"An Apple Red as Blood" is the 21st episode of Once Upon a Time.
Henry pleads with Emma to stay in Storybrooke and continue her quest as the savior of the fairytale dwellers, and Regina concocts a plan that could rid her of Emma forever. Meanwhile, back in the fairytale land that was, Snow White enlists the aid of her fellow fairytale cohorts to attack the Evil Queen and save Prince Charming.
Previously on Once Upon a Time.
Snow White and Prince Charming get married. ("Pilot") Regina casts a fireball. ("The Thing You Love Most") Emma tells Regina that she's going to take Henry from her. ("The Return") August tries to get Emma to believe in magic and tells her everyone needs her. ("The Stranger") Charming is kidnapped by King George's men. ("Heart of Darkness") George and Charming talk. ("7:15 A.M.") Snow tells the dwarves that George took Charming so she needs to save him. The dwarves offer to help get him back. ("Heart of Darkness") Emma asks Henry if he wants to come live with her, he confirms this, so she attempts to leave Storybrooke with him. ("The Stranger")
ONCE UPON A TIME
A mob comes a knocking.
A plate of four apples are seen lain out neatly upon a plate in the center of Regina's dinner table as the shot moves up the view the mayor herself, eating breakfast with an indifferent expression on her face. As she stabs her fork down into her plate to lift another mouthful of bacon, we are shown Henry sitting on the opposite end of the table, also eating. As he also lifts another mouthful of bacon with his fork, Regina thins her eyes at him, giving him an apparent smile, before the sound of the doorbell is heard. Confused, Regina tells Henry that she does not recall them expecting any company, wiping her mouth with a napkin before standing up and making her way over to the door to answer. When she does, she is met by Emma, addressing her as Sheriff Swan before asking her what she's doing there. Emma tells the mayor that Henry invited her, but Regina asks Emma if she really thinks she would allow her into her house for dinner after all of the threats that she made to her family. At this, Emma states that she didn't come for dinner, prompting Regina to ask what she actually did come for, to which Emma replies, "You." Regina, confused, turns around to see that Henry is no longer sitting at the dinner table, now worried, she turns back to the door to see that Emma is now accompanied by Mary Margaret, Archie, David, Ruby, Granny and Leroy before the blonde adds, "We all did." Regina steps backwards, turning back around to see that Henry is standing before her with an excessive amount of rope balancing on his shoulder. She mutters his name in confusion and fear.
"Rotten to the core."
Soon, Regina is slammed up against the trunk of her beloved apple tree, which has now relocated to the middle of the town, as Ruby and Archie proceed to forcefully tie her up. She begs for them to let her go, looking out at the mob before her, same as before but with the addition of the seven dwarfs and everyone holding flaming torches. Regina commands her own freedom but Ruby asks why they would let her go after everything she's done to all of them, whereas Archie apologizes to the queen, before stating that his conscience is clear. Leroy steps out of the crowd with an accusatory point to Regina, reminding her that she's not queen anymore, "sister". Granny then calls out that she is a traitor and needs to feel their pain. "You took our love and ripped it apart!" Mary Margaret exclaims, before David adds, "And now you're gonna pay!" Emma approaches Regina and reaches her arm upwards, plucking an apple from the mayor's tree. Regina stares at the blackened fruit in Emma's hand as the blonde proceeds to crush it, resulting in it reforming into a thick, black liquid. "Rotten to the core," Emma tells a shocked Regina, before disregarding the broken apple, throwing it to the floor. Tearfully, Regina tells the townspeople that she merely wanted to win, for once, but Emma steps forward and grabs Regina by the throat, telling her that she took away their happiness and now it's their turn to take away hers. The blonde loosens her grip on Regina's throat and steps backwards, being handed a sword by David. Regina calls out to Henry, begging him not to let them do this to her, however, Henry points out that she did this to herself, before stepping aside. Emma then lifts the sword and takes a swing at Regina's neck.
Regina awakes in her bed with a large gasp as her nightmare ends with her own execution. Once her breathing calms down, she gets out of bed and quickly makes her way to Henry's bedroom. She sees the shape of him under his covers and is comforted by this, she breathes a sigh of relief before leaving the room and closing the door behind her. As she does this, the shot moves to reveal that Henry's bed is empty and that things have been placed beneath his duvet to make it appear that he's in it.
Henry convinces Emma to stay in town so that she may break the curse and save her family.
On the road leaving Storybrooke, we see Emma and Henry in the former's car as it drives out of town. Henry looks in the back at the luggage and asks Emma if that's all her stuff, to which she replies that it's all she needs. The kid is confused as to why they're leaving now and Emma tells him that she wants to get him away from "all of this" and away from "her", meaning Regina. Henry orders his mother to stop the car, telling her that she cannot leave Storybrooke as she has to break the curse, but Emma snaps that she doesn't, stating that she has to help him. He tries to tell her that she's a hero, meaning that she can't run and that she has to help everybody, but she argues that she's doing what's best for him, although she knows it's hard for him to see that, reminding him that that's what he wanted when he brought her to Storybrooke. Henry points out that he brought her to town so that she could break the curse, exclaiming that she's the only one that can bring back the happy endings. They come up to a road sign that reads "Leaving Storybrooke" and Henry quickly grabs the wheel, causing the car to swerve off road and skid round, braking on the grass. Emma asks Henry what he's doing, saying that he could have gotten them killed, but the kid begs Emma not to make him leave, saying that everything's there, him, her parents, her family - "Please, Emma, they need you! Your family needs you!"
