'Once Upon a Time' Season 2, Episode 3: 'Lady of the Lake' Recap
The episode starts in the past, with Ruby running desperately. She reaches the tent of the prince and Snow White, where they are working on strategies to take kingdom back from King George. She tells them the army is upon them—an arrow in the table makes that pretty clear. She says they are lead by someone named The Leviathan.
James tells Snow to meet at cabin where his mother, Ruth, is, and heads off to fight. As she runs off, Snow White gets knocked over by The Leviathan, who is actually Lancelot. He kidnaps her.
Present day, Cora, Emma and Snow are still stuck in the hole. Cora is attending Snow, and tells Emma she will be fine, although she is still unconscious. She explains that they are on a small island, a haven for those that survived.
“I’m here because of something my daughter did,” she says, and Emma realizes she is Regina’s mother. Snow wakes up, horrified to see their company.
“As bad as you think Regina is, this woman is worse.”
Cora tells her not true. Emma tells her about her son, Henry, but Snow tells Emma not to talk to her. A soldier drops a rope and tells them that their leader has requested them.
In Storybrooke, Henry is working on Operation Scorpion, aka the rescue mission, but James tells Henry he is not coming with him. He sends him off to school where he’ll be safe, but Henry dodges the bus and takes off.
Emma and Snow go to meet the leader, who turns out to be Lancelot. He and Snow embrace, and he begs forgiveness for locking her up. She asks why there are people remaining, but he doesn’t know—people in that region survived when everyone else vanished. Snow says she might have a portal, but won’t discuss where to find it with Cora nearby. He assures her Cora has been stripped of her power, but she is insistent. He tells her she can go, but she must take Mulan with her.
Meanwhile, Aurora witnesses the exchange, and is furious. She says she wants justice—Mulan warns her not to confuse vengeance with justice, but Aurora has a dagger hidden beneath her dress that says the lesson didn’t make it through.
Flashback to Lancelot, who deposits the kidnapped Snow White in front of King George, who hospitably asks him to bring her a cup of water. George explains that he was in love once too, but she was cursed when she drank a potion, and couldn’t conceive. They lost the son they loved, and his twin, James, has brought nothing but pain. George wants him to know his pain. Snow White realizes that he has put the same potion into her cup.
In present day, the small party, Snow, Emma, and Mulan, are arming themselves. Snow explains to Emma that the portal is at her home. “Want to see where you’re from, Emma?”
In Storybrooke, Jefferson is on a bench looking at a child’s poster that reads “Have you seen my Papa?” He looked conflicted. Henry goes to him for help, and he explains that he should check in Regina’s vault. Henry asks why he won’t go find Grace, but Jefferson insists that she will hate him for leaving her.
Regina is packing up her office, being made to leave, when Henry calls her. She is thrilled to hear from him, and agrees to get lunch. She arranges to meet him at Granny’s in ten minutes, and rushes off. The moment she leaves he sneaks into her office and steals her keys.
Henry goes to Regina’s vault, and figures out how to get downstairs. He hears noises in the boxes, and unlocks one. The two-headed snake that killed Regina’s king husband lurches upward, ready to strike, but a hand pushes the lid down—James. Regina called him with suspicions, and he got there just in time.
Mulan begins making camp as they stop for the night. Emma is surprised that they are making a fire, but Snow tells her Ogres are blind. Emma seems a little miffed about all the things she hasn’t been clued in on.
Back in time, King George throws Snow back in the woods, newly cursed. Gathering herself, she hears a horse approaching, and waits behind a tree. She knocks Lancelot off his horse, but he explains that he didn’t know what he was being made to do. He wants to help her. They realize that the king knows about meeting at the cabin, and they rush off to aid James.
James, meanwhile, hears a noise, and sends his mother inside her house. He fights the men that surround him, but when he looks up, realizes his mother has been shot with an arrow. Snow White and Lancelot show up, but they realize the arrow is poisoned. James decides they must go to the magical lake to heal her, and they pack into a wagon.
In the wagon, Snow and the wounded Ruth are bonding. Ruth is so excited—all James has ever wanted was someone to love and a son (or daughter) to care for. She shows Snow a spelled necklace she has that will predict the sex of a future baby by the way it swings. Despite Snow’s insistence, she holds it over her hand, and it doesn’t move. Ruth tells her it’s just a superstition, but Snow explains what happened. Ruth tells her the water of the lake will heal her, as well, giving her hope.
In the darkness, as the group camps, Aurora shows up and pulls her dagger on Snow, but Snow turns the tables on her. She tells her it was not her fault that her prince died. Emma, seeing them struggling, fires her gun, which alerts the Ogres. They all run, splitting up. Emma trips, and a huge ogre looms over her.
Snow yells at it to get away from daughter, and hit him with an arrow as he gets close. He drops. Snow explains that they have to be shot in the eye, and Emma is impressed. As they continue on, Emma gives the newly placid Aurora her coat. They see Snow’s castle in the darkness, moderately destroyed.
In the past, the group on their way to the lake reaches it—is is entirely dried up. Lancelot says he was raised by a lake, going to look for water. He finds a drop left in the curve of a shell. Ruth wants Snow to drink it, and they argue, but James comes up with the water in a flask, and Ruth drinks it. She tells Snow to have faith, they will find another way.
But the water doesn’t work. Ruth sighs that there is no magic left there. Her only regret is that she didn’t get to see Snow and James marry—but Snow asks Lancelot if he can perform the ceremony. Somehow they have the time to rig up a flowered alter and pick a bouquet, and Lancelot marries them. They drink the ceremonial water and kiss, just as Ruth dies. They cover her with Snow’s bouquet.
Later Snow is telling James how sorry he is that he lost his only family, but he tells her she is his family now, her and their future children. He shows her the necklace, and swings it over her palm. It moves. She confronts Lancelot, and he confesses that Ruth faked drinking the water, and they put the magic into the ceremonial cups. Snow tells him she will have a girl.
In Snow’s castle, Emma is amazed to see the stuff from Henry’s book. She is also impressed by the extent of Emma’s nursery, all set up for her. Snow regrets that nothing was ever used, and they never got to be a family. She shows Emma the wardrobe. Lancelot shows up, having followed them, and asks what could recharge the magic enough to make it work.
Snow asks why he is so interested, and he says that he wants her to be able to get home to her husband and Henry. Snow pulls a sword on him, realizing that Emma had only mentioned Henry to Cora. Cora reveals herself, saying that she killed Lancelot long ago and has been impersonating him. She attacks Snow and uses magic to fend off Emma, but when she is fixated on killing Snow, Emma sets the wardrobe on fire. Cora tries to pull the fire from it, which she tosses as a fireball at Emma, but Mulan deflects it, and the wardrobe goes up in flames. Cora vanishes.
Mulan is upset to have been following a fake leader. She says Snow will lead them, but Snow just wants to get back to Storybooke. Emma apologizes for burning the wardrobe—she couldn’t let Cora get to Henry. Having seen the nursery, she now understands that Snow gave up everything for her. She says she’s not used to someone putting her first, and they hug.
“Well, get used to it.”
As they leave, Snow looks around, and sees the nursery as it was long ago, tearing up at the memory. Cora returns once they exit, and takes some ashes from the wardrobe.
Jefferson, in Storybrooke, is creeping on schoolgirls. He calls out for Grace, and she turns from the pack, and embraces him.
James finds Henry and tells him that he will need him in this search, but he needs to learn a few things. He shows him the wooden sword he bought for him, and the two have a mock battle.
In a nearby car, King George watches them.
Once Upon a Time