I could sum up this entire episode in fewer than two words: APPLES! Alas, you all come here for a recap, so sit back and enjoy. *Yawns*
The episode starts out in a dream sequence that has Regina tied to a tree by the entire town of Storybrooke; she pleads for Henry to not let them do this to her but Henry counters with she did it to herself. Just as Emma is about to kill her (so we assume) with a sword, Regina wakes up. She walks over to Henry’s room to make sure he is there, and assumes he is because she really doesn’t check carefully, and it’s a pillow stuffed under the covers.
Henry is with Emma and she plans for them to leave Storybrooke in her little VW, until Henry finds out what she plans to do and pleads with her not to leave that she is the town’s only hope. Emma doesn’t listen and keeps driving, so Henry being the intelligent child that he is, grabs the wheel and they end up in a ditch…unhurt, amazingly enough.
In the past, King George and his guards have Charming because he ruined the King’s plans for money by not marrying Midas’ daughter. Charming’s head is put in a guillotine and when it comes down, it turns to water due to Regina’s magic. She offers the King money in exchange for Charming, with promises she’ll hurt him way worse then the King could. He’ll be used as a weapon against Snow White.
In present time, Regina’s apple tree is dying so she picks one and takes it to show Gold. She says that the curse is weakening and that’s why her tree is dying, and Gold has to do something. Gold says that if she just gave Henry back to Emma, the curse would stay intact, but Regina says she’d rather get rid of Emma. She also asks for a bargain from Gold, but he refuses. After leaving Gold’s, Regina leaves a White Rabbit playing card on Paige/Grace’s bike at the school.
Meanwhile, Emma returns to her apartment and Mary Margaret goes off on her for leaving without even saying goodbye and screwing up Henry’s life.
In the past, Snow White and her crew set out to the King’s to save Charming but it’s too late Regina already has him and her little red apple too.
Back in present time Storybrooke, Regina’s White Rabbit card has come to the attention of Jefferson; it seems he’s not dead after all. She tells him the deal with Emma and asks for his help and presents him with his magical mad hatter hat. He says it won’t work without magic, but she counters with a little secret: She has enough magic somewhere to make it work. He makes a deal with her that he’ll have a new story with Grace here in Storybrooke and Regina agrees.
Henry goes to visit with August to see if he can help with Emma. This is when Henry realizes that he was right, that there really is a curse and that August is Pinocchio. August is changing because he was a bad boy. Growl. Regardless, he can’t help Emma because she refuses to believe. It’s all up to Henry.
Emma talks to Archie about gaining custody of Henry, and he basically tells her not to bother.
At the King’s castle, it’s getting ugly. Dwarves are slashing people, Snow is a one woman fighting machine and the fairies are dropping dust all over the place all in an attempt to save Charming. After the cheesy fight scenes, Snow gets to the cell to find Charming gone and the magic mirror there in his place. He says he knows she’ll find him, blah blah but then Regina pops up in the mirror and laughs at Snow. She says they need to get together and have a talk, to meet her at the place this all began in.
Present time Storybrooke finds Regina and Jefferson in some underground vault with the hat. She ends up using her last piece of magic, a picture of her true love, Daniel. The one that her mother killed because of Snow’s failure to keep a secret. Jefferson says there is only enough magic to reach in and grab something small, you guessed it…an apple.
Later on, the dwarves, Granny and Red find Snow and they think she’s dead.
In the final flashback, Snow meets Regina at her parents stable and Regina takes her to a grave. That’s when Snow White finds out what really happened to Daniel—as a child, she thought he just ran away. Regina pulls out an apple and says that Snow must eat it to save Charming’s life, but she has to take it willingly. Snow tells Regina that she won and eats the apple, and then collapses.
Present time has us watching Regina baking something with that very apple when Emma pays a visit. She says that she is leaving Storybrooke but she wants to still be able to visit Henry, and Regina begrudgingly agrees. She also offers Emma an apple turnover for the road, who in the world only cooks ONE turnover? Damnit, now I want some. Emma takes it and heads home to meet with Henry. She tells Henry that she is leaving but that Regina said they could see each other, Henry freaks out, but then he spots the piece of turnover. He tells Emma she can’t eat it, that Regina is trying to kill her but of course Emma doesn’t believe him. So, you all know what Henry does…yep, he eats it and hits the ground.
This episode was one of my least favorite, can you tell? I felt it was drawn out way too long and most of it was guessable. We all knew Henry was going to eat that apple to prove to Emma that the curse was real. So what did you think? And an even better question is, what the heck are they going to do next season because isn’t this almost exactly what happened in the first episode?
Natasha Carty reviews Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy on her website Wicked Little Pixie and lives in Toronto, Canada, with her cat, Seamus.