|Did I hear that right?|
SCENE: Land Without Magic. Past, December 1966. On television an armored knight rides through the forest. His sorrel rears. On screen the writing "Knight of Valor in VIBRAcolor" can be seen. A customer gives the screen a skeptical look and then turns around to face his wife.
Middle Aged Man: I don't know. Do we really need color? (A salesman approaches them)
Isaac Heller: 'Do we really need color?‘ (laughs) Do we need to settle for what came before? Don't you wanna really see the world? It's a complicated place and people are complex creatures. Their interior lives are painted with many different hues and shades. And the Zenith Marseille Color TV - it brings the profound complications of the universe right into your living room.
Middle Aged Man: Does it have a clicker?
Middle Aged Man: A clicker.
Hank: You mean the space command remote? (The higher salesman steps in and hands the clicker to the customer.) Why, that's included in the price, sir.
Middle Aged Man: (nods) Now we’re talking. (Hank notices an insignia tattoo on the customer’s wrist.)
Hank: Hey, were you a Ranger?
Middle Aged Man: Damn right. 25. Infantry Division. You were in the service?
Hank: You bet. 187. Airborne. Company A. We heard a lot about your unit. You guys were real heroes. (The customer nods approvingly.) Tell you what: Why don't you take this out for a test drive, huh? See, how it feels. (Salesman indicates Isaac to follow him. Out of earshot of the customers they have a little chat.) What the hell are you doing, Isaac? Rambling on about weird technical crap? You're supposed to be selling!
Isaac: I was.
Hank: No. No, you were selling them across the street to Gimbels. Now, I hired you because you said you wanted to be a writer.
Isaac: I am a writer.
Hank: Stacks of rejected manuscripts in the break room don't count. But I figured you know something about telling stories. That's how you sell. And now, I get why you don't have a picture on the back of a book yet. You don't tell stories people want. (Hank leaves Isaac alone. Isaac shuffles through the letters piled up on the table. He opens one that’s addressed to himself. The sender reads: STAR PUBLISHING)
Isaac: Maybe that's about to change.
(The letter reads: '15. December 1966. Dear Mr. Isaac Heller. We want to meet you immediately. From Star Publishing')
Voice: Over here. (Isaac turns around to see a man, the Apprentice, waiting for him. Isaac believes the man to be the publisher.)
Isaac: I'm Isaac Heller.
Apprentice: Yes, I know who you are. Please take a seat. (Isaac does.)
Isaac: I've never met a publisher before. I'm not exactly sure how this works. So, you want to publish a book, is there a contract--
Apprentice: You'll find our organization does things a bit... differently. (He gestures to a set of five pens laid out across his desk.) Choose one.
Isaac: (Confused.) Oh, actually, I'm more of an IBM Selectric kind of gu--
Apprentice: Choose one.
Isaac: Okay. (He gets out of the chair and looks at the pens, still confused.) What is this? Some kind of signing bonus? The last time I got a fountain pen was for my bar mitzvah.
Apprentice: This is a test. We need to know what kind of writer you really are. Choose the one that.. calls out. (Still puzzled, Isaac picks a long, narrow black pen which quickly gives of a strange blue glow, frightening Isaac into dropping it.)
Isaac: (Gasps.) What the hell was that?
Apprentice: It's a sign. That you are to be our next Author. You see, the last one, well... (Quietly grieving.) he just recently passed away.
Isaac: Author of what?
Apprentice: There is much to explain. How would you like to take a trip?
Isaac: (Stuttering.) I-I-I'm not so great with travelling. I-I've never been any further than Scarsdale.
Apprentice: Yes, I know, but that is about to change. (He hands the quill back to Isaac, who timidly accepts the strange item. The Apprentice then begins to trace a rectangle in the air.) You see, the time has come to stop selling televisions. The time has come to take on the most important job in all the realms. (Isaac turns around again to see a mysterious door. With a wave of his hand, the older man opens the door to a strange new land. Isaac can hardly believe his eyes.
Isaac: (Astonished.) What the hell?
Apprentice: You can see that?
Isaac: I see it, but I don't believe it.
Apprentice: Actually, the fact that you can see it tells me that you do believe.
