OUAT Thoughts and Reviews: “Breaking Glass”


We’re one step closer to learning about the Snow Queen’s motives in Storybrooke. Thank goodness because I am confused.

This week’s episode focused more on Emma and Regina’s relationship more than any other episode in the past. We also saw a little Snow and Charming story as Snow got some time away from Baby Neal for the first time.

So what happened in the episode? Time for a recap of 4×05, “Breaking Glass.”

In Minnesota, 1998: After Emma ran away from a foster home in Boston, she ends up in Minnesota. She tries to (badly) steal breakfast, but before she gets caught, a girl saves her.

Rather than steal, the girl, Lily (who looks like a young Regina. Coincidence? I think not.), uses a credit card she stole. Emma and Lily run off with their food, until someone goes chasing after Lily in a car. When they get away, Lily makes it seem that she was also in the foster system, like Emma.

Emma talks, briefly, about why she ran from Boston (see 3.21 flashback). Lily and Emma hide out in a vacation home in Minnesota. They make themselves at home, playing video games, snacks everywhere, etc. Lily shows Emma an odd scar on her wrist and gives Emma one on hers so they are both “special.”

Lily wants Emma to promise they will be always be friends, no matter what (which immediately makes you know something’s coming). Emma finds a video camera that they play around with (I only mention because it is very important later).

At night, someone comes into the house. It turns out Lily had lied about her life. She does have a family and her dad was just looking for her. The cops are called and Lily wants Emma’s forgiveness so they can run off together because Lily doesn’t like her family. Emma won’t forgive and walks away to go to a new foster home, wiping off the symbol Lily made that made them “special.”

In Storybrooke: Emma and Elsa are looking for information about the Snow Queen and how she knows them. From his cell, Will Scarlet keeps complaining wanting to be released. Hook arrives with more paper, a cute lovey moment for them, and Hook disappears for the majority of the episode.

Emma finds pictures from when she first arrived that Sydney took. In the pile, Emma discovers a picture of her and the Snow Queen talking in the ice cream shop. Emma has absolutely no memory of the conversation. She decides to go to Regina for answers.

Regina, meanwhile, is still trying to find a way to unfreeze Marian and the Snow Queen is the answer. Sydney, in mirror form, says he has information about where she is hiding, but for a price of freedom. Regina won’t deliver it until she sees results.

Emma arrives to ask about the pictures, but Regina doesn’t have the answers. At the yellow bug, Elsa waits for Emma, but is starts to see Anna calling for her. Elsa goes after “Anna.”

When Elsa isn’t at the bug, Emma searches for her and runs into Regina who has Sydney (in travel mirror-size) telling her where to find the Snow Queen. Emma suggests they stay together, much to Regina’s dismay, however, she makes no mention of Sydney.

A brief interruption for Snow and Charming’s story. Charming tries to convince Snow to leave Neal with Belle while they get some time out, but Snow doesn’t want to. After convincing, they go on a hike and stop by the station. It takes David awhile, but he (finally) notices that Will Scarlet has escaped from his cell.

They make it their adventure, but after a while Snow just wants to get back to Neal. Snow walks away, but notices someone (Will) digging for something on the beach. She confronts him and, apparently, he buried his bag, with a map, in the sand and cannot find it. Snow asks questions and begins to believe that David released him so she could find him.

Will “admits” to the plan and Snow pardons him from his crime. That night, Snow is thankful for the distraction of Will and David’s plan. Guess what? There was no plan. Will did escape from his cell and Snow did pardon him.

Elsa follows “Anna” and is trapped by the Snow Queen in ice shackles. The shackles get stronger as Elsa becomes more afraid, but is able to overcome her fear and break shackles.

Emma and Regina search the woods, Emma trying to make friendly with Regina, who is not having any of it. She lets Emma know they will never be friends since she ruined her life. They come across an ice staircase. They start to climb, but the Snow Queen traps them. Turns out, Sydney ratted them out and Regina was not happy.

At the top, they meet an ice monster and, together, they defeat it. The Snow Queen appears and steals the mirror and just as she strangles them, Elsa saves the day and knocks Snow Queen out. She’s oddly proud of Elsa for breaking free and she disappears.

In the Snow Queen’s palace, she releases Sydney, but only wants the mirror. Once he leaves, she breaks the mirror and uses a piece to fill a bigger mirror. Apparently, it’s part of the endgame for her to have a family that loves her. Huh??

Emma finally has a big confrontation with Regina (with push from Elsa). Emma wants Regina to be her friend because they are so similar. Regina is utterly shocked by the revelation, but you can tell she doesn’t hate the idea.

At the Sherriff’s Station, Hook returns to find Emma looking through a childhood box because the day reminded her of her friendship with Lily (ah, a connection to the flashback). Emma allows him to go it. He finds certain discoveries, her glasses, a ring, and a picture with Neal (*sniff*). Emma pulls out that video camera and plugs it in, making it clear that she hasn’t watched the video since it was filmed. And after the part with Lily, Emma is at a foster home. Some kids are teasing her, when suddenly the foster mom walks in. The foster mom is none other than the Snow Queen and Emma has no memories of it whatsoever (dun, dun, dun).


  • I am loving Will Scarlet more and more with each episode, and I wasn’t sure I would like the addition.
  • The casting department does another great job casting young Emma (Abby Ross). She’s a ringer for Jennifer Morrison.
  • As adorable as the pictures of Regina and Robin and Emma and Neal were…Who are we supposed to believe took those pictures??? We saw both moments and we know no one was there. I have seen so many jokes about it on Tumblr. Check these out.
  • As a Harry Potter nerd, I really enjoyed the reference to it in the episode.
  • Elizabeth Mitchell is doing a phenomenal job as Snow Queen. She’s got the quiet/creepy tone perfect when she talks.
  • Who is Snow Queen after for ‘revenge’?? Emma or Elsa??
  • I’m always a sucker for Snowing storylines. This one was adorable, but short.
  • It was a cute moment watching Hook go through Emma’s box…and even more awkward when he came across Neal’s photo.
  • I totally had a feeling (like a lot of fans) about Snow Queen’s connection to Emma, but I’m still really confused about what is going on.


“If we fall through a portal to Asgard”–David (you gotta love the Josh Dallas Thor jokes)

“There’s not a lot of online classes on that sort of thing”–Emma, about magic

“I’m going to build a snowman”–creepiest delivery ever by Snow Queen

“In your mug shot you looked taller. And smarter.”–Snow to Will

Will to Snow about plan: “I’m supposed to believe…” Snow: “I’m also the mayor” Will: “He did it.”

Emma: “That’s a problem” Regina: “Not helpful”

Regina: “I don’t want to kill you.” Emma: “See. That’s a start.”

Final thought: This was not my favorite episode of the season. I was more confused than anything else about the Snow Queen. But, the ending totally made up for everything because the flashback made sense to the story and now we know more about who she is–just not what she wants.

Next week in “Family Business”: Belle gets to the forefront for the first time this season. Looks like she has a connection to Anna, she seems to have issues with Rumple and the dagger. Also, looks like Emma and Hook do more digging about the Snow Queen.


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