Regina is facing quite the uphill battle during Sunday’s episode of Once Upon a Time.
Though she brought Wish Realm Robin (Sean Maguire) to Storybrooke in hopes of a second chance at love, Regina (Lana Parrilla) has had to come to terms with the fact that this isn’t the man who died saving her life. Thus, she has to let Robin go, though his presence certainly has given her a sense of closure.
“She does reach this level where she figures out that she has to stop controlling these situations,” Parrilla tells EW. “Because she’s trying to make him someone he isn’t, and almost forcing it upon him, it’s really hard for him to live up to this hero that she knows, which was Robin Hood. She comes to this realization that she has to let go, and so that’s what she ends up doing.”
But it won’t necessarily be easy to let go as the Evil Queen returns with an aim to destroy her other half, using Robin as bait in a trap. “It’s their final showdown,” Parrilla teases of Regina and her doppelgänger. “It’s like bitch versus bitch; it’s a bitch battle. They really come toe-to-toe and have a full-on heart-to-heart, but expressed through a lot of built up anger and resentment.”
Running parallel to this epic showdown are flashbacks to the Enchanted Forest of yore as the Evil Queen roots out the true source of her own misery. “You see the Evil Queen in Fairy Tale Land again hunting for Snow White [Ginnifer Goodwin],” Parrilla says. “She’s really at her low point here, and is filled with rage, and just really ready to catch her, and put an end to her. Tink [Rose McIver] actually comes back, and confronts the Evil Queen, and says, ‘How come you never walked through that Tavern?’” (The tavern, as OUAT fans will recall, was the location of Regina’s one true love, a man with a mysterious lion tattoo that Regina later discovered was actually Robin Hood.)
However, at that stage in the Evil Queen’s regression, she didn’t believe she was worthy of love. It’s therefore up to her father (Tony Perez) to make her see that she actually is, but his magical methods borrowed from Cora (Barbara Hershey) end up backfiring — instead of rooting out the person the Evil Queen loves most, it targets who she hates, which the Evil Queen believes will lead her to Snow. Suffice it to say, it will lead to a pretty shocking revelation. “[Then we] flash forward to Storybrooke during this big showdown that takes place in the mayor’s office,” Parrilla teases. “There’s a lot of words exchanged, and there’s this huge sword fight battle that they end up having in the mayor’s office, and they end up tearing the whole office apart.”
Who will come out the victor? We’ll find out when Once Upon a Time airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.