The seven dwarves decide to test if it is possible to leave Storybrooke without repercussions while the townspeople are putting back together their lives after the wrath’s attack. David knows Regina’s magic is not 100% and wants to know what she knows about the whereabouts of Emma and Mary Margaret.
Now that everyone knows who they really are, they all turn to David for guidance and help. The dwarves have discovered that the barrier around the town still exists, except now if anyone crosses the border, all memories of the fairy tale self is erased and they become their cursed selves again forever. They can’t leave and are still trapped.
Regina is desperately trying to get her magic to work. She heads to Mr. Gold’s shop and demands where the book is. Mr. Gold will not help her and asks her to please leave. But his “pleases” don’t have the same effect as they used to. Regina tells him that she knows he’s up to something as they both allow the townspeople to think that the Enchanted Forest still exists. The blackmail works and Mr. Gold produces the spellbook. As she leaves, he gives her one parting shot that holding the book makes Regina look just like her mother. (That’s enough to have Regina turn Mr. Gold into a frog!)
Henry recognizes the Mad Hatter’s hat and tells David that it can open a portal between two worlds. David goes to see Mr. Gold who is planning to make a break out of Storybrooke. David asks him if he has something magical that can locate a person. He refuses to tell Mr. Gold who he is hoping to find but Mr. Gold gives him a potion anyway but in exchange wants ‘Prince Charming’ to leave him alone. David asks for the same. As he leaves, David tells Mr. Gold of the consequences of leaving Storybrooke which makes Mr. Gold none too happy. Looks like he’s stuck in town much longer than he anticipated.
Regina opens the book of spells and breathes in the magic. She heads to the town hall meeting with noticeable confidence. Witchy woman is back as she uses magic against the townspeople. Henry tells Regina he’ll go with her if she leaves everyone alone.
Regina takes Henry back to her mansion and Henry runs up to his room to make a break for it. Unbeknownst to him, there is a magic tree outside his window that wraps around him. Back in his room, Regina tries to explain why she “rescued” him. She tells him that she will let him know all the secrets and learn magic but Henry tells her he doesn’t want to be like her. (Ouch!)
Frightened of Regina’s newfound power, the townspeople have formed a caravan to leave Storybrooke but David blocks their path. In a speech that would make any royal proud, he convinces the kingdom, er, townspeople, to trust that he will not let Regina harm them if they come together like they did before. (Sigh!)
David is on a roll as now he confronts Regina (with a sword no less) and demands to see Henry. Regina realizes she has become like her mother and in an act of selflessness, she tells Henry he can go live with his grandfather. David asks Regina if the Enchanted Forest still exists and she tells him yes but she doesn’t know how to get there.
The town begins to get back to a semblance of normality. The dwarves are off to find fairy dust to bring back Sneezy’s memory, Henry tells Marco/Geppetto that Pinocchio is alive and Regina can’t yet find herself to fully separate herself from the magic book of spells. Instead of burning the book, she decides to keep it under lock and key. Mr. Gold is at the town’s border longing to leave the place. Henry and David keep the hope that Emma and Snow are still alive.
Fairy Tale Land:
Young Regina and Snow are having a tender moment. Snow opens a box, pulls out a necklace with the ring Daniel had given her and asks about it. She tells Snow she doesn’t remember but she images herself telling Snow it was her fault for telling her mother Cora about the stable boy which got him killed. Of course she images saying all this while choking the life out of Snow with the necklace. But alas, it was only in her imagination.
Regina is confiding with her father, Henry, and tells him she doesn’t want to marry the king and that her mother is slowing turning her into a replica of her. Henry tells Regina that a man made her this way by giving her a book of spells.
As Cora sleeps, Regina steals the magic book and summons Rumpelstiltskin. He tells her he’s been waiting for the day he sees her again and knew her when she was a babe. Rumpelstiltskin can’t believe how nice and kind Regina is considering who her family is. He senses how powerful she can really be and offers to help her with magic. He shows her a mirror which is actually a portal to another world and tells Regina all she needs to do to stop her mother from forcing her to marry the King is to push her into the mirror.
It’s Regina’s wedding day and her mother comes in to check on her. She sees the looking glass and makes another jab at Regina. Cora tells Regina how she can claim the kingdom but Regina tells her she doesn’t want to be like her and moves push her into the mirror.
But Cora is too smart and stops her with magic. She tells Regina she is stuck with her forever. Behind her, Rumplestiltskin is in the mirror urging Regina to use her magic to push Cora backward. With a scream, Regina breaks through the magical ties and Cora is flung into the mirror which then breaks, trapping her there forever.
Regina is leaving the kingdom when she sees Rumpelstiltskin in her path. He asks her how it felt to use magic and she confesses it felt wonderful. That’s music to his ears and he offers to show her how to really use magic. In return, she will owe him a favor. Regina is still skeptical as she doesn’t want to turn into her mother but Rumpelstiltskin tells her that is up to her.
Mulan brings Mary Margaret and Emma to their campsite. As they try to escape, Mulan throws bolos at Mary Margaret which knock her to the ground unconscious. Emma heads back to her mother, Mulan tells her men to throw them in the pit. As Emma tries to bring Mary Margaret back to consciousness, a woman emerges from the shadows offering help. As she walks into the light, we see it is Cora!