'Once Upon a Time' Season 2, Episode 1: 'Broken' Recap

'Once Upon a Time'  Season 2, Episode 1: 'Broken' Recap Jefferson goes back across town to his apartment. It is raining, but he can’t close the window. Sighing, he rests his head in defeat. A white dove flutters onto the ledge, strutting about for a moment as Jefferson watches in surprise. It flies off, and he notices a postcard from Storybrooke. On the back it says one word, “Broken.”

Back in the world of magic, two horses are riding through the desert toward a tall castle. A handsome prince chops through thicket, reaching a princess asleep on a slab.

“If this works we don’t tell her everything—not right away,” he says to his masked companion. He kisses the princess—Sleeping Beauty—and she wakes up, amazed to see her prince, Phillip. Even more surprising, however, it that the kingdom seems to be empty, and has fallen in disarray around her, but Phillip tries to distract her from that.

Back in Storybrooke, The purple fog is lifting around Snow and Charming. They decide to find out what’s happening. People on the street are still regaining their memories, celebrating and hugging Snow and James. Snow is reunited with her dwarves. It appears the curse is broken. No one is quite sure how to proceed, except Snow White. Her first determination is to find her daughter.

Easily done, because Emma is standing behind her.

“So it’s true,” she says in shock. The hug and Snow cries, “You found us.”

James hugs his daughter as well, and Henry hesitantly calls him “Grandpa,” which amuses everyone.

But no one seems to know why they are still there, if the curse has been lifted. The Blue Fairy comes up, and Henry encourages her to send everyone back, but with no wand or dust, she says matters are complicated now.

Meanwhile, a strange couple is being reunited—the wild-haired girl from the asylum and, shockingly, Mr. Gold share a moment. Belle explains that she was abducted by Regina and kept in the asylum for 28 years. Mr. Gold takes her to a wishing well, dropping down his evil concoction that brings the purple fog. Belle insists that he mustn’t give into his hate and take revenge. She makes him promise, so they can be together. He promises, and they kiss.

Snow White and the rest of the crowd are walking down the street. Emma is on a mission, but Snow wants to know what questions she has for her and James that she can answer. Emma just needs time, she says. A crowd behind them causes a commotion, running through the streets, and Archie hurries up. He tells them everyone is heading off to kill Regina.

Henry is insistent that they not let that happen to his mother. While James seems less inclined to care, he admits that if she has her powers back, the crowd is marching into a slaughter, so they chase off after them.

In the desert castle, Sleeping Beauty and her Prince are reuniting tenderly, while the masked figure wanders off. It touches a stone on the ground, which is shaking. The ground bursts open, and a cloaked black figure with red eyes bursts from the ground, blowing the companion off. The prince swipes at it with his sword, severing a gold locket with a strange design.

Mr. Gold goes to his shop, telling Belle to wait while he finds her something to wear. He opens his safe and pulls out a strange gold box with the evil figure’s locket within.

The crowd surrounds Regina’s house, and she gears up to attack them, but nothing happens. The crowd, who has shrunk away, stands tall, muttering—Regina has no magic. Snow, James, and Emma rush in, trying to calm people down. Will, the doctor, insists that James is not his prince, but won’t tell him who he is. Snow White suggests they lock Regina up, for her and everyone else’ safety.

They put Regina in the jail, and ask why they haven’t returned home. Regina tells them there is nothing to go back to—their land is gone. When they leave, she attempts to magic open the lock, but nothing happens. Mr. Gold enters, telling her that magic is different here. He confronts her about Belle, saying that she kept her alive so she could kill her when it suited her. He grabs her arm through the bars and imprints her hand with the gold locket.

“The one thing no one can escape: destiny.”

Back in the destroyed land, the companion, who has taken off her mask and revealed herself as a pretty girl—Mulan—explains what the creature is. It is a wraith, a Soul Sucker. It marks its victims with that locket and then removes their souls, damning them.

Prince Phillip, comforting Mulan, notices the mark in his hand, but hides it from Sleeping Beauty (Aurora).

In Storybrooke, Mr. Gold drops the locket on the forest floor, using an inscribed dagger to summon the wraith. Back in the jail, Regina sits up with a gasp, the mark on her hand flaring red and angry.

On the street, Snow White is still eager to talk to Emma as mother and daughter, not just as friends, as they have been. Snow White is glad they’re together finally, but can’t help but feel that Emma isn’t happy about it. And she isn’t. Emma only knows her parents sent her away. While Snow insists that she would have been cursed too, had she stayed, Emma says at least they would have been together. Which curse was worse?

