‘Once Upon A Time’ episode recap – 'The Cricket Game'

By Sari N. Kent,

We open on Hook and Cora arriving in Storybrooke by Hook’s ship. Hook tells Cora that they should “part ways. It’s time I skin my crocodile.” He moves to leave but Cora stops him and tells him that he might want to rethink his plan. He demands that she get out of his way but she insists that she’s doing him a favor. She reminds that dark magic is in Storybrooke that he can’t go off “half-cocked” in his attempt to exact his revenge on Rumplestiltskin. A fisherman happens by and sees Cora and Hook and Hook’s ship. She makes it disappear. She then turns the fisherman into a fish, which Hook promptly kicks back into the sea. Hook then asks Cora what he did with his ship. She tells him that she “hid it from prying eyes” then tells him that they need the element of surprise. She then insists they get a look at “this Storybrooke.”

Shoot to David and Mary-Margaret in bed. They’re enjoying being together again when Henry and Emma burst in. David and Mary-Margaret quickly cover up and Henry seems oblivious as he asks them what they’re still doing in bed in the middle of the afternoon. Mary-Margaret replies that she needed to rest after her long trip and David adds that he had “to help her.” Emma rushes Henry off to make tacos while she tells David and Mary-Margaret that they should have tied something on the door or sent her a text that they were otherwise engaged. David and Mary-Margaret reply that they thought she and Henry would be back later. Emma a bit flustered at seeing them in bed and rushes off to join Henry. “It’s impressive that we can still provide her with traumatic childhood memories this late in the game,” David tells Mary-Margaret. Then, they kiss again before getting out of bed to help Emma and Henry.

Shoot back to the fairy tale land. The Evil Queen (Regina) looks down on the fiery carnage of the land. Then, a soldier appears to tell her that Snow and Prince Charming have defeated King George. Regina then asks the solider of King George’s fate. He replies that it is “unknown but it appears we are now alone. We cannot defeat them.” Regina fires back that he can’t tell her what she can or cannot do. She then asks him where Snow is. He replies that she’s alone and on her way back to meet the Prince. “Excellent. I don’t care how many men you lose. Keep them apart long enough for me to find her. I will not let them defeat me,” Regina tells the solider. She then rides off.

Shoot to Snow running through the Enchanted Forest. Regina finds her and insists their battle continues. Snow replies that her and Charming’s army is too great and she can’t win. “That all depends on your definition of victory,” Regina replies. “I offer you parlay to negotiate the terms of your surrender,” Snow answers back. Regina balks and says, “My terms are quite simple…Your death.” Regina goes to lunge at Snow when a fairy comes shooting down and paralyzes Regina. “It was all a trap,” says Regina. “You should have surrendered what I gave you the chance,” Snow whispers back. Then, Charming appears and tells Regina that “because of your bloodlust, the kingdom is ours. Your reign of evil is over.” Regina continues to glower at them in her paralyzed state.

Shoot back to Storybrooke. There’s a “Welcome back” happening at Granny’s diner for Mary-Margaret and Emma. When they arrive, Ruby runs and hugs Mary-Margaret and tells her how much she missed her. Mary-Margaret smiles and replies that she could tell. Then, Archie hugs Mary-Margaret. David greets the dwarfs as Emma tells Granny how happy she is about “cooking something I didn’t have to kill first.” David then thanks everyone for coming and tells them about his and Mary-Margaret’s saying about always being able to find each other. He then asks everyone to raise their glasses and says, “While I truly believe that, here’s to not having to look for awhile.” Everyone laughs and they agree and drink. Then, Regina walks with food in hand and apologizes for being late. Leroy (Grumpy) grabs a knife and demands to know what she’s doing there. Emma steps up and says that she invited her. She then explains to Mary-Margaret and David that despite anything Regina has done in the past, she helped them get home. Emma then says that Regina is trying to change for Henry and that he believes in her. Mary-Margaret isn’t so sure. Emma insists that Henry’s belief in Regina is enough for her and if she could get a second chance, Regina should too.