Isaac: Believe in what?
Apprentice: In magic. I think it is time that you find your destiny. Come with me. All of your questions will be answered.
SCENE: Storybrooke. Present day. In the Sorcerer's Sorcerer's Mansion, Emma, Mary Margaret, David, Regina, Henry, Robin Hood, and Hook are searching through the books, hoping to figure out what Isaac is writing.
Regina: Nothing. They're all still blank. Whatever the Author is writing, it's not appearing in any of the books. (She pushes the books to the side.) This is useless.
Robin: Easy. (Taking her hand.) This is not your fault.
Regina: Even so, tomorrow, thanks to Gold and the Author, I could wake up a talking frog.
Hook: At least you'll wake up. I don't doubt that whatever the Dark Once has in store for me is a far worse fate.
David: Well, there's no use speculating what he wants. We just need to stop it. And if there's nothing useful here, we need to move on. Find something else that can help. (At that, August enters the room.)
August: I might know just the thing.
David: August, I thought you didn't know anything more about the Author.
Emma: He doesn't, but he knows someone who does. That's why I called him over here.
Mary Margaret: Who?
August: The man who gave him his power—the Apprentice. I met once him when I was living in Phuket. He was the one who told me about the storybook and that I should learn everything about it.
David: If he was in Storybrooke, could you find him?
August: Well, I haven't seen him, but (August takes a pencil sketch of the Apprentice out of his pocket.) that's what he looks like.
Hook: I know this man.
Emma: You do?
Hook: More importantly, I know exactly where to find him.
Hook: I trapped him in there. I didn't know.
Emma: It's okay. It was Gold, not you. Blue was in there. She can get him out.
Hook: Don't you need the Dark One Dagger?
Mother Superior: Well, not if I have something that belonged to the Apprentice. (Hook finds the Apprentice's broom and hands it to her. She raises her hands and a golden glow comes out of the broom and into the box. In a radiant flask of golden light, the Apprentice appears form out of the Hat.)
Emma: Are you--
Apprentice: Yes. (Rising to his feet.) There is no time to waste. Isaac has abused his power for too long. The time has come to set-- (Stops as he notices Emma and her allies.) things right.
Apprentice: By putting him back where he can't harm anyone. In the book. I will need the page with the painted door and the key. We shall return him to his prison and this time, I would wager, none of you will set him free again. The page.
Henry: It's back in the loft.
Emma: Mom, Dad, Killian, watch Henry. If Gold's smart, he'll go after the page too.
SCENE: Mr. Gold Pawnbroker & Antiquities Dealer, present. An increasingly weak Mr. Gold sits on the floor as Isaac continues to rewrite the story.
Mr. Gold: Are you, uh, close?
Isaac: Hang in there, Dark One. Don't let that heart turn to coal just yet. You'll be fine. Better than ever.
Mr. Gold: Why help me? You have the quill now. You don't need me anymore.
Isaac: We're a lot alike. We've both struggled mightily for happiness all our lives. You got power, became the Dark One, but you've never been the content one. I know what that's like—to always have dissatisfaction gnawing at you, watching other people's happiness bloom. It's time for a world where up is down, where villains can have happy endings.
Mr. Gold: And what does your happy ending look like? A castle? Treasure? Power?
Isaac: (Chuckles.) In the Enchanted Forest? Do you think I like dysentery and a 40-year life expectancy? No, no, that's your world. I like room service and indoor plumbing. You're welcome to a happy ending in your land, I'll take one in mine.
Mr. Gold: (Getting weaker.) Continue with the writing, if you please.
Isaac: Of course. I just need one last detail. Your son, Baelfire.
Mr. Gold: Don't toy with me, scribe. Magic can't bring back the dead.
Isaac: No. It can't. This quill and ink can only change a past it has created, which is why I must write your new story from this moment forward and into the future. But, in your new life, I can make you forget him.
Mr. Gold: No, never. I want my memories of him. But, maybe with a.. slight adjustment. I would like a world where I remember doing right by my boy. Where he may be gone, but I can live with that loss. Where Bae sees me as a hero right at the end.
Isaac: (Smiles.) I think I can do that. And with that last piece, it's time to finish. (Isaac continues writing as Mr. Gold clutches his chest.)
SCENE: The Blanchard loft. David, Henry, Hook, and Mary Margaret enter. Henry races up the stairs to his bedroom for the key while Hook rushes towards the kitchen. Hook finds Henry's backpack and dumps out its contents, including Once Upon a Time.
Isaac: The end. (As he says this, the words appear on the page. Isaac smiles evilly. For a moment, nothing happens, but a blue blast of magic then comes through the page, and the town quakes as the rewrites take effect.)
Henry: Grandma? Grandpa! Hook! (No response. Henry's attention is turned toward the kitchen, where he finds the contents of his book bag sprawled out across the floor, including the storybook.)
Henry: (Loudly.) Hello? Hello?! Is anyone here?! Hello?! (Henry makes his way to the pawnshop and enters the building. There, he finds no other people, only an old gramophone and record. Henry stops the device and notices a blue car out the window.)
Hostess: Nice parking job. You old enough to drive?
Henry: Yeah. Are you? I need some help. (He reaches into his coat pocket and takes out four pictures and lays them out in front of the hostess--one of David, one with Regina and himself, one of Emma and Mary Margaret, and one of himself with Emma.) Have you seen any of these people?
Hostess: Um, no. No I haven't.
Henry: It's my family. Are you sure?
Hostess: (Pauses.) Look, why don't you wait here, and I can, um, I-I'll ask some of the others. (Henry nods. She leaves and takes out her phone. Curious, Henry keeps his eye on her.) Yeah, I think he's a runaway.
(Overhearing her, Henry gathers the photos and begins to exit, but not before he notices a rack of books, among them a fantasy novel titled Heroes and Villains, written by Isaac Heller. Henry turns to the back cover, and recognizes the book's writer as the Author.)
Isaac: (Smugly proud.) Thank you. Thank you very much. (The loud applause continues.) Please. Please, please, I-I'm not worthy. (Slowly the cheers fade and Isaac begins his speech.) Someone once told me I don't tell stories people want. (The crowd laughs.) But I say write what you're passionate about. That's what matters most. (More applause.) Heroes and Villains is close to my heart. It's been a passion project for longer than you would believe. I wrote it because I think folks are sick of heroes getting everything in these classic fairy tales. Hence, the radically different endings for Snow White, Prince Charming, and all the rest. Something different for a modern audience. What happens when villains win the day? (More applause.)
(The scene transitions to Isaac seated and signing books for a long line of excited readers.)
Isaac: (Signing.) Thank you. (The next person comes up.) Thank you. (A young woman comes up with her copy.)
Girl: Long live Regina. (Chuckles.) Please,can I give you a present? A little token of my love for the world that you've created. (She reaches into her pocket and gives Isaac a pin reading "LONG LIVE REGINA".) Regina—she's my favorite character.
Isaac: She's a real doozy, isn't she?
Girl: Her life is just so unfair. Is she gonna get a happy ending in the sequel? Please, you have to tell me?
Isaac: Sure, I can tell you. (She leans in. He whispers:) She... (Normal voice.) Sorry, no spoilers! You'll have to buy the next book when it's finished. (She exits and Isaac turns his attention back to his desk. He is shocked to see that instead of his novel, the page with the door on it lies on the desk. Isaac looks up to see an angry Henry.) What are you doing here?
Henry: What did you do with my family, and where are they?
Isaac: I, uh, (Clears throat.) I have no idea what you'e talking about.
Henry: Unh-huh. You're lying. (He takes the door's key out of his pocket and shows it to Isaac.) Now you know what this does. So you either give me some answers or I open this door again and you get a whole new ending.
Isaac: Okay. Much to the chagrin of my publicist, you have my undivided attention.
Henry: Where's my family?
Isaac: You really want to know? Look around you. They're all right here, in my bestselling book.
Henry: What does that mean? (Henry again shows Isaac the key and illustration.) Are they still alive?
Isaac: Dut-dut-dut-dut-duh. Easy with the key, cowboy. Your family is fine. (He takes the Heroes and Villains storybook out of his satchel.) If you want to get technical, they're in here. The original copy of my book—the one I always wanted to write. They all live in here now in kind of an.. alternate reality.
