Once Upon a Time, Season 2, Episode 10: “The Cricket Game”
Written by David H. Goodman & Robert Hull
Directed by Dean White
Airs Sundays at 8pm (ET) on ABC
Storybrooke just had a little bit more evil ride into town, or should we say sail in to town? Cora and Hook have finally docked and their vengeance is about to take place. Hook is ready to go skin himself a crocodile when Cora stops him to inform him that magic just happens to be back in Storybrooke and she should let him take care of it. Cue the opening credits and the episode is off with a quick start.
We next find Charming and Snow, uhm, rekindling their romance, so to speak, providing us with a very interesting, and somewhat hilarious, reaction from Emma (who walks in on them). “It’s impressive that we can still provide her with a few traumatic childhood memories at this stage of the game,” Charming quips. This is the type of run-ins that were eventually bound to happen with the family. Jennifer Morrison handles it with perfect timing and facial expressions. Morrison definitely has come a long way since the pilot episode and getting to see her finally interact with Snow and Charming as her parents is classic.
The episode then takes us back to the past Enchanted Forest where Snow and Charming have taken back the kingdom from King George. Regina sits on a mountain hill looking at the scene, with revenge towards Snow still her number one concern. We can tell from the few minutes we spend in the past Enchanted Forest that this episode is going to be dealing more with Regina, which is true not just in the flashbacks, but also in Storybrooke.
Regina ends up at the Welcome Home party for Snow and Emma, who invites her and ends up getting a lecture from Snow and Charming on how Regina cannot be trusted. A time out needs to be taken here to give props to Lana Parrilla. She plays her part as Regina perfectly and her ability comes across greatly in this episode. Her wicked, evil side comes while playing the Queen in the flashbacks, but seeing Regina sitting alone in a booth at Granny’s makes you feel genuinely sorry for her. This is something Parrilla has always been able to accomplish with her character. There are times when she makes you absolutely loathe Regina with a passion, but then there are moments when you actually want her to succeed. She can handle the evil with the innocence and on top of that makes it truly believable.
As the episode moves on we find that Cora has impersonated Regina to commit a crime so that everyone will turn against her. Which works, the townsfolk are not willing to accept that Regina could change her ways. Once the crime is discovered it’s up to Emma to solve it and surprisingly she becomes one of Regina’s biggest supporters, even going up against Snow and Charming to say that she believes Regina to be innocent.
As the evidence builds against Regina, Parrilla again makes you feel for her and want to root for her. The climax ends up with Emma having to come to terms with the fact that it was Regina who committed the crime and telling Henry. Regina, crying, looks through her memory as she feels like she now has lost everyone she loved.
While the cast do exceptional jobs, as usual, it is actually Parrilla and Morrison’s episode to shine. Morrison got to not only deal with parental situations with Snow and Charming, but we also see her handle raising Henry, making parenting decisions that she has not got to make before. The main praise needs to be given to Parrilla though. For the first act of season two she was merely a background character, popping up every now and then when David needed her to watch Henry. Her star shines with its brightest light in this episode, prompting some questions about Regina’s character in general. Like just how is she going to deal with Cora when she learns her mother is there? And will she join with Cora or with Emma and the others? Could she actually change back?
Other questions, in typical Once fashion, are raised as well. When is this confrontation with Hook and Rumpelstiltskin going to happen? Are there going to be more Father/Mother/Daughter run-ins with Charming, Snow, and Emma? How is Emma going to handle raising Henry? And when is Lana Parrilla going to get nominated for an Emmy?!
Hopefully all these questions and more will be answered within the following weeks, as the second act of season two starts off will a very loud and amazing bang!