After Ruby unexpectedly lands in the Underworld, she has to face her true feelings to find the person she loves
Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC

How did Ruby end up in the Underworld if she’s not really dead? (I didn’t even know that could be a thing, but apparently, it is.) After being found last week, the gang brought her home to figure out how she got there and, well, what happened. All they know is that she arrived holding a swatch of familiar blue-and-white checkered fabric that we know belongs to Dorothy Gale.

And in Oz some time ago (because no one knows timelines and that’s okay), Ruby and Mulan are attempting to track Ruby’s pack through the woods and are caught off guard by none other than…Toto. Not that scary. Where there’s a Toto, there’s a Dorothy, and Dorothy is rightfully wary of Ruby since Toto is acting the way he only acts around witches. But Ruby’s not a witch. She’s part wolf, which is why Toto’s understandably taken to her (she’s showing Dorothy some foreshadowing, apparently). When Ruby tries to show Dorothy she’s trustworthy, Toto gets spooked and runs away. Ruby uses her wolf senses to push a disgruntled Dorothy in the right direction, but they’re interrupted by Zelena’s presence. See, Zelena is after Dorothy, who has the silver slippers she needs to get back to her baby. Dorothy doesn’t have them, but Zelena has her precious dog, so, you know. Fair trade, and she’s got 24 hours to figure something out.

In the Underworld, Ruby finally awakens, understandably confused (most everyone is when it comes to this show so it’s okay). She came here looking for Zelena via a tracking spell that led her here because Dorothy went missing. Zelena, for her part, is having a moment with her dead rose when Hades shows up and warns her that a very wolfish visitor dropped in. Zelena panics and says she needs to leave before she gets found or she’ll do something she regrets to Ruby and Regina will never let her see her daughter again. Aw, Zelena. You do have a heart hidden underneath everything! It’s okay because if she stays here, she can get her daughter back. And Hades will take care of the wolf issue ’cause that’s what good boyfriends do.

Zelena attempts to take the slippers so she can finally go home, but Regina and crew stop her. What exactly did Zelena do to Dorothy? Nothing so terrible that her sister wouldn’t understand…a.k.a. a sleeping curse. Regina saddles her sibling with a sisterly talk where she uses her positivity and optimism of the past four seasons to convince Zelena that she can change her mistakes, make good choices, and change her life…all by handing over the shoes. Seems all you have to do is ask, and Zelena surprisingly hands over the shoes with no problem.

While the issue of getting the shoes back is solved, the real issue with Zelena’s curse is that no one can give Dorothy true love’s kiss to wake her up because she doesn’t have a significant other or even family that loves her, except for Aunt Em. Ruby is distraught about this, feeling like she failed her friend, until she remembers that conveniently Aunt Em is dead…and, hey, we’re in the Underworld!

NEXT: What is this feeling so sudden and new? I felt the moment I laid eyes on you…

In Oz, Ruby, Dorothy, and Mulan are making a potion that they realize they need poppies for. Ruby and Dorothy elect to go find them, but Dorothy isn’t that amicable of a companion; she’s pissed and worried about Toto. She admits to Ruby that the first time she came back from Oz, she told her family what happened and they tried to have her committed. The only person who really believed in her and supported her was her Auntie Em, who gave her Toto before she died. Ruby suddenly understands her friend’s plight, telling her about how her village ran out on her when she didn’t have control of her wolf abilities and how she accidently killed her boyfriend. She went on the run after and had to learn how to fend for herself, but she’s alone, too, and has been looking for her pack as a way to belong. Hey, if this is how you bond, I’m all for it.

The Storybrooke crew visits the gravestone of Emily Brown (Aunt Em) to confirm she’s still here, and Snow tells them what she knows about being able to bottle breaths. Maybe they can bottle a kiss from Aunt Em for Ruby to take back to Oz. Freaked out by finding out that Cruella has ripped out the phone that’s the lifeline from the dead to the living, effectively cutting them off from communication from Neal, Snow breaks down. Emma finally convinces her parents to go with Ruby and leave the Underworld, still feeling guilty she dragged them down here and away from the rest of their family (seriously, it’s about time). Snow realizes she can’t leave because her name is still on the tombstone…but David can. Problem is, David feels entirely guilty about going and leaving his wife. When he comes across Hook (who thanks him for his sacrifice), he convinces his daughter’s father that he should do the right thing and go back. That’s what good boyfriends do.

