TV RECAP: ‘Once Upon a Time’ Episode 221 – ‘Second Star on the Right’

ETHAN EMBRY, LANA PARRILLA

We open with young Bae going through the magic bean portal and dropping into a land without magic. He stares in wonder at old timey London. “What is this place?” he says. A whole new wooooorrrrrld! Credits.

Six months later and baby Bae is scrounging for food in the garbage. He uses an unattended ladder to sneak into a manor house through the window. Within a minute of scarfing down some tasty looking bread, he’s caught by a dog (Nana!) and a young girl. Taking in his street rat appearance and the stolen bread in his hands and pockets, she lowers her weapon (a candlestick) and offers Bae as much bread as he wants. We learn her name too: Wendy Darling.

In Storybrooke, grown up Bae awakens to find Tamara is getting ready for to workout. She’s training for a marathon (…of evil!). Neal says, “Come back to bed. I’ll give you a workout.” Ew. She declines, heads out, and meets up with Oweg in the, I’m assuming abandoned, canning factory. They’ve got Regina strapped to a table and at the moment Hook is talking with the subdued Queen. He tells her that Tamara and Oweg want him to kill Rumplestiltskin, which he’s pretty excited about it, but obviously not in any hurry to do. Regina questions why he trusts them and says he has no idea who they really are.

As the “they” in question enter the room, we learn that they’re not alone in their quest to rid the world of magic. There are more of them, even a “home office.” While Tamara is prepared to head out to give their info to the office, Oweg wants to know about his father so he’s going to stay behind and torture Regina. Hook wants none of it and departs. Even with electrodes attached to her, Regina sneers at Oweg. “Is that supposed to scare me?” Oweg tells her it’s going to hurt. A lot. Then he pushes the button.

Returning to London, Wendy’s been hiding Bae in the crawlspace in her room for weeks. Her parents discover him but decide to let him stay, giving him a proper bed and 19th century dressing gown and everything. It’s all coming together perfect for the parentless Bae until Wendy tells him about the super cool Shadow that visits them at night. Horrified at hearing that the Shadow can take them to a land with magic, Bae makes her promise never to open the window. She does.

Back to the cannery where Regina is taking the torture like the boss she is. She even keeps up her snarky comments to Oweg about his dad in between zaps. But she’s starting to fade. She needs a hero! Cut to the daddy-daughter sheriff team bursting into Regina’ office, guns drawn. The Mayor isn’t there but we see that the Queen did indeed save a bean stalk. Snow points out the beans are gone. Emma sees that the last time someone keyed into Regina’s office they used an override. Using their amazing powers of deduction, the Charming family realizes Regina’s in trouble and someone else has taken the beans. They decide to pay Mr. Gold a visit.

DYLAN SCHMID

The Darling home. Wendy is standing at her window and welcomes the Shadow. So much for that promise. Bae begs her not to go but Wendy is swept away by the Shadow. The creepy ghost/wraith with glowing eyes is not the jokester shadow of Peter Pan. When Wendy returns from her trip to Neverland we learn that the Shadow is really a child snatcher. Children are trapped in Neverland, unable to come home, and the Shadow only let Wendy return because he wants one of her brothers. Neverland isn’t so wonderful after all.

Snow and Charming enter Gold’s shop to find him and Lacey having a tete-a-tete. (Earlier they’d had a helluva time trying to make Dr. Whale kiss Gold’s boot.) He agrees to give them a spell to help find Regina after Charming reminds him he “owes him.” Gold provides them with one of Regina’s tears, which he has just ‘cause, and mixes it with one of Snow’s. Lacey is suitably impressed that Gold can do magic.

Meanwhile Emma turns up at Tamara’s apartment. “I need to search your room for real this time.” Neal is annoyed and skeptical, even after Emma finds sand in the closet indicating that Tamara hasn’t just been running in the forest. They head down to the beach to look for her and along the way talk about their feelings. Emma dismisses that she’s trying to break up Neal’s engagement but admits she’s sad he found “Tallahassee” with someone else. He tells her he regrets letting August persuade him away from her.

It’s about then they run in to Tamara who looks to be in the middle of her running sesh. As she goes on her merry way, she no apparent problem with her fiancé talking with his ex all alone. That should’ve been a red flag but I guess, once again, Emma’s lie detecting skills are on the fritz.

Back at the Charming home, the spell Gold gave them involves putting the tears into Snow’s eye. For the second time tonight: Ew. For a beat it seems like nothing’s happened. Then Snow starts convulsing with visions of Regina being electrocuted. Charming helpfully yells Snow’s name.

