For the character, see Ingrid.
"The Snow Queen" is the 73rd episode of Once Upon a Time.
Emma captures the Snow Queen and interrogates her at the sheriff's station, but the latter uses her prior knowledge of Emma to try and persuade her into thinking that they are more alike than she could possibly imagine. Regina and Robin Hood's relationship grows increasingly complex as they struggle to find a way to save his dying wife, Emma begins to see what she missed out on by not growing up and being a family with Snow and Charming when she sees how involved Mary Margaret is in baby Neal's life, and Henry begins his after school job in Gold's shop while trying to help Regina find a clue to the identity of the author of the storybook. Meanwhile, in Arendelle of the past, we learn about the origin of the Snow Queen and her familial connection to Elsa and Anna, as we see her discover her spectacular yet deadly ice powers.
A shady man approaches the royal princesses.
In Arendelle of the past, two young girls, Gerda and Helga are running through an open field as they play with a kite. They call out for their sister, Ingrid, who is lagging behind. She soon reaches the others and the trio hold hands as they run together, giggling. Eventually the kite lands in a tree, so they pull it down, "It's ruined" a disappointed Ingrid says as she looks at the tears in it. "No it's not" Gerda says as she takes the ribbon from the kite and claims its beautiful and would look lovely in her hair. Helga takes the ribbon and claims it'd look best in hers, but Ingrid takes it too and states that she should have it because she's the oldest. "So?" Gerda shrugs, "So one day I shall be queen, and this is befitting a queen" Ingrid replies as she plays around with the ribbon. "I see you found my kite" a male voice calls out behind the girls, causing them to turn. They see a poor looking man emerge from behind a tree and Gerda carries the kite to him, innocently claiming to have found it in the condition its in. Seeing through the lie, he laughs and assures her that it's all right because it wasn't worth much, "And besides, I've got my eyes on a much bigger prize. Such pretty royal princesses will fetch an equally pretty royal penny" he says as he viciously grabs Gerda.
A sisterly pact is made.
Helga runs to her sister's aid, but ends up being grabbed by him too. "Let my sisters go!" Ingrid yells as she runs towards the man. However, he kicks her into the air, causing ice magic to spurt out of her hands and hit the tree nearby. The shocked man releases his grip on the two girls and they run to safety, yelling that Ingrid is a monster before the heavy branch falls and crushes him to death. A confused Helga asks what's going on, but a terrified and equally confused Ingrid tells her sisters to back away. Helga comfortingly holds Ingrid's hand, and once realizing it's safe, she nods at Gerda, who does the same. "You saved us" Gerda smiles. However, Ingrid pays no attention to this and states the man called her a monster; Helga simply points out that he tried to take them so he's the monster. Ingrid tells them to look at what she did to him, but Helga assures her she had no choice. Ingrid cries that she had no control over it and she begins panicking about it happening again or if people find out once she's queen. Helga states that it can be their secret and they can help her control it. "You'll help me?" a scared Ingrid asks. Gerda tells her oldest sister that they'll never look at her as a monster. Helga then picks up the ribbon from the kite and splits it into three, explaining it's their sisterly pact that means they'll be there for each other. "We will never be alone" Gerda smiles, cuddling her ribbon. Ingrid looks down at her ribbon and then up into the sky, relieved at the support she's getting.
The Snow Queen's plans continue.
In the present, in Storybrooke, the Snow Queen is looking up into the sky, at the clock tower above the library. She looks up at it for a moment before finally making her way inside. Once inside, she makes her way up to the clock tower via the lift using her magic, and once inside the clock tower she makes her way up a set of stairs towards the very top, directly behind the clock. With a wave of her hand, numerous snowflakes appear in front of her and they take the shape of the large white mirror Belle once looked in and seemingly saw a dark side of herself. Once it's complete, the Snow Queen stares into it and smiles, ready for the next step of her plans to begin.
ONCE UPON A TIME
My mind's telling me no...but my body, my body's telling me yeah!
In Regina's vault, the ex-mayor takes a book from a shelf and begins reading through it when Robin Hood enters. After he says hello, Regina reminds him that she told him it's best to stay away as the only way Marian will live is with a kiss of true love. Robin says he knows, so Regina angrily asks why he's here. A lost looking Robin states his mind was in the forest but his heart brought him here. "Robin..." she says sympathetically, "You have to save her". Robin asks if that's because it's the right thing to do, but she points out that Marian is his wife and seeing him talk about his conflicted heart is torture. He apologizes but tells her he can't just fall back in love with Marian, especially when Regina's in his life, "Which is why I can't be in your life!" she tells him sternly. A frustrated Robin says she's right, but adds that he doesn't know what to do. "You need to forget about me and start thinking about her" a sad Regina says before walking past him and leaving the vault. A sad and alone Robin sighs.
Emma attempts to cast a spell.
Meanwhile, at the sheriff's station, Emma places a book in front of Elsa and explains that Belle found a spell that might be able to work against the Snow Queen. Elsa is worried that this means killing her, but Emma assures her that it'll neutralize her powers. Elsa looks at the book and wonders if Emma can read it, but the sheriff points out it's Evlish. She reveals that Belle translated it anyway and she hands the ice queen a translated version. Elsa reads out the instructions and then supposes once the Snow Queen loses her powers they'll be able to talk to her and find Anna. Emma asks if Anna has magic. Elsa reveals she doesn't, pointing out that that's maybe why the Snow Queen is so obsessed with Emma. The two girls stand up, ready to practice the spell, but Elsa first asks Emma if anyone in her family has magic. She explains that they don't, so Elsa empathizes that it's hard to be looked at differently by them. Emma shrugs that they don't so Elsa tells her she's lucky. The ice queen then passes Emma the candle for the spell and tells her to try it. Emma places her hands on the candle and lights it with her magic. She then blows, causing a long orange flame to approach Elsa's hands, however, before it can reach them it sizzles out. Both girls are disappointed, but Elsa asks to try again. However, Emma says she has to leave because she's babysitting tonight, "Life moves on" a disappointed Elsa says. Emma promises Elsa that they'll find Anna before heading towards the exit. Elsa assures her it's fine as she'll stay at the station. Once alone, she turns back to the files.
Mommy and Me classes.
"Goodbye Alex, goodbye Neal, goodbye Phillip, it's time for us to go" Cinderella, Snow and Aurora sing among other mothers with their babies in a support group. They all cheer for the babies and then Ella, the leader of the group, states it wasn't so bad for a first week. She then turns to the mothers and explains next week they'll be doing more songs so she burned them a CD. A confused Aurora asks what a CD is so Snow explains that it's like a music box and there's one under the TV here at Granny's, however, Aurora refuses to touch the "devil box". Emma enters the room and a disappointed Snow points out that she missed the goodbye song, "I got the jist of it from the title" she replies. She then asks if he little brother is ready, so Snow goes through all his things, handing her a milk bottle. "He sure has a lot of stuff" Emma comments before Ella greets her with a hug. Emma calls Ella the baby whisperer, but she humbly says that she just took to it, noting to Snow and Aurora that if they want their children to sleep all they have to do is say he'll turn into a pumpkin at midnight.
Snow fears Emma the monster.
Emma asks if Ella gives tips now, but the young mother points out that it's like having a support group as being a first time mother isn't easy. "First time mother..." Emma says turning to Snow, who points out that she obviously isn't a first time mother. Emma shrugs that she kind of is as she's never raised a baby before and it must be exciting to be going through it all. Once she's finished talking, Snow, Aurora and Ella stare with shock at the milk bottle in Emma's hand, which is bubbling and glowing magically. Once Emma notices it the glow and bubbling stops and she points out that she's been practicing magic to stop the Snow Queen so she must still be a little revved up. All the mothers seem nervous to have their babies so close to Emma. She awkwardly laughs off the situation and holds out her hands to hold Neal, but Snow protectively turns away, uncomfortable with Emma holding him. A look of hurt comes across Emma's face, but it doesn't last long as she gets a phone call. She answers and it's Charming, who explains that they found a frozen trail heading up the clock tower. Emma realizes that it's the Snow Queen and tells him she'll be there shortly. Once she hangs up, she tells Snow she'll have to take a rain check on babysitting. Snow simply gives an uncomfortable look and Emma leaves.
The Snow Queen is caught!
A while later, over at the clock tower above the library, Emma, Elsa, Charming and Hook make their way up using the lift. Once they reach the top, they quickly run up the stairs to the highest point, where the Snow Queen is waiting with her mirror. "Hey!" Emma yells, causing the Snow Queen to casually turn and throw a shard of ice, cutting her neck. "Emma, now!" Elsa shouts, signaling her to cast the spell. The sheriff grabs the candle with her hands and lights the flame with magic before blowing on it. A long orange flame emerges from it and makes its way towards the Snow Queen. This time, however, the magic is powerful enough and it wraps itself around her hands, forming the shape of handcuffs. Eventually the fiery magic settles and metal handcuffs are left behind. The Snow Queen stands in silence, shaking her hands, as Elsa and Emma celebrate, "You got me" she tells Emma, seemingly impressed.
Helga and Gerda try to help their sister.
