Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
Lisin

S03.E13: Witch Hunt

Recommended Posts

Emma arrives in Storybrooke to discover no one remembers the past year spent in Fairy Tale Land and teams up with Regina to find out who is responsible for the new curse; Robin Hood helps Regina break into her castle, which has been taken over.

Share this post


Link to post

I am really enjoying the Regina-Robin Hood pairing in the flashbacks. I think they make a pretty entertaining couple; although that might just be because I like bitchy Regina best.

Apart from that, I thought this was a particularly fun episode - lots of characters joking about the ridiculousness of the plot-twists. David, in particular, is very good at that - he doesn't get a lot to do otherwise, but Josh Dallas does a great job with what he's given.

As for the Wicked Witch/Evil Queen family dynamic - meh. I don't know that I'm particularly interested in finding out the Wicked Witch's backstory, but I am glad that Regina once again has something to be worked up about.

Share this post


Link to post

This is probably one of my favorite episodes to come out of 3B. It hits a lot of right notes. One particular scene I love is when the flying monkey attacks Roland and the group realizes they're up against the Wicked Witch. They make all these Oz references ("Are we talking east or west? One you drop a house on, the other you throw a bucket of water at," and "I don't care if the Lollipop Guild is protecting her.") and many of them are surprised to find out Oz is a real place. It's great when the ensemble cast gets to interact with each other in a more assorted way. Plus, their remarks show some awareness that this is a show about random fairy tales. It's definitely what I signed up for.

Other things I enjoy: Regina and Emma working together without Swan Queen baiting, the crazy Rumple reveal, and Zelena's formal introduction.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I liked Emma and Regina working together in this episode. Regina didn't throw a bunch of nasty comments at Emma and they had a nice conversation in the car. It turns out New York was great for Henry. He was a happy, normal boy with lots of friends, so it will make complete sense for him to want to move back to Storybrooke and leave his happy life behind rather than staying in New York and visiting Maine every once in a while.

There's a bunch of Regina in this episode that I forgot about. I love her claim that she owns all of her bad deeds. Sure she does. And then there's the whole part where she wants to essentially commit suicide because she doesn't have Henry and the only thing that pulls her out of it is that having someone to destroy gives her new purpose. This is said complete with crazy eyes. Anyone who gets off on human destruction as much as she does is not safe. Regina becomes less and less redeemable every time they show her gleeful and enjoying the thought of bringing pain to others. It's not revenge that drives her; it's sadism.

I like the conversation out at the town line with Emma, Hook and David. Hook is ribbing her about the monster she was going to marry and David's more upset that she was contemplating marriage and he missed it. 

Telling Grumpy about the Wicked Witch was great too. I appreciate the use of a side character in a highly amusing and appropriate way. 

Oh and Robin said he owed Regina a debt. I wonder how he finds the time to do anything other than pay off his perceived debts. 

Share this post


Link to post

An ok episode. I liked the Regina and Robin adventure. 

Spoiler

It’s a shame they didn’t continue them getting closer in the flashbacks and went the other way with Regina doubling down on her dislike of him rather than softening.

I’m a dr not a vet. 😂 

Share this post


Link to post

I'm not normally one to defend Regina, but Emma really should have called her or otherwise given her the heads up about Henry before Regina bumped into him in public, even if just for Henry's sake so there would be no awkward scene.

That said, all of Regina's "I can't live without Henry" drama is ridiculous when you consider how little time we've ever seen her spend with him. In season one, when she had him all to herself, she would ditch him for an entire Saturday. He hadn't lived at her house since the curse broke. She only got together with him after that when they were working on the sleeping curse thing, when she lied to him about blocking the portal, and when she tried to talk him into murdering his whole family so they could be together. If they wanted to change their relationship, they needed to change it as part of the story, not retroactively pretend it was always something it never was. The memory thing could have been interesting if Regina saw it as a second chance, like she could become someone Henry would admire if he had no memories of the way she'd treated him and all the horrible things she'd done, and her drama during the missing year could have been about missed opportunities, that she wouldn't get the chance to build a relationship with Henry now that she'd changed, rather than acting like he was such an integral part of her life that she couldn't function without him.

I think this episode would have been a lot more effective if they'd delayed showing us who the Wicked Witch was in the past and maybe threw in a few red herring characters in the present -- some new people we might think could be the Wicked Witch, like maybe a Miss Gulch type -- so that it wasn't so blazingly obvious that it was Zelena. She's so sweet and friendly in Storybrooke that they could have had fun with that, with everyone liking Zelena and focusing their suspicion on Miss Gulch. Then they wouldn't have looked so dumb that they weren't the least bit suspicious of the only female newcomer. And sending Grumpy to the diner to smoke out the suspect, only to have him turn his back on the rest of the room and no one notice the person who jumps up and leaves, was really just bad writing. The plan worked, but they were too dumb to notice. Again, it would have worked better if she'd just stayed there and we didn't know who she was or if she'd left more casually.

