Stars: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Robert Carlyle, Lana Parrilla, Jared Gilmore, Josh Dallas, Raphael Sbarge, Eion Bailey
Writer: Jane Espenson
Director: David H. Goodman
Network: ABC, Sunday nights, 8 p.m.
Original Telecast: May 6, 2012

We’re at the penultimate episode of the season for ONCE UPON A TIME, and it’s all about “An Apple Red as Blood,” as Regina (aka The Evil Queen, played by Lana Parilla) decides to use James/Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) as bait to get Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) to eat the fateful apple, then in the modern world, gets Jefferson (aka The Mad Hatter, Sebastian Stan) to get that same apple to bring down Emma (Jennifer Morrison).

It’s all very complicated. You see, Regina has this really bad dream – you know that scene with her tied to the tree and Emma swinging the sword that ABC has been teasing us with for the past two weeks – and senses that her curse is weakening. But Emma, for her part, is trying to run like crazy and as we left them last week, is taking Henry with her. But Henry doesn’t want her to go. Actually, neither does Mary Margaret (the real world counterpart of Snow White) and she lambastes the heck out of Emma, when Emma gets back to town after all.

In the fairy tale world, however, we see James/Charming about to be executed by his adopted father for not marrying King Midas’ daughter only to be saved by Regina in full Evil Queen mode. She wants James and puts him in her dungeon. Naturally, Snow and the dwarves attack said dungeon, realizing this could be a trap. Best line of the night: Grumpy (Lee Aronberg) to revealed werewolf Red Riding Hood (Meghan Ory): “You’ve got someone on your chin.” And, of course, it was a trap. But Regina tells Snow she only wants to talk. As if.

In the real world, Regina is totally stressing out and goes after Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle). Apparently he, as Rumpelstiltskin, created the curse that brought everyone to the real world. But there are a couple problems. One is that killing Emma will shatter the curse – which Mr. Gold doesn’t want per se. The other is that Mr. Gold doesn’t particularly want to help Regina keep the curse going. Must be this business about his son who fell through the portal several episodes ago.

In the fairy tale world, Regina’s talk with Snow White involves a certain magic apple – it won’t kill her (and this is an important distinction to remember), but it will create a kind of dreaming death which sounds pretty awful. The catch is that it must be eaten willingly. Needless to say, Snow’s not biting, literally, until the Queen reminds her that she has James and will kill him unless Snow chows down. She takes the bite, the apple falls and….

Regina gets just enough magic going in the modern world via Jefferson’s hat to grab the apple as it falls from Snow’s hand. From there, it’s a quick rush to her kitchen, where she makes an lovely apple turnover just in time for Emma to show up on her doorstep.

Emma tells Regina that she’s leaving town, but wants to be able to come back to visit Henry. Surprise, surprise, Regina agrees and gives her the turnover as a peace offering. Fortunately, Emma doesn’t eat it right away. Not so fortunately, Henry confronts Emma about leaving, sees the turnover and eats it to prove that it’s been poisoned by Regina.

Anyone wanna put money on the producers killing off Henry? I, for one, am not. The apple doesn’t cause real death. Plus we don’t know much about why Regina decided to adopt him and how she did it. All we have is an obscure clue from many episodes back (and, no, I don’t remember which one) that Gold got her the boy. So decent odds, the season finale next week will cover that. I just hope they don’t leave Henry in defib as a cliff-hanger, and you know that scene is coming because it was teased in the network promo.

Related Link: TV Review: ONCE UPON A TIME – Season 1 – “A Land Without Magic” – Season Finale

AGREE? DISAGREE? LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD – COMMENT BELOW

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Article: TV Review: ONCE UPON A TIME – Season 1 – “An Apple Red as Blood”

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