Once Upon A Time, episode 9, pulls out more surprises as viewers meet Wonderland’s Queen of hearts.
In Alice’s story, the Queen of Hearts was not the kindest of people.
Once Upon A Time kept this fairytale true to form when the writers added the Wonderland storyline into the mix.
The episode begins with Hook overtaking the castle guards to get to Belle. Belle thinks Hook is there to kill her, but he claims he’s there to rescue her. Hook believes Belle knows how to defeat Rumpelstiltskin.
When Hook finds out Belle can’t help him, he knocks her out. Hook is about to kill Belle, but Regina shows up. Regina is good at knowing when she can use someone for her own purposes.
Regina hires Hook to kill her mother. Regina cannot afford to have her mother, Cora, follow her to Storybrooke when the curse is put in place. Regina sends Hook to do her dirty deed. She tells Hook remove her mother’s heart and bring back her body.
When Regina sends Hook to Wonderland, he is captured by the Queen of Hearts’ soldiers. The Queen of Hearts sits on her throne behind a mask. In keeping with Wonderland oddities, the Queen whispers her wishes through an ear horn. The Queen’s servant repeats her words for all to hear.
Hook is asked why he is in Wonderland. He tells the queen he is in search of someone named Cora. Without further ado, the Queen of Hearts stands, puts down her mask and reveals that she is Cora. Hook, only by force, reveals that Regina requested Cora’s assassination.
Cora, strong with magic herself, will not be defeated by her daughter. Cora gets Hook to help her. Cora plans to turn the tables and take Regina’s heart instead. Except when Cora lies in the coffin feigning death, Regina’s admittance to loving her mother saves her life. Cora decides to bide her time, only going to her daughter when she needs her mother most.
Meanwhile, Emma, Snow, Mulan, and Aurora are in search of the ink that can stop Cora. Emma, Snow, Mulan, and Aurora finally get to Rumpelstiltskin’s cell. The women search everywhere for the magic ink. They find a scroll with Emma’s name written over and over by Rumpelstiltskin, and an empty ink bottle.
While despairing over their loss, Aurora, under Cora’s spell, throws a rock that hits the cell’s lock mechanism. With the women trapped behind bars Cora and Hook take off with the compass. Emma is in despair and starts falling into a depression. The jail bars are enchanted and not breakable.
Snow, never one to give up, realizes that the ink on the scroll is useful. Snow blows on the scroll and ink floats towards the jail bars, making them crumble. Aurora decides she should stay behind, since she is under Cora’s spell and can’t be trusted. They leave Aurora behind, but Mulan promises to come back with Aurora’s heart.
Cora and Hook are gleeful and excited that they will soon be in Storybrooke. Breakout the fight scene. Both sides duel for the compass when Emma, Snow, and Mulan catch up to the thieving duo. While Hook and Emma sword fight, Cora, Snow, and Mulan battle. As Cora magically poofs herself away, Aurora’s heart almost falls into the portal.
Hook, always the gentleman when least expected, saves the heart and throws it to Mulan. Snow tells Mulan to take it to Aurora, while Snow uses Mulan enchanted sword to battle Cora.
Alas, Emma (our fave girl hero) gets the compass and knocks Hook out. Cora has Snow in a position to take her heart. Ever the heroine, Emma throws herself in front of Snow. Cora doesn’t care whose heart she has, but finds that she cannot take Emma’s. Surprisingly, it seems Emma has a little magic of her own and throws Cora off.
With their path free, Snow and Emma jump into the portal with compass in hand. What they don’t know about is the war happening on the other side in Storybrooke.
Gold talks Regina into helping him use magic to make the portal impassable. Prince Charming is still in a deep sleep. He is unable let them know he gave Snow the warning while in the netherworld.
Gold and Regina can’t risk that Cora will come through the portal. Regina is trying her best to be good and is torn. She has her doubts, and feels that Emma and Snow could make it through the portal. In the end, Regina agrees to help Gold.
Henry learns of Regina’s plans and heads out with Ruby. Henry and Ruby find Gold and Regina at the old wishing well. Gold tells them both that it is unlikely that Emma and Snow can win against Cora’s magic. Henry implores Regina to have faith that it will be Emma and Snow that come through the portal. Regina decides to make the portal passable again.
Minutes after Regina makes it passable, Emma and Snow climb out of the wishing well portal. Everyone rushes back to Gold’s shop, where Snow uses her kiss to wake Prince Charming. It’s a touching reversal of roles as the dwarves stand around Prince Charming as they did Snow. Henry thanks Regina one more time for doing the right thing.
Unfortunately, Regina is left out when Ruby invites everyone at Gold’s to celebrate with a dinner at Granny’s.
So it seems Cora and Hook are left behind. Except they aren’t. On the horizon, a ship is sailing towards Storybrooke’s harbour. The passengers are none other than Cora and Hook. It also seems that Aurora and Mulan are not out of the picture yet either. However, how they get to Storybrooke is another episode to watch.
How do you think Aurora and Mulan will find their way to Storybrooke? How will Regina react when she sees her mother? Leave your thoughts about this episode below!
Seasons one and two can be viewed on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video.