In the forest, the prince, Aurora and Mulan are setting up camp during the day. Mulan explains that the wraith only appears when light is absent. The prince erects a lean-to, and presses Aurora to sleep, but she won’t. The prince says he must leave to get wood, looking increasingly upset. He kisses Aurora lingeringly, and she asks, “That’s a see you in five minutes kiss?”

He reminds her that he loves her, and as he walks away, a tear escapes, but Aurora does not notice.

In Storybrooke, Snow, James, and Emma confront Mr. Gold, who doesn’t seem especially concerned about anything.

“Maybe I don’t need to know the answers maybe I just need to punch you in the face,” Emma threatens. Outside, with a bang, a storm starts. Lights flicker, the ground shakes, and wind blows. That, Gold says, is his gift. It will take care of Regina.

“We’re not done,” Emma tells Gold. He says he knows—she still owes him a favor.

After they leave, Belle comes in from the back, wounded that he has lied to her. He insists that he did not lie; he is not the one killing Regina. The wraith is. They exchange words, and sobbing, she leaves, despite Gold calling apologies after her.

Mulan is making a fire. She and Aurora hear some strange noises in the woods, and Aurora stumbles up, asking where Phillip is. Mulan notices that the horses are gone—Phillip has left. Mulan decides to go after him, determined that he won’t sacrifice himself for the princess and Aurora tries to follow, but she is left behind.

In Storybrooke, the wraith blows down the door of the jail and attacks Regina, sucking light from her face with a long hand. James appears, distracting him, and they tussle over Regina. It resumes its attack, but Snow uses a lighter and hairspray, sending the wraith escaping through the window. Regina insists it will come back until she is dead, and it can’t be killed. James thinks they should just let it take her and leave—problem solved. But Emma has made a promise to Henry to protect his mother.

They go back to Regina’s office, and Regina asks if Henry really asked Emma to protect her, touched. She pulls out the one thing that will help—Jefferson’s hat. Regina explains that it will open a portal to their old world. Since it no longer exists they are basically banishing it to oblivion. Regina tries to activate the hat as the lights go down and the doors swing open.

The wraith busts in, and James and Snow try to distract it with fire while Regina fusses with the hat, which doesn’t seem to be doing much more than being a hat.

Aurora shows up, having found a horse and catching up with Mulan. Mulan seems to resent her for the love Phillip has for her, and the length he will go for her. Aurora realizes that Mulan loves him, but Mulan denies it. They find Phillip awaiting the wraith, as Mulan and Aurora ride up. Mulan tries to take the sacrifice, but he won’t allow it.

“I love you,” he says over his shoulder. It is unclear to which woman he is speaking. The wraith attacks, and despite their efforts, it kills Phillip.

Regina is still struggling with the hat. Emma touches Regina’s arm, and suddenly the hat beings to whirl into a purple portal, sucking down the wraith. However it grabs Emma, bringing her with it. Snow, horrified, yells that she won’t leave her again, and jumps in after her. James tries to follow, but the portal closes too soon, leaving him behind.

James and Regina are in shock. James is furious, but Regina doesn’t know where they are, and if they’re dead or not. They fight, and she throws him with a surge of power. The trees on the wall come alive and their branches hang onto him. Henry comes in just as she is about to kill him. The trees release James as Regina explains to Henry that Emma and Snow have gone through the portal, and apologizes.

“You really are the evil queen,” Henry says. She insists that she loves him, but he tells her that she has to prove it by getting them back.

Back at Mr. Gold’s, he is spinning yarn when Belle comes back in. She is touched that he still has her chipped cup. He tells her it is the only thing in the shop that he cherishes. “And now you must leave, you must leave because despite what you hope, I am still a monster,” he tells her. Belle says that’s exactly the reason she must stay.

At Snow’s house, James insists to Henry that they are alive, and he will find them.

Back in the castle, Aurora and Mulan lay Phillip out on the slab where Sleeping Beauty had once slept. Mulan ties the locket into a small bag and gives it to Aurora. Mulan tells Aurora about the curse cast by Regina that ripped everyone away from the world. Something in that corner of that land saved them. They were frozen for 28 years, but then the curse weakened, and Mulan and Phillip were free to set off looking for Aurora. She tells Aurora that some have survived, and remain in a safe haven, where they must go.

There are noises, and Mulan wades through the mess that the wraith brought. Aurora asks what it is, and Mulan, angrily, says that it is what brought the wraith and killed their prince.

Unconscious in the debris lay Emma and Snow.