Once Upon a Time: Regina

Regina and Henry

I agree with whomever posted this on Tumblr

Regina!  Lana Parrilla does an amazing job with this character, but the writers occasionally miss the mark.  I still think the “I hate Snow White because she was an innocent little girl who didn’t believe me when I told her that bad things would happen if my mom ever found out about me and Daniel” storyline is lame on its own.  A few flashbacks showing that from Day One all the King did was talk about how awesome Eva was and how Regina will never measure up, leading to a meltdown in which Regina torches Eva’s things, leading to a heartbroken Snow screaming something like “my mom was a true Queen” — give me those and I might be able to see the beginnings of slippery slope.  Throw in a few scenes of Cora hinting that Snow only pretends to be sweet but that she’s really causing all kinds of mischief directed at Regina and I might begin to understand the hatred — Regina’s always been easily manipulated by Cora and Cora would definitely hate Snow because of Eva AND would want her own grandchild to assume the throne.  Finish it off with some good old-fashioned teen angst?  Something.

I didn’t find it any more believable that after spending a little quality time with Snow and learning that Snow really cared about her and wanted to be a family again, that Regina suddenly thought “hey, maybe Snow’s not so bad after all”.  C’mon.  That might have happened in the Snow/Charming days when Snow stops Regina’s execution AND frees her from her cell — I would think that would give someone pause for thought — but Regina just slaughtered an entire village because she hates Snow so fiercely.  To date, we’ve been told her only reason for hating Snow is because of what happened to Daniel — Snow and Regina had years together and it seems likely that Snow was mostly well-behaved and kind towards Regina during that time.  Why would a couple of days of roughing it suddenly change Regina’s mind?  Sure, she’s beginning to realize for the first time how very much the people hate her — does she now see Snow as her ticket to being loved by all?  I find that easier to believe than an epiphany that maybe she and Snow can be BFFs after all.

And speaking of Regina’s sudden realization — okay, I know that OUaT is driving home the fact that there’s a slippery slope between good and evil and that it only takes a few missteps here and there to become The Evil Queen.  I get that.  The writers did a good job of showing us Rumpel’s transition, Cora’s transition, and the effect orchestrating Cora’s death had on Snow’s heart.  What they are screwing up is Regina, mostly because they can’t seem to make up their minds whether she’s diabolically shrewd or unbelievably clueless.  Rumpel embraced the Dark Side but you don’t see him puzzling over the fact that people are terrified of him.  Regina is a smart character — how are we to believe that a smart character wouldn’t see the connection between her actions and others’ reactions?

And with that question, how did you react when Regina confided to Henry that she planned to wipe out everyone in Storybrooke?  Sure, she erased his memory when he didn’t respond with an enthusiastic “Cool!  Can we call it Operation Happily Ever After?” but really, she thought she’d run that past him and just maybe he’d be on board???  She’s a smart woman — she knows that Henry cares about the townspeople and that he loves Emma, Snow and Charming.  Becoming evil didn’t make Rumpel dimwitted — why do the writers insist on giving Regina bouts of stupidity?

I do think Regina will redeem herself in the end — her love for Henry will lead her to try to stop the implosion of the Self Destruct diamond.  The writers can’t keep her vacillating between good and evil forever though and it’s hard to imagine the show continuing without her.  Will she end up in a coma or something to buy time?

Rant over — onto the rest of the episode — sort of.  It’s been a couple of weeks and I’m having trouble deciphering my scribbled notes.  Tamara and Greg are much simpler villains — Greg’s motivated by losing his father and Tamara is motivated by religion.  They pull Hook into their plan — they need to render Regina magicless and Hook’s the perfect guy for the job.  Regina doesn’t question the fact that he has her mother’s cuff — she just wants it and he gives it to her.  What’s cool about this storyline is that we learn that Maleficent is still lurking in the caverns beneath the library.  Apparently on one of her shrewder, less emotional days, Regina anticipated that someone might manage to kill her BFF so she included some magical reboot in the curse to bring her pal back to life, albeit in a different but still scary form.

Teasers — remember back in Season 1 when Henry and then Archie had to be rescued from the mine?  We saw Regina slipping a piece of glass into her pocket that looked like a piece of Snow White’s coffin.  Well, they must have been close to the cavern because that’s where Regina hid the trigger to destroy Storybrooke.

Rumpel reminds us once again that he is a master schemer — it was because he led Regina to cut off trade with King George that the worst-pretend-dad-ever needed to form an alliance with King Midas in the first place.  What is Rumpel’s end game?


3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    marcy ogle said,

    I didn’t get why Maleficent was a ghostly dragon?! Did I miss something? I thought she was left behind in the magical place with Milan and company.

    • 2

      lightheartedlibrarian said,

      Regina brought Maleficent over. Emma battled her in the caverns last season–I can’t remember what Maleficent had then but I think Emma had to stab her with a sword to get it. I thought Maleficent was dead at that point but apparently Regina cast some spell on her to make her regenerate so that she could guard other stuff.

  2. 3

    The writers can’t keep her vacillating between good and evil forever

    Why not? What is this need for fictional characters to be one-dimensional?

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