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.


Wow excellent episode!LOL at hook and his seductive ways.An I actually felt bad for regina at the end.As for aurora and mulan I could care less.But on a side note...regina and hook were SIZZLING!!!Anyways but yeah I see neal coming back too and I cant wait!!!!


@Ace: Jefferson probably never left Wonderland. Last we saw him in Wonderland he was going crazy over hats and the loss of his daughter. First time we see him in storybrooke he is still obsessed with his hats and hasn't reconciled with his daughter yet. The curse transported people from all kinds of worlds (i.e. Dr Whale from horror movie world or wherever he's from) so Wonderland won't be an exception. Since Cora was back in fairytale land with hook and protected herself with her jesus stick, she wasn't transported to Storybrooke.

Ronald simkins

Here's my take - Emma is immune to Cora because she is the product of true love. But Henry is also the product of true love .. and I bet Neal comes back this season - he was really Emma's true love and he really sacrificed for her without knowing he had a son. And somehow all this is going to bite August in the ass.


@serenityq2,she came back through with Hook.He came through using the hat portal and bringing the dead guard with him,then took Cora back with him instead.2 go through,and 2 go back. Actually the compass didn't open the portal,the ash from the wardrobe did.The compass was only to direct the portal to the right world.Which kind of begs the question of how the magic bean was able to take them directly to the right world.
I want to know where the heck Cora is keeping her heart! What's up with that? Also,if that magic that Regina and Rump used on the portal would've killed anybody that came through,how was Regina able to absorb it into her without dying?


We still have the little mermaid to look forward too:)))))


I did not expect them to include Regina...sorry one good deed does not redemption make and they had things to talk about. However she is down and here comes Cora. Also interested to see how Hook plays into things as it seems he could go either way. At this point I am sorry could care less about Aurora & Mulan but perhaps that will change. Once again the clothes from the land they came from are so beyond words.So far I have liked the trouser gown stuff as most of it has been in leather like fabric but that gown that Regina had on with the jeweled back was exceptional. She was simply stunning in it along with her other Evil Queen ensembles. I love good but the Evil has something about it also but is that not the way it is?


@Nikki - Thank you! So, Emma still has the compass while Cora & Hook have used up everything they needed to find Storybrooke. Got it. Still wondering where the heck they got that pirate ship though...


Excellent fall finale, it left me hanging on just enough with enough intrigue to come back, but didn't leave me insane and screaming at the tv (which I have done before on differnet shows). I did kind of feel bad for regina at the end when everyone left and Henry let go of her hand. I know she can't really be good and Mr. Gold will keep her just evil enough but I did feel bad for her. @KansasGuest The only question I am sure of you asked was 3. No Cora doesn't have the dust, they used it to open the portal in the "lake." And were about to jump in when MM and Emma showed up so no it is not in her possession anymore. But they didn't need it because Hook had the bean and used it to get to Storybrooke. Shall be interesting when it comes back in Jan.


Excellent episode! But, people, help me out here. I'm losing track of what happened to the magical elements. 1) Compass - Snow & Emma used it to get back to Storybrooke. Its purpose has been fulfilled.
2) Magic Bean from the Giant - Cora & Hook used it to find Storybrooke. Alas, this implies that Hook killed the Giant since it was hanging around his neck, right?
3) Enchanted Tree Dust - Still in Cora's possession & never used because they had the bean instead, correct? BTW, did anyone believe Hook when he told Emma he wouldn't have left her behind like she did him? He would have slit Belle's throat in a second for no good reason if Regina hadn't stepped in. Then, he turns around & catches Aurora's heart & tries to act heroic. No, he doesn't have a heart of gold. He has a black heart & a survivor's instinct.


I too was wishing they invited her to dinner. But then I understand why they didn't. I guess it's hard for them to forgive and forget all the evil things she has done, even though she did one good deed.

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