! Once Upon A Time in Wonderland
The flashbacks are to a fairytale land, like in Enchanted . The only one who seems to know what is happening is Rumplestilstskin (Robert Carlisle - Stargate: Universe ). Not bad work, for a man whose name is Dutch for Wrinkly Foreskin.
The Wicked Stepmother uses her pull with the town authorities to pressure Emma ( Jennifer Morrison ) into leaving.
In the flashbacks, the wicked Queen gets Rumplestiltskin's advice on the Ultimate curse. Is her hatred for Snow White greater than her capacity to love?
The Snow White girl with the ugly pixie haircut dates the handsome town doctor (David Anders - Alias ). She takes him to a place where Ruby the gorgeous waitress ( Meghan Ory ) wears a skimpy outfit, then acts surprised when the Doctor gets distracted. Luckily, Prince Charming is in a coma - a male version of Sleeping Beauty.
The flashbacks show Snow White (in a flattering if unkempt wig) meeting Prince Charming. They bicker at first, but overcome adversity together.
The flashbacks show Cinderella ( Jessy Schram ) and her meteoric rise to fame and success. Instead of getting help from her Fairy Godmother, she makes a deal with Rumplestiltskin. She then tries to double-cross him. But magic always has a price ...
Emma ( Jennifer Morrison ) puts on her Deputy Sheriff badge. At the same time, a nearby mineshaft collapses. Henry goes exploring down it. The town's shrink goes after him to save him.
In fairyland, King George (Alan Dale - Lost ) makes a deal with King Midas. In exchange for some gold from Midas, Prince Charming will slay a dragon. There are a few problems with this. Why does Midas not just kill the dragon himself by just touching it? And the constant creation of new gold would de-value the existing gold, leading to hyperinflation.
Things take a turn for the worse. The King must make a deal with Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ). This involves a selfish shepherd, who believes that marriage is about love - while in reality, it is a legal contract and therefore it is about money.
In reality, Charming is tempted by Snow White. Will he give his wife a second chance? And does handsome town doctor David Anders ( Alias ) deserve another chance too?
The Sheriff (Jamie Dornan - The Fall) is depressed and drunk. He kisses Emma ( Jennifer Morrison ), and has a flash of his past, as the Huntsman.
Regina the Mayor is not happy that Emma is stealing another one of her playthings. It will all end in tears.
It has been two weeks, and the Mayor decides to appoint a new Sheriff. Her chosen pawn is Mr Glass (Giancarlo Esposito - Revolution ), editor of the Mirror newspaper. But Mr Gold (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) decides to back Emma the Heroine in the election.
The flashbacks are of Rumplestiltskin. He used to be a peasant, with a 13-year-old son ... in a Duchy that employs Ty Olssen ( Supernatural ) but conscripts 14-year-olds to fight against Ogres! On the advice of Brad Douriff ( Dune, Alien: Resurrection ), Rumple becomes a one-man insurgency to steal magical power ...
A couple of kids are caught shoplifting. It turns out they are orphans who have been living alone for ages. Sheriff Emma wants to find their father (Nicholas Lea - X-Files ), while Regina the Mayor wants to ship them off to the Foster system in Boston.
The flashbacks are of Hansel and Gretal. Their dad disappears, then the Evil Queen catches them. She has them go to the gingerbread cottage of a blind witch. They help her get rid of a rival, and obtain a certain poisoned apple ...
Emma ( Jennifer Morrison ) tells Henry that his daddy was a firefighter who died saving people. But after last week's revelation (that she had Henry while in jail). Is she lying in order to make the kid feel good?
Snow White is stalking her coma guy. But her obsession is easily transferred onto an injured bird she finds. Her plan is to release it back into the wild ASAP so it can rejoin its flock. Unfortunately there is a big storm coming in.
In magic-land, Red Riding Hood tells the fugitive Snow White that the Royal Wedding is soon. She and her Prince want to be together, even if every peasant in the land starves to death without Midas' gold. Snow breaks into the castle, befriending one of the seven dwarves on her way. He does not actually LOOK like a dwarf, but his name is Grumpy and he works down a mineshaft. Hope the Disney Corporation don't sue.
A stranger comes to town. He shows an unusual interest in Henry ...
The childrens' play-castle was damaged in last week's storm, so Regina the Mayor bulldozes it. Sheriff Emma and Mr Glass (Giancarlo Esposito - Revolution ), the Mirror's ex-editor, team up to uncover the Mayor's dirty secrets. Unfortunately she is a step ahead of them the whole time ...
Glass was once a genie, freed by King Richard Schiff ( Sarah Connor Chronicles ). But while the King is magnanimous towards a strange Genie, he is malicious towards his own wife - Snow White's wicked stepmother. He reads the poor woman's diaries, and imprisons her in her own quarters. No wonder she turned against him. The Genie is used as a pawn in their domestic quarrel.
Mr Gold calls in a florist's debt. The Florist was Belle's father, and Gold has a grudge. But is he being manipulated again.
After Flash Forward, The Event, Alcatraz and all other the new attempts at another Lost , it looks like this is the true successor. Not only has it had at least three cast members so far, it also has a certain darkness to it.
The Writer tries to date the female Sheriff. She does not have an established love interest yet, so he is as good a start as anyone.
Snow White tries to get Coma Patient - err, Charming Prince - to break up with his wife. The Wife has been accepted at Law School in Boston, so she wants a fresh start. And she knows that their marriage is deeply flawed anyway. But she does not want to accept reality, and gets very angry when she discovers she was lied to. Snow White is worse, blaming Prince Coma for making his own decisions and for sparing his spouse's feelings. How dare he!
The Princess in the storybook world is much smarter and more mature. She has no more interest in an arranged marriage than Charming does. She would rather run off with her lover, Frederick (Greyston Holt - Bitten ), who has been turned to stone. Meanwhile, Charming is so selfish he is willing to see his own Kingdom destroyed financially (and politically).
The Princess tells Charming of a magic lake with water that can return whatever was lost. In other words, it can break ANY curse - even that which true love's kiss cannot. Unfortunately it is guarded by a mermaid who lures all men to their doom. The Prince suicidally volunteers to brave the monster. All this begs a couple of questions. Firstly, could the Princess not have faced the monster herself? Surely a mermaid would have no affect on her. Secondly, could they not then bottle the water and use it to negate ALL curses? If mass-produced, it could remove magic as the ultimate weapon.
Dwarves are hatched from eggs, and they mine the diamonds that are crushed to make fairy-dust which creates the world's magic. A Dwarf named Dreamy (Lee Arenberg - Dungeons and Dragons ) falls for the novice fairy. He even gets relationship advice from barmaid Belle ( Emilie de Ravin ).
In the real world, the town drunk falls for a novice nun. But the nuns need him to sell a thousand candles, or they will miss making their rent. Their landlord, Mr Gold (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ), hates nuns and wants an excuse to evict them. Nothing about this makes sense, of course ... Nuns have a Mother house, and do not rely on property rented from supervillains.
Snow White is in charge of selling charity candles. But she is the town pariah, the inbred locals may as well make her wear a scarlet letter. And her BF is a suspect in the disappearance of his wife.
The Sheriff and Snow White want to prove Charming's innocence. However, they are all out of ideas. Red Riding Hood ( Meghan Ory ) wants to leave town too, but misery loves company so they talk her into staying around.
In the flashback, Red Riding Hood wanted to kill the wolf that threatened her village. Her granny was the only one who had seen it and lived.
Mary-Margaret, AKA Snow White, is facing a murder charge. The Sheriff has uncovered an excess of planted evidence. Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) offers his legal services. After all, he is so good at it he talked his way out of an attempted murder charge!
Back in Fairy Tale land, Prince Charming and Red Riding Hood went on the run together. Charming wants to find Snow White, but she gets a magic bow off Rumplestiltskin. She wants to assassinate the Queen - who has ditched her nice safe carriage and now rides horseback in mid-winter.
Coma guy goes to Jiminy Cricket (Raphael Sbarge - Star Trek: Voyager ) for some regressive hypnotherapy. But all he remembers is Snow White threatening to kill a woman.
Mary-Margaret, in jail awaiting arraignment for murder, goes walkabout. The Sheriff, certain of her innocence, goes to get her back before she is noticed missing. But then she runs into trouble too ...
In fairyland, the Mad Hatter (Sebastian Stan - Captain America: Civil War ) and his young daughter are in poverty. The Wicked Queen offers riches in exchange for his help. He takes her to Wonderland - yes, the Grimm Brothers' fairy tales are now combined with the works of Lewis Carroll.
Snow White gets interviewed by the District Attorney (Alan Dale - Lost ). But the Sheriff has another suspect ...
The backstory is that of the Evil Queen. Once she was a happy, upper middle-class girl. However, her controlling witch of a mother, Cora ( Barbara Hershey ), has other plans for her. And poor, mother-loving Snow White gets caught in the middle.
Mr Gold (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) is suspicious of the writer, the fellow from out of town who is helping Henry.
The backstory is that of Rumplestiltskin. We find out what happened to his son, and the one time he broke a deal. This was before he learned that all magic comes with a price. Also, we learn why he hates the Good Fairy, and why he created the Ultimate curse for the evil Queen.
Henry discovers that whoever repaired the fairytale book added a new story to it. Pinocchio got turned into a real boy, and that is where his flashback really begins. The toymaker agreed to build a magic wardrobe, a gateway into the new world. Only two people could pass through it - and Pinocchio was one. But Snow White gave birth early, and the baby had to go without her.
The Mayor tries a new attempt to separate Charming and Snow White. She tries to Seduce the poor Prince. Will she overplay her hand? No matter how hard she tries, she tends to overdo things.
The town of Storybrooke was apparently frozen in time for 28 years, until Emma ( Jennifer Morrison ) turned 28 and arrived in the town. Nobody is wearing early-1980s fashions, which would have been a nice touch.
Regina runs out of ideas on how to deal with Sheriff Emma ( Jennifer Morrison ). She decides to try her magic apple again, even though it was the first thing she tried. Emma chainsawed the apple tree, and now it seems to have been hit by tree blight. Regina needs to use magic to get a new poison apple. Mr Gold (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) refuses to help her, because she will not offer him anything he wants. It seems he wants the curse broken. However, the Mad Hatter (Sebastian Stan - Captain America: Civil War ) is still around.
The wicked Queen buys Prince Charming from King George (Alan Dale - Lost ), who gets paid the equivalent of what Midas promised his kingdom. Yes, the war debts will be paid and the peasants can eat again! However, Snow White and her revolting rebels decide to attack Regina's castle. They slaughter the hard-working guardsmen in the hope of rescuing Charming.
In both stories, Regina uses her poison apples. But one of them takes the wrong victim ...
The Sheriff and the Evil Queen team up to bring Magic back. Ending the curse is the only way they can save the boy. We find out what happened to the Queen's only friend, Maleficent - she was turned into a dragon.
Mr Gold (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) has his own plan. This sets things up for next Season.
Regina gets cornered in her home by a lynch-mob led by the Doctor (David Anders - Alias ). Henry begs his birth-mommy the Sheriff to protect his foster-mommy. Regina ends up in the jail-house, for her own protection.
Back in the Old World, Prince Philip rescues Sleeping Beauty. Mulan is there too, a Disney Princess in all but name. As always, things turn bad. And there is a twist ending.
The Seven Dwarves, led by Lee Arenberg ( Dungeons & Dragons, Pirates of the Carribean ), discover that leaving the town limits of Storybrook means forgetting your other-world identity. This leads to a panic among the cowardly inhabitants of Storybrook. With the Prince more worried about his own wife, daughter and grandson, they are effectively leaderless. The Doctor (David Anders - Alias ) keeps his head, since he realises the Blue Fairies are no longer nuns and thus can date him. Pinochio's dad (Tony Amendola - Stargate SG-1 ) misses his son. And the Mad Hatter is MIA.
The flashbacks are of the Queen, trying to escape from her wicked mother Cora ( Barbara Hershey ). She gets help from Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) - but he does not specify his price. Is he deliberately corrupting her so she can get him to his son?
King George (Alan Dale - Lost ) is still after Snow White and Prince Charming. He sends a new General after them - a Saracen named the Leviathan, AKA Lancelot. This is not the first time the show has stepped outside the cast of The Brothers Grimm - but it is one of the most blatant so far. George targets the women closest to Charming - Snow White and his mother. Can Charming get them to the magic lake in time?
In the modern era, Snow White and Emma ( Jennifer Morrison ) go looking for the wardrobe which has the portal home. Mulan and Sleeping Beauty accompany them. They leave Cora ( Barbara Hershey ) locked in the pit - apparently her powers have left her.
Back on Earth, Henry wants to get his mother and Snow back. He talks to his dad, and tries to talk the Mad Hatter (Sebastian Stan - Captain America: Civil War ) round. Then he tricks his poor old mother.
Belle ( Emilie de Ravin ) is afraid that Mr Gold (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) will be corrupted by magic again. She walks out on him, abandoning him to his fate. But her father is in town, and interferes in her life.
The flashbacks involve Rumplestiltskin losing his wife. After he became the Dark One, he had a vendetta against a pirate captain who told him that his scaly skin made him look like The Crocodile.
Chris Gautier ( Eureka ) makes an appearance.
Regina is trying to redeem herself. She has gone cold turkey on magic. But Doctor Whale (David Anders - Alias ) wants her to return him home.
In the flashbacks, Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) had trouble with his new apprentice - Regina. The Mad Hatter (Sebastian Stan - Captain America: Civil War ) saw a chance for himself, and introduced Regina to The Doctor.
Back in FarFarAway, the four females return to base-camp. They discover a survivor, who is reminiscent of Vex from Lost Girl .
Emma ( Jennifer Morrison ) and her new friend have ten hours to get up the beanstalk and locate the magic compass. They run into an angry giant - Jorge Garcia from Lost . Nice to see Hurley in a more ambiguous role.
The flashbacks are of Emma, after she got out of the orphanage. She gets involved with a thieving conman. But things turn bad, of course.
Red is up for her monthly problem. But her magic red hoodie is missing, and she busts out of her cage. Some poor bastard ends up dead, and she is the main suspect. Prince Boring - oops, Acting Sheriff Boring - investigates.
King George (Alan Dale - Lost ) whips up the local rent-a-mob. Last time there was a monster-hunt it was Dr Whale in charge of the villagers (no pitchforks and flaming torches, unfortunately). But the town's propensity for lynch-mob justice is alarming. Folk seem to believe whatever someone in charge will tell them. No wonder Regina stayed in power for so long!
The flashbacks are of Snow and Red, hiding out in the woods. They split up to evade the Queen's men, and Red discovers a pack of other wolves.
Elsewhere, Sleeping Beauty still dreams of a burning room. And a little boy named Henry ...
In fairyland, the four women know they are outmatched by the wicked Queen. The only one who knows how to defeat her is Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ). To communicate between the worlds, Sleeping Beauty must contact Henry again. But they run into problems, so Snow White and Prince Charming must stand in for them.
Regina and Mr Gold (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) form an uneasy truce against the common foe!
Hook will form an alliance with anyone who can carry him to the other world, so he can get his revenge on Rumplestiltskin. This means he tries to make up with both Elizabeth and the Wicked Queen.
Regina offers Hook revenge, if he assassinates the Queen of Hearts. But Hook's loyalties are easily bought.
Jiminy Cricket (Raphael Sbarge - Star Trek: Voyager ) has been breaching professional doctor-patient confidentiality rules.
Is someone trying to frame Regina? Well, everyone in the audience knows exactly who is behind it. In fact, there are multiple revelations made in this episode. There is absolutely no suspense!
The flashbacks show Regina's capture by the so-called good guys. She is always the victim of betrayal ...
The flashbacks show Belle's quest. Like Rumplestiltskin's wife, she headed off to have an adventure. She gets a lift on a horse and cart through a Canadian-looking forest, and end up in a greenscreen and CGI version of China.
Mr Gold (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) is distraught. Not because Belle ( Emilie de Ravin ) is shot - he can easily heal her with magic. But she has total amnesia, and she is terrified of him. It never occurs to him that he should pay it forward, with Acts of Random Kindness. So he reverts to his vengeful self, and distracts himself by searching for his son again.
Dr Whale (David Anders - Alias ) has to treat the victims of the car crash. With Belle healed by Gold, and Hook stabilised, he has to concentrate on the out-of-town driver. But he has a crisis of confidence. His flashbacks show his troubled relationship with his father (Gregory Itzin - 24).
Cora ( Barbara Hershey ) seeks out Regina. What will happen when the long-awaited confrontation happens? Two wicked Queens in a life-or-death struggle? Or something entirely anti-climactic?
Under threat of torture, Hook reveals the location of his ship. Cora ( Barbara Hershey ) does not need it any more, but she has left a gift - a shrunken Giant nicknamed Tiny (Jorge Garcia - Lost ). He swears to kill Prince Charming, and anyone who stands in his way!
This show has not only taken its format from Lost , but many of its cast. Lana Parilla was one of The Others, and Alan Dale was one of their villainous leaders. Jorge Garcia and Emilie De Ravin were on the original Oceanic flight.
The flashbacks feature Hugo - err, Tiny. He encounters Charming's evil twin, Prince James - and his new paramour ( Cassidy Freeman ). Yes, this is the next in a long line of female swashbucklers.
Meanwhile, the Sheriff and her son accompany Mr Gold to find his son. They must take a plane to New York City.
Hook has teamed up with Cora ( Barbara Hershey ) and Regina again. They plan to take advantage of the Dark One's absence and search for his dagger. The only item powerful enough to control him ...
In New York, Miss Swan catches up with Gold's son Baelfire. It turns out that this is yet another twist, and the nature of a father-son relationship is explored.
The flashbacks show Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) get conscripted to fight the Ogres. He is keen enough to prove his courage, until he encounters a manipulative sorceress.
It is Snow White's birthday. She is reunited with a servant from her childhood. Since we have never seen this person before, their life expectancy is limited. The flashbacks are of an earlier birthday - when infant Snow discovered her mother was dying. She tried to get help from the Blue Fairy, but the only option was Dark Magic ...
In Manhatten, Gold (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) and Emma ( Jennifer Morrison ) have lost the trust of their sons. Worse, Gold gets poisoned. He must get back to Storybrook ASAP. Luckily, Balefire knows about Captain Hook - and how to find and sail the invisible pirate ship!
Snow discovers that Regina and Cora ( Barbara Hershey ) are looking for the Dark One's blade. Can she and Charming save the day? They do not even bother to ask the Seven Dwarves for help.
In the flashbacks, The Miller's Daughter ( Rose McGowan ) is disrespected by the King (Joachim De Almeida - Clear and Present Danger). She foolishly boasts she can spin straw into gold, which requires the intervention of Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ).
In the modern day, Emma ( Jennifer Morrison ) gets Mr Gold to his pawn shop. But as she and her parents stand guard (the Dwarves are nowhere to be seen) the two wicked witches attack.
Snow has to make a choice - does she kill Cora ( Barbara Hershey ) to save Gold, or let Gold die and try to make peace with Cora?
This is a great episode - all three magic-users, who are in essense the villains of the show, are shown at their most human and vulnerable.
Regina is still grieving from the events of the previous episode. She intends to use her magic to get revenge on Snow. Gold (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) can use his own magic to save Snow. Henry decides to destroy Magic altogether.
The flashbacks are to 1983, to the night that Storybrooke magically appeared in the USA. A man (John Pyper-Ferguson - Alphas ) and his son were camping in the woods. They wander into town, and fall foul of the Mayor. The Sheriff (Jamie Dornan - The Fall) is still her lap-dog.
Regina's misdeeds in 1983 may have consequences in the modern day.
Henry's dad's new fiance comes to town. Predictably, she has her own agenda.
Regina works out who the stranger is. She remembers the events of the previous ep, and tries to handle things with her usual intimidation.
The flashbacks are to Pinocchio's time in Hong Kong, when the curse came back and he started to turn into wood. He tried to find a magical cure, but it comes at a price ...
Regina is an interfering bitch, on her way back to being her bad old self. She returns Belle's memory - but only her Curse memory, not her true identity. Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) asks Charming to help him seduce Belle ( Emilie de Ravin ). But he has not realised that Belle has a mind of her own.
The flashbacks are of Rumple's early time with Belle. A git with a bow and arrow tries to steal one of Rumple's magic items. Belle tries to convince Rumple that love matters. An unfortunate Sheriff of Nottingham falls foul of Rumple's rage, and suffers repeated humiliations and tortures.
Hook offers to team up with Regina again. But which one is going to doublecross the other first?
When she was the Evil Queen, Regina made a deal with Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ). He changes her appearance, but she cannot use magic in her new form. Her intention is to befriend Snow White, then kill her the old-fashioned way. But how far will this ep go to reverse the archetypes?
In the flashbacks, we discover that Rumplestiltskin's plan was to make King George's kingdom bankrupt. Regina discovers that Rumple is a double-crossing git, but she STILL upholds her end of the deal by cutting off trade with King George.
The flashbacks are of Balefire. After he left his father, he ended up in Victorian London. He spent six months on the streets, but his Dickensian period ended when he met Wendy Darling. She let him stay in her home, but she also befriends a mysterious shadow that takes her to Neverland.
Emma ( Jennifer Morrison ) and her crew are after Regina, who has made off with the only way home. But Regina is in the hands of the new villains. They torture her for details about one of her victims. It turns out that the duo are part of a wider conspiracy.
Lacey (Belle's alternate self) is a bad influence on Mr Gold (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ), who tortures Doctor Whale (David Anders - Izombie ) for looking at her. But Gold still owes David a favour.
The magic-haters use Regina's secret super-weapon to destroy the town. Regina's magic can slow it for a while, until Hook can help the good guys get a magic bean.
The flashbacks show us Balefire's time with his stepfather. Unfortunately, the Lost Boys are searching for a special boy from another world.
Luckily, there is enough magic left in Storybrooke to tie up a few loose ends from the sub-plots. But will all the recurring villains (Gold, Regina, Hook) who have all sworn bloody vengeance on each other for repeated double-crosses, all let bygones be bygones? After all, they must team up with the Goodies if they are to come back next Season. And the villains are definitely the most interesting (and thus popular) characters.
The villains from Season 2 arrive in Neverland. However, it becomes apparent that they never had a plan beyond delivering Henry.
Our heroes arrive shortly afterwards. They do not have a plan either, so Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) goes off in a solo attempt. He takes up his Dark One persona again – he has faced Pan before, and he knows what it will take to win in Neverland.
Balefire has arrived at his father’s mansion in the old world. Robin Hood and Mulan have taken up residence. Will they help him find his way home?
Tink was the Green Fairy, working under the stern dictates of the Blue Fairy ( Keegan Connor Tracey ). She offered to help Regina, who was a lonely bride to Snow White’s father.
Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) and Balefire team up to save Henry. However, Bale does not trust his father.
The flashbacks are from a time when Balefire was lured away by the Pied Piper.
Henry makes a rival among the Lost Boys - Skyler Giscondo, the young Shawn in later Seasons of Psych.
Hook leads Charming to find something from his first visit to the island. We get a flashback to Hook’s first voyage, when he was merely Lieutenant Jones in an un-specified Royal Navy. The King send him and his elder brother to retrieve a specific plant from the island. They were told it was medicine, but Pan (Robbie Kay - Heroes Reborn ) revealed it was poison.
Regina teaches Elizabeth how to use her magic. Unfortunately, all Elizabeth can manage is to light a small fire. In disgust, Regina goes off to team up with Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ).
Hook leads the Charmings to the Cave of Echoes, where Pan (Robbie Kay - Heroes Reborn ) had the Lost Boys imprison Balefire. To rescue him, the Charmings must all confess their darkest secret. They all learn a few uncomfortable truths.
The flashbacks are of Snow White escaping the Queen’s guards, with the help of Ariel the mermaid ( JoAnna Garcia , AKA Judgy Judgerson in Privileged). Snow promises to help Ariel to seduce herself a Prince. Regina decides to interfere.
Pan (Robbie Kay - Heroes Reborn ) has a couple more henchmen en route to Storybrooke. They are youngish Englishmen with dated looking 1960s clothes.
Hook takes Elizabeth and Balefire to find Pan’s shadow. They have to go to what is probably the most dangerous place on the island, and that is up against some pretty stiff competition!
Pan (Robbie Kay - Heroes Reborn ) takes Henry to Skull Island. If Pan can take Henry’s heart he can extend his own lifespan.
Regina and Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) team up with the Charmings again.
The flashbacks are from Rumplestiltskin’s childhood. Finally we meet his father, whose idea of earning a living was to run a shell game. They were actually a close family, but to escape persecution they fled to Neverland. And Rumple’s father began the family tradition of abandoning one’s son!
Pan (Robbie Kay - Heroes Reborn ) takes Henry’s heart – can his two mommies force him to give it back? Regina, Snow and Elizabeth go in search of Pan. Naturally, Pan captures them.
The flashbacks are to eleven years previously, to Regina’s adoption of Henry. Sacrificing her father cost her far more than she realised.
Just as Ariel ( JoAnna Garcia ) meets her Charming Prince (not THE Prince Charming, of course) the ship returns. Everyone is about to live happily ever after. Henry chooses to go home with Regina, because she is a powerful magic-user and she can protect him. His birth-mother is the only one who realises he is acting out of character …
Regina is trying to be good. She and Tinkerbell ( Rose McIver ) track down the Blue Fairy ( Keegan Connor Tracey ) and ask for Tink’s wings back. Elsewhere, Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) provides the cure he promised, as a favour to a friend.
The flashbacks are of Snow White and Prince Charming, just after Regina threatened to ruin their happiness. Snow becomes paranoid about the threat, and decides to pre-empt it. Luckily, Medusa lives nearby so Snow will cut off her head and use it as a weapon.
Pan (Robbie Kay - Heroes Reborn ) tries his endgame, the invocation of the curse that Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) created for Regina. The people of Storybrooke will be slaves to his will. Unless Rumple can defeat him ... without using magic!
Tinkerbell ( Rose McIver ) gets a chance to redeem herself, if only she can believe in herself. We get a flashback to her first encounter with Hook and Smee (Chris Gautier - Eureka ), so we know she can certainly handle herself.
Regina can reverse the original curse, but this comes at a cost. She and everyone else will be returned to their homeland, but Henry will have to stay on Earth. Emma ( Jennifer Morrison ) can stay with Henry, but they will both lose their memories of Storybrooke.
Emma and Henry have spent the last year living as mother and son in NYC. She is dating Christopher Gorham ( Jake 2.0 ), but a hook-handed stranger appears on her doorstep and tries to give her true love’s kiss. He insists that she accompany him, but she refuses to trust him.
The flashbacks are to one year ago, to when the survivors returned to their land. Hook went off to find his ship, while the rest of them joined Regina and went to her castle. Unfortunately, the protection spell has been hijacked by a hostile magic-user.
Emma and Henry return to Storybrooke. Things are back the way they used to be - Ruby ( Meghan Ory ) is serving in the diner, and Dr Whale (David Anders - Alias ) runs the hospital. Basically everyone woke up in their curse identities, remembering their fairytale personas but with no memory of the events of the previous year. Nobody mentions what happened to King George (Alan Dale - Lost ) or Sidney Glass (Giancarlo Esposito - Revolution ).
Rebecca Mader is hanging around in town, and nobody cares that they have not met her before. They are worried about the flying monkey that attacks anyone who tries to leave town. The mysterious enemy magic-user also likes green smoke. How long will it take for them to work out who the villain is? And if the villain can defeat Regina’s blood-magic, does she share her bloodline?
In the flashback, Regina and Robin Hood team up to infiltrate the castle. She is preoccupied with her loss of Henry, and has a magical solution to the problem.
The flashbacks are to Prince Charming’s quest to find a root that will help him conquer his fear. However, he finds Rapunzel trapped in a tower on the edge of Sherwood Forest. Nice to see an African-American Disney princess, although seeing her and her parents in stereotypical Euro-centric medieval garb makes them seem oddly out of place. That said, if they were clad in traditional African robes the show would be denounced as racist.
In the present day, Charming meets the new midwife ( Rebecca Mader ) and trustingly drinks some tea she brewed for him. Later he bumps into the same monstrous figure that imprisoned Rapunzel. But since his memories are gone, he cannot remember how to defeat it.
The Wicked Witch aims to collect part of her potion - Charming’s courage.
The heroes find Rumple’s prison, but someone has broken him out. Will they find him before the Wicked Witch does?
Balefire is back, wandering the woods. Did the Wicked Witch turn him into a flying monkey? Does he have a dual personality?
The Wicked Witch aims to collect part of her potion - Rumple’s mind.
The Wicked Witch ( Rebecca Mader ) challenges Regina to a public duel on Main Street at midnight. It turns out that Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) knew about the Wicked Witch long ago, and took her as his protégé at the same time as he was training Regina. Unfortunately, even Rumple had to admit that the Wicked Witch was the most powerful sorceress he had ever met. More powerful than Cora or Regina ...
The flashbacks are to the witch’s unhappy childhood. She asked the wizard of Oz for help, and he actually televised a flashback of her abandonment. How he built a machine that can see between realms is not explained, although it is mentioned that he collects magical artefacts.
The Wicked Witch aims to collect part of her potion - Regina’s heart.
Hook reminisces about how he enjoyed being a land-pirate, once he had Smee (Chris Gautier - Eureka ) and the rest of the crew back. But Ariel (the foot-fetishist’s favourite mermaid) had a job for him. They teamed up to find Prince Eric, who had been abducted by the new owner of the Jolly Rodger. Yes, Hook went up against Blackbeard (Charles Mesure - V (2009) ) himself!
In the present day, Ariel ( JoAnna Garcia ) arrives on the beach. She cannot find Eric, and has looked everywhere for him. The others pressure Hook into helping her. But Hook is the only one who still has his memory, so he must know where both Eric and the Jolly Rodger are.
Regina realises that the best person to uncover the Wicked Witch’s weakness is their mother, Cora ( Barbara Hershey ). She holds a séance with Hook, Swan and the Charmings. The irony is, Snow White is the one who killed her.
The flashbacks are of Young Cora ( Rose McGowan ), and how she got pregnant. It turns out that, despite being a sympathetic character in Season 2 episode The Miller’s Daughter she was basically a greedy manipulative gold-digger. Perhaps that is an oversimplification, but one cannot feel overly sympathetic for her. She honeymoons with the first man who tells her he is a Prince and promises to marry him. However, she has no interest in mere peasants. In all fairness, she is both victim and villain when it comes to the soap opera life of the Royal household.
The Charmings go to visit the Good Witch of the Whatever Compass Point. It makes sense that she will know the Wicked Witch’s kryptonite. It would be ironic if it was ACTUAL kryptonite, because, you know, they are both green.
Henry wants to leave Storybrooke and return home to NYC. Captain Hook is likewise keen to escape Emma’s immediate vicinity, before he gives into temptation and helps the Wicked Witch. They could take the Jolly Rodger to NYC, with Smee (Chris Gautier - Eureka ) in tow ...
It turns out that the cure to the memory curse is True Love’s Kiss. But who shall kiss whom?
The team arm up for their final confrontation with Zelena the Wicked Witch ( Rebecca Mader ). Emma and Hook, Snow and Charming, Regina and Hood. It looks like they are all nicely paired off.
Can Regina learn to forgive her sister? And will Rumpelstilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) put his love for Belle ( Emilie de Ravin ) over his desire for vengeance against Balefire's killer?
There is enough residual magic to open the witch's time portal. Emma and Hook get sucked in, and end up getting mixed in with the events of Once Upon A Time [Season 1, Episode 3] Snow Falls.
