Enchanted Forest: King Charles Widmore is about to chop off Charming's head when Queenie saves the day. She takes the would-be prince and uses him as bait for her favorite prey -- Snow White. Snow and the Avengers assemble and ride to Charming's rescue, but Regina has spirited him away. She proposes a parlay to Snow. Snow agrees. They meet on Henry and Cora's estate, which Queenie surely thinks of as the scene of Snow's crime. Regina presents her step-daughter with an apple, poisoned with a Sleeping Curse. Snow is too smart to eat it. Regina explains it won't kill her. It will do something even better! It will keep Snow in a deathlike state, but she will be alive, trapped in her own body, forever. Muahahaha. Snow has to eat it willingly or it won't work. Since Regina will kill Charming unless Snow eats the apple, Snow takes a big old bite. She drops deadish. The apple falls from her limp hand. It rolls down the hill and into a magical portal.
Storybrooke: Henry talks Emma out of running away with him. Mary Margaret is furious that Emma would leave without even saying goodbye and gives her a good earful about her actions. Later Archie tells Emma that all this fighting with Regina is no good for Henry. One of August's arms has turned to wood now, too. He shows Henry, tells him he failed to make Emma believe and says he just wants to spend what little time he has left with his father.
Regina wants Emma gone. Gold reminds her that if she kills Emma, the curse will be broken. Regina wants to strike a new bargain with Gold, but he refuses. Next, she lures Mad Hatter Jefferson to her office. She manipulates him into using his hat (which she brought with her from the Enchanted Forest), with a sketchy, not nearly specific enough promise to give him a fresh start with Grace. The problem is, the hat doesn't have any magic in this new reality. Regina takes Jefferson to her secret lair under her father's crypt. She hopes the hat will absorb what ever magic residue lingers in the air. It doesn't. Regina has one object left that retains any working magic -- it's the saddle ring Daniel gave her, shortly before her mother ripped out his heart.
Jefferson says it contains enough magic for him to reach into the hat and retrieve something small. He needs Regina to guide the hat to a time and place. She flashes back to Snow eating the poisoned apple. When the apple disappears into the portal, it appears in Storybrooke. Jefferson grabs it when it pops out of his hat and hands it to Regina.
Regina goes home and bakes an apple turnover with the poisoned fruit. Emma has been weighing Archie's words all episode, and chooses that moment to knock on Regina's door. She wants to make a deal. She is willing to acknowledge Regina is Henry's mother, and she will leave town, provided she still gets to visit him from time to time. Regina argues just enough to be convincing, then she finally agrees. She packs up the poisoned pastry for Emma, with some extra b.s. about being cordial.
Henry arrives at Emma's as she's packing up to leave town. She explains the deal she made with Regina. Henry tries to talk her out of it, but Emma's mind is made up. When he notices the turnover sitting on the counter, Henry asks who made it. When he learns it was Regina, he rushes for it, because he knows it's poisoned. Emma still thinks Henry's the one who refuses to face reality, but that's only because she's still refusing to face reality. She is going to take a bite of the pastry to prove to the boy that it's harmless, but he gets to it first and takes a bite. Just as Emma starts to ask him if he'd like some ice cream with it, Henry falls to the floor -- appearing lifeless, because of the Sleeping Curse.
I'll be back with the whole story, in the full recap. In the meantime, please grade the episode at the top of the page and then come on over to the forum, but um... don't eat anything.
We open in Storybrooke, or do we? Regina and Henry are eating a rather bloody roast beef in silence when the doorbell rings. It's Emma. While Henry invited her, she hasn't come for dinner. She's come for Regina! Regina turns back toward their son but he's not there. In the doorway behind Emma are Mary, Archie, Ruby, Granny and Leroy. There should only be pitchforks and torches. When Regina turns from them, she's confronted by Henry carrying a good long length of rope. The better to restrain you with, my dear.
Okay, clearly this is a dream sequence, but it's a fun one. In the town square, Regina is tied to an apple tree, but the apples are pitch black. The angry mob accuses Regina of all her sins, and taunts her "majesty." Emma walks up to Regina, plucks an apple and crushes it, not unlike the way Regina crushed my poor hottie Sheriff Graham's heart. (NEVER FORGET!) She looks Regina in the eye. "Rotten to the core." Regina: "I just wanted to win. For once." Oh spare me, Regina. Emma, who feels the same way, grabs Regina by the throat. "You took away our happiness, and now it's our turn to take away yours." David gives Emma his sword. Regina begs Henry to save her, but he is so not inclined. Emma swings the sword at Regina's slender neck.
Regina wakes with a start. Once she catches her breath, she gets up and peeks in on Henry, but is fooled by the lump on his bed into thinking he's sound asleep. Rookie. Any mother worth her salt pokes the kid. I'm just saying. When my children were babies (especially my first) if they were sleeping too soundly, I'd poke them, just to make sure they were breathing. Don't mistake my parenthetical up there. I love the second and third children every bit as much, but I was much more nervous as a newbie. Even now, when I look in on them at night, I adjust their covers or kiss their cheeks. Perhaps if Regina didn't have that gaping hole in her heart, she'd be able to discern between an real live boy and artfully arranged bedding.
Emma and Henry are on the road. She took her stupid pills last episode, and is still convinced that kidnapping is a viable method of assuming custody. When Henry realizes what she's doing, he tries his best to talk sense into his bio-mom. Of course, since sense requires her to accept the fairy tale is real, Emma is not at all open to it. She doesn't want to fight for everyone, just Henry. She doesn't want to believe in the curse. She refuses to be the Savior. When reason fails, Henry grabs the steering wheel and crashes them into a ditch. Emma is freaked that he could have gotten them both killed. I'm slightly freaked that a bail bondswoman and sheriff thinks kidnapping is the best way to get back her son. Regardless. Henry says they must stay in Storybrooke. "Please Emma, they need you. Your family needs you."