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There may be a way. A way for me to go back into a deep slumber... One that can let me access it again.

Mary Margaret to Emma and Mulan

"Into the Deep" is the eighth episode of Season Two of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Kalinda Vazquez & Daniel T. Thomsen and directed by Ron Underwood. It is the thirtieth episode of the series overall, and premiered on November 25, 2012.


Cora does everything in her power to steal the compass away from Mary Margaret and Emma in her quest to find the entrance to Storybrooke. Meanwhile, in order to protect Henry from further danger, Regina and Mr. Gold must put David's life in jeopardy in an attempt to put him in contact with Mary Margaret across the lands to give her vital information that could help her and Emma return through the portal back to Storybrooke.[1]


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

In the Enchanted Forest, Hook, having just completed his climb down the Beanstalk, is greeted by Cora, who asks for the compass. Hook explains that he does not possess it, and Cora responds that he has betrayed her. Hook tells her he always intended to bring it to her, and that he will retrieve it from Emma Swan and the two of them will travel to Storybrooke together. Cora replies she does not have time for his games, and leaves him, alone with no way to Storybrooke, and his taste for vengeance left unquenched.

Cora reappears at the survivor's camp. She removes a heart from a drawer within her makeshift vault. After she blows on it with her magic, it causes other drawers to glow and come out. Standing in the doorway of the shack, using the heart, she commands several of the heartless bodies scattered about to rise.

Emma shows a picture of Henry to a drowsy Aurora and asks her if this is the boy she saw. Aurora then confirms Henry's identity. Emma is confused as to how Aurora and Henry could be sharing the same dream, but Mary Margaret speaks up and states that she may know how this is happening. She tells the other three women that she experienced the same world of flame and smoke as Aurora and Henry had after being released from the Sleeping Curse. Aurora angrily confronts her as to why Mary Margaret did not inform her of this, and Mary Margaret tells her she did not want to worry Aurora any more than she needed to. The group decides that Aurora should go back to sleep and contact Henry. In her fiery nightmare Aurora once again contacts Henry. She tells him that her name is Aurora and that she is with his mother and grandmother, and that they need his help.

Henry wakes up from this nightmare and tells David and Regina about what he saw. Both are excited that Emma and Mary Margaret are alive, but Henry tells Regina that they need help stopping her mother.

Meanwhile, Belle and Mr. Gold are enjoying burgers at Granny's Diner, before Regina interrupts them. He does not want to help until she tells Mr. Gold that Cora is trying to come to Storybrooke. He believed that she was dead, and they talk of the animosity that she would have for both of them. Belle then asks who Cora is, Mr. Gold replies by telling her she will never have to meet her.

As they are walking through the forest, Mulan notices the burns on Aurora's arms and confronts her about it. Aurora states that she rubbed against some poison ivy, which Mulan does not believe. Mulan promised Phillip that she would protect Aurora and tells her not to keep returning to the Netherworld, if she is in danger there. However Aurora tells Mulan that it is her turn to help someone, and that she is doing this with or without Mulan's approval.   

Regina brings Henry one of his blankets from her house as he prepares to fall asleep to contact Aurora. David asks if Henry feels comfortable to do this, Henry says yes and that he wants to be a hero. Mr. Gold begins to tell Henry a bedtime story, he tells him that Snow White and Prince Charming had Cinderella use a quill with special squid ink to stun him once, and that more ink is located in his jail cell.

Aurora goes back to sleep a little while later, where she sees Henry again amidst the smoke and flames. The two attempt to communicate as the flames rage and Henry attempts to tell her of the jar of ink in Rumplestiltskin's cell at the ruins of their castle. Before Aurora can understand Henry or respond, Mulan wakes Aurora, causing her to be sucked up into a void and back into consciousness, where the group is under attack by the zombies that Cora summoned. Aurora and Mulan run off together, but are attacked by a group of zombies. One pins Mulan to the ground while the others drag away a screaming Aurora.

Henry wakes up from his dream. Mr. Gold asks him if he told them about the squid ink. Henry tells him that she got sucked out of the dream. Regina and David are frightened when they notice a burn on Henry's arm.

Aurora is imprisoned in the cell beneath the former Haven. Cora comes in carrying a tray of stew. A stoic Aurora informs her that she will not be eating, as she is fearful that the food may be poisoned. Cora laughs and says that Aurora is more useful to her alive than dead, as she intends to trade Aurora for the magic compass. Aurora states that this is a bad idea, as she is a stranger to Mary Margaret and Emma and the two of them want to get home, and will do anything to do so, including sacrificing her. Cora informs Aurora she may not know her companions as well as she thinks. Cora then tells Aurora that when the Wraith sucked the soul from Phillip, the soul was not in fact destroyed, but was sent to another world. Cora hints that if Aurora cooperates with her, she may be able to summon Phillip's soul back to the Enchanted Forest. Aurora does not believe her and rebukes her, standing up angrily and upsetting the tray of food. An angry Cora flings the "plucky" girl against the wall with her magic, knocking Aurora unconscious.