Shoot to Regina and Henry, who are dishing out food while Mary-Margaret and David reluctantly agree with Emma. Henry then tells Regina that he’s glad she came. She agrees. She then hands a plate of homemade lasagna to Leroy, who replies, “What’s the secret ingredient? Poison?” “Red pepper flakes,” Regina fires back. “It gives it some kick.” Leroy smells it and then takes a bite. Mary-Margaret and David are feeding each other and everyone is having a good time except Regina, who is sitting alone. She leaves and Emma, who was talking to Archie, chases after her. “Archie made a cake. You don’t want to stay for a piece?” Emma asks Regina outside the diner. Regina replies, “No thanks” then thanks Emma for inviting her. Emma replies that Henry wanted Regina there and that she was glad that he and Regina got to spend some time together. Regina agreed. Regina then says that she’d like to see Henry more and asks Emma if she’d consider letting him stay over. Emma replies, “I’m not sure that’s best.” Regina gets angry at Emma’s lack of parenting skills and mentions how she and David took care of Henry while Emma was away and how she took care of him the 10 years Emma wasn’t in his life. Emma thanks Regina again for coming then heads back in the diner. Regina stops her and apologizes for the outburst. She asks Emma to accept her apology and she does. Emma adds that Archie said that Regina is trying to change, that he told her that Regina came to see him and she told him how she’s trying to not use magic and be a better person for Henry. Emma then said that Archie also thought it was a good idea to invite Regina. Regina thanked Emma again and left. Emma goes back into the diner as Cora and Hook watch Regina leaving. “So, is she broken?” Hook asks Cora. “Not yet,” she replies.

Shoot to the next day. Archie is walking his dog, Pongo, along the pier and happens by Regina. He tries to make friendly conversation but she berates him for telling Emma about their sessions. Archie replies that he was trying to help Regina but she sees it as a betrayal. He insists that he only told Emma to show that Regina is capable of change. Regina fires back that she came to him out of confidence and can no longer trust him. Archie replies that he didn’t tell Emma anything specific and that he’d never betray doctor-patient confidentiality. Then, Ruby jogs by and asks if everything is alright. Regina replies that she’s having a private conversation with Archie. Ruby reluctantly continues jogging. Archie then tells Regina that she can trust him. “You’re lucky I’ve changed,” Regina tells him as she walks away.

Shoot back to the fairy tale land. Jiminy Cricket (Archie) tells Charming (David/James) of his fear that Regina will never change and that they “must dispense justice.” The dwarfs, the Blue Fairy, Snow, Ruby and others are all gathered to discuss the matter. Grumpy asks the Blue Fairy if Regina is still restrained. She says that she is but her magic will only keep her that way for a short while. Granny then suggests banishing Regina to another realm. Jiminy Cricket dislikes the idea and says it isn’t right. Red (Ruby) agrees with Jiminy and says that Regina is their problem to deal with. Charming then stands up and says that as long as Regina lives, the kingdom is in danger. “Are you saying…?” Snow asks. “Yes. We must kill the Queen,” replies Charming. He adjourns the meeting leaving him and Snow alone. Snow asks Charming if he’s sure. Charming replies that they have no choice because as long as she “draws breath she’ll come after us…after you.” But, Snow insists “there’s always a choice.” Snow reminds Charming how he stopped her from killing Regina once before and asks why it’s different now. Charming replies that he stopped Snow to save her life. “That was an assassination, this is an execution. If we don’t stop her now, there’s no telling what she’ll live to,” Charming tells Snow.

Shoot back to Storybrooke. Regina is still walking. Ruby sees her going to Archie’s office. Regina knocks on Archie’s door. She asks Archie if they could talk even though it’s late. He agrees and lets her in. Archie’s dog, Pongo, starts barking at Regina and Archie tells him to quiet down. Regina then grabs Archie’s neck, lifts him up and paralyzes the dog. Purple smoke engulfs Archie. Then, we see Regina leaving his office. Regina turns down an alley and in a puff of purple smoke, we see that it’s really Cora.

Shoot to Emma and Henry having breakfast at the diner the next morning. Henry asks Emma what it was like in the fairy tale land. Emma tells him that there “were ogres, people rising from the dead trying to kill me. Henry replies, “Awesome.” When they leave the diner, Emma and Henry run into Pongo, who barks repeatedly. Then, Ruby comes out of the diner and says that something is wrong. As Henry walks off to school, Pongo runs to Archie's office and Emma and Ruby follow him. When they reach Archie's office, they find Archie's body on the ground. Emma feels for his pulse and tells Ruby that he’s dead. “Who would do such a thing?” whispers Emma. Ruby replies, “I think I know who.”

