"Into the Deep" is the 30th episode of Once Upon a Time.
Cora does everything in her power to steal the compass away from Mary Margaret and Emma in her quest to find the entrance to Storybrooke. Meanwhile, in order to protect Henry from further danger, Regina and Mr. Gold must put David's life in jeopardy in an attempt to put him in contact with Mary Margaret across the lands to give her vital information that could help her and Emma return through the portal back to Storybrooke.
Previously on Once Upon a Time.
Emma, Snow, Mulan and Aurora return to the safe haven and discover that everyone has been killed, having their hearts ripped out by Cora. ("The Doctor") Henry is put under the sleeping curse after eating a poisoned apple turnover. ("An Apple Red as Blood") Mr. Gold explains that when you're put under a sleeping curse, the souls travels to a netherworld. ("Child of the Moon") Henry travels to the netherworld, red room filled with fire, during his sleep. ("Child of the Moon") Mr. Gold gives Henry a medallion that will help control his dreams. He does so when he next visits the netherworld and meets Aurora. ("Child of the Moon") Aurora wakes up from her dream and reveals that a young boy named Henry talked to her, Emma and Mary Margaret are shocked. ("Child of the Moon") Hook offers to help his captors and takes them to a beanstalk where a magic compass is held. ("The Doctor") Emma and Hook climb up and find the compass, but Emma locks Hook up so she can escape with it. ("Tallahassee")
Cora is displeased with Hook's betrayal.
It's late at night in the fairytale land that was. At the base of the beanstalk, Hook drops to the ground after a long journey back down it. As he catches his breath, Cora approaches him from behind, saying seems her dear captain has been on quite an adventure. Upon hearing her voice, Hook closes his eyes and sighs with fear. She asks for the compass, so he turns around to her, smiling. He explains that matters grew complicated and tells her the details of the story are a "bit of a bore" so they've alluded him. Cora points out that stealing her protection spell and climbing the beanstalk must be a bore to him, but to her, it's a betrayal. Hook assures Cora that he was going to give her the compass and states that their agreement remains; they're going to Storybrooke together. Cora says she doesn't have time for his games, explaining she's crossed too many worlds to lose now. She then asks who it was that bested Hook, so he reluctantly tells her it was Emma Swan. He promises Cora it won't happen again, she chuckles. "No, it won't. You chose her...and the consequences of that decision" Cora says sternly. Hook playfully asks if she's going to kill him and then tells her to go ahead and try. Cora shudders with excitement and calls Hook brave. She explains she won't kill him, as she has something more satisfying in mind. She claims that she will travel to Storybrooke alone, leaving Hook in the fairytale land with his thirst for revenge unquenched. Worried by this news, Hook puts on a brave and charming face and tells her there's no need to be rash and offers to discuss it. She tells Hook that his pretty face buys him a lot, but not her time as it is far too valuable. Hook promises he can get the compass back, stating Cora needs him. She laughs, claiming she doesn't as she begins to walk away. "You've had your chance, now it's my turn to do this the right way" she says. An angered Hook dives towards Cora to stab her with his hook, but she dissipates into a cloud of mist, causing Hook to fall to the ground. He looks up and huffs angrily.
Cora awakens the dead.
Meanwhile, at the safe haven, a cloud of mist appears and Cora emerges from it, holding a lantern. She places the lantern on a desk which has numerous draws in it. She takes out one of the draws, which is revealed to be a small container, and she opens it. She takes out an enchanted heart, but this one is different to the others, as it is not glowing. She holds it in front of her and then slowly blows air onto it. The magic she has cast brings the heart to life and it begins to glow the bright red. As that heart awakens, several other hearts in draws awaken, and the draws slide open. The sound of hearts beating becomes very clear. Cora then walks with the one heart in her hands and she steps to the doorway of the building she's in. As she looks to the ground below, she darkly says "rise" and a hand suddenly awakens, raising into the air. The men whom Cora had previously killed all begin to stand up, groaning like mindless animals. They all walk away in one direction. Cora watches the "zombies" coldly.
ONCE UPON A TIME
Aurora and Emma are shocked at what Snow has to say.
Emma is sat holding a picture of Henry in front of Aurora, asking if he's the boy from her dreams. A confused Aurora confirms that it is, shocking Emma and Snow. Emma says it's impossible and asks how she could dream of her son; Aurora has no idea. An anxious Snow supposes it isn't a dream, shocking Emma and Aurora. Mulan emerges from the behind the tent and all three listen to Snow explain that she has been to the same room as Aurora. A frustrated Aurora points out that she didn't say anything before, so Snow explains that she was scared and didn't want to make things worse by saying it's real. Unable to believe what she's hearing, Mulan asks if the room in a dream is real. Snow says it must be the sleeping curse as both she and Aurora have been under it. A guilty Emma realizes Henry went through it because she wouldn't believe him. "What else did you lie about?" Aurora asks angrily. Snow defensively claims she wasn't lying, but protecting her. Emma asks the princess what Henry said in the dream, but all he said was his name and then she woke up. Snow comforts her daughter, saying it's going to be okay. However, Emma doesn't believe her and states they're far from okay. "We have a way home now" Snow assures her, but Emma tells her they only have a compass and the ashes are with Cora. Mulan states that any attempt to steal from Cora would be suicide, but Snow reveals they can stop her. Mulan asks how, but Snow doesn't know...however, she reveals someone does, Rumplestiltskin. Emma realizes that they can use Henry to talk to him. Aurora begins to realize the plan and seems reluctant, but Emma turns to her and says "Oh yeah, princess...You're going back to sleep".
Henry awakens, bringing news with him.
