Synopsis of 4×05: Elsa is duped, Regina and Emma are at odds, and we flash back to when Emma was but a young law breaker. Also, the Charming Parents find time to spend together, and Mary Margaret pardons an escaped criminal.
Emma and Elsa continue the search through the files for something, anything on the Snow Queen. Elsa stumbles upon the pictures Regina had Sidney take back when Emma first got to town. These super cute, but very creepy, pictures give us a great clue as to who the Snow Queen is, as one of them happens to be of Emma and the Snow Queen. Naturally, they head over to Regina’s to find out what’s going on in this picture she had taken. Spoiler alert, Regina knows nothing. Emma tries to offer her help to Regina in figuring out the whole frozen Marian curse. Regina rejects this because Emma hasn’t ever had her back. Okay. During this Regina and Emma talk, Elsa was out in the car. She hears Anna calling her from the other side of a very foggy cemetery. I’m pretty sure you guys can guess what she did. Yup. She ran to the voice.
Sidney pops in to tell Regina that he’s found the Snow Queen and will lead her there. On the way she bumps into Emma, who is out trying to find where Elsa ran off to. Regina is peeved that Emma is there to tag along, but it is what it is. Regina spends the time chastising Emma on not working on her magic more. Emma makes a huge mistake by trying to be nice to Regina about how great she is for helping out Robin and Marian. She isn’t having any of it, and Regina lashes back at Emma.
Elsa runs after Anna, and creates an epic staircase up to where Anna is. And yes, the stairs do look just like the movie. She finally catches up to Anna, just to find the Snow Queen. Sadly for Elsa, she’s fallen into a trap that played off of her love for Anna, who was a snowman. The Snow Queen traps Elsa in chains that feed off of her fears, which should keep her out of the Queen’s hair for a while. Elsa asks what she’s going to do and the Snow Queen says, “I’m going to build a snowman.”
Regina and Captain Obvious, I mean Emma, find the staircase and the Snow Queen. Regina has an epiphany that Sidney was the one to tip off the Snow Queen that they were coming. Regina freaks out on Sidney, who pops up, calling him a traitor. He throws that back at her and pops away. The staircase starts to fall, but they are able to make it to safety, where they find out they have an even bigger problem on their hands. Now they have to battle a very Skyrim-looking snowman who can regrow limbs. After finding out that they can’t defeat it separately, they combine their powers to take it down. Now, the Snow Queen steps in to take Regina’s mirror and use a little Vader choke to subdue them. Elsa pops in at just the right time to watch the Snow Queen disappear, and lecture Emma and Regina on how they need to work together and be friends or Storybrooke will never stand a chance.
At the Snow Queen’s palace, she releases Sidney. Sidney asks what his new queen wants, and she says nothing. Apparently he doesn’t understand this concept, as he’s been Regina’s lackey for so long. Snow Queen just wanted the mirror, which is filled with tons of dark magic. With it she will be able to get what she has always wanted, a family that loves her.
Elsa and Emma trek through the forest and talk about Emma’s relationship with Regina. Elsa advises her to not give up, so Emma goes to Regina’s crypt to talk to her. Emma tells her that she’s gone down this road before, with pushing people away and regretting it later. Regina is the only one that can really understand Emma, and she just wants to be her friend. Regina is a little touched that she thought they were, or could be, friends. She has a slight change of heart and tells her that she doesn’t want to kill Emma. At least not totally.
Back at the sheriff’s station, we get a healthy dose of Captain Swan. Emma pulls out a box full of the few things from her childhood. Let’s sigh collectively as this is the first time we see more physical bits of Emma’s life before Storybrooke. She finds the camcorder, and they decide to watch what’s on the tape. While most of it is kids being jerks, there’s a bit that is shocking plot twist that you’ll have to see for yourselves.
Little Emma is trying to steal poptarts when she gets caught. Obviously, little Emma had no theft game. Lucky for her, she gets saved by a cool girl who teaches her the valuable lesson of lifting plastic to get what you want. They get their goods, and dash from a very angry man in a car. They end up on a very pretty lake side, and eat their stolen goods. Little Emma opens up about her foster home past and why she ran away from where she was. Lily tells her that she’s been through the whole thing too. They make a plan to break into one of the houses on the lake and crash there, since it’s the off season and no one will be there.
Lily and Emma break into the house and we find out that Emma is terrible at video games. Emma notices that Lily has a super cool birthmark in the shape of a star, which makes her special. Lily gives Emma her very own star (cue awws). They find a camcorder and record their time together like teenage girls do. They make a friends forever through everything promise.
A man comes into the house at night, and Emma does her best to defend her new friend. The man very calmly states that he’s Lily’s father and that she needs to come home. Emma is flabbergasted that her friend lied to her. Lily tries to make everything better, but she’s not having any of it. Lily says she hates her home, she feels invisible, even though she was adopted and has a home. Emma walks away and wipes off her star. The damage is done.