Shoot back to the fairy tale land. Regina looks down at the kingdom from her tower cell. Then, a guard comes and tells her that she has a visitor. It’s Regina’s father. He tells her that he has failed her as a father and it’s his fault she’s imprisoned. Regina tells him that he’s wrong and adds, “How can I blame the one I love most? The only one to stand by me until the end.” Regina’s father replies that it doesn’t have to be the end. Regina says that Snow and Charming seemed determined to make it so but her father replies, “Show them regret for what you've done, the pain you've caused. Show them you can change. They will spare you. Just give them a reason. I beg of you.”

Shoot back to Storybrooke. Regina is in an interrogation room at the sheriff’s station. Emma and David enter. “Glad to see the sheriff's station's now a family business. Why am I here?” Regina asks them. Mary-Margaret is behind the two-way glass, Regina can’t see her. Emma tells Regina that she’s there because of Archie. “Oh, it's now against the law to get into an argument with someone?” Regina asks. David fires back, “It is if you go to their office later that night and kill them.” Regina shockingly replies, “Archie’s dead?” David yells at Regina to stop acting shocked because Ruby saw her go to his office the previous night. Regina then insists that Ruby lying because she was home all night. Regina then turns to Emma and says, “After everything I've done to change, to win Henry back, why would I toss it all away now? And if I did and I was going to kill Archie, you would never know it. The fact that he's dead and you ‘caught’ me shows sloppiness.” David reminds Regina that she’s been “caught” before and asks Emma who she thinks is lying, Ruby or Regina? David then insists that Regina is “incapable of change, no matter how many times we've given her the chance. Why should this time be any different?”

Shoot back to the fairy tale land. Regina is about to be executed. Jiminy Cricket says, “Regina, this is your opportunity to meet your end with a clear conscience. Do you have any last words?” Regina says that she does and says, “Yes. Yes, I do. I know I'm being judged for my past, a past where I've caused pain, a past where I've inflicted misery, a past where I've...even brought death. When I—look back at everything I've done, I want you all to know what I feel, and that is...regret. Regret that I was not able to cause more pain...inflict more misery, and bring about more death. And above all else, with every ounce of my being, I regret that I was not able to kill...Snow White!” Charming then orders the soldiers to get their arrows ready. Regina is then blind-folded. Charming then tells the soldiers to aim and the yells “Fire!” The arrows are released but then Snow stand up and yells, “Stop!” The Blue Fairy then stops the arrows in mid-flight. Charming looks at Snow, who tells him, “This is not the way.” She then walks away. Charming then orders Regina to be taken back to her cell.

Shoot back to Storybrooke. Mary-Margaret asks David what they should do now. “Lock her up,” he replies. Then, Emma interjects saying that they can’t lock Regina up because she wasn’t the one who killed Archie. David is shocked that Emma believes Regina. “I watched her when we told her Archie was dead. She didn't know,” Emma insists. “I know that you want to believe that Regina can change for Henry, but...” Mary-Margaret starts to tell Emma but then Emma replies, “I know what I saw. Look at her in there. The old Regina would've reduced this building to ashes. That's a woman who wants to change. She just wants everyone else to see it. I know that look. I know her. I believe her.” David insists that he and Mary-Margaret know Regina better than Emma does and that she’s guilty. Yet, Emma insists that Regina is innocent until proven guilty. Then, Mary-Margaret asks, “What do you suggest we do?” “Let her go,” Emma answers. David protests but Emma adds, “We let her go, and then we find the truth.”

Shoot back to the fairy tale land. In the war council room, Charming reminds Snow, “I thought we agreed what had to be done. Instead you show the Queen mercy? She doesn't deserve it. You heard her. She's completely unrepentant.” “What I heard was a woman who didn't want to appear weak in her final moments,” replies Snow. Charming then mentions how he’s seen Regina kill and terrorize and how “every moment I've seen of her has been one of evil.” But, Snow insists that she knew Regina before “when she was good. She saved my life as a little girl.” Charming replies, “That was years ago.” “She changed before. Why can't she change back?” Snow asks Charming, who can’t believe that Snow wants to “rehabilitate the Queen.” Then, Snow says that maybe “showing her mercy is the first step.” Charming answers back that if that fails, the safety of the kingdom is at stake and they can’t take that risk. “You're so sure of her black soul? Sure enough to kill? Because there's no going back from killing,” Snow tells Charming. He then relents saying, “If you think this is the right thing to do, then it's what we shall do. But, know that your path is one that we cannot come back from either.”

