The Cave of the Departed is where people come to speak with others who have already passed on to the afterlife. Mr. Gold arrives at the temple's altar and conjures a photo of his deceased wife Belle and tells her about his journey thus far in tracking down the Guardian. He mentions that it's only been a short time since their separation, but both he and Gideon miss her very much. An unknown man interrupts him, introducing himself as Dr. Facilier, and claims that though anyone can come to speak to the dead, he can actually hear them. Facilier demonstrates knowledge of Mr. Gold's wish to ask Belle if the girl he met, Alice, is the Guardian, and then expresses a desire to have the Dark One powers for himself. He proceeds to stab a needle into a voodoo doll, which, to his surprise, does nothing. Mr. Gold sneers at the man for thinking he could take him out with a pincushion before magically choking him and forcing him to reveal what Belle said. Facilier admits the Guardian must be pure of heart but the only way to know for sure is to test Alice, in addition to Belle wanting Mr. Gold to hurry as there is still darkness inside him which he will succumb to. Studying at his own hand, which is becoming scaly, Mr. Gold realizes he is telling the truth and lets him go. He then turns back to the photo of Belle and swears to her that he will find the Guardian soon.
When Alice proves to be the Guardian, Mr. Gold brings her to the temple, where they bond over their shared experiences in watching the world go by without them, and how their significant others were the first people to truly see them. Alice, though unsure at first how to accept the Dark One powers, feels the Dark One Dagger's call and takes the weapon into her hand. Ribbons of the darkness rush out of Mr. Gold and into the dagger, with his name being erased from it, prompting his scaly skin to dissipate. Suddenly, Mr. Gold hears Belle's voice and is reminded of her last words to him, in which she praised him for being a good man and that he would one day find a way to free himself from the dagger to reunite with her. Watching Alice turn the dagger into a ball of magic, he realizes he cannot sacrifice her happiness for his own and knocks it away from her, forcing it to revert to the dagger. Mr. Gold explains that he made a promise not to pass on his powers if it would be a burden because her ascension as the Guardian will make her immortal and as trapped as she once was in Gothel's tower. Instead, he wishes for her to live out her days happily and grow old with the one she loves even if it means he will succumb to the darkness again. Alice, touched by his selflessness, swears to not let that happen by vowing to be there to remind him of the person he truly is on the inside. ("The Guardian")
|Once Upon a Time: Season Seven|
|"Hyperion Heights":||"A Pirate's Life":||"The Garden of Forking Paths":||"Beauty":||"Greenbacks":||"Wake Up Call":||"Eloise Gardener":||"Pretty in Blue":||"One Little Tear":||"The Eighth Witch":||"Secret Garden":|
|"A Taste of the Heights":||"Knightfall":||"The Girl in the Tower":||"Sisterhood":||"Breadcrumbs":||"Chosen":||"The Guardian":||"Flower Child":||"Is This Henry Mills?":||"Homecoming":||"Leaving Storybrooke":|