Last week on ‘Once Upon a Time’ we started to get more into Rumplestiltskin’s story. We didn’t find out very much about Mr. Gold, and if he remembers the past life (although I believe he does) except we do know that him and Regina have a bitter feud. He helped Emma seal the Sheriff position in Storybrooke, and we know that she still owes him a favor, which he’ll probably use while she has some power. For this episode, one of the guest stars listed is Emma Caulfield, which I’m sure makes some of the ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ fans happy!

Story Time

The Woodsman tells his children, Hansel and Gretel that there is enough wood in the forest to keep them warm through the winter. He tells them to gather kindling, the dryer the better, and gives Gretel his compass, saying “Our family always needs to find one another.” After they have finished gathering kindling, they return to the area where their father was, seeing that he is gone. They hear angry noises, so they rush off to try and find him. They run out into the road, where the Evil Queen is in her carriage. She asks them what they are doing in her forest. Gretel begs forgiveness from the Queen, explains that they are searching for their father. The Queen tells the guards to seize them, which Gretel fights them off with a slingshot while her and Hansel run. Using magic, the Evil Queen appears in front of them in the forest, and uses roots from the trees to hold them in place. She releases them, telling them she needs them to do a favor for her. She asks about the compass (which broke during the scuffle) and reveals to them that they need to retrieve an item for her. In the Blind Witch’s home there is a black leather satchel which holds something dear to her. They would have to wait until nightfall for the witch to be asleep, when they can then sneak in. The Queen warns them though, “No matter what you do. No matter how much you are tempted. Don’t eat anything.” It is then revealed that the Blind Witch lives in a gingerbread home, covered in candies and sweets.

Hansel and Gretel sneak through the window of the Blind Witch’s home. Hansel almost breaks the rule right away, but Gretel sees him and stops him. Once they are inside you can see the room filled with even more sweets and baked goods. Gretel sees the bag, and starts towards it. She almost reaches it when Hansel bites into a cupcake, waking the witch. The witch exclaims “I smell dinner!” As Hansel and Gretel start to run, the witch uses magic to lock the doors and windows, trapping them inside. She locks them up, and while feeling Hansel through the bars, she remarks that he would make for a great roast. She goes and feels the oven for heat. Hansel and Gretel talk about their predicament, and Gretel says she will get them out. The Blind Witch returns, chanting “Gravy or butter, which shall it be.” She pulls out Gretel, who steals the key off the front of the dress and tosses it to Hansel, who frees himself. He goes to attack the witch, but she hears him and fights back. The two manage to get the Blind Witch on the rack of the oven, shoving her in and locking the door. Gretel grabs the black satchel, and the two flee the gingerbread house. The Evil Queen watches from her mirror, listening to the Blind Witch screaming for help. She sets the witch on fire through the mirror.

Hansel and Gretel go to the Evil Queen with the satchel. The satchel contains a shiny red apple, which the Queen explains is for someone under the illusion that they are safe. The Queen praises them for their work, and tells them “you deserve better then a father who would abandon you.” Her reward is to let them stay with her in the castle, where “all of your dreams could come true.” They respond by calling her terrible, that all they want is their father back. Angering her, the Queen uses magic on them, and they vanish. She goes to her mirror, watching Snow White, who has started staying with the dwarves. The guards bring in the Woodsman, who is in shackles. The Queen demands to know why his children refused her offer. He replies that “Family always finds one another.” She tells him “You all can be together as a family, as soon as you all find one another.” We are then flashed to Hansel and Gretel, waking up in the middle of the forest alone. Gretel still has the compass, and they start off on a search to find their father.

Real Time

Henry is reading the ‘Hulk vs. Wolverine’ (a nice plug from Disney for Marvel) when a young girl named Ava starts talking to him. She says that she has seen him around school. Her twin brother, Josef, invites Henry to hang out. As they start to leave the store, the clerk stops them, saying that Henry is stealing. Henry denies this, but when the clerk opens the bag there are stolen candy bars inside.

