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.


Most of my opinions have been expressed here elsewhere, but the one thing I HAVE to say is that Regina DOES need some positive reinforcement when she makes a good decision once in a while! Each time she has some huge conscience moment, Henry doesn't so much as even say thank you, never mind hug her or something. She went through SO many of those this season with literally no reward. She is so desperate for love and approval that that would, frankly, be the best way to control her! SMH
I thought they were all jerks walking away from the well. If she sees somewhere she would belong she would soften. But alas, everyone's too busy being judgy. ESPECIALLY Henry. 30 seconds prior he's calling her his MOM and defending her, then he walks away. Little brat.


I'm beginning to think this "her" is Neal's fiancée... and has her own agenda aligned with greg/owen.


I am so sick of Henry and his attitude. Did he really think that no one was going to stop Cora? She was going to kill them! Plus he needs to stop referring to Regina as his mom, unless he's gonna go live with her and be with her full time. His going back and forth is driving me nuts. Either accept Emma as your mom and embrace your true family or don't kid. He was so anti Regina first season and convinced she was evil now he acts like she's good and redeemable. I'm with snow on this one, sometimes you gotta do bad things to stop someone from hurting you and your family. Henry needs to accept that and so does Snow. Once they get over theirselves Regina won't stand a chance because they'll have accepted that every good side has some bad as well, but it doesn't mean you're truly bad. Please writers, pick a side of the fence for Henry!


@Peggy He gave Regina the keychain he made, the one he had at the end was the one his dad gave him.


If Owen gave the key chain to Regina how is that he is holding it as an adult at the end of the episode?


Wow read some reviews and have to say i figured owen was greg within the first 10 minutes he was on the screen. Besides being in the forest when the curse activated, my first thought was there has to be something linking these characters to storybrook. The person i was watching it with at the end of the episode when you see greg with the keychain said so he is the kid in the 1983 flashback. Loved the response to "The Boss".


Rumple is still the best character in the show and I just love watching his manipulations. I can't understand why he continues to fear the seers predictions as how horrible things turned out last time. Love this show and all it's characters.


Did my eyes deceive me, or are we getting the return of August/Pinoccio next week??? THAT was the best part of the show!


Good episode. It makes since that Owen is Greg but I don't like that storyline I just don't find it very exciting. I loved seeing Graham again I really miss him. I can't believe Neal fell for that going out the window of the bathroom is like the oldest thing in the book. It will be interesting seeing Mary Margrets path from here. I think she'll start going dark a little later on and charming and Emma will be trying to find away to make her heart pure again. Can't wait till the next episode.


I think Rumple woud probably choose Regina over his own family. I also think that Kurt should continue his serach for his dad by going to Regina.

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