'Once Upon A Time' Recap: 'That Still Small Voice'
In this episode, we learn the backstories for Dr. Archie Hopper/Jiminy Cricket and Marco/Geppetto. A major hole is blown in the Evil Queen's curse.
Author’s note: Lines between paragraphs indicate scene changes between Fairy Tale Land and Storybrooke/present day.
We're back in Fairy Tale Land after a Thanksgiving hiatus, and we open on a marionette show, during which a young red-headed boy pickpockets the patrons. His name is Jiminy, and he says loves crickets because they're free. He tells his parents, the puppeteers, that he wants to be himself and not have to steal.
In Storybrooke, Henry is in a session with Dr. Archie Hopper and brings up the subject of Archie being Jiminy Cricket. Henry points out that there are no crickets in the town.
At the police station, Emma accepts a badge from Sheriff Graham. That very moment, the earth shakes and the two head out to a giant sinkhole that has materialized on the perimeter of Storybrooke. At the scene, Mayor Regina tries to dismiss Emma, but she explains that she now works for the town.
Regina tells the townspeople that the sinkhole is an abandoned mine that workers will bulldoze and pave to make it safe. Regina finds a piece of what looks like glass in the rubble and places it in her pocket.
Henry tells Emma and Archie that there's something down in the hole that's been caused by Emma's arrival in town. Regina interrupts and confronts Archie, telling him that his efforts are not helping to bring Henry closer to her. She orders him to take the "delusion" out of Henry's head and "crush it."
Back in Fairy Tale Land, a grown up Jiminy and his parents are in a gypsy camp. He begs his parents to simply put on their marionette show and subsist on ticket sales alone. They refuse, telling him they can't survive without his additional pickpocketing help.
As Jiminy sets up the show in a downpour, a young boy arrives to watch. He lends Jiminy his umbrella, saying he came to hear the crickets in the countryside.
Henry arrives for a session at Dr. Hopper's office, where the doctor finds evidence that Henry may be planning to run away. He tells Henry that he's delusional and that if he keeps believing in the fairy tale stories that he'll be locked away. Henry storms out.
At the hospital, Mary Margaret Blanchard and David Nolan play hangman. Kathryn Nolan arrives with a shoebox full of pictures to try and jog David's memory.
Henry arrives at Mary Margaret's house, where Emma is staying, upset. Emma goes to Dr. Hopper's office to confront him, asking him if he was threatened by Regina. Regina calls Emma, asking where Henry is. Dr. Hopper, realizing that Henry ran away, leads Emma
Jiminy arrives in Rumpelstiltskin's lair, bringing stolen money and objects to him, along with the names of the owners. Rumpelstiltskin gives Jiminy a length of golden thread for his goods. Jiminy says he wants to be free and be someone else, but he's being held back by his parents. Rumpelstilstkin offers him a magic powder for Jiminy to feed to his parents, telling him to leave them where they are once they take the potion and he'll collect them as his fee.
Down in the sinkhole, Henry finds a piece of glass that looks suspiciously like Snow White's glass coffin. Archie and Emma arrive at the sinkhole and discover Henry inside. Archie and Henry get trapped inside the hole together.
Jiminy tries to talk his parents out of scamming a young couple with a phony plague remedy, elf tonic. Jiminy's parents succeed in selling a bottle of the tonic to the young couple. After leaving the couple's cottage, Jiminy's parents reveal that they've swapped their vial of elf tonic for Jiminy's vial of magic Rumpelstiltskin powder. Panic-stricken, Jiminy races back to the cottage, only to find the young couple turned into wooden puppets, their faces hideously contorted. Just then, the couple's son arrives back at the house and sees his transformed parents.
In the sinkhole, Archie and Henry find an old mine elevator, while a crew at the top uses explosives to open the hole, a technique that doesn't work.
Mary Margaret and David take a walk through Storybrooke as part of David's physical therapy. He is still having trouble remembering who he is and anything about his wife and their home life. David tells Mary Margaret that she's the only thing in the whole place that actually feels right. Just then, Kathryn arrives.
At the sinkhole, Emma uses Archie's dog to find the part of the mine where Archie and Henry are. Down below, Henry explains that he went into the hole to find proof that Fairy Tale Land was real. Archie admits that he doesn't think Henry is crazy, that he was influenced by Regina's strict parenting style. Henry explains to Archie that in Fairy Tale Land, it took Jiminy Cricket a long time to figure out who he wanted to be and to do the right thing; he had to listen hard.
Emma rappels into the mine and rescues Henry and Archie. When he emerges from the mine, Marco (who looks just like Geppetto) embraces Archie.
Regina thanks Archie, who tells her that he will continue to treat Henry and in his own way. He doesn't bow to her threats, telling her that she may one day be embroiled in a custody battle, during which Archie may be called upon to testify. He says he'll do his work as his conscience tells him to.
Jiminy wishes on a star for the young boy's parents be brought back. The Blue Fairy appears, explaining that it cannot be done. She tells Jiminy that the boy will need guidance. He wishes to become a cricket, and the fairy grants his wish. She charges him with helping the boy, whose name is Geppetto.
As the town's citizens prepare to leave the sinkhole site, Henry notices that the crickets have returned to Storybrooke.
In Mr. Gold's pawn shop, we see the puppets of Geppetto's parents on the counter.
At the hospital, Mary Margaret submits a letter of resignation.
At the sinkhole, Regina drops the piece of glass she found earlier into a grate leading down the mineshaft. As it falls, we see that Snow White's coffin has begun to re-form.
An ongoing list of questions that hopefully will be answered in future episodes.
-Since Archie clearly anticipates a custody battle between Regina and Emma, will he attempt to help Emma get custody of Henry?
-What does Mr. Gold intend to do with the puppets of Geppetto's parents?