Voiced by
First seen
Last seen
Seen in
First mentioned
Episode count
Centric episodes
Centric episode
Shared centric episodes
Shared centric episode
Notable backstory episodes
Notable backstory episode
Other notable backstory episode
Neal Cassidy
Date of birth
Manner of death
Sacrificed his life to save his father/ Tricked by Zelena in order to bring back his father
Episode of death
Fiona - Grandmother
Peter Pan - Gandfather
Milah - Mother
Rumplestiltskin - Father
Belle - Step-Mother
Henry Mills - Son
Gideon - Paternal Half-Brother
Lucy - Granddaugther
Tamara - Ex-Fiancée
S1 - S2 - S3 - OW - S4 - S5 - S6 - S7
You took my son, but I will get him back!

Baelfire, nicknamed Bae, is one of the main characters of Once Upon a Time. The son of the Dark One, Bae was unhappy with his father's evil ways and sought passage to a new land, one without magic. He attempted to travel there alongside his father via magic bean but Rumple cowered out at the last second and Bae was forced into the new land alone. On the other side of the portal, after a heavily extended trip to Neverland, Bae assumed the name Neal Cassidy, a lowlife thief who went on to fall in love with Emma Swan and unknowingly become the father of Henry Mills. Ultimately, however, Neal died when he traded in his own life to save his father's, wanting his son to know that he was a hero in the end. His wish was fulfilled, and his soul was able to spend eternity in a better place.


Before the Curse

Papa? What happened to you?
Rumple 214 01
Rumplestiltskin meets his son, Baelfire, and makes a promise. ("Manhattan")

Milah is seen sewing together a baby blanket for her unborn baby when her husband, Rumplestiltskin, walks into their hut to tell her that he has been selected to fight in the Ogres War, much to his excitement. When at war, Rumple encounters a seer who predicts that he shall have a son but that his actions during war shall make his son fatherless. Rumple decides not to believe her, but when one of her more minor predictions comes true, he fears is life for the sake of his unborn son and injures himself in order to be sent him. Rumple arrives home with a limp to find that Milah is holding their baby, he asks his name, and she tells him that it's Baelfire. Rumple is glad that his son has a strong name and Milah states that he'll need one if he's Rumple's son, knowing what he did to be sent home as rumors spread fast from the front line. She accuses her husband of cowardice and says that their son shall be condemned to live in shame throughout his life, but Rumple doesn't accept this; explaining he deserted so their son wouldn't grow up without his father like his own did. He holds Baelfire and assures him that his "papa" is there and will never leave him. ("Manhattan")

Bae 514
Bae is cured of his ailments at the expense of any sibling he might have. ("Devil's Due")

When Baelfire is bitten by a venomous snake, Rumple and Milah take the creature to a magical healer named Fendrake so that he can educate them about their son's condition. He reveals that Bae will be dead within a day, but has a magic potion that should be able to cure him of his ailment. It costs a hundred gold coins, and Rumple and Milah have no way of amounting this kind of money; as such, Milah orders her husband to return to Fendrake later and take the potion. Rumple points out that he'd be killed, but Milah simply tells him to kill Fendrake first, proceeding to spend their final gold coin on a knife. Rumple is terrified of the prospect and Milah begs him to toughen up, flirting with a pirate named Killian Jones behind her husband's back. Rumple eventually attempts going through with the murder, accidentally waking Fendrake in his sleep when he's about to stab him. Unable to go through with murder, Rumple strikes a deal with the healer - in exchange for the ailment, he has to give up his second born, which he agrees to. Bae is healed, but Milah is appalled by what Rumple did, seeing it as him signing away whatever future she may have had. She then heads to the tavern, which becomes a common occurrence. ("Devil's Due")

204 04
Rumple and his son go find Milah. ("The Crocodile")

Rumplestiltskin, Baelfire's father, comes home to discover that Milah, Baelfire's mother, isn't home. He knows where to look for her and tells Bae to come with him to collect his mother. They arrive at a bar and Rumple tells Bae to stay outside as he goes in and finds Milah having drinks with pirates. One in particular, Captain Hook, ridicules Rumple based on what Milah has told him, based upon him being a coward. Baelfire walks in and sees his mother like his, and Rumple reminds his son that he was meant to stay outside. Milah is shocked to see him there and discretely stands up and leaves the bar with her son, not wanting him to see her as she is. The next day, Milah is "taken" by the pirates and Rumplestiltskin is unable to get her back, he therefore tells Baelfire that his mother is dead. ("The Crocodile")

Baelfire 108
Baelfire is horrified by what his father has become. ("Desperate Souls")

Years later, another Ogre Wars occurs. One of Baelfire's friends, Morraine, turns fourteen, the right age to be forcibly entered into the Ogre Wars using the Dark One's magic. Bae warns his father about this and the two fear for the former's safety, as he will soon be turning fourteen. The two attempt to escape in the night but they're found by the guards who take the children to war. As punishment for abandonment, they threaten to take Baelfire before he is fourteen, but they're stopped when Rumplestiltskin begs and kisses the head guard's boot. An old beggar notices the father and son's issue so he tells them of a dagger that can kill the Dark One, passing his magical powers to his killer. After learning the dagger is under possession of the Duke of the Frontlands, Rumple and Bae create a fire that burns down his castle. Before the fire destroys the castle, Rumple steals the dagger and escapes with it. He later kills the Dark One, Zoso, who turns out to be the old beggar the whole time and tricked Rumple into saving him from living forever. When Baelfire's fourteenth birthday comes, the guards come to collect him in the morning, but they're stopped when Rumplestiltskin kills them all. Baelfire is horrified by his father's new magical abilities and evilness. ("Desperate Souls")

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Despite his father's wishes, Bae succumbs to darkness. ("Ill-Boding Patterns")

With his brand new dark powers in tow, Rumplestiltskin marches single-handedly into battle and kills all of the ogres using the dagger's magic, then leading all the children home. With the Ogre War over, Rumple is hailed as a hero by the people of his village, as well as by Bae, only for a soldier named Beowulf to interrupt the celebrations with cries that the cowardly Rumple made himself into the Dark One, the former clearly being jealous he's not the one receiving all this glory. Bae convinces his father not to use his magic, for he's done what he needed to do now, and Rumple promises that he won't. He keeps his promise, though the people of the village still fear him, with a baker's son teasing Bae and pushing him into the mud so that he'll look like a monster, just like his father. As Rumple sets off to deal with it, the village people come to beg him to help defeat the Grendel, which Beowulf set out to defeat days ago with no word from him. Bae sees this as a perfect opportunity to prove to everyone that his father isn't a monster by slaying this beast without his dark magic, but Rumple brings his dagger anyway - it's like his new crutch. He gives it to Bae to prevent himself using dark magic and, when they make it to the monster's cave, they learn there is no monster; Beowulf faked the whole thing to frame Rumple as villainous. He takes the dagger, only for Bae to take it back. Beowulf states that no one will believe either of them because of their fear of Rumple, something the father and son pair agree on, goes back to tell them. Bae commands his papa to kill the fiend before he ruins their lives. Rumple reluctantly does this, and Bae becomes... darkened. Not wanting his son to follow after him into the darkness, Rumple slips a memory potion in Baelfire's tea. His son wakes up and when he finds Beowulf's sword, he learns his father killed him and starts to believe Rumple is a monster too because of that dagger's influence. ("Ill-Boding Patterns")

304 20
Bae is angry that his father didn't give him a choice. ("Nasty Habits")

Rumplestiltskin returns home with a gift for his son: a knife that he took from one of the villagers who didn't have enough money to pay him. Baelfire, who refuses to accept a gift that came from someone his father terrorized, dismisses the present and goes on to say that what would make him happy is leaving the hovel they live in. Rumple offers to have a castle built, but Bae says that this isn't what he meant, explaining that he wants to go out into the real world and have a proper life beyond the four walls he's confined to; Bae accuses Rumple of being scared that, once he leaves, he'll never come back. That night, Bae is led away by mysterious music played by a piper dressed in pied. Because of this, he ends up dancing around a campfire in a mask with all the other Lost Boys who have been snatched away. Rumple soon tracks him and demands that the piper, Peter Pan, let his son go, and Pan offers Rumple a deal: if Rumple asks Baelfire to go home with him and he accepts the offer, then he can go. However, if Bae refuses, then Pan will take him to Neverland, a place from which he shall never return. The Dark One approaches his son and, instead, of taking Pan's deal, simply uses his magic to transport them safely back to the hovel. Bae, who knew of the deal that Pan offered Rumple, is infuriated. He storms out, mad that his father didn't even give him a chance to say "yes" as he didn't trust him to. ("Nasty Habits")

Baelfire 119
Baelfire falls through the portal. ("The Return")

Baelfire is playing in the village when a donkey cart hits him and he scrapes his knee, he apologizes to the driver who yells at him until he realizes that he is the son of the dark one and frantically apologizes. Rumple walks out to see this and is ready to forgive the donkey cart driver up until he sees Bae's small cut, he then turns the apologetic man into a snail before stepping on him. killing him. Baelfire is very unhappy with this and refuses to allow his father to use magic to heal him, he then goes on to make a deal with his father, stating that if Bae finds a safe way to remove Rumple's powers, he will do it. The next day, Bae talks to Morraine about his troubles and she suggests that he talk to Reul Ghorm, a powerful being that can grant wishes, Baelfire later summons Reul to discover that she is the Blue Fairy, she hears his wish and gives him a magic bean that will take him to a new land with his father, a land without magic where the Dark One will be stripped of his powers. Baelfire, excited about this, tells his father of the bean, but he is unsure. Bae asks him if he's backing out of the deal, but Rumple refuses to. The two of them trek out into the forest and Bae throws the bean on the ground, opening a portal. He begins to jump down it but his father stops him, clinging on, too scared to go through. At this refusal, Baelfire calls his father a coward before falling down the portal without him. Rumple is dreadfully sorry and decides that he will one day make a curse to make it to Bae's new land, assuring himself that he will get his son back. ("The Return")

221 02
Bae ends up on the streets of Victorian London. ("Second Star to the Right")

Bae falls through the portal and into a land without magic, arriving in 19th century London, England. He spends six months roaming the streets until one day he sees a rich family leave their window open and he climbs through the steal some bread. He is caught by a member of the family, Wendy Darling, who allows Bae to have as much as he wants, feeling sorry for him. She then keeps him up in her bedroom and sneaks him food for a while until eventually her parents find out. They are initially upset to have had this secret kept from them but they allow Baelfire to stay with them in their house, refusing to send him back on the streets or to a work house. Wendy is very happy about this and tells Bae of the shadow that comes to their window at night and shows her and her brothers magic, however, upon hearing of this, Bae tells Wendy not to interact with the shadow ever again, professing that magic is dangerous and destroyed his family. Later, the shadow arrives at the window and takes Wendy to Neverland, Bae tries to warn her against it but she seems too overjoyed with the idea, and flies away with the shadow. The next morning, Wendy returns, much to Bae's delight, but she seems less than happy, explaining that he was right and that magic is evil. She further explains that the shadow rejected her from Neverland as it wants a boy, but Bae assures her that it will not get one. They put the house on lockdown that night but the shadow gets inside with ease. He tries to go after Wendy's youngest brother but Baelfire refuses to let it, and so he goes with the shadow himself, after thanking Wendy for allowing him to be part of her family. Bae is flown over London city until Neverland is in view, but Bae scares the shadow with fire and is dropped into the ocean. When there, he is picked up by a pirate ship and introduced to the captain on board - Captain Hook. ("Second Star to the Right")

Bae 222
Baelfire rejects Captain Hook. ("And Straight on 'Til Morning")

Baelfire is taken under the decks where he retains a certain hostility towards pirates as voiced when Captain Hook comes down to talk to him. Bae says that a pirate killed his mother, but Hook reminds him that one also saved his life. He wonders the boy's name, and Baelfire gives it, causing Hook to realize that he's the son of Milah - his true love - and Rumplestiltskin - his sworn enemy. Hook knows that the Lost Boys are looking for Bae but, out of love for his mother, refuses to hand him over. When they search his ship, Baelfire hides up in the ceiling and remains not found, happy to learn that Hook cares for someone else other than himself. As Bae spends more time on the waters, Hook teaches him how to sail and they bond over the bad relationships they share with their fathers. It is not long before Bae discovers a picture of his mother on Hook's desk and pulls a sword on the pirate for believing him to be the one to have killed his mother. Hook explains that he was in fact in love with the Milah and that he and her had planned to come back for Bae and take him out to sea with them when he was old enough. His mother was guilty for years from abandoning her son, but his father had now killed her. He sees Bae washing up on the ship as fate telling him to make good on those deals. Heartbroken both his parents betrayed him, Bae rejects Hook and asks to be dropped off on land. However, Hook reveals that Bae has reminded him what he's all about: killing his father. Baelfire is then kidnapped by the Lost Boys who Hook sold him out to and taken to the main island. When he is found not to be the boy that Peter Pan is looking for, Bae is put with the rest of "the others". Little did Baelfire know, the boy they were looking for was his currently unborn-child. ("And Straight on 'Til Morning") After spending time as one of Peter Pan's Lost Boys, Bae seeks out a home of his own by taking up residence on one of the island's caves. ("Nasty Habits")

After the Curse

Early Life

You love her, good. That means you have to do right by her.
August W. Booth
206 11
Baelfire becomes Neal Cassidy, a wanted man. ("Tallahassee")

Eventually, Baelfire is able to trap the shadow in a coconut and use it to fly away from Neverland, back to the land without magic. However, he soon resorts to stealing for a living, changing his name to Neal Cassidy, after getting a job as janitor. He ends up robbing a collection of expensive watches from a store with a drunk security guard, but he is captured on footage and is forced to hide them in the locker of a train station, being a wanted man from then on. Eventually, he steals a yellow '69 VW bug, which becomes his main mode of transport. ("Tallahassee"/"Nasty Habits"/"Dark Hollow")

Emma EL 206 01
Neal meets Emma. ("Tallahassee")

Emma Swan, at age 17, steals her famed yellow car, not realizing that there was a man sleeping in the back seat. The man, who introduces himself as Neal Cassidy, flirts with her, seemingly not minding the fact that she stole the car at all, and when she fails to pay attention to the road, they are stopped by a police officer. Neal quickly tells her to remove the screwdriver from the ignition, which is how she managed to drive away in it, and puts the keys to the car in its stead to avoid suspicion. He then tells the cop that Emma is his girlfriend and he was just teaching her how to drive, making a sexist comment about women drivers which convinces the cop to let them go with a warning. When Neal expresses relief, Emma realizes that the car she's stolen had already been stolen by Neal, meaning he too is a thief. ("Tallahassee")

Neal 322
Neal tells his story. ("There's No Place Like Home")

That night, Neal offers to take Emma out and teaches her how to pick locks as he breaks into an abandoned amusement park. He turns on the power, lighting up the rides and making the place look beautiful, and Emma is forced to admit that it's pretty cool. The two of the bond amidst the park when Emma asks Neal what his story is; he tells her that he's living the life he is now because of his father, who Emma takes to be a bad guy. Neal reveals that he wasn't always, but he changed, making it so he no longer felt at home. He tells his new partner in crime that home is the place that, when you leave, you just miss it, which is how he feels about how his dad used to be; she finds this comment highly philosophical. ("There's No Place Like Home")

206 19
Neal's past life comes back to haunt him. ("Tallahassee")

Neal and Emma then become a couple, and start a life of drifting and shoplifting, which includes Emma posing as an expectant mother whose waters break inside a convenience store once they're caught stealing by a customer. The couple rests in a motel room, where they one day start planning their future together. They eventually settle on the idea of starting anew in Tallahassee. However, Neal is eventually wanted for arrest after he is caught by the security tapes of a jewelry store stealing a case full of expensive wristwatches. He keeps the watches locked up in a safe at a nearby train station, and Emma volunteers to retrieve them so that they can sell the watches and go on with their lives. However, once she does so, successfully, Neal is tracked down by August - none other than the grown-up Pinocchio - who tells him that Emma is destined for a greater future than sharing a life with a robber. August shows Neal something that makes the latter believe in his words (a typewriter in a box, with the words "I know you're Baelfire" typed out on a sheet of paper ("Manhattan")), and thus Emma is then set up to take a fall: the police is tipped off about her and she is caught and arrested. Neal then meets with August and feels bad over setting up his own girlfriend, and leaves the car and some money for her when she gets out. August then agrees to send him a postcard once the curse is lifted. Unknown to Neal, Emma is pregnant. ("Tallahassee") After this, Neal has the idea to destroy magic in case his father would come looking for him, moving to New York to do some research but finding nothing but dead-ends. ("Only You")

Season 1

When the curse is broken, I'll send you a postcard.
August W. Booth
Tamara 218
Neal meets Tamara, unaware that their meeting was staged by her and Pan. ("Selfless, Brave and True")

August visits Neal, yet again, in New York City where he tells him that he's turning back into wood, which must mean that Emma is now in Storybrooke. He reveals that he has plans on going there to aid her in breaking the Dark Curse. Neal fearfully knows that when the curse is broken, his father, Rumplestiltskin, will remember who he is and come searching for him. August tells Neal to look at the bright side, for at least he will be able to see Emma again. Neal ponders this notion as August rides away on his motorcycle. On the street corner, a woman named Tamara is seen watching them with a large cup of to-go coffee in her hands. Once August leaves, she is seen purposefully walking towards Neal so that when he turns around, he bumps into her, and her coffee spills all down her shirt. Neal apologizes but she assures him it isn't his fault, saying that she was in a hurry as she's late for work. Feeling sorry, Neal offers her his scarf as it covers the stain, putting it around her neck. She remarks that it's perfect before leaving, and Neal and Tamara later become engaged. ("Selfless, Brave and True")

Season 2

I was in hiding. I came here to get away from all that crap.
201 01
Neal, seen around New York. ("Broken")

After the Dark Curse is lifted, we are treated to the sight of a chariot horse being petted by his owner/driver, on some street. An unidentified gentleman (Neal) is seen walking past the horse and its owner, wearing a suit and carrying a backpack, listening to some music on his earplugs whilst walking. He crosses the street, and soon afterwards he is seen walking along a sidewalk, and the doves on the sidewalk all fly far from reach as he passes. The man is then seen crossing a road, and later he's seen at an underground train station. Immediately afterwards, he is seen riding the subway, handling his cell phone. The man then gets out of the subway station and heads to his apartment building. He lets himself in, enters the elevators, goes up and then enters his small apartment. Some lights flicker on and off as he closes the door - lights of thunder. He looks out the window to see that it is now pouring outside. The man puts down his backpack, carelessly, and looks none too pleased to see the rain. He walks up to the window to close it down, but it is jammed. Cell phone still in tow, he tries to force the window down, but is unfortunate enough to drop his cell phone into the emergency staircase instead. He looks down as his cell phone falls to the ground below, and gets frustrated. A white pigeon then shows up on his window pane, with a postcard connected to its paw. The pigeon walks around to rid itself of the card, and then flies away. The man looks somewhat surprised. He then picks up the card and a single world is written in black on the back of it: "Broken". This word appears to trigger something within the man. He turns the card around to find that it features the message "Greetings from Storybrooke Maine", on top of a drawing of the small town's clock tower. ("Broken")

Neal 214
Neal is found by Emma. ("Manhattan")

Emma, Henry and Mr. Gold, otherwise known as Rumplestiltskin, head to New York in search of Baelfire and eventually arrive at his apartment building. Emma soon deciphers that the apartment that's not labeled with a tenant is Bae's as he doesn't want to be found, and presses the buzzer. As soon as she does so, footsteps heard on the fire escape and Baelfire is seen running along the sidewalk. Emma is tasked with chasing him and does so through the streets of the city, eventually tackling him in an alley where she is shocked to discover that Bae is in fact Neal Cassidy, her old flame. He takes her to a bar in order to explain himself to her, saying that August told him that he had to leave her so that she could break the curse. Emma does not care, simply wanting to take Neal back to Gold and fulfill her favor to him, however, Neal tells her that if she let's him go, he'll be out of her life forever, not wanting to see his father. Emma takes this option but Neal decides to go back anyway after remembering what his father does those who break deals with him. He shows up at his apartment just as Gold and the blonde are in a confrontation after his father figured out that she lied. Rumple is happy to see his son again but the feeling is one-sided as Neal merely wanted to make sure Emma was alright, making Gold slowly realize they know each other. When Neal sees Henry, he realizes that this is his son when the kid states he's eleven. Henry runs out of the room, previously told his father was dead. Neal gives Gold three minutes to talk to him so that Emma's favor will be fulfilled. But the reunion goes extremely badly, Neal having no interest in forgiving his father. Later, Neal, wanting to make up for lost time, steps out onto the fire escape and begins to talk and bond to Henry. As Mr. Gold watches his long-lost son and newfound grandson, the pawnbroker then thinks back to the prophecy that states he must kill a young boy who will be his undoing, meaning Henry. ("Manhattan")

Neal 215
Emma meets Tamara, Neal's fiancée. ("The Queen Is Dead")

Neal continues to bond and spend more time with Henry as Gold and Emma continue to commiserate over the strains in their relationships with their respective sons. Gold asks Emma to convince Neal to return to Storybrooke with them, telling her that if she does not, Henry will likely run away to find Neal, much like he did with Emma. The blonde considers this and begins to try and convince Neal to return with them, but he reveals that he has some news of his own. However, before he can share his news, the two of them stand witness to Captain Hook's ambush of Gold as the pirate stabs the pawnbroker in the chest with his hook, before Emma knocks him out, imprisoning him. Neal takes his father upstairs where they are soon met by Emma, who reveals that Hook used his pirate ship to sail there. Gold soon deciphers that the hook used to stab him was laced with poison which is slowly killing him and tells them that they need a fast way to get to Storybrooke in order to use the town's magic to save him. Neal reveals that he can sail them there on Hook's ship, knowing how to do so having learned in Neverland. Neal arranges for them to borrow a car to get them to the ship, and Emma wonders whose car it is. At this, Neal and Emma are approached by a woman named Tamara who reveals herself to be Neal's fiancée. Emma is taken aback. ("The Queen Is Dead")

Neal 216
Neal and Emma are randomly sent to the woods. ("The Miller's Daughter")

Neal sails Henry, Emma and a dying Gold back to Storybrooke on Captain Hook's pirate ship in order to find a cure to the poison that currently within Rumple's heart. They soon arrive at the town docks and are met by Mary Margaret and David, who are alongside Ruby. Ruby offers to take Henry out of the crossfire as Neal, Emma, Mary Margaret and David all escort Gold to his pawn shop. Knowing that Cora and Regina are after them with the Dark One's dagger in tow, Gold tells Emma to use the invisible chalk to draw a line across all entrances, which Neal helps her with. The pawnbroker then tells the blonde that she must cast the protection spell herself, which she succeeds at. Neal, along with David and Emma arm themselves with swords as his son's adoptive family break the protection spell with ease and make their way inside the shop. David quickly blocks one of Regina's fireballs, but is flown outside by Cora and knocked out. Neal tries to attack Cora, who disappears and reappears in a flurry of purple smoke. Realizing they cannot win, Emma and Neal run into the back room where Gold is, sealing it off with the chalk so that Cora cannot get through, no longer having Regina's help as the mayor has left to intercept Mary Margaret who's at her vault. As Cora tries to bust in, Gold makes a phone call to Belle, telling her that he's dying and romantically reminding her of who she is. Baelfire comments that he didn't know Gold had it in him, to which Rumple replies that he's sorry he broke his deal with Bae. Cora soon manages to get into the back room, breaking the protection spell, and Neal and Emma aim their swords at her, however, Cora quickly makes them disappear in a swirl of purple smoke, causing them to reappear somewhere in the town woods, where the two of them become confused. Despite this, thanks to Mary Margaret's actions, Cora ends up dying, and Gold is saved. ("The Miller's Daughter")

David 217
Neal, Emma and David find Henry with Regina at the town well. ("Welcome to Storybrooke")

After Regina poses a threat to the Charming family, Neal meets Henry at Granny's Diner and orders him an ice cream with "extra everything". Henry immediately sees through this as a bribe and Neal admits his agenda, wanting Henry to come back with him to New York as the fighting continues there. Henry initially seems pleased with the offer but soon excuses himself to go to the bathroom. Emma, who's also in the diner, asks Neal how it went and he tells her that Henry agreed to come back with him, however, Emma notices that his backpack is missing. Neal suggests that Henry took it with him but Emma reminds him that Henry went to the bathroom and is his son, leading Neal to deduce that he's running. The two of them and David use Ruby to track Henry down and she leads the three of them down to the old mines to a crate of dynamite, with sticks missing. The presume that Henry took dynamite but it is Neal who realizes why - he wants to blow up the town well as that's where magic originated from within Storybrooke. The three of them go to the well to find Regina with Henry, having stopped the dynamite ploy but still planning to use a curse on him to make him love her. After Henry gives a sad speech on how magic is corrupting his family, Regina burns the curse and Henry goes back with David, Emma and Neal. ("Welcome to Storybrooke")

Neal 218
Neal shows Tamara his fairytale life as Baelfire. ("Selfless, Brave and True")

Henry and Emma go to see Neal at Granny's Bed & Breakfast so that the former can give him his book of fairytales and hear what life was like in the Enchanted Forest. Neal obliges, but also warns Emma that his fiancée, Tamara, is on her way there. Emma wonders if she knows who Baelfire really is, and Neal reveals that she does not. When Tamara arrives, Henry wonders how her and Neal met, and she explains that they bumped into each other and he spilled coffee down her shirt, offering her his scarf. Henry soon leaves for school with Emma and Neal shows Tamara the story book, telling her that he's from a magical land known as the Enchanted Forest. Tamara refuses to believe his claim because she believes that Emma is after him now that he found out about Henry being his son, but Neal says that he and Emma are the past and Tamara wants him to prove it. Neal later arrives outside the sheriff's station to find a completely wooden August stumbling out. With his dying breathe, he tries to warn Emma of something, but he passes before he can do so. Henry points out that August's last act was honest, brave and unselfish and so Mother Superior turns him back into a little boy again, however, he cannot remember his warning. Tamara soon approaches the scene, "shocked" to see that magic is real, and Neal remains completely unaware that she is in fact that one that killed August. Later, when Neal's in the shower, Tamara visits Greg Mendell in his room and has sex with him, the two of them being part of an ongoing affair. ("Selfless, Brave and True")

Neal 219
Neal returns Henry to his mother. ("Lacey")

Neal is seen sword fighting with Henry in the park as part of their father-son bonding as Mr. Gold watches. Regina approaches the latter and wonders what his son is doing with hers, Rumple reveals to her that Baelfire is Henry's father, something which shocks Regina. Later, Emma is at home when Neal drops off an unconscious Henry. She asks if he tranquilized him but Neal jokes that he just gave the kid a couple bourbons and that he's a real lightweight, before admitting that Henry's just tuckered out and commending him on how good he's gotten with his wooden swords. Henry is placed on the couch as Neal and Emma sit down to talk, Bae says that August stopped by the park that day and that he and Henry really hit it off. Emma says that it will take her a while to get used to that before going on to say that she wishes Pinocchio would remember the warning he tried to give before he was "rebooted". Neal tells her that August always did have a habit of being cryptic, but assures the blonde that she always finds what she wants, so she has nothing to worry about. ("Lacey")

Neal 220
Neal catches Emma, the "crazy" ex. ("The Evil Queen")

Emma bumps into Tamara at Granny's Diner and sees that she has a list of Storybrooke's residents and their fairytale identities in her purse, and when Tamara states herself trustworthy, Emma uses her "superpower" to determine that she's lying. Due to this, Emma is lead to believe that Tamara's the "she" that August warned them about, and so enlists the help of Henry to stalk his father's betrothed. They start with a stakeout, watching Neal and Tamara as they exit Granny's Diner, but decide to instead search their room at the B&B. Emma breaks in and tells Henry to keep lookout and to hit the door if he sees anyone coming. Neal returns to his room and sees Henry hitting the door, but, as he was the one who taught Emma that signal, he immediately knows that she is inside. He walks in to find Emma inside, investigating a loose floorboard. She tells him her theory of Tamara being August's "she", but Neal doesn't believe her, explaining the list away by saying that he helped Tamara make it, to help her adapt to the magical world. Emma realizes that she looks like a jealous ex, and so tells Neal that if there's nothing under the floorboard, she'll back off. He stipulates to this and helps her lift it, however, there is nothing underneath. ("The Evil Queen")

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Neal professes his love for Emma, before falling down a portal. ("Second Star to the Right")

Neal wakes up to Tamara leaving to go and train for her marathon, but before he can go back to sleep, he hears ruckus outside and investigates to discover his father, Lacey in tow, is attempting to harm Dr. Whale. Neal restrains Gold, letting Whale free, and accuses him of being so non-redemptive since he found him, stating that he's only still in town for Henry. Neal returns to the B&B and is later visited by Emma, who thinks that Tamara has had something to do with Regina's disappearance. Neal allows her to search the room and she discovers sand tracked in by Tamara's shoes when she states she had been running in the forest. Neal and Emma walk along the beach where they run into Tamara, who's running there. She makes it appear as though she's training for her marathon, before dashing off, seemingly proving Neal right. Emma begs him not to make it a jealousy thing and as they get to talking more, he apologizes to Emma for letting her go to jail, saying that he wishes it were him. When Emma learns that when Mary Margaret experienced Regina's whereabouts via one of Gold's spells, the place she was in smelled of sardines, her and Neal go and search Storybrooke's town cannery, in hopes of finding the lost mayor. In there, they find David and Mary Margaret investigating also and the two pairs split up. Snow and Charming find Regina being tortured by Greg but set her free, getting her to the aid of Mother Superior as Greg escapes. Meanwhile, Emma is hit over the head by Tamara. Neal is stunned at what his fiance is doing and presses her to reveal the truth, which she admits to lying about everything since the day they met. She states he should understand her mission to magic means well due to his experiences he told her. Neal refuses to Tamara walk away after everything she's done, but she shoots him. Before she can execute her fiance, Emma kicks the gun out of her hand and the women duke it out. Losing, Tamara throws one of the magic beans she stole onto the ground and opens a portal before running away. Neal, still suffering the bullet wound, begins to get dragged down as Emma holds on. He tells her to let him go so Henry doesn't go grow up an orphan like his parents had, despite that she points out that he'll die no matter where he goes because of his injury. The two share a teary goodbye in which they each confess their love for one another and Emma ends up letting go as Neal falls down the portal, which soon closes. Emma is left devastated at the apparent demise of Neal. ("Second Star to the Right")

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Neal washes up on the shore. ("And Straight on 'Til Morning")

After Neal falls through the portal, he ends up in the ocean of the fairytale land that is, and washes up on the shore unconscious, still weak from the bullet wound he received from Tamara. Luckily, Prince Phillip discovers him and runs to his aid, wondering who he is. Of the two women with the prince, Aurora states that she doesn't know as Mulan remains silent. Phillip flips Neal over to his front and asks if he's alive; Aurora places her hands on his face and neck, feeling Neal's pulse, and says that he is - but barely. She worriedly states that they have to get him some help and Phillip requests that she help him get him inland. The two of them team up to heave him off of the beach and somewhere they're able to heal him. Neal remains unconscious all the while. ("And Straight on 'Til Morning")

Season 3

I love you. I probably always will. But my secret... is that I was hoping this was a trick... I was hoping you were dead. Because it would be easier for me to put you behind me than to face all the pain that we went through all over again.
Emma Swan
301 20
Neal and his new aid, Mulan, meet Robin Hood, who had a history with his father. ("The Heart of the Truest Believer")

Neal rests at Aurora's palace, back in the Enchanted Forest. He wakes up and is questioned by Mulan and her companions, and reveals himself to be the father of Emma's child, Henry. As Aurora tries to communicate with Neal's family via the Netherworld, Mulan asks Neal how he got to the Enchanted Forest, and he tells her he fell via portal. Mulan asks what the other world is like, so he tells her that everyone believes the people from the Enchanted Forest are just characters in stories, shocking her. When Aurora fails to make contact, Mulan accompanies Neal to Rumplestiltskin's castle in hopes of finding a way to communicate. On their way, Mulan wonders why Emma never mentioned Neal when she was in the Enchanted Forest, so he explains that he broke her heart. When they arrive at the castle, they run into Robin Hood, who claims the castle to be his own. Neal introduces himself as Rumple's son and allows Robin ownership of the castle, but asks to find something first. When he eventually finds a crystal ball, he tries to use it to communicate with Emma, but he's unable to use it. Mulan gives him advice, and it finally works, but he's horrified to discover she's in Neverland. ("The Heart of the Truest Believer")

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Neal looks for a way back to Neverland. ("Quite a Common Fairy")

Robin and Mulan remain with Neal in Rumplestiltskin's Dark Castle, as he frantically looks for a way to make a portal amongst his father's magical possessions. He explains to Robin Hood that if Emma is in Neverland, then Henry was kidnapped by the evil Peter Pan. He becomes angry when he's unable to find anything, and when Robin Hood's Merry Men sense disturbance, they enter the castle. Robin assures them that he's okay, and Neal is surprised to see that Robin has a young son named Roland, which gives him an idea. When Neal tells the archer that he'd like to use his son as bait for Pan's shadow, Robin initially refuses after being told how ruthless Pan is, but Neal then reminds him that his father spared his life, meaning that Marian and Roland were able to survive. Due to his need to repay his debt to Rumple and thinking he can do it through Baelfire, Robin agrees to let Neal use Roland as bait once and under the assurance that his son remain safe. Robin, Neal and Mulan hide whilst Roland utters the phrase "I believe..." which causes the shadow to burst through the window. It attempts to take Roland but Mulan fends it off, allowing Neal to hitch a ride to Neverland and find his own son, as well as his true love. Dropped on the ground, Neal is greeted by Felix, one of Pan's Lost Boys, who welcomes him back to the island and states that Pan will be pleased to see him again. ("Quite a Common Fairy")

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A joyous reunion. ("Nasty Habits")

Neal's hands are bound by Felix and the former Lost Boy is marched through Neverland. Felix has nostalgia of how Baelfire first came to the island, stating he hoped to never see him again. Neal responds that he wouldn't have if Pan had abducted his son, with Felix countering he should've left well enough alone. However, whilst Felix brags, Neal is able to free himself and punch the teenager, knocking him out and escaping. When running through the island, Neal happens across his father, Rumplestiltskin, having knocked out two Lost Boys. At first, Rumple thinks that Bae is a vision and tries to harm him, but Neal soon explains that when he was shot, he fell through a portal and ended up in the Enchanted Forest, where he was healed. Robin Hood then helped him get to Neverland. Gold explains that he's currently trying to rescue Henry from Peter Pan and Neal suggests a way to defeat the powerful demon child... He makes his way to a beach and blows on a conch shell which summons a large squid, he then fishes it from the water where his father extracts its magical ink. The two of them then make their way to Pan's compound where Rumple uses a sleeping spell to knock out the Lost Boys, and Henry, but Pan remains conscious. Neal fires an arrow at Pan who catches it, however, as the arrow's shaft has been doused with squid ink, Peter Pan becomes immobilized. This then allows Neal to grab Henry, who's still unconscious, and as he, his son and his father leave the camp, Pan makes a remark about Rumple wanting to murder Henry. Once they're safe on the other side of the island, Bae asks his father what Pan meant, and Rumple explains that there was a prophecy stating that a young boy would be his undoing, and he believes this to be Henry. Scared that his father will murder Henry in order to keep himself alive, Neal uses the squid ink to ensnare Rumple and then runs away with Henry over his shoulder. But he is soon ambushed by Pan and his Lost Boys who take Henry back to their camp, all before the child wakes up from the sleeping spell. ("Nasty Habits")

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Surprise in a box. ("Good Form")

Shortly following his capture by the Lost Boys, Neal is drugged and made unconscious, to be placed inside a cage. Felix tells his companions that they heard Pan and therefore they know what to do with the captive Neal. After Hook and Emma kiss, following the pirate saving the life of her father, Peter Pan informs Hook, in a provocative way, that Bae is actually alive and in Neverland, and leaves Hook to share this with Emma if he wants to. Then, the villain meets with his Lost Boys and orders that Neal's cage be hung up along another cage containing someone else. Felix and the Lost Boys follow these orders and raise the crate up alongside another. ("Good Form")

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Emma frees Neal. ("Ariel")

When Pan sees that Emma and the others are setting out to find Neal, he decrees that the prisoner be relocated to the Echo Caves. When the Jolly Roger crew arrive, they discover that Neal is trapped inside a bamboo cage and is totally inaccessible due to a deep gorge between them. Hook explains that the only way to get across is to share your deepest, darkest secret, and he gets the ball rolling by admitting that he's beginning to fall for Emma. Mary Margaret then admits that she would like to have another baby, and David reveals that he was poisoned with Dreamshade and the only cure he could find came with that catch that he can't leave Neverland without dying. Once these secrets are shared, a bridge to Neal become fully formed, and Emma crosses it. After attempting to cut him free, Neal tells the blonde that the way to open the cage is by her sharing a secret as well, and Emma admits that when she heard he was alive, she wished it was a trick and that he was dead, as that would mean she would never have to go through the pain of losing him ever again, which has proven unbearable in the past. The door to the cage then vanishes and Baelfire is free; outside, he tells Emma that he has a secret too: he is never ever going to stop fighting for her. Hook, who's interested in the blonde, overhears this and appears deeply saddened. ("Ariel")

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Neal is attacked by a shadow. ("Dark Hollow")

Neal reveals that there's a way for them to escape Neverland; capturing Pan's shadow and using it to fly off the island. Hook offers to come along and then he, Neal and Emma set off to capture it. Before they leave, Snow warns her daughter that both men have feelings for her and it could be dangerous. When they arrive at Neal's old cave during his time in Neverland as a child, Hook reveals to Neal that he kissed Emma. Despite this making things awkward, they manage to collect what they need: the coconut lamp, which will help them capture the shadow. They then make their way to Dark Hollow, the darkest place of Neverland where the shadows reside. As they make their way there, Emma notices how strange Neal is acting so Hook explains that he told him about their kiss, assuming she told him. Emma wonders why he'd assume that, so he says that he hoped it meant something to her. He then vows that when he wins Emma's heart, it'll be because she wants him, which is why he told her of Neal being alive because he didn't want to resort to trickery, nor did he want to sell out a friend. The trio eventually arrive at Dark Hollow, but as they have trouble lighting the candle for the coconut, the two men begin fighting over the cigarette lighter that Neal brought. They're then attacked by shadows, but using magic, Emma is able to light the candle and capture Pan's shadow within it. As they leave, Emma scolds the two men for fighting and states that if she'd have to chose someone, it'd be Henry. They soon return to Tinker Bell, who is surprised yet happy to see Baelfire, and the group continues to plan their rescue of Henry, now having an escape plan. ("Dark Hollow")

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Neal tries to rationalize with Henry to save him from Pan's manipulations. ("Think Lovely Thoughts")

The Jolly Roger crew reunites with Regina and Rumple, who reveal to have Pandora's Box, and Neal informs the group that Rumple came to Neverland in order to kill Henry because of the prophecy. Gold assures them that he won't harm Henry, giving his son Pandora's Box as proof of his true intentions and promising not to use magic. The group then make their way to the Lost Boys' camp, but there's no sign of Pan or Henry, however, they do find Wendy Darling. Wendy explains to Neal that she came back to Neverland in order to rescue him. The group asks her where Henry is, and after Neal promises her that they will protect her brothers from Pan, she tells them that they are at Skull Rock and why Pan wants the heart of the truest believer. Regina, Emma, Bae and Gold make their way to the island of Skull Rock in order to save the young boy, but they discover a barrier blocking their entrance to the cave. However, Rumple is able to pass through as he has no shadow, he takes Pandora's Box with him and Neal realizes that he really does want to save Henry. As Rumple confronts Pan and gets trapped in Pandora's Box, Regina and Emma cause a lunar eclipse with their magic that will allow them to pass through. They hurry to find Henry about to give his heart to Pan. The three parents' combined attempt to persuade the boy not to, but wanting to be a hero, Henry puts his heart in Pan, sending a shock of magic through the land. As Pan grows more powerful, Henry collapses to the floor and his parents rush to his side in horror. ("Think Lovely Thoughts")

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All is forgiven. ("Save Henry")

Neal, along with Henry's other two parents, continues to worry over the child as Pan hovers above them to gloat. This leads Emma to cut him with her sword, and when he flies away, Regina notices that the blonde drew blood; this means that they can hurt him, and if they can hurt him, they can kill him. After casting a preservation spell on Henry and taking him back to the Lost Boys' camp, Regina, along with Emma and Mary Margaret, go looking for Pan; when he underestimates the Queen, she is able to rip her son's heart from Pan's body and return it to Henry aboard the Jolly Roger, where he regains his consciousness. Neal is overjoyed to be reunited with his son, and is further overjoyed when his father is freed from Pandora's Box, in which Pan had him trapped. Having been informed by three women, Neal asks his father why he never told him Pan was his father, and Rumple reveals that he was scared because he was just like him: they both abandoned their child. Bae assures Rumple that this isn't true as his father came back for him and the two of them hug before the latter feels a magical disturbance. This turns out to be Pan in the hold of the ship, attempting to rip Henry's shadow from his body, but Rumple manages to trap his father in Pandora's Box. Whilst this occurs, Pan uses his magic to make he and Henry switch minds, so Pan, in Henry's body, walks free, whereas Henry, who's in Pan's, remains trapped in the box to no one's knowledge. ("Save Henry")

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Neal gets stood up. ("The New Neverland")

Neal returns to Storybrooke along with everyone else on the Jolly Roger; like all those aboard the ship, he is met with a warm welcome and is surprised to be reunited with John and Michael Darling, who are now both adults and ecstatic to have their sister back. He also gives Rumple back his cane, having found it in the hold of the ship, and Gold decides to keep it to remind himself of the man he used to be, but will never be again. After Pan, who's in Pandora's Box, is magically sealed beneath the floorboards of Gold's shop, Neal joins in the celebrations over at Granny's Diner. Here, Captain Hook tells his love rival that he's going to back off from Emma and let Neal win her over, but warns him to cherish the blonde, for he will be ready to swoop in should it all go kaput. With this, Neal asks Emma out, and she agrees to meet him in Granny's the next day, but when she becomes worried that Henry isn't acting himself, she stands him up. When she's made to go to Neal by her father, the date is again halted when a scream is heard. It belongs to Mother Superior, but Neal and the others are too late to save her and she is brutally murdered by Pan's shadow, who rips the fairy's out. Knowing that Pan has to be controlling the shadow, Emma, her parents, Gold and Belle take Pandora's Box over the town line and open it, freeing Pan so that they may execute him. However, it is soon learned that he is in fact Henry, and that the real Pan switched their bodies right as he was being trapped in the box. Knowing that Pan, in Henry's body, is now with Regina in her vault, Neal, Tink and Hook get down to the mausoleum but are unable to get inside due to it being locked with magic. When Gold arrives, he manages to break the spell, but inside they find that Regina is unconscious and the Dark Curse is gone - Pan has stolen it and plans to cast it again, sending all of Storybrooke's residents to a world of his own dark making. And without her parents' true love woven into the scroll, even Emma will be powerless to stop it. ("The New Neverland")

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Neal says goodbye to Emma and Henry. ("Going Home")

With a new curse underway, Mr. Gold explains to everyone that only the original caster - Regina - will be able to stop it by tearing the scroll, but they must first get the scroll from Pan. To do this, they decide to put Henry and Pan back into their own bodies, but this can only be done with the power of the Black Fairy's wand, which is currently in the deceased Blue Fairy's possession. Armed with his magic coconut, Neal, Tink, Hook and David go the Mother Superior's funeral to retrieve the wand, but their efforts are interrupted when the shadow attacks. Unable to trap it, Neal gives the coconut to Tink, hoping she'll be able to use her own magic to light the candle and fly up, but she is reluctant. After some convincing, the pixie dust Tink carries with her begins to glow and she douses herself in it, now able to magically light the candle, fly up and trap the shadow. She then throws it into a bowl of fire, killing it for good. Killing the shadow returns Mother Superior's, reviving her, and in her gratefulness, she both grants Tink her wings back and hands over the Black Fairy's wand. Once the spell is performed, everyone goes to find Henry who soon reunites with his family, giving the scroll to Regina. As soon as she touches it, however, she passes out, seeing what must be done in order to be able to tear it. It's not long before Pan, having overpowered Rumple, steps out of the pawnshop and freezes everyone with his magic, planning to slaughter Belle and his grandson, the ones his son loves most. But before he can start, Rumple too steps out of his shop and says his goodbyes to his true love and son, summoning his shadow and using the magic dagger he previously gave it to stab Pan in the back, killing them both. Saddened by his father's sacrifice to stop his grandfather, Neal begs Regina not to let it be in vain and to use the scroll to save them, but she reveals that to do so, she has to give up the thing she loves most: Henry. He is able to escape the curse because he wasn't born in the Enchanted Forest, but Emma is also capable of doing so because she's the savior; the two of them are told to leave town together. When everyone congregates at the town line to say their goodbyes, Regina reveals even more bad news, saying that when the curse washes over them, Storybrooke will cease to have ever existed, meaning Emma and Henry won't remember it or anything that happened there. To overcome this problem, however, the Queen offers to do for the two of them what she did for everyone else in town and give them new memories, so that Emma would never have given Henry up and the two of them would have always been together. Saddened, they get into the car and watch as Regina tears the scroll and uses its magic to make the curse safe, and as it envelops the town, Emma and Henry drive away, the memory spell taking effect. Neal is transported back to the Enchanted Forest along with everyone else. ("Going Home")

Before the Second Curse

I can't waste any more time, I need to get back. To hell with the cost!
312 09
Neal's hope is killed by the Charmings. ("New York City Serenade")

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Neal realizes that people's possessions returned when the curse undid and wonders if he could stop by his father's old home in case there's some magic there that could help him return to Emma and Henry. However, Snow and Charming remind him of the price brought on by tearing the curse scroll, meaning his son and true love can never be seen by any of the former Storybrooke inhabitants again; he is disappointed, but understands when they tell him that Emma and Henry are being given their best chance. He soon begins trekking to Regina's palace along with everyone else, and on the way, Belle tells him that she still believes Rumple to be alive, reminding Neal that they never saw his father's knife after he killed Pan. This provides Baelfire with some hope, and he is later happy to be reunited with Robin Hood, who joins the journey with his Merry Men and asks Neal where his son is. Neal replies that it's a long and complicated story, but that Henry is safe and with his mother, and Robin also takes the time to catch up with Belle, who once freed him when he was Rumplestiltskin's tortured prisoner. Neal and the others soon arrive at the Queen's palace but are surprised to discover that it's enclosed by a protection spell - one that isn't Regina's - meaning someone powerful has taken up residence inside. ("New York City Serenade")

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Neal helps. ("Witch Hunt")

Neal is present when another flying monkey attacks those outside the Dark Palace and he witnesses Regina rescue Robin Hood's son Roland when the creature heads in his direction, trying to get to the Queen. She turns it into a stuffed animal which she then gives to Roland, and when the creature is identified, Belle realizes that it must be from the land of Oz, having read about such things in her book. Neal is surprised about how casually they're treating the subject and not thinking this kind of thing is normal, but Regina confirms that Belle is right. This all means they're up against the Wicked Witch of the West. She and Robin manage to make it into the castle and disarm the protection spell, allowing everyone else inside. As this happens, she confronts Zelena, the Wicked Witch, who reveals herself to be Regina's maternal half-sister before flying away on her broom. ("Witch Hunt")

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Soon after being resurrected, Rumple tries his best to save the life of his son. ("Quiet Minds")

Neal and Belle head to Rumple's old castle together in order to find a way to resurrect the Dark One, and Belle thinks the way to go about this is to inspect the rather extensive library, for there could be books on the subject. One the way, Neal discovers that the key chain necklace he stole for Emma survived the curse, and Belle points out that it's because it was born out of true love. They light a candle to help them see better in the library, but to their surprise, the candlestick begins talking. Suddenly, a face forms out of the fire, and the mysterious being introduces itself as Lumière, explaining that he was trapped in this form by Rumplestiltskin when he was unable to uphold his end of a deal and can only come out when his candles are lit. He helps the pair of them, when they say Rumple will be able to reverse what was done to him, by showing them a large book in which a key is kept: the key to the Vault of the Dark One, where the very first Dark One was made. They find this vault within a snowy clearing and light up Lumière once they do. When they dare to question his knowledge, he argues that he's been kept up in that library for over two hundred years, despite Belle knowing that it was built not long before Regina's curse was cast. This leads the candelabra to admit that the Wicked Witch was in fact the one to imprison him so that Neal and Belle would resurrect Rumple and she would be able to control him, but Neal simply takes this to mean that it can be done, despite Belle protesting that it must be the wrong thing to do. Deciding that the cost is worth it, Neal places the key into the center of the vault and burns his hand as he does so, causing it to open and for Rumple to form from the inky blackness. Suddenly, Neal collapses and the Wicked Witch arrives on the scene, explaining to them that a life must be exchanged in order for Rumple's to be saved, ergo Neal is dying so that his father may live. Rumple tries his best to save his son, but the Witch points out that he can't keep Baelfire as well as his dagger, and so he hands over the latter, allowing himself to absorb his son and keep him sustained within his own body. However, two minds in one head drives Rumplestiltskin to insanity. ("Quiet Minds")

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Neal sends Emma a message through a friend. ("A Curious Thing")

Belle returns to the royal palace and explains what happened to Neal, telling the others that Rumple is alive but under the Wicked Witch's control, currently sharing a body with his son. The insane Rumple is later found locked within a cage in his own castle, spinning at the wheel, but he's later released when a new Dark Curse is unleashed on the Enchanted Forest by Snow White - one which will erase the previous year from everyone's memories. Zelena devises a memory potion to use on herself upon arriving in Storybrooke and leaves a spare vial for Rumple so that he may remember the pain he went through when watching Neal die. However, just as the Dark One's about to drink, he begins to stir and an incredibly weakened Baelfire stumbles out of his father's body, allowing Rumplestiltskin to fall to the ground whilst Neal catches the memory potion. Bae quickly writes a note and attaches it to the vial, sending both via dove to Captain Hook, instructing him to find Emma and give her the potion so that she can return and save everyone. He then collapses, not strong enough to survive on his own, and returns to his father's unconscious body whilst the Dark Curse washes over the entirety of the land. ("A Curious Thing")

After the Second Curse

Season 3

Thank you, papa, for showing me what it is to make a true sacrifice. It's about saving the ones you love. It's my turn, now.
Gold 313
"You feed the madness and it feeds on you." ("Witch Hunt")

While Emma is living her normal life with Henry in New York, Hook shows up to convince her of the truth and sends her to Neal's apartment. She first finds their old dreamcatcher, and then she's shocked to discover a camera embroidered with Henry's name that he left there from their trip. She is shocked, but later gets all her memories back thanks to a potion. ("New York City Serenade") Upon her return to town, Emma asks about Neal... but no one appears to have seen him since this second curse was cast. Zelena, also known as the Wicked Witch of the West, returns to an isolated house in the newly-cursed Storybrooke with a tray of food in tow. She heads down the stairs to the basement and slides the tray beneath a small gap in a large cage. A hand protrudes from the gap and grabs her arm, and an unshaven, unkempt Mr. Gold tells the Wicked Witch that she shouldn't have brought him back. She simply smiles evilly and kicks the tray into the cage, releasing his grip and heading back upstairs after instructing him to eat up, for they have work to do. As he prepares to eat, Rumple repeats the phrase "You feed the madness and it feeds on you", having returned to the high-pitched, manic tone he had before the original curse was cast. He then lets out his signature giggle, and eats, still insane due to his absorption of Baelfire. ("Witch Hunt")

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Rumple is shaved by Zelena. ("The Tower")

Rumplestiltskin remains in his cage (insane because Neal is inside him), spinning at the wheel, when Zelena visits with his magical dagger in tow. She notes how much he's let himself go and begins to shave him with with the knife, explaining that she learned to do so when her father returned home drunk every night but demanded that appearances be kept up. She then notes that that was always an impossibility for the two of them back in the Enchanted Forest, because no matter what they did, their outside appearances always reflected what was rotting on the inside. Rumple claims that she doesn't care about appearances, because if she did, she'd change his shirt. She remains cryptic, and soon leaves, allowing him to continue spinning straw into gold. Later, Emma, Charming, Hook and Regina enter the storm cellar that Gold was being kept in... only now he's escaped. When they find his spinning wheel in his cage, they deduce who must have been in there, and become shocked that he's apparently returned from the dead. ("The Tower")

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Neal dies in the presence of his father and true love. ("Quiet Minds")

After a new Dark Curse is cast which sends everyone back to Storybrooke with no memory of what they did over the last year spent in the Enchanted Forest, Neal fails to make a reappearance, much to Emma's concern once she regains her memories and returns herself. However, he one day busts into Gold's shop and immediately collapses, being taken to the hospital by Belle. Emma soon arrives to ask him a few questions, and he explains that the last thing he remembers is saying goodbye to her as Regina sent them all back home, and then he was running through the woods. He seems reluctant to accept that it's really been a whole year, and even more so that Henry doesn't remember him. After it is revealed to Neal that his father is still alive and out there somewhere, Emma notices a burn on his hand and asks Belle to research it whilst she and David go looking for Gold. Neal is looked over by Hook, who hugs his old friend, apologizing for all the dispute that took place between them over Emma, denoting it as silly. Neal agrees, happy to have made amends with Killian, and Hook soon lets Baelfire out into the woods so that he can aid Emma in her search. He finds her soon enough, just after she lost Gold, but she is soon phoned by Belle and told what the symbol on Neal's hand means: it comes from the key to the Vault of the Dark One, and if Neal used it to resurrect Rumple, he should be dead right now. Suddenly, Neal collapses, and it is realized that he and Gold have been sharing a body. He begs Emma to separate the two of them with her magic, pointing out that his father is of more use to them for he can tell them who the Wicked Witch is, and Emma manages to do so, meaning Neal begins to die slowly on the ground. Rumple is distraught to watch his son die, telling Emma that the Wicked Witch is Zelena, Mary Margaret's midwife, whilst Neal gives Emma the swan necklace he stole for her back when they were together, as a symbol of his love for her. He tells her to go and find Tallahassee, even if it's not with him. Rumple then apologizes for all the trouble he caused his son, but Baelfire thanks his papa for showing him what it means to make a true sacrifice, and now it's his turn. His final wish before he dies is that Henry be told he was a hero in the end, and this is exactly what Emma does after failing to capture the Wicked Witch. She vows to find Zelena and have Neal's life avenged. ("Quiet Minds")


Season 3

He didn't give a second thought to sacrificing himself for you... for all of us.
Emma Swan
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Neal is laid to rest by the citizens of Storybrooke, a few of which who were prominent in his life. ("It's Not Easy Being Green")

Neal's body is found and removed from the woods of Storybrooke, being placed into a coffin. His funeral is soon held, and many of the townspeople attend, each one of them saddened by his death. Multiple bystanders shovel dirt into his grave, including his son, Henry Mills. The final person to do so is Emma Swan, who clutches the necklace he gave her in memoriam. Meanwhile, in Zelena's storm cellar, she asks Rumple if Baelfire was worth all the trouble of casting the curse and waiting twenty-eight years for it to be broken, and he replies that it was worth every moment because Bae was family, something she will never understand. A wake is then held in Neal's honor at Granny's Diner, during which time Hook offers to take Henry out and tell him what his father was like as a boy. Emma is touched that he would do something like that for her son, and the pirate is later seen with Henry at the Storybrooke docks. He tries teaching him how to sail, explaining that he taught his father how to do the same, but Henry becomes confused when the things he are told make no sense, such as Hook being an adult when Neal was but a boy. He asks to be told the truth, wanting to hear something real about his father as opposed to something that sounds made up so he'll like the guy, and he goes on to point out that he can't be sad about Neal being gone if he doesn't know what he was like when he was alive. Thinking this to be a fair request, Hook tells Henry that he taught his dad to sail because he had just lost his own father and he thought the open sea would be a comfort to him, allowing the young man to finally relate to Neal. Hook adds that, whereas Henry knew nothing about his father, he had more in common with him than he realizes. ("It's Not Easy Being Green")

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Henry is finally able to mourn his father properly. ("A Curious Thing")

When it's realized that Henry's book of fairytales is the key to restoring his memories and breaking the curse, Emma, Regina, David and Mary Margaret set out to find it. Henry wonders where his mother is going, but she refuses to relent information, leading him to ask if it's to do with the person who murdered his father; she answers positively. The book is soon found by Mary Margaret in her closet and given to Henry by her, David, Regina and Emma, the latter of which asks her son if he trusts her before she hands it over. He assures her that he does and takes the book from her, immediately receiving a series of flashes which fully restore his memories, including those of his father, Neal. After a brief mishap involving Zelena, Regina kisses Henry on the forehead, happy that he's able to remember her being his mother, and this releases a burst of true love across the whole of Storybrooke which breaks the curse, meaning everything that happened during the missing year is remembered by all the townspeople. With the memory of his father in tact, Henry goes to visit Neal's grave along with Emma, David and Mary Margaret. He stands before the gravestone with a rose in his hand whilst Emma comments that Neal didn't give a second thought before sacrificing himself to save his son and everyone else. With a heavy breath, Henry carefully places the rose atop the grave, going on to talk to his mother more about the decision she made to leave New York. However, their conversation is interrupted by Mary Margaret, who suddenly goes into labor. ("A Curious Thing")

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An angry Rumple avenges Baelfire at last. ("Kansas")

With Zelena finally defeated thanks to Regina's light magic, Rumple tries to kill the Wicked Witch in order to make her pay for enslaving him and to personally avenge his son. However, Regina uses his dagger - which was earlier dropped - to stop him from doing so. Rumple wonders why, reminding the Queen of all that Zelena has done, but Regina points out all the people the two of them have killed trying to get what they want. Rumple can't believe what he's hearing, but Regina says that she's made the choice to be a hero, and heroes don't kill. Instead, Zelena is locked up in the sheriff's station where it is hoped that she'll reform. Rumple shows up that night with his dagger in tow. He explains that whilst Belle had it after Regina gave it to her, he switched it with a fake one and took the real one for himself, meaning he's in total control of his abilities. He teleports into Zelena's cell and the vile woman begins sniveling for mercy, pointing out that she's powerless and can't hurt anyone. Once she realizes that there's no escape for her and her death is imminent, she simply asks, "Why?" Rumple explains that he promised his son that his death would be avenged... and he never breaks a deal (especially not after breaking a previous one with his son). He then stabs the powerless Wicked Witch in the gut with his dagger, proceeding to turn her into porcelain before withdrawing it; when he does, she shatters into pieces. Gold, satisfied with his vengeance, then leaves. ("Kansas")

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The royal baby is named in honor of Neal. ("There's No Place Like Home")

When Emma becomes trapped in the past thanks to the now defeated Zelena's time portal, she manages to open another portal to the future using a magic fairy's wand. Just as she's about to jump through it, however, Rumplestiltskin of the past grabs her and demands to know more of what becomes of his son before he forgets, notably if his boy forgave him. Tearfully, Emma replies positively, but is forced to admit that he also died, much to the Dark One's dismay. She says that Baelfire forgave him, loved him, but he died to ensure they were saved. Rumple suggests that he could change the future and prevent this fate by remembering, but Emma points out that he could end up making things much worse. She explains that she loved Bae as well and wanted to save him, but he died a hero and his father mustn't take that away from him. She then tells him to drink the forgetting potion in his hand and forget everything she just told him. Rumple gulps it down as he lets the blonde go back to the future. She returns to the coronation at Granny's Diner, which is being held to announce the name of Mary Margaret and David's newborn son, and they soon reveal that he's to be named after a hero who died to save everyone in town; who loved the people, and who the people loved back: Prince Neal. Emma and Henry are touched to hear the latter's late father honored in this way. Gold is pleased as well ("There's No Place Like Home")

Season 4

I only lied to her in order to avenge your death, and now that I've done so... I really need the strength to give it back. Be that man I should be. The man you died for. And I pledge, Baelfire... I will be that man. Your heroism has shown me the way. I promise I will spend my life repaying you for that.
Mr. Gold
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Rumple pays a visit to his son's grave. ("A Tale of Two Sisters")

Following his wedding to Belle, Mr. Gold pays a visit to Neal's grave where he recounts a story of Bae's childhood, talking about the time when a scared Baelfire climbed into bed with his papa during a storm and, for the first time, Rumple felt like an adult because he was able to comfort his child and take care of him... until the Dark One's dagger came along and changed everything for the worse. He goes on to reveal that he gave Belle a fake dagger and keeps the real one on his person, but he only did so to avenge Neal's death by killing the Wicked Witch, Zelena, soon after he proposed. However, he feels so guilty that he later switches them back, but not to his new wife's knowledge. But then he discovers a magical object that intrigues him and he needs to real dagger to activate it, deciding to keep it for himself after all. ("A Tale of Two Sisters") When pressed by Hook, Emma says that the reason she's reluctant to get close to him is because everyone she's ever been with is dead: Neal, Graham and even Walsh the flying monkey. ("Rocky Road")

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Hook looks at a photo of Neal and Emma. ("Breaking Glass")

At the Sheriff's Station, Emma allows Hook to go through her box of items she's accumulated over the years. The first thing the pirate finds is the pair of glasses she used to wear, such as when she met Neal. He also goes through various items of jewelry before coming across a small photograph of a younger Emma joyously embracing her then boyfriend Neal Cassidy, taken in the days that they were thieves together. Hook, being Emma's new boyfriend, stares awkwardly at this photograph for a while, and Emma senses tension. However, the pirate soon places it back and, to break said tension, Emma takes out a second box containing items such as the blanket with her name on it, knitted for her by Granny when she was still in her mother's belly, soon before Regina's curse hit, and a camcorder containing some very surprising footage involving Storybrooke's newest villain, known as the Snow Queen. ("Breaking Glass")

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Zelena returns and torments Gold about his failure. ("Heart of Gold")

Upon leaving Storybrooke with his wife, Marian, and son, Roland, Robin Hood heads to Baelfire's old apartment, for that's the address Regina gave him. However, once his family has arrived, Mr. Gold shows up, having been banished from town by Belle. His berating of them for being in his son's home is cut short when he has a sudden heart attack and is rushed to hospital, where he realizes that all of the dark deeds he's committed in his lifetime have poisoned his heart - it's killing him. Robin steals an elixir that should cure the condition, but it fails because Marian switches the vials. Gold wonders why, and she reveals that she's not Marian at all: she's Zelena, having been using a glamor spell to take Robin's wife's form all this time. She followed Emma down through the time portal after her life-force left her body, killing Marian and taking her form in the process, all to destroy Regina's happiness with Robin, her true love. She comments that nobody's noticed the difference - not her husband, nor her child - when she's as dead as, "Well, your son. Oh. Oh, that's right. I suppose that means you never avenged his death, that... you failed. Oops." Later, when Gold is out of hospital after having made a deal with the Wicked Witch, Robin offers the Dark One a box of his son's things, but Rumple refuses them. He says that those things belonged to Neal Cassidy, a man he never knew, and he wants to remember Baelfire. ("Heart of Gold") Robin and "Marian" continue to live in Neal's apartment. ("Lily")

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Rumple decides upon Baelfire's new story. ("Operation Mongoose, Part 1")

When in Neal's apartment, Emma discovers their old dreamcatcher and expresses her surprise that it managed to survive over the years. Lily wonders who Neal was to Emma, and Emma says that he was a lot of things... until Zelena murdered him. To this, all Zelena can say is, "Sorry?" ("Mother") Isaac starts to rewrite everyone's story in town, and wonders what to do about Baelfire when it comes to Rumple's happy ending. Rumple tells Isaac not to toy with him, for he knows magic can't raise the dead, but the Author instead offers to make the Dark One forget his son completely - thus losing all the pain associated with that loss. Rumple refuses this. Instead he wants his memories changed so that he did everything he could to save Bae and did right for him, therefore better able to live with the loss. ("Operation Mongoose, Part 1") With the memories implemented, Rumple the Light One believes Baelfire to have died in the Ogre War, but Isaac tells him otherwise when he becomes trapped within his own book. He calls Rumple out on being a coward, and that's why his son died. Later, when Henry becomes the new Author, he thinks about writing it so that his father's alive. However, the Sorcerer's Apprentice tells him that this is impossible because Neal died in the real world, and so sadly he can never be brought back. ("Operation Mongoose, Part 2")

Season 5

The Underworld is for people with unfinished business, and that isn't me. That's why I'm not there.
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Neal gives Emma an important message from beyond the grave. ("Souls of the Departed")

When Captain Hook dies a thankless death, Emma decides to go to the Underworld in order to split her heart and resurrect him. However, as she's making the journey, she suddenly passes out and is visited in her dreams by Neal, who is contacting her from a better place. Once it's been established that it really is him, he asks how their son is, and she tells her lost love that he's doing great, although he misses his dad. She proceeds to ask if where they are - inside her yellow bug which itself is inside an abandoned amusement park - is the Underworld, but he denies it, explaining that he intercepted her during her trip so that he could warn her not to go. He knows she's trying to save Hook, and she assures that she would have tried to save him too if she knew it was an option, but it's not about that: once she enters the Underworld, it's going to be very hard for her to get back out, and he doesn't want to see her condemned to a horrible fate. She refuses to stop, which he figured, and she also wonders where he is now. Neal replies that he's someplace where he's happy, and the reason he's not in the Underworld is because he lacks unfinished business. Before he has to go, he kisses the savior on the forehead and tells her that he loves her; he always has and he always will. He then steps out of the car and the fanciful reality comes to an end, to Emma's dismay. ("Souls of the Departed") As it turns out, Neal told Henry about his old plan to destroy magic, and Henry tries following in his dad's footsteps. When he succeeds, he soon regrets what he's done and puts things right again. ("Only You"/"An Untold Story")


Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the character.

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