‘Once Upon a Time’ Season 2, Episode 17: Regina Unhinged

Published 2 years ago by , Updated March 18th, 2013 at 8:49 am,

ONCE UPON A TIME Season 2 Episode 17 Regina Henry Once Upon a Time Season 2, Episode 17: Regina Unhinged

It’s not uncommon for Once Upon a Time to hop back and forth between the present and the past within an episode, but in tonight’s ‘Welcome to Storybrooke,’ we’re shown the town’s past as opposed to the past in the Enchanted Forest.

It helps shed light on what the town was like in its infancy, allows viewers the chance to visit with some dearly departed friends, and explains why recent visitor Greg Mendell (Ethan Embry) was lurking at the town line at the beginning of this season.

One fascinating tidbit gleaned is that the town first appeared on Earth in 1983 with the same gale force winds with which it left the Enchanted Forest. Unfortunately for Regina (Lana Parrilla), on the night of the curse that created Storybrooke, a young Greg – whose name back then was Owen Flynn (Benjamin Stockham) – and his father Kurt (John Pyper-Ferguson) chose the forest on the outskirts of town to go camping. Much of the episode centers on the relationship that forms between Regina and the unexpected outsiders.

ONCE UPON A TIME Season 2 Episode 17 Regina Huntsman Once Upon a Time Season 2, Episode 17: Regina Unhinged

Strangers and newly-minted curses aside, it needs to be mentioned that having Jamie Dornan back as Sheriff Graham is something that should be done more often. Dornan has a great on screen presence, and even though he’s something of a shallow sex-slave at this point in his time-stream, it’s not too bothersome because he is just that much fun to watch. He gets a cool car chase this time around, too. It’s also nice to catch a glimpse of Billy (Jarod Joseph), Archie Hopper (Ralphael Sbarge), and Tony Amendola’s, Geppetto.

Meanwhile, Regina’s relationship with Storybrooke’s first unexpected visitors is mercurial at best and adds more proof to how co-dependent this wicked queen really is.

First, she’s enraged and threatened by their presence and all but orders them to leave town as soon as possible. Then she’s suddenly inviting them over for dinner. At dinner, it seems like she’s plotting their demise via her signature apple turnovers when Owen makes the comment that she’d make a good mom and her heart softens so much she’s begging Kurt to leave New Jersey and “The Boss” behind and settle down in Storybrooke. Like any good dad, Kurt’s danger radar goes off and he decides it’s high time he got the hell out of Dodge.

Time does not heal all wounds, because in present-day Storybrooke, Regina’s moods shift like a pendulum, taking her from a tearful little girl at her mother’s grave to a raging psychopath determined to seek vengeance against Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) to – finally – the mama bear determined to preserve her relationship with Henry (Jared S. Gilmore) by employing the same techniques she’d tried on the Flynns back in the ’80s.

ONCE UPON A TIME Season 2 Episode 17 David Emma Neal Once Upon a Time Season 2, Episode 17: Regina Unhinged

Clearly she is a woman bound and determined to have her cake and eat it too. History proves the results never equal her expectations: the curse leaves her in a Groundhog Day-esque loop that bores her after a few days, and she’s “forced” to kidnap Kurt Flynn in order to keep him in town and watch his son sob on the other side of the magic town line.

While Regina plots her revenge, Snow retreats to her bed, leaving her family to scurry around and protect her on their own. This wilted flower act is no more winsome than her purer-than-thou naïveté has been in the past and it almost makes one wish Regina would’ve actually kept Snow’s heart instead of giving it back.

At least David (Josh Dallas) and Emma (Jennifer Morrison) show some backbone this time out, and Neal (Michael Raymond-James) learns the cardinal rule of parenting is to never trust the kid who complies too quickly.

Actually, of anyone, Henry is the one making the sensible decisions – rightly determining that magic is the root of all evil in Storybrooke – though no one is in the mood to pay any attention to him. It should be interesting to see how this severely fractured and twisted family fares when attacked from the outside.

Once Upon A Time airs Sundays @8pm on ABC.

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  1. why do u guys bother posting this? nobody ever comments but me. and that’s ONCE in a while. also, the same for BONES. it’s like nobody cares about these shows on this site.

