"Breaking Glass" is the fifth episode of Season Four of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Kalinda Vazquez & Scott Nimerfro, and directed by Alrick Riley. It is the seventy-first episode of the series overall, and premiered on October 26, 2014.
Regina reluctantly teams up with Emma to search for the Snow Queen after Sidney, who is once again Regina's prisoner in the mirror, discovers her whereabouts and agrees to lead her to the location. With Belle babysitting baby Neal, a nervous Mary Margaret and David prepare for their first date night away from their child and find themselves on a mission to track down Will Scarlet, who has escaped from the town jail, and Elsa sees Anna in the Storybrooke woods. Meanwhile, back in the past, young Emma finds herself a kindred spirit when she befriends a girl who, like her, is a runaway orphan.
Emma approaches Lily's adoptive father and tries to explain that she didn't know that Lily actually had a family, but the man doesn't listen to her, rather warning Emma to never get close to Lily again. From inside a car, Lily apologizes to Emma and claims to feel as a real orphan, but the blonde ignores her and walks away.
- The title card features the ice staircase created by Elsa.
- The title of this episode was announced by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on August 23, 2014.
- The recap video at the beginning of the episode contains an excerpt from a deleted scene from "The Apprentice", where Regina is in her office, discussing Robin Hood's commitment to his wife with Mary Margaret.
- Young Emma's scenes in "Breaking Glass", "Shattered Sight","Lily", "The Dark Swan" and "Tougher Than the Rest" take place in Minnesota because that's where Edward Kitsis is from.
- The Land Without Magic flashbacks take place in 1998, 3 years after "Snow Drifts", and 1 year before "Lily" and the flashbacks with Ingrid and young Emma in "Shattered Sight". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- Note that some of the dialogue in this episode is rather misleading: When Emma comments on why she ran away from her group home, she refers to the events of "Snow Drifts" as if they happened recently: "This little girl from my home, Cecilia, got adopted. I watched her get in this station wagon with this perfect-looking couple. That's when I realized no one was ever gonna look at me the way those parents looked at her. I'm too old. I missed my chance. There was no point in me staying another day if I was just gonna keep feeling... Invisible?" Emma's words suggest that she ran way shortly after Cecilia was adopted, but since Cecilia was adopted in 1995, Emma actually waited a few years.
- The Storybrooke events take place after "The Apprentice" and before "Family Business". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- How Sidney was trapped in the mirror was explored in "A Tale of Two Sisters".
- Will was arrested in "The Apprentice".
- Hook takes Henry sailing, which he first did in "It's Not Easy Being Green".
- The set of photos that Sidney took of Emma and Henry first appeared in "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree".
- The photographs of Emma and Henry are from scenes in "The Thing You Love Most".
- The picture of Emma and Henry leaving Archie's office first appears in "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree".
- The picture of Emma in the Snow Queen's ice cream shop was taken during "Shattered Sight".
- The reason why Emma doesn't remember the time she spent with the Snow Queen is explained in "Shattered Sight". Emma gets her memories back in the same episode.
- Young Emma mentions a little girl from her group home, Cecilia, who was adopted, which was illustrated in "Snow Drifts".
- Young Emma states that she realized no one would ever look at her the way Cecilia's adopted parents looked at her. However, Emma did eventually get to experience this when she was reunited with her parents in "Broken".
- Regina's anger toward Emma is explained in "There's No Place Like Home".
- Maid Marian's affliction occurred in "Rocky Road".
- Regina is looking at a photo of herself and Robin Hood, which was taken between scenes in "A Curious Thing".
- Regina makes a reference to the first time she trapped Sidney in a mirror during "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree".
- Sidney's cell at the hospital, which Regina refers to, appears in "A Land Without Magic" and "A Tale of Two Sisters".
- The Snow Queen says that she has hundreds of mirrors. Some of these mirrors appeared in her ice cream shop in "White Out" and "Rocky Road".
- Lily's origin, and how she was adopted, is revealed in "Best Laid Plans".
- After going their separate ways, Emma and Lily were reunited twice, something that is explored in "Lily".
- Emma's box of keepsakes first appears when she unpacks her things in "The Price of Gold". In "Tougher Than the Rest", she is seen opening the same box to show August a set of pages from "The Ugly Duckling" fairytale.
- Hook picks up glasses, which Emma used to wear as a young adult, as established in "Tallahassee" and "There's No Place Like Home".
- The ring that Hook picks up is the one that teenage Emma got when she was at the funfair with Ingrid in "Shattered Sight".
- Emma picks up her baby blanket, which was knitted by Granny in "Pilot".
- The photograph of Emma and Neal was taken between scenes in "Tallahassee".
- The Snow Queen's connection to Emma was first alluded to in "Rocky Road", and is explored in "Shattered Sight".
- The video recording of Emma and the Snow Queen was made during "Shattered Sight", and is seen again in "Family Business".
- This episode features Elsa and Anna from the movie Frozen.
- Elsa builds an ice staircase similar to the one she made in the movie Frozen during the song "Let It Go".
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episode features Captain Hook from the Peter Pan story and the Snow Queen from the fairytale of the same name.
- Lily says that she likes to think of the star imprint on her arm as a symbol, "Like Harry Potter"; a reference to the title character of the famous book series by J. K. Rowling, and the scar on his forehead. The first book of the series was released in the U.S. in 1998 (more specifically, in September), which is also the year where the flashback takes place.
- As Regina is looking through the spell book, we see a palmistry illustration of a hand, with astrological symbols for the mounts on the palm. Mounts are the bumps of flesh on the palm, which are named after planets, and which play a very important role during a palmistry reading. Four astrological symbols can be seen on the illustration:
- Venus (♀), the mount by the thumb.
- Jupiter (♃) is erroneously printed on the mound between the thumb and the index finger, which is where lower Mars should be.
- Mars (♂) is erroneously printed on the mound beneath the index finger, which is actually Jupiter's mound.
- Saturn (♄), the mount under the index finger.
- Note that the mounts of Apollo (the sun) and Mercury, which are placed beneath the ring finger and the baby finger respectively, are obscured.
- The framed photo of Regina and Robin Hood is taken directly from a shot in the scene with the two of them in the diner hallway in "A Curious Thing".
- The Polaroid of Emma and Neal is taken directly from a shot in the scene where Emma volunteers to pick up the stolen watches in "Tallahassee".
- The graffiti on a gate, which Emma and Lily pass as they run from Lily's father, has "Cora" written on it.
- As the girls hide inside the alley, graffiti on the building across the road says "always valiant".
- Many Storybrooke locations contain references to the Enchanted Forest. Although it is not actually in Storybrooke, the house where Emma and Lily crash for the night, follows the same pattern: There are two paintings depicting tree trunks in a forest are decorating the walls, and when the girls are sleeping, the shadows against the curtains are reminiscent of leaf-covered branches and bushes in a forest. This is a subtle reference to the world that Emma and Lily actually come from.
- As Elsa is running through the woods, she runs past a sign which says "Storybrooke Wilderness Park - Yarrow Lane".
- Young Emma is wearing a TNA Canvas Maverick Bomber Jacket (no longer available). She wears it again in flashbacks from "Shattered Sight".
- The same jacket is worn by another famous "Swan" character: Bella Swan, in the 2010 romantic fantasy movie The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
- It is also worn by Andy McNally on an episode of the police drama television series Rookie Blue and Olivia Dunham on an episode of the science fiction television series Fringe.
- Lily is wearing an Aritzia Talula Edo Jacket. She wears it again in flashbacks in "Lily".
- Belle is wearing a RED Valentino Striped Shirt (no longer available). It is seen more clearly when she wears it again in "Unforgiven".
- Elsa's purple cape was used in this episode for technical reasons because her scenes were filmed on a green background screen, and because she wore a blue dress, which is too similar of a color to the background screen, that would have made her body completely invisible on the special-effects camera.
- Mary Margaret is wearing Lafayette 148 New York Women's Bi-Stretch McKenna Topper jacket and a Band of Outsiders Panel Top With Leather Collar (no longer available).
|French||"Le Reflet du Miroir"||"The Reflection of the Mirror"|
|German||"Ein Splitter des Zauberspiegels"||"A Sliver of Magic Mirror"|
|Italian||"Lo specchio rotto"||"The Broken Mirror"|
|Portuguese||"Espelho Quebrado"||"Broken Mirror"|