Previously on Once Upon A Time, Cora broke Regina’s heart by ripping her
As if to apologize for the lack of ladies in last week’s episode, we open on Team Badass, traipsing around what’s left of the Enchanted Forest. Aurora’s whining a little bit (which is fine because she’s adorable), but Mulan interrupts when she notices no one is guarding their hideaway. They realize it’s because everyone is dead, hearts ripped out of their chest — that is, everyone except one person. They dig a twitching arm out from under the heap of bodies and discover it’s the one and only Captain Eyeliner.
Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, Charming punches Dr. Whale in the face for sleeping with Mary Margaret, even though he exclaims, “WE WERE CURSED.” Whale charms Charming and gets him to admit that the Queen had been lying when she said all the other lands no longer existed.
Speaking of that sexy she-devil, she has also returned to us this week and shows up at Jiminy Cricket’s office for help. She’s two days into her no-magic sobriety and she’s having a rough time of it. Dr. Whale barges in mid-session and demands Regina return him to his land so he can be reunited with his dead brother. She had looked vulnerable mere seconds before, but she built those walls up again right quick and sasses the doctor into submission.
Back in time, Young Regina is having a magic tutoring session with Rumpelstiltskin. She freezes a beautiful black unicorn and giddily exclaims, “There, I did it!” and it was adorable in a way I cannot capture here.
Things quickly take a turn for the dark when Rumple says the next step is to reach in and take out the unicorn’s heart. Being inclined to love unicorns, she can’t bring herself to rip its heart out. The Dark One does it for her, but taking the heart out isn’t what kills these victims. He tosses the heart to Regina and asks her to finish the job. She can’t do it, so Rumple basically calls her a scaredy-queen and tells her to come back when she’s ready to really learn magic.
Regina admits to Jiminy Cricket that she still has Daniel’s body, magically preserved and stored in her family mausoleum. Which. Creepy. While she’s driving home, she sees aforementioned dead ex-boyfriend standing across the rainy street, but he’s gone before she can get a closer look, and I’m starting to wonder if Daniel’s last name is DiLaurentis. Just to be sure, Regina goes to her crypt. Sure enough, the glass coffin is empty.
Flash back to Regina pleading with Rumpelstiltskin to take her back under his evil, shimmery wing. He gives her the same spiel the Genie gives Aladdin – his magic knows few limits, but bringing back the dead is one of them. The Mad Hatter interrupts to give Rumps a crystal ball. He was also supposed to get slippers that would transport him to another land (I’d bet a multi-colored horse they were ruby slippers), but he had failed to get those.
After he’s done with the Hatter, Rumpelstiltskin tells Regina to GTFO. In doing so, he says, “So long as you live in the past, you’ll never find your future.” I hate when evil people make so much sense.
Jefferson pulls Regina aside and says he knows someone — a wizard, specifically — who can bring back the dead. We then see what may very well have been her very first wicked grin.
Back in the Enchanted Forest, Mulan is giving Emma the low-down on who the one-handed stranger is, but Emma’s not buying that Cora would leave behind any survivors. Emma has finally turned on her bounty-hunter skills and calls him out on being a liar, liar, pants on fire.
Since this show likes to give you a few subtle hints before bashing you over the head with references, the Mad Hatter and Young Regina are off to see the wizard. He prefers being called doctor, and the doctor is impressed by Regina’s ability to keep Daniel’s body as fresh as a corpse could possibly be. He just needs someone to rip a glowing heart out of someone’s chest for him.
Regina says, “I will not use magic for evil.” and I laugh.
However, she knows where to get a heart without having to rip it out herself. She takes them to a fireplace that starts beating…then leads them through it to a VAULT OF BEATING HEARTS. It is the creepiest sound I’ve heard since the opening sequence of American Horror Story.
Present-day Regina finds an arm on a table in Dr. Whale’s office, and an arm-less Dr. Whale on the floor. He admits to bringing Daniel back from the dead, but warns that he may not be the Daniel she so lovingly remembers…
She takes the doctor to the hospital and Charming corners her. All this talk about Daniel is throwing her off her game, because she starts admitting things to the Prince. Like that she, too, has a vault of nameless hearts.
Regina thinks Daniel would naturally go to where they last saw each other — the stables. However, since he has been nothing but trouble since the curse was broken, of course Henry is there and immediately gets snatched up by Zombie!Daniel.
The Feisty Four have tied their supposed blacksmith to a tree, and Emma is whistling for Ogres like she hadn’t almost gotten eaten by one recently. Scared out of his skinny jeans, the Captain finally admits that he is the infamous Hook. Emma’s still not used to meeting characters from books she read as a child, but Snow pulls his actual hook out of his man-purse and is convinced. He tells them what Cora is up to, and convinces them to take him along, in return for him taking them to a magic compass.
Mama Regina and Grandpa Charming show up to save Henry the Troublesome just in time, and as the Prince whips out his gun to stop the zombie, Regina panics and pleads for him to let her try to talk to him, insisting that he would listen to her.
Zombie!Daniel grabs Regina by the throat at first, but when she chokes out an “I love you,” he becomes lucid. He struggles Jekyll-and-Hyde-style for a bit, before Regina finally has to admit that the best thing for both of them would be if she leapt off the wagon and magically turned him to dust. I don’t even ship it, and my heart broke.
The first time this same resurrection was attempted, the wizard doctor told Young Regina the procedure didn’t work. However, once her and her still-dead fiancé are gone, we find out Rumpelstiltskin paid them to say it didn’t work. The Dark One’s plan works, because when Regina comes back for another lesson, she doesn’t hesitate to rip the heart out of a random girl, officially making the transition from Young Regina to Evil Queen, right down to her sexy black outfit.
Present-day Whale takes his severed arm to Mr. Gold to have it magically replaced, which he does only after the doctor admits that he needs magic. He mentions having once revived his brother and that it ended badly, so we are then shown the wizard taking his earnings (one magic heart) back to his laboratory. Dr. Frankenstein successfully brings someone back to life (which we know because he says “It’s alive”… remember that thing I said before? About sometimes being beaten over the head?), using what he had been insisting transcends magic — science.
In next week’s episode, Emma climbs up Jack’s beanstalk (which is, thankfully, not a euphemism).
What did you think of “The Doctor”?
On the next page are some of our favorite #SwanQueen tweets of the night.