Starting in the past: The Wicked Witch goes through all Regina’s beautiful shinies, slightly appalled that Regina left it all behind and didn’t appreciate it. She sends her flying monkey after Regina
Who is sad (noticed by Ruby) but also plotting how to sneak into the palace through the hidden tunnels then lower the shield – when the monkey appears (I love how Neal yells “incoming” after everyone has reacted to the screeching. That’s… real helpful there Neal. Really). Regina steps up, pulls a child from the monkey’s path then turns it into a fluffy stuffed toy.
See, that is what SHOULD happen when a flying monkey attacks the Queen. She gives the toy to the boy – Robin Hood’s son.
In the present Mary Margaret and David (damn David, are those trousers shrink to fit? No wonder the man isn’t sat down! You might want to loosen them up a bit if you ever want another child) repeat their memory loss but Hook can fill in some gaps since he did go to the Enchanted Forest with them before he rode off on his own. Naturally suspicion falls on Regina because… doesn’t it always? And Hook tells them he got a note and the memory potion and assumed it came from Mary Margaret (since when can Mary Margaret brew potions? That would mean giving her a useful skill) but apparently not.
Also dwarfs arrive to warn them that people are going missing. Apparently this is also a thing that no-one bothered to mention until now – they’re being picked off one by one. Emma naturally worries about Neal – who is missing (Leroy isn’t comforting and Hook doesn’t seem thrilled). People are camping on the edge of town… rather than living in the town. Fairy tale characters don’t need to make sense.
Emma announces they need to get their memories back. No, really? See, it’s cutting edge thinking like that that makes you the Saviour, Emma!
Back to the past and Belle the Bookworm and Regina the Sorceress Queen tell everyone that flying monkeys are from Oz and the Wicked witch has taken up residence. (Grumpy is sensible – do they need a house or a bucket of water?) After checking to make sure the Wicked Witch isn’t seeking revenge on Regina (for once Regina hasn’t met her), it’s back to the plan of Regina going in alone
Back to the present and everyone trying to deal with Henry the memory-less. Which results in Mary Margaret describing herself as Emma’s cell mate after she was arrested and imprisoned for banditry. (See above comment about Mary Margaret and useful skills). Until Regina comes in and drops everything on seeing Henry – poor Regina, that’s some excellent emotion right there. Emma takes Regina aside and we have the very expected accusations but Emma believes Regina’s innocence (I don’t know whether it’s trust, common sense or her anti-lie super power. I suspect the latter).
Robin and the Merry Men (Mulan? Is Mulan there? Apparently not…) are playing with a crossbow when Little John gets abducted by a flying monkey – at least it stops him crossing the city limits and losing his memory. Emma, David and crew arrive and they suspect the monkeys are kidnapping anyone who comes too close to the line.
Time for a town meeting with lots of panic and accusations aimed at Regina – and now Emma throws in with the suspicious saying she’ll keep Regina away from Henry until they’ve fixed the problem. People advance on Regina menacingly and she reminds everyone with a little earthquake that that is a bad idea.
Briefly back to the past with Robin decides he owes Regina so he follows her to help her get into the castle. She leads him through the trapped tunnel and joyous skewers his “steal from the rich to give to the poor” with a “at least when I do bad things, I own it.” Regina, awesome as always. At the end of the tunnel they find a blood-magic sealed door that should have been impossible to open by anyone but Regina. It’s the door to her mother’s tomb.
And back to the present where Regina’s little stunt was just a ruse! She and Emma are working together without threats or keeping Henry away. And that means them working together without any interruptions from kids of Charmings in incredibly-tight-trousers! It’s a ruse so whoever set the curse doesn’t realise they’re working together. They also have a moment where Regina thanks Emma for her trust – though Emma trusts her super power. Some genuine understanding between them (am I building my hopes up? Probably).
Meanwhile Mary Margaret is freaking about babies and trying to convince Henry to read and not play computer games. And there to reassure her about babies is… the Wicked Witch – she claims to have been a midwife in the Enchanted Forest (and no-one famous) and calls herself Zelina.
The men, in the forest, find Little John – injured.
Back to the past and Regina starts making a potion in her castle – Robin demands to know what she’s doing (holding her at bow point which doesn’t impress her). She’s making a sleeping curse – for “someone no-one will miss”; Regina. Robin tries to stop her which doesn’t work well – she’s hurting and considers the curse to be an “eternal middle” – she sleeps through the pain and will only be woken with true love – her son’s – kiss. She promises to lower the spell and let the Charmings in first – but then she’s going to sleep.
In the present Regina’s also playing with her chemistry set in her awesomely decorated office. She replicates the memory potion Emma took; but it doesn’t work. She cannot abide the idea of living in Storybrooke with Henry unable to remember her. Plan B is to tell Leeroy that they are succeeding in making a memory potion – and have him spread the gossip so Zelina gets worried.
Little John is taken to hospital where Dr. Whale (Frankenstein) treats him – but not enough. The bite of a Winged Monkey turns you into a Winged Monkey.
Emma and Regina stakeout Regina’s office (Regina is seeing how Emma works!) and discuss Henry (Emma wants Regina to meet him!) before spotting someone going into her office – Regina is confident she’s trapped since the lock was sealed with blood magic but, again, Zelina manages to escape despite it being impossible.
To the past and Regina preparing to extinguish the fire that will lower the wards. She brings down the shield and outside Charming gathers his army. Inside Regina prepares her sleeping curse and the Wicked Witch arrives, magically stealing her pin. And Zelina has a revelation – Cora is her mother as well. She’s Regina’s big sister, born before Cora became royal (hence all the blood locks). And Zelina has a bad case of jealousy since she was given up while Regina got all the wealth and power.
She’s also mad that Rumplestiltskin taught them both – yet chose Regina to cast his curse. Ooooh, definitely bitter. And doesn’t look too happy to know neither Cora nor Rumple are alive to see how well she’s done without them. So she’s going to inflict all her revenge on Regina instead “Bring It!”
This does change her mind about the Sleeping curse though – she’s got a reason to live now. Someone to destroy! (And my she looks happy!)
In the present day Storybrooke, Emma introduces Amnesia!Henry to Regina. It’s awkward and painful and heart breaking.
Hook and Charming tell Regina and Emma about people turning into Flying Monkeys (and Neal being missing) and Regina puts 2 and 2 together and comes up Wicked Witch
Extra twist – the Zelina has a prisoner – Rumplestiltskin. HE LIVES (oh she will regret this – especially since he doesn’t seem all that stable).
This episode really does show Regina’s pain extremely well – and while I’m not eager to see this character suffer, her pain comes from her love and from her motherhood. And her and Emma working together, liking each other, respecting each other – I hope this continues because I think I’m really going to love this storyline.
Rumplestiltskin is back, this makes me happy