Once Upon a Time Recap: Dueling Agendas, Flying Arrows and One Red-Hot Reunion

Get More: Recaps

This week on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, both the Storybrooke and fairytale land contingencies sought to use the netherworld to their advantage, conflicting agendas put Mulan at odds with her traveling companions and Cora and Hook kept one another guessing.

RELATED | What TVLine Is Thankful For: Once Upon a Time‘s Visual Magic and More

BRING OUT YOUR DEAD! | Clambering down from the beanstalk, Hook was greeted by Cora, who scoffed at his ability to be bested by Emma Swan. When Hook challenges Cora to just go ahead and kill him, she opts for a worse fate: stranding him in the fairytale land that is, never achieving his revenge. Hook tries to charm the crone, but with no luck — she vanishes, fetches a heart from her collection and uses it to command a small army of walking dead to hunt down Emma & Co.

Speaking of the ladies, Aurora confirms for Emma that her son Henry is in fact the young boy she sees in the fiery netherworld room. While Emma blames herself for the rugrat’s fate, Snow sees the positive: they have a way to communicate with Storybrooke, namely to find out from Rumplestiltskin how to defeat Cora. “So back to sleep, Aurora!” Emma commands, and the episode suddenly feels like NBC’s Awake. (A moment of silence….) Aurora meets back up with Henry to say that his mother and grandmother need his help; Henry then awakes to report to Regina and David, “They’re alive!” And the person Emma and Snow must defeat to get back is… Regina’s mother.

UN-HOOKED | Regina promptly interrupts Mr. Gold’s lunch with Belle (“Condiments are the magic of this realm!”) to relay the Cora news. Gold is confident he could beat the old bat again if she set foot in Storybrooke and thus sees no emergency, but Regina notes that he now has a weakness — Belle. Gold then sends Henry back into the netherworld to tell Aurora about the supply of rare squid’s ink in his old FTL cell, and how it can be used to stun Cora. But before Henry can share this message, Aurora is woken by the undead’s attack on their camp — and with bad burns. During the melee, Snow at one instant saves Emma (and thus the compass) with a fine bit of archery, but before all is said and done, Aurora is whisked away. Cora aims to use the princess as trade bait for the compass, but before she can, Hook sets the sometimes-sleeping beauty free, provided she tell Emma that as far as he is concerned, their deal is still on — he’ll help find the enchanted dust if he gets to take the trip to Storybrooke.

Needing to communicate once more with the other side but with Aurora MIA and Henry developing nasty burns, Snow offers to use sleeping powder to visit the netherworld, while David volunteers to go in Henry’s place. To that end, Regina whips up a sleeping curse as Henry watches, assuring the lad that as promised she is “trying” to cut back on magic, and as of late has only used it to help people; nice mother-son moment. Alas, once David goes under and finds Snow amid the flames, they are unable to kiss and thus free David from the sleeping spell. As such, it looks like he’ll be out until she gets home to smooch him in person. But before Snow awakes and vanishes, David imparts the details on defeating Cora with the squid ink.

RELATED | Once Upon a Time Scoop: Meet [Spoiler]‘s Brother! (Does That Mean He’s Also…?!)

THE PRINCESS SPY | Snow wakes and immediately freaks about David’s limbo state. Emma assures her mom that she will find Charming, as they always do, while Snow shares that she has the details on defeating Cora. Emma, though, has now lost the compass — which has been pinched by Mulan, who values her vow to Phillip more than Aurora’s misplaced want to help two strangers. Snow tracks and catches Mulan, and while holding the belligerent warrior at arrowpoint is interrupted by the return of Aurora. They quickly bring the princess up to speed on their next mission — to Rumple’s old cell — while Cora “listens” in through Aurora, who is now under her control via a heart that Hook sneaked her.

Next week: “Queen of Hearts” aka the winter finale!



Comments (131)

  • Charming and Henry continue to be awesome. Hook continues to be lame.Mulan continues to be annoying. And what a let down that Belle didn’t get to hit Regina or at least get angry and confront her.

    Comment by Kelly – November 25, 2012 07:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • AGREE with everything you said!

      Comment by stef – November 26, 2012 04:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mulan is the most unpleasant character. I’m not sure whose fault it is – the writers for giving her no personality or the actress for playing it that way.

    Comment by Jessie – November 25, 2012 07:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Just a crazy guess I think is the actress. Maybe if Nikita was to get cancelled they could re cast Maggie Q as Mulan , now that one of the producers used to be a Nikita writer.

      Comment by Jd – November 25, 2012 07:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Totally agree – it’s the actress. She just isn’t all that believable as a tough warrior.
        Ah, well. At least this episode featured Snow, Charming, Henry, Emma, Rump and Regina again.

        Comment by GingerSnap – November 25, 2012 08:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I was urging Mary Margaret/Snow to jab her with the arrow, or at least punch her in the face. Or Emma can do it–I don’t care who is on the other end of the fist.

      Comment by MelindaB – November 25, 2012 08:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree. I was so exited that the creators were bringing in Mulan and it’s one of the worst characters on the show.

      Comment by Kelly – November 26, 2012 04:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I absolutely enjoyed the episode. That hook is a sneaky SOB

    Comment by Bossy pants – November 25, 2012 07:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mulan is still the worst for me. I was so excited when I heard she was being introduced, but she has just turned out to just be a robotic thorn in Emma and Snow’s sides and nothing more. I much prefer Aurora.
    And was I the only one that was frustrated/angry with Charming? He went under the sleeping curse knowing that there was a chance he wouldn’t wake up, leaving Henry with Regina and Rumple just so he could see his wife for a few moments(and then saying it was worth it!).

    Comment by Anna – November 25, 2012 07:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • But there’s a story to be developed there. Henry’s Dad, who could just be Rump’s son Bae.

      Comment by GingerSnap – November 25, 2012 08:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I love Neal. I hope Neal is Bae.

        Comment by Patti – November 25, 2012 08:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Me too.

          Comment by Kelly – November 26, 2012 09:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I’m just catching up on old theories for the show and saw this comment, considering this comment,I bet you were extremely happy with last nights episode “Manhattan” I sure was!! :D

          Comment by Corrine – February 18, 2013 08:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • It’s not about whether or not there’s a story to be developed there, which there is. It’s about how they get there. I would hate it if this is how they get to that story.

        Comment by Anna – November 25, 2012 08:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • That would be too simple. We’re only at episode 9. Got to believe Snow and Emma aren’t back to Storybrooke just yet. There’s a big showdown coming between Regina and Cora, Rump and Hook. Charming and Snow, Emma and Henry reuniting are for January or beyond.

          Comment by GingerSnap – November 25, 2012 08:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I am pretty sure they are not going to successfully get the ink from rumple’s cell, and therefore find the mermaid. I guess we’re no way near them getting back to storybrooke.

            Comment by kevin – November 26, 2012 12:54 AM PDT  
          • I think they’re going to be back next week, but then the second half of the season will be about defeating Cora (who managed to come with them) or waking Charming up since twue wuv isn’t working.

            Comment by Meg – November 26, 2012 04:03 AM PDT  
    • I agree about Mulan, but I find Aurora’s whining the worst. I just don’t get it. I keep hoping Mulan will loosen up and start being a character we care about. Now that Aurora is under Cora’s “care” I like her even less…

      Good point about Charming. I didn’t think about it that way. Guess it’s because I have faith Snow will wake him. :)

      Comment by Kandice Sedlacek – November 25, 2012 08:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • It’s not about whether or not Snow will wake him(which she will). WE know she’ll wake him up, but HE doesn’t. Blind faith is one thing, but Charming has more at stake now than he did before. And his grandson should have more of an impact on his decisions. I love Charming and Snow, but their love should pale in comparison to their love for their kid and grandchild.
        I keep hoping the writers give Mulan something more, too. I’m just over waiting to see it. Maybe if we did see it it would probably feel as if it were out of the blue. For as long as Aurora and Mulan have been around they should be more fleshed out than they actually have been by now.

        Comment by Anna – November 25, 2012 08:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Thinking about it more, it wasn’t like Charming went under to just see his wife. He did it to protect Henry from going again. He also has zero doubt in his mind that he won’t be awoken by Snow. He has also seen the changes Regina has been making as well as Rumple. Sure it’s foolish of him, but I think this was his only option. He needs to get his wife and daughter home, but also keep Henry from getting hurt.

          Comment by Kandice Sedlacek – November 25, 2012 09:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • yes, but Henry WILL go back next time he falls asleep. Henry doesn’t go there voluntarily, so not David going wasn’t the best plan as it doesn’t protect Henry.

            Comment by JJ – November 26, 2012 03:23 AM PDT  
          • I never said it was a good plan. lol That was a big problem I had, what is stopping Henry and Aurora from going back? At least Charming will have company from Aurora and Henry.

            Comment by Kandice Sedlacek – November 26, 2012 09:41 PM PDT  
          • Although, maybe Charming figured he’d get Snow and gang home before it was time for Henry to go to sleep again. With Snow home, she can help Henry learn to control his mind and the dreams. Charming doesn’t think things through, he is guided by his emotions.

            Comment by Kandice Sedlacek – November 26, 2012 09:45 PM PDT  
  • Loved the episode tonight but I think next week’s show is going to be pretty epic! And I’m more than ready for Snow & Emma to get home now (they’ve been gone WAY BEYOND long enough) so PLEASE let that happen before the winter finale or I may lose my mind. =(

    Comment by Heather – November 25, 2012 07:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think Aurora is far worse! Mulan I actually find entertaining…

    Comment by Sharie – November 25, 2012 07:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Kinda sad that Charming’s trapped in the Netherworld now but it looks like at least some characters will make it to Storybrooke next episode. Was happy that they showed how much Regina is trying to change for the better but next episode they might ruin that by having her and Rumple do that spell to kill whoever crosses the portal.

    Comment by Jon – November 25, 2012 07:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think it’s normal that Regina has lapses. You can’t change for good over night. It’s still a process for her. And tonight’s episode showed how scared she is of her mother coming over. I think she is very much motivated by fear this time. I just hope the writers won’t treat like whatever happens next week completely negates the process Regina and Henry have made since the beginning of the season. That would be frustrating.

      Comment by Nat – November 25, 2012 07:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Yeah I agree that Regina’s motivated by her fear of Cora I just worry that the writers might use her actions in next week’s episode to negate the progress she’s made but we’ll see what happens.

        Comment by Jon – November 25, 2012 07:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I know, I’m a little worried too. They ignored this relationship for too long and now they’re finally starting to make a little progress with them. It would be incredibly frustrating if they send them back to square one next week. Their scenes in episode 2 and in tonight’s episode have to count for something.

          Comment by Nat – November 25, 2012 08:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I have a feeling Regina and Rumple will back off for Henry’s sake. Or at least that’s what I hope. So no ground will be lost to redemption.

            Comment by Kandice Sedlacek – November 25, 2012 08:37 PM PDT  
        • If keeping that relationship means Regina never using magic again than I hope They do negate everything, because frankly I miss evil Regina.

          Comment by Mike – November 25, 2012 08:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I said the same thing last night. While it’s kind of nice to see her try to stay on the straight and narrow for Henry, I really miss evil Regina. She’s awesome!

            Comment by Kelly – November 26, 2012 04:33 AM PDT  
          • I like her Evil. She is so good and entertaining. Hook should take lessons in coolness from the evil queen.

            Comment by Patti – November 26, 2012 06:48 AM PDT  
          • Magic itself is not the problem. Like Henry said, it’s okay as long as it it’s used for good deeds instead of evil ones. As an addict, Regina needs to learn the difference. But I doubt it means she’ll never use magic again.
            It’s funny because if someone had not pointed it out to me I never would have noticed that we haven’t seen the Evil Queen version of Regina’s character at all this seasons. I don’t really miss it. Hook and especially Cora are brilliant as villains and Regina’s consistent and careful character development is one of my favorite season 2 stories. I’m enjoying this new side to her character very much and Lana Parrilla does an amazing job with it.

            Comment by Janne – November 26, 2012 07:00 AM PDT  
          • @Janne You are right on with the magic. It’s not magic that is the problem, it’s the power. Both Rumple and Regina (I believe) thought they’d use magic to help people. It was the power that corrupted them.

            Comment by Kandice Sedlacek – November 26, 2012 09:48 PM PDT  
          • Oh forgot to say @Janne I also agree about Regina. I like the new side. It develops the character more. Cora, Hook, and King George are making great villains this season.

            We will see evil Regina again in flashbacks, so that’s good enough for me.

            Comment by Kandice Sedlacek – November 26, 2012 09:51 PM PDT  
  • Robert Carlyle, Lana Parrilla and Barbara Hershey owned the show tonight. Sassy Aurora was fun. The Charmings came across a big self-righteous. So it doesn’t matter that Aurora and Mulan have a loved one they’re trying to get back, too? It doesn’t matter (at least to Emma) that the burning room was dangerous for Aurora? I get that they’re desperate and want to get back, but it was a bit extreme tonight. And some day I would like the writers to acknowledge these things and not gloss over them because the Charmings are the “good ones”. Besides, Mulan and Aurora are “good” characters too.

    Comment by Nat – November 25, 2012 07:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yeah I actually liked Aurora this week when she was with Cora. Also like you said it does kinda make Emma and Snow seem kinda self-righteous even if they have good intentions.

      Comment by Jon – November 25, 2012 07:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Aurora wanted to do it and at least Snow and Emma had no intention of sacrifice Aurora just come up with a plan to win. Mulan sold them out twice tonight. Leaving them to fight alone and then with the compass again. Also if what Hook said is true, Aurora’s best bet in helping Phillip is not Cora but in Storybrooke with Fairies, and Rumple.

      Comment by Patti – November 25, 2012 08:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I agree. I don’t know that they knew Aurora had been burned.

        Comment by Kandice Sedlacek – November 25, 2012 08:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Your right. I think only Mulan knew that Aurora was getting burned while she was in the fiery room, If Emma & Snow had known that, I think that would have made a difference for them and they would have found another way or at least tried to protect Aurora somehow.

          Comment by Heather – November 25, 2012 08:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • You’re right … only Mulan knew that Aurora had been burned. Aurora is turning onto a strong character, or at least she was until Hook removed her heart. I really liked Aurora last night and feel we have just started to get to know her. Mulan is another story … I just can’t warm to her. Hoping the mermaid reference will bring Ariel to our screen next year! As for Cora & Hook, they are truly evil and will be a match for Regina and Rumple.

          Comment by Ella – November 26, 2012 03:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Ariel would indeed be a nice addition. Now, can someone check if Bella Thorne is free? :)

            Comment by Lambsilencer – November 26, 2012 10:44 AM PDT  
          • At least they’ve finally given Aurora a purpose, Mulan on the other hand is still dead weight on the show.

            Comment by Kandice Sedlacek – November 26, 2012 09:55 PM PDT  
      • I agree. Yes Snow and Emma have loved ones to get home to but they would not sacrifice Aurora if they could not come up with a plan. Mulan was only thinking of her promise to Phillip and utimately Mulan would of gotten captured and gotten them all killed if Snow and Emma didn’t stop her and want to come up with a plan to save both worlds from Cora.

        Comment by Kelly – November 26, 2012 09:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Aurora goes back to that room every time she falls asleep. With or without Emma asking her to go back and talk to Henry, Aurora goes back to that room. Also Aurora and Mulan are NOT trying to get a loved one back. As far as they know Philip is dead (although Cora made it sound like he could return, but they didn’t know that).

      Comment by JJ – November 26, 2012 03:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Josh Dallas and Ginnifer Goodwin gave amazing performances tonight. I am loving The Charming family.

    Comment by Patti – November 25, 2012 07:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Also I thought one needed to be able to use magic to take another person’s heart so how did Hook take Aurora’s heart?

    Comment by Jon – November 25, 2012 08:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I am guessing we will find out next week. I’m thinking Regina taught him. I think they’d make an interesting couple.

      Comment by Patti – November 25, 2012 08:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I was wondering that too. And when did he take her heart? Did he release her….let her run off….then track her down and take her heart? Seems odd. And how did he take her heart? I don’t buy that he was taught how to do it. If he knows magic that powerful, he could have defended himself from Emma….or put up a better fight against Cora.

      Comment by Alichat – November 26, 2012 08:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If I never have to hear about the Charmings finding each other again, it will be too soon.

    Comment by sara – November 25, 2012 08:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It must be time consuming for you making sure that blanket never dries out.

      Comment by Tara – November 26, 2012 06:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • First of all I must say I did enjoy this episode, however am I the only one that thought this episode was even cheesier than normal, I mean the bird crows and Snow somehow know what it said, it was almost cringeworthy, as well as everything in the fire room, was too cheesy for me. With that said I actually liked Aurora in this episode, and I know some fans love new nicer Regina, but part of the reason of loved Regina was because she was a great villain, I hope she isn’t good forever. As expected Cora and Hook continue to be awesome villains. The winter finale looks to be great, and even though I’m looking forward to Emma and Snow returning home, I hope they don’t abandon present FTL forever, I thoroughly enjoyed some of the present FTL stories, and hope we return their from time to time, because frankly in storybrooke you can only do so much.

    Comment by Mike – November 25, 2012 08:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So who comes through that portal in the well next week? Hook and Cora?
    Gotta believe that Emma and Snow are headed some place else.

    Comment by GingerSnap – November 25, 2012 08:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Hook is a regular so either he come through next week or later in the season, or Emma and snow don’t make it through and Hook also stays behind.

      Comment by Mike – November 25, 2012 08:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I’m thinking it’s Hook and Cora who come through. Revenge is on both of their minds.
        The twist will be where Emma and Snow land next. It won’t be FTL. Maybe Neverland, maybe a trip through the Looking Glass to Wonderland, maybe to that Sea with squid ink, maybe Oz, where Dr. Whale’s brother awaits.

        Comment by GingerSnap – November 25, 2012 08:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I would not be surprised if they kill Hook before the season ends. I think he’s a great edition to the show and I would love to see him in Neverland at some point but overall he really means nothing. Once Cora is done with him she’ll disregard him as she has everyone else. Or he’ll attempt to get his revenge against Mr. Gold, fail miserably, and then he’ll go off to wherever other characters go when they’re only on one episode of the season and might as well be dead. All that to say, I wouldn’t get too attached to him.

        Comment by KT – November 25, 2012 10:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • He’s a regular, I would get your hopes up on him dying, personally I think he’s a great addition to the show.

          Comment by Mike – November 26, 2012 12:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • NOT* get your hopes up

            Comment by Mike – November 26, 2012 12:33 PM PDT  
          • Graham was a regular too and they killed him off.

