Previously on Once Upon A Time, we got sent to Neverland and can’t for the life of us get off this godforsaken island. Hashtag Blame Henry.
Neverland, the island with no foreseeable escape. Things are looking bleak for our heroes, because this Peter Pan is a bit of a git and keeps changing the rules of the game no one agreed to play. For example, he has claimed himself a new pawn: Neal, unconscious, caged, and being toted about by Lost Boys.
One particularly rowdy Lost Boy starts poking Henry with a stick. He, like most of us, can’t believe that he’s the one Peter Pan has gone through all this trouble to find. He challenges Henry to a duel, even though he has a spear and Henry only has a twig. Pan appears and reminds him that Neverland is special, and all you need to do is believe and things will happen. So Henry wills his stick into a sword and—wait. If that’s the case, why can’t Henry just believe us back to Storybrooke already? Why is he just sitting around instead of conjuring up a hundred pianos to drop on the Lost Boys’ heads?
Anyway, Henry uses his newly conjured sword and cuts the other Lost Boy’s spear down to size, nicking his face in the meantime. Pan raises Henry’s arm in triumph and Henry seems to like the attention.
Across the island, and Baelfire’s old cave, Emma notices the tick marks he was using to count down the days. She also knows, instinctively, that it doesn’t accurately measure his time on the island, only the days he still had hope that he’d get off. She used to do the same in foster homes, count until counting seemed pointless. Hook pulls her aside and says that he also knows what it’s like to lose hope, but Emma says “You and everyone else on this island” and walks away.
Flash back to a time before Captain Hook was Captain Hook. Back when he was two-handed, ponytailed, and named Leftenant Killian Jones. He gives a lecture to his crew about being in Good Form and takes a man’s rum and THROWS IT OVERBOARD. Somewhere, Captain Morgan weeps.
The captain of the ship climbs aboard and lo and behold, it’s Killian’s brother, Liam. Liam gives his little brother a sextant with a fancy constellation on it. Liam says the king is sending them on a hero’s journey, and poor little Killian looks so excited and proud.
Present-day Hook goes with Charming into the forest to find some vines they can use to create a trap for a Lost Boy so they can send a message to Henry. Charming takes this alone time to tell him that Hook can’t date his daughter. His words say he’s a father protecting his daughter, but his eyes say he’s jealous and wants Hook’s affections for himself. His jealousy builds to rage and uses all the energy he can muster to lunge himself at Hook, promptly passing out. Hook’s solution to this is to pour rum all over his face. When Charming comes to, Hook demands to see his abs once again. Turns out he should have been checking out that six-pack more often, because Charming’s life expectancy has been shortened to mere hours now.
Charming pulls an old military tag with the name Jones out of the dirt. Hook says it was his brother’s, and that it must have washed down from Dead Man’s Peak. He also says his sextant might be up there, which could be their ticket off the island. Charming thinks this is the perfect mission for his last few hours, and they agree to go off on this final adventure together.
They head back to camp, where Charming starts to say his goodbyes. Everyone looks at him funny because they think he’ll be right back, but he knows he’ll be dead before sunset.
When the boys leave, the ladies set up a trap. When the little Lost Boy with the spear comes after it, Mary Margaret channels her inner Snow White and shoots her bow and arrow perfectly to capture the Boy in a net.
The three women surround the boy, and Regina literally offers candy to him. Emma promises him safety, says they can take him home. The little Lost Boy, however, knows about Stranger Danger and tosses the candy aside. He says he doesn’t want to go home, that this is his home now. Emma says that Pan is dangerous, using the paper cut on his face as proof, but the Lost Boy laughs at her naïveté. He says it was Henry that gave him the wee little scratch and they look horrified.
Meanwhile, Hook and Charming are flirting all the way up the trail to Dead Man’s Peak. Hook gets to the top first, and before he can hoist up his ailing partner, Peter Pan appears and offers him a deal. He will give Hook passage off the island, and even include a plus one, if he kills Prince Charming with his own hook before the poison takes him. Before Hook can answer, David pulls himself up over the rock and thanks Hook for taking a rum break while he, the invalid, climbed up the mountain.
Flash back to Captain Jones giving the order to let up the sail made of Pegasus feathers. As soon as the wind fills it, the sail carries them out of the ocean and into the clouds. Captain Jones asks his little brother to steer them second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.
When the ship arrives in Neverland, Liam tells Killian that they’re looking for a plant that has magical healing properties. Killian’s eyes positively light up at the prospect of never losing another sailor. Peter Pan then appears out of nowhere, as he does, and tells them that they must have a ruthless king, because the plant they’re after is the deadliest in all the lands.
Killian believes him, but Liam is not so quickly convinced. In fact, when they get up to the dreamshade plant, he goes so far to drag a thorn up his arm. Not a little finger prick just to be safe. A full line down a vein from his wrist to his elbow. Before he can say “I told you so” he drops to the ground, the black vein of death creeping up his arm and towards his heart.