Once Upon a Time RECAP: A Long Time Ago, We Used to Be Friends (S4:E5)

broken face

“Use distorted mirrors . . . because plastic surgery is for p*ssies.”

Did you hear the one about the sassy, sarcastic, blonde teen with trust issues, and her best friend Lily, who tragically kept secrets that ended up prematurely ending their friendship?

veronica mars and lily

No? Me neither  . . .

lily and emma

This entirely new and original premise, which featured soooo much lesbian sexual tension between two presumably heterosexual teens that I thought I had accidentally switched channels and started watching LOGO, formed the basis for this week’s Very Special Life Lesson Masquerading as Flashback on Once Upon a Time.


(It also made me crave a crossover episode of Once and Veronica Mars, during which Young Emma and Veronica casually debate the merits of leather versus denim jackets, and Captain Hook and Logan take the old yacht for a spin, get totally wasted on rum, and proceed to spend the next seven or so hours practicing their broody-but-sensitive longing looks at an unseen camera.)

veronica with camera

Hey, it could happen!

Meanwhile, back in the present day, Emma and Regina ironed out their differences by generously sharing in heaping helpings of one another’s “Glorious Finger Magic.”

finger magic

“Woo, I’m going to need to smoke a cigarette after this!”

Hook and Charming each got the opportunity to do a little Dr. Phil-ing on their lady loves . . .

Elsa learned that handcuffs can, in fact, be recreational .  . .

handcuff sex

Fifty Shades of Frozen

And Regina got royally screwed by a piece of Glass . . . but not in a good way.

ouat 4.1.a regina mirror

Let’s review, shall we?

Because Stalking is the Sincerest Form of Flattery.

Since no one in Storybrooke seems to have any idea how to use a computer, Emma and Elsa spend their morning digging through old boxes looking for evidence that might lead them to The Snow Queen’s whereabouts . . .

Hook, who appears to have recovered quite well emotionally from (1) his recent dalliance with “Evil Hand” and (2) that time he watched the hat from Fantasia vacuum up an old guy . . . pops by to play the role of dutiful boyfriend, carting over some particularly heavy boxes for the girls to search through and offering Emma a chaste kiss on the cheek, before he takes her son “sailing.”

kissy face

Also present is the perpetually snarky Knave of Hearts, whose drunken run-in with Captain Hook’s “Evil Hand” fist and failed attempt to break into the library and steal anime porn of his girlfriend, have landed him in Storybrooke’s single jail cell, which, by this point, has been inhabited at least once (sometimes twice) by nearly the entire cast.

all in jail

“It’s not quite as comfortable as the local Howard Johnson, but at least you get a complimentary half-eaten Pop Tart breakfast every morning.”

(To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what the point of this Knave character is supposed to be. But you folks who watched that Once spinoff really seem to like him. So, I’m going to reserve my judgment for the time being.)

Emma finds a box with a bunch of pictures of her in it and reminisces fondly about that time, back in Season 1, when Regina hired the head of the local paper to stalk her ass for a few weeks . . .

ouat 4.2 stalker card

One of the stalker pictures features Emma engaged in a heated argument with Little Miss Ice Fingers herself, despite the fact that the Savior has positively no memory of ever meeting this Snow B*tch prior to Season 4 . . .

surprised monkey

Determining that this picture may be the key to finding the Snow Queen, Emma decides to trace it back to its stalkery source . . . Regina . . . a.k.a. the woman who occasionally tries to murder her and currently hates her cock-blocking guts.


I’m going to go out on a limb and say this a bad idea . . .

Speaking of Poor Life Choices . . .

Pop Tarts are a Girl’s Best Friend

In Flashback land, Young Emma still wears super short, skinny, and tight jackets whose function is more decorative than warmth-providing. On the run from the orphanage where we last saw her, tired and hungry Young Emma gets the brilliant idea to hide a rather large box of blueberry frosted Pop Tarts in that super short, skinny, tight, decorative, but not warmth providing jacket of hers.

pop tart

This flashback has been brought to you by Kellogg’s Pop Tarts. Tasty to eat . . . really hard to shoplift . . .

Not surprisingly, the orphan runaway gets caught by the store manager. Fortunately for Young Emma, the pretty teen she was eye-sexing in the cereal aisle moments earlier quickly covers for her, claiming that the two girls were simply retrieving the items for her parents with their credit card. “You should learn to filch things that are thinner and easier to steal,” Young Emma’s new friend instructs, with a flirtatious bat of her eyelashes. “Like credit cards, and my heart. Come, I’ll show you.”

ask you out

They say the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Clearly, the quickest way to Emma’s heart is through the mutual commission of misdemeanors . . . (e.g., Neil the Con Artist, Hook the Pirate, and Walsh . . . the Flying Monkey?)

running lily and emma

Get it, girl!

After Emma and Lily have stocked up on all the product-placement-approved Pop Tarts they can eat using Lily’s “stolen” credit card, the girls dash out of the supermarket, narrowly missing detection by The Man in the Car, thanks to Emma’s advanced skills of evasion, which, thankfully for Lily, are better than her “crap skills of grocery stealing.”

