Prince Charming‘s (Josh Dallas) fear of doing better as a father than he did with Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) is the common theme in both the flashbacks to the Enchanted Forest and to the current storyline in Storybrooke where Charming, Emma, and Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) all search for the Wicked Witch of the West (Rebecca Mader) not realizing the woman is already worming her way into Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) good graces.
In the flashbacks Prince Charming’s search for a magical root which is thought to be able to expel all a person’s fears leads him to Rapunzel‘s (Alexandra Metz) tower where a frightened young woman with long flowing hair is kept captive by a hooded figure. There he sees the truth behind both the root and the physical manifestation of Rapunzel’s fears which keep her from ever leaving the tower. Although still without memories from the past, and after unknowingly be dowsed by the Wicked Witch, David discovers the same inner-strength and courage to defeat the physical doppelganger of his own fears in the forest of Storybrooke much like he help Rapunzel do several months ago.
Although the group is no closer to discovering the witch’s Storybrooke identity, by the end of the episode they do discover that Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) still lives and has been kept imprisoned by the witch since the curse’s reinstatement. Although the Evil One has escaped from his prison, as long as the Wicked Witch holds the dagger she holds power over him giving her another powerful card yet to play. We also see the first step in the witch’s plan as her game with Charming had a practical purpose in capturing a talisman of his courage. I’m not sure exactly what the end game is, but I would expect it involves a brain and a heart as well.