But there were some good bits of dialogue here. I love Emma introducing Mary Margaret to Henry, and the delivery of "Banditry!" was just so perfect. And there was the "one you drop a house on, the other you throw water on." It's fun seeing the fairy tale characters encountering something that's a storybook to them. But I do wish they'd been better about keeping straight what Hook knows. The line about Emma, the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, not believing in the Wicked Witch is clever, but Hook was the wrong person to deliver it because to him they're all real people. He shouldn't know that any of them are storybook characters.

Speaking of which, why would the princess (and rightful queen) of the kingdom be surprised that someone from that kingdom had heard of her? That bit was rather bizarre. And they're already having continuity issues, with Hook in one episode talking about only having ingredients to make one dose of potion and in the next episode saying her was sent that bottle of potion. Since Emma was present when he told the story both times and she doesn't call him on it, I don't think we're supposed to think he's being shady or fishy. It just seems like they changed their mind and lost track of it.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
18 hours ago, KAOS Agent said:

And then there's the whole part where she wants to essentially commit suicide because she doesn't have Henry and the only thing that pulls her out of it is that having someone to destroy gives her new purpose. This is said complete with crazy eyes. Anyone who gets off on human destruction as much as she does is not safe. Regina becomes less and less redeemable every time they show her gleeful and enjoying the thought of bringing pain to others. It's not revenge that drives her; it's sadism.

This is one of those instances where the writers fail to draw a distinction between "real people" and "cartoon characters". It doesn't really bother me because at least now she's using her energy against a foe who needs to be defeated. As an archetype, it's fun to watch her psycho Evil Queen-ness, but it doesn't help her cause for a believable redemption. The thing is - I find Regina infinitely more interesting as a gray character than a hero who just sort of sits back with the Charmings. Her character without crazy eyes or snark is actually really boring. (It doesn't have to be this way, but Lana nor A&E knew how to make Redeemed!Regina entertaining.) 

Edited by KingOfHearts
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

You know, it might have been a lot of fun if Oz had been to the Storybrookers what the Enchanted Forest was to Emma -- something they thought was just a story, thanks to their fake memories and/or their experiences living in our world, not something they ever imagined was real. Then we could have had storybook characters freaking out about things they'd just read about or seen in movies being real. Belle could have done her usual "I read about it in a book" thing, then added, "and saw it in the movie. They showed it on TV while the rest of you were in Neverland." There could have been arguments over whether the books or the movie were more accurate.

But Hook should not have been the one to comment on the irony of storybook characters being surprised to hear about other storybook characters being real, since he wouldn't have reason to know anything about the books. Emma could have remarked on all the other storybook people being shocked to learn that Oz was real, and her parents could have then realized that was the way she saw them. Robin and his gang and the others who weren't in curse 1 would have had no idea what the others were talking about.

Spoiler

Though I guess that would have set them up for a bad retcon when we later learn that Robin had been to Oz. Wasn't he awfully surprised here for someone who'd been to Oz?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
26 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

There could have been arguments over whether the books or the movie were more accurate.

Stuff like this would require that A&E were actually interested in the source material.  I suppose they are nerdy/geeky when it came to Star Wars but someone on the writing team needed to be super into reading.  Having a fantasy fanatic and a Disney-phile might help too since a lot of their Easter Eggs were so superficial.   

Your idea would have been interesting.  It would been fun to have Emma actually being the lead in Oz because she had seen the movie, and maybe Belle had read the book series in the library, and they wouldn't know which one to follow.  The Wicked Witch needed to have powers which weren't identical to every other magical user in the Enchanted Forest.  She vacillated between between super-powered and under-powered based on what the plot needed.  

Ginny Goodwin had limited screentime and she basically had to play Dumbo to Zelena.  

Edited by Camera One
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
6 minutes ago, Camera One said:

Ginny Goodwin had limited screentime and she basically had to play Dumbo to Zelena.  

Zelena could've easily pulled a shapeshifting spell and pretended to be someone Snow trusted. It's not like she didn't have any information on anyone. She had an entire year.

Spoiler

It's especially weird considering how long she played the part of Marian later on.

Edited by KingOfHearts
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I guess they didn't want a shape shift so there would be such irony from the flashbacks and the present-day.  Will Snow clue in?  Will she notice the giant green emerald necklace and will any bells ring?  Will she question why she is putting her entire trust into a stranger who didn't come with the first Curse?  

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Camera One said:

Will she question why she is putting her entire trust into a stranger who didn't come with the first Curse?  

