Not much happened in Storybrooke this week, aside from some cool magic tricks and the return of a few familiar faces.
The episode, titled "We Are Both," is Regina-centric and explores the events leading up to her arranged wedding and how she first meets Rumpelstiltskin. Meanwhile in Storybrooke, Charming decides to put his leadership skills to the test and keep the townsfolk from leaving.
So that's what happens when you try to leave town
The dwarves contemplate leaving Storybrooke, and who could blame them. The town currently looks like it has been victimized by Regina George. Unfortunately, Sneezy decides to cross the border and his memory is erased again. Lame. The "what happens when you leave Storybrooke" plot line was a big mystery last season, and I was expecting a lot more than memory loss.
The dwarves run to tell Charming, who is already being nagged by Red who wants him to get the townsfolk under control and stop them from leaving Storybrooke. Charming doesn't really care about their problems right now, though. He's too preoccupied with getting Snow and Emma back after they got sucked into the magic hat and transported to Fairyland in last week's episode.
Charming eventually takes charge and becomes the Jack Shephard of Storybrooke. Just as all of the characters are about to leave with a blank slate, Charming gives a "Live Together, Die Alone" speech and becomes the de facto leader.
For once, Regina isn't the worst
Regina wants her son back. Unfortunately the only way she can get him is with magic, which seemed to be lacking in Storybrooke the past couple of days. Luckily for her, she knows how to retrieve it.
Charming confronts Regina about the top hat, and also chides Regina for being a horrible mother. Per usual, she doesn't care about his problems. We find out through flashback that Regina is first introduced to magic through her mother's book of spells. Of course. We also find out that Rumpelstiltskin first convinced her to use magic. Of course.
It was wonderful to see the return of Cora, played by Barbara Hershey (the mom in "Black Swan"), who never fails to make Regina look like Mother Theresa. We learn that Cora had a knack for restraining (literally, with vines) young Regina to her home and wouldn't stop until she married King Leopold. Regina realizes she needs to fight magic with magic.
After finding out about the book of spells from her father, she uses it to summon Rumpel, who gives her the lowdown on how to get rid of her mom. Regina doesn't want to get involved with magic, but Rumpel assures that it'll do the work for her. That turned out well. Regina uses her magic to throw her evil mother through a mirror to her supposed death.
Back in Storybrooke, Regina retrieves the book of spells from Rumpel. Rumpel gives her the book out of thin air and then compares her to her mother. She's pissed. Later, she inhales the familiar purple haze from the book and her eyes turn purple. It looks like someone got their magic back. She proves it by catching an arrow shot at her by Granny and throwing fireballs at the people of Storybrooke.
For once, Henry is useful and offers himself up to his adopted mother. Regina takes him back to her house where he immediately escapes out of the window, but she pulls the vine trick on him and pulls him back inside. Then she makes a cupcake for him out of thin air. I want her powers.
After Charming makes his speech, he runs back to Regina's house, sword in hand. Regina gives in and lets Henry go with David. "I don't know how to love very well," she tells him. She finally realizes she has turned into her own mother who, by the way, is still alive!
The end of the episode reveals that Mulan and company has dragged Emma and Snow to the outskirts of the Enchanted Forest, where the remaining unaffected characters reside. Mulan throws the duo into a pit, where they meet none other than Cora herself. Uh oh.
The Mad Hatter/Jefferson is back in town after Regina gets her powers. David asks him for help, but he makes it clear that he doesn't want to do anything or help anybody, with a very "honey badger don't care" attitude. I think he's my favorite.
Geppetto finds out that Pinnochio is alive, who we saw blinking his eyes at the beginning of the episode. Creepy.
Jiminy Cricket is giving counseling. Was living as a real person for 28 years that traumatizing for some of these people?
Rumpel has a big master plan up his sleeve. I hope it involves more magic cupcakes.
Best line: "I will not listen to childcare lectures from a man who put his daughter in a box and shipped her to Maine." -- Regina to Charming.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun