Oh, Hook. What have you gotten yourself into?
Last week’s episode ended with Hook staring at three graves, which Hades has determined will house the forever lost souls of the three friends that get to stay in the Underworld, to even out every lucky soul that gets to leave. Hook is refusing to write any names with the special quill, and Hades is just getting impatient and disappointed and angry. He essentially condemns him to the River of Lost Souls, which is a place you just don’t want to be.
Rumple goes to his Underworld shop looking for his son and finds a note from Pan instead that says the shop is his, oh, and if he wants to re-think that offer about getting back to the world of the living, here’s my number, so call me maybe. (He leaves his dad the Pan whistle.) Rumple makes a potion with a number of random gross things, including an eyeball, so he can see Belle… who is clearly enjoying herself in Storybrooke with a dwarf at dinner. I’m not sure why Rumple’s mind immediately went to “sleeping with a dwarf” but hey, we know Rumple has that underlying lack of self-confidence when it comes to relationships (as we saw in flashbacks), so I’ll give it a pass. He finds the gang at Snow and Charming’s apartment, where they’re assessing the damage done by Cerberus. Rumple hears about their plan to go down to Hades’ lair and get Hook and, predictably, tells them this is a stupid and terrible idea (which is actually true.) He proposes he and Emma go because Rumple can get living souls by Hades using a dead person’s aura. And he’s got someone in mind! That dead person? None other than Rumple’s pre-Dark One, ex-wife, Milah (Rachel Shelley).
Milah, unsurprisingly, is not happy to see Rumple, and probably even more disappointed to find out he’s actually not dead. But he tells her she can save the man she loves, and no, that doesn’t apply to him. She’s talking about Hook, who, if you remember, Milah loved and ran away with because he was everything pre-Dark One Rumple wasn’t. Milah’s a little hesitant to go along with Rumple because apparently her job in the Underworld (or, as Regina has dubbed it, “Underbrook” and yes we are using that now) is leading kids to school as a crossing guard. But, hey, “They’re dead, anyway.” Points for Rumple!
We get a first meeting between Rumple, Emma, and Milah — which was, by far, the best parts of the hour. Because, really, who hasn’t been waiting for the moment Rumple gets to explain to his ex-dead-wife that Emma not only slept with and is in love with her ex-lover, but also their SON? The Once family tree is truly screwed up. But, you know, as Rumple says, “I’m sure we’re going to laugh ourselves sick about this one day.” (In like, season 10 probably). Emma, Rumple, and Milah go to Emma’s house and find the River of Lost Souls, a.k.a. the “Gates of Hell,” in her basement. Emma tells Milah she had a vision of Neal while she was on her way down the river (that sounds strange) and that he’s peacefully crossed over to the other side with no unfinished business. Milah suddenly becomes sympathetic toward Emma and offers to go with her to Hades.
Regina, for her part, is looking for the Blind Witch. She finds Cruella instead and asks for help finding someone in the graveyard. Regina wants to know if a headstone in the cemetery means everyone is here, and according to Cruella, nope! But Cruella has a map from Cora about how to “interpret” Underbrook’s very complicated headstones. If it’s tipped over, it means the soul has left, if it’s upright, the person is still here, and if it’s cracked? Apparently there’s a worse place than even Hades’ underworld. Regina is looking for Daniel’s headstone, which she finds, and she also finds that his unfinished business is not an issue. Hooray! She gets emotional telling him goodbye for real, and how he’ll always be her one true love. I have so many feelings.
NEXT: I’d show him who was king of the forest!
In a flashback to pre-Dark One, Rumple-With-A-Limp, we find Milah and Rumple arguing in the woods because Rumple is still not the husband that Milah wants him to be. Rumple is ignoring his curious son; unfortunately, that means Baelfire finds a poisonous snake that bites him. In a race against time to save their son, they find Fendrake The Healer (Aaron Douglas) who tells them that the snake delivers a 24-hour poison. There’s a potion that will cure him, but it’s 100 gold pieces, which is too much for Rumple and Milah to afford. Naturally, Milah has a plan: they’re going to wait until later and just break in and steal it. Naturally, Rumple is the one that’s supposed to do the deed and he’s terrified and cowardly. She sends Rumple off after a drink at the tavern, and then a drunken man knocks into Milah, spilling beer on her.
Who swoops in to save the day? Charming, dashing very-much-alive pirate Killian Jones, who quickly wins Milah over by being brave, strong, and suave — everything that her current husband is not. Milah is enchanted with the idea of the sea, but she can’t leave because she has a child. But Hook assures her he comes into port often. Rumple later attempts to steal the potion but gets caught and when Fendrake catches him. Fendrake makes him a deal: He’ll give him the antidote, but magic comes with a price. A terrible price. “I don’t know much about deals,” says Rumple, who just wants to save his son’s life. (Rumple, very soon you will become a MASTER at deals, trust me.)
