Once Upon a Time Recap, Season 1, Episode 2--"The Thing You Love Most"
Still with me? Good. Things are moving along in Storybrooke, with the clock continuing to move. Snow notices it, as she eats her cereal in the morning and looks out her window. It's unusual, and nothing unusual ever happens in Storybrooke. Henry is pretty darn happy.
The people of Storybrooke go about their morning business, as Regina flips through the storybook Snow gave Henry. There are pages missing, and Regina demands Henry tell her why. He shrugs it off as it being an old book, then tells Regina once more that she is NOT his mother.
Later, Regina and Jiminy are on the street, looking at the clock moving, and while Jiminy is happy about it, Regina most definitely is NOT.
Regina brings Emma a basket of honeycrisp apples at Granny's boarding house, and tells her once again to get out of town. Emma points out that Regina has now threatened her twice, and that fact makes her want to stay even more.
Regina insists only one of them knows what is best for Henry, and Emma agrees, implying it is NOT Regina. Regina warns Emma that Emma doesn't want to mess with her, because she doesn't know what Regina is capable of. Quite the "Evil Queen"-ish thing to say, Regina.
Meanwhile, back in the Enchanted Forest, Regina decides to cast the Dark Curse, because she's so over everyone being happy but her. However, she traded the Dark Curse to Malificent to get the sleeping curse she used on Snow. So, it's a visit to Malificent for Regina.
Regina and Malificent talk in Malificent's castle, commiserating about how they were both about the same age when they were screwed over by Snow and Princess Aurora, respectively.
Malificent does not want to hand over the curse, because it is too dangerous to be used, and she keeps it hidden because of that fact. Regina fights her for the curse, and it looks like Malificent might win, until Regina throws swords at Malificent's pet unicorn. Malificent steps in to protect the animal, and Regina takes the curse, telling her that saving the unicorn PROVES love is a weakness.
Malificent warns Regina against casting it, telling Regina there are lines even THEY shouldn't cross, and that casting it will leave a hole in her heart that can never be filled.
Regina takes the curse and leaves, anyway. Before she does, she tells Malificent that, despite everything they just did, Malificent is her only friend.
Ooh, Regina has called a meeting of villains! Her father is there, too, but he's a decent guy. She promises the villains they will all be happy when she casts the curse, and asks for a lock of hair from those present who are the darkest.
The final ingredient is the heart of the thing Regina loves the most. She has it ready, in a box held by her father....the heart of her childhood prized steed. She tosses the heart in the potion, but it doesn't work. The other villains laugh at her. Regina turns one of them, a gnome, into stone in retaliation.
Later, in present day Storybrooke, the gnome is enjoying a new life as a decoration on Regina's lawn.
Regina's friend Sidney, editor of the local paper, the Storybrooke Mirror, comes over and announces he has been digging up dirt on Emma's past. He found out she bounced from foster home to foster home, got into some trouble as a kid (which is sealed), and likes to move around from place to place. She's been clean since her issues as a kid. Regina demands Sidney find more, or she will replace him on the paper.
Sidney, by the way, is the guy inside Regina's magic mirror in the Enchanted Forest.
At Granny's diner, Red gives Emma some hot chocolate with cinnamon....hot chocolate with cinnamon is an important plot point for the entire series. It's a "thing" with Emma and Henry. And, while Emma at first thinks Graham the sheriff sent the chocolate, it turns out it was Henry, who guessed Emma wanted the cinnamon, because he likes it, too.
Henry asks Emma to walk him to school. On the way, Henry notices Emma is about to take a bite of an apple. He asks her where she got it, and when she says Regina gave it to her, he slaps it out of her hand. "Don't eat that!" he cries, horrified.
Henry suggests they try to break the curse together, calling the effort Operation Cobra. He also shows Emma the pages he took out of the book, which show Charming holding baby Emma wrapped in the baby blanket with her name on it. It clearly says "Emma."
After Henry is off to school, Mary Margaret (Snow) approaches, and says it is good to see Henry smiling again. Emma is concerned about the fairy tale delusion. Snow mentions the stories give him hope, and tells Emma Henry thinks she is Snow White. Emma is taken aback by this, because Henry already told her Snow White is her mother.
Snow asks who Henry thinks Emma is, but Emma, stunned, stammers that she's not in the book. Gasp. Lie!
Emma makes a visit to Henry's therapist, Archie (Jiminy Cricket), and asks about the fairy tale thing. Archie sees no harm in it, as it helps Henry cope with his issues of being adopted. He tells Emma to not tell Henry he is crazy or mess up his fantasies. He even lets Emma look at Henry's file. Henry has been seeing Jiminy for much longer than he has had the storybook, which is telling in how Regina has been raising him.
Jiminy calls Regina and says Emma took the file, and asks why Regina wanted him to give it to her. Regina has no answer she chooses to give him.
At the boarding house, Emma is looking at the file Jiminy loaned her, when Graham shows up to arrest her for stealing it. Archie accused her of arguing with him about getting access to the file, and then coming back and taking it after he left the office.
Emma insists she's being framed and tells Graham he knows it. Graham says Regina is a hard, difficult lady, but doesn't believe she would go as far as framing someone.
Regina interrupts Henry's lesson at school and tells Henry Emma is a conwoman who wants to get information on them, to come between them. Henry basically calls bullshit on Regina. He shows up at the police station with Snow after school, telling Emma he is proud of her for gathering intel. Snow bails her out.
