Even without a lot of Regina in this week’s episode of Once Upon a Time, we took a long look at the mothers of the show and how they put their children first. It’s a theme well tread in television shows and while it helped bridge the three timelines (fairytale land that was, fairytale land now and Storybrooke), it was a bit ham-fisted and hackneyed.
In fairytale land that was, we learn King George cursed Snow White – yup, she gets cursed a lot on this show – to never have children. Of course we know that’s not going to last since, well… Emma. The fun in the story is figuring out how she gets cured.
She and Prince Charming later meet up with his mother, who is quickly injured quite badly in an attack from King George’s men. Lancelot, a fallen solider of the Knight’s Round Table, who initially is helping King George, tags along and assists them.
The only way to help Charming’s mother is to head to the Lady of the Lake, who’s lake’s mystical healing powers are all that can save her from the poison in the arrow that struck her.
When they get there, they see the lake is drained. (Likely because I’m pretty sure Charming killed the Lady last season when she impersonated Snow White and tried to kill him.) Lancelot finds a tiny sip of the lake left in a shell and Charming puts it in a snakeskin (I think that’s what it was) for his mother to drink.
Little does he know that Snow White has shared the results of her own curse with her. We know of course that Charming’s mother will not drink and Snow White will. But after Charming’s mother does indeed drink from the snakeskin, I was unsure how that reveal would play itself out.
Charming’s mother suggests witnessing Charming and Snow White getting married since she won’t be alive to see it. Queue Lancelot serving as minister and the two of them getting married. Snow White drinks from a glass of water according to a tradition Lancelot tells them about. Right there was the lake water and she’s cured. Charming’s mother gave up on her own life to ensure Charming and Snow White got the chance to bring one into this world.
Snow White only realizes it later when an old superstition of Charming and his mother, that shows a medallion leaning one way or another to tell the sex of the baby, starts working on her.
This fairytale land flashback story helps parallel the story taking place in fairytale land now, but still seems like filler content. The stakes aren’t high since we can pretty much figure out how the story will play out. (Was there any doubt how Snow White would get cured?)
In current fairytale land, we see Lancelot speaking on behalf of Snow White, and traveling with her, Emma, Aurora and Mulan to the old castle to find a portal back to Storybrooke.
After Emma stupidly uses her gun to stop Aurora from hurting her mother, Snow White has to come to her own daughter’s rescue against an Ogre in one of the show’s better use of CGI. Emma begins to see the love Snow White has for her, finally allowing her to let go of some of the undeserved rage she’s felt this season towards a mother she believes abandoned her.
They eventually arrive at the castle and are almost killed by Lancelot until Snow White realizes he’s been dead all along—Cora, who they met in the dungeon at the end of last week’s episode and swore she was good now, had been impersonating him and she wanted the portal to get to Storybrooke to exact revenge on Regina.
Emma instead destroys it in a fire, but we see Cora scooping up some magical ashes later.
Finally, back in Storybrooke, we see Henry try and convince Jefferson to go see his daughter, while he gets into Regina’s crypt to find his own portal to fairytale land.
Charming, saving Henry’s life in the crypt, realizes they need to work together to find that portal. Only they don’t know the danger coming, as Prince George finally arrives in Storybrooke at the end of the episode.
Where’s Prince George been this whole time if he hasn’t been in Storybrooke? Hopefully we’ll find out next week… when Hook arrives. (Sorry, the previews look amazing. And Peter Pan is one of my favorite stories.)
- Love the little shout-out to Operation Cobra from last year when Henry suggests calling the mission to bring Emma and Snow White Home… Operation Scorpion.
- There are an AWFUL lot of villains in this year’s first crop of episodes: Regina, Rumple, Cora, Prince George and now Hook coming next week? Either some of them are on their way out, or perhaps some will turn good. (Regina seems like a likely candidate.) Otherwise, it will be very hard for the show to service them all properly.
- Even though Lancelot is dead, I really hope we get his backstory on how he fell from the Round Table. The legend of King Arthur is one of my favorite stories and I would love to see Once Upon a Time’s take on it.
- peaking of—while he says the Grail is a legend during the wedding ceremony, I can’t help but wonder/hope it actually does exist.