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"The Queen Is Dead" is the 15th episode of the second season of the American ABC fantasy/drama television series Once Upon a Time, and the show's 37th episode overall. It aired on March 3, 2013.

It was co-written by David H. Goodman and Daniel T. Thomsen, while being directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton.

Plot

In the Characters' Past

Queen Eva (Rena Sofer) makes plans for a ball to celebrate the birthday of her daughter, Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin). When Snow sees that a servant, Johanna (Lesley Nicol), has tried on Eva's heirloom tiara, she admonishes the woman until Eva reminds Snow that royalty and the people of the kingdom are entitled to the same dignity. Eva suddenly collapses and it soon becomes clear that she is deathly ill. A royal doctor is unable to heal her, and Johanna suggests Snow make a wish to the Blue Fairy (Keegan Connor Tracy). In the woods, the Blue Fairy appears to Snow and explains that good magic cannot overcome death. However, she agrees to make an exception to the rules that bind fairies, and gives Snow a magical candle that will save her mother's life in exchange for the life of another person. She must hold the lighted candle over the heart of the person whose life she wants to take and whisper their name. Aghast, Snow reveals to her mother what has happened and explains that she is unwilling to kill someone and therefore cannot save her life. Eva tells Snow she is proud of her for her strength, and promises to be with her as long as she holds goodness in her heart. She dies.

Snow attends her mother's funeral. After Johanna escorts her from the chapel, the Blue Fairy enters but is revealed to actually be Cora (Barbara Hershey) in disguise. She declares that, having poisoned Eva, she will also destroy her legacy by turning Snow White's heart to darkness.

In Storybrooke

On her birthday, Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) receives a package containing her mother's tiara, with a card signed by Johanna. Snow goes to see her, and they share a happy reunion. A noise in the woods then leads Mary Margaret to overhear a conversation between Regina (Lana Parrilla) and Cora, revealing that they are working together to find the Dark One's dagger. Meanwhile, David (Josh Dallas) is attacked at the police station by Captain Hook (Colin O'Donoghue), who takes back his hook. Mary Margaret finds David there and revives him, informing him of Regina's duplicity. They resolve to find the dagger first, and Mary Margaret decides to try to drive a wedge between Regina and Cora. She meets with Regina and reveals what she knows, warning her that Cora doesn't care about Regina or Henry (Jared S. Gilmore), but Regina dismisses her. Mary Margaret and David ask Mother Superior for help finding the dagger, but a protection spell over Gold's shop prevents her from learning anything. David then receives a call from Emma (Jennifer Morrison) that Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) has agreed to put his trust in them, and reveals that the dagger is hidden in the clock tower. Just after they retrieve it, Regina and Cora appear. They summon Johanna and Regina rips her heart out and demands the dagger. When Cora taunts Mary Margaret over her mother's hopes that she would always be good, Mary Margaret realizes that her private conversation with the Blue Fairy had really been with Cora and that Cora murdered her mother. Over Johanna's protests, Mary Margaret gives up the dagger. Regina then restores Johanna's heart, but Cora immediately throws the woman to her death out of the clock tower.

Regina confronts Cora over murdering Eva and keeping it a secret from her. She realizes that Cora also orchestrated Snow's riding accident. She expresses concerns over Cora's true motivations, and the likelihood that Henry will learn that they are responsible for anything they order Mr. Gold to do now that their possession of the dagger is not a secret. Cora insists that Henry will be Regina's.

After Johanna's funeral, David reassures Mary Margaret that they will get the dagger back before Gold returns to Storybrooke. Mary Margaret questions her "good" choices that have caused death and suffering over the years, and reflects that maybe it isn't Regina or Cora who needs to change, but herself. She vows to kill Cora.

