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This article focuses on the Season One episode.
For the location, see Land Without Magic.
We're in a Land Without Magic, Belle. And I'm bringing it. Magic... is coming.
Mr. Gold

"A Land Without Magic" is the twenty-second and final episode of Season One of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz and directed by Dean White. It is the twenty-second episode of the series overall, and premiered on May 13, 2012.


Emma and Regina team together in order to find a way to save Henry's life. Meanwhile, in the fairytale land that was, Prince Charming attempts to escape from the Evil Queen's clutches in order to reunite with Snow White who, unbeknownst to him, has already taken a bite of the Queen's poison apple.[1]


This section is a detailed recap of this episode. There are major spoilers. Click to expand.

In the Enchanted Forest, Prince Charming is trying to break out of his cell in the dungeon of the Evil Queen's palace. A pair of guards arrive to escort him to his execution; however, he manages to escape while he is being moved, with help from another guard. This guard is revealed to be the Huntsman, who guides Prince Charming out of the castle and gives him his sword and some supplies.

In Storybrooke, Sheriff Emma Swan rushes to the hospital with Henry Mills. Dr. Whale asks what happened and Emma shows him the apple turn-over that Henry has eaten. Emma believes it was poisoned, but Dr. Whale dismisses this theory, saying Henry shows no visible signs of poisoning. Emma is distraught and demands an answer, but Dr. Whale does not have one for her. As Emma dumps open Henry's bag and sees his book, Dr. Whale says it is almost as if Henry has been struck by magic. Starting to believe, Emma picks up the book and the book flashes red - she witnesses a montage of events which occurred when she was a baby in the Enchanted Forest. Mayor Regina Mills arrives and Emma attacks her. She drags her to a storage closet, where she furiously accuses Regina of poisoning Henry. Distressed, Regina admits to the truth and Emma is further shocked. Regina adds that magic in this world is unpredictable and Emma questions what they should do. Regina says that they need help from the only other person who knows about magic. Emma alludes to Mr. Gold, and Regina responds that he is better known as Rumplestiltskin.

In the Enchanted Forest, the Evil Queen paces back and forth as the Huntsman enters. She questions why the Huntsman let Prince Charming escape and the Huntsman says that he will find him. At the Queen's request, the Magic Mirror shows Prince Charming running through the forest and the Queen magically transports him to the Infinite Forest. While running, Charming meets Rumplestiltskin who informs him of where he is and that the forest is inescapable - however, he offers his help. Rumplestiltskin enchants Prince Charming's mother's ring so that it will glow bright as he gets closer to Snow White. Prince Charming refuses to make a deal, and attempts to fight Rumplestiltskin for the ring, but Rumplestiltskin is able to heal himself and easily overpowers the prince. Rumplestiltskin says he wants Snow White and Prince Charming to be together, and that he will help him find her, on one condition.

In Storybrooke, David meets Mary Margaret by her car and apologizes for not believing in her, explaining that he does not understand why he does not make the right choices. David says he feels love for her and reveals that he is leaving Storybrooke to go to Boston, unless she can give him a reason not to. Mary Margaret, still hurt, cannot give him that reason and gets into her car.

In the Enchanted Forest, Rumplestiltskin shows Prince Charming the bottled true love potion, created from Snow White and Prince Charming's hair. He admits that he loved someone once a long time ago, but that she died, which he alludes to being why he seemingly wants to protect true love. Rumplestiltskin asks Prince Charming to hide it in the belly of the beast, for a "rainy day".

In Storybrooke, Regina and Emma visit Mr. Gold at his shop and ask for his help. He says that he has a bottle of true love that he smuggled from the Enchanted Forest. However, he warns them that retrieving it is the main problem and that it is Emma who must obtain the potion of true love. Mr. Gold asks Regina if their 'friend' is still in the basement because he hid it in her. To equip her for the quest, Mr. Gold gives Emma her father's sword.

Before retrieving the potion, Emma visits Henry, who is now in a coma. Emma apologizes to him for not believing. As she goes, she leaves the book with him for when he wakes up, and Regina walks in to say something. She cries and tells Henry she is sorry. Jefferson appears in the room but Regina tells him "now is not a good time". Regina says the deal was not completed as Emma did not eat the apple. Jefferson objects and, spitefully, Regina says she knows Jefferson cannot kill her and she leaves. Emma visits August, seeking help, but she discovers him, in his bed, slowly turning back to wood. August is happy that Emma finally believes. Emma tells him that she cannot save everyone without his help, but he believes that she can save Henry. August's transformation back to wood completes as Emma looks on helplessly.

Regina and Emma meet outside the clock tower and enter the boarded up, locked building. Inside, Regina reveals an elevator hidden behind a wall and explains that she must operate it whilst Emma goes down. She also explains that she trapped a 'friend' as punishment, but in a different form. Emma unsheathes the sword and goes down in the elevator.

