What is she up to? It seems to be my standard question when it comes to Once Upon a Time. Not that I’m complaining, but I’m back in that familiar place when it comes to The Snow Queen. There is obviously much more going on here than it appears, and I can’t wait to figure it all out.
But that’s looking ahead. Let’s start by looking back to 1998 and a chapter from the life of runaway Emma.
We meet up with Emma in Minnesota as she is trying to steal some food while a runaway teen. She is almost caught, but a girl about her age helps her out by lying that they are together and picking up some stuff for her parents. Then they pay with a credit card this girl stole, run away from a man in a truck chasing this other girl, and finally begin to enjoy their food.
This girl, named Lily, and Emma bond pretty quickly, and the two of them decide to crash in one of the abandoned homes on the lake for a while since it’s fall. Like Emma, Lily doesn’t have a family and feels invisible. They have a lot of fun together, including playing video games and taking a self video (does it still count as a selfie if it’s a video) with a video camera that Emma finds laying around.
Only Lily does have a family, and her father shows up that night looking for her. In fact, I’m guessing this was really her family’s cabin. Lily is taken away, and but she tries to explain to Emma. Lily was adopted, yet still feels invisible in her family. She tries to give Emma her address so they can try running away again later, but Emma won’t take it. Meanwhile, Emma is back in the system and taken to another home.
Emma and Elsa are still searching records for some kind of clue about where Anna is when Elsa runs across the surveillance pictures that Sidney look of Emma when she first arrived in Storybrooke. Mixed into them is a picture of Emma talking to Snow Queen in her ice cream shop. Only Emma doesn’t remember any of this. So she decides to go to the source to find out when the picture was taken. Since no one knows where Mr. Glass is, Emma and Elsa head out to talk to Regina.
Meanwhile, Regina has been using Sidney/Magic Mirror to track down Snow Queen. When Emma shows up, Regina refuses to tell her where Sidney is and makes it very clear that Regina and Emma are not friends, will never be on friendly terms, and Regina is barely tolerating Emma’s presence on the entire Earth. Emma leaves, only to find that Elsa, who had been waiting in the car has vanished. Meanwhile, Sidney has the location of Snow Queen. He tries to get his freedom in exchange for the information, but Regina refuses so he agrees to lead her to Snow Queen. Regina and Emma’s paths quickly cross again, and Regina reluctantly agrees to work with Emma since they are obviously looking for the same thing.
Meanwhile, Elsa is following what she thinks is the trail of Anna. She keeps seeing her sister just a little ahead of her. She even has to create an ice bridge to cross a huge gorge. Only she isn’t following Anna but a trick of Snow Queen who then traps Elsa in magic cuffs that will only grow stronger the more afraid Elsa is.
Regina and Emma, following Sidney’s instructions, have reached the bridge. When they are half way across, a huge wind picks up. They pause to figure out what is happening, and Regina realizes that Sidney is leading them into a trap. Only they have to keep going forward because the bridge starts to collapse under them.
They make it to the other side only to meet a giant monster snowman. After a couple of attempts, Emma and Regina finally have to work together to defeat the monster. Which is when Snow Queen shows up. She thanks them for coming so she could get what she wanted, and takes the compact that Regina has been carrying in order to communicate with Sidney from her. Both women start to protest only to have Snow Queen start to choke them. It’s Elsa who uses her magic to knock Snow Queen back and free Regina and Emma. Yep, Elsa was able to control her fear enough to get out of the handcuffs. At this point, Snow Queen vanishes with the compact, and she even seems happy to see Elsa controlling her powers me. Elsa tries to talk to Regina and get her to see she needs Emma, but Regina vanishes as well.
Back in Regina’s crypt, Emma once again shows up. She says today has reminded her of a long ago friend (Lily). She says by the time she wished she hadn’t walked away from that friend, it was too late. She doesn’t want to do that with Regina. Plus, with Regina and Emma both being outcasts in some ways, they get each other in ways others in town won’t get. Regina begins to soften – at least a little, although she makes it clear she does not forgive Emma for bring Marian back.
