In present day fairly land, Cora is not happy with Hook – he’s stolen her protection spell and not got her the compass. Hook tries several tricks (even his pretty pretty face with the obligatory pirate eye-liner) to try to convince her to keep him on side – but she dumps him, refusing to take him with her to Storybrooke when she leaves. She has a different plan, returning to the massacred sanctuary that Mulan, Lancelot and Phillip had, she uses one of her many stolen hearts to raise the bodies as zombies.
Meanwhile, Emma, Aurora, Mulan and Snow are discussing Aurora’s dream – and the fact she saw Henry. Snow, who was also under a sleeping curse, tells them she thinks the room was real. They hatch an idea – they can talk to Henry who can talk to Rumple to find them a way out.
Back to sleep Aurora and back to the fiery room with the disco floor to talk to Henry, tell him Snow and Emma are fine and ask for his help
Henry wakes up and tells Regina and Charming that Emma and Snow are alive yay! And they need Rumple’s help to stop… Regina’s mother. Much less yay.
Time to go see Rumple, who is having a burger date at Grannies with Belle (Granny, like everyone else, hates him. I’d almost pity him if he weren’t so utterly awesome). Regina comes in and tells Rumple they need to talk – Granny tries to empty the diner fearing a black magic duel, but Regina assures her it’s ok. Rumple snarks at Regina (“hey Belle, this is the woman who locked you up for 28 years”) and makes it clear she’ll get nothing from him. But Regina mentions Cora is coming – Rumple says he handled her before – in the end – but Regina points out this time he has someone he cares about that Cora can target.
In Fairyland, the gang look for a safe space for Aurora to sleep and find Henry again – and Mulan notices Aurora’s arm is burned. Realising it’s from the dream she tells Aurora not to risk her life for strangers – but Aurora is determined to help.
In Storybrooke, Henry prepares to sleep in Rumple’s shop (Regina bringing his blanket from home – I do like that we’re holding on to Regina has Henry’s mother – the series has been awful in that regard) and Regina and Rumple snark over whether Rumple is more powerful than Cora or not (I love these two sniping at each other). Rumple gives Henry the way to capture Cora – the same way that was used by Snow and Charming to capture him – using an ink from the bottom of the ocean, accessible only by mermaids. Or him, he has a private supply. Because he’s Rumplestiltskin, of course – and they’ll find that in his gaol cell.
A great plan but the message in the fiery disco is interrupted by Mulan waking Aurora early – their camp has been overrun by Cora’s zombies. In the fighting, the group gets separated and Aurora is taken. In Storybrooke, Henry wakes to tell them that he couldn’t get a message through – and he also has burns.
Aurora is held captive by Cora who was apparently aiming for someone else. She hopes that she can trade Aurora for the compass and questions why Aurora is loyal to them. In exchange for her co-operation, Cora offers to tell her how to get Phillip’s soul back from the wraith – but Aurora isn’t having it, nor will she sell her loyalty.
But when Snow, Emma and Mulan receive Cora’s message, Mulan is determined to give the compass in exchange for Aurora’s life. Snow stops her and convinces them that she can go back to the netherworld and get help from the Dark One (that would be Rumple) if they put her in a deep sleep using Mulan’s sleeping powder – which means they have to go pick poppies to make more of it (which are rare… poppies? Poppies? They’re unkillable!)
In Storybrooke, Rumple heals Henry’s arm and tells them the wound was caused by Aurora being removed from the dream early. Charming and Regina are against Henry going back if it can hurt them but Rumple says Cora will kill Snow and Emma. Charming decides to go instead – Rumple will put him under a sleeping curse and while under, he’ll meet Snow (who he is sure will travel to the Netherworld because… well, because) and she’ll kiss him, curing the curse. Simple!
Regina makes the curse, watched by Henry and he asks her about magic and she reassures him that she hasn’t been using it. And that she won’t let him come to harm and he’s sure Charming and Snow will succeed – because they always find each other. It’s another parent moment, I love it.
Back in Fairyland, Hook rescues Aurora to spite Cora and prove to Emma & co that they’re loyal and the deal still stands. While looking for poppies Snow has to convince Emma not to blame herself for everything since she’s angry that she didn’t believe Henry’s stories. Emma resolves to blame Regina instead.
Snow and Charming enter dream world – but they have to find each other since Charming is currently under a curse, not returning after recovering from one. Using the necklace Rumple gave Henry he manages to break into the fiery disco. Charming quickly tells her about the ink to use on Cora. But because it’s a Netherworld, they can’t touch – Snow can’t kiss Charming so he can’t break the sleeping curse.
Snow wakes - and starts to panic, the only way she can save Charming is to get back to Storybrooke in the real world not just in dreams. But while they slept Mulan left with the compass. Emma and Snow track Mulan down and Snow fires a warning arrow to stop her running. Mulan goes for her sword, but Snow forces her to the floor and holds an arrow point to her throat. Mulan won’t give in though and says she’ll have to use the arrow. Before anyone can do anything, Aurora arrives, freed by Hook, to tell them all to stop
Hook, meanwhile, has stayed with Cora who is unhappy with him. But he has a present for her in his satchel – a present we don’t get to see.
Aurora tells them how she escaped and that Hook cares for Emma – but we see Cora saying the same words into a heart, it looks like she’s manipulating Aurora like a puppet. It’s Aurora’s heart and Hook can now go get the compass and Cora knows where they’re going to try and stop her
Can we not have Mulan become the protector of the precious Aurora? It’s bad enough that she’s a woefully underused character. Seriously, because Phillip asked her to look after Aurora she now becomes president of the “We love Aurora” fanclub? The only think we know about this character is that she loved and served Phillip and that love is now being transferred into service for Aurora?
I take it with the mention of Phillip’s soul travelling to a different realm that he’s likely to show up in Storybrooke.
Personally, I’d like to see Cora come through and face Regina and Rumple working as a team – you know that would be several kinds of awesome.
I do love how things are coming together - and Rumple and Regina are awesome.