Shoot to Regina’s execution site. Snow looks at the wood block Regina was tied to and Rumplestiltskin appears behind her. “Aren't we troubled, dearie?” Snow then asks Rumplestiltskin why he’s there. I came to witness the Queen's execution. Even had my heart set on a wee souvenir. It's all very disappointing.” Snow replies that she won’t apologize for sparing Regina’s life, not when she can change and be redeemed. Rumplestiltskin giggles then asks Snow how she hopes to redeem Regina. “I don't even know if it's possible. I'm probably just fooling myself,” Snow replies. Then, Rumplestiltskin says, “Maybe you need someone to show you if it is possible.” Snow asks him what he means. Rumplestiltskin answers back that he’ll provide Snow with a test to see if Regina can change. Snow then asks why she should trust him since he wants Regina dead. “You never make a deal without a price,” she adds. “Maybe I just want her alive,” Rumplestiltskin replies. Snow tells him that she doubts that. Rumplestiltskin giggles and says, “Question my motives all you like, dearie, but they shall remain mine. What is yours now is opportunity. I can help you. Do we have a deal?”

Shoot back to Storybrooke. David is in Archie’s office looking through his filing cabinets. Emma and Mary-Margaret are seated looking for other evidence. David finds Regina’s file but it’s empty. Mary-Margaret assumes that means that Regina is guilty. But, Emma still thinks someone else is responsible for Archie’s death. Yet, David says, “Isn't it time you admit we already have? Regina had a fight with Archie, Ruby saw her outside last night, and now her file is empty. That's...that's a lot of evidence.” “Maybe that's the point,” Emma replies. David then asks her what she means. “Well, I don't know how it is in fairy tale land, but in the real world, it's usually hard to find evidence. But this has been way too easy, unless someone wants us to find evidence.” Mary-Margaret then asks Emma if she thinks Regina was framed. “It wouldn't be the first time that happened in this town,” Emma reminds Mary-Margaret. David then asks who would want to frame Regina. Mary-Margaret replies that there’s a long list, including her but Emma replies, “But there's only one name on that list that would resort to killing to get what they want.”

Shoot to Gold’s shop. Gold and Belle are about to have sandwiches when Emma, Mary-Margaret and David interrupt them. Emma immediately accuses Gold of killing Archie. “Someone’s dead?” asks Belle. Emma replies that it’s Archie and Gold asks why he would be a suspect. “Because all the evidence points to Regina,” Emma fires back. “And she's not possibly capable of doing something so vile?” Belle interjects. Emma then says that Regina’s being framed. “It wouldn't be the first time you used someone to try to hurt her,” says Mary-Margaret. Gold proclaims his innocence. David then asks him why they should believe him and Gold replies, “Because I can prove it. Ask the witness.” Emma replies that no one was there but then Gold brings out Archie’s dog, Pongo. Emma asks Gold how Pongo is going to help. “Through magic, of course. It won't allow us to communicate, but it will allow us to... extract his memories,” Gold replies. Emma then asks Gold why they should trust him since he’s used magic to fool them before. “Because I'm not gonna be the one using magic. You are,” replies Gold. Emma replies, “Me? How?” Gold reminds Emma that she has magic inside of her and that she told him that herself. Mary-Margaret tells Emma that she doesn’t have too but Emma says, “If it tells us something about Archie's death, so be it.” Gold then removes something from a cabinet. He shows Emma the object and asks Emma if she knows what it is. “A dreamcatcher.” Emma replies. “Well... it's capable of catching so much more,” says Gold. Emma holds the dreamcatcher and it shows Regina choking and killing Archie. Emma drops the dreamcatcher, turns to David and Mary-Margaret and says, “You were right all along.” David apologizes. Emma storms out of Gold’s shop. David and Mary-Margaret go after her. Emma says she’s going to make Regina pay for killing Archie. But, Mary-Margaret reminds her that Regina has her powers back but Emma says that she has powers of her own. David stops Emma and tells her that she doesn’t know how her powers work and that she can’t go up against someone as powerful as Regina. Mary-Margaret insists they need a plan then she suggests fairy dust can be used to contain Regina’s powers.

