The situation on Once Upon a Time is getting dangerous. Regina is out for herself under the guise of protecting Henry, while she and the rest of Storybrooke should be concerned about the two outsiders, Tamara and Greg. In "The Evil Queen," Regina proved that as much as she wants to be good, she just doesn't understand what that truly means.
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Misunderstood Evil Queen
In the flashback to Fairy Tale Land That Was, it was after the Huntsman failed to take Snow's heart, but prior to Regina's fall as Queen with Snow on the run from the Queen's Royal Guard.
Regina found out that Snow was hiding in a town, went to find her, but she was already gone. When none of the townspeople would reveal where Snow went, Regina ordered her men to kill them all. She realized that no one would give her information.
Regina went to Rumple to get learn how to shapeshift like her mother. He said that it would take time to learn that and instead offered to turn her into a peasant girl, but she wouldn't have any powers. He also warned her that she wouldn't like what she found out from the villagers.
Regina went into a town and the residents were shooting an effigy of the Evil Queen and disparaging her, while speaking highly of the rightful Queen, Snow White. When Regina tried to stop them, she was taken into custody of the Royal Guard and saved by Snow.
While the peasant girl was recovering Snow talked about how Regina saved her as a child and that she believed there was still good within the Evil Queen. Snow revealed that she wouldn't kill her if they met because she was guided by love and not revenge.
Snow gave the peasant a weapon, but the Regina didn't use it to take out Snow. Instead, the Queen pondered if she could be better and showed a desire to bring out the good within her. But, that all changed when they came upon the purged town.
Snow reversed all hope for goodness within Regina and said there was no hope for the Evil Queen. And, then realized that the peasant in front of her was Regina. Instead of attacking though, the Evil Queen escaped through the woods and back to Rumple.
Regina's Old Tricks
Back in Storybrooke, Regina was up to her old tricks of manipulation and using people for her own purposes. Plus, she proved she still had a misconceived notation of what it meant to be good versus a selfish villain.
Regina wanted to take Henry to the Enchanted Forest with her, but it would come at the cost of destroying Storybrook and killing everyone there. She thought that would make her a hero, but Henry pointed out that she was a villain and he couldn't let her do that.
Instead of having Henry help with her plan, she wiped his memory and moved forward on her own. When Hook came to her with the information about and alliance with Greg and Tamara, she used him to get the trigger.
Regina and Hook went into the caves to retrieve the trigger. When Regina noticed that Hook had her mother's leather cuff, she demanded he give it to her, which he did. When they got underground, Regina told Hook that he was there to be the distraction.
He faced off against Maleficent, while Regina got the trigger from the glass coffin. She headed back to ground level with the gem to find Hook waiting there for her.
While Regina played Hook into helping her, he had his own plan in motion. He really did have an alliance with Greg and Tamara. They gave him what he needed to defeat Maleficent and he gave the cuff to Regina.
With the "scrap of cowhide" on her wrist, Regina could no longer use magic. Greg told her the metallic components counteracted magic and would prevent her from using it any more. Ouch.
Regina repeated that she didn't know where he could find his father, but Greg has another plan. A secret plan that he's keeping a secret ... for now. And, they bag Regina!
Operation Praying Mantis
While at the diner, Emma came across Tamara and her lie detector went into overdrive. Emma became convinced that August was trying to warn her about Tamara. When she went to talk to Mary Margaret about it, her mother dismissed her feelings.
Henry overheard the conversation and convinced Emma to re-instate Operation Cobra, only this time instead of saving Storybrooke, it was about keeping the town a secret. They renamed it Operation Praying Mantis.
They went to Tamara's room to investigate, but Neal stopped them before Emma could find anything. Even after looking under a loose floorboard they didn't find anything incriminating. They told Neal they would stop investigating his fiance.
Henry still believed in Emma's feelings about Tamara and they agreed to continue Operation Praying Mantis. They would protect Storybrooke and then go to the Enchanted Forest together with their family.
That may not be as easy as they thought, since Regina burned down the beanstalks. Though, Regina's own growing beans are not hidden at all, so perhaps they can find and use hers.
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(Image courtesy of ABC.)