Henry: You made them miserable.
Isaac: I see that you've read some of my book. Good, good. Then you know that everyone got the ending they deserve. Except Emma, of course. You won't find her in the book. (Smugly.) There wasn't any room for a savior in my world.
Henry: Bring them back, or I use this.
Isaac: I can't. I don't have the power. The cardinal rule of the Authors is "Don't write your own happy ending." As you can see, I broke that rule. So this--(Taking the Author's quill out of his pocket.) It's just a pen now. And me, well I'm nothing more than a bestselling writer with legions of fans and a penthouse over Central Park.
Henry: If you can't get them out, then give me the book and I will. (Henry seizes the book, but Isaac quickly rips it back.)
Isaac: You? (Chuckles.) You know why you're still out here, kid? Because you're not from a magical world. So take it from me, you will never be a knight in shining armor. You're just a poor, innocent child who needs saving. So why don't you put the key away, and stick to the role you're best at. (He begins to exit. Angry, Henry charges at the man and steals back the book. Henry begins flipping through the pages.) Now what? You're gonna tear up the book? (Henry continues flipping through the book, looking for an illustration to enter. He finds one of a house in a village, takes out the key and presses it into the page.) Wait! Don't be stupid!
(Henry turns the key and in a flash of gold light, he falls into the world of the book.)
Henry: Cool. (Henry turns around to find Isaac holding a shield.)
Isaac: Feel like a real hero now? Don't get used to it. (Isaac slams the shield into Henry's head, knocking him out cold.)
Isaac: So now we're both trapped in the book. Congratulations. Let me tell you something about this place—it's cold, there's no running water, and things are always trying to kill you.
Henry: Let me go!
Isaac: Not a chance. This book we're in—it's worked out quite nicely for me. I don't need you running around changing things. This is my story, and no hero gets a happy ending.
Henry: (Struggling against the ropes.) Why? Would that somehow destroy the book? (No response.) That's what you're afraid of, isn't it?
Isaac: Doesn't matter. You've brought us into the final chapter?
Henry: How do you know?
Isaac: I know because I wrote it. And I know how it ends—with the loud tolling of bells at sunset. When you hear that sound, it'll mean we've reached the last page. The book will end, and everything will remain exactly how I wrote it. (Off-screen, something roars and enormous footsteps thud. Henry looks up and sees an ogre on a rampage.) There we are. Right on time.
Henry: What is that?
Isaac: Oh, the inciting incident of this chapter—an ogre attack. And you know what they say: "You don't have to be faster than the ogre. You just have to be faster than the next guy". (Isaac dashes off as the ogre comes closer to Henry.)
Henry: Wait! (The ogre draws nearer and screeches at a horrified Henry.) Help! Help me!
(A knight in golden armor rides forth to Henry. The masked man uses a powerful blast of light magic and knocks the monster to the ground, dead. The villagers come out of their cottages.)
Woman: The monster is dead. The ogre slayer saved us! (To the knight.) Thank you. If there is anything my family and I can do to repay you--(The hero takes off his helmet, revealing himself as none other than Rumplestiltskin.)
Rumplestiltskin: Good deeds have their own rewards. This comes with no price. (Rumplestiltskin uses magic to undo Henry's bindings.) Are you all right, boy? What's your name?
Henry: (Stunned.) Uh, Henry.
Rumplestiltskin: I am Rumplestiltskin, a knight at your service. You have any family around here?
Henry: Y-Yeah. I think so. Yeah.
Rumplestiltskin: The I suggest you run home for your supper, Henry, because I, I have another village to save. (Rumplestiltskin rides off. Henry takes his paperback copy of Heroes and Villains out of his coat pocket.)
Henry: (Reading aloud to himself.) "Many deadly traps were set to protect the forest hideaway. A pit trap under the cedar tree..." (Henry looks up from the book to see a cedar tree in front of him and leaves arranged to hide the trap. He walks around it.) "A falling log just beyond..." (Henry eyes this too and avoids the trip-wire.) "And finally, at the center of the willow forest, there was a rustic version of... home." (Henry eyes a hollow log large enough to fit a person. He puts the book back into his coat pocket and turns his attention towards the log.) Hello? Is anyone here?
