Once is back this week with the return of a favorite villain, a hint at our heroic couple’s horrible past, and secrets too numerous to keep track of. Click Below for more.
Our flashback finds us in the Enchanted Forest, circa Snow White and Prince Charming’s marriage. The happy couple’s honeymoon bliss is short-lived, as they return to find their castle under a sleeping curse and the QoD there to welcome them back. They inform the couple of the Evil Queen’s plans to make good on her threat to ruin their happiness now that she has acquired the Dark Curse. They also provide them with a means of stopping her – locate the Tree of Wisdom, which will answer any question as long as it is posed by two valiant hearts. Their plan backfires, literally and figuratively, when they question the Tree and are hurled away, their question unanswered. Maleficent is the first to figure out why, informing the Charmings that they’re expecting a baby – one who, as the product of true love, has the potential for both great good and great darkness. Determined to stop the Evil Queen somehow, Maleficent comes to Snow in the middle of the night and offers to team up. Here we learn a surprising secret – Maleficent is also pregnant and will do anything to stop the curse and protect her baby. Snow is equally determined not to align herself with a villain, fearing she would be exposing unborn Emma to darkness, and refuses.
Back in modern day Storybrooke, Mary Margaret wakes from a nightmare of the QoD coming after baby Neal in retaliation for what the Charmings did to Maleficent. She and David vow to get Cruella and Ursula out of Storybrooke before anyone discovers their secret.
After an amusing exchange at the diner in which Granny refuses to serve the town’s newest villains and Cruella threatens to turn Granny’s wolf hide into a coat, David ropes Emma into tailing the duo to figure out what they’re up to. Emma, although suspicious of her parent’s obsession with the pair, follows David’s lead. Cruella and Ursula visit the pawn shop and distract Belle with idle chitchat while stealing a box once belonging to Maleficent and are subsequently pulled over by Emma and “Sheriff Chisel Chin” as Cruella dubs David. While Emma questions them, David searches Cruella’s magnificently red fur-lined car, finding the box with Maleficent’s pendant, which he keeps hidden from Emma. David and Mary Margaret determine the evil duo is planning on resurrecting Maleficent and decide to foil their plan by disposing of her ashes, still sitting below the clocktower where Emma slayed Dragon!Maleficent. While down there they are ambushed by Cruella and Ursula, who reveal they only stole the box to get the Charmings to follow them. They then carry out their plan to resurrect Maleficent, using dark magic and “the blood of those who wronged her most.” The freshly risen Maleficent vows to put the Charmings through as much pain as they have caused her.
Poor Emma, our supposed Savior with the power to detect when someone is lying, spends the episode being lied to by everyone she cares about. Her parents continue to make excuses as to why they want Cruella and Ursula out-of-town, actually convincing their daughter that she was wrong to question them because they would never lie to her.
Early in the episode after a run-in with the evil duo, it becomes clear that Killian and Ursula have a past, Killian brushes it off as a passing insignificant meeting during his time at sea, while it’s clearly more than that. Emma decides not to push him for answers, admitting she has a tendency to expect the worst in people, and vows to be more like her parents, who always see the best. Having gone to tell Emma the truth about their past with the QoD, they keep mum after eavesdropping on Emma’s conversation, telling her only that Maleficent has been resurrected.
We do get a hint of what the Charming’s are hiding when Mary Margaret enlists Regina’s help in getting rid of “Fish Sticks and Pound Puppy.” She wants Regina to go undercover as a villain, earn their trust and find out their plan. Mary Margaret confesses what they learned about Emma before she was born, that she has the potential for great darkness, and appeals to Regina’s motherly instincts. They don’t want Emma to find out what they’ve done, lose faith and discover that darkness. When Regina tries to understand the cause of all of this, Mary Margaret admits one thing – as a result of what they did, Maleficent lost the child she had tried to protect.
Let’s not forget our quest to find the author! Realizing that August disassembled then reassembled Henry’s book in order to add his own story, Regina decides to question young Pinocchio. She gets aggressive with the boy when he claims not to remember anything, upsetting Marco who tells Regina maybe she doesn’t deserve a happy ending because of the lives she’s destroyed. Sucking up her pride and showing how much she actually has changed, Regina apologizes to Marco for attacking Pinocchio. Moved by her apology, Marco hands over everything August left behind and wishes her luck on her journey. In those possessions Henry discovers a drawing of a door with a sticky note simply saying “Author?
And one last surprise this episode had for us – Belle and Will Scarlett are apparently an item? It’s as shocking to the viewers as it obviously is for Gold, who unhappily spies them kissing through the shop window.
Stay tuned next week when Regina joins up with the Queens of Darkness. She’s comes so far, but will our resident villain-turned-hero be lured back to the dark side?