Once Upon a Time season 5 continues with an episode that focuses on Emma’s desire to save the man she loves. While Emma goes to great lengths to save Hook in the present, flashbacks to her past shed light on how Emma hardened herself to the world. Meanwhile, the heroes work with Hades to rescue Zelena, Rumple betrays someone close to him, and someone gets left behind when the heroes and villains return to Storybrooke. Take a look back at the most notable moments from episode 20, “Firebird.”

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Hades Goes to the Heroes for Help

OUAT 5x20 Hades Heroes.jpgRegina tells the heroes that she sent her sister to see Hades in the hopes that Zelena can change him. Before the heroes can process that information, Hades arrives to ask for their help because Rumple and Pan have kidnapped Zelena. Rumple wants Hades to rip up the contract for his and Belle’s child, but Hades does not trust that Rumple will let Zelena go. He wants some assurance that Zelena will be safe, so he turns to Emma with an offer. Hades claims that if she helps him save Zelena, he will remove everyone’s names from the tombstones so they can leave the Underworld.

Hades Rescues Zelena

OUAT 5x20 Hades Zelena.jpgRumple and Pan meet with Hades to exchange Zelena for the baby contract. Hades destroys the contract, but Pan decides to change the deal. He wants Zelena’s heart so he can return to the real world. Luckily for Zelena, Emma shows up and stops Pan from taking Zelena’s heart. Rumple and Pan leave, and Hades shares True Love’s kiss with Zelena. Hades is now free to leave the Underworld, and he tells Emma that a portal to Storybrooke will open later that day. Hades then holds up his end of the deal and removes everyone’s names from the graves, but they only have until sunset to get through the portal.

Emma is Determined to Save Hook

Regina splits Emma’s heart, but it does not work in reviving Hook because he has been dead for too long. Emma wants to find another way to bring Hook home, and Hades claims there was once a couple who managed the task. The couple — Orpheus and Eurydice — escaped his realm when Orpheus fed Eurydice ambrosia, aka food of the gods. The Underworld apparently has a supply of ambrosia, but it’s extremely difficult to get to. (They have to use a special elevator to get there and it’s a place Hades claims even he has never been.) Hades then explains that Emma and Hook will have to pass a test to prove they are worthy of taking the ambrosia. The couple decide to make the journey, and Emma tells Regina that if they are not back by sunset, everyone should leave without them.

Zelena Takes the Baby

OUAT 5x20 Baby.jpgRobin meets up with the rest of the heroes and Regina eventually convinces him to let Zelena take the baby to the portal while they work on freeing the rest of the trapped souls. I know Robin loves Regina, but it makes absolutely no sense for him to insist on staying with her instead of taking his daughter to the portal. Regina may have a lot of enemies in the Underworld, but she is more than capable of protecting herself, and she has Charming and Henry as backup if anyone tries to mess with her. By refusing to leave Regina’s side, he’s willingly separated himself from his daughter yet again. I don’t think we’re meant to see Robin or the Charmings as bad parents, but the decisions they’ve been making this season are not painting them in the best light.

Hades Bests the Heroes

While they wait for Emma and Hook, Henry insists that they cannot leave the Underworld without at least trying to help the souls left behind. Regina and Charming agree, so Henry uses his Author powers to help some of the trapped souls figure out their unfinished business. Unfortunately, Cruella arrives and interrupts him before he can get to everyone. Cruella turns out to be working with the Blind Witch, and the women trap the heroes in the library to prevent them from making it to the portal in time. Regina eventually realizes that the witches are being aided by Hades and this was his plan all along. Meanwhile, Hades convinces Zelena to go through the portal to Storybrooke even though the heroes haven’t arrived yet.

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Emma Says Goodbye to Hook

OUAT 5x20 Emma Hook Bye.jpgThe test Emma and Hook have to pass is, predictably, a True Love test. They have to weigh Emma’s heart to see if her love for Hook is true. At first, it doesn’t work, but when Emma risks her life to save him, they pass the test. Alas, when Hook and Emma make it to the ambrosia field, the whole thing is dead. Emma and Hook then realize that Hades betrayed them and they need to get back to their friends. As they are about to leave the chamber, Hook tells Emma that he is not going with her. He makes her promise not to put her walls back up in the wake of losing him, and Emma makes him promise that he will find a way to move on from the Underworld. Emma and Hook tearfully say their goodbyes and Emma leaves Hook behind.

Emma Puts on Her Armor

OUAT 5x20 Emma Armor.jpgIn flashbacks to Emma’s past, we see Emma looking for information on her birth parents. She meets a mysterious woman who turns out to be a bounty hunter tasked with taking Emma back to Phoenix after she jumped bail. The woman, Cleo, takes Emma into custody, and Emma uses the opportunity to search through official databases for information on her birth parents. Emma discovers that the local courthouse has a file on her and she agrees to cooperate with Cleo if the woman takes her there.  While they wait at the courthouse, the women bond and Cleo tells Emma that she needs to find her “armor” so she can protect herself from her emotions. When Emma’s search does not pan out, Emma is devastated. Later that night, she breaks into the courthouse to look for more information and Cleo follows her. The police arrive and Cleo gets injured in their escape. As the woman bleeds out, she tells Emma that she is holding too tightly to the past and she needs to let go. Later, Emma takes up a job as a bail bonds-person and tracks down the daughter Cleo gave up for adoption. She tells the girl about her mother’s death, and it is there that Emma finds her infamous red jacket, aka her “armor.”

Rumple Betrays Pan

Rumple seemingly tries to wake Belle with True Love’s kiss, but it does not work. This means that Rumple needs to get Belle back to Storybrooke in the hopes that her father can wake her. Pan offers to help Rumple get Belle home, but he needs a heart to accomplish that. 

Pan offers Rumple Pandora’s box — which he can apparently put Belle in to keep her safe — in exchange for his help. To that end, Rumple corners Robin, takes his heart, and makes him forget the whole thing. Rumple then gives Pan the heart, but something is wrong. It turns out that Rumple only took Robin’s heart for show before ultimately returning it to him. What did Rumple actually place in his father’s chest? A wineskin filled with water from the River of Lost Souls. Once Pan has been dealt with, Rumple puts Belle in Pandora’s box and takes the portal back to Storybrooke.

Almost Everyone Leaves the Underworld

OUAT 5x20 Almost Everyone Leaves.jpgEmma returns to the heroes, and Regina and Emma combine their magic to break out. The heroes make it to the portal in time, and despite Emma’s initial hesitation, they leave the Underworld without Hook. (Henry leaves behind a book he wrote to help the remaining souls with their unfinished business, so I guess that completes Operation Firebird.) Since I doubt anyone is buying that Hook is gone for good, how do you think he will get back from the Underworld? If his body has been decomposing back in Storybrooke this whole time, will he get a new one or will his original body be magically restored?

Once Upon a Time season 5 airs Sunday nights at 8pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Megan Cole

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV