This episode was kind of middle of the road for me; it was interesting enough, but it seemed to lack the zip OUAT usually has, possibly because Regina’s typical snark was a bit muted here, or maybe because Emma and Hook were each doing their own thing, which meant that we didn’t get any of the romantic little scenes I’ve grown accustomed to. But without further adieu, here are ten thoughts I had while watching “Enter the Dragon”.
1. I continue to love the way that Emma and Regina’s friendship has grown this season. Emma’s immediate concern for Regina when Charming and Snow told her that she went undercover, as well as how she insisted on accompanying Regina on her jaunt with Maleficent (a very “with you ’til the wheels fall off” moment) showed how much Emma truly does care about Regina’s safety. It was also clear that she now cares because of how she feels about Regina herself, not just out of a desire to keep Henry’s mother safe for his sake. I also really liked the message that Regina left on the screen for Emma reassuring her that she would be alright; I think taking the time to do that (rather than just dropping the phone and leaving) showed how much she appreciated Emma’s concern.
2. I’m glad that Emma acknowledged that her super power was out of whack (or really, totally out of commission) because it proved that she does have her suspicions about Snow and Charming. I also felt bad for both Emma and Regina when Regina lied to Emma about her parents being up to something, because you could see how much it pained Regina to do so, and I can’t help but think about how mad Emma is going to be when she finds out the truth.
3. Anyone else think Emma must have been a terrible bails-bondsman? All I could think when she was following Regina and Maleficent was [Chandler voice] “Could she be any more obvious?”
4. I always enjoy the episodes where we see Regina as both a young girl and her present self, because Lana Parilla does such a marvelous job of playing those contrasting facets of Regina believably. This episode in particular, her performance was even more impressive, because we also got to see a little bit of the Evil Queen as well, in her conversation with Rumple at the end of the flashback, and her undercover work with the Queens of Darkness. I also loved how layered her performance was; little moments like her obvious remorse at putting Geppetto and August to sleep and the instant she decide to drop the phone, even knowing that it was what had to be done.
5. In the flashback, I really enjoyed the visual of Regina holding Maleficent’s scepter as she talked to Aurora, and the idea of her being Maleficent’s assistant/champion throughout their time together. It provided a nice bridge, one that I hadn’t even realized I’d wanted, between the sweet girl who saved Snow White and the Evil Queen that she became. It was also provided an interesting parallel to Regina and Maleficent’s relationship in the present.
6. Speaking of Maleficent, she was giving me major Zelena vibes this week with the jaunty hat and blazer.
7. I was bummed that it turned out that Rumple was the one acting as Hook the whole episode, mostly because I love how Belle and Hook’s relationship has developed, and this would have been another nice moment of bonding for them. Colin O’Donoghue did a really great job this episode as well; I didn’t even suspect that it was Rumple until just before Belle handed the dagger over, but as soon as I realized that it was, little quirks in his performance earlier in the episode made total sense. Also, am I the only one who wonders what the real person is up to when Rumple borrows their persona? Did Hook just spend the whole episode chilling at Granny’s?
8. It’s super frustrating (though not really surprising) to see Rumple continue to manipulate Belle rather than working to repair that relationship, Plus, as someone who was incredibly proud of Belle when she stood up for herself last season, it really sucked to see her taken advantage of again. But I also love that she’s someone who continues to trust people, in this case Hook, who has obviously wronged her in the past, and it does show that her character is far stronger than Rumple’s in that regard.
9. The scene where Rumple asked Belle about Will was interesting because, even though we haven’t seen the new lovebirds together very much, it showed how Belle feels about Will and what drew her to that relationship in the first place. Rumple’s interest showed that he clearly still loves her, making his manipulation that much harder to stomach. But I can’t deny that it’s in-character; he’s always been self-destructive to a fault when it comes to power. Also, if I was Will I’d look into a good hiding place; I have a pretty good feeling he’s on Rumple’s list.
10. I was pleasantly surprised that Rumple revealed himself to Regina so quickly, and I’m really curious to see what she does with that information. It was also a cool twist to bring August back to his adult self, and it’ll be interesting to see what they might learn from him.
Thoughts on this episode? Put ’em in the comments!