Bailey Madison, the actress who plays young Snow White is incredible. Not only does she show us Snow’s heartache and pain, you can actually see adult Snow White in her. It’s not just a physical resemblance, it’s her mannerisms. To be able to channel a character defined by someone else when so young is truly amazing.
For the last few episodes (since the car accident?), Hook has been without his hook. In the meantime he’s worn a glove where his left hand should be. He’s anxious to get his hook back, even though the glove is more esthetically pleasing. I suppose he needs the hook in order to stab Gold. After all, it’d be hard to fatally wound someone with a glove. Besides, “Captain Glove” doesn’t sound all that menacing.
So yes, Hook gets his hook back, sails his invisible ship to Manhattan, and stabs Gold. Oh, and apparently he’s tipped the hook with a poison for which there is no antidote. The only recourse for the “Manhattan Four” is to return to Storybrooke and cure Gold with magic. But for such an urgent undertaking, they seem to waste a lot of time talking and introducing fiancés.
It’s Snow White’s birthday, in both Fairy Tale Land and in Storybrooke. Storybrooke Snow wants nothing to do with it, and isn’t happy to receive a gift. But when she finds out what it is and who sent it, she softens. It’s a tiara, and it’s from Mrs. Patmore, er, Johanna, a handmaiden in Fairy Tale Land (or, since we’re doing a Downton Abbey mashup, lady’s maid). Snow finds Johanna planting snowdrops, and they have a heartfelt reunion.
In Fairy Tale Land, Snow is eagerly anticipating her birthday ball. Her mother, Queen Eva, presents her with the tiara, a family heirloom. Suddenly, Eva falls ill. Johanna is present and takes Snow under her wing. She tells Snow the Blue Fairy might be able to save the queen with magic.
Snow finds the Blue Fairy (or rather, the fairy finds Snow). She gives Snow a candle containing dark magic which will restore her mother’s health, but at the expense of another’s life. In the end, Snow can’t bring herself to kill an innocent. Queen Eva tells Snow her decision showed strength, and Snow receives her mother’s blessing before the queen dies.
Back in Storybrooke, Snow discovers what Cora and Regina are up to, what with looking for Rumpelstiltskin’s dagger and all. Regina is digging for it with a shovel, which seems strange since either she or Cora could move the dirt with a wave of her hand.
Snow enlists David’s help. Through the magic of cell phone technology and Gold’s cooperation, they find the dagger. It’s hidden behind the minute hand of the town clock. I’m surprised it’s in such a public place, seeing as how anyone could climb the clock tower and find it. But whatever.
Just when the Charming’s think they’ve won, Cora and Regina appear in a cloud of purple smoke. To encourage Snow to give them the dagger, they conjure Johanna, and Regina rips out her (glowing) heart. Johanna tells Snow not to give them the dagger, and I agree. What’s to stop the bitches from killing Johanna anyway? But Snow is more trusting, and surrenders the dagger. Surprise! Cora flings Johanna out the clock tower’s window to her death.
In case you didn’t figure it out, Cora poisoned Queen Eva, and posed as the Blue Fairy who gave Snow the dark magic candle. After the funeral service, Cora shows up to talk to dead Queen Eva. She speaks with such contempt, I’m wondering if there’s more to their relationship. It seemed so personal, more than just making room for Regina to be queen. (I’m thinking they’re sisters, possibly separated at birth? We’ll see.)
After burying Johanna, Snow White says she’s tired of being good and fighting evil. She’s going to kill Cora. Uh-oh. The previews say “one of their own” will die next week. I’m fearful, because the last time they said that, the cute sheriff/huntsman died. And I liked him.
[Photos credit ABC/Jack Rowland]