Charming is prepared to be decapitated.
In the fairytale land that was, Prince Charming is pushed down onto his knees by a couple of knights before King George, who asks the prince if he really thought he'd let him get away, saying that it appears Charming's had quite the adventure since then. Charming looks up at the king and tells him that whatever he's going to do to him, he should get on with it. At this, George gives a nod to his knights and they pull Charming to his feet, the king tells his prisoner that he took him in as his son and he betrayed him, before going on to say that he would have given him everything, the crown, the kingdom, and all he had to do was marry King Midas' daughter, but he decided to throw it all away for "true love". Charming retorts that losing his life for love is a sacrifice he is happy to make, to which George replies, "As you wish." The knights walk Charming over to the guillotine in the center of the court as George moves out of the way in order to get a good view. As King George takes a seat at his throne, Charming's head is placed into the hole in the guillotine, it is secured before the shot moves up to reveal the sharp blade that is ready to fall and decapitate the prince.
The Evil Queen crashes the execution.
"Release the blade," George orders the executioner, and the latter pulls a cord on the guillotine causing the blade to drop, however, as it does so, the metal turns into water which pours over Charming's head. Both George and Charming appear confused and the former demands to know what is the meaning of this, standing up, before his court is entered by Queen Regina, who is accompanied by two of her black knights. She apologizes to George for dropping in on him as the king and queen approach each other. King George asks Regina what it is she wants and the queen states that she wants the man he pretends is his son, meaning Charming, before going on to say that she's prepared to pay him any riches Midas offered him in return for him. George nods to the executioner who removes Charming from the guillotine, before the king asks Regina what she plans to do with him. She promises that he shall suffer, far more than some swift and simple beheading, to which he wonders how. "By using him to destroy his one true love," Regina replies, "By using him to bring an end to Snow White." At hearing this, Charming appears worried.
Regina discovers her tree is dying.
Back in Storybrooke, Regina is staring out of her window and into her back garden, before making her way outside. Once she does so, she approaches her prized apple tree, proceeding to pluck a piece of fruit from it and see that it's blackened and rotten, just like every other apple on the tree. She looks at it, worried, before clutching the apple tight with anger.
Regina is next seen approaching Mr. Gold Pawnbroker & Antiquities Dealer before entering the shop to talk to the man himself. Gold greets her as "your majesty" before asking to which he owes the pleasure, and the mayor places her rotten apple on the counter, stating that her tree is dying and asking why. Gold suggests that perhaps it's her fertilizer, giving a sly smile, and Regina is insulted that he finds this so funny, saying that what she thinks is that it's a sign of the curse weakening because of Emma. "But do you care? No. You're content to sit back and do... whatever it is you're doing. While all my hard work burns!" she exclaims. He tells her that that's not all and that she may as well get everything off her chest, and she replies that she doesn't know what he's talking about as the pawnbroker steps out from behind the counter. "Henry," Gold says, before stating that Miss Swan wants him. Regina tells Gold that Emma will have that boy over her dead body as Gold goes on to say that the curse was meant to take away Snow White and Prince Charming's happiness and that perhaps Regina giving up Henry is just the price she has to pay to make sure the curse goes unbroken. Regina says that she thinks she'd rather just get rid of Emma, to which Gold replies that she's going to have to be quite creative as they both know the repercussions of killing Miss Swan - "The curse would be broken," they say simultaneously.
Regina requests to strike a new deal with Gold.
Regina approaches Gold, telling him that that's because he deigned it that way and requesting him to undo it. Gold smirks, telling her that even if he wanted to, he couldn't as magic is in short supply around there and dwindling by the minute. This causes Regina to realize that Gold wants the curse broken, before asking why. He tells her that it's not something he cares to discuss but she tells him not to bother and to shove his reasons as she wants to strike a new deal. Gold appears to be listening and Regina expands upon her previous statement, saying that she wants a deal where she can get rid of Emma without shattering the curse. Unfortunately for her, Gold says, a negotiation requires two interested parties and he's already planning a trip. He walks away from her and back to his till before she turns around and says that she'll give him anything. "Oh," he says, "You no longer have anything I want, dearie. But I will give you a piece of advice free of charge, I'd start planning a trip of your own. Because once people have waken up and remember who you are and what you did to them, well... they are gonna be looking for blood." Gold spins a globe on his counter and Regina stares at him, not knowing what to do.
The school bell is heard ringing on the playground as kids all run out of class and the shot moves along the line of bikes parked up against the wall. A sign is seen on the back of one reading "PAIGE" and a hand is seen attaching a card containing a white rabbit to said sign. The hand is revealed to belong to Regina who looks up, smiling wickedly before walking away in discretion. The shot moves in on the white rabbit card.
Mary Margaret scolds Emma for abducting Henry.