            Comment by Shannon – November 26, 2012 03:11 PM PDT  
          • I like Hook too, I know a lot of people were down on him after the Crocodile (and many still are), but he has grown as a character IMO.

            Comment by Kandice Sedlacek – November 26, 2012 10:07 PM PDT  
  • Overall, it was another good episode. Agree with everyone who thinks Mulan is a robotic bore(I think it’s actually the actress on this one)and I think Aurora is actually not bad independent of Mulan. Still, for me, Barbara Hershey as Cora owned this episode; she’s exponentially more menacing and scary than Lana Parilla’s Regina ever thought about being. THIS is how you play an evil queen, not as a one-note, mostly one dimensional cartoon(which is pretty much how Parilla played for the majority of last season).

    Comment by ChrisGa – November 25, 2012 08:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think Lana has come a long way since the pilot. She was pretty cartoonish early on, at least as the Evil Queen Regina.

      Comment by Kandice Sedlacek – November 26, 2012 10:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Really hate how TPTB are allowing Snow to beat Mulan during their fights.

    Comment by Julie – November 25, 2012 08:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It actually makes sense to me. This Snow White is the original bad $$$. Yes Mulan is known as the tough warrior but Snow has been a fighter and warrior alot longer and not only that but a leader and thinker were as this Mulan is just muscle and misses the thinking and big picture. She’s just fighting and thinking of being a bodyguard because of Phillip. Mulan will get them either all stuck alone in ftl with no chance of them having a real life or killed by Cora,

      Comment by Kelly – November 26, 2012 09:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I agree, I think of Aurora and Mulan as the next generation. Snow is sort of the elder of their foursome.

        Comment by Kandice Sedlacek – November 26, 2012 10:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This was the best episode of the season fr me. Whenever Regina and Rumple are together it give me goosebumps. Lana Parilla, Robert Carlyle, and Barbara Hershey’s acting skills are truly amazing.

    Comment by Gilda – November 25, 2012 08:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Loved this episode. Poor Charming. Stuck in the fiery inferno until Snow wakes him. Part of me was hoping Snow would kill Mulan… But another part of me doesn’t want her to die until she becomes more interesting…

    Comment by Kandice Sedlacek – November 25, 2012 08:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • All of the new characters are so one dimensional to me. Especially Cora, even though shes not a new character, I just feel that she is fulfilling the role of “dastardly villain” until the true threat shows itself. Am I the only one that feels something bigger is coming? I love the characters we’ve come to known, but the new characters seem like they are fulfilling roles. Hook= Colorful Rogue, Mulan= Faithful Companion, Aurora= Damsel in Distress, even though I do find Aurora entertaining. I really am looking forward to Cassady’s return, though. And I said this once but I’ll say it again. . . Someone please do something about Henry! The kid is so obnoxious and oblivious, I want him to go as far away as possible

    Comment by Patrick Maloney – November 25, 2012 08:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I did think Henry’s acting was worse than usual.

      Comment by Mike – November 25, 2012 09:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Finally! If nothing else, I’m glad to finally see the ‘villain’ side of Hook (although he’s still got a ways to go to catch up to Cora, Regina, & Co). Overall, I really enjoyed this episode. I like flashback episodes, but as with LOST, sometimes it’s nice to dispense with them and instead focus on the story at hand.

    I liked Mulan…not a lot of characterization there, unfortunately, but I respect her dedication to protecting Aurora.

    Comment by Kara – November 25, 2012 09:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I didn’t mind losing the flashbacks/sideways/something for one episode, but it seems weird to suddenly abandon them in random episode 8 of season 2 after always having them.

    Comment by Gilda – November 25, 2012 09:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why you misquote all the quotes?

    Comment by Tricia – November 25, 2012 09:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hope they dissolve this whole being separated in two worlds thing. I also hope they get rid of Mulan. She is a terrible actress and the writing for her character isn’t much better either.

    Comment by Babybop – November 25, 2012 10:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • mulan is so far a very annoying character but jamie chung is not a terrible actress.

      Comment by adam – November 25, 2012 11:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Is it just me or is this season kinda of going nowhere? We’ve had two good episodes (the one where we found out Dr. Whale was Dr. Frankenstine and the one where we see Emma and Henry’s dad back in the day) and that’s it. Last season every episode was worth watching and enjoyable and this season just isn’t. I blame this partly on the bad acting of Mulan and Aurora. They need to go back to focusing on characters people like and quit the direction they’re going. LOST almost got cancelled after the 3rd season for this very thing, I would hate t

    Comment by KT – November 25, 2012 10:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I would hate t

      Comment by KT – November 25, 2012 10:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I would hate to see this show go away after this season is over.

