I was wondering how Once Upon A Time was going to jump on the Halloween episode bandwagon. I mean, when you deal with witches, wizards, dragons, and demons played by Robert Carlyle, and your season premiere had a soul wraith, how exactly do you “spook up” an episode for Halloween? The answer of course: Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. We finally learn who Dr. Whale was in the previous life. Spoiler alert: Dr. Frankenstein. I’ll get to why I said “previous life” and not “Enchanted Forest” in a bit. This was a very enjoyable episode.
In the Enchanted Forest, Emma, Snow, Aurora, and Mulan are on the way back to the safe haven, arguing about how to break the news of Lancelot’s death to the other refugees. Mulan notices there are no guards posted on the watch towers, and they discover everyone is dead, their hearts ripped out. As Snow lays the blame on Cora, they notice one person alive, trapped under rubble. It is Killian Jones, who has apparently been masquerading as a refugee blacksmith for months before Emma and Snow arrive. He attempts to continue his charade, but is undone by Emma’s “super power” of lie detecting. Emma ties him up, threatening to sic ogres on him if he does not tell them who he really is, and what he wants.
In the Enchanted Forest of yesteryear, we see young(er) Regina continuing her magical training with Rumplestilskin. She delights at immobilizing a unicorn with magic, but balks when Rumple demands she kill it by crushing its heart, still devastated by Daniel’s death via this method. When she confesses to Rumplestilskin that she only she wants to learn magic to bring Daniel back to life, he berates her for wishing for the impossible. He tells Regina that she is not fit to be his apprentice. A very different personality-wise than we are used to Jefferson, who is there to make a delivery to Rumple, tells Regina that he knows of a man who may be able to help her bring Daniel back from the dead; in exchange for a royal passport from Regina the queen so he can safely travel through her husband’s kingdom.
Meanwhile, in Our World, Regina continues her attempts to live without magic. She is in a therapy session with Archie when Whale, having learned from David that the magical lands still exist, rushes in demands she return him to his own land, we he can be reunited with his dead brother. She tells him she can’t, and even if she could she wouldn’t. He storms out, and shortly later so does Regina. While driving in the rain, Regina thinks she sees Daniel in the distance, but upon second glance she does not see him again.
David brings Henry to the stables, to continue his training as a “knight.” He tells Henry he will have to take care of a horse and its stall before learning how to ride.
Jefferson brings Regina Whale, aka Dr. Frankenstein. We learn Frankenstein comes from a (black and white) world where science is preferred over magic. (Frankenstein acts like magic doesn’t exist there, but it must as Jefferson’s hat can only travel to magical lands.) Frankenstein agrees to help Regina try to bring Daniel back to life, as he thinks a magically enchanted heart is the key to the process. Regina supplies him with one from Cora’s vault. The operation seemingly fails. Regina, bitter and heartbroken, returns to Rumplestilskin to continue learning from him. She demonstrates her commitment by crushing the heart of the new apprentice Rumple has taken on in her absence.
In Our World, Regina discovers Daniel’s body, which she brought to Storybrooke, is missing from its mausoleum. Suspecting Whale, she goes to the hospital and finds Whale in the morgue, with his arm ripped off. He wakes up and informs her that he brought Daniel back, but he is a monster.
Daniel arrives at the stable, following his last memory of meeting young Regina in the stables to run away with each other. To save Henry, and as a mercy to Daniel, Regina is forced to disintegrate Daniel using magic. She confesses tearfully to Archie that she used magic.
Emma, after threatening to feed Killian to ogres, gets him to turn on Cora. He tells the group how Cora needs a magic compass to guide his ship to Storybrooke, and offers to help them find it first.
Whale brings his severed arm to Gold’s pawn shop. In exchange for magically reattaching his arm, he tells Gold that he brought Daniel back so Regina would owe him a debt and return him to his own land.
We also learn that he lied and never used the magic heart on Daniel in the flashbacks. Rumple used him to manipulate Regina into coming back to Rumple. Frankenstein returns to his own land and uses the heart to reanimate his dead brother. Though he does foreshadow that this did not turn out well.
All in all a very enjoyable Halloween episode. It was nice to learn a bit of Whale’s backstory. I look forward to learning more about him and his specific land. The previews for next week show Emma, Snow, and group traveling up a bean stalk to find the magic compass.