"Awake" is the 128th episode of Once Upon a Time.
In Storybrooke, Regina continues working to find a way to break the sleeping curse that Snow and David are still under, and, when Gold denies the Black Fairy, the Dark One and his mother find themselves brought to a fearsome impasse. Meanwhile, still trapped in Neverland, Hook aligns himself with Tiger Lily in the hopes of finding a way back to Emma who, in flashbacks, is made able to fulfill her destiny as the savior thanks to a sacrifice we learn was made her parents.
Previously on Once Upon a Time...
The Charmings arrive at the town cemetery to accept their fate at the hands of the Evil Queen, and she quite literally plunges those hands into Snow and David's respective chests, ripping out their shared heart. After cursing it, Snow collapses, and David assures that a sleeping curse has never kept them apart before. ("Heartless") The Black Fairy flies back to her realm with baby Gideon in a basket, and we hear him, as an adult, declare that she stole him from his parents; however, she fires back that his parents abandoned him. He cries that she may have stopped him but she can't stop the savior, and so she rips out his heart and states that now he is hers. ("Mother's Little Helper") Emma receives a message from Hook in Agrabah via shell phone, asking if she's there; he explains how he was on his way back to her, but Gideon wanted him out of the way. ("A Wondrous Place") Thanks to the magic placed over Hook, his and Black Beard's magic bean portal takes them to somewhere other than Storybrooke. They are advanced upon by islanders, and Black Beard asks who they are. Hook replies that they are Lost Boys and, when Black Beard then asks where they are, Hook reveals that they're in Neverland. ("Mother's Little Helper")
Captain Floor makes a comeback.
Having been left to his own devices, Hook continues to run through the island forest of Neverland with several bellowing Lost Boys still hot on his trail. They bear torches as they give chase, a few of them howling like animals, and one of them orders his fellows to "get the pirate" while another screams for them to "make him pay". Hook gets further and further away, near a clearing on the beach, but the first boy soon spots him through the sparse trees and points him out to the rest of the pack. As such, the captain clambers down a hill in the direction of the sea, but he's going too fast for his own good and his shoes end up failing him in the soil. He trips, landing at the bottom in a heap, and then the Lost Boys surround him. They soon have him utterly cornered on the muddy shore, and he spouts off one of his usual "bloody hell"s. In an attempt to reason with the essentially rowdy teens, Hook reveals that he's got treasure buried all over the island, as well as rum. "Any of you lads old enough to drink rum?" he proposes hopefully, but their apparent leader steps forward, spear in tow, and makes clear that there's only one thing they want from him: to make him pay for what happened to Pan. Hook acknowledges this, realizing there's no way out of this other than trying to engage them in battle, and so he draws his cutlass with the kind of attitude which suggests that he'd rather just get this over with. In fact, he practically states as much, knowing his prospects are slim due to their numbers.
Tiger Lily can use her hands as well as blow.
He adds that he has someone waiting for him at home, and also that he doesn't want to hurt any of them, "So, this is your last chance." Suddenly, however, a blow-dart is fired into the neck of their leader, and he drops his spear as he collapses unconscious to the ground. Another dart and another Lost Boy falls unconscious, then several more at once and, in a flash, Hook is the only man left standing. A Native American woman is perched nearby, retiring the weapon she used to blow the darts into the boys' throats, and she proceeds to announce that the captain should really be more careful. She smiles, approaching him with a few hops down the hill as he puts away his cutlass, and she states that the Lost Boys have gotten nasty since Pan died. "Tiger Lily," Hook greets, and she folds her arms while acknowledging that she never expected to see him back on this rock. He replies that neither did he, for this wasn't exactly a planned excursion, and he supposes that thanks are in order for the daring rescue. "Right... about that," she says, stepping forward some more, "Who said this was a rescue?" And then she uses her hand to plunge one of her blow-darts into his throat, causing him to violently pass out just like all the other boys on the beach. Looks like Tiger Lily has poor intentions for Hook, who lies there with a hole in his neck.
ONCE UPON A TIME
The final battle is looming.
Henry's notebook lay open beside the book itself, with all the symbols he etched out while in his trance currently on display. "The final battle?" Emma questions, looking up at Regina as the other heroes circle around the loft's table. Regina assures the savior that, according to that weasel Isaac, that's what these hieroglyphs mean, and Emma opens the book to see that there are but a few blank spaces left. They really are at the end, she acknowledges. David starts to berate himself for not having seen this coming, but his daughter assures him that there's no way he could have; however, the former prince goes on to reveal that, back in the Enchanted Forest, when Rumplestiltskin told them Emma was destined to be the savior, he said she would have to fight the final battle (see "Pilot"). He and Snow thought that meant breaking the original curse, and he promises now that they never would have put her through that wardrobe if they knew it was going to lead to this. Emma says that it's fine, for she's not gonna lose, and then tries handing Henry back his notebook as she suggests that the two of them head to the library to try and decipher exactly what this stuff means.
Those annoying tremor things return.
However, as she passes it back, her hand begins to shake - the tremors have returned. Her loved ones notice this and she struggles to control it for a moment. Once she's reined it in, Henry tries telling her that it's going to be okay, and Emma looks to him and states that she knows. She doesn't look entirely sure though, maintaining a look of caution as she and her son finally exit the loft with the notebook in tow, and then Regina takes to slamming the nearly-finished storybook shut. David rants that Emma's story can't end like this, with Hook being trapped in another realm and her parents being stuck apart. He walks over to the bed to gesture toward the sleeping Snow, declaring that Emma can't go into the final battle without her family. Regina agrees, but also points out that - unless either he or Snow sleepwalk - Emma's going to have to settle for only one Charming. "Unless you break the curse you put us under," he exclaims her way, and she assures him that she's working on an antidote, but this kind of magic takes time what with testing and experimenting to be sure. However, David simply takes this to mean that she does have something.
David wants to break his and Snow's curse, to hell with the cost.
Regina responds that she may have something, but it could be dangerous or life-threatening, at which David takes her by the hands and instills that his and Snow's daughter is about to face the biggest fight of her life, and they'll do whatever it takes to be with her. "Now, whatever you have, it'll work," he pleads, and Regina nods in reply, understanding his desperation. Charming then turns back to his wife and adds, "It has to. I mean it's not like it's the first curse we've ever woken up from..." With that, we drift over to the sleeping Snow and begin to delve into her dreams. Her memories. In tinted flashes, we see Prince Charming riding to save his true love from the sleeping curse placed over her by the Evil Queen, followed by him dismounting his horse and awakening her with a kiss of true love; we then see the Queen crashing their wedding, as well as Charming battling her black knights as baby Emma rests in his arms, right before he places her in the wardrobe and gets stabbed; we then see Snow crying over her husband's unconscious body as the curse finally engulfs the land and Regina comes to gloat (see "Pilot") and then the smoke washes over to create a new town and we're in...
The Time of the Dark Curse
Mary Margaret is the screw-up of Storybrooke.
Mary Margaret Blanchard is shown making her way down Main Street, just like every other day under the curse, and is currently toting a bouquet of flowers by her side. As she goes by Granny's Diner, her head lifts from its depressive droop so that she may wish Granny herself a good afternoon, and the elderly diner owner comments that it would be a hell of a lot better if Ruby weren't still sleeping off last night's hangover. "Now I'm putting out the 'Open' sign," she complains as she fiddles with the sandwich board, and then, as Mary Margaret is walking away, "These are supposed to be my golden years!" The next citizen the introverted teacher spots is Marco, up on his step-ladder trying to fix a sign across the road - as per usual. She greets him joyously and he turns to see who called his name, only to then accidentally drop a screw he was working with. "Look what you made me do!" he barks at her in his Italian accent, and she awkwardly apologizes as she keeps on going, then seeing Archie in the middle of the street. He smiles at her while walking Pongo and she gives him a joyous greeting as well; however, Pongo responds with an aggressive bark, and Dr. Hopper finds himself needing to apologize on the behalf of his out-of-control dog. "He's in a mood. He's off gluten." And then he's off, and the subdued Mary Margaret is stuck staring, not paying attention to what's in front of her as she continues on her own route. As such, she ends up quite literally bumping into none other than Mayor Regina Mills, meaning her bouquet of flowers get smushed against the regal woman's nice coat.
A convenient flower is found.
She apologizes profusely, trying her best to scrape the petals from the Mayor's chest, and Regina demands to know what is so important that the teacher can't pay attention to where she's walking. Mary Margaret, as she picks her bouquet up from off the floor, explains that she was just on her way to the hospital to deliver it, but then she looks down and realizes that the flowers are now wrecked. Regina presumes they're for John Doe and Mary Margaret responds that she likes to think it comforts him, saying how she can get another bunch. "Don't waste your money," the Mayor advises with a subtle victorious grin, "It's not like he can tell the difference." She then begins to walk away, only for Mary Margaret to turn around and ask if there's been any news on the coma patient's condition, or if anyone's figured out who he is or who his family might be. Regina tells her that she's not sure it really matters, and Mary Margaret wonders why that is. It's then that Mayor Mills adds, with feigned sympathy, that Dr. Whale said it's beginning to look like he may never wake up. With that, she turns around... and smiles. Content with the continued separation of her nemeses. Mary Margaret looks entirely despondent as Regina struts off, beginning to walk forward but then giving up on her hospital route in order to throw her ruined flowers into the trash. However, this causes her to notice something most peculiar: a distinctive pink flower growing from out of the curb. She moves closer, crouching down to inspect it, and it seems her mind is changed.
The cure for the common coma.
We are next shown the John Doe lying in his hospital bed, still comatose, when Mary Margaret enters his room with the pink flower in a miniature vase. It seems to have bloomed a little now, and the teacher apologizes to the coma patient for her lateness. She says how she almost didn't come, but then she saw this flower and something in her told her she had to bring it to him. With that, she places it down at his bedside, before walking away as meek as ever. We then see as magical pink dust begins to emanate from the flower, raining down onto John Doe's left hand. And then his heart monitors start beeping like crazy, and Mary Margaret stops and turns to him in shock as she begins to fret about what's happening or what she might have done. It's then that his eyes burst open, and she looks at him with both shock and awe. A smile overwhelms her, and the same goes for him. "Snow..." he utters, apparently having regained his memories as Prince Charming, and she in turn utters, "Snow." However, she then makes clear that she doesn't understand what he means, beginning to fret further as he sits up out of bed and demands to know where "she" is. He rips off his cords and tubes and such as he stands up in his hospital gown and implores the whereabouts of the Evil Queen, only for his unbeknownst wife to cry that he's confused for he's been in a coma.
Reunited, and it feels so good.
However, Charming recalls that the Evil Queen's guards stabbed him and he passed out and then, "The curse. It must have brought us here. Whatever this place is." Mary Margaret insists on going to get a doctor, but Charming stops her from going, assuring that, whatever the Queen did to her, he knows Snow White is in there somewhere. "Trust me." Mary Margaret points out that he is delusional and speaking gibberish, asking why she should trust him, and he responds that she loves him and he loves her. "Come on. Somewhere inside, you know that!" He then outstretches his hand for her to take - the very same one that was sprinkled with dust from that convenient pink flower - and, after a while of considering the seemingly crazed man before her, Mary Margaret decides to outstretch her own hand in order to take his. And then the pink glow of the dust overcomes her too, and she's suddenly aghast with the memories of who she truly is. Snow White. "Charming..." she breathes like only she can. "There you are," he beams, and then the two are drawn together in the most passionate of kisses. They are who they're meant to be now, and he lifts her up within the confines of his hospital room as their reunion intensifies.
An attempt is made to weaken the curse...
Back in the present, Snow stares down at the now sleeping David, with the two of them having transported down to Regina's vault. Regina herself stands before them, asking Snow if she's sure she doesn't want to tell Emma what she's doing, and the former princess responds that she knows what their daughter would say: she wouldn't let them take the risk. "I agree with David. We have to do this now." She then rises to her feet and Zelena, who's standing by a steaming cauldron, nods as she makes her way over to Charming. Snow is curious as to how this works, and Regina apologizes in advance, saying that what's about to happen is going to hurt. And then she rips out Snow's half-heart at the same time that Zelena rips out David's, and the magic of the sleeping curse is visible within as globs of darkness. Regina points it out, explaining how it's split between both halves of their shared heart and that's what keeps them from being awake at the same time. She places Snow's heart into an inner-container inside the cauldron, thus bathing it in the steaming potion within. Zelena places David's half in there too as she adds that if this potion clears up the darkness then Snow and Charming should be able to make them all wretch with their sweet nothings in no time.
But Snow's heart is weakened instead; things go from bad to worse.
Snow smiles and then watches as Regina lifts the inner-container from the cauldron, the half-hearts now having been effectively soaked in the possible antidote. Zelena takes David's half again while Regina takes Snow's, and they watch as the darkness becomes visibly eradicated. Snow seems overjoyed that it's working, and then the hearts are shoved back into their rightful chests. Snow looks to see if her husband is waking up, with him even seeming to stir, but instead, Snow finds herself clutching her chest in pain and hunching over. David shakes but is still asleep, and Regina doesn't understand what the hell is going on. Snow wants to know what happened, and then her stepmother figures it out. She says that the Evil Queen happened, surmising that she must have baked a fail-safe into her curse, and Zelena exclaims that their potion didn't weaken its magic - it weakened Snow's heart. "What does that mean?!" Snow needs to know, and Regina makes clear that it means that by the end of the day, they'll both be asleep with no way of waking up. "So Emma will fight the final battle... without us," Snow realizes, turning to her slumbering true love and growing more daunted than ever.
Charming has some trouble blending in.
