Having received the photograph of Regina and young Henry apparently replaying a scene from Henry’s book, Roni and older Henry make the only logical conclusion: Victoria’s messing with them by photoshopping them into the scene
There’s absolutely no reason why she would do this and Henry is duly sceptical - but it hits a nerve with Roni because she did try to adopt once and it fell through. It also rubs some wounds for Henry because Curse Henry was born in prison- only he wasn’t adopted and stayed in the system his whole life. Angst all round and a lot of quasi maternal bonding going on
The next stage of which is Jacinda freezing Henry out because she’s seen all the facebook posts Ivy made of them out drinking together and now thinks Ivy and Henry are a thing. So with lots of Roni poking, Henry goes and replays several romcoms to get back with Jacinda fixing her van
And is Henry even old enough to remember mix tapes?
Roni is more focused in helping Lucy get with reality so comes up with the crafty scheme of pretending to believe in the curse so they can try to prove it’s right and, failing to do so, help Lucy come to realise that the real world is real. Henry calls this operation Heartbreak.
This is going to be Regina’s episode so flashback time!
Regina isn’t fitting in super well in Henry’s new life mainly because he doesn’t really need saving or her support. Personally I think the Resistance should be organising something more effective to actually have Regina’s magic put to good use.. But apparently she’s just going to wander around looking fabulous.
In one of those wanders she finds Rumple who tells her all about his plan to pass on the Dark One curse having lived his super long life with Belle
In another wander she finds Drizilla/Ivy being attacked by a magical plant and saves her. Drizilla has been trying to steal magic so she can get free from her mother, whose control is stifling and horrible. Regina recognises this and instantly empathises because, of course, she remembers her own life with Cora. Drizilla also laments she has to steal magic because her mother suppressed her own - yes Drizilla has magic. Regina identifies even more and resolves to teach Drizilla how to use her power - after all, how different would she have turned out if she had had a magical mentor who wasn’t evil and didn’t point her all curse-wards. Mentor time!
While mentoring Rumple points out a hard truth - Drizilla sneaking around without Victoria knowing is unlikely- he asks Regina if Cora would ever have allowed her to do the same. Obviously not. Doing some investigating Regina realises that Victoria wants Drizillia to learn her magic so she can swap her heart with Anastasia’s and bring Anastasia back. Drizilla is devastated with the proof that her mother not only loves Anastasia more, but values her so little.
She decides to confront Victoria with a newly married enraged prince in tow, but Regina stops her. She begs Drizilla not to go down the whole revenge path she did, but Drizilla ignores her - insisting that this is her story not Regina’s (uh-huh but the parallels are huge!) And because she’s now a villain she can’t just have a SIMPLE revenge of murdering Victoria - no she uses her magic to kill the prince; therefore blackening her heart and making it useless for resurrecting Anastasia
And her next step is to cast the curse -but one altered to be hero proof, so she can unleash all the revenge against her mother.
Yes that’s a twist - Drizilla is the one behind the curse. Is Victoria aware or not? And if she’s the main target of the curse she seems to be getting away with it quite easy? And where does the imprisoned witch come in?
This leaves Regina feeling like a failure and she and Henry having a wonderful parent moment.
Back in the real world, Drizilla uses a series of tricks to get the witch some magic - just a crumb. Not to use against Victoria, but against Regina. Roni has gone to Weaver to try and prove she’s not Regina, asking him to use his contacts to see if a woman called Regina Mills ever adopted a boy in Boston.
He comes back with the paperwork - proving the adoption happened. And the signature on the paperwork is in Roni’s handwriting: which is when Drizilla gives Roni a drink with magic it. Together it’s enough to wake up Regina
Regina is awake - but apparently this version of the curse is “hero proof” in that terrible things will happen if true loves kiss breaks it. We don’t know what those terrible things are, but they’re enough to make Regina be willing to keep Jacinda and Henry apart.
So we’re definitely seeing some major deviation from season 1 - which is a definite necessity. We now have 2 people awake - Regina and Weaver (not including Weaver and Drizilla) and the big bad may not actually be the big bad after all - but part big bad and victim. It does raise some severe questions about Victoria’s motives though - I mean, why is she so driven to make Jacinda and Lucy’s life a misery? What is her whole role in this? And what is Drizilla’s elaborate revenge fantasy because she doesn’t seem to have actually done anything to make Victoria miserable at all. I also wonder how Drizilla, completely amateur magic user, suddenly being able to come up with the curse that was an epic task for Rumple to engineer - so she not only came up with it but then got to change it?