Once Upon a Time‘s heroes braved the Underworld in the Season 5B premiere, và what they found there was a bloody Hook và a larger purpose.

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IN THE UNDERWORLD…. | Setting the stage for the otherworldly journey, Emma receives a “long-distance hotline from an old friend,” in the size of Neal Cassidy (almost-secret guest star Michael Raymond-James) hopping into her Bug with her. He strongly advised her not lớn set foot in the Underworld, since it’s “not an easy place to leave” —

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besides, her mission lớn find Hook & split/share her heart won’t kết thúc the way she thinks it will. Invited to help, Neal explains that he is not among those “in limbo” in the Underworld, seeing as he has no “unfinished business.” Rather, “I’m someplace where I’m happy,” he reports, before planting a warm kiss on his true love’s forehead. “I love you, Emma. I always have, & I always will,” he reminds before leaving, at which point Emma awakens on the boat ride to lớn the Underworld.


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Upon arriving in the screwy Storybrooke — as Regina wonders, Did the Dark Curse takes its cue from the Underworld or vice versa? — the gang splits up. Snow trắng scouts out Granny’s diner, where she meets up with the Blind Witch & unwittingly fields a liplock from Charming’s twin, James. When Henry shows up with the key to what used to lớn be his father’s room above Granny’s, Emma assures him that Neal is not in the Underworld but “a better place.” Over at the mayor’s office, Regina reunites with Cora, who urges her daughter to lớn get Henry and her “thief” on the first boat out of Dodge. “You must bởi what’s best for you,” Cora asserts, saying that the mission khổng lồ find Hook is simply “too dangerous.” and if Regina doesn’t go? Cora poofs them down to a fiery cavern, where she dispatches with some rando dude, warning that Regina’s father will be the next lớn perish if she loiters.

Rumple meanwhile visits his shop, where the sight of cpu sparks a flashback to lớn him bidding Belle adieu, saying he’d only be “gone a day.” When he then goes to lớn his wall safe, Dad aka Peter Pan appears. Pan says that he misses “the world above” and that he could return, were one of Rumple’s friends not lớn survive the Underworld — a soul for a soul and all that. As a gesture of good will, Pan gives his son the potion he was looking for, which allows communication with the dead.

Alas, when Emma sprinkles

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the potion on the grave of one Killian Jones, the bloodied, beaten-to-a-pulp pirate only appears as a flicker, the spell unsteady. Emma comes away from the harrowing encounter more resolved than ever khổng lồ find her love ASAP, but urges Regina to lớn catch that boat back home, with Henry & Robin. Regina then summons her father with the potion, và in a warm moment she apologizes for killing him & he readily forgives. Henry Sr. Then warns that Cora is playing Regina, that his daughter’s friends need her as part of this mission. Regina frets about causing him further pain as a result, but as he explains, “If you stay, you spread hope… I won’t have died in vain.” On that note, Henry Sr. Is transported lớn the fiery pit, where Regina follows khổng lồ beg her mother not to lớn dispatch with him. “I came back to lớn help not just friends but everyone,” Regina states lớn little effect, as Cora conjures the funnel of flame to consume her husband. But after Cora leaves, the inferno dissipates & Henry Sr. Emerges unscathed. Rather, a walkway to lớn a bright, glowy, Heaven-ly place appears.

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“My unfinished business was you,” Henry Sr. Realizes. “Now you are không lấy phí of and I’ve never been more proud.” Regina’s father then meets his namesake, who thanks Grandpa “for believing in her like i do.” Henry Sr. In turn thanks the lad “for being there when I couldn’t,” before leaving for his final destination.

As the heroes reconvene by the wrecked clock tower, Henry announced “Operation Firebird,” through which they will phối out khổng lồ not only find Hook but help others in the Underworld with “unfinished business.” Rumple, though, wants no part of the “asinine pursuit” & washes his hands of it. After Regina notices the clock hand tick, we see Cora sneak into the library and take the elevator down… down… down, to Hades’ lair. There, the Underworld overlord enjoys a pedicure as he berates Cora for failing him. After all, a ticked clock equals a soul exiting his domain. As punishment, Hades notes that Cora forsake her daughter Zelena in the course of escaping the life of a miller’s daughter — & as such, that is what she shall be again “for eternity,” he cackles, as his hair erupts in xanh flame.

IN FLASHBACK…. | It’s the

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Evil Queen Regina’s birthday, and there is nothing she wants more than Snow White’s heart khổng lồ crush. When Henry Sr. Makes the mistake of Skyping with his Wonderland-banished wife via the Magic Mirror, Cora ultimately escapes back to the Enchanted Forest realm, where she poses as Regina’s father to lớn pluck Snow’s heart right out of her. But when Regina unwraps the unexpected gift from her mother & goes to kết thúc Snow’s life, we see that all the bandit suffers is a case of “Jiminy Cricket in her blouse.” Turns out, Henry switched out Snow’s heart with that of a guard. Regina then shrinks Daddy into a heart box, only to lớn see him get yanked to Wonderland along with Cora when Regina has the mirror take Mother back lớn whence she came.

WHAT THE… HECK IS HADES’ DEAL? | As

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suggested by his swift kích hoạt against Cora, Hades (played by Ally McBeal‘s Greg Germann) “is a control freak, a manipulator — và he’s deliciously evil, too,” purrs Lana Parrilla. “He’s very powerful, so it becomes a question of, ‘How are we going khổng lồ take this guy down?"” Adds Josh Dallas, “Oh man, Hades is bad news, & the gang has khổng lồ figure out how lớn topple this guy somehow. He definitely wants control, let’s just say that.” As for Hades’ end game with regards to lớn Emma, Regina et al, “Like most of the characters in the show, he has a very specific agenda. He has a very specific goal,” says series co-creator Eddy Kitsis. So, is it to lớn have the Storybrooke heroes leave ASAP… or to lớn never, ever leave? “Both,” hints Kitsis.