"Once Upon A Time" Recap: "Stable Boy"
The back-story of the episode focused on the evil queen’s/Regina’s past. We are introduced to her world as a younger and softer woman. She has her father, Henry, who loves her and her mother, Cora, who… well, is a real witch.
Within the first few minutes of being introduced to her, Cora uses magic on Regina as punishment for disobedience. You immediately felt bad for Regina and sympathized with her character.
We then learn that Regina is deeply in love with her family’s stable boy, but will never reveal this to her mother out of fear. One day while she and the stable boy, (Daniel), are meeting out in the fields, a runaway horse goes speeding by with a little girl screaming on it for help. Regina saves the little girl who introduces herself as Snow White.
Later on, the king, (Snow’s father), comes to Regina’s home and states that he has been looking for a wife that also has an interest in his daughter so he wants Regina to marry him. Cora accepts the proposal on behalf of her daughter. Devastated at the thought of losing her one true love, Regina plots with Daniel to runaway but Snow White catches them when they kiss.
Regina explains to a very upset little Snow White that she is in love with Daniel and true love is the most wonderful magic of all. Snow not only understands, but also happily agrees that Regina must marry Daniel. She is about to go and tell her father this, but Regina stops her and explains that not everyone will understand especially her mother Cora who would stand in the way. Regina has Snow White promise to keep her and Daniel’s plans a secret. Snow White promises and the two hug.
As we all know, however, that obviously doesn’t work out. Later in the episode Cora manipulates little Snow, who just wants to help Regina, and eventually gets her to tell the truth. This was a very painful scene to watch because we all knew what was going to happen and just wanted to yell, “No Snow; it’s a trap!”
When Regina and Daniel meet at night in the stables to sneak out and runaway they are caught and stopped by Cora. Cora at first refuses to let them leave because of all the deals and sacrifices she has made to get her daughter where she is today. But after Regina argues that it is her life and she loves Daniel her mother seems to change her mind. Let’s be honest, who really believed Cora had changed her mind? Cora pretends to be giving her blessing to the two and takes Daniel aside and explains that her greatest piece of advice is that parents must always do what is right for their children and that this is what she is doing now.
Cora proceeds to rip Daniel’s heart out of his chest and crushes it into dust in her hand despite a screaming Regina. Regina yells at her mother for ruining everything and that she loved Daniel, but Cora silences her and says she has saved Regina. Cora explains that love is weakness but power endures. She then says she has put up with this behavior long enough and Regina must now ready herself to be queen.
In our final look back in to Fairy Tale Land, Regina is having her wedding dress fitted when little Snow enters. Snow comments how beautiful Regina looks and how she just new Regina’s mother would let her marry Daniel. This catches Regina’s attention and Regina discovers Snow broke her promise and told Cora about them. Snow asks if Regina is mad. Instead of exploding at Snow like you know Regina wants to, instead Regina pretends it doesn’t bother her. And Regina lies and tells Snow that she did not love Daniel and loves Snow’s father and that is who she is marrying. A blissfully unaware Snow White skips off.
When Snow is gone Cora compliments Regina on her tactics saying, "Well played dear. You're learning." Regina accuses her mother of setting up the wild horse and saving Snow from the get go. Cora denies it and Regina walks away and, now with the same icy inflection we are used to, states, “I should've let her die on that horse."
Back in Storybrooke, the Mary Margaret trial is just around the corner and she and Emma are freaking out because everything points to guilty. We see Mr. Gold, (Rumplestiltskin), making a deal with Regina and later reassuring Emma of their deal as well.
In the middle of the episode David tries to talk to Emma about Mary Margaret but Emma says Mary Margaret doesn’t want to see him. Mr. Gold convinces Mary Margaret to have a pre-trial with the DA, (Fairy Tale Land’s King George), which only worsens Mary Margaret’s situation by making her seem even more guilty.
Emma spends the rest of the episode with our Storybrooke mystery man, August, running around trying to find some way to prove Mary Margaret’s innocence or link Regina to the crime. The two finally have a breakthrough at the old “Toll Bridge” when Emma finds a piece of a broken shovel in the hole where Kathryn’s heart was buried. When the two sneak into Regina’s garage they find a shovel that matches the missing piece.
Thinking that they’ve got her, Emma returns with a warrant the next day only to discover the shovel has been replaced with a new shovel. Emma accuses August of double-crossing her.
There is also quite the confrontation between Regina and Mary Margaret. At the beginning of the episode Regina paid Mary Margaret a visit to rub the situation in, but later on Regina returned to the station to really kick Mary Margaret while she is down.
Mary Margaret is in her cell crying when Regina comes to gloat. Regina says she just wants to enjoy Mary Margaret’s misery while she can before Mary Margaret is convicted, sent out of Storybrooke, and Regina never has to see her again. Mary Margaret, through tears, cries that she doesn’t know what she ever did to make Regina hate her so much but she is truly sorry and didn’t kill Kathryn. Regina rejects the apology and admits that she knows Mary Margaret didn’t kill Kathryn but that Mary Margaret does deserve this.
It would appear Mary Margaret’s goose is cooked as she is led away in handcuffs to her trial. Emma angrily confronts Mr. Gold. Emma is panicking because Mr. Gold did not hold up his end of the bargain and now Regina is going to win and Mary Margaret lose. Calm and collected as always, Mr. Gold reassures Emma that it is not over and that there is still time for him to “work a little magic."
In frustration, Emma smashes a flowerpot that Sydney gave her and discovers a bug that Sydney planted in the flower to spy on Emma. Emma meets August to apologize about accusing him of double-crossing her but the two are interrupted by a scream.
The two run towards the scream and find a dismayed Ruby. Ruby says, “She’s in the alley.” Emma runs to the alley and finds a woman in torn and dirty clothes lying on the ground. When Emma turns the woman over we see that it’s, you guessed it, Kathryn! And she’s alive!
Wahoo! I knew Kathryn couldn’t be dead; I definitely hoped she wasn’t! Well I guess Mary Margaret is off the hook. Emma is probably super confused; I mean the heart they found was Kathryn’s. However we know that Regina/the evil queen has the ability to rip out other people’s hearts and only when the heart is crushed into dust does the person die. Of course Emma and everybody else doesn’t know that. I guess the biggest question right now is, “Where the heck has Kathryn been all this time?” Or, “What happened to her when she tried to leave Storybrooke?” And also, “What team is Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold playing for?” We definitely need more back-story on him soon.
Contact Staff Reporter G. Culbertson here
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