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'Once Upon a Time' Recap: Betrayals and Beanstalks

By Leanne Aguilera, Hollywood.com Staff

This week's Once Upon a Time finally gave us something we've been craving for more than a year now: An in-depth look into Emma's past! And we hate to say it, but it was definitely worth the wait. So how did she get that little yellow VW bug? Who is the mysterious man in NYC we saw in the season premiere? And why is the episode called, "Tallahasee"? We're here to catch you up on all those goodies, plus fill you in on the shared nightmares of two cross-realm characters and the return of the a fan-favorite motorcycle enthusiast. Grab an Apollo bar and relax as we fill you in on everything you missed...

Fee Fi Foe Fum: "It's a little freakier than I remember from the story," Emma (Jennifer Morrison) winces at the sky-high beanstalk as she attempts to recall the childhood tale from her memory. Captain Hook (Colin O'Donoghue) sneers, "Sounds like a lovely tale, but the truth is a bit more gruesome." It turns out that the giants grew the portal-hoping beans in plunder riches from different lands, but when Jack defeated the giants, all the beans were destroyed in the process. Now there is only one giant left, "the strongest and the most terrible of them all," and Hook and Emma set off on their climb to the top to snatch the magic compass from the giant's treasures. But before she left, Emma pulled Mulan (Jamie Chung) aside and told her that if she is not back in ten hours, then she must cut down the beanstalk and keep moving forward. Brutal.

On their climb, (somewhere out there a Miley Cyrus song is playing softly is the distance..) Hook is doing his best to break through Emma's tough exterior, but our heroine is only focused on one thing: getting home to Henry. At the tippy-top of the beanstalk, Hook purposely makes a huge racket and the giant (Jorge Garcia) emerges out of his cave in search of the intruders. Emma nails him right in the face with a bag of sleeping powder and the giant crashes to the ground (hopefully dreaming the sweetest Lost dreams.) "I don't mean to upset you Emma but I think we make quite the team." Hooks says and he flashes his best heart-melting smile at Emma.

After looting around, the duo is having difficulty locating the compass, and unfortunately the giant is awake from his impromptu nap. Not to worry, Emma successfully traps the giant under a cage in the cave and then two of them begin to have a hear-to-heart. The giant gives Emma the compass and when he breaks free from the cage, he spares her life because she spared his. Aww. Just as Emma and Hook are about to leave the cage, she handcuffs him to the wall explaining, "I can't take the chance that I'm wrong about you." Emma's ten hours are up and Mulan begins to hack away at the beanstalk, and of course Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) is beyond pissed about their secret plan. Luckily Emma hops down just as Snow was about to go all mama-bear attack-mode on the warrior's behind. Snow sternly tells at her daughter, "We go back together, that is the only way."

Love and Loss: Emma is creeping down a Portland alley— with some super cute black horned-rimmed glasses—and she has set her sights on one thing: a yellow bug. After jimmying the lock and hotwiring the engine Emma begins her joyride, but there's only one problem: the owner was asleep in the backseat. "Impressive, but you could've just asked me for the keys," he smiled. Surprise! Turns out the his name is Neal Cassidy (Michael Raymond-James) and he is also our mystery man we kinda-sorta met in the season premiere—the one who received the Storybrooke postcard with the word, "Broken" scrawled on the back of it. It just keeps getting better when Emma discovers that he isn't actually the owner, "I stole a stolen car?" Looks like Emma has met her match.

Fast-forward a bit and we see that Emma and Neal are in love and have been Bonnie and Clyde-ing nearly every convenience story in the USA, but Neal thinks it's about time that they settle down and find a real place to live in…Tallahassee. (Yes, random I know.) However their plans are put on hold when Neal discovers that there are wanted posters plastered all over the place with his face on them. Apparently, Neal's previous hobby was stealing expensive watches, but he stashed all of them in a locker at a train station when the police came after him. In order to save their dreams of starting a new life together, Emma offers to retrieve the loot from the locker. Neal asks, "So you want to steal the watches to help me get away with stealing the watches?" Emma's answer is short and sweet, "I love you."

Emma successfully snatches the watches, but Neal is chased down and tackled by a familial face: August! "You want to protect Emma? Come with me," He whispers. August explains that his is Emma's guardian angel and after getting his fill of this world's "temptations" he has regained his focus to get Emma over to Storybrooke. After showing the skeptic something in a wooden box (I'm dying to know what's in there!) Neal understands that in order to help his lady love he must let her go. Unfortunately this means that he called the police and gave an anonymous tip that someone was stealing watches from a train station. It's absolutely heartbreaking to watch as Emma realizes that the one person she has ever loved, has just betrayed her.

Two months later in Canada, Neal is overwhelmed with guilt for what he did to Emma, but August assures him that eventually she will be fine (after an 11-month stint in a minimum security prison on Phoenix.) Neal asks that August gives Emma the VW and a giant wad of cash for when she is finally free, and to let him know if anything changes. August simply answers, "I'll send you a postcard." (Ooh how the plot thickens!) Later in Phoenix, we see a distraught looking Emma holding a positive pregnancy test. Oh boy. Looks like we've finally found out who Henry's father is!

Nightmares and Terrors: While Emma was up in the beanstalk, Snow was comforting a sleepless Sleeping Beauty. Aurora explained that ever since she awoke from her cursed slumber, her dreams have been filled with terrifying images. Snow—who has had personal experience with these spellbinding side-effect—agrees to watch over her while the princess gets some sleep, but Aurora quickly begins to scream. She dreamt that she was trapped in a windowless red room, with curtains that were on fire. Across the room Aurora says that "he" is staring at her through the flames. Over in Storybrooke, Henry (Jared Gilmore) awakes from a nightmare and his beyond handsome grandpa rushes downstairs to make sure he's all right. Charming (Josh Dallas) lights a candle to "keep the bad dreams away," and asks Henry to describe the dream. Henry had the exact same dream as Aurora, except in his version there was a "she" staring at him through the flames. Curious, yet oh-so creepy…

What did you think of "Tallahassee"? Why do you think Aurora and Henry are having almost Identical dreams? Were you surprised to learn that the mystery man is actually Henry's father? Cast your spell in the comments below!

Follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneAguilera

[Photo Credit: ABC]

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