Welcome to StoryBrooke - watch the full episode here

What good is a new life if you don't have anyone to share it with?” - Regina

            This has to be one of my favorite episodes for a variety of reasons, but chiefly because it gave insight into Regina and StoryBrooke before the curse was broken. I liked knowing the exact year that StoryBrooke was founded; it helps me understand the timeline a bit better than I had before. But think about it: before Emma broke the curse, Regina, and the other town’s people, had to live the same day over and over again since 1983, like a more interesting version of Groundhog Day. That’s thirty years of living the same day forever; imagine if something horrible had happened to you that day. In my opinion, I think Regina punished herself more than she punished the others by casting the curse. At least they didn’t know they did the same thing every day. I don’t know about you guys, but if I had to do the same thing every day and was conscious of it, I’d go crazy. Oh, who am I kidding, I already am.

            I personally think the key to freeing Regina’s cold heart is for her to experience true, unconditional love. The only way this will happen is if that person only knows Regina’s softer, caring side. A child is what Regina needs; it’s obvious Owen and Henry made Regina happy and she’ll do anything to preserve her happiness. The problem is they’ve also seen her dark side. Every time Regina tried to get closer to these two boys, she somehow managed to push them away by doing something a good mother, and even person, would never have tried. (Framing Owen’s father…uh, hello? No, now you’ve scarred the kid for life.) Bad Regina, bad; Go to your corner. I have a feeling that Henry will somehow be involved in getting back to the Enchanted Forest. Someone will have to give him up and sacrifice “what he or she loves the most”; whether it will be Emma or Regina is yet to be seen. We know Regina named Henry after her father, but there might be another hidden reason he shares the name with a dead man.

            Throughout the entire episode I was emotionally torn in several directions. I want Regina to be happy but I don’t want her to take revenge on Mary Margaret, though Mary wants to die. I want everyone to get their happily ever after but I’m with Henry and sincerely think magic is not the answer. It would be wonderful if everyone returned to StoryBrooke, realized that they were all miserable, tired of hating each other and decided, “Hey, let’s start fresh.” But sadly, that’s looking more like a Fairytale than the Tooth Fairy. Owen’s returned to StoryBrooke under a different name, Greg: what’s he really doing here? And who is “Her” that he keeps calling?

            By the way, who left the dynamite sit down where children can play with it? And matches so he could light it! Child Protective Services, I’d like to report an incident. Thank goodness Regina was able to step in thanks to Owen. What was with Owen photographing Henry’s book bag? Weird! On the plus side, August returns in the next episode!! Finally, my favorite eye candy gets some screen time.

Selfless, Brave and True – watch the full episode here

            Ah, nothing quite like waking up to some morning wood, eh August? I meant his leg, you silly nilly. I see that grin on your face. Frankly, I’m upset with a large part of this episode. I’ve been listening to what everyone else thought and it seems almost all of us agree: August turning back into a child is a complete disappointment. A lot of fans were hoping for a budding romance between August and Emma and we know August had affection for her. But I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much, he could have died and never returned at all. It was a small detail but very noticeable: the clock on August’s nightstand read 8:15. Not only was it a LOST reference, but it was also the same time StoryBrooke’s clock tower was stuck on before Emma arrived in town.

            There are two main questions on my mind after watching this episode: Was “The Dragon” from the Enchanted Forest and who was he? And what does Tamara really hope to gain from magic in StoryBrooke? Let me start off by saying I really was hoping Tamara would be someone from the Enchanted Forest. Sadly, she’s not that cool and decides to take Cora’s spot as evil’s leading lady. When she tased August, the first thing that went through my mind was, Hang on, he’s wooden, that shouldn’t hurt him. Improbabilities aside, I quietly swore at Tamara and wished her to a not-so-nice place. I’m beyond nervous at what she’s willing to do to gain the upper hand. She’s human, like you and me, and unlike the Fairytale characters, we aren’t all good or all bad. We’re not bound to do what’s right and I think Tamara is willing to kill anyone who stands in her way. Apparently she’s been planning this evil scheme for years too. It makes me so angry to know she’s not only using Neal but she’s also cheating on him with Owen!

            Anton (aka Tiny) is still working on the bean crop! I wonder if Regina knows and if she’ll try to sabotage the harvest. I hope she’ll decide to go back to the Enchanted Forest and live quietly in peace there and find her happily ever after. Does anyone know if Regina is barren? I’ve been thinking about it and heard some rumors that it’s possible Regina can’t have children of her own. If she can’t, I understand why she wants Henry so badly but I honestly think she should try to start over and adopt another child. Maybe next time the child’s real mother won’t be her undoing.

            There was a quick mention of Captain Hook from Neal this episode. I guess he was able to escape from the storage closet where they stashed him, so maybe we’ll see him again soon. Kurt, Owen’s father, is another person who has seemingly escaped but not yet returned. I think Regina is telling the truth: she probably did let Kurt leave StoryBrooke but I bet she did something to his memory and he forgot he even had a son. Speaking of Parent/child relationships, I absolutely love the Emma and Henry moments. They always make me smile and sometimes I even tear up with happiness. I know; I’m a big softie.

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