Image credit: Jack Rowland/ABC
SMILE, THOUGH YOU'RE BEING POISONED Rena Sofer's Queen Eva shows young Snow how to die with dignity. Sniff!
Thanks to the magical speed of the Jolly Roger -- which must be powered by flecks of old eyeliner dust -- Hook makes it to New York Harbor in no time flat. The pirate follows the stench of multigenerational unhappiness to Bae's apartment building, where he quickly and viciously hooks Rumpelstiltskin in the chest. Emma knocks him out before he can skewer the Dark One's heart, but the damage has already been done: The hook was dipped in poison, and unless this fractured family can quickly get their non-hooked hands on a magical antidote, their patriarch's a goner.
Okay, maybe "quickly" is a bit of an exaggeration. Rump will conveniently live long enough for the crew to get all the way back to Storybrooke, provided they travel via the Jolly Roger -- which Bae says he knows how to sail. Also, he recognized Hook when he saw him. Also, he's spent quite some time in a land where people don't age. Something tells me Bae might be a big Michael Jackson fan, if you know what I mean.
Lil' Snow heads into the woods -- obligatory musical interlude -- to beseech the Blue Fairy to help ailing Eva. But before she even figures out which star to wish upon, the Fairy herself appears. She tells the girl that there is a way for her to help her mother -- but only through dark magic. Blue gives Snow an enchanted candle, which has the power to restore Eva's health. The twist: In order to heal the queen, Snow will also have to choose someone else to die in her mother's place. I always knew scented candles were evil.
After carefully considering her Pushing Daisies conundrum, Snow ultimately decides that being motherless is better than being a murderer. She tearfully tells Eva about what she almost did, and Eva praises her daughter's goodness... then officially joins that big Dead Disney Moms Intramural Softball League in the sky. (Eva plays right field.) Farewell, Rena Sofer! May your presence on Once not jinx this series into becoming a bloated, Heroes-ian mess.
Magic has nothing on cell phones. Using the power of modern technology, David and Snow confer with Emma and learn the true location of the Dark One's hidden dagger. (Last week's treasure map was actually a red herring, which sort of makes up for how easily Hook, Cora, and Regina deciphered it.) Rumpelstiltskin has cleverly concealed the artifact behind one of the hands on Storybrooke's giant clock. Snow grabs it and breathes a sigh of relief -- which is precisely when Cora and Regina Apparate on over to screw everything up, as per usual.
NEXT: Nooo, not Mrs. Patmore!