In Underbrook, Milah, Rumple, and Emma get across the sea, which, really, looks more like a Disney ride. Rumple doesn’t want to leave the boat and Milah refuses to leave him alone, sending Emma into the fray. Killian’s been strung up over the river because Hades doesn’t like that he brought so much hope to the Underworld. And he’s going to make sure he has no one left to save him. Enter Emma, who sees her lover and manages to get across a very dangerous, narrow bridge to save Killian, and they reunite! Everything is happy! For now, at least…
In the boat, Milah and Rumple talk and try to mend their differences. Milah says her unfinished business wasn’t Hook, it was Bae, and she should have been less selfish — not punished Bae because she hated Rumple. She just wants to see her son again and forgive him and move on, and an emotional Rumple tells her about how Pan forgave him and then promises this will happen. Best laid plans, though.
Hades shows up soon after and offers Rumple a deal because he’s known they were there the whole time. Hey! Rumple knows ALL ABOUT DEALS NOW. Hades invites Rumple to his lair and lets him sit in his snazzy throne and drink wine while he plays some pool and shoots the breeze. He’s a huge fan of Rumple, the acclaimed Dark One, who’s sent him more souls than even Regina did. But Hades wants these new friends of his gone because they’re kind of pissing him off. He tells Rumple he needs him to sink the boat (a.k.a. their only way out) and then asks a tantalizing question: How eager is he to get home? (Judging by that opening scene where he sees Belle? A lot.) Good news, he can totally make that happen.
In the Enchanted Forest, Rumple returns successfully with the antidote and Milah is overjoyed, until a happy Rumple tells her how he got it. He didn’t even have to kill anyone! He just had to promise him his second born child. That’s no problem since they don’t even have a second child, but Rumple obviously misses the point where you piss off your wife by deciding her life for her and selling away your future without asking. I don’t think therapy can fix that one. But I guess becoming the Dark One can.
NEXT: I owe him a debt
When Rumple returns, he sends the boat into the river… along with Milah. So much for that therapy session. Emma and Hook arrive and Rumple says that Hades sank the boat. Back at Emma’s house, the group — now all together again — reconvenes and talks about options because they can’t get home. Hook is still pissed at Rumple, but he’s forgiven, for now, thanks to the fact he helped him escape Hades’ lair. Well, Rumple really did just want to get home. They may not have a boat, but Regina has realized (thanks to a sick horse) that her magic has returned, so they can use Emma’s heart and do a heartsplit. Only, that doesn’t work, and when they get to the cemetery they realize why: Hades did the picking himself when it came to the headstones. The three lucky ladies? Regina, Snow… and Emma! (The Charming family!)
In a flashback, Dark One Rumple comes back to Fendrake a few years later because Dark Ones don’t like red in their ledgers. Fendrake says the contract they made for his child is binding, so Rumple simply kills him, the way he should have years ago. In Underbrook, Rumple isn’t happy about what he’s had to do. But Hades isn’t quite willing to send him home yet. He brings out the crystal ball, which Rumple had dropped and shattered earlier, that’s been returned to its pristine condition. Why did Rumple drop it? Apparently not because he was upset Belle was eating dinner with a dwarf. No, Rumple asked the ball to show him his child, and it showed him a pregnant Belle (not that Belle knows yet—also, given the real life pregnancy of Emilie de Ravin, this is not a truly surprising plot twist). To make matters worse, Hades brings back Fendrake. Even though Rumple broke their deal years ago, death doesn’t nullify a contract, here.
And lucky for Rumple, Fendrake just signed over the contract to Hades. So basically, any time, he can cash in his debt and take his child — which is great since Hades wants Rumple to work for him… he needs him to do something “only you can do.” Man, Rumple really IS in high demand.
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Rumple, doesn’t look overly happy to be doing Hades’ bidding. Unfortunately, he knows he has no choice. Something tells me this isn’t going to end well.
Stray Odds & Ends:
- “How did you find me?” “You are standing in the middle of Main Street.” I’m so glad the snark is still strong in Underbrook.
- “So you’ve been with my former lover AND my son?” Things you don’t really want to hear out of context.
- Man, Hook’s face when Rumple mentioned Milah. Even I hurt.
- I’m assuming the cobwebbed crib and mobile Emma saw in her house when they went to the Gates of Hell were in reference to the pregnancy reveal.