It’s 2:38 in the morning. Mary Margaret wakes feeling disconcerted. David is missing and Neil is crying. Mary Margaret is suddenly surrounded by our villainous trio, Cruella, Ursula, Maleficent. Neil appears in Maleficent’s arms and Mary Margaret begs for them not to hurt her family. But Maleficent promises that soon she won’t have a family left to hurt.
Mary Margaret opens her eyes to find it was all a terrible dream. She checks on Neil and finds David wide awake and pensive. He shares his wife’s concerns for Cruella and Ursula’s new-found residency just down the street. David has taken to steadying his nerves with a whisky double and assures a shaky Mary Margaret that it doesn’t matter what Cruella and Ursula know so long as they “kick them the hell out of this town before anyone else learns what they did.”
Back in the Enchanted Forest, Charming quips to Snow outside their kingdom that he’s surprised his wife is so excited to cut their honeymoon so short, but his wife is all business as she reminds him that the Evil Queen still needs dealing with. They discover Sleepy and a royal guard passed out at the gate. Assuming that the sleeping curse is Regina’s handiwork, they charge into the castle square where they are greeted by Maleficent. She introduces her partners, Cruella and Ursula, then assures them they’re not there to fight.
Over in Storybrooke a tired-looking David and Mary Margaret share concerned glances towards the town’s newest inhabitants over cups of coffee. A very out-of-place Cruella sits at the counter with Ursula and grumbles about the slow service. The enigmatic Will Scarlet—- the Knave of Hearts appears, asks for the usual, and receives two cups of coffee without delay, and without paying it seems. Cruella makes an ominous remark involving adding a wolf coat to her collection.
Regina enters with Henry. Ursula requests “a heart rip” to encourage Granny to move more speedily with the drinks. The two villainesses reminisce about Regina ripping out the hearts of villagers. Aggravated that they would say this in front of Henry, she sends her son to her office to get a start on The Book without her. She tells Cruella and Ursula in no uncertain terms that if they ever bring up her sins in front of her son again they “will find themselves across that town line faster than they can say costume jewelry.” Cruella scoffs and reassures Regina her rocks are blood diamonds, thank you very much, and they flounce out.
David and Mary Margaret approach Regina to deal with their “latest crisis.” Regina assures them the women don’t have much magic and argues that they are there for redemption. Mary Margaret is shocked to hear that Regina believes that. Regina insists that if it wasn’t a possibility she never would have let them in town to begin with. David insists that they should be watched around the clock.
As Cruella and Ursula quit the diner, they encounter Hook and Emma arriving for lunch with her parents. Ursula looks Killian up and down and gives a curt “Hook” in his direction. Emma shows way more surprise than she should that the most famous pirate to tread water in Neverland knows the Sea Queen. Hook admits he’s “encountered many a vile creature in his voyages.”
David runs out of the diner and insists that he and Emma follow the dark duo. Emma, lamenting over the grilled cheese she’s been obsessing over all day, gives Killian a chaste kiss and sighs, “Looks like duty calls.”
Cruella and Ursula enter
Gold’s Belle’s shop. They are barely three steps in a piece before Belle promises that if they try anything, they will both “hop out of there as toads.” And she’s got the dusty potion bottle in hand to prove it.
They begin pushing Belle’s buttons about her past with Gold, and then play on her guilt and sadness over her decision to exile Rumple. Belle says she is in no way happy or proud of defeating her estranged husband. While they get some sick satisfaction in baiting her, it all proves to be a distraction. In a move that is creepily reminiscent of a Drawn Together episode, one of Ursula’s tentacles meanders its way around the shop out of Belle’s sight, and snags a small box with Maleficent’s trademark headdress upon it.
Deeeeeeep beneath the town’s library Rumple receives a text from Cruella (Sure, there’s service down there NOW). He whirls some cavern dust around and quietly promises Maleficent her “slumber is nearly over.”
Regina joins Henry in her office and finds him immersed in The Book. Henry asks how Regina is doing because she sure didn’t seem fine back in the diner. Regina admits they remind her of a time she’d like to forget. This encounter has made her doubt that her happy ending is even possible. Regina says the closest she’s ever really been to happy was when she and Robin were together with Henry and Roland.
Henry, in typical kid fashion, gets crumbs all over the book, and Regina sweeps them off. She remarks that some pages feel different than the others, and Henry tells her that they were added by August to help make Emma believe that he was telling the truth about magic. Regina suggests that August must know something about the book since he was able to add to it. Unfortunately August isn’t around anymore, but Pinocchio still is.
