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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


  • Anson Hibbert as Policeman
  • Barclay Hope as Lily's Father
  • Kelly-Ruth Mercier as Store Manager
  • Ilias Webb as Kevin


  • Pascale Hutton and Oliver Rice were wrongly credited as appearing in their roles as the King and Queen of Arendelle, in the press release for this episode.
  • Elsa is wearing a purple cloak due to all the blue screen effects in the episode.
  • Ingrid tells Elsa she will build a snowman, a reference to the song "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?".


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Shows: Once Upon a TimeOnce Upon a Time in Wonderland

Books: Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the QueenOnce Upon a Time: Out of the PastOnce Upon a Time: Red's Untold TaleOnce Upon a Time: Regina Rising
Special Bonus: Good Morning StorybrookeThree Who StayedTales From The Underworld: A Knight With Cruella

Once Upon a Time:
Season One: Emma SwanSnow White/Mary Margaret BlanchardPrince Charming/David NolanRumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold/WeaverEvil Queen/Regina Mills/RoniBelle/Lacey FrenchHenry MillsHappySneezy/Tom ClarkBashfulDocDopeySleepy/WalterJiminy Cricket/Archie HopperStealthyVictor Frankenstein/Dr. WhaleBlue FairyWidow Lucas/GrannyKing George/Albert SpencerGenie/Magic Mirror/Sidney GlassNurse RatchedMad Hatter/JeffersonPrince Henry/The ValetKnave of HeartsSheriff of Nottingham/KeithFairy GodmotherAbigail/Kathryn NolanRed Riding Hood/The Wolf/RubyHuntsman/Sheriff GrahamBaelfire/Neal CassidyPinocchio/August W. BoothFrederick/JimSevere NurseMayor TomkinsHansel and Gretel/Nicholas and Ava ZimmerThe Woodcutter/Michael TillmanMartinMyrnaStephenDonnaPrince JamesBlind WitchPeterSirenPongoGastonThe King/Mitchell HermanKing LeopoldKing MidasZosoPrince Thomas/Sean HermanGraceDaniel ColterNovaBriar RoseGeppetto/MarcoGus/BillyRuthDark One

Season Two: Killian Jones/Hook/RogersAuroraPrince PhillipMulanMilahMaid MarianQuinnAlphonse FrankensteinAnita LucasJackKing XavierAntonWilliam SmeeGreg MendellTamaraThe DragonQueen EvaSeerLancelotRobin HoodWendy DarlingNanaMary DarlingGeorge DarlingJohn DarlingMichael DarlingThe ShadowLost Boys
Season Three: Peter Pan/Malcolm/Pied PiperArielZelena/The Wicked Witch of the WestGlinda/The Good Witch of the SouthWalsh/Wizard of OzElsa the Snow QueenTinker BellBlackbeardLumiereUrsula the Sea GoddessJonathanDorothy GaleThe Witch of the EastRapunzelRapunzel's MotherRapunzel's FatherThe Sheriff of HamelinMedusaPrince EricLiam JonesRoland
Season Four: AnnaKristoffHansGrand PabbieSvenUrsula the Sea WitchMarshmallowLittle Bo PeepThe ApprenticeIngridLily PageColetteOakenKing of ArendelleQueen GerdaCruella De VilPoseidonDuke of WeseltonHans' BrothersChernabogKing StefanIsaac/The AuthorMadelineMerlin/The Sorcerer
Season Five: MeridaQueen EleanorKing FergusHarris, Hubert, and HamishThe WitchLord MacGuffinLord MacintoshLord DingwallKing ArthurSir KayGuinevereGorgon The InvincibleCharonBrennan JonesHadesMegaraHerculesCerberusThe ScarecrowTotoCleo FoxAuntie EmDr. JekyllMr. HydeEvil Queen
Season Six: AladdinGideonCount of Monte CristoAlexandraJasmineRed BirdCaptain NemoLady TremaineClorindaTisbeJacobOracleRoyal GuardsThe SultanBeowulfBlack FairyTiger LilyRobertPrince AchmedStanumCowardly LionLucy
Season Seven: Rapunzel Tremaine/Victoria BelfreyCinderella/Jacinda VidrioTiana/SabineAlice/TillyDrizella/Ivy BelfreyAnastasiaGothel/Eloise GardenerEudoraDr. Facilier/Mr. SamdiHansel/Jack/Nick BransonMarcus TremaineCeceliaCoven of the EightMadame LeotaNaveen/DrewBlind Witch/HildaGretelChadSeraphinaFloraIslaZorro

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: AliceCyrusAnastasia/Red QueenPercy/White RabbitEdwinJabberwockySilvermistThe Sultan/The Old PrisonerTweedle Dee and Tweedle DumMrs. RabbitElizabeth/LizardAmaraBandersnatchMillie
Both series: Will Scarlet/The Knave of HeartsCinderella/Ashley BoydRobin HoodLittle JohnFriar TuckGrumpy/LeroyCora/The Queen of HeartsCaterpillarMaleficentJafarDr. 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" • "Awake" • "Where Bluebirds Fly" • "The Black Fairy" • "The Song in Your Heart" • "The Final Battle"
Season Seven: "Hyperion Heights" • "A Pirate's Life"• "The Garden of Forking Paths" • "Beauty" • "Greenbacks" • "Wake Up Call" • "Eloise Gardener" • "Pretty in Blue" • "One Little Tear" • "The Eighth Witch" • "Secret Garden" • "A Taste of the Heights" • "Knightfall" • "The Girl in the Tower" • "Sisterhood" • "Breadcrumbs" • "Chosen" • "The Guardian" • "Flower Child" • "Is This Henry Mills?" • "Homecoming" • "Leaving Storybrooke"

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: Royal CastleBostonDark PalaceMaurice's CastleDark Castle/Rumplestiltskin's CastleLibraryKing's CastleTremaine estateMaurice's CastleDwarves' CottageDwarf MinesGeppetto's HomeNew York CityKing Stefan's CastleThe BeanstalkGiant's LairChinese VillageEnglandLondonDarling NurseryNeverlandBig BenSkull RockHamelinMaritime CastleRapunzel's TowerVault of the Dark OneLand of OzYellow Brick RoadEmerald CityArendelleValley of the Living RockArendelle CastleElsa's Ice PalaceWandering Oaken's Trading Post and SaunaBald MountainRing of StonesDunBrochWitch's CottageCastle DunBrochUnderworldMount OlympusPoppy FieldsAuntie's Chicken & WafflesCave of WondersPleasure IslandMagical ForestSeattleHyperion HeightsBelle & Gold's HouseFacilier's LairGothel's GardenTiana's PalaceSan FranciscoMemento MoriMaldoniaFlynn's BarcadeUnited RealmsSnow White's Farm

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Wonderland CastleThe Mad Hatter's HouseWhite Rabbit's HouseUnderlandTulgey Wood
Both series: StorybrookeMaineEnchanted ForestForbidden FortressWonderlandWonderland MazeAgrabahSherwood ForestThe Sultan's Palace

Once Upon a Time: Once Upon a Time (Book)Snow White's Glass CoffinRed Riding HoodMaleficent's StaffMagic WandGlass SlipperPoisoned AppleSpinning WheelMagic LampDark One's DaggerChipped CupJefferson's HatMagic BeansCaptain Hook's HooksEnchanted CandlePixie DustDreamshadeSalad ForkPandora's BoxSilver SlippersSorcerer HatEnchanted BroomTridentEnchanted ShellHeroes and Villains (Book)Merida's BowMagical RoseExcaliburOlympian CrystalCinderella's DressGolden Scarab BeetleRapunzel's Frying PanMagical Golden FlowerShrinking PotionFloating LanternsTarot CardsMaui's Fish Hook

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Vorpal Blade
Both series: Jafar's Snake StaffEnchanted HeartsJafar's Lamp

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 Unbirthday Song"

Original Songs: "Powerful Magic" • The Queen SingsLove Doesn't Stand a ChanceRevenge Is Gonna Be MineWicked Always WinsCharmings vs. Evil QueenEmma's ThemeA Happy Beginning

The Jolly RogerMagic CarpetRoyal ShipCruella's carNautilusCinderella's Coach
FairiesUnicornsDragonsBridge TrollsWerewolvesWraithOgresMermaidsKrakenFlying MonkeysRock TrollsWill O' the WispsFuriesMunchkinsTree Nymphs