"The Stable Boy" is the 18th episode of Once Upon a Time.
Emma continues her exhaustive search for evidence that will prove Mary Margaret's innocence in the murder of David's wife, Kathryn. Meanwhile, in the fairytale land that was and before evil blackened her soul, Regina must choose between betraying her mother, Cora, and marrying for true love, or betrothing royalty and living a regal - but loveless - life.
Once upon a time, an evil queen banished every storybook character you've ever known to our world.
Regina enacts the Dark Curse. ("The Thing You Love Most") The Genie is forever trapped in Regina's mirrors. ("Fruit of the Poisonous Tree") Belle sees Regina whilst on a walk. ("Skin Deep") Snow and Prince Charming get married. ("Pilot") Mary Margaret and David take a romantic walk. ("The Thing You Love Most")
Who knows the truth?
And who can break the spell?
Emma and Henry discover that Regina's keys open any door. ("Heart of Darkness") August watches Emma from afar as she finds Henry's book. ("What Happened to Frederick") Henry tells Emma that you don't play with the curse. ("Desperate Souls") Regina uses her magic to cast a fireball. ("The Thing You Love Most") Emma tells Mary Margaret that the evidence against her is piling up by the hour. ("Heart of Darkness") Ruby finds the box containing Kathryn's heart. ("Red-Handed") Emma finds a hunting knife in Mary Margaret's room. ("Heart of Darkness") Emma tells Mary Margaret that she can help her. ("Hat Trick") Mr. Gold advises Mary Margaret to hire him. ("Heart of Darkness") Regina is furious that Mary Margaret is still in her cell, despite the deal she made with Gold. He tells her not to fear, as she may still get what she wants. ("Hat Trick")
ONCE UPON A TIME
One Week Ago
Mr. Gold makes a deal with Regina.
In Storybrooke, in the mayor's office, Regina is seen holding a golden ring. She looks sadly at it and then puts it against her lips. "Remembrance of things past" Mr. Gold says, entering the office. Without turning around, Regina asks what he wants, so he explains he needs a favor. Regina scoffs at this, so Gold points out that he has battery charges against him, so someone with Regina's influence could help the D.A. realize he has a flimsy case. "Isn't that right, your majesty" he adds, picking up an apple from a bowl. She asks what she gets in return, so he offers help with her "Mary Margaret problem", because he's noticed that no matter how hard she tries, she and her "charming friend" keep finding ways to be together. Regina asks what he's suggesting, so he tells the mayor that if she wants to inflict pain...then she must inflict pain. "If something tragic were to happen to David's wife, and if Mary Margaret should take the blame..." Gold suggests before being interrupted by Regina, who says Mary Margaret would be ruined. Gold then adds that the mayor would have her victory at last. Regina points out that a trial could get messy, but Gold asks who said anything about a trial. He goes on to say that once Miss Blanchard is incarcerated, they can plant a skeleton key in her cell and when she tries to leave Storybrooke..."well, we all know what happens to people who attempt to leave town". A cautious Regina asks for one good reason why she should trust him, so Gold smiles, stating that he always honors his agreements. He then asks if they have a deal, Regina smiles, tempted.
Regina is criticized by her mother.
In the fairytale land that was, Regina is riding her favorite steed around a large field, jumping many obstacles. Her father, Henry, watches from the side and laughs with glee, enjoying his daughter's enjoyment. She jumps over one last hurdle and then gets off of her horse to be hugged by her father, who tells her she did beautifully. Regina's mother walks up to them both, followed by the stable boy and points out it wasn't beautiful. Regina asks if she didn't like it, so her mother says she rides like a man, as a lady should be graceful, she then suggests using a saddle. Regina playfully says she was just having fun, but her mother sternly states she's getting too old for fun. She asks her daughter who will want to marry her when she behaves like a "commoner". Henry asks his wife to leave Regina alone, but she tells him to stop coddling Regina. She explains that Regina is becoming a maid as all the other girls her age are married. "I had such high hopes" she sighs. The stable boy interrupts the conversation by offering a saddle for Regina to use, but Regina says she's done and as she leaves, she angrily tells the stable boy never to interrupt her and her mother's conversation again. Her mother smiles at this cruelness. The stable boy then takes Regina's horse back to the stables. Regina asks her mother why she always has to criticize her, but she defends herself, saying she isn't criticizing, just helping.
Regina is manipulated by her mother.
Regina rolls her eyes at this and begins to walk away. "Don't you walk away from me!" her mother yells, stretching her arm out and stopping Regina with magic. An angry Regina states she doesn't like it when she uses magic, so her mother points out she doesn't like insolence. "I'll stop using magic when you start being an obedient daughter" she smiles. A frustrated Regina asks why she can't be herself, so her mother moans that she can be so much more if she just let her help her. Regina tries to say she doesn't care about status, as all she wants to be is happy. Her mother uses her magic to tighten the grip and then entraps her with leather straps. Henry begs his wife to stop, but it's to no avail. Regina finally cowers that she'll be good, pleasing her mother. She is then released from the magical grasp and lowered to the ground. Regina runs away to the stables, leaving a pleased mother and distressed father.
A short while later, Regina arrives at the stable, panting after running away from her mother, to find the stable boy brushing Regina's horse. After catching her breath, she approaches the stable boy, whose name is Daniel, and apologizes for snapping at him. He walks up to Regina and says it's all right, stating she'll just have to find some way to make it up to him. Regina suddenly pounces on Daniel and kisses him romantically, he kisses her back romantically. They slowly pull back from the kiss and then Regina slowly goes in for one more romantic peck on the lips. They then gaze lovingly into each other's eyes.
David tries explain himself.
In Storybrooke, Emma is exiting Granny's Diner, tying her hair up into a ponytail when she's approached by David, who wants to talk. Emma tells him she doesn't have time, but David asks how Mary Margaret is. "How do you think she's doing?" Emma groans as she heads to her car. David explains that the last time they spoke, Mary Margaret didn't get what he meant. "Oh, you mean that you basically told her you thought she might be guilty?" Emma frowns. David sighs and explains that the situation has been confusing and then states he doesn't think Mary Margaret is guilty. He says he needs her to know that and then asks if he can see her. Emma says Mary Margaret doesn't want visitors, but David understands that this means she doesn't want to see him. Emma says she understands that David's heart is in the right place, but explains that the last thing Mary Margaret needs is words of encouragement from him. As Emma gets into her car, David asks what she does need, Emma tells him a miracle. She then shuts the door and begins to drive away, leaving a frustrated David.
"They say only the guilty sleep in prison".
Meanwhile, Mary Margaret is asleep in her cell. As she begins to awaken, she looks out of her cell and jolts with fear as she sees Regina sat on a chair, watching her, looking smug. "They say only the guilty sleep in prison" she scowls. Mary Margaret asks what Regina is doing here and where Emma is. Regina states that she hasn't arrived yet. She then adds that she came to offer Mary Margaret a chance to spare herself and the town the messiness of a trial, the chance to confess. Mary Margaret moves towards the bars of her cell and states that she didn't kill Kathryn before asking why nobody will believe her. "The murder weapon was found in your apartment, your fingerprint was on the box containing Kathryn's heart, shall I go on?" Regina smiles. She then stands up to be eye level with Mary Margaret and then asks why she doesn't for once make it easier for everyone, because confession or not, she's leaving Storybrooke. "And you like that?" Mary Margaret huffs. She asks the mayor why she takes such pleasure in this and then asks what she ever did to her to make her be hated so much. Regina is silent for a moment and then lets out a little gasp.
Daniel is tired of the lies.
Back in the fairytale land that was, Regina rides her horse across the large field on her family estate to meet her love, Daniel, who is waiting beside a tree. When she reaches him, she gets off her horse and they both kiss. Daniel suggests going to firefly hill for a picnic, but Regina says she cannot go as she must be back in an hour for tea time. Daniel says it is absurd that they are sneaking kisses between lunch and tea and then asks when Regina will tell her parents about them. Regina points out it isn't her parents...just her mother. A confused Daniel points out that he's a stable boy and Regina's mother started out as the daughter of a miller, so says she should understand. Regina says her mother does understand, but thinks Regina should do better. Regina then comforts an upset Daniel, claiming that she knows better than her mother. Daniel tells Regina to tell her mother the truth, stating she'll get over it. He asks what she can do, so a worried Regina asks if he hasn't seen her magic, "the real question is 'what can't she do?'". Daniel asks who cares about magic, stating true love is the most powerful magic of all as it can overcome anything.
Snow White is saved by Regina.
As they're about to kiss, they're interrupted by the screams of a young girl yelling for help. A nervous Regina tells Daniel to stop as someone is here. They then both look around to see a young girl in a pink dress riding a horse that's out of control. Regina immediately gets onto her horse and then chases after the girl, who continues to scream for help. She eventually catches up to her and then tells her to give her hand. The young girl dives onto Regina's horse and then then eventually come to a stop. The girl is dropped to the floor, so Regina rushes to her aid, stating she is safe. She helps the girl to her feet. The terrified girl states that Regina saved her life. Regina asks if she's all right, so the girl checks over herself and says she is, but adds that she'll never ride again. Regina shakes her head and laughs, saying that's nonsense because the only way to overcome fear is to face it, to get back on the horse as soon as possible. The young girl thanks Regina, and then Regina introduces herself cheerfully. "I'm Snow. Snow White" the young girl says, introducing herself in return. Regina smiles at Snow and then they both hug.
Mr. Gold suggests what is best for Mary Margaret.
"A pretrial interview with the prosecution? Explain to me how that is a good idea" Emma tells Mr. Gold as they stand beside Mary Margaret's cell with her inside. Gold calmly states that the D.A. wants to ask Miss Blanchard a few questions. Emma states that she's done answering questions and then asks why they're kissing up to the D.A. and not going Regina for framing Mary Margaret. Gold asks what proof they have of that, stating just because the mayor's key was in the cell doesn't mean she put it there. The sheriff asks Gold what his plan is, so he states their best chance of winning is by employing their most valuable asset. Intrigued, Mary Margaret asks what it is, so he tells the teacher it's her, a sweet, kind elementary school teacher who doesn't exactly fit the prototype of a killer. A frustrated Emma asks if he's going to get her acquitted by using her personality. "Perception is everything, Miss Swan, not just in the courtroom, but in life" Gold smiles. He then points out it will look good for Mary Margaret if she agrees to talk to the D.A., showing trust.
Sidney drops by with a gift.
Suddenly, Gold is interrupted by Sidney, who enters the station holding flowers, looking for Emma. Seeing he's interrupting something, he apologizes and says he wanted to give the flowers to brighten the place up. Emma takes them off of him and then asks what he found. He says he found nothing and states Regina knows how to cover her tracks. She then asks if he found anything tying her to the murder weapon, but Sidney claims that she never bought or owned a hunting knife. Emma asks if that's all he was unable to uncover, but he assures her that he'll keep digging and he won't stop until he does find something. As he leaves, Emma heads back to Mary Margaret and Gold, who have been talking in her absence. "I'm gonna do it. I'm going to talk to the D.A." Mary Margaret says bravely to the sheriff. Emma asks if she's sure, so the teacher states that Gold is right as she knows she has nothing to hide but nobody else does, so she needs to let people see her for who she is. Suddenly, a voice is heard entering the station, "Excellent decision, Miss Blanchard" he says. The trio then turn around to see the district attorney, Albert Spencer, who is the counterpart of King George, followed by the mayor. He introduces himself and then asks if they should begin. Regina stands by, watching. Mary Margaret then smiles and nods, ready to go.
Mary Margaret is interviewed.
A short while later, in the interview room at the sheriff's station, the D.A., is sat at a table opposite Mary Margaret and Mr. Gold. Regina and Emma watch from outside as they talk. Albert asks if its correct that Kathryn came to Mary Margaret's school and confronted her once she learned of the affair. Mary Margaret says Kathryn felt hurt and betrayed. Albert asks if Kathryn struck her in the face, so Mary Margaret confirms. He asks if they made her angry, but Gold claims she doesn't have to answer that. Mary Margaret continues and says she wasn't angry, but sorry for all the pain she had caused. Albert lets out a small laugh and tells Miss Blanchard that she can be honest with him because he's not here to judge her. Gold quietly asks if they can end the interview, but Mary Margaret, who is insulted, states she is being honest. Albert explains that the wife of the man she loved humiliated her in a public form so states she must have felt some anger. Mary Margaret says that she was "angry", so Albert asks if she ever thought about acting upon that anger. She states that she did not, but Albert has a hard time believing that. Shocked, she asks why, so he states she wanted Kathryn gone. Mary Margaret claims to have never said that. Seeing things are getting heated, Gold tries to end the session, but Albert states that Mary Margaret agreed to the interview because she claims to have nothing to hide. She repeats that she doesn't, so Albert asks her if she wanted Kathryn gone. She insists she didn't, so Albert lists all the reasons she would want her gone. The teacher suddenly snaps and admits to obviously wanting Kathryn gone as she was the only thing keeping her and David apart. Mary Margaret's face suddenly fills with shock, regretting what she said. Gold looks away awkwardly. Regina watches from outside, smiling.
The King proposes to Regina.
Back in the fairytale land that was, Regina is in her house, checking over herself in the mirror. Her mother enters, disappointed in her clothes, and tells her they won't do. She uses her magic to make her wear a beautiful blue dress. As she sorts out her daughter's hair, she explains they have a guest and he'll be here any moment. Regina says she cannot and explains she has a riding lesson with Daniel. Her mother says it's been cancelled and then tells her daughter to smile as they don't want to disappoint "him". Regina asks whom, so her mother states it's the king, exciting them both. Regina asks why the kind is coming, so her mother explains that the girl she saved is the king's daughter. They then turn around to see Henry enter alongside the King, who if followed by a ring bearer and some guards. The king sees Regina and is stunned by her beauty. The women curtsey, but the king tells them it is he who should bow to them as Regina saved his daughter's life and there is no way to repay that debt. He says it's an honor to meet her and then he bows. Regina's mother tells her to say something in response, so she tells the king that the honor is hers. Smiling, the king tells Regina she's lucky to have a mother who looks out for her. He states Snow White has many things, but a mother is not one of them as they lost her long ago. Regina gives her condolences. He adds that since then he's scoured the lands for a wife who shows an interest in his daughter, claiming to be unsuccessful until now. Regina is shocked and rendered speechless as the king takes the ring from the ring bearer and bends down on one knee, asking for her hand in marriage. Regina is silent for a while. Henry shakes his head discretely, not wanting her to accept, but suddenly, it's too late. Her mother accepts on behalf of her daughter.
Regina tells Daniel what happened.
Later that night, Regina bursts into the stables, where her horse is resting, calling out for Daniel. Concerned, he asks what's wrong, so a distressed Regina runs up to him and hugs him. He hugs her back comfortingly. She begins to cry and then she asks Daniel to marry her. Confused, he asks what's going on and then asks if she told her mother. A terrified Regina says she didn't and claims they never can because she won't understand. She explains that the girl she saved was the king's daughter and he has proposed to her. She then cries that her mother accepted for her. She turns away from her love and then begins to cry. However, she suddenly stops when a realization hits her, she tells Daniel that the only way out is to run, for them to leave and get married and never come back. Daniel asks if she understands what that means because life with a stable boy is a far cry from life as queen. She assures him that being queen means nothing to her and then she says all she cares about is him. He tells Regina that if they're to marry, then they should do it properly. He reaches into his bag and pulls out a ring that he had clearly bought, preparing to marry himself. Regina is overwhelmed. He slowly slides the golden ring onto her finger and then they both happily kiss. However, they're both stopped by the sound of a bad dropping. They look to the doorway to see a confused Snow White stood there in horror, having seen everything. Scared, Regina asks what she's doing, so Snow states that she said to get back on the horses. The young girl then asks what she's doing with "him", so Regina says she can explain. Snow ignores this and then runs away. Afraid she'll reveal their secret, Regina runs after the girl, desperate to stop her.
Regina asks Snow to keep a secret.
A young Snow White is running through the night as a desperate Regina chases after her, calling out for her. The young girl refuses to listen and continues to run, however, Regina finally catches up to her when she falls to the ground. Regina asks Snow, who's crying, if she's all right. Snow says she isn't and then asks why she was kissing the man in the stable, reminding her that she is to marry her father and be her mother. Regina tries to comfort Snow by saying her father is a kind and fair man, but then she adds that she doesn't love him. A confused Snow is horrified and then asks why not. Regina states that love doesn't work that way and true love is magic, the most powerful magic of all as it creates happiness. Snow then asks if Regina loves the man in the stables, so she says she does with all her heart. Snow smiles upon hearing this and states she must marry him. She says she'll go tell her father and begins to leave, but Regina stops her, terrified. Snow asks why she can't tell him, stating he'll understand. Regina agrees he might, but adds that not everyone will. She then says that her mother will stand in the way. Snow understands that that's the reason they're running, so Regina adds its the only way their love can survive. Regina carefully asks Snow if she knows what a secret is, which she does. She continues to say that if she truly wants to help, then she must keep everything she has seen and been told a secret. When asked if she can do that, Snow says she thinks she can. Regina wants Snow to be certain, so repeats that she mustn't tell anyone, especially her mother. She asks for a final time if she can do that for her, so Snow promises she will. The two then hug, but Regina is terrified.
August changes Emma's perspective.
Back in Storybrooke, Emma is sat on a bench on a pier reading Henry's storybook. She looks at a page with a picture of the Evil Queen at Snow and Charming's wedding and then turns through some pages to see the Huntsman and on another page, Jefferson. August suddenly approaches Emma and asks what she's doing. She states that she's grasping its straws, so he asks if she's still trying to prove a way that her friend's been framed, handing her a newspaper article on Mary Margaret. The sheriff explains that every path she goes down leads her to a dead end and then doubts her "super power". August sits down beside Emma and then says she has writers block...without the writing part. He explains that when he gets a "block", he re-reads everything he's done rather than ploughing on blindly as he finds there may be a "nugget of inspiration". Emma says this is starting over, but August says that when he begins writing, he may have a different idea to when he's in the middle. "So your perspective changes?" Emma asks. August confirms and then asks what the investigation was about when she started. The sheriff tells him it was about a missing person, then August adds it turned into a murder, and then a cover up. He tells Emma that if she knew that then, then maybe she would've approached things differently. Emma seemingly gets an idea and then quickly stands up. August asks where she's going, so she tells him the scene of the crime. August smiles that he'll drive, but the sheriff insists that she's fine. August says she isn't as she hasn't slept in days and then playfully adds that it was his idea.
Emma finds a clue.
A short while later, August and Emma are riding on the former's motorcycle across the Toll Bridge. They cross it and then stop and then proceed to head down near the water. Emma explains that Ruby found the chest containing the heart here. As August follows, he grunts with pain and limps around, Emma asks what's wrong so he shrugs it off and says nothing. Emma doesn't think it's nothing and asks to look at his leg, but he refuses, insisting he's fine. They then walk into an area that is lined off by yellow tape and then Emma begins to examine the area. August apologizes to Emma, understanding the situation must be hard on her. She tells him that's an understatement as she continues to investigate. August admits to not knowing her that well, but points out that it seems Henry and Mary Margaret are the closest thing she has to family and then he tells her it's okay to admit it. As Emma continues to route around in the dirt, she finds something, so tells him to look. He moves closer as Emma pulls out a metal shard from the area where the chest was found. August examines it and Emma states it's a shard from a shovel. The sheriff then realizes that if they can find the shovel it broke off from, then they can prove Mary Margaret's innocence. Smiling, August guesses that Emma knows whose shovel it is. Emma takes the shard back and then lets out a cheery smile.
Later that night, at Regina's house, the mayor peers into Henry's room and sees him asleep in his bed. She then walks away to take a shower. Once she's gone, Henry suddenly "awakens" and grabs a walkie-talkie from underneath his pillow. After checking Regina is in the shower, he tells the walkie-talkie "the eagle is in the nest and the package is secure". Emma and August are waiting outside the house and the former, holding another walkie-talkie, tells Henry she left the codebook at home. The young boy explains that Regina is in the shower and the keys are under the mat. Outside the house, Emma takes a key from under the mat and they use it to open a door. Emma tells August not to touch anything, but he shows her the gloves he's wearing. They enter a room of the house where lots of items are stored. Using torches, they look around. Emma finds a shovel, but it is all intact. She then turns around to continue looking, and something catches her eye. She walks towards the item, which is a cracked shovel. She notifies August as she takes the shard she found and puts it against the shovel. The two pieces fit. "We got her" Emma gasps. She and August then look at the shard and begin to smile.
In the fairytale land that was, at Regina's house, Snow is in the main living area admiring some flowers. As she reaches to touch one, Regina's mother tells her to be careful, startling the young girl. Regina's mother explains a flower is a delicate thing and you want it to grow, so you can't pluck it before it's time. Snow apologizes, but Regina's mother assures the girl that she was only trying to help. As they both head to sit on a sofa, Regina's mother suggests that Snow be the flower girl at the wedding, pointing out how close she and Regina have become. Regina's mother states Regina will make a fine mother for Snow, Snow says Regina is kind to her. Regina's mother sadly says it warms her heart how the two share everything, she then asks Snow why Regina has pulled away from her. Regina's mother explains that Regina has pulled away and she's tried so much but Regina won't let her help. She points out that Regina is happy and then asks if she's said anything, because she'd do anything to make her happy. "You'd do anything?" Snow asks,Regina's mother confirms. She then tells the young girl that she spoke to the king about her mother and learned how much she loved her, she adds losing her must've been hard. Snow confirms that it was and then puts on a brave face. Regina's mother says she doesn't want to lose her daughter and wonders for a reason to show her how she feels. After some hesitation, Snow tells her not to make Regina get married. Snow reluctantly states Regina loves someone else and then adds that she'll lose her mother otherwise, something that mustn't happen as nobody should lose their mother. Regina's mother is horrified by this news, but puts on a fake face. She assures the girl Regina won't lose her and then asks her to tell her more about Regina's love.
Damn she's good.
Back in Storybrooke, at Regina's house, Regina opens her front door to find Emma stood their. She asks the sheriff if she can help her, so Emma asks Regina to unlock the garage door. When asked why, Emma explains she has a search warrant allowing her to. "On what grounds?" Regina asks, so Emma explains she found a shovel shard near where the heart was buried and she received an anonymous call saying they say Regina digging near Toll Bridge the heart was found. "An anonymous call?" the mayor asks. Emma says she can't help the fact they didn't leave a name, but adds it was probably because they didn't want to risk "pissing her off". She then tells the mayor to open the door or she will find a way to do it herself. Regina cooperates and after entering the garage, Emma charges straight towards the spot where she found the broken shovel, only to find an unbroken one in its place. Confused, Emma asks where it is, so Regina plays dumb and asks what she's talking about. Emma realizes Regina knew she was coming, but the mayor asks how that's possible. The sheriff states Mary Margaret is an innocent person and she doesn't deserve this. The mayor says that Miss Blanchard is a liar and a murderer, and despite what accusations are thrown her way, nothing will change that. "She's going to pay for what she's done. That woman has destroyed the last life she is ever going to destroy" Regina scowls. A confused Emma turns her attention back to the shovel, wondering how the mayor knew she'd come.
Emma confronts August.
