Hell Is For Children On Once Upon A Time
More long-dead characters return, more CGI scenery gets chewed, and -- surprise! -- the Underworld gets a little dark.
Hook's been tortured in the Underworld. Pan wants to trade places with someone and go back with Rumple. Hades wants to punish the gang by making one of them stay in the Underworld for each soul they've freed, and he wants Hook to choose who.
Plot Lightning Round
Hell To Pay
Hook refuses to name names. Hades taunts him. "What's the problem? Is the the chisel? So unwieldy for the one-handed? Or writer's block?" Hook won't break. "I'm not angry, I'm disappointed," says Hades. "And on second thought, I'm angry."
Hades sends Hook in a boat on the River of Lost Souls. If he touches the water, he'll be reduced to a mindless, tormented husk: "So please, keep all arms and hand inside the boat."
Pan has left Gold a note leaving him the shop, along with items to use when he wants to accept it his offer, and they "can be a family again." Sure, 'cause that went so well the first time.
Gold mixes a potion and makes himself a crystal ball. He sees Belle in Storybrooke, but soon his hands shake and he drops the ball, shattering it. For some reason, he's very upset by the sight of Belle eating breakfast with Grumpy and Granny.
This has made Gold eager to get home, so he's decided to help get Hook after all. He just needs to convince a dead person to help them, and he can use his magic to "extend their aura" so they can sneak into Hades's lair. Sure, why not? He has someone in mind.
Place Of Interest
What Do I Know? I Was Raised Jewish.
In case anyone but me cares, the metaphysical geography of this finally makes sense to me: Purgatorybrooke and "The Worse Place" are both levels of the Underworld, and both Hades's domain, while "The Better Place" is actually somewhere else. I'm glad we cleared that up.
Mutual of PTV's Animal Kingdom
Atlantean Rat Snake
In the Enchanted Forest, post-Ogre Wars but pre-Dark One, Milah is carrying firewood as Rumple and young Baelfire return from playing in the woods. Milah is nasty about Rumple being useless on account of his bum leg (and, let's face it, his bum personality). Bae wanders away from his parents fighting and apparently he's inherited his pre-curse father's brains, because he thinks it's a good idea to play with a snake. It bites him, of course, and he's out cold.
The Emma Pamphlet
Situation: In Purgatorybrooke, Milah is a school crossing guard. This is now at least the fourth person we've seen here who'd never been to Storybrooke, or even to "our world" at all. Explain to me again how this makes sense? Explain to me again why I care? Anyhoo, Gold offers Milah the chance to help save Killian. "Can you stand helping me if it lets you save him?
What makes it awkward? Gold introduces Milah to Emma.This is Milah, my ex-wife. And Hook's ex, also. She's also Baelfire's mother, of course. Emma knew him as Neal. They had a torrid affair, which resulted in a scandalous teenage pregnancy. In prison.Yeah, well...So, you've been with my former lover and my son. Is that right?Huh.I'm sure we're going to laugh ourselves sick about all this one day. I suggest you follow me before this gets even more awkward.
How is order restored? Milah agrees to help.
Plot Lightning Round
Hope On A Rope
Hades is most upset with Killian and friends for bringing hope into the Underworld. Plus freeing Meg and all that. He chains him up over the River of Lost Souls, gradually descending. (And a million slash fics are born.) "I still see hope in your eyes. I would like that to be gone before you reach the water."
Gold, Emma, and Milah find the back door to Hell -- in Emma's house, naturally. They hold hands and are able to get through the barrier.
In the flashback, Rumple and Milah visit Fendrake the Healer (which would sound like something out of Monty Python even if he weren't played by Chief Tyrol from Battlestar Galactica in redface), who tells them the Atlantean rat snake's poison is very fast-acting. The only cure is a rare magic potion that costs 100 gold pieces. They leave in despair, but Milah insists that Rumple go back and take it, killing Fendrake if he has to.
Emma and Rumple have made it through the protection spells, so they don't need Milah's help anymore and she can go back. To thank her, Emma tells her about her vision of Neal, that he's in a better place. (She doesn't seem to have shared this with Gold, and doesn't care if he hears her or not now.) Milah wants to come with them, for reasons she insists have nothing to do with getting Hook back for herself.
That Quote"I see you're admiring my fur. Doe skin, of all things. I'm not saying it's Bambi's iconic dead mother...and I'm not saying it's not."- Cruella -
Who called the meeting? Regina.
What's it about? She goes looking for the Blind Witch in the Purgatorybrooke diner, but since she's not around and Cruella is, she makes do. Regina's trying to find someone, but she hasn't been able to do a locator spell. Cruella explains that magic can be tricky in the Underworld. What about the graveyard, then? "If I find a headstone, does that mean a person's here in...Underbrooke?" MINE'S BETTER, REGINA.
