Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 15 Review: ”Enter the Dragon”

Once Upon a Time

Last night’s episode of Once Upon a Time was a step up from the last two episodes, as we get to see a deeper origin of Regina and Maleficent’s relationship in flashbacks, and Rumple and his Queens of Darkness take a major step forward in their masterful plans.

While I’m not 100% ready to say that I’m starting to enjoy the arc with the Queens, I will add that the version of Maleficent that we are seeing on this show is starting to grow on me. Thinking back to Season 1 and what took place then with this character, I never imagined that we would see her in such a big capacity again in future seasons. While she didn’t make an impression on me then, seeing how the writers are starting to flesh her out is something that I’m getting more intrigued by.

We see in flashbacks a young Regina seeking out to Maleficent when she wants to learn darker magic, but the Maleficent that we meet here is down on her luck and basically depressed. Based on everything we saw there, this was basically the Enchanted Forest’s version of spiraling down while also doing drugs, if that’s how you are willing to interpret Maleficent using a single drop of sleeping curse to “take the edge off.” However you look at it, it was a surprise to see such a classic Disney villain portrayed that way.

I enjoyed the dynamic of seeing the “teacher” getting a lesson from the “student” in this situation as Regina pretty much helped Maleficent reclaim her glory, including the ability to become a dragon again. Their interactions in the present worked pretty well too, although I swear to the Author that there were so many times when I thought that Maleficent was Zelena as they had a ghostly similar wardrobe. While I had my concerns last week that the writers would sneakily try and make it look, several times, that Regina was going to fall back into the darkness by going undercover, I luckily didn’t get those vibes this week. But we still have seven episodes left to go, so who knows what could happen?

Did anyone else just moan the minute “Hook” paid Belle a visit to discuss Rumple’s dagger and why they should move it? It was really obvious that Rumple was in disguise that whole time, and it makes me irritated again how the show continues to keep having Belle go from being a smart character for a minute to a stupid one a minute later. Rumple now has the dagger again and uses it in the end of the episode to turn little Pinocchio back into a big boy. That’s right, August is back! As much as I love August, a part of me is concerned that he won’t be sticking around for long, once the evil gang has the information they want out of him regarding the Author.

Overall, this was a step up from Once Upon a Time‘s last two episodes. While I’m not 100% sold on this arc, there were some great character dynamics in this episode and the story was actually enjoyable to follow, mostly because of Maleficent and Regina’s interactions.

Once Upon a Time airs on Sunday nights, 8/7c on ABC.

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