The door to Mary Margaret's apartment is seen opening as Emma walks in through it and Mary Margaret, who's behind the counter making coffee, says that she thought she left. Emma removes her bag and places it on the floor, attempting to talk to Mary Margaret who interrupts her, telling her that she couldn't tell for sure because she didn't bother to say goodbye. "Do you remember when I left? When I ran? What you said to me? You said we have to stick together. That we're like... family," the teacher reminds her. Emma nods, apologizing and saying that she shouldn't have left, and Mary Margaret agrees, exclaiming that she shouldn't have and asking why, after everything, she did. The blonde states that she doesn't want to be sheriff, she doesn't want people relying on her and she doesn't want "this". Mary Margaret asks about Henry and Emma tells her roommate that she took him with her. Mary Margaret pauses, folding her arms and telling Emma that she abducted him, to which the blonde replies with a "maybe". The teacher has a little trouble understanding why Emma claims not to want people relying on her, yet she took her son, sarcastically stating that that sounds like a stable home for him. She asks what the hell is wrong with her and Emma replies that she wants what's best for Henry, but Mary Margaret points out that running isn't what's best for him, it's what's best for Emma, telling the blonde that she's reverting to the person she was before she got to Storybrooke, and she thought she had changed. Emma sadly tells her roommate that she thought wrong and Mary Margaret says that, regardless, she has to do what's right for Henry now. "What's that?" Emma wonders. At this, Mary Margaret snaps, "I don't know, you're his mother. That's your job. So you figure it out!"
An attack is planned on King George's castle.
We see the view through a telescope of a castle wall in the fairytale land that was as Snow White, who's holding the telescope to her right eye, states that if they want to get Prince Charming back, they're going to have to get over said wall, and that there's a soldier on every parapet. Granny, who's next to Snow, says that if they're going to do that, they'll need air support. Grumpy approaches them, the other six dwarfs not far behind, and tells them that he knows just the person who can help them who owes him a favor. Snow smiles at this before a rustling is heard in some nearby bushes, at this, Snow, Granny and the dwarfs aim their weapons at the noise, but are relieved to discover it's simply Red, who tells them not to shoot as it's only her. "Uh, Red. You've got someone on your chin," Grumpy tells her, causing the girl to wipe the scrap of human away from her mouth, after presumably attacking knights in her wolf form. Snow asks Red what she was able to find out and the girl tells her friend that her prince is still alive, to which Snow wonders why Red does not look happy. Red goes on to say that she heard word that the queen is there. Snow sighs, saying that Regina knew she'd come for Charming, but Granny exclaims that it's a trap. Snow agrees, but says that it matters not as she cannot stop now, before turning around to her followers and saying that if any of them want to turn back now, she'd understand completely. "NO!" they all yell at the same time, making Snow smile before telling them that there's no time to waste. The group begins to move forward but Snow and Red hang behind for a second. The latter asks why the queen is doing this and Snow replies, "I destroyed her happiness... and now she wants to destroy mine."
Regina reveals her special brand of punishment for Snow.
In the dungeons of the Dark Palace, we see Prince Charming sitting glumly in his cell with shackles binding his wrists. Queen Regina is seen approaching with armed knights either side of her, however, when she reaches the prince's cell, she tells the knights to leave the two of them alone, and they oblige. She opens to cell door with magic and walks inside, causing Charming to ask what it is she wants. Regina merely looks the prince up and down, touching his chest with her hand and saying that she supposes she sees the allure. Charming angrily bats her hand away and Regina wonders if he will be quite so incorruptible after his precious Snow is gone. Charming requests that, whatever Snow has done to the queen, she let her live and take his life instead. Regina asks who said anything about taking her life, telling Charming that she has a far more satisfying brand of punishment for Snow. She smiles, walking out of the cell and retrieving something from the pouch in her hand, she lifts the object up so that Prince Charming can see that it's a poisonous apple, one she plans on feeding Snow. He quickly attempts the run out of his cell but Regina quickly shuts the cell door via magic, preventing him and smiling to herself as she leaves the dungeon with a cackle.
Regina looks out at her dying tree.
Regina is staring out of the window of her house in Storybrooke to see the dying apple tree in her garden, seeming disappointed. Jefferson angrily walks into the office and Regina turns calmly to talk to him. He is holding the white rabbit card in his hand and she walks toward him, taking this to mean that he got her message. He asks her how he could have missed it, saying that she knows he watches her. Regina walks passed Jefferson, saying that it must be so painful with his daughter Paige being oh so near. He corrects her, stating that his daughter's name is Grace and that Regina should know that as she changed it. He turns to her as she begins pouring herself a drink and asks her what she wants, to which she replies that she wants his help. "And what makes you think I won't kill you after everything you've done?" he wonders. Regina tells him that he doesn't have it in him and that if he did, he would have done it twenty-eight years ago when she brought him there because he knows, if she's dead, he will never get back to his daughter. She offers him a drink as she tells him that she has a way for them to both get what they want, however, Jefferson merely stares at her and drops the white rabbit card into the scotch. She looks at the glass before walking over to her desk, placing the scotch upon it before proceeding to take out a hat box which she carries over to a table on the other side of the room. Jefferson approaches it, recognizing it as his hat, opening the box to look at the object within.
Jefferson is presented with his old hat.
