This week’s return of Once Upon a Time brought us many giggle-worthy moments. From Regina’s surprisingly hilarious one-liners, to Snow and Charming’s interrupted sexy snuggle in bed, fans were rewarded with a night of fairytale fun despite Cora’s wicked — and nearly deadly — arrival in Storybrooke. Read on for all the spellbinding details from “The Cricket Game.”
Fairytale Land Forgiveness: Regina, dressed in what looks to be some fierce dragon scales-inspired armor, is looking out on a burning and war-ridden Fairytale Land. Snow and Charming’s army have defeated Kind George’s reign and the kingdom is now theirs, but when Regina learns that Snow is traveling through the Enchanted Forest alone (yet again) she is elated to chase after her stepdaughter.
Snow offers Regina a chance to surrender, but of course the evil queen wants no such thing and lunges to kill the princess. Snow screams, “Now!” and the Blue Fairy freezes Regina with fairy dust and Charming steps out from a nearby bush, revealing that this whole thing was a trap. “We knew that you couldn’t resist going after Snow and now because of your bloodlust, the kingdom is ours. You’re reign of evil is over.”
After deliberating with the rest of the fairytale creature roundtable, Charming decides that their safest option is to kill the queen for once and for all. Regina’s father comes to visit her in her cell and he begs for his daughter to plead for forgiveness.
On the day of her execution, Rumple watches quietly from a crowd as Jiminy asks Regina is she has any last words. Regina’s speech starts out sweetly, and it even appears that she feels remorse and regret, but then her words take a dark turn. “[I] regret that I did not cause more pain, inflict more misery, and bring about more death. And with every ounce of my being I regret that I was not able to kill Snow White.”
An outraged Charming calls for his army to slay Regina with a dozen arrows, but at the last second Snow yells for a cease-fire. “This is not the way,” she tells her husband.
Snow is later walking the grounds of her kingdom and she discovers Rumple is waiting to help her discover if Regina has the ability to change. Fast-forward to the next day and we see Snow dismiss the guards watching Regina and she tries to have a heart-to-heart with her stepmother, revealing that she still believes there is good left inside her. “All you need is someone to help you let her out.”
And just like that, Snow opens the door on Regina’s cell and offers her the chance to change for good. Regina hesitantly walks out of the cell and not even a second later, she grabs Snow by the throat and presses her up against the wall. Snow grabs a small dagger for defense but Regina snatches the blade and stabs her stepdaughter in the stomach.
Regina is baffled when she sees that Snow is not bleeding, and Charming reveals that Rumple used one of the queen’s hairs to create a protection spell for Snow and the prince.
Snow explains to Regina, “It was a test, one that I had truly hoped that you would pass…Regina you are banished. Banished to live alone with your misery.”
At Regina’s castle, she is not happy to see that Rumple has come to pay her a visit. He tells her that today is Snow and Charming’s wedding day, but unfortunately due to Rumple’s protection spell, Regina can do nothing to hurt them on their joyous day. Not in this land that is.
his realization then sparks Regina’s idea for a curse to bring everyone to another land. “Father!” Regina announces, “Bring my carriage I have a wedding to get to.”
Storybrooke Scandals: The episode begins splendidly with a close-up of Hook’s ridiculously attractive face. He and Cora are not quite ready to announce their arrival to the our fairytale-filled Storybrooke, so instead they decide to hide Hook’s ship, and take a sneaky look around.
Oh and Cora turned an overly kind (and somewhat nosy) man into a fish, and Hook promptly kicked him into the sea. Maybe he’ll lead us to Flounder? Probably not.
The next day we see Snow and Charming enjoying some sexy time kisses in bed because it’s been 28 years since they shared a little pillow talk session.
Cue the awkward Charming family interaction when Emma and Henry walk in to the overly crowded house. Henry is confused, Emma is mortified, and Snow and Charming are adorably shocked.
Charming muses, “It’s impressive that we can still provide her with a few traumatic childhood memories at this stage in the game.”
There is a small welcome home party at Granny’s later that evening and everyone is shocked when Regina walks through the door holding a dish of lasagna and wearing a sincere smile on her face.
Emma is doing her best to give Regina a second chance so she invited Henry’s other mom to the party, despite Snow and Charming’s words of warning.
