‘Once Upon a Time’ review: The Evil Queen discovers her inner evil

Why is she this way?

After weeks of constant mystery, “Once Upon a Time” made a bold move Sunday night and finally gave us a look inside the mind of one of the series’ most important characters: the Evil Queen. Why is she so evil? As it has been with pretty much every character this season in some shape or form, love played a key part in the story.

For Regina, she started out in the fairytale world as a rather innocent young woman who loved horseback riding and a stable boy named Daniel — unfortunately, one act of kindness in saving a young Snow White from a dangerous accident ended up leading into being forced by her mother (a brilliant Barbara Hershey) to marry Snow’s father King Leopold. Hershey’s character manages to put the Evil Queen to shame in terms of evil-ness, and her primary goal for her daughter is to just claim the social latter by any means necessary. Who knew that the horse that Snow was riding on was manipulated to act that way?

Of course, Regina had to rebel somehow from her mother’s wish, and made the mistake of actually telling Snow about who her heart truly belonged to. Snow ended up later telling the mother, thinking that she was doing the right thing in spilling the beans. Unfortunately, she didn’t realize how big of a mistake this was. The future queen’s own mother took Daniel’s life by her own hands, and then forced her into a marriage with a man she could barely even stand to be around. (We all know just how that turns out thanks to earlier this season.)

What was really interesting about this sequence of events was how Regina actually chose to later tell Snow a lie about what happened to Daniel. Why? It’s possible that she wants to hang it over her head later, but we certainly have to think that she didn’t have the girl’s happiness first in mind.

As for Storybrooke, we saw so much of this anger boil over as Regina took every step she could to get Mary Margaret out of town — and thus to the abyss where characters never return. Did it work? Not exactly. Emma tried to foil the plan by at first finding some evidence with August in Regina’s basement, but (in what is one of those things that always manages to happen on the show) the evidence later disappeared.

As Emma watched Mary Margaret walk away in handcuffs, this is where things got a bit interesting. We found out that Emma’s office had actually been bugged by Sydney, otherwise known as the reporter on “her side.” Then, we found a body in the alleyway … and that is what we feel we are going to be talking about for some time leading up to the next new episode.

For yet another week, we have to praise “Once” for managing to take what was a hokey concept and adding some complexity to it. While we still don’t find Mary Margaret particularly likable, but the story of the “Evil” Queen’s backstory made her a far more fascinating character than someone who was born with a lust for blood in her eyes.

What do you think about this episode?

Photo: ABC

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