Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
2 user 4 critic

The Evil Queen 

Emma grows suspicious of Tamara and Hook helps Regina retrieve the fail-safe key that will destroy Storybrooke, as flashbacks show the Evil Queen go undercover in order to kill Snow White.


Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 2 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ginnifer Goodwin ... Mary Margaret Blanchard / Snow White
Jennifer Morrison ... Emma Swan
Lana Parrilla ... Evil Queen / Regina Mills
Josh Dallas ... David Nolan
Emilie de Ravin ... Lacey
Colin O'Donoghue ... Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones
Jared Gilmore ... Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
Meghan Ory ... Ruby Lucas (credit only)
Robert Carlyle ... Mr. Gold / Rumplestiltskin
Lee Arenberg ... Leroy
Ethan Embry ... Greg Mendell
Sonequa Martin-Green ... Tamara
Michael Raymond-James ... Neal Cassidy
Jennifer-Juniper Angeli Jennifer-Juniper Angeli ... Peasant Woman (as Jennifer Juniper Angeli)
Harold Davies Harold Davies ... Fisherman


When she finds out that David and Mary Margaret plan to return to the Enchanted Forest, Regina searches for the fail-safe key that will destroy Storybrooke. In the fairy-tale world, Queen Regina continues her search for the bandit Snow White. Emma begins to suspect Tamara's motives. Written by Nadia Nassar

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

magic | See All (1) »


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The object/animal/person in this episode is the Dark Palace. See more »


Evil Queen: The Queen is dead. Long live... the Evil Queen.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening sequence shows the Dark Palace. See more »

User Reviews

How to solve a problem like Regina
16 February 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

When 'Once Upon a Time' first started it was highly addictive and made the most of a truly great and creative premise. Really loved the idea of turning familiar fairy tales on their heads and putting own interpretations on them and the show early on clearly had clearly had a ball. Watched it without fail every time it came on and it was often a highlight of the week. Which was why it was sad when it ran out of ideas and lost its magic in the later seasons.

Although not a Season 2, or 'Once Upon a Time' overall, high point, "The Evil Queen" does improve on the interesting if uneven previous episode "Lacey". It does a better job at progressing characters, if not quite as successful on the plot developments as that while not back-tracking. Very little, if anything, feels needless here, nothing is wasted and quality feels more even. Not a perfect episode by all means, but when it comes to what side of the mixed critical reception my opinion is it's positive.

"The Evil Queen" has a couple of story developments that are a little far-fetched and convenient, with Rumplestiltskin's motivations (like with Regina) not being as clear and consistent as ought.

Regina's want for redemption and revenge and her issue with Snow White were also starting to get repetitive at this point.

However, there are some very neat and fascinating connections concerning fairy-tale and reality and past and present, either not being picked up on before or being just as much a reminder for the viewer as it is for the character (i.e. the one in the Neal and Henry guarding the door scene).

Character development is also done really well, with Neal and Henry being the most interesting they've been in goodness knows how long. The revelation though is with Regina, once again a very layered character with new things about her introduced and existing motivations and traits built upon. Other episodes are more successful in painting her in a sympathetic light but she is not flat out one-dimensional evil either. While all the acting is very good, it's Lana Parrilla who gets all the meat and she delivers it masterfully.

Furthermore, "The Evil Queen" is a very handsomely mounted episode visually, the settings and costumes are both colourful and atmospheric, not too dark or garish and never cookie-cutter. It is photographed beautifully too. The music is haunting, ethereal and cleverly used with a memorable main theme. Writing has the right balance of humour, pathos, mystery and intrigue.

In conclusion, very well done. 8/10 Bethany Cox

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

28 April 2013 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed