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'Once Upon a Time' recap: Season 3, Episode 16 - 'It's Not Easy Being Green'

By Amanda Levine,

In the magical Sunday night episode of ABC’s Once Upon a Time, viewers were able to learn a bit about a few of the characters’ pasts and what actions of theirs led to the events in their current world.

Ever since the mid-season premiere began in March, writers of the show introduced a whole new plot line and a lot of new characters. The beginning of the season focused on the world of Peter Pan in Neverland and now this half of the season focuses on the Wicked Witch of the West and Oz.

In Sunday’s episode “It’s Not Easy Being Green,” viewers learn about the past of the Wicked Witch, whose real name is Zelena, and how she got so wicked and green.

The episode starts off in the past with a baby Zelena being abandoned by her mother and then being picked up by an old peasant and his wife who agree to keep the baby, although the old peasant is terrified of her apparent magical powers.

Growing up her whole life being told to hide her magic and being hated and resented by her adopted father, Zelena leaves her home for good one day after her father calls her wicked for using her magic. She goes off in search of the great and terrible Wizard of Oz to find out about her past and her real family.

Once she gets to Oz and speaks with the wizard it is revealed to her that her real mother, Cora, abandoned her and that her sister is actually Regina, the Evil Queen. Zelena also sees that her sister is being trained by the powerful trickster Rumplestiltskin to carry out and perform an evil curse he is creating. This makes Zelena quite jealous and angry since her whole life she was always told to hide her magic, while Regina is utilizing hers. The wizard gives her a pair of magical silver slippers to travel anywhere she wishes so she decides to pay her sister a visit.

Once Zelena gets to the Enchanted Forest she goes to visit her sister but runs into Rumplestiltskin and reveals to him she has magic as well and that she is Regina’s sister. Rumplestiltskin agrees to train Zelena as well but also continues to train Regina at the same time which makes Zelena extremely jealous of her sister; this jealousy that she holds begins to slowly turn her skin green with envy.

The show did a great job of cleverly showing how the Wicked Witch gains her iconic green skin.

Back in the modern, real world in Storybrooke, Maine, Zelena is wreaking havoc among the residents as well since they are all aware now of her secret identity. She is using Rumplestiltskin as her weapon of mass destruction ever since she got a hold of his dagger that controls him. She can manipulate him in any way she desires, something she is using as a huge threat to the rest of the fairytale characters.

She reveals to Regina that she is her sister (in the real world, Regina has no recollection of her sister) and she challenges her to a duel of magic, witch against witch. During the battle it seems as if Regina is about to lose when the Wicked Witch goes to take out her heart, however Regina has beaten Zelena to the punch and has removed her own heart and left it with her soul mate, Robin Hood, who is guarding it for her.

Regina tells Zelena that it is the number-one rule in witch duels, to never bring your heart to a witch fight, something that she learned from their mother. Zelena becomes even more enraged that Regina brought up their mother since Regina wasn’t abandoned like Zelena was and flies off on her broomstick with an obvious threat of coming back to seek her vengeance.

Overall the episode was a great insight into the backgrounds of some of the characters and how each story line is tied together. It is also hinting at a future battle between Zelena and Regina which should be interesting to see.

 
 

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