Once Upon a Time
The Stable Boy

Episode Report Card
Cindy McLennan: A- | 6 USERS: A-
YOU GRADE IT
The Unstable Girl
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Storybrooke, Mayor's Office. Flashback. Regina, clutching a ring, is lost in thought until Mr. Gold arrives. He wants her to make his legal problems (from when he beat Mr. French to a pulp) disappear. In exchange, he'll help her torment her mortal enemy, Mary Margaret Blanchard. He points out that if something were to happen to Kathryn Mary would be blamed. Regina salivates at the idea of Mary's ruination but says a trial could be messy. Gold suggests that once Mary is locked up Regina can plant her jail cell skeleton key in the cell. Mary will use it to break out and flee.

Gold: We all know what happens to people who attempt to leave town.

Regina: Give me one good reason why should I trust you.

Gold: I always honor my agreements.

Audience: Yes, but he's all about the letter of the law, not the spirit, Regina. You really shouldn't trust him because.... Oh, wait. You're evil. Never mind us. Trust Gold!

Enchanted Forest. Regina is probably in her twenties here. I've seen people suggest she's as young as 16, because women used to be married off when they were but girls. That's in our world history, folks. Lana Parrilla is a gorgeous, youthful woman in her thirties. In these flashback scenes, I can accept her Regina as a twenty-something, but teens? Come on. The thing is I don't need to see her as a teen, because again, on this show, the fairy tale reality is not our world's Middle Ages. While there might be some similarities everything does not need to map, and in fact does not map, so I do not have to pretend Parrilla is playing someone half her age. Sorry to digress so early. Let's get on with the show.

Anyhow, young Regina rides her horse. Her father, Henry, cheers her on as she makes her jumps. When she is done, doting daddy raves about how beautifully she rides. Regina's mother Cora (Barbara Hershey) is another story. She's disgusted that her daughter "rides like a man" and without a saddle. Mother says Regina is becoming an old maid. No one will want to marry her. Daniel (Noah Bean), this episode's titular stable "boy" (also played by an actor in his thirties, whom I will accept as a character in his 20s), offers a saddle to Regina. She cuts him off mid-sentence, says she's done riding for the day, and tells him never to interrupt her and her mother, again. Dejected, Daniel leads the horse away.

Alone with her parents, Regina complains that her mother is always criticizing her. Mommy Meanest insists she's not criticizing just helping. Regina starts to walk off. Cora snaps, "Don't you walk away from me," and then uses her magic (and surely evil) powers to suspend Regina in mid-air. Daddy Henry sneers and looks as if he's going to grab Cora, but then he seems to remember his wife is a witch. Cora sort of flies Regina over to her. Regina complains that she hates when her mother uses magic. Cora laughs. She doesn't like insolence. She'll stop using magic when Regina starts being obedient. Regina asks why she can't just be herself. Cora says, "Because you can be so much more." Confession: I truly enjoyed watching this episode, but writing it up, it's making me angry. Yes, mothers are evil, controlling witches who rear their daughters to also be evil, controlling witches. Wait, isn't that a John Mayer song? Bleeeeech. I have to get past this feeling, because I know the show isn't saying all mothers (or women) are like this. Snow White's mother was probably a lovely woman. Snow herself is, and will be a great mother, once she realizes she is one. This is just hitting me the wrong way, today.

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Once Upon a Time

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