Once Upon A Time season 2 episode 15 review: The Queen Is Dead

Review Kylie Peters
6 Mar 2013 - 06:13

Once Upon A Time offers up an unsophisticated episode that shows the series' puppet strings. Here's Kylie's review...

This review contains spoilers.

2.15 The Queen is Dead

Sorry for the delay in this week’s review, folks. I was busy fighting off a sudden mysterious illness which was definitely not caused by an evil witch trying to depose me from my throne. 

In flashbacks we are introduced to Snow’s mother, and she’s pretty much what you’d expect - that is, perfect. Then she suddenly starts coughing up blood for no apparent reason and nobody thinks that’s fishy at all. Mini Snow goes to the Blue Fairy to get help for her mother, and the Blue Fairy decides that just this once she’ll use dark forbidden magic to give Snow a deadly spell to save her mother’s life. Also not fishy at all. 

Combine the characters’ utter lack of common sense with the sappy good-always-wins moments with dying Mum and the result is a frustrating flashback sequence. On the bright side, Mini Snow (Bailee Madison) is an impressive young actor, and that’s a particularly high compliment considering the script she had to work with. The story also adds a layer of depth to Snow, whose character has become pretty one-dimensional lately. The ending foreshadows Snow’s decision to disobey her perfect Mummy and try out the dark side for a while, and that should be interesting. 

The episode also introduces serving woman Johanna (Lesley Nichol of Downton Abbey), who is apparently one of Snow’s besties, never mind that we never heard of her before now. Anyone wanna bet on whether Mrs. Patmore survives the episode? Nope, Cora throws her out of a clock face after Snow gives her Rumple’s dagger in an attempt to save her. For some reason Cora and Regina don’t take the opportunity to kill Snow and Charming, even though that was the whole reason Regina wanted the dagger in the first place. 

It turns out that Cora is behind all manner of mischief both now and in the past. The show is clearly solidifying Cora’s role as the Big Bad, perhaps to open an opportunity for Regina to rejoin the good guys against her mum. Regina gets surprisingly little airtime in an episode whose plot has a lot to do with her. I miss her, whether she’s good or bad or somewhere in between. I’m not sold on Cora as a villain yet. 

Meanwhile, Henry and his dad Bae/Neal are bonding in Manhattan while Emma and Rumple awkwardly follow them around. Then Hook appears out of nowhere and stabs Rumple with his poisoned hook. Bae decides to temporarily make nice to Rumple since you’d have to be a huge douche to foster a grudge against a dying dude, and he agrees to help take Rumple back to Storybrooke where magic can heal him. They will take Hook’s pirate ship, which Bae knows how to steer and which is apparently faster than an airplane. 

It’s pretty much confirmed that the fans were right in predicting that Bae is Peter Pan. What we did not predict is that Bae has a fiancée named Tamara. That’ll put a wrench in things.      

On the whole, it’s an episode of convenience. Once Upon a Time isn’t the most tightly-plotted story at the best of times, but usually that can be overlooked because of the other things it’s got going for it: the fairytale tie-ins, complex characters, and a plot that is exciting even when it’s a little silly.This one pushed the limits, though. If you are repeatedly reminded of writers’ machinations while watching a TV show, somebody is not doing their job right. But if you are not the sort of person to be bothered by plot holes, this isn’t a terrible episode. 

Next week, things take a dark turn as Snow gives the dark side a try. Who will be the death promised in the promo?             

Read Kylie's review of the previous episode, Manhattan, here.

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