Television Recap & Review - Once Upon A Time (Episode 313 - Witch Hunt)

Please note that this features both a recap and a review with SPOILERS.  So, if you have not watched this episode yet and don't want to know what happened, please come back once you have.  Again, there are SPOILERS here.

THE RECAP
We open at Regina's Castle where the Wicked Witch has made her home.  She tells her flying monkey that she needs to let the queen know that she's there.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, the Storybrooke people march on.  Red talks to Snow about how Regina has changed for the better.  Snow goes to talk with Regina who is thinking about Henry.  She is also thinking about the tunnels that run under the castle.  She thinks some of them might not be protected by the protection spell.  Suddenly, the flying monkey attacks, but Regina quickly turns him into a stuffed animal and gives it to Robin Hood's son.

Photo: ABC
Back in Storybrooke, Mary Margaret, David, Hook and Emma try to figure out what happened and how they got back.  They can't even remember if they went back to the Enchanted Forest, but Hook says that they did and was with them, but left and wasn't affected by the curse.  He explains that a bird landed on his ship with a note and the potion he gave Emma.  He assumed Snow sent it to him, but she doesn't remember.  Leroy comes in and says that some people were unaccounted for.  They agree they need to figure out how to get their memories back.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, everybody is wondering what attacked them. Regina and Belle seem to know where it came from - Oz.  Regina now knows that it's the Wicked Witch that now resides in her Castle.  Charming asks what Regina did to the Wicked Witch, but she says she says she's done nothing.  Regina says she must lower the protective shield but on her own.

Back in Storybrooke, Emma introduces Henry to Mary Margaret and David.  He doesn't recognize them.  Then, Regina walks in and her jaw drops when she sees Henry.  Henry doesn't recognize her either.  Emma goes to talk with Regina and tells her that he doesn't remember her.  Emma tells her how she remembers and Henry doesn't.  Regina also doesn't remember how she got back or what happened.

Photo: ABC
Robin Hood and her Merry Men have also apparently made it to Storybrooke this time.  They are hunting with a crossbow that Little John stole.  As Little John follows his prey toward the border of Storybrooke, he is then grabbed by a flying monkey.  Robin Hood wonders if he was grabbed because he was close to the border.

Emma decides to hold a town meeting.  Everybody is running scared.  Emma says they believe people are being abducted as they approach the border.  But, who?  Leroy accuses Regina and the town seem to agree.  Regina explains that she is just as clueless as everybody else.  They all beg her to tell the truth, but she says she is and that she just wants to be with her son.  Emma, however, is starting to distrust Regina.  Regina then says that if everybody wants her to be the evil queen then she will and she causes an earthquake.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Regina goes to look for the tunnels. Robin Hood follows her.  She tells him to go back, but Robin Hood wants to protect her.  He says he knows the flying monkey was after her and not his son and that he owes her a debt for saving him.

Back in Storybrooke, Regina goes to her office.  Emma follows her.  Regina asks if they bought her theatrics and Emma says they think they did.  They're in cahoots to try to find out who actually caused the curse. Emma shows Regina the potion Hook gave her.  Regina is going to replicate it.  She also thanks Emma for believing her.  Emma says she can tell when Regina is telling the truth and she knows she's not lying.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Regina and Robin Hood find a tunnel.  Regina asks about his son's mother and he tells her that he accidentally got her in harm's way.  They find a crypt.  Her mother's crypt. She talks about the people she cares about.  Robin Hood asks about her child.  She's surprised that he knows about that, but says she saw how he was with his son.  She tells him that it doesn't matter how powerful the Witch is, she has to go ahead with her plan.

Photo: ABC
Back in Storybrooke, Mary Margaret is talking with Henry.  Mary Margaret tells him how she knows how much he loves books.  He's surprised that she knows that and she says his mother told her.  Henry goes off and a woman at a nearby table starts talking to Mary Margaret.  The mysterious woman tells her that she missed the last curse and was still getting used to the world.  Mary Margaret asks who she was in the Enchanted Forest, but she tells her that she wasn't anybody important.  She introduces herself as Zelena.  She says she was a midwife in the Enchanted Forest and would love to help Mary Margaret with her baby.  Mary Margaret is thrilled!  Meanwhile, David, Hook and Robin find Little John who is badly wounded.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Regina finds a box with potions.  Robin Hood asks what it is, but she dismisses him.  He raises his bow and she tries to magically choke him.  He says he never misses and asks her again.  She tells her that she's making a sleeping curse portion that she learned from Maleficent. Robin Hood asks if she plans to use it on the Witch, but she says she doesn't care about the Witch.  She plans to use it on herself.  But, Robin Hood tries to talk her out of it.  He asks her if she's just giving up, but she says that the curse can be broken by a kiss by her one true love and that would be Henry.  She says, though, before she takes the potion, she will drop the protection spell so Snow and Charming can be victorious.

Back in Storybrooke, Regina is having a hard time replicating the potion.  Regina is frustrated, but Emma thinks that they can still try to catch the person by smoking them out by making them think you're on to them.  So, they try to get the word out that Regina is working on a memory potion.  Leroy goes to the diner and announces what's going on.  Zelena takes the bait.

At the hospital, Little John  is having a seizure and then turns into a flying monkey.  He then flies off.  Everybody is confused.

Elsewhere, Regina and Emma are in Emma's car, staking out Regina's office.  Regina asks about Henry and if he has any friends.  She says that he was happy and his life was good there.  She tells Regina she almost didn't leave because he was so happy.  Regina asks why she did and she said because she remembered and Henry would have wanted her to.  Emma then sees somebody in Regina's office.  They race up.  Regina has placed a spell on her office to keep the perp in.  They spot somebody, but she disappears in a puff of smoke.  Regina says nobody can break that spell and that they're dealing with some powerful magic.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Regina goes to lower the protection spell.  The Storybrooke folk then advance on the Castle.  Regina then sits down to administer the sleeping curse.  She's about to when the Wicked Witch walks in.  She's offended that Regina hasn't tried to go after her.  The Wicked Witch is surprised that Regina doesn't recognize her and introduces herself as Zelena.  Regina asks how she broke the blood lock on the Castle and she reveals that she is actually Regina's sister.  Actually...half sister.  She tells her that Cora had her first, but gave her up.  Regina says she was lucky to have escaped her.  Zelena also explains she was a student of Rumplestiltskin.  Regina thinks she's jealous.  Zelena says she's going to take everything away from her.  Regina tells her to "bring it, Greenie."  Zelena tells her in good time and flies off.

Photo: ABC
Regina goes back to her potion box.  Robin Hood is glad she hasn't gone through with the sleeping curse.  Regina tells him she now has a reason to live.  She has somebody to destroy.

Back in Storybrooke, Emma introduces Henry to Regina. Regina seems to know a lot about Henry and Henry is confused as to why.  She says that maybe she can give him a tour of the town and take him for some ice cream.  He says he'd like that.  David and Hook came back and they explain to everybody that Little John turned into a flying monkey.  This might explain what's been happening to the missing Storybrooke people.  Regina looks at the clues... a cloud of green smoke and flying monkeys.  Emma jokingly guesses the Wicked Witch of the West and is surprised that that's who they're referring to.

Elsewhere, Zelena goes down to her basement.  She brings food to somebody in a cage.  It's Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin.  Rumple has gone mad!

THE REVIEW
Again, I think Once Upon A Time is back on track, offering a fresh new curse that brings more questions than answers now.  And, by opening up this new curse to inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest that were not there before gives an opportunity for more fascinating flashbacks to the Enchanted Forest while trying to solve a mystery in Storybrooke.

I also love the fact that they've managed to give Regina new meaning.  She's no longer enemies with Snow/Mary Margaret and Emma.  In fact, she is now their ally.  But, as she gleefully tells Robin Hood in the Enchanted Forest after having met her half sister for the first time, she has a new reason to live and that she has somebody she wants to destroy.  And, her enemy is everybody else's enemy, too.  And, in Storybrooke, she has a mystery to solve and keeping her on the straight and narrow.

But, I also like how there's still a level of suspicion among the people of Storybrooke against Regina and how Emma and Regina leveraged that fear to try to smoke out their perp.

Lana Parilla as Regina really is bringing her A game to these last couple of episodes.  I've always loved her, but these last few episodes have given her a lot to work with.  Her depression of losing Henry in the Enchanted Forest and her melancholy of Henry's not recognizing her in Storybrooke has been quite visceral.

And...WOW...Rumple is back.  Again, more questions that need to be answered...like why is he in the cage and how did he go mad?  I never had a doubt that he'd return, but this is much more interesting than how I thought he'd come back.


 

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