Once Upon a Time promised death…and as Hades came to Storybrooke, death was delivered. (As was Regina’s unhappiness, yet again. This girl cannot catch a break.) Arriving back in the land of the living, a happy Hades relished in being himself again, with a beating heart, a baby and his one true love. But Zelena is distracted and worried because Regina isn’t here like she expected. Hades assures her she’ll be along eventually, but Zelena decides to go looking for her and leaves the baby with Hades. Because he’s changed by love now, which qualifies him for a babysitting job, I guess. After Zelena leaves, a distraught King Arthur has the misfortune of meeting the God of the Underworld. They bond over being destined to rule a kingdom, and waddya know: Hades needs help ruling the kingdom he just left, and so…bye bye, Arthur. Sorry to see you go.
A confused Arthur arrives at the Blind Witch’s diner in the Underworld and meets Hook, who’s just hanging out, being trapped there and all. Hook wants to know who killed him, and when he finds out that Hades has returned to the real world, Hook convinces a less-than-enthused Arthur to take on a bro quest to find Hades’ weakness — in the hopes of also maybe figuring out Arthur’s unfinished business. Because really, anywhere is better than the Underworld.
Meanwhile, a happy Charming family reunion is happening at home since, unbeknownst to Snow, everyone got out after all. Well, almost everyone. Emma isn’t in a good place, and I can’t blame her. Merida brings Emma and Charming to Arthur’s body, where Emma realizes they need to kill Hades. She’s probably talking out of revenge grief, but hey, it’s a solid plan. Zelena finds Regina and Robin, and Regina demands answers of her sister. Zelena is convinced Hades has changed and refuses to believe Regina’s stories about how he tricked them into being trapped in the Underworld because love ALWAYS changes people. Zelena goes to Hades and tells him that Regina threatened her, and Hades says he can’t lose her or the baby. He tells Zelena he’ll give up his freedom and basically anything for Zelena, who is SO INTO THIS that she begs him not to do that because she can’t lose him again. She agrees they need to defend themselves, which leads Hades to reveal the Olympian Crystal: a powerful magical object that belonged to Zeus. The Olympian Crystal is special because it doesn’t just kill you — it ends you. No afterlife, no moving on, no Underworld. Just poof! Zeus didn’t want his brother to have it, so he broke it, and because Hades didn’t have a heart, he couldn’t put it back together. Now, though, he can fix it. And they can rule Storybrooke together! Zelena is actually kind of “eh” at this prospect; she just wants to be happy in a nice house with a picket fence and maybe some homemade scones. Well, so does Hades, but these so-called friends, including her sister, might not give them a chance. They’re interrupted by a phone call from Rumple, who has found out about Hades’ return via Emma. He offers protection in exchange for the crystal.
When the crew meets again, Regina reveals that Zelena has put a protection spell on the Town Hall — but there are secret tunnels that she can access that will allow them to hopefully find Zelena and talk sense into her and save her baby. Emma wants to join this rescue mission, but she’s shot down by almost everyone who thinks she’s making poor judgment calls right now (and they’d be right.) Robin goes instead, which basically makes more sense anyway, considering he’s the father.
NEXT: One crystal to rule them all
Hook brings Arthur to Hades’ cave of wonders, looking for the torn-out storybook pages. Arthur is reluctant to help until he learns that Hook is basically doing this for Emma, who scarified everything to save him. Who better to ask about where a king would hide a treasure than a king himself? Arthur finds the missing pages in Hades’ throne, which do indeed contain the answer for how to kill him: the Olympian Crystal. They go to Cruella, who is now leading the Underworld and doing a fabulous (and if I may say so myself, STYLISH) job…aside from the part where she ripped out and destroyed the phone that allowed people to talk to the world above. There’s basically no way to get a message to people, and hey, if SHE’S down here suffering, everyone else needs to be, too. She does say that the book is in the River of Souls, which sends the bros on a little boat trip. They find the book sitting in the hands of a stone gargoyle, a.k.a. out of reach, and while Hook attempts to take it, Arthur gets attacked by one of the wraiths from the river. Hook abandons his task to save him by throwing a torch in its face, but before he can continue his mission, another wraith flies up and takes the book. Hook throws another torch to Arthur, who kills the wraith, which drops the storybook, which ALMOST ends up in the River of Souls…but Hook manages to catch it and put the pages back in. Back in Storybrooke, the crew is searching through books for answers, and Emma becomes distracted when the book opens magically to reveal the new addition.
