Once Upon a Time: How do you solve a problem like Regina?

ONCE UPON A TIME: 1.21 “An Apple as Red as Blood”

KT thinks Regina’s life would have turned out so differently if Jiminy Cricket had gone to visit once in a while. 

In a fairy tale, we know that good it supposed to triumph over evil—that’s what we’ve been rooting for all along here.  But exactly what form do we expect that to take, and what will be the cost?  That what we’re starting to explore in this week’s episode, and to varying degrees, the last several.

Regina’s dream sequence—in which she finds a mob of furious townspeople on her doorstep—got me thinking.  The scene is obviously disturbing to Regina, but it’s also clearly supposed to be disturbing to those of us who don’t necessarily sympathize with her.  Seeing the townsfolk gang up on her like this isn’t noble or heroic or any of the things their victory is supposed to be.  We don’t want to see them resort to this.  But it made me sit back and say, Wait. I’m not rooting for Regina!

The episode seemed to want us to question that, however.  Revisiting the stables—and the stable boy’s grave with it’s big red heart—called back the tragedies of Regina’s youth that we were shown a few episodes ago. Similarly, Emma’s attempt to leave town with Henry brings out Regina’s maternal side with a depth that we don’t always see.  Although she is the Evil Queen, she’s also a hard working single mom—and though she was playing David’s heartstrings a little obviously during the lasagna dinner, it’s more than just a façade.  She’s also the adoptive parent who hates the idea that the birthmother has any claim (emotional, if not legal) on her son. After so many episodes of smirking nefariously, Regina is threatening to become a three-dimensional character.

I’ll almost be sorry to see Regina go down.  (…Almost. Evil queen is still pretty evil, yo.)

What do you think we’ll get in the season finale this weekend?  My bet is on two parts resolution, one part cliffhanger, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that everyone will remember who they really are—but that’s all I’ve got.  What about you?