All magic comes with a price. It’s a lesson that Once Upon a Time has hammered into everyone at this point, and it’s a lesson that Rumplestiltskin must learn in this episode, “Devil’s Due.”
While flashbacks to Rumple’s time as a cowardly father show him trying to be willing to do anything to save his son, in the present in the Underworld he’s faced with a decision: what will he do to get home to his wife?
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Can Rumple Be Brave to Save His Son?
Back when Milah sees Rumplestiltskin as nothing more than someone who can play with their son and he tries to tell her he can be what she wants, they’re busy arguing when Baelfire is off getting bit by a snake.
They go to a healer in hopes that he can help them, but there are a couple big problems: without an antidote, Baelfire will be dead tomorrow, and the antidote costs 100 gold pieces. While Rumplestiltskin is worried about the cost, Milah has a better plan: go back and take it — and kill the healer before he can kill him. She spends the last of their gold on a dagger and sends Rumple off to go do something brave for once.
After he leaves, a man bumps into her in the tavern, and it’s one Captain Killian Jones who intervenes, sending the man on his way and charming Milah. He talks of traveling, even asks if she wants to see what’s out there, but she has responsibilities: her sick son and her husband. Still, before he leaves, he makes sure she knows the offer is there.
As for Rumple’s mission, he wakes the healer as he tries to find the antidote, but he can’t kill him when it comes to it. In fact, he doesn’t have to, if he’s willing to make a deal — and he is, if it means saving his son’s life. However, Milah’s not happy when she finds out the terms of the deal after giving their son the antidote: Rumple promised the healer his second-born child. She accuses him of selling their future, and once she’s sure her son is okay, she heads to the tavern.
But later, once Rumple is the Dark One, he goes back to see the healer. See, he’s not one for carrying debts, so to get rid of this one, he simply kills the healer.
Can Emma Get to Hook Before He’s Lost?
When Hook refuses to choose which of his friends must stay behind for the souls they saved, Hades decides to punish him with the River of Lost Souls (and with the cliche “I’m not angry, I’m disappointed and also angry”). Touch it, and it makes you lost, reducing you to a mindless, tormented husk.
Hades chains Hook up above it to think about why he’s there: he tried to escape, he freed another prisoner, he refuses to do what he asks and, most important, he and his friends brought hope into his world. And he wants the hope he still sees in Hook’s eyes gone by the time he is lowered into the water. Hades is going to hurt him, then hurt his friends and then there will be no one left to save him.
Meanwhile, Rumple makes a quick stop at his shop to find a note from his father (his offer still stands) and gets a peek at Belle back in Storybrooke via a crystal ball. After he drops the crystal ball, he rejoins the others and offers his services in finding Hook. All of them can’t try to sneak into Hades’ underground prison; not only would it alert him, but there are also barriers in place to keep the living out. They’re going to need help from a dead person to get past the blockade, and only Rumple and Emma are going in.
That’s where Milah comes in, as he turns to his ex-wife to help save the man she once loved. And if you thought their reunion’s awkward, Emma and Milah meeting is even worse. Yes, Emma has been with Milah’s former lover and son. But her connection to Neal is also why she knows he’s happy, which means she can assure his mother that he’s moved on to a better place.
The entrance is unsurprisingly in Emma’s house, but though Milah can leave once they’re past the barrier, she chooses to stay for her own reasons. The three of them make their way down the River of Lost Souls. Rumple stays with the boat because it’s too valuable to lose, and Milah stays behind to make sure he doesn’t try to steal it. Emma finds Hook and manages to unchain him before he is lowered into the River, and the two are reunited. But isn’t that just a bit too easy? There is still half an episode to go, after all.
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Does Rumple Make Another Deal?
Back at the boat, Milah tells her former husband that her unfinished business is their son. She knows she should have been there for him and not punished him because she hated his father. She thought that if she could change that, do something generous, maybe she can finish what she needs to. She wants to move on and see her son again, to tell him she’s sorry for everything. He’ll forgive her, Rumple assures her, because he forgave him.
That’s when Hades shows up, freezes Milah in place and whisks Rumple away to chat about a deal. See, Rumple has been quite the supplier for him, and he wants him back up top doing his thing. He doesn’t want his friends doing their thing, so he needs Rumple to sink the boat, aka their way out of the Underworld. If he does that, Hades will send him home to Belle. How eager is he to get home?
Very, it turns out, as Rumple destroys the boat and tosses Milah into the River of Lost Souls, placing the blame on Hades once Emma and Hook rejoin him.
Regina Gets Some Good News — and Then Even Better News
Elsewhere, Regina searches out the Blind Witch in her attempt to locate someone, but she finds Cruella, who has a map of “Underbrooke,” as Regina has nicknamed the place, with a list of cemetery plots. That comes in handy since magic is “tricky” down there. If a headstone is upright, the person is still there. If it’s tipped over, the soul has moved on to a better place.
It’s a good thing that when Regina, with Snow White with her, finds Daniel’s headstone, it’s tipped over. “Daniel, I’m so glad you’re somewhere better. I’m also sorry I missed the chance to see you,” she says. “You were my first love, Daniel, and you will always live in my heart. I just needed to know you were okay.”
And after that, her magic is working again, as she heals an injured horse and then creates a fireball. Regina is back.
New Underworld Problems
When everyone regroups, Regina tries to take Emma’s heart to split it so that Hook can get out when they do find a way home, but there’s a problem: she can’t. That’s because Hades took it upon himself to choose who’s staying (Regina, Snow White and Emma) when Hook refused. They’re stuck there, and they can’t use Emma’s heart to save Hook.
When Rumple returns to Hades in hopes of returning home to Belle, he’s in for a shock. Hades found his crystal ball, and he figured out that Rumple had asked it to show him his child. Belle is pregnant. And the contract he had with the healer? Well, the healer signed it over to Hades. Death doesn’t nullify a contract. At any time, Hades can cash in the debt and take his baby. All magic comes with a price, and in this case, it’s that Rumple works for him and there’s something Hades needs him to do that only he can.
Once Upon a Time season 5 airs Sundays at 8pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)