You know what they say — if you can’t beat her, separate yourself from her, wait until she gets herself turned into a snake, bites your lover-turned-alternate-world-lover, comes back ready for business, and then battle her. That’s right. In Once Upon a Time world, nothing is easy and some things are maybe even a little unbelievable… even for a show about magic. But this week is about putting things to rest, including Evil Queens and the memory of murdering your fiancée’s grandfather. Like I said… complicated world. Let’s talk about it.
We pick up with the Evil Queen looking for Snow White in the past. She’s naturally looking for Snow White so she can steal her heart, but by the time she nearly gets to her, she’s gone. The Evil Queen argues with the townspeople that Snow White doesn’t care about them, but she does. But she’s interrupted by Tinkerbell, who reminds her that she should be with Robin Hood and won’t take a chance on love. The Queen spares Tinkerbell but warns her not to be meddling like this again.
And that leads us to present day in Storybrooke, with the Evil Queen walking back into town with Robin Hood. Robin of course argues that they need to go to New York, concrete forest where dreams are made of, but Regina says he just needs to go back to the realm that she wished into existence. And she’ll help him, but first, he needs to help her dig… more on that later.
At Snow’s house, everyone is admiring that incredible ring that Hook gave Emma. Snow is so excited for her daughter when she’s interrupted by Zelena and Regina, who quickly lets the team know that the Queen is back in town and ready to cause havoc. But how exactly? Well, with Robin on the graveyard shift uncovering something in the woods, we hear his shovel hit a metal box. Inside? Those shears that can separate you from your fate. She plans on using them to separate Regina and Robin’s fate because with that broken, she can finally destroy Regina and Storybrooke and probably even how great puppies are. Girlfriend is that vicious.
Meanwhile at the docks, Hook takes a moment to say goodbye to Nemo before he sets sail. But before Nemo can leave, Hook admits that he has a pretty heavy secret about the woman he loves and the family she keeps. He doesn’t know what to do, but Nemo urges him to seek forgiveness. It’s never that easy, though. Nothing is easy. It’s why the Evil Queen nabs Henry’s authorial pen that could write Regina out of history. But in their back and forth, he makes a valid point… why keep going? Nothing will ever make her happy. Even she agrees, before handing Henry a note to deliver to Regina, followed by the caveat that no matter what anyone says, she’ll always love him.
That flashes us back to the Evil Queen and her father. He also argues that revenge will never make her happy, but he will agree to help her find Snow White. In the present, Regina reveals that what the Evil Queen passed off was page 23 of the storybook, which signifies a happy ending that Regina was never actually able to get. It’s a reminder that the Evil Queen has found Robin, and with him captured, it means that Regina is going to have to address all this in person. That’s exactly what the Queen wants because she plans on killing her… again. It’s a tale as old as time, even with Robin trying to convince her that her plan isn’t going to help her in the end.
We flash back to the Queen and her father, who has led her to a portal that has nothing to do with revenge. The portal was shown to him by Tinkerbell, whom he’s working with to try to lead Regina toward Robin. But she’s not interested in that… she’s interested in her revenge. She turns Cupid’s arrow, designed to point you toward the person you love, into a tool to point you toward the person you hate. It begs the question… exactly how many times can the Queen come back as the primary threat to Storybrooke and try to ruin this world? Answer: as many times as complications will come between Emma and Hook. Hook sits next to the fire, looking at the memory of him killing Emma’s grandfather as he’s about to burn it in the fire, but Emma catches him. In a twist, she’s not upset with him for, you know, MURDER. She’s upset because he was trying to burn the memory of the murder. With that, she hands him back his ring because life isn’t easy, y’all.