"The Price" is the 90th episode of Once Upon a Time.
In an effort to protect Emma, Regina steps up in a surprising way that will test her mettle as a force for good. King Arthur and Queen Guinevere throw a royal ball to welcome the heroes to Camelot, but when the celebration takes a deadly turn, David and Robin must leap into action or lose a crucial asset in the fight to save Emma. Back in Storybrooke, Hook deploys a tried-and-true technique in hopes of bringing his Dark Swan back into the light while the heroes discover that some unexpected baggage has followed them home from Camelot.
Previously on Once Upon a Time...
After being sent to the Enchanted Forest, Emma meets The Darkness in the form of Rumplestiltskin who will act as her guide. ("The Dark Swan") Emma gives Regina the dagger because she's the only one who'll do what's necessary. ("The Dark Swan") King Arthur and his knights find the Storybrooke crew and reveal Merlin prophesied them coming a long time ago. ("The Dark Swan") Six weeks after entering Camelot, the group mysteriously end up back in Storybrooke without their memories. ("The Dark Swan") Hook asks Emma, who is now fully consumed by the darkness why she's "doing this". She tells him it's because she's the Dark One. ("The Dark Swan")
Dopey turns into a tree.
The dwarfs are speedily driving in their van with the stone Sneezy tied to the roof as they head to the town line. Once they reach it and get out of the van, Grumpy states that someone has to test what the new curse does and asks if there are any volunteers. None of the dwarfs step forward, so he tells them someone is going to have to build up the courage to cross the line. The all instantly call "not it", leaving the mute Dopey holding a notepad which reads "NOT IT!". Grumpy tells him he'll take his silence as bravery and then ushers him to the line. Just as he's about to cross, a sheriff's car arrives with its siren blazing. Snow, Charming and Regina get out, yelling for them to stop. Grumpy states that they cannot stay in Storybrooke if Emma's the Dark One, "Snow Queen, Pan, Trio of Terror, we can handle villains like that" he says before explaining Emma was one of them and knew how to defeat bad guys, even defeating most of them herself. When he asks how they stand a chance against her Regina simply tells him to cross the line if he's dumb enough, "Who's gonna save us if we stay? You?" he snarls, hurting her. Grumpy then tells Dopey to cross again, so the mute dwarf bravely steps across the border and through the magical barrier. Once over, all seems fine, so he turns back in the direction of the group (who are now invisible to him) and he gives them a thumbs up. The dwarfs seem happy that crossing the line is safe, but as they're about to step forward, a cracking sound is heard. The ground beneath Dopey cracks and leaves begins to magically swirl around him, eventually turning him into a tree, "Well that's new" Regina comments as everyone looks on, shocked.
ONCE UPON A TIME
Six Weeks Ago
King Arthur introduces Queen Guinevere to the newcomers.
After entering the castle of Camelot, the Storybrooke residents are welcomed by King Arthur, who announces he'll introduce them to the "loveliest creature in all of Camelot", his queen, Guinevere. With that, a woman in a bright pink dress walks down the castle's steps, approaching the group. They all bow to her, but Guinevere tells them the pleasure is theirs as they've been awaiting their arrival since they heard Merlin's prophecy. Charming tells the couple he hopes they haven't been waiting too long, and when Arthur playfully says "only a decade or so", he smiles and apologizes. The king says he's sure it was worth the wait, and as a bonus it's given them time to plan a ball in their honor for tonight. Upon hearing this, Grumpy tells Happy and Doc that he was right about coming, "look what we've been missing out on". Granny says she likes any party she doesn't have to cater, "So do we" Grumpy teases.
Regina puts Zelena in her place.
Meanwhile, Zelena asks Regina if the cuff is necessary, but the brunette tells her she's lucky she's not locked in Granny's freezer. Zelena threatens Regina that if she doesn't take if off she'll tell Arthur he welcomed the Dark One into his castle, however, before she can continue talking, Regina magically steals her voice, "What's that, sis? I can't hear you" she taunts her before explaining that nobody here knows who they are and it'll stay that way, "So you can either behave and pretend to be my mute handmaiden or go back to Granny's. You can rely on Doc for prenatal care". Meanwhile, an impatient Hook tells Emma that they don't have time to waste and he doesn't want to dance, but she assures him she won't go dark in one night. He tells her he's not willing to take that chance before stepping forward and asking Arthur when they'll start the quest to find Merlin. Arthur explains that they don't need to find him as they know exactly where he is.
Regina claims to be the savior.
