Wicked amd evil collide as the Wicked Witch and the Evil Queen are finally face-to-face in this "Witch Hunt" episode of "Once Upon a Time," and a powerful player is back among the group.
The red hair and green skin combo is awesome as we see the Wicked Witch try on not only Regina's wardrobe, but her castle as well in a flashback to the Enchanted Forest. Actress Rebecca Mader is making quite the impression.
Oh cool, a Red Riding Hood spotting. Meghan Ory returns for spot duty, taking a breather from "Intelligence." She's there just in time to see the flying monkey. It attacks the Evil Queen, putting Robin Hood's child in danger as well. Regina changes the flying monkey into a stuffed animal, giving it to the child as a gift afterward. The assembled group seems to know who's in the castle pretty quickly after the attack. Belle has read about them, and they all know the legend of the Wicked Witch, though Grumpy's question of whether it was the east or the west was valid. One you drop a house on, the other, a bucket of water. It's interesting to hear them speak of Oz in tones of disbelief. So even fairy tale characters read about other fairy tale worlds. But the Queen, who knew of a way inside the castle through tunnels that run underneath it, put the whole thing in perspective in terms of her intentions and their concerns about her safety: "I don't care if the Lollipop Guild is protecting her." She's going in to lower the protection spell and confront the Wicked Witch.
In Storybrooke a year later, Charming, Hook and Snow are trying to fill in what happened in the year that they've lost their memories. Hook remembers going back to the Enchanted Forest with the group, but then splitting away from them on his own quest. He later knew to go find Emma because a bird landed on his boat with a note telling him to go find her. He assumed Snow sent it, but of course, she doesn't remember.
The denizens of Storybrooke are taking it slow with Henry, knowing that he's lost his memories of them, though Red gives him a hot chocolate with cinnamon on it, just like he'd ordered possibly hundreds of times. Regina is a bit shocked to see him after a year away, and dismayed when he looks at her with no recognition. Emma and Regina need to find out who cast the curse, since even Regina doesn't have any memory of the past year.
Back in the Enchanted Forest, Robin Hood and Regina go as a couple to lower the defensive spell that's around the castle. To refresh, neither knows that Robin is apparently destined to be Regina's true love due to a tattoo that he has. Nope, that has nothing to do with what happens here, it's just on our minds. Regina gets them in, and realizes that someone broke into her secret vault, even though it was sealed with blood magic. Powerful stuff, and as far as she knows, only she and her deceased mother would be able to breach it. Eh, anyway, her ulterior motive for getting in the castle was to create a sleeping curse to use on herself. She hates living with the knowledge that Henry may never know her again. Robin Hood attempts to stop her, but it's no use. She reverses the spell and the troops begin to assault the castle to take it back for Snow and the prince. Oh woe is the Evil Queen as she is this close to pricking herself and falling asleep with the faint hope that Henry may find and kiss her to awaken her.
Back in Storybrooke, Robin and his merry men run afoul of one of the Wicked Witch's flying monkeys. It attacks Little John as soon as he gets to the border of Storybrooke. After getting some help from Emma, Prince Charming and others, they luckily find him and rush him to the hospital. It is there that we see Little John turn into one of the flying monkeys, and the people realize that that could be what happened to the people that have gone missing in the past year.
Snow White is trying to get a little closer to Henry, without letting on that she's his fairy tale grandma Snow White. While in the diner, she meets Zelena, a nice enough fairy tale character transported by the spell. Snow doesn't know her, but we know her as being the Wicked Witch. She's not green here, except for her exceptionally large green brooch. She seems nice enough and was a midwife. How ... convenient. She offers to be Snow's midwife, and Snow jumps at the chance. Don't let her touch your belly! Too late.
Emma and Regina had also decided to stake out Regina's place after staging a demonstration in front of the whole town that told the people of Storybrooke that the Evil Queen was back. Regina unsuccessfully tried to create more memory potion, then let it slip that she was on the brink of getting right. Emma and Regina almost caught the perp, but a plume of green smoke was all they saw. But they're smart. Green smoke and flying monkeys can only mean one thing. The Wicked Witch. So now they know in both worlds.
In the Enchanted Forest, Zelena stops Regina from pricking herself with the sleep potion, and drops a bomb on her: They're sisters. Figures that the evil Cora would produce two equally evil children. Cora sent Zelena to Oz, though we don't know why yet, and she grew up without a mother. She's green with envy (had to do it!) over how Regina was raised as a princess, basically, while she was hanging out with weird flying monkeys. Regina is not the least bit sympathetic, and her "Bring it, greenie" line brought that home. The confrontation rekindled in Regina a fire "to destroy" someone that she's been lacking since she and Snow basically buried the hatchet. I wonder what Zelena will do once she finds out that Snow actually helped kill her mom? Hmmm ...
They kept running ads for "Resurrection," the show that comes after "Once Upon a Time," and it's apropos for the revelation that Rumpelstiltskin is back. Apparently brought back to life by Zelena, held prisoner in a cage underground, and seemingly returned to his pre-Storybrooke madness. "You feed the crazy and it feeds you back." Another great line. We've also learned that Rumpel was Zelena's teacher of the dark arts as well. So with Zelena versus Regina, we will see who was the better student, and if wicked really does always win.