I had a thought, as I was watching the “previously on Once Upon a Time” sequence. The Wicked Witch from Oz has gathered courage, mentioned Rumpel’s brain, and wants Regina’s heart. Sound familiar? Maybe I am the last one for the penny to drop, but these are the gifts that the wizard gives to the cowardly lion, the scarecrow, and the tin man. The last piece would be Dorothy who wanted to go home. The witch wants to go back in time. Hmmm….
Regina is back in blue for the beginning of this episode (red earrings, though). The reason I started noticing her wardrobe color is because blue is my favorite color and she has been wearing my absolute favorite shade of it–deep, bright blue. I may not share her taste in fashion (though some pieces I would wear), but I admire that color. A basket of green apples is delivered to her doorstep. Very symbolic since Regina grows red apples (which she used to poison Snow in the Enchanted Forest and tried to use on Emma), red being her previous color, and green is her wicked sister’s color. Zelena appears in her house and they have a back and forth about the apples, metaphors for their personalities. In the end, Zelena was only there to distract Regina while the Dark One found her heart.
Meanwhile, Robin Hood and his merry men are guarding the heart, but the Dark One finds them and magically holds Robin Hood’s son. Robin Hood shoots at Rumpel but Rumpel freezes the arrow and aims it at Roland, Robin Hood’s little boy. He says he really doesn’t want to do it, but he will if he has to. So, Robin Hood gives him the heart and Rumpel apologizes and disappears. Being the new and improved, albeit controlled by the wicked witch, Rumpel, I expected him to be a little more conflicted about this than a simple “I don’t want to do this” and “I’m truly sorry.” Regina appears and Robin Hood apologizes, but Regina says that nothing is worth the life of a child. Regina says that since they have the heart and Zelena hasn’t yet crushed it to kill her, she must be planning something far worse than just murder.
At Gold’s shop, Regina is looking for something to help. She asks Belle for help but Belle is reluctant since Regina imprisoned and tortured her. But, Regina says, “She has your Rumpel.” Aw, am I the only one that thought that sounded cuter than it was supposed to be? It sounds like Zelena has Belle’s security blanket or binky! Ha, ha. Regina apologizes and Belle says she is trying to figure out what spell matches the ingredients. Regina asks for the candle that Snow used to kill Cora.
Back in the Enchanted Forest, long ago, Cora is a barmaid. She runs into a man who has been there for a week and says that watching her, he is surprised at her because she works in a tavern but acts like a lady. She says that she was told she should act like what she wanted to be. He drops a hankie with the royal crest on it and says he is Prince Jonathan, but he didn’t want her to know that because women throw themselves at him when they know he is a prince. So, he asks her to marry him and after only just learning his “name” and having him be her patron at the tavern for a week, she agrees. Hello? Didn’t she watch Frozen? You don’t get engaged to someone you just met! He puts a ring made of straw on her finger and promises to come back in two weeks to replace it with a gold one. She says that since they are essentially married, she will stay with him in his room.
In Storybrooke, Emma and Hook and the Charmings are meeting at Regina’s house. Apparently Charming and Snow are arguing about baby names. Snow wants to name the baby “Leopold” after her dad or “Eva” (though it’s pronounced “Ava”) after her mom. I think this whole exchange was merely to remind us of their names since we will hear them later in the episode. I am starting to wonder if they will name the baby Dorothy. A plain name for Enchanted Forest people, granted, but since Zelena wants the baby, it would add the cherry on top of the trifecta she already has of ingredients for her spell. Regina comes in with poison tea to summon the dark vortex. They don’t seem as shocked or alarmed or even verbose when she says that Zelena came to see her and that the Dark One stole her heart. However, Snow does seem to rouse when Regina says they need to talk to her mother.
Zelena gives Rumpel a suit and wants him to change. She says that she is going to pluck his brains and she has Regina’s heart and Charming’s courage. While she is waiting for the baby, she tells him that he can choose how to live out his remaining time. In screaming agony, or something “much more pleasant.”
Before Regina starts the seance, she says that to talk to the dead, you need the murder weapon and the murderer and looks at Snow, who gasps slightly and looks uncomfortable. I was wondering why Charming doesn’t say this is too dangerous for his pregnant wife, to invite back the evil woman she killed. A portal opens and Regina tries to talk to her mother but Hook bumped the table and the portal closed. Regina resigns herself that her mother doesn’t want to talk to her. However, as Cora died, she professed that loving her daughter would have been enough, so why the dead spirit of Cora is suddenly so disagreeable and “witchy” (pardon the pun), who knows.
Back in the Enchanted Forest, Cora is waiting for Prince Jonathan to return, but he doesn’t. She goes looking for him after two months, despite her friends warning her that it must be a trick, and finds that he is not a prince. but the gardener. She reveals that she is pregnant and asks for money to help raise the child. He scoffs and she yells for help as he runs away. Prince Leopold comes to her and offers to help.
Hook, Emma, and Charming leave and Snow stays to talk to Regina. Regina says she’s in no mood for a heart-to-heart and Snow says she’s not sure that’s physically possible since Regina currently has no heart. The doorway that the other three went through disappears magically, which seems to have no bearing on the rest of the episode, other than that it signifies to us that there is something else in the house with them. It might have made sense if they had been trapped in the house or the three that left had been sent to another realm or something.
Cora and Leopold are walking through the forest, bonding. Cora shows him how to build a fire. He laments that he wants to do right by his people, but he can’t even build a fire. He tells her that he has been betrothed to Eva since she was a baby. He’s never met her and he would like to have a choice. Cora prods a bit to stoke the figurative fire.
Snow apologizes to Regina for killing Cora. Regina understands that Cora killed Snow’s mother. They hear something upstairs and go to investigate. When they reach the door, it flies off the hinges and they see a ghost spinning. It’s Cora.
Emma is practicing her magic at Granny’s with Hook, who is in a bad mood. Though, I can imagine listening to Emma giggle about transporting coffee to the table and taking his hook would be annoying enough on it’s own. This season (or this HALF of this season), though the plot is great, I am annoyed with the changes in Snow and Emma’s characters. Belle bursts in and says she’s figured out Zelena’s plan.
Zelena has Rumpel for a nice dinner. She says that her secret plan will reunite him with his son. He says that’s not possible since she killed him and she says that he is alive and it’s not a matter of where, but when. Rumpel says that it is impossible to use magic to travel through time. Spells have been written, but it’s against the fundamental laws of magic. Zelena says that laws only exist until they are broken by someone superior. Rumpel is dumbfounded that she deciphered the laws of time travel and that he might have the opportunity to not only find his son, but to have never given him up in the first place. Neal!
Cora is after Snow and knocks Regina out of the way. Regina tries to hold her off with magic, but can’t hold her forever.
Young, alive Cora is engaged to Leopold and the gardener shows up and blackmails her to keep the baby a secret. However, Eva (incidentally, also the actress’s real name) overheard the conversation.
Snow tries to apologize to dead, ghost Cora, but Regina says it won’t work. She says that Cora will have to go through her to get to Snow, which surprises Snow. She says this is between her and her mother and asks what she did to Zelena. Cora knocks Regina out of the way and possesses Snow. Snow sees flashes of memories from Cora.
Leopold accosts Cora in the hall and says that there are rumors that she is pregnant. He says he will keep his pledge to marry her if he knows he can trust her. She says there is no baby. Eva appears and it’s revealed that she told what she overheard. They have a spoiled brat cat fight back and forth for a bit and then Eva says to check her pockets since she was supposed to bring money and jewels to the fake prince blackmailer. Leopold finds jewels on her and she is escorted out. Eva comforts Leopold and alludes to Snow.