Inside the courtyard of Camelot's castle, the group is stood beside a giant tree, “So the most powerful sorcerer in all the realms is stuck inside a bloody tree?” Hook asks in disbelief, leading King Arthur to reveal he said the same thing the first time he stood there. Emma asks the king if he thinks they can get him out, but he claims he knows because Merlin’s prophecies are never wrong before asking why they're so eager to free him. After a moments silence, Charming explains that their “home” is being threatened by the Dark One, so Arthur reveals they’re well aware of that “demon”. He tells Charming he hopes Merlin can help them, but states that they must first release him from his prison. “It is said one of you is the savior, so which of you is it?” the king asks, causing Emma to almost step forward before being stopped by Regina, who holds the dagger. The evil queen then steps forward in her place and claims that she is the savior; everyone remains silent. “I'm the one who's going to free Merlin from that tree and then we can take care of the Dark One” Regina says, pleasing Arthur, “And all go home” she finishes, looking towards Emma, who is still struggling to fight against the darkness.
Belle tells a story about love.
At Mr. Gold Pawnbroker & Antiquities Dealer, Rumplestiltskin remains in a comatose state in the back room as Belle works out front. Hook enters, asking why true love's kiss didn't work for her and "the crocodile". She tells him it did work the first time as it woke the man behind the beast, but he got scared of a life without power and he chose power over love. "He pulled away from me, and in that moment the darkness forever regained its grip on him". She points out that a curse isn't a curse any more when you want it. Hook is adamant he won't have that problem with Emma and he hurries off to find her, but Belle stops him. "I know you think you can handle a Dark One" she says, being cut off by Hook who angrily states he's battled Rumple for centuries and survived. Belle points out that he was trying to kill him, "It's far easier to hate a Dark One than it is to love one. Be careful" she warns. Hook proceeds to exit the shop.
Emma taunts Regina.
At the docks, Henry is stood looking out at the ocean as he calls his mother's name three times. The dark Emma suddenly appears beside him, happy to see him, and she reaches her hand to his, but he pulls away. Hurt by this, she assures him he doesn't have to be scared of her, but Henry sadly asks what happened and why she’s like this now. She tells him it’s complicated, so he apologizes for whatever happened in Camelot and tells her he’s sorry they failed her. “I know what I said last night” she tells him, “but Henry, you didn't fail me. Everyone else did”. Suddenly Regina arrives, warning Emma to get away from her son. The Dark Swan asks the brunette if she’s afraid he'll find out what happened in Camelot. Regina questions why if the truth is so important to her, how come she erased their memories, “it's a curse, Regina”. Regina says she knows but she cannot figure out why, but Emma tells her if she wanted her to know she wouldn't have erased their memories. Regina warns that they won’t stop until they get their memories are back, but Emma promises it won’t happen because she built the curse without the one thing needed to break it; a savior. Looking at her son, Regina smiles that they'll find a way as they always have, but Emma claims that was with her, “Now you're on your own”. Henry assures Regina that she can be the savior, but Emma bluntly denies it will happen. “You don’t think I have it in me?” Regina asks her new foe, leading Emma to tell her she knows she doesn't. “Well you’re wrong. I can protect this town” she says before grabbing Henry and walking away. Emma tells them they’ll see about that because there’s a problem headed to Storybrooke that only a savior can solve, “It’s too bad there isn't one”. Regina stops and lets out an angry huff at Emma’s comments.
The dwarfs run into some trouble.
Grumpy and Happy are crossing the street discussing Dopey, with the latter saying they can't leave him or he'll starve. Happy questions what trees eat, so Grumpy suggests sunlight before Happy recalls he liked tacos, "How the hell are we gonna give a tree a taco?" Grumpy huffs before the sound of horses neighing comes from behind them. They turn to see three men in armor riding towards them on horses, one of which gets off and draws his sword. "Didn't anyone ever teach you not to mess with a dwarf and his pickaxe" he says before swinging at the knight, who deflects the blow and restrains him. Another knight disarms Happy and then they're both forced to their knees as the final knight, King Arthur, removes his helmet and asks if nobody ever taught them to kneel before a king, "Now tell me, where am I and how the hell did I get here?" he demands to know.
Arthur is filled in on the current events.
"A curse?" King Arthur asks, now in the mayor's office, having been filled in by Regina, Snow and David. Regina explains the curse brought him to their realm and wiped his memory of the last six weeks. He questions who would do that, so David admits that they weren't completely honest to him on their way to Camelot. Snow confesses that there daughter Emma is the Dark One and cast the curse. "You lied to me? You let me lead the darkest of souls into the heart of my kingdom?" a furious Arthur asks, leading Charming to say they thought Merlin would be able to destroy the darkness inside her. Arthur points out that it obviously didn't work and then demands to know where the Dark One is now. Snow tells him that Emma is here in Storybrooke, so Arthur says there's only one way to defeat her: the dagger. Snow explains that "defeat" isn't what they had in mind and Charming reminds the king that she's their daughter...before revealing she also has the dagger.
Regina senses something else will be coming to town.
Arthur is left speechless and Robin soon enters the room, informing the king that he and his knights aren't the only ones brought from Camelot because Little John ran into some of his subjects in the forest. The king asks if they're all right so the thief explains they're a little shaken up. He points out that more may still be out there so he'll round up the Merry Men to search the woods. Charming tells him to take the dwarfs and then tells Arthur to follow him to search. All the men leave, leaving Snow and Regina behind. Snow notices Regina looking odd, so asks what's wrong. "These toy soldiers...I could kill them all with the wave of my hand" she explains, shocking Snow, leading her to explain it doesn't mean she will. She adds that this cannot be what Emma warned her about, but Snow supposes she obviously brought them here for a reason. Regina tells the mother she was told a problem was coming that only a savior could handle, "I'm telling you. Something else is coming our way".
Emma thanks Regina.
Back in Camelot, during the missing six weeks, Regina and Emma are searching Merlin's tower in the castle for information on how to get him out of the tree. Once inside, Emma angrily tells her ally to never do "that" to her again, "Oh, now you're talking to me" Regina mocks, frustrating Emma further, who asks if she's allowed to. Regina pulls out the dagger and reminds the blonde she gave it to her, "To protect me, not use against me" Emma points out. Regina explains that she saved her life, "By pretending to be me?" Emma asks. The brunette tells her to shut up and listen, but this accidentally causes her to force her to stop talking with the dagger, "Oh, I can get used to this" she jokes before explaining that if she claimed to be the savior then she'd have been asked to free Merlin, and then she'd have had to use dark magic, "Do you remember what happened last time you dabbled in that?" she asks, causing Emma to recall she lost control. The brunette explains that she was given the dagger to prevent that from happening again, "And I wasn't lying. I don't care what Merlin's prophecy said, I'm gonna figure out how I can get that wizard out so you won't ever have to use dark magic again" she promises, before telling Emma she should be thanking her, "Thank you" Emma instantly replies, accidentally under control of the dagger again. Regina puts the dagger away and then begins to walk away, but Emma stops her and sincerely thanks her. Regina nods gratefully and then leaves the room.
Regina doubts herself.
Back in Storybrooke, Robin, who's at a camp site set up for the newcomers, collects a large pack of water bottles and places them next to more. He explains to Regina that they think they've found everyone, but she walks straight past him, looking worried by something. He follows after her and asks what happened between her and Emma. She tells him she said nobody believes she can protect this town, but Robin assures her it's not true as everyone knows how far she's come. She points out that although nobody may see her as the Evil Queen any more, she has to prove to them that she can be more. She says that forgiving her is one thing, but they won't be ready to trust her. Robin hugs her to comfort her, but her face still shows worry in it.
Arthur is reunited with Guinevere.
Meanwhile, King Arthur is putting up a tent when a woman calls out his name from behind him. He turns around and is overjoyed to see his queen, Guinevere walking towards him. He rushes towards her and they embrace in a hug, "Thank God you're all right, I feared the worst" he tells her, stroking her head. Guinevere looks down at her husband's armor and then notices Excalibur is missing, so she asks where it is. He explains that it was missing when he arrived here, causing Charming, who was walking past, to assure him not to worry because if his sword is here then they'll find it. "You know of Excalibur? How" Arthur asks, confused. Charming smiles and explains to him in this realm he's "kind of a legend". Arthur smiles and then embraces in a hug with his wife once more.
The Fury strikes.
Nearby, Robin Hood is collecting sticks for firewood which will be used at the camp site, and so is his son, Roland. As he reaches to the ground and picks up a bunch of sticks, a large demonic creatures hovers down from the sky and floats behind him. He's distracted for a moment because he's looking over towards Regina, who is talking to Snow, but when he hears its low growling sound, he turns around. The creature, which is a Fury, roars in his face and startles the whole camp, including Roland, who calls out for his father in fear. Robin calls out Regina's name for protection, but before she can run over to him, he's grabbed by the creature and taken away into the air at lightning speed. Regina wraps her arms around Roland and then watches in horror as the beast takes away her true love.
Emma shows off her new house.
