Once Upon a Time Review: The Blackened Heart

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According to Regina, a blackened heart will only get worse as it begins to destroy itself from the inside out. I suppose she would know.

Once Upon a Time Fight

"Welcome to Storybrooke" was one of the odder episodes in the series, as all the characters were in a dark place and no one seemed to know what came next. I wasn't crazy about the time jumps, yet they did give us a glimpse of what the first days in Storybrooke were like at the beginning of the curse.

Storybrooke past… Regina's first weeks in Storybrooke weren't exactly what she expected. She was looking for her own happy ending but when every man and woman in the town acquiesced to her wishes, she found it very unsatisfying. 

Although I wasn't a fan of the Groundhog's Day aspect of the story, it did offer some very entertaining moments, such as Ruby and Granny's argument outside of the diner. Remember back in Once Upon a Time Season 1 when Ruby wore those incredibly tight, skimpy outfits?  

Granny's Once Upon a Time quote was perfect when she told Ruby…

When I put over easy on the menu I was talking about the eggs. | permalink

Granny always did have the sharpest tongue in Storybrooke.

Then there was the reappearance of the much mourned Sheriff Graham. It's always great to see a handsome man back in town, even if we had to go back in time to get it. 

But what the heck was up with Regina talking to his heart? Are those things like glowing walkie talkies?

Owen was great when Regina told him he was sitting in her seat. He looked at her as though she had lost her mind. Somebody had definitely been a queen for far too long if she was bullying a little kid for a chair.  

It had been so long since anyone had given Regina a gift without expecting anything in return that the gesture when straight to her heart. Unfortunately, hers was so twisted by loneliness that her reaction was to imprison the boy's father in order to keep Owen in Storybrooke.

My question was: after she let Owen go, why didn't Regina let the father go too? If they couldn't find Storybrooke again once they left, what was the point of holding him?

Storybrooke's present…  I would have thought that Cora's death would make things better in Storybrooke. If anything, I believe they've gotten worse.

Regina was obsessed with vengeance and Mary Margaret was consumed with guilt and, as usual, poor Henry got caught in the middle. 

I did love it when Emma looked at Neal as though he were an idiot when he completely missed that Henry was making a run for it. At least the kid gets it honestly. The ability to run must be in his genes.

Henry had a good plan. He just couldn't execute it quickly enough. And how sad was it that he had to convince Regina that an empty heart spell would never lead to true happiness?

Later, Mary Margaret looked so desolate as she showed up on Regina's doorstep. She just wanted it all to be over but Regina wasn't about to make it that easy. Just when I thought she was going to lock Mary Margaret's heart away, she saw the black mark in the center.

Has she truly become Mary Margaret now? Can we call her Snow White if she's no longer pure as snow? And will the blackness continue to take over her heart?

Just when I was wondering why the heck Greg was even still in town, I figured it out.  And then the big reveal confirmed my suspicions. Greg was Owen, still searching for his father, decades later.

Is Kurt still alive? Will Mary Margaret's dark side destroy her own family? Will Rumple choose sides are continue to play both ends? What was your take on this unique Once Upon a Time?


Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (110 Votes)

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


Liam, you're right sometimes we can figure out what's gonna happen, but I realised not watching the promos kept me surprised at times. I find they give out a lot of spoilers in the promos. Last year, I would have never guessed August was Pinocchio if they hadn't revealed it in the promos/spoilery pics.


I really don't like Henry as a character. When you're a kid your parents lie to protect you; it's what they do. But everyone is so afraid of Henry not loving them anymore they forget to discipline him, and it's just at the point where he must always get his way and know everything. Then again I'm a teen so I know nothing about kids and parenting but the way he acts annoys me. Then he manipulates Regina by calling her his mother then abandoning her when he gets his way


I liked everything about this episode. The flashbacks were great. I had been a long time since we had seen the characters the way they were when cursed. And we got to see Graham again. It was interesting that they showed us how Regina controlled him. So funny when he tried to arrest the guy for drunk-driving when he wasn't even driving. Also I liked that they explained how people were frozen in time without realizing it (always reliving the same day). I like that this show always manges to eventually explain everything. They also explain why noone ever visited Storybrooke before Emma (except Owen and his father, since they were camping in the woods whenn the curse stroke). I'm curious to see what will happen with Greg, if he'll expose them. Maybe now that they have magic, they can make the town invisible to strangers again.


I think HER is Neal's fiancé, a fairy tale character NOT from Neverland, knows who Neal is and I have no idea who she could be. I had thought Tinkerbell when they showed her eyes in the previews; as Tink always wanted Peter Pan for herself. But I think Neal is a Lost Boy, so ???? Plus, whatever to Henry: stop being a brat, and accept your family & u can't know grown up stuff.
As for Snow: what happened to our badass girl? Seriously, it was either kill Cora or let her be the Dark One. She was brave and saved her family from being murdered by Cora, which was going to happen no matter what. Have people forgotten that? Oh, yeah Regina you never learn & magic comes w/ a price.


This episode was amazing!! Finally things cleared up with Owen, he was pretty much useless to the story until now and that kind of annoyed me, but things are getting interesting. Also, seeing Graham on my screen was just... no words. Whyyy did he have to die.. :( Good thing August is back next week! "But what the heck was up with Regina talking to his heart? Are those things like glowing walkie talkies?"
Remember that episode where Cora (I think) controlled Aurora by talking to her heart?


Well I guess we can figure out now that apparently Reginas speciality are Lasagne and Apple Turnovers......

Beverly brooks

1.Is Kurt still alive? 2. Will Mary Margaret's dark side destroy her own family? 3. Will Rumple choose sides are continue to play both ends? 4. What was your take on this unique Once Upon a Time? 1. Probably somewhere. 2. Yes.... 3. Rumple will continue to play both sides. 4. Love the twist at the end to know the stranger is really Owen looking for his father.


Reviewer, you have a typo in your second to last sentence, which should read "Will Rumple choose sides OR continue..., not ARE"
Also, I wondered why Owen's dad wasn't let go, either, after Regina lost Owen to the real world. She probably found a use for him and just turned him into some kind of slave or critter or something.
And BTW, Henry DID say "thank you" to Regina after she destroyed the curse scroll at the well. He considers her his adoptive mom, and I am sure he still has some feelings for her because she raised him while Emma was in jail. I felt so bad for Owen and his dad, who just wanted to rest in town for awhile and then go home, only to be treated to Regina's evil queen routine. Sad.


Another great episode. Season 2 has been a little bit rocky in places, but seems to be getting things back on track. Loved this episode. I did figure out that Owen was Greg early on in the episode but I didn't let it ruin the episode. Sometimes you can predict whats gonna happen and when the writers do reveal it, they do a really great job at it.


Great episode. Loved every single bit of it: Regina back in the 1980s, realising her revenge wasn't that happy after all, Graham's return, the story of Owen and his father, Henry trying to get rid of magic, Neal doing his best to fit into a father's shoes, Rumple protecting his family... Fantastic! Although I have to admit I also wondered why Regina didn't let Owen's father go after she allowed the boy to cross the town's line. And why didn't Henry hug HER after she destroyed that curse? Seriously, he talks about forgiveness and that everything's got way too crazy ... and then NOTHING. They say a leopard cannot change his spots, but Regina, with burning that curse, did! And Henry's not even giving her a little embrace or smile for that?

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