Once Upon a Time Midseason Finale Post Mortem: Burning Questions Answered!

Once_FallFinale_SnowMa_300Warning: The following recap contains magically delicious spoilers from the Once Upon a Time midseason finale.

This Sunday, in the Once Upon a Time midseason finale, Hook found himself recruited by two evil queens, Emma worked a bit of magic and Storybrooke was approached by most unwelcome visitors. Read our full recap, then click to Page 2 for answers to some burning questions!

RELATED | Matt’s Inside Line Has Scoop on a Once Upon a Time Mystery

IN THE FAIRYTALE LAND THAT WAS| Captain Hook infiltrates evil Queen Regina’s castle to rescue Belle – until he realizes she has no intel on how to kill her boyfriend Rumplestiltskin. Before Hook can do in the damsel, Regina stops him and offers a deal: “I know who you are, why you came here from Neverland and about the ‘crocodile’ you wish to skin,” she says. Promising that the rules are about “to change – radically,” Regina speaks of the curse she is about to unleash, one that will send everyone to a land without magic, meaning the object of his vengeance will be powerless and thus disposable “with a flick of your wrist.” In trade for transit to this realm, Regina charges Hook with finding her mother Cora in Wonderland – for the purpose of killing the crone. Traveling through the hat portal with a dead goon in tow, Hook discovers that the Queen of Hearts is (as many predicted) in fact Cora, and because she doesn’t keep her heart “where everyone else does,” his bid to extract her ticker with his enchanted claw comes up empty. Instead, she clutches his coeur and they plot a counterattack. The plan: Hook will deliver a “dead” Cora to Regina, only so that she can get close enough to kill her daughter. But after Regina drops a bit of a bombshell while mourning her mere – that she loves the old bat regardless of their very complicated past, and as such couldn’t risk her traveling to Storybrooke, where she’d be a weakness to Regina – Cora changes strategy. She and Hook will wait out the 28-year curse, then make tracks for Storybrooke to “pick up the pieces” after Regina has “lost everything.”

IN THE FAIRYTALE LAND THAT IS| Emma, Snow White, Mulan and Aurora-the-Spy arrive at Rumple’s old cell, but only an empty ink vial is to be found. Instead, all they turn up is a scroll of parchment with the name “Emma” scribbled over and over and over again. The spiked cell door then closes on the ladies, as Cora arrives and thanks Aurora for her unwitting assist. “Please don’t do this – my son needs me,” Emma pleads to Hook. His retort: “You should’ve thought about that before you abandoned me at the beanstalk…. The time for making deals is done.” Abandoned in the inescapable cell, Emma throws herself a pity party – “I’m not a good savior” – but Snow won’t go there. “Good always defeats evil,” Snow reminds, as she realizes (10 minutes after the rest of us) that the parchment contains the squid ink, which Snow uses to dissolve away the gate. Cora meanwhile leads Hook to the lake that restores things, conjuring up a geyser from dust to get things going. They then sprinkle in the wardrobe ash and are about to make the leap to Maine … when an arrow from Snow knocks the compass out of their hands! A pretty nifty melee ensues (Fun Fact: It was raining like crazy as they filmed it), with Emma slapping swords with Hook as Cora taunts Snow and Mulan. Along the way, Hook saves Aurora’s heart from destruction, then tosses it to Mulan so she can get her friend back — see, he ain’t all bad! Emma manages to best Hook, clocking him with the compass, only to then go head-to-head with Cora. When Emma lunges for the sorceress, Cora scoffs, “You foolish girl!” and goes to pluck out her pumper… yet can’t! Love is not weakness, Emma realizes — “It’s strength!” — as a blast of magical whatnot bursts from her bosom, KO-ing Cora. “What was that?!” Emma wonders. “That… is a great subject for discussion,” her mom says, “when we get home!” And on that note, they hold hands and leap into the swirling portal. Afterward, Cora and Hook realize they are not down for the count, seeing as he still has a dried up magic bean and she has a rejuvenating lake. “Perhaps it’s time we did some gardening….” (Oh, and after an oddly intimate moment where Mulan restores Aurora’s heart, the gal pals set out to reunite Phillip with his stolen soul.)

IN STORYBROOKE… | As David stays stuck in the sleep spell, Gold invites Regina to fret over the possibility that if a portal opens up, they will get an unwelcome guest instead of two friendlies – namely, her mother. “And neither of us wants that,” Regina nods. When Gold suggests they set a trap for whomever comes through, Regina reminds that it could be Emma and Snow. “Then it’s a win-win,” Gold shrugs. “Henry could hardly blame you for helping.” As Regina considers the plan, she eavesdrops as Henry reads to David the story of him waking Snow from a sleep spell. “It will happen the other way around this time,” Regina interjects with a smile. Knowing that she “promised to do better,” Regina says she must go help Gold prepare for the portal opening. “ Gee willikers Wow,” Henry remarks. “You really have changed.” In the name of setting their trap, Rumple appropriates all of the diamonds from the mine – a theft that later irks Leroy. (“Nobody steals from a dwarf!”) Gold leads Regina to the well that “restores things once lost to us,” and uses the diamond-loaded wand to “seal” the opening with scary/crackly lightning stuff. Arriving on the scene, Henry flips his little lid, shouting, “We have to turn it off! Emma and Mary Margaret are going to come through!” Seeing that his mom is being wishy-washy about it, Henry argues, “You said you wanted to change — this is how. Have faith in me.” And off the passionate lad’s words, Regina valiantly rips away the deadly shield, though at first all fear it was too late. Until, that is, Emma’s hand grabs the well ledge, and she clambers out followed by Mary Margaret. Cue the line of the night: “Your mom is a piece of work, you know.” “Indeed I do.” Mary Margaret races off to smooch David back to life. “You did it,” he exclaims after doing the ritual “I’m awake” gasp. “Did you ever doubt I would?” As MM/David and Emma/Henry have their happy reunions, Regina looks dejected. Uh-oh.

Later, Emma confronts Gold in his shop, saying that she knows he knew her fate since before she was born, that he could have escaped the cell whenever he wanted, that she has been his pawn every step of the way. He counters that all he did was “take advantage of what you are — the product of true love. Everything you are, you’ve done yourself.” So, she asks, “You knew?” That she can’t be killed by Cora? A somewhat startled Gold can only say, “I didn’t do that; you did.”

The hour closes with Emma, Henry, Mary Margaret, David et al marching down the main drag to a chimera-free dinner at Granny’s. All is well. Happy endings all around! (Save for Regina, whom Gold taunts might one day get invited to dinner with Henry.) We then cut to the harbor, where off in the distance Hook’s ship emerges from the fog, the captain and Cora setting sight on the shore before them. “There it is….” “Storybrooke!” [CLICK TO PAGE 2 FOR BURNING QUESTIONS, ANSWERED!]

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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208 Comments
  1. Elyse says:

    I thought it was a good episode! happy to have Emma and Snow back :)

  2. veronic says:

    Good epi.
    I LOVE Charming family

  3. Patti says:

    Henry gets better and better ever episode. I really enjoy the Charming family. I was kinda hoping we would see Neal again but I guess that will come in the second half of the season. I’m really looking forward to more Red,Belle, Belle/Rumple, Neal/Emma and Charming getting to bond with Emma in the second half of the season.

    • Mike says:

      I unfortunately disagree, Henry is still the weakest part of every episode, and I thought that continued here.

    • Kelly says:

      I agree. I am loving Henry more and more every episode. He is one of the real heroes of the show.

    • luli says:

      Episode 11 is called “The Outsider” i’m sure Neal comes to storybrooke in that episode! I can’t wait! just a month and 3 days to a new episode :D

      • Patti says:

        Thanks!

      • Mary says:

        Maybe, maybe not. They have indicated that someone totally unconnected to the fairy tale world (from this world) may come into Storybrooke. And Neal may have some kind of connection to the fairy tale world, either as Bae or someone else.

        • Shuayb says:

          Then Neal is probably not Bae afterall. I know that we all are assuming that, but we also thought August was Bae too and that was SO not it. Neal has to be the one coming simply because he in the premiere he got the post card, he’s curiosity probably gets the better of him and he makes his way there.

      • Sara says:

        Actually Ethan Embry is cast as Outsider.

    • John says:

      Henry is cool and the only reason anything gets done. He’s the true savior. I look forward to seeing him meet and interact with his dad, Neal this season.

    • Spencer says:

      Henry is by far the most irritating character on all TV right now. He is utterly useless to the plot and the actor is horrible. He needs to be written off as soon as possible.

      • Rachel says:

        disagree you haven’t met Charlie from Revolution.

      • DarkDefender says:

        Or Dana from Homeland.

      • John says:

        disagree

      • Dan says:

        Without him there would be no reason for Regina to be good! Snow and Emma would’ve been dead episodes ago

      • Munush63 says:

        Can’t believe how stupid comments people can make!! Jared (Henry) is JUST A CHILD, and for his age his acting is pretty good!! You cant expect a kid of his age perform like a 20 year old actor, so saying he is a terrible actor is really upseting to him as well as people that concern about children. He’s doing an excelent job and his character is NOT useless since Henry is a central piece in this drama, otherwise how Emma would have gone to Storybrooke and be the savior she was expected to be without a strong interest like having a son there?? How she and Regina would enter into a fight that led to break the course if it wasnt for saving Henry?

        • DarkDefender says:

          Can’t expect it from a kid? See: Tatum O’Neil (Oscar at 9), Anna Paquin (Oscar at 9).. Or even Haley Joel Osmet (Sixth Sense), Dakota Fanning (I am Am) or Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone).

          Not acting at the level of the adults around them does distract from the shows… All these kid actors are case in point.

        • Nicole says:

          The girl who plays younger Snow is just as young if not more and she does a way better job than Jared does.

      • Shuayb says:

        Then you might as well cancel Once Upon A Time. Because No Henry would be No Emma in Storybrooke. And then what do we have. Its the same with Private Practice or Grey’s. He is an integral character. I think that Adam and Edward need to write better for him. What was most glaring for me is that he hated Regina all through season 1 but when the wraith was going to take her soul he suddenly had feelings for her. There wasn’t even a hint of it before that episode.

        Henry needs to be there, or Gold and Regina would have destroyed the portal that Emma and Snow needed to come through.

    • Gerald says:

      I completely disagree, Henry is one of the weaker aspects of the show. He’s annoying, whinny, ungrateful and overall useless to the general plot. Plus, the actor is terrible.

      • John says:

        henry actually has been the one to advance the plot. he get emma there, he is the one that gets the curse broken, he helped get emma and snow home and keeps regina from being once dimensional villain.

      • Mary says:

        Ungrateful? Yeah he should be happy that Regina made him feel like he was crazy, tried to kill his mom, his grandparents, and tried to hold him prisoner.

        And he is not annoying, whinny, or useless.

        • Templar says:

          I think Jared Gilmore [Henry] is doing a good job with the role he’s playing. The right combination of young angst and wise beyond his years savvy. Works for me.

    • oncer4everandever says:

      I love Henry :)

  4. Kacem says:

    This episode was EPIC. It explained a lot about how the safe haven was not affected by the curse. Confirmed Cora was the Queen of hearts and gave a great deal of plot to develop in the second part of the season, especially with Emma not being affected by the heart tearing to which Snow (in obvious Adam/Ed speaking through her) says that’s a great subject to discuss.

    My only concern is how Regina is affected by the return and Henry’s attitude towards her, i am afraid of her going back to being a bad guy.

    • Mike says:

      I understand your concern about Regina, but it is too early in the series for her to be a good guy yet, and evil Regina is so much more exciting, and I’m excited for the return of Emma and Regina’s rivalry.

      • Kacem says:

        Yeah, but that coin has two sides, and as much as i enjoy her being the Evil Queen she is (in flashbacks mostly), i am afraid of how the whole Cora coming to SB + Henry treating her that way and the Emma rivalry, i am just afraid she’s gonna go back if not worse.

        SPOILERY ALERT : did you notice in the next ep preview that at some point SB Regina has glowy purple eyes the color of magic ? I am suspecting Cora is manipulating her with magic at some point which leads her to become evil.

        • Isaac says:

          I’m pretty sure that was from a previous episode. There was definitely old mixed in with the new.

        • Mike says:

          Interesting observation, I didn’t notice that, I think we are just going to have to wait and see. I personally want to see more of Evil Regina, but I trust the writers to take te characters in the best direction

          • Kacem says:

            Not always, i am hearing there is an episode where Jiminy Cricket has a love interest, i am really afraid of how it’s gonna play out.

            Overall, i think that all the moaning fans that kept criticizing through the first 8 eps of season 2 got something to make ‘em finally hush hush.

          • Mike says:

            What’s so bad about Jiminy having a love interest, he has as much right as the rest if the characters to find love. I honestly trust the writers since I thought this Present FTL arc ended perfectly, it made everything else worth it.

          • Templar says:

            Well, I hope Jiminy doesn’t get involved with some trashy roach. LOL

          • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

            Maybe a cute ladybug? And then a love triangle forms with Little Miss Muffett’s spider?

        • Sarahthebaker says:

          Unfortunately, the glowy purple eyes were from earlier this season when Regina got the spellbook from Gold. More like a recap, seeming to indicate the book’s going to come back into play. January: Regression is coming to Storybrooke!

          • Kacem says:

            Now that you bring it up, yeah, and if Cora is back, she is gonna want her spell book back, isn’t she ? The most burning question i am having is what draws Gold to tell (whomever he tells it to) that he is looking for his son !

          • Mike says:

            I have a prediction, maybe he is finally asking Emma for that favor, and since i guess Emma can leave Storybrooke without any side effects, I can see Gold asking Emma to find his son, and it would definitely be interesting if Bae is Neal.

    • Kelly says:

      I prefer Regina evil. She’s much more exciting and the acting better when she’s the Evil Queen.

      • JB says:

        I think Lana Parrilla’s always great, but to me she’s really knocking the ball out of the park when she’s Storybrooke Regina. The Evil Queen is fun, but SB Regina is the most layered of all versions of her character and I get a massive kick out of watching Parrilla playing with the fine nuances. All of the emotions on her face when Henry hugged her at Gold’s shop – that’s just brilliant acting.

        • Kacem says:

          I totally agree with you, the SB Regina is so subtle, she lets go of the whole ‘i am the Evil Queen’ extravaganza when she is Regina and yet her acting has a profoundness to it that takes you in very quickly. I can’t wait to see what she will be doing when Cora comes to our land !

          • Cindy says:

            I like to see her struggling to be good while everything in her screams to do evil. I think they can keep her good as long as they show that struggle. Good doesn’t always have to be sugar sweet.

        • JGM says:

          I agree. And I agree Cindy too. It’s the layers and the struggle that keeps it interesting and makes Regina easily one of the most fascinating characters of the show. Pure evil and sugary sweet goodness are both boring. Or let’s say they become boring quickly.

      • Patti says:

        I am not overly impressed when she’s good and sweet Regina either. It’s not as natural a fit as is the evil queen.