He steps back and Regina tells him that she wants him to use it again, but he assures her that he can't make it work, no one can, not there, not without magic. Regina says that he's in luck because she happens to have some, not a lot, but hopefully enough for one last journey. Jefferson asks her where. "Back to our land," she tells him, "Where there's a solution to a very delicate problem I have: how to get rid of the one person that could break my curse." He realizes that she's talking about Emma and asks her why he shouldn't let her do exactly that, let the madness end and go home. Regina smirks, asking him if he really wants to return to his hovel, selling fungus at the fair, when he could just stay there in the mansion she gave him. Jefferson remains silent and Regina tells him that his problem is the same as hers - it's family. They both want their children back and they both can get them, if they work together. He asks her why he should trust her now, and she tells him he shouldn't, but that it's the only offer he's got. She promises that after they're through, she'll wake up his dear Grace so she remembers who he is. "No!" he exclaims, much to Regina's confusion, he goes on to say that remembering is the worst curse ass he'll him two lives in her head, like him, and he wants to forget. He wants her to write them a new story, a fresh start, in Storybrooke. Regina smiles, saying, "Well, my dear Jefferson, then that's exactly what you'll have." She walks past him, but soon turns back, assuring him that the deal will only be made effective after they take care of Miss Swan.
The signal is sent.
We see the seven dwarfs standing in wait is the shot moves across them one by one, moving by Granny, until it lands on Snow. We then see the nine of them staring out across the water at King George's castle. A wolf's howl is heard from afar which induces a smile within Snow who utters, "Thank you, Red." She then tells the dwarfs to "do it" and one of them is seen setting fire to Happy's arrow as he aims it with his bow, it is then fired into the air, heading for the castle, and Snow tells the group to move out. Snow begins walking forward and is followed by Granny and the dwarfs, the latter of which all put their hoods up as Grumpy states that he misses Stealthy.
In the sky, we see the Blue Fairy hovering with a couple other fairies doing the same behind her. She witnesses the flaming arrow fly across the waters leading to the castle. Taking this as a signal, she exclaims, "We're a go. Fairies! Attack!" At this, she flies down in the direction of the castle and is followed by an entire army of other fairies, who all do the same, heading to the palace in a swarm. The swarm flap their wings hastily as they prepare for attack.
Take aim... FIRE!
Snow White, Granny and the seven dwarfs are aligned at the foot of the castle wall, each of them holding a crossbow in their hands and aiming it upwards. They fire their arrows in canon, all of which are attached to ropes, and they latch onto the top of the wall. Granny nods to Snow who nods back before proceeding to climb the wall using one of the ropes. The dwarfs all go on to do this, also. Snow jumps across the wall and lands atop of it, but a knight quickly comes running out to attack her. Snow grabs the knife in her holster and throws it, stabbing the knight in the stomach. As the dwarfs continue to climb, Snow knees the knight in the face, knocking him out, before another knight approaches her from behind. He draws his sword on her but she draws her own, proceeding to cross blades with him. She pushes him backwards and jumps on his back, wrapping one arm around his neck and bashing his helmet with the bottom of her sword handle, knocking him out also. Another knight runs at Snow with his sword drawn, shocking her, however, before she can react or he can reach her, he is stabbed in the back and collapses. Behind him, we see Grumpy, who has just planted his axe into the knight and feeling good about it. Snow looks at the axe in the soldier's back with shock before looking up to Grumpy and smiling with relief. He then pulls the axe from out of the knight's back and Snow runs past him, giving him a commendable pat on the shoulder, before entering the castle, she is quickly followed by Grumpy and all six other dwarfs, who one by one jump over the wall.
Snow witnesses the power of fairy dust.
Snow walks out into the courtyard on the other side of the wall and quickly attacks a guard, screaming, causing alert among the people and the other knights to draw their swords. Snow slides across the floor and through one of their legs, striking him with her sword as he does so, as the dwarfs carry out their own attacks. A knight runs for the miners and Grumpy matches his sword with his axe, continuing to battle. Snow is sword fighting with another knight and soon cuts him down in determination. She looks out at her friends and sees Doc knocking a knight out with his pickaxe, Sneezy running at a guard and jumping at his face, knocking him into a hay wagon, Happy battling with a knight as Grumpy, Bashful and Dopey all push a cart into a group of soldiers, Happy then pushes the knight into the ground and cries out in victory. Snow is approached from behind by a soldier and quickly stands up, readying her sword. She crosses blades with him but soon whacks him around the face with the handle of her sword, knocking him out. With the knights all defeated and the courtyard clear, Snow stands in the center as the seven dwarfs all run to her, she smiles at them and nods before they all turn to move forward, however, the are surprised to see eight more knights running towards them, all with swords. They then turn around again to see the three knights that had been knocked out by the carts all stand up and ready themselves to attack, advancing on the group. The eight heroes seem taken aback, but luckily, the buzzing of wings are heard overhead as the army of fairies fly into the courtyard, all led by Blue. She shouts orders at her followers before throwing fairy dust at three of the knights, knocking them out in an explosion of sparkles. More fairies continue to fly over to the other group of knights and throw more fairy dust at them, causing more brightly colored explosions before all of the knights collapse to the floor. Snow leaps over the unconscious knights and runs on, she is closely followed by Grumpy, Happy, Doc, Dopey, Bashful, Sleepy and Sneezy.
August reveals his fate to Henry.
Henry is seen running through the halls of Granny's Bed & Breakfast in Storybrooke before knocking on the door of one of the rooms. August, who is on the other side of the door, tells the kid to hang on, before soon answering the door. Henry immediately walks into the room, telling August that he needs his help, exclaiming that Emma wants to leave. August becomes confused, asking Henry to slow down, but Henry says that August was going to make her believe and that he has to do so. The writer apologizes, saying that he failed, but Henry doesn't understand. August explains that he tried to show her, saying that first it was his legs, but now... he tells Henry to take a look at the unvarnished truth as he rolls down his sleeve to reveal that his entire arm is wooden. Henry is shocked, but soon smiles, taking this evidence as proof that he was right and that the curse is real. August nods, telling Henry that he's a smart kid, and Henry happily exclaims that August's Pinocchio. The writer sarcastically asks what gave it away before lowering his arm and rolling his sleeve back down. Confused, Henry asks August why he's turning back into wood, saying that, per the end of his story, he should be real. "I'm changing back because... I haven't exactly been a good boy," August explains before dropping to his knees, "And, well... if the curse doesn't break, this doesn't stop."
It's all down to the kid.
Henry says that they merely have to show Emma that he's turning back into the puppet he was, and then she will have to believe, and when she does, she can break the curse, however, August tells the kid that he already tried that and that Emma doesn't want to see, so she doesn't, and there's nothing more he can do. August tells Henry that he's getting tired and that it's hard to ride and hard to walk and that pretty soon, it's going to become hard to breathe. Henry takes this to mean they have to do something fast, but August says that there's nothing to do, and with what little time he has left, he wants to spend it with his father. Henry realizes that August's father is Marco, and August tells Henry again that he's a smart kid, before standing up. He opens the door to the room and Henry asks if everyone's giving up, August looks away from him for a moment, stating that he doesn't have a choice, apologizing to the kid and telling him that he's out of "Operation Cobra", and now it's up to him. Henry leaves the room and hangs his head, sadly, as August closes the door behind him.
Emma and Archie discuss Henry's well-being.
Over at Granny's Diner, Emma is sitting at a table with Archie Hopper as the latter tells her that he's sorry but she doesn't have any case for custody. "Even after everything she's done?" Emma asks, but Archie points that she can't prove any of it. He then asks her a question, wondering who's really getting hurt with this war raging on. Emma realizes that he's referring to Henry but asks if it isn't a good thing that he's spending more time with her as she's his mother. Archie states that yes, she is, but so is Regina, and that the court will come in and look at him and see how he's been since Emma's come into his life. The blonde says that he's been happier, but Archie says that, objectively, he's skipped school, he's stolen a credit card, he's run off, he's endangered himself, repeatedly, and so in the eyes of the law, it doesn't look so good. "What about in your eyes? What do you think?" Emma wonders, and Archie reminds her that a while ago, he told her to engage him in his fantasy life, and perhaps he was wrong because Henry's only retreated further into it. Emma asks if Archie thinks he's better off with Regina, but Archie points out that he never said that. Emma asks the shrink if he thinks that Regina would ever hurt Henry, to which he answers negatively, stating that she would hurt everyone else, but not him. "Look, right or wrong, her actions have all been defensive. I'm not judging, but... in many ways, your arrival has woken a sleeping dragon," he tells her. Emma requests that he tell her honestly if Henry has been better off since she got there, but Archie says that it's not a matter of 'better off', it's a matter of 'this war has to end' if the two of them want to be in his life, and the two of them have to figure out the best way to do that.
Regina offers Snow parley.
Snow is seen running through the halls of the dungeon in King George's castle in the fairytale land that was. She comes across a cell at the end of the hall and sees Prince Charming inside it, exclaiming his name. He sees her as she happily runs towards him, she grabs the keys hanging on the wall and puts her lantern down, proceeding to unlock the cell door. It soon opens and she walks inside, however, she is shocked to discover that nothing stands before her but a magic mirror with Charming's image inside it. She is deeply saddened and Charming explains that the queen took him to her palace. Snow tears up and says, "But I'm rescuing you," at which Charming smiles. He places the palm of his hand up against the mirror and Snow does the same, touching his, asking if this is always going to be their life, taking turns finding each other. The prince tells her that they'll be together and he knows it, requesting that she have faith. The two of them stare at each other and smile before Charming's image turns to purple smoke and Regina is seen standing on the other side of the mirror, cackling away. She tells Snow that she just had to stop her as she had no interest in cleaning tongue marks off her mirror. Snow demands that the queen let Charming go, stating that her fight is with her. Regina says that these are her thoughts exactly before asking Snow if she's ever heard of a parley, explaining that they break off from all the messy fighting and have a little talk. Just the two of them. She tells Snow to come unarmed and the princess asks her stepmother where she is to meet her, to which Regina replies, "Where it all began."
Snow rids herself of weapons.
Snow places her sword on a table and tells her friends to stop trying to talk her out of the parley, saying that the castle is secure as she removes more of her weapons. Grumpy advises her to keep the little knife between her tuffets but Snow tells him that she promised to come alone and unarmed as it's a parley and there are rules. Red tells her friend that she's too noble for her own good but Snow, who places yet another knife on the table, assures her that she's not and that enough of them have risked their lives because of something that's between the queen and her and she will not let anyone else get hurt. "Except you," Red points out, Snow thanks her for her concern, but promises her that this ends today. She tries to walk towards the door but her path is blocked by the seven dwarfs, all of which are concerned for her safety. Grumpy tells her that they can't let her go but she informs him that she's not asking. "Thank you for your support," she says, "I love each and every one of you, but this is something I have to do... alone." Snow walks past the dwarfs and heads for the door, Red states that she doesn't like this as she does not trust that queen.
Regina is forced to sacrifice the last bit of magic she has left.
In Storybrooke, Regina is walking down the stairway concealed beneath her father's tomb followed by Jefferson, who she tells to watch his step. As they enter her vault, he asks her what this place is and she states that it's where she's kept the last bit of her magic as the only magic in this world is in the things she brought with her. Jefferson places his hat on the floor and Regina looks at it, confused. He says that it's not spinning, which means that it's not working, and Regina realizes that it needs to absorb the magic that's there, before going on to say that she has some things left and walking over to her shelves. She retrieves a small box and pours a few trinkets into the hat, before putting it back, however, when she looks at the hat, it's still stationary. Jefferson approaches it, picking it up and inspecting it, he tells Regina that it's not enough and that they need something that still works. At this, Regina takes out a ring from her pocket, it is glowing with magic and within it, Daniel's face is visible. Jefferson asks who it is and Regina merely replies that it's someone long gone, he states that whatever or whoever it is, it still has magical properties. He tells her to give him the ring so that he can see what he can do with it. Regina is hesitant until Jefferson tells her that she must give it to him if she wants her son back and wants her revenge. Regina points to the floor and Jefferson sets the hat down in this direction, she proceeds to stare sadly at the ring as she approaches the hat, until she finally drops it in.
The mayor's after an apple.
The hat begins to slowly spin as a purple haze is formed around it, however, it continues to stay slow and the purple haze fails to develop. Regina asks what's wrong and why a portal is not opening and Jefferson tells her that her magic isn't enough and they can't go anywhere. She tells him that he's failed but he suggests that maybe he hasn't, explaining that there's enough magic to touch the other side, just not to get them there, it might be enough to reach through and retrieve something. Regina kneels down to face Jefferson, wondering if she could bring something back. He asks her if there's an object that could help her as maybe he could open the portal for her, reach through and grab it, it would have to be something small, though, something you can take with your hand. He asks her if there's anything like that that can help her. She tells him that she believes there is and Jefferson lifts the hat, instructing her to direct him to the time and place where this object exists. Regina asks him how and he tells her to think about it, to guide the hat. Regina takes the hat in her hand and closes her eyes, after a small while, she smiles and places the hat down. She and Jefferson stand up and step backward as the hat begins to spin, the purple haze reforming. Regina smiles as it spins faster and Jefferson tells her that it appears to be working, before asking what it is they're after. Regina turns to Jefferson before telling him, "An apple."
Snow meets Regina "where it all began".
We are shown the stables where Daniel's death took place and Queen Regina is seen inside it, walking around slowly and looking saddened by it. "Hello, Regina," says Snow's voice, and Regina turns around to see the princess has entered the stable. Snow puts her hands up, revealing herself to be weaponless, and Regina hastily tells her to follow her, before walking past Snow and out of the stables. The princess follows on from the queen.
As Snow and Regina are walking up a hill approaching a tombstone, the latter asks Snow if she remembers when she saved her life by getting her off of a runaway horse. Snow replies that of course she does, before going on to say that everything looks the same. Regina tells her not quite, arriving at the stone in the ground and stating that it's new. Snow wonders what it is and Regina tells her that it's a grave - Daniel's grave. "Daniel? I thought-" Snow starts, confused. "He ran away?" Regina asks, before revealing that she told Snow that to spare her feelings out of kindness, but Daniel died because of her. Taken aback, Snow tells Regina, very sincerely, that she's sorry, and Regina says that she's sorry too, but nothing can change what happened, what Snow did, she promised to keep Regina's secret, she promised, but she lied. Snow tries to defend herself by saying that she was very young and Regina's mother manipulated her. "She ripped his heart out! Because of you!" Regina exclaims, "Because you couldn't listen to me!" Snow then reminds her stepmother that she took her father, asking if they haven't both suffered enough. Regina bluntly answers negatively, diving her hand into the pouch she's carrying.
Regina gives Snow an ultimatum.
Snow asks her what she's retrieving and Regina pulls out an apple, stating that it's just a morsel. She tells Snow that apples stand for health and wisdom, but the princess asks why she gets the feeling that that one might kill her. Regina assures Snow that it won't kill her, but that what it will do is far worse - her body will be her tomb and she'll be in there with nothing but dreams formed of her own regrets. Snow wonders if the queen is going to force her to eat it, but Regina merely laughs, saying that of course she won't as it wouldn't work anyway, the choice is hers, it must be taken willingly. Snow asks why she would do that and Regina states that if she refuses the apple, her prince - her Charming - will be killed. The queen reminds her stepdaughter that the choice is hers, holding the apple in front of the latter's face. "I take that apple and he lives? That's the deal you want to make?" Snow asks, teary-eyed, and Regina replies that she'd like to make it with all her heart. At this, Snow takes the apple from Regina, offering her congratulations and telling her she's won, before biting down on the forbidden fruit. Regina smiles as Snow swallows the mouthful of apple.
Snow tastes the forbidden fruit.
