Greg (Ethan Embry) tries to get information from Regina (Lana Parrilla)… (Jack Rowand / ABC )
"Once Upon a Time" nears the end of its second season revisiting one of its most popular side realms as characters return to Neverland in the "Second Star to the Right" episode. Alas, one of "Once Upon a Time's" most popular characters, Captain Hook, does not get to guide us to his home dimension. In addition, Regina struggles with being captured and powerless, the Lacey/Mr. Gold dynamic reaches a new level as she learns about magic, and the Charmings look for redemption and the chance to save Regina.
A young Bae (Baelfire), after being pushed through a portal by his father Rumpelstiltskin, lands in London in the 19th century. There, he meets Wendy Darling, a nice-enough young lady. Back in the present, Bae is still a bit resentful of the current Mr. Gold for abandoning him and generally just being the Dark Lord.
Snow, Charming, Henry and Emma -- out to get the Evil Queen for stealing the magic beans -- find that Regina is missing. Emma thinks that Tamara has taken her, the rest think Emma's wrong.
TIMELINE: Snow White through the years
Emma's right. Tamara, Greg and Hook have Regina captive, and magicless, and Greg wants to torture her with electricity to find out the whereabouts of his father. Electrodes in place ... commence to torturing.
Side note: The commercial for the "new" Walt Disney World, starring Lana Parrilla as the Evil Queen who will look to remake one of the happiest places on earth, was fun.
Back to the 19th century, Wendy and the boys tell Bae about a shadow that comes to the window, from a wondrous place called Neverland -- a place where magic exists. Bae tells them not to open the window, and that magic is bad and destroyed his family. Well, he does know a thing or two. Wendy promises not to interact with the shadow boy, but we all know how that will go.
Charming and Snow make Mr. Gold help them find Regina, and he does in his own way. A guilt-ridden Snow (still reeling after helping to kill Cora), agrees to use a potion concocted by Mr. Gold that will let her see and experience what happens to Regina so that they may be able to find her. Of course, there's the whole problem of Regina being electrocuted at the time. Snow feels that.
The shadow returns to Wendy, Bae and the boys (Wendy's brothers, who all sleep in the same room). Peter Pan doesn't look as ... inviting as the little boy in the green costume with his shadowy figure and glowing yellow eyes. Wendy goes with him anyway. Ugh.
Emma, who went off to find Tamara, and Neal have a bit of a heart-to-heart, and he lays out his whole apology to Emma for leaving her in a Portland jail cell to take the fall for their crimes. While walking, they meet up with Tamara, who was out running on the beach just like Neal said she was doing. So she can't be bad, right?
PHOTOS: Movie princesses through the years
Wrong. Tamara and Greg, after Tamara throws Emma off her scent momentarily, commence to torturing Regina. They let her know that they aren't the only ones in the world who are out to destroy magic, and that Storybrooke isn't the first magical place that has leaked into the real, magicless world that they've had to deal with somehow. Whoa.
In her electrocution symbiosis, experiencing what Regina did, Snow was able to smell sardines, and Emma and Neal just happen to be by the docks, which just happens to have a fishery. Emma, Neal, Charming and Snow bust into the warehouse and begin searching. Tamara leaves, but Greg is focused on Regina. Before he gives her a massive shock, she tells him that she killed his father and buried him in the campsite they shared back when he was a kid. Evil till the end, apparently.
In comes the cavalry as Charming and Snow get to the room just as Greg is about to administer a lethal dose of electricity. They let him go to help Regina. Emma and Neal cover the escape, but Tamara jumps them. So Neal finally knows that his fiancee is not on his side, and out to get them all. As she's about to shoot him, Emma springs in to help, and a fight ensues. As Emma gets the upper hand, Tamara throws out a magic bean, creating a portal to somewhere. She escapes as it opens near Emma.
Back in the 19th century, Wendy has returned from Neverland saying that the shadow and the place are not what they're cracked up to be. The kids there, all boys, are not able to return, so they can be forever young, but never (Get it? Neverland?) see their families again. The shadow let Wendy return because it really only wants boys, so it is coming back for her brothers. Bae promises to help protect her and the boys from the shadow. It returns, and they can't keep it out, so Bae makes a deal with it. If he goes willingly, it must never bother them again. The shadow takes Bae, but after fighting, he never makes it to the island -- meaning that he can return to our world if he finds a way. He's actually rescued, or captured, by Hook. Wonder what their relationship is/was like?