Outside Storybrooke

In New York City, Neal (Michael Raymond-James) and Henry spend time together while Emma and Mr. Gold commiserate over the trouble they are having with their respective sons. Gold asks Emma to convince Neal to come with them to Storybrooke, suggesting that Henry would otherwise run away to be with Neal as he once did with Emma, and that Emma wants a second chance with Neal. Emma broaches the topic, but before they can talk further, Hook--whom Neal recognizes--appears and attacks Gold. He stabs Gold in the chest, but Emma knocks him out before he can kill him. Gold angrily lashes out at Henry when he tries to comfort him, blaming him for the attack. The hook was poisoned and there is no antidote in this world. Neal reveals he is capable of sailing the Jolly Roger, which he surmises Hook used to get to New York, back to Storybrooke where magic can be used to save Gold's life; despite their troubles, he does not want his father to die. He also explains that his relative youth and his knowledge of Hook are due to having traveled to a different land before coming to Earth. Emma receives Mary Margaret and David's message about the dagger, and Emma urges Gold to learn to trust someone--like his own family--before he dies. He agrees and tells David and Mary Margaret where his dagger is hidden.

Neal and Emma go to pick up a car Neal has arranged to borrow to take them to the ship, and Neal reveals that the car belongs to Tamara (Sonequa Martin-Green), his fiancee.

Opening sequence

The Storybrooke clock tower is featured in the forest.

Production

"The Queen Is Dead" was co-written by co-producer Daniel T. Thomsen and co-executive producer David H. Goodman, while being directed by Sons of Anarchy vet Gwyneth Horder-Payton.

Cultural references

References to Peter Pan were hinted at in this episode, when Baelfire/Neal alluded to having a youthful appearance, his knowledge of Hook's ship, and his stay in Neverland.

Snow White/Mary Margaret's statement, "Help us, Mother Superior. You're our only hope!" is a nod to the famous Princess Leia Organa line, "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope!" from Star Wars. The lines that Mother Superior says before that is also a nod to Star Wars as is similar to what what Obi-Wan Kenobi says after the destruction of Alderaan.[1]

References

  1. A New Hope
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Media
Shows: Once Upon a TimeOnce Upon a Time in Wonderland

Books: Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the QueenReawakened: A Once Upon a Time TaleOnce Upon a Time - Behind the MagicOnce Upon a Time: Out of the PastOnce Upon a Time: Red's Untold TaleOnce Upon a Time: Regina Rising
Special Bonus: Good Morning Storybrooke • Three Who Stayed • Tales From The Underworld: A Knight With Cruella

Characters
Once Upon a Time: Emma SwanSnow White/Mary Margaret BlanchardPrince Charming/David NolanRumplestiltskin/Mr. GoldThe Evil Queen/Regina MillsBelle/Lacey FrenchKillian Jones/HookHenry MillsHappySneezy/Tom ClarkBashfulDocDopeySleepy/WalterJiminy Cricket/Archie HopperStealthyVictor Frankenstein/Dr. WhaleAuroraPrince PhillipFa MulanBlue FairyWidow Lucas/GrannyKing George/Albert SpencerGenie/Magic Mirror/Sidney GlassMad Hatter/JeffersonMilahPrince Henry/The ValetMaid MarianKnave of HeartsSheriff of Nottingham/KeithFairy GodmotherPeter Pan/Malcolm/The Pied PiperWendy DarlingArielZelena/The Wicked Witch of the WestGlinda/The Good Witch of the SouthThe Wizard of Oz/WalshElsa the Snow QueenAnnaKristoffHansGrand PabbieSvenTinker BellBlackbeardLumièreAbigail/Kathryn NolanUrsulaRed Riding Hood/The Wolf/RubyHuntsman/Sheriff GrahamBaelfire/Neal CassidyPinocchio/August W. BoothFrederick/JimSevere NurseMayor TomkinsQuinnAnitaHansel and Gretel/Nicholas and Ava ZimmerThe Woodcutter/Michael TillmanMartinMyrnaStephenDonnaPrince JamesJackBlind WitchKing XavierPeterSirenPongoAntonWilliam SmeeDorothy GaleThe Witch of the EastGastonGreg MendellTamaraGeppetto/MarcoThe DragonRapunzelThe King/Mitchell HermanRapunzel's MotherRapunzel's FatherKing LeopoldQueen EvaLost BoysJohn DarlingMichael DarlingThe ShadowThe Sheriff of HamelinKing MidasNanaMary DarlingGeorge DarlingMedusaGus/BillyMarshmallowZosoPrince Thomas/Sean HermanPrince EricLittle Bo PeepThe ApprenticeIngrid/Sarah FisherLily PageNovaSeerGraceDaniel ColterLancelotColetteStephenLiam JonesOakenThe King of ArendelleQueen GerdaCruella De VilPoseidonThe Duke of WeseltonHans' BrothersChernabogBriar RoseKing StefanIsaac/The AuthorMadelineMerlin/The SorcererMeridaQueen EleanorKing FergusHarris, Hubert and HamishThe WitchLord MacGuffinLord MacintoshLord DingwallRuthKing ArthurSir KayGuinevereCharonBrennan JonesMegaraHerculesHadesCerberusThe ScarecrowTotoCleo FoxAuntie EmDr. JekyllMr. HydeEvil ReginaTom SawyerAladdinGideonJasmineIagoCaptain NemoLady TremaineClorindaTisbeJacobOracleRoyal GuardsThe SultanGenieBlack FairyTiger LilyRobertPrince AchmedStanumCowardly LionLucyTiana

