In Fairy Tale Land, the Evil Queen is planning her curse that will rage the kingdom and transport all its citizens to a land without magic. However, one person stands in her way…her mother, Cora. Fortunately, a certain pirate happens along, and when the right words are spoken, the Evil Queen can get him do anything she wants. In this case, rip out the heart of her mother so that Cora cannot follow the Evil Queen to Storybrooke in exchange for revenge on Rumplestiltskin.
The pirate, Captain Hook, is given a one-time-use enchanted hook to rip out one heart and directions on how to get to Wonderland—where Cora, AKA the Queen of Hearts, resides. If he does it right, he can kill Cora and be back to Fairy Tale Land in no time.
However, once in Wonderland, Cora is wise to his scheme. And when he tries to grab her heart, she merely laughs. Why would she keep a heart in the same place as everyone else? She is the Queen of Hearts after all.
Hook spills the beans on what he’s up to and why, and Cora sees her chance…to see her daughter again. Or is it to get back at her daughter? Hard to tell with Cora’s deceitful eyes.
But the ruse works too well. Regina is readily fooled that Hook actually killed her mother—and no, this time she does not ask to see the heart as proof of his dirty dead. (Or at least we don’t see her ask for it). Regina confesses to her “dead” mother that she’s sorry she had to kill Cora. And by the way, she’s always loved her, which is why she had to kill her. Logical.
After Regina leaves to enact said curse, Cora and Hook run off to a corner of the Fairy Tale Land we’ve come to know as the Safe Haven. Cora puts up a shield which protects that part of the land as the curse ravages the kingdom. Hook and Cora watch as it envelops them. Twenty-eight years, and then they can make their way to Storybrooke…
Oh, and Hook took the giant’s bean necklace, and probably killed the giant too boot. For Hook it’s a reminder of how something good can turn bad. (Nice thought, Hook).
The women continue to search, finding nothing but a scroll where Rumplestiltskin repeatedly wrote Emma’s name like a mad man. Or was he?
Mary Margaret remembers a time when she watched Cora practice magic. The memories gives Mary Margaret an idea. The squid ink wasn’t in a jar, it was in the writing!
Aiming the scroll at the cell bars, Mary Margaret gently blows on the words, which lift and float to the bars, disintegrating them. Go, Snow!
Mary Margaret, Emma, and Mulan leave after tying up Aurora. Aurora can’t be trusted so long as Cora has her heart.
The women chase after the evil villains, determined to get back home.
Nearly ready to jump, the women show up and ambush them. A fight ensues. Emma knocks Hook out and saves Mary Margaret from Cora, who tries to take her heart. As Emma leaps in front of her mother, Cora’s hand plunges into Emma’s chest. But Cora can’t take Emma’s heart.
Why? Emma is magic. Love is not weakness, as Cora’s always believed. No. Love is strength. With the power of love, Emma rockets Cora away from her, and Mary Margaret and Emma jump into the portal.
Regina is reluctant at first. What if Emma and Mary Margaret actually get through?
Mr. Gold doesn’t care. Regina should be happy to finally get her revenge on Mary Margaret and the biological mother of Henry. Besides, what if it’s Cora? It would be better to block the portal than let that monster come through.
So, Mr. Gold blocks the portal—which is the same well that he used to bring magic to Storybrooke.
However, Henry finds out about their plan and runs to stop them. At first Regina tries to hold him back, but Regina’s desire to win back her son overcomes her. She wants to be good. For Henry. So she steps in, and takes the curse away.
Thanking Regina, Mary Margaret runs to wake up David, and Emma reveals to Mr. Gold Cora’s unsuccessful plan to take her heart.
Mr. Gold tells Emma that she is magical because she is the product of true love. And love is the most powerful magic of all.
Later, in Present Fairy Tale Land, Mulan had snagged Aurora’s heart and returned to the cell to give it back to the girl. Aurora reveals that the souls the wraiths take can be found again. They are merely in another world. So I’m guessing Mulan and Aurora will soon journey to rescue Prince Phillip.
Back on Lake Nostos, Hook and Cora meet again. The compass may be gone, but the portal is still open, and Hook has a magic bean. Sure, it’s useless on its own, but with the magical properties of Lake Nostos it can work.
As the drum rolls before the credits, the two evil villains are making their way across the water outside Storybrooke. Hook spies the iconic clock tower above the library.
They’re almost there…
1) Where is Cora’s heart?
2) Will Regina stay good or will she regress into evilness to get Henry back?
3) How long will it be before Snow White and Prince Charming are separated again? How long until they find each other again?
4) Will Mulan and Aurora find the wraith-soul world and rescue Phillip? Or is that part of the story finished?
5) What will happen to Storybrooke now that two “eviler” villains have arrived?
6) Will Belle be caught in the midst of Hook and Mr. Gold’s inevitable stand-off?
7) When will Henry’s father show up?
8) What will happen the remaining part of season 2?
P.S. Check back on January 6, 8/7c for the return of Once Upon a Time, Season 2.