As promised, I have returned for another Once Upon A Time recap. This time for season 2episode 6, the proper introduction of Mr. Neal Cassidy, “Tallahassee.”
Since this is my first recap of season 2, real quick: Emma and Mary Margaret (Snow) are in the Enchanted Forest trying to get back to Storybrooke, they captured Captain Hook, who was working with Cora, Regina’s mother, to get to Storybrooke. Hook reveals there is a way to get back with a magic compass and takes the Enchanted Forest (EF) crew, Emma, Snow, and new pals, Mulan and Aurora to the location.
Phew, cue start of “Tallahassee.”
The episode begins as the EF crew, plus Hook, arrive at a beanstalk where the magical compass is located. Hook explains the story of the Giant at the top. He says the Giants used to grow magic beans, but destroyed them after humans, including Jack (yes, of Jack and the Beanstalk), killed all but one Giant, who is said to be the most dangerous of them all.
So, at the top is a compass that will direct them to Storybrooke with the help of the wardrobe ashes in Cora’s possession. Hook will bring someone to the top with him and will swear allegiance to the group who gets him to Storybrooke for his revenge on Rumpelstiltskin (Mr. Gold).
In a change of scenery, we go back 11 years to Portland, Oregon, where a younger Emma Swan (still Jennifer Morrison, but they tried to make her look 18) approaches the iconic yellow bug and instead of just using the key, she is actually shown stealing the car with the help of a couple of tools. Once in, she starts to drive away and out of nowhere, a person, Neal Cassidy, pops up showing Emma the keys.
After, we return to where Neal introduces himself and coerces Emma to do the same. As they talk about Emma stealing the car, Emma accidentally runs a stop sign. A cop pulls over the car and Neal switches the keys in the ignition, and somehow talks his way out of the ticket. When the cop leaves, we figure out that Neal had originally stolen the car himself, which means Emma “stole a stolen car.”
Back in the EF, the women start to argue over who should go to the top with Hook. Emma finally says that she will go. Hook places an armband counterspell on Emma’s arm and has his hook is returned. Before Emma leaves, she tells Mulan, who gives her some sleeping powder as a weapon, to cut the beanstalk down if she’s not back in 10 hours. Emma wants Snow to get home, even if she can’t get home. With that, Emma and Hook begin to climb.
As Emma and Hook are heading up the beanstalk, Hook asks Emma personal questions, much to Emma’s resistance. He tells her he knows she was abandoned and asks if Emma has ever been in love, to which she replies, she has not.
In the past, we see Neal and a seemingly pregnant Emma enter a convenience store. Neal asks the clerk for directions while Emma “shops” for food. Turns out it was a distraction for her to steal from the store. A man walks in and sees Neal also stealing and begins to rat him out, but Emma acts as though she is in labor and the two run before they are caught. Once in the car, Emma shows Neal the food they stole and before they drive away, Neal gives Emma a swan keychain.
Neal and Emma are then wait by their car at a motel. As a family leaves their room, Emma and Neal go to the room. When they enter Emma finds a dream catcher, the “flypaper for nightmares”, Neal decides to keep it and then says he wants to settle down with Emma, to stop the “Bonnie and Clyde act.” After a quick reference to Neverland (one of many references), Neal pulls out a map and Emma chooses Tallahassee for them to settle down.
At the bottom of the beanstalk, Mulan begins to keep time telling Snow it is for keeping watch. When Aurora won’t try to sleep, Snow realizes it is because of the negative effects after waking from a sleeping curse. Snow tells her story of Charming helping her when she was recovering and agrees to watch over Aurora as she tries, once again, to sleep.
At the top, Emma and Hook arrive to see the destruction that occurred between the Giants and humans. Hook uses his rum (“a bloody waste of it”) to help heal Emma’s hand that was injured. With that, Emma sees a tattoo for Milah and realizes that she is the reason why Hook wants revenge on Rumple. Hook pushes and Emma reveals that she actually was in love, once.
In Portland, Emma meets up with a visibly upset Neal. He shows Emma a ‘Wanted’ ad with his face on it. Apparently, in Arizona, Neal had stolen a case of watches from the jewelry store he worked at. Neal knows this is trouble and tells Emma he has to go to Canada, not Tallahassee, without her to avoid going to jail. Then Emma has an idea to go to the train station, where Neal left the watches, to steal them back. They’ll sell the watches and still be able to go to Tallahassee. Why does Emma do that? Because she loves Neal, and he tells her the same (awwww..)
Back at the top, Hook tries to create a diversion for Emma to use Mulan’s sleeping powder on the Giant. When the Giant appears, Hook distracts him, while Emma uses the powder. It works, and the Giant passes out, almost on Hook.
At the bottom, Mulan notices that time is running out for Emma, when Aurora wakes up from a nightmare. She describes it and she was in a red room with no windows or doors and there was fire everywhere. She also says there was another person in the room that she couldn’t fully see. Snow assures that the nightmares will fade away and has Aurora try to fall asleep again.
Emma arrives at the train station and successfully steals the watches without the cops nearby seeing. She runs out to the yellow bug to Neal. They open up the case and Neal decides to give one watch to Emma. Neal goes sell the watches and Emma is supposed to meet him somewhere so they can go to Tallahassee (“Almost home”).
Neal leaves the car and notices someone is following him. He runs faster and the guy eventually stops him. The man following? August W. Booth (I will admit the first time I saw this episode I was super excited to see him).
August begins to explain his story to Neal. He lost track of Emma and deems himself her “guardian angel.” Neal doesn’t take it well because he knows the horrible life she had. Within the conversation, there are subtle references to August being Pinocchio and foreshadowing Neal’s past life. August proves that Neal will listen to the story and tells Neal that Emma is the key to a curse and he must leave her.
Emma is shown at the meeting spot and Neal doesn’t show up. Instead, a cop does and insinuates that Neal set her up and arrests her for the possession of the stolen watch Neal gave her.
At the beanstalk, Emma and Hook are searching around a treasure room looking for the compass. Hook wants Emma to somehow trust him when the Giant wakes up and enters the room, very angry. As they try to get away, Hook gets trapped under some rocks.
Back to the past, Neal meets up with August in Canada. Neal wants to know what happened to her, but August won’t give too many details. He does tell Neal that Emma was serving 11 months in jail in Phoenix, which makes him feel horrible because she is serving his time. Neal asks August to mail the keys to the yellow bug and the money from the watches to Emma. Neal’s final request to August is to let him know when Emma has fulfilled her job for the curse. August says, “I’ll send you a postcard,” which refers to the postcard from the season premiere.
Back to the beanstalk. Emma is captured by the Giant and escapes. She then traps him in a cage and threatens him. He eventually gives her the magic compass and she sees the dried up magic bean that he keeps as a reminder of the horrible things the humans did. The Giant escapes to not hurt Emma, but to show her a shortcut out of the castle. The Giant grants two favors for not killing him and Emma’s favor uses the favor after locks Hook up for a head start. She leaves him behind because she can’t take the risk that she’s wrong about trusting him.
At the bottom, Mulan sees that time has run out and goes to cut down beanstalk. Snow doesn’t take this well and attacks her. Emma eventually makes it to the bottom and Snow confronts her saying that they go home together. They leave without Hook with the compass.
Next, Emma is seen in jail in Phoenix. A guard comes in with a package. Inside is car keys, with her swan keychain, but no money (August took it). We then see she is holding a positive pregnancy test and the guard congratulates her.
Back in Storybrooke, Henry wakes up from a nightmare. David comes running to him where he lights a candle, as he did for Snow. Henry describes the dream and it is exactly like Aurora’s except at the other corner of the room is not a man, but a woman, presumably Aurora.
This ends yet another OUAT recap. I hope you enjoyed it and I’ll return for another one in a few days.
Again, 31 days.