The diamond is deactivated, Storybrooke is saved... but when the adults turn to celebrate their victory with Henry, they realize that the boy is gone. It turns out that destroying the town’s magic was just a red herring: All along, Growen and Tamara have actually been plotting to abduct the kid and bring him with them to another world. They toss down the last bean, barely pausing to twirl their metaphorical mustaches, and disappear into a whirlpool of computer-generated light -- with Henry in tow.
If we subsequently learned that all three had accidentally been transported to a realm populated entirely with man-, woman-, and child-eating sandworms, I’ve got a feeling many of you would be delighted. Unfortunately, things don’t quite work out that way. The Charmings, Emma, and Regina are determined to get their (grand)kid back, no matter the cost... and right on schedule, Hook shows up in the Jolly Roger, magical bean in hand. If you took a swig of rum every time this guy had a change of heart, you’d be drunker than Jack Sparrow right about now.
Yo ho ho ho, Henry’s dysfunctional family is going on history’s most uncomfortable cruise! And to make things a little more interesting, Rumpelstiltskin has decided to join them -- even though he just, and I do mean just, restored Belle’s memories via a potion that the Blue Fairy has conveniently been brewing all season. (Grumpy’s explanation for why we’re only hearing about this potion now: Blue needed a hair from Little Boy-ified Pinocchio before she could complete the brew.) At least he gets one more tender moment with his de-skankified princess, who’s instructed to stay behind and cast a cloaking spell over Storybrooke in his absence.
Moments ago, Rumpel was attempting to murder the boy he’s now risking everything to save. What gives? Good, old-fashioned parental guilt: "The boy is my undoing," he explains to a tearful Belle before boarding Hook’s pleasure barge. "But he’s also my grandson. I must do this to honor Baelfire. He’s gone, and I didn’t even get the chance to say goodbye."
Oh, Rump, you speak too soon! Because at this very moment, a wounded Bae is being tended to by a trio of familiar faces: Mulan, Aurora, and Prince Phillip, alive and well and living in Fairy Land. Nice! I'm down, as long as this storyline doesn’t turn into a dopey love quadrangle.
Knowledge of Bae’s fate will have to wait, because our heroes are currently busy making a quantum leap of their own. But where is Rumpelstiltskin’s blood magic leading them -- and who, exactly, are Growen and Tamara actually working for? Rumpel’s happy to spill the beans: They're cogs in a machine, one run by Big Bad Peter Pan. And from his tone, it sounds like Once’s version of Pan is going to give the Dark One and Regina a run for their money.
So they beat on, a ship against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. Or, you know, Neverland.
NEXT: One last serving of Breadcrumbs