Charming proceeds to march through the hospital halls in his patient's gown back in time, with his recently awakened wife not far behind him. "Grumpy!" he then calls out, spotting Leroy the custodian as he mops at the end of the hall, and then the prince relays that they need his help. Leroy merely wants to know who this man is calling "grumpy", but Charming makes clear that they don't have time for this and orders him to round up the other dwarfs. "Now you're making this about my height?!" Leroy exclaims, offended, and Mary Margaret apologizes on her husband's behalf, addressing the janitor firmly as Leroy and explaining to him that she accidentally let this patient out of the psych ward. She then begins walking the awake John Doe away, down an adjacent hall, while the latter asks what's wrong with their former comrade. Snow points out that it's called a curse for a reason and theorizes that they're the only ones awake, then holding up that pink flower and recalling that it happened the moment she put it by his bed. She makes sure no one is watching or listening as she adds that she thinks there's some kind of magic in it, and pulls Charming into a room filled with lockers.
Emma's whereabouts are brought into question.
Grabbing some clothes from one of them, she urges her true love to put them on because he needs to blend in, and the former prince seems horrified to realize that his wife has been living there since the Dark Curse struck. As they converse, he slides some pants up over his gown, then applying a sweater over the top. Snow responds that Mary Margaret has been living there, but she remembers every terrible minute of it, and then David stops dead with, "Wait. Where is she? Where's Emma?" Snow doesn't know though, beginning to panic, and he says how he put her in the wardrobe so if they're there then she must be too. "Okay, uh, Rumplestiltskin," Snow suggests, "If anyone knows where to find her, it's him." She goes to leave the room but spots Regina through the half-closed door, interrogating Walter the security guard on how long ago it was that John Doe disappeared. Walter cannot respond, and so the Mayor screeches, "Do you even know what a coma is?!" before disappearing with him down a different hall. Seeing the coast is clear, Snow turns back to Charming and tells him to get to Rumple because he's their best chance; if anyone else is awake, it's going to be him.
Mary Margaret tries to distract Mayor Mills.
She imparts that he has a store on Main Street called Mr. Gold's pawnshop and David nods, understanding, but wants to know what his wife is gonna do. She says that she's going to keep Regina from finding out what's really going on, whispering that there's an abandoned farmhouse at the edge of town; "Meet me there in an hour." He nods before the two of them share a kiss, and then they part ways. Snow heads to where Mayor Mills was going, and we are shown Regina to still be berating Walter by the security office, yelling that a coma patient doesn't just get up and walk out without someone seeing something. "Check the tapes again!" However, Mary Margaret approaches and assures that she doesn't need to check them again. "Excuse me, Miss Blanchard?" Regina retorts, and Snow, trying her best to be her cursed introverted self, reassures, "You don't need to check the tapes again, Reg-- uh, Mayor Mills. I saw what happened. John Doe was sleepwalking." The Mayor nods, but seems doubtful, and demands to know where exactly he was headed. "Into the woods, away from town," the teacher lies.
Snow finds a way to break the sleeping curse, without realizing it.
Out near the woods in the present and Snow is recording a video message for David on her phone, revealing to him that the antidote didn't work. It just made things worse.
We cut to the continuation of the message as David plays it back for everyone at Emma's house, now that Snow is back asleep. In the rest of the video, Snow says that they're just gonna have to find a way to do this thing the way they do everything: together. "You did what?" Emma questions as her father lowers his phone, and he apologizes, saying that they were just trying to make things better. Emma points out that instead they made it a hell of a lot worse, then complaining that they keep blaming themselves when their condition isn't their fault. There's nothing they could have changed. David assures that they know, but that doesn't mean they're gonna let her... "Face it on your own," he says with an odd pause, for he has noticed something on his phone screen. He zooms in on something in the background of Snow's video message: a pink petal which is blowing past.
Zelena gives some exposition. #Throwback.
It looks awfully familiar, and then David adds, "And you won't. I think your mother just found a way to break the sleeping curse; she just didn't realize it." He shows his phone to the others - the zoomed-in-on petal - and Regina questions the importance of flower petals. However, David assures that they aren't just any petals, knowing from the time he woke up during the Dark Curse that they're a hell of a lot more than that. Taking a look for herself, Zelena reveals that "pretty boy" is right - those are pixie petals. "Exactly. And pixie dust might just be strong enough to wake us up," he surmises. However, Zelena tells him that she knows about magic, and the pixie flowers only grow for one reason: the reaction to the presence of great evil. Emma then realizes that if these flowers just started sprouting up all over Storybrooke... Zelena concludes that the Author had the right idea skipping town, for whoever the savior is meant to face in this final battle - they're already there. Emma and the others appear deeply aggrieved by this revelation.
Gideon's two mothers come face to face.
Indeed, right now, across town, Mr. Gold Pawnbroker & Antiquities Dealer is entered into by none other than the Black Fairy. "Hello, Rumple," the twisted villainess greets her son, who's behind the counter of his shop, and he stops dead in the middle of whatever it is he's doing when he hears her voice. He turns to her, speechless, and she giggles, saying that she believes the greeting he's looking for is, "Hello, mother." However, he instead finds himself asking how she got there, and she reveals that she had a little help. At this, Gideon walks in behind her, also taking a moment to greet his father. "Gideon?" Rumple questions, going on to realize that his plan for taking the savior's power and becoming a hero - all a ruse in order to bring the Black Fairy to Storybrooke. Gideon apologizes, making clear that the Black Fairy is his mother, and suggests that maybe one day he'll understand. And then his real mother enters the room. Belle, emerging from the back of the shop, demands to know what's going on, and the Black Fairy takes a break from her bored browsing in order to look at her daughter-in-law and rival in motherhood. "Belle," she smiles, approaching, "So lovely to make your acquaintance."
The Black Fairy believes Rumple will choose to join her.
Gideon steps forward as well, and Belle utters his name. She assures him that no matter what he has done to help the Black Fairy, he can always come back to she and Gold, but the Black Fairy makes clear that he's not going anywhere. Gideon looks down, while Gold challenges that they'll soon see about that. He takes a vial of magic from out of his pocket, but then the Black Fairy holds out her hand and uses her own magic to conjure his Dark One's dagger into it. "Put it down," she commands, and he is compelled to do so, with her then calling him a good boy. She then tells him not to look so surprised, for she practically invented dark magic, but he needn't worry because she won't force him to do anything. When he joins her, it will be because he wants to. Rumple appears taken aback by this, wondering if that's why his mother is there, because he promises that he will never join her. "Oh when the darkness comes, you'll change your mind," she is certain, moving further forward, "And then," she puts the dagger down on the counter, "Rumplestiltskin... we can finally be the family we were always meant to be." With that, she giggles again before vanishing - along with Gideon - in a flurry of black smoke. Rumple is left a tad shaken by the whole interaction.
David works to make Mr. Gold remember.
Finally, David finds and enters the pawnshop, taking a brief look around at all the misbegotten fairytale objects which litter the place. Mr. Gold himself then emerges from the backroom, needing a cane to walk, and he asks this mysterious customer if he can help him with something. The former prince then looks up and squints, smirking before he comments that he almost didn't recognize the Dark One without the scales. "Excuse me?" Gold responds, of course having no idea what Charming is talking about, and then the latter orders him to cut the act, believing there to be no way he would let himself fall under the power of Regina's curse when she's still awake. Further confused, Gold tells the escaped patient that he doesn't seem very well, and that if he's looking for Dr. Hopper then his office is just down the street. However, Charming has had enough with "games", exclaiming that he put his daughter through a wardrobe because Rumple told him she would break the curse - "Now where is she?!" "I have no idea what you're talking about, and I don't appreciate your tone," Gold replies in all genuineness, and then David grabs a sword from the nearby collection, aiming it at the pawnbroker in a threatening manner. Gold rightfully points out that intimidation won't make him remember something he doesn't know and, after a while staring each other down, Charming concedes that maybe Snow was wrong.
The path to Emma is made clear.
He then turns around, preparing to leave, and comments as he goes that it looks like they're gonna have to find Emma on their own. But Gold, who's also turned around, stops at this. Something washes over him, and then... "Emma." David stops after opening the door, turning back to Gold as he finishes uttering, "What a lovely name." His memory trigger has been activated, and the prince seems to recognize something akin to this, for he soon shuts the door and re-approaches the now reawakened Dark One. Rumple turns back to him, suggesting that perhaps he can help him after all, and David is happy to realize that he is awake. Gold says that he just needed a proper wake-up call - one that he knew one day would come - and Charming nods, now wanting to know where he can find his daughter. However, while Rumple knows that Emma is destined to break the curse, he doesn't know where she is or how she's meant to get back to them. Charming implores him to think harder and the Dark One smiles, bearing down on his cane. "Tell me, dearie. What was it that woke you from your miserable little life in the first place?" Charming explains that it was a flower Snow found; its magic woke them. Gold acknowledges that it must have been a pixie flower, before explaining in turn that its dust has the ability to reunite anyone who shares true love. "Like Snow and me..." Charming follows, and Gold adds, "And your daughter." David then prepares to exit the shop, now having a means to find her.
Emma receives some fatherly comfort.
Emma's hand shakes some more in the present as she stands within the loft, and her father approaches from behind to ask her if everything's okay. She tells him everything's fine, and asks in turn if he and the others have drawn up the search grid. David says they have, but, if they're going to find that flower before he and Snow are both asleep for good, then they're going to need her mother's tracking skills, which means it's time for him to say goodnight. He gives his daughter a kiss on the forehead and she questions, "How do you do it, dad?" He doesn't seem to understand what she means, and so she expands, "You and mom have been separated by the curse for weeks, and you've still found a way to work together." David responds that, even though he can't be with her, he knows that she's fighting for him just as hard as he is for her, and Emma appears grim. As such, her father assures that he knows Hook is out there doing the same thing for her. Emma then tearfully hugs her father, thanking him, hoping this to be true.
While her daddy remains Tiger Lily's captive.
Right now, though, Hook is unconscious in Tiger Lily's cave, and she whacks him in the face in order to wake him up. He groans with pain as he manages to come to, his hands tied - well, one hand bound to his hook with rope - and Tiger Lily gets up in order to fetch something. The pirate asks her if this is about what happened at Skull Rock; however, she replies that if this were about Skull Rock then she would have left him to be gutted by those Lost Boys. She drapes a shawl around herself while he begs her to untie him, for there's someone out there whose life depends on it, but she says she's afraid she can't let him go - not until he agrees to do something for her. Hook suggests that perhaps she'd have more luck if she just asked, but she makes clear she couldn't risk getting "no" for an answer, then taking out what looks to be a sharp scrap of wood. She tells the pirate that she needs him to deliver it to another realm, asking as she crouches down to meet his face if he's still captain of the fastest ship on the seas. Hook insists that he isn't her errand boy, and that the woman he loves is in danger so every second he spends arguing with Tiger Lily should be spend finding a way back to her. "You expect for me to believe that Killian Jones fell in love?" Tiger Lily skeptically interrogates, then holding up the shard in her hand and assuring that it isn't driftwood - it's a weapon. And it's the only chance they have of winning the coming war. "Whatever war that is," Hook goes on angrily, "It isn't mine to fight."
Tiger Lily needs Hook to deliver a weapon to the savior.
Tiger Lily informs him that there's a great darkness on the horizon though, so if he doesn't do what she's asking then the savior will die. This naturally grabs his interest. "The savior?" "Yes!" Tiger Lily exclaims, "A great hero, unlike you!" However, Hook is forced to painstakingly explain that they're talking about the same woman, and the Native American woman appears a tad taken aback by the idea that Hook fell in love with the savior. He confirms it to be true, and implores Tiger to check his inside pocket. She moves forward and does so, and soon pulls out the engagement ring that Hook purchased for Emma. He explains as much, and Tiger Lily smiles, then gesturing the "weapon" she totes as she insists he needs to get it to her. She then works on untying him as she explains that the Black Fairy is in Storybrooke and this is the only hope the savior has of defeating her. Hook wishes it were that simple, but explains in turn that there seems to be a curse keeping him from finding his way back home, unless she has some magic which can lift it. After helping him to his feet, Tiger Lily is sad to express that she doesn't... but Pan might. "Where might that demon have kept his magic?" Hook wonders, and Tiger Lily says that it would be at his old camp; however, it's overrun by Lost Boys, and they outnumber them twenty to one. "Aye, is that all?" the pirate asks, fetching his cutlass, and Tiger Lily appears impressed as he declares, "Then I feel sorry for those lads. Because they don't stand a chance."
Regina suspects something's up, and sets up Archie as leverage.
Out in the woods, during the time of the Dark Curse, Archie is forced to report back to Mary Margaret and Mayor Mills that there's no sign of John Doe by the water. Pongo is of course by his side and, as they convene by a heap of abandoned junk, Regina angrily states that they haven't found him in the South Woods either. She then concludes that they should move the search party into town; however, Mary Margaret says that they can't. Regina turns to her at this, appearing somewhat suspicious, and demands to know why not, at which the nervous teacher exclaims that John Doe might still be in the woods somewhere, for they haven't looked everywhere. After a pause, during which time she looks her supposedly unbeknownst nemesis up and down, Regina concedes that Miss Blanchard's right - they haven't checked the mines. She then suggests that Dr. Hopper take Pongo and go have a look, and the therapist cautiously replies, "Okay... uh, alright," before setting off with his dalmatian. With them gone, Regina stares "Mary Margaret" down, walking in a circle around her before heading over to the scrap heap and lifting up a panel which rests on an old stone pillar.
Mary Margaret's heroism is tested by Mayor Mills.
A set of controls is revealed, and Regina begins flicking up switches and the like, at which Mary Margaret asks her what she's doing. The Mayor, flicking another switch, reveals that the mine tunnel Archie is currently off inspecting was rigged for demolition years ago; she lifts another control and hovers her finger over the subsequently unveiled button, making clear that one push will cause the whole thing to come down. "I don't understand, why are you doing this?" Miss Blanchard questions, trying her best to appear meek and unknowing, and Regina explains that it's just a theory of hers: "You and John Doe. You're both awake." Expressing a high level of confusion, Snow assures "Madame Mayor" that she doesn't know what she's talking about, for she was just doing her normal rounds, but Regina then retorts that that's exactly what Snow White would say. Just so she and her Prince can stay awake. "But Snow White's also a hero. She would never let that cricket die, just to protect herself. Mary Margaret on the other hand? She's never stood up to me." The former Queen is clearly taking a form of sadistic pleasure in toying with the teacher like this, her finger still hovering over that button; Archie's life still hanging in the balance.
Snow White has slipped away.
Mary Margaret just stares at her. The Mayor's finger bears down a little, poised to push. As the stare-down goes on, Mary Margaret begins coyly reaching into her pocket, beginning to take out a pair of scissors. Is she prepared to stab the Mayor to protect her friend's life? "So..." Regina goes on, needing the truth confirmed, "What's it going to be?" She tightens her grip on the scissors, holding them as though ready to lift and plunge, but suddenly... Granny's voice interrupts the altercation, as she and some others from the search party approach. She asks if Mary Margaret or Regina have found anything, and the latter turns to them in annoyance, barking, "What now?" Marco then approaches and warns the Mayor against what she's doing, moving her hand away from the demolition controls and promptly shutting the panel - for it's very dangerous. This is at the same time that Archie and Pongo reemerge from the mine tunnel, unscathed, and in all the commotion it appears that Mary Margaret has slipped away. Regina orders her citizens to get out of her way, pushing past Walter and Granny and the Storybrooke counterpart to Doc. She then demands to know where "she" is. "Where's Snow White?!"
The Black Fairy makes an entrance.
Snow and Emma are out in the same woods in the present, which are now drenched in snow, and the former says to her daughter that the winds were blowing from the North which means that the petals have to have come from around the area they're now in. Indeed, Emma soon tells her mother to look - "down there" - and a massive growth of pink pixie flowers can be seen resting in the upcoming dip in the earth. There must be hundreds of them, and Snow and Emma both appear truly stunned. Emma then recalls what Zelena said about how these flowers only grow in the presence of evil. "So if there's a whole field of them..." Snow adds, fearing the implications, and then: "And here I was hoping to make an entrance," the Black Fairy states as she emerges before them, and Snow immediately lifts her bow and aims an arrow the villainess' way. The Black Fairy simply laughs, while Snow orders her to stay away from her daughter, and then Emma's final battalion tells Emma herself that she's been waiting a very long time to meet her. Emma takes this to mean that the Black Fairy is indeed the one she fights in the final battle, at which her fated opponent points out, "I created the Dark Curse. You were born to break it. We've been destined to clash since the beginning of time. I never should have send an emissary to do what only I can."
Emma watches the pixie flowers get destroyed.
Emma demands to know what the hell that means, needing to know how the fairy got there, and then Gideon emerges by her side, standing with his mother. "Right, never mind," Emma practically sighs, and Gideon seems to avoid her gaze. The savior then asks if this is it, but the Black Fairy denies it; she assures the blonde that she'll know when the final battle begins. Everyone will. Snow, arrow still at the ready, promises the Black Fairy that they won't let her hurt their daughter, at which she questions, "Is that so? Because it's going to be hard to stop me when both mummy and daddy are fast asleep." This clearly causes Snow a great deal of distress, while the Black Fairy giggles some more. She then turns to her stolen son and gives him a command... at which he outstretches his hand and uses his magic to make it so that the entire field of pixie flowers is destroyed in an attack of black mist. His dark magic reduces their presence back into plain, snow-strewn earth, and Emma appears utterly horrified. The Black Fairy, however, assures both she and her mother that it's better this way, then looking Snow straight in the eyes as she makes clear, "No mother should have to watch their child die." And then Snow fires. However, the Black Fairy makes both herself and Gideon vanish in another black flurry of mist before the arrow is able to hit her, and it goes flying into the bark of a tree instead.
Tiger Lily shares some of her past.
Meanwhile, in Neverland, the Lost Boys are yelling wild calls while dancing around a nighttime bonfire in Pan's old camp. From across a small lake of ocean, Hook can be seen surveying them along with Tiger Lily, the both of them perched behind some rocks, and the pirate finds himself angrily questioning why it's never past their "bloody" bedtime. However, Tiger is afraid that this is the only way he can get the weapon to the savior, and then she hands him the shard of wood. Taking it, he questions what kind of weapon it is exactly, and she explains that it's a wand - well, part of one. The most powerful ever made; it's what banished the Black Fairy to the realm she was trapped in. Hook wonders how Tiger got her hands on it, at which she tells him that he's not the only one with a past he'd rather forget. "I used to be a fairy," she reveals, to his surprise, and he questions what made her give up her wings. She explains that she once was close to the Black Fairy, and that if anyone was to have stopped her from walking down her dark path then it was her. But she failed. So, after the fairies banished the Black Fairy, Tiger Lily gave up her wings and sought refuge there in Neverland. Hook goes on to assure her that if a pirate like himself can get a second chance then so can she, but she retorts that neither one of them is going to get a second anything if he doesn't get that wand to Emma.
Magic sap, yo.
She then looks to the camp and points out a certain tree to Hook, informing him that its sap contains the magic he'll need to find his way home. "Aye... and how am I supposed to make it to the tree, let alone Storybrooke?" the pirate questions, and Tiger Lily tells him to leave that to her. She then gets up and begins approaching the camp from one side, while Hook stares toward the dancing Lost Boys and their fire, as well as the dead pig they carry for their upcoming feast. An apple has been placed into its mouth, and they put it down by the fire. Suddenly, an arrow is fired right through the apple, and the head Lost Boy spots the culprit - Tiger Lily - and orders his inferiors to, "Get her!" Tiger then runs while the Lost Boys start to give chase, giving Hook ample opportunity to sneak his way into the now cleared-out camp. He lights a torch on one of their grounded flaming poles and approaches the tree he needs to harvest from. Sticking his hook into the bark, he allows the magical sap to leak on out, drenching his namesake attachment. He then approaches a large rock and puts his torch down on the ground, so as to cast a proper shadow, and then he uses his now enchanted hook to begin cutting along the edges of his feet - cutting off his shadow.
Hook's shadow is sent on a mission.
A stray Lost Boy then emerges from behind the rock when Hook has only detached one foot, and so he just sort of looks at him and says, "Ahoy, mate," right before the Lost Boy excitedly grabs a conch shell and summons his fellows with the blow horn-like noise it makes. The pirate then hurriedly severs his other foot from his shadow as well, and then it emerges from the rock as a floating, separate being. "Get me home, now!" Hook orders of his shadow, and it begins heading for the sky. Hook grabs onto its foot with his one hand, but the Lost Boy also grabs his foot, keeping him grounded. More Lost Boys join in, reaching up and grabbing the captain, and it soon becomes clear that he's not going to be able to fly on out of Neverland. Tiger Lily has been captured by now, two Lost Boys having seized her by either arm, and she yells towards her comrade, "Get that wand to Emma!" Hook knows what he must do, and he passes the shard of wand up to his shadow, telling it that it knows what to do. Taking hold of the wand, the shadow prepares to fly away, and Hook's hook loses its grip on its foot. As it leaves to deliver the wand to Emma, Hook lands on the floor and is immediately pounced upon by a whole pack of Lost Boys who all start beating him severely.
The Charmings reconvene at Zelena's future place.
