Regina from ‘Once Upon a Time’ Deserved a Better Redemption Arc

She’s an evil queen, a powerful mayor, and a pretty lousy mother. Throughout the ABC drama series, Once Upon a Time, though, Regina has a few opportunities for redemption. For some fans, the apologies don’t make up for her life of questionable choices. 

Here’s what we know about the Evil Queen from this series, now available for streaming on Disney+.

The Evil Queen appears in the ABC series, ‘Once Upon a Time’

This ABC drama series tells viewers what would happen if fairytale characters live in the real world. Snow White became a school teacher. Her mother, the Evil Queen is the mayor of the town, as one of the two people responsible for “the curse.”

After plenty of adventures, the final episode of Once Upon a Time premiered during 2018, closing out season 7. In it, Regina Mills finally gets her happily ever after, but, of course, all magic comes at a price.

She burned plenty of bridges throughout this series and even though she finally gets a happy ending, her redemption arc isn’t exactly satisfying for some viewers. 

ABC's 'Once Upon a Time' Episode Titled 'Wake Up Call'
ABC’s ‘Once Upon a Time’ Episode Titled ‘Wake Up Call’ | Jack Rowand/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

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Some fans aren’t exactly satisfied with Regina’s character arch 

Fans learn exactly why Regina is called the “Evil Queen,” and it’s somewhat justified. With a horrible upbringing and the loss of her true love at the hands of her mother, it makes sense that she would seek revenge in some shape. Unfortunately, that manifests mostly in selfish acts.

She makes herself the mayor of Storybrooke and treats her adopted son, Henry, with the kindness she never gave Snow White. In enacting the curse and making Henry her “son,” she not only acted out of her own self-interest, she just made Emma more powerful.

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Does Regina ever apologize for casting a spell on an entire town?

Even after she begins to treat Snow White better toward the second season, there’s a serious lack of remorse from this character. According to Once Upon a Time Fandom, she very rarely apologizes for her actions, even when she recognizes that she was wrong.

“The only apologies were to Marco (totally insincere), Belle (which was a manipulation,) and the EQ’s apology to Snow White (which was too little too late,)” the author states of Regina’s growth throughout the series.

When this character starts dating Robin Hood, again, things somewhat turn around for Regina. Thanks to the power of true love, this new crush starts to melt Regina’s cold heart, but even that is short-lived and doesn’t really teach a powerful lesson about why people should change.  

All episodes of the drama series, Once Upon a Time, though at first available on Netflix, now made the switch to Disney’s streaming platform. To learn more about Disney+ and to subscribe, visit their website.