Sunday, January 15, 2012

True North

Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” - G. K. Chesterton
**All photos posted here are chosen for a reason. Pay attention to dates, names, places on papers and photographs**

OK, let's start off with Damon Lindelof making an appearance- well, his comic book made an appearance, which is totally LOSTastic! This of course isn't just a nod to the Godfather of ONCE Upon A Time, but a great constant to LOST.

I’m really starting to feel like there’s something seriously wrong with me- I’m fuckin' losing my mind!  Maybe I am just Crazy Karen and I’ve completely rendered myself insane. It seems that I just can't and won't get off of the LOST train that seems to keep running right through Storybrooke. Please, Please, Please, I hope I'm not offending the brilliance of Team ONCE  and Team LOST {all of whom I greatly admire, respect and am inspired by every day!} or any fellow fans by mentioning that I feel like I'm experiencing a familiar story; an extension of LOST-which, if that's the case is totally cool with me!

I think we're beyond LOST easter eggs and nods. We're way beyond Apollo Bars, MacCutcheon Whiskey, eyes opening, Geronimo Jackson stickers, 815, 108, 23, and Flashes before someone's eyes, just popping up weekly to make us "remember" our time on the "Island".  This current story feels like another book in the LOST saga. I know I've mentioned this before- but come on! No matter how hard I try I can't help but see a beautiful connection to LOST and the core of the story; but here it's told to us via the magical fairy tale genre with an emphasis on hope.
As I watch ONCE I feel many things like when I watched LOST. I think the writers are doing a brilliant job telling their new unique fairy tale mash-up, and although I am fully aware and am enjoying that this is a story written about the spell and fairy tale characters living in "our world", I can't help but wonder if any of my suspicions are truth with regard to there being more of a golden LOST thread woven into the tapestry of this story than we realize. I don't want to mislead or confuse any of my readers by mentioning the relationship that may or may not be between both stories and I don't expect anyone to agree with it. I've been guilty of over thinking things in the past. And if I am grossly mistaken due to me having a big imagination or just being stupid, I will wholeheartedly apologize to all and truly hope I am forgiven. 

At this point I feel like there are a few things going on within this journey that are similar things I mentioned through my years on the "Island" adventure. I.e. things going on in their heads/minds/consciousness and some sort of merged reality and a bit of a game element with tasks, goals and rewards, etc.  Believe me, there are more things I could be noting as LOST connections but it would make these notes painfully longer.
Maybe it's wrong of me to keep coming back to the things I learned with LOST, but with this episode I am brought back to The Man From Tallahassee (among other episodes) and parts of John Locke's story. Example: Boone told John in a hallucination induced dream vision that he has to bring the family back together again.

Emma has work to do:
Part of this fairy tale is Emma's way of dealing with the pain and abandonment of her own childhood and troubles, along with discovering who she truly is (inside) and where she belongs in the universe. This adventurous journey is also helping others like Regina, Mr. Gold, Snow White and John Doe. While we're at it I wonder- is this journey exclusive to only Emma?  Is each resident experiencing an individual journey, but is connected to a single storyline?  What about Henry? Who is he?  At times he strikes me as an abused child living in a fantasy land and other times he acts as a guide.

This week's episode showed us people being disconnected and having fear and anxiety of separation.
A big theme in ONCE is abandonment; a child being separated from mother/father/family. Emma and all of these people are trying to find balance and their way back- back to safety, back to family, back to love, back to their true self, back home; with a full and loving and compassionate heart. Emma's been holding on to negative stuff her whole life. That's part of what this adventure is about- another case of "letting go".

We learned that the truth can be painful but it can also be cathartic. The veil has to be lifted and the truth needs to be faced so one can move forward.  The Evil Queen needs to fix her moral compass, for sure.  Emma and the residents have to lift their eyes and look North; just as Locke was instructed to do in Further Instructions.  We saw that many of the Castaways had a moral compass that was "off" or broken.  The residents of Storybrooke all need a little help, guidance, a map, a working compass and a little push. Hmm...Maybe the DHARMA Initiative exists in Storybrooke and Fairy Tale Land.

Of course the details of this story are to be paid attention to. Again in this episode I felt like Mr. Gold had a bit of a role as advisor or guide. Mr. Gold claims the compass was bought in his shop. Did he know who and where the "real" father is, or was his role as a guide just to put Emma on the path of truth? Maybe it's his sense of knowing.

There's that bloody snow globe again! 
You can't leave Storybrooke and no one ever comes in. The only person who has come to Storybrooke is Emma. She's the only true outsider that has entered thus far.  At the end of this episode Emma indicated to Michael the car was fine, but ultimately she chose not to leave the border of Storybrooke to go to Boston so Michael can see the kids. If she didn't stop at the border on her own would Storybrooke have stopped her? It seems maybe somewhere deep down Emma knows she can't or shouldn't leave until she accomplishes a certain goal.
When Emma shares Henry's theory about her parents putting her in a magical wardrobe and "sent me to this world to save them", the reference to "this world" raises a flag for me.

Is the motorcycle man a resident of Storybrooke or a stranger? Is he a new player in the game, a new piece in the puzzle?  Henry insists strangers don't come to Storybrooke.  Will people come to Storybrooke when it's necessary for Emma or a resident to face something important?  Sort of like on the "Island" when people are brought there; like when John Locke brought Anthony Cooper. But again it's important to remember that it is Henry who brought Emma to Storybrooke.

Here's a question about the spell- Is it possible that the spell only works on the adults and doesn't work on the children of Fairy Tale Land/Storybrooke?  If so, are the spell-less children trying to help their parents to remember and to find one another again.

As much as there is implication of two separate worlds, there is a blurring of the realms as if things are really aren't separate at all.  Here's an example of it with the use of the same cookies in both realms.
Things to Note...Questions to Ask...
๑ How the fuck does Emma walk around with jeans that tight?!
๑ Orchids
๑ Apollo Bar
๑ Records. Papers. Photos.
๑ DNA. Genetics
๑ Making deals
๑ 16 years
๑ Twins
๑ Foster Families
๑ Illusion. Dreams. Real. Not Real. What and who is real/not real?
๑ Sleep. Wake up
๑ Are Ava and Nicholas supposed to be twins because they don't really seem like it.
๑ There are 3 places set for food at Mary Margaret's and 3 forms to be filled out. {Triplicate}
๑ Exist
๑ Remember. Forget.
๑ Mirror. Reflection.
๑ Orange juice
๑ Slingshot
๑ Jail. Cage

Vocabulary and Research...
K :The Kelvin is a unit of measurement for temperature. It is one of the seven base units in the International System of Units (SI) and is assigned the unit symbol K.
๑ The letter K comes from the Greek letter Κ (kappa), which was taken from the Semitic kap, the symbol for an open hand.
Laos- Large part of their population are Theravada Buddhist; literally, "the Teaching of the Elders" or "the Ancient Teaching". Buddhism has long been one of the most important social forces in Laos.
Louse- Lice

Here are some LOST visuals that connect to this ONCE episode: PS: I should have put the bones from the purge in this photo too.
✔  Golden LOST Thread Woven into the Tapestry of this Tale 
★  Orchid
★  Apollo Bar
★  DNA. Genetics
★  LOST has a few tree cutters too: Eddie "might be" one in Further Instructions and Sayid's friends are tree cutters in The Greater Good, and let's not forget Eko and Horace cut down trees too; as did Sawyer and other Castaways.
★  Wheelchair
★  Eyeglass carousel
★  Making deals
★  16
★  23
★  Mirror. Orange juice
★  Sleep. Wake Up
★  John Locke talks about his foster family in Outlaws- And Boone visits him about bringing the family back together in Further Instructions
★  Michael had to find his boy, Waaaaaaalt
★  Abandoned
★  Slingshot
★  Jail. Cage
★  The name Dory in ONCE makes me recall Shannon remembering the fish movie "Finding Nemo" with the song Le Mer in the episode Whatever The Case May be.
★ In the episode Everybody Loves Hugo, Jack says "...maybe that's the point...maybe I'm supposed to let go."
★  Revealed in The Mysteries of the Universe, Dan Faraday had no father listed on his birth certificate. We also learn that the DHARMA Initiative exists.

