Once Upon A Time Season 2: Who’s The Evilest Of Them All?

Season two of Once Upon A Time has brought us many awesome things including present day fairy tale world shenanigans, Charming bonding with Henry, a scary cool Dementor…err, I mean Wraith, and a heartfelt reunion between Jefferson and Grace. There is no doubt about it, this season is off to a fantastic start, but there is one tiny development that has me worried about the fate of Storybrooke’s newly awakened citizens: the town is being flooded with villains.

Now every fairy tale needs a big bad, but Storybrooke almost has enough villains to start up its own branch of the Evil League of Evil. Things weren’t quite as dire in season one when the only villains that posed an immediate threat were Regina and Mr. Gold, and their machinations were always laced with just enough moral ambiguity to make us love to hate them, rather than hate them outright. Things are dicier this year. With the curse broken, characters like King George and Cora suddenly pose a very real threat to the characters we love. They’re not just back, they’re back and ready to make up for 28 years worth of lost havoc-wreaking time. Then there’s Captain Hook, the new villain in town and the wild card. The promo for this Sunday’s episode, “The Crocodile” proclaims him to be “more evil and more despicable” than Rumpelstiltskin. Sounds alarming, yes?

One of these characters will likely emerge as season two’s central antagonist before long, but I’m not prepared to completely rule out a team-up just yet either, especially not when they all share at least one common enemy or goal. In most cases that goal seems to be making the Charming family suffer– honestly, the way things are going, Henry might as well paint a big, red target on his back now because his fake great-grandfather and adopted great-grandmother both appear to have plans for him.

With all of that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the current big bad candidates and evaluate their threat level to the good citizens of Storybrooke.

Regina
 

LANA PARRILLA Once Upon a Time

Regina used to be the baddest lady in the kingdom. She didn’t get that “Evil Queen” moniker for nothing; to name just a few of her crimes, she committed patricide, released the curse that trapped everyone in Storybrooke and crushed the poor Huntsman’s heart with her bare hands. However, the more we see of Regina’s backstory the easier it is to understand her actions. She wants all of the power because she knows what it is to be powerless. She is also self aware enough to understand that she is living the very life she wanted to avoid and is taking steps to redeem herself in the eyes of her son.

Threat Level: Low for the good guys, sky high for mommy dearest and Rumpelstiltskin. I believe Regina is committed to rehabilitating her image enough to earn Henry’s love, but I also believe she won’t be able to resist whipping out that spell book when necessary, and with Cora desperate to make her way to Storybrooke, Regina is going to need to return to magic sooner rather than later.

Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold
 

Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 2 We Are Both (3)

Rumpelstiltskin is flirting with redemption this season as well, thanks to his his reunion with Belle. His commitment seems shakier than Regina’s though, especially when we take into account the fact that he released magic in Storybrooke. Much of his motivation comes from a desire to find his son, but like Regina, he also hates to be rendered powerless. A powered up Rumpelstiltskin is a dangerous thing though. We’ve seen that he has meddled in the lives of nearly every character on the show with disastrous results. In fact, he’s responsible for pushing Regina over to the darkside.

Threat Level: Unclear. Even with Belle by his side, Rumpelstiltskin is unpredictable. He’s like a con man, it’s hard to trust him and equally hard not to. I blame Robert Carlyle for being so darn brilliant in the role.

Cora
 

Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 2 We Are Both (4)

Regina and Rumpelstiltskin both have redeeming qualities. It’s easy to believe that deep down there is still good in them. But Cora? Cora is the worst. She’s a controlling, monstrous human being who made her daughter’s life a living hell. Maybe she too has a tragic past that explains her current state of evilness, but it’s going to have to be a ten-hankie sob story to make her look sympathetic.

Threat Level: High. Very high. If/when Cora makes her way to Storybrooke she’s going to be gunning for Regina, and by extension, Henry, because nothing would hurt Regina more than losing her son.

King George
 

Charming’s fake dad keeps finding new and innovative ways to express his awfulness. In the most recent episode, we discovered he tricked Snow into drinking a potion to make her barren. Why? Because he wants to destroy Charming’s happiness and he doesn’t even have a decent reason to do it. At least Regina’s vendetta against Snow has a smidgeon of logic behind it, but King George has been wrecking Charming’s life since the day he met him. Now that he remembers that he’s a terrible person, he’ll no doubt continue his pet project to make Charming miserable.

Threat Level: Medium. On his own, George will most likely just be a nuisance to Charming and Henry, but if he ends up teaming up with Cora he could become a much bigger threat.

Captain Hook
 

Ah, Captain Hook. Well, if he’s anything like his Disney counterpart, he’ll be a menacing sort, and the promo did proclaim him to be scarier than Rumpelstiltskin. We’ll have to wait until Sunday to see him in action, but if he’s as deadly as he is gorgeous, the people of Storybrooke are screwed.

Threat Level: Yet to be determined.

 

Which villain do you think has earned the title of the evilest of them all? Did I leave any villains (or potential villains) off the list? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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