Subtitle: and all of Swan Queen Nation collectively had a heart attack
We start in the Queen’s castle with the Wicked Witch pawing through Regina’s jewels and dresses. One gem could feed a village notes the Witch and she just leaves them to gather dust in her castle. It reminds me of the teens who break into celebrities’ houses to try on their clothes and in fact, that’s what Witchy does next.
Witch: I’m hot. Fly monkey.
Tromping through the woods…
Red! RED!! How we have missed your beautiful face. Hers is the first of many welcome reunion glimpses this hour. Red points out that Regina looks blue and if she hadn’t tried to kill them so often she’d feel bad for her. Which I guess is Red’s way of suggesting Snow go cheer her up.
Snow: Thinking of Henry?
Regina: I’m always thinking of Henry.
Regina: But I’m also thinking of a plan because after Neverland realized I run this ship. Tunnels!
Regina: Tunnels to the castle, magically sealed against intruders.
Snow: But then…
Regina: Magically sealed BY ME so I can break in. And then I can shut off the shield and you can destroy the death star.
Charming: Going alone is foolish.
Regina: Who’s more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?
Snowing: We really don’t know.
Seriously, Snow spends most of this episode being confused (which is also just Charming’s natural state). Suddenly a flying monkey attacks! The heroes point at it in confusion and/or duck and cover while Regina knocks Roland out of its path and then magic’s it into a plush toy. High five to everybody who guessed Regina’s maternal instincts would pave the way for Outlaw Queen.
Forward in Storybrooke, the Charmings plus Hook are having a family meeting.
Snow: I don’t understand anything about anything.
Emma: Ten bucks says it’s Regina.
Snow: Idk, she seems just as confused to be back in Storybrooke as the rest of us.
Emma: How are you sure you even left?
Snowing: Good question.
Hook: You did. I was there with you in the Enchanted Forest. We hung out with Phillip and Aurora.
Charming: Wait, how do you remember if we don’t?
Hook: I bounced before the new new curse hit. I was trying to move on with my life when all of a sudden a bird showed up with a note you were all in trouble and one dose of magic memory potion.
Snow: From who?
Hook: I thought it was you.
Charming: It does sound like you.
A handful of dwarves bust in to announce half their group is missing. Charming explains it’s not just their memories that are missing, people are also missing. Emma asks about Neal, but no one’s seen him. He could be one of the ones missing or he could have escaped the curse like Hook.
Hook: Don’t worry, Swan, they won’t kill him until the finale.
Emma: There’s only one way to get memories back.
Snowing: Can you spell it out for us?
Emma: Find out who took them.
Back in the Enchanted Forest the motley crew are also trying to figure out who is attacking them.
Snow: It looked like a monkey with wings.
Regina: Probably because that’s exactly what it was.
Snow: Oh. Really?
Belle: I know where they’re from! I read about it in a book! Oz!
Snow: Oz is real?
Belle: Did you get hit on the head or something?
Regina: The bookworm is right and that means our enemy is: The Wicked Witch.
Grumpy: East or West?
Snow: Why would that matter?
Grumpy: One you drop a house on and the other you throw water at.
Belle: You read it too?
They all decide to go with Regina’s infiltration scheme; when the barrier is down they’ll attack.
Back in Storybrooke:
RUBY! She gives Henry his hot cocoa. With cinnamon because people being surprised that other people know the Charming Family Recipe never gets old. Mary Margaret and David pop in to re-meet Henry. Emma introduces them as old friends.
Henry: From where?
Snow: Phoenix! I remembered where you were born! Ten points to Hufflepuff!
Emma: ….Phoenix and now here.
Henry: But the only time you spent in Phoenix was in jail.
Snow: We were cell mates!
Emma and Charming: …
Snow: I was arrested for banditry!
Charming: She’s so cute.
Emma: Ten points from Hufflepuff.
Henry: Is that even a word?
They all agree that everyone makes mistakes and what’s important is what you do with your second chances. And on cue Regina appears and drops her cup at the sight of Henry. Emma jumps up and pulls her into a tete a tete.
Regina: He doesn’t remember me!
Emma: He doesn’t remember anyone.
Regina: But you do.
Emma: Hook gave me a potion but there was not enough for Henry.
Regina: That’s convenient.
Emma: I think it’s cute because in the first season he was the only one who knew the truth and now he’s the only one who doesn’t.
Regina: You think I cast this curse?
Emma: Maybe. I’m asking around.
Regina: ….Your plan is to ask everyone about the curse and use your lie detection super power to decide who’s guilty?
Regina: We’re doomed.
Meanwhile at the town line, Robin Hood – who is dead sexy in his modern wear – and his merry men are looking for the missing people when John is scooped up by yet another flying monkey. Emma and David rush onto the scene Sheriff Family Style.
Emma: So, the missing persons are being carried off by a flying monster when they get too close to the town line?
Hook: Looks like the monster you were going to marry.
Charming: You were going to get married?
Hook: The important word in that sentence was monster.
Emma: The important part of my sentence is missing persons. Like Neal. David, search the woods. Take him –
Charming: Captain Hook.
Emma: And him –
Charming: Robin Hood.
Emma: And them –
Charming: His Merry Men!
Emma: Just go, okay?
Emma decides talking to everyone one by one isn’t the most expedient want to suss out the truth so she calls a town meeting. The meeting is full of friendly faces who are feeling super unfriendly toward Regina.
Granny: It’s Regina.
Grumpy: It’s Regina.
Archie: It’s Regina and she’ll feel better when she admits it.
Belle: It’s Regina and I am uninterested in her feeling better.
Whale: It’s Regina.
Regina: It’s not me.
Emma: It’s Regina.
Regina: Fine! Evil Queen Activate!
She makes the earth shake and room quake and disappears in a puff of purple smoke. The Wicked Witch smiles from her seat in the audience.
Back in time, back in the Enchanted Forest, Robin has followed Regina to her secret entrance. Outlaw Queen Ahoy!
Regina: You’re not coming with me.
Robin: I’m coming with you.
Regina: I didn’t ask for help.
Robin: We’ve been through this. I don’t wait to be asked.
Forward in Storybrooke Emma walks in on Regina and reveals they set up the town meeting battle together! Emma hands over the potion bottle; Regina plans to reverse engineer the memory potion! Swan Queen Ahoy!
Regina: How do you know this isn’t all an elaborate scheme to get my son back?
Emma: My superpower may be unreliable but it always works on you. I always know when you’re lying and this time you’re not. You didn’t do it.
Regina: Even though you know I can’t live without him?
Emma: There you go telling the truth again.
Back to the tunnels of the past, Outlaw Queen are trying to compete with that by bonding over lost loved ones and owning up to mistakes.
Robin: I …inadvertently…got my wife killed and left my son motherless.
Regina: This is crypt full of hearts I stole from so many people I can’t remember who they are and the coffin I wanted to put my mother in but she wasn’t actually dead and I cast a curse to give myself a better life and everybody else a different one and then I had to reverse it and give up my son to his other mother and now I am sonless and really cut up about it.
Robin: The point is I get you.
Regina: The point is how did the Witch break my blood spell?!
Robin thinks maybe they should turn back and regroup but Regina is a woman on a mission.
Back at Granny’s Mary Margaret is reading up on baby care and tries to get Henry interested in it but he is a tween boy and also glued to his handheld video system this entire episode. Cue the Wicked Witch popping into the picture and introducing herself as Zelena, a midwife, who missed out on the first curse and knows nothing of Storybrooke but knows everything about babies.
Snow finds this entirely unsuspisous and reasonable because she is completely clueless this entire episode. Meanwhile Charming, Hook and Robin find Little John in the woods with a monkey bite.
In the past, Robin and Regina make it to her chambers and he discovers her real goal: a vial of sleeping curse she intends to use on herself. She puts the solution on her hairpin, which is an AWESOME reference to the original Snow White fairy tale, and magically glues Robin’s feet to the floor so he can’t stop her.
Regina: Don’t worry, I’ll turn off the shield first so Snowing can be victorious.
Robin: You’re not really Obi-Wan, you don’t need to die!
Regina: This isn’t an ending, it’s an eternal middle. The sleep can be broken with true love’s kiss so I’ll be waiting.
Robin: You glued me to the floor!
Regina: I’ll be waiting for
Forward in the Mayor’s Office, Emma is waiting for Regina to finish her work.
Unfortunately the reverse potion doesn’t work and Regina flings it against the wall. Even more unfortunately they used their last drop and can’t try again. Alchemy failed so it’s time to turn to Emma’s bag of tricks. They will make it look like Regina is close to succeeding with her memory potion and that will draw out the real villain. Regina knows just who to tell.
Little John is taken to the hospital. I did not realize how much I missed Storybrooke until this episode became a Storybrooke’s Greatest Hits album. Whale is set to start surgery when Little John turns into a monkey and flies away.
Then this happened.
And all of Swan Queen Nation collectively had a heart attack.
Regina: So now what?
Emma: Now we wait.
Regina: Can we make out?
Emma: Not intentionally.
Regina: Why did you come back?
Emma: Henry would have.
They notice a light on in Regina’s office and run to catch the curse caster. Regina sealed her office with a blood lock that is totally unbreakable except we know that the Witch already broke it in the past, and does so again, disappearing into a puff of green smoke.
Back in the castle, Regina turns off the shield and prepares to sleep herself, but the Witch has other ideas.
Zelena: I captured your castle and broke your blood lock and stole your clothes and you didn’t even want to say hello?
Regina: I have more important things to do.
Zelena: You are not allowed to curse yourself, I want to curse you!
Regina: Can you get to the point?
Zelena: Cora is also my mother! I am your sister! Your sister who was also trained by Rumplestiltskin! They both loved you more than me and I am really angry about it!
Regina: They both ruined my life and they both died so.
Zelena: I will take everything that matters to you!
Regina: I already gave up everything that matters to me so.
Zelena: I will destroy you!
And she hops on her broomstick and flies away. Now, Zelena could be telling the truth, it would make sense and everyone on this show is related to everyone. Or Zelena could be lying – it could be a super complicated ingenious plan to get what she wants – and the audience are meant to fall for it because everyone on this show is related to everyone. I’m thinking maybe Zelena is Cora’s sister instead of Cora’s daughter and Regina’s sister. But we shall see.
Anyway, Regina heads back to Robin and sets him free.
Robin: You didn’t go through with it!
Regina: You were right, I found something to live for.
Regina: Someone to destroy.
Robin: And then me?
Emma brings Regina home to her parents to meet her son because this is the most Swan Queen episode ever. Henry tears himself away from his video game long enough to have an awkward reintroduction and get the promise of a town tour.
Hook and Charming return with news of people turning into flying monkeys.
Snow: Like, monkeys with wings?
Hook: Seriously, get your brain checked.
Regina: Flying monkeys, green smoke…it’s the Wicked Witch of Oz!
Emma: Oz is real, too?
Hook: You would think this would stop being a surprise.
Emma: But we’re not in Kansas!
We follow Zelena into her storm cellar and find she has one more familiar face for us: Rumplestiltskin locked in a cage.
So, are Zelena and Regina really sisters (to be fair, their names rhyme)? Has Rumple lost his last marble? When will Robin’s Lion tattoo be revealed? Why is Snow so dim lately? Why is Henry glued to his video game? Where is Mulan?! What are your burning questions?