Happy belated New Year, Oncers, and welcome back to Sunday night’s most insane hour of television. If you’ve stopped thinking about Once for even just a second, you might be confused walking into tonight, so let’s review, because you can bet your bastard child turned Savior-killer that you can use it:
– Belle and Rumple’s son, Gideon, is underneath that cloak… same one, we assume, that kills Emma
– Speaking of Emma, she and Regina are trapped in an alternate universe with Robin
– Aladdin and Jasmine are on their way back to Agrabah
– The Evil Queen is a snake, y’all
And with that let’s get started in… Minneapolis? In the winter of 1990? Hm. Okay. A little blond girl is burning a book underneath a bridge, as little girls are wont to do when they’re homeless under a bridge. Anyway, as she’s about to burn The Ugly Duckling, a young man stops her. Of course, it’s baby Emma, and after her young friend brings her in, that’s where we get intel into that last name… she assumes the name Swan, because of course.
We fly back into the alternate universe, where Robin has robbed Emma and Regina, but that’s the least of their worries, because y’all… remember? Regina is bad news here because she’s the Evil Queen, so they hide before Henry finds them. Lurking in the forest, Emma finds Pinocchio and the two reunite. When Emma explains the situation, Pinocchio agrees to help a girl out. She’s looking for help in regard to a wardrobe… just like that one that saved Emma’s life. The bad news is that it’s gone, but he knows where the wood came from, so replicating it could work. As they turn around after what seems like seconds, Regina is gone, having written a note that definitely took much longer than a couple seconds to write. But Regina has questions about Robin that she needs answered.
Back in Storybrooke, Hook and David are on the hunt for Gideon because he’s definitely not feeling good vibes about Emma. David’s determined to leave Snow as is until he fixes things, but fixing things means taking out Belle and Rumple’s son… just when they’re getting to know him 28 years later. Anyway, Gideon reveals that he wants to kill Emma to become the Savior because that’s how power works: When one loses it, another gains it. And when he does, he’ll travel to the land that is under the rule of the Black Fairy. It’s all very complicated.
Regina goes back to the first place she ever saw Robin, and there he sits! But when she walks in, everyone freaks out because… Evil Queen. Everyone runs away except for Robin, which leaves Regina to ask her question: Are you happy? He says he’s great, and it breaks Regina’s heart. He asks her to tell him why she even cares, but before she can answer, the Sheriff of Nottingham comes and arrests her.
But there are other missions in this alternate universe — Emma and Pinocchio find that magical tree used to make the wardrobe. But as they talk about Emma’s “Savior-ship,” a familiar face appears, and he has let. himself. go. It’s our boy Hook, and that dreamy hair and body are… um, different. He’s there to protect the princess, but alternate Pinocchio’s lack of knowledge about Storybrooke and Hook’s dumpiness lead to a pretty hilarious duel that ends in Emma knocking Hook out. In the midst of it all, the tool that Pinocchio was going to use to carve the tree breaks, and Pinocchio is pretty distraught.
In the forest, Rumple finds Gideon retreating to think about his “fate.” As Gideon tries to walk away, Rumple stops him, but that’s not what you do, because this 28-year-old has the angst of a 14-year-old and you don’t want to mess with that. Anyway, Rumple demands that he hit him, because if Gideon can’t hit him, how can he kill the Savior? He starts to do it, but Gideon says that he doesn’t need Rumple’s help.
In the woods, Regina and Robin are locked up together, and she takes the moment to boost Robin’s ego, but it seems that in the alternate universe, things are a bit different. They’re interrupted when the Sheriff of Nottingham asks for help and is pulled away. Regina feels relieved knowing it’s Rumple, but when he lets them out, Rumple reveals that he went looking for Belle only to find that Regina’s evil counterpart in the alternate world starved her to death, which, as you might imagine, is not Rumple’s favorite news. Not even top 10.
NEXT: Two entered, but… three may leave?