Once Upon A Time: “Enter the Dragon” (S4Ep15)

This episode was great. It was Regina (Lana Parrilla) focused. It had so much SwanQueen, more unintentional subtext, Snowing getting called out for being horrible and Baby Braids Regina! It did also have a boring Belle (Emilie de Ravin) and Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) story line, a recycled twist and a major timeline fail. But I mean come on:

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Look at Regina right now

Regina is meeting the Queens of Darkness at Granny’s after hours to start her undercover mission. I had the same feeling about Regina and Maleficent (Kristen Bauer van Starten) as I did about Regina and Tinkerbell and Emma and Lily, if lesbians were not the shows intention what the hell was?

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Regina is met with more sass than she usually gets from the Charmings. She tells them she wants to join them because she is just faking it with the hero gang. She’s a villain like them and she wants her happy ending just like they do. After taking a shot from Maleficent, Maleficent says she can come with them.

We then jump back into our Enchanted Forest flashbacks, which featured my favorite flashback character, Baby Braids Regina. She is getting pissed at Young Snow, who thankfully didn’t appear, because she is winning all sorts of horse riding awards. Full Dark One Rumple (Robert Carlyle) is there and points out the irony that Snow only got the confidence to start hiding horses again because Regina saved her life with her horse riding skills. Regina isn’t having it and gets mad at Rumple because she didn’t think her revenge would take this long. He tells her to be patient.

Back in Storybrooke, Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Charming (Josh Dallas) decide to tell Emma (Jennifer Morrison) their plan for Regina going uncover. Emma doesn’t like the idea and calls them out how a lot of fans did last week, this is like asking a recovering drug addict to undercover as a junkie, Snow.

Emma warms up to the idea once she is told Regina agrees. Emma asked when they are going to start. Her idiot parents have to tell her they already did and Regina was supposed to check in an hour ago and she hasn’t. Emma is pissed.

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Shouldn’t you be more responsible, you used to rule a kingdom.

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But I suck now

I actually liked this next scene though logically the location doesn’t make any sense. The QoD plus Regina load up in Cruella de Vil’s (Victoria Smurfit) car and drive to the train tracks. There are train tracks in Storybrooke? How does that work? Where would that train be going you’re in Maine? Whatever, back to Regina. Maleficent has Cruella park her car on the tracks and a train is approaching. Cruella says the first person to save them losses. Regina tries to call their bluff and questions why Cruella and Ursula (Merrin Dungy) are even working with Maleficent.

Regina doesn’t get an answer and realizes they aren’t bluffing. At the last moment, she saves them. Ursula and Cruella say she has gone soft and is still a hero. Maleficent tells them not to write her off so quickly.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Baby Braids Regina finds one of Maleficent’s spell books among her mother’s things. Regina says she wants to learn from Maleficent because she was the power to turn herself into a dragon and she wants that kind of power. Rumple tells her she won’t learn anything from Maleficent. But, Regina ignores him and goes to her castle anyway.

Regina arrives and finds a that Maleficent has pretty much given up after Stefan defeated her and saved Briar Rose, Aurora’s mother. The shows tries to introduce a dark magic equals drug abuse here. It has tried this before and again it was weak.

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Am I pulling it off?

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No

Baby Braids Regina tells her she used to be powerful and she can still get her happy ending and her revenge, she just has to keep fighting for it. Was anyone else getting a dark side Xena and Gabrielle vibe from these two? Also no homo, OUAT?

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“Maleficent is just a close talker.”

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“Regina can’t be gay, Robin Hood is her soul mate.”

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“She admires her in like a mentor way.”

Back in Storybrooke, Emma is still freaking out because she and her parents have been searching all night and they still haven’t found Regina. Snowing starts to question their plan and worry that maybe the QoD will turn Regina. They find a burned sheriff cruiser and then Regina pops around the trees. She said apologizes for burning the car and says she couldn’t get away for the check in.

She says she has been asking questions, getting information, drinking a lot and burning things. She thinks there has to be something more going on with the QoD because they are able to work together so well.

Regina then goes to her vault to clean up from the QoD party. Maleficent comes in and they have more sexual tension filled dialogue. She asked Regina to met her again that night for another test. She has an idea of how to find the Author.

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No homo

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Baby Braids Regina convinces Maleficent to go try to get her dragon ability back from a tree that is still burning in a part of there kingdom she destroyed. She is able to get the fire back but they are caught by Stefan and his men. Regina says she isn’t going out like this. She burns off her bonds but is only able to throw one fire ball at the men. Maleficent comes to her aide, turns into a dragon and takes out all the men. The two of the them then go find Aurora, who is about to marry Prince Phillip. Maleficent enacts the sleeping curse on her and Maleficent and Regina go off triumphantly.

I shouldn’t even be complaining about the timeline on this show but how was this supposed to work? How can Baby Braids Regina and as-we-know-her Aurora exist in the same time? Baby Braids Regina is let’s say early 20s in this scene and Regina is about early 30s when she enacts the Dark Curse. Maybe Aurora didn’t age while she was asleep but she was supposed to be marrying Phillip in this scene but Phillip would have aged during that 10 year period. Either the writers massively messed this up or Sarah Bolger was engaged to a 12-year-old.

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It was nice to see you again, Sarah Bolger

At the end of the episode, Baby Braids Regina is back in her barn and is putting the sleeping curse on Snow’s prize horse. Rumple realizes she did learn from Maleficent but she still learned more about fighting for what you want from Regina.

So back in Storybrooke, Regina set up to meet the Charmings at the library but they brought the “whole Charming softball team and their pirate mascot.” Emma is still concerned. Regina says it is too dangerous for her to come along but Emma reminds her she is part of Operation Mongoose and is not going to let the QoD near her. She says she is going to track her. Regina reluctantly agrees.

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Wait? Do you still have feelings for Maleficent?

Regina meets Maleficent and they go to off in Cruella’s car. Emma is tracking her phone and tailing them in Charming’s truck. Maleficent takes them to Marco’s house. Regina said she already tried with Pinocchio. Maleficent says like a hero not a villain and she sends Regina inside. Regina is clearly conflicted and puts Marco and his boy asleep as soon as she gets inside.

Then Emma sneaks in and asked Regina what she is doing. Regina says she’s got it and nothing will happen to Pinocchio. She promises she will stop anything before it goes too far. Emma says she can’t take all three of them herself and she just needs to give the word and Emma will run in to help her. Regina agrees, takes Pinocchio and goes back to the car. She then drops her phone and drives off with Maleficent.

Emma then goes outside and finds Regina’s phone with “I got it” typed on it and she stands in the street and looks defeated. I really liked the phone drop because it seems to have two different meanings. The first being Regina is being attracted to the darkness and doesn’t want Emma to stop her. The second is Regina is worried the whole situation is too dangerous and she doesn’t want Emma to find her because she is trying to protect her. The show could be going either way, it is probably the first but I hope it is the latter.

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Emma, not now. We are kind of in the middle of something

So, the Belle and Hook scenes are not important until this point. Hook is sneaking around with Belle, which doesn’t make any sense, because they are both Storybrooke Hero Gang members. It was easy to guess Hook is Rumple in disguise. He cons Belle into getting the Dark One’s dagger from her. I figured that out early on and the whole thing made me uncomfortable because of all the lying and manipulation.

Anyway, Regina and Maleficent arrive at Rumple’s cabin in the woods. Regina is confused why they are there. Then Rumple walks out and Regina is clearly scared. They are up against a bigger foe than they thought and she is going to have more trouble faking she is a villain.

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Oh shit

Regina tells everyone again the boy doesn’t know anything. Rumple says that isn’t a problem because August does and he turns him back into a man. And Regina is just as concerned.

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Aw shit

This might be my favorite episode of season four. Yeah, it had its problems but most of it was great. Lana Parrilla is the strongest part of this show and she and Emma have the best dynamic. When the show remembers that it is always great.

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