        Comment by KT – November 25, 2012 10:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m getting tired of being a Debbie Downer about OUAT S2, but is it just me or did tonight’s epi perform worse than the Packers? Here’s what I thought about “ITD”…

    The Bad:
    - The writing for Henry and Regina; she nearly killed him with that curse, yet neither of them brings it up in the chem lab scene? (does Henry have Stockholm Syndrome?)
    - Enough of the “I will always find you” line. (take two shots!)
    - Mulan is STILL more wooden than August. (any shippers there?)
    - The Hook/Emma UST is even more lame in absentia. (just give up already, writers!)
    - The raven. (SO cheesy!)
    - The zombies. (I know it’s not TWD, but not even a little blood and gore? REALLY?)
    - Belle didn’t even get to eat her burger or try any magical condiments! (no fair!)
    The Good:
    - Cora’s ventriloquist act might give Aurora some personality (a Festivus miracle!)
    - Hook went from one-handed Captain Cardboard to understated evil. (it’s not EVIL evil, but it’s an improvement.)
    - Snow ALMOST did in Mulan (maybe the third time will be the charm!)
    - Bobbie and Barbara hit it out of the park with their acting. (which saved the episode from being entirely anticlimactic.)

    Season 2 continues to under-perform for me, but I’m still hoping the winter finale will actually live up to its promo and that in the new year Archie will pull out his inner Dr. Phil (and not his cricket bat) and make everyone get real in “The Cricket Game”, and I have my fingers and toes crossed that Neal will be “The Outsider” who comes to town and along with Cora will re-inject some serious romantic/family/bad-ass magic drama into what is becoming a contrived and disjointed smaltz-fest–so that OUAT doesn’t end up on the bubble come renewal season.

    Comment by ej – November 25, 2012 11:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It’s a good thing Belle didn’t get to eat her burger. I found her double chin quite distracting in the side shot. She’s plumping up.
      When Aurora came back, I thought it was Cora doing her Lancelot trick.
      Barbara Hershey is indeed a perfect dried up crone, but I’m not sure Mr. Carlyle would appreciate being called Bobbie.
      IMO the writers have gotten way too scattered this season. And I’m against them crossing over into Sci-Fi territory.

      Comment by Tara – November 26, 2012 06:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Rude. Emilie’s very petite. In any case, her weight should have nothing to do with how you perceive her as a character.

        Comment by Hannah – November 27, 2012 09:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Hmmm Mulan and August. She does need to get some. Maybe it will loosen her up…

      Keep in mind that this show is on ABC at 8 pm, not AMC at 9PM. They have a gore limit I’m sure.

      Poor Belle had to eat her cheeseburger alone.

      Awesome Festivus reference. :)

      Comment by Kandice Sedlacek – November 26, 2012 10:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ethan Embry has already been cast as the outsider that comes to town so it’s not Neal

      Comment by Brian – November 27, 2012 04:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Am I the only one who caught the reference to the mermaid and the rare squid with special ink? Clearly, they are setting up Little Mermaid introductions. I mean seriously, Cora just learned that the only object that can defeat her is in Rumple’s cell and she has purple smoke teleportation powers. There is no way Emma and the three princesses can get there first. Hence, they will need to recover more ink… cue Ursula the sea witch! I’m just wondering what motivation Ariel will have to help Team Lady Power. I’m guessing it will have something to do with saving Eric. I’m calling it now, Kitsis and Horowitz!! Don’t dissapoint me!

    Comment by OnceWouldBeWriter – November 25, 2012 11:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I caught that too – I haven’t seen any castings for Little Mermaid/Eric (although I might just have missed them), but I definitely feel like there’s a reason that there were so specific about how the ink can be found.

      Comment by lara – November 26, 2012 12:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • okay I’m not alone in thinking the queen of hearts is cora right?

    Comment by Emily – November 26, 2012 12:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Nope, I’ve thought that for a little while now.

      Comment by ChrisGa – November 26, 2012 06:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That’s been speculated about since season one. The fact that when Regina and Jefferson went to Wonderland, The Queen had a veil over her head and spoke through a voice changing trumpet, plus that Regina’s father was there all added up to Cora being the Queen.

      Comment by Templar – November 26, 2012 06:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • There you are Tempar, I was starting to get worried. ;)

        Comment by Kandice Sedlacek – November 26, 2012 10:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Hi Kandice: I’m still reeling from four days of having fourteen house guests. Lively and about as much fun as I could tolerate. The last wave left just two hours before OUAT aired, so I’m trying to catch up.

          Comment by Templar – November 27, 2012 03:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Goodness! My house wouldn’t be big enough for 14 additional people. We had 5 people (plus our 4) for Thanksgiving and that was enough and only for a few hours. Glad you survived!

            Comment by Kandice Sedlacek – November 27, 2012 10:30 PM PDT  
  • “I will always find you” (and variations of it) is quickly becoming the most annoying line on television.

