Once Upon a Time recap: Who Needs Sleep?

Henry, Aurora, Snow, and Charming, that's who -- since slumber holds the key to defeating Cora
Ep. 08 | Aired Nov 25, 2012

MOMMIE DEAREST But how does Cora feel about wire hangers?

Jack Rowand/ABC

Aurora soon finds herself in Cora's dungeon, where the wicked one has decided to amuse herself by playing happy homemaker. But Aurora's no patsy... or, at least, not that much of a patsy. She kicks away Cora's stew, which is probably brimming with all sort of magical nastiness, and proudly declares that she'll never help the witch -- not even if she promises to try to bring Prince Phillip back. Cora just rolls her eyes and uses good, old-fashioned blasty magic to shut the princess up, then has her pet crow deliver a message to Snow, Emma, and Mulan. Wait, do Cora and Queen Ravenna run in the same evil circles?

As the crow flies, the Fearsome Threesome aren't so far from Cora's lair. The animal lands on Snow's shoulder and starts squawking. Then, with a completely straight face, Snow translates the message from Carrion Bird to Human English, a.k.a. Fairy Land's universal language. Come on, Emma -- you're seriously not going to comment on the fact that your mom really can talk to forest creatures? Anyhow, the gist: If they don't bring Cora the magic compass by sundown, Cora will treat Aurora to the Big Sleep. Mulan's all for turning the device over, but Snow has a different plan: As a former victim of the Sleeping Curse, she too has the ability to travel to the netherworld. If Snow can ask Henry how to defeat Cora, they may be able to keep the compass and save Aurora as well. If every character took charge (and spoke fluent Avian) as well as Snow, our heroes might not be in such a pickle right now.

The nasty burn on Henry's forearm is easily healed by Rump's magic, but it's also enough to convince Regina and Charming that it'd be child abuse to send the kid back to flamesylvania. Luckily, Charming's True Love ESP informs him that Snow will be waiting in the netherworld -- and if he goes into a cursed sleep, he'll be able to talk to her himself. It's a plan so crazy that it just might work, although it also might end with Charming being stuck in that hell dimension forever. (Cue tasteless joke about marriage.) The prince's snappy holster has given him an extra boost of confidence; despite everything, he likes his odds.

Aurora awakens to a sight for sore eyes: Captain Hook, fresh from a confrontation with Cora. After he stole her protection spell and helped Emma get the compass, the witch decided to punish Hook by cutting him off; the pirate is repaying his ex-partner by using some fancy hookwork to set Aurora free. All he asks in exchange is that Aurora deliver a message to the blonde. Spoiler alert: That message is not "You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how."

Apparently, Mulan's poppy powder wasn't sourced from Oz after all. She made it from the seeds of one of the rare flowers that grows in the Woods of the Dead, conveniently located near where the Fearsome Threesome was already walking. Mulan fashions some more homemade opium, then prepares to drug Snow with it so she can sleep. Please let there be a bonus PSA about sleeping powder abuse before Revenge begins.

NEXT: Speaking of PSAs: Here comes Regina Mills, magiholic

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