In Arendelle of the past, now adults, Helga and Gerda look into their bedroom mirror as the former puts a necklace around her sister's neck to finish off their ball gowns. They turn when Ingrid, who is sat on a bed in casual clothing, comments on their beauty. Helga tells her older sister to join them but Ingrid insists it's better this way. Insistent, Helga points out that their father only turns seventy once and they should be united, but Ingrid assures her she'll wish him a happy birthday before saying they all know it's best if she disappears before anyone can see her. Helga questions how many years she can hide for, so Ingrid tells her as many years as she's afflicted. Helga chuckles that she's not afflicted and then starts playfully dancing with Gerda, asking if she doesn't want to do that. Ingrid watches them with joy before Gerda explains it's not good for the future queen to be so elusive. Helga says she shouldn't think the worst, but Ingrid insists she's thinking the best...for them. She gets up from her bed and gleefully asks about Helga's suitor, a duke, whom she'll introduce to their father. Helga says she wants Ingrid to meet him too, so Ingrid tells her she will one day, but she doesn't want to risk ruining a special moment for her. She tells them both to go and have fun, assuring them she'll be all right. The three sisters hold hands and chuckle.
Ingrid gets sad.
A while later, during the birthday ball, as music plays, Helga makes her way through a crowd of people with her suitor, the duke, towards her father. She introduces him and then the duke tells the king it's an honor to meet him. The king wonders what brings the duke to Arendelle, so he explains he's on a diplomatic mission. The king welcomes him to his kingdom and asks if it's to his liking, "She's beautiful" the duke responds, awkwardly correcting himself by saying "it". The king gives a look to a smiling Helga as the duke continues to stutter that the kingdom is lovely, as is his daughter. He says he'd be humbled if she even considered a dance with him before asking her. She accepts and the two take hands, "It always starts with a dance" the king comments before they make their way to the dance floor. As the band start to play a new song, Helga and the duke dance together as Gerda dances with another man, all the while their father is watching. The duke then begins to brings out some "exotic" dance moves, dancing around Helga as she simply laughs. Meanwhile, just outside the ballroom Ingrid makes her way to the doorway. She looks in on everyone having a good time and a look of sadness comes over her face, for she knows she can never have that. Snowflakes appear around her, showing her sadness, and once she notices them she quickly walks away.
Elsa reaches her boiling point.
In the present, in Storybrooke, Emma and Elsa enter the interrogation room in the sheriff's station, the former telling Ingrid it's time to talk. The Snow Queen comments that Emma should get the cut on her neck seen to, leading Emma to ask if she wants to play nice now. Ingrid explains that's all she ever wanted, but an angry Elsa interrupts and demands to know Anna's location since they knows she's alive after hearing her heart beat with Bo Peep's crook. Ingrid tells Elsa she's grasping at straws but the ice queen demands to know what happened. Ingrid tells her niece she shouldn't care since she's the one who put her in the urn, however, Elsa refuses to believe this. Ingrid points out that Anna did exactly as she's saying because she couldn't handle what "they" are. A furious Elsa yells "No!" so Emma takes her aside and tries to calm her down. Elsa points out that Ingrid knows what happens to Anna so Emma assures her they'll found that out. She tells the ice queen to go find David and Hook to help find a way to take apart the mirror as she's got the Snow Queen.
Ingrid just wants to chat.
Elsa leaves, leaving Emma alone with Ingrid. A pleased Ingrid states Emma's the one she wanted to talk to anyway, so Emma sarcastically comments that she knows she wants her to join the "dark side". Ingrid tells Emma she's proud of her, but Emma tells her that won't work and she won't push her buttons. She insists she's being sincere and tells her to use her super power to find out for sure. Emma gets a look of shock on her face and asks how she knew about that. "You told me when you were a child" she replies with a smile before commenting what a lovely child she was and that she's grateful to have known her then. Emma asks her not to speak like they're friends, but Ingrid insists they're family. Emma realizes she wants this, but despite whatever past they have, what she wants won't happen. Ingrid calmly promises she will, telling Emma at the end of the day she'll see everything she's saying is true and then she'll do the last thing in the world she thinks is possible right now...let her go. The Snow Queen takes a deep breath before turning to Emma with a smile and asking what she'd like to talk about.
Regina tells Henry she is focused on Operation Mongoose.