“You had my back, now I have yours,” Young Emma promises her new gal pal. “Your back, and your lips, and your boobs, especially your boobs.”

one of a kind

Still high on the adrenaline of their escape, and the sugar from the frosting on their Pop Tarts, Emma and Lily settle down for a Romantic Shoplift Picnic in the forest. More eye-sexing ensues, as Emma reveals her orphan beginnings and guesses that Lily, given her earlier run-in with “child services,” might be the product of similar circumstances. Lily chooses her words carefully before crafting a response: “I’m just like you,” she admits.

So, of course, they immediately decide to move in together . . .

scared baby gif

Woah!  Slow down, tigers!  Save some for the sequel . . .

Spying what they believe to be an abandoned house across the lake, Emma and Lily break in and quickly make themselves at home on the couch, where they play video games, draw stars on one another’s body parts, call each other “special,” promise never to leave one another, and sleep together. (At this point, Lily has officially gotten more on-screen action with Emma than any other character on the show . . . except for maybe Regina.)

they fondle

“I feel like one of us should be wearing a condom.”

Later that night, Young Emma is awoken by the sound of someone breaking into the house they already broke into! It’s “Child Services Guy.” Except, he’s not really “Child Services Guy,” because he keeps referring to Lily as his daughter.

Emma is furious with Lily for lying to her. But Lily still insists the two would-be young lovers are kindred spirits. “Nobody else understands me, like you do even though I’ve only known you for about five hours.” Lily pleads. “You said you’d never leave me.”


But leave, Young Emma does, bound for yet another foster home, vowing never to trust another soul again (unless, of course, they offer her sugary breakfast treats, in which case, all bets are off . . .)

ouat 4.1.a bear claw

Dating, Mayor-ing, and Thieving for Dummies . . .


When you are the World’s Most Famous Fairytale Couple, there’s undoubtedly a ton of pressure to keep the fires burning in your marriage. It’s supposed to be Happily Ever After. Not Happily Ever “Not tonight, honey, I have work tomorrow, and my boobs are really sore from breastfeeding.”

ouat 4.2 snow baby

And so Prince Charming makes it his personal mission to bring back that loving feeling to Snow White’s Tighty Whiteys . . .

He hires Belle to babysit and arranges for him and Snow to go on a romantic hike, in the hopes that getting increasingly vertical with his lady love will result in them eventually getting horizontal, if you catch my drift.

Snow, however, is understandably concerned about leaving her newborn alone, as babies and young folk in this town have a tendency to get “kidnapped,” “poisoned,” “possessed,” “soul swapped,” “murdered,” “dropped through portals to far off lands,” and “shoved into trees from which they don’t return for 28 years.”

“Don’t worry,” reassures David. “If any of those things happen to our son, Belle, the erstwhile stripper, who spent 28 years locked in an insane asylum, and willingly married a guy named ‘The Dark One,’ will totally protect him.”

ouat 4.1 belle

(The things men will say and do to get laid . . .)

Snow reluctantly agrees to go on a date with her husband, but her heart doesn’t quite appear to be in it . . . until THE KNAVE ESCAPES.

ouat 4.1 serious

(Mind you, this is a single-cell jail, meaning that its TWO sheriffs have literally ONE job. And, in this case, that one job is keeping the doofus who can’t even properly break into a minimum-security library from getting out.)

dont like sheriffs

For those precise reasons, it doesn’t take long at all for Snow White to find the Knave . . . also because he’s frantically digging up the ground for his buried treasure . . . and the map with which he buried that treasure.

taller smarter

Like I said . . . total doofus.

But apparently not a big enough doofus not to  be able pull one over on Snow White.

“David totally put you up to this to flirt with me, right? Because there’s no way my son and daughter are stupid enough to let their one possibly mentally challenged prisoner go free.” Snow asks wryly.

“Um . . . yeah, sure, that thing you said,” replies the Knave, wondering if he’s not the butt of some very elaborate, not particularly funny, joke. “So, you’ll pardon me, right?”

“Yeah, sure. Why not?” Snow answers.

thief but no liar

And that’s how Storybrooke’s only prisoner was inadvertently set free to continue to suck at committing misdemeanors in town, for ever more.

Later that night (no one kidnapped the baby, by the way–SCORE!), when Snow relates to David what she’s done, he’s a bit perturbed, but all-in-all just happy that Snow White is feeling sexy again.


So what if a thief is on the loose, one who will inevitably break into more of the kind residents of Storybrooke’s homes, if it means collecting more anime porn of his once-girlfriend? Prince Charming is finally going to start getting LAID AGAIN, DAMMIT!

making outwith snow

He’s got his swagger back . . . consequences be damned. Typical male.

Speaking of horny people doing stupid things . . . meanwhile, in the Forest Where Bad Crap Always Happens . . .

It’s Not Kinky, It’s Disney!

After going to Regina’s house, begging for her forgiveness, and getting rejected, Emma returns to her car to find that Elsa, the one person she was responsible for keeping under her thumb, apart from the Knave, also managed to up and wander off. (WORST SHERIFFS EVER!)

She follows Elsa’s path toward the forest, where she once again runs into Regina, who has also been drawn into the forest to confront the Snow Queen, in hopes of unfreezing Maid Marion. This way, Regina and Robin Hood can be cheating husband-and-mistress happily ever after. HOORAY!

ouat 4.1.a regina smiles

Regina is SO not having the Emma Friendship and says all sorts of crappy things to her the whole time the two of them are running through the forest battling the video game-like traps Snow Queen has set for them (e.g., rapidly cracking ice bridge and giant, murderous ice sculpture, which, for those keeping score at home, is basically like the giant murderous Staypuft Marshmallow Snowman Elsa made back in Episode 1, only with better muscle definition.)

ice sculpture

Meanwhile, Elsa too has been drawn into a trap where she follows hallucinations of her sister straight into a pile of ice handcuffs that “respond to her fear.”

Fade out to a wide shot of Elsa thrusting and pumping against an ever-tightening bunch of ice handcuffs, chanting, “I’m not afraid, I’m not afraid,” until they crack . . .


And that, my friends, was the moment I stopped thinking I was inadvertently watching the LOGO channel and started thinking I was inadvertently watching porn . . .

Speaking of porn, back at the Great Ice Sculpture Battle of ’14, Emma and Regina attempt to finger bang burn their nemesis out of existence, only to realize that neither is strong enough to do so alone. And so the two erstwhile enemies merge their magical finger powers together to disarm the beast.

working together 1 working togethre 2


But then, the Snow Queen comes and strangles them both with her mind . . .

ONCE UPON A TIME RECAP: A Long Time Ago, We Used to Be Friends (S4:E5)


But then Elsa pops by and saves them both with HER icy finger magic.

let them go

“Let them goooooo. Let them go. Please let my girlfriends go!”


Then, the Snow Queen steals Regina’s makeup compact and walks away.

got the mirror

Wait . . . WHAT??!  You mean to tell me this woman went through all the trouble of manufacturing an entire cracking ice bridge and ice sculpture soldier just to steal something she could probably have picked up at her local CVS for $3.95 plus tax?

Even the Super Villains on this show aren’t that smart . . .

But a few open questions remain. And one of those questions is, who sold out Snow and Emma’s position in the forest . . . you know, apart from the fact that everyone on this show inevitably ends up in the forest when they wish to be and/or battle evil?


Seven Years Bad Luck – One Mirror’s Tale of Long-Awaited Vengeance

Ahhh, Sydney Glass, poor, ridiculous Sydney Glass . . . the guy who continued to love and cherish Regina despite the fact that she (1) locked him in an insane asylum for multiple seasons; (2) kept him locked in a mirror for most of eternity, repeatedly forcing him to remind her that she is “the fairest one of all;” (3) engaged with amorous relations with multiple men while the mirror was forced to watch.

ouat 4.1.a mirror

ouat 4.1 blue balls

Ouch! It, therefore, shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Sydney jumped at the opportunity to sell out Regina and turn himself over to the Snow Queen, who, as it turned out, was willing to promptly set him free . . .

See? Sometimes even ice b*tches can be benevolent.

“But if your motive wasn’t to make me your b*tch boy like every other woman on this show, why did you bother stealing my puny mirror?”  Sydney wonders out loud . . .

A very good question . . .

“Because,” explains the Snow Queen. “I want to use the mirrors to create a family that loves me.”

family that loves

“I’ll love you!” Sydney chimes in.

“Nah,” responds Snow Queen.

“I’m sure Henry will love you. He loves everybody. And those Snow People you can make. I got it! You can fashion a loving ice family!”

“Blondes, you moron. I only want the blonde people on this show to love me,” responds the Snow Queen.

“Racist,” mutters Sydney under his breath as he skulks away.

Eye-sex, Lies and Videotape

I may have mentioned earlier that petty crime and brushes with death tend to turn the main characters on this show on, which may be the explanation for this oddly romantic, vaguely homoerotic reconciliation between Emma and Regina that occurs toward the end of the episode . . .

dont want to kill yay thanks

But if all the homoerotic sexual tingleyness of this episode has left you a little . . . cold, not to worry. There’s some good old-fashioned male-on-female loving in this episode for YOU too. Enter Captain Hook, who’s almost unusually compassionate when he finds a tearful Emma digging through a box of her old memories and extracting an old sex tape home video she filmed with her ex-bestie Lily, back in the day.

Please say this video is of the two of you making out. Please say this video is of the two of you making out. I look forward to learning more about where you came from Emma,” Hook offers, lending tearful Emma a strong Hook-y shoulder to cry on as they re-watch the episode flashback together.


But then the video changes . . . and This Lady appears on it . . .


SAY WHATTTT??????? The Snow Queen was Young Emma’s foster mommy, and she still doesn’t remember her?

surprised monkey

This one deserves an even bigger Surprised Face Monkey!

Oh, this stuff is getting good, and by “good” I mean “batsh*t crazy!” Until next time, Once-ians!

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TV Show: Once Upon a Time

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