I grabbed Queenie’s, “Let my wrath be unleashed” as this episode’s headline, because Once Upon A Time‘s Maleficent appears to have a modicum of conscience and restraint. [Fools! Idiots! Imbeciles! –Actual Maleficent] And? She’s blonde? [No! It cannot be! –Actual Maleficent] That is just wrong, Show.
Look, I have Maleficent issues — in that I think she is the most perfect villain of all time — in any medium. [My pet… you are my last hope. –Actual Maleficent] She talks the talk. [Now you shall deal with me, O Prince, and all the powers of Hell! — Actual Maleficent] And with horns growing out of her head — before she turns into a dragon? Sister walks the walk. [Did you hear that, my pet? –Actual Maleficent]
Your “Maleficent” — Show? She has a bedazzled headpiece that looks more like a flaccid joker’s hat. [You poor, simple fools, thinking you could defeat me — the Mistress of all Evil! –Actual Maleficent] I know Snow White‘s Evil Queen is this show’s primary villain, but don’t let me catch you defanging, dehorning and dedragonizing my Maleficent, ever again, Show. This sort of insolence I shall not brook. Now, I’ll try to put aside my marrow-deep umbrage, so we can talk about what was otherwise a strong episode.
Our World: Thanks to exposition from Henry, we learn that — because of the curse Queenie cast in the Enchanted Forest — pretty much no one in Storybrooke, Maine remembers his or her true, fairy tale identity. In Our World, time had always been stopped for them, until Emma Swan decided to stay in town, and their magically created Our World-personal histories and memories are decidedly fuzzy. Mr. Gold (aka Rumpelstiltskin) is an exception to this rule. Regina seems as though she may remember that she’s the Evil Queen, or at least waking up to that fact, but it’s hard to be sure. So far, the Regina character has been crafted to be both horrible, and horribly sympathetic, which instills in me some faith that the writers are committed to telling us a layered story (even though they miserably misuse Maleficent. Really. I’m near tears, here).
Mayor Regina Mills spends the episode setting up her son Henry’s bio-mom, Emma Swan, in a number of ways — most notably to be arrested for stealing Henry’s patient file from his shrink, Dr. Archie Hopper (Jiminy Cricket). When Emma is arrested, Henry convinces Mary Margaret Blanchard (Snow White) to bail her out. And when Emma is evicted from Granny’s Bed & Breakfast because of her arrest (which the show deems makes her a felon, even though she hasn’t been tried, and believe me, I’ll hit that in the full recap), Mary goes a step further and takes Emma in. Emma learns that Henry believes Mary is Snow White, but she plays her cards close to the vest and does not reveal to Mary that Henry thinks Our World’s Emma Swan is daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming. In an attempt to drive Emma out of town, Regina also manipulates Emma into calling Henry and his fairy tale faith “crazy” within his hearing.