As Storybrooke’s residents go, many are recognized as the beloved characters in long told fairy tales.
However, one character who has always felt slightly off was Dr. Whale.
Throughout season 1, Dr. Whale seemed to hover on the sidelines, his character gave off an air of being an outsider. On S2 E5 viewers get an “aha” moment when it is revealed who Dr. Whale really is, and where he fits in the story. If he even fits at all.
It seems that Regina is staying clear of magic, so that she can redeem herself in her son Henry’s eyes. So much so that Regina goes to therapy and actually opens up to Dr. Archer.
As the story moves on, viewers are able to catch a glimpse of how Regina was in her more innocent days. Regina was not always intent on being evil, but was guided into being evil by none other than the nefarious, Rumpelstiltskin. Her need for power was filled with good intentions.
Regina wishes to resurrect the love her of life, Daniel, who was killed by her mother, Cora.
Rumpelstiltskin explains that not even magic can raise the dead, a distraught Regina loses hope. The Mad Hatter,who conveniently dropped in during her training with Rumpelstiltskin, reveals he knows someone who might help her. This person is not from their land but another world. Regina is desperate and will try anything.
In the present, James is still working to find a portal that will help him get Snow and Emma home. Dr. Whaley approaches James and insists they need to talk. Dr. Whale wants James to help him get back to his world, James is taken aback, not sure what world Dr. Whale is speaking of.
Not satisfied by the answers given to him by James, Dr. Whaley barges into Dr. Archer’s office, interrupting Regina’s session. Dr.Whale demands she use magic to get him back to his world… to his brother.
Regina tells Dr.Whale she does not have the power to send anyone anywhere, enraged, Dr. Whaley leaves, but feels Regina is lying.
In another realm, our four heroines are returning to base camp after Cora’s ambush at the castle. Upon their return, Emma, Snow, Mulan, and Princess Aurora find everyone in the camp has been slain. Snow recognizes it as the work of Cora.
The women hear groans from beneath clutter and find a survivor. The survivor is none other than the devious Hook!
Hook claims to have only survived by hiding among the dead. But Emma’s, with her uncanny talent to detect deceit, knows Hook is lying. Hook is tied to a tree. Emma demands the truth or she will leave him for the ogres.
Hook’s no dummy, he spills the truth of his identity as well as Cora’s plans. Cora is searching for an enchanted compass that will open a portal to Storybrooke. Loyal to no one, Hook offers to help Emma and Snow back to Storybrooke, as long as they promise to bring him to Storybrooke as well.
You tell me one thing, and what ever you say I better believe it. Why does Captain Hook want to go to Storybrooke? – Emma
To exact revenge on the man who took my hand, Rumpelstiltskin – Hook
Meanwhile, Regina meets the man who will help her bring back Daniel. Surprise, it’s Dr. Whale, except not the Dr. Whale viewers have come to know from Storybrooke. He’s a doctor alright, and it now becomes clear who Dr. Whale really is – meet Dr. Frankenstein.
The dear doctor is as obsessed with bringing back the dead as Regina is, and it seems he has been trying to bring back his dead brother for a very long time.
In a suspenseful moment outdoors, during a thunderstorm, Dr. Frankenstein (Whale) performs his procedure inside a white tent. There is a sense of recognition, as viewers see Dr. Frankenstein’s silhouette , a spooky outline more pronounced by the lit lamps inside the tent. Lightening strikes, illuminating the night sky, the experiment has failed, and with it any innocence Regina had in her heart.
Viewers then learn that Rumpelstiltskin had a role in everything that occurred between Dr. Frankenstein, Mad Hatter, and Regina.
In Storybrooke, Regina goes to find Dr. Whaley to speak to him. Instead, she finds his lab has been ransacked. Regina finds Dr. Whaley underneath some debris and his arm had been ripped off (ouch!).
Dr. Whaley, desperate to get back to his land, does the unthinkable. Whaley breaks into Regina’s vault to get access to an enchanted Daniel and a heart, to finish what he should have in Fairytale Land.
Except no one predicted (or did they?) Dr. Whale would have created a monster. Daniel is alive, but not the same Daniel from earlier episodes. He is out of control and no longer able to control his thoughts.
James and Regina find themselves racing to the stables where they confront Daniel trying to hurt Henry. James wants Regina to use magic on Daniel, but she pleads with him to give her the chance to speak to Daniel.
In a small window of lucidity, Daniel begs Regina to let him go. Daniel is not able to control his thoughts, and his body is wracked with pain. Daniel tells Regina she will learn to love another.
With deep regret, Regina uses magic and turns Daniel to ashes.
Rundown time: Dr. Whale turns to Mr. Gold to repair his arm with magic. Whaley still believes he can bring his brother back from the dead.
Emma and the crew, along with their prisoner, Hook, follow the trail for the enchanted compass. The trail leads them to a clearing where they come upon a bean stalk. Hook informs the women that the climb is not what they need to worry about – it’s the giant at the top.
The episode ends and Dr. Frankenstein (Whale) goes home to use the procured glowing heart he received as payment from Rumpelstiltskin. He inserts the heart, lightening brightens the laboratory, and the figure under the sheets move.
It’s alive. – Dr. Frankenstein on the creation of his monster.
Will Dr. Whale ever return to his world? Is Regina actually turning good? Will Hook keep his promise and help retrieve the enchanted compass?
These are the question viewers are left with at the end of S2 E5. Season 1 and 2 are available on itunes and Amazon Instant Video.