Gideon is back after Emma, but she's not the only one in danger's way.
Being evil is a full-time job, and it’s hardly a kid’s game. That’s where we pick up this week on Once Upon a Time: with a father’s need to keep his less-evil boys out of trouble. But sometimes that means that you have to be more evil yourself. And you just can’t trust people to be as evil as you need them to be these days. Let’s jump in.
Back in the past, we start in war times. We get a little background on that sword that Emma’s carrying around. Beowulf had it and ran into battle with it because Saviors have to be Saviors, ya know? Inspired, his men ran into a battle against giants with him, but the problem is… when only one person has a savior sword, everyone else pays. Foreshadowing? Probably. In a one-on-one battle, he’s saved when Rumple kills the giant. But then Rumple announces that he killed them all. But what does he mean?
In the present day, Archie meets Hook, who announces he has some secrets from his past. We now know that big secret is that he killed Emma’s grandfather. Archie encourages him to tell the truth, but is that really a good idea? Speaking of bad ideas, Rumple is making his way through the woods looking for Gideon to make sure he doesn’t use black magic to do himself in. Even Belle is on board for stopping him, but also, Gideon is clearly kind of intense, so maybe chill out.
In the past, we learn just why Rumple’s worried about that dark magic. He got a little crazy with it back in the Beowulf days, and his first son begs him to stop using it now that the war is over. We’ll ignore the fact that Baelfire was with Hook at that age and not Rumple, but you do you, Once Upon a Time. But past lessons aren’t good enough because Gideon breaks into a safe at the sheriff’s office to steal a piece of black magic for himself. Rumple knocks him out and nabs the sword before Gideon can use it on Emma.
Elsewhere, Regina stumbles upon Robin, who pulls an arrow on her. She apologizes for putting pressure on Robin to adjust to a world he’s not ready to adjust to, but by the looks of that sexy outfit, it seems like he’s doing FINE. He talks his way out of Regina’s surprise visit and keeps her from seeing that dark magic he stole. In the belltower, when Gideon wakes up, Rumple has him tied up for a good ol’ father-son chat, where he tells him that giving into darkness can only lead to more darkness. Logically, it’s pretty sound.
Back in the past, Baelfire shows up covered in mud, thanks to the baker’s son, so that he could look like a monster… like his dad. When Rumple goes to address it, he’s stopped by village people distraught by a new monster in town. Rumple says he made a promise to his son not to use dark magic, but they need him. And Bae thinks he might be able to do it without the dark magic.
In Storybrooke, Zelena shows up ready to destroy Robin, but instead of killing him, Robin manages to get a word in about that dark magic and how they may be able to work together to escape Storybrooke. He doesn’t want that kid — he’s here for some “grand theft sorcery.” Being easily persuaded, Zelena is down. Robin is a jerk. And Regina is being painted as weak… again.
Back in the bell tower, Rumple wants to know what the Black Fairy did to Gideon to make him think killing Emma is the only way. Gideon asks how he can trust Rumple with the truth if he’s tied up. As Rumple unties him, we flash to the past, where Rumple reveals he brought that dark magic dagger with him to take on the giants. Bae is pretty disappointed, but he gives a nice speech that convinces Rumple to turn it over to Bae. Back in the present, Gideon reveals the book that Belle read to him, but when the Black Fairy caught him reading it, she mocked him for ever thinking he could be a hero. So he wants to show her that both he and Rumple are strong enough. Rumple agrees to help him and hands him tea, but it’s laced with a memory potion to help him forget everything that happened with the Black Fairy. In a surprise twist, Gideon angrily asks, “Do you think a memory potion will work on me?” He pulls back and has Rumple’s dagger, and it’s on, y’all.
Back in the past, Rumple and Bae are out in the woods ready to take on a giant sans dark magic. That’s when Bae is tackled by Beowulf, who is ready to take out Rumple. He steals that dagger from Beowulf and announces that he’ll be the hero who defeated the Dark One. It’s not a good time for anyone. Even in present day. Gideon is hellbent on fixing that sword and taking out Emma, who has discovered that even his godmother isn’t on his side. That only ticks him off more.
Robin and Zelena move forward on their plan to escape Storybrooke, which involves going to New York. It’s all lights and super-convincing performances of Wicked until Regina shows up in a sick flat-brimmed hat and great pantsuit. She’s disappointed in their attempt to steal magic, but even her magic can’t break the protection spell, so it’s not like it’s going to work. She does tell Robin she’ll help him leave because she owes him that.
Back in Beowulf’s times, Bae confronts Beowulf, who decides to take the plunge and attempt to kill him. But Bae calls upon dark magic, and Rumple appears. Beowulf goads him to go ahead and kill him, but Rumple stops. But Bae got a taste of something he likes and uses dark magic to command Rumple to kill Beowulf, and so it must be done. Beowulf is dead! In the present, Gideon has managed to track down the Blue Fairy and asks for her help, but when she says no, he decides he wants her magic. Gideon is kind of awful, y’all. But Rumple shows up and stops him, deciding to help his son and take it himself. It’s not a cool way to treat your godmother, guys. With that, the sword is restored and the dagger is given back to Rumple.
As we flip back to the past one more time, we see that history sort of repeats itself. He gives Bae a memory potion, throwing him for a loop about all things dark magic. Rumple did it to protect Bae, but when Bae wants to know what happened to Beowulf and sees the sword, he assumes that Rumple is responsible… and like, he is, but it was at Bae’s once-evil hand. In the present, Belle sees the Blue Fairy and is pretty disappointed by everything that’s transpired, and even less entertained that Rumple decided to hurt the Blue Fairy to stop Gideon. But she does admire that he took the bullet for their son and admits (girl, stop) that there may be hope after all.
As the episode draws to a close, Hook takes a shot at the bar and makes his way to Emma’s place. She runs downstairs just happy to be alive and in love when she finds Hook tasting like Captain Morgan. He’s working on a way to tell her about her grandfather when she admits that her answer is yes. Yes to her grandfather’s death? Nah. Yes to the ring she found in his pocket! It’s an exciting time, but she’s all about no secrets, and there’s definitely one to be discussed. Instead, our boy Hook pivots and proposes anyway. Emma says yes, and at least in her world, everything is good, guys. For a minute.
Zelena visits Regina, who apologizes to Zelena for everything she’s done and the fact that a part of her may always be a little evil. But when Regina goes to remove the cloth from the Evil Queen-turned-Snake’s cage, she’s gone. She’s snuck off, and she crawls up on Robin’s neck and bites his hand, coming back to life in her true form. Robin is, of course, pretty surprised. And the Evil Queen is all about having Robin around again.