Previously on Once Upon A Time, all of Storybrooke was banished to the Enchanted forest, until they weren’t; and Emma was banished to NYC and forgot everything about Storybrooke, until she didn’t.
Once again this episode will go as I imagine the rest of the season will, flashing back and forth between the Enchanted Forest a year ago and present-day Storybrooke.
We open back in the Enchanted Forest, on our newest, greenest friend rifling through Regina’s gadgets and gizmos aplenty. She can’t believe the excess of wealth that was simply abandoned…but she does appreciate one of Regina’s dresses.
We deserve each other, this dress and me.
She sends her flying monkey to tell the Evil Queen that the Wicked Witch has come to town.
Outside the castle, the gang is still trying to figure out how to get past the new curse. And while Mulan is still quite MIA, fear not, because RED IS BACK!
You know red is this year’s green.
Red’s a little concerned about the fact that they’re running WITH the queen instead of from her, but Snow tells her that Regina has been doing good things in all the episodes she missed.
Regina says that there are tunnels they can use that might go under the protection spell, but before they can set off, a flying monkey swoops in and attacks. Regina instinctually saves the little boy in the line of fire, and turns the flying monkey into a stuffed animal. The child ends up being Robin Hood’s son, and he is very grateful.
In present day Storybrooke, the Charmings, Hook and Emma are trying to piece together everything they know like friends after a night of binge drinking, but what they know is not much. The Charmings don’t remember anything past the day they said goodbye to Emma, though Hook remembers a little more. He tells them that they had indeed made it to the Enchanted Forest, but had left them with Prince Philip and Aurora. He had found a ship to sail and a little (literal) birdie told him that Emma needed to be brought back to Storybrooke, complete with a memory potion. He had assumed it was from Snow, but obviously she has no recollection of sending it.
What’s worse is that people have, one by one, started to go missing in Storybrooke.
Back in time, in the Enchanted Forest, the gang tries to figure out where the flying monkey came from. Regina and Belle tell the others of a place they had heard of called Oz, and its resident wicked witch. Charming asks Regina what she did to piss off this one, but Regina swears she never met her, so Charming crosses “angry ex-girlfriend” off the list.
Regina doesn’t care who it is, or who she brought from Oz to protect her. She is determined to take back her castle, and to do it on her own.
In Storybrooke, Ruby, back in her waitress garb, gives Henry a cinnamon hot chocolate.
And if it turns out it’s over too fast, I’ll make every Ruby moment last.
Henry is sort of freaked out about how many people in this town seem to know him and his mother, but mostly he just smiles politely like I do at extended family reunions.
However, when Regina walks in and Henry looks at her with no recognition, Regina freaks out. Emma pulls her aside and tells her briefly about Hook and the potion and there not being enough for Henry. They touch upon the awkward possibility that Regina cast this curse; it was, after all, modeled after her original curse. Regina points out that if she had cast this curse, she wouldn’t have separated her and Henry. Regina asks Emma how she plans on figuring out who cast the curse, and if she was going to use her superpower and ask people one by one, and Emma thinks maybe this is actually not a bad plan (considering it IS a plan, and she didn’t actually have one yet).
Together we’re unlimited.
Meanwhile, Robin Hood and his merry men are trying to learn about Storybrooke wildlife when Little John scurries across the city limit. As soon as he crosses the line, a flying monkey swoops down and takes him away, solving the mystery of where the missing Storybrooke residents might be.
Emma calls a town meeting and says that she’s determined to get to the bottom of things. Grumpy loudly and angrily accuses Regina of casting this curse. She gives the masses the same answer she gave Emma — if she had cast this curse, Henry would be with her. Emma says she’s not inclined to believe her. Regina says, “Let all Storybrooke be agreed, I’m evil through and through” and causes the town hall to shake a bit before disappearing in a cloud of purple smoke.
Emma runs after her and the real wicked witch, now degreenified, smiles smugly.
I hear her soul is so unclean, pure water can melt her.
Emma gets to Regina’s office and scolds her for causing an earthquake. Regina gives her the once-over and says, “You’re fine.”(Mmmhmm.) As it turns out, the scene in the town hall was all a ruse so that the person who really put the curse on Storybrooke would think that Emma thought Regina cast the spell, and that they were off the hook.
Emma gives Regina the remnants of the memory potion so she can make some more and they can get to the bottom of things. Regina asks Emma how she knows for sure that she isn’t responsible for the curse, that this isn’t a big, elaborate scheme. Emma admits that her superpower is flawed at best, but she says, AND I QUOTE, “With you, Regina, I always know when you’re lying.”
I’m not even kidding the camera then pulls really tight on Regina’s face the way they do when two people in a romantic relationship have a serious conversation. Words cannot do the Swan Queen scenes in this episode justice.
Together we’ll be the greatest team there’s ever been.