Oh, our characters are in so much trouble. The problem is, they don’t even know it yet. The way things ended is so tantalizing. I don’t know if I will be able to wait for next week.
You want to talk about this week first? Okay, we can do that. And we’ve got three storylines to deal with, so buckle up. It’s going to be a long night.
And if you didn’t notice the change I made last week, I want to be clear now. Since the show has started making a point of calling the land all our characters came from Enchanted Forest, I’m going to start calling it that as well. So no more Fairy Tale. Hello Enchanted Forest. In fact, let’s start there.
In Enchanted Forest Past….
It looks like we will get some of taking the kingdom back in the flashbacks this season. That was certainly the case tonight as Charming and Snow were engaged and fighting for the kingdom.
We join our characters as they are planning an attack before Red comes in and announces that the enemy has come and has them surrounded. “How close are they?” asks Snow. She is answered the only way possible on the TV show – an arrow landing in the table they are gathered around.
Charming sends Snow away, to her dismay. They are to meet up at his cabin so that Snow can finally meet his mother. As she leaves, however, she is attacked by one of the knights. He captures her, and then reveals himself to be Lancelot. Yes, Lancelot of the Round Table, although he’s been disgraced and cast out over a woman.
Lancelot takes Snow to see King George, Charming’s “father.” He tricks Snow into drinking a curse that will keep her from bearing any children, something that will make Charming suffer.
Meanwhile, the soldiers of the king have followed Charming to his mother’s cottage and attacked. Lancelot has told Snow about this in order to re-earn her trust, and they race off, arriving just as Charming has defeated the men. Unfortunately, one of the arrows has struck his mother. Worse yet, it is poisoned.
They decide to take her to get water from the lake with the healing powers, and they set off. Along the way, Snow confesses about the curse to Charming’s mother. The mother figures that the water will cure both herself and Snow.
When they get to the lake, they make a horrible discovery. Because Charming killed the siren last time he was there, the lake is now dry. There is only a small thimble left, only enough for one of them. Snow insists that Charming’s mother drinks it, figuring she can find a way to cure herself later, but it has no effect.
It is her dying wish to see Charming and Snow married, so they get Lancelot to perform a wedding for them. As part of the ceremony, they drink from a goblet. As they kiss, Charming’s mother dies. Can you guess what was in the goblet? That’s right, Charming’s mother didn’t really drink anything and saved the water for Snow.
Charming’s mother had a medallion that was supposed to predict the sex of your first child. It hadn’t worked earlier with Snow, but now Charming tries to give it to her, and it works. That’s how she knows the curse has been broken. She accuses Lancelot of being involved, and he doesn’t deny it, but also mentions making up for his part in the curse. He truly did not know King George’s plans, and it upset him to be used like that.
So the flashback was a nice, contained story within the bigger story of taking back the kingdom.
Let’s go to Enchanted Forest Present:
We rejoin Emma and Snow just where we left them last week. As Emma is talking to Cora, who claims to be much better than Regina, Snow wakes up and announces that they are not to have anything to do with Cora. Emma is ready to fight to hear Cora’s plans, but they are interrupted when the leader of the rag tag survivors demands to meet them.
And their leader? Lancelot, of course. He is overjoyed to see Snow again, and they two are chummy right away, something that doesn’t sit well with Aurora. After all, she wants them punished for what they did to Phillip. Mulan tells her to not confuse justice with revenge, but she isn’t hearing it.
Snow has one idea of a portal that might still be open, but she won’t discuss it in the camp. So she, Emma, and Mulan set out. Their first night out, Aurora arrives and attacks Snow to get her revenge, but Snow quickly gets the best of her. (Remind me to never cross Snow.) Mulan enters the act, and as the three are fighting, Emma fires her gun to get their attention. The problem is, it also gets the attention of a nearby Ogre. Ogres hunt by sound, and a loud noise like that is calling card.
