"A Curious Thing" is the 63rd episode of Once Upon a Time.
While things begin to heat up between Regina and Robin Hood, Zelena threatens to kill Henry if Hook - whose lips have been cursed by her - doesn't proceed with kissing Emma, an act that would drain all of her magical powers away. Meanwhile, back in the fairytale land that was during the past year, Snow and Charming go in search of Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, to see if she can help them defeat Zelena, and the curse that will ultimately send the fairytale characters back to Storybrooke is cast... but from an unlikely source.
The royals gather.
A hooded figure is seen riding a horse through the woods of the Enchanted Forest, in the year that passed, with celerity, on its way to the palace where Snow White and company reside. There, Queen Regina is seen looking bemused. "You've gathered the entire kingdom for this?" she asks, in an annoyed tone, before the expecting Snow White and Prince Charming. Regina reminds them that there is a wicked witch out there just waiting to pounce, and pretending otherwise would be dangerous. In their company are also Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora, who stand in silence, and exchange a look when the witch is mentioned. David tells her there is nothing dangerous about rallying their people, to which Regina says, "You're announcing you're pregnant. It's not like you invented the wheel." The aforementioned hooded figure makes their way into the room, to which Charming asks, "What's this?" The figure removes the hood to reveal Belle, to everyone's surprise. She looks distraught. Charming asks her if she's okay and tells her that when she and Neal disappeared they feared the worst. Belle explains that they went off to see if they could revive the Dark One. The Queen asks what happened, and Belle tells them that Neal was able to resurrect him, at the cost of his own life. "Rumple's alive..." Regina says, with a grin; "Neal's dead..." Snow says, looking sad. Belle says she thinks so. Regina asks to which, and the brown-haired beauty answers, "Both?", with uncertainty. She goes on to say that when Rumple saw that Neal was dying, he absorbed him, and Zelena got ahold of the dagger, so now she controls Rumple. Everyone is shaken. Regina sighs, and Aurora steps forward, noting that maybe now isn't the time to announce the pregnancy, for Regina is right, it's too dangerous. Snow denies this, claiming that if they hold back on the announcement they give in to fear, but if they make it, they give the kingdom what they need: hope. David adds that they don't even know what this Wicked Witch wants, but Aurora says that they do... "She wants your baby," the beauty tells them.
Zelena's intention is revealed.
Phillip steps forward and tells the Charming couple that the Witch came to them when the others were gone, threatened them and their unborn child should they not tell her when Snow and company arrived in their land. Snow and Charming are surprised and confused. Aurora goes on to say that Zelena thinks her baby could be important, and promptly apologizes for not having divulged this earlier, saying that the Witch said she'd hurt them. A whooshing sound is heard and immediately afterwards they are caught off-guard by the Wicked Witch herself, in the green, flying into the chamber on her broomstick and saying she always makes good on her promises. This said, she waves her hand and envelops Aurora and Phillip in clouds of green smoke, turning them into flying monkeys. Snow White turns to Zelena and asks her what she wants with their baby. The Witch tells her to calm down, for she wouldn't to go into early labor, and zaps the princess with a paralyzing spell. Charming unsheathes his sword and shouts at her to stay away from his wife, but Zelena paralyzes him too. Regina, sort of amused, walks up to Zelena and tells her enough, that this is between the two of them, but the Witch zaps her too. Belle is left to cower in silence. Zelena walks past the motionless people towards Snow, to see if this was all worth it, and puts her hands on Snow's belly, saying it was, and that this child shall do quite nicely. The Witch tells the princess to take good care of the baby for her and not to forget to eat well, and she will be back for her happy day. "And what's yours," she adds, "will be mine." She chuckles lightly as she walks away and the paralyzing spells are broken as the Witch flies off on her broomstick. Charming tends to Snow, who looks horrified.
Eight Months Later
The good (?) side.
