The show started out with an unnamed and never-before-seen character in what can only be assumed as Boston, since it’s the only city ever previously featured in the show. The mystery man, played by True Blood’s Michael Raymond-James, strolling along the streets of Boston felt completely out of place as a Once Upon a Time episode. The as-of-yet unexplained ending to the scene displayed the episodes title, “Broken” before cutting to the opening credits.
The story then cuts to the fairy tale land, where we see Prince Phillip waking Sleeping Beauty, while someone that is later revealed to be Mulan stands guard. The land around them is in ruins, though no explanation is given for the present state of things right away.
Back in Storybrooke, Snow and Charming are reuniting with their friends. After a parade of hugs between Snow, Charming, Red, Granny, and the dwarves, Emma is spotted by her parents. With the show just barely begun, it is already threatening tears to its viewers at the sheer joy that Snow and Charming are experiencing at finally seeing their daughter after so many years. The moment is quickly cut in by Henry, who calls David “grandpa,” which is a comical image to consider.
Rumpelstiltskin, finally reunited with Belle, agrees that he won’t kill Regina out of revenge for having kept Belle imprisoned for the past 28 years. But if Once Upon a Time fans know Rumpelstiltskin at all, it is obvious that he won’t be quite so passive.
The townspeople seem intent on a similar revenge, and Emma, along with her small group, chases after the rest of the people of Storybrooke as they head for Regina’s house with murder on their minds. As much as Regina does deserve to be punished for her actions, Snow and Emma are right when they say that they should not resort to killing as a form of punishment. They are better people than that.
Back with Prince Phillip, Aurora, and Mulan, a strange evil seems to brew from nowhere. A wraith, the likes of which Harry Potter fans will be able to easily identify with, appears. Phillip quickly fends away the danger, picking up a strangely suspicious medallion that he ripped from the wraith’s neck.
For an explanation, we see Rumpelstiltskin taking Belle back to his shop in Storybrooke. And just as expected, the medallion resurfaces. Mr. Gold takes extreme care to handle the medallion that he was storing in his shop. Evil, bad things are definitely underway with this wraith.
The people of Storybrooke go on attempting to kill Regina, during which time we find out that Regina is unable to use her magic on her attackers. Though before any real violence comes to pass, Snow, Charming, and Emma diffuse the situation and lock Regina up in the town jail. After locking Regina in her cell, David asks why, if the curse is broken, no one has returned to their land. Regina tells him the fairy tale land they all came from no longer exists. The curse has destroyed it all. After the group leaves Regina by herself, and she fails to use her magic to escape, Rumpelstiltskin comes for a visit. He tells Regina that he’s promised Belle not to kill her, so instead plans to give her something much worse than death. He then presses the medallion from before into her hand, “marking” her for the wraith. He summons the wraith into Storybrooke, so that it would go after Regina and suck out her soul.
We find out that Prince Phillip has the same mark that Mr. Gold just bestowed upon Regina, from having touched the medallion. Though he tries to hide it, it is obvious that Phillip’s time might be coming to an end. Unless he can find some way to escape it. Instead, though, Phillip runs away from his camp, leaving Aurora and Mulan behind. But the two girls tear after him once they realize he’s gone and what must have happened to him. Mulan, who is evidently in love with Phillip, insists that she will save him herself, though Aurora is not too keen to let her go alone. Both women try to save Phillip, but they are too late. The wraith claims his victim after all.
In Storybrooke, Emma, Snow, and David attempt to save Regina from the wraith that is attacking her. However, the wraith cannot be killed, and so Regina suggests using the Mad Hatter’s hat to open a portal to the fairytale world and force it in. She insists that since that world no longer exists, it will send the wraith into an empty void and they will be rid of it forever. Unfortunately, the wraith grabs on to Emma, pulling her into the portal with it. Snow cries that she will not lose her daughter again, and jumps in after her. David has the same sentiment, but misses his chance before the portal closes, and is stuck, heartbroken, in Storybrooke.
Henry interrupts as Regina is on the verge of killing David in response to his rage after losing his wife and daughter again, and it seems like Regina does really love Henry and just wants him to care for her as well. But Henry is disgusted with his mother’s actions and tells her that she should find a way to get Mary Margaret and Emma back, and until then she should leave him and everyone else alone. This is a possibility of redemption for Regina. This is her chance to become good after being a villain for so long, but the question is whether or not she will take that chance.
Now, if you’ve been keeping up with the episode, it will all tie together and make sense at the end.
Mulan and Aurora are back to where Prince Phillip had originally found Aurora and broken her sleeping curse, except this time it is Phillip that needs saving. Mulan explains to Aurora that Regina the Queen had put an awful curse on the land, and everything had disappeared except for their small corner of it, which was somehow spared. All of time had frozen there for 28 years, and had only recently started back again, which is when Mulan and Phillip had continued their search for Aurora, who felt like she only slept for one year. They then walk over to the rubble created by the appearance of the wraith earlier, and find what had brought the wraith to them. The unconscious forms of Emma and Mary Margaret.
What did you think of the episode? Were you surprised by the ending? What were you favourite moments? Share your thoughts in the comments!