Back in time and snow is gently falling around what will one day be Zelena's farmhouse. Currently, it's simply the abandoned farmhouse at the edge of town where Snow and Charming agreed to meet, and indeed right now the latter is stood within the wrecked interior, pensively staring out the window as he awaits his true love's arrival. He is still clutching the sword he took from Gold's shop and proceeds to turn and aim it upward when he hears the sounds of someone entering, thinking it could perhaps be a potential adversary; however, he is relieved when Mary Margaret comes dashing inside, and she is equally relieved to be faced with him. Lowering his sword, he exclaims that she was late and that he got worried, and the two of them yet again reunite with a loving kiss. She tells him that they have to hurry because Regina's onto them and it won't be long until she finds out, and David asks her if she brought "it". Mary Margaret then retrieves the pink pixie flower from her coat pocket and, as he takes it for inspection, Charming reveals that Rumple said its magic is strong enough to get them to Emma. "Let's go find our daughter," Snow then whispers excitedly, and David is just as excited to get going. However, as they prepare to leave together, Mr. Gold stands in their way, limping in with his cane as he says that he's afraid he can't let them do that.
But Gold wants them to go back to being Blanchard 'n' Doe.
"It appears we've only been cursed ten years," he tells them, meaning Emma's still eighteen years shy of her twenty-eighth birthday - the day she's destined to become the savior. Mary Margaret points out that she doesn't have to be the savior anymore because they're awake, but Gold points out in turn that Snow White and Prince Charming may be awake, but the rest of the town is still very much asleep. "Find Emma now, and she will never fulfill her destiny. The curse will never be broken, and everyone will be trapped here forever." Charming asks the Dark One what he expects them to do - just leave her out there? - but Rumple takes a vial filled with luminous blue liquid from his pocket. He tells them to drink it, just like he's going to; it'll put them back under, and then, when the time is right, Emma will find them. "It's easy for you to say, you don't have a child who's out there by herself!" the prince barks, but Gold assures that he has no idea what's out there for him. David then squares up to him and makes clear that he can't stop them, for he doesn't have magic in this world; there, he's just a man. He prepares to leave, at which Gold states that he doesn't need magic to stop them. Instead, he limps toward Snow and hands her the potion, and Charming turns back to his wife in surprise. "You'll see this potion is the only way forward," the pawnbroker assures the conflicted former princess.
One pixie flower remains.
In the present, Snow is leaning exhausted against a tree as she and Emma remain in the woods following their brief confrontation with the Black Fairy. "I swore I would never leave you alone again," the savior's mother is in the middle of commiserating, "And now the final battle is coming." Emma assures that it's her destiny and there's nothing her mother can do to change it; "I already told dad, it's not your fault." However, Snow begins to reveal to her that that's not true. It is their fault, for there's something Emma doesn't know. However, before Snow can continue, Emma grows distracted by something in her line of vision: a pixie flower. One left. In the snow heap nearby. The savior tells her mother to look, as proudly it remains, and then she approaches and carefully plucks it from the earth. As she takes it for herself, Snow questions how it survived, and Emma, staring at it, surmises, "Because it needed to." She and her mother then turn to each other and smile, each imbued with some fresh hope.
A doorway to Emma is formed.
Once again we are taken back to the time of the Dark Curse, and the reawakened Snow White is sprinkling dust from the exact same type of flower into her palm. She and Charming are standing side-by-side within Storybrooke's snow-blanketed woods and, as she clutches the sparkling pink magic, she turns to her husband and asks him how it's supposed to work. However, he doesn't know, and so he suggests that they just think of Emma and let the magic do the rest. They look into one another's eyes for a moment, each hoping against hope that this will work, and then, cautioning her fears as best she can, Mary Margaret takes a deep breath and throws the dust up into the air, allowing it to rain back down on them. A bright light is conceived within that air and, from it, a doorway materializes. The same type through which, in the past, we've seen portals form to other worlds. It seems this door will lead them to their daughter, and David is the first to move in, clasp his hand around the knob, and pull it open. A swirling gold mass is what awaits, which Snow appears unsure of. She is the next to move in and raise her hand, making contact with the magic of the portal, and the swirling starts to eradicate.
The savior's parents finally lay eyes on her.
Once she takes a step back, she and her husband are able to view exactly what they're to be stepping into: the current bedroom of their ten-year-old daughter who, right now, is sitting on her bed with headphones on, reading a story. Music is clearly going into her ears as she turns the pages of her book, apparently entrenched, and so she has absolutely no idea what's going on just beside her. Snow and Charming, on the other hand, are taken aback by the little blonde girl they're now looking in on. Both are overwhelmed with emotion, and it is the former prince who goes on to utter, "She's beautiful..." in a longing tone. The birds are tweeting; Emma turns a page of her book; all seems so serene. David says that they can't waste another second. They can't miss another second. And he tries to go on through. To beckon his wife to come with him. However, she instead holds out a hand to stop him, telling him to wait. He is confused, wondering what's wrong, and Mary Margaret tries her best to ignore the tear streaming down her cheek as she responds that they can't go through there.
Snow realizes that they can't disrupt their daughter's destiny.
"Snow, we have to," her true love tries to argue, but she argues in turn that if they go through that door then Emma will never become the savior. She can't take her eyes off her, while Charming looks between his daughter and his wife, promising the latter that Emma will have a new destiny - with them. He implores her not to listen to Rumple, but finally she turns to him and insists that she's not. It's not just Rumple. She explains to him that Regina tested her earlier that day, having said that Snow White is a hero who wouldn't let anyone suffer just to get what she wants. "And she's right. I was prepared to lose everything to save Archie in that mine shaft. How is this any different?" "Because our daughter is right there!" David exclaims, again looking and gesturing to the child Emma as she continues to sit obliviously on her bed. He adds that they can't ask her to sacrifice her happiness just to ensure everyone else's, but Snow retorts that they have to. She then shouts that she has lived in this town with everyone they have ever known, and they are all separated from the people they love too - they can't sentence them to this life forever just because the two of them are unwilling to wait just a little bit longer.
The doorway is closed.
The birds are still tweeting, but the serenity is gone. Charming is just staring at his daughter, desolately wondering what is to become of her, and Snow stares too. At Emma so peacefully just escaping into a story. And she says to her husband that they just have to believe that she's strong enough to grow up without them. "Snow, I..." he attempts to protest, but she knows he knows she's right. Another page turned, and the tears which have been resting in wait all this time really start to flow. David says that he wishes she wasn't, and he nods while crying. Snow too gives a slight nod, hating what they have to do - what they have to sacrifice - and then the two soulmates join hands. They spend a final moment just standing. Watching. Taking in the memory of their daughter that they know will soon be lost, and the weeping Mary Margaret whispers toward Emma that they will see her again. Emma still notices nothing, and finally her mother steps forward and closes the door which exists between them. As soon as it's shut, the light returns, and then the entire doorway disappears. The portal is gone. The path to Emma is no more, and Emma herself finally finds herself turning her head. Looking to her open closet, where the way to her parents used to be but a few moments earlier. Now it's just a closet again, and the little girl is left looking intrigued.
A tearful goodbye between true loves.
