Once Upon a Time 3.15: “Quiet Minds”

And that’s also what makes Emma’s scene with Henry hit so hard. In the first season, Emma had thought that Henry’s father was a liar and traitor, a thief with no scruples or morals, and so when he asked her who his dad was, she lied and created a fictional heroic figure for him to look up to and take pride in: a firefighter who died saving others. And now, after all this time, when she is again telling Henry “for the first time” about his actual father’s death–which has now really happened–she is able to speak of the real man in the same way without lying, as a hero who would do anything for Henry and her.

And that death does have an immediate impact: now they finally know Zelena’s true identity, and I’m once again impressed with the rapid pacing of the revelations so far this half-season. I never expected them to discover her identity so soon, because I’d figured that, what with them setting up how she’s positioned herself in Snow White’s life in order to get to her baby somehow (though we still don’t know why), that they’d have to at least follow that plan through to the birth of the baby. Now, I suspect that there was something magical in that orange juice she gave her that will still help Zelena work towards her goals from afar, but that seems to have been a Plan B decision, due to Rumple’s escape and knowing that she’d have to shed her facade toot sweet in case he managed to spill the beans.

Beyond the revelation, the other impact of the death is, of course, that the characters now have a vested interest in ridding Storybrooke and the world of Zelena, beyond simply protecting themselves from a villain they don’t remember or understand. Emma wants to stop the woman who killed the man she loves–and, who had also embedded one of her spies in Emma’s life to pose as a replacement to that love!–and given what we know of Rumple, he is not going to be her prisoner forever, and payback, particularly from him, is always a monumental bitch. If he tore a world apart to get back to his son, just imagine what he might do to the person who took him away from him forever.

Other odds and ends:

–The twist on Disney’s Lumiere is fantastic. I love that he’s another red herring, planted by Zelena to mislead Neal and Belle and trick them into bringing back the Dark One (who would ever guess that Lumiere would be working for the Wicked Witch, albeit against his will?!). Furthermore, her actions seems particularly purposeful, since she specifically sets up Rumple’s son to take the bait, knowing he will die as a result. Which again leads to the question of her motivations–because she doesn’t only want to control the Dark One’s power; she also seems to have specifically wanted, in the process, to hurt him as deeply as anyone could hurt another person. I expect we’ll get more answers next week. The episode is, after all, called, “It’s Not Easy Being Green”.

–Speaking of Lumiere, it’s also great that Belle is the one to figure out the truth–that he hadn’t been in the castle all that time–by using her smarts and catching him in a lie. This also makes Neal’s actions even more complicated, because he goes in with eyes wide open, not heeding Belle’s warning that anything the Wicked Witch wants can’t be good for them. She is able to see past her own desire to bring Rumple back and realize that this is not the right way to go about it, even if it is actually the only way. Neal ironically falls victim to following in his father’s footsteps.

–The Regina/Robin Hood scenes were also terrific. Firstly, they have good chemistry, and it’s great to see Regina letting loose and actually flirting with someone. Furthermore, due to the fact that, in the Enchanted Forest scenes, Regina and Robin don’t hit it off so overtly romantically so soon, it seems to be an indication that, buried deep down underneath, they subconsciously feel drawn to each other due to whatever happened between them last year, much like Mary Margaret and David felt drawn to each other due to their submerged true identities in the first season. Also, I love that Regina sees the lion tattoo and remembers its significance. Her immediate reaction, to run away, is totally in keeping with her character, as well as what happened the first time she saw it many years ago, but it also leads me to wonder whether she also noticed it a year ago and if her reaction then was the same. More mysteries to unravel!

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Author: Robert Berg

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