When we first heard about the episode of “Once Upon a Time” entitled “Welcome to Storybrooke,” we were somewhat concerned. Was there really any need for us to see what happened during the early days of this town? Before this episode, we would have said that the answer here was “no.”
However, after watching this we’re starting to feel like this may have been one of the most important episodes of the entire series. We not only learned through this why Regina feels that she needs Henry to be a part of her life, but also why in the word Ethan Embry’s character of “Greg” was sniffing around so much to begin with. As it turns out, he had been to the tiny Maine town before.
We see this story ultimately as a story of love and loss. Regina wanted to create a world where she could really start over and be expected, which is why she made herself the Mayor of Storybrooke to begin with. Unfortunately, she quickly learned in the process that you cannot create an artificial experience mirroring love. She quickly learned that the only people that she could create any sort of real feeling with were some surprise arrivals in the town named Kurt and his son Owen, and she thus did everything in her power to get them to stay. When Kurt wasn’t interested, things took a violent and very dark turn. Kurt was arrested, and Owen fled the town. Lana Parrilla played this beautifully: Regina is clearly a woman who wants to feel loved, but does not know how to do it. This experience shaped her and made her want to adopt Henry later, but little did she know that this was yield such great consequences later with Emma.
In addition to learning that Greg is actually a much older version of Owen, we also learned in the present that there was now darkness in Mary Margaret’s heart after she made the decision to kill Cora. With that in mind, Regina decided that the best thing to do was to let her wallow in her own suffering, that way she could eventually have Henry for herself in a way that left no blood on her hands.
In summarizing this episode, it was a brilliant way for us to feel for Regina the character more; as it turned out, though, it was also a case study that much of her suffering in this new world was of her own doing.
What did you think about this episode as a whole? Be sure to share some of your thoughts below, and you can also read up on some season finale casting by heading on over to the link here.