Once Upon A Time uses powerful magic to mean-girl Regina

So this past weekend marked the return of Once Upon A Time. The show had made a lot of noise before the holiday season about how everything would change, now that Cora and Hook were in the real world. But instead of showing terrified fairytale creatures heading for high ground in the wake of Cora's bloody revenge plot, the series leaned on the crutch of a boring old plot device we've seen a million times over.

And then everyone was a total dick to Regina, YET AGAIN. My kingdom for a 10-episode season of Once Upon A Time. Spoilers ahead...

Once Upon A Time uses powerful magic to mean-girl Regina

As I mentioned earlier, Hook is back! But we're not sure who THIS guy is. Where's your eyeliner, bub?

Cora and Hook land in Storybrooke, turn someone into a fish and go straight into hiding so they can make plans for their future. OK, good plan, we get it. But then Cora spends the rest of the episode trying to push Regina off an emotional cliff so when Mommy and Daughter are reunited Regina will totally let go of the grudge she's been carrying around for her entire life.

Cue everyone acting like a complete asshole to Regina. Except for Henry (which was a twist from the lunch diss we saw in the last episode). Emma, who has suddenly decided to be a full time Mom now — which Regina quite fairly points out — won't let Henry sleep over at her house. Something Henry has already been doing because the Sheriff can't keep more than one thought in his head, and most of that space is reserved for "oooh horses." But now NO MORE! The abuse snowballs, until Jiminy Cricket actually reveals confidential information from Regina's therapy sessions to Emma. NOT COOL. This all leads up to Cora showing up in Regina's clothes to fake murder Jiminy. The town has a field day and decides that Regina is a murder.

Once Upon A Time uses powerful magic to mean-girl Regina

Oh and Snow and the Prince were having sex in the middle of an apartment with no privacy?

Once Upon A Time uses powerful magic to mean-girl Regina

Meanwhile there were some flashbacks. On the positive side, this is probably the best outfit we've seen Regina in to date — on the negative side, UUUUUUGH. What a waste of a reveal. Regina sent everyone to terrible, horrible Maine, because she couldn't kill Snow White in the fairytale world. I'm calling a mountain of bullshit on that. I love this show, but they really need to stop just making up shit that only works five feet in front of their face whenever they need help getting out of the corner they've written themselves into. There was a curse created just for this flashback, which in turn is the motivation behind the entire series. And a magic curse that means Regina can't stab Snow is just NOT GOOD ENOUGH. I was way more on board when the black curse was designed merely as punishment for the whole terrible town, not just a loop hole so Regina could kill Snow. Heck she doesn't even kill her right away. Why? Who cares, it's not important.

Overall, I could have done without this episode. Next week Hook faces off with Mr. Gold and that is something I can get into. But all this dumping on Regina, who just saved Snow and Emma's life — it's just two much turnaround, too fast. The townspeople have become cartoon sheep. And we've just about had it with the swinging door stances for each character and emotional bandwagoning. This week you're supposed to like Regina, but next week hate her. Up and down and over and out. She's a murderer, either treat her like one or stop wasting people's time with this emotionally manipulative mean girl nonsense.