How'd it go? Cruella is awfully helpful for...you know, Cruella de Vil. As the new Mayor, she has a map of the cemetery, and she explains that the headstones are sort of a directory of people passing through, complete with a key. If the headstone is upright, the soul is in the Underworld. If it's tipped over, they're in the Better Place, and if it's cracked, they're in the Worse Place. This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard and we're five seasons in, but it's the information Regina needs.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Meat Hook Cute
In a tavern, Milah tries to pump Rumple up to do the deed. He leaves, and a brute starts harassing her. She's rescued by Killian, who still has both hands and who instantly charms her. It's not exactly a meet cute, but it'll do. She'd like to travel his seas, if you know what I mean, but she admits to being married and having an ailing child to tend to. Killian says he'll "be in port quite often, should that ever change."
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Gold, Emma, and Milah have found a boat and taken the River of Lost Souls to where Hook is being held. Gold stays with the boat, claiming it's because it's too valuable -- it can also take them home. Milah stays too, to make sure he doesn't abscond with it, and Emma goes in alone.
Emma has no trouble finding Killian, but he's still rapidly being lowered into the river. She balance-beams across to him (Hades seems to have modeled this chamber on the 1960s Batman series) and gets there just in time. Killian's mad at her for coming for him, but she says he should know by now that she never listens.
"And you love me for it."
Bae Is My BAE (Sorry)
Who's causing a family crisis? Milah.
How? Gold tells Milah that if her unfinished business is Killian, she should give up. But she says that it's not, it's Baelfire: "I should have been there for him, not punished him because I'd grown to hate his father. I was selfish. I thought if I could change that, do something generous, maybe I could finish what I need to." She wants to move on so she can see him and tell him she's sorry.
Who's an unlikely ally? Rumple, who assures her that he'll forgive her, as he forgave him.
Spoiler: The moment of reconciliation won't last long.
Plot Lightning Round
I Guess Rumple's A Republican
Rumple tries to steal the potion without waking Fendrake, but there's a lot of clinking. He can't bring himself to kill him, either, and Fendrake takes pity on him and gives him some tea...and the potion. But, of course, "there will be a terrible price to pay. But not in gold. If you're interested, we can make a deal."
Hades shows up and freezes Milah. He wants to chat with Gold.
Regina, with Snow's help, finds the grave she was looking for: Daniel's. He's gone on to the better place. She tearfully tells him she's glad he's somewhere better, but sorry she won't get to see him.
Rumple gives the potion to Baelfire, and happily explains to Milah that he agreed to give Fendrake their secondborn child. He thinks it's a perfect solution because they don't have a second child, so they just need to make sure they never do, but Milah is super-pissed about having that decision made for her. She leaves for the tavern.
Deal With The Devil
Who called the meeting? Hades.
What's it about? Turns out he's a fan of Gold's: "There are Dark Ones, and then there is you....You've sent so many lovely dead people my way. I mean, Regina does okay, but you've been at it longer, and she's gotten a little ugh lately." He wants Gold back on earth supplying a steady stream of souls. For that to happen, Hades wants Gold to destroy the boat so that the others will be trapped; then Hades will just zap him out himself.
How'd it go? There's the problem of Milah, who saw Hades. Not really clear why that's an issue (wouldn't they figure out Gold betrayed them anyway when he's no longer there?), but Gold takes care of it by tossing her into the River of Lost Souls. When Emma and Hook arrive, he says that Hades did it, and teleports them back to the house.
Wrap It Up
Regina and Snow come upon an injured horse. Regina uses her magic to heal it -- the first time her magic has worked in Purgatorybrooke. She's back!
Everyone reunites at the house. Killian is pissed that Gold has his power again, completely negating his sacrifice. (So I guess everyone knows about that now?) Regina tries to perform the heart split, but she can't.
In the graveyard, they find fresh stones for Regina, Emma, and Snow. Because Hook wouldn't pick names, Hades did. So they're stuck there, and I guess dead?
In the flashback but much later, Dark Rumple visits Fendrake to erase his debt -- by killing him.
Hades tells Gold he can't go home yet after all, because Gold tried to hide something from him. When he used the crystal ball, he wasn't actually looking for Belle, he was looking for Baelfire. He asked the crystal ball to show him his child. And it did: Belle is pregnant!
And Fendrake is in the Underworld, along with his contract, now signed over to Hades. So Belle's fetus belongs to him, and Gold will do Hades's bidding until otherwise noted. All magic comes with a price!