More visibly pregnant, Snow White rests her hands over her belly as she sits at the round table, joined by Prince Charming, Queen Regina, Robin Hood, Belle and Granny. Grumpy walks into the room and David, hopeful, inquiries him about whether he found something, but the dwarf tells them that he's been to Blue, Tink, all the fairies, and they've been scouring the forest for items to destroy the Witch, but they got zilch, and say she's just too powerful. David sits down, and Snow can hardly believe that this is happening again: she's about to give birth and an evil sorceress is threatening the future of her child. Regina, insulted, tells her that the first time she was just threatening her, everyone else just became collateral damage. Grumpy wants to be reminded of why they forgave the Queen, to which she replies that she's helping. Robin grins slightly, and Regina goes on to say that, frustrating as it is to remember, Snow had a head start to defeat her last time, and she wants to know how. The Charming couple tells her they were warned by Rumplestiltskin, and Regina quickly deduces that maybe he could warn them again. Grumpy steps in, asking if they want to sneak into Rumple's castle where he is being held captive by the Wicked Witch. He then says, "Name's Grumpy, not 'stupid'." Snow agrees that it is stupid, but the Charmings agree that they will do whatever it takes for their child. Regina sarcastically says, "Heartwarming," , which makes Granny - who is knitting something for the unborn baby - roll her eyes. She says that Rumple is trapped in his own castle, and then turns to Belle, reminding her that she was a prisoner there, but the young beauty says she would have no idea how to break in, and Robin interjects, saying he's broken in there once before. Bemused, Regina asks why they are even listening to him, for he's a thief, which means he's not be trusted. As Robin brushes this off, she asks him what he is even still doing there, to which he replies that he is saving her arse. Both Regina and Snow are surprised by his candure, and Robin continues his earlier thought, stating that the castle has deadly traps. Regina says they're not more deadly than her magic, and he answers that they are if she doesn't see them coming. Regina says she's okay with taking her chances, but Snow, annoyed at this point, says they're not taking chances, so Robin is coming. Regina sits back, bemused, as Robin smirks.
Cut to the present, and Regina and Robin are making out in a corridor of Granny's Bed & Breakfast, far from sight, relishing their moment together. They stop and look in each other's eyes, and she asks him what he sees in her. He answers that he sees what she - hopefully - sees in him: a second chance. He adds that she's quite a good kisser, which makes her grin. "Just wait till I actually have my heart back," she says, to which he asks what that is like. He starts to ask if she can feel and she says that she can, just not fully, and it's difficult to explain, so he tells her not to. He takes her hand, puts it over his heart and tells her to use his for the both of them. She kisses him again, and at this Henry comes out of the bathroom and sees them. Regina is caught off-guard and the couple is left in an awkward state. She greets her son, who greets her back, nonchalantly, and asks the "Madam Mayor" to let him through. Being called as such depresses Regina. Robin asks her if she's alright, and she claims not to be, and tells him they're waiting for her so she should go. He grabs her, however, and they kiss again, which lifts her spirits back up. He wishes her good luck and they kiss again before they part ways.
Lots of meetings this episode.
Regina enters the bedroom where the Charming family is sitting and waiting for her, and she's got a large grin on her face. The other two women notice this, and Mary Margaret tells her stepmother that if she didn't know any better she'd say Regina looked smitten. The Mayor replies that if she didn't know any better she'd say Häagen-Dazs is smitten with Snow's belly. Regina crosses her arms and asks if they can get started, and is told by Emma that they were waiting for Hook. The Queen says she doesn't have time to wait for the "handless wonder", for they have to figure out how to stop her sister. David claims that for once he agrees with Regina, stopping the Witch's plan is the priority. Emma says that one thing about her plan doesn't fit: Regina. The latter makes it clear that she's the point of it, Zelena wants to take Regina's life for herself. But Emma questions why the Witch would bring her or any of them back to Storybrooke, and Regina says that no one's ever succeeded at traveling through time, so perhaps something from this world makes it possible. Regina goes on to say that what is almost as troubling is that the Witch was able to cast the curse in the first place. Emma wonders why, and Regina says that to do it one has to give up the thing they love most, and from what she gathers Zelena doesn't love much. Emma retorts that neither did Regina, but she managed. Regina doesn't take well to this, but David jumps in, saying that Zelena is smart, strategic, so perhaps they discovered something in the missing year to stop her, and Mary Margaret continues, saying that then the only way to stop them from interfering was to bring them back there and wipe their memories, so if they get their memories back, they might already know how to defeat her. David says they have to break the curse, to which his wife shows relief in knowing they have the savior. Emma says she would love to, but there's one problem: last time all it took was believing in the curse and kissing Henry, but since she's been back she's done both and nothing. Regina concludes that it's the belief: Henry needs to believe again. Emma wonders what they do, if they just put on a magic show, and Regina asks her how she believed. Emma says it was the storybook, and Regina, remembering that's what started Henry on his original path, says the book is the key, in him believing, remembering everything. Regina is hopeful, but Emma says that's not necessarily a gift, since he's been through a lot of tough stuff. Regina points out he's been through good stuff too, but either way it's their best bet. Mary Margaret says she's right, and Emma agrees, so they set out to find the book.
On the outskirts of town, a car is seen pulling up in the wooded area. All dressed in black, Zelena awaits with a single red rose on her. Gold gets out of the car and comments on the rose, to which the Witch asks him if he's earned it. Gold pops open the trunk of the car and reveals a tied up and gagged Captain Hook inside, so Zelena answers her own question, claiming that it appears he has. Zelena removes his gag, and Hook promptly asks if she's never heard of a telephone, since they're in Storybrooke. Zelena chuckles lightly and caresses Hook's lips with the rose's crown, deeming them to be pretty, but wasted. She asks him why he hasn't used those luscious lips and kissed Emma, and he answers that a fella likes to be courted. Zelena, annoyed, tells him this isn't a joke, she needs to have her magic removed, and if Snow's baby is born before their kiss, she's not going to have another option: she's going to have to start killing people, people that Emma loves, starting with her son. She drops the rose on Hook's chest and orders that he take away the savior's magic, or the next rose will be for her little brat's grave. She closes the trunk.
