Regina struts down that sidewalk like the badass queen she is as she enters the café where the triad were in a booth. She confronts Maleficent, asking for a fight. On the other hand, the witch believes that there are much worse crimes to be paid for. Her lackey, Ursula, warns her that Regina is close with the heroes, but Regina attempts to persuade them otherwise; she downs a drink Maleficent hands her. "The worst."
A young Snow rides on her horse quite merrily when Regina shuts the stable door, "Well, hurrah for Snow White," she mutters as she rips off Snow's ribbons that were hanging about. Rumple quickly appears to taunt the future queen on Snow's accomplishments.
"It's her precious horse that's won those medals, not her."
"Still, good fortune does tend to, uh, fall in her lap, does it not?"
She grows frustrated with the Dark One, complaining that she isn't learning magic to end Snow's 'charmed life'. However, he notices that she had Maleficent's spellbook; she raves on and on about how cool she is.
Then she starts to tell him about how much she wants revenge and how he is a terrible teacher, so he shows her, through a mirror, of the damage a certain horned witch is capable. Impressed, she demands to know how she became that powerful, however, she doesn't get the answer she is looking for. The Dark One poofs her into that very forest she was peering into back at the stable in order for her to get lessons from Maleficent.
As Emma and her parents rashly enter the loft, she finds out that the mayor is going undercover and became upset that her parents didn't notify her of the news. "I could've helped. I was a bail bonds-person.; pretending to be someone else was part of my job," she says. After appearing to be okay with the new strategy, she asks them is she has checked in yet-Regina is an hour late.
The tires squeal as Cruella's car screeches on the road as Regina asks her where she's heading, and the triad reveal nothing as it turns out to be an initiation test of some sort called 'Don't Be A Hero'. Regina passes off the bat.
Henry is looking closely into a page illustrating a door August took out from the storybook at the antiques shop. He tells Belle that he feels like that page ha something to do with the author, but he has yet to figure it out the door's location.
Emma pulls into the front of Granny's just as Killian is leaving the café. He tells her that Regina and the gang have caused a mess, making him convinced that their plan has worked. On the other hand, Emma worries for her safety. Meanwhile, Mary and David found a burnt sheriff's car in the woods. Regina appears to let them know that was Maleficent's doing.
"I had to prove myself which meant some drinking, some burning, and lots of destruction. Sorry about the car. And you shouldn't be here. Next time, we have to meet covertly."
"Next time? You didn't find out what they're planning?"
"It was one night. But I did find out they're hiding something, something incredibly powerful."
"Well, what is it?"
"I don't know."
"So, the only thing you accomplished was property destruction?"
"I accomplished trust. Last time, I had to come to Maleficent. This time, she'll come to me."
Suddenly we see Regina entering Maleficent's home in search of getting a better tutor in the magical arts. A ghastly voice asks her to show what she can do; Regina used her magical fire to start up a fireplace. A shaggily-dressed Maleficent shows up unimpressed, but she did seem to enjoy the warmth the fire provided. Although the future queen looked up to the witch, she wasn't everything she'd imagined-Maleficent gave up when the power of true love broke her famed sleeping curse. Regina tries to encourage her to remember who she really is, but she sent her away.
In what looks like a cabin, Gold asks the three queens on their whereabouts, where they reveal that they've been catching up with Regina. Despite not trusting her that much, they plan on using the pain Regina harbors for their own purposes. "As you and I both know," said Maleficent, "Pain always makes you stronger."
A younger Regina was walking back home when her father passes by on carriage; he was going to attend Aurora's wedding in another kingdom. In an instant, we are once again transported to see Regina showing Maleficent an invitation to royal wedding.
"Briar Rose's daughter is getting married! A whole new generation is getting their happy endings while you sit up here and rot!"
"And why in the hell do you care so much?"
"Because if...someone as powerful as you can't get their revenge...that means I never will."
Suddenly becoming interested, it appeared that Maleficent would actually take action, but is proven otherwise when she tells Regina to give up on pursuing revenge. In disbelief, Regina tries to get her blood boiling, but the witch tells her that she lost her power to turn into a dragon. "Then let's get that fire back," Regina responds.
Regina is cleaning up the huge mess they made from the night before until Maleficent stops by to hand her some aspirin to help deal with the pain. Reluctantly, Regina accepts her medicine as the witch proceeds to tell her that they're after the author too.
David, Mary, Emma, and Killian secretly meet up with Regina shortly afterwards at the library with Regina being upset that they brought the entire Charming softball team and the pirate mascot. She then tells them that the triad is after the author, too; they want to change the natural order of things-Villains win, heroes lose. Emma, who is still very concerned, decides to help her even though it'll be risky.
Outside, Regina waits for her ride to pick her up while Emma watches somewhere nearby. The car doesn't have a driver, but is shown to be powered by Cruella's magic. Maleficent then appears to notify her that they'll be doing the stealing tonight, just like old times.
At Granny's, Belle is attempting to tempt her current love interest, Will, to try some delicious chocolate cake until Killian interrupts their date; he wanted to talk to Belle in private concerning the current crisis at hand. He tells her that he believes the witches might have the assistance of the Dark One, and intends on re-hiding the dagger in a better location. Meanwhile, Emma is tracking Regina down through GPS. Regina and Maleficent find themselves outside of Marco's house, in which Maleficent wants her to kidnap Pinocchio.
In yet another flashback, young Regina tells her of a burning tree in the forest and demands the witch to get dressed. Upon arriving, Maleficent absorbs the orange-y flames completely, leaving her out of breath. Stefan suddenly appears to seize the evil duo, and it looks successful since she wasn't able to turn into a dragon.
Back at Marco's, he works with his little boy on a rocking horse when Regina appears to fulfill her mission. Feeling sorrowful, she was about to kidnap him until Emma appears to act as her conscience. However, Regina convinces her for the time being that she has to do this for everyone, and Emma reluctantly allows the evil deed.
Stefan successful captures the two, but Regina plans on fighting the king and his guards in hopes that Maleficent may turn into a dragon. It works when Regina was unable to cast any more fireballs at the knights. Grinning, she says, "Look who's back."
Back at Marco's, Emma is wondering why Regina seems to be still, but she finds out that the mayor left her phone outside with a message saying, "I got this."
Aurora is getting ready for her big day, humming a song as she happily combs her hair before Maleficent stops by to let the princess know what she intends to do. Before she could make her escape, Maleficent pricks her with a needing containing the sleeping curse, slowly knocking out the princess in the process. Afterwards, the witch thanks Regina for her undying faith in her.
Somewhere in Storybrooke, Belle unearths the Dark One's dagger to hand to Killian. Before she could hand it to him, she tells him that she's worried that Gold somehow made it across the town line. So, he tells her to use the dagger in order to find out, however, no one shows and she heads off. A mischievous grin creeps upon his face as he suddenly transforms into Gold.
Gold transforms himself into Killian prior entering his shop just before he asks her do a pirate's oath. He then asks her about the rose she's received from Will, and she seems happy to be with someone who has no hidden agenda. On the other hand, she feels like she isn't entirely over her former flame.
At the stables of a flashback long ago, Regina tells Rumple that she helped a certain witch remember who she was. Additionally, she tells him that she already has a great teacher and that she's ready for her lesson.
In Storybrooke, Maleficent and Regina enter Gold's cabin where Regina discovers that the witch's dark magic is not a spell or object. Suddenly, Gold reveals himself to them.
"You didn't really think I'd stay banished for long, now, did you?"
"No. I didn't."
"I learned quite a bit about myself on my little journey outside Storybrooke. You were right, Regina. Sometimes the teacher needs to learn from the student. And sometimes...you need to fall very far...to finally see the light."
"Well, then you've finally accepted the same truth I have. You can't get your happy ending without finding the author. I suppose that puts us on the same side."
"I suppose it does."
Cruella then enters, carrying a sleeping Pinocchio and placing him on the couch so that Gold can turn him back into August.
What did you think of this week's episode, Popwrappers? Come join me next week for yet another recap of Once Upon A Time
Keep Up With PopWrapped On The Web!