A while later, after Aurora has gone back to sleep and her soul has returned to the netherworld, she is stood in the red room engulfed with flames, calling out for Henry, trying to find him. She tries to shield herself from the flames as she calls out, but there's no answer. Suddenly, Henry yells out "Hello" to Aurora. Aurora approaches him and recognizes him from the photo. He asks who she is, so she introduces herself and explains that she is with his mother and grandmother. Henry asks if they're okay, so she tells them they're fine and just want to go home, but they need his help. Henry understands and then asks what he needs to do. A while later, after he's been given the information, Henry awakens from his sleep and yells that "They're alive". Charming and Regina are sat nearby, keeping him company as he sleeps. Charming asks who is alive, so he explains that Emma and Snow are. "I told you kid, I told ya'!" Charming yells excitedly. Regina asks if the woman he saw told him this. Henry explains she's called Aurora and they have a way home, but there's someone in their way, someone they need help to stop, someone who only Mr. Gold knows how to defeat. Puzzled, Regina asks who he's talking about, so the boy awkwardly explains it's her mother. Regina is shocked.
Regina asks Mr. Gold for help.
At Granny's Diner, the chef in the kitchen gives two burgers with a side of fries to Granny as music plays around the busy diner. She takes the food over to a table, where Rumplestiltskin and Belle are sat, enjoying a nice chat. As she puts them on the table, Belle tells her they smell delicious, Granny says that are delicious. With an attitude, she looks at Rumple and adds it didn't take any dark magic either. She leans towards him and says she charges extra for the pickles, Rumple awkwardly acknowledges this. After Granny walks away, Rumple explains he has a complicated relationship with her, as he does with most people. Belle assures Rumple that it'll take people a while to get to know him, like it did for her. Rumple picks up a bottle of ketchup and suggests she try her burger with it, as condiments are "this world's most powerful magic". Suddenly, Regina enters the diner, saying she needs to talk with Mr. Gold. With a look of disinterest on his face, he asks if they do. Granny foresees an unpleasant situation forming between the two, so worried, she asks everyone in the diner to leave as they need to close. Regina assures Granny that it's okay because they're civil, "For now" Gold adds. He then turns to Belle and sarcastically asks if she remembers the woman who locked her up for twenty-eight years. An uncomfortable Belle offers to leave, but Gold asks her to stay, as whatever Regina has to say won't be a secret and whatever she wants, she won't get. Regina points out that she came about the one thing that might unite them, humored, Gold asks what that is, "Cora. She's coming from our land, I need your help to stop her" Regina says. Gold's face freezes and a hint of fear is visible. He quietly explains she was dead and reminds Regina that she saw the body. Regina says Gold must have taught her well. She then states Cora isn't dead and she's on her way, and it'll be unpleasant for both of them. Gold says it'll be unpleasant for Regina, as he can handle Cora. Regina slightly smiles and says "That's not how she tells the story", "I won in the end" Gold growls. Belle watches the two curiously. Regina points out that there's a difference this time, as he now has someone he cares about, a weakness. A confused Belle who the woman they're talking about it, but Gold assures her it's someone she'll never meet. "So you say she's coming, where is she now?" Gold asks. She stands up straight and sharply says "With them", implying Emma and Snow.
Mulan is concerned for Aurora's safety.
In the fairytale land that is, Emma, Snow, Mulan and Aurora are making their way through the enchanted forest. Emma asks how close they are to their destination, as Henry may already be waiting in the netherworld. However, Aurora assures her that they arranged to meet up in two hours time. Snow says they won't leave him waiting, but Emma begins to panic, so Aurora assures her that he was fine. Snow then points to an area in the woods and says it's good to set up camp. She tells Aurora that she'll settle in and find Henry to get the information that they need from Rumplestiltskin. She then says they need to act fast, get in and out because it's dangerous in the forest. As Emma and Snow continued heading towards their destination, Aurora's cloak gets caught on a bush, she stops walking. Mulan turns to her and asks if something is wrong, but Aurora explains she's just caught on something. Mulan notices a burn on her arm, which is revealed by the cloak being pulled back, and says that doesn't explain it. The princess covers the burn and asks what she's talking about. Mulan states that the burns she is hiding aren't from the sun. Aurora claims to have brushed against some poisonous leaves and then tries to walk away, but Mulan stops her, explaining that the room in the netherworld had fire in it. She warns the princess not to return if that is the place she was burned. Aurora confesses that she doesn't have much of a choice. Mulan explains that Aurora is choosing to go in deeper and stay their longer because of Henry, she then reminds the princess that she vowed to Prince Phillip to protect her, not to help strangers find a portal to another land. Aurora states that she was cursed to spend eternity in her sleep, and the only reason she is here is because Mulan and Phillip risked their lives to save her. "Every day since my awakening has been a gift, so let me do something with it. It's my turn to help someone else. I'm going to go back in and find that boy" she states. The princess then continues her journey, a guilt ridden Mulan watches her.
Mr. Gold tells a bedtime story.
Back in Storybrooke, at Mr. Gold Pawnbroker & Antiquities Dealer, Regina carries a blanket over to Henry, who is laid on a mattress that's on the floor. She tells him she brought his blanket from home and them puts it on top of his torso, he thanks her. He then turns to Regina, Mr. Gold and Charming and asks if Cora is powerful. Gold confirms, but says she isn't as powerful as him. Regina laughs at this and calls it debatable, however, Gold claims it isn't. Charming sighs at the two for arguing over power and then he sits beside Henry and holds his arms comfortingly. He asks if he's sure to do it, Henry replies by saying "I was born to do this. I'm done reading about heroes, I wanna be one". Charming tells his grandson that sometimes, being a hero is knowing when not to run into the fire. Henry assures a worried Charming that he'll be okay. Gold points out that what Henry faces in the netherworld will be far less dangerous than what they'd face if they fail. Henry repeats that he can do it, so a reluctant Charming sighs and agrees. He stands up and tells Gold to get on with it...fast. Gold sits down on a chair beside Henry and tells the boy to relax because he'll soon drift off. Henry asks what he has to tell them, so Gold tells him to listen to his bedtime story...and everything will make sense. He puts his hand on Henry's head, and Henry closes his eyes. "Once upon a time, Snow White and Prince Charming needed to stun a very powerful magician, and long enough to lock him up in the dark dungeon" he starts. Henry points out that the magician was Gold and they used Cinderella to trap him with the magic quill. As he talks, Gold lowers his hand down Henry's face and the young boy drifts off to sleep. "Yes, indeed, a quill. And yet, it wasn't the quill itself, but the ink that captured the dark one. Harvested from the rarest species of squid from the bottom of a bottomless ocean, impossible to find, unless you're a mermaid...or me, and I happen to have a private supply. In my jail cell, that is where they will find it." Gold then raises his hand back up Henry's face.
Back in the fairytale land that was, Aurora is sleeping under a make-shift tent as Mulan puts her hand over her forehead and then nods to Snow and Emma, indicating she is in her deep sleep. Mulan sits beside Aurora as Emma walks slightly away from the tent, worried. Snow follows her and takes her hand, assuring her everything will be okay. She tells Emma she'll see Henry again and their plan will work. Suddenly, they hear the sound of a twig snapping. Mulan also hears it so stands up and watches out into the woods like a hawk. They all stand very still as the sound of twigs snapping continues. As they continue to look out, Mulan puts her hand on her sword, ready to draw it. They all then look over to Aurora, who is still asleep in the tent. She moves around as she begins to "dream".
Aurora is rudely awakened.
In the netherworld, Aurora is stood alone in the red room filled with flames. She looks across to the other side to look for Henry, but she cannot see him. She suddenly sees him so calls out his name. She asks if he can help them, so he yells that he knows what they have to do to stop Cora. However, the roar and crackling from the flames is loud and they can barely hear each other's voices. He yells that they have to go to Rumplestiltskin's cell, but the roar of the flames prevent Aurora from hearing his message. She asks where they have to go, but she's stopped by large flames almost hitting her. As they continue to avoid the deadly flames, Aurora asks where they have to go again. He tells her Rumplestiltskin's cell again, but the flames prevent her from hearing him. She tries to explain that she cannot hear him, but she's stopped by a deep voice in the distance shouting "Aurora". She looks around, to see where the voice came from, and she asks if he heard it. He asks Aurora if she heard him, so she tells him to say it again. Another bursting flame prevents them from talking, and then Aurora hears the deep voice yelling her name again. She asks if he can hear it, but he tells her he can't and then asks what's going on. The deep voice yells her name even louder, she asks if he can hear it. Suddenly, Aurora is viciously sucked into the air in a spiral motion into a cloud of mist. Henry watches her helplessly from the ground.
The camp is attacked.
Back in the fairytale land that was, Aurora is woke up in a hurry by Mulan shaking her and yelling her name. She helps Aurora to her feet as the princess explains that Henry wasn't finished. The warrior tells her the time for that is over before drawing her sword, turning around and fighting a man who charges at her with his sword. She defeats him, then another comes after her. Aurora hides behind the tent. Snow and Emma both participate in the fight against the "zombies" that Cora had previously awaken. Mulan and Aurora sneakily run away. Snow is grabbed by one of the men and another comes at her from the front, but she manages to kick him away. Emma continues to fight more men as Snow breaks from the man's grasp and she attacks him with her bow. She looks over to Emma and yells for her to watch out. A man suddenly dives on Emma and tackles her to the floor. She drops the compass and the man grabs it. As he prepares to run away with it, Emma yells "The compass!". Snow turns her attention to him and then fires an arrow into his chest, causing him to drop it. Emma takes it back and then runs away from the man, who is still standing. Snow fires another arrow at him and Emma fights off a few more, asking if she has any idea how to kill them. Snow tells her she has no idea. Snow fires an arrow at another man and then calls Mulan for assistance. There's no reply so she looks at the tent and notices she and Aurora have gone. Emma asks where Mulan is, but Snow tells her to run for it as more people draw in towards them. Emma knocks one over and then they run away. Snow narrowly avoids being hit by an axe as she runs.
Mulan loses Aurora.
Meanwhile, Mulan and Aurora are escaping from the men. They run through the forest together and then stop as Mulan assists the princess past a tree. When she makes it past it, Mulan tells her to go in a hurry. Mulan follows shortly after, but is suddenly grabbed by one of the men, who is laying on the ground. She falls over and screams in fear. He jumps on top of her and attempts to grab her sword from her hand. Mulan struggles against him to keep it. A second man then chases Aurora, who runs away in fear, screaming. Mulan suddenly regains control of the sword and then slashes it across the man's head. He falls down beside her, dead. When Mulan stands up, she looks around for Aurora, but there is nobody in sight. Knowing she has been kidnapped, Mulan becomes very worried and then she begins to call out for the princess. When there is no reply, she runs away to look for her, leaving the body of the man she killed...the headless body as she chopped his head off. Meanwhile, Emma and Snow are running through the forest. They've successfully escaped the "zombies", so stop. Emma asks her mother if she's still in one piece, "Yeah, pretty much" Snow replies. Suddenly, they hear some bushes rustling, startling them both. Snow points her armed bow and arrow in the direction of the noise as Mulan suddenly emerges from the bushes. When she sees the bow pointed at her, she stops in fear. Snow and Emma sigh in relief at the sight of her and the former lowers her bow. A distressed Mulan says "They took her. Aurora's gone". Snow and Emma are shocked.
Henry awakens, with vicious burns.
Back in Storybrooke, at Mr. Gold Pawnbroker & Antiquities Dealer, Henry awakens after returning from the netherworld. He seems disorientated and in pain. Regina, Charming and Mr. Gold rush to his side. Charming asks if he's alright, Gold asks if he saw her and if he told them. He explains that he didn't get the chance because something happened, claiming "got got sucked out of there". As Henry tries to sit up, he groans in pain and holds his arm. Concerned, Regina examines. As she pulls down the sleeve of his shirt, Henry states that something is wrong. When the sleeve of the shirt is pulled down, a large burn mark all along his arm is revealed. Everyone looks at it with horror. "Henry" Regina gasps, shocked at how bad the burn is.
Aurora is not afraid of her captor.
At the "safe haven", some of the bodies that weren't resurrected by Cora are still laid on the floor of the camp. Inside the pit which Emma and Snow met Cora in, Aurora is sat on her knees, chained to a wall. Cora enters through a door, bringing stew, as she thought Aurora might be hungry. Aurora snidely states that she enjoys anything that masks the bitter after-taste of poison. Cora laughs, calling the princess plucky, she says she likes this. Aurora tells Cora she may as well go because she won't tell her anything. Cora sweetly says she knows, claiming Aurora has nothing to tell because she wasn't her target. Aurora asks if she's sad she lost the compass, Cora supposes, but then reveals she now has something to trade for it. Aurora insists they'd never trade her for the compass. Cora points out that Aurora may be more valuable than she knows, she then proceeds to exit the pit, but Aurora talks. She asks to whom as Emma and Snow just met her and they're trying to get back to their families. The princess then mockingly asks if Cora really thinks they'd sacrifice that for a stranger. Cora reveals that although Aurora doesn't know her new-found companions, she does, and they just can't help themselves, no matter the personal stakes, they won't let an innocent die. "We shall see" Aurora shrugs. Cora then asks the princess what stakes she has in their cause. Aurora drops her head as Cora points out she won't travel back with them. Unable to answer the question, Aurora looks away sadly. "What a sweet, misguided notion. Did you really think you could have a life their? Find another prince? You've forgotten Phillip already" Cora mocks. Aurora defensively claims that Phillip is in her heart every moment of every day and if there was anything she could do to bring him back, she would. "Is that so? What if I told you that when a wraith consumes a soul, it merely travels to another realm. But that soul can be brought back to this world. Show me a little courtesy...and I may explain how" Cora says temptingly. Aurora sees past Cora's trickery after a moment of doubt and then kicks the soup at her captor. Cora yells at the princess, calling her a stupid, ungrateful girl. "I'm not as stupid as you think! Nor are my loyalties so easily bought! You can bring me a hundred meals and make me a hundred promises, but I will never help you!" she roars. A furious Cora uses her magic to throw Aurora against the rocky walls of the pit. She hits her head and is knocked unconscious. "Plucky" she growls. She then walks to a raven that is stood on a cage in the pit. She strokes it and tells the bird to "tell them". The raven then flies out the hole in the top of the pit to find its message receivers.
Snow is given a message.
A while later, Emma, Snow and Mulan are slowly trekking through the enchanted forest when all of a sudden, the raven which Cora sent flies up to them and lands on Snow's shoulder. Snow stops moving, Emma turns around in shock and Mulan draws her dagger defensively. As the bird squawks, Snow tells them both to wait as she seemingly listens to it...and understands it. The bird soon flies away, so a confused Emma asks what the hell just happened. "Cora...We have until sundown to give her the compass, if we don't, she'll kill Aurora". Emma pulls out the compass and then Mulan demands she give it to her. Emma asks Mulan for a moment to consider, but the warrior states there's nothing to consider as a compass is not worth Aurora's life. Snow calmly says that they need a plan to save Aurora and keep the compass. Mulan claims that her vow to Prince Phillip was to protect Aurora, and that is all that remains of him, so it shall be done. She attempts to grab the compass of Emma, but Emma pulls back, claiming she had to go up a beanstalk for it so Mulan can get her own. Before a fight can break out, Snow stops them both and then asks Mulan to give them a few hours, claiming if they haven't defeated Cora by then, she can have the compass. Mulan states that they can't defeat her as they no longer have access to the Dark One's assistance. Snow says they do, so Mulan asks how, claiming Aurora is gone. Snow points out that Aurora isn't the only one to go under a sleeping curse and then she says she can go back to the netherworld. Mulan reminds Snow that she said the door to the netherworld is closed for her, but Snow supposes there could be a way for her to go into a deep slumber. A concerned Emma asks if there's going to be another sleeping curse, but Snow assures her that she doesn't need it, just a way to go into a deep enough sleep where he natural defenses slip away and her mind stops protecting her. Emma asks how, so Snow suggests Mulan's sleeping powder. Mulan claims to have used the last on the Giant, so Snow tells her to make some more. A reluctant Mulan explains that the poppy plant is extremely rare, but she knows of a place that may grow some more and its a bit of a journey away. Snow asks if they can make it by sundown, Mulan nods and then says they have to hurry before they all set off walking.
Charming asks to be put under a sleeping curse.
Back in Storybrooke, Regina, Mr. Gold and Charming are all sat around an injured Henry who lays in his bed. Gold offers to help with the burns, so Henry holds his arm out as Gold uses his magic to cure the wounds. "What caused this?" Regina asks. Gold explains that when you venture deeper into the netherworld rather than away, there are risks. He explains that someone woke Aurora before her soul was ready to return and the violence of that act tore her away and injured Henry. He says they're lucky it wasn't worse. He then adds that Henry will need some time to recover before he can be sent back, Regina and Charming simultaneously detest. "We'd be monsters to even consider risking his life again" Charming states. Gold tells Charming to watch his tone. He understands Charming's concern for Henry but states he knows Cora and without their help, Snow and Emma will soon be dead and a true monster will be on its way to Storybrooke. Regina points out that Aurora is gone and then asks why they should send Henry back to the fiery inferno with nobody their to receive their message. Everyone is silent for a while, but after Charming ponders around the room, he suddenly realizes something. "Because someone will be there" he says with confidence. Regina asks who, so he tells her Snow will, Regina points out that its a big assumption. He says it isn't and explains that Snow has been to the netherworld once before so she can go do it again "she'll find a way, I know it" he says. He then tells them that he'll be waiting. Regina mockingly asks if he's going to the netherworld so he retorts by saying he faced her and asks how hard it can be. Gold explains it isn't as simple as that, stating Charming can't get there as he hasn't been under a sleeping curse. Charming demands to be put under one, but Gold explains there is a chance he may never wake up. "Sure I will... When I see her, she'll kiss me and I'll be fine. Now put me under, I have spent far too much time looking for my wife, it is time to bring her home!" Charming says sternly.
Aurora is set free by Hook.
In the fairytale land that is, in the pit that Aurora is being held captive in, Hook is crouched in front of the unconscious princess. He attempts to wake her up by repeating "wake up" to her in a hurried manner. As she slowly regains consciousness, she wakes up to see Hook in front of her, looking around nervously. When he sees she's awake, he tells her to get to her feet and hurry. A terrified Aurora asks if he's come to kill her. He sarcastically explains that if he came to do that, then waking her up first wouldn't be the best idea. He then breaks the handcuffs on the princess's wrists and she asks what Cora sent him to do. He explains that Cora has no idea he's here, so Aurora says she doesn't understand. Hook snarkly explains that he's setting her free. "What is this? Some sort of pirate's rouse?" she asks. Hook tells her that Cora denied him passage to Storybrooke and vengeance, so he wants to deny Cora her wishes, starting with the compass. Aurora asks if Hook would risk his life to get into the pit all so he could thwart Cora. He points out that he doesn't like being double crossed and then tells the princess to leave. A confused Aurora thanks him and then proceeds to exit, however, Hook grabs her arm and explains she can thank him by doing one favor; to give Emma a message saying his deal still stands, that if she helps him get to Storybrooke, he'll help her retrieve the ashes. Aurora asks if he really wants to assist them, so he adds if it hurts Cora and helps him, of course he does. "Now go" he says softly. Aurora turns to the door of the pit and then escapes, leaving Hook. Once she's gone, he turns around and raises his eyebrows, looking rather smug.
Emma blames herself for Henry being cursed.
Meanwhile, Emma and Snow are walking through the forest with Mulan leading them, chopping foliage out of their way to make a path. Mulan explains that once they cross the ridge, they'll be at the Woods of the Dead, a place where the last poppy's have seeded. As Mulan continues to make a path, Emma asks her mother if she's okay, she says she is, but she doesn't believe her so stops her, pointing out she looks nervous. Emma asks how bad the Netherworld is and then what it's like in a worried tone. Snow explains that it's like you are lost and drifting in darkness with no one to talk to and nothing to do except think about the people you love and how you'll never see them again. Emma guiltily says that Henry was lost in that dark too because of her. Snow asks what she's talking about, so Emma explains that he tried so hard to convince her she was the savior. Snow tells Emma to stop, assuring her nobody would've believed his stories, however, Emma says his mother should have. "Okay, you wanna play the blame game? If I hadn't told Cora about Regina's true love, Cora never would have killed him, Regina wouldn't want revenge and the curse never would have happened" she says. Snow then adds that they can spend all day working out who should feel guilty but states it won't help them get home. Emma asks if she thinks they'll really get back, so Snow tells her that her father taught her never to give up. "Now, it's time for me to go back to sleep" Snow says before continuing her journey to the poppies. As she walks, Emma stops her by saying "it's Regina". Snow is confused, so Emma explains that Regina is the one they should blame.
Regina creates the sleeping curse.
Back in Storybrooke, in Mr. Gold's shop, Regina is creating a sleeping curse using numerous apparatus. Using some tweezers, she takes a gem and drops it into a small pot, causing a slight chain reaction. Henry walks into the room and says it smells funny. Regina tells him that it's a curse so it isn't meant to be pleasant. She begins to grind the gem and Henry asks if the potion is finished because Mr. Gold had everything she needed in his shop. She tells him they're almost ready. Henry looks at some of the apparatus, a glass bowl filled with bubbling water, and then says "So this is how you do it, magic". Regina softly tells him that there are many ways, but adds that it's never easy. She then adds some powder to the small pot, causing another slight chain reaction. Henry asks if she's been using magic, so Regina points out that she promised she wouldn't. She assures him that she hasn't, except on Daniel and now, stating she has really been trying. Henry tells her it's okay and says she's using magic for good now, she smiles and says she's trying. She tells him after the sleeping curse, she won't do any more magic, Henry says he knows. Regina then takes the powder from the pot and drops it into the glass bowl. The water fizzes and begins to emit a blue smoke. Henry asks if David will be okay, so Regina assures him that David will be asleep and won't die. As she pours the potion into a vile, she says that Gold is explaining everything to David now. With the potion complete, Regina puts the vile onto the table. Henry suddenly whines that he should be returning to the Netherworld, but Regina repeats that it's too dangerous for him, and Charming agrees. Henry says David won't wake up, but Regina adds that he will if he succeeds. "And if there's one thing I know about your grandparents...they always find each other" Regina scowls with a hint of a smile. Henry smiles back at Regina.
Back in the fairytale land that is, Emma, Snow and Mulan have finally arrived at the Woods of the Dead. They walk up to a single red poppy on the ground that is glowing and emitting a slight twinkle. Emma and Snow look at it with awe and the later states that it is beautiful. Mulan, who is stood nearby, pulls out her dagger from its sheath and explains that she will crush the seeds using the dagger. She tells her fellow companions that they're doing it the old fashioned way. Emma and Snow then watch as Mulan cuts the poppy with her dagger and proceeds to crush the seeds.
The needle is prepared.
"What do you mean 'the old fashioned way'?" Charming asks, back in Storybrooke. Holding a spinning wheel needle, Mr. Gold explains that Charming is about to join a distinguished club. Before such innovations as "the apple", when the sleeping curse first came to be, a more direct method through blood was required. He explains that by pricking your finger on the needle of a spinning wheel, you'll fall under the spell. Gold then offers Regina "the offers" as she also cursed Snow. She then takes the needle and dips it into the vile she's holding. The magic takes its effect on the needle and it glows green and yellow. She then places the needle into a spinning wheel, stating it's ready. Charming readies himself, rubbing his hands, and then Henry hugs him, wishing him luck. Charming hugs Henry back and assures him that it'll be all right. He asks how he knows, so Charming asks how Henry knew Emma would save him after eating the turnover. The boy explains he believed in her, so Charming points out it's the same way he and Snow believed Emma would break the curse. He tells his grandson that that's the kind of faith that runs in their family. Henry gives Charming his necklace and explains it will help him control the flames in the Netherworld. The prince smiles and promises to guard it with his life.
Snow is put to sleep.
Back in the fairytale land that is, Mulan is knelt beside a rock, grinding the seeds of the poppy with her dagger. She tells Emma and Snow, who are waiting nearby, that the powder is nearly ready. Snow asks how long the affects will last, so Mulan vaguely tells her an hour...maybe much less. Emma looks at the compass and then puts it into her jacket pocket. Snow gets comfy beside a tree and tells her daughter that she shouldn't need much time if Henry is already there waiting. Emma takes her mother's hand comfortingly and assures her that she'll be waiting with her. She then asks for her to say hi to Henry for her. Snow nods that she will and then signals for Mulan, who is waiting with the powder in her hand, to get things started. Mulan walks over and then holds her hand out in front of Snow's face. She then blows the powder, which floats around the air. Snow inhales it deeply and then it suddenly takes affect on her. She falls asleep. Emma watches on as this happens.
Charming is put under the sleeping curse.
Back in Storybrooke, at Mr. Gold's shop, Mr. Gold is sat at the spinning wheel, spinning the wheel. Charming takes a deep breath and then moves his hand towards the needle, ready to prick his finger. However, he stops and then asks when he awakes if he'll be in the fiery room. Gold says that he won't as that room is for those who have awoken from the curse and return. Slightly frustrated, Charming asks how he is going to know where to go and how he is going to find the room with no door. "And that, deary, is the conundrum we're all depending on you solving. Now I say this with the utmost sincerity...good luck" Gold tells the prince. He then begins to spin the wheel again. Regina and Henry watch from the side and the former comfortingly hold's her son's shoulders. Charming suddenly pricks his finger on the needle, drawing blood slightly. He looks at his bleeding finger with pain, but suddenly, the curse takes affect, and he falls asleep onto the mattress. Regina and Henry watch with shock.
Charming searches for Snow.
In the Netherworld, there is nothing but darkness with one small flame in it. Prince Charming walks through the pitch black area and cautiously heads towards the flame, which is a torch. As he approaches it, there are ghostly whispers and ghoulish howls around him. He cautiously picks up the torch and then moves slightly with it. Suddenly, multiple reflections of him from mirrors appear, startling him. He looks at them with confusion and then continues to examine the area, highly disorientated and confused. He yells out for Snow, but there’s no response, so he continues his search. Meanwhile, in the fiery red room of the Netherworld, Snow is stood in the middle of the violent flames, calling out for Henry. However, there is no response. She yells again, but an aggressive flame causes her to cower. She then calls for him again, but there’s still no response. “Henry! Where are you?!” she cries.
Charming follows the necklace.
Back in the pitch black area of the Netherworld, Charming continues to walk through the haunting darkness past the numerous mirrors. There is suddenly a high pitched ringing sound, but the prince doesn’t notice it until he sees the necklace on his neck glowing. He takes it off and then realizes it signals towards a certain direction. He follows the ringing as it gets louder, however, he drops the necklace when it becomes very hot, burning him. He kneels down to pick up the necklace, but stops when he feels heat coming from the floor. He touches the ground and burns himself. Something suddenly occurs to Charming and he mutters “the room” to himself. Using the torch, he smashes into the ground, cracking it. He then smashes into the ground again, causing it to crumble beneath him.
Charming tells Snow what to do.
He falls into the fiery room and lands on the floor heavily. He picks up the necklace that fell with him, but sees that it smashed. He stands up and then attempts to look through the flames for his wife. Suddenly, Snow, who’s stood near the corner, notices her husband, so calls out for him. He attempts to run to her, but a large flame appears in between them, blocking their path. A confused Snow says she doesn’t understand, stating Henry should be here. He explains that he wouldn’t allow Henry to return as it’s too dangerous. A pleased Snow smiles that Charming found her, he says that she found him and he knew she’d be here. Snow says she doesn’t know how much time they have, so Charming explains that there’s a way to stop Cora; ink from the quill they used to stun Rumplestiltskin, which is hidden in his cell. He tells his wife to get the ink, stop Cora, and come home. Something horrifying suddenly occurs to Snow and she asks how he’s in the Netherworld. She almost says the only way he can be here is if he’s under a sleeping curse, but he interrupts by saying he needed to see her. He states it was worth it, upsetting Snow, who says he’s cursed. Charming assures Snow that she will break the curse with true love’s kiss.
Charming cannot be reunited with his wife just yet.
He then leaps through the fire keeping him from Snow and lands inches away from his love. As they gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes, the flames in the room disappear. They both lean in to kiss each other, but they just fall through each other as if they were a projection. Horrified, Charming realizes that they’re in a Netherworld, so it isn’t real. Snow suddenly begins to fade and she realizes that she’s waking up. Charming says it’s okay as she’ll get back and wake him as he woke her. “You will always find me and I will always find you” he says. “Yes, but we always lose each other too, is that our fate?” Snow cries. Charming refuses to believe it and then tells Snow to have faith in “us”. Snow cries that she’s waking up again, Charming tells her it’ll be okay. He promises she can do it and then tells her he loves her. She says she loves him too, but suddenly vanishes, having woken up. When she disappears, the flames in the room return. Charming is left stranded in the deadly fires.
Charming is taking his time.
Back in Storybrooke, in Mr. Gold's shop, Regina, Mr. Gold and Henry are stood watching over Charming, who is still asleep, under the affects of the sleeping curse. A frustrated Henry tells his grandfather to "come on" and "come back" as he watches him slumber. He turns to his mother and asks if he should be in the Netherworld for so long. Regina nervously assures Henry that it's fine and she imagines that Charming and Snow will just be catching up. Henry gives a little smile and then turns back to watch his grandfather. When he is looking away, Regina worriedly turns to Gold, who silently shakes his head, hinting that something is wrong. Regina looks sadly at her son, who is still waiting for Charming to awaken.
Snow awakens in a panic.
Back in the fairytale land that is, at the spot that Snow was put to sleep by the powder, she begins to wake up. Her eyes open and then Emma, who is holding her hand, looks at her and asks if she's okay. Snow is silent and then when she looks at her hand being held by Emma, she suddenly jolts back with fear. Emma asks what happened, but Snow runs towards the rock that Mulan crushed the powder on to see if she can find more. Emma points out that they're out of powder and then asks what happened in the Netherworld. A distressed Snow cries out that she has to go back because "he's" all alone. A worried Emma asks if she's talking about Henry and asks if he's okay. Snow panics and explains that David went under a sleeping curse so he could see her and that he thought true love's kiss would awaken him, but it didn't. She says that he is now trapped and she begins to hyperventilate. Emma tells her mother to slow down and then asks her to confirm that David is in the Netherworld. Snow states that she has to get back because there's only one way to help him. "True love's kiss" Emma points out. Snow explains that it won't work in the Netherworld so she grabs her daughters arms and states they have to get back to Storybrooke. Emma assures her mother that they will. Snow asks if she's sure, so Emma explains that she told her to have faith, so she's now telling her that they will make it back. Emma then asks if Snow got the information, Snow explains that the key to stopping her is at his jail cell. Emma says they'll go get it and tells her mother to get ready. She helps a shaky Snow to her feet and then reaches into her pocket, horrified to discover that something isn't right. She looks around the area in a panic. "No..." she moans. Snow asks what's wrong, "The compass is gone...and so is Mulan" Emma gasps.
Mulan escapes with the compass.
Further away in the enchanted forest, Mulan is running through the forest in a hurry. She jumps over a log and then comes into an area filled with bushes, so she uses her arms to push them aside and then she leans her body forward to duck and dodge them. She then runs up a small hill which eventually leads to a large tree trunk when the ground becomes flat again. Mulan leaps over it and then continues to charge through the forest. When she gets on stable ground, she takes out the magic compass and holds it in her hand and looks at it, confirming that it was in fact her that stole it. She then puts her arm down her side again and then continues to run to the "safe haven", ready to trade the compass with Cora for Aurora's life.
Cora is given a gift by Hook.
Meanwhile, over at the pit in the safe haven, Cora enters through the door to check up on Aurora, but is horrified to discover that she is missing. She runs over to where the princess was held captive to investigate, but she's stopped by Captain Hook, who was hiding in the shadows, when he says "Looking for someone?". Cora turns to him and smiles as she says "Oh, don't tell me you were dumb enough to let her go". Hook explains that Aurora was never going to give her what she wanted, so Cora points out that he freed her and stuck around for the petty satisfaction of watching her suffer. Smiling, Hook explains that watching Cora suffer was a tempting motivation, but explains that wasn't the reason. "Well then you must have a death wish" Cora grins as she uses her magic to throw the pirate against the rocky walls and traps him by making rocks wrap around his arms and legs. She walks towards him and then removes the hook from his arm. She smiles and then uses the hook to pull his shirt to the side, revealing the flesh on top of his chest. "You know I have to kill you?" Cora asks. Hook tells the witch that she should try thanking him. She smiles and then asks why that is, so he explains that he brought her a gift and it's in the satchel he's wearing. Cora looks at the satchel and asks what the gift is, but Hook says that the "customarily surprise is part of the fun of gift giving". He tells her to open it, so Cora snaps the strap of the satchel using the hook and removes the contents which are held inside. As she looks at it, a shocked Cora asks "Is that...?", Hook states that "It is" and explains that with it she'll get everything she wants. Cora looks back at the item and smiles again.
A fight breaks out between the women.