Regina is sat in the study of her manor skimming through the pages of Henry's storybook when she comes across a page with a picture of Marian and Robin Hood, a look of sadness comes across her face. Henry enters, dressed in a suit, asking for help with his tie. A pleasantly shocked Regina comments on his suit, wondering what the occasion is. "I'm getting married" Henry jokingly replies, fooling his mother for a second before explaining it's for work as Rumple suggested it. Regina gets up to help him with his tie, telling him he's handsome. Once it's done, she walks away, and Henry asks what happened in a serious tone. Regina wonders what he means so he explains that she was looking through the book with her "scary face" on before asking if something happened with Robin. She tells her son that she's simply moving on because whatever she had with Robin is gone. Henry apologizes for his mother, but she puts on a brave face and tells him the next time a happy ending comes knocking on her door she'll be ready, not allowing the book to prevent it any more. She places her hands on Henry's cheeks and assures him that from now on Operation Mongoose is her main focus. "We will find the author" she promises her son, who then informs his Regina that he has a few ideas about where to look in the shop. Regina smiles at Henry and tells him to get to work before kissing him to part ways.
Ingrid explains to Emma what family means.
Over at the sheriff's station, Emma places a cup of water before Ingrid in the interrogation room before commenting that the spell of Shattered Sight is "pretty impressive stuff". Ingrid asks what it matters since she's been stopped. Emma says that's right before stating they know who she is, what she wants and that she wants her and Elsa to replace her sisters. The Snow Queen comments that Emma has all her answers before asking to retire to her cell. Emma refuses, asking why she's been tracking her her whole life. Ingrid explains that she was protecting her, so Emma wonders why she erased her memories. She comments that every family has their ups and downs, but Emma states that they're not family because she has one that spans three generations and four hundred years. Ingrid insists family isn't about blood because it's a bond far stronger than marriage and genetics. She adds that Elsa and her are her family because they're the only ones like her. She then warns Emma that although the family she has may love her, they also fear her. Emma is adamant that they don't, but Ingrid says she finds it hard to believe they've never shown even a tiny sign of panic. Emma firmly states that her family love her including her powers, but Ingrid sadly tells her she thought that once too.
Gerda may have a solution.
Back in Arendelle that was, Ingrid is packing a suitcase in her bedroom when Helga and Gerda enter, returning from the ball with cake. Helga questions what she's doing, but Ingrid tells her she hoped to be gone before they returned. "Nonsense" Helga says casually walking to her sister and stopping her from packing before asking what happened. She explains that she went to the party, putting a smile on both her sister's faces. Gerda says she didn't see her there, but Ingrid explains that she did and she saw them dancing and looking vibrant. She goes on to explain she's not meant for such things and once she's gone they can both have normal lives that they deserve. Ingrid takes Helga's hands and assures her that her compassion and strength will make her a wonderful leader, "You are the queen that Arendelle deserves" she says, tearing up. Helga tells her sister to stop it, but an upset Ingrid tells them her power is too strong and she can't control it and she doesn't want to hurt anyone. Helga tells her sister to remember what they promised, that they'd never abandon each other. "I think I know someone who can help" Gerda meekly interrupts from the side, catching the attention of both her sisters. Gerda goes on to explain that she's heard whisper of a sorcerer who may be powerful enough to control Ingrid's powers. An interested Ingrid wonders where he lives, so she explains he lives in a place called Misthaven and his name is Rumplestiltskin.
Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who's the most useless over them all?
Over at the clock tower, Elsa, Hook and Charming are looking into the Snow Queen's mirror to inspect it. Elsa explains that this is what they've been worried about, asking if the mirror should be shaking or doing something evil. Elsa agrees, commenting that it just seems like a harmless looking glass. "I've found nothing to counteract the spell yet" Belle says, making her way up the stairs. She suddenly notices everyone looking into the mirror and in a panic, stops them all, warning them that it will make them see the worst in themselves. Hook jokingly comments that it must be broken because he's been staring into it all day and he just seems more devilishly handsome and charming than usual. A confused Belle turns to the mirror and looks into the reflection, "This isn't the same mirror" she explains to them, feeling a huge difference in it. Elsa wonders why the Snow Queen would come here to plant a fake mirror. This causes Hook and Charming to share a glance of panic, "Because she wanted to get caught" Charming says before they both run down the stairs.
A short while later, over at the sheriff's station, Ingrid is sitting inside the interrogation on her own in an eerie silence. Having now sensed the discovery that the mirror is fake, raises her shackled hands and points out two fingers, waving them around slowly, creating a magical sound. Outside, a thick layer of ice begins to freeze over the front entrance to the sheriff's station, locking the doors together. Charming, Hook, Belle and Elsa arrive to discover that the front doors have been completely frozen over, trapping Emma inside with the Snow Queen. Charming and Belle each grab a door and attempt to open it, but they can't. Charming calls out for his daughter with great fear of her life.
Robin turns to alcohol to cope.