In the Enchanted Forest, Prince Charming confronts Maleficent in the Forbidden Fortress, demanding to know where the "beast that guards the castle" is. Maleficent quickly repels him away and magically extinguishes all the candles in the room, leaving Prince Charming swinging his sword wildly in the dark. She then transforms into a dragon and the two start to fight. Prince Charming looks for a way to get the dragon to eat the egg. He jumps on her back and implants the egg in her before jumping out a window into the lake far below.

Later, Prince Charming rejoins Rumplestiltskin, who is waiting on shore, and regains the ring from him. He declares that with the ring, he will find Snow White. Rumplestiltskin says something is missing and magically transforms the Prince's outfit into more regal attire.

In Storybrooke, Emma descends down the elevator shaft and exits into the mining tunnels deep underground, where she passes by Snow White's coffin. She backs up against a wall, when a giant green eye appears. The wall turns out to be a dragon and Emma backs away, briefly overwhelmed and frightened. She casts the sword aside and draws her gun, shooting at the dragon with no effect. The dragon slips down into a chasm and Emma thinks that she is gone but she reappears.

Mary Margaret reads the storybook to Henry as he lies comatose in the hospital. She sadly explains to him why she gave him the book - to help him understand that life does not always have a happy ending. Henry's heart rate starts to fall and doctors rush into the ward. A panicking Mary Margaret is escorted from the room. Amidst the rush, a man, revealed to be Jefferson, walks through a secured door, leading to the cell where Belle is confined. After drugging the duty nurse and releasing Belle, he instructs her to find Mr. Gold and tell him Regina locked her up.

Emma continues fighting the Dragon, to no avail. As the dragon rushes toward her, Emma takes the sword and hurls it at the dragon. Maleficent's dragon form is struck by the sword and destroyed, and amongst the ashy remains lies the egg.

In the Enchanted Forest, Prince Charming gallops on horse-back through the forest down a path and comes across Snow White's glass coffin, surrounded by dwarves, who are mourning her loss. They tell Charming that he is too late. He begs the dwarves to open the coffin, and they do. Charming gives Snow White one farewell kiss and magically, she awakens and they are reunited.

Later, Prince Charming and Snow White are walking along a beach overlooking King George's castle. Snow White asks Charming how he found her and he shows her the enchanted ring. Prince Charming proposes to Snow White and she joyfully accepts. Charming mentions that his father and her step-mother are still a problem, and Snow White suggests they take back the kingdom. When Charming asks how they will do that, she says they will do it together.

In Storybrooke, David begins the drive out of Storybrooke forever. Emma is on her way when the elevator stops and Mr. Gold appears. He tells her that Regina meant to trap her and has sabotaged the elevator, so she must throw the egg to him. He takes the egg from Emma and promises her that her boy will be fine. He departs, leaving Emma in the elevator. As she climbs out of the shaft, Emma discovers Regina, tied to a chair and gagged. Regina is freed and declares that Mr. Gold tricked them into retrieving the egg for him. Suddenly, both women's cell phones begin to ring. Emma answers hers and announces that it is the hospital. The two rush to the hospital, but are confronted with the news that Henry has died. Both women are visibly distraught, as Emma enters the ICU.

Mr. Gold is opening up the egg in his shop and removes the bottle of true love. He hears someone enter and quickly hides the bottle. It is Belle's counterpart, who, disheveled and seemingly confused, tells him that Regina locked her up. He is shocked, but clearly overjoyed that she is alive and promises her that he will protect her. Confused, she asks if she knows him, and he replies that she will.

Back at the hospital, Regina looks on Henry's lifeless body and breaks down crying on Dr. Whale's shoulder. Emma, still shocked, slowly approaches Henry's body, silently weeping, and says she loves him. She bends over and kisses him gently on the forehead. As her tears fall on Henry, a wave of magical light radiates out from them, similar to what occurred with Snow White when she was kissed by Prince Charming. Henry then wakes up, much to the amazement of those gathered. The wave of magic spreads out through all of Storybrooke, affecting Mary Margaret, Ruby and her Granny, Archie Hopper, and David, who stops his truck before the city limits. Henry tells Emma that she has broken the curse, much to Regina's dismay. Everyone in the room looks at Regina and Mother Superior advises 'Her Majesty' to hide. Before she leaves, Regina tells Henry that she really does love him. David returns to Storybrooke and he and Mary Margaret call to each other on the street by their true names, "Snow" and "Charming". The two then kiss.

