How 'Once Upon a Time's' The Evil Queen Empowers Us

SPOILER ALERT! Do not read if you do not want to have anything given away.

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This season of "Once Upon a Time" (OUAT) is off to a strong start. We’re in the middle of the first half of season five and so far we’ve been tackling memory loss (again—*face palm*), bears, Excalibur and creepy kings who lie all the freaking time (*cough* Arthur *cough*).

Emma’s still battling The Darkness, and while in Camelot she seems to want to resist being The Dark One, we know that six weeks later in Storybrooke she’s given up the fight. What I like about this part of the season is the dynamic between Emma and Regina. They’ve pretty much switched roles, with the savior going dark and The Evil Queen becoming the savior. Someone’s gotta kick Emma’s butt, right? And Regina’s just the reformed Evil Queen to do it.

OUAT continues to explore the idea of heroes versus villains and how there’s no such thing as “pure good” or “pure evil." I like how they’re really working in the grey area of these concepts and giving a hopeful message. In season one there was a clearly defined battle between the good guys (Snow and Charming) and the bad guys (Regina). Now,  we’ve got the good guys being bad guys and the transformed bad guys firmly allied with the good guys. Life is more complicated than simply good and evil, and I like how "Once Upon a Time" is showing this idea through their characters.

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Regina’s story arc has been something that I’ve loved throughout the show, and I love how she’s progressed from being a villain, to being a maybe-not-so-bad-guy, to being a reluctant-ally-of-the-good-guys, to being a complete good guy, to being a temporary savior. Her determination to put her past behind her is really inspiring, and I’m really enjoying seeing her working towards being more patient and forgiving. It’s great to see her and Snow becoming friends! Their friendship shows that you really can’t give up on people, and it shows what can happen if you have hope and give people second chances. Both Snow and Regina decide to put their complicated history behind them and move forward, and that’s a really inspiring thing to see.

All of that being said, I’m curious to see where the rest of this season goes. Having Merida is great—she’s so independent and kick-butt! I’m very interested to see what her role is going to be as we continue through this season and how she’s going to fit in with the rest of the heroes. Of course, I’m very interested as to what’s going to happen with Zelena’s baby… That’s going to take some creativity on the part of the writers, am I right? Anyways, we'll just have to wait and see!