Once upon a time the Evil Queen had promised all of the Enchanted Forest that a curse was coming, a curse that would take away everyone's happiness. But it wasn't until Regina woke up in 1983 wearing silk pajamas and marveling at the town before her that the realization that she had actually "won" became reality. She had finally achieved her happy ending. Or did she?
What she didn't expect was that her happiness came at a very dear price.
You see, the night of the curse, in the woods, a father and son were on a camping trip. Enjoying each others company and sharing 1980s past time activities (i.e. Creating plastic braided key chains), he radio begins to crackle. An electrical storm?
But nonetheless, the father quickly gathered his son in the tent as they watched a purple/black cloud envelope their camp.
The next morning, the father and son stepped into the clearing. Branches, twigs, tree limbs, leaves were strewn everywhere. Some storm they had.
Packing up, they headed out, aiming for the highway, some several miles away. Guess that's what they get for camping in the boonies.
But something strange had occurred. In the middle of nowhere, not on any map, there was a town. Almost as if it had just landed on top of them. Strange because it hadn't been there the day before. Hmm...
The father and son explore the mysterious town that had just appeared. What was this place?
Behind them the sheriff's car pulls up and out steps the handsome-as-ever Sheriff Graham.
Welcome to Storybrooke.
But her happily ever after is cut short when she discovers the young boy and his father. Kurt and Owen Flynn, from New Jersey.
Regina is suspicious of them. She wants them out of her town ASAP. She wants to revel in her victory alone. It's sweeter that way.
However, the daily events start to take a toll on Regina. She wakes up, walks down Main Street, Dr. Hopper greets her, Mary Margaret runs into Regina, Mary Margaret apologizes meekly, Regina watches as Mary Margaret visits the John Doe coma patient, and it starts all over the next day. And the next day, and the next day. Each day, life is not as sweet. The victory less appealing.
What fun is it to take away their happiness if they don't even know it? If they don't even realize that their happiness was taken? If they're basically robots?
Even Mr. Gold is oblivious and unhelpful. He merely suggests she visit Dr. Hopper if she's not happy.
It's then that she remembers the precocious Owen Flynn and his father. They're the only "real" people in the whole town. What if she could convince them to stay? They'd already charmed their way into her heart. Or was that merely loneliness and unsatisfaction talking?
It's a nice and selfish plan, however, her Evilness, er...Mayorness...hasn't quite honed her discrete ways. Nor does she know how to achieve that happiness in the right way.
Before he can piece together what he just overheard and saw, Graham busts through the door and arrests Kurt. Kurt tries to reason with the man, but he's under Regina's influence. It won't work.
But Kurt is resourceful and knocks the heart and box off the table, which causes Graham to clutch his chest and release Kurt. The man runs for his truck where Owen is waiting. Kurt slams the car into gear and speeds towards the city limits. Regina and Graham are hot on their tail.
Regina can't let them get away. She longs for human, real, unrobotic, human contact. If they leave, she'll be stuck in a town without memories but her own.
As the car chase nears the "Leaving Storybrooke" sign, the sheriff's car takes a shortcut and stops in front of Kurt's truck. The man yells at Owen to run away. Get out of this town and call for help.
Owen is reluctant, but finally he runs for the town line. Before he can cross, Regina gets him to stop. She tries to apologize, but Owen won't hear it. He can't love her, not like this. Not when the love is forced. Owen runs away.
Not long after, Owen returns with the police, but the city signs are gone. It was right here, he pleads. They took his father. Yet, the police can't help. There is no town, no father, no proof.
Owen walks up to the place where the town line should be and yells into the abyss that he will come back someday and find his father.
What he doesn't now is that Regina is standing right there next to the city limit sign. The town is merely invisible to Owen. And Regina mourns her loss of the lovable young boy.
The Charmings don't have a plan. They don't know how to fight back, which makes Henry angry. His family is heroes. People who fight for the good of all. Now all they want to do is sit back and wait?
Henry, not one to sit and wait for a solution, decides to act on a plan. If he can destroy the magic then his family will be safe and Regina can't cast a "love" spell on him. It's a win-win for everyone. And to destroy the magic, well, he'll just throw some dynamite down the magical well.
That should take care of it.
Meanwhile, Greg Mendel, the stranger who was hospitalized and knows more than he should about Storybrooke, has decided to gather more evidence. A pseudo-hike in the woods with his camera phone should do it.
It's there that Henry runs into Greg. The sneaky man discretely snaps a shot of Henry's backpack, which has Regina's number on it.
Henry runs off. Greg calls Regina. I'm not sure why, but he tips her off to Henry's whereabouts. Regina immediately chases after Henry.
She finds him at the well, dynamite and match in hand. She convinces him that his plan won't work. She'll cast the spell and everything will be right. But before Regina can act on her impulses, Emma and Neal show up ready to fight. Yet, it's Henry that talks his adoptive mother to relinquish her curse. It won't help anyone, it will only hurt her and Henry. He can't really love her, not when it's forced.
Regina, wanting Henry's love more than anything, burns the spell. Henry, Emma, and Neal leave Regina standing bereft at the well.
Regina barges into Mary Margaret's apartment, ready for revenge, but she's stopped by dear old granddad, Mr. Gold. Mary Margaret won't be able to hide behind him forever. And when he leaves, she'll be back.
But Mary Margaret is in despair. She can't live with this guilt. So, she decides to confront Regina. At Regina's Mary Margaret pleads with Regina to kill her. Take her heart and crush it. Crush it!
Yet, when Regina pulls out Mary Margaret's heart a new discovery replaces Regina's scowl with an evil grin. For inside Mary Margaret's once pure heart is a black spot. A black spot that will grow until her heart is black. Why kill Mary Margaret when the guilt will eat her alive? Why, Regina can still have her victory by watching Mary Margaret suffer, as intended from the beginning.
Regina shoves Mary Margaret's heart back into her chest and orders the guilt-ridden woman off her porch.
But hidden in the bushes is Greg Mendel and his handy-dandy camera phone. And he's captured the whole thing.
As he jumps in his car, we see a familiar plastic key ring. Greg whispers to himself the promise he made all those years ago, 28 to be exactly, that he'll find his father. And he's on the verge of keeping it.
1) Why was the town turn invisible when Owen returned with the police? Regina couldn't have used magic because there was none. How do "strangers" enter Storybrooke?
2) Where is Owen/Greg's father?
3) Can Mary Margaret ever turn her heart pure again? Or will she grow darker and darker?
4) When did Mr. Gold begin getting his memory back? Before Emma entered the town? When Henry entered the town? Or when Emma came?
5) How does Regina know the names of all her cursed victims? For example, Dr. Hopper has always been a cricket to her.
6) How did Henry come to Storybrooke as a baby? Who brought him?