S02xE09 – Story One: In a flashback to Fairy Tale Land, Hook is planning to rescue Belle from the Evil Queen, but really he just wants information from her on how to find Rumpelstiltskin. Belle doesn’t know anything, and won’t say if she did, so Hook decides he’s not going to rescue her and goes to leave, but Regina is waiting for him. Instead of killing Hook, she makes him an offer to go to Wonderland and kill her mother Cora. So Hook makes the trip and is brought before the Queen of Hearts who happens to also be Cora. Hook tries to take her heart, but it doesn’t work. Cora then goes for his heart, but when he tells her the reason for his visit, she changes her mind and they head to Fairy Tale Land together. Cora pretends to be dead, and Regina admits that she needed Cora dead because she loves her too much and love is weakness which she can’t have when the Dark Curse befalls the land. Cora having heard this, devises a new plan with Hook in which she goes to a remote section of the land and shields them from the curse. In 28 years Cora believes Regina will need her more than ever, and Hook can then have his revenge on Rumpel.
Story Two: As David sleeps under the curse, Regina and Mr. Gold have been watching over him along with Henry. Mr. Gold pulls Regina aside and tells her that he can’t let Cora come over to Storybrooke and they are going to have to close off the portal. And by closing off he means kill anyone who tries to come through. Regina initially refuses reminding Gold of her promise to Henry about not harming Emma or Snow, but Gold is persistent and Regina reluctantly agrees. So they go down to the mines and steal the fairy dust to cast the spell on the portal in the well. A nice green glow does the trick.
Story Three: Emma, Snow, Mulan and Aurora have made it to Rumpelstiltskin’s cell in hopes that they can find the squid ink. But when they arrive they find an empty bottle and a piece of paper with Emma’s name written over and over. Aurora who is still under the spell of Cora due to her heart being pulled from her chest, lowers the gate on the cell trapping the women inside. Outside of the cell Cora and Hook reveal themselves, as well as the fact that they have been controlling Aurora. Cora steals the compass from Emma and they leave to go open the portal. The princesses are now trapped without any hope, that is until Snow realizes the paper has to mean something more, and when she blows on the paper, the ink lifts and burns a hole in the gate letting them out. Aurora tells them they must tie her down and leave her as she can’t be trusted without her heart. They do so and chase after Cora and Hook. They arrive just in time to stop Cora and Hook from jumping through the portal, but the compass gets lost in the sand in the mean time. Hook manages to acquire Aurora’s heart from Cora, and gives the bag to Mulan, who runs to Aurora. Hook then starts to fight off Emma who is able to find the compass and knock out Hook. Cora is about to go for Snow’s heart, but Emma jumps in the way and Cora dives into her chest instead, but finds that she can’t remove Emma’s heart, and then a burst of something emits from Emma throwing Cora away, and Emma and Snow jump through the portal. Mulan makes it to Aurora and places her heart back in her chest and now Aurora is no longer under the control of Cora. With Emma and Snow having made it through the portal leaving Cora and Hook behind, Hook reveals that he still has the bean from the giant and with the lake’s restoring waters, they should still be able to make it to Storybrooke.
Story Two Part Deux: Henry and Ruby having realized that Regina isn’t helping Emma and Snow locate Gold and Regina as they have cast the spell on the well portal. Henry begs with Regina to remove the spell, that he is sure it will be Emma and Snow that come through the portal. Regina won’t at first, but when Henry lunges forward in some sort of attempt to stop it, Regina gives in and removes the curse. Emma and Snow emerge from the well alive and well. They immediately head to Gold’s store where David is sleeping and Snow plants a big one on him breaking the curse. Everyone is happy and Henry even thanks Regina for helping them. Then Snow, Charming, Emma and Henry head off to the Diner for a family reunion leaving Regina behind. Sad.
Story Three Part Deux: Off on the horizon of Storybrooke we see a large ship approaching and on the deck of the ship are Cora and Hook. They’ve made it to Storybrooke. I can’t wait to see the look on Regina’s face.
Best of the episode: Emma and Snow made it back to Storybrooke!!
Worst of the episode: So did Cora and Hook. Oh the drama that will ensue.
Where did this episode leave us?: Curious as to all the mayhem Cora will create by being in Storybrooke.
Best one-liner: Mr. Gold to Regina – “Congratulations. You just reunited mother and son. Maybe one day they’ll even invite you to dinner.”
What the episode ruined for us: Hopefully the continued story of Mulan and Aurora. They were boring.
– a la Chryshele