The episode begins with Cora (Barbara Hershey) letting Hook know that she’s not his biggest fan, now that Emma (Jennifer Morrison) has the compass. (Cora is quite the fairweather friend.) So to get the compass back, Cora summons an army of zombies to hunt down Emma (Jennifer Morrison). And let’s just go ahead and say that if you’re starting a zombie war, you’re probably a jerk.
Henry (Jared Gilmore) tells Regina (Lana Parrilla) and David that he’s spoken to Aurora in his dream, so he now knows that Mary Margaret/Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Emma are still alive. Regina then goes to Gold and tells him that Cora means business, but frankly, we’re upset that Regina interrupted that adorable burger date between Gold and Belle. (We agree, Gold — condiments are pretty darn amazing. Don’t get us started on the joys of mayo.)
Snow tells Aurora that she has in fact been to the Burning Room of Doom (aka the netherworld), and all of the ladies want Aurora to go back there so Henry can find out from Gold what to do. Well, all of the ladies exceptMulan (Jamie Chung), who wants Aurora to remain burn-free (which does seem sensible).
As Henry is drifting off to sleep, Gold tells him that Snow and Emma need to go back to his cell and get the magic quill’s ink, which will trap Cora. Henry tries to tell Aurora this, but the flames are too severe, and then she gets scooped up and awakened prematurely. And we thought we don’t like it when we have to wake up early.
The one thing you don’t want to be greeted with when you wake up is a horde of zombies — at least, not before you’ve had your morning coffee and maybe a scone or two. Sadly, this is what Aurora wakes up to. Snow does her best to fend off the zombies with arrows, but they still snatch up Aurora.
Aurora is locked in Cora’s dungeon and tells Cora she won’t help her, even though there’s a chance Cora could reunite her with Phillip. So Cora sends a crow to Snow to tell her that they have until sundown to exchange the compass for Aurora. Let’s just hope that the crow doesn’t see a worm on his way there and get sidetracked.
Snow gets her Dr. Dolittle on, and then she tells tells everyone who doesn’t speak bird that Cora intends to kill Aurora. Snow says she’ll go back to the fiery room to talk to Henry, so Mulan manages to find a poppy field to creates a sleeping powder for her. And who doesn’t know where to find a poppy field at a moment’s notice?
While in the dungeon, Aurora is greeted by a scrumptious surprising visitor: Captain Hook, who frees Aurora and claims he’s being double-crossed by Cora. All he wants Aurora to do is to tell Emma that their deal to get back to Storybrooke is still on. In other words, this is like middle school, and Hook wants Aurora to pass a note to Emma saying that he thinks she’s cute. OMG!
How Could You Be So Heartless?
Henry has some serious burns from the netherworld, so David says that he himself should be put under with a sleeping spell. Then, he claims he can pass along the message to Snow, whom he’s certain will be looking for him. David is a big fan of faith, in case you hadn’t noticed.
Regina and Gold put David under with a spinning wheel, which sends him to a mirrored room with just a torch and Gold’s necklace. However, David is clever enough to smash a hole in the floor and then fall into the burning room. Of course, if that were us, we’d be like, “Uh, we have to fall through the floor? Isn’t there a burning escalator we can use or something?”
Finally, David finds Snow in the netherworld, and their scene together is maybe the best scene of the entire season so far. David explains about the magic ink, but when he jumps over to Snow so he can kiss her, they’re unable to kiss. Still, they have a super-romantic moment and say “I love you.” We need these two to hurry up and be in the same world already! They’re just too freakin’ cute.
Finally, Cora threatens Hook, but then he reveals that he’s swiped something kinda valuable: Oh, just her heart. Cora now controls Aurora and speaks for her, getting Emma and Snow to trust her as they head off to Rumple’s cell. We’re kinda shocked that Hook pulled that off, but then again, we’re glad he hasn’t turned completely soft. (We like our bad boys to stay bad. Don’t judge.)
- How long will it be until the ladies realize that Aurora is controlled by Cora? It would be nice if Cora slips up somehow, but she’s not really the type to slip up all that often. And how long will it be until David manages to wake from the sleeping spell? Let’s just hope he’s not under quite as long as Aurora was. We need more Charming in our lives!
- Will Cora in fact help Aurora to see Phillip again, despite his soul being taken by the wraith? Or will someone else be able to revive him other than Cora? We’ll go ahead and give Aurora props for having the willpower for not saying to Cora, “Screw my friends. Just bring back Phillip already!” The dude is dreamy.
- We can pretty much assume that the ladies won’t be able to find the ink, right? Nothing on this show is quite that easy as just grabbing something from Rumple’s cell. So now we’re wondering if they will actually need to find a mermaid to get the ink from a squid. And if anyone knows mermaids, it’s gotta be Hook. He’s definitely the type to have slept with a mermaid or ten.
Catch the next new episode of Once Upon a Time on Sunday, December 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.