Meanwhile, Mulan is still running through the forest, but she stops when an arrow flies past her and hits a tree. She turns around to see Snow and Emma. Snow states it was a warning shot, so the next one won't miss. Holding her arms in the air, Mulan asks how they found her, so Snow claims to know a "thing or two" about tracking. Emma calmly says that all they want is the compass. "Very well" Mulan says before drawing her sword. However, Snow takes an arrow and dives on top of Mulan, holding it to her neck. With Mulan pinned, Snow demands to have the compass, but Mulan points out that it will seal Aurora's fate. Snow explains that they know a way to overpower Cora, so once they get what they need, they will defeat her and Aurora will be free. "Another journey, just as I predicted there would be!" the warrior yells. She then adds that the best way to save Aurora is to make the trade now. Snow says that's not going to happen, for without the compass, they can't get home. "Then I hope you're prepared to use that arrow" Mulan says, looking at the arrow being held at her neck. After a long pause of hesitation, Snow finally raises the arrow to impale it into Mulan's neck, shocking Emma. However, she's stopped when Aurora yells for her to stop. A confused Emma asks how Aurora got here. The princess tells Snow to let Mulan go and then she helps the warrior to her feet. Mulan asks Aurora if she was followed, so she says she doesn't think she was. Emma asks how the princess escaped, so she explains that it was Hook who let her go. Emma asks why, so Aurora states "Because of you, he said he wanted to prove to you that you should've trusted him, that if you had trusted him you could've..." Aurora explains.
Cora controls Aurora using her heart.
We the see Cora, in the pit, holding an enchanted heart, speaking into it, controlling Aurora's voice "...defeated Cora together. That the two of you could have gotten...". "the remains of the wardrobe. Without him, you'll have to go up against her all by yourself" Aurora says, being controlled by Cora. "He only wants to help" Cora says. "I think he may care for you" Aurora says. Back in the pit, Hook compliments that saying he may care about Emma was a nice touch. No longer controlling Aurora's voice, Cora points out that she still won't trust him. Hook shrugs and says that she doesn't have to because he only needs her to believe that he was genuine in letting the girl go, which she probably does now. "You're welcome" Hook grins. Cora nods, calling Hook impressive as he took a heart. "Now you have a princess" he smiles. He then asks if they can continue going to Storybrooke together. "Why not? I hate to travel alone...all we need is the compass" Cora smiles. Hook says it will soon be delivered as he begins to exit the pit.
The girls are unaware of Cora's actions.
Meanwhile, Emma is stood holding the compass. Aurora, being controlled by Cora asks if they found a way to defeat Cora. Emma says they did, so the princess asks where they're going. Emma explains that they're going to Rumplestiltskin's cell. "Okay, lead the way" the princess says to the group, ready to go. Snow then leads the journey and she is followed by her daughter, Emma, and then Emma is followed by Mulan, who is finally followed by the princess, who is under the control of the evil witch, Cora. Back in the pit, Cora is stood holding the enchanted heart in her hand, watching it with a huge grin, now knowing their plans and one step ahead of the heroic quad.
- The title card of this episode features the horde of people Cora ripped hearts from rising and walking.
- Although credited, Meghan Ory (Ruby/Red Riding Hood) is absent from this episode.
- This is one of two episodes to feature no flashbacks, the other being "Fall".
- The poppy used to put Mary Margaret to sleep is presumably a reference to the poppy field which causes people to fall asleep in The Wizard of Oz.
- The episode make references to Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. A spindle prick is described as the "old-fashioned way" of delivering the sleeping curse directly into the victim's bloodstream, with poisoning by apple described as a later innovation.
- The title of this episode was revealed by executive producer and co-creator Adam Horowitz, via his Twitter account, on October 16, 2012, along with the title for episode 2.09.
- The episode helped the series post a 2.7% increase from the previous outing, scoring a 3.0/7 among 18-49s with 8.8 million viewers tuning in
- In a review from Blogcritics.org: "Into the Deep" has lots of interesting goings on, and although the plot is simple enough, its rich texture moves the story ahead while giving us little glimpses into some of the series most pivotal relationships both in the present day and ancient Fairytale Land timelines.
- In a review from Entertainment Weekly, Hilary Busis summed it this way: "Into the Deep" was sort of a throwaway episode, important only insofar as it sets up the events for next week's explosive-looking winter finale. I might have a different opinion if the hour hadn't included so many filler-y heart-to-hearts (Mulan and Aurora; Regina and Henry; Emma and Snow), or had toned down some of its most unintentionally funny lines.
- The A.V. Club gave this episode a C-: "In this week’s episode of Once Upon A Time, people fall asleep a lot, which is a perfect representation of the experience of watching this week’s episode of Once Upon A Time. “Into The Deep” (or as I have retitled it: “Slow Story In A Burning Room”) is a string of convenient plot twists stemming from the Sleeping Curse that Snow White, Aurora, and Henry have all fallen under in the past, and it uses the curse to progress the plot in a passive fashion. Last episode’s cliffhanger revealed that Aurora can talk to Henry inside the netherworld of their dreams, and this week, that burning room becomes a magical telephone that allows the two worlds to communicate with each other. If you thought Henry couldn’t get more annoying, just wait until you hear Jared S. Gilmore yell all of his lines."
- Amy Ratcliffe, of IGN, called the episode "amazing", giving it a 9.0 out of 10. She commented that O'Donoghue excels at playing nefarious, and that having Snow White kick butt, always makes for an improved episode. She summed up the installment by saying, "This week's fantastic Once Upon a Time had it all with great action and solid character moments!"
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.
- ↑ Adam Horowitz tweet.
- ↑ "TV Ratings Sunday: 'The Simpsons', 'Once Upon a Time', 'The Mentalist' and 'The Amazing Race' Up, 'Revenge' Hits a Low" from TV By The Numbers/Zap2it (November 26, 2012)
- ↑ "TV Review: Once Upon a Time - "Into the Deep"" from Blogcritics.org (November 25, 2012)
- ↑ "'Once Upon a Time' recap: Who Needs Sleep?" from Entertainment Weekly (November 25, 2012)
- ↑ "Into the Deep" S2 / E8, by Oliver Sava, A.V. Club (November 25, 2012)
- ↑ ONCE UPON A TIME: “INTO THE DEEP” REVIEW, by Amy Ratcliffe, IGN (November 26, 2012)