Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
2 user 1 critic

It's Not Easy Being Green 

After Neal is laid to rest, Zelena challenges Regina to a fight to the death, as flashbacks show Zelena's past and the reason behind her hatred for Regina.


Mario Van Peebles


Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ginnifer Goodwin ... Mary Margaret Blanchard
Jennifer Morrison ... Emma Swan
Lana Parrilla ... Regina Mills / Evil Queen
Josh Dallas ... David Nolan
Emilie de Ravin ... Belle French
Colin O'Donoghue ... Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones
Michael Raymond-James ... Neal Cassidy (credit only)
Jared Gilmore ... Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
Robert Carlyle ... Mr. Gold / Rumplestiltskin
Beverley Elliott ... Granny Lucas
Christopher Gorham ... Wizard of Oz / Walsh
Rebecca Mader ... Zelena
Sean Maguire ... Robin Hood
Keegan Connor Tracy ... Mother Superior
Adrian Hough ... Woodcutter


As Neal is laid to rest, Zelena challenges Regina to a fight to the death. Back in the land of Oz, a jealous Zelena discovers that she has a sister and that Rumplestiltskin is training her. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

6 April 2014 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


At 22:31 Rumplestiltskin says "Ding Dong" when Zelena uses her evil magic to find him. This is a reference to the song 'Ding song the witch is dead' from the wizard of Oz See more »


Emma Swan: It doesn't matter if Zelena is your sister or not. She wants you dead. Any idea why?
Regina Mills: I never even met her before today.
Emma Swan: Doesn't mean you didn't do something to piss her off.
Tinker Bell: You did manage to step on a lot of toes back in our world.
Regina Mills: Well, none of them were green.
See more »


References Sesame Street: Episode #1.87 (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

How the Wicked Witch came to be
4 April 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.

"It's Not Easy Being Green" is one of the best episodes of a solid Season 3 where the lesser episodes up to this point have not been less than decent and the best episodes have been wonderful ("Going Home" especially was something of a special episode). It's occasionally a bit over-the-top, but that is pretty much the only thing that was noticeably not quite so strong about "It's Not Easy Being Green".

Am continuing to love the character of Zelena/The Wicked Witch, who made a very big impression when she was first introduced, she is a very interesting and well written character. Peter Pan left very big shoes to fill as the villain of the first half of the season, Zelena/The Wicked Witch fills them pretty brilliantly. With "It's Not Easy Being Green" being centred mainly around her, she is the most interesting she's been so far and the episode achieves a fine balance between her villainy and how she came to be that way, she is very believable as a villain but it's not hard to see how she came to be the way she is and sympathy even is felt for her. The fairy-tale flashbacks are among the most illuminating and character advancing of any flashback of the show up to this point.

Love the character relationships, especially between Zelena and Regina, one that is not as one-dimensional as one would think, and Zelena and the Wizard of Oz (another character the episode does a particularly good job on, quite a surprising twist on his character). Regina is fantastically written here, not just with Zelena (but especially) but also with Robin Hood. Rumplestiltskin has a mini-monologue that resonates emotionally.

Have no qualms with the acting, with the obvious standout being a spell-binding Rebecca Mader. Lana Parrilla is a very close second, while Christopher Gorham, Robert Carlyle and Sean Maguire make strong impressions.

Furthermore, "It's Not Easy Being Green" is a very handsomely mounted episode visually, the settings and costumes are both colourful and atmospheric, not too dark or garish and never cookie-cutter. It is photographed beautifully too. The music is haunting, ethereal and cleverly used with a memorable main theme.

Writing has the right balance of humour, pathos, mystery and intrigue. Zelena, Wizard of Oz and Regina especially.

All in all, wonderful. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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