Previously on Once Upon a Time, Snow White and Prince Charming went on a bad-decision rampage which lead to Mary Margaret and David to going on a bad decision rampage which resulted in the loss of Maleficent’s child and of Emma’s trust, respectively. Also, Regina got kidnapped and the Author got untrapped, though hardly any of this matters in this ridiculous episode.
Emma is running through Storybrooke’s forest, trying to track the Author without the town’s best tracker (Ruuuuuubyyyyy!) so she loses him. Mary Margaret and David catch up to her and explain that they met him before and he put them on the path to treachery. Emma says they still made their own decisions and made her the Savior at the expense of someone else. They try to say it was a different time, they were different people, but Emma isn’t hearing it.
Meanwhile the Author whittles a stick to a point. Gold appears and tells the Author that the trees in Maine aren’t enchanted, so he will be unable to make a magic quill. The Author says Gold is the biggest pain in the ass he’s ever written about, and he and I have that sentiment in common. Gold offers him a real enchanted quill and says in exchange he wants a whole bunch of new happy endings. The Author agrees and the two poof away.
Regina wakes up in her vault, chained and bound. When she was out, Gold found Robin Hood’s number in her pocket, and he thinks that’s hilarious. Regina knows this means something’s up, so she demands to know what he knows. He tells her to find out for herself, unchains her and hands her the phone and the number.
Then we zip back to nine weeks ago, only one of the two different types of time jumps we will experience in this episode, because the timeline wasn’t confusing enough already.
After Robin Hood, Maid Marian, and their little merry man crossed the town line, they somehow managed to make it to New York City. They’re off to find Baelfire’s apartment to live, thanks to Regina. In order to pick up Roland, Marian carelessly puts her bag on the sidewalk, and a thief grabs it and runs. Robin steals a horse and catches up to him, scolding him for his poor honor. The thief looks at him like he’s a looney toon and runs away.
Many years ago, in Nottingham, Robin and Marian are working in a tavern.
The sheriff shows up and tells Robin his taxes are overdue, and that he can’t wait to throw him in jail so he can have Marian all to himself. Robin asks for more time to pay, and the sheriff gives him two days to come up with the money.
Nine-weeks-ago Robin and his family are settling into Neal’s apartment when Gold strolls through the door, each equally confused to see the other party. They start to fight about who will stay in the apartment, and Gold ends up having a heart attack.
Long-time-ago Robin is visited by Rumpelstiltskin, who offers him straw that has been spun into gold if Robin goes to Oz and steals the Elixir of the Wounded Heart for him, a potion that can heal hearts both physically and emotionally.
Present day Robin is with Gold in the hospital, and though the doctors think it was a regular ol’ heart attack, Gold thinks his dark deeds are manifesting themselves and rotting his heart. He says he knows of some Elixir in New York City that Robin will definitely steal for him, because Robin’s moral code is too strong to not save the most evil man in several realms, even though it’s not quite strong enough to not cheat on his frozen wife right in front of her.
When long-time-ago Robin got to Oz, he landed on a guard, which worked to a tied-up Will Scarlet’s advantage. Robin tells him his mission and Scarlet asks for a bit of that potion he’s stealing while he’s at it. In return, Scarlet will make sure the guard is too far away to tell anyone what he’s up to.
Nine-weeks-ago Robin goes to a place not-so-cleverly called the Wizard of Oak, breaks in, and steals some of the Elixir. When he gets home, Marian says he was foolish to risk his life for Gold, and that maybe it would be better for everyone if he just let’s Gold die.
But Robin says this is a ridiculous and very un-Marian-like thing to say.
Long-time-ago Robin dresses like an Emerald City guard and sneaks into Zelena’s throne room, stealing a necklace a vial of the potion. He starts to fill up a second vial when Zelena appears, startling him into dropping it. She immediately knows he’s not one of her guards because he didn’t start his sentence with, “Oh ee oh” so he grabs a nearby bow and arrow and threatens her with it. In response, she triples herself.
Zelena says there’s only one person bold enough to try to steal from her, therefore she knows this man is here by request of Rumpelstiltskin. She throws a fireball but he looses his arrow and hits a column of green stuff that spews out enough smoke to give him the cover he needs to escape, much to Zelena’s chagrin.
When he finds Will Scarlet on the yellow brick road, he lies to him and says he was busted before he could get even a single drop of the Elixir.