This latest episode of Once Upon a Time was one of the better ones in recent days. After a somewhat boring romp through Neverland, this episode had me very excited as I found out that some of my predictions were, in fact, true!
We pick up with Emma and Hook and Snow and Charming discussing what happened over the past year. Hook reveals that he knew to look for Emma by receiving a message and the vial of remembrance potion via a bird and assumed that Snow had sent it. They agree that this sounds like something Snow would do, but I wonder if this is the case. Where would Snow get this potion? If not Snow, then who else? Possibly Regina, I’m thinking. Or maybe it was a trap…
One of my favorite parts of this episode was when Snow was being introduced to Henry and stumbled over the question of how she knew his mom. She ends up telling him that she was Emma’s cellmate in jail. He asks her what she did and she blurts out, “banditry,” leaving us laughing and everyone on the show looking puzzled as to what criminal would use such terminology.
Regina is heartbroken that Henry doesn’t remember her, but after a heart-to-heart with Emma, Emma uses her superpower to realize that Regina did not cast this current curse and they hatch a ruse to try to flush out whoever did. First they stage a confrontation in a town hall meeting and all the townspeople turn on Regina and Regina pretends to be the quintessential evil queen and disappears. When she is unable to replicate the remembrance potion, they decide to fake it and tell Grumpy (who must also be the town gossip) that they are working on it and then stake out the mayor’s office to see who breaks in. When they see a shadow, they go in to catch the culprit, who disappears in a cloud of green smoke before they can see who it is. Regina is puzzled because she had cast a spell that should have trapped the prowler. We all know that it is the Wicked Witch from Oz, aka Zelena. Who, incidentally, is cozying up to Snow, for some unknown reason. She is showing a keen interest in her pregnancy, supposedly because she is a midwife. But, there is sure to be a more sinister reason she is interested in the baby of Snow and Charming.
Meanwhile in the Enchanted Forest, a year ago, the Wicked Witch sends a flying monkey to retrieve Regina, but when Robin Hood’s son is in the way, Regina shields him and turns the monkey into a stuffed animal that she presents to the child. Awwwww! It’s so nice to see Regina with a softer side and see her being good! And, since we recall that Robin Hood is supposed to be the man she is destined to be with (as he bears the tattoo that she saw on the arm of the man that was pointed out to her as her destiny), we hold our collective breath and smile at the tenderness for his child. He accompanies her into the tunnels where she is going to turn off the shield so the “army” can storm the castle. However, her ulterior motive is to concoct and administer to herself a sleeping potion so that she will sleep until Henry wakes her up, if that ever happens. However, before she can do this, the Wicked Witch appears. Now, last week, after the episode ended, I surmised that Regina might be the Wicked Witch’s sister. Perhaps they are Evanora and Theodora? Her name is Zelena, not Elphaba… But, does that mean that a house is going to fall on Regina? All these thoughts were flitting through my head as I pondered this. As it turns out, I was right! They are half-sisters, though little more is revealed other than that Cora had Zelena first and abandoned her to become royalty and that Zelena also learned magic from Rumpelstiltskin. This is something worth pondering as Cora was the miller’s daughter who then married the king. So, that would indicate that she had Zelena prior to that? So, how and who is the father? And how did Zelena end up in Oz? We also know that somehow Cora was the queen of hearts in Wonderland, so it appears that Cora was busy traveling the realms. In any case, Zelena is jealous of what Regina had, though Regina tells her that she actually got the better deal. Regina is renewed as she now has a project! See? You can beat depression if you just find something constructive to occupy your mind. She has a worthy adversary to destroy! Side note: I gotta say that I was not impressed with the shade of green they picked for the Wicked Witch. She was almost GLOWING. She’s chartreuse! I guess they liked the combo of her red hair, bright green sparkly skin, and magenta lips, but it was starting to hurt my eyes to look at her!
Back in present day Storybrooke, people are disappearing (and they still have no idea what happened to Neal) and they figure out that they are being taken by flying monkeys and then turned INTO flying monkeys. There’s a funny exchange where Hook says that it sounds like the monster in New York that Emma was going to marry. Charming says, “You were going to get married?” Hook interjects, “Did you miss the part where I said ‘monster’?” Later, Emma makes reference to “not the only flying monkey I’ve dated.”
At the end of the show, one of my other predictions comes true. As I stated in my wrap-up post, I didn’t think we had seen the last of Rumpelstiltskin. As he was in the lineup of actors talking about the show when they did their wrap-up prior to the previous episode, I didn’t think he would be there promoting a show that he had been written out of. When the credits rolled at the start of the show, I saw his name, so I wondered if it would be a “flashback” or if he would be BACK. Zelena goes into a cellar and gives food to an imprisoned Rumpelstiltskin. He tells her that she should never have brought him “back.” He is acting off and seems more like the old Rumpel, aka Dark One, than Mr. Gold aka the recently enlightened, selfless father and grandfather we saw at the end of the Pan saga. He mutters “you feed the madness and it feeds on you” over and over and then giggles his evil Rumpel/Dark One giggle, dearie, and the episode ends. Guess he had to throw in a little leprechaun for St. Patrick’s day. In the preview for the next show, we don’t learn much other than that there is some evil entity and we will be introduced to Rapunzel.