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KingOfHearts

S02.E15: The Queen is Dead

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Upon discovering Cora and Regina’s plan to find and take possession of Rumplestiltskin’s dagger, Mary Margaret, with the aid of David and Mother Superior, makes it her mission to find it first; and while Mr. Gold continues his quest in New York to reunite with son Bae, Hook devises a plan to rid himself of a crocodile. Meanwhile, in the fairytale land that was, the Blue Fairy offers Snow White an unconventional enchantment that could help save her dying mother, Queen Eva.

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I really enjoyed the first 3/5ths of this episode.  I liked seeing Mrs. Patmore from "Downton Abbey" and it was nice to see some genuine human emotion.  Young Snow did a great job in the performance.  The Blue Fairy impersonation twist worked because glamour spells hadn't been done to death yet.  Mother Superior's "What the hell are you talking about" look was amusing.

So it looks like Snow was always sad on her birthday and she was still traumatized by what happened.  Remember when she had actual feelings?

The murder of yet another innocent didn't give me much HOPE.

I forgot some of these gem lines from this episode...

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REGINA (to Snow): I was always The Queen.  It was you who added the word evil to my name.

It had nothing to do with you doing a bunch of evil things, of course.

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SNOW: Good doesn't do what you do.  

Wow, can't believe she was allowed to utter a truth bomb.

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REGINA:  What did it get me?  Dinner with a bunch of hypocrites who pretend they'll forgive me?  When in their hearts they know... they never will. 

She's still stewing over that?

And yeah, they never will and they never should.

Spoiler

Conversations like this make me even more ill that Snow was supposed to become Regina's biggest cheerleader.

I watched that video clip online and there were three comments under it:
#1: "Snow has no right about telling Regina about being good."
#2: "This scene is so important to understanding the psychology behind Regina... This is the first time we see how desperate Regina is to split herself from the darkness within her."
#3: "Regina telling it like it was for the first three seasons at least."

Edited by Camera One
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I had the uncomfortable feeling during this episode that I was getting the opposite impression from the one they thought they were making, and those comments validate that feeling. I was totally on Team Snow during that scene. Good people don't do the kinds of things Regina did. Regina shows no signs of regret for the evil she did, just anger that people still hold that against her (meanwhile, how long has she been holding that grudge against Snow without forgiving her, in spite of multiple apologies?). But I think the show wanted us to feel bad for Regina and think Snow was being judgey.

I saw the flashbacks as being about Snow growing into the brave, selfless person she is today, but I kind of got the feeling we were supposed to see her as a brat or as someone who couldn't make the tough decision.

Spoiler

I suspect that one little scene was the basis for all the "I was such a brat" stuff that came later.

Then there was the bit at the end when Snow is saying stuff that makes perfect sense to me, about how all her "right" decisions had only led to disaster, so now they needed to take out Cora. But I think the show meant for us to be going "uh oh!" because Snow was on a dark path. Then again, they framed letting Regina go as being the "right" thing, so whatever.

Meanwhile, there was the "we must save Rumple!" thing, when the person who attacked him was his victim. Not that Hook is a stellar citizen at this point, but Rumple murdered his lover and cut off his hand, so his grudge isn't unreasonable, and Rumple is a villain. If they'd just let Rumple die, there wouldn't have been a risk of Cora becoming a Dark One.

Regina pretty much became irredeemable after the scene in the clocktower when she learns that it was all a scheme of Cora's (which means that it really didn't matter what Snow did if Cora was determined for Regina to marry Leo) and she watched Cora murder Johanna in spite of Snow giving up the dagger and instead of being disturbed, she laughed about being good.

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I love and hate this episode I love Young Snow and her reaction to her mother's illness and death. Desperate to save her and force to make a horrible decision. As I re-watched it I was struck by how if only Snow had followed along with the plan. Her mother wouldn't have died and she wouldn't have spent the rest of her life in an incredible hell that Regina inflicted on her. But Cora probably would have come up with way. You have to love how they have to shown young Snow not being perfect so they can "use" that later as being a brat. Ah, she was nine or ten year old and her mother was there to correct her when she was wrong. But this is A&E where normal things are evil and worse then rape and murder.

I love the costumes in the episodes. I always wondered if Leopold's desire to remarry for Snow and focus on her was guilt for not being there when her mother died. 

I love everything Snow says to Regina and I hate everything Regina says back. Ah no Regina you made yourself the Evil Queen by murdering people. Good doesn't do what you do. That's right Snow. No it doesn't. Regina wouldn't know the first thing about being good. Good people don't have the reactions she has to everything. Regina with what did it get me? She's all upset because they don't forgive her? Of course, they don't forgiven you Regina. You slaughtered entire villages, you murdered Snow's father, stole her kingdom, separated her from her husband and forced them to send their baby daughter away, you sent children to their deaths, you've stole who knows how many hearts and tons of other crimes. And yet your surprised they haven't forgiven you? Seriously, why are we suppose to feel sorry for Regina? Where's her apology for everything? Where's her facing her crimes? Being punished. Returning all of hearts. Even after learning how far back her mother plotted to make Regina Queen, that still has no effect on her. It change nothing in her life. Yet we're suppose to be "rooting" for her. Why is anyone wasting their time with her? Aside from the fact she should be in jail or awaiting trial for her crimes. Why would anyone want anything to do with her? She should be all alone while everyone else is making up for lost time with their families.

When I first watch that scene with Snow telling Charming she was sick of losing people and wanting to fight back. That was the first thing that peaked my interest since 2A. It was great to hear and honestly I really wanted to see that. After seeing a season and a half of everything Snow has been put through I was so happy to see her finally saying she's had enough of that crap and so was I. To see her and her family and friends pushing back against Cora and Regina. To fight them and defeat them. And honestly make them finally pay for all the crap and all their crimes. I hate that we're suppose think Snow is wrong for finally having enough of burying love ones and losing everything and wanting to fight back. Ah, no that's the right reaction. It would have been awesome to see her start decking back. 

Edited by andromeda331
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1 hour ago, Shanna Marie said:

I saw the flashbacks as being about Snow growing into the brave, selfless person she is today, but I kind of got the feeling we were supposed to see her as a brat or as someone who couldn't make the tough decision.

I do think the show thought Snow did the right thing in the past. But it is a set-up to shame her for potentially making the wrong choice in the present. Basically, this show pretty much never thinks that good people are able to take meaningful action, except for occasionally in one-off battle sequences in which we're just not supposed to think about the moral stakes of what is happening. Otherwise, you're right. Snow was absolutely right in the final scene, yet the show frames it as her going down a dangerous path. In any sane world, morality doesn't require you to lie down and die, which is essentially what you are doing in refusing to take decisive action against proven mass murderers who intend harm to you and your loved ones.

 

2 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

Meanwhile, there was the "we must save Rumple!" thing, when the person who attacked him was his victim. Not that Hook is a stellar citizen at this point, but Rumple murdered his lover and cut off his hand, so his grudge isn't unreasonable, and Rumple is a villain. If they'd just let Rumple die, there wouldn't have been a risk of Cora becoming a Dark One.

This one I kind of get in context, although I do wish that the show would have given more acknowledgment to the fact that Hook's beef against Rumple is utterly and completely legitimate. He's a villain because of what he does to other people in the course of his quest. Otherwise? He's basically Inigo Montoyo from The Princess Bride. It is fair if the show, unlike the movie, wants to suggest, that revenge isn't OK, but there should be at least some recognition that the impulse is understandable.

Also, the people rallying to save Rumple are Neal, Emma and Henry. Henry's a naïve kid who just found out Rumple is his grandfather, so we'll forgive him for now. Neal is Rumple's son, and so it is understandable that as much as he might be angry, he's not quite willing to let him die. As for Emma - she's also been seeing Rumple at his most sympathetic these past few days, especially as someone for whom "I am desperate to find my long-lost son" would be a resonant motivation. She also doesn't know the full extent of Rumple's crimes; in her interactions with him, he has been more gray than fully evil. Nor does she know the full story of what Rumple did to Hook. She knows he took his hand and killed his lover, but IIRC, for all she knows, both of those things were justified in context. Theoretically, Rumple could have maimed Hook and killed his female-pirate accomplice while the two of them were trying to murder him and take his power. Hook isn't exactly the most reliable narrator. 

I'm also not 100% if anyone knows enough about the Dark Curse at this point to assume that the Darkness is permanently defeated if Rumple dies then and there; I'm actually not sure of that myself. Is it possible that Hook would have become the DO? Or does the fact either that we're in the LWOM or that Hook would have been killing him via poison change the equation?

Aside from all that, this episode just struck me as thoroughly miserable to watch. The flashback simply wasn't surprising or well-written enough for me to tolerate being put through the emotional torture of a child, especially compounded with the killing of Joanna in the present. The last scene potentially justifies it by setting up Snow's decision not to lie down and take it anymore, but as it is already clear that the show isn't going to validate her, that doesn't wind up mending matters.

A few more complaints:

-Beyond the aforementioned, egregious "You're the one who called me evil" line, Regina also has the gem "What would you know about mothers?" Which, besides begin horribly nasty - in the same ballpark as "I'm not taking parenting advice from someone who stuck his newborn in a wardrobe" -- makes no sense; Regina knows that Snow had a loving mother until she was at least about nine years old. 

- In the same scene, Snow asks why Regina would do this "after how hard you tried." No. I don't care how hard the show tries to sell it, that is a damned lie. The fact that Regina loved Henry enough to briefly give up her magic for him and help him and David try to bring Snow and Emma back was significant, but it is hardly a Herculean effort. Especially as she followed this up by trying to kill Snow and Emma at the portal - again only stopping reluctantly because of Henry -- and then, you know, teaming up with her evil mother to kill all of them. Basically, Regina's "trying so hard" was her briefly doing the bare minimum necessary to not be totally evil, before reverting to total evil.

-Nitpicky, but why would Snow be surprised to find out that Joanna was in SB? Wouldn't she have assumed that?

- Henry's pizza line. I don't blame him for wanting to save Rumple; I do blame him for continuing to be a total shit to Emma, especially as the show seems to think she more or less has it coming.

- The Tamara complication is totally unnecessary. This is already a highly, highly fraught situation. Adding in some extra romantic drama is a silly distraction. 

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30 minutes ago, companionenvy said:

Aside from all that, this episode just struck me as thoroughly miserable to watch. The flashback simply wasn't surprising or well-written enough for me to tolerate being put through the emotional torture of a child, especially compounded with the killing of Joanna in the present.

I was personally just moved by the performances of Young Snow and I liked how close she felt to her mother and Johanna with the reunion in the present-day.  But yeah, it was definitely miserable.  Once again, we see the heroes suffer in the past, but oh they were always soooooooooo lucky compared to the poor poor villains.

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-Beyond the aforementioned, egregious "You're the one who called me evil" line, Regina also has the gem "What would you know about mothers?" Which, besides begin horribly nasty - in the same ballpark as "I'm not taking parenting advice from someone who stuck his newborn in a wardrobe" -- makes no sense; Regina knows that Snow had a loving mother until she was at least about nine years old. 

Yes, that was in the same scene, and the three commenters clearly thought Snow deserved that stinging remark.  

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- In the same scene, Snow asks why Regina would do this "after how hard you tried." No. I don't care how hard the show tries to sell it, that is a damned lie.

Yes, and this was a sign of things to come.  Snow wasn't even in Storybrooke in 2A when Regina was "trying", so she was the wrong person to say this, if someone needs to say it.  I suppose Henry could have said it, but it wouldn't have been any less annoying given the flack he's giving Emma.

Spoiler


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- The Tamara complication is totally unnecessary. This is already a highly, highly fraught situation. Adding in some extra romantic drama is a silly distraction. 

This is a prime example of how these Writers constantly take the easy way out.  They wouldn't even have needed to dig that deep to give Neal something to do in Storybrooke or to show how Emma was dealing with seeing him again after all these years.  But nope, they went the clichéd route of bringing in a new secret evil villain (twist!) with a love triangle to "complicate" the situation.

 

Edited by Camera One
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7 minutes ago, Camera One said:

I was personally just moved by the performances of Young Snow and I liked how close she felt to her mother and Johanna with the reunion in the present-day.  But yeah, it was definitely miserable.  Once again, we see the heroes suffer in the past, but oh they were always soooooooooo lucky compared to the poor poor villains.

Yes, that was in the same scene, and the three commenters clearly thought Snow deserved that stinging remark.  

Yes, and this was a sign of things to come.  Snow wasn't even in Storybrooke in 2A when Regina was "trying", so she's the wrong person to say this, if someone needs to say it.

This is a prime example of how these Writers constantly take the easy way out.  They wouldn't even have needed to dig that deep to give Neal something to do in Storybrooke or to show how Emma was dealing with seeing him again after all these years.  But nope, they went the clichéd route of bringing in a new secret evil villain (twist!) to "complicate" the situation.

It really is. They had more then enough to deal with the fallout from the Curse, the Charming family reunited and adjusting to being together with all their baggage, dealing with Cora, dealing with Regina who still should be in jail or on trial for her crimes, Rumple and Bae/Neal, Emma and Neal, Neal and Henry, Hook and Rumple. But no let's add new secret random evil. 

