Once Upon a Time Review: True Hearts Can Lose

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Even true hearts can lose and they did this week, over and over again. 

"The Queen is Dead" featured Snow White struggling with loss after loss until her belief in doing the right thing was strained to its limits.

Rena Sofer on Once Upon a Time

In fairy tale past, a bratty little Snow White paraded around in her pink princess dress and berated servant Johanna for trying on her precious crown. It was satisfying to see her mother put the entitled little girl in her place. 

Apparently, the lesson stuck as Snow has gone out of her way to do good, even when in the end doing so has hurt her and those she's cared about.

But Cora may have taken her evil vendetta a step too far. In one day Snow found out that Cora had murdered her mother, tricked her by pretending to be a fairy and manipulated events to make sure that Regina would one day be Queen. 

The last straw was poor Johanna. Even when Snow handed over the dagger and Regina restored Johanna's heart, Cora still killed her in front of Snow's eyes. Why? For the fun of it? To prove she had the power to do so? As she told Snow in this Once Upon a Time quote

You see in the end it isn't good or evil that wins. It's power. | permalink

As they stood in that clock tower, I found myself hoping that Snow would use the dagger to destroy Cora. She didn't and Johanna died anyway. 

If there was ever any doubt before, in that moment Cora proved herself to be pure evil. Perhaps the arrogance of it all will be her undoing. Snow did finally seem convinced that Cora's demise was a price worth paying for peace, even if it does darken her own soul.

Back in New York, Rumplestiltskin was treating Henry as though he had the plague. So much for grandfatherly love. The seer's warning still rang in his mind more than the happiness of finding his son or learning of his grandson.

Henry barely seemed to notice. He's too busy getting to know his dad and being angry at Emma for her lie. Hopefully he won't hold this grudge long. 

Neal's plan to get them back to Storybrooke was surprising. He knows how to sail a pirate ship. Impressive. 

The moment Neal told Emma things were complicated, I figured he had a girlfriend. He one upped me by making it a fiance. I'm sure the poor woman has no idea what she's gotten herself in to.  

Since all magic comes with a price, what will Rumplestiltskin end up paying to have magic save his life?

A few side notes…

  • To this day, Snow won't celebrate her birthday. That's really sad.
  • I loved Regina's boots as she was digging in the woods. Being an evil queen has its wardrobe perks.
  • Snow got her name because she was born during the harshest winter. Nice back story.
  • Hook took a crowbar to Charming's face? Yeah, I think it's going to take more than "apologies" to make up for that.

Do you think Cora's plan is to use Rumple to do her bidding, or to become the dark one herself?  Will Regina follow in her mother's footsteps?  Or will Snow White find her own dark side and bring them all down?


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (113 Votes)

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


Giving the bad guy an extremely dangerous weapon in (possible) exchange for one person's life isn't taking the moral high ground; it's being stupid. If Snow White can't see the difference between making hard decisions and going over to the dark side, she's even dumber than she looks.


please somene get rid of neal's fiance I don't want her to be a fairy tale character but seriously I hope neal dumps her I hate the girl and it's already one episode in I want him with emma. Also henry Is a spoiled brat I never liked him in the 1st season or this season he's so over protected. He has never gone through the life his parents emma and baelfire went through. Good epiosde though


Excellent episode, though I am concerned about Snow turning evil and having the "black heart" that Cora so desperately wants for her.
I think Henry is being a brat, and I wish Emma would tell him that his father is a liar and a thief and she was only trying to protect him.I sincerely hope she doesn't get back together with Bae/Neil, because he's creepy, cruel, a liar, a thief and not at all handsome. I hope he's not Peter Pan, either, because at least Peter was fun. Bae hasn't shown us any fun side at all. BTW, I LOVE the little girl who plays Snow as a child...she's a perfectly marvelous actress, so emotive and lovely.


If we kill off the villains (Hook and others) we would not have any excitement in the story now would we. Perhaps Snow will smell the coffee.


i was so waiting for cora to say "farewell sister" to Eva. i'm guessing that the king from the story of rumple and cora is snow's father and maybe his father made him marry someone of royalty instead of keeping his word and marrying the miller's daughter (cora). then rumple swooped in with promises of revenge and teaches her magic. the rest is history. i do have to say i never trusted the blue fairy. she always came off a little too arrogant, bossy and stuck up. i wanted to like her soooo much, she's the only good guy with any real power but she is so under used and sooo mean. remember the epiosde dreamy? she scoffed at dreamy/grumpy for saying that he was in love "dwarves dont love silly" maybe not but bitches get stitches you better watch yourself. she ruined nova's and dreamy's happy endings for her own selfish reasons of having things only her way and keeping nova under her thumb.
as for tamara i so thought she said her name was Tomorrow lol. im suspecting that she is from neverland (tigerlily to be exact). remember kids there are many ways to get to earth and there are many magically lands BESIDES the enchanted forest. oz, neverland, wonderland, etc. tamara being tigerlily would explain why Bae said its complicated. he saved her life and thus became her bridegroom. he's engaged because he HAS to be not because he wants to be


I do miss Sydney Glass (Giancarlo Esposito)who is now on Revolution. But that can't mean he can't do some one off eps. He's got to pop back in sometime.


oops!.....Hook's lady, but it would have been before or after Rumple tracked her down and accidently killed her! How did Hook know where to find Neil so quickly in NYC, and an answer as to why Neil led a not so stellar life that got Emma in trouble when they were younger! There's only so much you can cram into an hour, but agree, would like to see some of the other established characters and how they are faring knowing they were once in a storybook existence. Good Review.


Good episode. Lots of speculation about Eva and Cora, and again Neal. Cora seems to be jealous of everyone and everything. I wonder, too, where she got HER magic! She could have just wanted better in life and her station, so she set her sights on the royal family of the kingdom she and her family lived in, and she goes after the Queen so Regina can be royal. What a shame they are both so evil and very unlikeable (but love their wardrobe and them!)! As for Neal, if not Peter Pan (and most likely not a Lost Boy), how about when he fell through the hole he ended up being shanghied to work on the crew of Hook's Pirate Ship? He was still in storybook land (but maybe would have recognized his mother was Hook's


"If Cora and snows mom were sisters, and they were both millers daughters, how in the world did snows mom pass a tiara down to her?"
Damn. I forgot she said it was from her mother! I doubt a princess or the like would marry a miller. There goes my theory .... but then again: why would Cora hate Queen Eva so much if there wasn't some kind of history? Maybe Cora wanted to somehow marry the king, but he preferred Eva?


If I remember from the first season Mr Gold brought Henry to Regina for adoption or helped her somehow...

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