    Comment by Tana – November 26, 2012 01:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • They’re beating it to death after having stolen it from the Princess Bride ["I will always come for you"].

      Comment by Templar – November 26, 2012 06:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • That’s because they are always having to find each other. The line was sweet at first, now it’s overkill.

        Comment by Kandice Sedlacek – November 26, 2012 10:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well, they haven’t really answered my question, why Snow does not end up in the flaming room in her dreams, like Henry and Aurora?

    Comment by Duke – November 26, 2012 04:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes, she should have been suffering the same dreams as Henry and Aurora in the first season.

      Comment by Beba – November 26, 2012 06:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • For all we know, Snow did suffer the same dreams last season, but that would have taken place in FTL, over 28 years ago, and we just didn’t see them.

        Comment by Blake – November 26, 2012 07:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It was mentioned why she doesn’t go to that room anymore. She mentioned herself that it had been years since she was put under the curse and through those years her mind began to protect and guard her from going there, that’s why she had Mulan use the poppy seeds, she needed to be put under a deep sleep so her mind would drop it’s guard.

      Comment by bigby_wolf – November 26, 2012 07:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • They did answer that. She learned to control her mind, to protect her from going back. She did have the dreams. That’s why she said she needed to get into a deep sleep and not a guarded sleep so she could return.

      Comment by Kandice Sedlacek – November 26, 2012 10:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Anyone think that Emma was suspicious of Aurora? I think she might catch on that they are being manipulated by Cora. Also I agree about Mulan…very boring character and bad acting. Why is she so loyal to Phillip? I think it is kind of creepy, maybe she wants him for herself!

    Comment by stef – November 26, 2012 05:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • She does. It’s mentioned in her first episode. She was/is in love with Phillip.

      Comment by Alex – December 3, 2012 10:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am a fan but I am so over this trying to get back to Storybrook struggle. Come on, already!! :) Now Charming and Snow are, what? Separated again!! It is turning into a soap opera. And I do agree with someone above, the newer characters are seeming quite one demensional. That’s my rant for the day. :)

    Comment by Kim R – November 26, 2012 05:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was astonished by how small Fairytale woods are… though Snow & Co. went away in search of the poppy, Aurora seemed to find them within 5mins of being released! ^^;

    Comment by Carda – November 26, 2012 05:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought it was fantastic. Captain Swan and Snowing were great, Mulan was annoying. Rumple and Regina versus Cora (eventually) will be fun. Why isn’t is Sunday yet?!

    Comment by Michelle – November 26, 2012 06:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This was easily the most boring episode of the season for me because when you got down to it, nothing really happened. About half way through I was ready to turn it off and go back to the movie I had been watching. They aren’t actually any closer to being home, yes, they have been given leads, but they didn’t get to follow up on it.
    I am so ready for the dual worlds story line to be over and the fact that they just keep stretching it out is really annoying.
    They need to get everyone back to Storybrooke ASAP, get August back and fill in the gaps with Henry’s dad, because I’m pretty sure we weren’t getting the whole story. And they need to tell us why Rumple would help Henry for free.
    And do not make Regina into one of the good guys, I am disliking how soft she is becoming in S2.
    Overall, I am not impressed with season 2 at all and I really hope they step it up and fix they horrific fragmentation.

    Comment by Shannon – November 26, 2012 06:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Did i miss something when exactly did hook take auroras heart?? other then that a decent episode but not a great one

    Comment by lindsey – November 26, 2012 06:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • They didn’t show it, but we have to assume he took it while she slept. My guess is Regina showed him how to do it back in “FTL that was”

      Comment by GingerSnap – November 26, 2012 12:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 1) Can’t stand the Charming / Snow emphasis. Least interesting characters, by far.

    2) How did Hook steal Aurora’s heart….how can she live without it….and is she somehow “changed” in her actions because of it?

    3) Agree with posters above–Cora, Rumple, Hook and Regina TOTALLY MAKE THIS SHOW. Without them, my interest is gone. Gotta have MORE of these four characters, especially Cora–what an awesome villainess.

    Comment by Jason – November 26, 2012 07:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I wonder if they’re going to write a gay prince or princess later.

    Comment by merryweather – November 26, 2012 07:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • IMO there are enough fairies on the show.

      Comment by PJ – November 26, 2012 07:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The actress that place Mulan was once on Real World San Diego…so not surprised at her bad acting, that’s what we get when reality stars try to act.

    Comment by tv_junkie – November 26, 2012 07:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I used to love this show, but it’s lost its way and has lost the charm that made it so much fun to watch and so different in the land of network TV (note to OUAT writers: WATCH GRIMM, they’ve done it!). Too many, way too many characters and muddied story lines are making this difficult to stay with from week to week… I’m over this show. It isn’t the acting, it’s the story that just isn’t there any more. This now looks like a show that had no idea where it was going once it was renewed for a second season.