Shoot back to the fairy tale land. Regina is back in her cell. Snow comes. She dismisses the soldier told to guard Regina. Regina asks Snow why she’s come. Snow says it’s because she saved her life when she was a young girl. Snow insists there is still good in Regina. She insists there isn’t. Snow tells Regina it’s an opportunity to start fresh. But, then, Regina pins Snow against the cell’s wall. Snow pulls out a dagger, which Regina takes from her then she stabs Snow with it. But, Snow doesn’t die. Then, Charming and more soldiers appear. Charming reveals that Rumplestiltskin made a protection spell for Snow and that her coming to Regina’s cell with a dagger was a test to see if Regina had changed. One Snow hoped she would pass. Charming then says that the spell also keeps Regina from harming him as well. Then, Snow banishes Regina and says that since she once saved her life, she’s saved her and now they are even. But, then Snow says that if Regina ever tries to harm anyone she loves again, she will kill her.

Shoot back to Storybrooke. David, Mary-Margaret and Emma go to see Regina at her house. Regina assumes they’ve come to apologize but Emma says she saw her kill Archie. Regina doesn’t understand how that’s possible. “Magic,” Emma tells her. Regina can’t believe Emma is trusting Gold. Regina reminds Emma that magic comes with a price. Emma replies that they’ll both be paying a price because Henry believed in Regina and now his heart will be broken. Regina says that she won’t let David, Mary-Margaret and Emma poison Henry against her. Regina then screams that she wants to see Henry so she can tell him her side of the story and that he’s her son. But, Emma screams back that he’s her son and she won’t let Regina anywhere near him. Suddenly, Cora appears and throws Regina a magic ball. She paralyzes David and Mary-Margaret with it. Regina then turns to Emma and screams that she won’t keep her from Henry. She then throws Emma to the ground. Emma gets up and proclaims that Henry will never believe Regina now and that she will never change. Regina then disappears in a puff of purple smoke. Emma then asks David and Mary-Margaret how she’s going to be a parent to Henry. Emma insists she wasn’t “parent material” before coming to Storybrooke and afraid she still isn’t. David and Mary-Margaret tell her that she’s changed since coming to Storybrooke but Emma’s afraid she’ll change like Regina did. David and Mary-Margaret insist that things are different. Then, Henry approaches and Emma tells him that she wants him to hear something from her first. We then see them walking down the road. Down the street, Regina is in her car watching them walk in the opposite direction and sit at a bus stop bench. We don’t hear Emma tell Henry but we see him upset and then he hugs Emma. Regina starts crying in her car.

Shoot back to fairy tale land. Regina is looking into her mirror. Her father enters and tells her that a friend has come to see her. It’s Rumplestiltskin. She says that he’s isn’t her friend. He tells her it’s Snow and Charming’s wedding day. Regina then tells Rumplestiltskin that it’s because of him and his protection spell that she can’t stop the wedding or harm Snow or Charming. “Yes, I suppose that’s true…In this land,” Rumplestiltskin replies. He adds that Regina can’t hurt them in this land but in another land, she can. Regina smiles at this. Then, Rumplestiltskin disappears in a puff of purple smoke. Regina then calls for her father to bring her carriage, “I have a wedding to get to.”

Shoot to Cora finding Hook on the docks. He asks her if she got what she wanted. She replies, “Yes. My daughter’s lost everything now.” Hook then asks about her promise that he’d get his revenge on Rumplestiltskin. “It’s already started. Or didn’t you notice the little gift I left for you in the hold of your ship?” Cora asks Hook. Hook asks what it is and Cora replies, “Not what, who.” They disappear into Hook’s ship and Hook asks who the person is. “Someone privy to Storybrooke’s darkest secrets. Including Rumplestiltskin’s. Someone who can help us determine his weaknesses here. Can’t you, Dr. Hopper?” Cora replies. We see Archie alive and tied up in the bowels of Hook’s ship. Hook then asks if he’s alive, who did she kill? Cora doesn’t know and Hook assumes she disguised whoever she killed to look like Archie. “It might take some work…but this cricket will chirp,” Cora tells Hook. “Aye, that he will,” replies Hook as he stares menacingly at a tied up Archie.



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