Episode 2 of ABC’s new hit show “Once Upon A Time” continued full speed ahead with developing plotlines, throwing tidbits of information about Storybrooke’s past, present and future at the audience as quickly as ever.
The story of the present continues with the vendetta between Emma, the apparent savior of the fairytale world, and Regina, the Mayor of Storybrooke and Evil Queen. Regina tries to run Emma out of town. Regina appears at Emma’s door offering up apples from her Honeycrisp apple tree (why Emma tries to take a bite of one of those apples is beyond me) and later has Emma arrested for “stealing” her son Henry’s files from his therapist’s office, when, in fact, the files were personally given to her by the therapist.
Although it often seems as if Regina can remember her past life, a suspicion that the curse did not work exactly as planned arises when Regina struggles to recognize exactly who Emma is, and acknowledge her as the savior of everything the queen destroyed, rather than just the biological mother of her son, Henry.
Emma, however, strong-willed and determined to keep a watchful eye over her biological son, fights back each and every time Regina tries to ruin her.
It is in this episode that Emma asks Mary Margaret Blanchard what character Henry thinks she is. Emma finds out that this woman, according to Henry, is supposed to be her biological mother. This was my favorite part of the episode because it showcased the simultaneity of growth between the characters. Henry is trying to help all of the fairytale characters find their true identity, and since Emma doesn’t have a fairytale alter ego (as far as we know), this reveal provides a way for Emma to find her identity and fill a void that has been missing from her life the past 28 years.
Ironically, even though Mary Margaret has no idea that Emma is her daughter, she admits that ever since Emma came to town she’s had “the craziest feeling like they’d met before.” And, of course, they both drink their hot chocolate with cinnamon sprinkled on top. That must count for something.
In the flashbacks to the fairytale world, we find out one of the evil queen’s many dark secrets, including how she went about procuring the dark curse that changed the lives of her people forever.
When at first the curse fails, the queen travels to see Rumpelstiltskin (the one who originally gave her the curse) in order to find out what went wrong. Being a prisoner and a constant dealmaker, Rumpelstiltskin convinces the queen to give him something in return for the information about how to create the curse. He doesn’t ask for freedom or to be forgiven for his wrongdoings, but rather insists that the queen “heed his every request” in this new land that will come to be after the curse takes hold of everyone.
The queen notably points out that if the curse works as she intends it to, he will have no memory of who he was, let alone the deal that they made. She then agrees to his proposal. In describing to her the materials needed to create the curse, Rumpelstiltskin reminds her that “great power requires great sacrifice.” And in order to enact the curse, she must “cut out the heart of the thing she loves most” — her father.
The last scene in the fairytale world is the queen walking over to her father’s grave. As she lays the flowers down and says, “I love you, Daddy,” the camera pans over to the gravestone, on which “beloved father” is written below her father’s name. As the music leads us to believe, something important is about to be revealed. And no sooner do we see the name on the gravestone than every viewer watching feels their jaw drop — Henry.