In Granny's Diner, a dart is thrown by Robin Hood at a board, but it ends up hitting the wall. He sulkily throws another, but it hits the wall too so he sighs and takes a sip of whiskey. Will Scarlet enters the diner but once he sees Robin throwing darts he turns to exit the door. However, a dart is suddenly thrown his way and it hits the wall next to him. He nervously turns around, stating that he can explain. Robin tells him there's no need before asking a waitress for a drink for himself and Will. A short while later both the men are sat at the bar in the diner, drinking. Will confesses that he wants to make amends for what he did to him and the Merry Men in Sherwood Forest. Robin angrily points out that he nearly got them all killed, but Will emphasizes that the word "nearly" surely means something. Robin asks where the woman he did it all for is now, but when Will is uncomfortably silent, he apologizes. "I chose my path. Sometimes even when you win, you lose" Will explains before taking another drink. Robin asks if he's ever told him about how he met Marian, but Will tells him he has three dozen times.
Will tries to help remind Robin of how much he loved Marian.
"I stole her father's horse" Robin begins to explain before Will comments it's not three dozen and one. Robin continues to explain that back then he was a two-bit thief and he didn't even need the horse as he had two. He continues to tell the story of how after meeting Marian he eventually gave his two horses as an apology. Will, knowing the story well, finishes it off by saying from that day on Robin only stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Robin tells Will that she made him the man he is today, so he needs to remember that. Will reveals that it wasn't easy on Marian to live life as an outlaw, explaining that he once asked how she gave up everything to be with Robin. He reveals that she told him there's good in Robin and when you love someone you don't give up on them, especially if they don't see it themselves. He continues to explain she told him that if you ever find true love you fight for it. Robin asks Will if he still believes that after everything he did for love. Will tells him that if you ever find someone worth ruining your entire life for then it's always worth it.
Rumple's assistance is needed.
Over at Mr. Gold Pawnbroker & Antiquities Dealer, Henry is sweeping the floor when Rumple enters the main room of the shop. He tells his grandfather that he's swept the floor twice before asking if it's time he learned something more magical. Rumple tells the boy it's his lucky day because he's going to give him a potion with the power to turn something old into something new; furniture polish. Henry's excitement melts away and Rumple passes him the polish, telling him to start in the back. Once Henry walks away, Charming, Belle, Elsa and Hook enter the shop, making Rumple comment that this kind of precession never bodes well. Charming quickly explains that the Snow Queen locked Emma in the sheriff's station and Belle asks for help to get inside. "How could I turn down the pleas of my beloved wife?" Rumple rhetorically asks the group. "After you" he tells the group, causing all but Hook to leave the shop. Once Charming, Belle and Elsa are outside, the pirate asks his foe what his game is, pointing out that the last two villains who came to Storybrooke tried to kill him but he doesn't seem concerned about this one. He says it makes a man wonder if they have a history, but Rumple tells him to wonder all he likes because his history is his business.
Rumple may have a solution for Ingrid's magic.
In the fairytale land that was, in Rumplestiltskin's Dark Castle, Ingrid, Helga and Gerda stand before the powerful sorcerer. "Ice powers, you say?" he asks them, having listened to their story. Ingrid adds that it's snow too, so Rumple playfully tells her its intriguing. He asks why she'd want to give it up as it's such a gift, suggesting lessons instead, however Ingrid refuses. She points out that Rumple is the largest collector of magic in the land, claiming he must have something that could help. He confirms he does, but questions why they need him when she already has all the help she needs. Ingrid asks what he means, so Rumple teleports behind her before explaining true love can come in many forms and the sisterly bond is worth its weight in magic. Ingrid repeats that her magic is too strong and she needs a way to control them. Rumple tells the future queen that love is free, but all magic comes with a price. He uses magic to conjure up some gloves that can help conceal her powers. Ingrid asks if they can stop it, but he tells her only if she believes it since faith is a powerful thing, and for those who lack it, another solution is required.
But it isn't enough for her.
He picks up a golden urn, telling her to think of it as her fail safe, "If things get too chilly, simply pop the top and in you go" he instructs before assuring her once inside all the realm will be safe from her. Helga and Gerda share suspicious looks, but Ingrid eagerly steps forward to take the urn. Rumple pulls it away from her, pointing out that a deal requires an exchange of goods. After a moment of thinking, the Dark One reveals he wants all three of their ribbons. Confused, Ingrid explains that they're just silly things they've worn since their childhood, but Rumple explains that sometimes, with enough love, ordinary objects can possess their own special kind of magic. Helga tries to dissuade Ingrid, as does Gerda, who states it isn't right. A terrified Ingrid says the ribbons are just a symbol and they're not strong enough, so she needs something that will guarantee her not hurting anyone, a fail safe. Helga tells her they're her fail safe and both sisters look at Ingrid with comforting smiles, however, Ingrid is too frightened. "Do we have a deal?" Rumple asks, popping back in. Ingrid apologizes to her sisters, telling them the ribbons aren't enough as she removes her own and gives it to Rumple. Helga and Gerda reluctantly do so too. "Deal, deal, deal" Rumple says cheerfully to himself as he takes each ribbon.
