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Breaking Glass

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"Breaking Glass" is the fifth episode of season four on Once Upon a Time. It is the 71st episode overall. It aired on October 26, 2014. The backstory was that of Emma Swan.


Opening Sequence

The ice bridge created by Elsa is featured in the forest.

In the Characters' Past

In Emma's previous life as a teen in our world, it's 1998 in Hopkins, Minnesota, and she is shoplifting Pop Tarts. She is then saved by another girl, who uses a lie to keep store security from arresting her. Afterwards, the girl tells Emma she needs a stolen credit card to steal smarter, and when they see a man chasing after them, a van pulls up, allowing them to escape. The girl then introduces herself to Emma as Lily. Later on Lily sees Emma eating her sandwich fast, as Emma explains that bigger kids would steal food at the orphanage, and added that she ran away from Boston after Cecilia (who was previously seen driving away from the orphanage in a flashback from the previous season) found a family, while Lily admits that the person chasing them was from Social Services. The two then spot a lake that featured homes and break into one of them. After taking break from playing video games, Lily shows Emma a star on her wrist and makes her a copy. Lily then asks Emma to swear to her that they be friends for life. Emma then find a video recorder and tape themselves.

Later that night, Emma wakes up and tells Lily that someone has shown up in the house. As Emma takes a device from the fireplace, the person with the flashlight is revealed to be Lily's father, and Emma is stunned that Lily lied to her. It turns out Lily's parents were worried sick about her. As Emma is about to be taken into custody by Social Services, she refuses Lily's note, as she admits to having been adopted but that she hated her family. Emma then wipes the star from her wrist and walks away.

In Storybrooke

In the forest, Sarah has started conjuring an ice warrior as she prepares to make another move on both Emma and Elsa, who are looking through files to find out more about their connection to the Snow Queen. But Elsa on the other hand is frustrated that they aren’t out looking for her, thinking that the Snow Queen somehow stole their memories of her. As Hook helps the ladies by bringing in more files, a neglected Will complains they’ve forgotten his dinner, but instead of the meat and potatoes he was demanding, Emma hands him a pop tart she’s already nibbled on instead. Will is already having a issue with Hook, as he is ready to take Henry out for sailing, claiming that Hook is doing it for brownie points for Emma, only to have Hook shut Will up. After he kisses Emma and leaves, Elsa shows Emma photos of her and Henry, which Emma concludes came from Regina when she was spying on them, only to come across another photo that shows Emma with Sarah. This prompts the women to pay a visit to Regina at her vault, where she is summoning Sidney to find Sarah, but after refusing to take no for a answer by claiming that he has not found The Snow Queen, Regina warns Sidney to make it a priority or he'll regret it, and he complies. As Elsa and Emma arrive to the vault, Emma, still blaming herself for bringing Marian back, wants to work things out with Regina, saying she feels like they are in a bad place and wants to fix it. Elsa suggest that Emma talk to Regina alone to try and work on it. However, the rift between the two women continues to linger, even as Emma, after asking Regina about the photos and to seek out Sidney's help, offers to help Regina revive Marian, with Regina telling Emma that she'll never have her back and vice versa. As this plays out, Elsa starts seeing what looks like Anna in the cemetery calling out for help, and she gets out of the vehicle. Emma then races out and finds her missing, followed by Regina, who then opens her compact mirror to see Sidney, who informs her that he found Sarah.

Wasting no time tracking Elsa to the east of the toll bridge, Emma and Regina walk through the woods when Emma asks her what tracking magic she’s using. However, Regina chastises Emma for not honing her magic; Emma, on the other hand, says she’s learned better from Regina, telling her that helping Robin save Marian is admirable, which Regina scoffs as sucking up to her, saying she’s not going to let her win her over because she ruined her life and there’s no coming back from it even if Emma thinks she didn’t mean to do it. She tells her to learn to live with it: "Welcome to my world," as Regina puts it mildly. As Elsa races through the woods calling for her sister, she encounters a cliff edge and sees what she believes is Anna across the divide, and as she tells her that in coming over, Elsa conjures an ice bridge and goes racing across it, only to be stunned as she sees her sister disappear. Elsa then calls out for Anna and finds her standing in a snow field, and as expected, just as she hugs her sister and says she’s glad to find her, Sarah turns Anna into an ice block that disappears, then conjures ice chains onto Elsa and tells her that the Anna she saw was a illusion. Sarah says she needs Elsa, telling her she should have learned to control her magic and the ice chains will go stronger with Elsa’s fear, while at the same time keep her out of the picture by "building" a snowman. As Emma and Regina reach the ice bridge, the two are held back by a wind gust, which Regina discovers was coming from Sidney, who is now under the control of The Snow Queen, and after crossing it before it crumbles, the two discover a ice warrior waiting for them, and after they fail in taking it out, both Emma and Regina combine their powers and destroy the monster. They learn that Sarah had this trap all planned for the women; she takes the mirror from Regina, and then chokes Emma and Regina. After Elsa overcome her fears by talking her way out of the chain allowing her to break free, she comes to Emma and Regina's aid and saves them. Satisfied with her scheme, Sarah tells Elsa that she is pleased with her overcoming her fears, but as Elsa issues a fight and Regina issues a challenge, Sarah disappears. Regina confesses to Emma about Sidney and her plan to kill Marian, but admits that she still doesn't want to mend fences with Emma and disappears even as Elsa tries to mediate. As Elsa tells Emma that she knows that Anna is still out there, she reminds Emma not to give up on Regina. Emma later returns to the Vault to talk to Regina about her past encounter with a friend that she pushed away because she lied to her, pointing out that she doesn't want to make that mistake and won't trying. Regina tells Emma to stop there and says despite their differences she does not want to kill Emma, to which Emma takes it as a start.

In between the scenarios, Mary Margaret asks Belle to babysit Neal for a while as she and David decide to go for a hike together, despite Mary Margaret's reluctance to leave Neal with another person but David tells her not to worry. In a effort to calm her fears, David gives Belle a walkie-talkie so they can contact her. When they arrive to the Sheriff's office David noices Will has escaped from his cell, giving him a idea to chase Will down like back in the days in The Enchanted Forest, but Mary Margaret thinks she ought to stay and take care of Neal, so David takes off after him. Moments later, Mary Margaret hears someone digging near the shore and spots Will, who was looking for a map that he had in his sack but can not find it.. Mary Margaret then discovers that David helped Will escaped after admitting to getting drunk and breaking into the library. Mary Margaret immediately pardons Will. As David returns to find out about Neal, he learns from Mary Margaret about Will but says that Will escaped on his own, saying that Will earned the pardon.

Back at the forest, Sarah releases Sidney from the mirror but tells him it's not him she wants, it's the mirror it'self because it contains dark magic and adds that mirrors reflect mood, desire and essence, serving as the temporary receptacle for the fraction of our soul. Sarah says she will have what has been denied to her for a long time. She refused to elaborate to Sidney any more details, and opens a portal to a ice fortress for Sidney so he can enjoy his freedom, reminding him to take a warm coat because "it's about to get cooler around here." Sarah then takes the broken glass piece and puts it into a large mirror, which made it complete. This puts everything in motion for Sarah to have the one thing she has desired: a family. And as Hook returns to a surprised Emma and to offer a drink, she takes out a file box and opens the contents, among them a video camera which featured Lily. Unfortunately, in a surprise twist not even Emma saw coming, the video now features a new footage of a teen Emma chasing two boys who took her camera, then hears a woman telling them to give it back to Emma. The woman is none other than Sarah Fisher, who is revealed to be Emma's foster mother from our world.




Guest Starring

  • Abby Ross as a young Emma Swan


  • Anna made her first appearance in Storybrooke.

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Shows: Once Upon a Time | Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
Books: Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the Queen | Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale | Once Upon a Time - Behind the Magic | Once Upon a Time: Out of the Past | Once Upon a Time: Red's Untold Tale | Once Upon a Time: Regina Rising


