Fairy Land Present
Snow, Mulan, Emma and Aurora trudge back to their island fortress, worrying about telling people about Lancelot’s death – when they find that the place is deserted. Except for the bodies many many bodies. They first think of ogres – but then see that the hearts of the victims have been removed, Cora killed them. Or nearly all of them – among the bodies is a man, Captain Hook, pretending to be a survivor.
Mulan tells Emma she’s seen him around, he says he’s a blacksmith who lost his hand in an ogre attack, but Emma is suspicious. As we remember from the very first episode of the first season, it is very very hard to lie to Emma and she is very very suspicious. So when they discuss leaving, finding a portal and getting back to Storybrooke – Emma puts a knife to Hook’s throat.
They tie him to a tree while he continues to protest his innocence – Emma isn’t buying it and whistles for the ogres. He can tell the truth or he can become lunch. He tries to lie some more so Emma is happy to walk away and leave him tied up. He cracks, admits to being Captain Hook and tells them he was left their by Cora to try and infiltrate their group, earn their trust and find out everything they could about Storybrooke. To which Mulan says it’s safest to leave him tied for the ogres – and Emma agrees (so do I, and yes, I was cheering).
He protests they need him alive – out comes the knife again and he quickly tells Emma that in addition to the wardrobe dust Cora has, she also needs a magical compass to find her way to Storybrooke. And he’s willing to make the same deal as he made with Cora – help him get to Storybrooke and he will help them get the compass before Cora. Emma asks what he wants in Storybrooke – to kill Rumplestiltskin. Everyone’s pretty much OK with that.
They follow Hook, with Mulan and Emma suspecting and being ready for a trap when they see their destination – a giant bean stalk with a giant up the top.
Fairy Land Past
Rumplestiltskin is teaching the naïve and innocent Regina how to use her magic – starting by having her immobilise a unicorn. Once unable to move he demands she remove it’s heart as Cora does – Regina refuses, it’s evil and the unicorn is innocent (“No-one is innocent, dearie”). Rumple removes the heart himself – saying it strengthens the heart and, if done right, doesn’t hurt the creature, unless you want it to. Though it does control them. He gives it to Regina and demands she crush it. He wants to know, if she truly wants power, why does she hold back, why does she hesitate?
Later, in Rumple’s work shop he asks Regina what she wants. She tells him power and he scoffs, saying she’s wasting his time. Regina confesses she wants to bring back the dead, to bring back Daniel, her true love, who Cora killed. Rumple dismisses her, bringing back the dead is impossible – and they’re then interrupted by Jefferson the Mad Hatter arriving – a much more fun, less angsty Mad Hatter at that. Wants to know why she’s there – power, stop wasting time, bring back dead, impossible. He has an orb for Rumple and is apparently in the business of acquiring things for him – but he doesn’t have the objects Rumple wanted to use to reach another world. Jefferson mentions his hat but the hat won’t go to a land without magic (to try and find his son).
While Jefferson collects his gold, Rumple tells Regina to leave, there’s no point training her if her goal is impossible. Jefferson overhears what he said and tells Regina that he does know someone, a wizard of sorts, who may be able to do what she wants. In return he wants a passport for free travel across the kingdom, since she’s queen. If the wizard he knows can’t do it then Rumple is right, no-one can.
They go to Regina’s palace and, after much drama where Jefferson warns Regina the “wizard” is unused to their form of magic, he introduces her to… Dr. Whale. She takes him to the preserved body of Daniel and he marvels over the state the body is in, perfectly preserved by Regina’s spell. And we learn that his process hasn’t had success to date – it’s experimental – but it should work so long as he gets a strong heart, a heart that doesn’t exist in his realm. But he had heard that Fairy Land has hearts that are enhanced by magic – so powerful that they glow. Regina is adamant that she will not use magic for evil – and removing a heart is black magic. Jefferson suggests if she wants her fiancé back she should find someone who will.
But she doesn’t need to, taking them to her mother’s fire place, they can hear a heartbeat. Behind the fireplace is a vault in which are stored dozens, if not hundreds of hearts, all beating away. Regina says she has no idea who they are, Cora took so many it was impossible to keep track. She reflects on what an utter monster her mother was and the pain she caused.