Maybe showing her mercy is the first step.
In Fairy Tale Land, the fighting has just begun to take back the kingdom. Evil Queen Regina’s plan to ambush the royal camp failed. When she learns that Snow White and Prince Charming are separated, that Snow White is traveling alone to meet her prince, Regina puts out a search for Snow White. She doesn’t care what it takes, Regina wants them separated long enough to get some alone time with Snow White.
As luck, or not, would have it, Regina stumbles upon Snow White running in the woods. Snow White wants Regina to surrender, but Regina won’t unless Snow White is dead. As she lunges, Snow White calls on her defense. The Blue Fairy magic-freezes the Evil Queen, and Prince Charming and army arrive take the Evil Queen to a castle cell where she will await her sentence…most likely death.
The royals hold a round table meeting where it is decided that the Queen must die. As long as she is alive she is a threat.
At the execution, Jiminy Cricket asks for final words. The Evil Queen obliges. It’s a heartfelt start that turns into rage. The Evil Queen is only sorry she didn’t inflict more pain upon the kingdom.
As the arrows are nocked and aimed and flying through the air at Regina’s body, Snow White yells “stop!” The arrows are halted via magic, inches from impact. Snow White demands that the Evil Queen be sent back to her cell. There must be another way. How can Prince Charming truly know that the Evil Queen can’t change, can’t be good again? She was good once. Snow White saw it. And once Regina’s dead, there is no second chance for redemption.
Snow White goes to Regina’s cell and tells her she can be free. She can leave all the evil in this cell and be free. Regina takes the offer. But as soon as she’s out the door, she turns on Snow White, choking her.
Regina grabs Snow White’s knife and prepares to kill the future queen, but that fails. The knife, although clearly penetrating Snow White’s body, does not kill.
Enter Prince Charming and guards. Snow White and Prince Charming are enchanted. As long as they are in this world, the Evil Queen cannot harm them, as per magical exchange with Rumplestiltskin. As for Regina’s evil actions, Snow White and Prince Charming banish Regina from the kingdom.
So Regina leaves.
At least several days, if not weeks or months later, Regina is in her cold castle, glaring into her mirror, when one of her guards informs her of a visitor.
Rumplestiltskin lets himself in and plants the seed for the curse. Today is the Royal Wedding. While Regina cannot harm them in this world, Rumplestiltskin points out, that deal referred to this world. But if they were in another world…
Like wood in a fire, Regina’s evil desires flames hot. She’s got a wedding to catch…
How will she do that, you ask? Simple. Turn everyone in town against Regina.
As if they weren’t already.
Oh, but I mean turn everyone against the reformed Regina.
All in due time.
But for now, Cora and Hook will simply tour their new land.
At Granny’s, the Charmings are holding a reunion party. A toast to being together… again. Everyone is glad to have Mary Margaret and Emma back in the cursed land. The whole town seems to have been invited including one unexpected visitor. Yep, yours truly, Regina.
Mary Margaret and David are weary, but Emma assures them that she’s safe. She’s trying to change and besides, Henry likes her. Plus, Archie convinced Emma to invite Regina.
However, when Regina finds out that she wasn’t really wanted and that Archie blabbed about their sessions, she confronts the good doctor, er, cricket.
Truly he’s sorry for sharing what he did and promises that he can be trusted, that any vital information will not be shared courtesy of the patient-doctor confidentiality rule. Against her nature, Regina lets it slide because she’s changed, or trying to.
Regina slips out of Archie’s office and into the streets; she turns the corner and whoosh…ready for this? Morphs into Cora. Yep, Cora killed Archie, not Regina.
While undetected by other town citizens, Cora was aware Ruby had seen “Regina” go into Archie’s office, no doubt part of her plan to frame her daughter. So the next morning when Pongo rushes to Granny’s barking up a storm at Emma and Henry, Ruby hears the commotion and somewhat translates what the dog is saying. Emma and Ruby follow the dog back to Archie’s office to find the man dead on the floor.
First person to blame is Regina. But when Emma and David break the bad news, Regina is just as shocked as the next person. She didn’t do it and Emma believes her.
David and Mary Margaret try to convince Emma of Regina’s true nature, who she was before. But Emma won’t listen. In this land people are innocent until proven guilty. Only one other person would try to frame Regina using magic: Mr. Gold.
Using a dream catcher, Mr. Gold captures the memories and hands the object to Emma. To not skew the authenticity of the memories, an unbiased party is required. Emma has magic in her and she can use it to see Pongo’s memories in their true form.
And so she does. But as we all predicted, she saw exactly what we saw: Regina killing Archie because that is what Pongo saw.
Now Emma sees red. Regina must pay for her murderous ways. Without a plan, the Charmings march off to confront the mayor.
Again, Regina denies her involvement. Yet Emma’s heard enough. She won’t be fooled any longer and she can’t subject her son to it either. She’s his mother; Regina never was and never will be.
I guess the Blue Fairy felt the danger or just happened to be in the neighborhood, but when Regina lunges at Emma for a fight, the Blue Fairy throws a Hail Mary fairy dust pass to Mary Margaret and David. Regina intercepts and uses it against Emma.
In light of Regina’s immediate use of magic for evil, Emma threatens her again. Henry can certainly never be part of Regina’s life, not after what just happened.
As Emma breaks the bad news to Henry, Regina tearfully watches on in sorrow.
Now she is truly broken and stripped of all she holds dear. Now, Cora can act.
But there is one more trick up Cora’s sleeve and he’s in the cargo hold of the Jolly Roger. Can you guess? It’s Archie! Alive but bound. Whoever Cora killed in Archie’s office was not Jiminy Cricket. Now, Archie can spill the beans on anybody in town, especially about a certain…crocodile.
1) What made Cora so evil?
2) What could Rumplestiltskin just enact the curse to get to our world?
3) What kind of information will Archie provide Cora and Hook?
4) What will the confrontation between Hook and Mr. Gold be like?
5) Will Hook get his revenge? Will Belle get in the way?
6) When will Emma and gang find Cora?
7) Will Emma ever take Regina’s side again or help Regina?
8) What is Cora’s grand plan for Regina’s life?
9) Did magic infiltrate the whole world or just Storybrooke?
10) When will Mr. Gold find Bae?