“Once Upon a Time” recap (3.16): Witch Fight


Regina is sitting in the woods, trying to clear her head before her fight, when Robin Hood reappears. Regina asks if the two idiots sent him to give her a pep talk and he assures her that’s not why he’s here. He pilfers the letter out of her pocket like a true gentleman and tells her that she wants to talk about the letter because if she didn’t, she would have fried his ass by now. At least he knows what she’s capable of.

Robin reads the letter out loud — it’s from Rumple, presumably to Cora, and talks about how he found her first-born child, and that she’s wicked good at magic, the most powerful he’s ever met. Regina is upset because she had read that letter a hundred times before, but always thought it was about her. It always gave her a confidence boost if she couldn’t find a mirror, always reminded her she had her power if she was feeling lonely. And now she finds out it wasn’t even about her. What’s worse, if it’s true, Zelena might actually be more powerful than Regina.

This triggers another flashback to the Enchanted Forest. Rumplestiltskin is telling Zelena that he had been planning on having Regina perform a curse he had been creating, but now that he’s met her, he might have Zelena do it instead. He teaches Zelena that magic is about using your emotions to your advantage. Use memories of anger for a surge of power, use happiness to rein it in.

Zelena has enough anger to build a castle made of ice, but she isn’t sure what to use for a happy moment. She asks Rumple what his is, and he tells her of the spinsters who took him in and made him meat pies. This helps her, and she chooses the moment she finally felt wanted again, the moment Rumplestiltskin said he would teach her.

In Storybrooke, Team Charming storms the farmhouse, and yells to Belle that the coast is clear when there’s no sign of Zelena. Belle runs down into the storm cellar and tries to break Gold out. He tells her it’s pointless, he can’t do anything Zelena doesn’t explicitly command. Belle tells him that all he needs to do is believe in true love.

OUAT 316-5“I know better than to go IN the cage, so I’m going to float over here.”

That only gets him as far as the cage door before he shouts at her to run. Zelena appears with a wicked grin and Belle runs directly into Tinkerbell’s arms. Gold comes stumbling out of the storm cellar with a message from Zelena: She’s going to fight Regina whether they like it or not so get out of her goddamned way already.

Zelena gears up in her wickedest outfit, complete with a pointy hat.

OUAT 316-6Dressed to kill.

 On Main Street, when it looks like Regina might not show, David tries to shuffle everyone home so they don’t get caught in the crossfires of Zelena’s wrath. Zelena demands that they stay, and that there will be hell to pay if Regina doesn’t show up soon. Emma tries to step in to fight her with her very unreliable magic, saying she’s the Savior, but Zelena laughs in her face and tells her that she has an inflated sense of self-worth. Which…isn’t exactly incorrect. Though that’s not necessarily Emma’s fault.

Regina finally does show up, armed to the teeth with sass. Regina asks her one more time what on earth she did to piss her off so badly, but Zelena insists it’s just her existence that’s pissing her off. Regina slaps Zelena right across her face, and Zelena kind of likes it.

OUAT 316-7They’re sisters, they’re sisters, they’re sisters.

Flash back again to Zelena, who has put out a spread of meat pies for Rumplestiltskin. Rumple knows what this is about so he tells her he can’t stay, he has a lesson with Regina. She’s miffed that he’s still teaching her, and she starts to turn a week bit green with envy. Literally. Her neck is green. She goes to Regina’s castle and, after some villain-explaining, stabs her right in the neck. But, it wasn’t Regina, just Rumple in disguise. Rumple has decided Regina is going to do the curse, because the curse requires losing the thing you love most, and since Rumple is the thing Zelena loves most, that won’t really work out. Zelena begs and pleads, but Rumple burns his bridge with her. He immediately regrets it, however, because as soon as he mentions that he needs this curse to work so he can get to a land without magic, Zelena is like, “Bitch, I had these shoes. I could have taken you there at any time.”

Rumple starts backtracking and trying his darndest to put out the fire on the bridge, but it’s too late. The only way she’s giving up these shoes is if someone pries them off her cold, dead feet. He lunges at her, but the student has overcome the master and she gets away unscathed.

On Main Street, the witch fight continues. Zelena throws Regina into a car, and Regina gets up immediately, strutting back to Zelena with her trademark fireball.

But Zelena is actually quite powerful and dissipates the fireball before throwing Regina up into the clocktower. She flies up there and Regina dares her to kill her. Zelena laughs; that’s not what she said she was going to do. She wants to destroy her is all. Zelena plunges her fist into Regina’s chest to get out her heart, but it’s not there. Their mother taught her to “never bring your heart to a witchfight.”


Zelena is pissed and momentarily reverts to the frantic and angry teenager we’ve seen in the flashbacks. She screams that she will take everything Regina ever had, but Regina is not worried in the least.

Emma runs to Regina’s side, the rest of Team Charming trailing right behind, and is relieved to see her still alive. They put together that she’s planning some sort of spell, because she has courage, and was after a heart. And depending on what the deal with the memories is, she could already have the brains. Whatever it is, it can’t be good.

Regina runs through the forest and finds Robin Hood where she left him, guarding her heart. She puts it in a pouch and gives it to him, asking him to protect it for her while all this nonsense goes on. She says she doesn’t always realize what she has right in front of her, and the entire SwanQueen fandom facepalms because we’ve been telling her that for about three seasons now.

Zelena puts Rumple back in his cage and we find out that her plan isn’t another curse, but a time jump.

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