Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
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Queen of Hearts 

Mary Margaret, Emma, Mulan and Aurora try to prevent Cora and Hook from getting to Storybrooke, as flashbacks show Regina enlist the help of Hook to find and kill Cora.


Ralph Hemecker


Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 2 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ginnifer Goodwin ... Mary Margaret Blanchard
Jennifer Morrison ... Emma Swan
Lana Parrilla ... Evil Queen / Regina Mills
Josh Dallas ... David Nolan
Emilie de Ravin ... Belle French
Jared Gilmore ... Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
Meghan Ory ... Ruby Lucas
Robert Carlyle ... Mr. Gold
Lee Arenberg ... Leroy
Sarah Bolger ... Princess Aurora
Jamie Chung ... Mulan
Barbara Hershey ... Cora Mills
Colin O'Donoghue ... Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones
Michael Coleman ... Happy
Faustino Di Bauda ... Sleepy (as Faustino di Bauda)


28 years ago, Regina enlists the help of Hook to find and kill her mother, the Queen of Hearts, to stop her from traveling to the new world. Meanwhile, in the present, Emma, Snow, Mulan, and Aurora head to Rumpelstiltskin's old cell to retrieve the key to their return to Storybrooke. Written by Nadia Nassar

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The object/animal/person in this episode is a Geyser rising from the dry bed of Lake Nostos. See more »


During the time when Emma was in Rumpelstiltskin's cell, whilst talking to Hook, the position of her hands kept changing places between shots. See more »


[first lines]
Black Knight: Halt!
Hooded Man: [carrying a bucket] Food for the prisoner.
Black Knight: It's not mealtime. Who are you? Identify yourself, slave!
[he tries to uncover the man, and a short battle ensues, which the man wins]
Captain Hook: [removing his hood] "Slave"! I prefer "Captain".
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening sequence shows a geyser rising from the dry bed of Lake Nostos. See more »

User Reviews

A winter finale with a lot of heart
23 January 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

When 'Once Upon a Time' first started it was highly addictive and made the most of a truly great and creative premise. Really loved the idea of turning familiar fairy tales on their heads and putting own interpretations on them and the show early on clearly had clearly had a ball. Watched it without fail every time it came on and it was often a highlight of the week. Which was why it was sad when it ran out of ideas and lost its magic in the later seasons.

Season 2 started off very promisingly, but had a three episode dip starting with "Tallahassee" up to "Into the Deep". "Queen of Hearts" for me is the best 'Once Upon a Time' episode since "We are Both", the best Season 2 episode up to this point in the season and a Season 2 high-point. It is one of the finer examples of the enormous promise that generally Season 2 showed and started with, where everything began feeling more settled, old characters and plot lines were expanded upon and new ones were introduced with richer content.

Here in "Queen of Hearts", questions that needed to be answered are resolved, loose ends are tied up, character relationships are back on track and more interesting than they ever were, surprising revelations are made (especially the true identity of the Queen of Hearts, didn't see that one coming) and the episode does such a great job setting up what is to come and makes fans feel excited. It is not even the season finale, but is done in a way that feels like it and is the episode up to this point that most advances the plot.

Visually, "Queen of Hearts" is a very handsomely mounted episode, the best looking episode since "The Doctor". the settings and costumes are both colourful and atmospheric, not too dark or garish and never cookie-cutter. It is photographed beautifully too. The effects are not as sloppy here. The music is haunting, ethereal and cleverly used with a memorable main theme.

Humour, mysterious intrigue, charm and pathos are beautifully balanced, the corn and unintentional humour seen in the previous three episodes are not just toned down or minimalized, they are also not obvious. Some of the best lines come from Hook. The story is beautifully paced and compelling, giving every character a crucial role, showing good development to Regina, a delightful chemistry between Hook and Cora and with a lot happening without trying to do too much and still keeping focused. Aurora still needs to be more interesting but because everything else is done so well this isn't as obvious or as problematic as in her previous appearances.

Of the uniformly great performances, the standouts are Lana Parrilla's Regina/Evil Queen at her most conflicted, Colin O'Donaghue managing to make Hook even more nefarious than in "Into the Deep" and Barbara Herschey's Cora succeeding in out-bitching Regina. They are helped by that they are the most interesting characters here.

In summary, wonderful. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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Release Date:

2 December 2012 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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