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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Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (153 Votes)

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


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Oh man how bad I felt for Regina. But this is a great start! I wanna see her nice this time! Cora can be the new villain.

Anna maria

Yayy I'm so exited that Hook's coming! He's so hot! I used to like Rumpelstiltskin but not anymore, so I'll be glad if Hook off's him..he's the reason behind Regina and Cora's evilness and he almost killed Snow and Emma tonight! Thank god Regina came to her senses, but she'll definitely become evil again, now that she's jealous!


I can't wait until they tell the story of how Cora went all Sith lord on Rumpel, see the falling of their relationship, and how Cora because Rumpel's apprentice.


@Kay and @Queenbee Like the folly of all villians, Regina succumbed to pride and arrogance. She didn't think that Cora would have expected an assualt nor did she expect Cora to keep her heart in a different location. She said so herself, she always had a certain weakness with Cora. Hook offers a dead body, the fake heart; to her, it was proof the deed had been done.


@Kay That IS an interesting theory. I had thought about it, since we have yet to see anyone else from the other world's who has not been touched by the Enchanted Forest. It didn't seem that Regina was too sure as she said she couldn't "risk" it. As it was not her curse, Regina probably didn't know the full extent of the curse's reach.


great episode!
they should give regina more credit. she certainly has and is trying to change for the better


@Kay: interesting theory! guess we'll never know though ;)
and agreed, regina is a fool for not double checking. or at least keep hook's heart to make sure he would obey her.


@Ace and @Queenbee Here's another possible theory: the curse pulls anyone who has ever set foot on the enchanted forest. That would solve the pesky little issue of everyone being in the enchanted forest when the curse activated. Also it would explain why Regina wanted her mother dead to make sure nothing happened. Speaking of Cora dead: I can't believe Regina didn't double check. She knew how incredibly powerful her mother was and Hook came back practically scracth free.


@Ace: I see your point but I think it's a bit of a stretch that Jefferson, as well as Dr Whale would coincidentally be in the Enchanted Forest at the time of the curse. After all Jefferson had no way of returning after Regina conned him and there's no way the people of Wonderland would let him leave, not to mention be able to.
I think there's a possibility that Cora actually couldn't return from Wonderland even though she wanted to. It's debatable, since her powers are immense, but it could be true.
The reason however why she returned to the Enchanted Forest was because Regina specifically told Hook to bring Cora's body with him. Had he not done so, Regina would have been suspicious. If people from Wonderland were not transported to Storybrooke then she wouldn't have to be concerned about her mother making her weak because she would never see her again anyway. She did however say (at the beginning of this season) that the dead weren't transported to Storybrooke (except for the ones she brought with her). Therefore she needed to make sure Cora was dead before she enacted the curse.

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