Regina, clearly trying to feel sorry for herslef and not really trying to fit in, gathers up her things and mopes out of the party. Emma goes to stop her and accidently lets it slip that Dr. Hopper— aka Jiminy Cricket —told her about Regina’s sessions with him, how she’s trying to change and refusing to do magic.
Regina leaves the party and from a nearby roof, Cora is watching her daughter saunter off into the darkness claiming that she’s not fully broken yet.
The next day, Regina finds Hopper and his dog Pongo near the marina and quickly moves in to attack him with her words. “I came to you in confidence, how and I supposed to prove to people that I’ve changes when you’re there to chirp in their ear and remind them of my past?”
Ruby, out on a jog, sees their argument and comes over to see what’s wrong. Regina quickly dismisses the she-wolf quipping, “Private conversation, go take yourself for a walk.”
Regina tells Hopper that he’s lucky that she’s changed and she walks away in a huff.
Later that night, and oddly stiff Regina walks down the street and enters Hopper’s office with a wild yet calm look in her eye.
She asks Hopper if he has time to talk, and Pongo quickly suspects that something is wrong. “Regina” grabs the psychiatrist by the throat, Pongo goes berserk, and after an evil-looking cloud of purple smoke fills the room, the Storybrooke mayor leaves the office looking quite pleased with herself.
Around the corner our suspicions are confirmed when we see it was actually Cora posing as Regina. Gasp!
The following morning, Pongo rushes over to Granny’s and Ruby, using her wolf instincts, can instantly tell something is wrong. Emma and Ruby rush over across the street and see that Hopper is lying face down on the carpet and does not have a pulse.
The doctor is dead and Ruby is pretty certain she knows who is capable of such a crime. Emma and Charming call Regina into the sheriff’s office to question her whereabouts the night before, and when Emma reveals that Hopper is dead, Regina’s face shows genuine shock. Charming, doesn’t trust the queen at all and is convinced that she is the one to blame, but Emma plays the sheriff card and states that she is to be considered innocent until proven guilty.
The Charming’s head over to Mr. Gold’s store and find Rumple and Belle sitting down to a sweet lunch together.
They question Rumple to if he is trying to frame Regina, but the former “Dark One” quickly dismisses their accusations and says that they should really be asking the witness what happened. Charming brings Pongo into the shop and Rumple uses an enchanted dream catcher to extract the memories from the pup’s brain.
However, to make sure that Rumple doesn’t use his magic to alter the truth, Emma decides (at Rumple’s suggestion) that it’s time that she try to use magic for the first time in Storybrooke.
Emma focuses on the dream catcher and soon everyone is watching Regina enter Dr. Hopper office and squish the man like the bug that he is. Emma is furious that she was wrong in her suspicions and they quickly come up with a plan to capture Regina.
Charming, Emma and Snow arrive at Regina’s house and tell her that they know for a fact that she killed Dr. Hopper.
Regina, tired of their accusations, becomes outraged at Emma’s threats to keep Henry away from her. Like in Fairytale Land, the Blue Fairy arrives and tries to freeze Regina with her fairy dust, but the former queen is wiser now and quickly stops their magical advances.
Emma snarls, “You can pretend all you want but we know how you are, and who you will always be.” And with a puff of purple smoke, Regina is gone.
Emma is now promptly freaking out because she now has to tell Henry that someone he loved, (Dr. Hopper) was killed by another person that he loves (Regina).
She tells Snow and Emma that she’s only been a parent “for like five minutes” and she is worried that she won’t handle the situation properly. “You don’t know me. You don’t know what I was before Storybrooke and trust me I was not parent-material.”
But her parents know exactly what she is going through and they convince their daughter that they will now always be there for each other. “We’re a family,” Charming smiles at her. Emma tells Henry what happened and a crying Regina watches her son’s devastation from a car across the street.
Over with our new villains, Cora tells Hook that she has left him a present in the hull of his ship. “Someone privy to Storybrooke’s deepest secrets, including Rumplestilskin’s. Someone who can help us determine his weaknesses here. Can’t you Dr. Hopper?” He’s alive!
Cora pretended to kill Dr. Hopper and then killed another random Storybrooke resident and disguised him/her to look like the psychiatrist. “It may take some work, but this cricket will chirp,” Cora says darkly.
Are you happy that Dr. Hopper is still alive? What do you hope is going to happen next? Who else is hoping that Hook gets his own spinoff? Cast your spell in the comments below!
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[Photo Credit: ABC]