Meanwhile, an upset Regina is crying in Henry's bedroom, into his pillow. Belle and Mr. Gold are walking in the forest and she abruptly tells him to wait, using his true name Rumplestiltskin. She says she remembers everything and that she loves him. Mr. Gold replies that he loves her too, but there will be "plenty of time for that." The two hug and they then continue to walk. They arrive at the wishing well. Mr. Gold drops the bottle of true love down into its waters, which can return that which was lost. A purple mist begins to spew forth from the well, it quickly spreads out into the town. Everyone in Storybrooke takes notice, as the mist begins to come to Storybrooke. When asked by Emma, Henry refers to it as "something bad". Mr. Gold explains to Belle's counterpart that magic is coming to Storybrooke. She questions why he would want that, and he replies "because magic is power."

Regina looks out of Henry's window and smiles wickedly as she sees the purple mist approaching and spreading over Storybrooke. The final scene zooms in on the town clock as it ticks for a final time, striking 8:15, before it is engulfed by the mist.



Guest Starring



*: Only in archive footage



  • The title card features a cloud of magic, either the Dark Curse or the magic that has been brought by Mr. Gold.[4]
    • This is the first title card not to be accompanied by the usual opening music.
  • The title of this episode was announced by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on March 20, 2012.[5]

Production Notes

Event Chronology

Episode Connections



Fairytales and Folklore

Popular Culture

Props Notes

Set Dressing

Costume Notes


Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale

  • As the elevator stops, Mr. Gold tells Emma that Regina had him take over for her. Unlike the episode's events, Regina is not tied to the chair by Mr. Gold. Instead, she ran off to the hospital to watch over Henry.[45]

International Titles



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 LISTINGS: ONCE UPON A TIME. The Futon Critic. “Air Date: Sunday, May 13, 2012. Time Slot: 8:00 PM-9:00 PM EST on ABC. Episode Title: (#122) "A Land Without Magic"”
  2. TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: 'American Idol' & 'NCIS' Top Week 34 Viewing. TV by the Numbers (May 15, 2012). “ONCE UPON A TIME. ABC. 9665.”
  3. LISTINGS: ONCE UPON A TIME. Air Date: Sunday, September 25, 2016. Time Slot: 8:00 PM-9:00 PM EST on ABC. Episode Title: (#601) "The Savior".. The Futon Critic (September 2016). “Peter Marcin as Chief”
  4. File:122Title.png
  5. TwitterLogo @AdamHorowitzLa (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (March 20, 2012). "Our #OnceUponATime season finale title: "A Land Without Magic" -- so excited for y'all to see it!" (screenshot)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Jennifer Morrison on the Season One Blu-ray/DVD Audio Commentary
  7. Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz on the Season One Blu-ray/DVD Audio Commentary
  8. File:122CurseBroken.png
  9. File:523MagicIsBack.png
  10. File:307Spell2.png
  11. File:622Storybrooke2.png
  12. Once Upon A Time Panel SDCC 2012 (Part 2 of 2). YouTube (July 16, 2012).
  13. Ausiello, Michael (May 16, 2012). Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Once, Vamp Diaries, Glee, Bones, Nikita, HIMYM, Community and More. TVLine. “The smoke that poured out of the well and swept through Storybrooke was originally going to be green, to match the mist that consumed fairytale land in the pilot. But it was changed to purple to be “more symbolic and magical,” Lana Parrilla tells us.”
  14. File:122ClockMoves.png
  15. File:101ClockMoves.png
  16. File:102ClockMoves.png
  17. File:412Clock.png
  18. File:622TheClockTicks.png
  19. File:122DontBeLate.png
  20. File:119SneakingIn.png
  21. File:212Well.png
  22. File:122CurseBroken2.png
  23. File:117DingDong.png
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 File:122PicksUpBook.png
  25. File:120CodeRed.png
  26. Once Upon A Time - Fairy Tale Props. YouTube (May 10, 2013).
  27. File:122EnterTheDragon.png
  28. File:215Leaving.png
  29. File:303ThanThatSwan.png
  30. File:318PlanItself.png
  31. 31.0 31.1 File:122BeyondHope.png
  32. File:103CallingTheMayor.png
  33. File:212OhMyGod.png
  34. File:122HoldingPotion.png
  35. File:122WouldYouLike.png
  36. File:108RunsIntoDavid.png
  37. File:122WhatIsThisPlace.png
  38. File:510LeavingLibrary.png
  39. File:108DavidHi.png
  40. File:122ClockMoves.png
  41. File:101Clock2.png
  42. File:101Pinocchio.png
  43. File:122IPromise.png
  44. File:122HappyReunion.png
  45. Beane, Odette. Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale, New York: Hyperion, 2013, pp. 333 – 334.

Start a Discussion Discussions about A Land Without Magic

  • 1x22 Henry didn't die

    3 messages
    • Agree
    • I don't think it matters. It's really semantics and depends on your definition of death. By all real-world standards, he was dead --...
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