Subtitle: Emma is a brat and the plot is explained to everyone Dumbledore style.
We start in the Enchanted Forest
—with a now familiar shot:
The horseman is Belle, which I love. Belle has been well served this second half of the third season, it almost makes up for her being such a prop for the first half. Almost. Anyway, the royals are having a meeting and it goes as well as it always does.
Regina: Attack! Destroy! Crush! Kill!
Snow: But making a baby announcement will give people hope.
Regina: Or give my evil sister an opportune moment to kill you both.
Aurora: Does anyone know why I’m less pregnant than Snow is?
Regina: Does anyone care? We have to kill my sister!
Belle arrives with the news that Rumple is alive! And Neal is dead. Actually, they are the same person. Whatever, that happened like three episodes ago and I already forgot that Belle was involved (where’s Lumiere?).
Aurora and Phillip come clean that they told Zelena the Storybrooke group returned because she threatened their baby and Zelena pops in to turn them into monkeys and threaten the Charmings’ baby. We flash forward to eight months later – still one month before “now” and Snow’s pregnancy timeline still makes zero sense – and they have moved the meeting to the round table but otherwise nothing has moved forward.
Snow: Why is this happening again?
Snow: An evil sorceress trying to kill my not yet born baby!
Regina: Hey, I was trying to kill you. I love babies. But speaking of, you were warned. By whom?
Regina: I hate my life.
Charming: We should go find him.
Grumpy: We know he’s in his evil fortress, but it’d be a death trap to go in.
Regina: We have Belle. She lived there.
Belle: I don’t know any secret entrances, I was a prisoner.
Robin: I know secret entrances, I broke in once before.
Regina: Stop being useful, I don’t like you.
Grumpy: No one likes you, queenie.
Snow: Shut up everyone. Robin and Regina are both coming with. I ship them hard.
Forward in Storybrooke
Regina and Robin are much more compatible.
They have a cutesy conversation about sharing his heart while hers is trapped before they are caught by Henry. Then they have a sweet conversation about her not being okay that Henry doesn’t remember her – which means they’ve spoken about it – and I am really liking Regina being happy and supported in happiness by someone.
This week’s meeting to discuss the plot takes place in Emma’s Storybrooke B&B room. It goes as well as it always does.
Regina: We have to kill my sister!
Snow: And protect my baby!
Charming: But how?
Snow: Maybe we already know. Maybe that’s why she cast the curse and made us forget what happened. We need to break the curse.
Charming: Emma, that’s your cue.
Emma: I’ve been believing in magic and kissing Henry the whole time I was here.
Regina: It’s switched, we need Henry to believe.
Emma: I don’t want him to believe or remember. I don’t want us to live here. We had a good life in New York.
Snow: You keep saying that.
First season Snow was spinning her wheels in a plot of stops and starts that held back any character development, last season it was Regina, and this season it’s Emma’s turn. I almost believe it’s on purpose. Almost.
Meanwhile Zelena taunts Hook to kiss Emma and steal her magic or she’ll start killing off her loved ones, starting with Henry.
Remember this rose.
Back in Fairytaleland
The dysfunctional siege party approach Rumple’s Castle. Robin stops Regina walking into a trap by setting it off with an arrow and Regina yells at him for daring to shoot near her. As imperious as Mayor Mills can be, Queen Regina is notably harsher in the Enchanted Forest. In Storybrooke she has more freedoms. It’s interesting that Emma and Charming don’t want to stay in Storybrooke but Snow and Regina are happier there.
They find Rumple spinning in his cage and try to get information about Zelena from him, but his brain is addled. Regina thinks it’s useless but Belle won’t give up.
Rumple sends them to find a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn and a slipper as pure as gold. Or something like that.
Forward in Storybrooke
The brain trust continue to argue.
Charming: If only we had a way to tell Henry everything.
Snow: Like a magic book of all our stories?
Regina: It disappeared when Storybrooke disappeared.
Snow: But it appeared out of thin air last time! When Henry needed it!
Regina: He didn’t need it, he had me.
Emma: And he has me now so how about we forget this whole thing and just have hot cocoa?
Emma: With cinnamon?
Emma is overruled and they head off to look for Henry’s storybook.
Henry: Where are you going?
Emma: Working. You stay here and don’t talk to anyone.
Henry: Why are you lying to me?
Emma: It’s for your own good! You’re much happier not knowing! I’m your mother and I know what’s best for you!
Henry: Who are you, the Evil Queen?
Okay, that part HAS to be on purpose. Henry asks for Emma’s keys and she gives them to him because apparently everyone has forgotten that Henry is a sneaky little schemer. He immediately heads to the yellow bug with intentions to drive to a bus station and go back to New York and…. I don’t know, but even Hook thinks it’s a bad plan and Hook’s plan is to put him on a (stolen) boat and sail away with Smee. Sometimes I am amazed Henry is still alive.