Once Upon a Time: Emma Swan | Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchard | Prince Charming/David Nolan | Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold | The Evil Queen/Regina Mills | Belle/Lacey French | Killian Jones/Hook | Henry Mills | Happy | Sneezy/Tom Clark | Bashful | Doc | Dopey | Sleepy/Walter | Jiminy Cricket/Archie Hopper | Stealthy | Victor Frankenstein/Dr. Whale | Aurora | Prince Phillip | Fa Mulan | Blue Fairy | Widow Lucas/Granny | King George/Albert Spencer | Genie/Magic Mirror/Sidney Glass | Mad Hatter/Jefferson | Milah | Prince Henry/The Valet | Maid Marian | Knave of Hearts | Sheriff of Nottingham/Keith | Fairy Godmother | Peter Pan/Malcolm/The Pied Piper | Wendy Darling | Ariel | Zelena/The Wicked Witch of the West | Glinda/The Good Witch of the South | The Wizard of Oz/Walsh | Elsa the Snow Queen | Anna | Kristoff | Hans | Grand Pabbie | Sven | Tinker Bell | Blackbeard | Lumière | Abigail/Kathryn Nolan | Ursula | Red Riding Hood/The Wolf/Ruby | Huntsman/Sheriff Graham | Baelfire/Neal Cassidy | Pinocchio/August W. Booth | Frederick/Jim | Severe Nurse | Mayor Tomkins | Quinn | Anita | Hansel and Gretel/Nicholas and Ava Zimmer | The Woodcutter/Michael Tillman | Martin | Myrna | Stephen | Donna | Prince James | Jack | Blind Witch | King Xavier | Peter | Siren | Pongo | William Smee | Dorothy Gale | The Witch of the East | Gaston | Greg Mendell | Tamara | Geppetto/Marco | The Dragon | Rapunzel | The King/Mitchell Herman | Rapunzel's Mother | Rapunzel's Father | King Leopold | Queen Eva | Lost Boys | John Darling | Michael Darling | The Shadow | The Sheriff of Hamelin | King Midas | Nana | Mary Darling | George Darling | Medusa | Gus/Billy | Marshmallow | Zoso | Prince Thomas/Sean Herman | Prince Eric | Little Bo Peep | The Apprentice | Ingrid/Sarah Fisher | Lily Page | Nova | Seer | Grace | Daniel Colter | Lancelot | Colette | Stephen | Liam Jones | Oaken | The King of Arendelle | Queen Gerda | Cruella De Vil | Poseidon | The Duke of Weselton | Hans' Brothers | Chernabog | Briar Rose | King Stefan | Isaac/The Author | Madeline | Merlin/The Sorcerer | Merida | Queen Eleanor | King Fergus | Harris, Hubert and Hamish | The Witch | Young MacGuffin | Young Macintosh | Wee Dingwall | Ruth | King Arthur | Sir Kay | Guinevere | Charon | Brennan Jones | Megara | Hercules | Hades | Cerberus | The Scarecrow | Cleo Fox | Auntie Em | Dr. Jekyll | Mr. Hyde | Evil Regina | Aladdin | Gideon Gold | Jasmine | Iago | Captain Nemo | Lady Tremaine | Clorinda | Tisbe | Jacob | Oracle | Royal Guards | The Sultan | Genie | Black Fairy
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Alice | Cyrus | Percy/The White Rabbit | Jabberwocky | Silvermist | The Sultan/The Old Prisoner | Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum | Mrs. Rabbit | Elizabeth/Lizard | Amara
Both series: Will Scarlet/The Knave of Hearts | Anastasia/The Red Queen | Cinderella/Ashley Boyd | Robin Hood | Little John | Friar Tuck | Grumpy/Leroy | Cora/The Queen of Hearts | Caterpillar | Maleficent | Jafar | Dr. Lydgate


Season One: "Pilot" | "The Thing You Love Most" | "Snow Falls" | "The Price of Gold" | "That Still Small Voice" | "The Shepherd" | "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" | "Desperate Souls" | "True North" | "7:15 A.M." | "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree" | "Skin Deep" | "What Happened to Frederick" | "Dreamy" | "Red-Handed" | "Heart of Darkness" | "Hat Trick" | "The Stable Boy" | "The Return" | "The Stranger" | "An Apple Red as Blood" | "A Land Without Magic"
Season Two: "Broken" | "We Are Both" | "Lady of the Lake" | "The Crocodile" | "The Doctor" | "Tallahassee" | "Child of the Moon" | "Into the Deep" | "Queen of Hearts" | "The Cricket Game" | "The Outsider" | "In the Name of the Brother" | "Tiny" | "Manhattan" | "The Queen Is Dead" | "The Miller's Daughter" | "Welcome to Storybrooke" | "Selfless, Brave and True" | "Lacey" | "The Evil Queen" | "Second Star to the Right" | "And Straight On 'Til Morning"
Season Three: "The Heart of the Truest Believer" | "Lost Girl" | "Quite a Common Fairy" | "Nasty Habits" | "Good Form" | "Ariel" | "Dark Hollow" | "Think Lovely Thoughts" | "Save Henry" | "The New Neverland" | "Going Home" | "New York City Serenade" | "Witch Hunt" | "The Tower" | "Quiet Minds" | "It's Not Easy Being Green" | "The Jolly Roger" | "Bleeding Through" | "A Curious Thing" | "Kansas" | "Snow Drifts" | "There's No Place Like Home"
Season Four: "A Tale of Two Sisters" | "White Out" | "Rocky Road" | "The Apprentice" | "Breaking Glass" | "Family Business" | "The Snow Queen" | "Smash the Mirror" | "Fall" | "Shattered Sight" | "Heroes and Villains" | "Darkness on the Edge of Town" | "Unforgiven" | "Enter the Dragon" | "Poor Unfortunate Soul" | "Best Laid Plans" | "Heart of Gold" | "Sympathy for the De Vil" | "Lily" | "Mother" | "Operation Mongoose"
Season Five: "The Dark Swan" | "The Price" | "Siege Perilous" | "The Broken Kingdom" | "Dreamcatcher" | "The Bear and the Bow" | "Nimue" | "Birth" | "The Bear King" | "Broken Heart" | "Swan Song" | "Souls of the Departed" | "Labor of Love" | "Devil's Due" | "The Brothers Jones" | "Our Decay" | "Her Handsome Hero" | "Ruby Slippers" | "Sisters" | "Firebird" | "Last Rites" | "Only You" | "An Untold Story"
Season Six: "The Savior" | "A Bitter Draught" | "The Other Shoe" | "Strange Case" | "Street Rats" | "Dark Waters" | "Heartless" | "I'll Be Your Mirror" | "Changelings" | "Wish You Were Here" | "Tougher Than the Rest" | "Murder Most Foul | "Ill-Boding Patterns" | "Page 23" | "A Wondrous Place" | "Mother's Little Helper"
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: "Down the Rabbit Hole" | "Trust Me" | "Forget Me Not" | "The Serpent" | "Heart of Stone" | "Who's Alice?" | "Bad Blood" | "Home" | "Nothing to Fear" | "Dirty Little Secrets" | "Heart of the Matter" | "To Catch a Thief" | "And They Lived..."


Once Upon a Time: Dark Palace | Dark Castle/Rumplestiltskin's Castle | Library | Prince Thomas' Castle | Cinderella's Chateau | Dwarves' Cottage | Dwarf Mines | King Stefan's Castle | The Beanstalk | Giant's Lair | Neverland | Skull Rock | New York | Boston, Massachusetts | Land of Oz | Yellow Brick Road | Emerald City | Arendelle | Arendelle Castle | Wandering Oaken's Trading Post and Sauna | Bald Mountain | DunBroch | Witch's Cottage | Castle DunBroch | The Sultan's Palace | Hamelin | Ring of Stones | Vault of the Dark One | Underworld | Mount Olympus | Poppy Fields | Auntie's Chicken & Waffles | Cave of Wonders
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Wonderland Castle | The Mad Hatter's House | White Rabbit's House | Underland | Tulgey Wood
Both series: Storybrooke | Maine | Enchanted Forest | Forbidden Fortress | Wonderland | Wonderland Maze | Agrabah | Sherwood Forest


Once Upon a Time: Once Upon a Time (Book) | Maleficent's Staff | Magic Wand | Glass Slipper | Poisoned Apple | Spinning Wheel | Magic Lamp | Dark One's Dagger | Chipped Cup | Jefferson's Hat | Captain Hook's Hooks | Enchanted Candle | Pixie Dust | Dreamshade | Pandora's Box | Silver Slippers | Sorcerer Hat | Enchanted Broom | Trident | Enchanted Shell | Heroes and Villains (Book) | Merida's Bow | Magical Rose | Excalibur | Olympian Crystal | Cinderella's Dress | Golden Scarab Beetle
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Vorpal Blade | Jafar's Lamp
Both series: Jafar's Snake Staff | Enchanted Hearts

Songs Featured

Give a Little Whistle | Heigh-Ho | With a Smile and a Song | Beauty and the Beast | Part of Your World | Fathoms Below | Cruella De Vil | Some Day My Prince Will Come


The Jolly Roger | Magic Carpet | Cruella's car | Nautilus


Fairies | Unicorns | Dragons | Bridge Trolls | Wraith | Ogres | Mermaids | Kraken | Flying Monkeys | Rock Trolls | Will O' the Wisps | Furies | Munchkins

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