    • I read quite often. I love Once Upon a Time. I just never comment as much because I didn’t come for the comments (most of the time). I came to look at insights of the show that I probably have missed out on or overlooked. Plus I don’t know, it’s just interesting.

  2. Same goes for me, just because I don’t comment doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy reading the review. After all if I wanted a huge discussion I would just go to a forum on some site for that. I come here to read a good review of the episode.

  3. I came to the series late in its 1st season run, having a marathon of it and I must say, though I enjoy the show immensely, I tire of the week to week format, and the pendulum of Regina (of conflict resolution). I initially was hooked on finding out who was who and their relationships/stories. I so want her redemption, but we do need a wicked in the Story, and I’m not sure that Mr Gold won’t get his redemption. And yes, nobody’s listening to Henry proper, nor dealing with their problems head-on. They can come so close to either embracing or displacing Regina, but always leave her alone at a pivotal emotional/mental moment ~ brooding mostly over her love and hates. Come up with a plan people, she’s tainted and that takes work.

    Thanks for the write up.

    • This series would have been better as a mini series, but alas it seems that Hollywood has forgotten the format. “Story first” has fallen to the wayside when compared to stringing along the viewer for those coveted advertising dollars.

      Think about how many shows in the last 5 years would have been so much better and made so much more sense had they not been subjected to year after year of increasingly unfilled plot holes, diverging story lines and loads upon loads of never ending side characters.

      I’m tired of Hollywood milking their stories in order to milk their advertisers in order to milk their viewers.

  4. I love reading these reviews as well. I just don’t tend to comment.

  5. Solid show, I have enjoyed it this season other than the special effects not being to special.

    My only other issue is that Ginnifer Goodwin is a nice looking woman but Lana Parrilla is smoking hot, not sure why Hollywood keeps making the evil step mothers better looking than snow white.

  6. I’m another one who is grateful for these reviews, though I rarely comment.

  7. there ya go! yay! some comments! lol. i really thought this part of the website was dead, so i didn’t expect anyone to reply. 😛 but glad that ain’t so. :)

  8. I wish they would have Count Dracula on here seeing as how the Dr. Frankenstein guy is. Except a younger portrayal of Dracula would be cooler and maybe the Professor Abraham Van Helsing.(the Vampire hunter)

  9. There’s plenty of fairy tale characters stories to tell so this show has great potential. I just feel they should’ve kept with a rotating cast for the most part. I like seeing Mr. Gold every episode but the rest are starting to grow tiresome. They’ve done a better job this season than I expected but the first season was so much stronger and flowed better. However, this show has immense potential and is better than just about everything else on TV right now.

  10. My only problem with Henry is his idealistic view of what the good guys should do. Sorry buddy, in fairy tale world, the good guys don’t just banish the evil queens/sorceresses.

  11. [“Actually, of anyone, Henry is the one making the sensible decisions – rightly determining that magic is the root of all evil in Storybrooke – though no one is in the mood to pay any attention to him. It should be interesting to see how this severely fractured and twisted family fares when attacked from the outside.”]

    Henry is an immature child who didn’t know any better. He was merely using magic as a scapegoat for all of the troubles between Regina and the Charmings. The real culprits are the emotions that rage between the two parties . . . not magic. Regina had no magical powers in Season 1, yet she used every other means possible to get Emma out of Storybrooke and make Snow White’s life miserable.

    Claiming that magic is the problem was nothing more than an easy way to explain a difficult and complex situation.

  12. Agreed. Magic isn’t the problem.. Regina’s insatiable desire for ‘revenge’ is. I might add.. the roots of that vengeful hate should lay at the feet of Cora, not Snow.
    Considering the abuse Henry grew up with.. Regina telling he was crazy all the while he knew the ‘ground hog day’ world he was living in was messed up, Henry should be seen as something of a hero for trying to make thing right.. but they are not writing him that way. It seems the only character they are interested in developing & choose to show sympathy toward, is Regina.

    Regina is overused and is really beginning to annoy me… she’s overexposed like the Kardashians or Paris Hilton. Enough already. Let’s see what is going on with the thoughts & emotions from the point of view of some of the other characters who are Regina’s victims.