Over at Granny's Bed & Breakfast, Emma is stood outside a door, which she bangs heavily and angrily on. A cautious August opens the door to see who's there, and when he sees it's Emma, he ask says "hey" in a puzzled tone. "How could you do his? How could you do this to me? To Mary Margaret!" Emma gasps. A confused August asks what he did, so Emma explains that the shovel was gone when she got there and states Regina knew she was coming. August asks if she thinks he told her, so Emma points out that he was the only other person that knew. August tells Emma that he hopes she'd have enough faith to believe he'd never betray her, but she asks why she should and asks how she knows he isn't lying about it, about everything. "I'm not a liar" August states. Emma sighs and tells him that's exactly a liar would say. She then rolls her eyes away and walks away from the room.
Regina torments Mary Margaret.
Over at the sheriff's station, Mary Margaret is sat in her cell with her head in her hands, crying, as Regina enters the room. The mayor asks the suspect if she's having a bad day, so Mary Margaret asks what she's doing there. As she heads toward the cell, smiling, Regina explains she wanted to see her while she still could. Mary Margaret asks what that means, so Regina explains that the trial starts tomorrow and it won't be a long one and she'll be sent out of Storybrooke so she'll never have to see her again. With a big grin on her face, Regina says she wants to enjoy it while she still can. "Enjoy what?" Mary Margaret gasps. Regina answers by saying "Justice", upsetting Mary Margaret, who asks if justice is watching an innocent suffer. Regina rhetorically asks Mary Margaret if she's always seen herself as "innocent", but she insists she is innocent. Mary Margaret steps to the cell bars, crying, and states "I don't know what this is about, I don't know what I ever did to you, but whatever it was, Regina...I'm sorry. I truly am". Regina simply grins at the weeping suspect and evilly tells her "Apology not accepted". Mary Margaret continues to cry and then begs Regina to not do this to her as she doesn't deserve it because she didn't kill Kathryn. Regina strokes Mary Margaret's face and states she knows she didn't kill Kathryn, but adds that she does deserve it. Mary Margaret face fills with shock and she stares at Regina, mortified. The mayor then turns around and paces out of the room, leaving a stunned Mary Margaret.
Cora stops Regina and Daniel from leaving.
Back in the fairytale land that was, Regina runs up to the stables and finds Daniel inside, waiting for her. He asks if she's ready and after a kiss, they begin to leave together. As they run out of the stable, they are stopped suddenly when Regina's mother appears before them. "You could've at least left a note" she growls before throwing them into the stable with her magic. The evil mother then steps inside and locks all the doors with her magic. Regina tries to explain herself, but she's stopped when her mother mocks them for thinking they could sneak out in the dead of night without her noticing. Regina and Daniel climb to their feet and then Regina tells her mother that she's impossible to talk to, so asks her to stop with the magic and to listen. She explains she wants to be with Daniel, but her mother insists she doesn't know what she wants, but adds she does. Her mother explains that she didn't make the sacrifices she made in life to get Regina to the cusp of greatness just so she could marry a stable boy, however, Regina claims its her life. Her mother laughs at this comment and then evilly says its hers after what she had to do and the deals she had to make. Daniel whispers to Regina to stay strong. Regina tells her mother that her magic can't keep them apart because she loves him. Daniel adds that he loves Regina, but her mother points out that she loves her too. Regina states that if she loved her she wouldn't try to keep them apart, but her mother adds if Regina loved her she wouldn't try to run away. Regina insists it's her happiness and that they're going. However, as they proceed to leave, her mother readies her magic, stating they aren't. Regina asks if her mother's plan is to keep them here forever, adding that it's what she'll have to do.
Daniel is killed in front of Regina.
Noticing the determination in her daughter's eyes, seemingly giving up, Regina's mother asks if this is their final decision and if it will make her happy. Regina tells her mother is has already made her happy, so her mother asks herself who she is to stop them. Regina hugs and then thanks her mother for understanding. The mother then steps away from Regina and moves towards Daniel, taking him aside, as if she wants to tell him something. She tells Daniel that if he wants a life and a family together with Regina, then there's one lesson she can import on him, what it means to be a parent; you always have to do what's best for your children. Daniel smiles and thanks his true love's mother, claiming he understands because it's what she is doing now. Regina's mother, seemingly sad, tells him that it is before suddenly thrusting her hand into his chest. He groans with pain and Regina moans with horror. She pulls out Daniel's heart, which has now been enchanted with magic and he falls to the floor, weak. Regina runs to his aid in horror, but it's too late, her mother has already crushed his heart to dust, killing him. Distraught, Regina asks her mother why she did it, so she's told it's her happy ending. Confused by this comment, Regina cries and asks what she's talking about. She then turns back to her love and gives him a kiss, hoping to revive him. Her mother then tells her that she knows best and love is weakness. She adds that love is an illusion that feels real at the start, but it fades and then you're left with nothing, unlike power, which endures and means you don't have to rely on anyone to get what you want. She tells her daughter that she saved her, but Regina claims she's ruined everything because she loved him. Frustrated, her mother yells "Enough!". She grabs her daughter to her feet, stating she's endured this long enough and tells her to clean herself up, wipe away her tears because now she's going to be queen.
