Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) refuses to choose three of his friends to stay with Hades (Greg Germann) and Hades is disappointed…and angry. Very angry. He sends Hook off to solitary confinement down the River of Lost Souls, a river that if Hook so much as touches will cause him to be lost forever.
Rumple (Robert Carlyle) goes back to his shop and finds a note from his dear old dad telling him the shop is his once again. Pan’s note says that if Rumple uses what’s in the case, they can all be a family again. Rumple gets an eyeball, drops it into a potion, and holds a crystal ball over the steam, asking it to show him Belle. He sees her back in Storybrooke and she’s having dinner. Apparently Rumple misses her so much that he drops the crystal ball, shattering it into a million pieces, and putting an end to his ability to spy on Belle.
At the Charmings’ house, the gang is preparing arrows when Rumple comes in and basically tells them they have a stupid plan. His plan is to go in alone with Emma (Jennifer Morrison) because he thinks alone they can actually get in, get Hook, and go home – and he says he needs to get back to Belle. In order for Rumple’s plan to work, he has to have the aura of a dead person to get into hell.
Flashback to Rumple and his wife, Milah, and a young Baelfire. As his parents fight, Baelfire wanders off to play and a poisonous snake bites him. He’s in bad shape and sure to die if they don’t get help fast.
Rumple locates Milah in evil Storybrooke where she’s busy helping kids cross the street. She’s shocked to see him and he tells her he’s not dead, just visiting. She’s not at all happy that he’s reentered her life but she’s intrigued when he says he has a romantic adventure for her, a chance to save the man she once loved: Killian Jones. He needs her help to retrieve Killian so they can all go home, and he’ll let her have the honor of actually saving Killian if she helps out.
Hook drifts down the river to a platform where he’s strung up by Hades and suspended over the flowing waters. Hades is pissed because Hook and his colleagues brought hope into the Underworld and Hades can’t have that. As Hook is slowly lowered toward the river, Hades says he’s going to hurt him and then collect his friends and hurt them. No one will be left to save Hook, so says Hades.
Emma meets up with Hook and Milah – Hook’s ex and Gold’s ex and Baelfire’s mom. Milah says, “You’ve been with my former lover and my son? Is that right?” It’s awkward, but Rumple says they have to make it work.
Regina (Lana Parrilla) heads to the diner where she meets up with Cruella. She needs to find the graveyard and Cruella figures out Regina can’t use her magic.
Emma, Gold, and Milah go to Emma’s old house where, strangely enough, the Gates of Hell are located through the basement door. They join hands and head through the door with Milah the Dead in the lead.
Back in time, Milah and Rumple meet up with Frederick the Healer. They need the antidote to the snake bite but the healer tells them the only way to save Baelfire is to use a potion which costs 100 pieces of gold. They don’t have the money and they leave, with Milah telling Rumple he has to go back and kill the healer in order to get the potion.
Emma, Rumple, and Milah have made it through the door and are in hell which means they’re done with Milah. Before she leaves, Emma tells her about the vision she had of Baelfire and that he’s moved on and is happy. He’s resolved what he needed to and is in a better place. Milah’s grateful for the information and volunteers to stay with them to help free Killian.
Cruella and Regina are chatting about how things work in “Underbrooke,” and Cruella has a map to the cemetery plots, explaining there are different meanings to each of the positions of the headstones.
Rumple, Milah, and Emma head down the River of Lost Souls (not the best CG water effects, I must say), but Rumple won’t exit the boat, insisting instead that he has to stay with it in order to protect their ride out of hell. Milah doesn’t trust him and stays back, too, just to make sure the boat will be there for Emma and Hook.
Back in Fairy Tale Land, Milah is trying to convince Rumple to use a dagger and kill the healer. She needs him to do something brave for once to save their son. Rumple agrees, reluctantly, and leaves the tavern to take care of the healer. Just then a drunk bumps into Milah and Killian saves her, introducing himself as Captain Killian Jones. He kisses her hand and she quickly figures out that he’s a pirate. Killian, looking extremely sexy, immediately charms her. He tells her about faraway cities and asks her if she’d like to go with him. She would love it but she has responsibilities – her child, her husband. At the word “husband,” Killian gives up but not before telling her he’s in port a lot if she ever changes her mind.
In hell, Killian’s suspended over the river when Emma runs in and screams his name. She has to cross a beam to get to him and as she gets closer, he gets closer to the water. She reaches him just in time and he tells her she shouldn’t be there. “You’re impossible,” he says. “And you love me for it,” Emma replies. Awww.
Back on the boat, Milah asks Rumple about his marriage and he asks her about her unfinished business. He thinks it was Killian but she says it was Baelfire and that she should have been there for him. Instead, she punished him because she hated his father. She thinks if she can do something generous, she can move on and see him again. She wants to be able to apologize for everything, and Rumple says he knows Baelfire will forgive her because Baelfire forgave him for everything. He asks that if she does see him again, he tell Baelfire hello from his dad.
Back in Fairy Tale Land, Rumple attempts to steal the potion while the healer sleeps but he makes too much noise. The healer wakes, Rumple pulls the knife on him but can’t actually go through with the act of killing him. The healer says he knows Rumple can’t kill him and asks how much his son means to him. Rumple replies, “Everything.” The healer says there’s a terrible price to pay for the potion and it’s not a price to be paid in gold, and Rumple agrees to trade anything to save his son’s life.
Rumple and Milah are still waiting at the boat when Hades appears. Rumple pulls out his dagger and Hades says he’s there to talk about a deal.
Regina and Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) wander through the graveyard until they a headstone marked Daniel Colter. The headstone is stamped and flat, which means he’s not in the Underworld. He’s moved on and is somewhere peaceful, and Regina’s happy he’s somewhere better but sad she won’t get to see him since he was her first love. She just needed to know he’s okay.
Hades pours Rumple a glass of wine, telling him he’s quite the worthy rival – and then corrects that to ‘supplier’. He needs Rumple back up there doing his thing while the Storybrooke gang stays down in hell with Hades forever. If Rumple doesn’t sink the boat they came in on, then he’ll kill them all. If he does sink the boat, then Rumple can go home and be with Belle right away.
Back in Fairy Tale Land, Rumple brings home the potion, gives it to Baelfire, and explains what happened back at the healer’s. The deal is the healer wanted Rumple’s second-born child which they don’t have and Rumple says they never have to have. Milah’s upset that Rumple sold their future without consulting her and just then Baelfire wakes up and is fine but sleepy. Milah thanks Rumple for deciding her life for her, leaving the house and telling him she’s going to the tavern.
Rumple destroys the boat and says to Milah, “Congratulations, dearie. I’ve finally become the man you always wanted me to be. The one who takes what he needs.” He sends Milah to her death by tossing her into the river. Just then Emma and Hook appear, and Rumple makes up a story that Hades did it and killed Milah. Hook, surprised Milah was there helping them with the rescue attempt, says, “Hades has much to answer for.”
Regina and Snow walk through the center of town and hear a horse, then they see the poor thing lying hurt on the ground. It can’t stand up and Regina uses her magic to help it. Snow’s impressed Regina’s magic works and Regina says, “I’m back.”
Rumple, Hook, and Emma are back safely in the Charming house, although unfortunately without Milah. Hook says he should kill Rumple for what he did back in Storybrooke but because he helped get them out of hell, they’re even for now. Regina’s got her magic back and thinks they can do the Emma heart-split thing to get them back home, but it doesn’t work. The next scene finds the group standing in the cemetery with Hook explaining that Hades wanted him to pick three friends to stay behind. He wouldn’t but now it looks like Hades did the picking himself, carving Snow White, Regina Mills, and Emma Swan on headstones. They’re stuck there and now they can’t use Emma’s heart to return to Storybrooke.
Back in Fairy Tale Land, Rumpelstiltskin visits with the healer and the healer recognizes The Dark One from all those years ago. He still owes him a child and in order to get rid of the debt The Dark One takes the healer’s heart.
Rumple returns to hell to get Hades to send him home since he held up his part of the deal by destroying the boat and killing Milah. But not so fast says Hades, telling Rumple things have changed and he’s not sending him home today because Rumple tried to hide a crystal ball he was using to look at Belle. Hades put it back together and figured out why the image of his wife affected him so strongly. Rumple wasn’t trying to conjure Belle, he was trying to figure out where Baelfire went. Rumple asked the crystal ball to show him his child, and it turns out the crystal ball revealed Belle’s pregnant (but she doesn’t know it). Hades knows about the contract and tells Rumple the healer’s death did not nullify it. Hades has had the contract signed over to him by the healer, so now he owns Rumple’s second child. Because he can cash in the debt at any time and take the baby, Hades has forced Rumple into working for him and apparently he’s in need of a service only Rumple can provide.
The Bottom Line:
It’s great to have Hook back in the fold as a member of the gang of heroes stuck in the Underworld. Fans have missed his contribution to the story and have missed his interactions with Emma and Regina in particular. Episode 14 found Rumple forced into admitting Hades has the upper-hand after learning Belle’s going to have a baby, establishing a continuing relationship between The Dark One and the ruler of hell. And overall the episode did a decent job of moving everything along, although the moment Emma actually physically saved Hook seemed almost anti-climatic given all the build up. Still, season five episode 14 performed as it needed to in order to reunite the Storybrooke group and confirm Rumple’s still only ever considered with his own interests. It wasn’t one of the season’s best, but it was one of the season’s more important episodes, revealing much about Rumple while leaving the Storybrooke gang still in need of a way out of the Underworld.
Once Upon a Time Season 5 Recaps:
- Episode 1 The Dark Swan
- Episode 2 The Price
- Episode 3 Siege Perilous
- Episode 4 The Broken Kingdom
- Episode 5 Dreamcatcher
- Episode 6 Bear and the Bow
- Episode 7 Nimue
- Episode 8 Birth
- Episode 9 The Bear King
- Episode 10 Broken Heart
- Episode 11 Swan Song
- Souls of the Departed
- Labor of Love
- Episode 16 Our Decay
- Episode 17 Her Handsome Hero
- Episode 18 Ruby Slippers