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Back in Oz, Ruby and Dorothy find the poppies they need, which unfortunately for them are in Zelena’s territory. Softened by their bonding girl talk, Dorothy apologies for calling Ruby “wolfie,” but Ruby uses the opportunity to give her new friend a nickname of her own: “Kansas.” There’s a brief moment of sparks flying before Zelena’s flying monkeys effectively ruin the moment, forcing Ruby to turn into a wolf so that she and Dorothy can escape. So, yes, Dorothy rides Ruby. Kind of. This is a PG-rated show, I swear! When they get back, Mulan wants to know what happened, which is way too many feeling to explain. Dorothy leaves her friends alone and quickly disappears while a distraught Ruby is left alone.

Fortunately, Mulan is very schooled in girl feelings and recognizes what Ruby is having trouble admitting: She feels something for Dorothy she’s never felt before. She’s been looking for her pack all along, looking for a way to belong, but maybe she’s just been looking for her. Ruby thinks Dorothy doesn’t feel the same way because she’s too freaked out, but Mulan urges her to tell her crush how she feels. Ruby does…or attempts to — Dorothy has disappeared.

The Storybrooke crew finds Auntie Em, and tell her about Dorothy and how she needs true love’s kiss to wake up. Auntie Em takes the vial, but before she can do anything, she turns to water. (Nice homage to the Wicked Witch melting.) Thanks, Hades! He’s making sure to suck all the hope out of the Underworld, and boy, it’s working. This is apparently his new tactic: Anyone that helps Emma and her crew gets melted.

NEXT: Just for this moment, as long as you’re mine

With the hope of Auntie Em’s help gone, a despondent Ruby doesn’t know who’s going to wake her friend up with true love’s kiss. That’s easy, says Snow: She is. She knows what Ruby is feeling, though Ruby admits she doesn’t think the love is two-sided. But Snow tells her that’s how love works — you have to believe in it and in your feelings. After all, she’s leaving her husband but knows she’ll see him again soon, so she’s going to be okay with it. Ruby gets the slippers and prepares to take David with her to Oz before David drops a bomb of his own: He’s had Hook remove Snow’s name from the headstone because, while you can’t erase names, you can change them (well, Hook can). So Snow is going back because he traded her life for his. True love, amirite? (Regina looks so sad, guys. Would anyone ever love her like that?)

Zelena arrives at Hades’ chamber, and he shows her, rather gleefully, what he’s done to Aunt Em. He did it all for her! See? True love. Meanwhile, Ruby and Snow arrive in Oz, where a worried Mulan and some Munchkins are looking over Dorothy. Ruby hesitantly goes to kiss her, and lo and behold…Dorothy wakes! She tells Ruby she left because she was afraid she’d lose her to Zelena, but Ruby came back, and that means everything to her. Hello, happy endings! I know Once has teased the appearance of an LGBT relationship throughout the series, especially with Mulan and Aurora. But I’ll give them kudos for how they handled tonight’s reveal of Ruby and Dorothy’s feelings and subsequent kiss. It was respectfully handled, emotional, and well done.

Henry lets his parents know that Snow got back to Storybrooke okay (the book is great for that kind of thing), and meanwhile, we have Belle’s drama to deal with. She’s still torturing herself after what happened with Gaston and doesn’t want Rumple’s help with figuring out what to do about her baby because she thinks he’ll only make her do even more terrible things she’ll regret. So Belle goes to Zelena instead, asking her for advice and help on how to break the contract. Belle freaks out at the realization Hades has complete control over her pregnancy, though crafty Zelena says there may be a way to elude him. What way might that be? Why, a sleeping spell, of course! It’ll buy Rumple the time he needs, and Hades can’t hurt her in the meantime. Rumple isn’t on board with this because the only way out of a sleeping spell is true love’s kiss, and he knows he can’t do that. But Belle’s father can. And her last request is to make sure she gets to her father so that he can wake her up. (Hey, that’s one angsty way to take care of a real life pregnancy leave…)

Stray Odds & Ends:

  • Zelena’s got a pretty nice wardrobe in the Underworld. Is Hades footing that bill? Do they give you nice garb if they like you or if you’re evil?
  • “Why am I not surprised? What did my sister do now?” Regina’s just USED to it.

Episode Recaps

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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