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Once Upon a Time Recap: ‘Heart of Gold’

Guess who’s back? Back again. 

At the beginning of “Heart of Gold,” we find the Emma, Mary Margaret, and David hunting for the Author, who finally escaped his storybook prison at the end of the last episode. We also get to see the Charming’s worst fears realized: Emma knows what her parents did and she’s clearly upset about it. While the trio are having a less than charming family pow-wow, Rumpelstiltskin is in the midst of convincing the author to join him via offering him a magic quill with which to rewrite some new happy endings.

After the baddies realized Regina wasn’t really on their side two weeks ago, Rumple makes it clear to the newly reformed evil queen that she won’t be one of the lucky few getting one of these happy endings. He then hints that something has happened to her true love Robin and hands her a phone so she can call him.

In a flashback, we see Robin, Marian and Roland stepping over the Storybrooke city lines and wandering around New York looking for Neal’s (Baelfire) old place. With Neal dead (R.I.P.) that means his apartment is vacant and thanks to Regina, they have the key. While they are trying to find their new home, Marian’s purse gets stolen and we see Robin track down the thief on horseback. After finding his lady’s valuables, the settle into Neal’s old apartment. On the robbery, Marian cheekily remarks, “If this is New York, I’d hate to see the old one.” You got to love the juxtaposition of storybook characters and modern times.

Suddenly, Rumple shows up at his son’s old apartment and demands to know what the family is doing there. After being released from Storybrooke himself and with his patience running at an all time low, he fights with Robin, has a heart attack, and gets rushed to the hospital where he reveals to Robin that he can’t keep himself healthy without his magic.

This sparks a flashback within a flashback (inception?) to Sherwood Forest, many years ago. Robin is tending his new tavern when the Sheriff of Nottingham shows up to demand that the he pay his taxes, or else he will have him arrested. He has two days. With no way out, Robin takes Rumple up on a deal to help him with his finances if he steals a “the elixir of the wounded heart” from Oz. After toppling through the portal onto guard from the emerald city, he runs into Will Scarlet. They agree to work together after Robin promises to give some of the potion to Will–who’s been struggling with the loss of his sister.


Garbed in the Oz guard’s clothes, he enters the Wicked Witch of the West’s palace to swipe some of the elixir. Zelena shows up just in the knick of time to accost him and accuse him of working with Rumple. He escapes by the skin on his neck and lies to Will about the potion. Will explains what happened to his sister, and before Robin leaves, notices that Robin had the elixir stashed away in his pocket.

When the Sheriff shows up to Robin’s seemingly empty tavern again to ask for the money, Little John and co. pop out and point their arrows at him. They steal the money the Sheriff has on him and give it away to those in need. Thus Robin Hood’s days of stealing from the rich and giving to the needy begin and he makes plans with Marian to live their life as outlaws. He also gives her the six leaf clover of Oz.

Back in New York–remember this is still a flashback and not current times–Rumple tells Robin that he needs the “elixir of the wounded heart” again and reveals that it is stashed nearby. Robin breaks in to steal it and narrowly escapes being caught by the authorities. He then hits the hospital and offers the potion to Rumple and makes him promise to let them  have Neal’s apartment. When he leaves, Marian shows up and tells him that she switched the real elixir with cold medicine. Confused by why she would do such a thing, Rumple questions Marian who then transforms into Zelena who apparently never died.

The green witch reveals that when Emma traveled to the enchanted forest, she followed her through the portal and seized the opportunity to kill Marian and use Oz’s magical clover to transform into her. She explains that she wanted to make Robin fall in love with her but when she realized it was impossible, she sought the only person who’d be able to find the Author: Rumple. With the only means of saving him, she strikes up a deal with the dark one.

Obviously having taken the deal, Rumple meets with Robin who has some of his possessions to hand over. They talk about Marian and Robin reveals that he doesn’t feel anything for her anymore. Knowing full well that it is actually Zelena in disguise, Rumple neglects to tell Robin what he has just discovered and instead tells him to pursue his happiness with whoever he wants, which prompts Robin to head home and tell Marian that he wants to stay with her no matter what. After deleting Regina’s number from his phone, Robin embraces his wife who is revealed to be Zelena in the mirror’s reflection.

Once Upon a Time Heart of Gold Regina

Finally back in present time, Regina calls Robin’s number but is greeted by her sister instead. Zelena tells her about playing house with Robin  and that they will be seeing each other very soon. After she hangs up, Rumple tells her that she must help him turn Emma’s heart to darkness if she wants to keep her true love safe. When she tells him that she won’t let him get to Emma, he asks her if that is her final answer. Before she can answer, the episode ends. What a cliffhanger!

What do you think Regina’s answer will be? Are you glad to see the wicked witch is back in town? Let us know in the comments below, or start a conversation with me on Twitter: @sam3214.

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