In Storybrooke, the dwarves are walking down the street whistling. When they get to the diner, Granny gives them their sandwiches for the day... and Alice and Robin arrive, almost hitting them. Alice explains where they came from and then Henry needs their help. Grumpy says that they understand and declares them intruders. Alice and Robin run away and hide when the townspeople chase them. The two women hide and spot Regina's car, and go over. Zelena is there with her 5-year-old Robin, and she tells them to go on before she turns them into monkey. Robin knows all about Zelena and the young Robin, and says that she's the adult version of Robin and Zelena's family needs her help.
In the snow globe, Henry, Hook, and Gold find Ella and Lucy in a cabin. As they try to get warm, Hook wonders why Gold is suffering from the cold. Gold explains that Rumplestiltskin used the Author's Pen to strip him from his powers so that he couldn't stop his counterpart. He warns that Rumplestiltskin will drag them all into the darkness, and Hook says that he isn't giving up.
Guards take Regina to Young Henry at the palace, and he asks if she remember the place. Regina says that it's where she first said that she was going to cast the Dark Curse, and insists that she's not the Evil queen anymore. Young Henry asks if she's the one who crushed her parents hears, and asks if revenge is everything she wanted. When Regina says that it was a mistake and moves toward Young Henry, the guards draw their soldiers and Young Henry points out that she's wearing the anti-magic cuff. Regina warns that Rumplestiltskin is using him, and in another realm she's Young Henry's husband. She tells the image of the son that he always does the right thing and has saved many people, including her. Regina begs Young Henry to let her save him, and he says that he doesn't need to be saved. He cuts her palm and says that in the wish realm stories are written in blood and tears, including hers. Young Henry tells her that they'll fight the next day and he'll have his happy ending with her death.
Later, Regina finds herself in a tavern. Robin sets a drink down in front of her and says that he's gone but also in her heart and will always be there. She says that she might be joining him soon because a version of Young Henry wans her dead, and Robin reminds her that when they met, he thought of her as a villain but knew she could move to the light. Regina tells him that he got her there, and Robin assures her that she did the work. She can show Young Henry that it's possible but he will have to make the choice. Regina says that it's unfair that their story was so short. Robin assures her that it was epic and kisses her... and Regina wakes up in a cell. A red fletching arrow is in her hand.
Gold and Hook try to break through the snow globe's glass but are unable to break it. Gold says that he kept Hook as a partner because of his determination and good heart, and Hook wonders why Gold never destroyed him. The older man says that Hook was the closest thing that he had to a friend. Maui's Hook appears nearby and Hook uses it to break the glass. The five of them escape to the new world where Zelena, Alice, and Robin are waiting. Alice is still unable to approach Hook without triggering the curse, and they show a poster declaring that Young Henry will kill Regina before the entire kingdom. Gold says that he's going to search the castle to find something to stop Rumplestiltskin, while they deal with Young Henry.
Rumplestiltskin visits Young Henry and shows him a new Storybook that he's been writing. He gives the Pen to Young Henry, and Young Henry points out that he needs magic ink. Rumplestiltskin says that they can use Regina's blood, and has the guards bring in the Blue Fairy. He explains that he needs Young Henry's blood to boil, and tells Young Henry to hold the blade and remember how it felt to cause his enemy pain. Young Henry concentrates and a portal opens. The Blue Fairy is sucked into it and the portal disappears. Rumplestiltskin tells Young Henry that he has great darkness in him, and says that the Blue Fairy is trapped in a prison made just for her. He makes more books appear and says that soon every hero in every realm will soon suffer the same fate. Once Young Henry kills Regina, their fates are sealed.
Gold finds the dreamcatcher and summons his memories of Belle. He figures that he can never earn his way back to Belle now that the Guardians are gone, and drops the dreamcatcher to the floor.
Hook and the others secretly approach Young Henry's castle and find it heavily guarded. Robin is with him, and he says that they need to create a distraction for the others. Hook clutches at his chest and tells Robin that his end is close at hand. He asks her to take care of Alice, and Robin asks him if she can have his blessing to marry Alice. Hook chuckles and says that of course she can, and Robin tells him that he's not going to die and he'll walk Alice down the aisle. After a moment, Hook agrees and he steps out to attract the guard's attention. As the two sides charge at each other, Henry and Alice enter the castle via the tunnels. They find Regina and Henry goes for the keys, but two soldiers catch him. Henry knocks one of them out, and two armored soldiers arrive and knock them out. They remove their hoods to reveal that it's Snow and Charming, Henry's grandparents.
Later, everyone gathers and Charming says that a new generation has joined the fight and they will eventually triumph. Snow says that they found a room full of new storybooks for each and every one of them, and the guards set the storybooks on the table. Each one shows one of their fates, alone and in darkness. Charming says that they have to prevent Rumplestiltskin from making the stories free, and Hook goes to find Gold. Alice and Robin go with him, and everyone else goes to find everyone scattered throughout the realms and remind them not to lose hope. Snow figures that anyone can find each other as long as they believe that they will succeed.
Hook finds Gold and the others, and he finds a vial of magic powder and charges his hand so that he can rip Rumplestiltskin's heart out. Rumplestiltskin appears and says that it's too late.
Young Henry sends his men to search the forest for Regina. Once his soldiers leave, Reinga steps out and tells Young Henry that there is a good, kind version of his family out there that can help him heal. Young Henry doesn't believe it and gives her a sword to defend herself. Regina says that she won't fight him, and Young Henry attacks her. She grabs the sword and defends herself.
The castle shakes and Rumplestiltskin summons portals to send them all to their prisons. When Alice starts to lose her grip, Hook grabs her hand and tells her to hold on.
Young Henry disarms Regina and prepares to run her through. Regina tells him that he's sorry.
Alice loses her grip and Hook holds onto her, his heart killing him due to their proximity.
Young Henry wonders why Regina came there, and she says that he doesn't deserve to live alone and all versions of his life mean everything to her. She's willing to die as long as she can show him that there are people who love him. Young Henry draws back the sword…z and then lowers it.
The portals disappear.
Regina embraces Young Henry.
Hook collapses and the others go to him. Alice begs him to hold on. Meanwhile, Gold turns to Rumplestiltskin and says that it's all his fault. When he tries to rip out his heart, Rumplestiltskin magically knocks him back and says that he's weak. He beats Gold, who says that he is the strongest version of them because he's evolved. Rumplestiltskin tells him that soon he'll be a faded memory, and advances on Hook. Gold gets up and says that he knows all of their secrets. Becoming the Dark One was the act of a coward, but he's no longer that man. He promises that a weak coward won't be the Rumplestiltskin that the world remembers, and says that he'll do whatever it takes. Alice tells him that the Guardians are gone and Gold will never be with Belle. Gold says that now he knows that they do the right thing because it's right. He takes out his own heart and puts it into Hook, and Rumplestiltskin disintegrates into dust.
Hook wakes up, restored, and Alice tells him what Gold did. The pirate goes to his old nemesis, lying dead on the floor, and says goodbye. Regina arrives and tells Henry that everything will be fine. She realizes what happened, and Hook says that Gold killed himself to save them all. Regina thanks Gold for teaching her that darkness can always find the light, and refuses to believe that his dreams were in vain. She says that she will miss him but he deserves his happy ending, and tells Gold to go find it.
Gold finds himself in a void, and Belle steps out to greet him. She tells him that she knew that he would make it home, and they kiss.
Later, Henry and Young Henry find Regina standing on the castle balcony. She sees that she needed a moment, and they ask her what's next. Regina says that they need to go home and says that she needs to cast one last curse. She explains that the Dark curse is the blueprint for something wonderful, and the magic will bring all of the realms to Storybrooke in Maine. Both Henry's agree.
Some Time Later...
In Storybrooke, every realm stands near the town. Zelena takes Regina to the castle where Henry is waiting. Young Henry is there, and Zelena teleports away. The two Henrys take Regina into the throne room where everyone is waiting. They applaud, Snow and Charming tell her that all of the realms have been united, and the people have decided that Regina will lead them. They have a crown for her, and Regina says that she accepts.
As Snow and Charming crown Regina the first elected ruler of the realm, Emma and Hook arrive with their baby. Once the make themselves comfortable, Snow crowns Regina the Good Queen and everyone applauds. Emma tells Regina that it's her happy ending, and Regina says that everyone's stories are far from over, and calls it a second chance. She then addresses the townspeople and says that they have given her a second chance and she can't wait to see what's next. Regina figures that there will be more adventures, more love, and more family. And more loss because that's a part of life. Together they can get past it all with hope. Everyone applauds their new ruler.
Written by Gadfly on May 19, 2018