Another triumph for Once Upon a Time last night. Can we just stop spending the budget on silly fairy crap, and keep focusing on better writing? For the first time in two years, Once did something we've always wanted to see on screen: Demonstrate how broken the fairytale mindset of good vs. evil truly is. Spoilers ahead...
Instead of focusing on another flashback about another pointless fairy creature, Once showed what happened when the curse first started. It. Was. Brilliant. Regina was brilliant.
Every day, Past Reg wakes up a Grinch smile, looking over everyone's misery. But eventually, she gets bored. Not surprising — I can't imagine how long that sort of Groundhog Day cycle would entertain you, especially if your only highlight is "your special chair" at Granny's Diner. Anyway, Regina gets bored (pretty quickly too — we're talking like one week into the curse, she's already kind of dunzo with the whole shebang).
Enter two real-world people, a father and his son — who also fill the mandatory Once rule of introducing a new parental figure in each episode. The couple wander into Storybrooke, and Regina starts acting all Evil Queen around humans. It's delightful. The little boy charms her heart, and she decides she wants him, so she tries to take him. His father, naturally, flips shit.
Regina's inability to understand or even care about what's right on Earth and the insane conflict it creates (not necessarily for her, but for her helpless human victims) is delicious. This is what we want from Once! Give me 1,000 whimsical morons or classic villains, who are forced to navigate through our reality! Regina admits she's not good at loving, that's because she came from a land where love isn't really something you deal with, you're either good or bad ALL THE TIME.
Just look at Snow — there's a black spot on her heart now caused by the murder of Cora, so now Snow is obviously DOOMED. It's fun, and it's the honest-to-goodness first time the audience is actually allowed to get to know Regina, as opposed to being force fed obvious emotional reactions to her journey because someone died, or something cruel happened, etc.
Overall, heck yeah. More of this all the time, please.
Oh and massive shout out to the the chic-geek for the "Realization that during the curse, Regina woke up every morning with her makeup and hair perfectly done."