Over at Snow Queen’s lair, she has freed Sidney from the mirror and completely let him go. She then explains what she really needed was the mirror itself since a mirror reflects the essence of a person, and since Regina has used that compact so much, the essence in this mirror includes her dark magic. After telling Sidney to buy winter clothes, she lets him go. Once he’s gone, she breaks a piece of the compact to be the perfect shape to fit into a larger mirror on the wall. With it completed, the mirror becomes whole, and as she stares into it, Snow Queen says she can now find a family that will love her.
Meanwhile, David is trying to get Mary Margaret to take an hour to go for an evening hike with him – just the two of them. Mary Margaret isn’t willing to leave baby Neal with Belle for that long without a way to contact them, so David agrees to go to the sheriff’s office to get a walky talky. When they do, David discovers that Will Scarlett/Knave of Hearts is gone. Hike canceled, they are now going to be searching for Will.
After over an hour of searching, Mary Margaret decides to go home to Neal. Just after they’ve separated, she finds Will digging holes along the shore of the beach. She goes to confront him and learns that he is trying to find a satchel he’s buried. He created a map to find it again – and buried it with the satchel.
As they talk, Mary Margaret is suddenly on to the ruse. David really let Will go and used this as a chance to help get Mary Margaret some of her spirit back. Will reluctantly confirms it when Mary Margaret promises him a pardon, something she can do as mayor.
However, that was when Will lied. David eventually returns to the apartment, and Mary Margaret tells him the story. She learns the truth – Will really did escape, but they both figure there isn’t much they can do since the mayor (Mary Margaret) pardoned him. Not only take, but if it did help Mary Margaret feel more like her old self, it was a small price to pay for the pardon.
Which brings us to the final scene. Thinking about Lily has made Emma want to watch the tape, so she digs out that old video recorder. With Hook by her side in the Sheriff’s office, she starts to play it. After first, we see the funny shot of the two of them we’d seen them record earlier. Then the next scene jumps on the screen. It’s Emma arriving at her new foster home – a home that confuses Emma because she doesn’t remember it at all. Then we see who runs this new foster home – Snow Queen. There is only one obvious conclusion to make – Snow Queen had indeed met Emma before and erased that memory. But why?
And that is probably the biggest mystery we are still left with. It’s obviously that Snow Queen has gone through a lot of trouble in the past to get to know Elsa and Emma and then erased those memories. What did she do/is afraid they will remember? When did she erase their memories? Why come back now? Put another way, what is she up to? Yes, she wants a family, but how is this going to help her get one?
What is Will searching for so intently? I have a feeling he’s trapped here and trying to get back to Wonderland (at least I hope that’s the case) and the Red Queen. Why was he sent here? Can’t they figure out something better to do with him? And when will Once Upon a Time in Wonderland hit DVD and Blu-Ray?
I loved the scenes between Emma and Regina. Their scenes in season one sparkled with tension and were some of my favorites. While not quite at that level tonight, they still had some great lines. In fact, there were lots of great lines in this episode.
And I do have to do the geeky thing and point out the serious error they made in the flashback. They clearly pointed out that the flashback took place in 1998. And when discussing the star shaped scar on Lily’s wrist, there was a reference to Harry Potter and his unique scar. However, the first book didn’t come out in the states until September of 1998. I find it highly unlikely that both of the girls had read the book by that point. True, the first book had been available in England longer, but there’s no way that Emma could have read that. Even though Lily seems to be much richer, I find it unlikely she’d read it either.
I can’t think of anything else that needs to be covered. It looks like next week we will learn about that really happened in the past between Elsa and Anna, we might learn something of Anna’s fate in our world. And Belle is going to learn the truth about Gold. Lots more to cover then, and I can’t wait to watch it.
Of course, while we wait, I’d love to read your thoughts and comments plus any theories on what might happen next.