And can I just say their budget for special effects must have improved because I actually bought the Ogre. Emma trips and he’s about to get her when Snow gets his attention, fires an arrow, and kills him. Emma is beginning to look at her mother with respect. Meanwhile, Aurora is also beginning to see that these strangers meant Phillip no harm and is willing to work with them.
The four of them arrive at their destination – Snow’s castle or at least its ruins. And the portal? The wardrobe that sent Emma to our world in the first place. Of course, first they have to figure out how to charge it with magic. Maybe by taking it back to the island where the survivors are hiding from the Ogres? But how will they get it back?
Just about then, Lancelot shows up. He’d heard about the Ogre attack and came looking for them to make sure everyone was okay. Alarms bells were going off in my head, but they didn’t go off in Snow’s head until he mentioned Henry by name. The only person who knew about Henry was…Cora.
And turns out it was Cora in disguise. Lancelot has been dead for years (killed by Cora), and she’s been impersonating him while she works to find a way to our world to have it out with Regina. And now she has it in the wardrobe.
In the ensuing fight with Cora, Emma manages to start a fire and fling the embers on the wardrobe. Cora tries to stop it, but she can’t and flees. The wardrobe, Snow and Emma’s best chance to leave, burns to the ground.
Seeing her nursery and hearing about the plans Snow had for her helps Emma realize just how loved she was and that giving her up was hard for Snow and Charming. She starts crying as she apologizes to her mom for how she’s been acting. Between that and seeing Snow in action, she has a new appreciation for her mother and is ready to start working together. Our four heroes set off to return to the island with Snow now in charge of the band. She’ll work to fight the Ogres while she and Emma search for a way back home.
As they leave the nursery, pink smoke comes back into the room. Cora has returned, and she bottles some of the ashes from the wardrobe. As she swirls them, they start to glow.
Oh boy. Storybrooke is in for some serious trouble, and they have no idea what might be coming. If Cora can get those ashes to work, it’s going to be very bad. I can’t wait!
Speaking of Storybrooke, shall we venture there?
Henry is all excited about starting Operation Scorpion with his grandpa, but Charming insists he has to find a way to bring Emma and Snow back himself. Henry’s place is school. He agrees, but as soon as Charming leaves, he rushes off to find Jefferson.
Jefferson is sitting dejected. He wants to reunite with his daughter but is afraid of how she might react to seeing him again since he did leave her, be it unintentionally. Henry encourages him to go for it, saying he knows for himself that he wants to reunite with his mother.
Meanwhile, Henry learns from Jefferson that Regina brought her dungeon of magic with her in the curse. He tricks her out of her office (she’s packing up since the people don’t want her to be mayor any more) and steals the keys. He creeps down there and opens a box to find two snakes inside. Fortunately, Regina has figured out what was really happening and called Charming, who comes to his rescue.
Charming agrees to let Henry help, but insists they must work together. And he figures that it is about time Henry learns sword fighting. In a moment that made me smile, the two of them start a mock fight right there in the middle of town with the wooden swords he’s just bought. Meanwhile, Jefferson has worked up the courage to reunite with Grace, and the hug she gives him knocks him over.
But we can’t leave things on a happy note. The last scene is that sword fight between Charming and Henry. And we start watching it from across the street. But no, it isn’t Regina watching. It’s King George. And he does not look happy.
Great, one more complication. I had thought earlier in the episode how he would feel about things now that the curse was broken. I think he is about to make Charming and Henry’s search for a portal much more complicated. Again, this is a plot complication that I look forward to seeing unfold.
In other news, we really didn’t learn much about any of our other mysteries. The stranger from NYC wasn’t referenced again. Snow did ask Lancelot/Cora why they hadn’t been cursed, but the only explanation was “the curse left some people behind.” He even admits it is a mystery. But that’s okay. This episode moved some key stories forward and set up some great future storylines. Plus it really did help work through some issues in Snow and Emma’s relationship and even Aurora’s relationship with them as well.
This may not have been quite as good as last week, but it was still very well done. And next week introduces Captain Hook. I’m really looking forward to that since I have always loved Peter Pan.
Until then, hit me up with your thoughts on the show.