Back in Storybrooke, though, Snow and Charming are just standing in the woods. Snow is clutching the potion Gold gave her and hears the faint sounds of people approaching, surmising that it must be the search party. Handing the vial of blue liquid to her husband, she tells him that they don't have much time, and he takes it with a heavy heart. It's then that her face contorts in full-on bawling, and her whimpering, heartbroken voice blurts out that she didn't think they'd be saying goodbye again so soon. "Hey, hey, I know," David assures, placing his free hand on her arm in an attempt to calm her down as he draws her in close. The final moment of intimacy the two will be allowed to share for at least another eighteen years. And then he tells her to remember: "I will always find you." Her hands then move to his face as she responds, with deep conviction, "One day... Emma will find us." And with that, they share a tearful kiss farewell. It's long and deep and sorrowful. And, when finally it comes to an end, Snow nods, knowing they must follow through with what they've decided.
The potion is drank, and back to sleep they go...
As such, David uncorks the bottle and drinks half the potion that rests inside. He then re-corks it and nods to his wife, before its effects start to wash over him. He clutches onto her, about to collapse, and she gently lowers him to the ground as he returns to his comatose state. To John Doe. With him soon unconscious on her lap, she takes the last of the potion for herself, drinking it and promptly putting it away as its memory-erasing power sets in. There is an instant when her devastated expression turns blank, and Snow White is back to being simply Mary Margaret Blanchard. "Mary Margaret!" Archie then calls out as he and the rest of the search party come running towards her, "You found him!" She looks up to him, startled and confused, and then the therapist asks if the escaped coma patient is alright. It's then that she looks down, only just realizing that her once again unbeknownst true love is even there.
Hook's shadow delivers what it was told to.
Emma helps lower Snow down onto her bed in the loft, with the latter saying that they don't have much time as she scrambles toward her slumbering husband. Right now, Regina is distilling the dust from the last pixie flower into a vial, and Emma begs her friend to please tell her there's enough. "Barely," Regina reveals as she approaches the bedroom area, "But it'll do. It'll break the sleeping curse once and for all." She hands the vial to Snow, who struggles to even sit up at this point, and then they're all taken aback as a shadow suddenly flies in through the window. Regina wonders what it is that's happening now and Emma figures that it's another emissary of the Black Fairy's sent to stop them. However, it is Henry who figures that that's not the Black Fairy - it's a shadow. Recognizing its shape, Emma realizes that it's Hook's shadow, and it proceeds to hand her the piece of wand given to it by the captain himself. Emma takes the wand, not exactly clear on what it is, and demands to know from the shadow where Hook is. At this, Hook's actual hook slips from the shadow's ankle, clanking onto the loft's floor. Proof that the pirate's in danger, for it clearly came off in a struggle.
Emma fears that her love is in danger.
Emma picks it up and immediately knows that there's something wrong. Her love is in trouble. And again she asks the shadow what's going on and where Hook is. It just stares at her, floating down and touching her face with its one hand, and she looks ever so sad as it prepares to take flight again and fades away. She is left clutching a wand and a hook, entirely worried about what might be happening to Killian Jones right this very moment, while Henry tries assuring her that it's going to be okay because they'll find him. Emma points out that they don't even know where he is, at which Snow, from the bed, exclaims, "Yes you do." They all turn to her as she clutches the vial of pixie magic, saying that it can reunite anyone who shares true love; it can open a door to Hook. Emma asks her how she knows that and finally Snow reveals that she and Charming once used pixie dust to find her when she was a little girl. The savior is shocked to hear this and Snow tells her that, had they gone through with it, she would have grown up with them. They would have been a family. She wouldn't have become the savior, and she wouldn't be fighting the final battle now.
Snow sacrifices her and David's cure to save Hook instead.
"I get it. You had to do what was right for everyone else before yourselves," Emma understands, but Snow makes clear that today she's putting her daughter first. She takes her hand and encloses the pixie magic in her palm, saying that she has a future. Someone she loves. Emma can't take the magic for herself though, for it's her parents' only chance of breaking the curse, and she sits on the bed in order to hug her mother as the latter says that Hook needs it more than they do. "Eventually you'll find a way to wake us," Snow is sure as she is compelled to lie down, growing more and more tired, "We've taken so much from you. We can't take him too. Not before the final battle." And then she rolls over and finally drifts off to sleep. An eternal slumber, by the looks of things, at her husband's side. Emma looks sadly down at her possibly permanently unconscious mom and dad, and then to the vial of magic in her hand, deeply conflicted.
Emma comes to rescue Hook.
Hook is slammed against a pyre in Pan's camp where the Lost Boys secure him atop wooden kindling, telling him that - for his crimes against Pan - they sentence him to death. "Sorry, Captain," says a restrained Tiger Lily, at which one of the Lost Boys yanks her to be quiet, but Hook tells her not to be, for all that matters is that Emma got the wand. Suddenly, a bright light bursts forth from nothing and a doorway is seen forming nearby. The door opens, and Emma comes running from the portal behind it, apparently having used the last of the pixie dust to lead herself to her true love. She cries out his name, and he exclaims hers in turn, demanding to know what she's doing, and then he decides it's best they use the confusion to their advantage and orders Tiger Lily to run now. With that, he elbows one of the Lost Boys who was securing him to the pyre and manages to free himself of it, at the same time that Tiger Lily bashes the boys either side of her. "We've gotta go!" Emma yells while Hook knocks another boy to the ground, and Tiger does the same as she runs from the camp. Soon, the pirate and the savior reunite, and she dashes with him back through the portal door - back to Storybrooke. The Lost Boys appear most displeased as it closes behind them and promptly disappears, at the same time that they begin calling out for the whereabouts of Tiger Lily. Currently, she is hiding behind a tree, smiling over the fact that Emma and her ally made a successful escape. And then she slips away entirely.
Hook's home safe. Yay?
Emma lands with Hook atop her back in the loft as the portal door disappears there as well, and then Henry and Regina help them both to their feet. The savior asks her love if he's alright, and he responds affirmatively, then wondering how it is she was able to rescue him. She explains that they got his message, which reminds her of the hook still resting on the table. Grabbing it, she quickly places it back into its rightful socket at the end of Killian's left arm, and he apologizes to her. Still wincing with pain, he admits that he should have told her what he did to her grandfather all those years ago, and he should never have even considered running away. "It's okay. I didn't exactly make it easy for you to tell me the truth," Emma says (for some reason), then telling him to come with her so that they can get him cleaned up. However, he retorts that there's something he's got to do before he gets pushed into another portal, and then he reaches into his inside pocket and pulls out the engagement ring he intended for her. He claims that, this time, he's gonna do it the right way, and Regina, who's got the wand, ushers Henry to one side in order to give these two some privacy.
Captain Swan engagement #2.
