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Once Upon a Time recap: Heart of Darkness

An icy, unforgiving Snow sets out to kill the Evil Queen, while Mary Margaret finds herself ridiculously framed for murder

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Jack Rowand/ABC

Once Upon a Time

TV Show
Fantasy, Drama
run date:
Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla
Current Status:
In Season

What do you get when you cross a sweet but tough fairy tale princess with Emily Thorne? We found out tonight, when a bewitched Snow White went full vigilante. Long story short: It was kind of awesome. I wish there were a way to inject a little bit of Snow Dark’s spirit into Mary Margaret, a sad-sack victim who’s passive to a fault. As the end of tonight’s episode proved, though, MM is finally trying to take control of her own destiny. Maybe this means that she — and, by extension, the entire Storybrooke storyline — will soon become as fun as what’s happening in Fairy Land.

A flaming arrow barrels toward Red and Charming, who are still on the run from King Charles Widmore George’s army. Red urges her friend to leave and says that she can hold off the soldiers; luckily, it happens to be a full moon night. As Prince James gallops away, Red removes her magic cloak and transforms into her big, bad alternate form. Does this mean Red’s managed to gain control over her wolf self, or is she just hoping that she won’t stalk Charming once she finishes George’s men? Alas, we aren’t given an answer — but I hope it comes soon, since Red’s origin story was one of Once‘s best episodes.

The object of Charming’s affection, meanwhile, is blissfully humming as she sweeps the dwarfs’ cottage floor. She delicately holds out her hand, and a jolly little bluebird lands on it. It’s all very old-school “Someday My Prince Will Come” Disney… until Snow suddenly goes nuts and starts trying to squash the bird with her broom. Whoa! Actually, I guess she could have done worse.

It seems that after drinking Rumpelstiltskin’s Anti-Love Potion #9, Snow has lost her kind nature and distaste for homicide as well as her memories of Charming. Things have gotten so bad that the dwarfs are holding an intervention, even drafting Jiminy Cricket to play the role of Candy Finnigan. Though the little guys forget to hang a red-lettered banner, the whole intervention sequence is still pretty hilarious. I especially love when the cheeriest dwarf starts going off on Snow, and Grumpy steps in to scold the princess: “Look what you’re doing to Happy!”

But Snow Dark isn’t moved by her pals or Jiminy. Instead, she decides to direct her anger at the woman who murdered her father and destroyed her life: the Evil Queen. Fasten your seat belts, everyone — Snow is pissed off and prepared to commit Reginacide.

As Snow sets off, her Storybrooke self is stuck in the sheriff’s office. Though Emma believes her friend/mom has to be innocent of Kathryn’s murder, there’s enough evidence that she has to question Mary Margaret all the same. Regina, of course, finds a way to weasel herself into the proceedings; as Emma says, she’s there to serve as an impartial third party. Right, Emma — no need to question Regina’s motives, or to ask literally any other person in town to be your witness.

NEXT: “Imagine what it can do to human flesh.” Snow Dark FTW!