The Charmings plus Regina ransack Mary Margaret’s apartment. After Emma claims a chest clean of magic books Snow finds the magic book in it so either a) Emma is lying or b) the book only appears for Snow. Regina starts flipping pages to find Zelena’s weakness and Emma whines about how horribly unfair fairy tale life is.
Back in the Enchanted Forest Snowing are being cute and Regina is gagging. They find a door in the woods and head over to find Glinda.
Glinda: Regina didn’t make it cuz only a good witch can pass through my door and her heart is full of Revenge (Sunday, 10PM/9PM Central). You know that giant green gem Zelena always wears? It contains all her powers. Also only light magic, born of true love, can defeat Zelena.
The Charmings return to Regina with their new knowledge. Regina argues that the curse can’t be cast without giving up what she loves most and she already gave up Henry. Plus killing Henry in order to bring Henry back doesn’t really work. Logic. Snowing decide to kill off Charming because getting Emma back to defeat Zelena trumps everything. I think I would look for another light magic caster first? Get Glinda out of Narnia somehow? Idk, think about other options for more than 5 minutes before deciding killing my husband is the way to go? But, logic.
Forward in Storybrooke
Emma’s found Henry missing.
Zelena’s monkeys interrupt Hook’s ridiculous plan to smuggle Henry out of Storybrooke on a boat and then the fur really starts to fly.
Emma: This book will explain everything.
Henry: ‘Once Upon a Time’?
Emma: Just like the script!
But Zelena still wants to kill him.
Zelena tells Hook she warned him, which is dumb since now Emma and everyone don’t trust him so the lip spell was for naught. She should have made it look like Hook SAVED Henry from her, but whatever, she’s not good at plotting. Regina powers up and Zelena knocks her to the ground. Emma powers up and yanks Henry out of Zelena’s clutches. Zelena says, whatever bitches you haven’t seen the last of me and bounces because that’s what she IS good at.
Back in Fairytaleland
Snowing say their last goodbye (again) and Regina can’t help but be moved by it.
Regina rips out Charming’s heart and gives it to Snow to crush.
And Zelena shows up to try and ruin everything again. Regina tells her she can’t stop the curse. Zelena counters that she can mess it up, though. They won’t remember any of this. They won’t recognize her or her giant green emerald talisman. Bwahahaha!
In the present Henry wakes his mom and Regina says she’ll never ever let him go again while Emma watches stoically. Gonna be harder to get him out now.
And the curse is broken!
Snowing: We remember!
Regina: I remember!
Regina: …It was me!
Showrunners: You can have more than one true love! Okay?! Are you happy now?!
Outlaw Queen Shippers: Okay.
Stable Queen Shippers: Maybe.
Captain Swan Shippers: Is this a trick question?
Swan Queen Shippers: Unintentionally.
Swan Thief Shippers: Is Neal still dead?
Gremma Shippers: Is Graham still dead?
Rumbelle Shippers: Are you serious?
Sleeping Warrior Shippers: You haven’t MENTIONED Mulan in MONTHS.
Snowing Shippers: True Love (™)
NonShipping Fandom: SIGH.
Showrunners: That’s what she said.
Emma: So, you know how to defeat Zelena?
Snowing: It’s you, it was always you.
Emma: Then…why did she cast the curse to bring me back?
Snowing: She didn’t. We did.
Emma: Then…how are you both alive?
Snow: I have a crazy idea! Charming and I have always said we share a heart! You could break mine in two and make it a reality.
Regina: That is a crazy idea.
Regina: If it doesn’t work, you’ll die.
Snow: It will work.
Regina takes Snows heart and tears it in two, placing one piece in Snow and the other in Charming. They wake and the curse hits. A++ character development: Snow trusts Regina completely, with her life and Charming’s, and Regina doesn’t hesitate and shows genuine fear that she’ll lose Snow and genuine joy that they are both saved. What a difference …well, 30 years makes.
Henry asks his Mom about that guy she was kissing in the hallway and she admits he’s Robin Hood and Henry’s eyes light up with hero worship. When Robin shows up himself they start bonding immediately and all is right in the world. I have named them the Adorables.
Hook and Emma have a fight about trust, which is basically their relationship in a nutshell. The Charmings now remember that they didn’t send the bird to get Hook so they don’t trust him or his story either.
And now that Henry remembers him….
…he places a rose on Neal’s grave. Remember when Zelena tapped Hook with a rose for no apparent reason at the beginning of this episode? Pretty sure this is why. The show has been drawing parallels between Hook and Neal and Henry for weeks, this is just another.
Henry forgives Emma for being a Queen Bitch while he didn’t remember anything.
Winter is coming! Or the baby. Or something.
Just 2 (sort of 3 cuz the 2nd is an extra hour long) episodes left! Who will defeat Zelena? Will she banished to Narnia like Glinda and if so, can they make out? Or will she succeed and we all get reset to the beginning again only this time Mayor Zelena? Are you ready to find out?