Once Upon a Time: The Cricket Game
by Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)
Welcome back to Once Upon a Time, dearies! The hiatus is over, magic is in the air, and good things (at least for us audience members) await in the town of Storybrooke!
When we left off, Cora and Captain Hook had made their way to Storybrooke on Hook’s ship. They dock, descend to land and Cora turns the ship invisible. It would be rather noticeable if a pirate ship was just docked at port. right? Cora spies on Regina and decides that Regina hasn’t quite hit rock bottom just yet, thus she won’t reveal herself. But she’ll help her get there, without a doubt.
In past Fairy Tale Land, a war is finishing between the evil Queen Regina and Snow. Regina has lost and a trap is set to capture her. She makes an attempt on Snow but the Blue Fairy hits her with fairy dust, rendering her unable to use magic. She stands trial, and just before her execution, Snow calls off her death. Rumplestiltskin questions if Regina is able to change and tells Snow to test her. If she’s able to change, the world will be a better place, but Rumple has his doubts.
Snow goes to Regina’s cell and sets her free, saying she saved her life once, it’s now her turn to do the same. Once out, Regina immediately stabs Snow with a knife but nothing happens. Rumplestiltskin put a protection spell over Snow and Charming so that Regina could not do any harm to them ever again in this world. Regina is dumbfounded and Snow tells her it was a test and she failed. Later, Rumple appears before Regina and tells her that though she can’t harm Snow or Charming in this world, in any other world, she could; which sets Regina’s mind into action.
The town throws a party for the return of Mary and Emma with plenty of food to go around. The party comes to a halt when Regina walks in with lasagna. Emma invited her as she’s trying to change and everyone deserves a chance, even Regina. Regina later sees Archie Hopper in the street and confronts him about telling others that she was seeking his help. She says he broke doctor/patient confidentiality and he’s lucky she’s turned over a new leaf or he’d be sorry. However, later that night, Regina stops by Hopper’s to talk, only to choke him out. His body is found the next morning by Emma and Red.
Blame immediately goes to Regina for the death, but Emma believes her when she says she didn’t do it. The next “usual” suspect is Mr. Gold, who in turn says he didn’t do it. But Hopper has a dog and Gold is able to access Pongo’s visual memory of what happened by allowing Emma to use magic to show the memory in a dreamcatcher. The memory reveals Regina was the one who killed Hopper, and Emma, Mary and David go to confront her. They say they saw the dog’s memory and Regina immediately vanishes. Emma has to tell Henry what happened, and Regina is devastated she’s now lost Henry after all the work she had been doing.
Back at Hook’s ship, the captain asks Cora how things are going. She says her plan is going well and she turned into Regina to kill Hopper. Yet, in the hull of the ship is Hopper tied up and gagged. Cora used an illusion to frame Regina. Now, they’ll use Hopper to get information on Rumplestiltskin for Hook so the next phase of their plan can go into effect.
Being the first episode back from hiatus, I didn’t feel it was a very strong one. It seemed like a safe foundation episode to build for bigger things down the road. I also had to come to the realization that we may not necessarily see our beloved characters as much in their “alter egos” from Fairy Tale Land. With most of the story now taking place in present day, we’ll only really be able to enjoy the fantasy and imagination through the flashbacks to the character’s pasts.
Speaking of flashbacks and the whole timeline, I’m personally relieved we no longer have three worlds to bounce between (Fairy Tale past, Fairy Tale present and Storybrooke). Though the writers were able to balance it out fairly well, it does get old after a while. Shows that bounce around all over the place (Flash Forward and The Event come to mind) don’t fare too well in the end. So it’s nice to have things simplified and more straightforward as we progress. It’s hard to visualize the ending to this season at this point. One can only speculate the direction the story will take, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that somewhere down the road, we’ll have a confrontation between Cora and Regina as well as Hook and Rumplestiltskin, and that will be worth the wait!
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars