Previously on Once Upon a Time: Into the Deep.
This week on Once Upon a Time, it’s the winter finale!
In pre-curse Enchanted Forest, Hook stages a rescue in order to learn how to kill Rumpelstiltskin from Belle, which ends about as well as you’d expect. Regina (rocking an AWESOME dress) finds him in the cell and cuts him a deal. She intends to transport Rumpelstiltskin to land without magic, where he will be easily defeated. In order to do that, however, he needs to kill Cora for her first. With the aid of Jefferson’s hat, Regina sends Hook to Wonderland with a now enchanted hook to rip out her heart. The Queen of Hearts is none other than Cora (who else?), but Hook’s murderous attempt fails since she isn’t foolish enough to keep her heart where everyone else does. She uses him to bring her back, where she intends to steal Regina’s heart. However, as Cora feigns death, Regina admits she killed her mother because she loves her, and love is weakness. This prompts Cora to wait out the curse instead, so she can return to aid her daughter once it’s broken.
In present day Enchanted Forest, Emma and Co. reach the cell, where they find an empty ink bottle and a parchment with Emma’s name written over and over. To add to the bad news, the heart-controlled Aurora lowers the gate and traps them in the cell. Cora and Hook arrive to steal the compass and gloat. They then go to Lake Nostos where Cora restores the waters – the final element they need to create a portal. Snow has an epiphany and realizes the parchment contains a spell written in the ink, and uses it to destroy the bars of the cell. Aurora asks to be left behind; Mulan promises to restore her heart. The heroes arrive at the lake just in time. In the heat of the fight, Hook saves Aurora’s heart just before it falls through the portal and gives it to Mulan, who rushes off to aid the princess. Emma and Hook have the most innuendo-filled fight ever until she gets the compass and clocks him in the face with it. Cora tries to steal Snow’s heart but Emma gets in the way. Emma’s special brand of magic – love – keeps her heart intact and knocks Cora down. They go through the portal. Mulan returns Aurora’s heart, and they vow to save Philip. Hook and Cora use plan B – a magic bean.
In Storybrooke, with David under a sleeping curse, Mr. Gold and Regina have no way of knowing if their message got through. The only way to ensure that Cora doesn’t reach Storybrooke is to destroy the portal. Regina argues they could be preventing Emma and Snow from coming home, but Gold calls it a win-win: they either stop Cora or Regina becomes the only parent in Henry’s life. It’s enough to tempt her, so she lies to get Henry out of the way and then the two steal the fairy dust from the mine. Ruby and Leroy discover this and break the bad news to Henry. Gold and Regina go to the well that “restores that which was lost” and use the dust to create a barrier. In a heart-wrenching scene, Henry arrives and begs Regina to reconsider, asking her to have faith in him. She destroys the barrier just in time for Emma and Snow to return. Henry thanks Regina for choosing good, Snow revives Charming, and everyone goes off for a celebratory dinner at Granny’s – without inviting Regina, of course. Just when I’m starting to think this way too much of a happy ending (for everyone but the mayor), we zoom over to a pirate ship in the harbor, bringing Cora and Hook to poor Storybrooke.
See you all in the new year!
• Hats off to Lana Parrilla, because she is killing it this season. Regina has grown so much, and deserved so much better than what she got this episode. C’mon Emma, SHOW SOME RESPECT, PLEASE.
• How much does influence does Rumpelstiltskin really have over Emma’s destiny? She may have her own special brand of magic, but I want to believe his power over her name will have some meaning in this plotline.
• I am so excited for all the havoc Hook and Cora are going to unleash!
Nicole N. decided to justify the countless hours she spends watching television by writing about it here. She is currently indulging her addiction to medical dramas by rewatching all of Grey’s Anatomy. Follow her on twitter @nicolemnelson and check out her tumblr.