Regina pulls her mother out of Snow and throws her back in the portal. Where did the portal come from if they didn’t have the poison tea, the candle, or the circle of people thinking inviting thoughts? Charming, Emma, and Belle rush in just then, concerned about Snow who is muttering. Belle tells that Zelena is planning to go back in time because the ingredients are in every time travel spell. Snow rouses enough to say that Cora wouldn’t have given up Zelena but was forced to by her mother, Eva, because she told a secret, just like Snow did. Emma says she thought their family were the good guys and Regina says life is too complicated for things to be that clear-cut. Snow thinks that Zelena is going back in time to kill Eva (well, kill her earlier, since her mother Cora already did that later in life). Regina makes the connection that that will mean that Snow will have never been born and Emma guesses that that’s where Regina’s help will end. But, Regina says that if that’s true, then Emma will never have been born and neither will Henry. Snow pipes up that Regina might never have been born either. Charming realizes their baby is the key.
Flashback to Cora giving birth to Zelena and then she carries her out to the woods to leave her, saying that her only lesson to her daughter is that life is cruel and full of betrayal. She says that she must give her away to give herself her best chance. So, even though Eva was a little brat who squealed, I don’t see how Eva directly made her give up the baby. Cora made the choice to leave her baby in the woods where a green tornado picked her up. Cora was selfish and chose her ambition above all. Why would Zelena even want such a mother? If Zelena was able to look back at the past, why didn’t she see what an awful mother Cora was? I guess she thinks that power and wealth and status would be enough to make her happy?
Rumpel apologizes for hurting Zelena and then tries to seduce her, apparently trying to get the dagger away from her. But, after a bit of moaning and heavy breathing, she realizes it and stops him. She says he squandered his one chance to have his son back. Rumpel replies that his son gave his life so Rumpel could stop her and to honor that sacrifice, he has to try to kill her. She orders him back to his cage. Isn’t it ironic that Zelena, just like her mother, is in love with Rumpel and wants to kill Eva? Apparently the green apple (with a worm in it!) doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Snow and Regina have a funny little conversation about Dr. Frankenstein’s observations on pregnancy, possession, and placentas as well as the complications between their mothers and their history. Snow says that Eva must have changed somewhere along the way because she was a different woman when she knew her. Snow says they have spent enough time being haunted by the past and Regina says they can now focus on their “impending lack of a future.” Snow is certain that Zelena won’t win with all of them fighting her together. Snow says that with all of the things that life has thrown at Regina and the daily fight against darkness, she is strong, and that she feels things deeply with or without her heart and that someday she will find her way to happiness.
So, Regina runs off to the woods and makes out with Robin Hood. Hooray! The evil queen finds true love!
I was wondering where Henry was this whole episode, since no one seemed to be babysitting him. However, he is in the previews for next week and it appears that the cat may be out of the proverbial bag! Zelena is seen saying that she may have to start killing people. Aurora, in the Enchanted Forest, tells the Charmings that Zelena wants their baby (thanks for the late-breaking newsflash). The voiceover says no one can stop her, not even Glinda (who looks a lot like Emma, but isn’t), who says her magic is not powerful enough. Henry says, “what’s that?” as a flying monkey swoops down and snatches him (like I said previously, keep him in the apartment with the protection spell!) and the voiceover says it may take an unthinkable sacrifice as Zelena has her hands around Henry’s neck. And Zelena during the lost year in the Enchanted Forest says, “Pay attention, sis. This is how you take away a happy ending.” I always thought Henry’s heart was in danger of becoming one of her ingredients since he had the heart of the truest believer, but apparently she doesn’t care about believing.
There are only four more episodes until the season is over. Can they resolve this threat before the season ends or will Zelena succeed in going back in time and next season be about trying to find her to stop her before they all cease to exist? It could be like Marty McFly trying to fix things before they all disappear from the Polaroid picture! Will they manage to get Neal back? I read an interview with the actress who plays Zelena and she alluded to the fact that Dorothy will be in a future episode. So, what do you think? What will Dorothy have to do with all this? What does Zelena want the Charmings’ baby for? What’s in store for the characters?