Ingrid starts getting to Emma.
Back in the present, in the sheriff's station, Emma and Ingrid are still in the interrogation room. The latter says it's understandable the former feels upset, but an angry Emma asks if she thinks she knows how she feels now. Ingrid says she knows Emma more than she thinks, but Emma angrily yells that she took a year from her life. She tells the young blonde that when she lived with her she often talked about her parents and how mad she was at them for being given up. Emma says she understands their good reason for it now, but Ingrid points out that it doesn't change the fact she felt unwanted for twenty eight years. Emma defends that they didn't have a choice, but Ingrid sternly explains that they always had a choice and they could have figured out something else. Emma snarls that they did what they could to save an entire kingdom. Ingrid tells Emma that she was just a child and they used her to break a curse...and they're still using her powers. Emma says that's not true, but Ingrid asks how many times she's saved them and felt more like a savior than their daughter. She continues to explain that it takes one tiny mistake and then her powers go from being their salvation to their worst nightmare. Pacing with frustration, Emma tells Ingrid she doesn't know them or her, but the Snow Queen says that she has been her, different, misunderstood and alone.
Ingrid is pleased when Emma finally snaps.
She then points out to Emma that her parents have chose to have a new child before asking if she thinks they thank their lucky stars every day that he was born "normal". Emma turns to Ingrid with a look of rage on her face, "They love me" she grumbles; as this is being said the glass of water on the table starts boiling. Ingrid tells Emma you can't love someone you don't understand and when you don't understand something you learn to fear it and then eventually look at it as a monster. Emma yells at Ingrid to shut up, slamming her fists on the desk. However, this sends a pulse of powerful magic into the wall of the station, causing a big hole. As a horrified Emma looks at her hands, which are sparking out of control with magic, Ingrid looks at her with great joy. Scared, Emma asks what she did to her, but Ingrid explains that she simply showed her who she really is. As she does this, she stands up and effortlessly removes the magical handcuffs with her own, revealing that she could've got rid of them at any time. Emma asks Ingrid to make the sparking hands stop, but the Snow Queen says that she can't as it's her, "And Emma, it's beautiful" she adds proudly. She then waves her hand above her head and turns into a cloud of snow which then flies out of the hole in the wall and away to safety. A terrified Emma is left alone.
Emma is scared of hurting someone.
After blowing a hole in the wall of the sheriff's station, Emma makes her way outside, asking to herself what she's done as she walks amongst the rubble. Charming suddenly calls out for his daughter as he, Snow, Hook, Henry, Elsa, Belle and Rumple approach her. Snow tells her daughter they were so worried before Rumple sarcastically comments that they didn't need his help, noticing the wall. A scared Emma steps away from them, telling them to wait. Hook asks what "that monster" did to the station, but Emma says the monster who did it was her. Confused, Charming and Hook gently approach her, but she tells them to keep her distance as she doesn't want to hurt anyone. She turns around to get in her car, but Hook chases after her. Rumple tells him to heed her words as Elsa yells out that they can help. Hook grabs Emma's arm so she yells for him to let go, turning around and swinging her arm. This causes a surge of magic to spark all nearby electrical objects. As a result a lamppost falls down, headed right towards an unaware Hook. Charming manages to push him out of the way, but ends up getting hit in the shoulder. Snow calls out for him in horror as she rushes to his aid. Emma can't help but watch her injured father from afar. Snow helps her husband up before scolding Emma, angrily yelling her name. A look of hurt comes across Emma's face and she turns away to leave. Realizing what she's done, Snow calms down and call out for her daughter. Everyone calls out for her to come back, but she ignores them and gets in her car before driving away. Meanwhile, Ingrid watches this from afar, hidden behind a wall. She smiles before disappearing.
Ingrid tries to fend off the Duke of Weselton.
