Woohoo! It’s a Regina-centric episode! Those are the best.
Unless Regina is dealing with the re-animated lover from her youth, which is the worst.
“Welcome to Storybrooke” had Lana Parilla working the camera hard, which she hasn’t really gotten to do since Barbara Hershey showed up and took over the scenery-chewing duties.
But, Cora is dead, Barbara Hershey has moved on, and Regina can get back to hating on everyone.
This episode drew me in by giving me something I didn’t even know I’d wanted: the tale of the Day After the Curse, the first day of Storybrooke.
It never occurred to me that Regina would have an adjustment period – it probably never occurred to her, either. It makes sense, though. This is a different world and you can’t just take someone’s kid because you’re feeling lonely. Mayor is a far cry from Queen.
And, like any happy ending, Regina learned that winning isn’t its own end: life goes on and it sill kind of sucks. Even after winning, you still have to work to be happy. You still poop in the toilet and leave tracks after eating a burrito.
The series as a whole, and this episode in particular, is deconstructing one of the most insidious lies perpetrated by fairy tales and a lot of other popular fiction: there’s no real happy ending for anyone. There are wins and happy moment, then it’s back to all the stuff in between.
Then you die.
Note: I like how The Curse transported Fairy Tale Land to 1983 without making anyone suffer through 1980s hair, makeup, and wardrobe.
But, they all got to suffer through President Reagan: