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You'll have to excuse us, but this is family business.

Ingrid to Belle

"Family Business" is the sixth episode of Season Four of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Kalinda Vazquez & Andrew Chambliss and directed by Mario Van Peebles. It is the seventy-second episode of the series overall, and premiered on November 2, 2014.


The race is on to track down the elusive Snow Queen, who was once a foster mother to a young Emma - whose memories of this event have been erased - in order to discover what her ultimate end game is for Elsa and the residents of Storybrooke, and unaware that she does not possess the real blade that controls The Dark One, Belle attempts to use it to get her reluctant husband to show her where the Snow Queen is hiding. Meanwhile, back in the past, Belle travels to Arendelle and, with Anna's help, seeks out Grand Pabbie to help her regain her lost memories in order to discover the fate of her mother.[2]


This section is a detailed recap of this episode. There are major spoilers. Click to expand.

Deleted Scenes

Hook and Emma: Extended

During the scene where Emma and Hook discuss the Snow Queen's file, Hook opens up about his childhood and how his father abandoned him and his brother when he was a child. The three of them were voyaging on a ship, and one morning the brothers awoke and discovered that their father was not in the cabin. They searched the ship in vain, and discovered that their father had stolen a dinghy while they were sleeping. According to Hook, it was a dreadful experience, but thankfully, he had his brother to steady him. He would never have survived without him.[3]

The scene was cut because of time.[4] An altered version of the story was later incorporated into the Season Five episode episode "Swan Song".

Little John/Marian

Marian and Little John's scenes were cut from the episode. However, Christie Laing and Jason Burkart are still listed in the episode's press release.[2]



Guest Starring



*: Only in archive footage



Production Notes

  • Emma says that she is "thirteen, maybe fourteen" in the video recording, but since "Shattered Sight" establishes that the recording was made in 1999, Emma would actually have been fifteen or sixteen at the time.
  • The establishing shot of the Storybrooke library[7] is stock footage from the opening shot of "Rocky Road".[8] Note that the time on the CGI clock tower is different.
  • The moment with the Snow Queen standing in front of the mirror at the end of the episode, was not scripted, but added by the editors in post-production.[4]

Event Chronology

Episode Connections


  • While Belle is looking up information on how to get her memories back, there is a cross on the cover of one of the books.[15]



  • There is a close-up of Belle's eye as she awakens.[16] This is a recurring theme from Lost.

Fairytales and Folklore

  • This episode features Beauty from the "Beauty and the Beast" fairytale, the ugly duckling from the titular fairytale, the Snow Queen from the fairytale of the same name, Captain Hook from the Peter Pan story, and Robin Hood from the ballads.
  • Using a mirror piece, Ingrid casts a spell on Anna by shattering the shard, which absorbs into the girl's eyes and causes Anna to grow hateful towards her sister Elsa. This is a reference to the events of "The Snow Queen" fairytale, where the splinters of the troll mirror gets into peoples hearts and eyes and makes people see only the bad and ugly in people and things.
    • Similarly, the way trolden glass affects Belle when she finds it in Ingrid's lair is another reference to the events of the fairytale.

Popular Culture

  • While searching the Snow Queen's ice cream truck, Emma remarks, "Who locks their freezer? Was she afraid someone was gonna steal the Rocky road?"; a reference to the chocolate-flavored ice cream.
  • When Emma finds a file about herself in the Snow Queen's freezer, she says, "Looks like the Dairy Queen's been following me for a long time", a reference to the multinational ice cream franchise.

Props Notes

Trolls are creatures who are said to be formidable
telepaths and are said to ably employ subtle acts
of persuasion to bend others to their will.

Some earlier scolars [sic] even went so far as to
say that they have the ability to restore
memories that have been lost.

The Talismanic Adornments of
the Rock Troll

ᛏᚱᚩᛚᛚ ᚾᛖᚳᚳᛚᚪᚳᛖ*

Trolls can cast powerful enchantments – in particular spells used
to wrest someone's heart or mind.

They do this by the emanation of a magical frequency generated
through the crystals they wear about their body. The power of
this working is increased by their entire number acting
in unison.

The crystals made of andradite and peridot are worn by the
trolls also as protection and defense from the evil around
them including the machinations of men.