In town, Hook gloomily approaches Emma's car and quietly, to himself, asks where she is, "Don't make me summon you". However, she suddenly appears behind him and informs him that he just did. She teleports the both of them away to a large house before explaining that she was looking for him too. "The new look comes with some other perks" she says before heading up the stairs of the house. Hook asks where they are, so she tells him it's her place and invites him inside. Once in, she asks what he thinks, but he simply says he's surprised she invited him in. "Just because I'm the Dark One doesn't mean we can't still be together" she smiles before going to pour some drinks. While he's alone he begins to examine the house and notices a door to the basement with a lock on it. He slowly begins to approach it, but is stopped when Emma reaches out her hand with a drink. She tells him she knows the fastest way to a pirate's heart is through the liver, but he claims there's an even faster way before passionately kissing her on the lips.
Hook is upset when true love's kiss doesn't work on Emma.
Emma seems to enjoy it, stating "There's the pirate I remember". She goes in for another kiss, but he pulls away, looking at her with huge disappointment, "It didn't bloody work..." he huffs, leading Emma to realize he's been talking to Belle. He asks why the kiss didn't work, so a confused Emma explains there's nothing to fix as this is who she is now, "Why can't you accept that? Why can't anyone accept that?" she asks in frustration. Hook tells Emma this isn't her and asks what happened in Camelot, "That seems to be the question of the day" she says, turning away from him. He yells at her to answer him, but she meekly tells him she wishes she could. Hook assures Emma that she can tell him anything, but her sad look soon turns to a smile and she flops her arm on his shoulder, playfully telling him that'd be no fun and she's tired of talking, "Now do you wanna stay or not?". She pulls her head closer to his for another kiss, but he apologizes, "This may be who you think you are, but this isn't who I am" he adds before leaving an emotionless Emma behind.
Regina is injured while battling the Fury.
"This way!" Charming yells while running through the woods, followed closely by King Arthur, Regina, Snow and Grumpy. They continue running and Arthur points out the direction the Fury is flying with Robin. Regina teleports herself ahead of the others to catch up with the beast, and the others slowly follow behind. Once she's near the Fury, it drops Robin to the ground and he lays unconscious. She angrily tells the beast it isn't taking Robin, throwing a fireball at it. The Fury dodges the attack and slams Regina into a tree, but she gets up and prepares to throw more fireballs at it, claiming she loves the "hard way". However, the beast simply flies at her, slamming her heavily into another tree, injuring her head. It then grabs Robin and flies away just before everyone else catches up. Snow calls out for Regina and approaches her, asking if she's okay. A distressed Regina says she's alive, if that's what she means. Noticing she's injured, Snow states she needs help. Charming asks Grumpy to get her to the hospital, but she refuses because she has to go after the "thing" with Robin. However, Snow repeats that she has to get checked out, "You don't believe I can do this?" Regina asks, thinking that's what she means. Snow assures her friend they won't let anything happen to Robin, repeating once more that she has to let someone look at her. After a pause, she gives in and tells the group to go.
Regina receives a gift from Percival.
Back in Camelot during the missing six weeks, Robin and Regina are stood beside the tree that Merlin is trapped inside, examining it. Sir Percival approaches from behind, wishing to speak with Regina. She turns and he bends to one knee, holding out a silver box. "For me?" she smiles, "You are the savior after all" he tells her, removing the lid of the box to reveal a purple gem necklace. As she takes it, Percival explains that Arthur would be honored if she wore it to the ball. Robin puts the necklace around her neck and then Percival gets up from the floor, telling her he'll enjoy a dance with her in the evening. As he departs, Robin whispers to his lover that Percival isn't the only one looking forward to a dance with the "savior". They both go back to looking at the tree.
Snow tries to find out what's bothering Regina.
That night, Charming and Snow, who are dressed in formal gear for the ball, are tucking their son Neal into bed. Snow explains to Doc that if he gets fussy he'll probably just need changing and Charming asks if the dwarf is sure he doesn't want them to just get Granny to babysit. Doc explains that if he goes to the ball he'll just be stuck as Grumpy's wingman, but with that, Regina enters and claims she'll babysit because she's not going. Puzzled, Snow tells her she has to because everyone is expecting her, but Regina says she should be figuring out how to free Merlin, not dancing. Not believing this, Snow asks for the truth, so a nervous Regina stutters that she just can't go, "Because why?" Snow asks, leading Regina to confess she can't dance. Snow says that can't be possible because they went to dozens of balls together, but Regina points out that her father was more concerned about dancing with his daughter than wife. Charming assures Regina that Robin won't mind if he steps on a few toes, but sensing something deeper, Snow says it isn't about Robin.
Charming teaches Regina how to dance...unaware they're being watched by Percival.
