Tonight on ABC their fantastical series Once Upon A Time returns with an all new Sunday March 6, season 5 spring premiere called, “Souls of the Departed” and we have your weekly recap below. On tonight’s episode, the mission to rescue Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) begins as the heroes arrive in the Underworld, but it proves to be more challenging than they expected when they run into vengeful faces from the past.
On the last episode, the dark siege of Storybrooke was underway as all of the resurrected Dark Ones target a living soul for sacrifice so that they could return to the realm of the living. With doom imminent, Gold advised Mary Margaret, David and the rest of the heroes to spend their last fleeting moments enjoying the company of their loved ones. Emma, however, refused to give up, knowing that she was responsible for righting all the poor choices she made as Dark One – there’s only one problem, Dark Hook. Did you watch the last episode? If you missed it, we have a full and detailed recap right here for you.
On tonight’s episode as per the ABC synopsis, “Emma, Regina, Mary Margaret, David, Robin, Henry and Gold arrive in the Underworld, on a mission to rescue Hook, only to discover that their search will be more difficult than they had anticipated.
The inhabitants of the Underworld – all souls with unfinished business and many with quite personal vendettas – hound our heroes at every turn. Meanwhile, in an Enchanted Forest flashback, a familiar face from the Evil Queen’s past returns to present Regina with the perfect birthday gift.”
Tonight’s season 5 episode 12 looks like it is going to be as magical as ever so make sure that you tune in to our live coverage of Once Upon A Time at 8:00 PM EST!
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#OnceUponaTime begins with Emma waking in her car outside a carnival. Neal is there in the back seat. She asks if she’s dreaming and he says no. He asks about their kid. She says he misses his dad.
Neal tells her not to go to the underworld and says it won’t end the way she wants. Emma says she would have come for him if she had known. He says he’s not in limbo so she could not have gotten him.
But Neal says Hook is there. Emma says she plans to give Hook half her heart to bring him back. Neal says he’s someplace good and happy but came to warn her to stop. Emma says she can’t. Neal says he had to try.
He tells her he loves her and always will. Then he gets out of the car. Emma wakes in the underworld with her parents there. Gold is there too. They are in a shattered version of Shadybrooke.
Regina sees revenants roaming. The gang is in the middle of Main Street and the clock is shattered. Gold says these people are dead and trapped because of unfinished business. They see Cruella’s car drive by.
They agree they need to hurry since some of them sent some of the people there. Back in the day, we see Regina in the Enchanted Forest being evil. It’s her birthday and her terrified subjects cower.
She tells them to get her Snow White’s heart on a plate. She goes to attack but then a man is there and says he can help. He offers to tell her where Snow is and says he wants something in return.
We saw him in the underworld spray painting a building. She kills him. David and Snow are there and faceoff with her and the dwarves. They have her surrounded. Regina blows out her fire hand then puffs away in purple smoke.
Regina’s father advises her to give up on revenge. She says she won’t give up on this but her dad says it’s Cora’s fault that Daniel died and says don’t let the hate control you. Regina reminds him she banished Cora.
We see Cora in the underworld and the man Regina killed reports to Cora that Regina is there. She thanks him for telling her and asks how Regina is. Mary goes into Granny’s in the underworld.
The Hansel and Gretel witch is there and sniffs her. She asks about Hook and then David comes in. He grabs her and kisses her and is in different clothes. He says he sees why his brother likes her – it’s James, David’s evil twin.
He tells him to tell David there’s a new sheriff in town. Then David comes in and sees James leaving. Emma and Gold come in and they all discuss that they can’t find Hook. Gold says he’s done being a team player.
Gold says let’s do things his way – he thinks he’s got something there that can help. Henry comes in and tells her he was looking for Neal. She says he’s not there and is in a better place and says he knows they love him.
Robin and Regina discuss how much the underworld looks like Storybrooke and they wonder who it is that made this. The man from the past is following Regina and says someone wants to see her.
Back in the EF, we see Regina ranting about Snow. Her dad is there and hears her muttering. She says she just wants her birthday to be over. Her dad goes to the mirror and talks to Sidney. He asks her to summon Cora.
She’s in Wonderland. Her hubby asks her to advise Regina to end the feud. Cora instead says to help her complete the quest of crushing her heart. Cora steps through the mirror after he leaves and says Regina needs her help.
Now, Regina goes to see Cora in the underworld and they embrace. Cora says Regina is her unfinished business. She tells Regina she wants her to be happy. Regina says help me find Hook so I can go.
Cora says it’s dangerous and she has to go. Regina says she promised her friends but Cora says do what’s best for you. Cora says she has a boat to take her home in an hour. She says take Henry and the thief and go before it’s too late.
Cora says she must go. She asks if Regina remembers her last words – that she would have been enough. Cora says it took her too long to realize then says go before it’s too late. Cora says she will do what’s best for her even if it’s awful.
Cora takes Regina to show her something. They magic to a cave where a fire is burning. The man she saw earlier teeters on the edge and is engulfed in fire. She screams. Regina says that’s her fate if she doesn’t go.
Regina says she killed him. Cora says you can leave here by going to a better or worse place. She says Regina has a third option but only for a short window of time. Cora says her father will suffer and she’s stunned.
Gold goes to the underworld version of his shop. Inside a spinning wheel turns. There’s chip the cup. He thinks about telling Belle that he’s going to the underworld to help them. She kisses him and makes him promise to come back.
He says he always does. Gold looks at the chipped cup then sees a little straw man. He keeps looking around the shop. He goes to his wall safe and then his dad Peter Pan is there and asks if he’s looking for something.
Gold says he wasn’t looking for him. Peter asks aren’t you happy to see your father. Gold says you may have sired me but you’re no father to me. Peter says this is his shop and he won’t find anything unless he wants him to.
Peter has a little bottle of potion and tells him to take it. Peter says he wants to start over with him and says he misses the world above. Gold says he can’t go back and Peter says he can swap with a living soul and says the people he came with are likely choices.
Gold says no and Peter says this is on the house as a gesture of goodwill and hands him the bottle. Regina tells the others about her mother threatening to throw her dad in the fire. She says he’s there because she killed him.
Gold shows up and says they can use this to find Hook and says it’s a potion that lets you communicate with the dead. They have to go to Hook’s grave and says go to the cemetery. Emma says Gold is coming along but he says they can do it on their own.
He says hurry because he’s leaving on the first boat out. Mary tells Emma they have to hurry and give it a try. Back in the EF, we see Snow come to meet Regina’s dad. He says he wants to save his daughter and say the war will destroy them all.
He says it will destroy his daughter’s soul. Cora was disguised as the dad and when the real dad shows up, Cora rips out Snow’s heart. Cora says he was playing with magic he didn’t understand by calling her. Cora commands Mary to forget it happened.
She tells her hubby Henry to come so they can give Regina her birthday present. Emma and the others are at the underworld cemetery. They go to his grave and he looks awful. Emma says tell me where you are. He wavers in and out then is gone. Regina says the spell isn’t holding.
Emma says he doesn’t know that they’re there. Emma says he’s suffering and in pain. Emma tells the others to go home without her. Emma tells Regina to take Robin and Henry and go. She says leave so your father doesn’t face that fate.
Regina stares at the single candle on her black cake and the jester tells her to make a wish. She blows out the candle and then kills the jester. Cora shows up as Regina says the party is over. Cora hands her a wrapped gift and says happy birthday.
Regina says she doesn’t want anything from her but Cora shows her Snow’s heart. Regina looks at it and Cora says she’ll show her and calls for the magic mirror. Cora tells the mirror to conjure Snow. We see her with the dwarves at dinner.
They toast to Regina spending the rest of her birthdays looking for her. Regina squeezes her heart and Snow is in pain. David goes to her and then Jiminy jumps out of her shirt. Everyone laughs. Regina crushes the heart and a guard keels over.
Cora says someone switched the hearts. Henry swapped it when he was wrapping the present. Regina is furious that he gave Snow White her heart back. Henry says she will be dark for good and just like Cora. He says that’s what Cora wants.
He says she can be happy but Regina insists killing Snow is the only way to be happy. She says he betrayed her and Henry says do what you will. He says as long as Snow lives, so does her chance at redemption. He says he hopes the box stays empty.
Regina turns her dad to smoke and puts him into the little box. She tells him he’ll be safe there but she can’t let him stop her. She says she would never hurt him and locks him in the little box. Now, Regina dumps out some of the potion on her dad’s grave.
He’s there and she says she’s sorry. He goes to her and hugs her. He says he loves her no matter what. He says he’s not sure which of his regrets keeps him there. He says her mother is using him to get her to go but says she needs to stay and help the others.
He says she put vengeance aside to be a hero and says he can’t stand in the way of that. She says Cora will send him someplace worse if she does. Her dad says she spreads hope if she stays and says let him see her do the right thing and he won’t have died in vain.
Remember, Regina ripped his heart out to cast the original Storybrooke curse. Back in the EF, we see Cora looking for Henry to punish him for messing up the birthday surprise. Regina shows her mom she put him in the box.
Cora says she’s impressed and Regina says her dad was right about her. Cora says she does everything for her including the things she can’t do. She calls Regina thick-headed. Regina says Cora won’t be around to see it.
Cora says she’s not strong enough to send her back. She summons Sidney the mirror and he pulls her towards the mirror. Regina says she cast the spell to seal the portal. Cora steals the wooden box with her dad in it at the last minute.
Cora told her she’d be alone. Sidney says she’ll always have him. Regina is miserable and sad. Now, Regina tells Cora she can’t go and Cora says please leave. Her dad says don’t leave, help your friends. Regina says she came back to help everyone.
Regina tells her mom to let her dad go. Cora says her time in the underworld is done either way. She tells her not to force her hand then Cora puts Henry her hubby into the fire. She tells Regina one day she’ll understand.
Regina cries and says sorry. The flames go away and her dad sees a path to a beautiful place that’s lit. He says he belongs there. He says she was his unfinished business. He says he let her mother get in the way of who Regina is and says it was his biggest regret.
He says she’s free of Cora and he’s proud. Henry steps up and she introduces him to his namesake Henry. Henry thanks his grandfather for believing in her and he thanks younger Henry for being there when he couldn’t.
He tells his grandson to take care of her then he says he loves Regina but has to go. He says remember who you really are and he walks into the light. Regina cries as he goes. Regina and Henry meet back up with the rest of the gang.
They tell them that Henry, her dad, is safe. They talk about the people left there with unfinished business. Gold says he’s only there to help find Hook and is out. Emma threatens to tell Belle about him going dark. Henry calls this operation Firebird.
They gang sets off down the road of underworld Storybrooke. Regina sees that the clock ticked a minute as it lies ruined in the street. We see Cora go into the library and into the elevator that goes down into the mines below.
She head down into the deep and then it thuds to a stop. The doors open and she gets out. Hades is there and asks if she heard the clock tick. He says it’s the sound of Cora’s incompetence. She asks why he wants Regina gone.
He says each clock tick means a soul left his domain and says he doesn’t like to lose anyone. Cora says she did what he asked. Hades says Regina will regret what she’s done. Cora says don’t threaten her then says give me what I want.
He says it’s surprising that she cares so much for Regina when she cares nothing for Zelena. She’s surprised that he knows. Hades says she clawed her way out of peasant life by sacrificing her other daughter.
He magics her back into a peasant and says it seems like dull work. Cora is horrified and he says you can think about it for eternity. He waves goodbye and she goes. OMG – Hades is being played by Greg Germann.
She walks away and his head flames into blue – just like the animated Hades from the Hercules movie. Germann is a great choice and looks like Hercules will be back on the next episode.