Door go boom.
Back in the Enchanted Forest of the erased year, Robin Hood leads his companions into the Dark Castle at night. Regina heads towards a large door and prepares to open it. Robin tells her he wouldn't, and she opts to ignore him, so he quickly sets up his bow and arrow and shoots one at the door, setting off the magical booby trap protecting the door. Regina turns to him quickly, looking enraged, and tells him that the arrow almost took off her head, to which the prince of thieves answers that the door almost took off her arm, and adds that where he comes from a simple "thank you" would suffice, to which Regina responds that where he comes from people bathe in the river and use pine cones for money. Snow just tells them to keep going.
Belle tries to reach out to Rumple Bumple.
Inside the room, Rumplestiltskin is seen working at his spinning wheel, inside the large cage where the Wicked Witch keeps him. Snow utters his name, as though she is still surprised to see him, and the beast says, in his characteristic higher tone, "Rumple Bumple isn't here. Rumple Bumple... gone, my dear." Regina looks entertained as she can see for herself that he really is back from the dead, to which Rumple answers, "Dead. Dead. So much better... dead." Charming points out that he's lost his mind, to which the beast blurts out, "On the contrary! Now I have two! Two minds. Mining time. Digging deeper in the grime." Belle, upset, asks herself what the Witch is doing to him, and Snow reassuringly tells her it's nothing that can't be undone, and tells the Dark One that they need his help, asking how they stop Zelena. "Round and round the circle of time, racing towards the finish line," is the only answer they get from him. Regina states that this is pointless, but Belle asks that they let her try, and moves towards the cage, reaching out to him. As she calls to him and puts one hand through the railings, Rumple grabs it instinctively, and she eases him, claiming that she knows he's in there and that he can hear her, so she repeats Snow's question. He is silent for a few seconds and then says, "Light." Belle is confused, and he clarifies: "Light magic. The Good Witch of the South... Glinda." Belle asks if he means South of Oz, but Rumple says she's been banished there, that the Good Witch of the South was banished North of the Dark Forest. Snow impatiently asks him how they find her, and he chants another rhyme, "Through the door, step inside. If pure of heart, then she won't... hide." He then sneers and continues spinning.
Mary Margaret makes Regina feel unfit.
In the present, still in the room where they first met, David tells his female companions, as he gets off the phone with Belle, that Gold's shop was a dead end, for the book isn't in the shop. Mary Margaret asks Regina if the last place she saw it in was Henry's, and the Mayor confirms this but claims it's not there, it was swept away by the last curse. David says the book can't just disappear, and Snow hypothesizes that it can just reappear, and reminds them that during the first curse it just showed up in her closet when she needed it, or more accurately when Henry needed it. Emma asks her what she means, and Snow explains to her that he was going through a rough time, realizing that he had been given up, and he didn't feel like he had a real family. Regina, hurt, tells her he did, and Snow tells her that may be, but he wasn't feeling that way with her, or with anyone, and he needed to believe in happy endings again, which is what the book gave him. Regina tries to mask her feelings and points out that he needs to believe again... they all do. Regina then suggests that they go check her closet.
The four of them make their way out of the inn through the diner, where Henry is sitting at the counter, next to Leroy. Emma comes up to him and says she's gotta run, to check on a lead, and asks that he stay there longer. She kisses him on the forehead and gives Leroy a look that means to ask for him to keep an eye on the boy, and the dwarf agrees. However, once they leave, Henry comes right out after them. Outside, Henry asks her where she's really going, and she reminds him that she said she's following a lead. He asks what lead, and Emma tells him simply that it's about her job, and it's complicated, and he asks if it's about the person who killed his dad. Emma confirms this, with difficulty, and Henry asks her to tell him, to which she says it would just be easier once it's all solved. Henry says she's been lying to him ever since they got there, and he deserves to know everything. Annoyed, Emma lashes out at him, saying he doesn't, and she is his mother and knows best, so for now he's going to have to deal with that. She asks if he understood, and he says he did. Mary Margaret is shocked at Emma's outburst, and Regina isn't pleased. Henry then asks for her keys to the bedroom, because he forgot his and if he's going to be a prisoner he'd like to have his Game Boy. Emma hands him the keys, and they part ways.
Dat eyebrow raise.
Back in the diner, Henry walks past Leroy, who doesn't notice him, and he gets out of the inn through the back. Once out on the parking lot, Henry tries to unlock Emma's car, and is caught off-guard by Killian, who asks him where he's off to. Henry says nowhere, and Hook points out that he was in quite a rush to get nowhere. Henry caves, saying he's going home, and the pirate deduces that he was running away. Henry sighs and says, "Whatever", and Hook asks if he was planning to drive all the way back to New York, after just one driving lesson. Henry denies this, saying he just wanted to get to the nearest bus station. Hook says he's afraid he can't let him do that, for it's too dangerous. Henry says he doesn't care what Killian thinks, and turns back to the car again. Henry opens the door but Hook moves to close it right away, and tells him he should care, because he's got a better way. Henry looks at the pirate, intrigued, and the latter raises his eyebrow as he smiles.
Soon enough, the heroic quartet find themselves at Mary Margaret's apartment, going through her things, trying to find the elusive book. David wonders why women keep their shoe boxes, and Mary Margaret peeks out from inside her closet and tells her husband that, after true love, there is no more powerful magic than footwear, and it has to be protected. Emma asks if there is any sign of the book, and David denies it, saying that he doesn't think it's there, and his wife says he doesn't know that. Emma brings out a large and heavy wooden chest and puts it over the bed, saying maybe it's in there. She takes out some winter clothes and scarves, but she can see the book isn't in there. She sighs and sits down on the bed, and her mother says she'll check. When she does, much to everyone's surprise, she takes out the book. Emma claims not to understand, and Regina asks to see the book, knowing that there are chapters on Oz in it, and she wants to know whose heart Zelena crushed to enact this curse, because if there's something she loved, that's her weakness. Mary Margaret sits down on the bed after David and Regina leave to check the book, and asks her daughter if she really didn't see the book in there. Emma asks her if she thinks she's lying, to which Snow answers that she doesn't, but her daughter's been anxious since they left Granny's. Emma says it's nothing, but her mother reminds her that she yelled at Henry, which isn't like her. Emma says that none of this is like her, at least it never used to be. Mary Margaret asks what she's talking about, and Emma says she's talking about Wicked Witches and time-traveling holy wars. She'd forgotten what it was like there, and she doesn't want that for Henry. Snow deduces that she is taking him back to New York after this is all over, like her father had said she thought about. Emma confirms this, which saddens her mother. Mary Margaret then realizes that's why Emma looked relieved when they found the book, she doesn't want Henry's memories back. The blonde states that if getting his memories back is the only way to break the curse, then that's what they're gonna do, but she doesn't want it to be any harder on him than it has to be. She says that their life in New York was really good, and her mother says she's sure it was, but it wasn't home. Emma says it was to them, but Mary Margaret tells her that's just because they forgot about them. Emma brings her head to her hand, over the chest, not sure what to say, and Mary Margaret just suggests that they go get Henry.
Knock on my door.
Back in the Dark Forest, at night, while Regina, Snow and Charming set out on their quest, the latter finds a snowbell and picks it up, handing it to his wife and telling her it's for luck. Snow is delighted, but takes notice of the look Regina gives her. Snow asks what, and the Queen tells her they are at the edge of the Dark Forest, trying to find the one person who could stop their imminent doom and save her unborn child, and yet the two of them stop to smell the roses. Snow points out that it's a snowbell, and David smiles. Regina says she doesn't care if they're "dancing daffodils", because she needs to destroy her sister, and so does Snow, and if Rumple, whom she refers to as a "babbling mad man", sent them on a wild goose chase... she can't finish her sentence for she is caught off-guard by the sight of a door standing in the middle of a clearing. She asks what it is, and David points out, ironically, that it looks like a door. He looks around it and sees that it leads nowhere, but his wife starts thinking about Rumple's riddle: "Through the door, step inside, if pure of heart, then she won't hide." Snow says it's Glinda, and she opens the door and goes through it, entering an unseen space. Charming yells, "No!", and then follows her inside. Regina sneers and walks through the door, as she makes light of the "portal with a cheap cloaking spell"... but then she finds herself on the other side of the door, not entering the magically protected space at all. Irritated, she walks through the door frame again and shuts it.
Glinda, the Useless Witch of the South.
Meanwhile, Snow and Charming find themselves in a snowy area, with the snowflakes falling on them, and the princess comments that she thought Glinda was supposed to be the Good Witch of the South, unbeknownst to the fact that the Witch is appearing by magic in front of where they stand. Glinda says she was, catching their attention, and adds that was before she was banished there. David asks where Regina is, and Glinda claims that their traveling companion has a heart heavy with vengeance, and only a good witch may pass through her door. Snow claims that she's not a witch, and Glinda interrupts her, saying she knows who Snow is, she's heard many tales of her bravery, and now she holds not one pure heart, but two, and she senses powerful magic there. Snow claims that that's why they're there, and David recounts that they were told her light magic could help defeat the Wicked Witch, and they've come to ask for her help. Glinda apologizes, saying her magic is not powerful enough to defeat Zelena, and it never has been. David can tell she knows Zelena, and Glinda says they were friends long ago, when things were different, but she made her choice, giving into her dark magic. Glinda tried to stop her, but she failed. Snow says that there must be some way to defeat her. Glinda says there is; Zelena was born with great power, and long ago she gave her a pendant to help focus it, where her magic has resided ever since. David wonders if they can defeat her if they remove the pendant and she loses her power, which Glinda confirms, saying however that only a purveyor of the strongest light magic will be able to accomplish such a feat. "Light magic," Snow says, and Glinda explains to her it's magic created from love. Snow thinks of Emma, their daughter, who is the product of true love, the Savior. Glinda tells them that if Emma is as pure and powerful as they say, then yes; she, and only she, can defeat Zelena. David says she's not in that land, they can't get back to her. Glinda says she's afraid their quest is futile then, and Snow is reminded that there is a way, but there's a steep price. David is afraid of what she might mean, and Snow confirms it: "We must enact the Dark Curse."
Charming offers his heart for the Dark Curse.
After their encounter with Glinda, Snow and Charming meet with Regina back out in the woods, and she tells them that, even if she believed this Glinda, which she doesn't, in order for her to cast the Dark Curse she'd have to destroy the heart of the thing she loves most, which for her is Henry. Snow theorizes that there must be another way to enact it, to which her stepmother tells her that if there were she wouldn't have killed her own father. Charming suggests a magic bean, or Jefferson's hat, to open a new portal, but Regina says there are no portals, not for anyone that was brought back, for when she undid the first curse to escape Pan and bring them there, it divided their realms and placed a wall between them. David says the Dark Curse is the only way then, but Regina reminds him that she can't cast it. "But someone else can," David says. Snow asks who, and he tells her, "You." He kneels down before her and tells his wife she can use his heart to cast the curse, which shocks both women, as he goes on to say that they have to think about their child. Snow says their child needs him, and she needs him. She then says they'll find another way, they always find another way.
Mary Margaret, David and Regina are seen at Granny's Diner, when Emma comes in and tells them Henry's gone. Regina asks what she means, and the blonde tells her he's not in his room, or in the parlor, and her car keys are gone. Regina asks for something of his, so that she can try a locator spell, but Emma says she's way ahead of her, for she has GPS on his phone. She uses it to locate Henry, learning that he's at the docks.
Hook tries to take Henry to safety.
Over at the docks, Hook introduces Henry to his friend, Mr. Smee. "Like from Peter Pan?" Henry chuckles, confusing Smee, who asks if he remembers. Henry claims to have seen the movie a lot, but Hook dismisses it to just be a coincidence. He reveals to Henry that Smee is headed to New York and he'd like the company, causing a confused Smee to ask if he is. After being glared at by his boss, Smee confidently tells the child he is. Henry asks where his ship is, so Smee awkwardly points to a small boat on the docks, leading Henry to believe he's stealing it. Hook asks if the kid wants to go to New York or not, but Henry asks why he's helping him. Before he can answer, flapping can be heard in the distance and Smee points this out. Hook insists that they need to get Henry to the boat house, confusing the child, who asks what's going on. They look into the sky, which is hard to see through because of the snow, and they see a flying monkey approaching them. A scared Henry asks what it is, but he's simply rushes away by the captain. The three men run into the boathouse, closing the door behind them, before planning what to do next.
Hook defends Henry, who is under attack.
Hook orders Smee to take Henry to the far end and find a new boat while he stays to deal with their "winged friends". Hook tells Henry to go with Smee and to not stop, no matter what he hears. They both begin running away, but Henry freezes at the sight of a flying monkey, which can be seen through an open side of the boathouse. Hook yells at him to go, so he does. A group of flying monkeys fly into the building and Hook shoots two, killing them. As Henry runs away, he trips over a rope, allowing a monkey to fly towards him. Hook tries to shoot it, but can't as he has run out of ammo. When all seems lost, a shot fires and the monkey is killed; Emma is revealed to be the killer, and she's followed by Regina, Snow and Charming. Another monkey pops up, so Charming hurtles his sword towards it, killing it also. Regina and Emma take out three more monkeys, finally clearing the area of them. Emma rushes to her son's aid and asks if he's okay, he assures her he is, but asks what those things were. He looks at Charming and asks why he has a sword, so Emma assures him that it'll make sense in a minute.
Henry's memories are restored.
Henry asks what she's talking about, so she apologizes for keeping things from him and acknowledges that he deserves to know the truth. She hands him the storybook, but Henry becomes even more confused. "Do you trust me?" she asks her son, so he tells her he does, "Then I need you to believe" she tells him, causing him to ask what he needs to believe in. She tells him to believe in magic, but he scoffs at the idea of the book. She tells him it's more than a book and asks if he believes in her. He assures her he does, so she tells him to take it. Henry takes the book and suddenly all of his old memories are restored in his head. "Mom...?" he calls out to Emma, before noticing Regina, and calling out "mom" again. A happy Regina hugs her son and then he tells everyone he remembers. The evil queen tells the savior to break the curse, so Emma leans in to kiss Henry's forehead, however, he suddenly vanishes before her. Everyone turns around to see Zelena holding the child. She sarcastically apologizes for interrupting before asking who wants to say goodbye first.
Zelena fails at making the world a better place.
Henry asks who she is, so she tells him to call her Auntie Zelena. "Enough of this" Regina says, but as she's ready to use magic on the witch, she's pushed down by Zelena's own magic. Emma begs Zelena to let him go as he had nothing to do with this, but she says not to blame her as the captain failed her. "Damn you, Zelena" Hook hisses, confusing Emma. Zelena continues by stating Hook knew what the price of the failure was; her son's life. She begins to choke the child, so Emma desperately tries to use her magic. She is able to bring down bright light on Zelena, burning her and causing her to let go of Henry in pain. Now loose, he runs to his mother and embraces her in a hug, leaving a furious Zelena behind. She tells them to enjoy this moment together as they won't have many left before disappearing in a puff of green smoke. A scared Emma asks Henry if he's okay, so he assures her he is before rushing to Regina's aid, as she's still lying on the floor. He attempts to wake her up, but she doesn't respond, so he desperately calls out for her.
Snow and Charming say goodbye.
Back in the Enchanted Forest, Regina, Snow and Charming are stood looking over a large tub of boiling water when the former comments that "it's ready". An upset Snow insists there must be another way to get to Emma, but Regina points out that if there was she would have gone back to Henry. "This is it," she says, looking at Charming, "this sacrifice" she finishes, upsetting Snow even more. Charming insists that they must do this and then takes her aside; Regina gives them some privacy by turning away. He tells Snow she must do this, but she tells him she can't crush his heart and lose him. He promises that she'll never lose him and reminds her that this is their only chance. When he tells her to think of their baby, she points out their child will never know it's father. "Of course it will, through you" he says, before telling her they've always shared one heart and it'll only grow stronger when she looks at the baby's face and sees the love he has for her in its eyes. A tear falls down Snow's face and then the couple stare longingly into each other's eyes. Snow takes her true love's face with her hands and she tells him she's loved him since the first moment she saw him, "And I'll love you until my last" he tells her in return. The two kiss as Regina quietly stands nearby, seemingly upset by what is happening.
Snow mourns over the sacrifice.
When the couple break off the kiss Charming orders Regina to "do it". "I won't lie, this is going to hurt...but it will work" she promises Charming before thrusting her hand into his chest and ripping out his heart. As Regina holds his glowing heart, Snow meekly calls out for her husband, who tells her not to say goodbye. She tells him she loves him more than anything, so he says that's why she has to crush his heart. As Snow cries, Regina places the heart into her hand. She then holds it over the boiling pot and looks at her husband as she crushes his heart...and he drops to the floor, dead. The dust from his heart falls into the pot, completing the Dark Curse. With it done, Snow rushes to her husband's body and she hugs it mournfully. Regina assures Snow that his sacrifice won't be in vain, "We will get back to Storybrooke. We will defeat..." she says before being cut off by the sound of thunder and wind. She turns to see the Wicked Witch of the West flying in on her broom and dropping a green powder into the Dark Curse pot. When she lands, Regina finishes off her sentence by hissing "Zelena". The green witch asks if her sister really thought they could enact Rumple's Dark Curse without her knowing, but Regina tells her she didn't care and it doesn't matter because she's too late.
Zelena comes to gloat.
Zelena explains that she's not, telling Snow she sacrificed her husband for nothing. A desperate Snow tells Regina he can't die in vain, but Regina assures her she's bluffing because once the curse is enacted it can't be stopped. Zelena points out that that doesn't mean she can't "spice it up a bit", asking how a forgetting potion sounds. With that, the smoke of the Dark Curse begins to rise out of the pot, sparkling with green lightning. Zelena sarcastically apologizes, asking if they needed their memories in the new land, if they were planning to stop her, or for that matter, recognize her. "We'll find a way" Snow says angrily, but Zelena says she doubts it because she'll be too busy looking for her husband. She points out that Snow won't even know about his sacrifice and she'll be endlessly wondering where he could be, always fearing the worst. "Pay attention sis, this is how you take away a happy ending" she says before flying away on her broom, leaving the two girls behind. Once alone, Snow goes back to crying over her husband's body and Regina simply gives a look of sadness.
Regina breaks the Dark Curse.
Back in Storybrooke, at the docks, Henry is still attempting to wake an unconscious Regina up by shaking her and calling out for her. Eventually she comes to and is massively relieved to see Henry's okay, embracing him in a hug. She holds his face with her hands and promises she'll never let him go away again. "I love you, Henry" she says before kissing him on his forehead. Suddenly, a blast of light magic emits from this kiss, shooting all around Storybrooke. The Dark Curse is broken. Snow and Charming look at each other and embrace in a hug immediately...everyone else just stands in shock. "It wasn't me. It was you" Emma tells Regina, who is staring over at Snow and Charming. Emma turns to her parents and asks if they remember the missing year, Snow tells her they remember everything. Emma asks how Zelena cast the curse, but her mother reveals that they cast it. "You cursed yourselves...?" a confused Emma asks. Smiling, Snow reveals that Zelena's weakness is light magic, which is obvious more than ever now. She tells Emma that she is the only one that can defeat Zelena and Charming points out that's why they paid the price of the curse...to find her. Even more confused, Emma points out that the price of the curse is the heart of the thing you love most, so if one of them cast it, they can't possibly both be here.
Charming is resurrected using Snow's heart.
Back in the Enchanted Forest, as the Dark Curse readies itself, Regina continues to look down at Snow and Charming with sadness. Snow gets up from crying and tells Regina to rip out her heart, pointing out that Charming was right about them being of one heart since the day he woke her from the Sleeping Curse. She tells the evil queen that if she splits her heart in half then they can both survive. An unsure Regina explains that it isn't like "plucking a flower", asking how she know it will work. "Faith! Belief!" Snow yells, telling Regina she believes her heart is strong enough for both of them. Regina points out that if she's wrong then she'll die, but Snow begs her to do it. She decides to comply and sits down in front of Snow, who puts her hands on her shoulders. Regina then thrusts her hand into a smiling Snow's chest and rips out her glowing heart. Once it's out, Snow lays down next to her dead husband and waits as Regina splits the heart in two. She successfully rips the heart into two and then simultaneously pushes a half into each person. Snow sits and waits over Charming's lifeless body, but nothing seems to happen...that is until he suddenly awakens with a gasp for air. The two women are shocked and relieved. A disorientated Charming asks what's happening, so Snow tells him "You're okay. We're both okay". The two kiss, but as they do the Dark Curse begins to thunder louder and louder. The trio watch as the smoke begins to spread and the curse begins.
Henry meets the guy who's kissing his mom.
Back in Storybrooke, Regina and Henry are walking through the docks, catching up as the latter tells the former New York was awesome. She tells him she wants to here about the entire year, so he tells her he found an apple tree in Central Park that looks like hers; but he only realized that now obviously. He also tells her that he got good at math, impressing her a lot. When he asks what he missed here, she tells him it's nothing much that matters now. "Not even that guy that was kissing you?" Henry grins, making Regina smile too. She tells him to stay focused on New York, but he insists to know who he is. She reveals his name is Robin Hood, shocking Henry, and she explains that they only just started seeing each other. When Henry repeats the name in disbelief, the man himself approaches the duo from behind. He shakes Henry's hand, who comments "awesome". Regina points out that the curse is broken, so Robin comments that things seemed rocky between them in the missing year. She jokes that he seems more likeable here in Storybrooke, causing him to smile. The three then walk off together.
Everybody hates Hook.
Meanwhile, Emma approaches Hook and sternly asks if he's going to tell her what Zelena was talking about, pointing out that she said he failed her. Uncomfortable, he tells her not to listen to her, but she asks what's going on and if he was working for her. He explains that she backed him into a corner and he did everything he could to resist her plans. Emma angrily asks who's idea it was to kidnap Henry and stick him on a boat, so he reveals it was his as he was trying to save him. She asks what he'd need saving from, questioning what Zelena is doing. He tells the blonde that she cursed his lips because she wants to steal her magic and she thought he was the best way of doing it. He tells Emma that Zelena knows what they all know; that she can defeat her. Emma becomes serious and states it should've been her decision to protect Henry, adding that she can't trust him any more. With that Snow and Charming join the conversation and the latter says she's right not to trust him, as he's lied about more than this. Snow states that Hook said he brought Emma back to Storybrooke after receiving a note from them with a memory potion. "Aye, what of it?" the pirate asks, confused, leading Charming to reveal that they didn't send a note. He insists he got one, claiming someone sent him the message, asking who else would have an antidote and know where to find the savior.
Neal sends the message to Emma.
In the Enchanted Forest during the missing year, Zelena is in Rumplestiltskin's castle, creating a potion. Rumple watches from behind and comments that he's tasted the brew before. The witch reveals that they're about to take a trip as a curse is coming. As she holds out two of vials containing the potion, Rumple mockingly tells her she failed. She tells him not to be so dour as what she needs to do can be done from any land. With that, she opens up his cage, and states that she will succeed at changing the past. Rumple points out that it will only if she can remember it, so she assures him she will with help from her potion. After drinking her potion, she hands Rumple his and tells him to drink it if he wants to. She then kisses his hand before taking his dagger and leaving the room. Once alone, Rumple comments that memories are pain, and pain is strength...for vengeance. He opens the bottle and moves it towards his mouth, but before he can drink it he slams against the wall in pain. His face begins merging with Neal's and then suddenly, Neal emerges from his father's body in a glow of light. Neal stands, holding the vial as Rumple collapses to the floor, unconscious. "You don't need to remember, Emma does" he tells his father before moving towards a table, ripping a piece of cloth off his sleeve and writing a note on it. He tiredly makes his way towards a window and whistles, attracting the attention of a dove. Neal attaches the vial and note to the dove's leg and tells the bird to find Killian Jones on the Jolly Roger. He throws the bird into flight and then falls down onto his father's body, merging once again with him. Rumple awakes with a puzzled look on his face.
Snow goes into labor.
Back in Storybrooke, Emma and Henry are stood by Neal's gravestone at the graveyard as Snow and Charming watch from the distance. "He really was a hero" Henry comments, which Emma agrees with, revealing he didn't give a second thought to sacrificing himself for everyone. Henry sadly places a rose on his father's gravestone before turning to his mother and asking if it was hard coming back to Storybrooke when she knew it'd be dangerous, reminding her that life is New York was pretty good. She tells him, with a smile, that it was more than good, but she had a voice in her head that she couldn't shake. When Henry asks who's voice it was, she tells him it was his and she knew how he'd vote on this. "Yeah" Henry tells her, "And you know what this means? Operation Cobra is back on", Emma tells him she's not sure it ever ended. Suddenly, Snow lets out a scream. She clenches her belly as Charming tells her to take deep breaths. As Charming leaves to get the truck, Emma asks her mother if she's okay, "It's the baby. It's coming" she tells her daughter with a look of panic in her eyes.
- The title card of this episode features a flying monkey that soars upward before going through the "O" of the logo in the direction of the screen.
- According to Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, co-writers/creators of the show, the title of this episode derives from a lyric written by Huey Lewis and the News in their song, "The Power of Love".
- The title of this episode was revealed by executive producer/co-creator Adam Horowitz, via his Twitter account, on February 12, 2014.
The episode garnered an overwhelmingly positive reaction from critics, who praised its fast pacing, plot resolution, and emotional peaks, particularly the casting of the Dark Curse by Snow White, involving Prince Charming's sacrifice.
- Recapping for EW, Hillary Busis was very appreciative of the episode, calling it "awesome" and writing "This is what Once should be: a fast-paced thrill ride boosted by the occasional wisecrack and only marred a tiny bit by relative implausibility.".
- Lily Sparks, for TV.com, was also very satisfied with the episode, deeming it a "triumph" emotionally ("There were some supremely satisfying moments and a few genuine surprises.").
- For TV Fanatic, Christine Orland gave the episode a 4.7/5.0, with the readers/users' votes rounding out the same average. Orlando wrote: "Things moved fast on Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 19 as hearts were broken, crushed, split and shared. Even true love's kiss had an unexpected yet wonderful twist."
- On A.V. Club, the episode garnered a B+ rating from Gwen Inhat, who had this to say: "As we slog through Once Upon A Time every week, we are occasionally rewarded with episodes like this one. What with OUAT’s frequent off-pacing, it seemed like enough events happened in “A Curious Thing” to fill a few episodes, but so many annoying questions in this Oz half-season were cleared up. It was just so satisfying." 
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.
Gallery of videos used as sneak peeks.
- ↑ Adam Horowitz tweet.
- ↑ "TV Ratings Sunday: 'Once Upon A Time' & 'Bob's Burgers' Rise, 'Resurrection', 'Revenge' & 'The Mentalist' Hit Lows", by Sara Bibel, TVbytheNumbers.com, April 28, 2014.
- ↑ "Once Upon a Time recap: Second Curse, Same as the First", by Hillary Busis, EW.com, April 27, 2014.
- ↑ "Once Upon a Time "A Curious Thing" Review: Give Your Heart a Break", by Lily Sparks, TV.com, April 28, 2014.
- ↑ "Once Upon a Time Review: Sharing One Heart", by Christine Orlando, TVFanatic.com, April 27, 2014.
- ↑ "Once Upon A Time: “A Curious Thing”", by Gwen Inhat, AVClub.com, April 27, 2014.