In honor of the premier of Once season 5 I wanted to list my top ten favorite moments in various relationships on the show.
The new normal (4.13)
One of the things I loved about Regal Believer come season 4 was that the moments became much more common place. normal. There is no comment on this scene. Henry is sitting at her desk, with his coat over her chair, and it easily evokes the idea of him doing that tons of times when he was a growing up. Her working from other side of the desk while he colored or played. He’s her little prince and the light of her world. The one person the queen humbled herself for.
The place he wants to be before he dies (2.22)
He’s underground. When the self destruct finishes it’s job he will be suffocated or crushed under the rocks. He was in the embrace of Emma and his grandparents but the place he really wants to be in the end is his mother’s arms.
So this is my mom? (2.08)
He’s know she was the Evil Queen, but before now he never seems to have thought about trying to understand her. And here she must look like a strange mix of the woman he grew up with and this other person he’d had in his mind. And she’s nervous and wants to share, but also doesn’t want him to see her like some monster. She’s helping. She’s trying. There is a lovely tentative attempt in this scene to try and find each other. To try and understand.
A lot of bad things happened to her (4.11)
I am not of the school that the stories in the book actually changed, but rather they are still the black and white versions that show her as a heart less evil. But Henry can now see beyond the black and white to the pain behind it. His mother did a lot of bad things. A lot of bad things happened to her. The story is more complete to him.
True Love’s Kiss (3.19)
I had no doubt that Henry was Regina’s true love before this moment, or that he loved her just as much. But what is beautiful to me is that she didn’t expect this. She assumed that she was not good enough, her blackened and battered heart, missing from her chest in this moment, not strong enough. She isn’t trying to break a curse she just loves him as any mother would. The ultimate validation of Regina Believer and the culmination of healing.
Tell me about New York (3.19)
The kiss and the light show are the flashy headline bit, but I actually love this moment even more. She wants to hear everything. The world is still coming to pieces but she wants to know about math and about school and friends. And he wants to know about her. He’s missed her without even knowing it, finding a tree that reminded him of her even if he didn’t understand it at the time. It’s the normality that is beautiful.
Humbled before a child (2.02)
And not just a child. She humbles herself before David as well because explaining herself to Henry is more important than saving face in front of her enemy. She has to let him go so that she can break the cycle and this is the hardest thing any parent could ever do. And she doesn’t do so with simplified ideas. These are grown up things she’s telling him and she trusts that somehow, some way he will understand.
I will always find you (4.02)
Coming home, saying that this place is where he belongs. She let him go but I don’t know that she ever believed that he would come back. What is beautiful to me is that she didn’t force him. She didn’t ask him. But when she opened the door it was done. The pain of those years was done. And they were both stronger for the coming back together.
Instinct and belief (4.22)
She couldn’t let him die. Even when she didn’t remember him she threw herself in front of him. And he wrote what he’s known to be true for a long time. That his mother was not a villain, but a hero. And the truth of those words saved them all.
You’re not a villain… (3.11)
This scene never fails to turn me into a blubbering mess. She is never going to see him again. He’s never going to remember her. But he’s blaming himself for this and she wont have it. She’s going to be his mom for the last few minutes they have and take on the guilt and the blame. And he finally relieves her of the burden of being a hero or a villain or something larger than life. She’s his mom. And that’s all she ever needed to be for him.