After last week’s episode I was wondering how the writers were going to handle the dual storylines of Storybrooke vs. Fairtytale Land. So far FTL stories have served as back-stories. The FTL side of the season premier wasn’t a backstory, but instead showed events unfolding at the same time as what was happening in Storybrooke. Would FTL continue on that path, or would we still get the back-story side of things? If this latest episode is any gauge, we’ll get both, especially considering that’s where Snow and Emma are. We Are Both continues to explore Regina’s back-story and what she was like pre-Evil Queen. Both Regina and Mr. Gold had knowledge of their previous lives, but the others in town didn’t. Even though Gold and Regina were the only ones to know the full story about FTL, more things will come to light about their past and that’s where I think it’ll get really interesting.
As far as Storybrooke goes, now that everyone knows who they truly are, they are going to have to reconcile their Storybrooke selves with their FTL selves. Most characters shared certain personality traits with their FTL self, although some seemed to lack the clarity and really didn’t have a sense of self. This was most prevalent in David/James/Charming. I made a comment last week how David was wimpy compared to Charming and I was thankful that he knows who he is and will actually have some balls now, a point which is addressed in this latest episode. Things aren’t all kittens and rainbows however…..
Fairytale Land (Past)
Regina’s mother is forcing her to marry the king…who is also young Snow’s father. This portion of the Regina’s backstory was told toward the end of last season in the episode that dealt with Cora (Regina’s mom) killing Daniel (Regina’s true love). All because young Snow told Cora the secret that Regina asked her to keep. So now Regina is desperate to escape, but when she tries to run away on horseback, the trees grab her and pull her from her horse. Cora shows up and tells her that she will marry the king and in doing so will become powerful. Regina tells her that she just wants to be free. Cora responds with “power is freedom”.
Regina has a conversation with her father about mommy dearest and he tells her that she wasn’t always like this. Her dependence on magic has corrupted her and it’s because someone gave her a book, which in turn gave her the magic. Regina wants to know who it was but her father doesn’t know. He tells Regina that Cora won’t even speak his name.
Later that night while Cora is sleeping, Regina finds and takes the book of spells that her mother is so dependent on. She sees a name written on it, and summons Rumpelstiltskin. He appears and tells Regina that she can be just as, if not more, powerful than Cora. Rumpelstiltskin also tells Regina that she’s grown up and tells her that he knew he’d see her again. Now if that’s any indication, we’ll be getting into Rump’s backstory that seems to play closer to the actual tale that what it has so far. Rumpelstiltskin gives Regina the tools to do what needs to be done, but she’s not sure she wants to go that far. She’s still nice and sweet and innocent and doesn’t want to hurt anyone, she just wants the freedom to live her life.
After getting dressed for her wedding, Cora enters and tells her how beautiful she looks. She give a speech about how she’ll rule the kingdom and whatnot, and then notices a large present. Cora inquires about it and Regina tells her it’s a wedding gift. Cora pulls the cover off to reveal a mirror. Regina makes her move to push Cora into the mirror, but Cora is quick on the draw and uses magic to detail Regina. With her back to the mirror, Cora seems to think that she’s indestructible, but that’s not the case. Regina sees Rumpelstiltskin in the mirror encouraging her. Regina manages to break free from the binds, and pushes her mother into the mirror, which actually serves as a portal….but the destination is unknown. Once Cora is through the mirror, the glass shatters.
Afterwards, Regina gives the book back to Rumpelstiltskin and tells him that she doesn’t want to do magic, because she loved it too much.
In Storybrooke, the townsfolk are trying to adjust to life now that they know who they truly are. Leroy/Grumpy and the rest of the dwarves line up at the city’s border to test a theory. Since no one could leave town when the curse was active, their thinking is that now that it’s broken, they should be able to leave town. Leroy paints an orange line on the road and they draw straws to see who gets to be the guinea pig. Sneezy/Mr. Clark is the lucky one that draws the short straw. When he crosses the line, something definitely happens.
