This week on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, Regina in Storybrooke came to terms with her and Henry’s new “relationship,” while in Fairytale Land she came face-to-face with the Wicked Witch.
IN FAIRYTALE LAND OF THE PAST YEAR… | While the Wicked Witch whirls and twirls inside Regina’s castle and clothes, Regina remembers a tunnel that runs beneath the castle, and thus would circumvent the protection spell. After another close call with a flying monkey, Belle says such creatures hail from Oz; as such, Regina notes, it must be the Wicked Witch they’re dealing with.
Regina sets out for the tunnel by herself (“I don’t care if the lollipop guild is protecting her, its a one woman job”), but Robin Hood, owing a debt to Regina for her protecting his son Roland from the monkey, tags along for protection. En route to the courtyard to snuff the fire that fuels the spell, Regina and Robin trade stories of loves lost (her son, Roland’s mother), but then Regina notices that the door to her mother’s crypt is ajar, despite having been locked with blood magic. Up in her castle, Regina is quick to formulate a sleeping spell — to use on herself, on the slim chance that her one true love Henry one day finds her and can save her. After putting out the courtyard fire, Regina is about to prick herself with the poison when the Wicked Witch arrives to interrupt.
After trading some bitchy banter, the Wicked Witch aka Zelena realizes that Regina has no idea how she was able to break the blood magic. “Cora never told you…? You’re my sister.” (Half-sister, but details!) Zelena explains how Cora gave her up, but kept Regina and thus gave her everything. As such, Zelena wants Regina to suffer, rather than have quick death or eternal sleep. “Bring it, greenie,” Regina taunts her new foe, who then flies off on a broom. Back with Robin, Regina says she has indeed found something new to live for: someone to destroy!
IN STORYBROOKE…. | The Charmings explain to Emma how after she and Henry drove out of town, everything went black, and then it was “just another morning” in Storybrooke, except a year later. Hook meanwhile relates how he was off sailing the realms when he got word via a seagull that Emma needed to be found, with the memory potion attached to the bird’s leg. Leroy then barges in to report that more people are disappearing, as they have been since Storybrooke returned. Is Neal out in town somewhere? Has he already been taken? Or did he escape this new curse?
At the diner, Henry meets Mary Margaret and David — the former claiming to be an old cell mate of Emma’s, put away for “banditry” (heh). Regina then lays eyes on Henry and is shocked, dropping a cup. “He looked right through me,” she laments to Emma, who in private brings her frenemy up to speed on the sitch. Meanwhile in the woods, Little John is off trying out a fancy modern bow with Robin and the other Merry Men when a flying monkey grabs him. After being found, bitten, John transforms into a flying monkey and soars away from the hospital. (Even Dr. Whale is stumped, saying, “I’m a doctor, not a vet!”)
Snow White, aghast to read about such things as cradle cap, meets Zelena, who claims she was but a “supporting player” and midwife back in the Enchanted Forest. Asked to help Snow with her imminent baby, Zelena grins, “I can’t think of anything that would make me happier.” Later, Regina and Emma plot to smoke out the person who cast the new curse by spreading word that a memory potion is being created. Alas, Zelena vanishes in a puff of green smoke just as the ladies storm Regina’s office.
Back at the Charmings’ place, Emma introduces Henry to Mayor Mills, who offers the boy a tour of the town and maybe a stop for ice cream. (“It’s a start,” a forlorn Regina later tells Emma.) Charming and Hook then arrive to report on the flying monkey situation, prompting Emma to joke about this being the work of “the Wicked Witch” — and Regina concurs, dead-serious.
As the hour closes, we see Zelena outside a rural Storybrooke home at night, walking out to a storm cellar. Inside, she slides a tray of gruel to her prisoner — a very much alive Rumplestiltskin. “You should never have brought me back,” he hisses. To which Zelena shrugs, “Eat up — we have work to do.”
What did you think of Once Upon a Time‘s “Witch Hunt”? Which twist surprised you more — the sisterly connection, or Rumple’s return?