Enchanted Forest flashback opener – with a young Belle having to flee her castle with her mother ahead of a horde of something-or-others that don’t appreciate fine literature. Ogres apparently; and Belle & her mother wait far too long trying to move their entire library and they end up being discovered
And this is why I prefer electronic books. If ogres are invading I can carry my tablet (and charger) as I go on the run.
Belle wakes up in horror, thinking it all a nightmare. But when she leaves her room and looks for her parents she finds her dad – and a group of people gathered around her mother’s coffin.
To the present and Storybrooke with Gold now keeping his magical box-that-is-a-hat secret as well and they’re called into a group meeting for Emma’s new revelation – the video showing Emma’s past with the Snow Queen. Everyone talks kind of admitting that they all know nothing, but Henry points out they haven’t found the Snow Queen’s ice cream truck. David dishes out orders to everyone (is there a bonus to putting the least capable person in charge) and they go searching or to the library.
Enchanted Forest flashback – Belle found a book that tells her of creatures that can restore memory so she can remember what happened to her mother. But her dad angrily forbids her from having anything to do with magic or leaving her room. She ignores him and makes her plan to travel to the creatures –in Arendelle.
Despite this bog flashback, in the present, Belle tells Elsa she knows nothing of Arendelle or Anna.
Time for another flashback to Arendelle this time with Anna deciding not to tell Elsa about their parents fearing her and Elsa introducing Anna to Aunt Snow Queen. And we have a name for her at last – she is Ingrid. Anna is duly suspicious and shares her suspicious with Kristoff who points out what a terrible judge of character Anna is. Anna decides to check with the trolls to learn more – all of this is overheard by Ingrid.
To the present again and they find the ice cream truck. Some brief interaction as they reach it - Robin wants to have a long talk with Regina and she decides she’d rather not revisit that sucking heart wound, thanks all the same. Emma wants to offer help/opinion and Regina, relatively politely, makes it clear how much Emma really really really does not want to go there, given the givens. Especially since she and Killian are also broadcasting lovey-doveyness which is extra galling (also she calls Killian “Captain Guyliner” which may have to be his new name). She also mentions storming an Evil Ice Cream Truck. Because Regina has the Best Lines.
Inside Regina continues to be awesome and they find Ingrid’s detailed stalker file on Emma. Regina and Robin do talk and Regina reveals the real reason she’s avoiding Robin – all her magic can find no way to save Marian. The only way is for Robin to forget Regina and re-fall in love with Marian.
Emma goes through the stalking file and finds she was with Ingrid for 6 months and among the documents are all her old school projects which she takes as an indication that Ingrid genuinely cared about her. And a touching card from young Emma to her. She also finds a scroll in Arendelle runes (which look a lot like Norse runes).
Back at the library, Belle continues to pretend she doesn’t know Anna while reassuring Elsa that Anna would never dump her in an urn (this is proof Belle is an only child. Every person with a sibling has wanted to dump that sibling in a magical urn at some point). As Elsa despairs of finding any help in a town where no-one has ever even being to Arendelle, Belle has a case of the guilt weasels.
Which means Arendelle flashback and Belle running into Anna in her quest to find trolls. They bond other dead parents and discuss a few things including Anna’s evil-hat-box-thing she stole from Rumple/Gold. They meet the troll and he gives Belle a memory-restoring rock she can use. She leaves Anna to ask the troll about her mother having a sister and learns she actually had 2. He tells her that her mother’s two older sisters, Helga and Ingrid, just vanished one day. The monarchy of Arendelle (who, it has to be said, is not known for their healthy and sensible decision making) took the Vampire Diaries route to dealing with grief and decided to erase the memory of the two sisters from the entire kingdom while they shredded all mention of them in any books or paperwork. Anna finds this all very suspicious
As they head back a storm rolls in and Anna is sure it’s Ingrid’s work. They both nearly fall off the mountain and Belle loses her magical memory rock – and Anna falls off a cliff (I think we were supposed to think Belle could have saved her if she hadn’t gone for her rock first but I find it doubtful). Ingrid arrives and takes Anna’s body (dead or unconscious) and the evil-hat-box-thing
To Storybrooke and Gold meets Ingrid to offer another deal – she’s not buying what he’s selling. She knows he wants something and is trying to manipulate her into getting in debt with him to get it and warns him off. We actually have a character who has realised the safest way to deal with Gold is not to deal with him at all.
He then returns to the shop to see Belle ready to wander off into the woods to fix a mistake she refuses to elaborate on. He warns her that it’s ridiculously dangerous and he can’t allow her to go near where Ingrid is hiding nor will he go with her; in desperation she uses his dagger to compel him to take her to Ingrid.
They go to the cave where she’s hiding – Belle reveals she’s looking for the evil-hat-box-thing. She continues to lie about having met Anna before and Gold pretends not to have heard of the evil-hat-box-thing. Inside Belle finds a magic mirror complete with talking reflection which promptly throws out guilt weasels at Belle for choosing a rock over Anna. The mirror goes on the shred Belle’s self-image and her relationship with Gold, including the fake dagger. Gold rushes in and tries to pull her away from the mirror – she slashes him with the dagger and they wrestle over it. He magically teleports them back to his shop.
Belle briefly thinks the dagger is fake but Gold points out the flaw in her command – she notices the cut she put on Gold’s neck and falls to her knees. Belle confesses she is why Anna is missing and how terrible she feels for keeping secrets from him because she totally knows he’d never ever do the same.
One more Enchanted Forest flashback with Belle and her dad making up and him revealing her mother died to save Belle. And that the war against the ogres is going terribly. Which is when Belle suggests going to the Dark One for help and her willingness to sacrifice everything for his help.
In the present Gold goes to see Ingrid to talk about the mirror, warning her not to hurt those he cares for. Ingrid doesn’t take the warning seriously and throws out her own warning that Gold shouldn’t meddle in her plans. So Gold shows her the evil-hat-box-thing he has and threatens her with it. This she does take seriously.
Flashback to Arendelle and Ingrid locks Anna in a dungeon and threatens to tell Elsa that she was going to use the evil-hat-box-thing to strip away Elsa’s magic. Anna asks about Helga but Ingrid reveals nothing – only repeats that she wants a loving family who will embrace her for who she is. She thinks that Anna can’t be part of it and they need a replacement.
Over to Storybrooke and Elsa has found a book confirming who Ingrid is – including she’s an aunt (Killian quips that everyone in town is related). That quip could be foreshadowing – because the missing Helga looks just like Anna. Aie, isn’t the Charming family tree crowded enough? More, Elsa reads the rune scroll which has a prophecy on it – naming the Saviour before adding “and the Saviour will become Ingrid’s sister”. Which is when Belle arrives to confess all with the additional warning that the evil mirror will make everyone in Storybrooke turn on one another
My money’s on Regina!
Belle and Gold make me cringe with each passing episode. Not because it’s badly written, but the longer Gold’s lies continue (which seems relatively innocent or at least innocuous in the beginning, albeit in no way benevolent) the greater the consequences are going to be when it all falls apart. I think Gold is playing his usual manipulative game which just won’t work with Belle and it’s going to be an utterly awful trainwreck when it all comes to light.
That’s my prevailing thought of this episode – though I do kind of like how all the little backstories are adding up, even going back to the first season and Belle originally agreeing to go with Rumplestiltskin. I do kind of wonder why she didn’t go back to the trolls for another magic rock – and maybe for help about Anna? I mean, Anna just fell and was captured, she knows the Trolls are friends – or even Olaf at the store is her friend or at least knows her – didn’t she think to tell anyone? She just went home?