Once Upon a Time: The Doctor
by Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)
Who else is thoroughly excited with all the new characters from our favorite fairy tales, Disney and myths/legends? We’ve had Lancelot, Captain Hook, the upcoming Peter Pan (at some point), and this week brought us Dr. Whale… you remember, from the first episode who was set to lead an angry mob to Regina’s house to kill her? Well we finally find out who he really is in “The Doctor.”
The episode begins in Storybrooke where Whale asks David if it’s true that he’s trying to find a way back to Fairy Tale. Whale wonders if all the lands still exist and David says maybe. Meanwhile, Regina is having issues keeping her promise to Henry about not using magic, so she goes to see Archie (Jiminy Cricket). Not before long, Whale barges in, demanding Regina send him back to his brother, saying her curse only transported the living to Storybrooke. They soon kick Whale out and Archie questions Regina if what Whale said was true and Regina quips she brought who she wanted.
Flashback to Fairy Tale Land of old where Regina is learning magic from Rumple and it’s not going so well. Regina just can’t grasp crushing an innocent unicorn’s heart, but to Rumple, nothing’s innocent and magic is power. So until Regina can take power, she’s not going to learn anything. What’s holding her back? Daniel, of course! Don’t blame Regina for being unable to do what Rumple asked considering Daniel died of a crushed heart. She even enchanted Daniel to preserve him.
Regina admits she wants magic to bring back the dead, saying it’ll bring her happiness. As Rumple assures her that “dead is dead” and no magic can revive him, they’re interrupted by Jefferson who’s been doing business with Rumple, including jumping between magical lands. Later, in private, the Mad Hatter tells Regina about a “wizard” who can resurrect the dead and agrees to take her to him in exchange for a royal passport to have free range to travel amongst the lands. Who is this “wizard?” Well, he likes to be called “Doctor” and yes, it’s Whale. The Doctor has been doing “experimental” procedures with the dead, and although he hasn’t mastered it yet, he says Daniel is an ideal candidate. The Doctor just needs a “strong heart” to make it work, so Regina leads him to Cora’s vault. That night, the Doctor works on Daniel, but claims it failed which leaves Regina devastated once again.
Since Daniel is officially dead, Regina’s devastation is now evident in her wardrobe (I had missed her in black) and shows Rumple she’s ready for magic, even taking the heart of her replacement. Elsewhere, we find out Rumple was working in cahoots with the Doctor, who wanted the strong heart, while Rumple wanted magic/power ready Regina. Jefferson helps transport Whale back to his land via magical hat. Back in the Doctor’s magical land, he returns with his strong heart to his lab assistant. They use their machines to bring the Doctor’s dead brother back to life and we learn that Whale is really Dr. Frankenstein!
In Storybrooke, Regina admits to bringing Daniel over; he’s in her family’s mausoleum. So Regina’s still unable to let go of Daniel and with that ends her first session with Archie. While driving home on a dark and stormy night, Regina sees Daniel standing on the street but then seems to disappear into thin air. Regina heads to the mausoleum only to find Daniel’s glass coffin now empty.
Regina then goes searching for Whale and finds him with his arm torn off. David goes to the hospital questioning Regina about what happened to Whale. He’s shocked to learn about her vault of hearts being here, but more so when she tells him about what Whale did. The two deduce that resurrected Daniel’s gone to the last place he was in Fairy Tale – the stables, the exact location of where Henry is.
Daniel’s goes to choke Henry until Regina and David show up. Before Regina can get to Daniel, David locks him in the stable saying he’s dangerous, even ready to put down the “monster,” and asking for Regina’s help with magic, which she refuses. Regina insists she can talk to him and she actually gets through to him (while being choked to death), but only long enough for Daniel to tell her to let him go and love again. Daniel tries to attack her again and Regina reluctantly uses magic to reduce Daniel to ashes. It’s like saying goodbye all over again. Regina later returns to Archie to say she used magic.
In current Fairy Tale Land, Emma, Snow, Mulan and Aurora return to their safe haven to find it destroyed by what looks like ogres, but after a quick glance at the dead bodies, it’s clear it was Cora’s doing – with all the ripped out hearts. There look to be no survivors, but alas, there’s one mysterious man who we know as Hook! They’re skeptical about his identity and his story, but luckily, the ladies have Emma, who can spot a liar a mile away. They tie him up and Emma plans to unleash the ogres on him until he finally spills the beans on his true identity and reveals Cora’s plan on having him buddy up to them to get info on getting to Storybrooke.
He even talks about an enchanted compass that Cora seeks to help with the portal and will now offer it to them instead as long as he can join in the venture to exact revenge on the man who took his hand, of course! Rumple! He leads the women to a towering beanstalk where the compass resides. And it’s not the climb to worry about; it’s the giant at the top.
We all know Regina to be the evil queen, so it’s nice when we get to see the more vulnerable side of her which we are able to see in her past self and in the current time with this episode. Part of me feels that the writers are going to begin working a softer angle with Regina to get the viewers to like her more and, with the introduction of new characters (Cora, Hook, etc.); we’ll have new villains to hate. Where will Rumple stand in this battle of the viewer’s affection is yet to be determined, but so far I love where this season is going. As for this episode, it had its high points, the story with Whale / Frankenstein wasn’t too exciting for me, but I’ve yet to see a series where every episode is absolutely epic!
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars