In the second-season opener, the fairy-tale characters begin to remember their past lives, yet they remain in the present, and magic enters the town thanks to Mr. Gold. Meanwhile, in the fairy-tale world, Prince Phillip awakens a beauty named Aurora.
Regina is determined to get her powers back; David keeps looking for Mary Margaret and Emma; and the seven dwarfs learn why it's unwise to leave town. Meanwhile, in the fairy-tale world, bride-to-be Regina meets a man who promises her magic and freedom.
Emma and Mary Margaret get help searching for a gateway back to Storybrooke; and Henry advises Jefferson to reunite with Paige. Meanwhile, in the fairy-tale world, King George poisons Snow White as she prepares to meet Prince Charming's mother.
A fed-up Belle threatens to leave Mr. Gold, and then she encounters someone from her past. Meanwhile, the dwarfs mine for fairy dust; and, back in fairy-tale land, Rumplestiltskin tries to prevent his wife from being taken by a gang of ruthless pirates.
Regina thinks she's being haunted by a ghost as she attempts to suppress her magic to please Henry. Meanwhile, Emma's hesitant to believe a supposed survivor of an ogre massacre; and back in the fairy-tale world, Regina struggles to master the dark arts.
Emma embarks on a dangerous adventure with Captain Hook as they climb up a beanstalk to snatch a magical compass from a deadly giant. Meanwhile, details from Emma's dark past come to light when she runs into a fellow thief.
Ruby is the main suspect in a savage killing during a full moon. Meanwhile, Decker considers revealing David's true background; Leroy uncovers a prized item in the mines; and in the fairy-tale world, Red Riding Hood discovers people similar to her.
A determined Cora tries to snatch the compass from Mary Margaret and Emma. Meanwhile, Regina and Mr. Gold endanger David, hoping this will be a catalyst for him to connect with Mary Margaret and assist her and Emma with finding a way back to Storybrooke.
Regina and Mr. Gold try to prevent Cora's arrival in Storybrooke by making the portal dangerous, jeopardizing Emma and Mary Margaret's lives in the process. Meanwhile, back in the fairy-tale world, Captain Hook meets the Queen of Hearts.
Regina is blamed for the death of a much-admired citizen, but Emma thinks she may not be guilty. Meanwhile, back in fairy-tale land, Snow White and Prince Charming plot a public execution for the Evil Queen.
Mr. Gold wants to search for Bae, so he tests a new spell on a reluctant guinea pig. Meanwhile, Belle runs into Hook; Mary Margaret and David look for a larger home; and back in fairy-tale land, Belle teams up with Mulan to conquer a terrifying creature.
Dr. Whale must operate to save the injured stranger, but some townsfolk want the stranger to die, fearing he could reveal their real identities to outsiders. Meanwhile, back in fairy-tale land, Victor strives to show his dad that he can revive the dead.
A giant is kidnapped and brought to Storybrooke, where he tries to settle an old score with David. Meanwhile, Mr. Gold departs for the airport in search of Bae; Greg has questions for Belle; and back in fairy-tale land, a giant befriends some humans.
Mr. Gold, Emma and Henry go to Manhattan to look for Bae. Meanwhile, Regina and Hook search for a cherished item of Rumplestiltskin's; and back in fairy-tale land, Rumplestiltskin comes to terms with his fate as he participates in the Ogres War.
Mary Margaret tries to find Rumplestiltskin's dagger before Cora and Regina get ahold of it. Meanwhile, Hook concocts a plan to eliminate a crocodile; and back in fairy-tale land, Snow White may be able to help her dying mother with an unusual spell.
Regina attempts to overpower a weakened Mr. Gold, positioning Cora to become the Dark One. Meanwhile, Mary Margaret is enticed to try dark magic; and back in fairy-tale land, Rumplestiltskin helps a young Cora, but she must pay a price when the king demands that she prove her claims of spinning straw into gold.
A vengeful Regina is determined to kill Mary Margaret, whom Emma, David and Mr. Gold try to protect. Meanwhile, Henry attempts to rid the land of magic; and in a flashback to Storybrooke's beginnings, Regina realizes two intruders have arrived in town.
Mary Margaret goes off on her own and finds August, who has been hiding since returning to his wooden form. Meanwhile, Emma's surprised when Neal asks Tamara to come to Storybrooke; and back in the days before the curse, August receives a tempting offer.
Mr. Gold asks David to help Belle retrieve her memories. Meanwhile, the magic beans begin to grow, forcing Emma to contemplate which world she wants to live in; and back in fairy-tale land, Rumplestiltskin and Belle track a thief whom Belle had set free.
Regina tries to return to fairy-tale land with Henry, but her plan could destroy Storybrooke. Meanwhile, Emma's doubts about Tamara intensify; and back in fairly-tale land, the Evil Queen wants to transform into a peasant so she can murder Snow White.
Emma thinks that Tamara is behind Regina's disappearance, and a search for the missing mayor begins. Meanwhile, Mr. Gold considers telling Lacey about his magical powers; and back in the past, a young Bae travels to London, where he meets Wendy Darling and her family.
In the second-season finale, the townsfolk prepare for the end as Greg and Tamara set out to destroy Storybrooke. Meanwhile, Mr. Gold mourns the loss of his son; and back in the past, Hook rescues a young Bae, who is being pursued by the Lost Boys.