This episode centers around Emma, answering some of the lingering questions about who she was before she became the jaded bounty hunter we know today. In Fairytale Land, Emma and Hook climb a beanstalk to a land where giants once roamed. Thanks to Jack, the giant population has been reduced to one. Jorge Garcia (Lost, Alcatraz) guest stars as the last remaining giant, who Emma and Hook must face if they have any hope of finding the magical compass. According to Hook, the compass is needed to find Storybrooke and, when used with the ashes from the magical wardrobe, should be able to open a portal to there. I still cannot figure out whether Hook is supposed to be "evil" like Cora or if he is just an opportunist but I am hoping for the latter. Questionable characters tend to be far more interesting than the usual spoon-fed "good" or "evil" heroes and villains traditionally found in fairytales.
Flashbacks, set eleven years ago, show Emma stealing what appears to be the same yellow Volkswagen Beetle she brought to Storybrooke but Emma gets a little more than she bargained for when a man pops up from the backseat. Michael Raymond-James (True Blood) is finally revealed as Henry's father, Neal Cassidy, who is Emma's former lover and partner in crime. Michael and Jennifer are adorable together and I look forward to seeing more scenes with them.
August Booth secretly convinces Neal to leave Emma so she can follow through with her destiny. Neal initially refuses but August shows him something in his suitcase that convinces Neal he is telling the truth leaving the audience to wonder what, exactly, was in the suitcase. If Neal is Bae, as some believe, perhaps it was something related to Rumplestiltskin. For all we know, it could have been a secret hatch or the soul of Marcellus Wallace. Despite the obvious lack of effort that went into making Emma, Neal, and August look eleven years younger, I still enjoyed the flashbacks.
In a surprise twist, after Emma recovered the magic compass from the seemingly misunderstood giant (insert eye roll here), Emma chained Hook to the wall and left the giant to babysit him for awhile so the girls could get a head start. That cheeky little minx!