This week on Once Upon a Time Storybrooke’s witchy sisters took to Main Street for a Wild West style show down and we finally see what made Zelena’s skin match her namesake.
To start, we see that Zelena was transported as a baby via twister to the magical land of Oz. A couple on their way to the Emerald City takes her in, and even as a baby she displays signs of being magical. The Storybrooke gang gathers to lay Neal to rest. As they each take turns laying dirt on his grave Zelena taunts Rumple in his cell. She asks him if the curse and all the years he spent looking for Bae were worth it, and he says that he is family so of course it was worth it. The always-amazing Robert Carlyle is knocking it out of the park with Rumple lately.
Everyone gathers at Granny’s diner post funeral. Emma is taking out her anger on a dartboard when Hook comes over to comfort her. He tells her that vengeance isn’t going to make her feel any better, can you say character development? She tells him that it will make the town a lot safer though. Hook offers to look after Henry and tell him about what his father was like as a boy. Emma, as always, seems shocked by the kind gesture. Morrison and O’Donoghue absolutely sell the emotions in this scene. You can see the gratitude in Emma’s eyes and the unwavering affection in Hook’s. Hook gets Henry away just in the knick of time because Zelena shows up to cause some trouble. She gloats about her role in Neal’s death, and challenges her sister Regina to meet her on Main Street at sundown so she can take her down. Regina is obviously skeptical of her because she doesn’t remember finding out Zelena is her sister.
Now that I’ve set the scene I want to get into the biggest moments of this episode. First off is Hook bonding with Henry. Hook decides to take Henry down to the docks. He teaches him how to tie knots and once it gets dark he breaks out the sextant to teach Henry to navigate using the stars, just like he did with young Bae. Henry asks if it works like a GPS, to which a confused Killian responds “aye.” Henry tells Hook that the more people tell him about his Dad the less it makes sense. He wants to know the truth because he doesn’t know how to feel about him being gone if he doesn’t know what he was like while he was here. Again Colin O’Donoghue slays the emotion in this scene. You can see the genuine care and concern Hook feels for Henry. It is obvious that Hook knows Henry and Emma are a package deal and he is growing to care for Henry already, just like he did when he cared for his father all those years ago. A curious observation: the entire time Hook and Henry are down at the docks they did not step foot on the Jolly Roger once. I have a feeling Hook may have traded his home for a way to get back to Emma. I guess we’ll see next week in the episode titled after Hook’s marvelous ship.
The next big moment in this episode was all about Robin and Regina. Troubled once she realized Zelena was right, she takes to the forest to think. (Ironic place to choose don’t you think?) Who should be there but her soul mate Robin Hood. He instantly senses something is wrong and asks what about the letter she was reading made her so sad. Of course Regina deflects and acts like there is no such letter, but being the masterful pickpocket that he is Robin manages to snatch it from her. She tells him he can read it. It is a letter from Rumplestiltskin gloating to Cora that he finally got his hands on her first born. The letter says that Cora’s daughter is the strongest sorceress he’s ever seen and that she is “stunning in every way.” As Robin reads this he isn’t even looking at the letter anymore, but rather staring right at an unaware Regina. He is so captivated by her and I love their dynamic! Regina used to go to the letter for comfort when she felt weak, but now she realizes that the letter isn’t about her but about her sister. If Rumple thinks Zelena is more powerful than her, Regina knows that she won’t be able to easily defeat her sister.
This week we finally got a glimpse into Oz. We see that Zelena’s adoptive father resents her and she runs away to seek out the Wizard of Oz so she can find her real family. What she finds out when she gets to the Emerald City doesn’t exactly make her feel better. She finds out about Cora, and see’s Rumplestiltskin teaching Regina magic. She is angry that Regina has everything she ever wanted and asks for a way to get to Rumplestiltskin so he can teach her magic. The Wizard bestows her with the iconic silver slippers and she makes her way to the Enchanted Forest.
She finds Rumple and convinces him that she can cast his curse. Zelena is everything Rumple hoped for in a pupil, that is until he realizes that he is the thing she loves most, which she would have to surrender to cast the curse, so she no longer qualifies. Zelena literally turns green with envy of Regina. When she returns to Oz she discovers that a familiar face to us, Walsh, is the man behind the Wizard of Oz charade. She says he is no longer useful to her so she turns him into something that is, a flying monkey. She divulges that she is going to search for a way to change the past so that Regina was never born. And now we know what Zelena is doing in Storybrooke, kind of.
On Main Street Regina is running a little late. Emma tells Zelena that she can fight her instead. Zelena says she doesn’t dance with amateurs, but Emma sets the record straight that she isn’t an amateur she’s the Savior…holy character development Emma! Regina shows up to face her sister just before she lets Rumple loose on the townspeople. They each take some swings at each other but, as Regina predicted, Zelena is more powerful than she is. She tries to take Regina’s heart, but Regina is cleverer than Zelena. She tells her that if their mother hadn’t abandoned her she would have learned that you never bring your heart to a witch fight.
After Zelena is gone Emma and her parents check on Regina. She tells them that she is fine and that Zelena tried to take her heart. She realizes that she has Charming’s courage already so she is gathering ingredients for a new curse. (So Regina is Zelena’s TinMan?) Snow wonders what she could possibly do since they are already cursed in Storybrooke with no memories. We find out where Regina hid her heart, she left it in Robin’s care. She asks him to hang on to it for a little while longer, and as she literally hands him her heart he asks why she trusts a common thief with something so precious. She says that he can’t steal something that is given to him. I’m so proud of Regina, opening her self up to the possibility of love. I’m so excited to see this couple’s relationship grow even more!
Finally, when Hook returns Henry to Emma’s care back at Granny’s he thanks Killian and asks if they can go on his boat again sometime. Emma thanks Hook for taking care of him and he shares with her an observation he made. He tells her that Henry is harboring a lot of pain. He warns her that taking him back to New York when everything is over and pretending that none of this happened isn’t going to work. Emma tells him that the details of the fight between Regina and Zelena aren’t a doorway conversation. After she bids him goodnight you can see that Hook takes a tiny step forward as if he wants to follow her, but then retreats to his own room.
Next week we finally get to see what our resident swashbuckler was up to in the year without Emma.
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