Meanwhile an obsessive David and a questioning Emma have staked out the pawnshop. Emma feels David is being evasive with his version of history regarding Cruella and Ursula, but before she can press him further their quarry retreat in Cruella’s de Vil-mobile. Fun fact, you can buy the 1987 Zimmer Golden Spirit Crucru’s car is modeled after for less than a family-friendly mini van. As he gives chase, David tasks Emma with questioning Belle over the de Vilish duo’s motives for visiting the shop.
Back in the castle, Snow and Charming give Maleficent and her squad cautious audience. Maleficent warns the newlyweds that the threat Regina made at their wedding was not an idle one, for Regina has just stolen The Dark Curse from her. Maleficent tells Snow and Charming that deep in the forest there is something the Fairies call The Tree of Wisdom, and it will answer any question asked of it. Unfortunately the tree can only be unlocked “by two of the most valiant heroes.” Maleficent provides a map to the Tree and insists on escorting the heros there, “for all of their safety.” Snow and Charming weigh the pros and cons of such a plan. They agree they have no other choice.
Emma tells David of the missing box. David decides to pull the women over. In the most flagrant disregard of the Fourth Amendment, David searches their car and finds a hidden compartment containing the box. He returns to Emma claiming the car is clean and lets their suspects go much to Emma’s confusion. Emma suggests checking the pawnshop’s security cameras. David agrees, but fends off another of Emma’s suspicions that something else is troubling him. We find that David has palmed the contents of the stolen box: a small orb held in a dragon’s claw.
Later in the apartment, Mary Margaret is horrified to learn that something that meant very much to Maleficent was found in Cruella’s car. Obviously this means that the women are going to try to resurrect their de facto leader. The only thing to be done, they decide, is to remove Maleficent’s remains from under the library and dump them in the harbor. Seems reasonable.
Picking up in the Enchanted Forest, Snow and Charming try to earn passage over a bridge on the route to the Tree of Wisdom. But the guards refuse to allow the villainous trio to cross. Snow’s indignation subsides as she realizes Maleficent has disappeared. A rushing noise from below the cliffs turns out to be Maleficent in her dragon form, and she blasts the bridge guards with her flames. Snow and Charming, though disgusted and enraged, can do nothing to change what’s transpired and silently follow the villains across the bridge.
Emma is hunkered down at the sheriff’s station in front of her computer. Killian joins her and deposits a paper sack from Granny’s on the desk. Finally, the Savior can eat lunch! She explains that she’s checking ATM camera footage in an attempt to see what Cruella and Ursula may have stolen from
Gold’s Belle’s shop. As they wait for the video to download, Emma presses Hook about Ursula.
With too-big a smile, Hook plays the acquaintance off stating that she’s just another sea monster among many that he came across during his pirating days. Emma, who knows a non-answer when she hears it, asks what, exactly, does that mean? Killian physically moves away from Emma and simply says he doesn’t recall. Emma remains playful for a moment, but Hook’s tacitness leaves her in stunned silence. Annoyed that someone else seems to be keeping more of the story from her, Emma leans back and probably uses her Powers on him to see if he’s lying, which is super duper obvi is, duh.
Outside David and Mary Margaret load up the truck for what looks like an adventure-about-to-happen, but insist to a suspicious Emma that they are only going for a hike to get their minds off Cruella and Ursula. She shows them the ATM footage and can’t understand why they have lost interest in the thieves.
Mary Margaret says she and David have been treating them as villains ever since they stepped foot in Storybrooke. David says backing off is the right thing to do. By now Emma’s B.S. meter is in the red and blaring but she leaves them and returns to the station.
Act II opens with Regina and Henry in the Mayor’s office with Marco and his son, Pinocchio, who is flipping through The Book. Sadly it seems that Pinocchio doesn’t find The Book familiar. Hopefully, Regina thinks, Emma may jog his memory. Emma is initially unsettled by the idea but offers to try. Emma puts on her best Disney princess voice for young Pinocchio, but unfortunately Regina’s patience is running thin. As Pinocchio apologizes for not being able to remember anything, Regina starts to crack and raises her voice in frustration, saying he’s not trying hard enough. In the most awkward scene ever, she asks if his head is still made out of wood, and Marco goes mama bear on her like whoa. He demands she stay away from his boy and leaves an emotional Regina alone to seethe.
We join up with David and Mary Margaret’s “hike” down in the mines as they continue to debate lying to Emma. But David insists that this will all end when they get rid of Maleficent’s ashes.
Back on their real hike, Snow and Charming have ditched the villains and found the Tree of Wisdom. They ask the Tree how to stop the Evil Queen’s curse, but are blown back. As the trio of witches come upon them dusting themselves off, Maleficent speculates that the pair may not be as valiant as they thought.
In present day David and Mary Margaret have found Maleficent’s remains, but are knocked on their backs by Ursula’s tentacle whip, which I think was a Pokemon move, or a horrible smoothie.
Marco is working out his frustrations in his garage workshop when Regina appears. Despite a terrible start, Regina insists that she’s come to apologize. She actually says “I’m sorry” with all sincerity, and this moves Marco to share with her what’s left of everything August brought to town when he was still an adult. Regina leaves with August’s pack, and about 400 XP for receiving this quest item.
The rarely-seen Rumple stands over the unconscious bodies of David and Mary Margaret as Cruella and Ursula look on. The witches tell him Belle suspects nothing and didn’t even mention his name during their encounter in the shop, adding that she’s probably moved on. Rumple leaves Cruella with a silver knife to finish the job, whatever that may be.
At the Tree, Maleficent speculates on why Snow and Charming were rejected. She realizes to her ire that Snow is carrying a child. Why is this a problem? the new parents ask. Maleficent provides a troubling answer: While the child inside Snow is the product of True Love and could grow to be “a powerful hero capable of great good.” But there is also the potential that it could become a villain, “just like us,” she muses. The three leave Snow and Charming to find another way to stop Regina’s Dark Curse.
Cruella wakes up David and Mary Margaret quite rudely by slicing their hands to get their blood on Maleficent’s ashes. The orb was just a ruse to get them down there, to provide the blood of those who wronged Maleficent the worst. The ashes start to whirl and take shape into a sinewy form. To David and Mary Margaret’s horror their fearsome enemy now stands flesh and blood before them.
Maleficent makes it quite clear she doesn’t care about the couple’s secret; she cares about their pain, which she plans to revel in. She and the rest of the Plastics make their exit, leaving David and Mary Margaret devastated and newly determined to tell Emma the truth.
Killian appears in the sheriff’s station at Emma’s request. She knows there’s something that he’s not telling her, but that’s ok. The lying part, though, that’s right out. He agrees, but is still very reluctant to tell what seems like a story that may make Emma think twice about him. But Emma, with the earnest face of someone who really believes in the person she’s looking at, tells Hook there’s a reason she’s choosing to put so much faith in him. She admits that she has a tendency to expect the worst of people, which is why she worried her own parents were lying to her earlier. She chooses to see the best in him, because that’s how her parents live.
David and Mary Margaret, who have witnessed this profession of faith in Hook and in them, interrupt a kiss between their daughter and Hook. Emma doesn’t suspect their audience. Mary Margaret promptly tells Emma that Maleficent has been resurrected.
In our final flashback of the episode, Snow receives a real middle of the night visit from Maleficent. It is here that Maleficent reveals exactly why she knows Snow will unite with her against Regina. They are BOTH expectant mothers! But even now, Snow insists she and Charming will not compromise who they are to stop Regina, and they will find their own way on their own terms. Snow insists she will not become like a villain to do it.
During what Regina calls “a cloak and dagger” meetup in the rain, Mary Margaret informs her that Maleficent is back and that Regina needs to go undercover with the coven to figure out what they’re planning. Regina doubts that the witches will buy her sudden about face.
Mary Margaret looks deep into the past, saying that although she didn’t keep Regina’s secret as a child, now she needs Regina to keep hers. Mary Margaret relates Maleficent’s warning about their child, and despite Regina reminding her that Emma’s the Savior with “magic as light as it gets,” Mary Margaret admits that she and David went to “extraordinary lengths” to make sure that was so.
Mary Margaret, with quavering voice, appeals to Regina as a mother, saying she doesn’t want Emma to know what she and David did for the same reasons Regina doesn’t want Henry to know what she did in the past. The worst thing would be for their children to “lose faith in the people they had become.” To tell Emma the truth may cause her to lose faith in her parents, and “send her tumbling down a dark path.”
This poignant speech overlays Henry discovering in August’s pack a drawing of a door with a post-it note that reads “The Author?” A shocking discovery is made by Rumpelstiltskin as he fondly watches Belle tend to the shop, only to find that’s she keeping time with the errant
Knave of Hearts Will Scarlett. And finally, in the most heartbreaking scene of the series, Maleficent reunites the small orb held by a dragon’s foot with the rest of the claw. With a little shake, we see that she is holding a baby’s rattle.
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ABC. “Images, et.al.” March 8, 2015. Television. March 9,2015.