"Street Rats" is the 116th episode of Once Upon a Time.
In flashbacks to Agrabah, the princess, Jasmine, recruits a supposed street rat, Aladdin, to help her recover a secret weapon capable of breaking Jafar's hold on the Sultan and saving the city from ruin; their quest takes them to the Cave of Wonders, where Aladdin's fate is revealed. Over in Storybrooke, the Evil Queen tricks Emma's loved ones and forces the savior to reveal her secret in an effort to divide the family. The Queen also takes to pampering Zelena while, elsewhere in town, Regina and our heroes scramble to learn what became of a certain diamond in the rough.
Previously on Once Upon a Time...
Emma gets hand tremors and visions of herself having a battle which leads to her death. ("The Savior") She tells Archie that it's hard to keep this secret from her family and her happiness is an illusion. ("The Other Shoe") Hook and Emma lovingly stroke faces. ("The Other Shoe") The Evil Queen tells Emma she wants her to see how pointless she is once she's off the chessboard. ("The Other Shoe") Zelena tells the Evil Queen she thought she was different than Regina. The Evil Queen insists she's the sister Zelena wants, telling her she'd never settle for less. ("A Bitter Draught") Now a teacher again, Snow bumps into "Shirin" while walking down the school corridor. Shirin introduces herself as Snow's new teacher's aid. ("Strange Case") "Shirin" meets up with the Oracle and claims she didn't come this far to give up on looking for Aladdin. The Oracle assures her she will find him, addressing her as Jasmine, revealing her true identity. ("Strange Case")
Capital of Agrabah
Many years ago...
Jafar punishes some vermin.
In the fairytale land of the past, in the dry deserts of Agrabah, we're introduced to the lush and golden city that is the capital. Within a market, as civilians go about their daily business, a group of guards bring forth some captured thieves. They command the "vermin" to get on their knees, catching the nervous attention of everyone around. The powerful sorcerer Jafar, carrying his serpent staff, approaches the criminals and warns them that the Sultan doesn't tolerate thieves in Agrabah. However, as he says this, a man in the distracted crowd makes his way around numerous innocents, sneakily stealing their possessions. Jafar continues, stating that more importantly, he doesn't tolerate them either. He states that their city has become overrun and proceeds to call the criminals "nothing but street rats". With that, he uses his magic staff to turn the men into actual rats, horrifying the crowd. Witnessing this, the other thief in the crowd leaves to a quieter area, taking with him all he managed to collect. As he examines a necklace, a woman from behind asks the thief if he's "as bold as they say". Nervous, he hides the jewellery and stutters a lie that he's late for work at the bakery.
Jasmine begs Aladdin for help...
As he attempts to pardon his exit, the veiled woman tells him he's not a baker, but a terrible liar. She assures him that she's not here to report him, "I'm here to hire you, Aladdin". Aladdin, the thief, sighs that he's been identified, so asks the woman who she is. In return, the woman removes the her hood and the cloth covering her face, revealing expensive jewels and a tiara. Aladdin instantly recognizes her as the Princess Jasmine and asks what she's doing here, stating she should be at a palace or something. Jasmine claims to not like the palace very much since Jafar became her father, the Sultan's, adviser. She reveals that the sorcerer is taking advantage of her father's kind heart and destroying Agrabah from the inside, starving citizens and delivering brutal justice when people are just trying to get a crust of bread for their families, "That's why I've come to you". Confused, Aladdin asks her if she wants him to steal bread, frustrating her, so she yells that she wants him to help her defeat Jafar. Aladdin scoffs at the idea of this, asking if he just missed what he did, turning people into rats, "He has magic!" he yells before attempting to leave once again.
...and he reluctantly agrees.
Jasmine pleads for the thief's help, stating only he can do this, "I need your help, Aladdin. Agrabah needs your help" she insists, however, he apologizes and claims the only person he helps is himself. As he begins to walk away once again, Jasmine tells him to look in his pocket. He does just that and pulls out the Golden Scarab of Agrabah, "One of the great royal treasures" Jasmine explains to him. He tells her to take it back for he doesn't care how much she's paying him, but Jasmine tells him he doesn't understand because it's not payment, "Oh, no! It's missing! The royal scarab! Thief!" she begins shouting out for everyone in the market to hear. Aladdin hushes her, terrified to be caught, and then finally agrees to help. He checks that the coast is clear and then asks what they're stealing, "Nothing much. Just the most powerful magic in all the realm. A weapon known as the Diamond in the Rough" she explains, "Right" he responds, speechless. Suddenly, the tweet of a bird catches his attention. He looks up to a rooftop through a rip in the fabric above him and he sees a red bird, identical to the Oracle's bird, but it soon flies away.
Emma catches a murderer?
In the present, the same red bird flies through the woods of Storybrooke. Emma Swan, her therapist Archie Hopper and his pet dog Pongo follow closely after it, but Archie says that he doesn't think chasing a bird is an effective form of therapy. A desperate Emma claims that last time the bird took her to the Oracle so he'll do it again. She explains that the Oracle knows what's going on with her visions, but Archie doesn't believe this and claims that he can actually help her. Emma snaps that this isn't "dream interpretation", but Archie stops Emma from walking any further, claiming this is the opposite of how therapy is supposed to work. He insists that they're making progress, but Emma refutes this, pointing out that her hands are still shaking and her visions are still haunting her, "So no more talking. Today we do something". She turns back around to continue following the bird, but she instantly sees a cloaked figure sitting on a tree trunk. Rushing to the person, Emma taps their shoulder, but they end up falling to the floor, dead. It's the Oracle, and she's been poisoned by Agrabahn viper venom. Archie rushes to check if she's dead and Emma confirms that she is. Horrified, Archie asks who would do something like this, but Emma hushes him, hearing twigs snapping in the distance. Another cloaked figure is soon seen running through the woods, trying to escape the scene of the crime. Emma shouts out at them and chases them down. She manages to catch up with them when they trip and fall to the ground. She grabs them and tells them to stop before flipping them onto their back, revealing their face...it's Princess Jasmine!
ONCE UPON A TIME
Jasmine comes clean during her interrogation.
Over at the sheriff's office, Jasmine, who is simply known as "Shireen" by the people of Storybrooke, is sat alone in the interrogation room as Snow, Emma and David look in on her. Snow comments that it seems Shireen was looking for more than a fulfilling career in education, but Emma questions if that's even her real name before telling her parents they should find out. Emma and David enter the room, sitting opposite the supposed criminal, and the former starts by asking Shireen who she really is and what she's doing here, "Let us help you. Tell us who you are". Jasmine is apprehensive, explaining that she's had to hide her identity for many years because, in the Land of Untold Stories, Hyde could use it against her. The two sheriff's share a glance before David reveals that Hyde is dead, shocking Jasmine. Emma assures their suspect that she doesn't have to be afraid of him anymore, so, after a moment of hesitation, she finally identifies herself as Princess Jasmine of Agrabah; Snow is startled by this revelation. Jasmine assures the father and daughter that she's innocent of the crime and Emma claims to believe her, shocking the princess. After Emma mentions her "super power", David asks who did do it if it wasn't Jasmine. The princess claims to have no idea , explaining that the "girl" was her friend and she was helping to find someone she cared about a long time ago. Emma deduces that she's talking about Aladdin, shocking Jasmine again, who asks if she knows him. However, Emma tells her how she just saw the movie, "It's a this world thing". She asks Jasmine where he is, but she doesn't know, stating he was special, "He was the Savior". Emma and David simultaneously ask "What?", and then they, including Snow, are become shocked, confused and intrigued.
Jiminy Cricket! The Evil Queen takes Archie's form!
Meanwhile, Dr. Archibald Hopper enters his office, hanging up his umbrella and taking off his coat, "It's about time the doctor's in" the Evil Queen sighs, sitting in his armchair. Startled, Archie turns to the queen and asks what she wants. She tells him she wants to talk about Emma Swan, but he points out that he cannot talk about his patients. The queen laughs at this, claiming he'll make an exception for her, "Now, Mr. Hyde, before his untimely demise, told me the Oracle gave Emma visions of her future, and she wasn't willing to tell me about them, so..." she explains, giving Archie the revelation that the Evil Queen was the one to kill the Oracle. She mocks the therapist, telling him if that's shocked him then he's not much with reading people, which probably isn't good for a therapist. She moves on to explain that with the Oracle gone, she needs information and he is her only source. Archie suddenly turns and attempts to leave his office, but the queen uses her magic to slam the door shut, "Don't you remember what a great team we made? Let's do it one more time for old time's sake" she smiles. Archie sternly replies with a "no", leading the queen ask if he's developing a spine to go with the conscience she always knew he had, "No matter" she shrugs off before using her magic to change her appearance to that of Archie's. Now in the form of the therapist, the Evil Queen tells Archie that if he won't tell her about Emma's visions, then she'll just have to ask her herself. Archie stares at villain opposite him, a look of worry on his face.
I wanna do bad things with you.
Over at Zelena's Farmhouse, Zelena puts Robin in her crib for nap time, gently hushing her to sleep. When she turns around, she notices Archie Hopper sat on a chair, bound and gagged. She's confused for a moment, but then realizes it's the doings of her sister, so she becomes frustrated and complains that she's got better things to be doing than looking after her victims. She removes the therapists gag and he begs her to let him go, but she refuses, stating her sister will have her reasons. Terrified, he pleads that she doesn't have to listen her sister or be in anyone's shadow. "Are you psychoanalyzing me?" she asks, but when she doesn't get a response, she puts the gag back in his mouth, "You are psychoanalyzing me!" she hisses, "I've got enough to do. I don't need another baby to watch". Archie gives a defeated look.
The Evil Queen gets some valuable info from Emma.
Meanwhile, over at Archie's office, the Evil Queen, who is posing at the therapist, exits to the street, only to come across Emma Swan, who is sorting through a bag near her car. Before Emma notices him, the "therapist" clears his throat and prepares himself to act the part. Ready, he approaches Emma and tells her they need to talk, but the blonde claims to not remember scheduling another session, "Did we schedule another session?" she asks, puzzled. He tells her they didn't, but he was thinking about their situation and couldn't let go of it, "I just think we've got more to explore with that vision" he explains. Emma loads her car up while he's talking, and once he finishes, she disagrees that the need to explore more, since things have changed. "They have?" he asks, wanting to get information on the visions. Emma reveals that there was another Savior that came before her...and he's alive. "Another Savior?" "Archie" asks, leading Emma to reveal it was Aladdin, "You know, like 'A Whole New World' and magic carpets. Aladdin". While explaining this, she gets into the drivers seat of her car. She repeats to "Archie" that Aladdin he's okay, which means if he is, then her vision might not matter, "Maybe it's wrong. Maybe all Saviors don't die, and then it's okay that I can tell my family because there's nothing to tell". She then says farewell to her therapist before leaving for her destination.
Jasmine is told some harsh truths.
In Agrabah of the past, Aladdin and Jasmine are walking through the desolate desert as the former asks about the Diamond in the Rough, wondering if it's a jewel or a weapon. The princess sighs and explains that he'll learn all he needs to know once they reach the Cave of Wonders. Aladdin questions what that is, so she explains that the stories say that's where the Diamond in the Rough will be discovered. "Stories?" Aladdin asks, stopping in his tracks, "This journey's based on stories?" he asks in disbelief. Jasmine states she was a bored princess in a palace full of books so she did some reading. Aladdin then asks if the Cave of Wonders means plural, because wonders can be profitable. The princess snaps that they're not on a scavenger hunt, but Aladdin disagrees, leading her to state this is serious, "Please, stop thinking of only yourself". The thief notes that she's being judgy, but she points out that she could be at her palace comfortable, even with Jafar, "I'm out here trying to make a change, to better the world". Aladdin points out in return that the world has been suffering for a long time, puzzling the princess, who asks what he means. He tells her she cannot blame it all on Jafar before laughing at her ignorance, "See, being stuck inside those palace walls surrounded by books, you don't see it. Hmm". Jasmine asks what she doesn't see, so he explains the Capital has been suffering for a long time and only when her family was personally effected did she decide to get heroic. She says its better late than never before stomping away, and as she does, Aladdin taunts that neither of them are hero material, "Let's be honest, I might be a selfish street rat, but you, you're a selfish princess". Jasmine defends herself, stating she's doing something now, unlike him, who's just complaining. He pulls out an apple and takes a bite, repeating that he's a selfish street rat. He then pulls out a second apple which he stole from a street vendor. He does a trick with it, flipping it around his shoulders, before offering it to the princess. She smiles and thanks him before walking away, continuing the journey. Aladdin looks at her with a smile.
Aladdin unlocks the entrance to the Cave of Wonders... somehow.
A short while later, the two come to the peak of a dune, allowing them to see a large structural entrance with a tiger's head down below. Aladdin jokingly asks if she's sure that's it, not just a tiger-shaped outhouse. Jasmine confirms it is indeed the Cave of Wonders, leading the two of them to approach it. Once they reach the large closed door, they both simply look at it, "Now what?" Aladdin asks. Jasmine points out that Aladdin is a thief, "How hard can a little breaking and entering be?". Aladdin ponders the situation, and after a moment of thought he clicks his fingers, stating he's got it. He suggests taking a page from Jasmine's stories, "Ever read 'Ali Baba'? You ready?" he asks before opening his arms wide and shouting "Open sesame!". When nothing happens, he flicks his hands in a last attempt, but still nothing happens. The two look immensely disappointed, "So much for stories" Aladdin huffs. However, with that, the door begins to rumble and they turn to see it unlock. They share a nervous look and then Aladdin tells the princess "after you". She begins to walk inside the cave and he soon follows.
"Archie" forces Emma to reveal her secret.
Back in the present, Emma enters the Blanchard Loft and is met by Hook, Snow, David, Regina, Henry and Jasmine, who are gathered around the dining table. Emma asks them what's wrong, so her father explains they hit a dead end trying to find Aladdin. Snow explains further that they tried a locator spell but nothing he had belonged to him as he stole it all. Emma asks if they're giving up, so David says they're not, although it doesn't look good. A saddened Jasmine states they may not find Aladdin, "Which means you're running out of excuses, Emma" "Archie" says, entering the loft uninvited. Confused, she asks the therapist if he followed her here, so he confirms he did before explaining he couldn't leave knowing she was going to continue to lie to herself and her family. Emma becomes frozen with shock over her therapists betrayal while Snow asks what's going on. "Archie" reveals that Emma has a secret, and although she tries to stop him Hook urges the therapist to continue. Emma tries to stop Killian, but he assures her the cricket's always been on her side so he may be able to help. Henry butts in, pleading for his mother to share her secret. Giving in, Emma reveals that she's been having visions of what she thinks is her future. "I've been shaking. In the vision... I die". Everyone in the room is shocked. "According to Hyde all Saviors die. Aladdin was also a Savior, so I thought if I found him, if I found him alive... that he could help me avoid my fate". With that, "Archie" exits the loft as Emma's family argue with her for lying to them. The therapist uses magic to turn back into his true form, the Evil Queen and she chuckles menacingly as she listens on the conflict she's just caused.
Regina wants to help while she can.
"So I'm not there?" Regina asks Emma in reference to the vision of the night she's killed. The blonde confirms that the figure in the hood kills her while she protects everyone and Regina isn't there. The mayor wonders where she is, so Hook and Emma share an uncomfortable glance, "Dead?" Regina suggests, but when nobody responds, she then realizes they think she's the figure under the hood. Emma asks Regina not to be angry because it's a vision, not a dream, so it's not her subconscious at work. Frustrated, the former evil queen states she's going to find another way to find Aladdin since if she can't be of help in the future she'll do her part now. Emma tries to calm her friend down, but she tells the blonde to meet her at the vault in an hour, "I've got this" she promises before leaving the loft. Once Regina is gone, Jasmine steps forward and asks Emma if it's true that Aladdin's dead. "I don't know" Emma replies, worried.
Aladdin asses the situation.
Back in time, in the land of Agrabah, Jasmine and Aladdin have entered the Cave of Wonders and come down a large staircase leading to a room filled with countless treasures. They look around in awe at all the gold and jewellery, but something suddenly catches the eye of the princess: a sword balanced on a spire with a diamond perfectly balancing on the tip of the blade. She grabs Aladdin's attention and tells him to look, "You want a diamond foot stool, princess?" he asks, shocked at the rocks size. Eager to grab the jewel, she leans forward, but the thief stops her, warning that it will be booby tapped, "You lift it here and --" he explains before being cut off by Jasmine, who finishes his sentence with "boom". He asses the situation and then begins searching for something to counterbalance the weight. He soon finds a golden statue of a monkey and then takes it back to the sword, carefully removing the diamond and replacing it. There's a moment of tension, but when nothing happens after the diamond is taken, they both sigh with relief, "Clever" she compliments.
Aladdin discovers that he is the Diamond in the Rough.
Aladdin goes to present the Diamond in the Rough to the princess, but before he can, it vanishes in a puff of smoke and turns to dust. The whole cave begins to rumble and rocks fall loose from the ceiling. Aladdin pushes Jasmine to the ground and crouches over her to protect her. A large pillar begins to crack and then eventually falls, heading straight for the defenseless pair. Aladdin holds his hand out to shield himself as instinct, but a burst of white magic shoots from his hand and obliterates the pillar, saving their lives. Confused, Aladdin asks what that was, so Jasmine explains that it was magic. Aladdin remains confused, so the princess excitedly tells him he has magic. As he looks at his hand in awe, he angrily asks Jasmine if she knew this would happen. She says she didn't know the column would fall on them, "But yes. I suspected something, and now you've proven it true". Aladdin asks what he's proven, so Jasmine explains the diamond wasn't the Diamond in the Rough, "You are. You're the weapon. You can challenge Jafar and defeat him. You're going to be the savior of Agrabah". A conflicted Aladdin simply states at Jasmine, who states back at him with hope for her kingdom's survival.
Henry and Jasmine both regret putting their saviors on a path that leads to death.
Back in the present, an upset Jasmine is sat quietly on a bed in the Blanchard Loft. Henry approaches her and, noticing she's sad, suggests she play the Xbox if she wants, "Or whatever helps". She apologizes for intruding, but the boy assures her it's okay as he knows this is hard for her too because of Aladdin, "I'm sorry about that". Jasmine tells Henry the worst part is being the Savior is a death sentence, and back in a cave in Agrabah, she was the one who put him on that path. Henry admits he did the same for his mom and explains how he brought her to Storybrooke to break a curse, "She was just living her life" "So was Aladdin". Henry then supposes that Hyde may have been wrong about Saviors dying, so the princess tells him she hopes so, "For both of us".
Snow gives Emma some advice.
Meanwhile, Snow takes a seat next to Emma and tells her daughter she should've been honest. Emma explains that she didn't lie, she just just got scared, but Snow points out that's exactly when you should talk to your mother. Emma asks if she can forgive her, so the former princess assures her that she obviously forgives her because they're her parents, "We'll always forgive you. But what about him?" she asks, looking over to Hook who is stood with David, who is on the phone. She explains to Emma that she's trying to build something with Hook, and although her and David aren't perfect, they don't keep secrets from each other. With that, David walks over and reveals he was just talking on the phone with Leroy who had an appointment with Archie, but he didn't show. Emma notes that Archie left the loft with plenty of time, causing Snow to realize it wasn't Archie who spoke to them. Now on the same page, Emma realizes that the Evil Queen has him.
The Evil Queen wants to treat Zelena.
Over at Zelena's Farmhouse, the Wicked Witch is sat at a table sipping on tea as the real Archie tends to her newborn baby, "Keep bouncing, she likes it. And if you know what's good for you, you'll add some funny faces" she instructs. As Archie does as he's told, the Evil Queen appears in puff of purple smoke, "About blood time" Zelena snaps at her. An overjoyed Evil Queen is delighted to see Zelena, "What a day. Thanks for watching him" she grins. Zelena sarcastically thanks her for asking before pointing out she could've handed him over to Regina. The Queen notes that she didn't though before telling her sister she knows exactly what she needs. She orders her to come with her, but the redhead asks what they'll do about Robin. The Queen points out that they have the perfect babysitter, "If the baby dies, you die" she snarls at Archie. He gulps in submission, proving to the Queen that he'll stay put. She tells Zelena to put a barrier spell over the house to keep the "vermin" from coming in, "Come along. Your little sister can make everything better" she smiles, holding her hand out.
The Evil Queen tells Zelena to embrace her wickedness for her daughter's sake.
Over at Storybrooke's spa, The Three Bears Day Spa, the Evil Queen and Zelena are getting a pampering from Goldilocks and her "bears" as they talk about Mr. Gold's new haircut. The Queen comments on how good he looks and then on how he needed to get away from "that blithering bookworm". Zelena asks her sister if she's ever done anything with the Dark One, which she hasn't. The Queen asks the same in return so Zelena confirms she hasn't, although she did try once, back in her wicked days. As a man gives Zelena a glass of champagne, the Queen suggests those days don't have to be over and asks what's holding her back now, "Isn't this what you've always wanted? A family who gets you, who chooses you?". She tells Zelena that Regina and the others only tolerate her and want her to shun her gifts, "But I choose you because you're wicked". Zelena asks what if her daughter doesn't accept her for that, so the Queen tells her she understands, reminding her she lied to Henry for ten years about who she really was because she thought if he ever saw the real her then she'd be rejected. Puzzled, Zelena points out that's exactly what happened, but the Queen defends that it was only because she lied to him and never gave him the chance to accept the real her, "But you, Zelena, you are strong and powerful and wicked. But your daughter won't embrace who you really are unless you embrace yourself first". The Evil Queen then supposes that her daughter could turn out as wonderfully wicked as her; this gets an uncomfortable smile from Zelena.
Regina works on a special type of locator spell.
Meanwhile, Emma arrives at Regina's Vault to find Regina sorting through some ingredients for a potion she's brewing. Emma comments that she took off quickly, but Regina snidely apologizes, claiming she's trying to save her life, "Fair enough" Emma responds. Regina asks how Henry is, but then realizes she should ask something more important, so asks Emma how she's doing. Emma confesses that she's anxious to figure this out before asking what they're making in this "jar of nightmares", referring to the smoking potion. As Regina grinds and adds more ingredients, she explains it's a different kind of locator spell. Emma points out that everything Aladdin owned was stolen, but Regina points out there's one thing he didn't steal; his magic. With the potion complete, she explains that it can link the magic of two Saviors and all she has to do is drink, "Let's go find Aladdin".
Jasmine believes in Aladdin, even if he doesn't.
Back in time in Agrabah, in the Cave of Wonders, a baffled Aladdin asks Jasmine if she knew he had magic the whole time and didn't think to mention it. She asks if he would've believed her, so he snaps that he definitely wouldn't have. He lets out a sigh and tells her he needs to be alone as he walks aside. She respects his wishes, but offers him a golden scarab before she leaves. She explains that it was given to her family by the people of Agrabah many generations ago, a gift for freeing the kingdom from darkness, "It's a hero's scarab". She takes Aladdin's hand and forces it in his grasp, stating it's now his, because even if he doesn't believe in himself, she does. She softly releases her hold on his hand and then leaves him alone in silence. However, this doesn't last long for Jafar, with the Oracle's bird appears in a cloud of smoke, menacingly greeting Aladdin. He asks how it feels to be the Savior, so the thief responds that it feels "pretty good" 'cause it means he gets to defeat him, "Isn't that part of the job description?". Jafar chuckles and confirms this, but then asks what happens afterwards.
Jafar scares Aladdin with visions of his deadly future.
Aladdin supposes he'll live happily ever after, but Jafar tells him that's not quite what happens, "Would you like to see what happens to your little hero endeavor?". The sorcerer takes the bird sitting on his shoulder onto his hand and explains that it's no ordinary bird, for its a type of oracle. The birds eyes begin to glow red and Aladdin's head is suddenly filled with flashes of death... his future; he grunts in pain and keels over as he sees them. "Not pretty, is it? But death is the fate of all Saviors" Jafar explains as he places the bird back on his shoulder. Aladdin asks if there's any way he can change it, so the sorcerer assures him his future's not set in stone and there is a way to alter his destiny. He pulls out a pair of golden sheers and explains how they once belonged to the three fates and can sever a persons ties to their destiny, "You will live, and you will no longer be a Savior". Conflicted, Aladdin asks if he'll lose his power, but Jafar tempts him by promising a long, prosperous and happy life that will be paid for by all the treasure from the Cave of Wonders. "You said it yourself, Aladdin. You didn't ask to be a Savior. And perhaps when you're free, you can buy yourself a new title. Doesn't Prince Aladdin sound so much more appealing than dead Savior?". Aladdin doesn't respond, he just thinks, unsure about what to decide.
Jasmine stands up to Jafar.
Still in Agrabah of the past, Jasmine bursts through the doors of her palace calling out for her father. She soon finds him sat beside his thrown playing with a toy castle, and once he sees her, he joyfully asks if she's seen his new castle. Disturbed, Jasmine tells her father they don't have time to play with toys because she has to get him somewhere safe, warning that a great battle is coming. The sultan points out that Agrabah is at peace, but Jasmine tells him it's dying, and although he can't see it right now, Jafar has torn their kingdom apart. She reveals that she found a Savior who can defeat Jafar, but with that, the evil sorcerer appears behind her and tells her defeating the Royal Vizier sounds like treason. Jasmine stands up to Jafar as he walks past her and she begs her father not to listen to the villain, for he's controlling him. "Yes, I am" Jafar confesses, flicking the princess to the ground with his magic, "So I can do what I want to you" he finishes.
Jafar traps Jasmine in an hourglass.
Jasmine tells Jafar to stay away from her for the Savior will be here soon. He asks if she means Aladdin, "The thief with a heart of gold, or is it the heart that desires gold?" he mocks. The princess states that Jafar doesn't know Aladdin, but he assures her he does, explaining her Savior took the gold and ran: Jasmine is left speechless. He states how all that's left between him and the throne is her and then uses his magic staff to trap her inside a giant hourglass that begins filling with sand. However, Aladdin suddenly comes bursting into the throne room riding a flying carpet, "I wouldn't be so sure of that" he yells at the sorcerer. He circles the carpet around the hourglass before landing on the ground. Jafar approaches the Savior and warns him that he should've used the shears. Aladdin agrees but points out he's still the Savior and he doesn't care what price he pays for it. Just as the sand in the hourglass begins to fill over Jasmine's head Aladdin uses his newfound magic to smash it to smithereens, setting her free.
He then blasts magic at Jafar's staff, breaking it in half and freeing the Sultan from the spell put upon him. "Spoken like a thief who's never had to pay a price for anything" Jafar grunts, defeated, "But you will. And someday you'll realize that today was no victory" he then threatens before vanishing in a cloud of red smoke. Now alone, Aladdin rushes to Jasmine to check if she's okay, but she assures him she's fine. "I just didn't think..." she stutters, being cut off by Aladdin who asks if the flying carpet was too much. She tells him that it wasn't, but instead she thought he'd abandoned them. The thief uncomfortably admits that he almost did, so the princess asks what changed his mind, "You" he says before they both lean in for a kiss. However, they're both interrupted when Jasmine's extremely disorientated father calls out her name and asking who Aladdin is and why there's a toy castle in his throne room. The two sigh with a smile and Aladdin explains that he's a friend of his daughter's, "I just wanted to return something she had lost" he says, giving back the golden scarab. Jasmine tells him to keep it because it's his now and he'll always remember he has a friend who believes in him.
Jasmine makes a heartbreaking discovery.
Back in the present, Emma, Jasmine, Regina, Henry and Hook are walking through the woods of Storybrooke in search of Aladdin. Having taken Regina's potion, Emma reveals that they're getting close and it feels like she's connected with Aladdin. A signal suddenly shudders through her body, confirming the location of the missing Savior. She leads them into a cave-like room and states they're in the right place, but Regina points out that they're directly under the cemetery. Noticing the skeletons rested in the walls, Jasmine points out that they're in a crypt, "Aladdin can't be here, you must've made some kind of mistake" she says desperately, but Emma tells her she doesn't think so. Fearing the worst, Hook suggests that he and Jasmine wait outside while the others look, but the Agrabahn princess refuses, demanding a torch. She takes Henry's and begins looking around at the bodies. She looks at a few but then comes across one and notices something she recognizes... the golden scarab she once gave Aladdin many years ago. She picks it up and lets out a heartbroken gasp, "Jasmine?" Emma calls out, confused. The princess begins crying and reveals that Emma was right, "He is here". Regina questions if she's sure it's Aladdin, so she turns and reveals the scarab, nodding. Regina apologizes sincerely and takes Jasmine aside to comfort her. Henry then approaches his motionless mother, "Does this mean..." he asks, unable to finish. Stunned with fear, she tells him she doesn't know, but asks to be left alone for a minute. Everyone respects her wishes and leaves the crypt. As Hook leaves, he turns his head to his true love's, but she turns away, unable to look him in the eye.
Henry blames himself in Emma's time of need.
Emma is sat alone in the crypt, her hand shaking as she's filled with visions of her future death at the hands of the hooded figure. Henry calls out for his mother, startling her and forcing her to stop shaking. She tells him she wanted to be alone, but he tells her he wants to apologize because this is all his fault. She asks what he's saying, so he explains that if he never knocked on her door and brought her to Storybrooke then none of this would be happening, "I forced you to become the Savior". Emma assures her upset son that he didn't force her to do anything, he just helped her believe. Henry states that believing won't stop the future, to which Emma agrees, but she points out that it gave her a family and made her a mother, "I have actual magic in my life. I have you" she cries, adding that if she could go back she wouldn't change a thing. Henry cries that it isn't fair, so Emma holds him with her hands and stands to her feet with him, telling him not to think about the ending of this because "endings usually suck". She tells him to enjoy the middle, the journey, together before giving him a hug. As they embrace Henry hears a sound in the distance so he warns his mother that someone's there. Emma tells Henry to stand back and then she prepares her hands to protect herself with magic, however, she can't stop the tremors. None other than Aladdin emerges from the shadows and, noticing the shaking hands, asks if she's sure she knows how to work them. Realizing who it is, Emma asks "Aladdin?" as she grabs her hand to stop the shakes. He tells her, from one Savior to another, that the tremors are no fun.
Jasmine fails at flirting.
Back in Agrabah of the past, Aladdin and Jasmine walk through a marketplace as the former asks how the Sultan is doing. She graciously tells Aladdin he's her father again, thanks to him, but the thief humbly tells her he had some help, "But don't tell anyone. My reputation, you know?" he jokes. This reminds her that her father wanted Aladdin to have his pick from the royal treasury, but he claims he doesn't want a reward. She laughs at the idea of Agrabah's greatest thief turning down the Sultan's riches, "Your reputation is doomed" she adds. She asks what he does want then, and after staring at the princess for a short while, he tells her he just wants to be the Savior and to save people. Hoping he was going to say her, an uncomfortable Jasmine explains that a falcon arrived earlier in the morning claiming Jafar was sighted in the eastern provinces. The Savior nods and then steps closer to Jasmine, asking her to come with him, "What?" she chuckles. Aladdin tells her they make a good team and they could fight Jafar together and he could show her the world. She smiles at this idea, so he asks her what she says before leaning in for a kiss.
Jafar sends the sheers to Aladdin for a rainy day.
She begins to lean in too but then pulls away, moaning that she can't because there's too much work to be done in the Capital, "Someone once told me that my kingdom was in pain for a very long time". Aladdin nods, recalling that he was the one to say this. The princess tells him they were right, "And they also said I was selfish... also right". Aladdin jokes that she shouldn't listen to that person as he sounds like quite the scoundrel. The two chuckle and then Jasmine announces that this isn't goodbye as he'll defeat Jafar and then he knows where to find her. "Then I'll be seeing you.... Princess" he says before turning around and walking away. Jasmine watches as he does, but then eventually turns around to leave herself. Once she turns, Aladdin stops and watches her leave. He eventually continues his departure and walks around a corner to go through some stalls. As he passes by, a satchel magically appears on his shoulder. Confused, he opens it up and pulls the contents out...the magic sheers Jafar tried to tempt him with. Inside is also a note that reads "For a rainy day or the coming storm. When the Savior's burden becomes too much, you'll thank me". Aladdin nervously looks around the marketplace, once again contemplating using the sheers.
Aladdin passes the sheers onto Emma.
Back in the present in Storybrooke, Aladdin holds the sheers before Emma and Henry and the former realizes that he used them. He confirms that he did and Agrabah fell as a result. He then explains that he fled to the Enchanted Forest and got swept up in the curse. Henry asks if he's been here the entire time, so Aladdin comments that he's lucky the sheriffs in town are too busy saving the world to notice a common thief, "A very good one, to their credit". Emma then realizes Aladdin planted the scarab as he didn't want to be found, so he explains he never intended to reveal himself, but after hearing the two of them talking he couldn't keep the sheers to himself. He hands them over to Emma. Henry points out to Aladdin that Jasmine is looking for him so he needs to go to her. The thief nervously explains how Jasmine was the first person to believe he could be more than a selfish street rat so he cannot see the look in her eyes when she realizes that's exactly what he is. "I was... I am a street rat too. I made plenty of mistakes. But I found people who kept me strong and cared about me as much as Jasmine clearly cares about you" Emma states, then suggesting Aladdin's real mistake was perhaps keeping the Savior burden to himself. He points out that their story never even begun, confusing Emma because of how they are in the movie. Aladdin tells her that duty always got in the way, so Henry adds that it's never too late to start. The thief smiles, agreeing.
Reunited, and it feels so good.
