All right, Bosses. It’s like this. Once Upon a Time is rampant with faults. The writing is – how shall I say? – spotty at best. Character motivations change with the wind, it seems. And while some people cheer every new character who comes on board, I am of the mind this show doesn’t need any more characters. It needs to use those few who are great better.
However, it’s Regina-Emma interaction like that in The Jolly Roger that calls me back to the table when I am down to my very last
It comes in with a bang with Regina walking all up in the joint like she’s bangin’ someone’s daughter. She’s done a protection spell to protect her adopted brood – her Emmakins and the two idiots.
“As long as we’re in here,” she says. “We’re safe.”
This isn’t a particularly interesting, or noteworthy, line. Hold onto it, though. We’ll come back around.
So, Emma has decided she wants to master her magic so she and Regina can combine their essences once again in one of those ultimate magical displays they seem to enjoy so much together.
“If we teamed up,” Emma says. “If you taught me…”
“Now, why does this feel so familiar?” Regina responds. I’m guessing it was the dream Regina had the night before.
“I’m ready this time,” Emma says.
“Okay,” Regina responds with a little laugh and THAT. DAMN. HAIR.
Discussion, discussion and Regina wants Emma to really understand, “This is a way of life. You have to fully commit to it.”
“Not a problem,” Emma replies. At which point, we show a very worried Mama Snow White, who must just accept with a shrug, ‘Oh well, incest it is then.’
“Meet me at my vault in one hour,” Regina says, because she needs time to stop at home and pick up the chocolate syrup and the rings. Despite past behavior on the show, lesbian-Regina is really very monogamous and Emma did just agree to commitment.
Also, I’d like to stop right here and offer a bit of sincerest praise. The Snow-and-Charming-are-boring-grandparents bit is one of the most inspired things Once has done in a while. A bit of comic relief in the middle of everything is rather welcome, and it was surprisingly enjoyable to watch.
Now, on with the subtexty goodness.
Deep in Regina’s vault – *snicker* – Regina thinks she’s going to book-teach Emma, while Emma just wants to get her hands on things. *Double-snicker.*
Regina wants to know who’s watching Henry, and she’s loving Hook spending time with Henry about as much as she liked hearing about Walsh some episodes ago.
Emma says she trusts him – Hook, that is – because he brought her back to Storybrooke.
“Well, of course, he brought you back,” Regina mocks.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Oh come on, Emma.
“Seriously?” Regina responds for all of us. “You’re going to pretend everyone doesn’t see the yearning looks and doey eyes?”
“I don’t yearn,” Emma declares.
“Well, maybe…” Regina returns, “but he does.”
Don’t be coy. You know he’s hooked on you, Emma. <— Where WAS this line??
Anyway, Regina is over the discussion of said Hooker, and it’s onto the big magic lesson.
Emma is basically, ‘Words, bad,’ so Regina gives her all the hands-on she wants by putting her – poofy purple air – in the middle of a bridge and then proceeding to take that bridge out from under her.
“What in the hell are you doing?” Emma wants to know.
“Every time you’ve exhibited your power,” Regina tells her, “it’s been spurred by your instincts. So, today, we’re going to push those instincts until you master them.” And, also, I’m sort of pissed about Hook. “Save the bridge. Save yourself.”
Save the cheerleader, save the world. Gawd, remember how amazing that first half-season of Heroes was? What the hell happened there, huh?
So, bridge goes bye-bye beneath Emma’s feet, and Emma is left with her hands on some things just as she wanted. Ropes, which, while not exactly my choice location for Emma’s hands, does, in fact, fit the scene. Then, those ropes break and Emma falls, and just as Regina is coming to the terrible realization she done broked her own heart, Emma comes riding up on the coolest elevator ever.
She thinks Regina’s mad because she didn’t follow exact orders. Regina tells Emma she’s mad because she has been wasting such potential. We all know Regina isn’t mad about anything. She’s just working out that residual-snippiness of having almost killed her unintentional beloved.
Across town, Hook is confessing his undying love for Emma, before he finds Regina and Emma alone in the protected apartment. Detecting Hook’s lies, while Emma fails to, because her lie-detection is… eh, forget it… Regina gets Emma to demonstrate her hot-ass magicks by seeing between worlds.
Unfortunately, this attempt to prove Hook a rascally scoundrel backfires when the mirror shows things as Hook said they would be, and Regina is visibly irritated as Emma determines Hook an upstanding fella.
The return of the unCharmings (yay! for this quip) interrupts Regina’s desire to turn Hook into a garden gnome, and Regina is so cute making her excuses about why she’s concerned about Henry’s well-being, and Emma is so cute thinking Regina is so cute.
Then, it’s time for dinner at Granny’s.
Okay, let’s review.
I just put up a new protection spell. We’re safe in here.
We’re leaving too.
Who’s up for dinner out?
Also, for anyone who found it incredibly romantic and heartbreaking, as the writers hoped you would, when Hook watched Emma longingly through the window of Granny’s from across the street with his monoscope as she dined, please remember, if someone does this in real life, he is a FUCKING STALKER.