Once Upon a Time 5.02 Review: Is Regina Really The New Savior?

by Luciana / October 5, 2015
once upon a time

Last night’s Once Upon a Time dove head first into one of the major plots of season 5A with an episode full of twists and turns, that left my head spinning in its wake.

The question of the hour seemed to be if Regina was strong and/or good enough to be the Savior. With Emma completely embracing the darkness and stepping up as the new Dark One, Regina has no choice but to try to fill her shoes as the Savior, which is met with a lot of reticence from pretty much everyone in Storybrooke. So take the fact that Emma doesn’t believe in her and neither does anyone else – except maybe Henry – plus Robin being attacked both in present day and back in Camelot, and we have a very uncomfortable Regina. She seems to be dealing with a lot of identity issues and a total lack of self confidence throughout the episode, both in Storybrooke and back in Camelot. I don’t blame everyone for not trusting her, but she did kind of prove she has changed and can be someone they can trust to save the town, with her quest to save Robin in Storybrooke. That said, I am not entirely convinced she can be the Savior and that this role reversal will be so complete. Also, the way they saved Robin from the Fury? Super cool. The way it was shot, not so much. It just looked silly and it really lacked in the special effects department.

It seems, though, that the curse Emma cast brought not only our good friends from quaint little Storybrooke, but also a whole lot of people from Camelot, which makes me think that she has an ulterior motive for bringing King Arthur and his people along with everyone else. It might be that she already knows that the Dark One’s dagger is part of Excalibur and she is adopting the whole “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” kind of mentality, since Arthur is the only one (allegedly) that can get the sword out of the stone. That said, I still don’t get the purpose of the curse. We haven’t really seen the big bad villain yet – as I am sure it wasn’t the Fury – so the present day arc is still a big mistery to me.

We know that Emma has apparently cast a curse that sent them all back to Storybrooke after something really bad went down in Camelot. She also wiped their memories for good measure, and built the curse in a way that not even a Savior can undo it; they no longer have one and she definitely doesn’t believe that Regina has what it takes to step up in her place and save them all. Also, what’s up with turning everyone who steps over the town line into a tree? Is that some sort of twisted nod to what happened to Merlin? My guess here is that they failed in their mission to free the wizard and save her – and failed really badly, given Dark Emma’s reaction to it – and something happened that made our Emma turn completely to the dark side.

What I took from this whole storyline with the Fury coming after Robin was that – because all magic comes with a price – Emma saved him in Camelot and didn’t really ask for anything, leaving a huge debt as far as the Darkness is concerned. So she has no choice but to always get something in return every time she uses her magic; and every time she uses her magic, she is one step closer to embracing her new identity as the Dark One. Back in Camelot she was not taking the fact that Regina was taking her place as the Savior so well – despite how good the former Evil Queen’s intentions were – and every time she uses her magic, she embraces her darkness a little more. Something else I noticed was that, every time she uses magic, it seems to heighten her libido, as she basically attacked Killian after she saved Robin’s life; same thing back in Storybrooke when Hook tried to reverse the darkness with a True Love’s kiss. I wonder if Killian will give into the darkness, in order to try and save Emma, as it seemed that that what she implied when she kissed him in Storybrooke, saying that that was the pirate she remembered.

Also, Emma just seemed to be really, really lonely in Storybrooke and like a shell of her former self. Her eyes were completely empty of emotion, so kudos to Jennifer Morrison for playing that so incredibly well. She mantained a completely blank expression and even her voice changed when she was in her full Dark Swan glory. She was also so, so cold to everyone, except Kilian and Henry, which just makes me believe even more that they are going to be her salvation somehow.

On a side note, there was a great moment between Snow and Emma as they were getting ready for the Ball. I am sure Emma was thinking about her first Ball back in the season 3 finale, that she attended with Killian and wished her parents were there, not those past versions of themselves. In fact, the whole Ball sequence was pretty awesome. From Charming teaching Regina how to dance, to their outfits, to the actual Ball and Henry getting his first crush and taking advice from his grandfather. Everything was just brilliant and probably my favorite part of the episode.

And last, but definitely not least, the place where Excalibur is at the end, seems to be the same cage that Rumple was imprisioned in seasons past, and also the same place Emma appeared in that Comic Con promo. So the question now is, what exactly is that place? What exactly is that door in Emma’s new house and is it a portal to the Enchanted Forest realm?

So many questions and an entire week to obsess over them. Can we fast forward to next Sunday’s Once Upon a Time already?




20-something Brazilian journalist. Crazy about TV. Love Castle, Fringe, Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica, Once Upon a Time and countless other shows. Lost is the best show of all time. Period. @lucianamangas