    • luli says:

      watch the promo for the next episode and you’ll see a glimpse of the Queen’s comeback :)

    • veronic says:

      REGINA and RUMPEL evil, please¡

  5. Mike says:

    I thought this episode was close to perfect, and definitely my favorite in the series, keep in mind I think season 2 is much better than the first season. To begin with the acting was so much better than the last few episodes with very little cheese. Also the three worlds were balanced perfectly, though that will no longer be an issue( unfortunately IMO, hopefully we return there one day), and I’m very interested how much more we’ll see of Aurora and Mulan, and will they be able to carry their own story? I could say more but I must say that this episode made up for some of the weaker episode this season, it was in one word Epic!! It made the entire first half of the season worth it, except maybe the doctor which felt like a waste if time. Can’t wait until Jan 6!

  6. Really good ep. Is just bummer that we have to wait to january 6 for a new ep. And i love the “What hell was that?” from Emma when Cora tried to take her heart :)

  7. ollie says:

    so glad they made their way back and charming woke didnt think that was going to happen. and maybe we are done with mulan and aurora both week links in the story. loved loved the costumes in the queens court esp coras dress. love the ep!

  8. Kelly says:

    I don’t get why it’s so hard for Regina to kill her mom when she killed her loving dad so easily and quickly.

    • Kacey says:

      Well keep in mind her dad didn’t really have Magic Killing Cora is going to be much harder than killing her father

      • Kelly says:

        Physically yes her mom is harder but I was referring to her conscious/morals or love stopping her from killing.

        • JB says:

          I think it’s a combination of factors. I don’t think the relationship with her father was an easy one either. He loved her and she loved him, but he also never stood up for when her mother abused her and after Cora was gone he overcompensated his lack of support in the past by endorsing her rise as the Evil Queen. I believe she hired Hook to kill her mother first and once she’d gone there with mom and Rumple it made it clear that there was no other way to get the curse to work it became a tiny bit easier to leave dad behind too and start a completely new life in Storybrooke. But I don’t think it was “easy” per se. She was very conflicted in that episode with her father’s death too even if she didn’t explain in it monologue form.

    • Mike says:

      Remember to kill Cora Regina would need to find her Heart, which Cora Hidden, it may e awhile before she is killed.

    • Patti says:

      I’m sure killing her mom is harder but I agree that she has seemed more reluctant to try and kill her mom repeatedly but the decision to kill her dad she acted quickly on.

  9. Estée says:

    Ok Matt if you have more spill! PLEASE!!!

  10. wreckmex says:

    Okay, so honestly now. What was with the ending between Aurora and Mulan? Are the writers toying with the audience? They were definitely going to kiss!

    • Rikki says:

      yes. yes, they were. lol

    • Mike says:

      The writers did tease a gay relationship…so maybe

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who totally wanted Aurora and Mulan to kiss at that moment.

    • kavyn says:

      I was hoping they would. It would have made their relationship way more fun! Could you imagine they work on saving Prince Phillip, only to realize they’ve fallen for each other? Now THAT’s a story I would ship! :)

    • A says:

      I did not get that impression at all. What I saw was that when Mulan found out that Phillip could be saved she was happy because she’s in love with him (if you remember from the start of the season), but I also got a subtle glimpse of worry and sadness because she slowly became friends with Aurora and she knows that Aurora loves Philip so I thought she was probably also worried about how finding him again would play out because as much as she has started caring for Aurora as a friend, she’s still in love with Philip

  11. HeatherC says:

    Loved the episode tonight and YAY for Emma & Snow finally getting home! I love that Emma is starting to realize that she is special and might even have some magic in herself that can help protect and strengthen her family. The Charming family reunion was perfect and I actually felt a little sorry for Regina tonight (even though she did the right thing and probably saved her chances to have a relationship with Henry in the future). Fantastic fall finale and one of my favorite episodes this year! =)

    • Theresa says:

      Emma is magic in all sense of the word. She is the union of True love which is the most powerful of all magic. That Love is her strength. I loved the fact she never knew she was magical growing up in a place with no magic.

  12. Cory says:

    Here’s a question…. WHY DO WE HAVE TO WAIT SO LONG FOR THE NEXT EPISODE?!?!?!?!??!?!?! I WANT IT NOW!!!!! :'(

    Tonight’s episode was beyond amazing! Even with a few predictable scenes, it was still delivered with such power and grace! This show just continues to get better and better and I really hope to see Cora and Rumple go head to head in a magical battle.. it will be epic!….

  13. MariaSanchez says:

    we saw the old sheriff (that hot guy) in the mid season finale – but he never returned. What is up with that?

  14. C says:

    Emma has powers she is learning about, what about Henry? there is something inside him
    Emma’s his mother!

    • Gem says:

      Agreed! I feel like it is a power of perception. He always seems to see things more clearly than anyone else around him. He just KNOWS how something will turn out or what is underneath the surface that others might not notice or believe. It’s pretty cool.

  15. Envy says:

    Regina’s blue gown worn while plotting with Hook was fabulous! The episode was great and answered many questions. Bravo!

    • Kath says:

      During that scene, I kept thinking that the actors on this show must be so happy to have roles where they can run the gamut of emotions, while wearing gorgeous clothes.

  16. Brenna says:

    great episode! loved belle and hook’s scene. cant wait for more rumbelle and the showdown between cora and rumpel! if you got more secrets to tell, please spill now!!!!!!!! :) jan 6 is too long to wait

  17. John says:

    Hook,Mulan and Aurora continue to be the weakest links to me. Hook should be a much cooler villian.

    • JB says:

      Hook is just sleezy. Can’t be bothered with him.

    • Patti says:

      Agreed. Hook was not worth the hype.

      • Templar says:

        Totally agree with you. Hook is as shallow as DiNozzo on NCIS. Frat boy, me me me mentality. When he hit Belle, that put him beyond the pale.

        • janie says:

          I’d love Hook forever if only he had killed that brainless twit. “What, you’ve come to rescue me from the evil queen? Let me tell you why you shouldn’t before we’re even out of my cell!”

        • JGM says:

          They may have realized they were giving us too much “tell” and too little “show” with this characters in his first episodes and then they had him hit and attempt to kill Belle in a frantic attempt to “show” that he is a villain. But it didn’t work for me.
          They are trying too hard with this character. There is no way I’m buying he is the first person to sneak past the barriers at the Evil Queen’s castle for example. They want us to think he’s so great, but that’s laying it on too thick. Plus: I hated his rapey dialogue with Emma during their fight scene. That was just repulsive.

          • Templar says:

            I find everything about Hook to be shallow, unconvincing, weak, and juvenile. Bad casting IMO. He isn’t at all menacing and, as far as I can see, was cast on looks alone.

    • Mike says:

      Mulan and Aurora… sure, but Hook was awesome in this episode, he was the villain he was said to be, if they keep that up, I’m happy he was made a regular, and he and Cora’s relationship is unique, I hope it continues. You left out Henry, I understand he is crucial to the plot, but he is just not a good actor, most of his lines make me cringe and are incredibly cheesy, almost as cheesy as the Snow/Charming You found me shtick…almost.

      • John says:

        Hook remains an awful villain. As for Herny, that is your opinion which mine differs. I like Henry and do not cringe at the kid as I do Mulan,Aurora and Hook.

        • Mike says:

          Hook can just not please some of you, I respect your opinion, but he was the best in this episode since his debut. He should be an interesting villain. I like him, I may be alone but he remains very much a mystery and it leaves for a very interesting second half of a season. Give Hook a chance, most of you have been against him since his debut. Its nice some people like Henry, but he is best in small doses.

          • John says:

            Respect my opinion and I respect yours. I’ve given Hook a chance. Still was not impressed tonight. Our opinions differ on Hook and Henry, maybe the second half we’ll change opinions but for now to each his or her own.

          • Lori says:

            Bringing on Hook was the smartest thing the show’s done. He makes bad so good and I love all his scenes with Emma.

    • CMG says:

      I don’t get the impression that Hook is wholly a villain on this show. If I had to pick an alignment for him, he’s a Chaotic Neutral, although he dances right on the edge of being Neutral Evil. He’s very capricious about what side he plays with… whatever side will get him what he wants. I think he was somewhat genuine about his offers to side with Emma and co., as long as they were willing to guarantee his passage to Storybrooke.

      Mulan and Aurora are definitely dull so far, one note characters with very little back story. Both honestly are basically scene dressing more than legitimate characters.

      • Jason says:

        LOL @ applying D&D alignments to TV characters…however with that said, I do agree with your assessment.

      • Jason says:

        But since you brought it up, I’ll play

        Prince Charming: Lawful Good
        Belle: Neutral Good
        Snow White: Chaotic Good
        Dr Whale/Frankenstein: True Neutral
        Jefferson/Mad Hatter: Chaotic Neutral
        Rumpelstiltskin: Lawful Evil (pretty much the epitome of lawful evil)
        Queen Regina: Neutral Evil

        That’s examples of 7 of the 9 alignments, I cant think of a good example on the show for either Lawful Neutral or Chaotic Evil. The only decent example of lawful neutral would probably be Dreamy/Grumpys dwarf “boss” in the mines who keeps telling and reminding him of his dwarven responsibilities when he wants to run away with the fairy. And chaotic evil characters are really easy to hate and have almost no redeeming qualities, this show likes its villains to be more layered than that.

        • Jason says:

          After some reevaluation I would say that Snow is actually Neutral Good, and The Huntsman/Graham is the best example of Chaotic Good. Also Mulan is probably Lawful Neutral, and you could make a case for Cora being Chaotic Evil.

    • rachel says:

      Villain? Hook is NOT a Villain, he’s a cliche bad boy like damon from tvd or eric from TB, just watch he will have a love interest (probably emma) who make him want to forget his revenge and try to be good-ish..zzzzzz…boring

      • Templar says:

        Didn’t you have any problem with how he just knocked Belle out without batting an eye. That’s cold. As soon as she became useless to him he abused her.

        • Maiqu says:

          Did you notice Rumple did the same to Ruby but worse?

          • Lori says:

            So true. Hook has done bad things, but Regina and Gold have done just as bad if not worse. They’ve all killed and hurt people to get what they want. Why is one more worthy of redemption than another.

          • JGM says:

            If they want more viewers to be interested in Hook they need to give him some layers and improve the writing. He’s no match for the established villains and he’s no match for Cora who’s only been around about as long as he has. The actor is no match for the three actors – Carlyle, Parrilla, Hershey – yet either.

  18. JB says:

    Great episode. Not real surprise, but glad Cora really is the Queen of Hearts. I expect there is lots of backstory left to reveal with her Wonderland personality too. I’m excited about this. I love Barbara Hershey on OUAT. Now I’m looking forward to her meeting Regina again. That’s gonna be epic. Sad that it turned out she was right and Regina was left feeling like she lost everything again at the end. But glad Henry hugged her and believes in her. I hope he doesn’t forget about her again now.

  19. Mari13 says:

    I felt sorry for the Queen this week. She’s changing and being a better person. Her and Henry are cute. But now her evil mother is coming.

  20. Mary says:

    So is the Mulan/Aurora arc over? They are done for the season/forever? I only read the recap, have to watch the show tomorrow.

    • Mike says:

      No they alluded to them rescuing Phillip, so I’m sure will see them again, even if it’s just to finish there story.

  21. Tiffany says:

    Where did Pinnochio/August in wooden form, end up going?

    • Are we ever going to see a proper August|Pinocchio & Geppetto reunion? ‘We Are Both’ gave me such hope for those characters, and we haven’t seen either of them (in present day) since that episode.

      • Redge says:

        The creators apparently promised an August-centric episode int he future as to why he abandoned the mission and left for Phuket so hopefully!

    • Redge says:

      Seriously. I miss his face!

    • Poukynou says:

      THIS! That’s my burning question! So can we please know something about him because the fact that no one seems to care when he was there for Henry and Emma in their darkest moments -they both went to him for help- annoy me very, very much.

  22. Sara W. says:

    I’m hoping that at some point the show addresses Henry’s recent treatment of Regina. Between extending a lunch invite he knew she’d jump on in order to lure her away, ignoring her completely when she could have been injured drawing the energy away from the well, and then turning his back on her at Gold’s, he’s behaving rather callously at best and borderline cruel at worst. I know she lied to him, and made him think she was crazy. But she was his mom for 10 years, loving him as best as she could. And she, for all her faults, did raise him to be a good, loving person with a strong sense of right and wrong. So I’d like to see someone remind him of all that, myself.

    • Mike says:

      Regina should be lucky henry is talking to him at all, if I was that kid I would not be too chummy with my mom either, lets remember that before the curse Regina treated Henry pretty badly, and I am sure he has not forgotten the fact that Regina sent him to therapist for believing in a curse that Regina knew for a fact existed, made him feel like he was crazy, not mention was somewhat responsible for sending Snow and Emma to FTL, and probably the worst tried to to put Emma to sleep forever and ended up hurting Henry. I’m not saying Henry has been an angel, but it is going to take a lot more than trying to fix what she started to win Henry over, but as seen I think Henry is more open to a relationship than he was before Emma returning home.

    • Kath says:

      Regina wasn’t the perfect mother – she isolated Henry from other kids, and she left him alone and lied to him saying she had to go to a meeting when she was making a booty call at Graham’s. He also knows she tried to kill Snow with the poison apple, and Henry was the one who saved Emma from the poisoned apple turnover. And while she did end up saving Emma and Snow, she also lied to Henry first saying she wanted to save them when really she was setting the trap with Rumple to kill whoever came through.

      Henry’s just a kid and the responsibility for the relationship shouldn’t be on him. Regina is going to have to do some more work to redeem herself before she gets invited to lunch..

      • Templar says:

        ITA. Regina knows all magic comes at a price. She’s manipulated everyone and caused chaos and Henry’s transfer of affection to Emma is part of that price. It was appropriate for her to be left standing alone when they all went off to celebrate. The invitation to a meal at Grannys’ came from Ruby [whom Regina had just knocked out] to celebrate the return of Snow and Emma and the restoration of David. She caused the problem, why would she be invited to celebrate it’s solution?

        • JB says:

          A bit nitpicky, maybe, but Rumple knocked Red out back at the well, not Regina. Guess one could even argue whether or not Regina really caused the problem since she wasn’t the one who brought that stupid wraith thing to Storybrooke, but then you could also go on and say if she never locked up Belle Rumple may never done gone there and the we’re back in the neverending blame circle. I think it’s possible to understand both. I understand why Regina wasn’t invited, but I did feel for her too.

          • Templar says:

            I stand corrected about knocking Ruby out. But when I said she caused the problem, I was going all the way back to her implementing the curse that brought them to SB.

  23. Kath says:

    An excellent episode. By the end, I was feeling sorry that they didn’t invite Regina to supper but I can see that dramatically it’s necessary since she hasn’t changed completely, and Emma and Snow wouldn’t know how much she had anyway.

    Since Emma is the only person to defeat Cora at her game, will Emma be helping Regina fight against Cora now? That would be a good twist.

    Matt, if Emma has magic because she was born of true love, does Henry also have magic? In other words, is Neal Emma’s true love? (Because if I get a vote, I’d rather it was Graham even if he is dead at the moment.)

    • Templar says:

      I’m not sure Henry could have magic. He was born in our world, and even if Neal turns out to be Bael [who has no magic] that wouldn’t give him anything to inherit on that side. Snow and Charming don’t have magic either, so it’s unlikely.

      • Kath says:

        Does Emma have magic because she was born of True Love? Or is there something more to explain it?

        Although you raise a good point, Emma was born in the Enchanted Forest. Maybe people born in the real world don’t have magic even if they are born of True Love. (Although I’m not convinced it was true love since Neal turned her in to the police rather than help her get honest himself.

  24. Kelly says:

    I like Neal and Neal/Emma. He definitely gets my vote for Emma’s true love and do hope he’s Bae.

  25. Robin says:

    After tonight’s episode I’m majorly asking myself if those we’ve always felt were evil are evil and having only bad intentions…for example Regina…she’s kind of reformed or is trying to…though from the previews it doesn’t seem she has completely. Then Mr. Gold…well I still feel he’s bad news mostly…and but Cora – she could have killed Regina before the spell…but because Regina confessed she loved her…does she really just want to be there for her daughter to “pick up the pieces”? I am having a seriously hard time believing her intentions are that true…So I’m wonder how will that mother/daughter reunion go…and if Cora’s really does just want to be there for Regina…and then what does she mean by that?

    • Mike says:

      I thought this episode really showed that there is a very distinct grey area on who is the true villain, throughout this season I was convinced that Cora was the ultimate evil, but she does seem to legitimately care about her daughter. Gold has always been in the grey area, he is evil but a lot of what he did was to get back to Bae or Belle, and Regina is trying to change, but has yet to truly make a change, until that book is actually gone, I think its safe to say she still has little evil in her. We don’t know enough about Hook to truly know who he is yet.

    • Templar says:

      IMO what drives Cora is ego, not maternal love. She was always ambitious for Regina to succeed brilliantly [ like stage mothers or parents who push their kids into sports whether they want to participate or not]. It’s a matter of fulfilling her dream and being thwarted.

    • Kath says:

      I wouldn’t trust Cora’s definition of “pick up the pieces”. She’s more likely to take the opportunity to get Regina under her control by saying she’ll hurt Henry unless Regina does what she wants than to actually help Regina.

      Cora may claim that she loves her daughter, she may even believe that she does, but she’s always been willing to hurt Regina to get what she (Cora) wants. Regina compared to her is only a baby sociopath; Cora is the real deal..

  26. Babybop says:

    Episode was a little cheesy to me. But it least it kept my attention. I’m just happy they’re all back in the same land! I’m sure the next half of the season will be much better.

  27. Name That Tune says:

    Won’t be surprised if Emma is the one to defeat Cora. I’ve got the feeling she is the most powerful magical creature in Ouat.

  28. Jj says:

    I liked it. Lana Parilla is awesome! My complaint is that I must wait til January for the next episode.

  29. Steven says:

    When Emma set up “Your mother is…” I tried to imagine what the best way to finish that line would be. She could be forthright and just say “a bitch,” or she could be sarcastic and say “a peach.” Then I decided that, had I written it, I’d have said “A piece of work.”

    Then that’s exactly how Emma finished. I clapped and laughed out loud.

  30. TJ says:

    CAN MULAN AND AURORA GET TOGETHER??? PRETTY PLEASE???

  31. Anna says:

    Lana Parrilla was fantastic tonight. The end made me so sad, just the look that was on her face. So glad to have snow and Emma back in storybrook. Great finale!!!

  32. Patrick Maloney says:

    This season has really not been catching my interest, the villains have falling flat for me and Henry continues to be a annoying little turd

  33. Mica says:

    Are we going to get to see some Charming/Emma dynamic develop? When Snow woke David with true love’s kiss I was expecting him to give her a hug at least! I just want to know if the mother/father dynamic will be developed like the MOTHER/daughter one was.

  34. ej says:

    Probably the best episode of the season so far. Lana was the best part of it, after being so sadly neglected and finally got in some emotional scenes and played human electromagnet (but the Elvis hair, WTF?), Emma got over her grinchiness fo the holiday break and her heart grew three sizes with a side of magic whoop-ass, Hook AND Cora got KO’d by Emma, and Belle got KO’d by Hook. The worst for me was Henry’s naiveté and “Gee willikers” dialogue followed by Hook remaining uber-cheesiness. I can’t wait for Cora in SB to presumably use Regina as a pawn (queen!) against Emma to try and neutralize her magic heart powers (I presume), and I’m more and more hoping Neal, after some angsty-ness, will help Emma take down more emotional walls; or just fix the dent in the Bug’s doors, because poor Herbie must be hurting (either way). But Hook, meh. He murdered that poor lonely giant, ripped out a heart, betrayed the ladies, and made a “witty” euphemism about basically raping Emma, and I STILL could care less about the guy as a bad-ass or otherwise; he’s just too pretty/cocky/cheesy to take seriously (like Shrek’s Prince Charming!). On the other hand, with Aurora and Mulan, while still annoying, they have rekindled my fem-slash hopes from the season premiere; if that’s not foreshadowing for some Xena-esque quest right there, I don’t know what is! It will either be seriously AWKWARD when they rescue Philip’s soul and/or he’ll end up sacrificing himself to help trap Cora in the Netherworld in the season finale. People should quit the over-shipping Emma with every hottie on the casting call sheet and try getting those two crazy gals together! You know you felt the UST in that dungeon!

    • Isaac says:

      He never actually stated he killed the giant outright (he referred to him as a conquest I believe). I could totally see the writers using that as an excuse to bring him back

  35. Crystal says:

    I felt bad for Regina tonight. She was so close to getting off the magic, when she gets pulled back in, to save her son’s real mom. Then manipulated by Rumple to stop that from happening, “just in case” it’s her own evil mother that comes through instead. Then, with what looked to me like risks her own life to save her son’s real mom. Only to be pushed aside and not thanked until as an after thought. Then left standing there with nothing in the end. The Charming Family parade down main street didn’t make me feel happy for their reunion, it upset me. This show is full of of gray areas about good and evil and i love it!!

    • Templar says:

      Perhaps I missed it, [haven't rewatched it yet] but I don’t remember seeing Gold in that parade to Granny’s down Main St. So was he there with Regina in the shop when they all left?

  36. iamfez says:

    Any chance for some Neal spoilers? I’ve been desperate for some since 2×06. Especially anything about him and Emma?

  37. Emily says:

    While I loved last week’s episode, this was far to flat for me, all the twists I predicted long ago, and the emotional beats felt overly sappy, and over the top. it was completely obvious that Reginia was going to lift the trap, and I really don’t like how she’s magically all nice, like thats a super radical change for just a couple of weeks? and the best part of the show used to be rumple and regina scheming, and now she’s being all nice?! like we just got to these potienally really interesting bits of her being evil to the townspeople, and no,

    • Zando says:

      I prefer Regina like this. She’s become my favorite character.
      She can make mistakes again, but she really is trying to better again. I like it so much better & I hope it stays like this. She can be the wicked queen in flashbacks.

    • Babybop says:

      Thank you! Someone else feels this way too! I had to fast forward on the “emotional” parts. They were so cheesy! And I do think it’s kind of stupid that all of a sudden Regina’s this angel of a person.

  38. rachel says:

    Honest to god, Where the hell is august???!!! It’s mid season and we still only got a blink (and a flashback) from him! He better be in every eps after this hiatus

  39. Rachel says:

    Does anyone else think that when Cora and Hook get to storybrooke, Cora may not be able to use magic because it works differently there? And also what if Cora crosses the town line? Regina and Rumpel have the upperhand now

    • GingerSnap says:

      We know from Gold/Rumple that magic works differently in Storybrooke, although it seems to work just fine when Regina and Gold need it. She’ll probably have some issue to contend with. But she ain’t gonna be as strong as Emma (who has yet to learn how to use her power).

      Got to believe that Gold and Regina help her learn how to use her power. This is, after all the season of Redemption for them both. If Gold wants Belle and Bea, and Regina want Henry, they’ve both got to choose to do good and help Emma harness her power.

      Or it’s Snow and Regina all over again. History repeats itself.

  40. Missie says:

    My gosh, I love what they’ve done with Captain Hook. I can’t wait to see what they do with him next season. I hope he’ll still be there. This is great.

  41. Zando says:

    It was good. I am happy the story with the new fairytale land is over and Cora came to Storybrooke. Now maybe we can see her story with Rumplestiltskin too. When they meet again. But I hope Regina can protect Henry from Cora!!

  42. Viv says:

    It was great! Burning question: Is the Mad Hatter coming back?

  43. Marz says:

    I am now shipping Aurora/Mulan. I don’t think the writers will go down that route, but I can still dream.

  44. Jason says:

    HOLY CRAP! What a freakin’ awesome episode!!! Barbara Hershey as Cora simply ROCKS THIS SHOW! Love Hook, too! That final scene with those two sailing into Storybrooke thru the fog was CHILLING AND JAW-DROPPING.

    Note to producers: Bringing Cora in as a series regular was (or would be) the best thing that ever happened to OUAT.

  45. Meres says:

    Matt I’ve been dying to know WHERE IS PINOCHIO ?! The last we saw he was all wood and then when his father went to see him all that was there was a hat! He disappeared! Where did he go and when are are gooing to know if he’s wooden still or if he’s a “real boy” again?!

    • Templar says:

      I think it will require the Blue Fairy [Mother Superior] to restore him completely. And Gold took all of the exposed magic from the mine. Perhaps they can uncover another vein at a later date. In the meantime, perhaps the purple cloud that brought magic to Sb was just enough to make him mobile.

  46. Chris says:

    I don’t want to see Sleeping Beauty or Mulan again. I would have ditched Mulan after she tried to steal my compass. I’m glad they got left behind.

  47. mia says:

    What a ridiculously good episode! Season two has been spectacular and the past few episodes just completely fantastic. Cannot wait until it comes back.
    .
    And come on, get Mulan + Aurora kissing already.

  48. andrea says:

    WHERE ON EARTH IS AUGUST??? AND NEAL!!!??? I WANT THEM BACK!!

  49. Lydi Lockhart says:

    I’m really enjoying this series – one thing that I didn’t get was why Henry didn’t invite Regina with them for dinner. That was completely out of charater for the young boy imho.

  50. Tinemi says:

    I have a lot of questions still unanswered… although, its nice to see them answering a lot of them in this ep. Where’s August? And what’s the deal with Emma’s ex (and Henry’s dad)? Is he Bealfire, or someone else entirely? What about Emma and Hook’s “relationship”? I mean, the girl deserves some love, and I would love the interaction of the in-laws with such a boyfriend ;)

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