Once Upon a Time Recap: Straight from the Heart

LANA PARRILLA, JAMIE DORNANThis week on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, a flashback to Storybrooke’s very first days shed light on not just the new town’s vulnerability but also Regina’s. Meanwhile in the present, the malevolent madame mayor set out to finally get everything she wants.

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In the Storybrooke that was….

WANNA BE STARTIN’ SOMETHIN’ | The hour opens in the year 1983 and introduces us to Kurt and Owen Flynn (Brothers & Sisters‘ John Pyper-Ferguson and 1600 Penn’s Benjamin Stockham), father-and-son campers who were in the woods when the dark curse plopped Storybrooke veritably on top of them. Venturing into this unmapped burg, they are greeted by the resident lawman, Sheriff Graham: “Welcome to Storybrooke!”

Elsewhere, Regina awakens in Storybrooke for the first time (and in satin jammies), then promptly declares, “I did it… I won,” as she looks out the window at her new dominion. One of her first stops is the school where Snow White — now known as Mary Margaret — teaches. Regina confirms that Snow has no memories of her past, even when presented with the charming John Doe who’s comatose at the hospital.

HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF | Lunching at the diner (fun fact: the exact date is Oct. 23, as in Once Upon a Time‘s series launch date), Regina greets the former Huntsman: “That uniform suits you nicely, Sheriff. Sooo… well-fitted.” The flirty mood is cooled when Kurt and Owen show up, and Regina feels threatened by these strangers.

Regina arranges for the Flynns’ car to get repaired pronto, lest they overstay their welcome. But after Owen gifts her with a braided keychain — and as she experiences her humdrum, Groundhog Day-like existence (with Dr. Hopper playing the role of Ned Ryerson) — she goes to see Gold, sharing her dissatisfaction. “This isn’t the deal we made… I was supposed to be happy here,” she vents. “Everyone does what I want them to…. It’s not real.” The pawn shop owner, though, claims to have no idea what she is talking about.

MANIAC | Regina has Kurt and Owen over for dinner (“I’m not the greatest cook, unless it involves apples”), where she learns that the Mrs. is not “back in New Jersey with the Boss” but dead, ergo the camping getaway. As they bake turnovers together, Owen asks why Regina isn’t a mom, to which she shrugs, “It didn’t work out that way, I guess.” Realizing what she may be missing, she invites the Flynns to stay in Storybrooke — but Kurt declines.

Later, Regina uses Graham’s heart to command him to keep the Flynns from leaving town — but Kurt is standing behind her hearing every word, including how she wants Owen for herself. Kurt is understandably freaked out, and almost is tackled by an arriving Graham, until the sheriff’s heart falls off the table and impairs him some.

NEVER GONNA LET YOU GO | Kurt and Owen hop in their truck and make a beeline for the town line, but Graham and Regina pursue in the patrol car and cut them off. Kurt sends Owen to run off into the woods, as he allows himself to be detained. “I’m sorry,” Regina apologizes to the departing lad. “I just wanted us to be happy.” Owen later returns with state troopers to the town line, but Regina has now cloaked Storybrooke, so they find nothing. Owen cries out into the distance: “I’ll never stop looking, Dad!”

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In present-day Storybrooke….LANA PARRILLA

HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LIVE WITHOUT YOU | Regina is with her mother’s casket when Gold arrives to pay his respects, saying that even with all their differences, “Cora will always have a place in my heart.” Regina’s mood remains ice-cold as she vows to make Mary Margaret die for what she did. Gold reminds her, “You can’t have everything. If you want vengeance, Henry is the price you’ll pay.” Regina, though, is determined to find  a way to have it all.

At the Charmings, Mary Margaret is sick with guilt over her actions. Henry senses something is up and beseeches his lying liar of a birth mom to ‘fess up. Emma explains that Mary Margaret was partially responsible for Cora’s death, which Henry has trouble believing: “She’s Snow White — she wouldn’t hurt anybody!” Gold arrives to warn the clan that Regina means to kill Mary Margaret, to which David says: “You will help us. Mary Margaret saved your life, so you owe her a debt.”

YOU CAN’T HURRY LOVE | Searching Regina’s crypt with David, Gold realizes that she is compiling “un-broken heart” spell to make Henry think he loves her. At the apartment, he explains that the only way to stop a blood feud is with the spilling of more blood, by killing Regina. Meeting up with Neal at the diner, Henry expresses his fervent desire to rid Storybrooke of magic. Neal counters that until someone finds a way to do that, they should lay low in New York City for a bit. Henry seemingly agrees, only to skip out on his dad, through the bathroom window. (“Did you really fall for that?” Emma asks her baby daddy, noting: “He’s your son!”)

As David, Emma, Ruby and Neal realize that Henry has pinched some TNT from the mines, Henry bumps into Greg Mendel in the woods. After they part ways, Greg phones Regina about her son’s whereabouts, and she soon finds Henry about to blow up the magic well. She poofs the dynamite away, and Henry tries to make her see that the spell she has in mind won’t create true love from him. Emma, David and Neal arrive at the scene, and as a stand-off with fireballs and guns ensues, Henry pleads for a truce. He begs his mother to rid the town of magic, and while she says she can’t, she does destroy the love spell.

TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART | Back home, Mary Margaret asks Gold how a person can live with themselves after doing bad things. “You tell yourself you did the right thing — and say it often enough that you might actually believe it,” he answers. Mary Margret shows up on Regina’s doorstep and urges her rival to just kill her. “It has cost us so much, it has to end before anyone else dies,” she explains. “So please, just do it.” Regina plucks out her foe’s glowing red pumper, and happily discovers a dark blemish has formed on it. “I don’t need to destroy you,” she snarls. “You’re doing it to yourself, and you’ll bring down your perfect little reunited family. And then Henry will be mine!” Regina rejoices, “I can have everything! Thanks to you.”

I KNOW THERE’S SOMETHING GOING ON | All this while, Greg is behind the hedges, recording the fantastical front porch encounter on his phone. He then hops into his car, as we see that he has the same braided keychain as that Owen kid. “I’ll find you, Dad,” Greg mutters. “I promise.”

Look who’s back to play unlikely hero in the next episode
(courtesy of YouTube.com/TelevisionPromos):

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  1. Gail says:

    Is the the ability to control someone when their heart is taken something new in Season 2?
    I don’t remember that in Season 1. If it were a part of Season 1 couldn’t Regina had just ordered the Sheriff to continue to love her and tell him to hate Emma? The first time I remember this being used is with Cora when she took Aurora’s heart. We never had a scene like last night where Regina is sitting talking to the Sheriff’s heart and telling him what to do. I thought the taking of the heart would cause the person to have no feelings or the person could be killed by crushing the heart. The Huntsman had some free will in Fairyland as he helped Charming escape in the Season 1 finally which took place after Regina took his heart.

    • VoltisArt says:

      While most major TV plot points are planned ahead, this may be a detail that’s evolved in the writers’ room. Also, some things that may be known possibilities from the beginning won’t be used in the story all the time, lest the people involved seem all-powerful. The audience has to have hope coupled with some doubt, in order for the struggles of characters (good and bad) to be believable.

  2. Court says:

    anyone know what the song at the very beginning when the father/son are sitting by the fire?? it’s the song that is playing on the radio before the “storm” hits

  3. GuyAwks says:

    Am I the only one who was insanely disturbed by Regina the entire episode? Trying to curse Henry into an emotional zombie? Imprisoning Owen’s father for 28 years? She’s officially crossed the line from vindictive mass-murderer into full-on irredeemable psychopath. I want Greg to bring her down.

    • VoltisArt says:

      This made me laugh…sorry…I don’t think there’s really a line after mass murder. You can do nasty stuff to people before (or after if you’re really pervy) killing them, but really, dead is dead and most people consider that -the- line.

      I don’t see a big change in Reg. Perhaps she’ll be less evasive about it after the murder of her mother, but one doesn’t earn the title “Evil Queen,” by making non-poisonous apple turnovers.

      As for Kurt, believable word about the town couldn’t get out. She had to either lock him up or kill him. Given the silly rules of this new non-magical world, killing would be too messy, so locking him up indefinitely was the best option. (Keep in mind the Huntsman/Sheriff is a misinformed good guy, so he’d ask annoying questions if there was a body to get rid of.)

  4. Liz says:

    Did anyone else notice the throw back to Tron with a bus stop bench ad for Encom? I thought that was a brilliant little bit of synergy there.
    I really hope that Mary Margret is able to reverse the black heart problem. I think Cora did need to die, but how do you do that when you’re a good person? I’m sad that it had to change Mary Margret. Although, maybe right now it’s her guilt that’s making in black. Maybe if she’s forgiven, it will go away?
    I’m also intrigued to see who Neal’s fiance is.

    • VoltisArt says:

      Replied to a similar post earlier…the new characters’ last name is Flynn. Kurt should be either a brother or cousin to Kevin (note the convenient matching initial,) making Owen/Greg Sam’s cousin. The bus bench was just their way of confirming it without needing Kurt to say out of the blue, “I wonder what Kevin is up to, lately?”

      They also went with the dead wife/mom for these two guys, just like Kevin and Sam have and the timing is somewhat similar. That REALLY makes me wonder. Were the two ladies together — and hey, this is fiction — are they really dead!? lol

      Honestly surprised so few noticed it at all and are wondering at the connection, rather than assuming it. The way this show has connected most of the Disney universes together, it seems like a very safe assumption at this point, that anything that looks connected is connected — along with lots of things that aren’t so obvious. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gargoyles pop in if we get a third season.

      I really hope we get a third season. :)

  5. N. says:

    I love everything about this show except for one….Snow’s hair…oh my God ..just awful.
    its shorter than the Princes. Look at the beauty she is with her longer hair !!!

  6. Kc says:

    What irritates me with the series is, if Henry wasn’t such an idiot, and was actually kind when Regina was trying so hard, it would have all resolved fine. Now I get there has to be a show, but its about time the characters start to understand normal human behavior…..
    Henry better hurry up and start being kind to Regina, to save everyone else from harm.