Bite me! In this week’s Once Upon a Time (Season 2, Episode 6: “Tallahassee”), Aurora (Sarah Bolger) and Henry (Jared Gilmore) are gonna need to stock up on Ambien, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) makes a rather big-boned friend, and we learn that Neal was a much less upstanding janitor than the one in Good Will Hunting.
Wherein Emma Gets Some One-On-One Time With Hook — Making Us Super Jealous
Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) informs his four lady friends that the magic compass is guarded by the world’s crankiest giant, whom the fabled Jack wasn’t able to kill. Hook also informs the ladies that the beanstalk is cursed, but that he has wristbands that can break the curse (convenient, no?).
There are only two wristbands, so Emma volunteers to join Hook up the beanstalk. She claims to have volunteered on Henry’s behalf, but who would really turn down the chance to spend some alone time with a gorgeous bad boy like Hook? (Okay, maybe that's just us...)
Before Emma departs, Mulan (Jamie Chung) gives her a poppy-based powder that will put the giant to sleep (yet another Oz reference!). Emma then tells Mulan to cut the beanstalk if she and Hook aren't back in 10 hours, regardless of what Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) says.
Hook and Emma are gone for, like, two seconds when there’s an instant connection between them, and Hook observes that Emma is Lost Boy-esque. Prediction time: Hook and Emma will totally be a couple one of these days. In fact, we’re fairly certain that these two will hook up (pardon the pun) soon! (Translation: Better find room for another name on your arm, dude.)
At the giant’s crumbling castle, Emma tells Hook they should toss Mulan’s powder in the giant’s face, rather than wait for him to fall asleep. Emma’s like, “We don’t want to wait for the giant to fall asleep because, if he’s anything like the guys I’ve met, he’s probably gonna stay awake all night watching ESPN. You guys get ESPN here in Fairytale Land, right?”
So with Hook as a decoy, Emma smacks the giant in the face with the powder (nice shot, girl!), and they have the castle to themselves. And the best part is when Emma grabs Hook to save him from setting off a trap, and Hook assumes she’s grabbed him because he’s bringing sexy back. Yep — these two are totally gonna get together!
Wherein Emma Finds a Situation She Can Really Sink Her Teeth Into
Back on land, Aurora’s having post-sleeping curse nightmares, but Snow promises they’ll go away. Aurora falls asleep but soon wakes up, having dreamt about a red room with fiery curtains, with some creepazoid watching her from the other side. Judging by the way Snow comforts her, it seems Snow’s nightmares might not have gone away after all.
Meanwhile, up the beanstalk Hook gets trapped by some falling bricks, leaving Emma to get scooped up by the giant. She tries reasoning with the giant by asking about his family, but he explains that the humans killed his family. Smooth move, Emma. So then Emma subscribes to our own personal mantra: “When in doubt, start biting people.”
Once Emma has Mike Tyson’d her way out of the giant’s grasp, she traps the giant in his own cage (embarrassing!). While holding a poisoned sword (what is this — Hamlet?), Emma gets him to hand over the magic compass. She also tells him that not all humans are bad — which is a weird thing to say while threatening to stab someone in the eye with a poisoned sword.
The giant busts out of his cage but does Emma a favor by letting her go — and also reuniting her with Hook. (See — we knew that giant just needed a hug!) And trust-phobic Emma then does Hook a favor by locking him in the giant’s castle so the two dudes can get better acquainted. Emma’s like, “I just know you guys will be bros in no time! Have fun with your male-bonding!”
So Emma hops back down the beanstalk, and just in time, too, as Mulan was about to bust out the weedwacker and shout “timber.” And how awesome was it to see Snow tackle Mulan to the ground in order to protect Emma? If the whole “being a princess” thing doesn’t work out for Snow, she might consider a career in mixed martial arts.
In Storybrooke, Henry has a nightmare that’s identical to Aurora’s — except that Henry sees a female in his dream, not a guy. Then David lights a candle to try to keep away the nightmares, and Henry is like, “I just freaked out about a dream involving fire, and now you’re trying to calm me down by lighting an open flame? What is wrong with you?!”
Wherein Emma Says, “You’re a Guy Who Sleeps in a Stolen Car? And They Say That All the Good Ones Are Taken!”
