"The Doctor" is the 27th episode of Once Upon a Time.
While Regina continues to try and stop using her magic in an attempt to win back Henry's affections, she begins seeing what she believes is a ghost from her past. Meanwhile, when Mary Margaret and Emma discover a lone survivor from an ogre massacre, Emma begins to question whether or not he's telling the truth. And in the fairytale land that was, Regina finds herself failing at learning the dark arts from a dark master because something from her past is preventing her from using her magic for evil.
Previously on Once Upon a Time...
Regina shows Snow Daniel's grave and says he died because of her, telling her how it happened. ("An Apple Red as Blood") A young Snow sees Regina and Daniel kissing. Cora later rips Daniel's heart out. ("The Stable Boy") Regina tells Henry he'll be staying with Charming, insisting she wants to redeem herself. ("We Are Both") Charming teaches Henry how to sword fight. ("Lady of the Lake") Rumplestiltskin offers to teach Regina magic. She asks if she'll become like her mother, so he tells her that's up to her. ("We Are Both") Regina stares at her mother's spell book. ("We Are Both") Mulan tells Snow that they're not safe as Cora is still out there. ("Lady of the Lake") Captain Hook watches the safe haven as he's approached by an ally, Cora. ("The Crocodile")
A terrifying discovery...
In the fairytale land that is, Emma, Snow, Mulan and Aurora are arriving back at their safe haven. Aurora complains that she does not think she'll be able to lie. Snow assures the princess that it isn't really a lie because Lancelot did die an honorable death and Cora did escape. She tells her to leave the particulars to them as they don't want to start unnecessary panic. As Aurora explains it isn't unnecessary, Mulan stops the girls, sensing something is wrong. She points out that the guard tower is empty, explaining they always have someone guarding the entrance. She draws her sword and progresses carefully into the camp, telling the others, who are scared and confused, to stay close. As they enter the camp, they find utter destruction. A massacre has occurred. Everyone once living at the haven is dead amongst remains of destroyed buildings. The four women are horrified. A while later, the girls are examining the area. Mulan is confused and states they were protected in the haven, questioning how the ogres found them. Snow notices something very interesting about the corpses, making her realize ogres didn't kill the men. Cora did, as their hearts have been ripped out. Snow tells Mulan they have to stop her, but Mulan explains it's too late as she has killed them all. Snow then says they must stop her from doing this again. Emma suddenly notices some movement coming from underneath some of the corpses. Aurora helps the man out, who is revealed to be Killian Jones. He is acting terrified, so Snow assures him he's safe. Killian then thanks the women, panting heavily with "fear".
ONCE UPON A TIME
Charming and Whale have a chat.
In Storybrooke, outside Granny's Diner, Charming just finishes talking to a man when Dr. Whale approaches him from behind, saying they need to talk. Charming turns around and when he sees the man talking to him is Whale, he punches him in the face. "What the hell was that for?" Whale asks, confused. "Sleeping with my wife" Charming answers. Confused, Whale asks if he's talking about Kathryn, but the prince tells him he's talking about Snow. Whale defends himself by saying he was cursed, but Charming admits to knowing that. He then asks the doctor what he wants, so Whale asks if it's true he's trying to build a portal back to his land. Charming claims to have no secrets from the town and confesses that he is doing exactly that. Whale reminds the prince that the land is gone as it was destroyed by the curse. "Apparently not" Charming explains. Whale asks if he's having any luck, but Charming states they haven't yet, but they're working on it. Whale asks if all the lands still exist. After a slight pause, Charming responds with "possibly". Whale points out that the queen lied to them again and asks Charming if he's sure. Charming leans close to Whale and tells him to "remember who we're talking about".
Regina visits Archie for therapy.
Archie Hopper opens his office door and is shocked to see Regina on the other side of it. He asks if she's come to see him, so she explains she's been trying to keep her promise to Henry, but it's been difficult. Dr. Hopper asks if that's to not use magic, so she tells him it's been two days. Hopper commends this and then asks her into his office. A short while into the therapy session, Regina explains that magic is the way she has always got everything. Archie points out that it appears to be the way she's also lost everything. He then tells Regina this is her chance to start over and earn Henry. With that, the office door suddenly opens and Dr. Whale bursts in. Archie tells him he's being highly inappropriate, but he just ignores this. Whale tells Regina to send him back, bemusing Regina. He sternly demands the queen send him back to his brother. Regina suggests checking the "missing board", but Whale points out that Regina's curse only brought the living. She sarcastically apologizes for his loss and then explains she can't send anyone anywhere. Whale asks if she "can't or won't". Archie stands up from his chair and insists Whale leave. Whale looks at him, so Archie yells "go!". Whale finally obliges and Archie closes the door behind him. He apologizes to Regina for the incident and then sits back down. "What you said isn't entirely true, is it?" Archie awkwardly asks. Regina asks what he's talking about, so he explains she said the curse only brought the living. He then points out that her father's grave is here. "I don't care about Whale or his brother, I brought who I wanted" Regina states. Archie asks if she brought anyone else. Regina seems reluctant to answer, so he tells her that if she wants to get help, she'll have to trust him, as stopping magic is a lot harder than starting.
Regina has trouble learning magic.
