain last week, I was interested to see what they were going to do with this episode and now I’m all kinds of confused. Regina (Lana Parrilla) was going to destroy everyone’s happiness for a while, but she chose to stop. So, I think our villain is Pennsylvania Greg and the possibility of Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) becoming evil. And I don’t that is going to happen, so our villain is a middle-aged guy with daddy issues. Awesome…

Getting to see Storybrooke in the 1980s was the best part of this episode. Its starts with a father and son camping in the woods outside of town in 1983. There is then a thunderstorm with some added purple smoke that dropped a town near their campsite. We watch them wander around confused for a little too long before we get to see Regina react to her curse working. I don’t know why everyone was wearing the outfits from the pilot because that didn’t make any sense. Regina commits some lighthearted torment to Mary Margret, who it was nice to see again.

Back in the present, Regina is crying over Cora’s grave and Rumple (Robert Carlyle) comes. He tells her to give up her quest for vengeance because all vengeance comes with a price. Regina says she will find a way to kill Snow and get Henry (Jared Gilmore) but she also has a tear running down her face. The show seems to have written itself into a weird place since it tried to make Regina good. I like her and she is one of the best characters on this show in terms of complexity and sympathy. The show needs to get a new villain or have Regina do something too unforgivable to tell us that we can’t like her anymore. I am more likely to feel sorry for her than fear that she is going to kill off one the heroes.

Our heroes are dealing with the not so heroic act by Snow, who sleeps on the bed five feet from the rest of the cast yelling for most of this episode and doesn’t speak until 40 minutes in. Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Charming (Josh Dallas) are forced to tell Henry what happened. Rumple comes to warn them about Regina’s plan and Emma says he has to help them. They figure out that Regina is going to use a love curse on Henry and needs Snow heart to do so. Snow, would you like to comment on your possible death? No, okay keep sleeping in the same room as this argument.

Emma, Charming and Rumple decide that the only way to end the blood feud between Regina and Snow is for them to kill Regina. Henry freaks out saying they used to be heroes and runs off. He didn’t make it very far and ends up at the diner with Emma and Neal/Baelfire (Michael Raymond-James) who wants to take him to New York to get him away from the danger. But, Henry runs away from him too.

But in contrast to Regina’s plan to kill Snow, I felt a sorry for the 1983 Regina. She gets bored with Storybrooke and realizes that it doesn’t make her happy. She had met Kurt and Owen and felt threatened by them at first, but then she invites them to dinner. She connects pretty well with the kid telling us that she adopted Henry so she would have somebody who liked her. She asks them to move to Storybrooke but Kurt rejects her offer.

Later, she uses Graham’s heart to make him arrest Kurt. He saw her and fights off Graham and tries to leave Storybrooke leading to a rather goofy car chase. Regina and Graham stop them by the town line. Graham arrests Kurt and Regina tries to get Owen to stay with her but after she realizes he is scared of her she lets him run off. Regina really just has abandonment issues.

Back in the present, Charming, Emma, Neal and Ruby (Meghan Ory) — yay! the show remembered you’re a character — track Henry. They realizes he stole dynamite out of the mines and Neal thinks it has something to do with him wanting to destroy the magic in Storybrooke because it is ruining everything. Henry runs into Greg on his way to the well. Greg was around for most of this episode, so it was pretty easy to call that he is Owen, because this show needs more characters with two names. He calls Regina, thinking she is his mom, and tells her he is out in the woods.

She finds him as he is about to light the dynamite. She magics it away and Henry tells her again that she can’t use magic to keep him. She disagrees and says Snow has to die for what she did. Emma, Charming and Neal show up but Henry stops them for fighting by convincing Regina not to kill Snow or use magic on him. She agrees because I don’t think she is really a villain anymore.

I guess Snow was awake when Rumple said death is the only way to end a blood feud. She goes to Regina’s and tells her to kill her. They almost had a heart-to-heart but then Regina took Snow’s heart and I’ll admitted I was shocked by that. Snow tells her to crush it but Regina said she doesn’t need to because there is a dark spot on it. Regina says she blackened her heart and that will make her destroy her own happiness and then Henry will go back to Regina.

I hope that is explained a little more next week. Is it a certainty that Snow will become evil or is it a choice thing? Snow was compared to Regina and Rumple in this episode because she did something evil. But they aren’t really that bad and haven’t destroyed everything for themselves. Like always, I liked it but it had it problems. The flashback stuff was fun to see but the plot was a little weak.


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