Once Upon A Time, Season 2, Episode 20: “The Evil Queen”
Written by Jane Espenson & Christine Boylan
Directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton
Airs Sundays at 8pm (ET) on ABC
Hold on to your seats! This week’s Once Upon a Time shot out of a cannon, with full force. Props need to be given strongly to the writers with this week’s episode. There was drama, action and nail biting suspense, as they lay the ground work for the closing of Season Two.
A few minutes into the episode and we discover that this week’s past Enchanted Forest storyline is going to be about Regina. The episodes that contain Regina’s past storyline are often entertaining, in the fact that Rumplestiltskin and Snow usually grace the plot at least once or twice. It’s nice seeing how the relationship with Rumplestiltskin and Regina has grown. Often in the past Enchanted Forest we find Regina learning from Rumplestiltskin and coming to him with requests. This episode was no different in the fact that Regina practically begged him to turn her appearance so that she could hunt out Snow White. On that note it would have been a nice nod to the Snow White fairytale if Rumple had turned her into an older begging woman then a young one. But no matter what the actors handle the material that the writers gave them with such ease.
One of the highlights from the episode was watching Snow interact with Regina, when she was in a different form. Lana Parrilla and Ginnifer Goodwin have come so far over the past two seasons that they know how to play to each other. They read each other very well. It was enjoyable watching Regina having an almost human moment when Snow was talking freely about Regina, not knowing that it was her. Whether it is in Storybrooke or the Enchanted Forest both Goodwin and Parrilla take their scenes together and perform them with an entertaining grace.
The two main plots in Storybrooke, we find, are actually connected together; even though the characters don’t exactly know it yet. On one hand we find Greg Mendell and Tamara enlisting the help of Captain Hook so that they can capture Regina. The other has to do with Emma and Henry plotting their next Operation Cobra to find out what is going on with Tamara.
The storyline with Henry and Emma was especially entertaining. The way they were interacting and the creation of a new operation name, made it feel like a storyline from Season one. It’s nice to see Jennifer Morrison back in the spotlight. The past few episodes Emma has kind of fallen into the background so other characters could be focused. It’s refreshing to see her back up front. The writers, again, need to be given much of the credit with this storyline. They are able to craft the suspense of the operation all the way to the frustration and disappointment when Emma pulls up to the floor board in Tamara’s room, finding nothing.
This week, in the wonderful Once fashion, left several questions burning in our minds. What exactly are Greg and Tamara planning on doing with Regina? Now that she’s been captured how is Charming and Snow going to find the beans? Will Emma and Henry succeed in Operation Praying Mantis and prove that Tamara is bad? What’s going to happen to Belle if Storybrooke gets destroyed? Wasn’t Maleficent killed by Emma in Season one? And where is Ruby??
The episode, however, was unquestionably a great jump start and set up for the next two weeks. The acting was magnificent, but the writers were undoubtedly the heroes this week. They left us sitting on the edge of our seats with our mouths wide open; beginning a countdown until the next Once Upon a Time episode airs. And it can’t come without a moment too soon!
– Joshua Bouye