In his cell in the Dark Palace, Prince Charming suddenly stirs. Awakening and sitting up, seemingly in pain.
Snow stares at Regina, having just swallowed, seeming faint.
Charming continues to sit up inside his cell, still in pain, clutching his chest.
Regina stares happily at Snow who soon collapses onto the ground, the apple having done its work.
The prince clutches his chest some more, his heart in pain.
Snow lands unconscious on the ground, her arm extended and the bitten apple in her hand as Regina stands over her.
Snow's fate triggers something within Charming.
"Snow..." Charming utters, running to the bars of his cell and grasping them. "What have you done to her?!" he demands.
Regina smiles to herself, having finally gotten her revenge.
"What have you done?!" Charming yells furiously, before loudly calling out for Snow.
The apple rolls out of Snow's hand and down the hill that her and Regina are atop of. It continues to roll and eventually falls down a small portal in the ground and disappears.
The apple turns up at the other end of the portal and flies up through the hat in Regina's vault in Storybrooke, being caught by Jefferson. He asks the mayor if this is what she wanted and Regina answers positively, taking the apple from Jefferson and admiring it. Jefferson brings up the matter of their deal, asking about his daughter, Grace, but Regina tells him that the deal's not done until she's solved the next conundrum: "How to get the savior to taste my forbidden fruit."
In her kitchen, Regina is seen chopping the apple up into slices and placing these slices into a bowl. He next see her boiling them in a saucepan of water on the stove and giving them a stir. Then we see her crack an egg and whisking it in another bowl, before sieving in some flour. She next sprinkles some more flour down on her kitchen counter before laying her pastry on it, she gives it multiple punches before rolling it out with a rolling pin. Regina is next seen having wrapped the apples in the pastry and placing her turnover into the oven.
Emma comes to tell Regina she's leaving Storybrooke.
Emma is seen approaching the mayor's house, sadly and slowly. Regina is still in her kitchen, waiting for the apple turnover to finish baking, when she hears the doorbell ring. She removes her apron and goes to answer the door, being met by Emma, who tells Regina that they need to talk. The mayor replies that she imagines they do, stating that she was just about to call her and inviting her inside. As Emma enters the mayor's house, Regina tells the blonde to do what she's so skilled at and make herself at home. "I believe you came to see me," Regina says after approaching Emma, and the blonde says that this isn't easy, but whatever is between them needs to end. Regina takes this as something they can finally agree on and Emma tells the mayor that she wants to make a deal with her about Henry. Regina smiles, telling Emma that she's not making any deals with her, but Emma says she's leaving town. Regina is surprised and the blonde explains that what they're doing is a problem and she's going to go, but she has conditions. "I still get to see Henry," she tells her, "I get to visit, spend time, whatever." Regina says that if Emma gets to see him, she's still in his life, but Emma tells her that in any deal, both parties are a little unhappy and that any scenario where she's not in Henry's life doesn't exist anymore and there's nothing anyone can do about that. The oven timer is heard going off and Regina smiles, telling Emma that she's right before requesting that she follow her for a moment. Emma obliges, being led into the kitchen.
"I do hope you like apples."
Regina is soon seen opening up her oven and retrieving her now baked apple turnover, placing it on the counter. She asks Emma what she's proposing and the blonde replies that she doesn't know and that they can just figure it out as they go. "But he's my son?" Regina makes sure, and Emma answers positively, after a pause. Emma begins to leave the room but Regina stops her, retrieving a Tupperware box from out of a cupboard and placing the apple turnover inside, suggesting that it could be a little something for Emma for the road. The blonde thanks her and Regina states that if they're going to start being in each others lives, they need to start being cordial. She hands Emma the Tupperware box containing the bake good and tells her it's one of her famous turnovers, an old recipe, but delicious. Emma looks at the box before soon accepting it, thanking Regina, who smiles and says, "I do hope you like apples." Emma leaves with the forbidden turnover and Regina smiles victoriously.
If you don't wake up, Snow, I will cut you!
Red Riding Hood walks into the stables followed by Granny, she tells her that Snow was there as she can smell it and Granny calls out the princess' name. "She's over here!" they hear Grumpy call from afar, before running towards the sound of his voice. Grumpy is seen kneeling beside Snow's unconscious body with the other six dwarfs behind him as Red and Granny run to them. He stands up and tells them that he found her lying there like this and Red requests Granny's dagger. Granny hands her granddaughter the weapon and Red places the blade beneath Snow's nose. Sleepy suggests that maybe she's just sleeping, however, Red reveals that Snow has no breath, due to the fact that she's not producing condensation on the dagger's blade. All of them look saddened as Red states that she's gone, and the dwarfs begin to remove their hats in condolence. "She sacrificed herself... for true love," Red says, before Grumpy adds, "She sacrificed herself for all of us."
"It would appear sacrifice is overrated."
Over in the Dark Palace, Queen Regina is sitting at her dressing table and staring into her Magic Mirror, watching Red, Granny and the seven dwarfs crowded around Snow's body. "It would appear sacrifice is overrated," she says to herself, smiling and cackling wickedly. Speaking of which, she then waves her hand and her view within the mirror changes to that of Prince Charming grasping the bars of his cell door in her dungeon. He continuously calls out for Snow, demanding to know what Regina has done to her, but the Evil Queen merely stares at this and laughs, as he asks again what she has done. She continues to smile, avenged and finally victorious, as the shot moves opposite her and around the back of the mirror.
