"Once Upon a Time" Lady of the Lake (TV Episode 2012) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Emma, Snow White, Mulan and Aurora head for Snow White's castle to find the wardrobe that sent Emma to earth as a baby hoping they can use it to get back to Storybrooke. In the past, Snow finds out what the gender of her first born will be.

  • Mary Margaret, Emma, Mulan and Aurora head for Snow White's castle to find a portal to Storybrooke, as flashbacks show King George curse Snow, preventing her from being able to conceive a child.



The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • In the Enchanted Forest, Past Red Riding Hood alerts the Prince and Snow that the King's forces are attacking, they have a new general nicknamed The Leviathan. An arrow flies into their tent, the army approaches. Charming and Snow split up, planning to meet two days later at his mother's cabin.

    Snow runs off but is almost immediately caught by the masked general. He reveals himself: he's Lancelot, formerly of the Round Table.

    Present Day, Enchanted Forest Snow lies unconscious in the pit with Cora and Emma. Cora explains she's there because her daughter cast the curse, but she says "that apple fell very far from the tree" and Emma has nothing to fear.

    Snow wakes up and immediately says otherwise. "As bad as you think Regina is, this woman is worse," she tells Emma.

    Cora assures Snow that whatever Regina told them isn't true. Emma wants to hear her out, given their lack of options. Someone throws down a rope; their leader requests an audience.

    In Storybrooke Henry has dubbed the mission to find Emma and Snow "Operation Scorpion." Operation Viper was his second choice. David tells Henry that Jefferson can't help them and he'll need magic to repair the hat -- and he wants to keep Henry far from magic.

    Henry heads toward the bus for school, but doesn't get on it.

    Enchanted Forest, Present They meet the leader, Lancelot. Snow immediately runs to hug him. He apologizes for putting her in the pit, he didn't know it was she. Snow assures Emma they can trust him.

    Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) chafes at Lancelot being friendly with Snow and Emma, whom she blames for Phillip's death. Mulan warns her to tread carefully. Aurora contemplates her knife.

    Lancelot offers the ladies chimera (one part lion, one part serpent, one part goat). "Like turducken?" Emma asks.

    Lancelot doesn't know why people in that region were untouched by the curse. He tells them leaving is unwise, the ogres have returned. "Ogres? As in 'fe fi fo fum?'" Emma asks. "Those would be giants," Snow says. Ogres are worse.

    Lancelot says there are no portals anymore, but Snow knows of one. She doesn't want to talk about it near Cora, even though he assures her the curse stripped Cora of her powers. He agrees to let her go, if they take Mulan for protection.

    Past, Enchanted Forest Lancelot brings Snow before the King George, Charming's father. She drinks from the water she is offered. He tells her he was in love once, but his love was cursed and couldn't have children. He wants Charming to know his pain. Snow looks at her water goblet. Lancelot and Snow can't believe the king just poisoned Snow.

    Present Mulan, Snow and Emma arm up. Mulan tries to get Emma to take the threat of ogres seriously. As Aurora eyes them leaving, Snow tells Emma her plan involves the same wardrobe she sent Emma through as a baby.

    Storybrooke Henry finds Jefferson, the Mad Hatter, contemplating a drawing of his missing daughter. He says he can't help, but tells Henry to check Regina's vault. Henry didn't know it was in Storybrooke.

    Jefferson isn't planning to find his daughter because he feels guilty for leaving her, but Henry urges him to, saying not knowing is the worst.

    Henry calls Regina to ask her to meet for lunch. She leaves for Granny's and he sneaks into her office. He takes out her keys.

    Enchanted Forest, Present Snow and Mulan decide to go find firewood and water. Snow tells Emma to stay behind since she's out of her element and doesn't even know that ogres are blind and hunt by sound.

    Enchanted Forest, Past Snow is tossed back into the forest by the king's men. She hears someone coming and knocks him off his horse. It's Lancelot, trying to make amends for what the king did to her. She doesn't want to trust him, but he knows about Charming's cabin and says the king already sent men there.

    At Charming's cabin, he hears horses coming and sends his mother, Ruth, inside. He's soon surrounded by the king's men. He ducks their arrows and fights them off. He fells them all but when he looks up Ruth is standing there with an arrow in her chest. She wanted to check on him. Snow and Lancelot run up.

    Enchanted Forest, Present At night, Aurora sneaks up on Snow from behind and holds a knife to her throat. Snow silently flips her over her shoulder and tackles her to the ground, quietly explaining she didn't cause Phillip's death and Aurora needs to channel her anger elsewhere. Mulan comes and says she'll deal with her.

