Hades goes to the heroes for help. Zelena has been kidnapped by “The Stiltskins” and so really, who else would he turn to? Though, I’m pretty sure ‘Stiltskin’ is not their surname. But anyway, Hades has received a note saying that he can have Zelena back if he rips up the contract giving him Rumple’s unborn child. A fairly reasonable request that he agrees to. As the exchange is taking place, Pan changes the terms, announcing that they said nothing about Zelena’s heart and goes to take it. Emma turns up and blasts him. She points out that as Rumple got what he wanted he really shouldn’t still be there and, knowing that he’s beaten, he agrees and leaves. Pan follows soon after.
Zelena and Hades share true love’s kiss, which restarts Hades’ heart. Still not quite sure how that works, but sure. It was cute and they are true loves. They deserve a bit of happiness. The three of them go to the cemetery where the clock tower has magicked itself to and Hades removes all the names from the gravestones. In order to pass through the portal that the clock will create, Regina splits Emma’s heart and tries to put it into Hook. However, Hook has been down in the underworld too long so it is no longer able to work. His body has started to decay in the overworld.
Hades at this point mentioned Orpheus and Eurydice. And this is where my problems start. Henry says that he knows the myth. So surely he should therefore know that the story Hades tells ISN’T the story in the myth! So yes, Eurydice dies and Orpheus goes down to try to save her. However, he attempts to bargain with Hades for her and it is only because of Persephone’s influence that he softens to the idea. And Orpheus does have to do a test of true love in order to be able to leave and take Eurydice with him. However there is absolutely no mention of ambrosia. Orpheus has to go back to the overworld and trust that Eurydice is following him. If he even slightly looks back before they both reach the overworld, he fails. And that’s what happened, he reaches the entrance to the overworld and looks over at her, thus failing the test and she is trapped. No deep dark parts of the underworld that even Hades is too scared to enter. And no ambrosia. The point is that they don’t succeed in escaping Hades’ realm.
Fine. For Hades to spin this tale as a lie to trick the heroes, it’s well done. But Henry says that he knows the myth. And if he knows it then surely he should also know how absolutely wrong what Hades is saying is! And Henry isn’t exactly the kind of kid that would let his mother go on a dangerous journey for absolutely no reason. He would call Hades out on his lies. Someone hasn’t done their research. It’s either the writers, or Henry is just trying to look smart by saying he knows the myth when clearly he has no idea.
While Emma and Hook take the elevator down to get ambrosia, Henry and the others take it upon themselves to complete Operation Firebird. This involves writing the stories of everyone in the underworld in order to let them know what their unfinished business is so that with Hades gone, they’ll be able to finally move on. Cruella interrupts this endeavour and with the help of the Blind Witch, locks them all in the library. They deduce that as the Blind Witch’s spells are always rubbish, it must have been one of Hades’ spells used to trap them.
Meanwhile, Emma and Hook reach a large door with a set of scales in front of it. Emma places her heart on one side of the scales and for a moment nothing happens. A moment later she collapses and in his attempts to reach her heart, Hook is engulfed in a swirling vortex of flames. Emma chooses to save Hook from the fire rather than reach her own heart, thus proving her true love for him and the door opens. They go inside and discover that the ambrosia tree has been cut down and all the fruit is dead.
Now, ambrosia is the food of the Gods. It is the only food that sustains them. Maybe his heart not beating gets around that but Hades has literally cut off his own food supply. Practically out of spite. Spite over a story that he claims is only a rumour and is a fairly incorrect telling of a myth. This seems to be a very ‘cut off your nose to spite your face’ situation. It doesn’t make any sense that he has cut down the only tree that grows the food he needs to survive. So maybe he has another secret stash of ambrosia around somewhere?
This whole Orpheus-Eurydice-Ambrosia thing has totally dwarfed my annoyance over them claiming Hades to be the younger brother of Zeus. If you’re going to use myths as a basis, don’t make them up as you go along! Hook and Emma themselves are a far more accurate telling of this myth. With the ambrosia gone, Hook is trapped in the underworld with no way of returning to the mortal world with her. She forces her to leave the chamber and get back into the elevator before telling her that he isn’t going with her. They say a very tearful goodbye through the bars of the elevator guard (even though when lowered it only reaches up to their chests) and Emma has to leave him behind.
When she returns to the others, she and Regina use their magic combined to break the Blind Witch’s spell and Henry leaves the stories he’s written behind as they run for the portal. They reach it just in time. Henry, Regina and Robin go through (Hades, Zelena and the unnamed baby have already left by this point), but Emma hesitates. She and David talk about her red jacket being her armour and that it reminds her to protect those she loves. Still holding her arm, David goes through the portal so for a long moment there is a very unstable portal with David’s arm sticking out of it. It could easily have closed at this point, leaving Emma trapped in the underworld – potentially with her father’s severed arm still on her elbow. But no, she makes it through and the portal closes behind her.
Rumple has also made it through the portal with Belle. Pan had told him to bring a heart so they he could also leave and Rumple seems to do just that, ripping out Robin’s heart at one point in the episode. But unknown to anyone, he has returned Robin’s heart and glamoured a wine skein full of water from the River of Souls to look like a heart. He gives this to Pan and there is just enough time for them to say what needs to be said to each other before Pan dissolves.
I realise I haven’t mentioned the flashback really but apart from Emma getting her armour there isn’t an awful lot to say. It was nice to have in terms of breaking up the story and the origin story of her jacket but other than that, it’s her deciding to let go of the past and just look forward a couple of months before Henry turns up on her doorstep.
Overall and despite my anger at the mythology, I liked this episode a lot. And I’m really excited to see what happens now they’re back in Storybook.