    Comment by JJ – November 26, 2012 07:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m confused about the end, how is Aurora walking around without a heart? Is she dead? What is going on?

    Comment by Patricia – November 26, 2012 08:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The huntsman last season was walking around without his heart too. It seems that if a heart is stolen in FTL the person can be manipulated and killed but still lives. No clue how Hook managed it unless he was being taught magic by Cora.

      Comment by Me – November 26, 2012 09:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Is the whistle that Graham/Huntsman gave Snow ever going to come back into play? Wasn’t it a whistle that could “bring people home” or something similar? I think my fav part of this episode was when Emma didn’t even question the fact that her mother can talk to birds…just took it.

    Comment by Abby – November 26, 2012 08:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I did find Emma’s reaction amusing. But then again, within the last couple of weeks, she killed a dragon, faced an ogre, was nearly killed by a giant, faced zombies, and was sucked into another world by a wraith. I can picture her just thinking, “Of course she can talk to animals…”

      Comment by J Pritz – November 26, 2012 10:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’ve seen Jamie Chung (Mulan) in other stuff. She’s tough. Pretty kick @$$ and I know she can act better than this. I have to say it’s the direction the writers, directors and producers are asking from her. I do think she’d be way more interesting in Storybrooke.
    On another note, anyone forseeing that when Snow and Emma get back it will be a race to get to Charming/David and kiss him awake? A parallel on the first episode where Charming wakes Snow? I’m hoping that’s the beginning of the premiere when it comes back in January.
    And as for Hook, does he have magic? Did he take Aurora’s heart himself? The Sheriff/Huntsman walked around for years without his heart, so they’ve already established that there are different kinds of heart stealing…death & controlling. Just not sure what to think there.

    Comment by Liz – November 26, 2012 09:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am really impressed with Josh Dallas and Ginnifer Goodwin. They did great work in this episode and I really love the Henry/Charming bond. It seems like all of last season and all of this season so far as focused on mom/daughters. I’m hoping the second we will see father/daughter and father/sons explored with Emma/Charming, Henry/Neal, Rumple/Bae.
    And find Cora to be one dimenisonal and Barbara Hershey not that impressive on Once.

    Comment by Kelly – November 26, 2012 09:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • i liked this episode – they are definitely building up the tension for the winter finale. My favourite part of the show is seeing the Emma and Snow relationship grow. I loved that Emma was the one who told Snow to have faith – that they would make it back to Storybrooke to David and Henry. Season 1 Emma would never have said that. I can’t wait to see what happens when Cora and Hook get to Storybrooke – I think Regina will find it hard to use magic only for good when her mother is around!

    Comment by Joan – November 26, 2012 12:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have a bad feeling about Cora having that heart. I keep thinking that Cora is going to kill Aurora once she doesn’t need to manipulate her anymore. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen because that actress has grown on me now and I like her as Aurora (though she can tone the whining down a bit, I wouldn’t mind at all).

    Comment by Alex – November 26, 2012 03:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hope Cora comes to Storybrooke soon. Really, really over this three worlds things and how they’re dragging it out. Eats up too much time so there’s no real development and story continuity in any of the stories anymore.

    Comment by Hewy – November 27, 2012 06:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No way! Next week the winter final all ready?! But they’ve so many storylines to close in 45 minutes. And that is what irritates me. Plus the seemingly never ending world in a world in a world. Storybrooke (are the vox suddenly calm now, while a few episodes back they all were in panick, and now there is no sheriff anymore cause he’s in a eternal sleep (so dum. he had to pretect Henry and now he’s half dead because he wanted to see hit wife.. so stupid. And he was in a coma like henry so why hasn’t he’ve been to the sleepland already?) ánd the failytail land (stop with al that traveling all ready! to the see, to the woods, to the sky, to the village) ánd the sleep land ánd the normal world (where the ex of Emma is still waiting on her or something? What’s up with that?). And then there is de munipulating Regina over the munipulating Gold over the munipulating cora over the manipulating hook in the body/hart of Aurora…. Yeah right. Well we’ll see next week. then we can evaluate the whole season for real..

    Comment by E – November 28, 2012 12:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Vox means voice, I assume you meant populi. Panic doesn’t have a k, dumb has a b at the end, protect not pertect, his not hit, he not he’ve, fairy not faily, all not al, already not all ready, sea not see, waiting for her not on her, manipulating not munipulating, heart not hart.

      Comment by Say what? – November 28, 2012 03:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

Leave a Reply

Comments on TVLine.com are monitored. So don't go off topic, don't frakkin' curse, and be gone with your offers of discount leather goods. Talk smart about TV!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s