And apparently the only strange woman in town. That's why I keep thinking it would have helped if there had also been a Miss Gulch type, a crabby older woman who reminded them of the Wicked Witch in the movie, and so everyone suspected her and thought sweet, bubbly Zelena was nice. As it was, there was one new woman in town. They're looking for a woman. They don't suspect the one new woman in town, even when she jumps up and runs out of the diner after Grumpy baited their "trap" for her.

Come to think of it, they all just trusted Robin and his gang, when none of them should have remembered them other than from their wanted posters. Belle had met Robin, and that was it. Of course, with Belle and Robin, a later retcon introduced a continuity error. They played it in this arc (in either this episode or the previous one, they start to blur) as though there was no recasting, just pretending Robin had always looked this way, with Belle recognizing him right away.

Spoiler

But in the later episode in which Robin goes to Oz, they introduce the shapechanging charm and imply that Robin was using that when breaking into Rumple's castle, which explains why Robin looked like an entirely different person in that episode. But if that's the case, Belle wouldn't have recognized him now.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Shanna Marie said:

Of course, with Belle and Robin, a later retcon introduced a continuity error. They played it in this arc (in either this episode or the previous one, they start to blur) as though there was no recasting, just pretending Robin had always looked this way, with Belle recognizing him right away.

Hello fan,

It's a shame but we intended to have an episode in Season 9 where we see in flashback how Belle met Robin again in his Sean Maguire form.  Or there was a secret lost scene where Belle found out Robin's real appearance while he was being flayed.  Of course, the best aspect of this show is to being able to fill in the blanks on your own.  Fun!

Sinbad-cerely,

A&E

Edited by Camera One
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, Camera One said:

Hello fan,

It's a shame but we intended to have an episode in Season 9 where we see in flashback how Belle met Robin again in his Sean Maguire form.  Or there was a secret lost scene where Belle found out Robin's real appearance while he was being flayed.  Of course, the most best aspect of this show is to being able to fill in the blanks on your own.  Fun!

Sinbad-cerely,

A&E

It's really too bad we didn't get two extra seasons where A&E fixed all the continuity errors with pointless flashback scenes.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

And apparently the only strange woman in town. That's why I keep thinking it would have helped if there had also been a Miss Gulch type, a crabby older woman who reminded them of the Wicked Witch in the movie, and so everyone suspected her and thought sweet, bubbly Zelena was nice. As it was, there was one new woman in town. They're looking for a woman. They don't suspect the one new woman in town, even when she jumps up and runs out of the diner after Grumpy baited their "trap" for her.

Come to think of it, they all just trusted Robin and his gang, when none of them should have remembered them other than from their wanted posters. Belle had met Robin, and that was it. Of course, with Belle and Robin, a later retcon introduced a continuity error. They played it in this arc (in either this episode or the previous one, they start to blur) as though there was no recasting, just pretending Robin had always looked this way, with Belle recognizing him right away.

  Reveal hidden contents

But in the later episode in which Robin goes to Oz, they introduce the shapechanging charm and imply that Robin was using that when breaking into Rumple's castle, which explains why Robin looked like an entirely different person in that episode. But if that's the case, Belle wouldn't have recognized him now.

Yes, that's another stupid part about it. Zelena was the only new woman in town. They couldn't be bothered to add a few more women so it would make more sense when the heroes weren't sure which one it was. They could have thought it was someone else. A false lead or misdirect. Instead they have just one and make the heroes come of stupid for not realizing the weird red head who kind of looks like she dresses like a witch minus a hat and wearing necklace with a really big emerald who also happens to be the only one they don't know is the villain their looking for. 

Share this post


Link to post
39 minutes ago, andromeda331 said:

Instead they have just one and make the heroes come of stupid for not realizing the weird red head who kind of looks like she dresses like a witch minus a hat and wearing necklace with a really big emerald who also happens to be the only one they don't know is the villain their looking for. 

I wonder why so many Writers seem to have no problem making the heroes look idiotic to make the plot work.  

I rewatched the scene where Grumpy does the "con", but Grumpy has his back on the door.  There are so many things that make you want to hit your head against the wall.  At the very least Emma and Regina should have been outside waiting to follow whoever leaves the diner.  It was a great plan but horrible follow-through.

I did like Granny snarking that she wouldn't drink anything that Regina gave her.

Edited by Camera One
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, KingOfHearts said:

As an archetype, it's fun to watch her psycho Evil Queen-ness, but it doesn't help her cause for a believable redemption. The thing is - I find Regina infinitely more interesting as a gray character than a hero who just sort of sits back with the Charmings. Her character without crazy eyes or snark is actually really boring. (It doesn't have to be this way, but Lana nor A&E knew how to make Redeemed!Regina entertaining.) 

