Previously on Once Upon A Time, Regina went undercover with the Queens of Darkness and found out that the villains think the only way to get their own happy endings is to destroy the heroes’ happy endings, Gold turned Pinocchio from a real boy into a real man, and Emma found out that Hook did something worse to Ursula than simply breaking her heart.
We begin on the open sea; on the Jolly Roger to be specific. Hook hears a magical voice singing an all-too-familiar song, and he and his crew are transfixed by the siren’s song. A break in the song causes Hook to snap out of the spell just in time to keep the Jolly Roger from sailing right into a rock.
Under the sea, a beautiful mermaid is revealed as the owner of the magical voice. Her name, we have learned, is Ursula.
Long before she was the Sea Witch.
Poseidon, king of the sea, scolds his daughter for sparing the pirates, but she’s tired of murdering people, she wants to use her voice to make people happy instead. He tells her that murdering pirates is her duty, for they must avenge her mother’s death.
In present-day Storybrooke, the villain squad is torturing August to no avail. Regina decides to take matters into her own hands, and by matters I mean a fireball. This seems to incentivize August and he tells them that, in his travels, he met a mystic called The Dragon, and when The Dragon died, August swiped his research. Gold doesn’t know if he can trust the pathological puppet, but says he’s going to check his trailer anyway.
The Queens of Darkness mention the “rest of the plan” and Regina is pissed that she’s not entirely in the loop. She goes to the fire and pretends to brood but really sends up a smoke signal.
And chim-chimineys her consciousness right with it.
Team Charming is trying to track Regina without their resident werewolf, and Emma is feeling guilty for letting Pinocchio out of her sight. But just when they run out of trail, a cloud of purple smoke shoots into Mary Margaret. Her family looks at her curiously and ask if she’s OK. And when she responds with Regina’s voice, they take an in-sync backwards step worthy of a Liar.
The first thing Regina-in-Mary-Margaret’s-body does is turn to Emma and tell her that Pinocchio is fine, knowing that it’s what her lady would be worried about. She tells the whole team that Gold is back and she doesn’t know their whole plan but it’s not going to be pleasant for anyone. Team Charming knows who they have to ask for help so they head to Gold’s Shop and ask Belle for the dagger. Belle, despite how clear “Hook” was about the whole “DO NOT MENTION THIS TO ANYONE ESPECIALLY NOT ME” thing, immediately is like, “I gave it to Captain Guyliner over here just last night.”
Hook says he thinks he would have remembered holding the Dark One’s dagger and Emma immediately realizes that Belle was duped. Which means not only is Gold back, but his powers are, too.
“I’m sad because they destroyed my character.”
So the plan now is that the Charmings are going to go save August and Hook is going to try to get at least one of the Queens of Darkness dethroned by giving her what he took: her happy ending.