Enough of my rambling...Here is your episode recap! Enjoy!
Henry is reading Damon Lindelof's Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine issue 3 comic book in Mr. Clark's/Sneezy's store.  Ava comes over to make small talk with Henry about seeing him around school and even knowing he's in Miss Blanchard's class.  Ava's brother Nicholas meets up with them.  Ava extends an invitation to Henry to "come hang out".  Henry would love too.
The three kids are stopped at the door by Pharmacist Mr. Clark/Sneezy who accuses Henry of stealing from the store.  "Don't think I didn't see you rob me."    He calls Henry a liar.
Evidently Ava and her brother used Henry and his backpack to smuggle goodies out for themselves.  Mr. Clark is shocked at Henry.  He turns to the other two children and asks "Just who do you think you are?"

In the Forest
A tree-cutter is chopping down a tree in the forest.  He is proud of the fine specimen. "The wood it provides will keep our family's hearth warm this winter."   Gretel asks "Can't I have an ax? You did say you wanted me here so I can help."   Father instructs his young daughter to take the cart and fill it with kindling; the dryer the better."  He wants her to take her brother along on this task.   He stops them before they leave to give Gretel his compass so they don't get lost. "A family always needs to be able to find one another...go...Be safe."   He is proud while watching the children walk into the woods.
Gretel seems to have been doing all of the gathering of wood while uninterested Hansel would rather continue playing with his slingshot.  Gretel tells him it's getting late and they need to get back to father, "Follow me".   She checks the compass and leads Hansel and the cart.
They come upon the area where they left him, but he's not there.  The upset children call out for him. They hear a man grunt and follow the sound.  It leads them to the road where they are almost trampled by a couple of the Evil Queen's army men on horseback.  The compass is broken in the fall.
One guard gathers up the children and brings them to the Evil Queen who is sitting in her grand black coach. She asks the nervous children "What are you doing in my forest?"
Regina stands in front of the Orchids in Mr. Clark's store insisting her son doesn't steal. Mr. Clark lets her see for herself.  Upon inspection of the contraband Regina picks up the Apollo Bar and announces her son doesn't eat candy.  It's obviously the other two kids that are guilty.  {Nicholas got all of that stuff in Henry's backpack without him feeling it?! Man, Henry must really be taken with Ava.}
As Henry and Regina turn to leave Emma walks in wondering what happened.  Of course Regina has it all under control; reminding Miss Swan that genetics means nothing- she's not Henry's mother.  Emma tells her she's there as the sheriff.  Regina tells her to do her job "Take care of those miscreants."   Emma asks Mr. Clark if he called their parents, but the number the children provided was disconnected.
Emma- "You guys give Mr. Clark a fake number?"  The kids shake their heads 'no'.
Emma- "Then why is it disconnected?"
Ava reveals their parents couldn't pay the bill.  Emma looks at the stolen goods {toothpaste} realizing they are items necessary for daily survival and the kids are just trying to help out.  Ava pleads for Emma not to arrest them as it would just make things worse for their parents.

Ava pleads with the Evil Queen "Please forgive us, we didn't mean to bother you...we just...well, we just lost our father."
The Evil Queen- "Two helpless children...lost and alone. The family torn asunder. Such as sad and moving story."  She commands the guards to seize them!  Gretel commands Hansel to run while she plays Slingshot Sally and fights back!
The children run into the forest, when all of a sudden the Evil Queen magically appears before them. "Running from me is foolish. Mwahaha!"   She magically commands the roots and vines to tie the children down. The Evil Queen feels it's foolish, but also brave. "And that bravery may just have saved you and your family's lives."  She magically releases the bindings and is not only letting them go, but she offers to help their father. "Because you two are going to do something for me."
Gretel- "And'll take us home."

