By Sherry Lipp
WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD
Once Upon a Time has been growing darker over the past couple of episodes. I kind of like that things are getting a little more desperate for the characters. This week in “The Queen is Dead” we find out some nasty secrets about what really happened to Snow’s (Ginnifer Goodwin) mother. Everything comes to a head for Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle), Emma (Jennifer Morrison), and Neal (Michael Raymond-James) in New York City. Overall I like the direction the show is moving in, and I found this episode to be entertaining.
In some flashback sequences we see that young Snow (Bailee Madison) was not quite as nice as she is now. She scolds her caretaker Johanna (Lesley Nicol) for trying on the tiara Snow is to receive for her birthday. Snow feels she is better than everyone else and no commoner should be touching her stuff. Snow’s mother (Rena Sofer) gives her the obvious lesson that no one person is better than the other, then suddenly falls ill. Back in Storybrooke, Cora (Barbara Hershey) and Regina (Lana Parrilla) plot to steal the dagger from Mr. Gold. Snow overhears their plot and vows to do something to stop them. Meanwhile Captain Cook O’Donoghue seeks his own revenge against Gold.
So what was good about this episode was that they were not afraid to get evil. Cora carries out one of the most evil things we’ve seen on the show. This fits the evil deeds we see her do back in Fairytale Land. I liked the whole intertwining of stories between young Snow and what was going on in Storybrooke. Snow has reached her limit, and now she feels that being good doesn’t count for anything. It will be interesting to see what her next move will be.
Captain Hook somehow takes the Jolly Roger to New York so he can confront Mr. Gold. I have to admit I don’t really like that the ship can go anywhere. First it made it from Fairytale Land to the real world and now it has left Storybrooke and made it to New York Harbor. They made such a big deal about Mr. Gold making his true love potion and having to use his son’s scarf in order to leave, now Hook’s trip seems a little too easy. What I did like was that after Mr. Gold is injured by Hook, he was pretty nasty to Henry (Jared S. Gilmore). I don’t mean that Henry deserved it, because he didn’t, I just like the dynamic they are creating. In the last episode they insinuated that Mr. Gold has always planned to kill Henry, and now he is being mean to him. I don’t know where they are going with that. It doesn’t seem like the knowledge that Henry is his grandson has changed his views on anything. Of course, he might have been acting like that since he was in pain.
Overall I thought this was a good transitional episode. It set things in motion for what will surely be a huge showdown between the characters. The teaser promised that we will lose “one of our own,” but I’m not sure I believe it will really be one of the main characters. I’m betting it will be a somewhat familiar character that hasn’t been a huge part of the storylines. But maybe I will be surprised.