In the season finale, the episode starts out with Captain Hook running into The Evil Queen, Regina Mills. She explains to the Captain that although her mother Cora cannot fight and defeat Rumpelstiltskin , she can. She then asks the Captain to assassinate and execute Cora, her own mother, to which he agrees. As he confronts Cora in Wonderland, we find out that she is in fact the dreaded Queen Of Hearts. Captain Hook is convinced to help and aid in Cora’s quest for power by her raw magic and power over people. She uses her magic to tear a person’s heartland takes control of them. She ultimately uses this unique ability to control Aurora, an ally of Mary Margaret, Emma Swan, and Mulan in order to trap them in the prison that she once held Rumpelstiltskin Cora, and her accomplice Captain Hook then take the compass and all hope of Storybrooke with them as they seek to reach the portal to Storybrooke.
Snow White ( Mary Margaret ) sits down with Emma Swan in captivity and tries to calm the situation down. Emma is doubting herself and her ability to actually be the “savior”. Mary Margaret realizes that the way to break out of captivity is the ink on a scroll she has in her possession. The name Emma is breathed onto the gate and it magically dissolves into dust. They agree to leve Aurora ( Sleeping Beauty ) behind in order to prevent Cora from using her against them. Captain Hook and Cora enter the portal to Storybrooke as Mr. Gold and Regina Mills are counterbalancing their arrival with some evil of their own. Unfortunately Henry Mills believes that Emma Swan and Mary Margaret will defeat Cora and make it through the portal and not Cora and Hook. If this happens, then Emma and Mary Margaret will be killed with the counterbalancing magic in the portal. Regina finally gives into Henry and reverses the counter spell and ultimately saves Emma and Mary Margaret.
As they get back, ironically Mary Margaret and Emma thank Regina for her actions and they all continue on their own way.
The episode ends with everyone being grateful to be back in Stroybrooke, but as customary we are left with another cliffhanger until January. Hook and Cora end up finding a way into Storybrooke outside of the portal and are full sails ahead towards the city.
It is very exciting, and things are just getting started. Cannot wait until the drama continues in January of 2013.
Signed, Rick Jeffries