"People are expecting a savior tonight, not an ex evil queen. How will they ever believe I can free Merlin if I can't even convince them I know how to dance?" Regina sadly points out. Snow tells her friend that she can if they teach her, "No" Regina quickly rejects, but Charming signals for Doc to play some music. As the dwarf winds up a music box and before Charming can bow to start a dance, Snow tells Regina that she has to learn how to dance in a dress, not a sensible pant suit. She agrees, and uses magic to transform into a dress, but it's one of the evil queen's dresses. Everyone looks at her with disagreement because it's too evil for a ball. Giving in, she transforms into a beautiful white dress, one that Snow calls perfect. Charming steps close to Regina and then takes her hands, instructing her to follow him and "just feel it". As he teaches her, they take their first step and immediately mess up, but he assures her that it's fine. They try again, and this time Regina seems to get the hang of it. Charming claims that by the time they're done, everyone in Camelot will believe she's the savior. However, unknown to them, someone is watching them through the necklace on Regina's neck via a magical screen in a fire...and the person is Percival, who watches evilly as Regina continues to dance.
Snow and Emma talk about balls.
In Camelot, Snow is stood over Emma, who is sat in front of a mirror, placing a flowery band on her head. She tells her how she remembers her first ball; when she was eight years old and her mother finally let her go. She recalls how wonderful the night was calling it magical. She remembers the tiniest of details such as the the lights and music, before telling Emma how she couldn't wait to one day share it with a daughter of her own. Emma takes her mother's hand and tells her she's glad she's getting to share it with her too before placing her cheek on her hand. Snow smiles warmly.
The ball begins.
That night, as the ball begins, trumpets sound and a footman announces the arrival of Lady Emma and Lady Mary Margaret. The mother and daughter, both dressed in beautiful white gowns, hold hands before walking down the stairs to the crowd, where an impressed Hook and Charming await. Once they reach their partners, Snow goes to stand with Charming as Hook, astonished by Emma's beauty, compliments her and bows before her. The footman then announces the final guest, The Savior. Regina stands at the top of the stairs as the entire crowd in the castle cheers for her. She looks down at Robin and smile, and he smiles back at her, proud as she stands in her beautiful white gown.
Belle educates Regina on what they're dealing with.
Back in the present, a comatose Rumplestiltskin lies on the bed in his pawnshop as an angry Regina enters, calling him a "son of a bitch" for making her the way she is: the Evil Queen. She tells him that he's the reason nobody believes in her, but adds that she'll prove him wrong and prove them all wrong. She begins to cry, frustrated by the entire situation with Robin, but Belle soon enters the room with news. They head into the main part of the shop, and after looking at the book Belle found, Regina asks if they're dealing with a Fury. Belle explains that it's a demon from the Underworld sent to collect an unpaid price of magic. Regina realizes that someone used magic in Camelot and didn't "pay up", but Belle points out that it doesn't just come for any price of magic, for it only comes when the price is a life. A scared Regina asks if the demon is here to take Robin to the Underworld, so Belle confirms it is, but assures her the portal only opens when the moon reaches the zenith. Realizing there's still time to stop it, Regina prepares to leave, but Belle stops and warns her that it isn't that simple, because the only way to save Robin is for someone else to give their life in his place.
Grumpy gives Belle hope.
Back in Camelot during the missing six weeks, everyone is dancing and enjoying the ball except for Belle, who is stood at the side with her magic rose, which a few petals have fallen off. Grumpy approaches her and tells her that he sees hope when he looks at the rose. "Hope?" she asks, confused, explaining that every petal that falls brings Rumplestiltskin closer to death. He points out that every petal still on means another chance to save him, making her smile. She thanks the dwarf before asking if he'd like to dance. He agrees and then the two head to the floor to dance.
Henry talks to Violet, his first crush.
A short while later, Regina and Robin are dancing together while Hook and Emma and Snow and David also dance together. As Snow dances, she tells her husband to look towards Henry, so he does and notices him shyly watching a girl from the distance. "Uh-oh, first crush. I'm on it" he says before heading over to his grandson, telling him he can just go over and introduce himself. "That's your strategy gramps? 'Introduce yourself'" Henry playfully mocks, but Charming points out that Henry is from another land so he's mysterious and intriguing. He grabs two drinks off a woman walking around with a tray and passes them to the boy, telling him to use his advice. He approaches the girl and hands her one of the drinks, stating she looks thirsty, "You mean bored" she says after taking the cup. He asks if she's not having fun so she explains that they have a ball nearly every night in Camelot. He tells her that's lame and then an awkward silence ensues...until he pulls an MP3 player from his pocket. She asks what it is, so he tells her it's a gift from the "savior". The girl is impressed he was given a gift from the savior, but he says it's more of a token of appreciation for saving the day when everyone was trapped in an alternate universe, "Yeah, I did that" he brags, impressing the girl further. She comments on how heroic that is, asking if he's a knight, "Better, I'm a writer". He then hands her one of the earplugs and puts the other in his, showing her what to do. He then plays the song Only You by Alison Moyet. She smiles at the music and then introduces herself as Violet; Henry introduces himself in return.
Percival tells a story...
As Henry and Violet listen to the MP3 player, everyone else at the ball dances, having fun. Snow and David dance, Emma and Hook dance and Regina and Robin dance while Arthur and Guinevere watch with glee. Regina and Robin kiss and then begin to mimic Hook and Emma's dancing, but Percival approaches them, asking if he can cut in, stating it would be an honor to dance with the savior. Robin happily steps aside, allowing the knight to take Regina into the middle of the dance floor. As they begin dancing, he tells her he hopes she's having a lovely evening, but before she can answer she notices Henry talking to Violet, so she protectively asks who she is. "The better question is 'who are you?'" Percival tells her, his face becoming much more serious. Regina awkwardly chuckles and asks what he's talking about, so he tells her to let him tell a story. He talks about how many years ago a boy returned to his village in the Enchanted Forest to find it ablaze with villagers screaming and terror in their eyes, "His whole world burning like a funeral pyre" he says before explaining the boy hid, praying for mercy, but none came, only an angel of death who slipped through the flames relishing in the horror she brought.
...that ends with his death.
Percival adds that before she escaped, she saw the boy, "And amidst the carnage, do you know what she did? She smiled at him" he finishes with a look of hatred on his face. Regina states he was the boy and he states she was the Evil Queen. She lets go of his hand, stopping their dance, asking who else he's told. He explains that he told nobody, and when she asks why, he says it'd because Arthur would have stopped him from doing "this". He draws his sword and Regina steps back in fear. Robin jumps on Percival to protect her and Emma raises her hand to use magic to stop the fight, but Hook reminds her that she can't use dark magic. Robin and Percival brawl on the floor as they fight for a sword and Charming rushes over to stop them. Percival manages to grab a sword, but Charming hits it from his hands before he can stab Robin, and he stabs the knight through the chest, killing him. The entire kingdom looks in horror as Percival falls dead and Regina runs to Robin's aid, for he was gravely wounded during the fight and is now bleeding from the abdomen.
Emma tells Regina that the price of magic is hers to pay.
In Storybrooke, Regina barges into Emma's new home, demanding to know where she is. The Dark One magically appears at the doorway, stating it's customary to bring a gift for a house-warming, suggesting a bottle of wine. A serious Regina says they need to talk, so Emma jokes that they can just bottle their rage and drink that instead. "You're right, I'm not the savior" Regina tells Emma, who is glad she's admitted it. She tells the Dark One that she doesn't have a choice because she knows the only way to stop the Fury is to pay the price, but Emma simply asks why she isn't off paying it. "Because I know what it is: a life. I won't sacrifice someone else to save Robin" the former queen claims, causing Emma to taunt her, asking if she's going to be heroic now and if life is precious to her. The brunette tells Emma that she knows her, the good her, and claims she's "still in there". Emma points out that they both know there are no good or bad versions of people, "It is just me!". She asks Emma to call the Fury off, but the Dark One refuses, claiming she's done fixing her problems. Regina yells that Emma was the one who called it here, "Oh, you think I did this?" Emma asks, leading Regina to rhetorically ask if she'd be here otherwise. Emma tells Regina her problem is she's always looking for someone else to blame before revealing she didn't summon the monster and the price isn't hers to pay. Not believing this, Regina asks who's it is, but Emma darkly tells her it's hers, "You were the one who did not pay the price of magic in Camelot. You wanna save Robin Hood? You want everyone to believe you're the savior? Then step up and do what needs to be done!" she yells, backing Regina out of her house. Once the former queen is out the door, Emma magically slams the door shut.
Regina asks Emma to save Robin.
Back in Camelot during the missing six weeks, a seriously injured Robin is lifted onto a table by Charming and Hook before Regina tries healing him with her magic. However, the magic fails so Regina examines the sword that wounded him and discovers it was enchanted to kill her, so her magic is powerless to save her love. She desperately turns to Emma, hoping hers can, but Hook repeats that they cannot let her use dark magic. Snow reminds Regina that Emma not using magic was the whole point of her pretending to be the savior, but Regina snaps that the whole point was not for Robin to die, "And I'm not asking you. I'm asking her" she says, turning to Emma again. The scared blonde says she doesn't know what will happen if she uses her powers again. Regina points out that she could use the dagger to make her save Robin, but she won't because she's asking her, "I've lost love before...and I won't again. Please, save him".
Emma argues with the Darkness.
Emma agrees to try, but when she steps forward to use her magic, she's stopped by the voice of Rumplestiltskin (the darkness in his form) saying "Atta girl". She asks what he's doing here, so he explains that he's here to help her embrace the darkness. Everyone around Emma is confused, for they cannot see or hear the darkness, so Hook asks whom she's talking to. "No one" she says, approaching the darkness. Hook points out to Regina that this is too much for Emma, but the blonde assures him she's fine and she can do it. "Not yet, dearie. First you must take a price for the magic" the darkness explains, but Emma tells him she won't take one to save somebody. The darkness laughs, claiming those are the rules: there has to be a price. Emma says she'll pay it, but the darkness tells her it doesn't work that way, explaining that if Regina asked for the magic then she has to pay it.
Robin Hood is saved.
Emma claims that it'll be different because she's the savior, but the darkness simply chuckles again. Regina asks whom Emma is talking to and a confused Snow asks what's going on. "It's okay, she says, heading back over to Robin, "I can do this". She runs her hand over his body and wound and uses light yellow magic to heal him. He suddenly bursts awake and Regina rushes to his side, relieved for him to be okay. Emma watches, clutching her heart, and after Regina and Robin kiss, Emma pulls Hook in for a kiss. She kisses him very forcibly, and sensing something's wrong, Hook pulls away and asks if she's all right. She tells him she's fine, just a little woozy, so leaves to lie down for a bit. Once out of the room, she runs into the darkness, who tells her she liked the power. "No, I just did what had to be done" she states, but the darkness asks if it's true why didn't her kiss stop 'that'" he says, pointing to her sparkling hand. "Tasty isn't it? The darkness" he smiles, but Emma ignores him and heads down the staircase.
The heroes manage to stop the Fury from taking Robin's life.
Back in Storybrooke, the Fury drops Robin by the side of a lake so it can summon a portal to the Underworld. Mist magically appears on the water, and out of it appears a boat with a hooded figure on it. However, Snow, Charming, Grumpy and Arthur arrive, hoping to stop the monster. Instead they're knocked to the floor by a magical pulse, allowing it time to suck Robin's life force away. However, Regina arrives and runs towards the Fury, offering her life in place of Robin's. The Fury changes its target to Regina and begins sucking away her life force, causing a worried Snow to ask what she's doing, "What I should've done in Camelot" she replies. Snow rushes to Regina's side and tells her she doesn't have to do this alone, "I'm with you" she says before grabbing Regina's hand, causing the demon to start sucking her life force too. Charming joins in too, and then he's soon followed by Grumpy and Arthur. The demon starts sucking all five of their life forces at once, but it becomes too powerful for it to control and its magic ends up exploding back on itself, sending it flying away. The portal to the Underworld proceeds to close and the hooded figure on the boat vanishes. Regina rushes to the weak Robin's side, asking if he's okay. He tells her she's found some believers, causing her to smile and kiss him. She turns to her friends and asks how they knew it'd work, but Snow comments that it was a lucky guess and Charming assures Regina they weren't going to let her go. Grumpy says that standing up to the monster proved one thing, "If anyone's going to save this town, it's you".
Belle comforts Hook.
It's night time in Storybrooke and most of the heroes are at Granny's Diner. Hook sits at the bar drinking while Snow, David, Henry and baby Neal are sat at a booth as Granny works, serving drinks. Regina enters with Robin and Roland, closely followed by the dwarfs, who care carrying the stone Sneezy. Belle approaches Hook, who is drinking from his flask, and tells him Granny will give him a glass if he asks. She quickly changes the subject and asks if he kissed Emma, but she apologizes after he explains it didn't work. He tells Belle that it isn't over because he spent over a century trying to kill The Crocodile", so he can spend at least that long trying to save the woman he loves. She gives him a comforting smile.
Henry and Violet meet all over again.
Meanwhile, Henry gets up from the booth and walks towards the jukebox, where a young girl from Camelot is stood, looking nervous because of the new land's technology. As he stands next to her, she asks him what the jukebox is and asks if it's magic. Neither of them remember each other from the missing six weeks. He explains that they call it a jukebox and then pulls out a coin, telling her if you "feed" it then it will sing for you. He puts the coin into the machine and then plays a song. The song is Only You by Alison Moyet...the same song he played for her in Camelot during their first meeting. Henry tells the girl the music from their land takes some getting used to, but she smiles, claiming it feels like she's heard it before. She smiles and then they both introduce themselves, shaking each other's hands.
Snow fears for her daughter.
Watching the two young kids talk from afar, David smiles before turning to a sad looking Snow. He assures his wife that it's okay, for they'll get Emma back and win this fight. "I know" she says before telling him they're forgetting one thing, "If we win, Emma loses". Both the parents have a look of worry on their faces. Meanwhile, standing outside is their daughter, who is looking in to the diner from across the road. She coldly begins walking towards the diner, but when she gets halfway across the street, she turns and begins walking away down the middle of the road.
Arthur forgives Regina for her past.
Back in Camelot during the missing six weeks, Emma enters the room Robin was saved in as Arthur apologizes to Regina for Percival's actions, stating they don't normally try to kill their guests. She confesses that he was right, for she is the Evil Queen. The king assures her that Camelot is a place of second chances and who you were doesn't matter, only who you are does. He then comments that if Regina was able to save Robin with her magic then she really is the savior that Merlin prophesied. Regina and Emma exchange worried looks, but then the former quickly smiles back at Arthur and thanks him. He bows in return.
Guinevere doesn't trust the newcomers.
A while later, King Arthur is at his round table. He removes Percival's coat of arms from his seat and sits down as Guinevere enters the room. The queen comments that the strangers frighten her, but he tells her they're supposed to be here as said in Merlin's prophecy. A frustrated Guinevere claims Merlin's prophecies tell them what happens, but not how. As she reaches the table, she sadly comments that Percival is dead before asking who knows what other trouble they could bring. Arthur tells her they're here to destroy the Dark One, something that won't be easy, "But helping them may be the only way I'll ever get my hands on that monster's dagger". He draws Excalibur from his scabbard and tells his wife that if he doesn't make the sword whole then they'll lose everything they worked so hard to build. She places her hand onto the broken tip of the sword and then he places his hand on hers. They then hold hands and look at each other, accepting they must do whatever it takes to fix the Excalibur.
Emma feels left out.
Back in Storybrooke, at Emma's new house, she's sat in the darkness of her kitchen running her finger up and down the dagger. The darkness in the manifestation of Rumplestiltskin suddenly appears on her staircase, tauntingly asking if she feels left out. She picks up the dagger and asks what he's doing here because she already embraced the darkness. He agrees that she did, but tells her he's back because there's more work to be done, "Something bigger than both of us". Knowing what he means, she uses her magic to unlock the door to the basement. The darkness explains that as long as a Dark One's existed, one thing has always held them back.
The pull of the family who we're so desperate to protect.
The friendships that make it impossible to forget who we used to be.
The magic that threatens to undo our most evil deeds.
And, worst of all, the love that refuses to give up on us.
Excalibur rejects Emma when she tries to pull it from the stone.
Back at Emma's house, the Dark One heads down the stairs to the basement and enters a cave which lies beneath the house as the Darkness explains that no matter how hard they try, they cannot escape the reach of the light. He goes on to tell Emma that she can change that, "That's why you brought that sword here" he adds. Emma approaches Excalibur, which is now back in the stone King Arthur once pulled it from many years ago. The darkness tells Emma that she can do what no Dark One before her has ever done, "You can make that weapon whole again, and you can use it to snuff out the light forever". Emma pulls out her dagger and places it on the stone next to Excalibur. She proceeds to grab the hilt of the sword, causing the red gem at the end to glow before blasting her back with magic. The darkness let out a chuckle before asking if she really thought it'd be that simple, "If you want that sword you're going to have to pay...the price".
- The title card of this episode features the tree in which Merlin is trapped.
- The song which Henry shows to Violet in both their meetings is Only You by Yazoo.
- The title of this episode was officially confirmed by executive producer/co-creator Adam Horowitz, via his Twitter account, on July 20, 2015.
The episode's numbers remained steady with a 1.8/5 among 18-49s with 5.38 million viewers tuning in, despite a 3 percent drop from the previous episode.
- Hillary Busis of Entertainment Weekly said, "What happened during those six weeks in Camelot? I’m glad you asked because tonight Once Upon A Time took the first step in peeling back the layers of that mystery. And of course, like all good Enchanted Forest stories, it involved a ball."
- Amy Ratcliffe of IGN said of the episode, "Tonight's Once Upon a Time moved the story along on several fronts – we learned a little more about the curse, the state of Merlin, and the danger of Excalibur. But characters acted well, out of character. For example, Snow and Charming should have been more concerned about Emma in Camelot and less worried about teaching Regina to dance (as cute as that was)."
- Christine Orlando of TV Fanatic gave the episode a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.