Once Upon A Time Season 4 Premiere Recap With Spoilers: A Tale Of Two Sisters

Once Upon A Time returns for its fourth season, opening with the heavily advertised “A Tale of [...]

Once Upon A Time returns for its fourth season, opening with the heavily advertised "A Tale of Two Sisters," which brings Elsa (Georgina Haig), Anna (Elizabeth Lail), and the magical land of Arendelle from Disney's Frozen to Storybrooke.

The episode opens with a flashback of Elsa and Anna's parents, on a ship in a violent storm, searching for some sort of truth that will presumably explain Elsa's curse. The mother writes what she has learned on a letter in a bottle and tosses it into the ocean before they are both killed.

Then, the episode flashes forward to modern-day Arendelle, where the two sisters remember their parents fondly and discuss Anna's upcoming wedding. Meanwhile in Our World, Elsa stumbles upon Storybrooke after coming through the portal of the past in the season four finale.

Emma (Jennifer Morrison) tries to apologize to Regina (Lana Parrilla), after effectively bringing Marian (Christie Laing) back from the dead – the wife of Robin Hood (Sean Maguire), with whom Regina had finally seemed to find love. Regina refuses to accept the apology, saying that the harder Emma tries to help, the worse Regina's life becomes. Marian is furious to find that her love has been dating Regina, whom Marian still sees as the Evil Queen. Henry (Jared Gilmore) and the others wonder if this will force Regina to "become evil again."

Two of the dwarves are driving home from the ruined party when their car and radio start to break down. Before long, they are about to crash into a pedestrian: Elsa, who freezes their car solid in self-defense. Elsa slowly makes her way into town, creating a trail of ice in her wake.

Back in Arendelle, Elsa reveals their mother's wedding dress to Anna, entrusting her to wear it for the wedding, along with a snowflake necklace. The girls joke about the guests of the wedding, including reindeer Sven, while Anna tries on the dress. In the bedroom, Elsa finds a diary full of her mother's secrets.

Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) visits his son's grave in Our Time, accompanied by Belle (Emilie de Ravin). He speaks to the memory of his son at the gravestone, recalling a touching moment from their past. Rumple also condemns the monster he once was but reveals that he still has the Dark One's Dagger.

Robin pays Regina a visit at home, wanting to talk about the time-twisted love triangle. He apologizes for the way things happened and says that he doesn't consider her to be a monster. The two confirm that what happened between them was real – but Marian is Robin's wife, and so he must uphold his marriage vows.

After he leaves, Regina's fury shatters a glass mirror in her home. She picks up a shard of the broken mirror and grins at her reflection menacingly. Regina frees her Magic Mirror, Sidney Glass (Giancarlo Esposito) from prison, enlisting his help at getting rid of someone in the way of her happiness. Regina fills him in on the book, Emma, and Marian, requesting that Marian be removed.

Thrilled to be free, Sidney jumps at the chance to take out Marian, but Regina wants to be cautious. She once to go back in time – before Emma went back in time – to stop Emma from bringing Marian to the future. Regina "temporarily" traps Sidney back in the mirror and demands that he show her the exact moment, long ago, that she imprisoned Marian.

Belle shows Rumple to an unoccupied mansion on the ocean where she would like to have their honeymoon, but almost as soon as they arrive, Rumple retrieves his dagger. He keeps Belle in the dark about the weapon, instead asking her to a "Beauty and the Beast" dance. Later that night, Rumple summons a magical, Sorcerer's-Apprentice-style hat with the dagger.

Emma, Snow, and Charming are about town with baby Neal and Henry, who worries about Regina. While Henry calls Regina to make sure she isn't doing "anything evil," Emma and Snow discuss how well Henry is taking everything, and Emma reveals that she hasn't told Henry about her relationship with Hook.

Emma and Hook have almost no time to chat about their status before Grumpy (Lee Arenberg), who encountered Elsa on the road, barrels into town, shouting that they're under attack. Elsa appears, and Emma and Hook chase after her. Elsa creates a snow monster in fear.

The monster stomps through town like Godzilla, causing a Storybrooke panic and turning the attention away from Elsa, who finds a newspaper while hiding. She reads about the wedding news of Rumple and Belle, prompting her to seek Mr. Gold's pawnshop.

Emma, Hook, Marian, and Robin lure the snow monster into the woods, but none of them are able to stop it. They're each knocked unconscious by the monster, except for Marian, who sees Regina materialize nearby. Just as it seems the monster will squash them, Regina saves them all.

Once the snow and the dust settle, Hook and Emma finally have a heart-to-heart. Hook believes that Emma is avoiding him, but Emma claims she's just feeling guilty about disrupting Regina's relationship with Robin Hood.

Emma goes to talk to Regina but only ends up shouting some encouragement through the door. Regina realizes that she'll never be happy, because of the permanence of the book. Regina declares to the Mirror that she wants to find the writer, to change the book, and for "villains to get the happy endings" for once.

In Arendelle – Elsa is distraught after reading her mother's diary. She interprets what she read to mean that her parents left in fear of her. Anna thinks her in-laws, the trolls, will know the truth. Grand Pabbie (John Rhys-Davies) the troll doesn't know what their parents were doing but knows where they were going: Misthaven.

Soon after, Elsa meets with Kristoff (Scott Michael Foster) and Sven looking for Anna. He coyly replies that Anna had errands to run, picking up frosting for the wedding cake, etc., a rouse that Elsa immediately sees through. Elsa goes after Anna with Kristoff right behind her, encouraged by Sven.

Kristoff reveals that Anna didn't want him to go with her on the journey, because she preferred for him to stay with Elsa, not wanting her sister to be alone. More importantly – he reveals a more commonly known name for Misthaven: the Enchanted Forest.

In Our Time, Elsa has snuck into Mr. Gold's pawnshop, where she finds the snowflake necklace that she gave to Anna in addition to their mother's wedding dress back in Arendelle. Now that Elsa thinks she knows where Anna is, she is going to find her sister.