Emma drives the kids up to a house. It's Ava's plea that Emma doesn't walk them to the door. "Please. No. If our parent's see you, they'll be so embarrassed."
Emma asks them if Henry told them about her superpower. The kids imply 'no', as they just met him.
Emma-"I have the ability to tell when anyone is lying. You tell me the problems aside, is everything OK at home?"
Ava- "Yeah, we're great. Can we go?"
Emma lets the kids go with their bagged goodies.  Ava waves at her from the front door steps and Emma drives off.  The kids run around back, jump a fence and enter the cellar floor of an old abandoned rundown house.  They hear a noise coming from upstairs. So, Ava heads up the steps and opens the hatch to the upstairs, where in the kitchen the scared kids are confronted by Emma wondering why they lied to her. "Where are your parents?"
Ava- "We don't have any."
This seems to hit a nerve with Emma.
The children sit at Mary Margaret's table eating while Emma asks Mary if she knows them; do they go to her school.  Mary admits to seeing them, but no one had any idea. {The table is set for three.}
Emma reads a report out of a file: Ava and Nicholas Zimmer. Their mother was someone named Dory Zimmer; she died a few years ago, no one seems to know her or remember her.
Puzzled Mary Margaret asks "And the father?"
Emma- "There isn't one- at least not one that they know."
Whispering Emma admits to not reporting them to social services yet. If she reports them she can't help them.  Even though the system is supposed to help she knows as someone who was in the system for 16 years that "they get thrown into homes where they are a meal ticket, nothing more. These families get paid for these kids and as soon as they're too much work they get tossed out and it all starts over again."  At least it was like that with  all the ones/homes Emma was in.
Mary Margaret whispers- "But what...we're just gonna adopt them?"
Emma wants to look for their father "They don't know him...he may not know they exist."
Mary- "And you think if he knows he'll want them?"
Emma, kind of looking hopeful, admits "I don't know".   But she does know that it is hard enough finding foster families to take one kid that isn't theirs, let alone two. She feels it's their best shot.   Ava overheard the conversation and cries "We're going to be separated?"   Emma insists that's not going to happen. Ava pleads "Don't let it."
Emma asks HALL OF RECORDS keeper, Mr. Krzyszkowski {He pronounces his name differently than it's spelled on the name plate and everyone just calls him K} for the birth certificates on Ava and Nicholas Zimmer.  He has her fill out a form in triplicate. {Three individual forms}  The office is cluttered with old filing boxes and cabinets and card catalogsK reveals that those documents were recently removed. Emma wonders, "By who?"

In Regina's office
Regina informs Emma that she's contacted Social Services discovering the kids are on their own and they need help.  That's exactly what Emma's trying to do; find their father.  Regina hands her a file and states that he doesn't exist.  "Of course biologically he exists but there's no record of him."  This leaves them no choice; the children will be put into the Foster System.
{Note the red markings I put on the forms.}
Storybrooke doesn't have a Foster System and the State said the group homes are filled in Maine so the children must go to a boys home and a girls home in Boston.  They've got no choice in the separating of the twins. Emma must have the children in Boston by tonight; as this is what sheriffs do. Emma is upset because she promised the two they wouldn't be separated.
Regina- "Well then perhaps, maybe you should stop making promises you can't keep. These children need a home. I'm just trying to find the best one."
While walking through the forest together the Evil Queen asks Gretel "What is that?"  Sad Gretel explains it's her father's compass and how he gave her so she can find him and now it's broken. "When are you going to tell us where we're going?"
The Evil Queen indicates "This is close enough"; the home of the Blind Witch.  She has something of the Evil Queen and she needs to defeat a very wicked and powerful enemy; it's kept in a black leather satchel inside her house.  She needs the children to get it back.  Gretel asks why she doesn't get it herself  "How come you need us?"
The Evil Queen- "Because the house is protected by magic! I can't enter. But luckily the spell doesn't work on children. You'll have to wait here until nightfall...and then...once the witch is asleep- you can sneak in."
Gretel confirms that once they do this the Evil Queen promises to find their father.
The Evil Queen- "Oh, Indeed I will. But there's one more thing. The witch's house is...unique. And because of this you have to take special precaution once you're inside.  No matter what you matter how you're temped... Don't eat anything."
She pushes back the bow from a pine tree, almost as if she's opening a gate, and reveals a grown up size house made a sweets.

