Once Upon a Time Review: Who Is the Monster?

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"The Doctor" finally revealed the identity of Dr. Whale. Dr. Frankenstein, I presume, but did that make Daniel Frankenstein's monster? Well, not exactly.

The more I found out about Regina's past, the more sympathy I felt for her. A young, heartbroken Regina was only looking for the power to bring her lost love back to her. An impossible task to be sure, as even Rumplestiltskin said in this Once Upon a Time quote...

 Magic can do much but not that. Dead is dead. | permalink

But it's a goal anyone who has loved and lost could understand. Unfortunately it all went horribly wrong.

The bad boys of the Fairy Tale World certainly played a young Regina and crushed whatever hope she once had of reuniting with Daniel. I always knew Rumplestiltskin had an evil streak and I believed Whale did as well, but I suddenly didn't feel nearly as bad for Jefferson as I once had. Apparently he was no innocent victim in this game wits, power and magic, as he played a major role in setting up an innocent Regina. As they say, Karma's a bitch.

Even though she'd lost Daniel and the boys treated her badly, that didn't mean Regina had to turn to the dark side. That was a choice she made. The question now becomes: Can she still choose to turn back?

Enchanted Forest Massacre

In Storybrooke, I took it as a good sign that Regina was asking Archie for help. That's a huge step for her. She obviously cares very deeply for Henry. Will it be enough?

Henry and Charming at the stable were too darn cute. I loved how Henry kept asking the horse if he was ready to ride. Sometimes, in the middle of all of this magic, it's easy to forget that Henry's just a normal kid.

Perhaps Regina's true curse was that she couldn't let go. If she had mourned Daniel from the beginning, she wouldn't have had to lose him again and again. Will she be able to take Daniel's advice to love again now that she knows that he's really gone?

Finally, we get to the Fairy Tale World of the present as Emma, Snow, Mulan and Aurora wandered back to the compound only to find everyone dead. Okay, not quite everyone.

Thank goodness we've got our cynical, suspicious, kick-ass Emma back. It felt like we'd lost her for a few episodes but she's obviously found her footing in this new world. It was good to see she wasn't buying Hook's poor innocent act at all. 

A couple of side notes:

  • Charming punching Whale for sleeping with Mary Margaret/Snow was awesome, mostly because it's something David never would have done.
  • Aurora's whining has become really annoying but I suppose someone has to do it.
  • So, the vault of hearts was Cora's, not Regina's. Of course that didn't stop Regina from using them.
  • Hook and Emma had definite chemistry but I don't know that I want to see her hook up with the bad boy of the high seas.

So who was the real monster? The evil, or the ones who created it?

Get ready for next week. That beanstalk looks like it's going to be one Hell of a climb.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (178 Votes)

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


@kansas, im glad i wasnt the only one to catch his slippers cooment! even though he was very much a "bad boy" i still really liked jefferson in this episode.


Hook is cute! I'd like to see him redeem himself and possibly become a love interest for Emma.


I liked the episode, especially just in time for Halloween. But I am confused, I feel that I missed a part. Regina begs Charming to let her talk to Daniel. Charming lets her, but seriously, he's just gone with Henry afterwards? No, back up no nothing? no witness as to what Regina had to do?

Beverly brooks

I love that Regina only brought some into Storybrook. It is very interesting each week how different type of stories are being introduced, not just Disney characters.


I want Rumple to find his son, who I'm guessing is Henry's father. This episode was good, but I'm really wanting to find that all out!


wednesday posted "I'm somewhat confused though, was Rumple able to send Whale back to his land after he fixed his arm? Because that was him bringing his brother back and if so does that mean he's gone from Storybrooke now." That is a flash back to his return with the heart when he was returned by Jefferson/Mad-Hatter. He was asking Gold to return him home so he can try to revive his brother AGAIN (it went bad the first time - ie: The time that was shown at the end of the episode). I loved how they hinted at Whale's identity all through the episode getting more explicate as they went (Gold calling him Victor was a broad hint to those who still had not figured it out yet). They immediately went to the B&W world which should have tipped off anyone who had not gotten it yet - Followed by they calling him by his full name right at the end of the episode.


john posted
"Oh and the final shot of dr whale bringing the monster to life was a great flashback. He should have shouted, its alive." HE DID. They paid homage to the original Whale Movie by recreating many of the sets and used this classic line. I saw the line on my closed captioning but you might not have heard it since at times the closed captioning has dialog that is not actually used.


Snow is finally getting to be a Mother to Emma and teach her the ways of "fairy tale land," and in turn, many of the life lessons she wasn't able to give her daughter once she sent her flying through that portal. In some small way, this adventure away from the real world is bonding them and making up for all the lost time together. Should they ever return there's little doubt that Emma will know what it feels like to have a mother.
Regina will never learn, she cannot and will not live without magic. That is going to be a long, hard road if she ever hopes to succeed, and if Karma is really a bitch, then our so-called "Queen of Mean" is really in for it! Good luck girl, you're gonna need it!
LOVED the tease of the "giant in-waiting" atop the beanstalk. No longer "Lost," he should make a great giant. I'm all for every one of these fairy tale characters being woven into this story. It not only works, but it makes sense at this point and keeps us guessing who's up to what. Will everyone live happily ever after? Well, if they live at all, there's a chance but we're nowhere near that kind of resolution just yet!


Good news for OUAT Fans - Even with football & the World Series competing for viewers, last night's episode got BIG ratings. The only higher series was THE MENTALIST, and that's because by that hour, all the pro sports were finished.


@Rosie - Remember, David was never married to Kathryn. He was in a coma for 28 years and didn't have sex with anybody in that time. Regina somehow got Kathryn to pretend to be his wife (and THAT'S a storyline that has never been explained to my satisfaction) to keep him & Snow apart. I don't think he slept with Kathryn because he didn't feel anything for her, then they separated and she disappeared.

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Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 5 Quotes

Stopping magic is a lot harder than starting.


Regina: It's just that magic is the way I've always gotten everything.
Archie: It sounds like it's also the way you've lost everything.