Yay, more continuity! Remember how Evil Queen Regina had Sidney tailing Emma and Henry during season 1, taking pictures of them in secret? When Emma and Elsa are scouring through old city records to figure out more about Mystery Ice Cream Lady, they find those pictures again. This time, Emma finds one that shows her in an argument with Mystery Ice Cream Lady, a confrontation she has absolutely no memory of. So what sort of memories have been locked away so securely in Emma’s mind that Killian’s memory-restoring potion couldn’t reach them? To start going about solving that mystery, Emma considers finding Sidney and asking him herself. Too bad Regina still has the guy trapped within the mirror.
Speaking of Regina, I’m sorry to say I’m once again losing patience with her. During her angry rant at Emma, which occurs when the two end up searching for Mystery Ice Cream Lady together, I was sorely tempted to slap her across the face with all the strength I could muster. ‘Oh, woe is me! My life is ruined because my boyfriend’s dead wife is back from the grave.’ Oh, cry me a river! Lady, I’m sorry, but you really don’t have the right to whine about your life being ruined. Let’s not forget you went out of your way to make a whole town of people miserable. But when you’re the one who is inconvenienced, you lash out and take it out on everyone else? You do realize how much that makes you sound like a spoiled child, right? Aren’t you technically in your 40s or 50s by now? Woman up, already! And what’s this crap about Emma never having your back? Making sure no one went and killed you in retaliation after the original curse broke, working to protect your soul from the wrath and then pushing you out of the way when it nearly got you, being one of the only people who attempted to reach out to you after returning from the Enchanted Forest, believing in your innocence after the second curse was cast, helping you try and recreate the memory potion so Henry could regain his memories and then giving you the chance to spend time with the amnesiac Henry when the potion couldn’t be replicated. You call all that not ever having your back? Wow. Just wow. Regina, I don’t want to hate you. I really don’t! But at times like this, you make it so difficult not to. You’re not the only one who’s going through things, you know. Do you really think Robin’s not feeling just as torn up about the situation as you are? You don’t see him being a grade-A jerk to anyone, do you? And the very fact that you’re once again coming dangerously close to relapsing back into your Evil Queen persona just is proving you haven’t really earned a happy ending yet. I’ve said it before. Happy endings are earned, not owed. If you don’t get what you want after one good deed, you can’t just throw up your hands and start bemoaning about how you’ll always be seen as a villain and will never get your happiness. If you really want your chance at a happy ending, Regina, maybe you should stop focusing on yourself and try thinking of other people for a change. For example, did you think Sidney wanted to go on being trapped in the mirror or his cell at the psychiatric ward? Your insistence on focusing on your own problems and not really considering his feelings is what led to Sidney, who obviously grew a backbone between episodes, betraying you to Mystery Ice Cream Lady, and it almost got you and Emma killed. At yet, even that didn’t seem to make you wise up. Seriously, this woman is acting like she’s lost everything she ever cared about and is just milking the whole victim card to death. And that really irks me because she’s obviously forgetting that she hasn’t hit rock bottom like she’s acting. After all, she’s still got Henry. You know, the son she claimed to love so much, she couldn’t live without him? The son she spent all of season 3 trying to get back? Now that she finally does has Henry back in her life, all she can focus on is her boyfriend problems. Would you like me to bring out my tiny violin, Gina? Because I will. I could go on even longer on how disappointed I am with Regina in this episode, but I think Arnold Rimmer can sum up my feelings much better in just a few words.
Rant aside, major props to Emma for not only taking the verbal abuse Regina kept throwing at her in stride, but also not letting Regina push her away. Even so, I really would have liked to have seen someone force that woman to get acquainted with the reality stick. Because while it does stink that Marian is back and Regina is in a position where she has to save her life, what Regina needs the most right now is someone to force her to take a good hard look at herself. It won’t do her any good in the long run if people continue trying to coddle her over the whole Marian situation.
We also get another glimpse of an incident in Emma’s past, during one of the points when she was in-between foster homes and had to resort to shoplifting in order to eat. During one of these escapades, she meets another girl named Lily, who helps her make off with a bunch of foodstuffs. The two girls quickly bond and decide to form a partnership, becoming Best Friends Forever almost instantly. Of course, it all comes crashing down when it’s revealed that Lily had adopted parents. Needless to say, Emma didn’t really take that too well, and she refuses to accept Lily’s apology. Which shows that it wasn’t just Neal who caused Emma’s severe trust issues. I can kind of understand why Emma reacted so negatively to finding out the truth of Lily's situation. Deep down, the thing Emma had always wanted the most was a family that loved her. And as far as Emma could see, that's exactly what Lily had. And yet, Lily had made it very clear that she wanted to run away with Emma to who knows where. I imagine it really bothered Emma to find out her new friend had planned to throw away the one thing Emma had always desperately wanted. To Emma, that was quite possibly a double betrayal on Lily's part.