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: AliceCyrusAnastasia/The Red QueenPercy/The White RabbitJabberwockySilvermistThe Sultan/The Old PrisonerTweedle Dee and Tweedle DumMrs. RabbitElizabeth/LizardAmara
Both series: Will Scarlet/The Knave of HeartsCinderella/Ashley BoydRobin HoodLittle JohnFriar TuckGrumpy/LeroyCora/The Queen of HeartsCaterpillarMaleficentJafarDr. Lydgate

Episodes
Season One: "Pilot" • "The Thing You Love Most" • "Snow Falls" • "The Price of Gold" • "That Still Small Voice" • "The Shepherd" • "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" • "Desperate Souls" • "True North" • "7:15 A.M." • "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree" • "Skin Deep" • "What Happened to Frederick" • "Dreamy" • "Red-Handed" • "Heart of Darkness" • "Hat Trick" • "The Stable Boy" • "The Return" • "The Stranger" • "An Apple Red as Blood" • "A Land Without Magic"

Season Two: "Broken" • "We Are Both" • "Lady of the Lake" • "The Crocodile" • "The Doctor" • "Tallahassee" • "Child of the Moon" • "Into the Deep" • "Queen of Hearts" • "The Cricket Game" • "The Outsider" • "In the Name of the Brother" • "Tiny" • "Manhattan" • "The Queen Is Dead" • "The Miller's Daughter" • "Welcome to Storybrooke" • "Selfless, Brave and True" • "Lacey" • "The Evil Queen" • "Second Star to the Right" • "And Straight On 'Til Morning"
Season Three: "The Heart of the Truest Believer" • "Lost Girl" • "Quite a Common Fairy" • "Nasty Habits" • "Good Form" • "Ariel" • "Dark Hollow" • "Think Lovely Thoughts" • "Save Henry" • "The New Neverland" • "Going Home" • "New York City Serenade" • "Witch Hunt" • "The Tower" • "Quiet Minds" • "It's Not Easy Being Green" • "The Jolly Roger" • "Bleeding Through" • "A Curious Thing" • "Kansas" • "Snow Drifts" • "There's No Place Like Home"
Season Four: "A Tale of Two Sisters" • "White Out" • "Rocky Road" • "The Apprentice" • "Breaking Glass" • "Family Business" • "The Snow Queen" • "Smash the Mirror" • "Fall" • "Shattered Sight" • "Heroes and Villains" • "Darkness on the Edge of Town" • "Unforgiven" • "Enter the Dragon" • "Poor Unfortunate Soul" • "Best Laid Plans" • "Heart of Gold" • "Sympathy for the De Vil" • "Lily" • "Mother" • "Operation Mongoose"
Season Five: "The Dark Swan" • "The Price" • "Siege Perilous" • "The Broken Kingdom" • "Dreamcatcher" • "The Bear and the Bow" • "Nimue" • "Birth" • "The Bear King" • "Broken Heart" • "Swan Song" • "Souls of the Departed" • "Labor of Love" • "Devil's Due" • "The Brothers Jones" • "Our Decay" • "Her Handsome Hero" • "Ruby Slippers" • "Sisters" • "Firebird" • "Last Rites" • "Only You" • "An Untold Story"
Season Six: "The Savior" • "A Bitter Draught" • "The Other Shoe" • "Strange Case" • "Street Rats" • "Dark Waters" • "Heartless" • "I'll Be Your Mirror" • "Changelings" • "Wish You Were Here" • "Tougher Than the Rest" • "Murder Most Foul • "Ill-Boding Patterns" • "Page 23" • "A Wondrous Place" • "Mother's Little Helper" • "Awake" • "Where Bluebirds Fly" • "The Black Fairy" • "The Song in Your Heart" • "The Final Battle"
Season Seven: "Hyperion Heights" • "A Pirate's Life"
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: "Down the Rabbit Hole" • "Trust Me" • "Forget Me Not" • "The Serpent" • "Heart of Stone" • "Who's Alice?" • "Bad Blood" • "Home" • "Nothing to Fear" • "Dirty Little Secrets" • "Heart of the Matter" • "To Catch a Thief" • "And They Lived..."

Locations
Once Upon a Time: Boston, MassachusettsDark PalaceDark Castle/Rumplestiltskin's CastleLibraryPrince Thomas' CastleCinderella's ChateauDwarves' CottageDwarf MinesNew YorkKing Stefan's CastleThe BeanstalkGiant's LairNeverland Skull RockHamelinMaritime CastleRapunzel's TowerVault of the Dark OneLand of OzYellow Brick RoadEmerald CityGolden CastleArendelleArendelle CastleWandering Oaken's Trading Post and SaunaBald MountainRing of StonesDunBrochWitch's CottageCastle DunBrochUnderworldMount OlympusPoppy FieldsAuntie's Chicken & WafflesCave of WondersPleasure IslandSeattleHyperion Heights

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Wonderland CastleThe Mad Hatter's HouseWhite Rabbit's HouseUnderlandTulgey Wood
Both series: StorybrookeMaineEnchanted ForestForbidden FortressWonderlandWonderland MazeAgrabahSherwood ForestThe Sultan's Palace

Objects
Once Upon a Time: Once Upon a Time (Book)Maleficent's StaffMagic WandGlass SlipperPoisoned AppleSpinning WheelMagic LampDark One's DaggerChipped CupJefferson's HatCaptain Hook's HooksMagic BeansEnchanted CandlePixie DustDreamshadePandora's BoxSilver SlippersSorcerer HatEnchanted BroomTridentEnchanted ShellHeroes and Villains (Book)Merida's BowMagical RoseExcaliburOlympian CrystalCinderella's DressGolden Scarab Beetle

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Vorpal Blade
Both series: Jafar's Snake StaffEnchanted HeartsJafar's Lamp

Songs Featured
Give a Little WhistleHeigh-HoWith a Smile and a SongBeauty and the BeastPart of Your WorldFathoms BelowCruella De VilSome Day My Prince Will Come

Original Songs: Powerful MagicThe Queen SingsLove Doesn’t Stand a ChanceRevenge Is Gonna Be MineWicked Always WinsCharming vs. Evil QueenEmma's ThemeA Happy Beginning

Vehicles
Geppetto's BoatThe Jolly RogerMagic CarpetCruella's carNautilus
Species
FairiesUnicornsDragonsBridge TrollsWraithOgresMermaidsKrakenFlying MonkeysRock TrollsWill O' the WispsFuriesMunchkins