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1 hour ago, companionenvy said:

This one I kind of get in context, although I do wish that the show would have given more acknowledgment to the fact that Hook's beef against Rumple is utterly and completely legitimate. He's a villain because of what he does to other people in the course of his quest. Otherwise? He's basically Inigo Montoyo from The Princess Bride. It is fair if the show, unlike the movie, wants to suggest, that revenge isn't OK, but there should be at least some recognition that the impulse is understandable.

I guess this just gets to me because what happened to Milah and Hook isn't just fairytale violence that only exists in fiction. You can hardly pick up a newspaper today without there being a story about a husband murdering or attacking his ex and her new boyfriend. I guess Emma doesn't yet know that Milah was Rumple's ex (I don't think Hook mentioned that in his story. And, yeah, I consider her an ex because they don't seem to have divorce and she's been gone long enough for it to count as a kind of "common law" divorce). But even someone from our world should be at least a bit uncomfortable about what Rumple did to Milah and Hook. And yet no one really reacts to it at all. They don't have a problem with Henry hanging out with Rumple. I guess this is where the "but they're family" refrain begins on this show, and that's almost as toxic as the "you never give up on someone you love" refrain. "Family" shouldn't be a get-out-of-jail-free card.

1 hour ago, companionenvy said:

I'm also not 100% if anyone knows enough about the Dark Curse at this point to assume that the Darkness is permanently defeated if Rumple dies then and there; I'm actually not sure of that myself. Is it possible that Hook would have become the DO? Or does the fact either that we're in the LWOM or that Hook would have been killing him via poison change the equation?

I've assumed that if Rumple died in the Land Without Magic, the Darkness would just be gone. But since the whole thing is so undefined, I suppose there was room for them to say that if Rumple had died in the Land Without Magic, the holder of the dagger would automatically become the new Dark One.

Speaking of which, the whole "we must find the dagger to keep it safe" plan was really dumb. If no one had found it all this time, then it was probably safe where it was. Going to get it, or anything that amounted to a change, just gave the bad guys something to follow or notice. They'd have been better off running a bunch of diversions, going to places where the dagger wasn't and distracting Regina and Cora rather than basically waving a big "Magic Dagger Here!" sign.

1 hour ago, companionenvy said:

Basically, Regina's "trying so hard" was her briefly doing the bare minimum necessary to not be totally evil, before reverting to total evil.

And from what she says here and the way she acts in general, she didn't actually want to not be totally evil. She just wanted Henry to think she wasn't totally evil. All her scheming here is to get rid of the competition for Henry without Henry knowing it, so she's still only thinking of herself. She's not thinking about Henry's happiness or well-being. She just wants him for herself, regardless of what he wants. Which I can't really consider "love." She wants Henry in her life. She's shown very little evidence of actually loving him.

The costuming in this one was odd. The costumes themselves were gorgeous in the flashbacks, but the mourners at the funeral were dressed very Italian Renaissance, which isn't much like the way people in the kingdom are generally dressed. And then there are Eva's very modern platform stiletto pumps sticking out both when she's lying on the bed after collapsing and on the funeral bier.

Someone involved with this show had a boob fetish and a stiletto fetish. The cleavage and the shoes are utterly ridiculous. The shoes are especially silly under long skirts. Why torture the actresses when the shoes generally don't even show, and when they don't at all fit the general style of the clothing?

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That fact that Leopold was absent while his wife was dying was very interesting to me and I really hoped that this would be explored.  How did Snow feel about that?  Oh silly me, that's not what this show is about.

I wish there was a deleted scene of Blue stabbing Cora with her wand screaming "HOW DARE YOU IMPERSONATE ME!!!!"

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1 hour ago, Shanna Marie said:

I guess this just gets to me because what happened to Milah and Hook isn't just fairytale violence that only exists in fiction. You can hardly pick up a newspaper today without there being a story about a husband murdering or attacking his ex and her new boyfriend. I guess Emma doesn't yet know that Milah was Rumple's ex (I don't think Hook mentioned that in his story. And, yeah, I consider her an ex because they don't seem to have divorce and she's been gone long enough for it to count as a kind of "common law" divorce). But even someone from our world should be at least a bit uncomfortable about what Rumple did to Milah and Hook. And yet no one really reacts to it at all. They don't have a problem with Henry hanging out with Rumple. I guess this is where the "but they're family" refrain begins on this show, and that's almost as toxic as the "you never give up on someone you love" refrain. "Family" shouldn't be a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm extremely troubled by the show's treatment of Rumple's killing of Milah. The fact that we were expected to root for Rumbelle to get back together in the same episode that we learn that Rumple killed his first wife - which he pointedly doesn't tell Belle about -- is disgusting. "The Outsider" made it worse; not only do we have Belle's non-reaction to Hook telling her that Rumple killed Milah, the narrative again pretty much seems to want us to be more sympathetic to Rumple than to Hook, which is insane. 

Spoiler

This only gets worse from here on out, as when we learn that Hook told Bae what had happened, which means that Neal has no reaction to the fact that his father killed his mother. And, of course, there's what happens in the Underworld, where Rumple effectively worse than kills Milah again, no one finds out what he's done, and Hook's response to learning about the fate of the woman he spent over a century trying to avenge is basically a shrug. 

That the show doesn't realize that Rumple is a textbook domestic abuser, up to and including having murdered his previous partner, is truly disturbing.

All I'm saying is that for the purposes of this episode, I think the characters are acting at least kind of reasonably based on what we can assume they know. At this point, this does not include the fact that Rumplestiltskin crushed a woman's heart for leaving him, as all Emma knows at the moment is that Hook blames Rumple for his lover's death. Which, on this show, could mean that Rumple told a secret and accidentally got Milah killed -- except were that the case, the show actually would find Hook's revenge quest sympathetic and blame Rumple for his crime. 

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3 hours ago, companionenvy said:

All I'm saying is that for the purposes of this episode, I think the characters are acting at least kind of reasonably based on what we can assume they know. At this point, this does not include the fact that Rumplestiltskin crushed a woman's heart for leaving him, as all Emma knows at the moment is that Hook blames Rumple for his lover's death. Which, on this show, could mean that Rumple told a secret and accidentally got Milah killed -- except were that the case, the show actually would find Hook's revenge quest sympathetic and blame Rumple for his crime. 

I think if Hook's revenge quest were aimed at anyone other than Rumple (or Regina), it would have been given a more sympathetic treatment. The good guys would have wanted to help him find justice.

Really, the lack of reaction from Neal is probably the most shocking. Even just given what we know in this episode, that Neal knew Hook well enough to know how to sail a pirate ship, it stands to reason that Neal would have known what happened to his mother because Hook seems to talk about his vengeance to everyone. Even if he didn't know Neal was Rumple's son, Neal likely would have been able to figure it out, given that Hook would have talked about wanting revenge on the Dark One for killing his love, Milah. Then there's that tattoo of Milah. They must have been trying to save the surprise that Neal knew Hook for this episode because it's odd, when you think about it, that in Neal's discussion about why he wanted nothing to do with his father, the fact that his father murdered his mother wasn't on the list. That surely would have convinced Emma quickly and far better than his vague whining about wanting to stay away from his father.

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The scene between Regina and Snow is such classic Regina. "You said I was evil, I never really was!" "You murdered so many innocent people, you cant even remember the numbers!" "YOU TOLD A SECRET OUT OF GOOD INTENTIONS WHEN YOU WERE 10 YOU EVIL BITCH!" And I think a lot is revealed when her reaction to Snow asking why she would throw away the effort she has made to becoming good with asking what she got out of it is also so very Regina. Of course, she has no idea why anyone would be a good person if they dont get something out of it. 

I do really like the flashbacks, and seeing little Snow and her mother and Johanna is really tragic, and I feel so awful for her. We can see how she could realistically be a bit spoiled, while still being a basically sweet little kid. And Cora is at her manipulative best. 

Its really hard to watch poor Johanna getting coldly murdered, while Cora and Regina basically cackle and Snow brokenly cries. I really payed attention to Regina throughout the whole clock-tower show down, and the most we get from her is looking surprised that Cora killed Eva. Not really upset, just surprised, and she certainly didnt show any regret at the murder of Johanna. She basically just laughed at Snow and poofed away. Honestly, is it any wonder Snow wants to kill Cora? This woman murdered her mother, set about the path that ruined her life, is threatening all of her family and friends, and has just killed the woman who helped raise her right in front of her. At this point, killing her is self defense. 

Spoiler

Of course, after Cruella, we know that its more evil to let someone murder your child than kill the person threatening them! And, watching them throw an innocent, helpless older woman out a window, arent you just SO GLAD these two got a happy ending, after doing basically nothing to make up for what they did, or show real regret? Its that just awesome?

I really do question the dynamics with Hook, Neal, and Rumple. I do get why they want to help Rumple, and why they're on his side, more or less. Hook showed up allied with current Big Bad Cora, and he is a basically unknown element, while Rumple is more the devil you know, who can still be open to help out, when it suites his goal,s while they only know Hook as the guy who kidnapped Archie, shot Belle, and keeps trying to stab Rumple. But, I really wonder how much Neal knows about Milah, and what happened to her, or even what he thought about her.

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