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Once Upon A Time episode review- "The Doctor" *Spoilers present*

With Halloween upon them, the town of Storybrooke finds their surroundings a little more peaceful, but how would the citizens react to finding out that Regina’s long lost lover has been raised from the dead. Meanwhile in Fairy Tale land, we've already seen how unpleasantly evil Captain Hook could be, so why is he tied to a tree and faced with interrogation from Snow white and Emma? Have the Dwarves gotten any closer to finding the elusive fairy dust? And most importantly, who exactly is the mysterious Dr. Whale, and why is it that the Evil Queen nor Prince Charming had authority over him? “The Doctor” will hopefully answer at least three of these questions and perhaps more!

The Good:

"Wait till the ladies find out Prince Charming punches like a girl"

“I prefer the Doctor”- I know I’m not the only that is glad to finally find out who Dr. Whale is, nor surprised that he is Dr. Frankenstein! Wow, this opens up so many additional possibilities, from the unique land he comes from where science is more powerful than magic, to story lines surrounding his brother, and in a way getting his experiment to work, by bringing back Daniel... In a way. I do wonder if he was able to get his idea to work in Storybrooke, what exactly prevented it from being successful in his land? Clearly his story isn't over here, and he appears to be connected in some way to Storybrooke's most powerful residents, mainly Regina and Mr. Gold, so his future is wide open. In addition to all of this, Dr. Whale sure can take a punch!

"If you won't put him down, I will"- Charming continues to be directly involved in almost everything that's happening in Storybrooke, and will do anything that needs to be done in order to protect the citizens of the town. Finding a way back home, check. Standing up to Regina and protecting everyone, check. Teaching Henry to be a knight, adorable and check. His character has continued to show amazing growth and potential and is clearly a central figure going forward. His surprise at Regina using hearts is a little amusing, seeing how when he went to get Henry out of Regina's vault there were who knows how many hearts down there and he wasn't the least bit concerned.

"So long as you live in the past you'll never find the future"- More backstory on Regina was surprising since just a few episodes ago she was front and center, but I really enjoyed seeing her learning the dark arts from Rumpelstiltskin, as well as her slow crawl towards becoming the woman she currently is. I don't know why but I always assumed that learning magic was easy, almost as if all the spells and ability is just inside your brain; however, Regina struggled mightly with the harsher aspects. Also interesting is that it wasn't just Cora alone who forced Regina down the path she eventually took, but also Rumpelstiltskin egging her on to become the very woman she hates, her own mother. The similarities between the two are almost exactly the same, both taught by Rumpel, both driven by more than something petty, and both incredibly evil. I will say that Regina isn't completely beyond redemption, she's showing that she wants to change and is trying to, though any kind of change is extremely difficult. She appeared to be unwilling to let zombie Daniel go, but thought better of it even though it returned her to being alone. Lastly, another layer regarding the Curse was revealed, Regina had control over who she brought along with her to Storybrooke. So this begs the question, why did she choose the people she did and leave those she didn't alone? Did Rumpelstiltskin have any say since he designed the curse?

The Bad:

He's a pirate, not a secret agent!
He's a pirate, not a secret agent!

“Oh, so you've heard of me?”- Was it just me or is Hook one of the worst double agents in recent memory? First, he's an awful liar, not even taking into account that Emma's "super power" decided to start working again, he just wasn't very believable. He tells them Cora’s entire plan without much pressuring from the ladies, is willing to lead them to a way to get back to Storybrooke, all to get revenge against Rumpelstiltskin? Yeah, I'm not buying it and apparently Snow and Emma aren't either. Also good luck trying to do anything to Rumpel/Mr. Gold, he tried before and lost a hand. I would just leave bad enough alone but we know Hook is too stubborn for that. I'm thinking Cora is setting up the group to do all the hard work for her, then when they least expect she'll pop up and try to steal what they've found.

Too centralized- It's understandable that every single character can't be included every week but this episode felt very limiting, didn't even show or mention a lot of other characters and what they're doing. A lot of questions remained unanswered and ignored, what is going on with the Dwarves and the mining, why does it appear like Storybrooke has given up on finding a way back home?


6/10. Eh, more of a filler episode than I would have preferred but finally finding out who Dr. Whale is (Dr. Victor Frankenstein!!) was more than worth it. With the past few episodes being similar, not advancing the overall story much, it just feels like an explosion is about to occur and an amazing over the top episode is soon to come. I did like seeing more of some minor characters incorporated this week, Jiminy Cricket and Dr. Whale. Next week The Giant is going to make an appearance as Emma and Hook climb up the Beanstalk to retrieve a special compass. Who knows, Aurora might follow them up and get eaten, though that might be asking for too much.

Author’s note: Check out the episode here http://abc.go.com/watch/once-upon-a-time/SH55126545/VD55243142/the-doctor in case you missed it or want to watch it again.