Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Once Upon a Time, Season 1, Episode 18: The Stable Boy

In the past we have a flashback to Regina’s youth – with her doting father and her abusive, manipulative and controlling magical mother. And a stable boy she is having an illicit relationship with. But he is not happy with having to keep their relationship hidden from her mother and her aggressive social climbing and her dangerous magic.

And Regina saves a young girl – Snow White - on an out of control horse stampeding out of control. And giving a trite lesson on facing her fear.

Of course, Snow White is the daughter of the king and the king visits, much to Regina’s mother’s joy, to meet Regina – and the king asks her to marry him on that first meeting in order to secure a woman who cares for his daughter.

Regina runs to Daniel the stableboy and they try to run away together. But Snow White sees them and runs – but Regina catches her and explains True Love to her. She begs Snow to keep it a secret for her, especially from Regina’s mother. Unfortunately Snow White is a gullible child and easy manipulated by Regina’s mother, playing on Snow White’s grief for her own mother – and she spills the secret to her.

Of course her mother stops her running away – and she kills Daniel, taking his heart because she thinks love is an illusion that does nothing for you – power is what endures and keeps you strong. And Regina learns that Snow White was the one who betrayed her. And we see the beginning of her heart hardening

We begin in the real world with Regina and Gold in a flashback –Gold asking a favour from Regina to get out of his battery charges. He offers a plan to get Mary Margaret – killing Katherine, framing Mary, Mary escaping with Regina’s key and then dying trying to leave town. All this plot, all that has happened in the last few episodes – it’s all been Gold’s plan.

In the present, David is trying to encourage Emma to let her visit Mary Margaret but after he all but accused her of killing Catherine Mary doesn’t want to see him. Regina is visiting Mary and trying to push her into confessing and Mary can’t understand why Regina loathes her so.

Stanley is still playing a double game, pretending to work for Emma while really working for Regina. Gold’s legal plan is to play up Mary Margaret’s sterling record, being sweet and co-operative. And the interview with the DA doesn’t go to plan – even less so when Mary bemusingly loses her temper and says the worst possible thing. Oh and the DA is King George, Prince Charming James’s (David) father.

Emma gets to brainstorm with August – who I really wish we’d know more about – and they go detecting – and find the shard of a spade broken from the burying of the heart. If they can match it up they can prove who buried the heart. So recruiting Henry and trying to look at Regina’s tool shed (I do love the forgetting the code book though), finding the damaged spade that matches perfectly with the shard.

She manages to get a search warrant (somehow) to check Regina’s garage the next day, but the spade is missing – Regina is ahead of the game again. Emma accuses August as betraying him – what happened to her super liar sense. Regina also gets the chance to tell Mary Margaret that she knows she didn’t kill Katherine – but that she still deserves it.

Emma has a tantrum – and finds Sidney’s bug, showing that she’s been trusting the wrong person. She apologises to August for not trusting him.

Then Ruby screams – Emma runs to where she is and they find Katherine. Alive.

I do love to see a character presented as a master manipulator and it actually be portrayed so he is that good. And Gold? He is that good. Why do I think Katherine being alive has something to do with him?

We see so much of Regina in this episode that I love – we see so much more about her, so much about her real character and the motives behind what she does. Raised by an abusive mother with so little choice in her life – treated as an asset not just by her mother but by king Leopold who just sees her as a mother for his daughter

There is something to be said about evil mothers in this series, however.

Since it’s fairy tale based and not a police procedural, I’m going to allow my suspension of disbelief carry me past the whole spade shard proving innocence thing (when the finegrprints on the box and murder weapon under the floor speak against Mary Margaret)