In Present Day Fairy Tale Land, Emma and Mary Margaret have just discovered that the little boy Aurora saw in her nightmares is Henry. Of course, the obvious reaction to this news is convincing Aurora to become a mediator between the worlds. She needs to go back to sleep, fast! She needs to tell Henry to seek Mr. Gold’s help. How can they defeat Cora, who, by the way, is on mission to join the town of Storybrooke?
I don’t know about you, but if I’ve just been sleeping, and if conditions were right and I’m no longer tired, falling back asleep mere minutes later cannot be done at the snap of a finger. But I guess we’re talking about fairy tale beings where magic is possible, so, Aurora does.
Henry is there amongst the flames. Aurora tells him to find Rumplestiltskin. He can help.
In Storybrooke, Henry wakes up and delivers the message. Regina is there and runs straight away to Mr. Gold.
Mr. Gold is none too happy to see the Evil Queen, spitting harsh words in her directions. But you know what they say about mothers on a mission. Regina isn’t backing down. She explains that a very evil person, yes an even eviler person than she, is on her way to this quaint town, and without Mr. Gold’s help she may succeed in paying that visit.
Thinking that he had defeated Cora years ago, Mr. Gold is stunned. He can’t let this happen. There’s bad blood between him and Cora, not to mention everyone else. Cora must be stopped.
However, it was not the quill that was the magician’s undoing but the ink with which it wrote. The ink is special for it comes from a particular squid that is only obtainable by a mermaid or him, Rumplestiltskin. It just so happens that Rumplestiltskin was saving a portion of that ink for a rainy day. Henry must tell Aurora to seek out Rumplestiltskin’s old cell. Find the ink and it will defeat Cora.
Henry, in the flame room (here on out deemed the Netherworld), attempts to tell Aurora. But the flames are too high and in the Fairy Tale World the small band of women are being attacked by Cora’s goons. Aurora is pulled from the Netherworld without the necessary information.
Henry wakes up. The news is not good. Aurora left before he could tell her what to do. And now his forearm has severe burns. Henry has sunk too deep into the Netherworld. When Aurora left abruptly, which is a big no-no in the Netherworld, the flames lashed out, harming Henry.
Luckily for Henry, Mr. Gold has the magical touch. However, there is no way Regina or Prince Charming is letting Henry go back to that world. It’s too dangerous. Besides, Aurora is gone, perhaps for good.
The plan: put Prince Charming in a sleeping curse. He can tell Snow White the message. She’s the only one left who’s been cursed and can perhaps make it to the Netherworld. They’re banking on it. If Regina can whip up a sleeping curse, Prince Charming can go under, tell Snow White the information and she can give him true loves kiss which will wake him up. Ta-da! Easy-peasy.
The catch: well, this is Charming’s first time in a sleeping curse, whereas all the others had already been in a sleeping curse and had awakened, so Charming might not actually get to the flame room. Oh, and Snow White might not be there to deliver that kiss, and then Prince Charming will be forever in a sleeping curse.
No big deal.
In the Netherworld, Prince Charming finds himself in a room filled with mirrors. It’s dark, but there’s a torch. Slowly he searches. It’s not until he glimpses his reflection that he finds his answer. The necklace Henry wore, which Henry gave to Charming, begins to glow. It’s like that “hot and cold” game. The closer he gets to the flame room, the larger the glow.
So when Prince Charming hits his target, the necklace not only glows but becomes hot, burning hot. Charming drops it. The necklace breaks, spilling the potion. However, Charming discovers the floor is also hot, flaming hot.
The fire room is beneath him.
With a simple shove, he breaks through the floor where he finds Snow White.
Snow White, Emma, and Mulan had sought out more poppy seeds that act like knockout powder. Since Snow White had been under the sleeping curse before, if she could reach that state of deep sleep once again, via the poppies, she could reach the Netherworld.
They’re in a dream world.
While the message can be delivered, true love’s kiss is impossible. If they can’t even touch how can they kiss? Snow White must find the ink and come back home to kiss Charming awake.
They can be together. They will be together. They must have faith.
Snow White leaves, desperate to find the ink, to get back home. To save Charming.
Angered, Cora knocks Aurora out cold.
Later, Aurora awakens to Captain Hook’s voice. You see, he had been left by Cora after he returned from the beanstalk. Cora no longer needed him to get what she wanted. Besides, he was a turncoat.
So, after awakening Aurora, he unlocks her chains and tells her to go. He’s freeing her, but she must deliver a message to Emma: Emma should have trusted Hook; he would have done right by her.
Aurora leaves to find the girls, which she does, and just in the nick of time to save Mulan, who had stolen the compass to free Aurora, from Mary Margaret.
Using the heart like some kind of mind-control piece, Cora whispers the words Aurora simultaneously tells the girls. Hook let her go because of his infatuation with Emma. They should have trusted him.
Emma and Mary Margaret may feel this is suspicious, but they decide to trust Aurora, who is merely a victim here. They share where they’re going: Rumplestiltskin’s cell to get the magic ink.
However, Aurora’s heart doubles as a crystal ball. And the two villains are listening in.
Not only will Cora receive the long-awaited compass, her ticket to Storybrooke, but it will be hand delivered…
1) How does Hook know how to take hearts from people?
2) When will Mary Margaret and Emma get back to save Prince Charming?
3) What will Mary Margaret and Emma do when they discover Aurora is being used as a pawn?
4) Will Cora make it Storybrooke? When? Who else will get back?
5) What is the beef between Granny and Rumplestiltskin?
6) Will we see Ursula and Ariel soon?
7) Whose side is Captain Hook really on?
8) Will this really be Regina’s last stint with magic?
9) Is Regina actually turning good? Or is the return of her evil nature imminent?
P.S. Tune in to ABC at 8/7c next week as it will be the show's winter finale. That means at least 4 weeks before Once Upon a Time will air again in January. And from the promo, it's not an episode you'll want to miss!