Mr. Gold reminds Regina that all magic comes with a price.
Regina walks into Mr. Gold Pawnbroker & Antiquities Dealer and tells Gold that she hopes he bought travel insurance. The pawnbroker, who's behind the counter, looks up at Regina, and back down to the papers he's working on, as she goes on to say that no one's going anywhere. He asks her why that is as she approaches him, telling him that she found a solution to her Emma Swan problem. "Oh, yes?" Gold inquires, to which she adds an old, reliable solution. Realizing what this means, Gold places down his pen and looks at the mayor, stating that she used a sleeping curse. Regina smiles cockily before Mr. Gold asks how she managed to obtain one there in Storybrooke. She leans into the counter and tells him, "By sacrificing the last bit of magic I had left." "So you made magic from magic?" he asks, "Well, I'm sure I don't have to remind you that all magic comes with a price." At this, Regina leans into him a little further and tells him that he can pay it, because now, the curse is going to be stronger than ever, and he will be right there where he belongs. He walks casually out from behind the counter, which confuses Regina, who asks him if he understands that she won, so whatever plan he had, whatever reason he wanted the curse broken, too bad, because it's never going to happen. Gold says nothing, merely stares at her, and Regina spins his globe before walking out of the pawnshop.
Emma tells Henry that she's leaving Storybrooke.
The poison apple turnover is seen laying out on a plate on the counter of Mary Margaret's apartment. Emma walks down the stairs, a piece of clothing in her hand ready to be placed in her luggage, when there's a knock at the door. The blonde answers it and Henry walks in, asking her if everything's okay as she sounded strange over the walkie. She closes the door and discards the piece of clothing, telling her son that she's okay but that the previous day, when she tried to take him away, he was right, she can't take him out of Storybrooke, but she can't stay either. Henry becomes confused and Emma tells him that she has to go, the kid asks if this means leave Storybrooke and she confirms it, explaining that she spoke to Regina and they made a deal, she's still going to be able to see him, just not everyday. Henry exclaims that she can't trust her but Emma argues that she has to as it's her only choice and what's best for him, pointing out that every time she fights Regina, someone else gets hurt. "No, no, no! You're just scared. This happens to all the heroes, it's just the low moment before you fight back," he assures her.
"And... you can't believe in curses."
At this, Emma kneels down and grabs Henry by the arms, tearfully telling him that this isn't a story, this is reality, and things have to change. "You can't skip school, you can't run away, and... you can't believe in curses." Henry is surprised that she really doesn't believe and Emma doesn't have an answer, merely more tears before telling him that this is how it has to be right now. She explains to her son that she made a deal and she used her superpower, Regina is telling the truth and is going to take really good care of him. The kid says that she may, but that she wants Emma dead, at which the blonde begs him to stop. He exclaims that she's the only one that can stop Regina, but Emma stands up and asks him what there is to stop her from doing, pointing out that all she's ever done is fight for him and it just got out of hand. She apologizes but Henry shakes his head before tightly hugging his biological mother. As he does this, he looks up and notices the apple turnover on the counter, he asks her where she got it, separating the hug and walking towards the bake good. Emma explains that Regina gave it to her but Henry inspects it further and realizes that it contains apple, telling Emma not to eat it as it's poison. Emma is confused and Henry explains that the deal was all a trick to get her to eat the turnover, to get rid of the savior.
Henry collapses in front of Emma's very eyes.
The blonde asks why Regina would do that when she just told her she was going to go and Henry tells Emma that as long as she's around, she's a threat to the curse. She warns Henry that he's got to stop thinking like this but he exclaims that it's the truth and that her leaving isn't going to change that. Emma tells him that she'll prove it to him, making a grab for the apple turnover, however, Henry makes an interception and grabs it first, running to the other side of the room. Emma looks at him and asks him what he's doing, and he stands there, looking at her, turnover in hand, "I'm sorry it had to come to this. You may not believe in the curse, or in me, but I believe in you," and with this, Henry lifts the turnover to his mouth and takes a bite. Emma watches him as he continues to chew, asking him if he'd like some ice cream with that, but once Henry swallows, he collapses, unconscious. Emma calls out his name but he appears unresponsive. Henry continues to lie there with the poison apple turnover in his hand as Emma watches over him, repeatedly calling out his name in worry.
- The title card features Snow White leading the seven dwarfs through the forest.
- This marks the sixth writing credit for Jane Espenson and the fifth for David H. Goodman. It also marks the second directing credit for Milan Cheylov.
The episode held steady from the previous outing to a 3.0/8 among 18-49s with 8.95 million viewers tuning in, once again winning its timeslot for the fourth week in a row, although The Amazing Race had more viewers that same hour.
In Canada, the episode finished in fourteenth place with an estimated 1.601 million viewers, an increase from the 1.407 million of the previous episode.
- In a review from Entertainment Weekly, writer Hilary Busis noted that this installment didn't have as much substance as the previous episodes, but was good enough to fill in the holes and compared the Enchanted Forest rescue scene to that of The Avengers.
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.
- ↑ "'Once Upon a Time' recap: Of Motherhood and Apple Turnovers" by Hilary Busis, from Entertainment Weekly (May 6, 2012)