Emma makes a reference to Back to the Future , and soon enough she stops her parents from meeting each other. She and Hook must get the timeline back on track again.
Emma, posing as Princess Leia, is in Regina's dungeon. Hook gets Snow and Charming to help rescue her. They also rescue a nameless peasant woman, even though they know this will mess up the timeline.
Time-travel is a great way to relive one of the high points of the show, when Snow White was on the run and Regina was the Evil Queen. Unfortunately all this does is illustrate how the show has run out of steam. The next step will be to turn Regina into the Evil Queen again, so the show can return to an approximation of its Golden Age.
This Season crossed over into Neverland and Oz, while the spin-off was set in Wonderland. The next Season is set up when Hook unwittingly unleashed something from Rumplestiltskin's dark magic vault. It looks like the next Season is a crossover with the most lucrative original Disney property so far - Frozen !
Alice ( Sophie Lowe ) has spent the last year in Bedlam asylum. Much like Ted Danson in Gulliver's Travels , when she returned with tales from her original adventures she was treated like a lunatic. Since it is believed that Lewis Carroll wrote the original Alice in Wonderland while under the influence of primative Victorian-era painkillers like laudanum, the so-called doctors all ignore other potential explanations for her outrageous claims. Instead they try to give her a special treatment - a euphemism for an anachronistic version of the 1950s American lobotomy treatment.
In flashbacks, Alice fell in love with a handsome young genie. The Red Queen got between them, and Alice thought the genie was gone for good. The Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha - Being Human ) amateurishly tries to rescue her. Luckily, despite having no body-mass the petite Alice can easily over-power multiple armed guards.
Alice ( Sophie Lowe ) and the Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha - Being Human ) continue their quest for the genie. The next clue they need is his bottle - and Alice is the only one who knows where it is buried.
Jafar (Naveen Andrews – Lost ) regards the Red Queen as nothing but a minion. However, she did not get to be ruler of Wonderland without ruthlessness and villainy.
The Knave's past starts to be explained. He makes regular references to Earth's popular culture circa the year 2000, and presumably this backstory will be explained later. Alice is clearly a Victorian, and is confused by the pop culture terms. She also blames him for angering a fairy girl, although she does not bother to ask for his side of the story. And he apparently has a love interest of his own - Anastasia, presumably the Disney Princess.
We get some flashbacks to the Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha - Being Human ). He used to be Will Scarlett, working for Regina's love Robin Hood in the original show. However, his love for Anastasia drove him to get involved in magic.
Alice ( Sophie Lowe ) wants to know who sold her out to the Red Queen. To do this, she needs a magic forget-me-knot. The Knave makes a deal with the Centipede, which is the Jabba the Hutt figure of Wonderland. They must take on the Grendel, a lonely cannibal who lives in the woods.
Jafar (Naveen Andrews – Lost ) wants to force Alice to use up one of her three wishes, so he sends the Bandersnatch after her. It is a large CGI wild boar.
The Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha - Being Human ) gets captured and sentanced to death. The Red Queen offers him a way out, but he is so stubborn that he refuses. Will Alice ( Sophie Lowe ) be able to save him in time?
We see flashbacks of the young Jafar (Naveen Andrews – Lost ) as he learns how to use magic. Zuleika Robinson seduces him to the Dark Side.
The Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha - Being Human ) has been turned to stone by Jafar (Naveen Andrews – Lost ). However, we still get to see him in the flashbacks. He and his true love, Anastasia, tried to survive as homeless peasants in Wonderland. Unfortunately she is more materialistic than him. Her mother always had high expectations for her. It is never explained why a Russian Princess has a middle-class English accent and lives in the Enchanted Forest with someone from the Twenty-First Century.
The Red Queen teams up with Alice ( Sophie Lowe ) to find the only thing that can defend them against Jafar's magic - some magic dust. Only the pure of heart can get past the defences. But will the Red Queen hold up her end of the bargain?
The Rabbit takes Jafar (Naveen Andrews – Lost ) to Victorian London, where he interrogates Alice's former shrink.
Alice ( Sophie Lowe ) tries walking to Jafar's stronghold. She should be able to meet her genie half-way. The Black Forest is literally pitch-black, but beyond it is a land where the plants squirt pollen that makes people forget everything. Strangely the Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha - Being Human ) seems to be immune to the pollen.
The Red Queen goes looking for the runaway Genie. If she finds him first, she has leverage over Jafar.
The flashbacks are of Alice's return home, one year previously. She left her father alone for years without contacting him, and is offended when he dared to move on and re-marry! Father's advice is for her to move on and forget memories of bad things. Stepmother wants Alice to consider a career as a wife and home-maker, and sets up a date with Master Darcy. Alice has nowhere else to go, and no job skills except sword-fighting, so unless she wants to work in a circus she will have to do as they say. Either that or voluntary self-committal to the Bethlem asylum.
Jafar (Naveen Andrews – Lost ) has Alice's father, and has two plans to make use of him. The first is to use Alice ( Sophie Lowe ) to lead him to Cyrus the genie. The second is to use her father to get Alice to waste one of her three wishes.
The flashbacks are of Jafar's childhood. He had a chance at a decent life as a servant in the Palace. However, his childish exuberance leads him into trouble. And no matter how bad Alice's father was to her, Jafar's was much worse.
Cyrus gets caught by the Red Queen's forces. But she has realised that Jafar (Naveen Andrews – Lost ) is dangerously insane, so she will not risk letting him get the genie.
The flashbacks are to Cyrus' courtship of Alice a year previously. Alice got wounded in a sword-fight, and Cyrus took her to the White Rabbit to get healed. The White Rabbit's wife ( Whoopie Goldberg ) is the healer, and one wonders why our heroes did not notice that Mrs Rabbit and the kids were missing earlier.
Our heroes all had a romantic reunion, but it was short-lived. The Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha - Being Human ) is now a genie, in Cyrus' place. Our heroes have to go looking for him.
Jafar (Naveen Andrews – Lost ) goes looking for a new henchman - the Jabberwocky.
Alice ( Sophie Lowe ) and Cyrus visit the Lady of the Lake. Cyrus has flashbacks to the time that he and his two brothers stole her magic water. She was very possessive of it, and cast a spell turning them into genies.
The Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha - Being Human ) has flashbacks to the time he met Cora ( Barbara Hershey ), the Queen of Hearts. He was so heart-broken at being abandoned by Anastasia that he asked Cora to remove his heart.
The White Rabbit takes our heroes to Storybrooke, where they manage to avoid meeting all the regular characters of the main show.
The Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha - Being Human ) is given a choice - help Jafar (Naveen Andrews – Lost ) the Evil Overlord retrieve his magic staff, or let Anastasia rot in the dungeon. Naturally, our hero agrees to double-cross Alice and her boyfriend.
The flashbacks are to the time that the Knave was sent to help Cora’s soldiers kill a mysterious bandit hiding in the woods. Since the original show had Snow White ( Ginnifer Goodwin ) as a bandit, it does not take much to work out that this one is also a girl. She befriends the Knave, even though Cora ( Barbara Hershey ) has magically compelled him to kill her.
Jafar (Naveen Andrews – Lost ) manages to complete his evil spell. This means the laws of magic can now be broken, and he can do the three things he has always wanted to do:
This show does not end on a cliffhanger, it actually has a proper ending for the storyline. But because this is a spin-off from Once Upon A Time, certain favourite characters may appear in the main show.
Thanks to the success of the animated movie Frozen, this Disney-owned TV show has decided to do a crossover. However, they did not get the original actresses. Although she is best known as a television actress, Kristen Bell does not play Anna the younger sister. Elsa is now Georgina Haig . On a bright note, the Troll-King is voiced by John Rhys Davies ( Sliders ).
Regina is more than a little upset that her soulmate, Robin Hood, is now back with his long-dead wife Maid Marian. She goes to the hospital basement where Sidney Glass (Giancarlo Esposito - Revolution ) has been imprisoned for the last few Seasons while the actor had bigger parts on other shows. Presumably King George (Alan Dale - Lost ) is locked in a basement cell as well. But now, Regina has her magic mirror back.
Emma gets trapped in a snow-cavern with Elsa ( Georgina Haig ). Charming and Hook have to find Anna, or Elsa will let Emma die. Hardly something that is meant to make Elsa a sympathetic character, but she was originally intended as the villain in Frozen, so this might actually be a step in the right direction.
The flashbacks are to the time that Anna visited the Enchanted Forest. She visited David when he was still a farmer, although somehow he knew her fiance. David was being oppressed by the local Warlord (or Warlady) Bo Peep, a powerful magic-user. Anna taught him how to use a sword, which explains how he became so good so quickly later on. However, the inevitable defeat of Bo Peep created a power vacuum that allowed Regina to expand her power further across the Kingdom. So the moral of the story is, keep your Evil Overlord weak but do not overthrow them or you will just end up replacing them with an even worse one.
Regina is sick of losing all the time. She now understands that her life is predestined thanks to Henry's magic story-book. Because she is vast in the role of the villain, she can never win. Her new plan is to change the rules and let the villains win - like in the Shrek sequels. Of course, nobody points out that the heroes always have to suffer horribly so they can EARN a happy ending.
Since Regina has abdicated the role of Mayor, Snow White is now in charge. So when the ice-storm causes a power blackout, she is sent to the power plant to fix it. Yes, the Dark Curse created a municipal power plant for the town, complete with a manual written entirely in Japanese. It is never explained if the plant is hydro-electric or nuclear, because one assumes that an enormous smokestack or wind-farm would be noticeable. In all fairness, a magical town can hardly be expected to be hooked up to the national grid!
Snow White, the new Mayor, tells the peasants that there is an impenetrable ice wall surrounding the entire village. Since nobody can leave the town limits without permanently losing their memory, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Also, the last time outsiders came to town it all ended badly. However, the peasants do what they do best - form a lynch mob.
Emma and her father, the town's two sheriffs, go looking for the real perp. They discover a burglar - the Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha - Being Human ). There is no sign of any of his female sidekicks, so this evidently takes place BEFORE the events of Once Upon A Time in Wonderland . He puts them on to something they should have worked out already - the ice cream parlour is always cold, even though it is not plugged into the electricity grid.
Captain Hook and Elsa ( Georgina Haig ) team up to find the Snow Queen. They go to Gold's pawnshop, where Hook manages to coerce help from Gold. Emma already tried this, and got Gold to hand his magic dagger over to Belle ( Emilie de Ravin ). All this ignores the fact that Emma's superpower is that she can tell if someone is lying, so she did not need to compell Gold to tell the truth anyway. However, just because Gold did not know what Emma wanted does not mean he cannot help in other ways.
The flashbacks are of Elsa and her soon-to-be brother-in-law, the reindeer handler. They are trying to run the country, but now they are about to get invaded. Hans the charming Prince is back, and he has brought his abusive elder brothers with him. He also has a cunning plan - to use a magic urn to capture the spell-caster. But he has not got the urn yet, and he does not know how to use it.
The big twist, given away in the previous episode, is that Elizabeth Mitchell (yes, yet another of the Lost Alumnii) is the Snow Queen. Her evil outfit shows a lot of cleavage, just like Regina's did when she was the Evil Queen. This must be part of the job description for Female Evil Overlords.
Emma asks Hook out on a dinner date. He agrees, but he decides to retrieve something from Gold's pawnshop. Gold still has Hook's severed hand, floating in fluid - presumably formaldehyde because it has not decomposed. Hook has nothing to trade for it, but he keeps blackmailing Gold. Gold politely re-attaches the hand, but with a warning. It may bring back the old Hook - the vicious pirate who enjoyed violence and blackmail. Of course, this ignores the fact that Emma is probably attracted to his dark side. After all, her previous lover Balefire was the son of the Dark One. Also, like Hood and Belle she has been paired with a former villain.
Hook and Gold were on a truce during the previous Season. However, despite the obvious benefits of a super-villain team-up they end up at odds with one another.
The flashbacks are of a wizard's Apprentice, charged with protecting the Wizard's magical hat-box from the Dark One. However, Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) is the smartest Dark One so far. He exploits Anna, the selfish girl from Frozen , when she pays him a visit looking for her parents.
Regina has a plan to hunt down the Snow Queen ( Elizabeth Mitchell ) She uses the Magic Mirror AKA Sidney Glass (Giancarlo Esposito - Revolution ). Poor Sidney is treated quite badly, but still obeys her. While Regina claims to be one of the good guys now, she still treats her minion as badly as she did when she was a villain.
Emma is looking for Elsa ( Georgina Haig ) who has been lured away by the Snow Queen. She teams up with Regina. They do a lot of bickering, but eventually work together as a team. After all, they have an awful lot in common.
The flashbacks are of Emma, as a teenage runaway. She was befriended by another girl, a fellow runaway named Lillith. Naturally, this does not end well. But Lillith had a unique tattoo, so this is obviously foreshadowing.
The flashbacks are Belle's. She used to hang out in the palace library with her mother ( Frances O'Connor ), who in reality may be a fellow Australian but is only ten years older. Thanks to Belle's actions in her previous flashbacks, the Ogres invade the country and attack the palace. Belle went to Arundel and joined up with Anna, when she pays Grandpappy Rock-troll (John Rhys Davies - Sliders ) a visit looking for answers.
Snow White discovers that the Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha - Being Human ) is missing from the jail cell. She tracks him down. After all, she is the mother and wife of the town's two sheriffs, as well as being the new Mayor. Yes, there is an awful lot of centralised authority in the hands of one aristocratic family.
The Snow Queen ( Elizabeth Mitchell ) goes to the clocktower, which is where every villain seems to make their last stand in. In fact, the Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha - Being Human ) points this out in the next episode.
Emma manages to defeat the villainess with remarkable ease. In fact, one might assume that she got captured on purpose - the most cliched plan that supervillains can have.
The flashbacks are of the Snow Queen when she was much younger. She had two sisters, and developed her superpower when she saved them from a revolting peasant. However, when they grew up one sister was romanced by a young Duke from Weasel-town. This did not end well.
Robin Hood teams up with Will Scarlett AKA the Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha - Being Human ).
The Snow Queen ( Elizabeth Mitchell ) lays her plan out. She wants to smash the mirror, causing everyone to see the worst in each other. The expectation is that they will turn on each other, and the only people left alive will be the Snow Queen and her adopted sisters.
The flashbacks are of Anna and her fiance. We finally discover where they have been the whole time that Elsa was looking for them.
It is the apocalypse, Storybrooke style. Everyone is usually so goody-goody nicey-nice to each other, and now they are slightly mean for a change. One would think that Regina is above all this, because she is a cynical bitch by her very nature, but instead she just turns into her Evil Queen persona. Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) is immune, of course, as is Hook (whose heart is in Rumple's custody). Everyone else is in a bad mood, and they actually speak honestly about their feelings for a change.
The flashbacks are of the Snow Queen ( Elizabeth Mitchell ). She arrived in the USA decades before Emma, and spent her time blending in. Despite having no magic or special abilities, she managed to get herself a decent home. Somehow she managed to get a job in the foster system, so presumably they do no background checks at all.
The Snow Queen is gone, but her spell around the town limits still remains. Anyone who leaves town can never return. Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) gets Hook to give Emma the location of the Sorceror's house, so they can send Anna and Elsa home and thus out of his way. He has a plan to get himself a happy ending. Regina wanted a happy ending too, but Marion has a relapse so she has to be exiled into the world without magic. Unfortunately, her son and his father (Regina's soulmate) are supposed to go too.
The flashbacks are of Belle ( Emilie de Ravin ) and Rumple. They ran foul of the Evil Queens - Maleficent ( Kristen Bauer Van Stratten ), Ursula the Sea Witch ( Merrin Dungey ) and Cruella de Ville ( Victoria Smurfitt ).
The flashbacks are of Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ). He set up the alliance of the Evil Queens - Maleficent ( Kristen Bauer Van Stratten ), Ursula the Sea Witch ( Merrin Dungey ) and Cruella de Ville ( Victoria Smurfitt ).
In the present day, Rumple is exiled to New York City. He finds shelter with Ursula, who works at a low-pay job in an aquarium. Cruella has married a rich man, but he gets busted for white-collar crime by the FBI. Together, the three evil outcasts have to team up again if they want to get back into Storybrooke.
Regina still wants her happy ending. It seems unfair that certain villains like Hook get one, while Regina is denied one ... and she in turn also refuses to allow her former friends the opportunity.
Ursula the Sea Witch ( Merrin Dungey ) and Cruella de Ville ( Victoria Smurfitt ) are in town, but everyone seems keen to make them uncomfortable. Emma Swan detects some discomfort from Hook when he sees Ursula. She pushes her boyfriend for more info, and accuses him of lying to her. Seriously, how much info would she want to know about a pirate's sex-life? She got pregnant by his former cabin-boy, for crying out loud.
The Evil Queens bring Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) back. Their next step is to revive Maleficent ( Kristen Bauer Van Stratten ) from death. Swan and Charming keep them under surveillance ... by following them in the police patrol car.
The flashbacks are of Snow and Charming, just before Regina made the Dark Curse. The Evil Queens offered to help them defeat the curse, but the stuck-up goodies are reluctant to team up with Darkness. After all, mixing light and dark would result in shades of grey, which goes against the childishly simple duality of this show. Not to mention the hypocrisy. After all, Snow was recently the Mayor of Storybrooke, while her husband and daughter are the local law enforcement. In other words, the supposedly classless society is run by the same old hereditary monarchy.
Maleficent ( Kristen Bauer Van Stratten ) is back in action. She and the others want to catch the Author and make him give them happy endings. Worse, they are playing a zero-sum game that means they will prevent everyone else from having a happy ending.
The Charmings send Regina undercover as a spy. After all, she is the perfect recruit for the Evil Queens.
The flashbacks are of the first time Regina met Maleficent. Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) was taking his time teaching his protege, so Regina decided that the dragon-lady would be a better mentor instead. Unfortunately Maleficent was suffering severe depression after being defeated by King Stefan (Sebastian Roche - Roar ). However, with the inspiration of her new friend she was able to take revenge.
Hook tries to give Ursula the happy ending she deserves. He needs her to get him back the Jolly Roger, last seen in the hands of Blackbeard (Charles Mesure - V (2009) ) when he was antagonising Anna from Frozen .
The flashbacks are of the young Ursula, back when she was a mermaid like Ariel ( JoAnn Garcia ). She was estranged from her father, the sea god Neptune (Ernie Hudson - Ghostbusters ). Captain Hook took pity upon her, but got caught up in the family drama.
Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) and the Evil Queens want to find the author. He is the only one who can change the story and give them a happy ending. However, the Sorceror's Apprentice trapped him behind a magic door. Regina promises to get the relevant page of the book from Henry. However, Snow and Charming want to destroy the page to hide their own guilty past.
The flashbacks are of Snow and Charming. They discovered that Maleficent had laid an egg, and they decided to use it as a vessel for their own child's potential evil. The mystery of the child's fate is solved. We discover how Ursula and Cruella ended up on Earth. Strange that they did not run into the Snow Queen when they were wandering around. And ironic that Rumple went to so much trouble to travel to Earth. But at least we find out what was being foreshadowed in Once Upon A Time [Season 4, Episode 5] Breaking Glass.
Pinochio gives some exposition on the Author. Like the Dark One, it is a job title instead of a given name. Over the years this included a guy named Walt. Also, the most recent author was imprisoned for sadistically ruining Maleficent's life in order to make a good story. Presumably this is just a whitewash to explain how a now-redeemed character (see the Angelina Jolie movie) turned into an out-and-out villain again. Nobody points out that ALL the villains (except Cruella, so far) deserve a happy ending and it is merely the author's choice that they suffer unfairly.
Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) meets up with the Author, and convinces him to help. His next step is to try and convince Regina to help. This involves getting her to phone her true love, Robin Hood.
The six month flashback is to New York City. Robin Hood and his family have moved into Balefire's old apartment. Unfortunately since Gold is Balefire's father it is technically his property now. Robin must help Gold obtain a magic elixir.
The long-term flashbacks are to a time when Robin had retired from thievery. He had married Marion and settled down to run a tavern. Unfortunately the Sheriff of Nottingham hit them with taxes, so Robin made a secret deal with Rumplestiltskin. He must go to Oz and steal a potion from Zelena ( Rebecca Mader ). En route he meets Will Scarlett for the first time, and discovers a certain magic arrow.
This episode involves a twist that is not foreshadowed. It seems as if the writers had written themselves into a corner, so they shoehorned this in.
Young Cruella ( Victoria Smurfitt ) was held prisoner by her mother ( Anna Galvin ). Luckily a young journalist (AKA the Author) came by and befriended lonely Cruella. He took her to a 1920s Flapper club, like something out of The Great Gatsby. Despite being trapped alone like Rapunzel for a couple of decades she manages to get all the info she needs out of him.
In Storybrooke, Cruella wants revenge on the author. She takes Henry hostage in the hope of getting Emma to help her. Luckily the heroes are too smart to do what Cruella wants. Unfortunately they lose sight of the fact that Gold is manipulating everyone too.
