“Once Upon A Time” recap: Shadows and Sardines and Shocks, Oh My (2.21)

Previously on Once Upon A Time, Stranger Greg and Tamara kept busy being the worst humans ever, Baelfire somehow only aged to approximately 28 in hundreds of years, and Ruby joined Mulan and Aurora in the Land of Missing Persons.

We open long ago in the Enchanted Forest when Rumpelstiltskin proved he really was the Dark One by tossing his son into a vortex all alone. Little Bae arrives on the other side of the vortex in London, in the time of horse-drawn carriages, where he lives on the streets for approximately six months.

One day, when trash pickings are particularly low, Bae seizes an opportunity to sneak in an open window and steal some bread that’s just lying around in a giant dining room. A little girl comes in tells the boy to leave until she realizes he’s not there to harm anyone, but is just hungry.  She offers him the rest of the bread and intrudes herself as Wendy Darling.

In present-day Storybrooke, Gold and Lacey have Dr. Whale pinned to the ground presumably because he looked at Lacey the wrong way. Neal pulls his father off him before he can smash the doctor’s face in. Neal rails on Gold for searching the world for him only to disappear when he’s finally in town. Gold mistakes his presence in Storybrooke as lingering hope for their father/son relationship, but Neal (like Regina) uses The Henry Excuse for why he’s still here, when really everyone knows it’s because he still loves Emma. 

Meanwhile, across town, Emma and David bust into Regina’s office – though they didn’t have to do much busting since the door was unlocked. Mary Margaret and Henry join them and they have a conversation that could easily have been plucked from an episode of Scooby Doo. Eventually they decide someone else broke into the room and stole the magic beans. Henry and Emma are afraid something bad has happened to Regina, but Emma swears to Henry – promises, even – that they will find her.

Over in the shady part of Storybrooke, Stranger Greg and Tamara have Regina tied to a table and are murmuring about contacting a “home office” while Hook chats with Regina, who is remarkably calm for someone strapped to a table, being held prisoner by lunatics.

She warns Hook that he’s on the wrong side of this, but all he cares about is killing Rumpelstiltskin. When Greg comes in and makes it clear he plans on using a little electro-shock therapy, he takes his leave. He wants no part in torturing the queen, but he also doesn’t do anything to save her.