*Anglo-Saxon runes, which transliterate as "troll necclace" [sic]

I have travelled the
world near and far

My search knows no

My obsession will
not leave me

My search will
continue to the ends
of the earth

One thing I know
for sure

The name of the
savior is Emma

The savior shall be
my sister

The family must be

  • During the shooting of the episode, Ingrid, Helga and Gerda's portraits had not yet been added to the family book that Elsa finds, so green dots were used instead.[23] The portraits were inserted digitally in post-production.
  • The text in the family book is written in Elder Futhark runes:[24]
    • The names of Ingrid, Helga and Gerda are written under the pictures in the family tree.[22]
    • According to the family tree, the sisters' parents were King Harald and Queen Sonja.[22] Harald is the name of the current king of Norway, and several ancient kings of Norway and Denmark. Sonja is the name of the current queen of Norway. Ingrid of Once Upon a Time shares her name with Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, the grandchild of King Harald of Norway, and heir apparent of the Norwegian crown prince.
    • The sisters' paternal grandparents were King Olaf and Queen Astrid whereas their maternal grandfather was King Magnus.[22] Olaf was the name of many ancient kings of Norway and Denmark. The father of King Harald of Norway was King Olav. Princess Astrid was King Olav's second daughter. Many ancient kings of Norway and Sweden were called Magnus. It is also the middle name of Prince Haakon, crown prince of Norway.
    • The name of the maternal grandmother is blurred and hard to read. The first letter is clearly a D, while the last two look like N and E; her name might be Daphne (ᛞᚨᛈᚺᚾᛖ).
    • The small caption above each name transliterates as "his majesty" and "her majesty".[22]

Set Dressing

Costume Notes

International Titles



  1. Sunday Final Ratings: ‘The Good Wife’, ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’, ‘Once Upon a Time’ & ’60 Minutes’ Adjusted Up + Final Football Ratings. TV by the Numbers (November 4, 2014). “Once Upon a Time (...) 7.54”
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 LISTINGS: ONCE UPON A TIME. The Futon Critic. “Air Date: Sunday, November 02, 2014. Time Slot: 8:00 PM-9:00 PM EST on ABC. Episode Title: (#406) "Family Business".”
  3. TwitterLogo.svg @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (August 18, 2015). "no worries. Here's the speech. Note, it's NOT canon (but maybe one day, consider it a work in progress)" (screenshot) (script photo)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Kalinda Vazquez and Andrew Chambliss on the Season Four Blu-ray-exclusive Audio Commentary for "Family Business"
  5. File:407Title.png
  6. TwitterLogo.svg @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (September 1, 2014). "Here's the ep 406 #titlespoiler for #OnceUponATime ! Hope to see ya 9/28!" (screenshot)
  7. File:406ClockTower.png
  8. File:403ClockTower.png
  9. 9.0 9.1 File:406LeaveWithout.png
  10. 10.0 10.1 File:112OhMyGods2.png
  11. 11.0 11.1 File:406NewspaperClipping.png
  12. File:109Articles.png
  13. File:120ThingYouKnow.png
  14. 14.0 14.1 File:520IJustThought.png
  15. File:406DoorClosing.png
  16. File:406Awake.png
  17. ONCE UPON A TIME: "Skin Deep" script (PDF) pp. 28. Retrieved on February 1, 2019.
  18. File:406ForgetThisNonsense.png
  19. File:214ItShouldBeHere.png
  20. File:406TheDairyQueen.png
  21. File:406ScrollBottom.png
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 Some Runes Used in "Once Upon A Time" Season 4. Panya's Blog: Linguistic Aspects (October 11, 2014, updated on December 12, 2014).
  23. Season Four DVD and Blu-ray: "The Fairest Bloopers Of Them All", at 3:00 (Note that on the Blu-ray commentary for this episode, Andrew Chambliss says that green dots were used for Helga and Gerda because these roles had not yet been cast. This is only partially correct, as Pascale Hutton, who plays Gerda, had already appeared in "A Tale of Two Sisters".)
  24. File:406MaybeThatsWhy.png
  25. SOCKERÄRT Vase, white. IKEA US. Retrieved on August 10, 2020.
  26. File:406Uh.png
  27. File:312LifeAlteringDecision.png
  28. File:605PerfectBabysitter.png
  29. File:606TheRealFun.png
  30. File:618AllByYourself.png
  31. File:406ThisWorld.png
  32. Free People TEAM LACE VARSITY JACKET. Pradux. Retrieved on February 1, 2019.
  33. LINDY'S LACE VARSITY JACKET ON I DIDN'T DO IT. WornOnTV. Retrieved on February 1, 2019.
  34. File:406BeMoreHelpful.png
  35. RED Valentino FINE SPOT CARDIGAN. Pradux. Retrieved on February 1, 2019.
  36. File:406No.png
  37. File:704HesJustExcited.png
  38. File:406IKnow.png
  39. Classic Dagger Scarf. Rag & Bone. Retrieved on February 1, 2019.
  40. File:406EmmaWalksToTruck.png
  41. Anthropologie POINTELLE MIDI PULLOVER. Pradux. Retrieved on February 1, 2019.