A short while later, a mourning Jasmine is sat on a bench by Storybrooke's lake as she holds the golden scarab she once gave to Aladdin. "Hey there, princess" the thief calls out from the distance, catching her attention. She turns and states at him with disbelief, standing up and asking "Aladdin?". She suddenly smiles with relief and he smiles in return. The two embrace in a hug and Jasmine tells him she thought he was dead. He tells her he thought he'd never see her again and then they embrace in another tight hug, relieved to be reunited. He tenderly holds his hand at the side of her face before asking "now what?". She tells him that he needs to help her, as that's the reason she's been searching for him, "Agrabah is in terrible danger. We need the Savior". He gives an uncomfortable look and then sighs "Yeah...um...about that". Jasmine looks at him, confused.
Archie is turned back into a cricket.
Meanwhile, over at Zelena's Farmhouse, Archie is stood holding baby Robin when a door opens and Zelena and the Evil Queen enter, returning from their little spa trip. Frustrated, the therapist asks where they've been, leading the Evil Queen to comment that mothering isn't easy. As Zelena takes her daughter from Archie, she playfully tells her a spa day is exactly what she needed to get back to basics. The Evil Queen listens and admires her freshly manicured nails. "Basics?" Archie wonders, asking what they're going to do, if they're going to torture him or kill him. The two sisters laugh at this idea and Zelena tells him not to be ridiculous, "That would be a bit too, well, evil for my tastes" she explains, causing the Evil Queen to pout. The redhead tells Archie she must show her daughter who her mummy is before turning him into a cricket, "Wicked" she grins. The two sisters laugh again and then leave the room, leaving a cricket Archie now trapped in a cage hanging above baby Robin's cot.
Everyone agrees to support Emma...
Over at the Blanchard Loft, Emma, Henry and Hook are sat at the dining table as Regina inspects the sheers given to them by Aladdin, "A pair of scissors. Why does magic always have to be so literal?" she comments. With that, David and Snow enter the apartment, stating they came as soon as they could and there's still no sign of Archie. Snow notices the sheers and asks "Are those..." but she's cut off by a frustrated Hook, who confirms that "they are". Emma explains that she brought the sheers here because she's done with secrets but states she doesn't want to use them. Snow tries to reason with her daughter, but she asks to be heard out, "Aladdin didn't trust the people he loved and that's why he failed. But I believe in us to find a third way. It's kind of what we do. But if we don't and my magic does come with a price, I will pay it. The Savior is what I am, but I am also part of a family". Snow hands the sheers back and says she chooses to believe in them too. David adds that they all do and they can protect her as well as this town. Hook reluctantly agrees if that's truly what she wants. Emma takes her lovers hand and apologises for not trusting him, "No more secrets" she promises. She hands him the sheers and tells him to take them because she doesn't want them used as a weapon if they fell in the wrong hands, "We need to be sure to be rid of them".
Later that night, Emma is stood out by the docks watching as Hook returns from the sea on a rowing boat. Once he returns to land, he assures Emma that the sheers are thousands of leagues under the sea so no one will ever find the, "Not even Poseidon himself". Just as thunder begins to rumble, a relieved Emma kisses the pirate and thanks him. He warns that a storm is coming and she comments that it seems like the perfect night for a fire and some hot buttered rum. He tells her that sounds like heaven, but says he needs to check in on the old girl, referring to the Jolly Roger, and secure the rigging. She asks him if he wants pizza or Chinese, "Your hearts desire, Swan. That's all I want you to have" he responds before kissing her. She walks away to leave Hook to check on the Jolly Roger, but once she's gone, he turns around and pulls the sheers that he claimed to have thrown in the ocean from his coat pocket. He looks back at his lover with guilt and then places them back in his pocket before walking away.
- The title card of this episode features the giant hourglass created by Jafar to trap Jasmine.
- Although credited, Emilie de Ravin (Belle French/Belle) and Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin) are absent from this episode.
- Cedric De Souza (Sultan) also plays Akil in Once Upon a Time in Wonderland's "The Serpent".
- This episode aired on the fifth anniversary of the series premiere's first airing.
- The title of this episode was revealed as "Diamond in the Rough" by Norman Buckley, via his Instagram account, on August 11, 2015.
- This episode marks the thirty-first writing credit for the series' co-creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, as well as the first directing credit for Norman Buckley.
The episode saw a decrease from the previous outing, posting a 1.0/3 among 18-49s with 3.35 million viewers tuning in.
- Christine Laskodi of TV Fanatic gave the episode a mild review: 3.5 out of 5.0
- Justin Kirkland of Entertainment Weekly gave the episode a positive review.
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.
- ↑ Norman Buckley post.
- ↑ Adam Horowitz tweet.
- ↑ "TV Ratings Sunday: ‘Secrets and Lies,’ ‘Quantico’ hit series lows while ‘Sunday Night Football’ rebounds" from TV By The Numbers/Zap2It (October 24, 2016)
- ↑ "Once Upon a Time Review: Street Rats", by Christine Laskodi, TV Fanatic (October 23, 2016)
- ↑ Once Upon a Time recap: Season 6, Episode 5, by Justin Kirklnd, Entertainment Weekly (October 24, 2016)