"Emma Swan..." he begins, holding out the ring, "I know you face an uncertain future, but there's something I want you to be certain of: that I will always, always be by your side." She tears up, smiling, as he says this, and, as he continues, he proceeds to get down on one knee. "So, Emma Swan... what do you say? Will you marry me?" She too lowers to her knees, placing her hands either side of his face, staring into his eyes as she utters, "Yes." And with that, they share a joyous kiss, after which he slides the diamond ring onto the appropriate finger. She is still tearful as she smiles at him, but he seems a tad more daunted as he goes on to ask where her parents are, for he feels like it's time he finally faced her father. However, at this, Emma turns sadly to the bedroom area, where Regina and Henry are currently standing beside the slumbering Snow and David. "Bloody hell," says Hook, before asking what happened, and both he and Emma stand up as she explains that they went into a sleeping curse so that she could save him. The two of them then head to the bedroom area together, where Regina tells the savior, "I was thinking... there might be another way to break it. But it's risky." At this point, though, Emma seems about willing to try anything.
The townspeople all share a small part of the Charmings' curse.
"Thank you for coming," Regina is next heard announcing over at her mayoral office, where a multitude of Storybrooke's citizens have gathered, "I know living in Storybrooke isn't easy - I certainly didn't always make it that way - but I learned something today..." The townspeople seem unimpressed so far, while Snow and David have been placed on a raised mattress in the center of the room, each still enduring their eternal sleep. "That once, Snow and Charming had a chance to leave this town," the Mayor goes on, "To find their own happiness. But they chose to stay, for the good of everyone here. Now I'm going to ask you to do something for them." With that, she retrieves a silver goblet from her desk, explaining that in it is the sleeping curse that the Evil Queen placed on the Charmings' shared heart; it was meant for one heart, but if they all shared the curse, they might dilute its power. Leroy takes issue with the word "might", while Hook is the first to step forward. He states that he would be ash right now if it weren't for them, and so he takes the goblet and declares, "Cheers, love," before sipping some of the curse within.
And it works - the curse is finally broken.
He hands it back to Regina, who makes a toasting gesture toward the slumbering royals before taking a sip herself. And then Emma steps forward, deciding, "Here goes," as she too takes the goblet and ingests a small amount of its contents. She then hands it to Henry, who goes next, but the gathered townspeople still appear somewhat cagey, and so the young Author places it back atop his mother's desk. "What the hell?" Leroy then decides, stepping out from the crowd, "I could use a nap." Emma smiles to Hook as they watch the dwarf take the goblet and sip, and then Archie steps out and takes it from him, deciding that he too is in as he takes a sip for himself. Marco nods, also taking the goblet and toasting to the Charmings, and Granny is the next to share in the curse. More dwarfs; Sneezy and Doc and Sleepy... Soon enough, everyone there has taken some, all proving their devotion to Snow and David, and a burst of magic eventually washes over the room. With it, Snow's eye is seen to spring open, and we see that, lying on that raised mattress in the middle of the office, David is awake as well.
At a cost...
The two of them turn to each other, both overjoyed, and they find themselves uttering one another's names before finally sitting up and properly reuniting in a passionate kiss. "You did it," he assumes, proud, only for her to have to reveal, "I didn't do anything..." It's then that they take a look around and become horrified to realize that everyone who drank from the goblet is now asleep on the floor. All their family and friends. And they remove themselves from the mattress as they look around in utter dread. "No... no!" Snow cries while David crouches down at the side of Emma and Hook, reaching out to his daughter and whispering her name. However, all is not lost, for as soon as he does so it seems she starts to wake up. She looks up at her dad and smiles, as does he, thrilled that she's alright and that she managed to wake them up and, as he helps her to her feet, he asks her how she did it. Emma shares a hug with her mother as she responds that it was easy - they all just shared a tiny bit of their curse - and Snow appears stunned as the rest of the townspeople soon start to wake up as well. Regina comes to while still sitting in her desk chair, immediately seeing the awake Snow and David, while David himself also aids Hook to his feet.
Soon enough though, all's well; all's forgiven; family and all that crap.
Henry is seen getting up, and then the rest of the town's residents who gathered there today. Hook says to the prince that he takes it Emma hasn't told him his secret, but David reveals that actually she did... and, it was a long time ago. David recognizes that Hook is a changed man now, for they've all seen it, and he places a hand on his shoulder as a sign that he both forgives him and still imparts his blessing for the pirate to marry his daughter. Granny hugs Marco while Leroy hugs Archie and dwarfs hug dwarfs; everyone is just happy that the cure worked and all's well. Regina steps out from behind her desk and Snow tells her that she did it, only for the Mayor to assure that it wouldn't have worked had she and her husband not inspired all these people. "You gave up your family for them." "And got a bigger one in return," Snow says happily, then turning to Emma and promising, "That's how I know we'll defeat the Black Fairy, Emma. No matter what she does, you will not face her alone." The savior seems awfully comforted to hear this.
Gold denies the Black Fairy.
Across town, the Black Fairy is waiting beside the clock tower, happy to hear Rumple approaching from behind. As she turns to face him, she comments that there's never enough time, whether it's fast or slow or even if it doesn't move at all, but especially when the end is near. "You gave my dagger back. Why?" the Dark One needs to know, and the Black Fairy reminds him of what she already said: that he's going to choose to be part of this family. Rumple asks if that has to do with the fact that Gideon didn't choose her, and she looks a tad taken aback. He asks further if she thinks he doesn't know that she has his heart, and she puts on a smile. She says that he was always such a clever boy and questions how he figured it out, at which he informs her that she ordered him to destroy the pixie flowers but it seems he kept one alive. "A true believer wouldn't do that, now, would he?" The Black Fairy begins to frown at this, exclaiming that that's not possible because Gideon wouldn't disobey her like that, but Rumple pridefully points out, "And yet, he did. He found a way to resist your command." He goes on to state the reason why: because he has his mother in him. The one that truly loves him. But he won't have to resist anymore, Rumple reckons, for he declares that he will get his son's heart back. His mother finds this amusing, assuring that Dark One that, if he comes at her, there may be nothing left of this town when they finish. However, Rumple supposes that that's a price he's willing to pay, and there's a brief stare-off before he walks away semi-victorious.
- The title card of this episode features one of the portal doors created by the pixie magic.
- A similar title card was featured in "Heroes and Villains", with the addition of snow.
- Despite being in the episode's official press release, Eric Keenleyside (Moe French/Maurice) was absent from this episode, and thus not credited. Presumably, any scenes featuring him were cut for time.
- In the original script, in the scene where Mary Margaret is leading David through hospital in flashback, Leroy says to the former, "If you change your mind, you know where to find me," and winks at her, prompting Charming to ask, "Was Grumpy... flirting with you?" However, this did not make it into the final cut of the episode.
- The title of this episode was officially confirmed by executive producer/co-creator Adam Horowitz, via his Twitter account, on January 18, 2017.
- This episode marks the twenty-seventh overall writing credit for Andrew Chambliss, and the second for Leah Fong, as well as the first directing credit for Sharat Raju.
This episode garnered 2.51 million viewers, marking a slight decrease from the previous week and continuing the steady decrease experienced by the second half of the season overall.
This episode received generally positive reviews from critics.
- Christine Laskodi of TV Fantic gave the episode a positive review: 4.7 out of 5.0
- Justin Kirkland of Entertainment Weekly gave the episode a B+.
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.