If possible, "Breaking Glass" makes everyone look even more ridiculous. And there are some really annoying things the writers did this episode which make their other choices even more unbearable. Look, I know I may come down kind of hard on "Once," but I promise I do like the show. I just want more out of it as the show could be way better than it currently is. And if I'm being honest, I like looking at Hook and Robin Hood. They're very attractive men.
Instead of Arendelle, this week’s flashbacks are of Emma’s teenage years, specifically, the fall of 1998. Emma is a grocery story, trying to steal some food. She notices another teenage girl in the store as well. When one of the grocery store managers confronts Emma about stealing, the other teenage girl, Lily, shows up to save Emma. Lily suggests that instead of stealing food, Emma should just steal a credit card. As the two leave the store, a man in a jeep yells after lily. Emma and Lily manage to escape.
As Emma and Lily are enjoying their freshly stolen groceries, Emma explains to Lily she left the home she was in after she saw another girl get adopted. Lily tells Emma she understands, that she feels invisible. She also leads Emma to believe the man in the Jeep was someone from social services trying to get her back in the system. The two girls are sitting by a lake, and Lily tells Emma now that people are going home for the fall, she was planning on staying in one of the empty houses for a while, and invited Emma to stay with her.
After breaking in to one of the homes, Lily and Emma take full advantage of the video games and shelter. Emma notices a star birthmark on Lily’s writes. Lily says she’s had it as long as she can remember, and that it makes her feel special like Harry Potter. HOLD THE PHONE “ONCE UPON A TIME” WRTIERS! We know that this is happening in the Fall of 1998, and the first Harry Potter book wasn’t released in the U.S. until September 1998. So unless Emma and Lily were early readers of the book, this reference is all kinds of wrong. Do a little goddamn research. ANYWAY, Lily draws a similar star on Emma’s wrist to show their unity, and they make a promise to one another to stay friends. Emma then finds a video camera, and films the two of them goofing off.
That night, Lily and Emma are sleeping on the couch with the Ring screen on. They wake up and realize someone is in the house. It’s the man from the Jeep, and it turns out he’s Lily’s father. Emma is pissed Lily lied to her about not having a family. As Lily is in her father’s car, she apologizes to Emma for lying and tries to give Emma her address, saying they can run away together. She tells Emma she was adopted, so she understands how Emma feels, and they promised to be friends forever. Emma walks away, refusing to take Lily’s address and rubbing off the star Lily drew on her arm.
At the sheriff’s office, Emma and Elsa are concerned as to why the Ice Queen took their memories. Hook arrives with more town records, and we see that Will Scarlett is still being held in the cell. Hook tells Emma that’s he off to take Henry sailing. Elsa in the meantime finds photos Regina had Sydney take of Emma when she first got to town. One of the photos shows Emma talking to the Ice Queen in her ice cream shop, though Emma has no memory of this.
In the mausoleum, Regina demands that Sydney, as the mirror, find where the Snow Queen is hiding. When Sydney tries to ask for his freedom, Regina threatens to put him back in his hospital cell if he refuses to help her, and Sydney very reluctantly agrees.
The new blonde besties, Emma and Elsa are off to find Regina so Emma can ask her about the photos. Apparently, Elsa was needed for the car ride only, as Emma tells her she needs to work things out with Regina on her own. When Emma asks Regina about the pictures, Regina tells Emma she doesn’t know anything. Emma then asks about Regina’s progress in finding a way to reverse the spell on Marian, but Regina is very short with Emma. When Emma offers her help, Regina brushes her off more saying Emma has never had her back and never will.
Apparently, this conversation between Regina and Emma took hours, because it is now dark outside and Elsa is still waiting. Elsa hears and sees Anna saying, “Help me.” There’s absolutely no way this could be a trap considering she’s been searching for Anna, so Elsa take off after her. EVERYONE IS DUMB. Elsa pursues Anna through the woods, even creating the ice bridge and stairs from Frozen. She makes it to the top where she finds that Anna was an illusion created by the Ice Queen (DUH!) to lure Elsa to her. The Ice Queen then ice chains Elsa to the ground, telling Elsa that her fear only makes the chains stronger. The Ice Queen then tells Elsa she’s off to build a snowman. NO “ONCE” WRITERS, NO! YOU’RE ONLY ALLOWED ONE BLATANT FROZEN REFERNCE PER EPISODE! DO NOT BEAT ME OVER THE HEAD WITH THEM. IT IS ANNOYING.