Back at the town square, the residents are trying to reconnect with their loved ones from FTL. Ruby is coordinating things and taking charge, just like Red would do. Marco is desperately looking for Pinocchio, who turned completely to wood before the curse was broken. We see him laying on his bed, but he manages to blink his eyes. Weird.
Charming shows up in the town square and immediately gets bombarded. Everyone is looking to him to find out what to do, but his only concern at the moment is finding Snow and Emma. Leroy runs up yelling “horrible news” and tells them that if they cross the city limits, their cursed selves are their only selves and they lose all memory of their FTL personalities and that Sneezy now only knows himself as Mr. Clark. Charming tells everyone to meet at the town hall in two hours and he’ll tell them the plan. First, he needs to come up with a plan.
Regina is holed up in her house trying to work her magic with no luck. Charming shows up with the destroyed hat looking for answers, but she doesn’t give him any. He rubs it in her face about her lack of magic and tells her there’s a line of people waiting for a piece of her hide. Regina reluctantly leaves the sanctuary of her home and heads to Mr. Gold’s shop looking for something. Mr. Gold shows up and she demands that he give her the book and that she needs to get her son back. Mr. Gold plays dumb and asks her to leave….please. However, his pleases don’t have any effect on her anymore, and fact which pleases her and shocks him. He tells her that helping her get her magic back doesn’t really appeal to him, but she threatens him with telling the town that the Enchanted Forest still exists. That’s all the motivation he needs and he produces the book. After telling her when she was younger that he didn’t see the resemblance between her and Cora, he tells her that he sees it now. Ouch.
Charming practices what he’s going to say to the town in front of a mirror at Snow’s place, but gets frustrated and stops. Henry encourages him to keep going, but instead Charming pulls the destroyed hat out of a bag. Henry asks to see it and makes for his book. He shows a picture of the Mad Hatter to Charming, who takes the hat with him to try to find more answers. Henry wants to go, but Charming leaves him there.
Mr. Gold is packing a bag with a bunch a maps clearing intent on leaving town. Charming storms in and wants some answers to finding Snow and Emma. Gold tells him that portal jumping is out of his purview. Not to be dissuaded, Charming tells him that he needs something to find someone. When Gold asks who, Charming says “not telling.” Gold then asks if he has something of the person’s and Charming says yes, but doesn’t say what. Knowing that he’s clearly not going to get any answers, Gold gives Charming a potion to pour on the item and tells him after that, just follow it. David makes mention of the city limits and when Gold asks what happens, he tells Gold that their cursed selves become their only selves. This news throws Gold for a loop, but he keeps a handle on his reaction.
Meanwhile, Regina sits in her courtyard contemplating the book. She finally opens in and inhales the magic within. When that happens, the apples on her tree turn from black to red. Clearly pleased with herself, she leaves and is on a mission to get her son back.
Outside the shop, Charming dumps the contents of the bottle on the hat and watches as it flies away. He follows but it doesn’t go far when it lands on an overturned car. He hears someone calling for help from the inside and clears debris from the door. Jefferson tumbles out of the car and thanks him. Charming is set on getting some answers so he starts to ask questions.
At the town hall everyone is waiting for Charming to show up. Henry tries to call him, but Charming isn’t answering. Regina storms in full of magic bravado and immediately pulls a power play. Henry agrees to go with her if she agrees to stop hurting everyone. She does and the two walk out of the town hall. Now everyone is really freaked out and no one knows where Charming is.
Well, he’s at Granny’s talking to Jefferson about the hat. He asks Jefferson if he can get it to work, but Jefferson says he can’t. Charming wants to know where Snow and Emma went and Jefferson tells him they were sent to the Enchanted Forest. Shocked that it still exists, Charming tells him that they need to find another way. Jefferson tells him there is no other way and flips the table over and makes a run for it. Charming gives chase, but is stopped by Ruby who tells him that he missed the meeting and that Regina has her powers back. She also tells him that since he didn’t show, the townsfolk are freaking out and packing up to leave town. Ruby gets in his face and tells him that he has to do something because the town is falling apart.
