By Natalie Abrams
Updated November 17, 2014 at 06:38 PM EST
Credit: Eike Schroter/ABC

As if Emma didn’t have enough on her plate, now there’s a very real possibility that her pirate boyfriend is going to die—she just doesn’t know it yet.

During Sunday’s episode of Once Upon a Time, Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) attempted to stop Rumple (Robert Carlyle) from stealing Emma’s (Jennifer Morrison) powers. Thwarted after Elsa (Georgina Haig) helped Emma get her powers under control, Rumple set his sights on getting the other ingredient he needs to rid himself of the dagger: the heart of someone who knew him before he was the Dark One. Unfortunately, the only person left alive from that era is Hook, whose heart is swiftly ripped out. Though he’s not dead yet, Rumple vows to kill Hook once he’s run a few errands for him first.

“Hook firmly believes that Rumplestiltskin is going to kill him,” O’Donoghue tells EW. “He has to do whatever Rumple tells him to, but he can’t help but already miss the idea of not having Emma. He’s desperate to try and figure out a way to survive, but for somebody who prides himself on being a survivor, this is the last grasp.”

With the Snow Queen (Elizabeth Mitchell) having released the Spell of Shattered Sight, Emma may not realize her new beau is a dead man walking. “She senses something, but she doesn’t have time to figure out,” Morrison says, noting that Hook’s lack of heart won’t necessarily change things between them. “As we’ve established before, Regina [Lana Parrilla] spent a long time without her heart and it didn’t stop her from loving Henry [Jared Gilmore] or Robin Hood [Sean Maguire]. Hook doesn’t cease being Hook and doesn’t cease having the feelings that he has for Emma. He’s just blackmailed into a circumstance where Gold can, at any moment, control him. He hates having this secret from Emma and he doesn’t know what it means in the long run, what she would do if she found out this secret.”

Sadly, it won’t be long before Rumple puts Hook to use. “He uses Hook as a hit man to get [other magical beings],” O’Donoghue says. “He really doesn’t want to have to do that, and it’s killing him to have to pretend to Emma that everything is okay. Hook does some things that he really doesn’t want to and wishes that he didn’t have to. He’s remorseful for that, but he has no choice.”

Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Once Upon a Time

Everything you’ve ever read about fairy tales is true—the residents of Storybrooke are living proof.

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