After he conversation with Emma, Regina is looking at a picture of her and Robin when Sydney comes to tell Regina that he’s found where the Ice Queen is hiding. She then uses her compact mirror so Sydney can guide her. As she’s making her way through the woods, she bumps into Emma. Emma decides to join Regina in looking for the Ice Queen, though Regina is none too pleased about it. As the two are walking, Emma is trying to talk to Regina about their shared powers. Regina finally tells Emma to stop making amends for bringing Marian to Storybrooke, because whether Emma meant to or not, she hut someone. Now, Emma can finally have a small taste of what it’s like to feel like Regina.
Regina and Emma finally make it to the ice bridge, but Emma feels that something is off. She realizes it was the Ice Queen that built this bridge, and Regina realizes Sydney has betrayed her. Emma only has a minute to be surprised that Regina lied to her about Sydney before the ice bridge starts to disappear. Regina and Emma run and make it just in time.
And of course the giant iceman warrior created by the Ice Queen confronts them. Regina and Emma each try individually to use their powers to defeat the man, but they’re not successful. So instead, they work together (WHAT A CONCEPT!) and are able to defeat him. The Ice Queen then shows up and begins to choke them. However, Elsa was able to calm her fear long enough to break free of her chains, and shows up to blast the Ice Queen. The Ice Queen takes Regina’s compact mirror, and then disappears. When Elsa suggests that Emma and Regina set aside their differences, Regina says she doesn’t want to, and disappears herself.
As Elsa and Emma are walking through the woods, Elsa tells Emma she can’t give up on Regina. So, Emma, not thinking Regina may want to be left alone, geos back to see her. Emma tells Regina only Regina can understand what it’s like to be misunderstood and rejected, and she hopes they can be friends. This seems to strike a chord with Regina, and she confesses to Emma that she doesn’t want to actually kill her.
Following her conversation with Regina, Emma is sitting at the sheriff’s station. Hook shows up and Emma shows him a box that has some mementos form her childhood. As he’s going through he finds a picture of her and Neil (Awkward, and also, not really your childhood, but whatever). Anyway, Emma also finds the video camera from when she and Lily were at the lake house. She plays the footage, and after the scene with her and Lily, we see Emma at her next foster home, with one of the other kids carrying around the camera. Emma has no recollection of this, and we see why, because her foster mother was the Ice Queen, and the Ice Queen has zapped these memories from Emma.
Meanwhile, the Ice Queen releases Sydney from his mirror prison. She tells him she needs the dark magic in Regina’s compact mirror, not Sydney himself. The Ice Queen then breaks Regina’s mirror, and send a piece to the giant cracked mirror she has in her lair. She then says to herself she’s close to having a family that loves her. So basically, she wants the same thing that every other “villain” on this show has wanted. I AM SO SICK OF THIS SHIT REPEATING.
During all this, Charming is trying to convince Snow to leave baby Neil with Belle. Very reluctantly she does so, but when they go to the sheriff’s station to get a walkie-talkie so Belle can contact them if needed, they discover Will has escaped. After searching for him, Snow is ready to go home, and as she turns to leave, she hears something behind her. She turns around and there’s Will digging a hole. (I’ll try not to let it bother me that Will was right in the line of sight of the direction Snow and Charming were walking 2 seconds before Snow left to go home).
Snow approaches Will and he tells her he’s looking for something he’s buried. Snow thinks that Charming released Will to give her an adventure, so she pardons Will for stealing. When she gets home she thanks David for creating the adventure, but OF COURSE, he didn’t release Will. But, Charming says that if it helped Snow find a lost part of herself, then Will’s escape was worth it. Charming, your Sheriff skills need some improvement, buddy.