So as it turns out, Regina has mommy issues. Doesn't that figure?
The official site has a recap here.
First of all, a quick note on the casting: Nice choice for young Snow White! Bailee Madison actually looks a lot like Ginnifer Goodwin -- and she's also a solid little actress.
But now to the story we've all been waiting for -- i.e., why does Regina hate Snow White? Well, as I note above, it all goes back to Regina's mother. It doesn't surprise me at all that Cora was a frigid social climber who thought more about her daughter's status than her daughter's happiness. I mean, Regina had to have learned that power obsession from somewhere. It's also interesting to examine the difference between Regina and, say, Prince Charming. Many times, James was separated from his "true love" -- but since Snow White was still alive, he could always hope he'd find her again. Obviously, this was not the case for Regina. Cora, as we see, destroyed her hope in the cruelest way possible. It's no wonder Regina is now so bitter.
Additionally, the manner in which Snow White betrayed Regina? That was wholly believable. I can certainly see a well-meaning, naive child making that kind of terrible mistake. Too bad Regina can't find it in her heart to forgive. Evidently, she has buried her kinder, gentler side under so much hatred, anger and sin that only a full-on miracle will successfully unearth it.
As for the Storybrooke side of the plot, Katherine's reappearance was certainly a surprise. Based on the previews for the next episode, I'm guessing Rumpelstiltskin was behind that -- which, once again, prompts me to wonder what he's playing at. Why is he toying with Regina? What is his ultimate goal? I just wish we didn't have to wait three weeks to find out!
At last! Regina's behavior finally makes sense! The need to tell this particular story has been present since day one, and I think the writers did an excellent job -- especially on the characterization front.
See my above casting note.
The writers really like to pit love against naked power on this show; again and again and again, they keep circling back to that concept. I don't mind, though. That's a perennial theme in literature for a reason.