“Once Upon a Time” season 2 continued Sunday, Oct. 28, with episode 5, “The Doctor,” which finally revealed the identity of one of the characters—Dr. Whale—and showed more of fairytale land in the present.
In therapy. Regina went to see Archie as she struggled to not use magic, as per her promise to Henry. That led to a “Once Upon a Time” flashback as Rumplestiltskin taught her how to use magic. She was unable to take a unicorn’s heart and kill it, and he told her she needed to figure out what was holding her back. That was Daniel, whom she had in a coffin in the family mausoleum, but Archie warned her that she was haunted by her past—and she seemed to be, quite literally, as she saw Daniel in Storybrooke. When she checked his coffin, it was empty.
Regina meets the wizard. When Rumple found out Regina wanted him to teach her to bring back the dead, he told her he couldn’t. Dead is dead. After Jefferson completed his transaction with Rumple, he turned to Regina and offered to introduce her to a wizard who could bring back the dead. All he wanted in return was a royal passport so he could traverse the kingdom. And so he took her to meet the wizard, who preferred Doctor. She brought him to the preserved Daniel, and he said the procedure was experimental. He needed a strong heart—one that glowed. She refused to use magic for evil, but she knew where to get a heart—her mother’s vault.
Power greater than magic. That was what the Doctor supposedly wielded, and he entered the tent with Daniel alone as Regina and Jefferson watched. However, when he came out, he said he failed because the heart wasn’t strong enough. After she failed to get him back, Regina returned to Rumple and took the heart of her “replacement,” delighting Rumple. Jefferson also returned to Rumple–with the Doctor. He said Regina bought his failure and asked for his property–the heart Jefferson had. Rumple had his monster, and the Doctor had what he needed to create what he wanted, which he said wasn’t a monster. He guaranteed he was more powerful than Rumple, and Jefferson spun his hat to bring the Doctor back to his land. When he returned to his land with the heart, it was time to begin his latest experiment. “It’s alive,” he said as his brother lifted his hand off the table. “It’s science,” Dr. Frankenstein said.
“He’s a monster.” When Regina confronted Dr. Whale, whose “lab” was a mess, he said he brought him back, but “He’s not Daniel. …He’s a monster.” In the hospital, David wanted answers from Regina, and she told him Dr. Whale brought Daniel back and that he took one of her hearts. She didn’t know whose. David got her to tell him where Daniel was—the stables, where Henry was with a horse. But even as they were heading that way, Daniel found Henry. David and Regina found Daniel holding Henry by his throat, and once he let him go, David told him to run and locked him in the stable. Regina refused to cast a spell on him and insisted he would listen to her. When he saw her, he began choking her. She told him she loved him, and he stopped, recognizing her. But their happiness was short-lived because he was in pain. She needed to let him go, and that meant using magic to stop him. She then returned to Archie.
Who is Dr. Whale? Once Dr. Whale found out that the Enchanted Forest still existed, he asked Regina to send him back there to his brother; the curse only brought the living (and those she wanted). Dr. Whale brought his arm to Mr. Gold to reattach. He explained that he had been hoping that if he helped Regina, she would return him to his land. He wanted to return to his brother. Dr. Whale needed to say “I need magic” for Mr. Gold to reattach his arm. Rumple told him it was a pleasure doing business with him.
Hook-ed. Emma, Mary, Mulan, and Aurora found Cora had attacked the safe haven, but there was one alive: Hook. Emma pointed out that it was strange Cora left a survivor; Hook claimed he hid under the dead and pretended to be dead. Emma didn’t buy it and had Mulan tie him to a tree, leaving him for the ogres. That was when he admitted who he was. He told them Cora wanted him to gain their trust so she could learn about Storybrooke since she took the wardrobe’s ashes. They were going to leave him, but he offered to help them get home if they took him along. He told them of an enchanted compass they needed. Emma asked why he wanted to go to Storybrooke, and he told her. He led them to the compass–which was up the beanstalk. They had to worry about the giant at the top.
Four stars. Even though the promo teased exactly who Dr. Whale is, we still liked this episode—though not as much as recent ones. The episode spent time in the fairytale land that was and that is and in Storybrooke, and it worked. It didn’t seem forced, and though we would have liked to see more from each time, we still liked it. While the first thought that came to mind when the episode title was revealed was that it would be spending time on Dr. Whale, that was not the case–and that was something that worked well. While he is a character whom they do need to explore further, this episode instead did something that needed to be done (and we didn’t know needed to be done): bring some closure to Regina regarding Daniel. But we can’t help but wonder what this will mean for her and Snow when Snow and Emma return.
Honorable mentions. We loved David punching Dr. Whale; “we were cursed” is not going to work, much like “we were on a break” didn’t. That’s just fact. Dr. Whale deserved that, and now they can move on. We also loved David teaching Henry to become “a proper knight,” which meant learning how to take care of a horse before learning how to ride him. While we do like seeing grandfather and grandson bond, we’d like it a lot more if the Charming family was whole once again. We of course have to mention we loved the ending of the episode, as Dr. Frankenstein brought back his brother. That alone may have persuaded us to give the episode four stars. But what will happen next on “OUaT”?
“Once Upon a Time” season 2 continues Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC 7 in Queens. What did you think of “The Doctor”?
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