Aboard the Jolly Roger on a cold misty night, Captain Hook and crew are enchanted by the melodic tones of an unseen female voice. Hook is not completely taken over, and through his looking glass he spies the rocks his ship is on a collision course for. After regaining control of his ship, Hook explains to a still-bemused Mr. Smee that the song they heard came from the most dangerous creature in all the seas: a mermaid.
Back in the rocks, Poseidon, King of the Sea, chastises his forlorn daughter, young Ursula, for not continuing her song and allowing the Jolly Rogers to escape. Although the mermaid has learned to sing from her mother and insists that she would not want Ursula to use her gift like this, Poseidon argues that her mother would want Ursula to avenge her death. Although Ursula seems determined not to lump all humans together, Poseidon pulls the typical dad “my ocean, my rules” routine, tells her to pout all she wants, but be home by high tide.
In present time at Gold’s cabin Ursula is standing alone on the deck listening to opera on an old wireless when Cruella pops out to tell her she’s missing all the fun inside.
Gold and Regina are mad doggin’ flesh and blood August inside. Ursula enters full force and threatens a forgetful August with a knife to the throat. Regina magics it away from her before she can do any real damage, to accusations of becoming weak. But Regina suggests that they light a fire under the boy who was made of wood, and August starts remembering.
August says back in Hong Kong he had a run in with a mystic called the Dragon, and this person knew about The Author and had been looking for him for years. After the Dragon died, August says he brought the mystic’s research to Storybrooke. Gold says he’s going to check August’s old trailer, and Ursula suggests they carry on with the rest of the plan. Regina is surprised and asks what else they aren’t telling her. Gold scoffs and says she’ll have to do a lot more to earn information, and for now to be content knowing she’s finally chosen the winning side. Annoyed by her lack of progress, Regina settles down by the fire.
Out in the woods, the Charmings, Emma, and Killian discuss Pinocchio’s safety, and Emma laments letting Regina dupe her into losing track of her. They lose the physical tracks they were following, but a large, ominous black and green ball of smoke heads straight for them. It envelopes Mary Margaret and she begins to speak in Regina’s voice.
Regina says she must be quick, that August is being held in the cabin. Worse than that, Gold is back, and he’s looking for the Author too. And since Gold won’t tell her the rest of the plan, whatever it is must be really bad. Though David and Emma are startled, Killian seems especially tense. Regina vacates Mary Margaret’s body and Emma says there’s only one person who can help find and destroy Gold now.
At the pawn shop, Belle is shaken by the news of Gold’s return. Emma asks for the dagger to stop the fight before it starts, but Belle says that she gave the dagger to Killian last night. Killian is confused and says that if he had ever laid his hands on the dagger he would have shoved it though Rumplestiltskin’s heart. Emma puts the pieces together and guesses that Gold came back for the dagger disguised as Killian. Emma insists that they can defeat him because they have before. Killian tells them to go on to find August, and that he will uncover the Dark One’s secret. He tells Emma he will befriend the Sea Witch by returning her happy ending, seeing as he’s the one who took it from her.
In the cabin, Regina tries to ask August about the taped together story book page of her and Robin Hood. She’s surprised to find that August knows of Robin, and he tells her that just because Pinocchio doesn’t remember being August, that doesn’t mean August doesn’t remember being the boy. Ursula is suddenly distracted, and she leaves to stretch her tentacles.
Outside and far enough from the cabin to only be heard by Ursula, Killian is blowing into a large conch shell to summon the Sea Witch. Ursula sneaks up on him and wraps him in her tendrils. Killian insists he’s come to offer a deal and that Gold was wrong. He says Ursula doesn’t need to find the Author to get her happy ending because he still has it. If she’ll tell him the rest of Gold’s plan, he’ll gladly turn it over to her.
Young Ursula, complete with legs, is singing a hypnotic tale to a tavern full of pirates. They’re enraptured with her voice. Captain Hook is among them, and he approaches her saying he knows she chose not to sink his ship. He buys her a drink and they share the tales of their woes. Ursula explains how her father wants to use her voice as a weapon against pirates because pirates killed her mother. To escape his control, she broke into his vault and stole a bracelet that allows her to walk on land. Hook tells her that, for just a moment, her voice made him forget over a century’s bloodlust, and he offers to take her to Glowerhaven, her destination, as thanks.
On the Storybrooke docks, Killian tells Ursula that her treasure is on the Jolly Roger, back in the Enchanted Forest. He asks if Ursula can still open portals underwater. Killian produces a piece of the rigging of the Jolly Roger, “a souvenir,” he says, so Ursula can locate the ship. She dips her tentacle into the water to work her magic, but Killian is disheartened when the ship doesn’t appear, saying her magic didn’t work. Ursula laughs, saying yes it did. In the harbor floats the Jolly Roger inside a glass bottle.
Back in time, Hook is captured by Poseidon’s guards and brought aboard his own ship. Poseidon tells him he will use a shell he’s enchanted to take away Ursula’s only reason for leaving: her singing voice. Hook scoffs, resolute in his loyalty to Ursula. But Poseidon offers him a way to subdue the Dark One. For Hook’s cooperation he will receive squid ink, one drop of which is enough to paralyze any man, including Rumplestiltskin. Hook contemplates this deal as he stares at the proffered shell.
At the pawn shop, Killian and Ursula ask Will Scarlet for help restoring the now-tiny Jolly Roger. An apprehensive Belle asks how she can be sure this is the real Killian, and he calls her out for asking that question too late.
Will wants to know why he should help, and Killian says that they all want the same thing: to rid themselves of the Dark One for good. The key lies on the ship, which Will points out is a bit small. Killian supposes that the Knave of Hearts has spent enough time in Wonderland to know how to reverse such a thing, and Will assures him he’s got what they need.
Regina wanders through the woods contemplating the taped up page. Robin Hood calls to her from the fog, and an overjoyed Regina runs to him. They kiss, but Regina asks how he could be there. Before he can answer, Regina says they are being watched, and the Evil Queen appears in her regal attire, flinging a fire ball, ordering Regina to get away from Robin.
With a start, the real Regina wakes from this nightmare to the scoffs of Maleficent, who offers her help sleeping. Gold appears stating that he didn’t even bother to check August’s trailer because the man is a born liar. Instead he went to the Fairies and stole a bottle of magic that will return August to his wooden state, which, Gold warns, will be quite painful. As he shoves the potion into August’s mouth, the crackling of flesh turning to wood echos through the cabin. August is literally petrified.
Emma and her parents arrive down the path and go on foot to Gold’s cabin. They haven’t heard from Killian yet, and David speculates whether Ursula has turned him. Emma, annoyed that he’s considering that, says that if Gold did to her what he did to Hook, she’d want to shove the Dagger through his heart too. Mary Margaret is shaken by such dark talk from Emma, but Emma assures her that’s not her and that’s not Hook either, but that she understands where Killian is coming from.
In the cabin, Gold smirks down at August who is now turning painfully back into flesh. Gold says the potion has activated Pinocchio’s built in lie detector. August claims to not know what Gold is talking about, but a wooden nose sprouts from his face. Gold pulls him in front of the fire place and warns that the next lie is going to hurt. Gold asks what he knows about The Author, but August insists he’d told him everything he knows. But the wooden nose grows, and August struggles to avoid the flames. He finally tells Gold that the Sorcerer trapped the Author behind a door, and Gold should know he’s telling the truth because Gold knows the Sorcerer exists. And Regina knows the Door exists because she’s seen August’s papers that Marco gave her. Regina tries to play cool and tells Gold they were just scraps of paper, so Gold suggests that she should have no problem sharing them. August describes the Door, and says that all he knows is that it’s somewhere in Storybrooke. Gold seems sated with this information, but Regina looks crestfallen that the Villains now know where to look. Gold says they will start their search for the Door at the Sorcerer’s mansion, and that Regina will come along since she knows that the Door looks like.
Killian and Ursula have made their way back to the docks with Will’s Wonderland magic and the bottled ship. Ursula drops the magic liquid on to the bottle, and Killian flings it into the harbor as it begins to glow. With looks of satisfaction, they watch the bottle turn into the full sized Jolly Roger.
Back in time, Hook approaches the young Ursula as they prepare to set sail. He shows her the shell Poseidon left, but swears he won’t use it to take her voice because it’s the last thing she has left of her mother. He may be a pirate, but he has a code, and he promises to never take Ursula’s voice from her. Ursula realizes that means he’s given up the only way to take his revenge, but Hook suggests that the vault where she got her bracelet is also where her father keeps the squid ink. If she were to steal it for him, she says, they could both have what they want.
Killian and Ursula board the ship in the Storybrooke harbor, and he uses the other end of his hook as a key to unlock his safe. Inside is the shell Poseidon gave him to steal Ursula’s voice. He asks for every detail of the Dark One’s plan. Ursula coaxes her voice from the shell, but it doesn’t work. She is furious and tells Killian the deal’s over. He says it’s not his fault that her magic didn’t work and that he upheld his end of the deal. She says villains aren’t meant to get happy endings and turns to leave, but Killian pulls his gun on her, saying the Dark One has taken too much from him already. Ursula knocks the gun out of his hand with a tentacle, knocks him out, and then disposes of him over the side of the ship. But from beneath, Ariel appears and pulls Killian to the surface, saying he can thank her later.
