Once Upon a Time goes back in time, but this week it is not to the Enchanted Forest. Find out more about Emma’s past in our recap for season 4, episode 5, “Breaking Glass.”
Unpacking the past leads to a startling discovery from Emma’s childhood on tonight’s Once Upon a Time.
Paper Trail: In the police station, Emma and Elsa are going through files trying to spark some memory of the Snow Queen’s presence in Storybrooke prior to the memory wipe. Hook drops off the last of the boxes before running off to take Henry sailing.
David and Mary Margaret take the training wheels off of parenting and head out for a night on the town. David swings by the station to grab a radio so that they are reachable everywhere, including if they find passage to Asgard.
Will Scarlett apparently did not want to spend another restless night in his cell and makes a break for it, much to David’s unplanned delight. A date night straight out of the old days, only this time, no evil queen will be after the prince and princess. Mary Margaret is having some separation anxiety being away from Neal for over an hour, that is until she catches a glimpse of adventure on the horizon.
Will is searching for his satchel, which contains a map to get him out of Storybrooke, only he cannot seem to recall where his overly saturated mind led him to bury it the first time. Mary Margaret offers Will pardon if he admits the entire chase was a clever ruse to fulfill David’s idea of a date night. Will tries to contemplate the confusing string of leadership and family ties in the Storybrooke system and, smartly, gives up.
Compact Companions: Regina and Sidney are not seeing eye to eye. With no lead on the Snow Queen and still far off the trail of finding a cure for Marian, Regina is more determined than ever to hunt her down. There is one person who does not want to see her go at the venture alone. Emma turns up with photos from the time that Sidney tailed her upon her arrival to Storybrooke. In the images, Emma is seen talking to the Snow Queen, but needs the mirror to fill in the rest. Despite the past, and the present, Emma wants Regina to know that she has her back whether she wants to admit they should be partners or not.
Emma heads out of the vault to find that Elsa has left the bug to follow a distant voice in the woods. When she reaches the mountain ledge, Anna disappears from sight and Elsa’s fear gets the better of her. Elsa is taken by the Snow Queen and trapped by chains that will only grow stronger as her fear and worry control her emotions.
Hopkins, Minn. 1998 Blueberry Pop Tarts and stolen credit cards, a young Emma finds herself in a spot of trouble from a young age. We meet one of her first accomplices, a girl named Lily, who claims to be running from social services. Emma’s time in Boston came to an end when she watched the young girl from earlier this season get adopted. She hopped a bus and ended up in Minnesota about to crash in an empty summer home on a lake.
After binging on junk food, video games, and promises of friendship forever, Lily’s father shows up to take her home, shattering Emma’s trust. Lily tries to explain that she was an orphan, but still feels invisible in her home. Emma wipes away their matching symbol of trust, a star drawn on her wrist, and goes off with child services.
In the woods, Emma and Regina cross paths again, this time with Regina following a pocket mirror containing the Sidney compass. Regina cannot seem to shake Emma from her trail, nor can she avoid her pestering attempts to reconcile. Biting remark after biting remark leads Regina to insult Emma for not studying her craft, blaming her for the misfortunes in her life, and rejoicing at the knowledge that Emma needs to learn to live with the painful reminder that she ruined someone’s life.
But that does not put a damper on Emma’s motive to fight side by side with Regina against the Snow Queen’s regenerating ice soldier. Combining Emma’s light magic with Regina’s fiery blasts, the duo melt the creature much to the Snow Queen’s chagrin. However, the smooth villain manages to walk away with what she wants, Regina’s mirror.
At first glance the mirror containing Sidney is a powerful servant to have in one’s corner. But as soon as the mirror is back in her palace, Sidney is freed and the dark magic within the mirror becomes the true piece of her desire. A complete mirror provides a temporary reflection of a person’s soul. The queen is a collector of sorts, but the pieces that complete her larger mirror hold the power to give her what has been denied to her for too long, a family that loves her.
The strong chill: A chill is coming to Storybrooke. The icy shoulder Regina has been giving Emma is causing the first bit of the freeze. Emma attempts one last time to explain that she once had a friend who came into her life and she never had the chance to forgive her. Regina allows a bit of room to budge, saying, “I don’t want to kill you.” Progress!
Finishing up a bit of research, Emma allows Hook into her life a little further by allowing him “the honor” to literally unpack her past. Inside the box, Emma pulls a camcorder out, similar to the one she swapped from Lily. On the tape she finds a bit of footage wiped from her memory, and the longest lasting battery operated video camera.
The footage shows Emma being tormented by a few other children and the Snow Queen stepping in to take charge and restore order to the house. Finally, the connection is here! The Snow Queen was once Emma’s foster parent!
Watch Once Upon a Time season 4, episode 6, “Family Business,” Sunday, November 2 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.