Regina is called, and upon examining what the clerk thought Henry was trying to steal she saw candy at which point she explains Henry doesn’t eat candy. She blames the twins and leaves with Henry, to be stopped by Emma on the way out. Regina reminds Emma that she is only Henry’s biological mother, not his actual mother, and she doesn’t need to be bothered by this. Emma reminds her that she is the sheriff, so this actually falls in her jurisdiction. Regina and Henry leave, while the clerk tells Emma the phone number the twins gave him was disconnected. Emma asked if the number was a fake, but Ava tells her that their parents just didn’t have enough money to pay the bill. Emma quickly realizes that they were just trying to help out by stealing the items. Emma purchases the items for them and drops them off. She tries to go into the house with them, but they ask her not to because their parents are embarrassed. Emma reminds them that she has a super power of being able to tell when people are lying to her, and asks if everything is all right at home. They reply quickly that yes, everything is fine. They go onto the front steps and wave Emma away, turning and running as soon as they see she is gone. They go into a boarded up houses basement, where they unpack the items. They hear noises from above, coming face to face with Emma upstairs. Emma confronts them, causing Ava to confess they have no parents.

Emma brings the twins back to her and Mary’s place. While the children eat, Emma and Mary discuss how no one knew they had no parents. Mary asks if Emma has called Child Services. Emma’s obvious response is no, she doesn’t want them in the system that she was in growing up. Emma decides that she wants to find their father, which Ava overhears and begs them not to be separated. Emma goes to the records office and talks to Mr. K, who hands her 3 forms to fill out while he finds the files. Before she can fill anything out though, Mr. K informs Emma that the records were already removed. Knowing already who took them, Emma goes to see Regina. Regina informs Emma that the father doesn’t exist, there is no record of him. She has already reported the twins to the states foster system, and expects Emma to drive them to Boston that night. They would be separated, which Emma protests, saying that she promised Ava they wouldn’t be. Regina, with her evil smirk, tells Emma to stop making promises she can’t keep.

Emma is back researching things in her office when Henry walks in. He tells her he thinks the twins are Hansel and Gretel. Emma explains that the father has abandoned them, and Henry counters that he has to be in Storybrooke, reminding her “No one leaves Storybrooke.” Henry then asks about his father. Emma tells him that she was a waitress for him while he was going through the firefighters academy, that he would stop in for pie every night. They hung out a few times, but his life started to get better while hers got worse. She wound up in jail, when she tried to contact him to tell him about Henry, she was informed he died saving a family from a burning apartment building. Emma suddenly thinks of something on how to find Ava and Josef’s father, leaving Henry in the office.

Back at the apartment, she shows Ava and Josef her baby blanket, saying that everyone in the foster care system kept something of their parents. Ava hands over the compass, and asks if they will stay together. Emma promises to find their father. She then takes the compass to Mr. Gold, who remembers the compass. He tells her cannot remember the name off hand who bought it, but keeps extensive records and pulls a card out of his files. His price for the name is forgiveness, but Emma bargains with him for tolerance. He agrees, and tells her the name of the man she is searching for is Michael Tillman, then wishes her luck. When she leaves, we discover the card he pulled was blank.

Emma tracks down Michael, who denies they are his children. He was only with their mother once, there is no way that the twins could be his according to him. Emma shows him the compass, argues with him that in the future “you’re going to have to answer to them” begging him to take them. Emma doesn’t want to see them put into the system. Michael counters “If its a good home you’re looking for, its not with me.” Emma is then faced with having to tell the twins that Michael doesn’t want them. She goes to Mary to talk to her, which Mary tries to explain that maybe the truth is best. Emma tells Mary that she didn’t tell the truth about Henry’s father either, but before the conversation could continue Regina is there, checking up on Emma. Regina reminds Emma she needs to take the twins to Boston that night.

Henry tries to stop Emma from taking Ava and Josef, but Emma explains that she has to. As she is driving out of Storybrooke, the engine stalls on the car, so Emma pulls over to the side of the road. Emma calls for help. As Michael’s tow truck approaches, Ava’s compass goes haywire, spinning in all directions. Michael approaches the car, as Emma explains that she wants him to see them, just once. Michael tells her not to take them to Boston. Happily, Emma rushes home to tell Mary what happened. They start discussing Emma’s biological parents, which Emma tells her that Snow White is hers, making Mary her mother. Mary tells Emma she likes her baby blanket, touching it and holding it. Emma sits in her car outside with an old file when Henry approaches, bringing her pumpkin pie. As they sit outside the car talking, a stranger comes in on a motorcycle. Someone new has entered Storybrooke.

So this week we have a new cast member added, which I think we will get the story for next week. I felt this week was kind of a filler episode, it didn’t really move the story along. While it was interesting, it didn’t progress things further. How do you feel about it? Who do you think the stranger is?

If you missed the previous episode be sure to read our ‘Once Upon A Time: Desperate Souls ‘ recap.