Zelena contemplates a frozen Emma and tells Hook to get on with it. Hook reminds Emma that she took his memories and now he's going to return the favor. He uses the dreamcatcher on her and Zelena applies the anti-magic cuff to Emma's arm. Hook tells Zelena that he won't interfere in her business if she doesn't interfere in his, and says that it feels like he's been reborn.
Three Weeks Ago
Hook wakes up and the Darkness takes him as he screams in agony. He remembers Rumplestiltskin making him suffer, and then emerges from the vault. The mental hallucination of Rumplestiltskin is there, and explains that he's in Hook's head. Hook doesn't want to listen, and Rumplestiltskin says that he can get him the one thing Hook has always wanted: his revenge by killing Gold.
Mary Margaret, David, and Regina enter Emma's house and find her unconscious on the floor. She explains that she turned Hook into a Dark One to save his life, and insists that she was trying to get rid of the Darkness for good. Mary Margaret says that Emma should have come to them for help, but she thought the best way to contain the Darkness was to stay on her own. She realizes that it was a mistake, and Mary Margaret asks Emma to return their memories. Dave confirms that the dreamcatchers are gone.
The next morning, Hook goes to the pawnshop and confronts Gold and Belle. He's ready to torture Gold, who tells him to get on with it. However, Hook says that he wants to savor the moment and tosses Gold a sword and says that they will duel on his ship at noon. Gold points out that the sword can't kill him, and Hook reveals Excalibur and says that it can. To kill Hook, Gold has to take Excalibur from him. Gold agrees to finish what they started.
Gold and Belle go to the mayor's office and tell them about Hook's scheme for revenge. Emma figures that there's more to it, and David reminds them that Merlin said Nimue was the key to stopping the Dark One. Gold advises them to check the Dark One chronicles, but Emma offers to protect him once he removes the cuff. He refuses, just as Henry comes in. Emma asks him to convince the others to remove the cuff, but he says that she lied to them and there's no reason to trust her. The mother he knew wouldn't keep things from him, and he knows Gold and Regina have changed. When things got tough, Emma didn't go to anyone and now she wants her dark magic back so she can stop Hook herself. Henry runs upstairs, and the others head to the library. Regina says that she has a stop to make first, and David and Mary Margaret tell Emma that they don't trust the darkness in her.
Three Weeks Ago
Merlin and the others go to the vault and the wizard confirms that they're too late. Hook's tracks disappear, and Merlin warns that the path Emma is on was the darkest that he foresaw. He suggests that they go to Granny's to make preparations, and warns that they need as many allies as they can get. Mary Margaret suggests that they speak with the Lady of the Lake, Lancelot's mother, and Merlin agrees. He leaves for the lake, and David points out to Mary Margaret that they were seconds from ending the Darkness. His wife reminds him that hook would have been dead otherwise and they would have done the same thing. She tells David to have faith in Emma, and David hopes her faith in Hook is justified.
In the forest, Hook conjures away his robe. He doesn't believe Rumplestiltskin, who suggests that he cast a dark curse. Hook knows that he has to crush Emma's heart to do so, and Rumplestiltskin says that there's a loophole. Emma comes up and Hook blames her for turning him into Dark One. She admits that she doesn't know where Excalibur is, and can see Rumplestiltskin as well. Emma tells Hook that Rumplestiltskin isn't real, and that they can have the future they wanted in Storybrooke. Hook says that he does and Rumplestiltskin disappears. Emma insists that they can remove the Darkness by going to those they love.
As the others leave, Gold tells Belle that he has other preparations to make. He won't run away from his battle with Hook, and nothing can erase his life of cowardice. Gold explains that he wants to do better by her, with honesty and courage, and asks Belle to let him be the man she deserves. He says that if he wins then he'll go to the well where they were married. If Belle meets him there then he'll know how she feels.
Zelena goes to the hospital to get her daughter, and finds Regina waiting for her. The baby is gone, and Regina explains that they're protecting the child from her. Zelena says that it's her turn to have what she wants, and Regina reminds her that she killed Marian and deceived Robin. She says that she has a way to stop the insanity between them.
Merida enters the mayor's office, bow drawn, and tells Emma that Regina sent her to protect her. Emma says that Merida won't kill her, and Merida prepares to shoot her in the knee. Hook comes in and easily knocks her unconscious, and Emma figures that he's there because he has feelings for her. He admits that he does: anger, hatred, and disappointment. When Emma tethered him to Excalibur, Hook saw her as an anchor and a distraction. Now he's a free man and Emma will never stop him from getting what he wants. Emma warns that the Darkness is using him, but Hook doesn't care as long as he gets what he wants. He says that Emma is so afraid of losing the people she loves that she pushes them away, so she'll always be an orphan. Hook admits that he wants to hurt her like she hurt him, and leaves.
Three Weeks Ago
Hook and Emma kiss, and then Emma goes ahead to scout their path. Once she leaves, Hook hears a strange noise. Rumplestiltskin appears and says that the Dagger is calling to the Sword. He says that Excalibur is close and Emma is lying so that she can control Hook. Emma returns and orders Rumplestiltskin away, and Hook asks here where Excalibur is. She warns that Rumplestiltskin is manipulating her, but Hook doesn't believe her and repeats his question. Emma admits that she does and conjures the blade, but insists that she didn't use it on him. Hook figures that she was never going to give it to her, and Emma insists that he isn't strong enough to resist the Darkness. He insists that he has always believed in her, but Emma didn't believe in him anymore and teleports away.
At the pawnshop, Gold is practicing with the sword when Emma comes in. He reminds her that she sent Merida to kill Belle, and Emma says that she needs to get everyone's memories back to stop Hook. She wants Gold to use his remaining squid ink to stop Hook long enough so that she can steal the dreamcatchers from him. Hook locks away the remaining squid ink and says that if he beats Hook then he'll do it with honor. Gold says that the stakes are his own, but Emma's are far greater. He asks if she can win, and Emma insists that she can. However, Hook isn't convinced and wishes her luck.
Regina takes Zelena to the loft apartment and reminds her that she still has her magic. Zelena isn't interested, and they go inside to where Robin is with his daughter. Regina reminds her half-sister that she's nowhere in Regina's league, and she turned it around by having a child. She hopes that the same kind of love will do the same for Zelena. Robin warns that the three of them will never be a family, but he and Regina have agreed that Zelena is the mother and so she can visit their child as long as one of them is present. He offers the baby to Zelena and she takes it.
At the library, Belle, Henry, David, and Mary Margaret go through the chronicles. When Henry steps aside, Emma approaches him privately and asks him to trust her. She explains that Hook took her memories and if they can get back the dreamcatcher then they can recover what she knows to stop him. Henry says that there's a locator shop in Gold's shop, and all he needs is the materials she used to make the dreamcatchers. However, he needs one more thing: the name of their new operation.
Three Weeks Ago
Emma finally conjures Excalibur and summons him. She insists that they need to talk about his change, and insists that she wasn't going to lose Hook. Hook isn't convinced and tries to walk away, and Emma orders him to stop. She insists that she believes in him and offers him Excalibur, and Hook takes it. Emma says that they are going to remove the Darkness together, and says that he loves her. Hook is surprised that Emma is saying it first, and then says that he loves her as well as they kiss.
Gold boards the Jolly Roger and Hook heals his limp to make it a fair fight. Hook wonders what kind of man wouldn’t fight for his wife, and Gold says that he's not afraid anymore and will fight for the people he loves.
Three Weeks Ago
Emma and Hook return to Granny's. The others wonder where they've been, and Hook says that they're ready to remove the Darkness. Once they confirm that Merlin is inside, Hook goes inside to get him. Merlin is recording the message when Hook comes in and locks the door behind him. He says that the worst is already there and removes Merlin's heart. As Rumplestiltskin appears, Hook reveals that he has Excalibur and says that he needs to get back to Storybrooke by casting a dark curse. Rumplestiltskin explains that someone who has feelings for Merlin will crush his heart, paying the cost. Nimue appears and says that she loves Merlin. She lives in all Dark Ones, so when Hook crushes Merlin's heart then so will Nimue.
Gold and Hook fight, and Gold finally runs Hook through. He ignores the wound, pointing out that Gold can't hurt him without Excalibur, and slices Gold's shoulder.
Emma and Henry track the dreamcatchers to the clock tower, and confirm that they're protected by a spell. Without her magic, Emma can't get to them. Henry also took the squid ink from Gold's shop, and is sure that he can trust Emma since she trusted him. He pours it on the cuff to negate its power, and Emma assures her son that she'll make it up to him.
Three Weeks Ago
Emma enters the diner and realizes that Hook lied to her. He insists that no one will ever control him again and sends Excalibur to the Stone. Emma wonders why Nimue is helping Hook get her revenge, and Nimue says that Emma knows what she wants because she wants it as well. Emma warns Hook that his revenge isn't his happy ending and that he said Emma was. If he destroys Merlin's heart then he'll destroy his happy ending. Hook says that the Hook she knew told her that, but that man died when Emma turned him into a Dark One. He crushes Merlin's heart and then casts the curse.
Hook congratulates Gold on lasting as long as he did, and Rumplestiltskin tells Hook to finish him. Gold cuts a stanchion, dropping it on Hook's head, and grabs Excalibur. He puts it to Hook's throat, and Hook tells him to finish it. Gold says that he'd rather let him live knowing that Gold bested him. Hook teleports away and Gold goes to the well. Belle is waiting for him, and Gold says that he's ready to put the past behind them. She says that some part of her will always love him, but she can't trust him after all the times that he's broken her trust. Gold points out that his heart is pure now, and Belle agrees that he's the man she hoped he would be. However, she says that she needs to figure out if she wants it to work on her own, and protect her heart. With that, Belle walks away.
Three Weeks Ago
Emma teleports Merlin's corpse away, and tells Hook that she won't abandon him. Hook points out that she can't stop it, but Emma says that she can make him forget that he was the Dark One in the first place. She uses the dreamcatcher and takes Hook's memories, rendering him unconscious. Emma kneels next to Hook and says that when he wakes up, he'll be the man who loves her. Rumplestiltskin reminds her that she will have to take the memories from the others as well, and Emma teleports everyone else in, unconscious. She erases their memories and puts the cuff back on Zelena. Rumplestiltskin says that she is doing it all herself, and Emma insists that it's her fault so she'll fix it. She then uses dark magic to add a memory wipe to the curse, and Rumplestiltskin warns her that she won't like where it leads... or worse, she will. The curse sweeps across Camelot, taking everyone back to Storybrooke.
Merida is riding back and sees the curse coming toward her.
At Camelot, Arthur is trying to work out why Excalibur has reappeared in the Stone. He and Guinevere see the curse approaching.
At the mayor's office, Emma tells the others that she's giving them back their memories. Regina trusts her to do it, and after a moment the others agree. Emma casts the spell and they all remember what happened. She remembers as well... and remembers what Hook is doing.
Hook goes to the pond and Rumplestiltskin points out that now he has the blood of a man who has been to hell and back. The pond holds a portal to the Underworld, where the Fury tried to drag Robin to hell. Hook casts the spell using Gold's blood on his hook, and the portal opens. The Ferryman's boat emerges from the mist, containing all of the Dark Ones, and Nimue comes ashore. She says that now all of them are present in the flesh, and it's time to go to work... to snuff out the Light.
Written by Gadfly on Nov 30, 2015