After the Wicked Witch of the West (Rebecca Mader) reveals her true parentage to Regina (Lana Parrilla) and the entire town she challenges her half-sister to a duel. Given enough time to prepare, and discover that Zelena speaks the truth, Regina chooses to give her heart (literally) to Robin Hood (Sean Maguire) allowing the Evil Queen to keep safe the one item her sister is truly after. By the end of the episode the town will still be in the dark but the audience will understand what kind of spell she’s collecting ingredients for and what the Wicked Witch has in mind.
As the townspeople bury Neal (Michael Raymond-James) and prepare the battle between the two witches, it falls to Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) to keep Henry (Jared Gilmore) away from the action and tell the boy a little about the father he doesn’t remember ever knowing. Although we don’t get any flashbacks to the missing year, “It’s Not Easy Being Green” does features several scenes highlighting Zelena’s past as an abandoned child, being trained by Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle), her growing enviousness of her sister (which would eventually cause her skin condition), and her meetings with the Wizard of Oz (Christopher Gorham) who would become her first flying monkey servant.
The revelation that Zelena’s entire life is spurred on by her enviousness nature and jealousy of what her sister was given better defines the character and makes her actions easier to predict going forward. It’s not just revenge the witch is after but the proper ingredients which will allow her to alter time itself and give Zelena a second chance on claiming the life she believes should have been rightfully hers. The metaphor of what Regina does with her heart, entrusting it to the man who should have been her husband, continues to build on the relationship (although in her current state without a heart I’m not sure how much further it may go until after Zelena is defeated).