Tonight we begin with our beautiful battered pirate and the deliciously horrible Hades. Killian refuses to play his games and chisel his friend's names into the headstones, so Hades sends him off to solitary, via a boat on the wretchedly eye-raping CGI River of Lost Souls.
Across town at Gold's shop, Pan has left Rumple a note telling him to take the shop (while he's busy on his other TV show, I'm guessing) and reminds Rumple that his offer still stands.
Rumple moves to a boiling cauldron where he drops in a twig, and eye and holds a crystal ball over it commanding it to show him "what he wants to see." The ball shows Belle having pancakes with a dwarf at Granny’s - which upsets Rumple so badly that he drops the crystal ball and it shatters. Well, can you blame the guy? You know what they say: once you go dwarf, you never go back.
Rumple heads over to the apartment, where the group has assembled to rescue Hook en masse - something he definitely advises against. He suggests they take a more stealthy approach, and enlist the service of one of the dead. It just so happens, he knows one that might be willing to help.
Flashback now to a younger Rumple and Milah. She’s snarking on him again, making fun of his disability and cowardice while young Baelfire runs around catching butterflies and oh dear GOD do I hate Milah. I mean, with the fire of a thousand burning suns I hate her.
Anyway, she's busy being bitchy and Rumple's busy whimpering as a snake bites Baelfire and he falls to the ground.
Forward now to the Underworld, where Milah is a school crossing guard, of all things, charged with protecting children who are stuck in the Underworld. Well, that certainly sucks. What the hell could a kid have done to deserve that? "Eat your peas, Timmy, or you'll be stuck in the Underworld!"
Milah is less than thrilled to see Rumple, but he asks her if she wants to save Killian Jones and Milah is visibly shaken. "I’m supposed to watch the kids," she tells him. "Well, they’re dead anyway," he retorts. Oh, Rumple. You are killing it tonight with the barbs. I've missed you being an asshole.
Back to the bad CGI River of Lost Souls. Holy crap is it bad. I think this could induce seizures if you watch it for too long. Ugh.
Hades has Killian chained up and hanging over a pentagram suspended over the river. "Hope is contraband," Hades tells him, and the hero crew has brought it into the Underworld. Worst of all, "despite some creative beatings," he still sees hope in Killian’s eyes. He vows to lower Killian into the river slowly so he can see the hope die in his eyes.
Back on the surface, Rumple introduces Milah to Emma in a total asshole manner, mentioning Emma's relationship to Baelfire, to Killian, her teen pregnancy and her jail time.
"You’ve been with my former lover and my son, is that right?" Milah asks in disbelief. Emma doesn’t know quite how to answer that so she doesn't even try.
Across town at Underworld Granny’s, Regina runs into Cruella. It turns out that magic is a little wonky down in the Underworld, and Regina is having a hard time using it as she tries to find someone in the cemetery. As plot convenience luck would have it, Cruella has a map with a list of cemetery plots. It turns out that if a tombstone is upright they’re still in town. If the stone is tipped over, they've moved on. And Cruella is gleefully wearing Bambi's mother around her shoulders. Oh, I love Cruella!
The entrance to the depths of hell is via the basement door of Emma's Dark One house, and as they descend, Emma shares her vision of Neal with Milah. Milah is moved to hear that her boy is in a better place, and decides to come with Emma to rescue Killian. Because being beaten and hung over a bad CGI river isn't torture enough - Killian gets to watch his ex come face-to-face with his current girlfriend.
Oh, look they found a boat that will take them to the cave where Hook is hanging out (heh). Gee, that’s wonderful luck, isn’t it? Rumple warns Emma not to use her magic and tip Hades off that they're down below. He tells her he's staying with the boat, since it's the only way out. Milah stays in the boat with Rumple as well, to keep him from stealing it.
Flashback again to the Enchanted Forest, and Rumple and Milah approach Fendrake the Healer for an antidote to the bite of the Atlantean Rattlesnake. (Sidenote: if you're gonna give a guy tribal facial tattoos, he really ought to look Maori-ish and not like he walked off a sitcom where he plays the tubby guy with the hot wife).
Fendrake tells them the bite is fatal in 24 hours, but has a potion he'll sell them for 100 gold pieces. They leave in despair. Milah orders Rumple to return, kill the healer, and take the cure. Later, at the tavern, she hands him a dagger and sends him off with a fiery kiss meant to sway him.
After she sees him off, some oaf decides to manhandle her and in steps young Killian Jones, looking impossibly, ungodly handsome in his red velvet vest and even more dashing than we remembered.
He's obviously smitten as he buys her a drink and kisses her hand. Then he weaves her a tale of all the wonderful ports he’s visited, offers to sweep her off her feet and a spellbound Milah tells him that unfortunately, she’s got a husband and a sick kid. He tells her if she’s ever ready to drop the husband and forsake the dying kid, he’ll be in port.
I almost, almost have some sympathy for her. Young Killian is devastating. Seriously. But abandon-your-kid devastating? Okay, sympathy's gone.
(I've been waiting forever to use this gif)
Now we see Rumple sneaking into the healer’s hut. He attempts to steal the cure but wakes the healer. He threatens him with the dagger, but realizes he can’t kill the man. Rumple confesses that Bae is everything to him and the healer offers to make a deal. He'll give him the cure, but there will be a terrible price to pay in return.
Forward to the depths of the Underworld,where Killian is still dangling as Emma rushes in, determined to rescue him. She steps out on the support scaffolding, and I'm pleased to see they’ve re-used the CGI from Echo cave in the background. She catches Killian just before he takes the plunge and pulls him to safety.
"You shouldn’t be here," he tells her. “You’re impossible."
“And you love me for it,” she answers as she pulls him close. Ahhhm the feels.
What a journey for these two. But as a wise woman once said:
Meanwhile, in the boat with Rumple and Milah, he asks about her unfinished business. It turns out it’s actually Baelfire, not Killian. She realizes how much she punished Bae with her actions and how selfish she was. She wants to do something generous so she can move on and see her son again. Rumple assures him that Bae will forgive her.
And in walks Hades. He freezes Milah and tells Rumple he wants to make a deal. Hades confesses to Rumple that he’s a fan. "You’ve sent so many lovely dead people my way," he coos. He knows Rumple wants to get back to Belle as quickly as possible, so he makes him a deal: Eff over the others by destroying the boat, and Hades will have him home by bedtime.
Flashback to the Enchanted Forest again. Rumple shows up with the antidote, and young Bae is saved. Quick-thinking Milah pulls Rumple aside to find out if they need to hide a body, and he assures her he didn't have to murder the guy. He only had to promise him his second-born child. Milah is furious that he sold their future family and decided her fate without consulting her. She tells Rumple she’s going to the tavern, and the rest, as they say…is history.
Ahead to the Underworld again, and Milah wakes up from being frozen just in time to see Rumple return and burn the boat. She screams a warning for Emma and Rumple tosses Milah into the River of Lost Souls, where she'll be floating in CGI hell forever. When Emma finally shows up with Killian, Rumple lies and tells her that Hades destroyed the boat and blasted Milah into the river.
Meanwhile, on the surface, Snow goes along with Regina to find the gravestone she was looking for - Daniel's. It’s tipped over, which means he’s moved on and he’s happy. She gives an apologetic speech as she strokes the stone.
Later, Regina and Snow are walking down Main Street and hear a horse. Regina can see that it’s hurt and she heals it with magic. She's happy her magic is now working but looks a little stricken (recognizing that it’s her beloved horse from her childhood perhaps - the one she killed by sacrificing its heart).
Somehow despite the lack of a boat, Rumple, Emma and Killian get back to the surface. Killian found out Rumple took away his sacrifice but he very bedgrudgingly calls it even because Rumple got him out of the depths of hell. Emma tells Regina to go ahead and split her heart so they can take Killian back to the world of the living and oh, hey! They forgot that Emma’s heart can’t be removed. Whoops. They all seem surprised by it, even though this is no secret, having already been tested by Cora in season two.
They head back to the graveyard for some reason, where they find three new tombstones, courtesy of Hades. Since Killian wouldn't pick the names, Hades has chosen, picking Regina, Snow and Emma to stay in the Underworld. Rumple couldn't care less about this development and takes his leave.
Flashback to Enchanted Forest one final time where we see Rumple as the Dark One visiting Fendrake the healer. He’s pissed that Fendrake took advantage of his desperation. He takes the man’s heart and crushes it, thereby absolving himself of the debt.
Ahead to the depths of the Underworld, where Rumple is before Hades, demanding to go home. Hades is pissed that Rumple tried to hide something from him. He pulls out the crystal ball that Rumple shattered, having repaired it, and it's still showing Belle, this time sleeping peacefully. He knows why Belle's image affected Rumple so badly.
Rumple had asked the ball to show him his child, hoping to see where Neal had gone. Instead it showed him Belle – meaning Belle is pregnant (and thus answering any question about whether they were writing Emilie de Ravin's pregnancy into the show). Hades reminds Rumple that his second child is owed to someone. Death doesn’t nullify the contract when the guy signed it over to Hades.
Hades has Rumple now, reminding him that all magic comes with a price. “You work for me," he tells him.
You know, for being centuries old, incredibly powerful and oh-so-clever, this is the second time a megalomaniac has Rumple by the balls. You'd think he'd be a little more careful.
Anyway....we've got Rumple doing something reprehensible just so he can get back to his wife and unborn child again, which is typical Rumple. We've got heroes stranded without a way home, which is typical for our heroes. But what we don't have is closure. Killian didn't get to see Milah. He knew she helped Emma because Emma told him so, but he never got to come face-to-face with her, and that bothers me.
I wanted that moment where he sees her and realizes that his younger, shallower, more selfish self loved her, but the man he's grown to be, the man of integrity and heart and compassion - he'd choose Emma. I wanted to see him make that choice. But they drop-kicked Milah into a pool of crappy CGI and now that scene will never be. Talk about unfinished business.
Anyway, despite that teeth-grinding omission, I'm going to give this one five phoenixes out of five.
Rumple was spot-on with the snark, Milah meeting Emma was delightfully awkward, Emma and Killian's reunion was wonderful and Cruella and Hades were delicious, darling. Oh, I do hope she's secretly working for him and he's crowned her Queen of Hell. Can you imagine them together? And along with all that, we got to see young Killian Jones at his devastating best. Rawrrrrrrrrr.