Regina gets Henry home and is quite pleased with herself. He runs upstairs to his room and immediately tries to make his way out the window. However, he’s stopped when the limbs from the tree grab him. Regina tells him to not fight it or he’ll get splinters. Inside he tells her that she’s keeping him prisoner and asks how long she plans to keep him like this. She tells him that she loves him and she just wants what’s best. He calls her out on the carpet for making people think he was crazy when he knew what was in the book was true. She tells him that he can know all the secrets now and that he can have whatever he wants and that he can make people love him. He tells her no, that he doesn’t want to be like her. Oh snap!
Charming pulls up in his truck, blocking everyone’s car from crossing over the city limit line. He tells them what will happen if they cross the line and that they will lose the ones they love. He tells them that even though one life may be better than the other, everyone needs each side of themself to be complete. He cites David’s faults and how those have made him as Charming stronger. He tells them that he will protect them from Regina and he’ll do everything he can to get Snow and Emma back. He encourages them to try to resume their normal life and make the town whole again. Slowly, they all accept what he says and make their way back home.
Back at Regina’s, she seems to be contemplating what Henry said to her. Charming barrels in with sword in hand ready to fight her for Henry. She tells him that there’s no need and calls Henry down. She tells Henry that he is going to stay with Charming and that she never really learned how to love. She tells him that she’s going to try to make amends with him and sends him to gather his things. Charming tells her to prove it by answering a question and asks if the Enchanted Forest still exists. She hesitates, but says that it does but truly doesn’t know how to get back. Seeing the look of determination on his face, she comments that she’s just launched him on another heroic mission. He agrees but tells her that he will take care of Henry in the meantime.
Meanwhile, life starts to get back to normal. Stores open back up and people get back to work. Leroy and the gang walk out of shop all carrying pick-axes determined to get back to work to find fairy dust. They cross paths with ex-Sneezy who looks confused at what they’re doing. Leroy tells him to not worry and that he’s lost something, but they will make sure he gets it back.
At the diner, Marco sits looking forlorn at not having found his son. Henry walks passed him and whispers something in Marco’s ear that makes his face light up. Marco rushes to Granny’s and goes into August’s room, which is where he was when he turned back into Pinocchio, only to find that he’s gone. All that remains is his hat. Mr. Gold stands at the orange line marking the city limits contemplating this new turn of events while Regina contemplates burning the book. Instead she tucks it away for future use no doubt. Henry and Charming sit at the diner and Henry’s worried that they won’t be able to get Emma and Snow back. Charming tells him that the Enchanted Forest is out there and he can feel that Snow and Emma are too.
Fairytale Land (Present)
Emma and Snow are both restrained and being led by Mulan and Aurora. Mulan perceives them as a threat since they’re arrival also brought the wraith and killed Phillip. They’re taken to what I imagine is the “safe haven” Mulan spoke of. Snow tries to make a break for it with Emma, but Mulan takes her down, knocking her unconscious. The two are thrown into “the pit”. While Emma tends to Snow, she realizes that someone else is down there. A woman comes out of the darkness, claiming to be a friend, but once she steps into the light, we see that it’s actually Cora.
Whew….that was a long one. There’s a lot of little things going on with a lot of different characters, but everything is tied together. Gold not having the same power over Regina is going to cause him trouble and he’s not going to like that one bit. I like that we’re still getting the flashbacks, but I’m also curious how this present day FTL is going to play out as well. It’s a long season so anything is possible. I love that David has turned into Charming and is taking charge and leading the town too. I hated seeing wimpy David, but always loved strong Charming. My queestion is: what’s going to happen when everyone is in the same place again?
[Photo credit: ABC]Tags: Emilie Clarke, Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Josh Dallas, Lana Parilla, Meghan Ory, Once Upon a Time, Once Upon a Time recap, Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 2, Once Upon a Time We Are Both, Robert Carlyle, Sebastian Stan