    Emma finds them and fires a shot into the air, trying to protect her mother. Snow freaks out. The ogres heard. The women start running.

    They split up and are running away when Emma trips. A giant, towering bald, growling ogre comes out of the woods and approaches Emma as she cowers on the ground. She aims her gun, but the ogre effortlessly swats it away. Emma is defenseless.

    Snow comes out and yells for its attention. It growls and approaches her. Snow aims her bow and shoots it in the eye, the only way to kill it. Emma is impressed. Snow suggests Emma listen to her next time.

    Enchanted Forest, Past Lancelot examines Ruth's wound and says it's poisoned, they need an antidote. Charming suggests a trip to visit Lake Nostas.

    They head out on the road. Ruth thanks Snow for giving her son something to believe in. She has a charm that will predict the sex of Snow's first baby, even before she's pregnant, but it doesn't work on Snow. Snow tells her about the king's curse, but Ruth assures her the Lake can cure her, too.

    Charming, Lancelot and Snow arrive at the Lake, but it's just a barren patch of land.

    Storybrooke Henry goes to Regina's father's tomb and notices the marble casket moves. He pushes it aside and goes down to Regina's vault. He opens a box and the poisonous snakes that the genie gave Regina pop up.

    David comes out and shuts it. Regina called him after Henry stood her up; she noticed her keys were missing and let David go get him. David promises they'll do things together.

    Enchanted Forest, Past Charming thinks it's his fault the lake is dry because he killed the siren. Lancelot looks for any remaining drops of water and finds enough for one sip in an egg shell.

    Ruth wants Snow to have it, saying that's what parents do. But Snow refuses, so Ruth drinks it.

    Enchanted Forest, Present Snow and the group reach her old palace. The wardrobe is still there, but the room is in tatters. It was Emma's nursery.

    Past Ruth isn't being healed, there's no more magic there. She says her only regret is that she won't be around to see Snow marry Charming. Snow asks Lancelot if he has the power as a former Knight of the Round Table. He conducts the ceremony, in which they each drink from a cup to seal the union. Ruth lives just long enough to see it.

    Present The wardrobe needs magic to work. Snow wants to take it back to camp. Lancelot walks in. He says he came when heard of the ogre attack and just sent Mulan and Aurora to find food.

    He's interested in the wardrobe, but says he just wants Snow to be able to use it to get back to her husband and Henry.

    Snow draws her sword, knowing Emma only told one person here Henry's name. Lancelot changes into Cora.

    Lancelot is dead, Cora killed him a long time ago and has been posing as him ever since. She uses magic to pin Snow to the wall and wrap Emma up on the carpet. With Cora distracted, Emma opens up her bullets and uses her knife to spark them and start a fire in the wardrobe. Cora releases Snow to try to extinguish it. Mulan charges in and attacks Cora.

    "We're not finished here," Cora tells Snow as she disappears in a cloud of purple haze. They're left alone to watch the wardrobe burn.

    Past Charming is excited to start a family with Snow some day. He takes out his mother's charm that's supposed to swing to indicate the sex of the baby. Snow starts to tell him her bad curse news but notices it swinging. Charming asks what the baby will be, as he's forgotten how it works. Snow says it will be a surprise. Charming resolves to regroup the army and retake the kingdom.

    Snow tries to figure out what happened and looks to Lancelot. Ruth only pretended to drink then had him put the magic water in the wedding chalice. She tells him they're having a girl.

    Present Mulan and Aurora want to know what they're going to do now that they know Lancelot isn't leading them. Mulan suggests Snow can help them retake the kingdom, and they'll help Snow and Emma find a way home.

    Emma apologizes to Snow for torching the wardrobe; she just wanted to keep Cora from Henry. Snow completely understands.

    Emma confesses to Snow that she was angry at her for leaving for a long time, but seeing her nursery she understands that Snow gave up everything to give her a chance. She's not used to someone putting her first. They share a good mother-daughter hug.

    After they leave, Cora reappears and scoops up ash from the destroyed wardrobe. It glimmers with a flicker of magic.

    Storybrooke Jefferson waits for his daughter to get off the bus and calls out to her. She recognizes him and runs to him. "You found me, I knew you would!" she says.

    David gives Henry a present so he can help him on his quest -- wooden swords to practice with.

    From a car across the street, King George watches them.

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