Finally, the first days of The Curse are revealed and we all got to see Regina's revenge in all its glory. Of course, revenge turned out to be not quite as satisfying as Regina thought it'd be, and yet another attempt to start a family fizzled. So what mysterious clues were hidden in this episode? Let's take a look!
At the beginning of the episode, we're introduced to Kurt and Owen Flynn. The father and son's last name is a reference to Kevin and Sam Flynn of the Tron films. ONCE series creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz are fans of the franchise and the writers of the second film, TRON: Legacy.
And speaking of Tron, a billboard for the Encom HS series 50 computer is prominently displayed in the foreground outside of Billy’s garage when Regina tries to convince him to force the Flynns to stay in town. The sign reads, “Make 1983 the start of your personal digital revolution!” That's another reference to the series: Encom is the technology corporation that Kevin and Sam Flynn work at in those films.
Also during that opening camp scene, young Owen Flynn is snuggled up in a Return of the Jedi sleeping bag, another franchise the show creators are big fans of.
And while Owen is a Star Wars fan, his dad Kurt later tells Regina he's from “New Jersey, home of the Boss.” Adam Horowitz is a big fan of Bruce Springsteen.
When Regina meets Owen, the first thing he asks her is if she likes apple pancakes, a nod to the Evil Queen’s weapon of choice.
As I said, we're finally seeing the first days of Regina's revenge. During the flashback, we realize that every day was virtually identical in cursed Storybrooke. To that end, the lesson that Mary Margaret is giving to her students when Regina visits her at the school is the same exact one she gave way back in the pilot episode.
Speaking of that cursed Storybrooke flashback, it's set in 1983 and you'll see all sorts of details about that year if you look closely enough. For example, just before Regina meets Owen and Kurt at Granny’s Diner, you can catch a glimpse of a Storybrooke Daily Mirror with the headline “Reagan: Marines Will be Staying in Beirut.” That refers to the infamous bombing of American and French troops in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War in 1983.
And what trip through Storybrooke Secrets would be complete without a trip to Mr. Gold's Pawnshop? When Regina visits Mr. Gold in the flashback he is polishing a teakettle. This is a subtle reference to the character Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast. Perhaps Gold is subconsciously thinking of Belle...
Did you see something we missed? Let us know in the comments!