Snow White (Bailee Madison) tends to her ailing mother (Rena Sofer) on the… (Jack Rowand / ABC )
Bailee Madison is back as Lil' Snow White in "The Queen is Dead" episode of "Once Upon a Time." We finally see what fuels the good inside of Mary Margaret, more of Mr. Gold and his newfound son in New York and two very different queens.
In the fairy tale land that was, Snow White's mom, Queen Eva (Rena Sofer -- so good), had to teach Snow a lesson about being a humble ruler after Snow berates her mother's assistant/servant Johanna for trying on her tiara. While teaching that lesson, though, Queen Eva falls deathly ill.
All of this happens on Snow White's birthday.
It's a day that, even in the present and in another world, Mary Margaret does not enjoy. Despite whatever David does, she refuses to celebrate it. She also doesn't want gifts, but a package is left on her doorstep. It's the tiara she once wore, given to her by Johanna. Mary Margaret goes out to find her.
TIMELINE: Snow White through the years
Charming, meanwhile, heads to work at the sheriff's station, only to be ambushed by Hook. The captain looks for and finds his mystical hook, and continues his pursuit of Rumpelstiltskin.
Snow meets up with Johanna in the town's communal garden. Johanna had planted flowers for Snow's mother -- on Mary Margaret' s birthday and the anniversary of her mother's death. But in the background, there was movement.
Snow follows the rustling and sees Regina and Cora together, digging up what they thought was Rumpelstiltskin's dagger. While digging, Regina and Cora spell out their plan to find the dagger and take control of the dark one to make him do whatever they desire. Like killing Snow White and Emma and David and ... whomever else they wanted.
Snow finds David knocked out on the floor, but Hook's crimes are soon forgotten as they realize that they have to stall Regina and Cora until Emma and Gold get back. Snow has a plan: Talk some sense into Regina. It's definitely just a stalling tactic, because that hasn't worked in the past.
Speaking of stalling ... Emma, Henry, Neil and Mr. Gold walk around New York while Henry gets to know his long lost dad, Neil. Mr. Gold is not really getting to know his long-lost son, though. Gold wants Emma to get Baelfire/Neil to come back to Storybrooke. She's fulfilled her part of the bargain and is no longer in debt to Mr. Gold, but thinks maybe it would be best for Henry. As they return to Neil's apartment to prepare for a trip to the museum, Hook arrives. He waits for Neil and Henry to go up the stairs, then storms in. Hook gives no warning, walks in, pushes Emma to the ground and out of the way and stabs Mr. Gold in the chest. No villainous speechifying, just a hook to the chest, a reference to the crocodile and repeating the phrase tick-tock. Presumably he was talking about the poison he'd just put in Gold's chest. We're not sure because Emma knocks him out with a trash can. They need to get back to Storybrooke fast.
GOLDEN GLOBES 2013: List of winners
Mary Margaret meets with Regina at Granny's, under the pretense that she had spoken to Henry and had information to share. Mary Margaret lays it all out to Regina: She knows that Regina and Cora are working together to find the dagger. Mary Margaret tells Regina that they -- she, David, others -- will also look for it and deny them the chance to use it. Mary Margaret also tells Regina that Cora doesn't care about her or Henry, and only wants power. She needs to choose the right side. Regina says that she's on the right side, and says, "What do you know about mothers anyway?" Low. Blow.
Back to the past. After being advised by Johanna, Lil Snow White travels to find the Blue Fairy and ask her to grant a wish. The Blue Fairy finds her. The fairy gives Snow a candle, saying that it would keep her mom alive, but that Snow would have to pick someone else to die in her place. Horrible decision to have to make. Not nice, Blue Fairy.
Mary Margaret seeks her out again in Storybrooke. Mother Superior/The Blue Fairy agrees to help after Mary Margaret utters a very "Star Wars"-like line: "Please Mother Superior, you're our only hope."
Back in New York, Emma persuades Rumpel to tell them where the dagger is. Hook's stabbing poisoned Rumpelstilskin, and the only way he'll live is to get back to Storybrooke. Emma tells him that Regina and Cora are after his dagger, but that Mary Margaret and David need to get it first. He tells Emma where it is. Now, they need a fast way home. They can't fly, and a car won't do. They will use Hook's magical ship, and Baelfire just happens to know how to steer it. He makes mention of having found his way to Neverland before, but we don't get to hear any kind of lengthy explanation.