As Robin and Regina make their way through the tunnel, Regina apologizes to Robin for Zelena having his daughter and says she was just trying to give her sister a second chance. But Robin agrees because Regina has taught him that people are capable of change and that the past doesn’t determine the future. “Regina, YOU are my future,” he tells her before kissing her in a really sweet exchange. (I’ve watched Lost for too many years, and I know happy moments like this lead to sad ones.) Hades is STILL trying to mend the crystal because apparently it takes awhile, but once it becomes whole again, Zelena tells him they should leave Storybrooke. (Fat chance with that.) Emma shows up, which causes Zelena and Hades to vacate the room, allowing Regina and Robin to enter and attempt to take the baby. Zelena tells Emma she can’t defeat a god, but Emma shows her the ripped-out pages. All that does, however, is make Zelena angry that Emma’s trying to kill the man she loves.
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Hades corners Regina and Robin — because of course he does — and shows them the Olympian Crystal. He wants to use it on Regina to pay her back for trying to come between him and Zelena, even though Regina warns him that if he does this, he could lose Zelena forever. When Hades tries to kill Regina, Robin jumps in front of her and takes the brunt of the magic. Yes, he’s really dead. Yes, Regina had to watch someone else kill the man she loved in front of her own eyes AGAIN. And yes, THIS is what true love is if anyone is wondering. (Emma and Hook should take notes.)
NEXT: No good deed goes unpunished
Zelena is still trying to figure out the truth, but Hades admits that he trapped them in the Underworld. He wants to create a new kingdom with Zelena here, in Storybrooke, but Zelena doesn’t understand why they can’t just LIVE and be happy and in love. Regina tackles Hades, and Zelena gets hold of the crystal, which Hades tries to tell Zelena to use to kill Regina. Regina appeals to her sister, saying she just wanted her to find love, but sometimes love doesn’t work. Robin died protecting her, and THAT was love — Hades won’t give up anything for her, not even his dream of ruling a kingdom. Zelena uses the crystal to stab Hades, killing him, and the two sisters end up in tears over the deaths of their respective loves before crying into each other’s arms. Hey, if there’s one good thing that came out of this, it’s that maybe Regina and Zelena got each other back in their lives after all.
At the cemetery, Emma leaves Hook’s flask at his grave before joining the big memorial service for Robin. Everyone is leaving arrows with roses on his coffin, and Regina realizes they never named the baby. Well, that’s easy, says Zelena, because there’s only one name that’s fitting: Robin. Hey! It’s gender-neutral AND it fits! It’s almost like the writers PLANNED this! Emma takes her time alone at Robin’s grave while Snow assures her that what happened wasn’t her fault in the way only a mother can. And after everyone leaves, Emma gets the surprise of her life: Hook.
Yes, Hook is back. Really back. When given the chance to move on after helping Emma find a way to defeat Hades, he came to Zeus. (I guess we finally got to see where people go when they go into the light.) Zeus essentially granted Hook a new life in thanks for defeating Hades, so of course Emma gets her happy ending. I have a feeling this isn’t going to sit well with Regina, and based on the promo for next week, it looks like the former evil queen might not be such a distant memory.
As for Gold? Well, he got the shard of crystal he wanted. (He digs it out of Hades’ ashes.) But what does he REALLY want with it?
Stray Odds & Ends:
- “I’m Hades, God of Death!” What a great intro. Definitely should be used on a dating website.
- “Where the hell is my daughter?” “With Hades.” Talk about poor parenting…
- Speaking of parenting, Maurice loves his daughter, but he hates Rumple apparently and refuses to wake Belle up while Rumple is still alive. Talk about not even giving the guy a break. Doesn’t anyone see that love has changed him, too?
- So Arthur is the king of the Underworld now, but really, I kind of liked Cruella being in charge. Is there going to be a new Knights of the Round (Dead) Table?