ONCE UPON A TIME: “The Queen Is Dead”
Read on for Johnni’s recap of Once Upon A Time episode 2×15, “The Queen Is Dead,” aired Sunday, March 3rd, 2013:
Behind every princess is a queen and, in Snow White’s case, a very good and pure one. In “The Queen Is Dead,” we finally meet Snow’s mother and see how she died. Spoiler alert: the queen didn’t just “get sick.”
In the first flashback, Snow is a young girl getting ready for her birthday celebration. Her mother, the Queen, takes her to see the tiara that she will soon be wearing. They walk in as the maid Johanna is trying on the crown. Side note: I can’t help but love Johanna because she is the same actress who plays Downton Abbey’s Mrs. Patmore!
Snow, however, in an uncharacteristic move, yells at the maid and acts very high and mighty. Her mother quickly scolds her and tells her that she must be kind to all because being royal doesn’t make you better then anyone. It is clear Snow’s heart comes from her mother! As soon as Snow learns her lesson, the Queen hunches over in pain—the beginning of her sickness and eventual death.
In modern day Storybrooke, Charming is making breakfast for his wife on her birthday, although Snow clearly hates her birthday because of her mother’s death. While she is trying to avoid her birthday, a box arrives for her. It is the crown that she was supposed to wear on her birthday celebration many years ago. Who is it from? Johanna!
Snow goes to look for her former maid and finds her tending to her garden. When she is talking to Johanna and remembering her mother, she hears a noise in the forest and goes to see what it is. Once in the forest, she sees Regina and Cora digging for Rumplestiltskin’s dagger, so she runs straight to Charming at the police station. When she finds him, he is lying on the floor—Hook knocked him out before taking back his hook!
Meanwhile in New York, Henry and Neal (Bae) are doing adorable father and son activities and bonding. Emma and Rumple are clearly not pleased but both pretend to be okay with the situation. Rumple tells Emma that Neal should come back to Storybrooke with them so Henry doesn’t run away to be with him like he did to be with her. A very good point, but something seems fishy about Rumple’s motives.
As Henry and Neal run upstairs to get something from the apartment, Emma and Rumple continue to talk. Then out of nowhere Hook comes in and stabs Rumple with his hook, saying, “Tick tock … time’s up, Crocodile!” As he goes in for the kill shot, Emma hits him in the head and knocks him out. Neal runs downstairs and holds his father and for the first time shows some compassion for him. Aw!
In another flashback, the Queen is very ill and the doctor doesn’t know how to save her. Snow is upset and asks Johanna if there is anything she can do. Johanna tells her to talk to the Blue Fairy and maybe magic will be the answer. Snow meets with the Blue Fairy and is told the only way to save her mother is to take another life instead. Sounds like dark magic! This was a total red flag to me, as the blue fairy would never use dark magic. Snow, being the good girl she is, says she can’t do it and runs back home. When she returns she tells her mother that she couldn’t do it and cries. Of course her mother, who is even more pure of heart (if that is possible), tells her that she was brave and then dies. So sad!
Cut back to New York, where it is clear that Rumple must get back to Storybrooke. Hook stabbed him with a poisonous hook and therefore he needs magic to survive. In order to get back, they have to use Hook’s ship (which Neal can drive?). As Neal is getting into a car to take them to the ship, he tells Emma that he needs to tell her something. Just then a woman comes up and asks him where he is going … it is his fiancé! This is a huge shock and another dagger to Emma, who clearly still loves him.
Meanwhile in Storybrooke, the hunt is on to find the dagger and once again it is good versus evil. Snow and Charming call Emma and ask where the dagger is hidden, while Regina and Cora are using magic to decipher Rumple’s map. Good gets to the dagger first, which is hidden in the hands of the clock tower—very clever! As soon as they have it, Regina and Cora show up and tell Snow to hand it over. Of course they are playing dirty, and once Snow says no, they make Johanna appear and use her as leverage—yikes!
Back in Fairy Tale Land past, Snow’s birthday celebration becomes a vigil for her mother who is now dead. Snow shows great strength in front of her subjects, and Johanna stays by her side once everyone else has gone. After Snow leaves her mother’s altar, the Blue Fairy appears, except it isn’t the Blue Fairy after all. It is Cora! This isn’t too surprising, seeing as Cora is completely evil, but what comes next is twisted and rotten to the core (just like Cora). Cora stands over the dead Queen’s body and tells her that this is all part of the plan to make her daughter queen. She says that she plans to ruin her legacy: Snow!
When we return to Storybrooke, Cora reveals to Snow what we all just watched: she was the Blue Fairy when her mother was sick. Cora admits that she killed the Queen to get Regina on the throne, while Regina looks totally confused. Even though Snow is angry, she hands over the dagger to save Johanna. Once Johanna is safe with Snow and Cora has the dagger, Cora uses magic and sends Johanna flying out of the clock tower to her death. Terrible! Why can’t Snow ever be happy?!
The episode ends with Snow mourning Johanna at her grave. As she stands there, she remembers what her mother always said: “Hold onto goodness.” All Snow wants at this point is her happy ending, and as Charming tries to comfort her, she snaps. She no longer cares about justice … she wants to kill Cora!
I’m not going to lie, I am looking forward to a good battle next week. But can Snow actually kill someone? Tune in next week to find out!
Photo Credit: ABC/Jack Rowand.