Once Upon a Time Review: Good Always Wins

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Good may always win, but evil doesn't give up easily. We learned such a lesson in "Queen of Hearts," as the Once Upon a Time midseason finale pitted Cora against Emma. The latter won the battle, yet the war rages on.

In the fairy tale past, as many suspected, the realm that Cora was banished to was Wonderland... where she became the Queen of Hearts. Quite fitting for the woman who enjoys ripping them out.

Queen of Hearts

Cora and Hook's relationship started long before the curse. It appeared Hook had never been averse to a little murder. He'd have happily killed Belle when he realized she was useless to his cause. Then he was off to rip out Cora's heart, to no avail. My question is, where does she keep that precious organ since she mentioned to Hook in this Once Upon a Time quote?

 I'm the Queen of Hearts. Do you really think I'd be so careless as to keep my heart where everyone else does? | permalink

Cora's most heartfelt lesson to her daughter was that love is weakness. Is it any wonder that they are both so miserable?

In the fairy tale land of the present, it didn't take long for the group to find out that Aurora's heart was in Cora's clutches. I really thought she was going to crush it to dust, as I just don't see much use for Aurora and Mulan. Perhaps the quest to save Phillip will change my mind but I don't feel any connection to these two characters.

I kept waiting for someone to realize that the scroll was written in the magical ink. I actually yelled Finally! when Mary Margaret figured it out. Although every time they looked at the scroll, the first thing that came to my mind was that Rumplestiltskin had beautiful handwriting.

Back in Storybrooke, Regina was torn between her vow to Henry to do better and her fear of her mother. It didn't take much prodding from Gold to get her to turn back to the dark side. Henry had to beg quite a bit in comparison to get her to turn back. 

But I'll admit I really did feel for Regina. She did the right thing but found out that often times the right thing can feel lousy because she watched Henry skip off with Emma, the woman he referred to as Mom. She looked truly heartbroken. And then Gold had to rub salt in the wound by commenting...

 Congratulations. You just reunited mother and son. Maybe one day they'll even invite you to dinner. | permalink

Ouch! If we've learned one thing about Regina, it's that she lashes out when she's in pain.

Our heroes were all back together, but their happy scene may be short-ived with Regina licking her wounds and Cora and Hook sailing into town. If there's one thing we can be certain of, it's that life won't be boring in Storybrooke for the new year.

Once Upon a Time Season 2 resumes on January 6.


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (153 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


@whenandonly12: Thanks but I'm well aware that Dr Whale is Frankenstein and I'm quite familiar with the story as well. I'm not stupid thank you very much. All I was saying was that we don't know what world he lives in - it wasn't explained if it is solely a Frankenstein-based world or a world in which all horror stories are real... which is why I referred to it as horror movie world. But thanks for the friendly heads up there.


Does anyone else think that Mr. Golds son, is Henry's father? Wouldn't that be interesting to see if Henry can make Mr. Gold do good things, just like he has done for Regina.


@swan30 I thought she might die too. Or that she should've suffered some effect. I watch the show with my friend and I actually told her: "she'll die". But whatever. Magic is unpredictable. XP @Ace I agree about the bean and the ashes. It's literally what I thought. I love how Emma's magic was addressed throughout both seasons and now it's finally becoming really important (and that it didn't just happen out of the blue). LOL at how Ruby was there but basically did NOTHING but fly through the air. That girl needs a storyline asap. I fear what's ahead. Love this show.


@swan30 I don't think the Bean requires a navigating medium, like the ash from the wardrobe. The bean, in itself, creates portals and it's up to the bean-user to determin the destination. Remember when Hook used it to open a portal to Neverland? The compass wasn't in his possession either. I think the compass was needed because the ash from the wardrobe was badly damaged, although the lake repaired it to create the portal, the compass was needed to give it direction.


@Isoron I don't believe Emma is "immune" to Cora, as she's shown to be susceptible to Cora's magic. True Love is the most powerful magic, and I think Emma, being in the Enchanted Forest, subconsciously kickstarted her own magical abilities - almost like an inherent defense system. Perhaps maybe when Cora tried to go after Emma's heart, especially acting upon love (sacrificing herself for MM), Emma's magic manifested.


@queenbee94, If all worlds were no exception to the Dark Curse, then why did Cora return to the Enchanted Forest? She possessed magic in Wonderland, and she had subjects that served her already that would've been protected by the barrier spell... so why return? I think the Dark Curse only pulled the ones from the Enchanted Forest. Just because the last we saw of Jefferson and Dr. Frankenstein doesn't necessarily mean they didn't make it back to the Enchanted Forest. OUAT storytelling is, something frustratingly so, non-linear. So we could see the events in the future, and in the past, and still not know the inbetween.


This was the best episode of the season so far. It had me on the edge of my seat. But I agree with the people that say they should have been good enough to invite Regina to eat with them.


Dr Whale is Frankenstein... how do you not know... It's one of the most famous literary books in history. And it's literally made OBVIOUS through the episode "doctor": the lightening, the creation of his "broker-monster", the dialogue "what is more power than magic? "science". How...


The question was asked on where they got the ship. That was implied when Hook said that they would have to go to Wonderland. This was to get his ship. The producers were asked (on TV Guide) why Emma is Swan. I think this episode answered the question (at least for me). When she turned out to be so powerful (and able to stop Cora from removing her heart) she morphed from being just a plain human (the Ugly Duckling) into her real status as a Swan (ie: She come into her role as the Fairy Tale Character that she is).


Did you really just ask where Captain Hook got a pirate ship? Lol.

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