As Killian regains consciousness, Ariel slaps him, telling him that’s for betraying her and tossing Blackbeard overboard before he could tell her where Eric was. She got caught up with the ship, which was trapped in the bottle by Elsa, because Black Beard was using it to terrorize people, including the Kingdom of Arendelle. Reluctantly she thanks him for setting her free and asks why Ursula threw him overboard. He replies that he made a promise he couldn’t deliver, and maybe she was right, that villains don’t get happy endings. Ariel suggests it’s only because villains go about getting them the wrong way.
Back in time, young Ursula presents a grateful Hook with the squid ink. As they are deciding where to head next, Poseidon and his guards appear on deck. Though Hook says the fight is between him and the Sea King, Ursula confronts her father, saying all she has left of her mother is her voice. Poseidon says that all Hook cares about is revenge. He destroys the ink and Hook reaches for his sword. Poseidon mocks him for trying to attack a deity. Hook, a darkness coming over him, says he’s not the only one consumed by vengeance. He uses the shell to steal Ursula’s singing voice, saying Poseidon will never use it to sink another pirate ship. Ursula, betrayed and horrified, tells Hook to keep her voice because humans don’t deserve to hear it. She pulls off the bracelet and returns to the sea. Poseidon demands the shell back, but Hook tells him to leave before he destroys it.
In the cabin, Cruella creepily flirts with August. Emma busts through the door and readies her magic, but Mary Margaret takes a frying pan to Cruella’s head, knocking her out cold. David unties August and Emma helps with magic, much to August’s admiration. He and Emma share a quick but heartfelt reunion, but Ursula barges in, sans Killian. She says Emma’s boyfriend is shark bait and winds a tentacle around Mary Margaret’s neck, warning Emma to back off, or her mother is dead.
An angry young Ursula sits on the rocks with her father as he tries to apologizes. But she feels the loss of her mother so deeply that she won’t hear it. She grabs his trident and says that she’s chosen a side, her own. She says that she was named after a sea goddess of old, and she’s reclaiming that power. She transforms her fins into tentacles and tells her father he no longer has to protect her; now he will fear her.
In the cabin, Emma pleads with Ursula to stop, but she insists that she needs August to help find the Author. Killian appears, alive and well much to Ursula’s annoyance and Emma’s relief. He says that he knows why the shell wouldn’t release her voice. The only one who could undo the magic was the one who enchanted it. Poseidon appears, thanks to Ariel’s assistance. He apologizes to his daughter, saying his heart broke when he heard her sing. He let it fuel his vengeance instead of reminding him of his wife. He returns her voice immediately and Ursula sings the beautiful familiar notes of her mermaid song. Her father turns to leave in shame, but Ursula tells him how much she’s missed him, and he her. They embrace, but Mary Margaret notices Cruella has made her escape, probably to warn Gold of the events.
As the others leave the cabin, Emma remains behind with Killian as she sees he is still brooding. He admits that, even though he gave Ursula everything she wanted, it was very easy to return to his old, dark ways. Emma tries to reassure him, but he reminds her that they’ve never addressed the fact that he was a villain, and villains don’t get happy endings. Killian worries that if the rules of the Book are true, it’s only a matter of time before he loses his happy ending. Emma, whether oblivious or just disbelieving, asks Killian what his happy ending is. With the saddest look EVER, Killian tells Emma SHE is his happy ending.
Meanwhile Cruella arrives at the Sorcerer’s mansion to warn Gold, Regina, and Maleficent that the heroes have rescued August. She also knows who the mole is. Though Regina braces for the reveal, Cruella names Ursula. Gold tells Regina to bring them the illustration of The Door.
Killian sees Poseidon and Ursula to the docks, but before she leaves she tells him the rest of Gold’s plan. The Author didn’t give the people of Storybrooke their happy endings; Emma did. As long as there’s the Savior, the Author can’t give the villains what they want. And Gold doesn’t just want to kill Emma. He plans on filling her heart with darkness forever.
Regina returns to the Charming’s apartment and finds Henry watching over a resting August, the Book spread open before them. She approaches Emma and tells her about her dream about Robin. Though she can’t explain it, Regina suspects that the Evil Queen was there to protect Robin, not hurt him. She asks Emma to find a way to contact him.
August wakes and Regina asks him about the page she’s supposed to steal. August says the Door isn’t in the mansion. The Door is on the page, and the Author is trapped inside the book.
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ABC. “Images, et.al.” March 23, 2015. Television. March 24, 2015.