Once Upon A Time returned Sunday night from it’s winter finale. 'The Cricket Game' included a Regina (Lana Parrilla) Fairytale Land flashback and a Storybrooke main plot that involved Archie (Raphael Sbarge), Jiminy Cricket’s counterpart. So if you missed any bit, get your recap here.
The story in Storybrooke centers around Archie Hopper’s murder. Cora (Barbara Hershey) has arrived in Storybrooke undetected and she is enacting her plan to win her daughter’s love. So she disguises herself as Regina, kills Archie and takes Regina’s psychiatric file framing Regina in the process. Ah, a mother’s love.
Meanwhile Regina goes from town pariah to presumed murderess. The only person that believes she's innocent is Emma (Jennifer Morrison). Regina's surprise at learning of Archie's death coupled with Emma meeting Cora, Regina saving them at the well and following Henry’s (Jared Gilmore) newfound faith in Regina has convinced Emma that they've got the wrong person. Isn’t Emma always the last to be convinced? It’s good to know that this time that she’s right.
So in the search for the real killer, Emma, Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) and David (Josh Dallas) head to Mr. Gold’s (Robert Carlyle), who is having an in-store picnic with Belle (Emilie de Ravin). It seems their little get-togethers always get unpleasantly interrupted. After they accuse him instead of Regina of murdering Archie he offers them a way to find the real killer. He brings the Archie’s Dalmatian, who witnessed the entire murder, from his back room and uses a dream catcher to catch its memories. Then he has Emma use magic to will the memory to show in the dream catcher. Naturally, they see Regina killing Archie.
Emma is livid. She, David and Snow form an attack plan and confront Regina at her house. They accuse her of the crime and the punishment they give her is taking Henry out of her life. Then they try to use The Blue Fairy (Keegan Connor Tracy) to capture her but Regina’s not fooled. She throws Emma back using magic and disappears into a cloud of purple smoke.
Meanwhile, Emma set about the difficult task of telling Henry what happened as Regina looks on from a parked car.
Cora in the meantime reveals to Hook (Colin O'Donoghue) that Archie is alive and they are holding him hostage.
Regina’s Fairytale Land backstory was about the same. She got caught by Snow using the Blue Fairy’s fairydust (that’s why it didn’t work the second time) and was condemned to die by a bow and arrow firing squad. Snow spares her life convinced that she can change. Rumplestiltskin offers her a test to see if Regina can truly change. So Snow releases Regina from her cell and Regina stabs Snow in return but it doesn’t work. Rumple’s test was a protection spell for Snow so now Regina can never hurt Snow in Fairytale Land using magic or real weapons.
No matter, as with everything this was all apart of Rumple’s plan. He approaches Regina with a way to hurt Snow in another land.
So what does this all mean and what questions arose in this episode?
1. Who did Cora really kill instead of Archie? Could it be Sidney Glass? Giancarlo Esposito is doing well on NBC’s hit, Revolution. He seems like the natural choice.
2. The only reason people don’t treat Mr. Gold like they treat Regina is because Mr. Gold is useful. Still his deals always work out in his favor so why doesn’t everybody rebel and stop making desperate deals? They’re only hurting themselves.
3. What are the consequences of Emma using magic? That had to be what Rumple was after when he had her use the dream catcher. Also why did Gold get the dog? He doesn’t seem like the logical choice to take care of another living thing.
4. If magic is unpredictable in Storybrooke, then why did Cora use it with such ease? What are the consequences of her actions?
5. Isn’t it karmic justice that Regina frames Snow for killing a person who isn’t dead (Katherine) and then her mother does the same thing to her with Archie? Still, you can’t help but feel bad for her this entire this entire episode. She’s trying to be moral and the whole town is doing everything thing they can to keep her evil. Sure, you can blame it on loss of trust caused by years of Regina actually being evil but still you feel sorry for her.
Whatever the answer is, The Cricket Game gets 4 stars.
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