I don't disagree that Regina was much better when she was acting more Evil Queen-like but roughly on the side of the heroes. The problem is that they had her acting this way, but would label her actions as heroic and wonderful all while berating the heroes for any hint of grayness. Heroes can't react even in self defense, but Regina can go all crazy eyed and delight in destruction and she's proclaimed a hero. I think the problem is that they recognized that Regina would be as boring as Snow if she were held to the same standards and had to act the same as the heroes on this show, but desperately wanted her to be a hero (because she is the real hero in their minds) and couldn't deal with not calling her one.

I liked Regina in 3A mostly because they were sticking with her using her evilness in some gray areas to help save Henry and they acknowledged it as such. Taking the Lost Boy's heart to deliver the mirror was a perfect example of this. When she later wanted to take it farther and torture information out of a bunch of little kids, she was stopped. That was the correct route to take with Regina. She was someone who was helping, but had no limits in what she was willing to do to get it done. That made sense for her character. She kept her edge and you couldn't fully trust her, but she wasn't being called a great hero. They abandoned that in late 3A and started to portray her evilness as actually heroic. I'd put the no regrets moment as the turning point, but there was a subtle creep before that.

Edited by KAOS Agent
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
11 hours ago, KAOS Agent said:

I'd put the no regrets moment as the turning point, but there was a subtle creep before that.

This is exactly the turning point for me as well, where I stopped believing her redemption and started to see the strings being pulled by the writing.

Share this post


Link to post

I am about to say something I have rarely said, and might never say again...Regina was in the right to be irritated with Emma. At least, about her not telling Regina about her and Henry being in town, with Henry not having his memories of her. I mean, a heads up would have been appreciated. 

While there are a ton of structural and characters issues in this episode (mostly surrounding Our Lady of Perpetual Woobiedom), there is a lot in this episode to like. There is a lot of fun snark and bather throughout the episode, like at the town line where Hook jokes about Emma almost marrying a flying monkey, and David is just SHOOK that Emma was about to marry someone, the "I`m a doctor, not a vet" crack from Whale, and everyone's reactions to finding out that not only is Oz real, but The Wicked Witch is behind all of this. I like the idea of the EF crew finding out about a land that THEY all thought was a story, and not real*, even if they dont do much with it. And I freaking love this bit of interaction between David and Regina. 

"So what did you do to her?"

"I've never even met her!"

"Its not a personal vendetta? That shocking."

See how much fun it is when the characters are actually allowed to snark back at Regina, and acknowledge the fact that she has just slight murderous tendencies? And he isnt wrong, they do often run into people who have personal vendettas against Regina for ruining their lives(Regina has ruined so many lives, she cant even keep track of them) and will continue to do so, so its actually is a pretty valid assumption.

That bite Little John got really did look nasty, way worse than most of the bloodless violence we normally get on this show. And the whole Flying Monkey assimilation plot is actually decently creepy, but just a bit of camp, which I can get behind. 

As much as A&E love their big plot twists and everyone is related to everyone stories, I think they really should have held off on revealing that Zelena was was Reginas sister, at least for awhile. This has no real impact, as we dont even know Zelena yet, beyond being The Wicked Witch of the West, and even then, the only similarities that she has with the character is having a broom, being evil, and being green. Thats about it. Its just like, oh, Cora had another kid...cool I guess... but then, A&E probably think that anything related to Regina is super cool and awesome, so here we are. Bex is a ton of fun in this role, even if she isnt very much like the classic Wicked Witch, so at least she is fun to watch, in a super campy kind of way. I also dont think its a totally awful Regina episode, and her interactions with Emma are actually decently likable and interesting. And she even saved Roland at a mild inconvenience without expecting anything in return, so thats also something at least.

On the other hand, this episode also shows the writers tendencies to want to have their cake and eat it to with Regina. They want campy Evil Queen Regina, who makes crazy eyes as she declares her desire to destroy people, but they also want Sad Woobie Regina who also kills herself over the loss of her son, and wants to be a redeemed hero. They cant have it both ways. It just makes her seem unstable and undermines the redemption they keep pushing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Even Regina is so defeatist, so the Writers really needed to sell how difficult it was to get back to the Land Without Magic.  It doesn't help it's undermined from here on out.  Why didn't Neal suggest they all go use the magic ball again to make sure Emma and Henry were truly safe and happy?  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

The most irritating thing about Zelena mixing with the locals is the writers had a golden op for her to see how much the general populace hate and fear Regina. She didn't have to go it alone...many of Regina's victims would have cheered her on and thanked her!!

Instead we got...well....we didn't get any justice, just more victim-blaming...!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×