Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Sunday’s episode of Once Upon a Time. Read at your own risk.
ABC warned viewers that Sunday’s episode of Once Upon a Time would be a heartbreaker.
With Hades (Greg Germann) free from the Underworld, the dictator of darkness set his sights on ruling Storybrooke, forcing the heroes and villains to scramble in order to stop him. But one hero paid dearly with their life in the process.
Another spoiler warning just in case you stumbled into this story and thought, “Oh, the headline is a bluff!”
Alas, the headline is not a lie. Though some fans expected the rainy funeral depicted in the promo to be a ceremonial farewell to Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), it was Robin (Sean Maguire) who paid the ultimate price on Sunday.
While Hook uncovered the missing storybook pages that revealed how to destroy a god with an Olympian crystal, Regina (Lana Parrilla) and Robin faced Hades, who planned to use the crystal to end Regina — no underworld, no afterlife. But Robin sacrificed himself to protect Regina. Fortunately, Zelena (Rebecca Mader) paid Hades back in kind and killed him, while Hook was given a second chance for helping stop Hades and was returned to the land of the living.
Yes, sadly, it appears that Robin Hood is dead — EW is slated to speak with Maguire on Monday morning, so be sure to send your questions to @NatalieAbrams on Twitter.
The death is especially heartbreaking for Regina, whose last relationship met an untimely end. Before becoming the Evil Queen, Regina fell in love with a stable boy named Daniel (Noah Bean), whose heart was ripped out by Cora (Barbara Hershey) to ensure her daughter would marry royalty. Regina eventually learned her true love was a mystery man with a lion tattoo, later revealed to be Robin Hood. Though she initially resisted, Regina and Robin Hood eventually fell in love, only to be thwarted by an envious Zelena (Rebecca Mader). TL;DR, but Zelena gave birth to Robin’s baby after pretending to be his long-dead wife. Though Zelena is now on the side of good, Hades used her for his own endgame, leading to Robin’s death.
As for how Robin’s death will affect the residents of Storybrooke, executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis have offered up a few clues:
- Regina could revert back to her Evil Queen ways. In the wake of losing Robin, Regina “finds herself really tested,” Horowitz recently teased. Added Kitsis: “Regina finds herself, once again, feeling like the Evil Queen is something she can never break free off. There’s a karmic debt that she still hasn’t repaid.
- The death could divide the Charming/Mills families. When asked if the clans would be bound tighter in the wake of Sunday’s death, Horowitz responded: “Or the reverse could happen.”
- Is Robin Hood really dead? The Olympian crystal quite literally ends people, so it appears so, but when asked if the character who would die could return to the show, Kitsis said, “There is always a chance. You know, you never die in flashbacks.”
- What’s next? “As much as they’d like peace and quiet in Storybrooke, fallout from this weekend’s episode causes a character to go rogue in New York City,” Kitsis teased. “Once again, the heroes are called upon to save the day.” That character would be Henry, who “is the driving force of what’s happening in the season finale,” Horowitz said. “In many ways, it’s coming full circle to how the whole series started. Once again, he’s the catalyst for many of these events.”
- On another note: Sam Witwer and Hank Harris will be introduced in the finale as an evil warden of a mental institution and a meek patient he torments, respectively. Though there was some speculation they could be the Brothers Grimm, Horowitz and Kitsis put the kibosh on that. Another theory? Witwer is Dracula, while Harris is Renfield. The producers did play coy on whether we’d ever see Dracula in Storybrooke in a recent Hot Seat.
The two-hour Once Upon a Time finale kicks off Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on ABC.