L'enchantement. Present. Day. Emma and Cora kneel over a still unconscious Snow. Cora assures Emma that Snow will be fine and then blahs about how what's left of the world is dangerous. She claims she's only in the pit because the Dark Curse which ravaged their land was cast by her daughter. Emma knows that daughter must be Regina. Cora: "You have nothing to fear from me. The apple fell very far from the tree." Ha! Also, liar! But mostly ha.
As Cora tries to pump Emma for information (about being from "over there" and how she and Snow managed to return to L'enchantement) Snow wakes. And here's where I give more kudos to casting (and to Ginny), because even though Young-Snow (Bailee Madison) isn't in this episode, when Adult-Snow looks at a Cora, you see that same innocent, scared young girl who was manipulated by this Mother of all Witches.
Cora tries to pretend she's the same kindly maternal type she always pretended to be, but if we include the cursed 28 years, Snow is 30+ years older and wiser than that little girl of long ago and far away. She tells Emma, "As bad as you think Regina is, this one is worse." Emma gives Snow a patronizing look, while Cora pleads with Snow to believe her. "Whatever she (Regina) told you isn't true. I just want to help you."
Snow has her resolve-face on. Over her shoulder, Emma whispers, "Let's hear her out." Snow will not be moved. Her, "Emma," is firm. Emma says, "Right now, we are at the bottom of a hole with no other options, and Henry is back in Storybrooke, with Regina." When Cora asks who Henry is, Emma replies, "My son. I kind of share him with Regina. It's complicated." Raise your hand if you want Emma and Regina to update their Facebook relationship status.
Snow rounds on Emma, grabs her arms and orders her not to talk to Cora. They're interrupted by a man who shouts down, "Enough! Our leader requests an audience." He drops a rope for Emma and Snow to climb, and all I can think is that, despite the helpful climbing knots, I'd be stuck in that hole for the rest of my days. Angel, our chief editor and athlete extraordinaire could definitely do that (and might be able to leap it in a single bound, for all I know), but not I. If any of my past Phys. Ed. teachers are reading, don't give yourself whiplash, nodding in agreement. Witches.
Downtown Storybrooke. Day. Charming and Henry walk down the street, left worse for the wear thanks to the Chintz Monster's paper-blowing tantrum. When Henry asks what's on the agenda for "Operation Scorpion," Charming asks what he means. Henry explains: "The code name for our mission to find Emma and Snow. Do you prefer Viper? That was my second choice." Charming: "Henry, we need to talk." Henry: "Yeah, Scorpion is better." I think I could watch an entire episode of these two, just being the cutest grandson and ultra-young Grandpa in the world, provided there were occasional tears, interspersed with sword fighting.