In Arendelle of the past, Ingrid, now dressed in a pure white dress, is sat in the gardens of her castle holding the urn and gloves given to her by Rumplestiltskin. "Ah, the Golden Crocus" a voice calls out. Ingrid turns to see it's the Duke of Weselton, who adds that it's a flower that will only grow for only those willing to wait. He approaches Ingrid and extends his hand, stating he hasn't had the pleasure of meeting her. Avoiding hand contact with him, she introduces herself and then says she'll go get Helga. As she steps forward, he blocks her way, causing her to drop her gloves. As she nervously looks down at them, he explains he'd heard rumor of a "mysterious third sister" so he had to see her for himself. Ingrid attempts to reach down for the gloves, but he stops her before stepping over them, telling her she's more beautiful than he could've imagined, "Did I say that out loud?" he awkwardly chuckles to himself. With a look of lust in his eyes, he tells her she's enchanting before reaching in to kiss her. Ingrid pushes him away and warns him not to do this, but he assures her Helga will never know. The Duke insists that it's her that he wants, the queen to be. The Duke wraps his arms around Ingrid, embracing her in a hug, but she yells at him to get back before accidentally pushing him away with her magic. After getting back up, a scared Duke asks what dark sorcery that was. Worried, Ingrid asks him not to tell anyone as it has to be their secret. Suddenly Helga shows up, asking what's going on here, having heard the commotion.
Helga dies in Ingrid's arms.
The Duke lies to Helga that her sister started kissing him and when he rebuffed her, she tried to kill him with her magic; a desperate Ingrid insists that's not what happened. Helga thanks the Duke for showing him what a liar he is and for saving her the trouble of considering taking his worthless hand in marriage. "How dare you?" the Duke snarls, but Helga cuts him off, stating they'll see to it that his diplomatic mission here comes to an end and they'll send him straight back to "Weasleton". Frustrated, he corrects her pronunciation before stating he's it's Duke and he doesn't take orders from her. He explains that once Arendelle learns the truth about Ingrid they'll side with him. Helga states she loves her sister for who she is and so shall everyone else. The duke asks if that's why they hide "this freak" away from balls and dinners, so Helga tells him he's out of line. He tells the girls that the people deserve what their future queen is, and once the people find out the truth they'll lock her up and throw away the key. Helga yells that that's enough, but he continues to say that's the only fate befitting a monster. Ingrid tells him to stop before pushing out her hands to cast magic at him. However, the Duke quickly grabs Helga and pushes her in front of him, causing her to be hit by the magic. Helga grabs her freezing heart and a scared Duke runs away. A horrified Ingrid rushes to her sister's aid, slowly laying her on the ground, sadly calling out her name. But it's too late, she begins turning completely into ice. Ingrid begins apologizing and then strokes her frozen face, but this causes her to shatter into thousands of pieces. Ingrid is distraught and begins crying out for her dead sister, "What have I done?" she asks herself, crying.
Robin breaks his code for Regina.
Regina is sat in her vault reading Henry's storybook. She's looking at the page about when the Blue Fairy saved her from execution when Robin enters, leading her to ask why she's getting the sense of deja vu. Robin explains that he's lived by a code his entire life, to steal from the rich and give to the poor and to be truthful, righteous and good. He adds that he's tried to live by that code every day of his life, so Regina questions why he's here. He says today is not one of those days before walking at Regina and embracing in a kiss with her. She stands up from her seat and begins kissing Robin in return, rubbing her hands over his body.
Snow feels guilty.
Over at Snow's apartment, Snow cradles Neal in her arms before putting him in his crib. With that, Charming, Hook and Elsa arrive and Snow desperately asks if they found Emma. They say she isn't, deducing that she doesn't want to be found. Elsa reveals that she's been through this and she saw the looks on her loved ones faces, like Emma just did, the look of fear. "David, we failed today" Snow says, ashamed in herself, before stating that when there daughter needed them most all she saw was fear in their eyes. She goes on to say that the Snow Queen has a mirror that can turn everyone against each other, but she doesn't need it as they're doing it themselves.
Over at the Snow Queen's Lair, Ingrid is looking into her mirror with a wicked smile upon her face. She suddenly stops smiling and she begins stroking the mirror with her hands. Eventually she stops and goes back to looking in the mirror, smiling again.
Gerda traps her sister in the urn.
Back in Arendelle of the past, Ingrid is crying over the shattered icy corpse of her sister, Helga, when Gerda comes running up to her, asking what happened and where Helga is. However, the moment she sees the broken icy corpse of her sister, she lets out a gasp. Ingrid cries that she didn't mean to, but Gerda asks her what she did. The second time she asks, she yells it angrily, holding back her tears. Ingrid stands to her feet and cries that she was trying to stop the duke, begging her sister to believe her. However, a fearful Gerda tells her to stay away. Ingrid asks her sister not to be afraid, reminding her that they said they'd always be there for each other. She tells Gerda she loves her before asking for help. She asks her to take her hand as she raises it out, but a terrified Gerda refuses before telling Ingrid that she killed their sister so she's a monster. A look of horror comes over Ingrid's face when this is said. She keeps moving towards her sister, but Gerda moves back in fear. Eventually with no room left, she bumps into a table where the urn is sitting. Gerda gives it a glance before looking back at her sister. Suddenly she picks it up and opens it, but despite her sister's pleas, she waits until Ingrid is fully absorbed into it. Once Ingrid is inside, she puts the urn back on the table and she lets out her tears. She picks up Ingrid's gloves and holds them in her hands.
Gerda visits Pabbie for help.
"Your face shows great tragedy, my child" Pabbie tells Gerda, who is stood before him. Gerda explains that she lost both her sisters today, so the rock troll apologizes, asking how such a thing happened. She tells him it's too painful to talk about, but her pain must be put aside for the moment as they need to make sure Arendelle survives this. She asks for Pabbie's help, requesting a memory potion strong enough to make sure the entire realm, including her father and the Duke of Weselton, forget Ingrid and Helga ever existed. When she asks if he can do this, he confirms that he can, but warns her the truth finds a way of coming out one way or the other. Gerda insists that it mustn't for the future of the kingdom depends on it. Pabbie assures the princess that he'll do this, but adds that it's powerful magic...and magic always comes with a price. A distressed Gerda says she's fairly certain she's already paid it before walking away. Once she's gone, Pabbie says "We shall see" to himself.
Ingrid wants her ribbons back...
Back in Storybrooke, in Mr. Gold Pawnbroker & Antiquities Dealer, Rumple is stood looking into a snow globe, designed to look like the town he's in. The bell to his shop rings and he senses the presence of Ingrid. He tells her, as someone who's created many monsters in his lifetime, he's impressed by the number she did on Emma. She tells him she's ready to make that deal, so he asks her if she's finally realised what she didn't so many years ago. She asks for her ribbons back, but he points out that a deal requires an exchange of goods...and he's not sure she has anything he wants. Ingrid tells him that he still needs one more thing to cleave himself from the dagger, so he asks how she knows about that. She explains that she had the hat longer than him and in that time she learned many things, including the missing piece of his puzzle. She asks for her ribbons in exchange for the information before revealing she's figured out his plan. She points out that Storybrooke is too small of a town for someone as powerful as the Dark One to be content.
So she gives Rumple some vital information.
Rumple sarcastically remarks that they did close down the ice cream parlor he was so fond of, but Ingrid ignores this and tells him he wants to cleave himself from the dagger so he can venture outside Storybrooke without losing his power or his precious Belle. Rumple pulls out a box containing the ribbons and opens it before Ingrid as she explains that he wants, in short, what all villains want...everything. She tells him she wants to give it to him, pointing out everything he wants is "out there" and everything she wants is "in here". As she says this, she freezes over the Storybrooke snow globe. She goes on to tell Rumple he can do what he wants with the rest of the world, claiming she will make Storybrooke hers. She then asks if he wants her information, so he tells her he does, confirming the deal. She slowly reaches for her ribbons, but Rumple tells her to go first. Ingrid leans towards Rumple and tells him what he needs to know. He gets a big smile on his face and claims that not only can he do it, but he'll do it with great pleasure. Both sorcerers state at each other intensely.
- The title card of this episode features the kite flown by Ingrid, Helga and Gerda as children, amidst a snowstorm.
- This is the first episode to be named directly after a fairytale.
- Emma mentions the popular movie franchise based on J. R. R. Tolkien's well-known book series The Lord of the Rings, as well as the race of Elves that exists within its universe.
- The title of this episode was revealed by executive producer/co-creator Adam Horowitz, via his Twitter account, on September 13, 2014.
This episode received 7.42 million viewers.
- In a review from Entertainment Weekly, Hilary Busis notes that "Tonight's Once is an exploration of control - and more specifically, what happens when people lose it. Basically, there are two possible outcomes: the terrible one (murdering your sister, murdering the guy who's trying to kidnap your sister, murdering an innocent brick wall), and the super-duper hot one (macking on a woman who is very much not your wife)."
- Amy Ratcliffe of IGN rated the episode 7.9 out of 10, saying "The backstories of Once Upon a Time's villains don't always fit, but the Snow Queen's past was heartbreaking and matches the person she's become. The path from origin to foe was crystal clear, and while the Snow Queen suffered, they didn't make her too sympathetic. The plot in the present wasn't as solid as the flashbacks, but it did introduce a potential turning point for Emma and that character could use more development."
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.