I’ve decided to try and shorten the whole review thing a bit – it’s become just too much, around ten pages are a lot to write and I just don’t have the time. Also, I don’t think I need to put down the detailed plot; this I assume is known to those who read these summaries (if someone does, lol). Instead, I’ll try to structure the whole thing more. We shall see how it works out.
But, now for the review of ONCE UPON A TIME episode 2×20 – another Regina story.

Let’s start with FTL.
We see Regina basically go out of her ways to get her revenge on Snow. When she wants to learn the shapeshifting spell – the one Cora (!) uses – Rumple tells her that it would take a long time to acquire that knowledge and skill, so Regina has Rumple do it. And really, either Regina is very desperate or very stupid. Or both. I don’t know, but I wouldn’t have put myself at Rumple’s mercy like this – because this is just what happens. Rumple is in control, and as we see in what follows, this is not the best thing. Not that it was to be expected. The moment Rumple cast the spell without Regina having any control over it I knew this wouldn’t have the best of endings.
So Regina goes, undercover so to speak, and tries to find Snow because she wants to “snap her neck”. Ouch. Of course something had to happen to get in a major twist there, and it is, of all things, Snow saving Regina from being beheaded.
Before that, however, she overhears her people talk about her, and not very friendly, just like Rumple warned her. Seeing that she can’t do anything and thus also can’t act without thinking, I wonder why that didn’t make her think. Why, for once, can’t she listen to what people are saying? She is so anchored in her hate that she is unable to change, and that’s surprising for a show where everyone is shown to have two sides.
Anyways, Regina is about to be beheaded, saved by Snow (much to her horror, lol) and taken with her to a hiding place in the woods. Here she learns that it was Regina rescuing young Snow that made Snow want to help others – interestingly enough, as it appeared to have been Snow’s mother to change the spoiled brat?
Two things are interesting in the following events – for one have both women the chance to kill the other, but don’t take it. That’s surprising for Snow, even more so for Regina of course. Shows that there is something good in her after all. The other thing is what keeps Regina from murdering Snow – she says that she’d forgive Regina just to have a family again. Obviously Regina is not against the idea, which in turn proves that there is hope for her. Only that right now her hate is stronger.
Another interesting thing – Rumple’s price for the spell is that Regina must not trade with King George’s kingdom – the guy who’s supposedly Charming’s father. We know that it had political/financial reasons why Charming had to marry Abigail – what if this had never happened? Would Abigail never have been an issue? Think of what else then hadn’t happened – like finding the lake, being able to restore Snow’s ability to have children (because George would still have been an a…) etc.
Loved the shoutout to Rumbelle shippers when Regina returns to the castle and Rumple tells her that he already has a maid – “Promising girl actually!” So great.
And then comes the moment the Evil Queen is born, as Rumple restores Regina’s original looks and Regina, after everything that has just happened, and happened before, decides that it is time for a change:

The Queen is dead – long live the Evil Queen

Needless to say that most certainly this was included in Rumple’s plans – the more Regina hates, the easier he can manipulate her.
Back in SB with Tamara and Greg, our not-at-all-favorite villains.
Those two are closing in on finishing their job in SB, it seems, and look for allies – they try to convince Hook to help them find Kurt. As payment he shall get the means to kill magical creatures, thus Rumple. Now, the funny thing is, for some reason I never quite believed, at any time, that Hook is completely evil as they sure try to make us think. May it be Colin, or may it be Hook’s history, his chemistry with Emma, whatever. When Greg and Tamara talk to Hook, I never quite expect him to actually work with him. Hook always has something else planned, something that first and foremost he will benefit from.
So it isn’t really surprising to see him next appear at Regina’s office. The one thing that did surprise me was that he showed genuine sorrow over Cora’s death when he heard about it from Regina. It seems as if he really liked her. Actually I was never quite sure, but then I guess those two shared a bit of adventure, so they might just have gotten close (not like that!). He also tells Regina that Cora really only wanted her daughter’s best, and I wonder why Hook feels inclined to tell her that when Cora’s dead and it won’t change anything now. That’s why I think that Hook actually likes Cora and Regina, and that he cares about Regina enough to give her a bit of closure, as much as it is possible. Right then I don’t see any particular reason, any ulterior motive behind his words.
Anyways, Regina shows Hook the beanstalk bit she’s grown, and the beans she now has. This is supposed to get them out of SB before after they’ve set to destroy it, what is also Regina’s plan. This also includes killing Rumple -though I wonder why they are so poised to kill him, since he could be useful. I don’t think I’ll ever get it, Rumple is their most valuable asset for whatever they want to do. And if only to acquire the Dark One’s powers. But killing him? Regina is not close enough a good sorceress to not be defeated again sooner or later; she can’t be without Rumple’s powers because he’s the one who taught her. Actually I wonder if it would have any effect on Regina if Rumple died or lost his powers, mhh…
So Regina and Rumple are off to get what they need to destroy Storybrooke. And all that just because… why? Well, before she eavesdropped on a conversation between MM and David as they talked about going back to FTL – and how they either want to leave Regina back in SB, or take her with them, but let her outlive her days in Rumple’s cell. Basically: rot. When she then talks to Henry to convince him that the two of them, with the help of the beans, should return to FTL while destroying SB, which would kill everyone in the town, and he refuses to help her, even declares to do everything to stop her, there isn’t much left for her to do.
Once again Regina is quite the tragic figure here. We realize that if Regina had someone to love her, be there for her, truly show her that she is wanted and loved, all this could end. All her evilness, her plans for revenge, her desire to find her own happiness (which she won’t like this, as we all know) could end with a bit of friendship and recognition. There were glimpses of that before, but always something happened that reversed it all again.
As she tells Henry, she has no one else to talk to, that’s why she shares her plan with him – even that she’s willing to kill everyone in SB. She has to know that Henry will never allow it as long as he knows of it. Of course she has the means to make him forget – that’s what she does also – but still she could as well have told anyone else and made them forget. Instead she tells Henry, probably to see his reaction; hoping against hope that he’d be on her side. If that’s not desperate, then I don’t know what is.
Now all she has is Hook and his help, and he seems to be willing to be at her side. If only she wouldn’t once again betray him. Really, Regina is one big mystery to me. She has the chance to get the help of someone, and yet she destroys it. It’s not the first time either she’s betrayed Hook’s trust or at least willingness to help. We know that Hook has his very own plans he follows, but still; those two as real allies could be a powerful connection. If only they’d realize this.
Alas, they don’t as so both are playing double, if not triple games. Regina and Hook go down to the cave that’s under the library. Regina sees the wristband Cora gave Hook to climb the beanstalk and wants it back; then she pushes him into the pit with a zombified Malificient (really don’t know how else to describe her, but it’s interesting that she still exists, because I think it was Emma who killed her dragon form – and who or what now is this creature?!). Regina herself gets a yellow/golden diamond from Snow’s glass coffin, goes back up to the library, believing that she now has everything to set her plan in action…
… and finds Hook. Couldn’t help but chuckle here. And here we say that neither of them should ever trust the other. At least Regina has the decency to look scared, because she knows she’s in for some revenge from Hook. Only that she probably didn’t expect to actually work with T&G after before he told on them. Now the thing I wonder about is how did Hook get up there that fast. Is there another way? I doubt he could have done it with the elevator; Regina would have noticed, since this thing takes a while to reach one end or the other, and also he would have needed to get past her. So where’s the secret exit – and what could it mean for the further story, maybe next season or so?
In any way I wonder about that cave, and whether it will have some greater meaning later on. There’s a lot one can do with such a cave around; actually it gives a feel of a place that’s closer connected to FTL than anything else in SB, maybe like another gateway or something.
In any way is Regina now in G&T’s hands, which is the really scary part, because these two are just creepy and I guess everyone wants to get rid of them as soon as possible – in-universe and among fans (poor fellas get a lot of hate on Twitter, but for once I can understand it, lol).
Last but not least – the thing that keeps Regina from using magic once she’s back up and confronted with T&G is the bracelet that’s filled with a special metal, as Greg says. Interesting. A metal to make magic abilities non-functional. Kryptonite, anyone? And really, I don’t even know Superman. It is still a nice twist, especially since we don’t know how much of that stuff they have. Or where it comes from. Or anything else about it. What they say is that it is science – which immediately made me think of Whale, probably the only one in SB convinced that science is better than magic (despite having been proven wrong). Could he have a hand in this? I’d love to see more of him, and some involvement there… on the other side I really don’t want him to be(come) one of the bad guys.
And then we have that little part with Emma being suspicious of Tamara. Oh wow, the only one with common sense in that town, save for Henry maybe. So Tamara has a list of which SB inhabitant is which fairytale character. A list that of course has to raise her suspicions. Hadn’t I already found Tamara to be completely untrustworthy, I would have thought of her that now at the latest.
Good old naive Snow doesn’t believe in Tamara’s evilness. No, instead she thinks her daughter is just looking for reasons to get rid of the competition so she once again has Neal to herself. Hello?! I’m not the biggest fan of Snow, but really… how often was Emma proven to be right in the past? She’s the only one with a clear view on everything, and when she says that something’s not right with a woman suddenly coming to SB and learning about FTL characters, then you can well assume that this has nothing to do with jealousy!
…even if a bit of that might be involved. But then, Emma has good reason.
Anyways. At least Henry is on Emma’s side and together they wait in front of Granny’s until Tamara and Neal leave, then go in so Emma can search the room. Too bad that Neal comes back – which makes for quite the adorably-amusing scene when Neal realizes that Henry, who is supposed to watch for anyone coming by and warn Emma then, is doing exactly what Neal has taught Emma. I love how he is not really angry or anything, but rather calm, and a bit amused; you can see that he still loves her, and it’s so sweet. It doesn’t make him believe her when it comes to her suspicions; he may let her have her way and check beneath the loose floorboard, but of course whatever was down there – and we can assume there was something – is long gone.
It’s hard to watch Neal trusting Tamara where we all know she’s anything but trustworthy; where we’ve already seen what she’s doing, what she’s done, especially to August. But Neal trusts her… yet.
So this was the preparation to the big two-part-finale that is awaiting us the next two weeks. At the moment I’m not sure where all this is heading, except for obviously out of SB and back to FTL… or another world? Who knows…

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Tags: Emma Swan, Greg Mendell, Henry, Hook/Killian Jones, Neal Cassidy/Baelfire, Once Upon A Time, OUAT, Regina/Evil Queen, Rumplestiltskin, Tamara, The Charmings