We flashback to Portland in 2001, where we see Emma — still in her leather jacket, natch — as she steals that yellow VW bug. Here’s a tip from Carjacking 101: Never steal a car while the owner is still in it. In this case, Emma didn’t see said owner — who’s also the “Mystery Man” from Season 2, Episode 1: “Broken” — because he was asleep in the car. This guy is clearly on top of the world.
Emma gets pulled over by a cop for running a stop sign, and we realize that this charismatic car-sleeper — by the name of Neal Cassidy — had also stolen the car. (Since when are yellow bugs in such high demand on the black market?) The two hit it off, and before long they’re robbing gas stations and breaking into motel rooms together. Isn’t it romantic?
After noticing a dreamcatcher in the hotel room — and it’s worth noting that Neal had that dreamcatcher in his NYC apartment in “Broken,” and that Aurora and Henry could both have used a dreamcatcher this week — Emma and Neal ponder a life on the up-and-up. Emma picks Tallahassee, FL as the place to settle down, because that’s the city that all the young people are flocking to these days.
Their dreams of Florida get derailed when Neal sees a wanted poster of himself, Old West-style, as he’s still in trouble for swiping some expensive watches from the jewelry store where he worked as a janitor. (Q: What time is it? A: Time to stop committing so many felonies.)
Neal gets Emma to retrieve the stolen watches from his bus station locker (what else are girlfriends for?), but before he can return them, Neal is chased down by ... August (Eion Bailey)! Come to think of it, August runs pretty well for a guy who was thisclose to becoming firewood.
Wherein Emma Wears a Stolen Watch — Which Leads to a Different Kind of Wrist Accessory (Better Known as a “Handcuff”)
August tells Neal that he’s Emma’s guardian angel (way to not sound crazy, dude), and that Neal needs to leave her so she can fulfill her destiny and break a curse. August asks Neal if he believes in magic, and then he shows Neal something in a box that seems to convince Neal he’s telling the truth. But what’s in the box? Somebody freakin’ tell us what’s in the box!
Emma waits for Neal to show up, but his phone number has been disconnected. Then, a cop arrests Emma, having been tipped off that she was the one who nabbed the watches from the locker. Emma’s like, “I can’t believe that a guy I met while he was sleeping in a stolen car would do this to me!”
Months later, August informs Neal that Emma is doing 11 months in a minimum-security prison in Phoenix for the watches. Neal flips out because that should have been his prison sentence, but August seems to feel that Neal’s mantra should be, “I got 99 problems, but a watch ain’t one.”
In fact, Neal has sold the other watches, so he gives that money to August for Emma, along with the car keys. Neal clearly misses Emma, so August promises to write him a postcard when the curse is broken — which, as we know, happens at the beginning of the episode “Broken.”
Of course, when we see Emma in prison — who’s now preggers with Henry! — she receives the car keys in the mail, but not the money. Sounds like August is off having fun in Thailand with Neal’s dough — not that there’s anything to do in Thailand with wads of cash (wink, wink).
Three Biggest Mysteries of the Night:
1. Forget the three mysteries of the night. We only have one mystery on our mind: Who will Emma end up with? In Season 1, we fell in love with the idea of August and Emma together, but now we’re not so sure, since Emma and Neal were so madly in love, until August had to go and meddle in things.
Plus, suddenly we now have a third contender in the mix: Captain Hook! We’re thinking that Hook just might be our top choice at the moment, since he’s so darn cute, and the two have quite the chemistry. Then again, any of those three guys would be a total catch — just as long as you don’t ask any of them to hold onto a stack of cash for you.
2. The biggest non-relationship mystery of the night: What was in the box? And a related question to this would be whether Neal is also Baelfire. Because the box might have held something from Baelfire’s past. Or was it something so magical, it would convince even the biggest non-believer instantly? Either way, the item in the box is likely to be somehow Fairytale Land-related.
3. What was the significance of the dreams that Aurora and Henry have? We know that the dream must be a result of the sleeping curse that Maleficent created, since both Aurora and Henry were under that curse. And it’s worth noting that Aurora mentions seeing a male in her dream on the other side of the curtain that was on fire, while Henry sees a female.
So were they each seeing each other? And will this dream turn out to be a premonition about the future? We also wonder if the fire might be somehow related to a portal — since fire makes us think of the wardrobe that was set on fire. All we know is, our dreams don’t usually involve fiery curtains; instead, they mostly involve us making out with Ryan Gosling.
Catch the next new episode of Once Upon a Time on Sunday, November 11 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
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