'Once Upon a Time' Recap: 'Family Business'

As Hook quips in this episode, “spend a little more time in this town, love, you’ll realize just about everyone’s related,” we discern that there was a familial relationship between the snow queen and Emma. It appears it was based on an old prophecy that the savior will become Ingrid’s (the snow queen’s actual name) sister. Confusing at first, Belle figures out that the snow queen wants Emma to replace Anna in her idea of a perfect family. After all, it was during a trip to Arendale that Belle witnessed Ingrid take Anna away. When Belle protested, Ingrid chastised her, exclaiming that it was “family business.”


How and why did Belle end up in Arendale? After she and her mother were attacked by ogres, Belle loses her memory of the events immediately following the attack, namely the death of her mother. Of course, Belle finds a book that claims there are creatures that can restore lost memories. She wants to go find them, but her father forbids her. She decides to go anyway, and as she unfolds her map, we realize that the creatures she seeks are the rock trolls in Arendale.

While looking for the trolls, Belle runs into Anna. As it turns out, Anna is also on her way to see the trolls in an effort to find out who Ingrid really is, and so invites Belle to travel with her. Belle and Anna talk while on way to rock trolls. Anna asks Belle about her mom and tells her that she lost hers too. She falls and out tumbles the sorcerer’s hat box. Belle asks what it is, and Anna says it can strip magic from people.

Belle and Anna find the rock trolls. Gran Poppy gives Belle a stone to help her remember her mother. Anna finds out her mom had, not one, but two sisters. Her mom was the youngest, and Ingrid was oldest. Helga (the middle sister) and Ingrid vanished. No one knew why, so they had the trolls to erase everyone’s memories. That didn’t help Anna feel better. Instead it made her feel that Ingrid was hiding things and therefore up to something.

While on their way home, Belle and Anna notice a storm brewing. Their attention is quickly diverted by a rumbling that causes them to lose their balance. Belle drops the memory stone, and Anna slips off the edge of the path. Anna calls to Belle for help, but Belle is already in the process of rescuing her stone, and doesn’t want to leave it before helping Anna. When Belle finally reaches the stone, her fingers brush against it, knocking it down the cliff and shattering it. Forlorn, Belle reaches for Anna, and just misses her too. Anna slips, and it is while she is lying unconscious on the ground that Ingrid comes and takes her away, but not before taking the sorcerer’s hat box. Anna wakes to find herself in a cell where Ingrid accuses her of wanting to strip Elsa of her powers, and Belle returns home ashamed and empty handed. This is one secret she is not willing to bare.

Current events include Emma showing everyone a video of her as a teenager in the foster care of the snow queen. After explaining that her house has been searched to no avail, Charming suggests that they split up and search for the snow queen. Elsa and Belle head for the library to do some research, while Emma, Hook, Regina, and Robin search for the ice cream truck at Henry’s behest. When they find it they also discover a file folder containing information regarding Emma, including the newspaper article announcing that she had been found on the side of the road, essays and artwork from school, and a scroll written in runes. As Emma ruminates over her find, Regina admits to Robin that she thinks she is not able to save Marian, and that his only recourse may be to fall back in love with his wife so that true love’s kiss will work on her.

While at the library, Belle continues to insist that she knows nothing of Arendale or Anna, and that perhaps something can be found in the books. Elsa looks for this information while Belle researches the snow queen. Frustrated that she can’t find anything, Elsa declares that she will never see Anna again. Belle attempts to reassure her, and then rushes off to Gold’s shop. She rummages through piles of forgotten things and finds a pick axe. She holds it up firmly, stating “I’ll find you Anna.” Just then, Rumple walks in and Belle tells him she’s off to the North Woods to find the snow queen. Rumple disapproves, so she asks him to go with her. When he refuses, she uses the dagger to demand that he take her. He is shocked at her actions, and tells her that he gave her the dagger because he trusted that she would not want to control him. Evidentially, she does. Will he go, or tell the truth about the dagger?

Rumple reluctantly goes with her. Once there, she tells him to stand watch while she goes into the ice cave in search of a special box that can strip a magical being of their powers. She says she wants it to make the snow queen tell them where Anna is. Inside, Belle finds a magic mirror in which her reflection takes on a life of its own, and tells her that she never really cared about Anna or else she wouldn’t have chosen the rock over her. The mirror calls her a pathetic coward, and suggests that the only reason the dark one married her was because he needed someone weak he could manipulate. She argues that point by showing the mirror his dagger, but mirror simply replies by telling her that it’s not the real dagger. At that point, Rumple comes in to tell her that the snow queen is returning, but thinking he is an apparition, she slashes at his throat. As far as she knows, it couldn’t really be him, because she commanded him to stand watch. He has a good come back for that one, though. She commanded him to stand watch for the snow queen, so when she comes, he goes to Belle. He whisks them back to his shop where she admits that she’s the reason Anna is missing. She didn’t want anyone to know until she could put it right. In a moment of irony, she apologizes to Rumple for keeping a secret from him.

In the end, Rumple goes to the snow queen and tells her to stay away from the ones he loves. After a short banter, he shows her the sorcerer’s hat and threatens her that she’ll be just one more jewel on it if she doesn’t heed his warning. Meanwhile, Belle admits the truth to Elsa, but then tells all of them about the mirror. According to Rumple, it’s part of a spell called shattered sight. If the snow queen casts it, everyone in the town will turn on each other and the town will be destroyed. Everyone that is, except for Elsa and Emma, who together will make the snow queen’s perfect family.

Credit: Stockpix/INFphoto.com

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Carissa Shuman

Carissa is a writer, editor, and artist with a love for science and science fiction.

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