Recap by Samantha Lee - @SamsJag
Last week Once Upon a Time returned with an action packed episode that saw Rumple and the Queens of Darkness talking themselves into Storybrooke. This week in “Unforgiven” Rumple continues to guide Ursula and Cruella from behind the scenes as they work on resurrecting Maleficent. We also discover the dark secret that Snow and Charming have been hiding about Emma.
The clock changes to 2:38am. Mary Margaret awakes to find David is missing. She goes and takes Neal out of his cradle. Suddenly, Maleficent, Ursula and Cruella are then in the apartment. Just as quickly Neal is gone from her arms and appears in Maleficent's grasp. Mary Margaret begs, “Please don't hurt my family!” Maleficent replies sweetly, “When I'm finished you won't have a family left to hurt.”
Then Mary Margaret awakes again. It's still 2:38 am. It was just a dream. David is not in bed. She finds him awake, alone and drinking. He is worried about Ursula and Cruella being in town. She tells him about her nightmare and that Maleficent was in her dream. They are worried that the other two will reveal their dark secret about what they did to Maleficent in the past. They must get them out of town.
We are left to wonder what terrible deed the Charmings did so long ago in the Enchanted Forest. What did they do to Maleficent?
Back in the Enchanted Forest, Snow and Charming return home from their honeymoon only to find everyone in the castle under a sleeping curse. They call out for Regina, but it's Maleficent, Ursula and Cruella who step out of the shadows. They want to make a deal with the Charmings.
In present day Storybrooke, Mary Margaret and David have coffee at Granny's while Cruella and Ursula stand at the counter waiting for Granny to wait on them or even acknowledge them. Will Scarlet walks in and Granny hands him “the usual” which is two coffees to go. Cruella comments that if Granny still “wolfed out” she would turn her into a coat for her collection. Regina and Henry arrive. Ursula and Cruella suggest that Regina could help them get some service by ripping out Granny's heart. Regina sends Henry to her office and then tells them they'd better not bring up her dark past in front of Henry again or she'll kick them out of town.
David and Mary Margaret ask Regina about getting rid of Cruella and Ursula, but she says she wants to give them a chance to redeem themselves. David says they must be watched and Regina tells him that's a job for the Sheriff's Department, not the Mayor. Emma and Hook arrive for lunch. Hook and Ursula exchange a meaningful look as she passes by. David rushes to Emma and says he's sure they are up to something and he wants to follow them right now. Emma whines about missing lunch, but she goes with David anyway.
Cruella and Ursula enter the Pawn Shop. Belle is behind the counter. She threatens to turn them into toads if they try anything against her. They congratulate her on defeating the Dark One. Belle wants to know if they've seen Rumple and how he's doing. They tell her he's looking terrible and back to being his old cowardly self. As they distract her with their stories about Rumple, Ursula sprouts a tentacle and reaches from around the counter into the backroom where she grabs a box off a table. The box has a design in the shape of a pair of horns on it. Cruella and Ursula leave the shop, but first Cruella sends a text message on her Dalmatian covered phone.
Under the clock tower, beneath the library Rumple waits in a cavern. The Dark One may carry an old flip phone, but it has great reception. He receives the text message, “We got it.” “It won't be long now, Maleficent my dear,” he says. Then he holds out his hand and magic swirls around the ground and a pile of ashes gathers at his feet. Rumple crouches down and runs his fingers through Maleficent's remains.
This, by the way is pretty creepy when you think about it.
Rumple is up to something. He's calm and collected and very dangerous when he's in this frame of mind.
In the Mayor's Office, Henry is studying the Storybook. He tells Regina he was a little worried about how she acted around the Queens of Darkness. She tells him she doesn't like to be reminded of her Evil past because it makes her doubt that she can get a happy ending. Henry tells her to keep positive. Regina notices that some pages in the book are different. Henry explains that these pages were added by August. Regina thinks that maybe Pinocchio can tell them something about the Storybook. So the plan is to question Pinocchio.
We can hope that Regina continues to lean on Henry. He's not a little boy anymore and it seems like his personal connection to the Storybook will continue to make him important in finding the Author.
Emma and David are sitting in a patrol car watching the Pawn Shop. Emma can't understand why David is so suspicious of the Evil Duo. She asks about their history in the Enchanted Forest, but he refuses to go into detail. After Cruella and Ursula leave the shop, they follow them. David tells Emma to call Belle and ask her what they wanted.
Then we flashback to the post-honeymoon meeting between the Charmings and the Queens of Darkness. Maleficent explains that they know how Regina plans to carry out her wedding day threat. She tells them about the terrible Dark Curse that Regina stole from her and how it can be used to hurt everyone in the Enchanted Forest, not just the Charmings. The Queens of Darkness want to work with the Charmings to stop Regina. They explain there is a magical tree called the Tree of Wisdom that will answer any question, but it can only be used by two of the most valiant heroes. This is why they need to work together. Snow and Charming are reluctant to team up with these evil allies, but they feel they have no choice if they want to defeat the greater evil, Regina.
On the road outside Storybrooke, Emma hears from Belle that a box is missing from the shop. David puts on the lights and pulls over Cruella's car. He knocks on her window prompting one of the episodes great Cruella quotes, “Is there a problem Sheriff Chiseled Chin?” While Ursula and Cruella wait with Emma, David searches the car. The inside of the car is covered in red leather and red, long, bright red fur. He finds a hidden compartment containing the missing box. Inside the box is a small trinket. It's a glass purple-pink orb held in the grasp of an ornate talon, like that of a crow or a dragon. But David tells Emma he can't find anything and they let the duo go. Emma is puzzled and decides to go back to the police station and check surveillance video. She senses that something isn't right with David. Maybe her superpower is working, but her heart is telling her that he wouldn't lie to her. She can't sort out the mixed messages. Then we see that David has taken the stolen trinket.
David returns home to show Mary Margaret the glass orb. He's worried that Cruella and Ursula are planning on using it to resurrect Maleficent. Determined to protect their secret, they decide that they must destroy Maleficent's remains before the others can find them. They will retrieve her ashes and dump them in the harbor.
In the past, Team Charmings and Team Queens of Darkness are trekking to the Tree of Wisdom. They are stopped by guards along the way. Maleficent goes all dragon on the guards charring them to ashes. Snow and Charming are horrified as they see the results of teaming up with Evil.
In present day, Emma tries to download video footage on a computer which appears to be a Compac Presario 150 circa 1997. She would be better off using her smart phone. Anyway, Hook shows up with the grilled cheese sandwich and onion rings lunch she was denied earlier. She is grateful and curious. She asks Hook to tell her how he knows Ursula. Hook tries to brush it off, “She's just one of the many sea monsters that crossed my path in my pirating days.” Emma does not like this answer and continues to press him, but Hook refuses to say more. Now Emma is getting frustrated. Surely she is reminded of David's efforts to evade the similar questions earlier in the day. Hook leaves on that awkward note.
Outside Emma finds David and Mary Margaret loading hiking equipment into David's truck. She shows them the security footage (on her smart phone!). There is the proof that Cruella and Ursula did steal the box from the Pawn Shop. Now they have a reason to bring them in for questioning. But, David and Mary Margaret give her some made up story that they are going on a hike and that they should back off Cruella and Ursula and give them the benefit of the doubt before jumping to conclusions. Once again, Emma's super power is telling her this is a load of crap, but her heart over rides her instinct. She doesn't want to believe her parents would lie to her, so she doesn’t trust herself. Mary Margaret and David justify the lying. They will do anything to keep Emma from learning the truth about their terrible secret.
Over in the Mayor's office Regina is losing her patience with Pinocchio who does not remember anything about the Storybook. She's called Emma to talk to him since she was close to August, the adult that Pinocchio used to be. Finally, Regina snaps and threatens the boy. Marco jumps to his defense and tells Regina that this is a fool's quest because she doesn't deserve a happy ending after destroying everyone else's.
In the Enchanted Forest, Charming and Snow have deserted the Queens of Darkness and find the Tree of Wisdom on their own. The giant twisted tree is surrounded by a rock garden. At one side is a pair of boulders marked with runes. On the top of each is a gold handprint. Snow and Charming each place a hand on a boulder. “How can we stop the Evil Queen's Curse?” asks Snow. Golden light forms on the boulders and moves up the path and then up the tree, but then the light turns read and they are flung away. They look up and Team Evil is standing over them.
Under Storybrooke, David and Mary Margaret have reached the cavern containing Maleficent's ashes. They don't seem to question the convenience that they are already gathered into the neat pile left by Rumple earlier. As they rush forward, Cruella and Ursula step out of the shadows. Ursula whips out some tentacles and knocks them both out and they fall to the ground. Seems like Ursula has some pretty useful talents after all.
Across town, Regina finds Marco working in his garage. He tries to send her away. But she tells him she's trying to apologize for how she treated Pinocchio earlier. She tells Marco that she is really trying to be better and that's why she came to apologize. Marco sees she is sincere and shows her that he has kept August's motorcycle, just in case Pinocchio wanted it someday. He gives Regina August's bags off the bike. He hopes that there is something inside that will help her and Henry with their quest.
In the cavern under town, Rumple has joined the others. “I trust they don't suspect my hand in all this,” he asks the queens. “They had no reason to,” Ursula assures him. “And Belle?” he asks. “She didn't even mention your name, Darling. I'd say she's moved on,” purrs Cruella. Rumple is hurt, but he focuses on the task at hand. He gives Cruella a knife and leaves.