Emma is out for revenge now, and goes to Regina's house with a chainsaw. She uses it to chop down Regina's honeycrisp apple tree. When Regina demands to know what she is doing, Emma smiles and says, "You have no idea what I'm capable of."
Back in the Enchanted Forest, Regina's father tries to talk her out of casting the Dark Curse, but she still wants to do it.
Regina goes to Snow and Charming's dungeon to visit Rumplestiltskin. They talk about the Dark Curse, and Rumple tells her the Charming family's kid can break the curse, and that all curses can be broken. Regina asks what she did wrong in casting it. Before he will answer, Rumple has some demands:
- In the new land, he wants a comfortable life where he wants for nothing
- He wants respect in the new land
- He wants Regina to do whatever he asks of her in the new land as long as he says "Please."
She agrees to these things.
Rumple tells her she must sacrifice the heart of the thing she loves most to cast the curse. She retorts that the thing she loved most died because of Snow White. Rumple tells her casting the curse will not be easy, and asks her how far she is willing to go. Regina says, "As far as it takes."
Regina prances off to kill the thing she loves most and take its heart.
Meanwhile, back in present-day Storybrooke, Granny very apologetically evicts Emma from the boarding house, saying there is a city-wide "no felons" rule for public housing that she didn't know about. Regina just told her, and Emma's recent arrest for theft makes her ineligible to stay there.
Regina is in her yard, cleaning up her violated tree, when Graham walks up. He is not as convinced about Regina's innocence in framing Emma as he led Emma to believe. He asks her if she did it. All Regina says is that she wants Emma arrested again for tree abuse, but Graham says if Regina and Emma keep going after each other, Henry will be the collateral damage.
Regina SEEMS to consider this might be true.
Emma is walking past Granny's when Regina calls her with an offer of peace. When Emma shows up at Regina's mayoral office, Regina apologizes for acting badly toward her, but says she is concerned Emma wants to take Henry. Emma says she wants to do no such thing, and knows she isn't Henry's mother, but she DID give birth to him, and now that she's met him she is quite naturally concerned about him.
Regina SEEMS to understand.
Regina manipulates things so Henry shows up at the office just when Emma is saying Henry's "town full of fairy tale characters" belief is crazy. Henry hears this and flees the office.
Emma knows she was manipulated and tells Regina she has no soul. She asks Regina how she became that way.
Our answer comes in the form of an Enchanted Forest flashback. Regina and her father are talking about Regina's visit to Rumple, and the Evil Queen's dad quickly deduces that the heart of the thing she loves most is HIM.
He tries to talk her out of enacting the curse, but Regina says Snow's very existence mocks her, after "what Snow took from her," and she has to do something to be happy.
Regina's father explains how she can give up revenge and be happy with him as a family, and how she can find love again. Regina hugs him and tells him she just wants to be happy. Her father says she can be, and given time, they can find happiness together, but the choice is hers.
She agrees that she can be happy, just not in the Enchanted Forest. And, with that, she reaches into her father's chest and pulls out his heart.
*Interesting note here--Regina's father drops to the ground and dies immediately after Regina pulls out his heart. This is the only time this happens in the show. In other episodes, some coming up soon, it is established people can live without their hearts, and villains can use pilfered hearts to control their owners. The only way you can kill someone after taking their heart in this universe is to crush the heart to dust. But, it's early days for the show, so they are still establishing their mythology (which they will set about destroying in a few seasons).
Present day Storybrooke--Emma shows up at Snow's apartment and pays her back for the bail money. Snow invites her in to talk, and gives Emma some hot chocolate with CINNAMON! It seems Snow likes cinnamon on her chocolate, too. Family trait, though Emma doesn't know that yet. Snow tells Emma she bailed her out because she trusts her, and gets the feeling they know each other somehow. Dun-dun-DUNNNN!
Emma is leaving town, but Snow thinks she should stay. "Who will protect Henry if you won't?" she asks.
At Henry's therapy session, Henry is bummed, and says he doesn't believe Archie is Jiminy anymore. Emma barges in and tells Henry she doesn't think he's crazy, but that the curse is crazy. She's totally playing into it to get Henry to trust her again. She tells him it's a lot to ask anyone to believe, but who is she to say what is real and what isn't. When she said Henry was crazy, she was only telling Regina what Regina wanted to hear. She tells Henry they must both act as non-believers while working against Regina behind the scenes.
Henry thinks this is brilliant. Emma says the missing pages from the book, the ones with her in it, ARE dangerous, and Regina can't see them, so Emma throws them on the fire in Jiminy's office. Henry hugs her and says he knew she was there to help him. Emma assures him she is, and that no curse is going to stop that.
Meanwhile, back in the Enchanted Forest, Regina uses her father's heart to cast the Dark Curse. Afterward, she puts a flower on his grave, and we see his name was also Henry. She named her adopted son after her father.
Back in Storybrooke, Rumple walks into Regina's yard as she is tidying up the remnants of her tree. She brags about ridding the town of Emma, but Rumple just saw Emma and Henry walking down Main Street together. He offers to help her get rid of Emma, but Regina says she isn't making any deals with him anymore.
Rumple mentions how he "procured" Henry for Regina, and Regina turns on him and asks if he wanted Emma to come to town. She also wants to know WHERE Rumple got Henry and WHO Emma is.
Rumple says Regina knows EXACTLY who Emma is. He then plucks an apple from Regina's tree, takes a bite, and says he must be going, so for her to excuse him...."Please."
Next--Season 1, Episode 3--"Snow Falls"
*All images and gifs are Creative Commons.