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

At the same time, Regina is seriously compromising her rehab by whipping up a quick Draught of Living Death in the pawn shop. When she assures Henry that this is totally, totally going to be the last time she does magic, she reminds me of pop culture's worst deadbeat dads -- "I'll stop casting spells when the Angels win the pennant. I'll make it to your Little League game next week, sport, I promise this time!"

So Snow inhales the powder, and Charming pricks his finger on a potion-dipped spinning needle -- who else had major issues envisioning what the hell a "spinning needle" was when reading "Sleeping Beauty" stories as a kid? -- and both fall into magic-induced slumbers. While Snow is immediately transported to Inferno Central, Charming instead finds himself in a dark hall of mirrors -- since only those who have been awoken from a Sleeping Curse go straight to New Flamington when they doze. Resist the urge to Narcissus yourself, Charming!

Luckily, the fire station isn't too hard to find. Using his powers of deduction and a handy torch, the prince discovers that all he has to do is break through the mirror room's flimsy floor. And just like that, Charming and Snow are having the reunion they've yearned for all season -- minus, you know, the towering conflagrations.

The fires roared too loudly for Aurora and Henry to understand each other easily, but noise is no match for Twue Wuv. Snow and Charming have no trouble communicating; he tells her about the magic ink, she gets all sorrowful when she realizes he's cursed himself so that he can speak with her. Charming figures that to wake up, all he'll have to do is kiss his wife. He didn't count on the fact that he and Snow aren't currently corporeal -- meaning that a real, curse-breaking smooch will have to wait. As she begins to wake up and starts slowly fading away, Snow sadly wonders if they'll always lose each other. Charming just repeats that Snow has to have faith... and with that, they're separated again. Shh, don't worry -- it's okay if you've suddenly got something in your eye.

Snow is understandably frenzied when she jolts awake, telling Emma that they have to get back to Storybrooke at all costs. She follows her Jack Shephard moment by tackling Mulan, who's trying to escape with the compass -- and nearly killing the warrior when Mulan declares that getting Aurora back is more important than defeating Cora. Good thing Aurora shows up right in the nick of time, dragging that dusty shawl and explaining that Hook set her free. And by the way, she thinks that the pirate's got a thing for Emma and her curious corset.

The setup for a happy ending? Not exactly -- before Aurora escaped, Hook managed to yank out the princess's heart. Now the plasticky organ is in Cora's possession, making Aurora the wicked one's unwitting pawn -- and proving once and for all that Hook is well and truly eeeevil. Also, that he evidently learned how to do magic sometime over the past 300 years. Moral of the story: Never trust a guy who looks better in your makeup than you do.

NEXT: "Harvested from the rarest species of squid..."

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