Oncers got a double dose this week, with episodes 8 and 9 running concurrently in a 2 hour special that covered Emma's attempt to get rid of her magic, the development of Robin's and Regina's affair, and more of Rumple's double dealings.
After Emma left, her family set out looking for her. It was Henry who found her, but he couldn't console her. In fact, his presence seemed to make things worse. She begs Henry to leave, but when he insists on helping, she accidentally blasts him. In her shock and terror, she turns to Rumple for help.
Emma knows everyone is looking for her, so she hides out in the pawn shop until Rumple returns. She explains to him that she hurt Henry and she wants his help to make sure that never happens again. He claims that the only solution would be to part ways with her magic for good. Of course, he has a way to do this, but it needs to be conducted in a remote location. How about that old abandoned manor? You know, the one where Rumple found the sorcerer's hat?
Emma agrees to meet him there and calls her mom to let her know she's O.K. and has a solution to her reckless magic just as Regina arrives to check on Henry. Regina brought them a locator spell so they could use it to find Emma. That may be unnecessary now. Charming, Hook, and Elsa watch anxiously as Snow finishes her conversation with Emma. She tells them that Emma has found a way to part with her magic for good. While Charming and Snow debate the heroic nature of sacrifice and what that may mean for Emma, Hook takes off knowing Rumple's up to no good, and Elsa takes the locator spell.
Just as suspected, Rumple sets up the hat to absorb whomever comes into the room with it. He meets Emma in the next room and tells her that her magic will be taken when she walks into the room. He leaves out the bit about it being a hat that like Elsa's urn, will trap her indefinitely. Fortunately, Elsa manages to find the manor with the help of Regina's locator spell. She breaks in, finds Emma, and confronts her. She gets Emma to realize that she really does need to embrace her magic and trust her friends and family that they will help her. Emma relinquishes, takes Elsa's hand, and everything grows calm. Hook runs in, ecstatic to see that his Swan is unharmed, but as she leaves he reluctantly lingers and retrieves the sorcerer’s hat for Rumple. Like Sleeping Beauty was to Cora, so Hook is now a puppet of Rumple's. This does not bode well for our Captain Swan.
Regina still wants to find the author of the Story Book so that she can have a happy ending written for her. Robin finds this out as they enjoy a banter filled morning after conversation. After she leaves to check on Henry, he corners Will Scarlet and gets him in on the quest to find the author, or at least some information about the book. Where better to look for information about a magic book than in a library under a magic clock, suggests Will.
Off they go, but Will is disappointed to discover that he doesn't have to break into the library during open hours. After looking around without much luck, Robin takes a step back. He reaches in his bag and finds what appears to be a missing page from the Story Book, but there's not a missing page. He calls Regina, and when he shows it to her, he tells her that she needs to realize this means that there are possibilities and her story is not set in stone.
Things start to make sense as we witness Elsa, Anna, and Ingrid's interactions in the past. Ingrid is so convinced that her sisters didn't accept her or love her that she will stop at nothing to have sisters that are like her. If they're like her, special, then they will always love and accept her. She sees people with magic as a completely separate and better breed than ordinary people. When she finds Elsa, she wants to get rid of Anna, because Anna is ordinary and a competition for Elsa's love.
Ingrid tells Elsa that Anna found a magical object that their parents were looking for, one that could strip Elsa of her powers. According to Ingrid, Anna plans on using the object against Elsa, and she has already tried to use it against Ingrid. Elsa marches down to the dungeon and confronts Anna, but really she just wants to set Anna free. She just wants Ingrid to think she believed her lies. Elsa devises a plan to find and trap Ingrid in the urn again. Anna helps her look for the urn. After they find it, Elsa looks Anna back up in the dungeon with the idea that when Ingrid comes to see her, she'll open the urn and trap her. As well all know, though, things rarely go as planned.
Anna doesn't surprise Ingrid, rather Ingrid surprises Anna by binding her wrists. Now Anna can't control the urn. Ingrid taunts her, but Anna claims that she can never turn her and her sister on each other. So, I guess a little magic can, because Ingrid proceeds to blow mirror slivers into Anna's eyes. This is part of the shattered sight spell mentioned in previous episodes, and also referenced from Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen. The mirror is imbued with dark magic that only allows the afflicted to see the worst in themselves and others.
Under the shattered sight curse, Anna can only think of all the heartache she felt growing up. How she felt abandoned by Elsa. She confronts Elsa, and Elsa almost immediately realizes that Anna's behavior is a result of something Ingrid has done, but before she has a chance to figure things out she finds herself in a winless situation. Her sister is slowly opening the urn to trap her, and Ingrid is behind her telling her to freeze her sister. She refuses to do Ingrid's bidding. She refuses to believe that Anna would turn on her or hurt her, but Anna does open the urn all the way, and in goes Elsa.
Ingrid is shocked that Elsa wouldn't protect herself from Anna. As soon as Elsa is sucked up, Anna comes to and freaks out. Kristoff comes to her aide, but Ingrid freezes them both in their tracks. She is heartbroken. All she wanted was for Elsa to love her and want to be with her. Her plan was to win over Elsa, then together find a third sister. This she planned to do with the help of the sorcerer. She did, after all, have his hat with which to barter. It is the sorcerer who gives her the scroll prophesizing that she will find Emma and that Emma will become her sister. In the end, Emma embraces her powers, and Ingrid magically places the three ribbons on each of their wrists. While Rumple confronts her, Emma and Elsa notice the ribbons. They both feel as though their powers are being pulled away and neither of them can get the ribbons off.