Once Upon a Time revisits a time during the Time of the Dark Curse in its throwback storyline in this episode, titled “Awake.” While Storybrooke is under its first curse, Snow and David find a way to be awake, but how does their decision affect their future? And in present day, David urges Regina to hurry and find a way to break his sleeping curse so Emma will have her parents by her side during the final battle. And Hook finds a way to contact Emma while in Neverland.

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The Time of the Dark Curse

Back in Storybrooke, at the Time of the Dark Curse, Snow finds a flower on the street and brings it to David, who is in a coma in bed. Some dust falls onto him, and he wakes up but not just from the coma — also from the curse. He remembers everything and is confused as to what’s going on. Snow calls him crazy, but when she touches him, she remembers everything too. Snow sends David out to find Rumple, in the hope that he is awake from the curse too, while she distracts Regina from finding out they are awake.

At first, Rumple doesn’t remember, but upon mentioning Emma’s name, he is awakened too. He tells David that Emma is destined to save them but doesn’t know where she is or how she will do it. Rumple then tells David that the flower that woke him up contains pixie dust that will reunite anyone who has true love, and it could reunite them with Emma.

In the woods, Regina tests Snow, thinking that she’s awake. But before Snow can reveal herself, the townsfolk join in on the search party for David, thinking he’s sleepwalking. Snow then meets up with David to try and find Emma, but Rumple stops them. He explains that they’ve only been under the curse for 10 years, and Emma will be far too young to save them now. He says the only way is to drink a potion that will put them all back under the curse until the time is right for Emma to break it.

Snow and David heed his advice but use the pixie dust to find Emma. They see her in her room as a child. And even though David wants to go to her, Snow says they can’t. She says they can’t be selfish and sacrifice the town, as the town needs Emma to save it when she’s ready and it’s her time. So instead, they say goodbye to their daughter and take the potion that Rumple gave them to go back under the curse.

Trapped in Neverland

Hook gets chased by the Lost Boys, as they want him to pay for Pan’s death. Tiger Lily shows up to knock out the boys as well as Hook. When he comes to, she explains that she needs him to get something to another realm. He tells her he needs to get back to the woman he loves. She doesn’t want to hear it and explains that she needs to get a piece of driftwood to another realm to the Savior, as a great darkness is coming to Storybrooke, and the driftwood is a weapon and the Savior’s only chance at winning the coming war. Upon hearing this, Hook tells her that they are talking about the same person.

Tiger Lily explains that the driftwood is part of a wand that is the most powerful ever made. She tells Hook that it has the power to banish the Black Fairy to the realm she was trapped in. They devise a plan to try and get Hook out of Neverland by using some of Pan’s old magic. Hook manages to get his shadow to appear but can’t escape the Lost Boys, so he gives the wand to his shadow and tells it to bring it to Emma.

Finding a Cure

In present day Storybrooke, Henry and Regina tell Emma and David about Henry’s drawings and the final battle. David doesn’t like the idea that Emma could possibly be facing the final battle without Hook and without her parents. He urges Regina to hurry up and break his sleeping curse.

Regina and Zelena try one way. They combine both hearts to weaken the curse. But it doesn’t work since the Evil Queen put a fail-safe on the curse, and now it’s stronger since both Snow and David will be asleep forever until it’s broken.

While David is awake and watching a message from Snow, he spots a pixie dust flower in the background. He knows that is the way that the curse can be broken, so he wakes up Snow, and she and Emma go out in search of the pixie dust flowers. However, Zelena warns them that the pixie dust flowers only grow in the presence of great evil. So, of course, there’s a field of them in the woods where the Black Fairy is hanging out with Gideon. The Black Fairy has Gideon destroy the field so that Emma will face her without her parents. However, after they disappear, Emma spies one single flower left.

Regina prepares the pixie dust to wake up Snow and David, but before they can use it, Hook’s shadow flies in with the driftwood wand and his hook. Emma knows he’s in trouble, so Snow reveals that they’ve used the pixie dust before and wants Emma to use it to find Hook. Then she falls fast asleep with David.

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Breaking the Sleeping Curse

Emma uses the pixie dust and opens a portal to Neverland, just as the Lost Boys sentence Hook to death. She rescues Hook and brings him back to Storybrooke, where he immediately apologizes for keeping secrets and running away. He then proposes to her again, and she eagerly says yes.

When Emma reveals that they used the last of the pixie dust to save him, Hook asks Regina if there’s any other way to wake up Snow and David. She says there is, but it’s risky. She then gathers everyone in town to her home, where she explains that if they all drink the sleeping curse, perhaps it will dilute the spell and wake up Snow and David. She explains that Snow once put herself last to save the town, so now the town needs to come through for her. Eventually, everyone takes a sip, and the curse is broken.

There is Some Good

After a first visit from the Black Fairy, where she leaves Rumple’s dagger with him at his shop, he goes to find her again and find out why. She is convinced that he will eventually join her dark family. But he has other plans. He says he knows that she’s controlling Gideon because she has his heart. He explains that he knows because there is still good in him, and since he managed to leave one pixie dust flower in the field, it shows he’s trying to resist the Black Fairy. Rumple tells her that he will get Gideon’s heart back. She threatens the entire town if he tries.

I’m very happy that Snow and David are awake, as they’ve spend a majority of season 6 under the Evil Queen’s sleeping curse. I’m also happy that Hook is reunited with Emma, and all is right with him and his terrible past. But now we just have to get to this final battle that we’ve been teased with since the beginning of Once Upon a Time season 6.

I have to say, it’s nice that the season is finally tying up all its loose ends and getting more focused, but some of this darkness/curse stuff has been done over and over again. I have a lot to wonder about the coming season and what will exactly happen during this final battle. Will the town be under another curse or will Emma save the day as she was destined to do? And now that Rumple is on to the Black Fairy, will he do whatever it takes to save his son or will he save Storybrooke too? I would have to believe in the end that he would save both, as Belle has a lot of influence over him.

What did you think of “Awake”? Are you happy now that season 6 seems to have a bit more focus on Emma and the final battle? What do you think will happen? Will it be another curse for Storybrooke or will Emma save the day? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC. Want more news? Like our Once Upon a Time Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of ABC)


Contributing Writer, BuddyTV