Henry shows up for a visit to Emma's sheriff's office to claim he knows who the kids are. "Brother and sister...Lost...No parents. Hansel and Gretel."  The only info about the dad is that he abandoned them.
Emma- "Great. Sounds like a familiar story."   Emma knows this guy and thinks he could be in Laos by now, but Henry feels "No. he's here".  Henry again explains that no one leaves Storybrooke; no one comes here, no one goes. "It's just the way it is."
Emma- "I came here."
Henry- "Because you're special. You're the first stranger here- Ever."
Emma- "Right. I forgot. Well, If he's around here anywhere I'm gonna find him."  {She forgot!}
As Emma is going through a file Henry inquires about his own father.  After all he told her about her parents and now she's living with her mother.
Emma- "Mary Margaret isn't...she's...never mind."
She goes on to tell him "I was pretty young. I'd just gotten out if the Foster System and the only job I could get was at this 24 hour diner just off the Interstate. And um, your dad was training to be...a fireman.  He always got the worst shifts so he'd come in and order coffee and pie and sit at the counter and always complain that we didn't sell pumpkin pie.  But he always came back the next night away."
They didn't get married or anything like that. They just 'hung out' a few times outside of work, and life happened.  His got better and hers got worse.
Emma- "I got into some trouble."
Henry- "When you went to jail?"
Emma- "Yeah. And before I went I found out I was pregnant with you. And...I tried to contact him. And I found out...that he...died, saving a family from a burning apartment building.  So, you think I'm the savior, Henry? He was. Your father was a real hero."
Henry- "Do you have anything of his. Something you can remember him by? Something I could see?"
Emma doesn't have anything.  A light bulb must have gone off in her brain because she hurries herself off as she may know how to find this guy.
Sitting at Mary Margaret's counter in her apartment eating the most perfect cookies I've ever seen, is Ava and Nicholas.  Emma takes out her baby blanket from a cardboard box to show the kids that it's the only thing she has from her parents; the only thing she's held on to her whole life.  She's spent a lot of time with a lot of kids in their situation and all of them, "All of us...we held on to stuff. I want to find your father but I need your help."   She asks for anything of his that they may have held on to.
Ava might have something, but if she gives it to Emma, she wants Emma to make sure they stay together.
Ave pulls a compass from her sweater pocket. "Our mom kept it. She said it was our dad's." Ava asks Emma if she found her own parents.
Emma- "Not yet. But I'm gonna find yours."
In the dark forest Hansel and Gretel make their way to the Blind Witch's house.  Gretel puts the compass away and Hansel scoops up a dollop of frosting off of the facade. To stay as quiet as possible Gretel mouths "Don't" to him.  They climb through the window and gaze upon the glorious deliciousness that is displayed before them.  Hansel wonders how they can be sure she's sleeping.  Gretel again warns Hansel about what the Queen said, whispering, "Not even a lick".  Gretel feels it doesn't matter what's inside the satchel, all that matters is getting it to the Queen so she can find father.
While Gretel goes past the sleeping Blind Witch to retrieve the black satchel that hangs next to the large oven, Hansel grabs a huge cupcake from the table. Gretel successfully acquires the satchel while the witch sleeps, but it's Hansel's bite from the cupcake that wakes her.  We see the pile of bones left from the purge, uh, I mean, the previously eaten children. The Blind Witch locks them in with a hell of a magical lock-down. "I smell diner."
Mr. Gold is busy rubbing/polishing his Genie Lamp when Emma enters inquiring about the old compass; where it could have come from.  He looks it over and points out the detail and crystal and jewel setting and remarks that it's a very unusual piece; despite it unfortunate shape its in. "The person who owned this obviously had great taste."
Emma- "Where would someone like that buy it?"
Mr. Gold- "Right here, of course." {Of fuckin' course!} A piece like that is difficult to forget. Emma wonders if he remembers who bought it.
Mr. Gold- "Well, I'm good with names, Miss Swan. But, maybe not that good. However, as luck would have it...I do keep quite extensive records."
He pulls out an index card and pauses for a moment.  Emma realizes he has a price for the name.  Mr. Gold's price is "Forgiveness".   Emma will only go as far as "Tolerance", which he feels is a start.
Mr. Gold reveals the compass was purchased by a Mr. Michael Tillman."  All the info he has is the name. "I generally find that's all one needs. Good luck with your investigation."
We see that the card is completely blank.
Emma pays Michael the mechanic a visit. She brings papers with photos of the children as proof.  He feels it's not possible. {Is that Ruby's car overhead on the lift?}
