Season six episode 16 of ABC’s Once Upon a Time opens with the Black Fairy (Jaime Murray) carrying baby Gideon into the mines. She says he’s precious and not meant to work in the mines, and she hands him over to be cared for. She tosses out the copy of Her Handsome Hero signed by Belle, calling it a remnant of the past that Gideon doesn’t need.
At the end of episode 15, Gideon (Giles Matthey) appeared at Emma’s door immediately after she received a message from Hook telling her he loves her, didn’t leave her voluntarily, and that Gideon was behind his disappearance. Gideon wants Emma (Jennifer Morrison) to help him kill the Black Fairy, and if she does then she can have Hook back. He’s put a protection spell around Hook, but Emma’s not backing down. She attacks Gideon and he tells her nothing frightens him since he was raised by the depraved Black Fairy. He swore to protect children and isn’t the bad guy she believes him to be, but still he won’t let Hook go until she helps him.
And now we see Gideon as a child, reading from Her Handsome Hero to another boy who’s locked up in the adjacent cell. He hides the book when the Black Fairy approaches, but she knows he has the book. Gideon knows his real mother gave it to him, but the Black Fairy angrily claims she’s his real mother. Then she says his real mother might be a hero, but he’s not. She steps into the cell with the other boy and drags him out. She leaves Gideon’s cell door unlocked but instead of rushing to help the boy, he cowers in his cell.
Emma and Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) visit Belle (Emilie de Ravin) and Gold (Robert Carlyle), and Emma’s ready to kill Gideon if he keeps screwing with her life. She lets Belle and Gold know Gideon banished Hook and now she’s forced to help him kill the Black Fairy. Gold admits the Black Fairy is his mother and that she stole baby Gideon from the Blue Fairy. He adds that the Black Fairy tortured Gideon for 28 years, and Belle says Gideon was not born evil but has been made this way. Belle believes Gideon will be on the side of good, if Emma helps him. Gold wants to kill the Black Fairy before she can break free from the other realm because she’s the original source of all darkness. They must stop her or else she’ll bring far worse to Storybrooke.
Henry (Jared Gilmore) pays a visit to his mom (Lana Parrilla) and she’s busy trying to break Snow and David’s sleeping curse. It’s the only curse Regina hasn’t been able to undo yet, and she asks Henry to head to Emma’s shed and grab some ingredients. When he begins to write them down, he’s suddenly possessed by something/someone. His eyes turn milky and he begins rapidly drawing symbols in his notebook.
The Black Fairy summons Gideon, telling him it’s his birthday. She says she’s proud of his magical abilities and then she pats her dress and can’t find the key to her vault. She sends Gideon into the mines, telling him to make whoever stole it pay.
Back in Storybrooke, Gideon’s reading his book in the clock tower when Emma shows up for a chat. She says he has the look of someone who needs hope, just like Henry looked many years ago. She’s still not over the fact he tried to kill her, but if he hands over the sword and gives her the spell to get Hook back, she’ll help him. He agrees and she declares, “Let’s get my pirate back.”
Speaking of the handsome pirate, he’s interrupting Blackbeard’s poker game by dumping a bag of jewels on the table. The jewels are from Agrabah and in exchange for them Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) wants a magic bean. Blackbeard (Charles Mesure) won’t make that deal so Hook ups the ante, offering to play a hand of cards with the winner getting the Jolly Roger (Blackbeard is currently ship-less). Deal struck, Hook sits down to play.
Once again to Storybrooke we go and Gideon and Emma are in front of the Sorcerer’s mansion. Gideon says they need to create a portal for Hook to return, and after Emma puts the ingredients together something unexpected happens. Instead of Hook appearing, the Black Fairy has figured out what’s going on and a gigantic spider comes through the portal. Gideon and Emma combine forces and are able to escape.
And now we’re back in the mines again where Gideon is attempting to locate the person who stole his “mother’s” key. No one admits to stealing it and Gideon is about to use magic on an innocent young man when the real thief steps forward. It’s a grown-up Roderick, the boy who was taken away by the Black Fairy all those years ago to prove Gideon wasn’t a hero. He tells Gideon that now he can be the hero he was meant to be, if they team up to defeat the Black Fairy.
Meanwhile, Emma and Gideon are hiding in the Sorcerer’s house, trying to figure out their next move. Gideon admits he tried to kill Emma because he didn’t think she would help him go to the other realm and defeat the Black Fairy. He also admits his plan to take on the Savior, kill her, take her powers, and then face the Black Fairy probably wasn’t the best idea. He apologizes and will understand if she just wants to walk away. Their heart-to-heart is broken up by the spider slinging webs at them.
Hook’s losing but won’t give up, and Blackbeard wonders what’s so important that he’d trade the Jolly Roger for a bean. Hook reveals he wants to get back to the woman he loves because she’s in danger, and Blackbeard wins the hand. Game over, Hook leads Blackbeard to the docks where, of course, the ship is definitely not docked. Hook explains he needs the magic bean to get to the realm where both the Jolly Roger and Emma are waiting, accusing Blackbeard of cheating at cards. If he wants to claim the ship, then Blackbeard has to give him the bean. Blackbeard reluctantly gives in, but he demands to go with Hook to retrieve the ship. They jump through the portal together.
Henry comes to and Regina wants to know what the drawings mean. He’s confused and has no idea what they mean or why he made them. Fortunately, Regina thinks she knows who can explain what’s going on – the previous author, Isaac. They visit him in his cell and show him the drawings, and Isaac (Patrick Fischler) admits he’s heard of these sort of drawings but he never drew them himself. If they want to know what’s going on, they have to free him and allow him to go to New York. Plus, he wants a new car, saying a Lamborghini will do. Regina says she’ll drive the sports car over his head and squish it. Because she’s being difficult, Isaac reiterates the terms of his deal and adds in Hamilton tickets.
Regina and Henry don’t agree to Isaac’s terms and are about to leave when Isaac says, “His author powers are taking over.” Isaac explains that Henry doesn’t really control his powers and the trances will become more frequent and intense.
Emma and Gideon run from the spider, but it continues to chase them.
Back in time in the other realm, Roderick is chained behind Gideon as they walk and talk. Roderick reveals the Black Fairy has always collected dust from the mines and years ago used it to create a terrible spell called the Dark Curse. Roderick doesn’t even want to know what the Black Fairy is collecting it for now, and he won’t tell Gideon what she did to him after being dragged away as a child. Gideon cries, apologizing for being weak. Roderick says now, as adults, they have to stop her. He says they need to use a crystal ball/magical orb to reach the Savior in the other realm. She can help them.
Back at the Sorcerer’s place which is now covered in spider webs, neither Gideon nor Emma can get through the webs and are trapped. Oh, but it’s a trick! Gideon brought the spider to this realm to trap Emma. He takes the sword back from her and says he must kill her to channel her powers. Gideon admits he created the spider but can’t really control it, and he reveals no matter what Hook tries, he won’t be able to return to Storybrooke. Gideon uses his magic to escape, leaving Emma with the spider.
Hook and Blackbeard come through the portal but aren’t in Storybrooke. Hook doesn’t know what’s going on and Blackbeard yells at him about not understanding how to use a magic bean. Hook deduces that dark magic is keeping him from going home to Emma. They both hear a sound and it’s the Lost Boys. They’ve arrived in Neverland.
Gideon returns to the clock tower while Emma struggles against the web. She manages to work herself free and attacks the spider. Unfortunately, it binds her arms and legs before completely wrapping her in a cocoon. She struggles to breathe and then passes out.
Gideon powers up the sword and says, “It’s time, mother.” He slices the air and a portal begins to appear.
The spider drags an unconscious Emma across the floor. As Emma approaches its mouth, Gold arrives to save her. He gently frees her from the web.
The portal closes and Gideon is knocked off his feet, landing on his side on the floor.
Emma’s okay and when the spider attacks again, she and Gold fight it off. They make it return to normal spider-size and Emma squishes it. Gold asks where Gideon is and she says Gideon brought the spider there to kill her. She says he can’t be saved and he’s evil.
Back in the other realm, Gideon and Roderick find the orb. They try to reach the Savior but the Dark Fairy interrupts them. It was all a test to see if Gideon was, in fact, a loyal son. She says he was a gift but Gideon reminds her she stole him. She replies, “They abandoned you! I’m the one who took you in!” She’s disappointed in him and for once he stands up to the Dark Fairy. She says he’s not a hero and Gideon reveals he knows she’s hoarding Black Fairy dust and is going to do something horrible with it. He tries to use magic on her but she rips it out of his hand and tosses the dust at Roderick, transforming him into a bug which she stomps on. Gideon promises he’ll find the Savior and make her destroy the Black Fairy with her light magic. The Black Fairy doesn’t seem to be intimidated, saying she knows all about the Savior. She grabs Gideon’s heart and tells him he’ll always do her bidding. She tells him to find the Savior and kill her. When the Savior is dead, the Black Fairy will be freed from this prison.
Hook and Blackbeard run from the Lost Boys, with Hook saying the worst of the Lost Boys are still on Neverland and they have no love for him or anyone else. When Hook and Blackbeard make it to the shore, Blackbeard gets the drop on Hook, hits him on the head, and rows away in the only boat. Hook takes off, on the run once again from the Lost Boys.
Emma and Gold tell Snow and Belle that Gideon played them all. Emma says Gideon is evil and that Gold can’t keep cleaning up his messes after he reminds Emma he just saved her from the spider. Emma says she won’t give Gideon a third chance to kill her, and Gold threatens he’ll do what he has to to stop her from hurting his son. Snow and Emma head home and Belle tells Gold their son is ripping them apart. She thinks Emma’s right and that they’ve lost Gideon, but Gold isn’t ready to give up.
Gideon speaks out loud to himself, telling his “mother” the Savior survived and her plan failed. But not so fast…the Dark Fairy has made it out of her prison realm and to Storybrooke! She explains that even though Emma didn’t die, she came close enough to open the portal. The Dark Fairy slipped through and now she wants to know if there’s a part of Gideon that wanted her to succeed.
Regina, Henry, and Isaac meet at the edge of town. They’ve brought him a vehicle and it’s definitely not of the sports car variety. He agrees to take it, telling her she should leave Storybrooke with Henry if she wants to save him. They ask why and Isaac tells them to take a look at the book. Henry opens it and flips through a few blank pages. “It’s the final chapter,” says Henry, and Isaac says, “So it is. The end of the story.” Henry asks what happens at the end of the book and Isaac replies, “The Savior fights the final battle. And, trust me, no one wants to be around to see that.”