In the fairytale land that was, Regina and Rumplestiltskin are stood in the middle of the enchanted forest beside a distressed unicorn that keeps jumping onto its hind legs. Rumple tells Regina to show him what she's learned and immobilize the creature. Regina casts a spell that freezes the unicorn as it stands on its back two legs. He giggles cheerfully and Regina excitedly claims she did it. "Excellent work, my apprentice. Now, there's just one last tiny, tiny, tiny little detail...take it's heart" Rumple says. Disgusted, Regina asks if he means like her mother did to Daniel. Rumple states that she'll already know how it's done. Regina hesitantly moves closer to the animal and readies her hand. Rumple states that if she does it gently and right, no harm will befall it...unless she wills it. Regina prepares herself to take the animal's heart, but when she looks into its innocent eyes, she draws her hand away, stating she can't because it's innocent. "Nothing...is innocent" Rumple growls. Rumple moves towards the animal and rips out it's heart, which is now glowing. Regina looks away in disgust. The freezing spell disappears and the unicorn falls to the floor, weak. Rumple explains the creature belongs to him, because when you take a heart, it becomes strong and enchanted. He points out that you aren't hurting the animal, but controlling it. He then throws Regina the heart and tells her to show him what she can do with that power and kill it. Regina is shocked, so Rumple says she's seen it done, so she can do it herself now. "Show me you can take the next step in your training...crush it". Regina begins to crush the heart and it starts to crack, but when the unicorn cries out in pain, she stops and shakes her head, very upset. Disappointed, Rumple explains he had such high hopes. Regina tells him she didn't sign up to kill unicorns. "Magic is power! Until you can take power, you're not learning anything. Do you want me to teach you or not?" Rumple huffs. Regina instantly says "yes", so Rumple asks her one simple question as she is in need of the answer... "What's holding you back?" A while later, Regina enters a room with a glass coffin in it. Inside the coffin is Daniel's body, preserved by a preservation spell. Still upset over his death, Regina tries to hold back her tears.
Could Daniel be back?
Back in Storybrooke, in Archie's office, Regina tells Dr. Hopper about Daniel and explains that she preserved his body with an enchantment spell. "He's dead but frozen...and I've kept him in my family mausoleum" Regina continues. Dr. Hopper realizes this is because she is unable to let go of him. He tells Regina that if she can't let go of the past, it is still going to haunt her. Getting upset, Regina soon becomes unable to hide her tears so she tells Dr. Hopper that she thinks they've talked enough. As she walks out of the office, Archie begs her to wait, stating he can help her. "I doubt it" Regina growls before closing the door behind her. As Regina drives home in the pouring rain late at night, as thunder and lightning crash, she is stopped when an careless driver speeds past her, causing her to brake. Suddenly, something catches Regina's sight on the sidewalk...a man, standing and staring at her. It's Daniel. Unable to see clearly because of the rain on her windscreen, Regina leans in closer...but her suspicions are confirmed when it is indeed Daniel. Regina looks away for a split second and when she turns back to Daniel, he is gone. Leading her to believe she's being haunted by ghosts of her past.
Charming takes Henry to the stables.
The next morning, at the stables in Storybrooke, Charming and Henry pull up in their car and then get out. As they walk into the stables, Henry yawns, so his grandfather laughs, asking what he's yawning for as he isn't at school, but having fun instead. Henry explains he couldn't sleep, alarming Charming. He tells his grandson that he misses Snow and Emma too. To cheer Henry up, Charming playful tells him how happy Snow and Emma will be when they return home to find he's become a proper knight. They then walk around a corner to see several stables with horses in them. "Say hello to your steed", Charming tells Henry. Henry excitedly walks over to a grey horse in one of the stables, asking if it's his. Charming makes a clicking sound with his tongue, calling over another horse, a spotty one, stating that one is his. Henry eagerly asks how he gets onto him, but Charming explains he won't be riding today, confusing Henry. The prince tells the boy there's much to learn before he gets on the saddle, so Henry asks what. Charming tells Henry that he'll have to muck out the stall, brush him and feed him everyday twice a day. Henry points out that that isn't riding, but babysitting. Charming states it's "horse sitting" and it builds an essential bond...trust between knight and steed. Henry asks when he will ride, so Charming replies "when the horse tells you". The prince then excuses himself so he can go check on the dwarfs and their mining, stating he'll pick Henry up later. When Charming is gone, Henry asks the horse if he has anything to say. The horse rapidly shakes its head and neighs.
Regina makes a shocking discovery.
Meanwhile, in the graveyard at Storybrooke, Regina walks towards her family mausoleum, holding the bundle of keys in her hands. She walks closer to the mausoleum, looking very nervous. She then stops walking and stares at it, building up the courage to go in. She eventually heads inside. As she walks down the stairs into the underground secret room, she looks at her collection of enchanted hearts and then over to her collection of other magical items. She then turns around to go into another room. She opens two big white doors that lead into a large room. She sees something in that room that horrifies her, and she stands in the doorway, absolutely mortified. She silently walks into the room, staring at a large empty glass coffin... the same one that she had preserved Daniel's body in. She walks around the coffin, not believing what she is seeing, but, it's true. Daniel's body is gone, meaning she wasn't hallucinating the night before. She then runs out of the mausoleum, knowing exactly who is responsible.
Jefferson completes his deal with Rumplestiltskin.
At Rumplestiltskin's castle, Rumple is spinning wool into gold when Regina asks him if he's ready to begin. He tells his apprentice that he is ready, but then asks if she is. She tells him she is, so he asks her why she's really here. She tries to tell him she wants power, but he stops her, angrily telling her to stop wasting his time. He asks her to tell him the truth, so she asks if he can teach her how to bring back the dead. Rumple mocks her intentions, but she claims to want true happiness. He tells her she'll have to look elsewhere then, as magic can do much, but not bring back the dead...because "dead is dead". Disappointed, Regina falls back onto a table, explaining she's lost. He states he's had his time wasted and then apologizes for the death, stating transcending death is beyond his reach. Suddenly, a voice is heard from the room. It's Jefferson. He mockingly tells Rumple he thought nothing was beyond his reach. Seeing Rumple is busy, Jefferson asks if he should leave, but Rumple assures him nothing important is happening. As the two men begin to talk, Regina tries to get Rumple's attention, but he just ignores her. Pulling out a crystal ball, Jefferson tells Rumple he got what he wanted. Rumple asks "what about the slippers", so Jefferson explains he couldn't find them. Angry, Rumple says he needed them to get to another land. Jefferson offers to take Rumple through his hat, but Rumple explains he needs to get to a land without magic...and his hat cannot do that. Jefferson asks why he'd want that, but Rumple secretively states that it's his business. Jefferson sighs and then asks if Rumple wants the ball or not. After a slight hesitation, he greedily takes it and then tells Jefferson to take as much gold as he sees appropriate.
Jefferson offers to help Regina.
Rumple approaches Regina, telling her to let herself out as their work is done. She asks if that he won't teach her anymore, so he explains that as long as she harbors foolish notions of bringing back the dead, so long as she lives in the past, she'll never find her future. "Teach you is a waste of time" Rumple hisses before leaving. Regina is left in the room, looking sad. Jefferson, who is still there, approaches her from behind and loudly pardons himself for eavesdropping. He tells Regina that she might need to look elsewhere for assistance. She asks what he knows about the situation, so he tells the queen that he hears things. He suddenly introduces himself as Jefferson, a man who travels and sees much, claiming to know the man who can do what she wants...to bring back the dead. He describes the man as a sort of wizard, offering to bring him to her. Regina curiously asks at what price, so he explains that during his many travels he's made many enemies, so he'd like a "royal passport", so he can have free range to traverse her kingdom. Regina asks how she'd do that, so he points out that she's the queen. Regina smiles and then winks at Jefferson, stating she is. Regina then asks if the "wizard" can really bring someone back from the dead. Jefferson tells her that if he can't, then nobody can. Jefferson then leaves the room, leaving Regina smiling.
Emma doesn't believe Killian's story.
In the fairytale land that is, Killian is sat at a table, looking shadily as he rubs his head with his hand. Emma and Mulan are walking and talking nearby. Emma asks if Mulan recognizes the man as she must have seen him around before. The warrior explains that he's a blacksmith who joined their camp a few months ago claiming to have lost his hand in an ogre attack. Emma suspiciously asks why Cora would leave a survivor, stating it's "messy". Mulan asks Emma if she thinks he's lying, so Emma reminds her that Cora has tricked them before and she doesn't want that to happen again. Emma then passes a cup of water to Killian and Aurora. The man thanks them and then explains that fortune seems to have decided to show him favor. Emma tells him that there's an island full of corpses and he's the only one to escape, so she asks how that happened. The man explains that Cora attacked at night and slaughtered everyone in one fair swoop. He explains that when she started to rip out people's hearts he hid under the bodies of those who'd already been killed and pretended to be dead himself. "So much for fortune favoring the brave" Emma states, but Killian defends himself by saying it was the only way he could survive. Emma leans closely to Killian and then gently tells him a secret; she's pretty good at detecting when someone is lying to her. The man still claims to be telling the truth. Emma looks almost sadly at Killian and then gives him a sort of smile. Mulan then tells the group that they should leave in case Cora returns. Snow says they should start searching for a new portal as she didn't spend much time with her husband or grandson. Noticing her age, Killian is shocked at her statement of having a grandson; she tells him it's a long story. Killian then tells the girls that he knows the land well and offers to guide them, however, Emma moves behind him and grabs his hair, pulling his head back. She puts a knife to his throat, stating he's not guiding them anywhere until he tells them who he really is. Killian looks nervous and slightly panics.
Regina searches for Whale.
Back in Storybrooke, at the hospital in the underground section, Regina opens a door to find a dark empty corridor. She looks at the service desk, but it's empty, so proceeds down the hall, walking past an empty cell which once held a patient. She then continues to walk down the hall and walks past another cell, however, this one has not been opened. She then makes it to the end of the hall to find two large metal doors slightly opened. She looks inside the room, which is also dark and seemingly empty. She slowly moves into the room and cautiously calls out for Dr. Whale, asking where he is.
Meet the doctor.
Back in the fairytale land that was, Regina and Jefferson are walking through the halls of the former’s castle. Regina asks where the “wizard” is, claiming he promised to bring him to her. Jefferson says that’s true and then explains they’re off to see him. However, he warns to queen to be cautious. Scared, she stops walking and asks if he’s dangerous. Jefferson assures her he isn’t dangerous to them, but explains the wizard hasn’t been to a world like theirs before, so he’s unfamiliar with their ways and their magic. They both continue walking and Regina states that she only cares about his ways and if they’ll do what she requires. Jefferson presents Regina to her “salvation” as they head outside to the garden to meet the wizard. Outside, a man wearing a long coat and rose-tinted glasses, is examining some of the plants nearby. Confused by his appearance, Regina asks if he’s the wizard. The man turns to her and removes his glasses, stating that he prefers to be called “doctor”, but politely allows Regina to call him whatever makes her comfortable. Regina asks the doctor if he understands why he’s been brought to her world. “Of course”, the doctor smiles before asking to be shown the “patient”.
Daniel's body is examined.
A while later, the doctor, Regina and Jefferson are gathered around Daniel’s glass coffin as the doctor examines the body. He is astonished by the condition of the body, stating it’s as if he died just moments ago. Regina explains that it’s due to a preservation spell and then asks if he can be brought back. The doctor tells her “perhaps” and then takes further examination. He uses a scalpel to slice a small cut into Daniel’s hand and then examines the blood. He tells Regina it’s “wonderful” and that his condition is ideal. Curious, Regina asks how many times he’s brought back the dead before. The doctor asks Jefferson if he hadn’t “told her”, confusing Regina. She asks what she needed to be told, so the doctor explains that the procedure is experimental and success is yet to occur. However, he explains if certain conditions are met then he is optimistic. Regina is angry at his choice of word “optimistic”, but Jefferson begs Regina to hear the doctor out. Regina accuses the doctor of being a charlatan, but he defends himself. He explains that he was told the last remaining piece of the “puzzle” remains in this land. She asks what he needs, so he tells her a heart…but a strong one. He claims to have heard of hearts in this land enchanted by magic that become so powerful that they glow. He asks Regina how one enchants the heart, so Jefferson explains that a person practicing the dark arts does it by ripping it out of the body whilst it beats. The doctor asks Regina if she can do this, but she tells him she can’t as she won’t use magic for evil. The doctor packs his bag and asks if he’s wasted his time, but Regina stops him, claiming to know exactly where they can get a heart.
Regina finds an injured Whale.
Back in Storybrooke, Regina moves further into the room, revealed to be Dr. Whale’s office. The lights are broken and hanging from the ceiling, flickering as they spark electricity. She calls out for Whale again, but there is no answer. She looks around the room, but cannot see any sign of him. She then, however, notices a white cloth covering something on a gurney. She removes the cloth, but is disgusted to see a severed arm underneath it. She falls back with fear and knocks into one of the hanging lights, startling her. She then looks back in the direction of the arm and notices something behind it on the floor. She rushes towards it, pushing the gurney out of the way. It’s Dr. Whale, and he is missing his left arm. She kneels down beside him, shocked, but snaps out of it and tells him she knows he took Daniel’s body and one of her hearts. She asks why, but he doesn’t reply. She asks if he brought Daniel back, so, in pain, he tells her he “did it”. With conflicted emotions, she asks if Daniel is alive; he confirms. However, he tells Regina, highly frightened, that Daniel isn’t the same… ”he’s a monster”. Regina is horrified.
"Take your pick..."
Back in the fairytale land that was, Regina, the doctor and Jefferson are at Regina’s countryside home. They’re in the living area of the house, stood in front of a fireplace. She tells the men that it was her mother's. They both become suddenly disinterested; Jefferson flops onto a chair and the doctor explains it’s sweet but says he isn’t interested in heirlooms. Regina says he will be and then tells him to listen. They do so, but cannot hear anything, so she tells them to listen again. This time, the sound of hearts beating is much more audible. Jefferson asks where it’s coming from, so Regina tells him from her mother’s vault. After using magic to open a secret passage in the fireplace, the trio make their way down into the vault. As they head down the stairs, the sound of heart beating becomes much, much louder, and understandable as there are dozens of hearts locked away in chests in the walls. She the doctor to take his pick. Slightly unnerved, the doctor asks if they’re all hearts; Regina simply states her mother was a collector. Also unnerved, Jefferson asks whose hearts they are, but Regina tells him she doesn’t know as her mother took so many and caused so much pain, making it impossible to keep track. “She was a monster”, Regina states. The doctor walks over to a wall and takes out one of the chests. He opens it to find an enchanted glowing heart. “Finally, after all this time… It’s perfect” he grins.
Regina thinks Daniel has returned.
Back in Storybrooke, on the main floor of the hospital, Dr. Whale is now lying in a hospital bed being seen to by nurses. Regina watches from afar when she’s approached by Charming, who asks what’s going on as he heard Whale was attacked. She tells him to ask the doctors, but he demands to hear it from Regina. Regina snarkly tells Charming that she came to talk to Whale and discovered he’d been attacked. He looks at her with disbelief, but she insists that’s the truth. Believing her, he asks “What else? What did you come here to speak with him about?”. She explains that she believes someone from her past has come back; Daniel. Charming recognizes this name as the man Regina was supposed to marry. Confused, Charming tells Regina that Snow explained what had happened and how it was her fault that he died, putting emphasis on the fact that he died. Regina confirms that he did, so Charming asks how he could be back. Regina explains that Whale believed he could bring him back. She states she doesn’t know how, but he has. Charming demands Regina guess how he brought Daniel back. She tells the prince that Whale practices something more powerful than magic and all he needed was a heart, so he took one of hers. Shocked, Charming asks if she has hearts in Storybrooke, so she explains they’re in her vault from their land. Horrified, Charming asks whose heart he took. She tells him she has no idea as she took so many it became impossible to keep track. She then tries to leave, wanting to help Daniel. Charming stops her and asks where he is reminding her that he’s dangerous. Regina assures the prince that he won’t be dangerous to her and promises he won’t hurt anyone else. Charming says he cannot take that chance and then gives Regina two choices; she either reveals Daniel’s location or she’s going to jail. She tells the prince she believes Daniel is acting the same way David did when he awoke from his coma, going to the last place he remembered…the stables. Charming is mortified at this news and tells Regina that Henry is at the stables. They both instantly run out of the hospital to save Henry.
Henry is in trouble now...
Meanwhile, over at the stables, Henry is in the stall with his white and brown spotted horse. He’s stood on a stool, brushing the horse’s mane. He innocently tells the horse that his grandfather said it would tell him when he’s ready to ride on it. Henry impatiently tells the horse “anytime…like soon”. Suddenly, the horse becomes very agitated and starts neighing and bucking. Henry tries to calm the horse down, but then all the other horses in the stable become unnerved too and start crying out… almost as if they can sense danger approaching. Henry’s horse bucks again, but this time knocks the young boy off of his stool and onto the floor, causing him to hit the stable wall. The horse then runs out of the stall and a shadowy figure appears in the doorway. Henry looks up at the man, Daniel, with fear as he slowly walks towards him.
Poor, poor Killian, what you gonna do? Things look bad for you, eh? What you gonna do?
In the fairytale land that is, Mulan tightens ropes that are keeping Killian tied to a tree. Keeping up his act, he explains he’s just a blacksmith. “Sure you are” Emma huffs before whistling loudly, gaining the attention of nearby ogres. Emma tells the man that if he won’t tell them the truth, she’ll leave him to the mercy of the ogres. The four ladies then prepare to leave, but the man begs them not to leave him. Aurora is worried he may be telling the truth, but Emma insists he isn’t. “Good for you! You bested me”, Killian hesitantly calls out to Emma, causing her to stop. Snow asks him who he is, so he introduces himself as Killian Jones, more commonly known as Hook. Both Snow and Emma recognize him. For confirmation, he tells them to check his bag… Snow finds a silver hook. The roars of the ogres get loud, alarming everyone. Emma tells Hook to hurry up as the ogres are coming closer. He explains that Cora wanted him to gain their trust to learn about Storybrooke as she doesn’t want any surprises when she goes there. Snow states Cora can’t get there as the wardrobe is destroyed. Hook explains that the enchantment remains in the ashes so she’ll use them to make a portal. As the ogres roar in the distance again, he asks to be cut lose. Mulan suggests leaving him to die as punishment for the lives he took. As they all prepare to leave, he yells at them, stating they need him alive. Emma asks why, so Hook explains they both want to get to Storybrooke. He offers to help the girls if they take him along. Snow wonders how he could help, so he tells them the ashes will open a portal, but the find Storybrooke, a magical compass is needed. He offers to help them get it before Cora. Emma is tempted, but Snow is skeptical. He tells the girls there’s only one way to find out. Pointing a knife at Hook, Emma asks him one last question and tells him he hopes she believes his answer. She asks why he wants to go to Storybrooke, so he tells her he wants to seek revenge on the man who took his hand, Rumplestiltskin. The ogres roars get closer and closer.
Regina begs Charming not to hurt Daniel.
Back in Storybrooke, at the stables, Henry is cowering on the floor as Daniel towers over him. Henry slowly stands up and begs the man to stop what he's doing because it's upsetting the horses. Daniel just stands silently, staring into thin air, twitching his head with a slight uncomfortableness. Henry notices blood on the man's hands so asks if he's hurt and offers to help him. He reaches out to help the man, but Daniel notices the hand coming towards him and is horrified. He suddenly sees a flash of Cora ripping his heart out and this triggers a sudden rage in him. He growls and reaches out for Henry. He grabs the young boy's neck and then holds him high in the air, choking him. Regina and Charming suddenly arrive and Regina calls out for Daniel to let Henry go. Daniel sees Regina and then drops the child. Charming grabs his grandson and pulls him to safety. He asks Henry if he's okay and Henry confirms he is. Charming then tells Henry to run, so the young boy does so. Regina stares at Daniel in disbelief that he's actually there. However, Daniel doesn't recognize Regina so attempts to charge at her. Charming pushes her to the side and locks the stable door, trapping Daniel inside. Charming states the door won't last long so asks Regina for a spell that will get rid of Daniel. Regina angrily says she won't use magic on Daniel. Charming then pulls out a handgun, so Regina asks what he's doing. "He's a monster, Regina! If you won't put him down, I will!" he roars. As Charming attempts to unlock the door, Regina stops him, begging him to let her speak to Daniel. He states it's too risky, but Regina asks for a chance. Ignoring her, he pushes her aside to continue opening the door. Regina charges at Charming and pushes him and pathetically slaps his body. "No, I won't let you hurt him! Now listen to me, please! Let me talk to my fiancée" Regina cries.
The procedure was a failure.
In the fairytale land that was, during a thunder storm, Regina and Jefferson are stood a short distance away from a white tent that is in the middle of a field. The doctor emerges from the tent and asks the queen for the enchanted heart. She hands him the small chest containing the heart so he looks inside. When he sees the glowing heart, he thanks her and then tells both her and Jefferson to wait outside as he must perform the procedure alone. Regina asks Jefferson what the doctor is doing inside the tent, suggesting magic. Jefferson explains that the doctor claimed to have power greater than magic. They both watch as the doctor begins his procedure, but all they can see is his shadow. The queen asks why they aren't allowed to see, so Jefferson explains that there is much they don't understand about the doctor's land...or can't understand. Jefferson then repeats that if the doctor cannot bring Daniel back, then it can't be done at all. Suddenly, as lightning strikes and hits a pole on the tent, the doctor trusts the heart into Daniel, Regina is frightened so Jefferson holds her. They then see the doctor drop his head in shame. With Daniel still laying in the table, the doctor comes outside and silently walks towards Regina and Jefferson. Regina is optimistic and smiles at the man, hoping for good news. However, she's disappointed when the doctor apologizes to her as he failed as the heart wasn't strong enough and couldn't withstand the procedure. Regina's face is full of devastation. She walks into the tent where Daniel lays and strokes his face. She buttons up his clothing and then rests her head gently on his chest, hugging his body.
Regina lets go of Daniel.
Back in Storybrooke, Regina unlocks the door to the stable stall to find Daniel stood at the back, acting inhumanly. He is stood staring at the wall to his side but then he calmly looks at Regina in the doorway. He slowly walks towards her, now without an angry face, so Regina smiles, thinking he's back. He reaches out to her but then suddenly his face of rage returns and he grabs Regina by the throat, pinning her against the wall. Struggling to breath, Regina tries to stop Daniel by calling out for him, hoping he'll remember her. However, it doesn't work. She then whispers to Daniel "I love you". This triggers something inside his head and he suddenly regains consciousness of his life, releasing his clutch on Regina. They both gasp deeply for air. Daniel sees Regina and calls her name. They both embrace tightly. "I can't believe it's really you" Regina cries with joy. However, Daniel suddenly starts to groan with pain and he clutches his chest. He begs Regina to stop the pain, so she asks how. He tells her to let him go, but she refuses and she doesn't want to lose him again. "Without you I'm lost" she whimpers. Daniel continues to groan in pain. When Regina claims her love for Daniel, he steps back, in pain, and is suddenly regressed to his angry self. He instantly steps towards Regina to grab him, but she freezes him with magic. Unable to hold back her tears, Regina breaks down and then with a simple wave of her hand, she turns Daniel into dust. With him now gone forever, Regina cries "Goodbye Daniel".
The only was is up, baby.
In the fairytale land that is, Killian Jones is leading Mulan, Aurora, Emma and Snow through the forest. He announces that their destination is just up ahead and they'll find the magic compass just over the ridge. Emma and Snow are stood further back from the group, discussing Hook. Snow tells her daughter she has a feeling that he's leading them into a trap; Emma agrees. Emma says that as long as they know it's a trap but she's interrupted by Snow who says they can stay one step ahead. "Exactly" Emma states. They then rejoin the group who have stopped, watching their destination. Emma suddenly sees it too and she is astonished. "Let me guess, the compass is up there" Emma says. Hook confirms. The group all stare at a large beanstalk leading into the thick clouds in the sky. Emma asks how they'll get to the compass, so Hook replies "It's not the climb you need to worry about...it's the giant at the top". Emma continues to head towards the beanstalk and Mulan follows shortly after, holding her sword at Hook. Snow then helps Aurora step over a log and then she follows soon after.
Back in Storybrooke, on a busy street, Regina drives her car and then parks on the side of the road, still visibly distressed over what she just had to do to her true love, Daniel. She looks onto the side walk and tries to hold back her tears.
Regina is ready to learn.
In the fairytale land that was, Rumplestiltskin is stood in the middle of the Enchanted Forest with a young woman, teaching her the ways of magic. The woman, Trish, is levitating a large rock with a spell emitting a light purple glow. Regina, wearing full black leather clothing approaches them both and, seemingly insulted, asks who the girl is. Rumpelstiltskin teasingly tells Regina that she is her replacement "of course". He tells the queen that he needed someone more dedicated. "Dedicated?" Regina asks before turning around to the young woman and thrusting her hand into her chest. She then rips out Trish's now enchanted heart, shocking the girl. Regina shows it to Rumplestiltskin and begins to crush it in her hand, showing him she's ready. The heart soon turns to dust and Trish collapses to the floor, dead. Rumplestiltskin squeaks with joy that Regina is now ready. "Now, where were we?" Regina asks as she brushes the dust off her gloves. Rumplestiltskin holds the book to his chest and stares at Regina, smiling.
Back in Storybrooke, Regina is outside Dr. Archie Hopper's office. She knocks quickly and loudly on his door. When he answers it, he's surprised to see Regina stood on the other side, stating "you're back" in shock. Regina looks at Dr. Hopper visibly distressed and trying not to cry. She sadly confesses to using magic. Dr. Hopper hands out his arm and offers for Regina to come in his office so she can tell him what happened. She walks into the room, crying, and he closes the door behind her.
Rumple and Jefferson mock the doctor.
Back in the fairytale land that was, Jefferson is leading the doctor through the Enchanted Forest, playfully spinning his portal hat on his hand. The doctor stops Jefferson, demanding to be taken back to his land because he has work to be doing, stating the deal is done. Jefferson explains that the deal isn't done until "he" says it's done. He points over to a man who is also in the Enchanted Forest. "Now, now, patience please" Rumplestiltskin calls out gleefully. He explains that their transaction is nearly complete. The doctor asks Rumplestiltskin if he's satisfied with the results, so Rumple explains Regina did seem "rather heart-broken". The doctor confirms that she is because she "bought" his failure. Jefferson heartlessly comments that Rumple should have seen her tears. Rumple however brags about seeing the aftermath, calling it impressive. The doctor then asks for his "property", so Jefferson hands him a small chest containing one of Cora's enchanted hearts. The doctor checks to see if it's inside, and when he sees it is, he smiles. "It's been a pleasure doing business with you" the doctor tells the men, but Rumple insists the pleasure was his because he's made his monster and then hopes the doctor can make his. The doctor defensively states he isn't making a monster; Rumple mocks this and wishes him luck. The doctor states that if the hearts are as strong as Rumple claims, he won't need luck. Rumple agrees, saying he'll only need magic. The doctor claims that what he's doing goes far beyond magic. Rumple reminds him he needs a magical heart to complete his task. "So small minded" the doctor states. "I need my powers to transcend the limitations of your magic" he continues. Rumple mocks the doctor again for thinking his abilities are more powerful. He claims that they are. Rumple asks for a wager and says that some day, the doctor will see it his way. The doctor doubts this and then asks for Jefferson to take him back. Jefferson looks at Rumple for permission; he is granted it. He then stands up and throws his hat to the floor, spinning it. "Careful dearie, just remember, whatever you traffic in...it comes with a price" Rumple tells the doctor. "We'll see" he replies. A large portal is opened and Jefferson and the doctor jump into it, leaving Rumple behind, watching them.
A petty argument for petty men.
Back in Storybrooke, Dr. Whale is walking down the streets of the town holding a portable cooling box. He has a coat covering his body so nobody notices he is missing an arm. He walks inside Mr. Gold Pawnbroker & Antiquities Dealer to find Mr. Gold at the counter. He places the cooler on the counter and opens it, revealing his amputated arm. "When they say I charge an arm and a leg, that's meant as a figure of speech" Gold mockingly says. "Put it back" Whale demands. Gold chuckles, asking if Whale wants him to reattach his arm. "Can you do it?" Whale asks, so Gold tells him "of course". "But first, tell me why" he continues. Whale says he wants to use it again. Gold explains he was talking about Daniel and asks why he brought him back now. Whale tells Gold that he thought if he helped Regina then she might send him back to his land and brother. He explains he wants to see his brother so he can bring him back again. "Again?" Gold asks, so Whale explains the first time ended badly. Gold explains that is beyond her abilities and then offers his condolences. Whale repeats that he wants his arm back, stating Rumple said he can do it. "Oh, yes, but there's a difference between "can" and "will"" Gold smiles. Whale asks for Gold's price, so he is asked to "say it". "Say what?" Whale asks. "You know what. You came here and not the hospital, so say it" Gold demands. Whale uncomfortably takes his coat off, revealing the amputated arm and then tells Gold that he needs magic. "That's all I needed to hear" Gold smiles. He then gives a simple wave of the hand and Whale's arm is reattached to his body. Whale looks at his hand in awe as Gold tells "Viktor" it's always a pleasure doing business with him.
In the doctor's world, there is a thunderstorm above a castle type building which is hidden in the mountains. Inside is a laboratory type room with lots of highly technical equipment. The doctor walks towards the operating room, where his assistant is stood, going through equipment. "Doctor, you've returned" the assistant says in a state of shock. He asks the doctor if he found what he was looking for, he is told he did. The doctor shows his assistant the glowing enchanted heart, saying it's remarkable. The assistant asks if it's the final piece to the puzzle, so the doctor says he thinks it is. "Let's begin" the doctor announces as he moves towards a long table with a body on it, covered by a large cloth. As lightning strikes the castle type building they are in, their equipment begins to power up. The doctor pulls a switch that activates a large static ball. He pulls another switch which causes the static ball to emit electrical discharges, striking the body. The body jolts about as it is electrocuted. The procedure soon finishes. Both the men look at the corpse on the table and are then astonished to see it raise it's arm into the air. "It's alive" the doctor says victoriously. The doctor grabs the hand, which is clearly stitched together from different body parts. The assistant tells the doctor that he did it. "Yes, I believe I have" he says. He then welcomes his brother back. "It's magic, Dr. Frankenstein" the assistant claims. The doctor is then revealed to be the infamous Dr. Viktor Frankenstein. However, Dr. Frankenstein states that it isn't magic, but science.
"Chamber of Hearts"
VFX - ENCHANTED BEATING HEARTS
Regina, Jefferson and Dr. Frankenstein are all seen descending the stairs into Cora's chamber of hearts, where all around them hearts in boxes line the walls. Regina tells the doctor to take his pick but the doctor appears horrified that every box contains a heart, as there are just so many. Regina comments that her mother was a collector, and Jefferson, who's holding his hat in his arm, asks whose hearts surround them. The Queen admits that she has no idea, going on to say that Cora took so many, caused so much pain, that it was impossible to keep track - "She was a monster." The doctor walks past her, intrigued, and carefully pulls a glowing box from out of the wall. He opens the lid, revealing the heart inside.
INSERT BEATING HEART
"After all this time... It's perfect," the doctor utters, and Regina smiles, taking this to mean that he'll be able to revive Daniel. The doctor confirms this, and Jefferson reminds Regina that he told her he'd deliver. Meanwhile, the doctor takes the heart from the box and holds it in his hand, fascinated. Suddenly, bars drop from the ceiling, disallowing them access back up the stairs leading out of the chamber. "Mother..." Regina says, and Jefferson comments sarcastically that "isn't that lovely". To make matters worse, the walls lined with hearts begin rumbling before moving inwards, ready to crush what's in between them. The doctor suggests that they find a way out, and Regina requests that Jefferson use his hat, however, he tells her that there's not enough room to do so. At this, Regina closes her eyes in concentration and begins waving her arms, in an attempt o teleport them to safety, but is unsuccessful. The doctor, who's got his back tot he wall, trying to push it back, asks Regina what she's doing, and the Queen replies that she's trying to get them out of there. The doctor and Jefferson continue to try and push the walls apart, to no avail, as Regina resume trying to use magic. Jefferson then spots the statue on the wall and requests the doctor's help as he runs to it. He and the doctor then lift the statue from its plinth and rest it on its side where it acts as a buffer between the two walls, having stopped them from moving. But their relief is short-lived as suddenly, the ceiling begins rumbling and starts descending upon them, ready to crush them to the ground. Jefferson asks for Regina's help, and she exclaims that she's trying, still concentrating and flailing her arms around hopefully. "Come on! Try harder!" Jefferson exclaims, as the ceiling gets lower and lower, and when Regina gains a look of total concentration, she waves her hands and there is a brief flash.
VFX - MATERIALIZE WITH DUST REMNANTS FROM VAULT
Suddenly, she, Jefferson and the doctor are all crouching in the fireplace room outside the heart chamber, having teleported. Jefferson stands up, taking a look around, and joyously tells Regina that she did it. Regina looks at her hands and adds, "Indeed I did." The doctor, who's stood up also, asks Regina where the heart is, and the Queen reveals the box to be beneath her dress. She picks it up and stands up, laughing. "Isn't that why we're here?" she asks, opening the box to reveal the beating, magic heart. "Now," she says, "You live up to your end."
- The title card is gray and features lightning.
- This is the first title card of the series not to have a blue background.
- Although credited, Emilie de Ravin (Belle French/Belle) and Meghan Ory (Ruby/Red Riding Hood) are absent from this episode.
- This episode reveals the identity of Storybrooke resident Dr. Whale; he is Dr. Victor Frankenstein, based on the character created by novelist Mary Shelley.
- The title of this episode was revealed by executive producer and co-creator Adam Horowitz, via his Twitter account, on September 22, 2012, along with the title for episode 2.04 and 2.06.
For the second week in a row (in spite of fears that Hurricane Sandy would affect the Eastern United States, which would've caused ABC affiliates to preempt the show if it became serious), this outing helped the series post another increase in the ratings, scoring a 3.4/8 among 18-49s with 9.7 million viewers tuning in, despite the competition it had from NBC's Sunday Night Football and Fox's broadcast of Game 4 of the 2012 World Series.
The episode was met with mixed to positive reviews from critics.
- Entertainment Weekly's Hilary Busis liked the episode, but somehow questioned the show creators' sudden inclusion of characters that were written in the 1800s into the storylines: "Maybe it's best not to anger the all-powerful sorcerers. Instead, let's talk about their televised creation: 'The Doctor,' which revealed that Dr. Whale was once known as Dr. Horrible—I mean, Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Though I know that not all of Once's 'fairy land' characters actually hail from folklore—like Frankenstein, Pinocchio and the Mad Hatter are both inventions of 19th century novelists—I've still got mixed feelings about bringing Mary Shelley's classic into OUAT's potent public domain stew. If any and all stories are fair game, where will the show's writers draw the line? Will future episodes feature Emma befriending Elizabeth Bennet and Jo March, then trying to reunite Romeo and Juliet? It just seems like expanding the show's world beyond fairy tales and Disney properties—like Captain Hook—has the potential to turn Once into a giant, fanfiction-y mess."
- The Huffington Post's Laura Prudom also gave it mixed reviews: "This week's 'Once Upon a Time' certainly fit in with the rest of ABC's Halloween fare, with an abundance of lightning and shambling monsters and creepy heart stealing—but the end result left me a little cold."
- The A.V. Club gave the episode a B: "With Halloween just around the corner, Once Upon A Time tries its hand at a spooky Regina-centric episode that not only features some considerable character development, but also moves the plot forward," and added that "it’s a solid episode that incorporates much of this series’ rapidly expanding cast, and it poses some interesting questions about the nature of this show’s alternate worlds."
- TV Overmind had reservations about this episode, noting that "this week's Once Upon a Time finally revealed Dr. Whale's true identity, but that discovery - and the story that played out in Storybrooke - made for a bit of a strange episode. While it's always nice to get insight into the emotions of the characters, the truth is that what happened in Regina's Storybrooke arc in this episode didn't really move the overall plot forward.
- IGN's Amy Ratcliffe called the episode "great," giving it an 8.0 out of 10. She highly favored the storyline between Regina and Rumplestiltskin. She also praised David Anders performance as Dr. Frankenstein, calling him "fantastically creepy."
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.
- ↑ Adam Horowitz tweet.
- ↑ "'Once Upon a Time' recap: Franks For the Memories" from Entertainment Weekly (October 28, 2012)
- ↑ 'Once Upon A Time' Recap: Fairytale Meets 'Frankenstein' in 'The Doctor' by Laura Prudom from The Huffington Post (October 28, 2012)
- ↑ "The Doctor" S2 / E5 by Oliver Sava from The A.V. Club (October 28, 2012)
- ↑ "Once Upon a Time Recap: Dr. Whale's Identity is Revealed " from Zap2it/TV Overmind (October 28, 2012)
- ↑ ONCE UPON A TIME: "THE DOCTOR" REVIEW from IGN (October 29, 2012)