Emma Swan ( Jennifer Morrison ) takes Regina on a road trip. Their first destination is to pick up Lilly ( Agnes Bruckner ), the daughter of Maleficent. Yes, Maleficent has betrayed Gold. After all, with Ursula and Cruella gone there is not much of a Sisterhood left. If she gets Lilly back, she might actually forgive the Charmings.
The flashbacks are of the second time Emma met Lilly. Somehow Lilly managed to find her new foster home, where she lived with foster-father Cameron Bancroft ( Codename Eternity ). Naturally, Lilly brought chaos with her and left destruction in her wake.
Emma Swan ( Jennifer Morrison ) and Regina go to New York City to save Robin Hood from Zelena ( Rebecca Mader ). Unfortunately there is an unwanted complication, although it was an inevitable conclusion to two people living together as man and wife for six months. Zelena is pregnant, and Robin Hood is the father. Everyone ignores that fact that technically he is a victim of Rape By Deception. Instead, Zelena mocks Regina for defining her happiness in terms of being with a man. Well, the alternative is for her to live like Scrooge McDuck atop a huge pile of money, with nobody to keep her company except a huge collection of cats.
Regina's plan is the same as always - get the scribe to write her a happy ending. She borrows the man from Gold, but this is basically classic Regina. She is still an evil Queen at heart, using coercion to get whatever she wants.
The flashbacks are of Regina's early attempts to heal her wounded heart. She tried mourning Daniel the stable-boy, and declaring war on Snow White and any random villagers who got in her way. However, her mother Cora ( Barbara Hershey ) returned from Wonderland and tried to help her. Unfortunately, all she does is make things worse. Regina was not suited to a loveless marriage the same way her mother was, although Cora loved Rumple so much she literally had to rip her own heart out. Instead, Regina has a soulmate ... and her mother sets her up on a blind date. Regina decides to end the chain of succession to deny Cora a chance at the throne ... even though her father would become Regent in event of her demise, and Cora would just have to rule through him as a proxy.
Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) and the author have achieved what some thought impossible. The villains have gotten their happy ending. Unfortunately this is a dark alternative, where Snow White is now the wicked Queen. Charming was murdered, so she keeps his wicked brother James as her love-slave instead.
Henry and Hook team up together. They face off against Blackbeard (Charles Mesure - V (2009) ) to steal his ship, the Jolly Roger. Then they try the Wookie Prisoner Trick on a prison guard to free Emma Swan ( Jennifer Morrison ). Finally, they have to face off against Lilly ( Agnes Bruckner ) - in her dragon form!
Snow White has the Seven Dwarves as her henchmen, plus Granny the werewolf. A pity that Ruby is nowhere to be seen, because it would make more sense to have her among Snow's allies.
Meanwhile, Zelena ( Rebecca Mader ) is about to get her happy ending - marriage to Robin Hood, formerly her sister Regina's soulmate. This is quite disturbing, because Zelena got pregnant by raping Robin. Of course, nobody in the show mentions this - and more than they might mention Regina raping Jamie Dornan.
This episode is a good Season ending, with a lot of cameos and a lot of plotlines tied up. In fact, this would have made a decent ending to the entire show. However, there are a lot of deliberate loose ends so the story can be dragged out for another Season. Lilly wants to know who her father is, Belle ( Emilie de Ravin ) wants Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) back, they will have to go looking for Merlin the Magician ... and Emma's dark potential has been embraced.
Emma takes her parents, her son, Gold and Regina and Robin Hood on a quest. She falls asleep and has a vision of her baby-daddy, Neal. They relive the first moment that they met, in the back seat of a Volkswagon.
Emma and her fellowship arrive in the Underworld. It looks like a post-Apocalyptic version of Storybrooke, so it is somehow linked to the Dark Curse. It is filled with familiar faces - people with unfinished business, mostly villains. The Mayor is Cora ( Barbara Hershey ), the Sheriff is Prince James, and the barmaid is a Wicked Witch ( Emma Caulfield ). Even Peter Pan (Robbie Kay - Heroes Reborn ) is lurking around the place. Just the kind of place that Hook would feel at home.
The flashbacks are to Regina's heyday as Wicked Queen. She is after Snow White's heart, but forgets that Snow might lure her into an ambush. Of course, Regina can teleport herself home - abandoning her coach and soldiers. But why bother hunting if you run away at the first sign of a fight? Back in the castle, her father reminds her that her real obsession is with her mother - Cora.
Emma and Regina go scouting in the woods. Robin and Henry go looking for the Mayor's map of the city.
The flashbacks are of Snow White's time as Regina's step-daughter. She ran away from her responsibilities as a Princess. In the woods she teamed up with young Hercules. He gives her important moral support, but despite his superhuman strength he lets her do all the fighting. However, since there is apparently no standing army it is just as well she can defeat entire gangs of bandits single-handedly.
Hades (Greg Germann - Eureka ) is torturing Hook. He wants payback for the good guys saving souls from his domain.
Regina meets the new Mayor, Cruella de Vil ( Victoria Smurfitt ). Luckily Cruella is feeling magnanimous, and gives her a few tips on how to read the tombstones.
The flashbacks are of Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) when he was human and unhappily married. As a cripple he was relegated to the role of house-husband while his wife was a career-woman peasant farmer. Unfortunately they were terrible parents, because young Bale got bitten by a snake. The henpecking wife sent Rumple off to murder a shaman (Chief Tyroll - Battlestar Galactica (2003) ) in order to steal the magical cure for snakebites. Meanwhile, the wife goes off to drown her sorrows in Captain Hook's favourite tavern.
Hook's brother pays him a visit. This is a bit too convenient, but nobody questions this.
Cruella de Vil ( Victoria Smurfitt ) wants to find the magic quill so Henry can write her alive again.
The flashbacks are of Hook and his brother on their last voyage before they joined the Navy.
Zelena ( Rebecca Mader ), the Wicked Witch of Oz, goes to Storybrooke to get her baby back. Belle ( Emilie de Ravin ) tries to stop her, but the Dark One enacts his curse and brings them to the Underworld. The rest of the episode centres around Zelena's attempts to get her child back. The others think she cannot be trusted with the child,
The flashbacks are Zelena's. She was confronted by a somewhat butch Dorothy, then befriended by Hades (Greg Germann - Eureka ). Ironically the two supervillains discovered they had a lot in common, specifically a lust for revenge against the siblings who had disinherited them. Then the King of the Underworld takes the Wicked Witch of the West on a bike ride like in Butch Cassiday and the Sundance Kid. Can they live happily ever after together?
Hades (Greg Germann - Eureka ) wants revenge on Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) for going against his wishes. Worse, the presence of living souls in the Underworld gas created hope. He sends Belle's ex-lover after her.
The flashbacks are to when Belle ( Emilie de Ravin ) first met with her handsome lover. They are matched for a political wedding, because their fathers need to make an alliance against a potential invasion by Ogres. Soon, Belle and the young man discover an Ogre scout. The man wants to use extreme rendition on it, while Belle prefers to use magical means. This is ironic in a couple of ways. Firstly, magic (even the use of a cursed item) usually comes at a price, dearie. Secondly, in the next episode Emma and Snow are happy enough to use the threat of violence to extort info out of the cleavage witch
Ruby ( Meghan Ory ) is back, in search of a family. It turns out she and Mulan went to Oz, where they met Butch Dorothy. Zelena ( Rebecca Mader ) put Dorothy in the Sleeping Beauty Curse, so Ruby has come to the Underworld to find a cure.
The Apprentice now in charge of writing everyone's happy ending is Henry, a teenage boy. And what teenage boy could resist the opportunity to create an ending that involves lots of hot girl-on-girl action?
Zelena ( Rebecca Mader ) and Hades (Greg Germann - Eureka ) make quite the happy couple. And why shouldn't they? After all, Regina always goes on about wanting a happy ending. Well, Regina conspires with her mother to spoil Zelena's fun.
Cruella de Vil ( Victoria Smurfitt ) and Prince James make a play to abduct Zelena's daughter. They can hardly be blamed, since they are trapped in the Underworld. Henry will not help them, so they have to appease Hades instead.
The Flashbacks are of Regina's mother. Once Regina was injured, and Zelena had to heal her. Yes, the two sisters became friends in childhood, although their terrible mother made them both forget about it. She really missed a trick, because three witches makes a coven - and a coven of Regina, Zelena and their mother would be unstoppable!
There seems to be a bit of disparity in terms of who gets a terrible ending. The people thrown into the waters of eternal torment are just minor villains, whereas the most evil of all characters need only to perform a single good deed and they get a happy ending.
Hades the God of Death (Greg Germann - Eureka ) offers to allow the good guys to leave the Underworld. However, he needs them to help him save Zelena the Wicked Witch ( Rebecca Mader ) from the Stiltskins. This is even more terrifying if you understand what Stiltskin means in Dutch!
Emma and Hook go looking for Ambrosia. Hades tells them where to look, but warns them that the famous escape was before his time. Either he is not the original God of Death, or he is being untruthful.
With Hades on his way out of the Underworld, Cruella de Vil ( Victoria Smurfitt ) has decided to promote herself from Mayor to Queen. She is out for revenge, and has the witch to help her.
The flashbacks are of Emma, a year or so before she found Storybrooke. She was a young crook on the run, pursued by a middle-aged female bounty hunter ( Rya Kielstedt ). However, she kept getting dragged back into her personal quest to discover who her birth parents were.
The good guys are back in Storybrooke. Snow White has passed her responsibilities to a tall redheaded Scottish girl who dresses like Merida, the protagonist in Brave . The producers could have got the real Kelly MacDonald , she lives and works in the USA so it should be easy to hire her, but they cast a cheap alternative instead. Just like when they failed to cast the original Anna from Frozen .
Hades the God of Death (Greg Germann - Eureka ) has brought Zelena ( Rebecca Mader ) and her child back to Storybrooke. He has convinced her that he is an innocent victim of anti-evil prejudice, and that he must defend himself by conquering the town.
Robin is obsessed with saving his as-yet-unnamed baby daughter. Yes, he does not trust the child's own mother. Just like Belle's father, who would rather leave his adult daughter trapped in a sleeping curse than see her happpily married to Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ).
Down in the Underworld, Hook teams up with King Arthur. They go on a quest to find out what Hades' only weakness is. The good news is, Henry left the magic story-book in the Underworld. The bad news is, Cruella de Vil ( Victoria Smurfitt ) is in charge now.
The show's theme tends to be that love redeems evil, and that everyone (including the villains) should be redeemed with a happy ending. Gold's is temporarily thwarted, but Emma's relationship with Hook is in a much worse way. Zelena and Regina both have love interests - will either be allowed a happy ending?