Elsa was a bit stupid in this episode, falling for that obvious trap set by Mystery Ice Cream Lady. Really, if that really was Anna, then wouldn’t she be trying to reach Elsa instead of leading her further into the woods? And to make it even stupider, Elsa doesn’t question how Anna managed to make it across the gorge. You know, the one Elsa could only cross by making an ice staircase? However, in the end, Elsa made up for it by escaping from Mystery Ice Cream Lady’s trap and ended up saving Emma and Regina from the ice warrior thing with that awesome sniper shot. While it is always awesome to see Emma and Regina using their magic at the same time, imagine how awesome it would be if Elsa also combined her powers with theirs?
Meanwhile, in Snow and Charming’s subplot, Charming is trying to get Snow to enjoy their first night out without the baby. It was nice to see this, as it’s clearly a call back to what Archie said a few episodes ago. And I really appreciate how this show explored this aspect of childbirth. It can be hard for new parents to take an evening off from the responsibilities of caring for a newborn, and Snow perfectly illustrates that by her ongoing reluctance of leaving Baby Neal in the care of Belle for the evening, and how she gets all antsy about wanting to be reachable by phone (or walkie talkie) no matter what. (Also, yay for the Asgard reference, which practically confirms that the Marvel universe might be a real place in the show’s reality. We did get to see what appeared to be Thor’s Hammer in Dark One Rumpelstiltskin’s castle a few times. I wonder if this means they’ll actually go there in the future? After all, Disney does own the rights to Marvel now, right?) However, when Charming discovers that Will Scarlett has broken out of jail somehow, he decides that instead of a peaceful nighttime stroll, he and Snow will instead focus on re-arresting him, stating it would be just like one of their old adventures back in Pre-Curse Enchanted Forest. Of course, when Snow finds Will Scarlet (when Charming had barely walked three feet away, which makes you wonder how he couldn’t see or hear Will digging away on the beach), apparently looking for the satchel he buried to get back his map to where I imagine the portal back to Wonderland is, Snow concludes that the whole prison break was staged by Charming to force her to put aside her concerns about leaving Baby Neal with a babysitter. And I can see how she’d make that conclusion. It would have been just like the whole Excalibur thing from the 'Lost Girl' flashback. Of course, it’s later revealed that the prison break wasn’t one of Charming’s diversionary tactics, but since it did help Snow get over her jitters, they just give an ‘oh well’ shrug and decide to allow Will to keep his pardon. Which is a questionable decision, but it’s not the worst one I’ve seen on this show, so I can live with it.
It was really nice to see how Killian wasn’t letting the issues he came across last episode get to him, as we got two really great Captain Swan moments. First with that short scene in the beginning at the Sheriff Station, with Killian running an errand for Emma and then heading off to take Henry sailing, which indicates that he’s still spending time with Henry, continuing the bonding time they began in ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green.’ It’s just too bad those bonding moments all seem to happen off-camera. As if that wasn’t already perfect enough, we get Killian kissing Emma’s cheek before heading off. It was such a domestic moment, and as much as I love the epic romantic moments, there is just something about seeing those two being so casually intimate that makes me want to see more of it. (I bet if Blackbeard saw Killian and tried taunting him about ‘going soft’ now, Killian would simply tell him to bugger off. Kinda like how he responded to Will's comment.) We then get that great scene at the end, when Killian swings by the Sheriff’s Station again to find Emma sitting alone. Since he’s always been able to pick up on her moods without even trying, he immediatly sees she’s is in need of a friend at the moment and offers his flask of rum. Sharing a drink is really becoming their thing. When he sees the box containing her old mementos from her childhood, he hesitantly asks if she’s willing to share them with him. The exact words he uses are ‘may I have the honor?’ It really takes you back to what he said back in ‘Lost Girl,’ in which he said he wanted to know her, and this moment shows that hasn’t changed. In fact, his words show he considers the chance to learn more about her past an honor. And in a way, it is, because Emma very rarely opens up to anyone. And you can see how Killian knows that, even though Emma is letting him look through her cigar box of trinkets, that this is quite possibly painful to her, which is why he doesn’t force her to open up to him, simply giving her the power. After all, it’s no secret that Emma’s past wasn’t a pleasant one. So of course Killian is treasuring the fact that Emma’s allowing herself to be vulnerable and offering him this look into her past. His reactions to what he finds in the trinket box are just perfect, from his giant smile upon finding the dorky glasses Emma wore as a teenager to the expression he gets when finding the old snapshot of Emma and Neal. That moment is particularly touching when you remember that they both cared about Nealfirebagelperson in their own unique ways. And when Emma comes across the old camcorder that she found in the house Lily and her had broken into (which begs the question how Emma managed to keep it, since it obviously belonged to the people who owned the house), Killian is right there at her side to silently comfort her as they watch the footage of young Emma and Lily goofing off together. Of course, the quiet moment is brought to a screeching halt when the footage shifts to another moment Emma cannot remember, of her in another foster home. In this footage, it’s revealed that Emma’s foster mother at the time had been none other than Mystery Ice Cream Lady. (Dun dun dun!)