Regina learns of Snow's betrayal.
A while later, Regina is stood inside her manor in a wedding dress as three women tend to it, finishing off the last details. Young Snow White comes up behind her, astonished by the dress, and calls Regina the fairest of them all. Still saddened by the death of Daniel, Regina coldly thanks the girl. Snow adds that she hopes to be as beautiful for her wedding day, Regina coldly says she will be. Snow then tells Regina that she knows her and Daniel will be happy together, confusing her. The young girl explains that she knew her mother would understand when she realized how happy he makes her and how much she loves him. Snow tells Regina that she has a wonderful mother who would do anything for her happiness. Regina becomes sickened by these comments, realizing that Snow told her secret. She asks the maids to leave and then she asks Snow if she told her mother about Daniel. Snow naively says "yes", enraging Regina, who manages to compose herself after a slight twitch. She reminds Snow that she specifically told her not to. The young girl apologizes, explaining that she didn't want Regina to lose her mother, like she lost hers. Regina turns away from the girl and her face is filled with anger and shock, however, she manages to compose herself again and she puts on a cold smile. Snow asks if Regina is mad, so Regina assures her she isn't as she was just trying to help. She then explains that she's not marrying Daniel as the dress is for King Leopold. Snow is confused as she thought they were in love, so Regina explains that Daniel ran away and what she had with him was an infatuation. She tells Snow that love can come in the must unexpected places and she and Leopold have something more special because it isn't about the two of them, but all of them. "We're going to be a family" Regina smiles. Snow is pleased and asks if they really are, so Regina adds that she'll be her step-mother and she couldn't be happier. Snow agrees and then hugs her mother to be. Regina hugs her back, but her face is full of hatred.
Cora is proud of her daughter.
As the two pull away from their hug, Regina's mother is heard from the side, who tells Snow that she has to go and pack up for the journey back to her palace in the morning. Snow tells Regina and her mother that they're both going to love it there, Regina's mother agrees, then Snow leaves cheerfully. When Snow leaves the room, Regina's mother tells her daughter "Well played" and states she is learning. Regina says she should change as she doesn't want to ruin her dress for the big day. As she walks away, her mother tells her she's so proud of her, causing her to stop. She turns to her mother, who is smiling, and asks if she knew that the King was traveling through their land. She then asks if the steed that Snow was riding didn't go wild on its own. Her mother rather unconvincingly tells her daughter that she has no idea what she's talking about. Noticing her mother's expression, she smiles coldly and begins to walk away again. As she leaves, she growls "I should've let her die on that horse".
Back in Storybrooke, Regina is stood in her office holding the engagement ring that Daniel had given her in her hand. She clenches it tight in her fist and then brings it close to her mouth. As she stares out a window, she whispers victoriously into it "We got her, Daniel. We got her", meaning she finally got revenge on Snow White.
Mr. Gold is optimistic.
Over at the sheriff's station, Mary Margaret is being handcuffed by two police officers to then be taken out of the station. Emma tries to speak to her friend before she's taken, but she is ignored, as Emma promised she'd help. When they're gone, Emma tells Mr. Gold, who is also stood in the room, that he said he could fix this and adds that that's why she came to him, so Regina couldn't win. Gold points out that she hasn't won yet, but Emma says she's going to and her friend is going to pay for her trusting him. Gold understands that the situation is emotional, but adds that its also not over. He asks Mary Margaret to have faith as there is still time. "Time for what?" Emma asks. "For me to work a little magic" Gold smiles. He then leaves the sheriff station, leaving an angered Emma behind. She walks into her small office and then leans frustratedly on her desk, sighing. She then grabs the plant pot Sidney gave her earlier and she smashes it against her filing cabinets. She paces around to calm herself down but then suddenly notices something on the floor. She heads toward the broken plant pot and reaches down to pick up an electronic device that was planted inside it. She looks at it in horror, realizing she has been fooled.
Kathryn is found...
A short while later, outside Granny's Diner, August exits the diner and is approached by Emma, who apologizes. He asks what she's sorry for, so she explains for doubting him, stating she made a mistake. She then shows him the electronic device she found and explains it is evidence that proves she's been trusting all the wrong people. She tells him the bug is from Sidney, stating she should've seen it coming. August tells her not to beat herself up about it because sometimes its hard to see what's right in front of us, but adds he knew she'd see it. She tells him she's trying and then they both exchange a smile. Suddenly, there is a loud scream heard from behind the diner. They both run down the side to find Ruby walking away from something in utter shock. Emma asks what's going on, so the terrified girl says that "she's in the alley". Emma asks who, but Ruby is too frightened to answer. Emma runs behind the diner and finds a woman lying with her face against the ground. She grabs the woman and flips her over, revealing it to be a terrified Kathryn, who is covered in dirt. August and Ruby soon come up behind Emma. Everyone is left in shock.