All the Season's loose ends are tied up except one - Belle ( Emilie de Ravin ) is still trapped. Unfortunately, Henry decides to destroy all magic in Storybrooke. He steals the last magic crystal from his grandfather, then flees town with his girlfriend from Camelot. His two mothers team up to go looking for him, with lots of bickering like in a mismatched cop buddy movie.
Zelena ( Rebecca Mader ) offers to help by opening a portal and letting all the magic folk go home before Henry either accidentally kills them or traps them in a land without magic. Unfortunately she, Hook and the Charmings are sucked through the portal into a mysterious land. The good news is, they meet a friendly face - a doctor who will not tell them his name. Yes, that is never a good sign, but his clothes are gothic style like Doctor Whale's. The bad news is, they are captured by a villainous local (Sam Witwer - Being Human USA ).
Regina begins to speak of the Evil Queen as a seperate person, instead of merely her former, angry self. Her new answer to getting herself a happy ending is to solidify the Queen as an external entity, and then MURDER her own alternate self. Yes, the path of goody-two-shoesness is to commit a mortal sin.
Rumple takes Belle ( Emilie de Ravin ) to the Temple of Morpheus, where he can magically cure her. He enters her dream and makes her fall in love with him again. Unfortunately he runs into Morpheus, a class-A manipulator.
Regina has a lot of soap opera issues. She has lost her happy ending, but plans to muddle through. However, this means falling out with her sister Zelena ( Rebecca Mader ).
Regina's alter-ego, the Evil Queen, is back in town. She teams up with Zelena ( Rebecca Mader ), Regina's estranged sister. After all, they have an awful lot in common. We must enquire as to why the Queen was considered evil in the first place. Was it her perfectly reasonable quest for revenge after her lover's murder? Or was it her selfish quest for power? Regina is now good, and although her love life is gone she has forgiven everyone. She can still concentrate on her career, because the town needs a Mayor. But being evil seems to be what made her good at her job.
The Count of Monte Cristo (Craig Horner - Legend of the Seeker ) is in town. He is looking for Snow and Charming - Regina hired him to kill them years ago, and never bothered to rescind the agreement. As an anti-hero he does not fit into the show's hero/villain dichotomy. The flashbacks include his encounter with the other complicated character, Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ).
Emma is seeing the town shrink, Archie Hopper (Raphael Sbarge - Star Trek: Voyager ) - formerly Jimminy Cricket - due to her problem of recurring visions. She has forseen a future where she loses a duel to the death. But who is the arch-villain she will lose to? Is it Regina, or the Evil Queen? Nobody mentions her own evil half, the Dark Swan of the previous Season.
Cinderella ( Jessy Schram ) gets word that her ugly sister and wicked stepmother arrived on the dirigible. She picks up a rifle and goes hunting for them. Her husband cannot intervene, because he has to stay home and look after the baby.
Snow White misses the good old days of boring stability - during the Curse! She wants to be a school-teacher again. Her new plan to find the cure is for Doctor Jekyll to team up with Doctor Frankenstein (David Anders - Alias ). Afterwards, she wants them to become the school's science faculty. More likely they would just become an awesome super-villain team-up.
Hyde (Sam Witwer - Being Human USA ) teams up with the Wicked Queen. After all, they have a lot in common - they are both evil twins. Their first stop is with Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ), who has trimmed his hair so he can appear in Trainspotting 2. He takes it upon himself to protect Belle ( Emilie de Ravin ), who is very ungrateful for his help. In contrast, she is very grateful indeed towards Captain Hook!
Hyde wants revenge on Rumple, and the flashbacks explain why. Rumple helped Jekyll - not with magic, but with friendly advice. Jekyll tested his potion himself, and created Hyde. He then used Hyde as go-between with his love interest, Mary ( Elizabeth Blackmore ). Unfortunately there was an unforseen complication. The split was not between good and evil, or order and chaos. Jekyll was the logical one, and Hyde was the passionate one. This explains why the Wicked Queen is so much more interesting than Regina. Naturally, Mary preferred the villainous/passionate Hyde. This could only end badly.
Snow White goes back to her day job as schoolteacher. This is a better idea than being mayor, because at least this is something she used to be good at. Not any more, it seems. Luckily she has a mysterious new teaching assistant - Jasmine ( Karen David ).
The wicked Queen pressures psychiatrist Archie Hopper (Raphael Sbarge - Star Trek: Voyager ), formerly Jimminy Cricket. He refuses to talk about any of his patients, a blatant lie since Regina caught him blabbing all her secrets to the Charmings. The Queen abducts him and leaves him tied up for Zelena ( Rebecca Mader ) to take care of him.
Emma has to confess about her visions to her family. The moral of the episode is that keeping secrets from your family is a bad thing. As she is the Saviour she has magic powers, but she always assumed that Rumple's warning, Magic comes at a price, dearie, did not apply to her. This is in spite of her time as the Dark One in the previous Season. Also, Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) is not in sight this week. He is probably back in Glasgow with his new old haircut.
In the flashbacks, Jasmine ( Karen David ) recruits Aladdin. She is an aristocrat, so she uses Received Pronunciation, but he is in the underclass so he speaks with a working class accent from somewhere in the north of England. The plan is to battle Jafar (Oded Fehr - The Mummy ). We all know that the villain's final defeat was in Once Upon A Time In Wonderland , so the outcome of this battle is in doubt. Did Aladdin survive and make it as far as Storybrook?
The wicked Queen tries to turn Henry against Hook. It seems that despite everything, Emma's son has never warmed to the pirate. This all seems a bit out of character - as Hook reminds us, they did the Wookie Prisoner Trick together - but Henry may have a good reason. The Queen knows something that nobody could possibly know - Hook has hidden the magic shears instead of throwing them into the ocean. Not without good reason, of course - a powerful magical tool should not be discarded, and the ocean is filled with magical creatures that could easily retrieve it.
Hook and Henry get kidnapped and held aboard the Nautilus. Hook explains how he first met Captain Nemo (Farran Tahir - ), who recruited him because they shared a common thirst for revenge. Nemo tried to convince Hook that revenge was not the best way. However, Hook has enemies of his own - including his half-brother Liam.
The wicked Queen gives the Charmings twelve hours to surrender their hearts, or she will fatally poison the entire population of the town. They try to use True love to defeat her, but with limited success.
Regina has no way of hurting her evil twin directly, so she tries the soap opera way of attacking her relationship. She tries to turn Zelena ( Rebecca Mader ) against her sister by revealing the Queen's relationship with Gold. If Zelena gets jealous of her sister's happiness, she may blab everything she knows about Gold's plot of Belle ( Emilie de Ravin ).
The flashback is of Snow White in her original exile in the enchanted forest. Before she met Ruby or the seven dwarves, her only ally was the Blue Fairy ( Keegan Connor Tracey ). The bad news is, she fell foul of an honest hard-working man - the woodsman. The good news is, a greedy and murderous shepherd boy came along.
Regina and Emma try to trap the Wicked Queen in a mirror. She does it on them first, then poses as Regina and helps Henry go on his date with Violet. Meanwhile, the girls try to get in touch with The Dragon. If only Sidney Glass was still around.
Belle ( Emilie de Ravin ) is worried that Gold will try to abduct her child. After all, it is his son too - and she has denied him all visitation rights. She blames him for everything because he will not give up his magical powers. Regina has redeemed herself, and is still allowed to use magic. Emma was the Dark One, but has been blessed with the magical role of saviour. And while Snow and Charming do not use magic themselves, they have an awful lot of privilege that nobody would ask them to surrender.
The flashbacks are to Belle's time as Rumple's indentured servant. He obtains a baby somehow, presumably with a nefarious purpose in mind. Belle learns that he plans to use it to lure the Black Fairy ( Jamie Murray ).
Gold sends the Evil Queen to kill Zelena ( Rebecca Mader ). A couple of years ago, the wicked witch was the most powerful sorceress ever. Now she can get wiped out easily by Regina's better half.
Jasmine ( Karen David ) and Aladdin test the genie's lamp.
Emma discovers a way to defeat the Evil Queen. However, even without her own magic the Evil Queen is still powerful. She holds Jasmine ( Karen David ) hostage, and uses Aladdin the genie's magic. Her first wish is to give Emma what she wanted ... a world where she is not the Saviour.
Regina tries to help Emma. She steals the second wish, and has herself transported to wherever Emma is. It turns out to be a parallel world where the Queen never used the Curse. She was banished by Snow and Charming, and now everyone is thirty years older.
Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) cannot help, because he has problems of his own. Due to the Evil Queen's interference, Belle ( Emilie de Ravin ) foolishly entrusted their baby to the Blue Fairy ( Keegan Connor Tracey ). It turns out that the boy's grandmother, the wicked Black fairy ( Jamie Murray ), wants to raise him herself ...
Emma and Regina are still trapped in the alternate universe. They split up to follow their own agendas. Emma teams up with Pinocchio and gets him to build a magic wardrobe. Regina goes after Robin Hood, in order to see if she can get her happy ending back.
Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) and Belle ( Emilie de Ravin ) have their son back. The bad news is, the boy was raised by his grandmother - the wicked Black fairy ( Jamie Murray ) - in a world where time travelled at a faster rate. He is now in his twenties, and wants to become a saviour so he can get revenge on grandma. Unfortunately he thinks that to become a saviour he has to kill one. A cynical person might think that he would be better suited to joining the Saviours in The Walking Dead (Season 7) .
David, AKA Prince Charming, sees the ghost of his father ( Medium ). This spurs him on to seek out the man's killer. Captain Hook gets dragged along as a reluctant helper.
The story started when David and his twin brother they were babies. They fell ill, and Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) offered to save their lives. Is it better to save both babies if one must got to a wealthy home? After all, the family will not be apart ... they just will not be together.
David's mother was okay with the deal, but his father was riven with guilt and only became an alcoholic to drown his sorrows. Even Rumple took pity on him, because of his own loss of Balefire. It turns out the boy went to the local version of Neverland.
The most obvious suspect is King George (Alan Dale - Lost ), the man who adopted David's twin. He had the means and motivation, and he has been locked up for murdering a mouse many Seasons ago. Yes, the dungeon under the hospital still has at least one inmate. Sidney Glass spent a few Seasons there for a crime that Regina committed. In fact, most of the murderers in Storybrooke still walk free.
Regina has her own sub-plot, involving the new Robin Hood. Emma pops up briefly, but she has no real plot of her own this week. In fact, the whole Saviour plotline is ignored so she can take her son Henry on a canoeing holiday.
Robin Hood is being emotionally smothered by Regina, and decides to escape from Storybrooke. To do this he needs a magic-user, so he teams up with Zelena ( Rebecca Mader ).
Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe ) tracks down his son. The boy is still on a vengeance quest, keen to kill Emma for her Saviour powers so he can use them against his grandmother.
Rumple's flashbacks are to the First Ogre War, when he saved the Kingdom single-handedly. Despite being the Dark One he was still quite noble. However, Beowulf the Hero was jealous of Rumple for upstaging him. Then a monster called Grendel started to attack villagers, so Rumple and Balefire set off to help Beowulf. Rumple tries to take the moral high path, but it seems that everyone prefers to think of him as a villain.
The Evil Queen has found Robin Hood. He offers a team-up with her, but she only cares about getting revenge on her better half.
Meanwhile, Hook is in a quandry about what to do over his guilty memory. He could burn a magic dream-catcher, and thus erase the offending guilt. Captain Nemo (Faran Tahir - ) is about to set sail on the Nautilus, and would welcome an extra crewman.
The flashbacks are of the Evil Queen, back in the Enchanted Forest. Tinkerbell pops up in a brief arrempt to talk sense into her. This is the second time in this Season that a recurring character has re-appeared after defecting to iZombie .
Emma is upset over Hook's disappearance, and assumes he has run away without leaving a note. Snow White and Regina, formerly arch-enemies, conspire together to cheer Emma up by getting her drunk.
Jasmine is the protagonist for the main storyline. She and Aladdin are still in search of Agrabah. This mirrors the flashbacks, which feature Jafar (Oded Fehr - The Mummy ) and Ariel ( JoAnn Swisher ).
Hook and Captain Nemo (Faran Tahir - ) use the Nautilus to search for a Kraken. Its blood is the quickest way for them to get home. Unfortunately, the ship gets damaged and they have to abandon it. Well, they do not HAVE to abandon it. They could use magic to save the entire ship and everyone on it, but instead the magic wish is worded to only save the people. Nemo declares his intent to somehow salvage his ship, but how he hopes to refloat a submarine is not explained.
Gideon has sent Hook away to another world, and Emma must help him in order to get her lover back. She is somewhat reluctant, because she still considers him a villain - Gideon, that is, not the lying murderous pirate Hook. He gives her exposition, and we get a flashback to his childhood. The boy was raised by his grandmother - the wicked Black fairy ( Jamie Murray ). Even though he was a tiny baby when she took him, and he had no concept of any other sort of upbringing, he still felt entitled to something. Finally, when he came of age and became an adult - on his twenty-eighth birthday - she gave him some responsibility.
Hook has no choice but to team up with rival pirate Blackbeard (Charles Mesure - V (2009) ). The two captains only have one ship between them, the Jolly Roger, but it is currently Hook's property.
Henry's authorship superpower malfunctions somehow. Regina tries to help him. Unfortunately the only person who really knows about the authorship powers is the last one to have them, the previous author. He is still locked up in the hospital's dungeon, imprisoned without trial at the whim of Prince Charming. Remember, all powerful roles in local government are controlled by Charming and his Royal bloodline.
Hook meets Tiger Lilly in Neverland. She gives him a piece of a magic wand, the only thing that can defeat the season's villain. If this seems familiar, it is because this is an identical plot device to Grimm . Also, the idea of upping the ante in the final Season to the show's greatest villain is another trope shared with that show, as well as Vampire Diaries . Of course, both those shows used The Devil while this show used Hades in the previous Season and so is now stuck with the Black Fairy.
The flashbacks are of Snow White and Prince Charming. They recovered their memories during the original Dark Curse. However, they had to make a decision. They could stay in a cursed state for another couple of decades so their daughter could become the Saviour and end the curse, or leave with young Emma and become a happy, mundane family.
Hook has proposed to Emma. Snow White plans an elaborate wedding ceremony. The only venues available are Granny's and the Town Hall.
The flashbacks are of young Zelena, who lived in a forest near the Emerald City. She befriended an African-American wood-cutter. Decades later, she had the chance to save him from the Tin Man curse. Will she eventually go back to save him? After all, she is supposedly good now.
The flashbacks are of the Black fairy herself. Rumple and Emma go into a magical dream-state so they can act as observers in her flashbacks. She gave birth to Rumple, then Blue and Tiger Lily arrived to warn her of his fate. The good news is, he was meant to be the Saviour. The bad news is, the Saviour is doomed to be martyred in the final battle. The mother attempts to use magic to save her family, but just like all her descendants she only makes things worse.
The others go looking for a magic wand that can kill the villain. Regina takes her on in a magic duel. Of course, Zelena ( Rebecca Mader ) was stronger than Regina and still lost. Now Zelena is taking driving lessons so she can leave town and go to NYC. Regina reminds her sister that she spent 28 years without magic. A pity she could not remember this in the middle Seasons, when addictive magic was corrupting her and she had to go cold turkey. The same with Gold, whose love of magic is blamed for his alleged evil streak.
In the flashbacks, Emma inadvertently casts a spell to make everyone in the enchanted Kingdom start to sing. This is a typical Jump The Shark moment, when the show is so out of fresh ideas that they pad out an episode with a gimmick.
Lots of supporting characters get a supporting line or two. The Charmings have a somewhat bland duet. The Evil Queen is strong and sexy, and so is her song. The Dark One is immune to the spell, and seriously considers replacing Regina as his protege with Zelena ( Rebecca Mader ). It descends into a sing-off.
Back in Storybrooke the villainess, the Black Fairy ( Jamie Murray ), is confronted by the town matriarchs - Regina, Zelena, Snow and Emma. She gives away everything - the fact that she is still alive, the fact that her supposed killer is on her side, and the method she will use to destroy the town.
The villain offers the saviour an alternative - sacrifice herself instead of risking her relatives. However, there is a deus ex machina that allows the Season to drag out for two more episodes.
Emma and Killian (the captain formerly known as Hook) are due to be married. Hence all the guest-stars around for the wedding. But the whole thing ends on a cliffhanger.
The Black Fairy has enacted her new version of the Dark Curse. She is now the mayor of Storybrooke, while Emma Swan has spent the last two years in a mental ward. Archie Hopper is her psychiatrist. Dr Whale gets a name-check too, though he does not appear on-screen. Henry tries to convince Emma that the stories are true, just like in the good old days of Season One.
Gold and Gideon are also stuck in Storybrooke, but this time they also have no memory of their true selves. Presumably the Black Fairy kept them around for sentimental reasons. She has written off Belle, who apparently became a hedonist and abandoned her family.
Everyone else has been dumped in the Enchanted Forest. Well, Zelena was sent back to Oz but found her way between the worlds. It turns out that the fictional worlds are evaporating as the Saviour slowly stops believing in them. This sounds not unlike the plot of Neverending Story 3 . Why it is the Saviour's belief that matters and not the Author's is not explained.
This takes up a few years after the end of the previous Season. Henry has been reading the other books in the author's library. It turns out there are parallel versions of many of the fairytales. In other words, the storylines can be rehashed in a reboot. If anything, this is an example of what Once Upon A Time In Wonderland would have been if it was centred on Earth.
Instead of going to College, Henry decides to take a gap year. His plan is to motorbike around the other realms. Of course, it all goes badly wrong.
Years later, Henry looks like Andrew J. West ( The Walking Dead ). He is a successful novelist living in Seattle. Yes, he published a book about the events of the first six Seasons. However, he believes it to be fiction. Then a young girl turns up on his doorstep and claims to be his daughter.
Instead of the small town of Storybrooke, this curse is set in the fictional Seattle neighbourhood of Hyperion Heights. It is a bit more ethnically diverse than Storybrooke, although the main characters (including the villains) are all caucasian.
The friendly policeman is promoted to Detective. His new partner is Detective Rumple.
The flashbacks are of Hook. He met an alternate version of himself, the overweight middle-aged fellow from the book.
The flashbacks are of Cinderella. She teamed up with Tiana and the Resistance.
Detective Rumple has an informant. She is a homeless girl who is off her medication. Everyone thinks she is mentally ill, but she has visions of her life before the Curse.
The flashbacks are of Rumple and Belle. They live together happily ever after, so to speak. Rumple is still cursed. Not necessarily with eternal evil, but eternal life.
Victoria is keeping a witch chained up in the attic. Ivy is suspicious of what her mother is up to.
Henry (Andrew J. West - The Walking Dead ) tried to befriend Ivy. Ronnie intervenes, because she cannot resist the impulse to act like Henry's mother. She does not trust Ivy - after all, she is Victoria's daughter.
The flashbacks are of Tiana. Back in her old life, her mother ( Robin Givens ) held a yard sale. The King had raised taxes, for no apparent economic reason. Tiana has a get-rich-quick scheme - to marry a Prince. She learns something else - You don't need to find a Prince if you can BECOME a Prince. Unfortunately she does not realise that she must either marry Cinder-Fella, or live alone with a lot of cats.
Henry (Andrew J. West - The Walking Dead ) tries to ask Cinderella out on a date. After all, in heteronormative world it must be only one man and one woman.
Detective Rumple gets out of hospital, just in time for Ronnie to ask a favour of him. She wants him to find the adoption records from when Henry was adopted by Regina in Boston a few decades previously.
Detective Hook teams up with Rumple's street-rat. He wants her help to find Eloise Gardener, the missing girl he is obsessed with finding.
The flashbacks are of Regina. She defined herself through her relationship with a man - specifically, she was Henry's mother. When she realised he did not need her any more, she adopts Druzilla as an apprentice. After all, they both had overbearing witches as mothers. Unfortunately Regina underestimates her apprentice.
The episode starts with a flashback to the Wish Realm. Hook and Smee (Chris Gautier - Eureka ) make a deal with the Evil Queen. She sends them to steal magic from a rival witch. Hook learns that there is something more important than revenge.
In the modern day, Detective Hook has followed a lead and discovered his only suspect is dead. He goes looking for Rumple's informant, who is selling stolen goods beside the troll statue.
In the flashback, Henry and Ella practice sword-fighting. He was taught by Captain Hook, a naval officer and experienced pirate, yet somehow Ella manages to be the better fighter. Presumably he is just letting her win so he can avoid accusations of mansplaining or mysoginistic violence.
Alice pops up, then runs off to Wonderland. Henry and Ella go after her. They discover that Druzilla has a cunning plan.
This episode's flashback is Rapunzel. Previously we discovered that she outwitted the evil witch by herself. Now we get to see how it happened.
In the modern day, Victoria is in jail. However, we actually get the chance to empathise with her. After all, the previous episodes were from her enemies' perspectives.
It turns out that Druzilla has had mother issues since childhood. When she was young she chose her step-mother over her real mother. Later she had Regina as a mentor, and now she has another witch as a mother figure.
Rumple's quest is made clear. He has to find someone who fits the job title of The Guardian.