Once Upon a Time Season 2, Episode 17: "Welcome to Storybrooke" took us back in time to 1983, to witness the first few days of the curse in action. It was one of the best flashbacks of the season, giving us a close look at Regina's (Lana Parrilla) state of mind while also clarifying Greg Mendell’s backstory and motivations.
It also left us with a big question: What happened to Kurt, Owen(/Greg)'s dad? The last we saw him, he was being carted away in Graham's car. It would appear that he never got out of Storybrooke, since Greg is still searching for him.
Given that finding his dad seems to be Greg's primary motivation (with a possible secondary interest in exposing Storybrooke to the world, or at least proving he's not crazy), Kurt's fate seems like an important plot point. But where is he?
We can pretty much assume Kurt's not wandering free, or he would have skipped town. Besides, even if Regina did find a way of keeping him in place, it seems pretty improbable that he wouldn't have sought Emma (Jennifer Morrison) out as soon as he realized there was another Storybrooke outsider around.
Some fans have speculated that Kurt is the janitor in the mental institution, who we see briefly in "Skin Deep" and the Season 1 finale. While it's possible that the writers will go that direction, we've reviewed those scenes and we have to say, the janitor doesn't look like Kurt — at all. And he certainly doesn't look 28 years older than Kurt. Given that he's an outsider, like Henry, we assume Kurt would age. (Besides, the janitor seemed like a clear nod to the narrator of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. It would be a shame to get rid of that by changing it.)
However, the mental ward does seem like a good place to hide someone you don't want found. Regina was able to keep Belle down there for years, so why not Kurt, too?
The other option — that Regina killed him (or had him killed) — is also possible. And whether she killed him, locked him up, or did something else bad to him (memory wipe?), we're positive Greg won't be happy, and he's building up enough evidence that he could take the whole town down in revenge.
Basically, things are not looking good for Storybrooke, and none of the residents even know it.
Catch the next episode of Once Upon a Time on Sunday, March 24 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaDMartin.