This episode opens with Marian, Robin, and Rolland strolling down the street discussing how different life is here when Rolland talks them into getting ice cream. As the ice cream server (aka the Snow Queen) fixes Marian a scoop, she adds some sprinkles and a wave of her hand...but why? It soon becomes evident as Mary Margaret hosts her first “Mayor’s Fire Side Chat,” which I might note had no fire. During the meeting, the townspeople are understandably upset about the encompassing ice wall and recent snow monster. Of course they blame Elsa. As Mary Margaret attempts to dissuade them, Marian passes out cold. Ah ha, Snow Queen! We knew you were up to no good! But, why Marian?
At Granny’s, Regina brings Henry some comic books. She comments how interesting it is that these books are just stories and yet his book was real. She wonders who could have written his. Henry knows she’s up to something and confronts her. When she admits she wants to find the writer and have them write her a happy ending, Henry thinks that’s the best idea she’s come up with yet. Just then, in runs Robin looking for Regina. He needs help and she’s the only one who can help him! Too bad it’s about Marian, who’s lying frozen in the Mayor’s office. Once they are back at the office, Robin is reminded that true love’s kiss can break any curse, so he tries, but it doesn’t work. Charming suggests that the ice is creating a barrier that true love’s kiss cannot penetrate, but we know better, and later Robin admits as much to Regina. The kiss didn’t work because it’s not true love anymore. Robin’s true love now is Regina. However, Regina still vows to save Marian, and begins by taking her heart in order to keep her alive...frozen, but alive.
Back in Arendelle, Kristoff and Elsa argue about whether Elsa should go after Anna, but they are interrupted by news of an army amassing at their borders, led by Hans. Kristoff sneaks off and discovers that Hans knows how to defeat Elsa by trapping her in a magic urn. Kristoff returns to tell Elsa, and suggests that he sneak into the mountain to find and destroy the urn before Hans can get to it. Elsa goes with him, but once she sees it, she is overcome with her desire to know if there are others like her. She stalls too long, and they are overtaken by Hans’ army. Hans takes and opens the urn. He dumps out a liquid that flows towards Elsa, but instead of catching her, it turns into another person. It’s the Snow Queen! She freezes Hans, and accompanies Elsa back to her castle where she tells her she is actually her aunt. She wants to see her sister, but Elsa tells her she’s gone. The Snow Queen seems deceptively sympathetic, and offers to help Elsa find Anna. It sounds good, but something’s not right.
People think Elsa is to blame for Marian, and they want to stop her before she freezes someone else. So, Emma goes to Gold for help, but he says he knows nothing about Elsa or why she was in the urn. He goes so far as to have Belle use the dagger to command him to tell the truth. That would be good if we knew it was the real dagger.
Without any guidance from Gold, Emma and Charming take to the woods to look for clues. They quickly come across Robin’s camp and find Will Scarlet rummaging through Robin’s tent. He admits to being a thief, and points out that his looting during the blackout led him to the ice cream shop where everything was still frozen despite hours of no electricity. When they go into the shop to check it out, Will gives them the slip.
Hook later returns to tell Gold that he knows the dagger is a fake. He offers to keep that secret if Gold will help Elsa. A reluctant Gold claims he can’t tell her who cast the freezing curse, but he can free the magic from a strand of Marian’s hair and says it will find its way “home.” So, off they go to follow it. As Elsa and Hook follow the magic into the woods, he admits that he usually runs from magic rather than chases it, but Elsa knows that’s not completely true, and she tells him as much. After all, he chases Emma, and isn’t she magic? She confides in Hook that she and Emma are a lot alike and having the weight of the world on your shoulders makes it hard to let people in.
When they finally stumble upon the Snow Queen, she freezes Hook to the ground and tells Elsa that they have catching up to do. Evidently, she and Elsa knew each other in Arendelle, but the trolls erased her memories, and Anna is the one who trapped Elsa in the urn. Elsa is sure she’s lying, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this show, it is that sometimes what you think is impossible turns out to be true, from a certain point of view.
Elsa wants to know why the Snow Queen hurt Marian and why she wants to frame her? Simply put, the Snow Queen wants to teach Elsa a lesson: all people not like her will turn on her in time. Just as the Snow Queen is about to spear Hook with some ice sickles, Emma shows up and uses some kick butt magic to knock the Snow Queen out and save Hook. Maybe all Emma needs to be powerful is the right motivation.
In the end, we learn that Emma has been pushing Hook away out of fear of losing him. Everyone she’s ever loved is gone, but Hook reassures her that he’s good at surviving. Then, we see Rumple talking to the Snow Queen about her plans not working out and Emma not remembering her. He offers to help, but she says when she’s ready to make a deal she’ll come find him. And we thought he had conquered the Dark One. Poor Belle.