"I'm Your Friend Too"
Regina and David have a little chat.
Scotch is seen being poured into a glass on the bar of Granny's Diner, and David's hand is seen to be lifting it before he takes a sip. He pauses before placing the glass back down on the counter and begins to maul something over in silence. "Mind if I join you?" Regina suddenly asks, appearing beside him. David allows her to do so and she sits herself down, setting down her purse on the stool beside her. David then turns away and remains silent, and Regina, noticing something's up, asks him if he's okay. He explains that he met with the District Attorney earlier and he wants David to testify against Mary Margaret, who's currently in a jail cell. "As if I haven't destroyed enough lives already," David says, before taking another sip of scotch. Regina then tells him that what happened wasn't his fault, but he argues otherwise, pointing out that if it wasn't for him, Kathryn never would have tried to leave town in the first place. The mayor says that leaving town is not what killed Kathryn, a person did. Nevertheless, David states that he doesn't believe Mary Margaret to be the killer, and Regina suggests that they don't talk about ugly accusations, saying that the point is that he's in pain and he shouldn't be; he can't keep blaming himself for this. David pauses, considering this, before telling Regina that he doesn't understand, thinking that since she was Kathryn's friend, she should hate him for what he did. "I'm your friend, too," she assures him, going on to say that she doesn't hate him; quite the opposite. Regina comments that he's a good man and that's why Kathryn loved him, but David merely sighs, looking down. We see his hand lying lonely on the counter, and Regina places her hand on top in a comforting manner. She promises that she's there for him and makes sure he knows that - "Any time." He looks up at her and smiles, and she nods in reply as the two of them hold hands at the bar. David thanks the mayor before saying that he should get going, and Regina watches as he gets up, applies his jacket, and leaves the diner. Once he's gone, she grabs her purse and stands up also. She begins heading for the door, but on her way there, she leans in and thanks someone for letting her know that David was there. "My pleasure," Sidney Glass replies before Regina leaves. He proceeds to gesture the waitress who writes something down before approaching him with a menu.
Mary Margaret loses faith in her friend.
Inside her cell at the sheriff's station, Mary Margaret is seen to be making her bed when she notices Emma enter the room. She looks up, but upon realizing Emma's sad and slow movements, she simply utters, "Oh, no..." Emma continues to approach the cell without saying a word. Mary Margaret breaks the ongoing silence by again uttering "no". Emma slowly begins to come to a stop, and tells Mary Margaret that she doesn't know how, but somehow Regina was one step ahead; the shovel was gone when she got there. The blonde breathes an apology and Mary Margaret shakily sits down on the bed of her cell. She reminds Emma that she said she could fix this, and Emma, who's face is right up against the cell bars, whispers another apology. Mary Margaret sadly turns to her friend, and says that she could have run, she could be a thousand miles from where she is, but she came to face the charges. Emma, by this point, begins to tear up slightly, and Mary Margaret goes on to ask the sheriff if she knows why she came back. Emma looks up, and Mary Margaret says, "Because I believed in you. Because you said you could help me. But you couldn't. And now my life is over!" Mary Margaret buries her crying face in both palms and Emma, who's crying ever more heavily, assures Mary Margaret that she's wrong. "Leave!" Mary Margaret orders through tears, but Emma tries to talk to her. "Please leave!" she yells again. "Mary Margaret..." Emma utters, but this is met by another order to leave. Emma is still for a moment, but soon steps back and exits the sheriff's office, leaving Mary Margaret to her sadness. As soon as Emma leaves, however, Regina enters. Mary Margaret, who hears someone enter, exclaims that she told her to leave, thinking the new arrival is Emma. "Well I'm not going to," says Regina, and Mary Margaret looks up in shock as the mayor approaches her cell.
- The title card features a young Snow White on a runaway horse.
- The same title card is featured in "The Bear King".
- Although credited, Raphael Sbarge (Archie Hopper/Jiminy Cricket) is absent from this episode.
- This marks the fifth writing credit for both Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, as well as the fifth directing credit for Dean White.
This episode was viewed by 8.36 million people.
- Lily Sparks of TV.com was fond of the episode, ending with, "Once Upon a Time has cleared away a lot of bothersome s-c-h-t-u-f-f and now I am so back on board, if this show were a horse I'd be riding it bareback. Well done, Once Upon a Time. Once again, I cannot wait until next Sunday."
- Oliver Sava of The A.V. Club was less pleased with the episode, citing the revelation of Regina's backstory as "a bit of a letdown". However, he ended on a positive note, stating, "It looks like Once Upon A Time is on track to a strong finale after an uneven season."
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.