As the group is hacking their way through the forest with Mulan leading, a raven swoops onto Mary Margaret's shoulder. It communicates to her that if the magical compass is not given to Cora by sundown, then Aurora will be killed. Immediately, Mulan demands the compass from Emma, and when Emma does not give it freely, she moves to physically take it from her. Mary Margaret says that if Mulan can make more sleeping powder, then she can contact Henry. Emma and Mary Margaret convince her to allow them till sundown to come up with a plan to save Aurora without losing the compass. If that does not work, then they will give the compass to Mulan so she can rescue Aurora.

In Storybrooke, Mr. Gold magically heals Henry's burns. David and Regina do not want to risk Henry's life by sending him back to a place when Aurora is no longer present. David realizes that Snow will be there instead. He asks if he can be put under a sleeping curse to contact Snow. Mr. Gold says that, if they do this, he may never wake up, but David says that when he and Snow kiss he will wake up and be fine.

Aurora sleepily awakens and finds herself face to face with Hook standing over her.  She is immediately on guard, but Hook informs her that he is helping her to escape to foil Cora's plans. Aurora does not believe him at first, but Hook states that Cora double crossed him, and for Aurora to tell Emma that their deal for passage to Storybrooke still stands. Aurora thanks him and runs from the dungeon.

Emma and Mary Margaret follow Mulan through the woods. Emma then asks how bad the Netherworld is. Mary Margaret is honest and tells her that it is dark and lonely, where all you can think about is how you will never see any of your loved ones again. Emma begins to feel guilty for causing Henry to fall under a sleeping curse, but Mary Margaret assures her that she herself feels guilty for causing Regina to enact the curse and that they must journey on if they want to get back. Emma says that ultimately Regina is to blame for everything.

As David and Mr. Gold talk about the sleeping curse, Regina mixes the ingredients in Mr. Gold's shop. Henry walks in and asks her if she has been using magic. Regina tells him that she has been trying not to. Henry seems to be happy about this, that she is trying to help people, and watches as the sleeping curse drips into a blue liquid. Henry still thinks that he should be the one to contact Aurora, but Regina says that this is one of the few things she and David agree on, and that Snow and Charming always find each other.

Mulan leads them to the poppy, where she  prepares to cut it and crush it with her dagger.

Mr. Gold says that the first and easiest way to deliver a sleeping curse was through blood, which is why it was first used through a needle. Mr. Gold then  gives a needle to Regina who sticks it into the blue liquid, causing it to be absorbed into the needle. Then she puts the needle into the spinning wheel. Henry hugs David as he says goodbye. David assures him that everything will be fine, Henry hands him the necklace that will protect David.

Back in the Enchanted Forest Mulan crushes a poppy flower with her blade until it becomes poppy dust. Mary Margaret settles against a tree while Emma holds her hand and tells her to say "hi" to Henry.  Mulan then blows the dust into Mary Margaret's face, putting her to sleep

David looks at the needle, ready to prick his finger. Before he does, he asks how he will find Mary Margaret if they are in two separate areas. Mr. Gold says that that's what they need him to find out. After this he pricks his finger and falls asleep.

David walks through the nightmare and grabs a torch to find his way around while Mary Margaret searches for Henry in the netherworld.

David notices that the necklace Henry gave him is beginning to glow. The heat causes him to drop the necklace. While bending down to retrieve it he notices the heat coming from the floor, then realizing it is because of the fiery room beneath, so he breaks through the floor using his torch and falls into the fiery room. He calls out for Mary Margaret, the two see each other and run to each other despite the flames surrounding them. Quickly, David tells her about the ink that they can use to stop Cora. Mary Margaret then realizes that he is under a sleeping curse. She attempts to wake him through true love's kiss, but they pass through each other because they aren't in the physical world. David tells her that he has faith that she will get back to Storybrooke and wake him. Mary Margaret begins to cry as she wakes up from the sleeping powder, leaving David in the fiery dream.

In Storybrooke, Henry is worried as to why David is not waking up. Regina tries to tell him that everything is normal, but neither she nor Mr. Gold believe that.