Back in the Past, Maleficent wants to figure out why the Tree of Wisdom would not answer the Charmings' question. Maleficent thinks there must have been some sort of interference. Then, using some sort of special sense, maybe coming from her abundant cleavage, she figures out that Snow is pregnant. Even Snow did not know yet! At first Charming and Snow are surprised and pleased as any first time parents would be. But they want to know why this is a problem. Maleficent explains that their child is the product of True Love, and that gives it great potential. The problem is there are two paths their child may take. He or she may be the truest of all heroes or the most evil of all villains. While Ursula wants to give the Charmings a parting tentacle slap, Maleficent feels their future holds enough pain as it is. So the joyful news of impending parenthood is short lived as Snow and Charming are left to worry about what their child will become.
In the cavern, Cruella uses the knife to slash David and Mary Margaret's palms. She lets the blood drip onto Maleficent's ashes. The Charmings awaken. She tells them the theft from the Pawn Shop was all a ruse to get them into the cavern. She and Ursula needed the blood of the people who wronged Maleficent the most to restore her. As their blood soaks into the ashes, magic swirls around. First a wraith figure rises, then a dragon and with a final puff of black smoke Maleficent stands before them.
Mary Margaret immediately tries to reason with Maleficent. At first is worried that Maleficent wants to kill them. Then she is worried that Maleficent wants to reveal their secret. But, Maleficent says she wants to cause them as much pain for as long as possible. The Queens of Darkness leave on that note. David and Mary Margaret decided it's finally time to tell Emma the truth.
Hook arrives at the Sheriff's office to see Emma. She wants the truth from him. No more lies. He admits that he does remember what happened, but he's not ready to tell her the details. He says he did worse than break Ursula's heart. Emma tells him she knows he's a changed man and she has faith in him. She tells him how earlier she suspected that her parents were lying to her about going on a hike. “Were they lying?” he asks. “Of course not,” she says, “my parents would never lie to me.” At this moment we see that David and Mary Margaret are about to enter the room and they are hearing everything Emma is saying. Emma says she knows she has a tendency to expect the worst of people because during her childhood she was often let down by others. Hook tells her he does not intend to let her down. Emma says she will let Hook tell her about his past when he's ready. In the meantime she will do what her parents always do which is choose to see the best in him. As Emma leans in for a kiss, Mary Margaret makes a noise letting Emma know they are watching. After an awkward greeting, David says they have bad news. Cruella and Ursula resurrected Maleficent and if she's in town then no one is safe. Emma wonders why the three witches are waging war against them. Snow says, “Because we're heroes and they're villains.” Once again the Charmings are holding back the truth from Emma.
Back in the Enchanted Forest Snow wakes in the middle of the night. Maleficent is there. She tells Snow that she is pregnant too. She wants Snow's help to defeat Regina for all their sakes and the sake of her child too. But Snow refuses to work with her. She's afraid that teaming up with evil will affect her child and turn it from good to evil.
In Storybrooke, Regina meets Mary Margaret at the park. Mary Margaret tells her that Maleficent is back and there will be trouble for everyone. Regina says she knew “Fish Sticks and Pound Puppy” were up to no good. Mary Margaret asks Regina to go under cover and find out what they are up to. Regina wants to know why Mary Margaret is so sure the Queens of Darkness want to destroy them. Mary Margaret tells Regina that she needs to ask her to keep a secret from Emma. She tells her that Emma was born with the potential for great goodness and great evil. The Charmings want to protect Emma from knowing all the terrible things they had to do in the Past to protect her. They are afraid that if Emma loses faith in them she will turn to Darkness.
As Mary Margaret explains all this to Regina we see a montage of scenes from around Storybrooke. Henry empties August's bag and finds a single page with a picture of a door and a note that says “Author?” Emma and Hook stroll down the street arm in arm looking happy as can be. Rumple stands under a streetlight across from the Pawn Shop. He watches Belle as she fixes some charms in the window. He is happy to see her. There is almost some hope in his eyes, but suddenly his eyes darken. Then we see Will step into his view. Belle turns to Will and smiles and then they kiss! Rumple staggers back out of the light into the shadows and literally back into darkness. Finally, we see the Queens of Darkness on the hilltop overlooking the town. Maleficent conjures the globe trinket that David took earlier. She takes an ornate piece of metal off her necklace and attaches it to the globe. Once it's assembled she turns it over and shakes it. It's a baby's rattle! Tears well in her eyes.
“What exactly did you do to Maleficent?” Regina asks.
“Because of us, Maleficent lost her child,” whispers Mary Margaret.
The Charmings' secrets are revealed.
There is the secret about Emma and her potential for darkness. This confirms what Rumple said last week that it was Emma that the Chernabog was chasing.
There are all the “bad things” they did to protect Emma from knowing this about herself.
Finally, somehow all their actions lead to Maleficent losing her child. The question is: Did the child die or was the child lost? Can the child be found again? Chances are the child will be found and maybe we've met her/him already.