OUAT fans assemble! In an attempt to being you all things geeky and awesome, our fabulous friend, and often times cosplay cohort, Leslie will be joining us to give weekly recaps of ABC’s Once Upon A Time. Click below to read what she has to say about this week’s ep.
Swan Queen fans rejoice! Last night’s episode featured a heavy dose of Regina (Lana Parrilla) and Emma (Jennifer Morrison) taking the first steps on the road to repairing the relationship that Emma damaged when she brought Maid Marian back from the past.
Our main storyline focused on Emma trying to make amends with Regina as they both went in search of the Snow Queen. We open on the Snow Queen (Elizabeth Mitchell) casting an icy spell and seemingly waking someone from a frozen sleep. Cut to Elsa and Emma in the sheriff’s office, searching through files in order to figure out who the Snow Queen is. They decide the Snow Queen must have altered their memories, which is why they don’t remember her. In their digging they find a picture of Emma with the Snow Queen mixed in with the pictures Sidney took while spying on Emma when she first came to town. This prompts Emma to hunt down Regina in her vault. Needless to say, Regina is none too pleased to see Emma and feigns ignorance in regards to Sidney’s whereabouts, claiming she’s too busy trying to fix Emma’s other problem, Marian. Emma offers to add her magic to Regina’s if it’ll help, saying she’d like to have Regina’s back since Regina has always had hers. Regina, still feeling betrayed and hurt, declines the offer, saying Emma has “never had [her] back, and [she] never will.”
Once Emma is gone, Regina calls up Sidney in the magic mirror and he tells her he knows where the Snow Queen is and is willing to lead her there in exchange for his freedom. Regina refuses to set him free without first seeing if his information is true, and Sidney quickly (too quickly) acquiesces, saying he’ll lead her to the Snow Queen’s lair.
While Emma has been dealing with Regina, Elsa runs off into the woods in search of Ana, who she hears calling for her help. Elsa comes to a cliff, on the other side of which is Ana. Ana tumbles backwards, prompting Elsa to conjure her magic and, in a scene straight out of Frozen, create an ice bridge to the other side. When she finally meets up with Ana she comes to realize that it has been a trap and Ana is actually the frozen illusion we saw the Snow Queen awaken in the opening scene. She traps Elsa in ice chains and tells her the greater her fear, the stronger the chains will bind her. When Elsa asks what the Snow Queen plans to do, we get another toss to Frozen as she says “I’m going to build a snowman.”
Emma and Regina meet up in the woods during Regina’s hunt for the Snow Queen. More arguing ensues as Regina calls Emma out for trying to assuage her guilt over Marian and essentially tells her to live with it. As they come across Elsa’s ice bridge and start to cross it, a strong wind stops them and Regina realizes she’s been betrayed by Sidney. He admits to the betrayal as the ice bridge begins to break and Regina and Emma are able to run and jump to safety. They have no time to celebrate, though, as they discover a giant ice ninja the Snow Queen has created to stop them. The force of their combined magic is able to defeat it, but the Snow Queen appears and steals Regina’s magic mirror as she holds Emma and Regina captive with her magic. Elsa, having managed to overcome her fears and break free, comes to Emma and Regina’s rescue.
The Snow Queen, now with the Mirror, sets Sidney free. He offers his services to her, only to find out it was only the Mirror she wanted all along, saying it has been imbued with dark magic and a piece of Regina’s soul. We’re still left to wonder exactly what she plans on using the Mirror for, although she does warn Sidney to buy a coat, as Storybrooke is about to get very cold.
In a plot paralleling our main story, we see flashbacks of 15-year old Emma after she’s run away from her foster home. She is befriended by a girl, Lily, who comes to her rescue as she is about to get caught stealing. The two form an immediate bond as Lily leads Emma to believe that they come from similar backgrounds and that Lily has also run away from a foster family. The girls break into an empty summer-house and a typical teenage sleep over ensues, complete with junk food, video games and hamming for a camcorder they discover in the house. The girls promise to stay friends “no matter what” which doesn’t last long, as Lily’s seemingly loving adopted father tracks her down to take back home. Emma feels betrayed and walks away from Lily’s pleas to remember their friends forever vow.
Despite Emma and Regina having worked together to defeat the ice ninja, Regina still can’t forgive Emma and disappears in a swirl of magic. Emma tracks her down in her vault and says she’s been down this road before, relaying the story of Lily and how much she regretted not forgiving her. She admits that she and Regina share things that no one else in Storybrooke does and she was looking for Regina to be her friend. Regina is shocked that Regina would consider her a friend and Emma says she’s not going to stop trying. “Even if you still want to kill me.” “I don’t want to kill you,” Regina begrudgingly admits with a roll of her eyes (great scene between Lana Parrilla and Jennifer Morrison, by the way!).
In a side story, David has finally convinced Mary Margaret to leave Baby Neal in Belle’s care for an hour so they can go on a hike. (Really, David? A hike in the woods, at dark, in a town known for it’s strange creatures and magic users? Surely you can do better than that for your first outing post-baby outing?). Their evening out gets side-tracked when they stop by the sheriff’s station for walkie talkies (again, any date that requires walkie talkies would be a no-go for me) and discover the Knave has escaped from his cell. David sees this as an opportunity to have a good old-fashioned Charming/Snow White adventure, which Mary Margaret initially agrees to. She changes her mind after they start out and David agrees to search for the Knave on his own while she goes back to the baby. As she’s walking away she hears a noise and turns to find the Knave digging holes on the beach. She questions him about what he’s doing and discovers that he’s searching for his pack, which he buried one drunken evening with a map of where he buried it tucked inside. In one of several amusing exchanges in this episode, upon the Knave questioning what authority Mary Margaret has, she states she’s married to the Sheriff. “You’re married to the blonde?” “That’s my daughter. Other sheriff.” “What now?” Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who’s confused about the family and town dynamics in this show sometimes, Will Scarlet. Anyway, Mary Margaret determines that this whole thing has been set up by David in order to get her out of baby mode and feeling more like herself. She pardons him (she’s also the Mayor!) and later admits to David that she knows what he did and thanks him because she needed it. David is happy for her but tells her he had nothing to do with the Knave’s escape and subsequent discovery by Mary Margaret, concluding that he played her.
We end with Emma in her office, contemplating a file box and looking forlorn. Hook walks in and asks what’s in it. She admits it’s full of what’s left of her childhood. They go through it together and Emma discovers the camcorder she and Lily played with in the flashback. She plays the recording and after the brief scene with the girls a new scene with young Emma and some other children starts playing. Emma has no recollection of this but concludes it must be from her last foster home. The recording pans to Emma’s foster mother, who turns out to be none other than the Snow Queen herself!