She comes to, saying she was in incredible pain, having experience and seen what Regina did. She gives little info about where Regina is except to say that she smelled sardines. Despite being Sheriff of the small town for several months, Charming doesn’t realize that this means the canning factory. But Emma does because when she talks to Dad she sees the factory in the distant. She and Neal head there with Charming and Snow on their way too.

We return to the Darling home once more and Bae has helped the Darling kids prepare to fight off the Shadow. They hide in the crawlspace but when the Shadow starts to lure in Michael, Bae offers himself instead. The Shadow agrees and amidst Wendy’s screams of protest, they take flight. When he realizes the Shadow’s taking him to Neverland (duh), Bae struggles free and falls into the water below. He’s promptly fished out by our favorite wife stealing, crocodile hunting pirate. “Welcome aboard the Jolly Roger,” Hook says. Ru-roh.

Older Bae is sneaking through the factory with Emma and swears that if this is Tamara’s evil lair he’s got Emma’s back. Comforting, I’m sure. Realizing that the hero squad is on their way, Tamara is ready to blow this pop stand but Oweg hasn’t gotten what he needs from Regina. Tamara skips out as Oweg pumps even more voltage into Regina. She finally relents, saying she killed Oweg’s father all those years ago. Then she buried him at their campsite. The news makes Oweg crazy with grief and he responds with some more shocks. Charming and Snow are there to save the day though and with some impressively accurate shooting Charming shoos Oweg away.

Snow radios Emma that Oweg is headed their way. “So I was right. It wasn’t Tamara,” Neal says just before his fiancé appears to smack Emma in the back of the head with a pipe. Whoops. “Actually it was,” Tamara quips. She then proceeds to tell Neal that it’s all been a lie since the moment they met. Even so, he feels the need to state that she never loved him and was just using him, etc.  I guess Neal borrow Charming’s Captain Obvious costume for tonight.

Tamara, perhaps tired of answering stupid questions, shoots Neal in the chest and moves closer to kill him. Emma comes from behind and a pretty awesome fight ensues. But Tamara, who let’s remember loathes all magic, decides to use the magic bean up her sleeve. She throws it at Emma’s feet then runs away as the blond and her baby daddy are pulled into the vortex. Emma can’t hold on to Neal and he tells her to let him go so that they don’t get pulled in. He doesn’t want Henry to grow up like they did. Henry needs Emma but she counters that she needs him. “I love you!” she says furiously. “I love you too…” he gets out just before the portal takes him. Rumple’s going to be pissed.

In Casa Charming, the Blue Fairy uses her wand to check on Regina. They Cora cuff is gone (how?) and Regina will be back to ruining lives in no time. Snow dabs at Regina’s forehead in a scene surely meant to parallel the one between Snow and “Wilma” from last week. A devastated Emma arrives to say that Neal’s gone. The Queen awakens to admit that yes she was going to kill everyone with the failsafe but they need to put that aside. She doesn’t have it anymore you see, which is bad (or worse) news for Storybrooke.

Cut to Oweg who is digs furiously for about three seconds before finding his father’s remains right where Regina said they’d be. Guess it was a shallow grave. Tamara shows up soon after to say the home office has finished analyzing the failsafe jewel they took from Regina. They’ve been cleared to use it to “blow Storybrooke off the map!”

Quemmentary

–        Does the secret group that Tamara and Oweg are a part of hate magic or people from other lands? If the former, they’re going to kill a lot of non-magical people in Storybrooke by activating the failsafe.

–        Also, anyone else feel like Tamara and Oweg work for some Once version of Torchwood? How awesome would a Captain Jack Harkness appearance be?

–        Why is Hook waiting to be told to go kill Rumple? Why would he take orders from the two magic haters?

–        Every scene with Lacey makes me miss Belle all the more. Sigh.

–        Why remove the Cora cuff from Regina and allow her to use magic again? Clearly she’ll need it by the looks of next week’s preview but wouldn’t everyone be safer with her under control?

–        If Rumbellers are going to have to make do with Gold/Lacey, they could at least be rewarded with a kiss.

–        If part of Rumple’s plan in getting Bae in Storybrooke is to spend time repairing their relationship, it’s unlikely that mirroring horrific scenes from the boy’s childhood would help.

–        How would the guns Charming and Emma had do anything against Regina’s magic if she were in her office?

–        Wouldn’t the electro-torture have affected the machinery or whatever that was in the Cora cuff? Or is it the kind of science that isn’t affected by huge jolts of electricity?

–        In any case, I guess that “the toughest metals and machinery known to man” are no match for, ironically, magic.

–        What is Snow wearing in Two Tears scene? Good gracious.

–        Nitpick: Is Storybrooke even on a map?

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