This week’s episode featured more backstory on our favorite bookworm, Belle, in addition to bringing us closer to the Snow Queen’s endgame. Click Below for more!
We open on the Enchanted Forest as modern-day Belle dreams of the night her mother was killed in an ogre attack on their castle. It appears Belle blacked out during the attack and can’t remember how her mother died. In a quest to regain these memories, young Belle searches out Kristoff’s rock trolls. Along the way we discover that young Belle knew Anna, who she met up with in Oaken’s Trading Post while searching for the rock trolls. (I’ll admit I’ve been enjoying seeing Frozen come to life in the OUAT world this season). Anna also happens to be heading to the rock trolls in the hopes that they will explain why she’s never heard of her long-lost aunt Ingrid, aka Storybrooke’s Snow Queen.
While on their journey, Belle discovers the sorcerer’s box, which Anna admits she stole from a powerful wizard. When they finally encounter GrandPabbie, the head of the rock trolls, he is able to give each of them what they want. He extracts Belle’s memories and turns them into a stone, telling her to brew a tea with the stone and when she drinks it she will remember what happened the night her mother died. Anna is told that her mother actually had two sisters, Ingrid and Helga, who both mysteriously vanished. GrandPabbie helped erase all memories of their existence from Arendelle.
Anna is determined to return to Arendelle and warn Elsa of their aunt’s deception, and on their trek down the mountain a strong wind suddenly blows through. Anna slips and is dangling perilously from a cliff, while Belle drops her memory-imbued stone and must decide whether to rescue it or Anna. In trying to do both she loses the stone and Anna falls, hitting the ground and lying unconscious. The Snow Queen appears and retrieves the sorcerer’s box from Anna’s bag, then vanishes in a cloud of magic, with Anna in tow.
Belle returns home without her memories but is told by her father that her mother sacrificed her life so that Belle could live. As the ogres continue advancing on their castle Belle decides they need the assistance of Rumplestiltskin in order to save their lands. Meanwhile, Anna awakens in a cage and confronts the Snow Queen about her other sister. It is here that we begin to understand the Snow Queen’s plan – she wants a family that will accept her along with her magic. She’s found Elsa but is looking for another since she’s realized Anna is the “odd woman out.”
Back in Storybrooke, several of the town’s key residents gather in the sheriff’s office to view the videotape Emma discovered which seems to show the Snow Queen as her foster mother. They agree to split up and search for clues as to what she’s really doing in town. Emma, Regina and Hook (or “Captain Guyliner” as Regina sarcastically dubs him) hunt down her ice cream truck in the woods and find a file on Emma hidden inside. The file holds not only articles about Emma being found in the woods as a baby, but also grade school artwork more suitable for a proud parent to hold onto than an evil Snow Queen. Tucked alongside these is a scroll covered in ancient runes that they’re not able to read.
Sadly, for all you Outlaw Queen fans out there (unabashedly raises hand) the brief interaction we get with Robin and Regina in this episode was not a promising one. Robin confronts Regina about why she’s avoiding him. She admits she hasn’t figured out how to reverse Marian’s freezing spell, and may not be able to. She tells Robin to forget about her and find a way to fall in love with Marian again so True Love’s kiss can wake her.
Gold finds Belle trying to hunt down the Snow Queen and the sorcerer’s box, and when he refuses to help her she compels him using the Dark One’s dagger. In the Snow Queen’s cave Belle hears a voice. She uncovers the queen’s newly constructed mirror to find an alternate version of herself on the other side, chastising her for choosing a rock over Anna and for falling for Gold’s manipulative ways. Gold enters the cave to retrieve Belle, who is under the mirror’s spell and strikes out with the dagger, cutting Gold. He magics her to the pawn shop, where she admits she’s the reason Anna is missing and regrets having abused the dagger and keeping a secret from him, since she “knows [he’d] never keep one from [her].”
But Rumple is keeping a secret, meeting with the Snow Queen to offer her a deal and tell her the good people of Storybrooke are on to her past with Emma. She refuses, saying he has no leverage to broker any deals. After Belle’s encounter with the mirror, Gold returns to the Snow Queen to prove he does have “leverage,” brandishing the sorcerer’s hat and telling her she may want to reconsider.
We end with Elsa admitting to Emma and Hook that the Snow Queen is her aunt, having found a book on her ancestors in the town library. Hook points out that Anna and Elsa’s missing aunt looks very similar to Emma. Elsa then sees the scroll they found and is able to decipher it as a prophecy which states “the Savior shall become Ingrid’s sister.” After Belle runs in to admit her history with Anna, she also reveals the Snow Queen’s plans to cast a spell using her mirror to destroy Storybrooke by turning everyone against each other. All but Elsa and Emma, “her perfect family.”