Michael tries to explain Dory wasn't his..."It was just once."  He met her when he was camping. Emma insists the twins are his and have been homeless ever since their mother passed away, living in an abandoned house because they don't want to be separated. They're about to be shipped off to Boston unless he steps up and take responsibility for them.  Michael feels he can barely manage the garage let alone manage two kids.  Emma's sure they're his kids because of the timing and...She presents the compass to him. He holds it "I lost this."  Emma guesses 12 years and nine months ago.  Emma understands this is a lot for Michael to process.
Emma- "Believe me I know.  A month ago a kid showed up on my doorstep I gave up for adoption asking for help with... something. I ended up moving here- for him."
Michael- "I heard about that, it's the Mayor's son. But, staying in town is, is...a lot different than taking them in."
Emma- "I don't have my kid, because I don't have a choice. You do. Those kids did not ask to be brought into this world, you brought them into this world- You and their mother! And they need you. And if you choose not to take them you are going to have to answer for that every day of your life. And sooner or later when they find you because believe me they will find you- you're gonna have to answer to them."
Michael apologizes and gives her back the compass. "I don't know anything about being a dad. If it's a good home you're looking for its not with me."
Emma is left alone holding the compass.
Emma calls Mary Margaret in her apartment from outside to have her meet her there without telling the kids.  The kids are eating batter.  Outside Emma shares with Mary Margaret that Michael doesn't want the kids.   Emma feels she can't tell them because she gave them false hope.  Mary tells her that the truth can be painful but it can also be cathartic to which Emma agrees with the painful part.  Emma admits she didn't tell Henry the truth about his father being dead.  Henry doesn't need to know the real story about how his father isn't a hero.  Emma suggests they hide the kids until they find a family for them. Mary sarcastically says "Yes hiding the 12 year olds is a good plan!"  She seems to want Emma to just go with what is best for the kids right now.  Regina shows up asking Emma "Shouldn't you be on the Interstate?"  She's there to see that Emma does her job.  Emma feels she doesn't need 'checking up' on.  Regina begs to differ as Emma's to have the kids in Boston tonight.
The hungry Blind Witch has tender Hansel and Gretel caged as she readies the oven to cook them.  Gretel devises a plan that when the witch opens the cage to get Hansel he shouldn't fight, and while she's carrying him to the oven he should grab the key that's in her pocket and toss it through the bars to Gretel.  As the witch approaches Hansel is panicking because he can't do and feels he's going to die. Smart Gretel pushes him out of the way, puffs up her cheeks by holding her breath, so that the witch would touch her and mistake her for the boy.  All the witch cares about is "Gravy or butter. What shall it be?"  The witch removes Gretel/the little boy from the cage and Gretel steals the key from the witch's pocket and tosses it to Hansel who opens the cage. The witch is tying Gretel's hands and Hansel grabs a weapon to fight. He falls and the Blind Witch reacts; but again all she cares about is the basting.   She grabs Hansel to throw him into the oven but brave Gretel grabs hold of her and the children throw the witch into her own oven, locking her in. The children run off into the dark forest with the black satchel.  From her castle the Evil Queen watches all of this via her magic mirror.  Once the Blind Witch is in the oven the Queen throws a fireball through the magic mirror right into the oven.
Hansel and Gretel are escorted to deliver the black satchel to the Evil Queen. She is pleased they were successful in their task and have retrieved the item she longed for; a red apple.
The Evil Queen tells Gretel she's got a strong heart, "You remind me of myself at your age."
Hansel- "We did all that...for an apple?"
The Evil Queen- "Oh trust me dear boy this is not just an apple. It's a weapon. A weapon for a very particular and devious enemy. One who still under the illusion that she's safe."  She puts the apple in a box.
Gretel just wants the Queen to keep her promise to find their father
The Evil Queen- "Of course- to reunite your family. So you can live Happily Ever After. You were left alone in the woods you deserve better than a father who would abandon you."
The children feel he's all they have. The impressed Queen offers the twins a reward for their being the first to emerge from the sticky sweet house. She invites the twins to live with her where all of their dreams could come true.  Hansel seems to like the invitation, but it's Gretel who speaks up "No. We want our father back. He would never abandon us. And even if he did...we would never want to live with someone as terrible as you!"  The kids are going to find him with or with her help and when they do they're going to prove her wrong.  The pissed off Queen swirls her dark gray/purple smoke around the children.

