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Recap / Once Upon A Time S 2 E 2 We Are Both

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Season 2, Episode 2:

We Are Both

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/02_we_are_both.jpg

Regina: I don't want this life. I want to be free.
Cora: Power is freedom.

David Nolan: Everybody, meet back here in two hours. I'll tell you my plan to fix everything.
Ruby: What's the plan?
David: I don't know, but I got two hours to figure it out.
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While Regina continues to find a way to regain her magical powers, David continues his quest to uncover the whereabouts of Mary Margaret and Emma whilst also trying to lead the town's inhabitants, and the seven dwarves discover what happens when any of the townspeople try to step past the city limits of Storybrooke. Meanwhile, in the Enchanted Forest that was, as her wedding day to King Leopold approaches, Regina is confronted by a man of magic who promises to help her become independent and break free from her mother, Cora's, clutches.

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Tropes

  • Bookends: Three to be exact
    • This Episode begins and ends with Regina leaving the palace on horseback.
    • It also begins and ends with Prince Charming barging into Regina’s house with a sword in his hands.
    • Lastly, it begins and ends with Regina telling Charming to take care of Henry.
  • Daydream Surprise: Regina imagined strangling the young Snow White.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Regina's almost desperate need for her magic back, even if it's just to help her get Henry, is clearly played as similar to a drug-user longing for a fix, particularly through some of the things Gold says to taunt her about it (e.g., talking about the pure spells in the book in a manner implying an uncut stash).
    • The way Rumple preys on the young and impressionable Regina has more than a few parallels to a stalker, not to mention how an older man can pursue and manipulate a much younger girl or woman.
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  • Evil Feels Good: After using magic for the first time, Regina tells Rumplestiltskin that she'll never use it again... because she loved it. Magic itself isn't inherently evil in this universe, but since in this case it's explicitly being talked about in a bad way, it certainly qualifies here.
  • Foreshadowing: Regina's comment regarding the book of spells, that she doesn't care if using it turns her skin green, considering whom her sister will be revealed to be next season.
  • Genre Savvy: Henry, who claims things in stories always look their darkest just before the hero finds a way to save the day. Immediately after this, Grumpy and the other dwarves show up with the news about the town line memory curse.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Regina realizes she's just as bad as her mother Cora.
  • His Story Repeats Itself: The same vine-barrier spell Cora used to keep Regina from fleeing Leopold's castle is used by Regina to keep Henry from leaving her house. This, along with her very familiar determination to see magic as power and that she can make people trust her and love Henry, is part of how she realizes she'd become like Cora, the very thing she swore to Rumple she never would.
  • Hypocrite: When Charming confronts Regina to try and learn a way to bring Emma and Snow back, he points out (when she chastises him for doing this instead of looking after Henry) that after the way she raised his grandson, she has no room to talk. She then tries to turn it around on him by claiming he isn't a good source of parenting advice either due to having "shoved his daughter in a box and shipped her to Maine". She has a point (he's had zero experience actually raising children, either back in the Enchanted Forest or in Storybrooke), but of course he never would have been forced into giving Emma up if not for her Dark Curse, so...
  • Ironic Echo: Charming asking Jefferson about the hat, if he can "get it to work." Unsurprisingly, Jefferson's response is a bit hysterical: "If you only knew..."
  • Jerkass Has a Point: As corrupting and manipulating as Rumplestiltskin is, he is right about one thing — shoving Cora through the mirror to Wonderland does make Regina free of Cora's influence which is exactly what she wanted.
  • Rousing Speech: Prince Charming/David gives an amazing one to the townspeople of Storybrooke as they try to leave the town.
  • Secret Identity Identity: After the curse is broken the people of Storybrooke now have two sets of memories, that of their fairytale lives and of Storybrooke. Instead of rejecting his cursed persona David Nolan, Prince Charming tells the other townspeople:
    "David, Storybrooke David was—is weak, confused, and he hurt the woman I love. I wouldn't give up Charming just to be him, but you know what? I wouldn't make the other trade either, because that David not only reminds me of whom I lost, but who I want to be. My weaknesses and my strengths. David and the Prince. I am both. You are both. The town is both. We are both."
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Cora and Regina's lust for power.
  • Title Drop: In Prince Charming's speech.
  • Troll: Charming is in rare form this episode with both of the major villains, although especially the way he enjoys denying information to Gold. For someone who claims to be better at fighting than talking, he seems to have a very good instinct for guileful speech.
  • Villainous Breakdown: All those years of work Rumpelstiltskin put into getting to this point, and he's still no closer to being able to find Bae—and in fact the very thing he summoned to make their reunion possible (magic) is the reason he can't get to him. He doesn't take it well.
  • Wham Episode: Anyone who tries to leave Storybrooke will lose all memories of their Fairy Tale life, possibly forever (though it's implied from the Dwarves that it can be fixed), Regina has her magic back, and Cora is alive.
  • Wham Line:
    • "My name's Cora."
    • Also, just as it was back in the second episode of the first season, Wham Word: when Gold tries to use "please" on Regina, he finds it no longer works (why is never revealed for certain, but probably because the curse has been broken).
  • Wham Shot: Cora is in the pit along with Emma and Snow. Doubly so since aside from her identity (and evil nature), the viewer had just seen her be sent through a magic looking glass back when Regina first married Leopold, so her being back is a shock in and of itself.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Despite how long she's been the Evil Queen, being told by Gold that at last, holding the spell book, she reminds him of her mother clearly unsettles Regina greatly.
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