In Arendelle, when the Snow Queen tries to pit Elsa and Anna against each other and it proves more difficult than she anticipates, she takes drastic measures. Meanwhile, in Storybrooke Emma’s powers are out of control and her fear of hurting loved ones pushes her away from everyone she cares about. In her confusion, Emma turns to Gold for help getting her powers under control. Gold tells her about a way to get rid of her powers altogether and Hook tries to put a stop to it. Meanwhile, Regina struggles with her plan to find the author of the storybook until her quest takes an unexpected turn. Robin Hood recruits Will Scarlet to assist him on a mission and Mary Margaret and David search for Emma.
Emma captures the Snow Queen and interrogates her at the sheriff’s station. But the Snow Queen uses her prior knowledge of Emma to try to persuade her into thinking that they are more alike than she could possibly imagine. Regina and Robin Hood’s relationship grows increasingly complex as they struggle to find a way to save his dying wife, Emma begins to see what she missed out on by not growing up and being a family with Snow and Charming when she sees how involved Mary Margaret is in baby Neal’s life, and Henry begins his after school job in Gold’s shop while trying to help Regina find a clue to the identity of the author of the storybook. Meanwhile, in Arendelle of the past, we learn about the origin of the Snow Queen and her familial connection to Elsa and Anna as we see her discover her spectacular yet deadly ice powers.
The race is on to track down the elusive Snow Queen, who was once a foster mother to a young Emma – whose memories of this event have been erased – in order to discover what her ultimate end game is for Elsa and the residents of Storybrooke, and unaware that she does not possess the real blade that controls The Dark One, Belle attempts to use it to get her reluctant husband to show her where the Snow Queen is hiding. Meanwhile, back in the past, Belle travels to Arendelle and, with Anna’s help, seeks out Grand Pabbie to help her regain her lost memories in order to discover the fate of her mother.
Regina reluctantly teams up with Emma to search for the Snow Queen after Sidney, who is once again Regina’s prisoner in the mirror, discovers her whereabouts and agrees to lead her to the location. With Belle babysitting baby Neal, a nervous Mary Margaret and David prepare for their first date night away from their child and find themselves on a mission to track down Will Scarlet, who has escaped from the town jail, and Elsa sees Anna in the Storybrooke woods. Meanwhile, back in the past, young Emma finds herself a kindred spirit when she befriends a girl who, like her, is a runaway orphan.
After Emma asks Hook out on a real first date, Hook visits Mr. Gold and asks for his hand to be reattached so that he can embrace her with both hands. But magic always comes with a price. Henry and Mary Margaret try to offer hope to Regina when she becomes frustrated over not being able to find a cure to save a frozen Marian, and Will Scarlet attempts to break into the Storybrooke library to find a special book. Meanwhile, back in the Fairy Tale Land that was, Rumplestiltskin is after a magical box that the Sorcerer’s apprentice is guarding, and he may use Elsa’s sister Anna to help him get it.
When an icy spell is cast on Marian, which will ultimately freeze her heart and kills her, the Storybrooke residents place the blame on Elsa. But unbeknownst to anyone, a mysterious woman who runs the town’s ice cream parlor has the same powers as Elsa and is trying to frame her. Emma and David find former Merry Men member Will Scarlet rummaging through Robin Hood’s tent, Regina teams up with Henry to try and discover who the author of the fairy tale book is, Mary Margaret is having trouble balancing her duties as leader of Storybrooke and mother to young Prince Neal, and Hook begins to suspect that Mr. Gold is still in control of the dagger that calls upon him to be the Dark One. Meanwhile, in Arendelle of the past, Elsa and Kristoff set off to stop Hans from attempting to take control of the kingdom.
While desperately trying to find her sister Anna, Elsa is startled by Emma and accidentally traps them both inside an ice cave, with the frozen temperature placing Emma’s life in peril. Regina, depressed over her likely breakup with Robin Hood, secludes herself away from the town and Henry, which saddens her son. And with the townspeople considering Mary Margaret their leader, she faces her first leadership task in trying to re-start a generator and restore the town’s electricity after Elsa freezes and damages the power lines. Meanwhile, in the Enchanted Forest of the past, Anna tries to teach a meek David to fight Bo Peep, a brutal warlord who is threatening to take his and his mother’s farm away if they don’t pay her price.
A scared and confused Elsa finds herself in Storybrooke and, fearful of the intentions of its residents, creates a powerful snow monster for protection. With Robin Hood’s wife, Marian, back in the picture, Regina wonders if her happily ever after with the former thief has been completely quashed; while on their honeymoon, Mr. Gold finds an intriguing object that makes him question whether or not he should officially give Belle control over the dagger that makes him The Dark One, and Hook is dismayed to discover that Emma seems to be avoiding him while she tries to help comfort Regina after being the one responsible for bringing Marian back from the past and into Storybrooke. Meanwhile, in Arendelle of the past, as Elsa’s sister Anna’s wedding to Kristoff nears, Anna discovers that their parents – who died on-ship during a violent storm – were heading to a mysterious destination in a quest that may have held the secret to containing Elsa’s out of control Ice powers. And against Elsa’s wishes, Anna wants to finish their journey to find out what they were looking for.
ABC invites new and devoted Once Upon a Time viewers to take another look at this popular fantasy series in the new special, Once Upon a Time: Storybrooke Has Frozen Over, which will explore the show in a way that will bring new viewers up to date — but which current viewers will also find illuminating – in anticipation of the exciting fourth season premiere. The special will take a look at the role that family plays in the show and never giving up on the ones you love, our heroes’ journey from breaking the curse to the ramifications of magic in our world, travelling to Neverland to save Henry from an evil Peter Pan, their battle with The Wicked Witch of the West upon their return, and the upcoming presence of Elsa, the Ice Queen from Arendelle, in Storybrooke. The special features interviews with executive producers Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz to help tell the story of Once Upon a Time: Storybrooke Has Frozen Over.
Last week on Once Upon a Time, it was to be a showdown at the Storybrooke Corral when the envious green witch challenged Regina contemplating being able to take her heart as an ingredient to her scheme to travel back in time and change her lot in life. Regina decided to leave her heart in the hands of Robin Hood to protect which was a good idea until this week when Zelena sent Rumpelstiltskin to retrieve it.
That’s her color for the season. She’s not angry, because “nothing’s worth the life of a child.” But she is worried, because if Zelena didn’t want the heart to kill her, she must want it for something else. We see her apologize to Belle for everything because she needs to find the answers in the antique store. She’s definitely on a redemption arc.
Cora, however, as we see in this episode and “The Miller’s Daughter” chose the power of the throne over her love for Rumplestiltkin. By Once Upon A Time standards, this makes her more evil than most, as she buries her own heart so that it won’t get in her way. Rumple, who chose magic when faced with the choice between power (magic) and love (his son), wound up regretting it and never stopped trying to alter it.
Guest starring are Rose McGowan as young Cora, Rebecca Mader as Zelena, Sean Maguire as Robin Hood, David De Lautour as Jonathan, Eric Lange as Prince Leopold, Eva Bourne as Princess Eva, Steve Elliott as drunk, Yvette Dudley-Neuman as mid-wife, Brian Knox McGugan as drunk Charlie’s friend, Raphael Alejandro as Roland, Michael P. Northey as Friar Tuck and Gabrielle Giraud as royal aide.