“Once Upon A Time” recap: “Ripping hearts and taking names” (2.8)


Previously on Once Upon A Time, Cora went on a heart-ripping spree, Henry got tired of being totally useless to the plot this season and started infiltrating Aurora’s nightmares, and Captain Eyeliner led Emma to the magical compass before she ditched his sorry arse.

We start out in the Enchanted Forest, where Cora meets up with Hook at the base of the beanstalk and asks for the compass. He hangs his tail between his legs and admits that the pretty blonde Miss Swan outsmarted him. I’m still not entirely sure if he’s evil or just really desperate to get to Storybrooke to exact revenge, but either way Cora is quite through with him. Instead, she goes back to her (still creepy) vault of hearts and raises an army of zombies (?!).

At the other end of the Forest, Emma is thrusting a school photo of Henry in Aurora’s face, asking if this is the child of her nightmares. It is, and that’s when Snow admits that she has also been to this room of fire, since apparently it’s a side-effect of the Sleeping Curse. They realize they can use this room to communicate with Rumpelstiltskin via Henry, and Emma tells Aurora she’s going back to sleep with a look on her face that says she’ll knock her out if she has to.

Aurora is battling flames, trying to find the kid who has been plaguing her sleep for days. Conveniently, he happens to fall asleep while she’s yelling his name, so they get to chit-chat on the chessboard from hell.

Henry wakes up with a start and James and Regina are sleeping on chairs near his bed, since neither one of them know what to do with themselves while their lovers are MIA. He declares that Emma and Snow are alive and that they have but one obstacle in their way. He turns to Regina and tells her that Mommy Dearest is back and badder than ever. She’s less than pleased.

Meanwhile, at Granny’s Diner, Belle is on a date with — damn, not Ruby. Rumpel. While they banter about hamburgers, Regina strolls in and interrupts. Granny is about ready to whip out one of her fire arrows, but Regina promises she’ll play nice. She asks Mr. Gold for his help and there’s something really beautiful in her vulnerability here — in front of her nemesis, in a room full of people who hate her — that’s how scary Cora is. She is not too proud to admit that she can’t handle her alone. Gold asks where Mommy Dearest is now, and Regina answers, “With them.” with venom lacing her words. Clearly she’s bitter about other attractive women spending time with Emma.

Speaking of them. Team Badass is traipsing through the forest, trying to find somewhere for Aurora to take a little adventure-nap.

Mulan pulls Aurora aside because she’s worried about her. She has noticed the burns on her arms and knows they’re not from the sun (she’s a thinker, that warrior). Mulan reminds Aurora that she’s only here to protect her, not to help strangers. Sleeping Beauty spent enough time lying around and wants to actually do something that makes a difference.

Henry is ready for HIS adventure-nap, because he’s ready to be a hero. And like, a real hero who saves lives, not a Finn-shaped hero who is only a hero because people keep saying it but hasn’t actually done anything to warrant being called a hero. Eh hem.

Luckily, Gold uses magic to put Henry to sleep, because I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have gotten any shut-eye with that creepster sitting by his bedside and resting a hand on his forehead. He whispers a story about magic squid ink and jail cells into his ear and hopes the message gets to Aurora on the other side of the flames.

However, the flames seem higher and louder this time, and our princess is having a hard time hearing Henry. While she’s asking for clarification, she gets swirled up in a tornado that ends up being Mulan shaking her awake – because the zombies have arrived. They put up a rousing fight, and by they I mean Snow.

Mulan took Aurora and ran off with her, which would have been romantic, but no one thought to arm the poor girl, so when Mulan was fighting one zombie, Aurora was left defenseless and was princess-napped.

Cora brings a bowl of stew down to Aurora’s cell, but Aurora isn’t the sweet princess she used to be. She’s been hanging out with Team Badass and she’s got some spunk to her now. Despite promises of being reunited with Philip, Aurora stands her ground. Cora calls her plucky like it’s a bad thing, and knocks her clear across the cavern. She then walks over to her raven and sends it off to give a message. I’m half-expecting the bird to turn into some creepy manservant, but it just lands on Snow’s shoulder, squawks a bit, then flies away.

THEN SNOW WHITE TRANSLATES WHAT THE BIRD SAID. No one else seems to think this is as remarkable as I did, because I was like SAY WHAT, but Emma and Mulan were like “sweet, compass by midnight, got it.” Mulan grabs the compass out of Emma’s hand and is ready to skip to Cora because bad guys always keep their word and make fair trades. They eventually decide that if Mulan can make more sleeping powder, Snow White will go to the red room instead of Aurora.

Meanwhile, Regina and David agree (for once) that Henry shouldn’t go back to the red room. Instead, Charming will go under a Sleeping Spell so he can go. Henry is bugging Regina while she tries to make the sleeping potion and she promises that the only magic she has used besides killing her zombie ex-boyfriend is enchanting the audience.

She promises David will be okay because as they have told us time and again, him and Snow always find each other. (p.s. Magic kind of looks a lot like shiny science.)

Rumpelstiltskin wants to go old-school with the curse and prick him using a spinning-wheel needle. He looks at Regina and literally says, “You did his wife,” which makes me feel like Regina might have some ‘WE WERE CURSED’ explaining to do when she’s reunited with Emma.

After some theatrics, David falls asleep and starts wandering around a hall of mirrors. Meanwhile, Snow is in on the fiery chessboard calling out to a grandson that isn’t there. David eventually smashes through the floor of the mirror-room and falls into the red room, where Snow is waiting. He successfully gets her the message, then gallantly leaps across the flames for his true love’s kiss — only to fall through her. His plan did not work out and it looks like he might be stuck in the red room for a while.

Snow White wakes up scrambling for more sleeping powder and startles her dutiful daughter who was holding her hand while she slept.

Emma calms her down using the same speech about faith that Snow gave her and that David gave Henry. But then panics herself when she realizes that Mulan has run off (literally) with the compass. Mulan!! I know you love Aurora, but come on! Teamwork!!

Anyway, Cora doesn’t even HAVE Aurora anymore, because Hook freed her. At first I thought he was just experimenting, seeing if he didn’t like the good side more than the bad side, but when confronted by an angry Cora, he has her open his satchel. Inside, she finds a heart (because she doesn’t have enough). Clears that right up, then.

Snow and Emma quickly catch up to Mulan, and Snow is literally about to kill her, but Aurora comes running up and makes them stop. She starts to pass on Hook’s message, when we see that CORA IS CONTROLLING HER LIKE A PUPPET ON A STRING.

I don’t understand how Hook got her heart, or why she doesn’t have a gaping hole in her chest like the other zombies did, or why Ruby wasn’t in this episode even for a second, or how on earth Team Badass is going to defeat Cora now that she has an army of zombies AND a mole, but oh my goodness is it next week yet?

What did you think of “Into the Deep”?

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