In the Enchanted Forest, Mary Margaret wakes up and scrambles to find some leftover poppy dust, stating that David is all alone in the dream world and she has to get back to him.  Emma tells her that they used it all, but tries to comfort her, stating that they will be able to return and awaken David.  Mary Margaret rounds on her, asking her how she is so sure of this.  Emma states that she believes in the love that Mary Margaret and David have for each other.  Mary Margaret smilingly acknowledges this, but the two then discover that Mulan has run off with the compass.  The two of them go after Mulan, and an angry Mary Margaret nearly hits Mulan with an arrow, stating the next one will be between her shoulder blades.  Mary Margaret tackles Mulan when she refuses to give her the compass, and nearly kills her before Aurora jumps in, revealing she has escaped from Cora's jail cell with the help of Hook. 

Meanwhile, Cora comes down to find the cell empty and Hook standing there by himself. He tells Cora that he let Aurora go. In a rage she flings him up against the wall and binds him with rock manacles. She rips out his hook and moves to cut his chest open with it, but Hook then tells her to look in his satchel, saying that he has brought Cora a present. Cora looks inside and gasps at what is in there: the heart of Aurora which was ripped out by Hook. Cora uses the heart to control Aurora, and she can see and hear whatever is going on. Through Aurora, Cora tells the group that Hook is trustworthy and likes Emma. As she hears that the small group are headed for Rumplestiltskin's cell, she smiles an evil smile.



Guest Starring



Production Notes

  • OBSERVATIONS: This is the first episode that there wasn't used any flashbacks or flashforwards.
  • According to Ginnifer Goodwin, the raven that landed on her shoulder during filming is named Chili.[6]
  • OBSERVATIONS: In the episode promo, Aurora is pulled out of the Netherworld in a cloud of purple haze.[7] In the actual episode, grey smoke surrounds her.[8]

Event Chronology

  • The Netherworld events take place after "Child of the Moon" and before "Queen of Hearts".(For more details, see the Netherworld timeline)

Episode Connections


Fairytales and Folklore

Popular Culture

Set Dressing

  • BRAND INFO: The lamp is known as an Anthropologie One-Lump-Or-Two Lamp Base[19] (no longer available).

Costume Notes

Filming Locations

International Titles



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 LISTINGS: ONCE UPON A TIME. The Futon Critic. “Air Date: Sunday, November 25, 2012. Time Slot: 8:00 PM-9:00 PM EST on ABC. Episode Title: (#208) "Into the Deep"”
  2. TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: Sunday Night Football Tops Week 9 Viewing Among Adults 18-49 and is Number 1 With Total Viewers. TV by the Numbers (November 27, 2012). “ONCE UPON A TIME-11/25. ABC. 8822.”
  3. File:208Title.png
  4. TwitterLogo.svg @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (October 16, 2012). "ep 8 "into the deep" ep 9 "queen of hearts"" (screenshot)
  5. File:208AsIDo.png
  6. Once Upon A Time' Cast And Crew Interview. Comic-Con 2013. Entertainment Weekly. YouTube (August 8, 2013).
  7. File:2x08 - Into the Deep - Promo
  8. File:208WakingUp.png
  9. File:208MightUniteUs.png
  10. Little Snow-White: Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. University of Pittsburgh (November 15, 2015). “They said, "We cannot bury her in the black earth," and they had a transparent glass coffin made, so she could be seen from all sides. They laid her inside, and with golden letters wrote on it her name, and that she was a princess. Then they put the coffin outside on a mountain, and one of them always stayed with it and watched over her. The animals too came and mourned for Snow-white, first an owl, then a raven, and finally a dove.”
  11. Mermaid. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved on November 15, 2021. “In European folklore, mermaids (sometimes called sirens) and mermen were natural beings who, like fairies, had magical and prophetic powers.”
  12. Julie Morstad. UPPERCASE (December 10, 2007). Archived from the original on April 6, 2017.
  13. Julie Morstad. Penguin Random House Canada. Retrieved on August 24, 2018.
  14. File:208TheyreAlive!.png
  15. File:218BelieveItWasnt.png
  16. File:617ThereMightBe.png
  17. File:208ICanDoThis.png
  18. File:117HowDidYouGetOut.png
  19. One-Lump-Or-Two Lamp Base. Anthropologie. Archived from the original on January 28, 2014.
  20. File:208ShesNot.png
  21. BCBGMAXAZRIA Women's Khloe Stretch Floral Lace Dress. Amaxon. Retrieved on August 24, 2018.
  22. File:208NecklaceBroken.png
  23. File:208NecklaceBroken2.png
  24. Colin O'Donoghue on the Season Two Blu-ray/DVD Audio Commentary for "And Straight On 'Til Morning"
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 Block, Sheri (November 27, 2012). Once upon a time, CTV.ca's Sheri Block visited the 'Once' set. CTV Television Network.
  26. Ginnifer Goodwin on the Season One Blu-ray/DVD Audio Commentary for "7:15 A.M."
  27. David H. Goodman and Colin O'Donoghue on the Season Two Blu-ray/DVD Audio Commentary for "And Straight On 'Til Morning"