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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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (178 Votes)

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


["Charming punching Whale for sleeping with Mary Margaret/Snow was awesome, mostly because it's something David never would have done."] I didn't find it awesome. I found it dickish. After all, "David" must have slept with his "wife" Kathryn for a long time.


I agree with the reviewer that it was great to have skeptical, kick-butt Emma back to see through Hook's lies. Good for her! I love watching her and Mulan and the annoying princess finding their way through the magical land together. They're not at all faint of heart and they are bonding and learning more about how to get home and defeat the evil Cora.
I felt only slightly bad for Regina, who didn't have to become evil, she only had to realize that her love was gone, and mourn, which is the mature thing to do. Instead she becomes evil so she can try to find a way to bring him back, even AFTER she was told that it wasn't really possible...what a stupid move from a supposedly smart woman. The fact that she was screwed over by Dr Frankenstein and all the other guys doesn't surprise me, and shouldn't have surprised her...there is no honor among bad guys. BTW, yes, James Whale was the director of the original Frankenstein movie with Boris Karlof.


i still thoroughly enjoyed this episode but i wish that they would just get with the plot. i miss emmas interactions with regina and not enough charming family time


@Nicole - You're right. Cora's vault was under the fireplace of Snow's castle IIRC. I didn't quite understand that scene. Cora was doing magic long before Regina met Snow's father. You think she would have had a heart vault someplace else. Regina's vault was under the Storybrooke mausoleum, where Daniel's body was located.


Apparently James Whale was the director of the original movie or something. So it was a hint. Side note: I don't think the vault Regina was referring to was the same as her mother's. I think Regina created her own vault and by saying that realized that she had pretty much become her mother. It'll be interesting to see if this season facing her mother gives her an opportunity to really face what she has become and decide to go down another path. Not as good as last season so far, but still one of my favorites! :-)


Why were they calling Dr. Frankenstein Dr. Whale?


Had to add that Lana Parilla was AWESOME in this episode! Add another layer of conspiracy in Rumple-Jefferson, and the tale of Frankenstein almost seemed incidental. Rumple's determination to gain Regina as a student must go back to Cora, the original miller's daughter of Rumple's fairy tale. Cora is one of the few people that bested Rumple at his own game. He wanted another child after he lost Bae, and thought he could get Cora's. But, she guessed his name and he lost. Training Regina & turning her against her mom was the ultimate revenge against Cora. He didn't win Regina as a baby. But, he certainly got her as an adult.


So i had to spend a whole season till i could figure out who Whale was...how long till we find out who the f@@@ is his brother?!!!I'm guessing a character from the horror mythology...like Dracula...or maybe he became Dracula after Victor revived him the first time. It'd be really cool if he was actually a vampire hunter at first and after death was changed into a vampire.
Anyway...the fact that Victor didn't uncover his face leads me to believe that they're probably twins. And that's possibly the only thing i'm almost certain about.


@fanboy826 - I like David & Henry. Henry is a human child, and the only reason that the core characters found each other. Now that Regina has let Daniel go once and for all, Henry remains the reason for her existence. As much as some viewers are annoyed by Henry, he's essential to the motivations of the main characters. I'm sure Charming would have thrown Regina across the town line by now & left her to fend for herself if Henry hadn't pleaded for her life. I think what is needed is more Regina-Henry scenes so we know just what this woman means to this boy. That is the part that is lacking for me. As for Jefferson, Victor, & the Magic Hat, yes Jeff can only travel to magical realms. He & Victor traveled to the EF via the hat. We saw them jump into it to return. It's because Victor's "reality" is as real to us as Wonderland or Neverland. He comes from the same reality as FRANKENWEENIE - TimBurtonLand!


They are losing me.

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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.