This week on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, the Purely Evil Queen threatened all of Storybrooke — unless Snow and David handed over their shared heart to her.
Coming off her first smooching of Rumple, the Evil Queen magics a sleeping Snow to the middle of the woods in the middle of the night, to taunt her with her nefarious end game. Relating an admittedly super-saccharine memory of when teen Snow got not just the pony she wanted for her birthday, but one that had been trained to bow at her, Evil Queen now covets her own “perfect day” — by finally laying claim to her arch enemy’s heart. When Snow notes that Regina cast a protection spell on her and David’s pumpers, the Evil Queen counters that the couple will actually volunteer their hearts to her. Or else.
The “or else’ comes in the form of a vial the Evil Queen slips Snow, containing water from the River of Lost Souls. If the Charmings don’t cough up their hearts within 12 hours, the whole town gets a toxic taste. No one has the power to combat the deadly drink, but fortunately Blue was brought into the storyline this week, because she happens to know how to entrap the Evil Queen — using a sapling from the Enchanted Forest that was born of the spark of true love.
After Blue conjures a beacon to locate the sapling, Regina magics herself and the Charmings to the location, where they find a trap door that leads to a cave. Inside, Snow and David lay hands on the sapling — at which instant they each share Lost Season 6-style flashes of their shared life to-date… including a moment that confuses them.
As we simultaneously learned in flashback: It turns out that Snow had once been abducted by Dan Scott (no huge surprise there!) aka The Woodcutter, and shackled in the back of his covered wagon. David, having been KO’d by this bounty hunter and unwittingly helped him track the beautiful bandit (thanks to his scene-stealing dog Wilby), eventually saves Snow by stabbing the villain, with her help — though neither of them see the other throughout the encounter. As their hands touch, though, a spark of true love flies and lands on the soil, where a sapling forms.
Back in the present: Emboldened by this realization and reaffirmation of their true love-ness, Snow and David surrender themselves to the Evil Queen, ready to sacrifice their tickers — and sure enough, the sinister sorceress happily plucks them from their chests. And yet… she isn’t satisfied. No, she wants that “bit more” that teen Snow got from her pony. So she returns the hearts to the couple, but with a none-too-small caveat: Just as they share a heart, they now share a sleeping curse, one that fells Snow right away. And yet when David uses TLK to wake her, he then zonks out. In one of her cruelest moves ever, Evil Queen has made it so that the Charmings may be alive, but they can never be together again. Unless somnophilia is your thing.
Elsewhere in the episode:
* Regina arranged for Zelena to catch the Evil Queen and Rumple snogging at the pawn shop. Feeling “betrayed” (for some reason), Zelena snitches to Belle about whom her estranged hubs is now zooming. Belle later confronts Rumple — not about his “thing” with the Evil Queen, but his interest in using the magical shears to sever their son’s tie to his destiny once born. “Don’t take your son’s love. Be worthy of it,” she challenges him. “But what if a fail?” he frets. Belle says that the only thing “worse than being evil” is being “too weak to be good.”
* As Emma worried greatly for her parents’ fate (and her vision’s possible role in it), sending her tremors into overdrive, Hook “read her a story” from Henry’s book, reminding of how Snow and David “always found each other,” and how Emma inherited the strength of that love. “You can overcome these visions. You can overcome anything,” he assures her. “Remember who you are, the product of true love” — at which moment her hand stabilized.
What did you think of the episode “Heartless”?