Once Upon a Time pulled a fast one on “The Cricket Game.” Earlier this week, ABC released a sneak peek of the murder in Storybrooke which surprised me. Why would they give away such a enormous reveal before the episode even aired? It was a big ruse! I certainly fell for it, did you?

I never once considered that Archie wasn’t killed until that moment at the end when Cora revealed her prisoner to Hook. What a shocking twist! It’s too bad the same thing didn’t happen to the beloved Sheriff Graham.

A Little Bit of Happiness in Storybrooke

Before death came to town, the residents of Storybrooke were able to celebrate the return of Mary Margaret and Emma from Fairy Tale Land. Though, the preparations did include an awkward moment when Emma walked in on her parents in bed with Henry in tow. 

Despite Emma and Mary Margaret’s initial friendship, their new relationship made the moment all the more uncomfortable. I guess no matter the circumstances or age, you don’t want to think about your parents in “that way.” Though, it did show Henry’s innocence as he didn’t understand why they still would be in bed in the afternoon.

That night they all went to a party at the restaurant to celebrate. And, Emma even invited Regina. For all the trouble that Regina has caused, Emma really wants to try and do right by her son. Despite her outburst outside with Emma, Regina seemed to want to do that same. But, is the Evil Queen always going to be evil?

Cora’s Revenge

When Cora and Hook arrived in Storybrooke, he expected to head off on his own to “skin the crocodile,” but she had other plans. She wanted them to work together to achieve their goals. With magic in Storybrooke, she told him there was no way he could defeat Rumple. She was probably right, though, if I was Hook I’d want to get as far away from the evil Cora as possible.

Cora used magic to take Regina’s form and frame her daughter for Archie’s death. Even though Emma initially doubted Regina’s guilt, Pongo’s vision shifted her view. Cora’s plot worked. When Emma, David and Mary Margaret went to apprehend Regina using fairy dust, the former Evil Queen was prepared for them and disappeared in a cloud of purple smoke.

Regina may have run away, but Cora expects her daughter will return. In the meantime, Cora will interrogate Archie to learn all the secrets of this new world of Storybrooke. Poor Archie! Though, I guess he’s alive, which is better than the alternative.

Can Regina Really Change?

A trip back in time in Fairy Tale Land revealed why David and Mary Margaret were hesitant to believe in the new, reformed Regina. We learned how they took over the kingdom and how the Evil Queen began her revenge.

After capturing the Evil Queen, Charming wanted to execute her for her actions, but at the last minute Snow stopped him. She remembered the woman that saved her life as a child — the good-hearted Regina. 

Snow wanted to give her a chance. And, visited her in the dungeon and offered to let her go. At first, I thought that Snow was being naive, but really it was all a big trap. Way to go, Snow and Charming!

They had a protection spell put on them to prevent her from harming them. Snow tested the Queen by letting her out. If she still had good within her, she would be released, but if she attacked Snow, she’d be expelled from the kingdom.

The Evil Queen attacked and was sent off to another land. That’s where Rumple found her and offered her a way to get her revenge. If Snow and Charming were sent to another realm, then the protection spell would no longer work. And, with that their curse plot began.

Given the Evil Queen’s history, does that mean Regina will suffer the same fate? Or, is it possible that she can change? In the old realm, the Queen had no one left to love. Daniel was dead and she sacrificed her father. But, in Storybrooke, she has the love for a son.

We will have to wait to see if Regina can change, but her recent actions show her moving in that direction. She was just unfortunate to have Cora ruin her path to redemption.

Do you think Regina is changing for the better? Will Cora’s appearance help move her towards redemption? Or, cause her to revert back to her evil ways?

Were you relieved to see that Archie was still alive?

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(Image courtesy of ABC.)

Carla Day

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Contributing Editor and Writer for Collider, BuddyTV, TV Fanatic, CliqueClack, and other publications. TV criticism, reviews, interviews with actors and producers, and other related content. Founder of TV Diehard.