Emma gives Ava back her compass as she loads the sad and nervous twins into the back of the sheriff car. Regina and Henry observe. Henry runs up to Emma, whispering, "No. You can't take them! They can't leave Storybrooke, Emma. They can't. Something bad will happen."
Emma feels something bad has already happened. Emma drives off.  Regina is pleased.
As Emma is nearing the Storybrooke city limits and the car's engine stalls.  She calls for help.

The Evil Queen holds the apple while she watches troubled/sad/crying Snow White "cavorting" with Dwarfs via her looking glass magic mirror.  A soldier brings in her prisoner.  The Tree Cutter prisoner demands to be released. He fears for his children who are alone in the forest; the very forest the Evil Queen took him from.
The Evil Queen- "That compass you gave sweet little Gretel...Well, I'm afraid it didn't help her find you though now, did it?"
This upsets the desperate father. The Queen reveals she told the children he abandoned them, leaving nothing but a compass to find their way.   She brought him there to answer her question- "I offered your children everything, whatever their hearts desired.  And they still chose uncertainty because of their blind faith in you. Tell me why- Hmm? Why did your children refuse me?"  She seems to genuinely not know the answer.
Father- "Because we're a family... and family always finds one another."
The Evil Queen tears up, maybe because the truth hurts.  The Queen releases him to be with his family. "As soon as you all find one another."

Gretel wakes up in the forest; she wakes up Hansel. The Queen let them go. Gretel assures her twin that everything will be fine; checks her compass. She smiles, takes his hand and they walk through the forest.

The Twins sit alone inside the sheriff car while Emma waits outside.  Ava shows Nicholas that the compass' needle is spinning on its own.  A tow truck {Franklin's Towing and Salvage} approaches; Michael is the driver.  Emma tells him "These are them."  Apparently the car is fine; she just wanted him to see them- just once.  Emma shares that she didn't think she could do it either, she wanted to give Henry his best shot and when she saw that he didn't have it she couldn't leave. She was scared. But when she saw him and got to know him she couldn't go back.  She doesn't have to take them to Boston. Michael goes to the children in the car. Emma cries happy tears.

Emma tells Mary Margaret that the father changed his mind- with a little nudge {PUSH}. They found their father.   Emma wonders what that would be like.
Mary Margaret- Maybe you'll find out. You can't give up."
Emma feels giving up may be the best plan. "I think I need to let go." Mary Margaret tells her she doesn't.
Emma-"Really? If they really wanted to know me they wouldn't make it so hard to look."
Mary suggests maybe there are other reasons; Emma thinks maybe crazier than Henry's theory.
She reveals Henry's theory is that her parents put her in a magical wardrobe and sent me to this world to save them and that her mom is Mary Margaret-Snow White.
Mary thinks she would remember having a kid {Great Point!} and that Emma kind of has her chin. The book Mary Margaret gave Henry "not exactly the stories in the most traditional sense."
Emma heads out to get some air. Mary Margaret compliments Emma's baby blanket, sniffs it and just puts it back in the box.
Emma sits in the sheriff car reading a file about 'herself'. Henry shows up with pumpkin pie.  Emma wants to come clean about his father, but she sees the hopeful smile in Henry and just says "I'm glad I told you".  Henry hugs her.  Henry remarks about what Emma did about Ava and Nicholas "You really are changing things".
{Green Light- Go! 23}  A man on a motorcycle pulls up and asks Emma "Is this Storybrooke?"
He wants to get a room because his plan is to stay.  Henry looks puzzled. Emma directs him two blocks to Granny's Bed and Breakfast. Emma didn't catch his name because he didn't give it. The man drives off.
Emma- "I thought you said strangers don't come to Storybrooke."
Henry- "They don't."

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