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"Once Upon a Time" The Doctor (TV Episode 2012) - Plot Summary Poster

(TV Series)

(2012)

Plot

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Summaries

  • Mary Margaret, Emma, Mulan and Aurora return to their camp only to find everyone dead. Back in Storybrooke, Regina begins to see a ghost from her past, as flashbacks show her training with Rumplestiltskin.

    ab1995

Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • In the Enchanted Forest, Aurora, Mulan, Emma and Snow return from facing down Cora to find their entire camp dead. The people all had their hearts ripped out by Cora. They find one survivor, it's Captain Hook. Mulan knows Hook as a blacksmith who came to the camp a few months ago, but Emma is suspicious. He claims he survived by hiding under the dead bodies. Emma says she can tell when people are lying. A moment later, she puts a knife to his throat and asks who he really is.

    Emma then ties Hook to a tree and summons ogres to make him talk. He gives in and tells them he's Captain Hook and Cora wanted him to gather info on Storybrooke so she knows what to expect when she gets there. She plans to use the enchanted ashes to open a portal. As the ogres approach, Hook offers to help Emma and Snow if they promise to take him to Storybrooke. Cora needs an enchanted compass to make the portal work and he offers to lead them to it. Emma asks why he wants to go to Storybrooke. "To exact revenge on the man who took my hand, Rumplestiltskin," Hook says.

    Hook leads the ladies to the compass. Emma and Snow are sure it's a trap and are hoping to stay one step ahead of Cora. They see a giant beanstalk leading up into the sky. "It's not the climbing you need to worry about, it's the giant at the top," Hook says.

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    In flashbacks to the Fairytale Land, Rumplestiltskin teaches Regina how to use magic on a unicorn. She freezes it in place and he tells her to take its heart, reminding her no harm will come to it, unless she wants it. She tries but recoils because it's innocent. Rumplestiltskin takes it and explains that when you take a creature's heart, you're controlling it. He tosses her the heart and tells her to kill it. She looks at the still breathing unicorn, but hesitates. He asks what's holding her back. Regina goes to visit her true love, Daniel.

    Rumplestiltskin refuses to teach Regina more magic until she tells him why she wants to learn. She confesses she wants to bring someone back from the dead to have true happiness. But he says "dead is dead."

    The Mad Hatter then appears and presents Rumple with a glowing orb, but says he couldn't get the other thing that Rumple needs to get to another land without magic. Overhearing Rumples discussion with Regina, Jefferson says he knows a wizard that can bring back the dead. He'll bring him to Regina if she gets him a royal passport.

    Later, Jefferson takes Regina to see a wizard who, he says, is unfamiliar with their ways and their magic. We recognize him as Storybrooke's Dr. Whale. He asks to see the "patient." He examines Daniel and says his condition is ideal but his procedure is experimental. He wants a strong magical heart in exchange, but Regina refuses to use magic "for evil." But she knows someone who can help.

    She then takes Jefferson and the Doctor to see her mother's fireplace, the entryway to Cora's vault. They follow the sounds of the beating hearts. The walls are lined with them. The Doctor takes one.

    On a dark and stormy night, the Doctor prepares to revive Daniel, but tells them he has to do it alone. Jefferson and Regina watch from outside a tent as the Doctor seems to plunge the heart into Daniel's chest while lightning strikes the tent he's working in. The Doctor then tells Regina he failed, because the heart wasn't strong enough to withstand the procedure.

    Afterwards, a more evil-looking Regina interrupts Rumple working with his new magic pupil. When he says he needed someone more dedicated, she rips his new pupil's heart out and crushes it to dust.

    Later, Jefferson takes the Doctor into the forest to see Rumplestiltskin, pleased with himself for having fooled Regina. He still has the beating heart. "Thanks to your effort, I've made my monster. Now I do hope you'll be able to make yours," Rumplestiltskin says.

    The Doctor says he's not making a monster and what he's using goes far beyond magic. Rumplestiltskin asks if he wants to wager on which is more powerful, magic or his methods. The Doctor declines. Jefferson takes him back to his land.

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    In Storybrooke, Dr. Whale approaches David, who promptly decks him for sleeping with Snow while they were cursed. With that out of the way, the doctor asks if David is trying to build a portal back to their land. Dr. Whale wants to know if the whole land still exists.

    Meanwhile, Regina visits Dr. Hopper to discuss her difficulties in resisting the use of magic. He commends her for the effort. Dr. Whale busts in demanding she send him back to his brother, who isn't in Storybrooke. "Your curse only brought the living," Whale says. "Well then I'm sorry for your loss," Regina says. Hopper kicks Whale out, then he asks Regina if she was telling the truth. "I only brought who I wanted," she says.

    Regina tells Hopper about Daniel, who's dead but preserved with an enchantment spell in her family mausoleum. Hopper advises her to try to let go of the past, but she's not ready and leaves. She drives home in the pouring rain and lightning and thinks she sees Daniel on the street.

    The next day, David takes Henry to the stables to introduce him to his "steed", his first step towards becoming a proper knight. He has to learn to take care of him before he can ride him. David leaves Henry with the horse.

    Regina visits her family mausoleum. She finds Daniel's crypt empty. Later, Regina goes to the hospital basement, looking for Dr. Whale. She finds the morgue ransacked and Dr. Whale knocked out on the floor. He is under a table, with a severed arm on it. She knows he took Daniel and one of her hearts. He admits he brought him back to life, but says he's not Daniel.

    David finds Regina waiting outside Dr. Whale's hospital room. She tells him that Dr. Whale brought Daniel back. "He practices something more powerful than magic, or so I was told. All he needed was a heart, and he took one of mine," Regina says. "You have hearts here?" David asks. Regina wants to find Daniel and thinks he might be going to the last place he remembers, where he met her - the stables. David realizes Henry is there.

    At the stables, Henry is brushing his steed when the horses all start to freak out and he gets knocked over. Daniel appears. Henry tries to talk to Daniel, who is confused and out of sorts. He picks Henry up by the neck. Regina and David arrive and free Henry. David locks Daniel in a stable and asks Regina to use magic to subdue him, but she refuses. Daniel pounds on the stables from inside and is close to breaking the door, so David takes out his gun. Regina begs him to let her talk to Daniel. She's sure he won't hurt her.

    Regina opens the stable door and stares longingly at her once dead fiancé. He approaches her slowly but then grabs her around the neck. She tells him she loves him and he snaps out of it and recognizes her. But he's in pain and asks her to let him go. She doesn't want to lose him again. He's wracked with pain and tells her to love again. Then he starts to come after her again. She uses magic to freeze him in place, then makes him disappear.

    Later, Regina visits Dr. Hopper to confess she used magic.

    Meanwhile, a badly wounded Dr. Whale visits Mr. Gold carrying a cooler... that contains his arm. He wants Gold to reattach it. He thought that if he brought Daniel back, Regina would return him to his world. "I want to see my brother, to try to bring him back again," Whale says. "The first time ended badly, I need to return and try it once more," he says. In exchange for reattaching his arm, Gold demands Dr. Whale "say it". He gives in: "I need magic." With a wave of his hand, Gold reattaches Whale's arm, and calls him Victor.

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    In a final flashback to another (black and white) land on another stormy night, the Doctor returns to his lab atop a castle with lightning striking all around. He presents his lab assistant with "the final piece of the puzzle", the magic heart.He flips a switch and lightning courses through the body on his table. "It's alive," he says. Welcome back, brother," he says to the stitched together corpse.

    "It's magic, Dr. Frankenstein," his assistant says.

    "No, not magic. Science," he says.

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