Previously on Once Upon a Time: The Stranger
This week on Once Upon a Time, just about everyone reaches their breaking point. After her small kidnapping attempt, Emma decides she’s making things harder on Henry and the best thing she can do is leave. Regina will do anything to hold onto her son and protect the curse, including sacrificing her last bit of magic to get Emma permanently out of the way. Henry, unwilling to let Regina win or Emma give up, takes a huge risk to make the savior believe. In the Enchanted Forest, Snow risks everything to rescue Charming only to be thwarted by Regina, and makes the ultimate sacrifice to protect her love.
In the Enchanted Forest, we pick up where Heart of Darkness left off, with Charming held captive by King George. The King decides to execute him via guillotine, but the Evil Queen appears at the last moment and offers to pay for Charming, so she can make him suffer and enact her revenge on Snow, and King George agrees. Charming offers to die for Snow, but Regina has a different punishment in mind. Snow, the dwarves, Red and Granny, and the Fairies launch an all out assault on King George’s castle. When Snow gets to the dungeon, Charming is there – only in a magic mirror. He tells her he’s been taken to the Queen’s palace, and then Regina appears in the mirror, offering a parlay. Snow agrees, despite the misgivings of her friends. She meets Regina at the stable where Daniel died. Regina takes her to his grave, and tells her she was responsible for his death. She gives Snow a choice: eat an apple that will trap her in nightmares of her regrets, or she will kill Charming. Snow congratulates her, takes a bite, and collapses. The apple rolls out of her hand and disappears. Her friends find her, and since she is not breathing, think her dead.
In Storybrooke, Regina is sitting down to dinner with Henry when there’s someone at the door. It’s Emma, and soon many of Storybrooke’s residents are behind her. It’s clear she’s having a nightmare as they tie her to her rotten apple tree and Emma cuts her head off. Meanwhile, Henry realizes that Emma intends to leave Storybrooke <i>right now</i>, and refuses to go because the people of the town need her. The next morning, Regina notices her apple tree is dying and complains to Mr. Gold. He doesn’t care much, and suggests giving up Henry to Emma might be her price to keep the curse alive. Regina would rather get rid of Emma, but killing her would break the curse – a nice little loophole Mr. Gold has no means, or desire, to fix. Emma comes back, and Ms. Blanchard lays into her, calling her out on her irresponsible behavior. Regina summons Jefferson (who didn’t disappear into his hat?), offering to restore his daughter if he retrieves something from the Enchanted Forest. Jefferson agrees, but only if Regina writes him and Grace a new story, with no memories of their previous life. Henry goes to visit a dying August, who admits he tried everything and Emma just won’t believe. Emma, meanwhile, consults with Archie about gaining custody, but he apologetically tells her she doesn’t have a case, and if anything, her presence has made Henry’s delusions worse. Regina takes Jefferson to a vault where she stores her last magic items. The hat won’t work, until she sacrifices the ring Daniel gave her – but even then there is only enough magic to reach through for something – an apple. Jefferson snatches the apple from the Enchanted Forest as it rolls out of Snow’s hand. Regina uses the cursed apple to make a pastry. Emma shows up at her door, and offers to leave Storybrooke if Regina will still let her see Henry. Regina agrees and gives her the pastry for the road. Regina goes to Mr. Gold to gloat, and he reminds her that all magic comes with a price. Emma invites Henry over to apologize and tell him she’s leaving. He argues that Regina is trying to trick her, and when he sees the apple turnover, he decides to prove it to her. Upon taking a bite, he collapses on the ground and Emma loses it.
Next week, season finale!
o Is it just me, or did this episode have more holes than swiss cheese? Jefferson suddenly reappears after falling out of a 2 or 3-story window (and disappearing into the hat, I thought)? Red and Granny, who were separated when we last saw them, have mysteriously reunited and joined Snow? If Regina has little to no magic in the real world, how does her heart vault work? As always, I can’t tell if this is shoddy writing or we’re only getting parts of the story.
o What will happen to Henry?! I love that little guy.
Nicole N. decided to justify the countless hours she spends watching television by writing about it here. She enjoys a challenge and is currently re-watching all 15 seasons of ER. Follow her @nicolemnelson