Freedom is a powerful thing. Freedom of choice, both good and bad. Freedom from magic, to come and go as you please.
Regina has grown up under her mother’s thumb. She has had very little freedom to do any of the things she pleases, namely marry whom she wants.
Her wedding day is nearing, and Regina tries desperately to run away. She doesn’t get far before her mother stops her with magic. She’s put her daughter under a boundary spell. She can come and go as she pleases so long as she is not far from the king, her husband-to-be.
Regina is angry and it’s all Snow White’s fault. She’s so angry that she daydreams about telling Snow White all of the horribleness involved in Daniel’s death and then killing the young maiden.
She cries out her sorrows to her father who lets it slip that Cora’s magic came from a certain imp. He doesn’t know the man’s name, but he’s the true owner of the magic book Cora carries around.
Regina decides that she must talk to this man and find a solution to get rid of her mother.
Sneaking her mother’s book from under her pillow, Regina summons Rumplestiltskin. He offers her a solution. Push her mother through this looking glass into a new world. He has no use for this world, but it might come in handy for Regina.
Regina hesitates. She doesn’t want to be like her mother. She doesn’t want to use magic, but she does want her mother out of the way from interfering with her life.
Rumplestiltskin leaves her with a choice. He can provide the magic necessary, but it will be entirely up to Regina to use it.
But as her mother continues to throw her power around, Regina’s had enough. With one magical push, she shoves her mother at the mirror. Her mother is engulfed in the looking glass and disappears. The glass shatters.
Regina stares at her hands, afraid and shocked at the power that just coursed through her. She’s now free to leave.
On her fast steed, she runs. However, in the road stands Rumplestiltskin. Regina hands him back his book and tells her she doesn’t ever want to use it again. Rumplestiltskin is curious. Did Regina enjoy the power?
Reluctantly, Regina admits to it. She doesn’t ever want to use magic again because she loved it too much.
Rumplestiltskin is pleased. He knows that someday Regina will use magic to do something very worthwhile for him. She will be his ticket to his son’s world.
The town is mangled. Cars are totaled, electrical posts are down, and people are missing. The fairy tale characters are in a panic. Not only are they in a strange land, but they have memories of their fake selves and their true selves. They want to get back to the Enchanted Forest but it seems they are stuck. But how stuck? Just in this world, or more so, in this small town?
The dwarves decide to investigate. At the city limits Grumpy draws a line and then hands out sticks. The short stick loses and its holder must cross the barrier. The dwarves aren’t happy about this plan but they have to know if they can leave Storybrooke safely. Vaporization or any number of bad things could happen, and when Sneezy holds out his short stick, Grumpy pulls him to the line and pushes him across.
Back at Regina’s, Charming is upset. He’s just found his daughter and true love only to lose them all over again and at the hands of her Evil Highness. All that’s left behind is a beat up hat, and Charming wants answers. Regina’s not budging. The only thing that can make her talk is Henry, and since she doesn’t have him, then too bad.
Charming decides to talk to the Blue Fairy. Maybe she can think of some magical way to get them back to the Enchanted Forest. But there are no solutions. And it only gets worse.
The dwarves know what happens if anyone crosses the town limits. You lose your memory of your fairy tale self and are left with only memories of your cursed self.
Back to square one, stuck in Storybrooke, Maine. Only this time magic is possible.
Mr. Gold, unaware of the dire consequences for leaving the quaint town, is packing. He’s already planned this trip, years and possibly centuries, in advance. His only goal is to find his son. And since he’s not in Storybrooke, there’s a whole world of possible hiding locations.
But Regina wants one last favor. Give her back her magic. A magic book that used to belong to her mother is the answer and Mr. Gold has it.
Mr. Gold mocks her first, tries to get her to leave with his “pleases”, but it doesn’t work. He has no choice but to hand it over. He doesn’t care anymore. He’s leaving. Regina can do what she wants.
Mr. Gold doesn’t quite make it out the door before Charming drops in. He wants a favor too. Magic. A potion to find something, much like Rumplestiltskin did to his mother’s ring to find Snow. Mr. Gold wants to know who the mystery person is that Charming is seeking, but Charming won’t tell. It’s none of Gold’s business.
Very well. Mr. Gold hands over a bottle of magic and sends Charming on his way, but not before questioning Charming on the commotion outside. It’s then that Mr. Gold’s worst nightmare comes true. They’re all stuck. Here, in Storybrooke, forever, unless someone can find an answer.
But Charming won’t give up. There has to be an answer.
At City Hall, the town has gathered to hear Charming explain a plan, a way out of this mess. Charming is late, and Regina sees this as her perfect opportunity to share with the town that she has fully gained back her powers. And with them, she plans on getting back her son.
Henry doesn’t want anyone to get hurt and so he goes willingly with her. Regina is pleased. No Emma. No Snow White. Only magic and her happily ever after.
Henry does not plan on staying long in Regina’s care. With a stashed bed sheet rope, he climbs out the window. The only problem is that Regina has anticipated this move. With her powers, she wraps him in tree branches and pulls him back into the house.
She tries to persuade Henry into joining her on the dark side. She can teach him all she knows about magic. He can have whatever he wants if he uses magic.
However, Henry doesn’t want to be like her. He doesn’t want magic. It’s then that Regina realizes that she’s just like her mother, the one person she never wanted to be like.
In a valiant speech, he admits that they are both people: Storybrooke and Fairy Tale Land characters. But they can use their weak Storybrooke counterparts to goad them into being the valiant people they truly are. For now, stay in Storybrooke, play the parts of teacher, nurse, fireman, whatever. But they need to stick together; then they can find a solution.
Charged by the courage from his speech, Charming stops by Regina’s a second time to demand that he see Henry. Regina offers him one better. Charming can have Henry.
Henry is overjoyed!
Regina apologizes for taking Henry and that she doesn’t know how to love very well. She truly does love Henry. She doesn’t want to be like this, and she wants to redeem herself. She doesn’t want Henry to hate her, but want to be with her. She can prove her love for him.
Charming wants her to prove it now by answering one question for him. Does the Enchanted Forest still exist?
Yes, she says. But she doesn’t know how to get back. Her only request: take care of Henry.
Charming and Henry leave, and Regina decides the first step in proving her love for Henry is getting rid of her magic. Taking the book off the shelf, she walks over to the fireplace. But before she can toss it in, she pulls it back. She can’t do it. What if she would need it someday? And so, she places the ancient book on the shelf.
Emma follows as men drag the unconscious Mary Margaret to the cell and throws her in. Emma tries to revive her mother and friend, but to no avail. They are, however, not alone.
In the cell with them is Cora, Regina’s mother!
1) Is Regina’s mother the Queen of Hearts in Wonderland? (I think so).
2) Does Regina really love Henry? Can she prove it?
3) Is Cora the key back to Storybrooke for Emma and Mary Margaret?
4) Where did August go? (Yay, he’s alive!)
5) Will Sneezy ever regain his memory?
6) Can the dwarves conjure up fairy dust in Storybrooke?
7) What will Mr. Gold do now?
8) Will/Can strangers come to Storybrooke?
9) What adventures will Emma and Mary Margaret go on in Fairy Tale Land?
Tell me your theories if you've got them.
Until next time....