This week’s episode was almost all about Storybrooke’s resident wolf in girl’s clothing: Ruby.
The episode opened with the dwarves finally striking gold in the mines under the town. And by gold, I really mean magical diamonds that can be refined into fairy dust, the fuel needed to power Jefferson’s hat and retrieve Snow and Emma from the other world.
But while the townsfolk celebrate at Granny’s diner, not everyone is in a good mood. Ruby is on edge because it’s the first full moon since the curse broke, and though she once knew how to control herself as a wolf, it’s been 28 years since she’s turned. Afraid of hurting someone because she no longer has her red hood to keep her from turning, she gets Granny and Charming to lock her in a cage in the back room.
Of course, that’s not their only problem. Charming’s old nemesis King George, who goes by the name Spencer in Storybrooke, arrives to rekindle their old feud. He vows to oust Charming of his position of power in the town.
In a flashback, we see Red and Snow running from the Queen’s men. This takes place just after Snow escaped the Huntsmen and saved Red from her angry townsfolk. But Red’s cloak gets a tear and she fears changing and hurting Snow during the full moon, the two split up and plan to meet in the morning. Little do they know that someone is watching them. The next morning, Red wakes up to discover she didn’t turn in the night, but then the spy from the night before appears and steals her cloak, threatening to burn it. His name is Quinn and he’s a wolf as well. He offers to take her somewhere where she can learn to control her wolf. The place turns out to be an underground den for werewolves, all proud and in control. And the leader of the pack is a woman named Anita, who introduces herself as Red’s thought-to-be-dead mother.
In Storybrooke, Granny comes in to the diner to find that Ruby’s gone and her cage is open and covered in claw marks. She and Charming find Ruby in the woods, who immediately freaks out that she hurt someone. Though Charming assures her that she wouldn’t, he gets a call of an abandoned truck. On arrival the trio find a corpse, of a local man named Billy, ripped in two. Ruby is convinced that she killed someone and begs to be locked in jail that night t protect the town.
While Charming is on duty, Regina is left to watch Henry. He wakes up screaming from another nightmare, but this time his hand is burned from the fire in his dream. Regina calls Rumpel who explains that they aren’t nightmares; it’s a side effect of the sleeping curse. While he sleeps, Henry travels to the netherworld between life and death where he was during the curse. But Rumpel gives him a necklace that will give him control while he’s in that world.
Flashing back, Red is upset that her Granny had lied to her about her mother’s death. Anita explains that Granny took her away so that she wouldn’t find out about her wolf. Anita is proud of being a werewolf, and offers to teach Red to control it. Her advice: accept who she is and give in to the wolf. It works.
Back in Storybrooke, Ruby is chained and locked in a cell while Charming vows to find the real killer. Spencer arrives, blaming Ruby for the murder and telling Charming that he’s letting his emotions cloud his judgment. He thinks the town should decide Ruby’s fate. Charming disagrees. “If you want her, you’ll have to go through me.” Spencer is only too happy to do so.
That night Spencer leads a mob to the jail, playing on their fear of the wolf and saying he will protect them even if Charming will not. But Ruby isn’t in the jail when they arrive.
She is instead being chained up at Belle’s library for the night while Charming and Granny go look for the real killer.
Flashing back, an intruder comes into the wolves’ den. It’s Snow, looking for Red, who stops the other wolves from attacking. Snow had tracked her there, but Red explains that she wants to stay since she’s found her home and her mother. Snow, who has her own slew of mother issues, understands. At that moment, though, Quinn is hit by an arrow and dies as the Queen’s men arrive. Though they are quickly dispatched by the other wolves, Anita blames Snow for Quinn’s death since she led them there. She tells Red to kill Snow, and when she refuses she attacks Snow herself. But Red wolfs out and accidently kills Anita.
In Storybrooke, Ruby breaks out of her chains and instead locks up Belle. She plans on turning and meeting the mob, saying she deserves to be killed for what she’s done. In town, Granny uses her own latent wolf powers to track the scent of the killer and she and Charming find a car with Red’s cloak and a bloody ax in the trunk. Of course, it is Spencer’s car. He framed Ruby to get the town to turn on Charming.
The mob hears Ruby’s wolf howls and corner her in an alley. Luckily before Spencer can get her, Charming and Granny arrive. Charming explains Spencer’s lies to the mob, and carefully approaches the wolf. “Ruby, I know you. I know the real you. And I know you can control the wolf.” She doesn’t attack, and he gets the cloak on her.
While they were distracted, Spencer escaped. Ruby and Charming find him in the woods in front of a fire. As they arrive, he throws Jefferson’s hat onto the flames, removing Charming’s one chance of getting his family back and leaving him devastated. He doesn’t know how to explain this news to Henry, but Ruby assures him that she knows him and knows he will find a way to get them back. She then happily leaves to run free as a wolf, confident in her control once more.
Flashing back, Red buries her mother and tells Snow that she is her real family for supporting both sides of her, human and wolf.
In the present in the Other World, Aurora wakes from her nightmare. She explains to Snow and Emma that she saw the boy again, and that he stopped the fire and told her his name was Henry.