Regina: (Off-screen.) Turn around slowly. (Henry does and sees Regina, her bow and arrow at the ready.) Who are you? What do you want?
Henry: My name is Henry, and I'm your son.
Isaac: Come on, Henry. Please be dead. Please be dead. (Isaac arrives at the spot where he left Henry to die, only to find the dead ogre and no sign of the boy. He groans.) I should have remembered. I wrote the book. The ogre slayer. (He pauses and thinks. Getting a new idea, he exits.)
Henry: But I'm telling you--
Regina: That we're trapped inside a book.
Regina: (Laughing.) And I'm supposed to live in a place called Maine? Where I became your adopted mother after someone named Emma gave you up?
Henry: Come on, Mom. You can remember.
Regina: (Pauses.) Well, now that I think about it, this does make me wonder one thing. (She gets up and walks to Henry. His eyes light up with hope, but she takes out her knife and holds it against his throat.) Who sent you?!
Henry: Mom, please, no one sent me--
Regina: Stop calling me that! Are you working for the Queen?
Henry: No, I'm trying to help you.
Regina: Help me what?
Henry: Find your happy ending. In my world, we called it "Operation Mongoose".
Regina: (Pauses, then bursts out laughing, lowering the blade.) That is a very silly name.
Henry: Well, it was your idea.
Regina: You actually believe this. So you're crazy.
Henry: I'm not, and I can prove it. (He takes Heroes and Villains out of his coat pocket and hands it to his mother.) This is a copy of the book we're trapped in.
Regina: Let me see. (She opens the book and starts reading.) (Laughs.) This-- (She continues reading and her tone quickly changes.) This says that I'm going to rob a royal tax carriage today to buy passage out of the kingdom. (Confused and shocked, she slams the book shut and turns back to Henry.) How did the book know all of that? It can see my future?!
Henry: Something like that.
Regina: Then I don't want any part of it. (She tosses the book into the fireplace.)
Henry: No! (He attempts to save to book, but to no avail.)
Regina: Ugh! Don't follow me! Whatever world you think you're from, go back there.
Henry: I can't. Not until you find true love.
Regina: Ha! Then you're stuck. Never gonna happen for me.
Henry: His name is Robin Hood. I think the only way for us the escape this book is for you to find him at a tavern and kiss him. True love's kiss—it can fix anything.
Regina: (Laughs.) Wow. You are crazy. If I ever meet Robin Hood in person, the only thing he gets is a broken nose.
Henry: Wait, what are you talking about?
Regina: He's my competition. Every robbery I plan, he beats me to it. He's the reason I'm stuck in this kingdom. Why am I still talking to you?
Henry: 'Cause I'm your son.
Regina: Look, kid, if you read about me in that book, you know I gotta go. The Queen wants me dead. She thinks I ruined her life.
Henry: Did you?
Regina: Yes. So if it's happy endings you're after, look someplace else.
Isaac: Henry! Where'd you go? Come on out! I can help you! (Isaac walks directly into a net. He turns to see himself surrounded by seven small men. Isaac gasps.) Oh no. Not these guys.
Grumpy: (Laughs.) Welcome to the Queen's Woods, trespasser. (He readies his ax and swings it in Isaac's direction. Isaac panics.)
Isaac: Don't kill me! Don't kill me, don't kill me! (Grumpy chops down the net and Isaac falls to the ground.) D'ahh!
Grumpy: Search him. (The dwarves do so as Isaac continues screaming.)
Happy: Hey. Look at this. (Happy shows off the pin from earlier reading "LONG LIVE REGINA".)
Grumpy: "Long live Regina"?! So you're a trespasser and a traitor.
Isaac: That's not mine--
Grumpy: Heigh ho, boys! It's off to work we go! (The dwarves knock Isaac unconscious.)
Snow White: (To Grumpy.) You. Speak.
Grumpy: (Terrified.) We found him in the Queen's Woods, Your Majesty. With this. (He shows her the LONG LIVE REGINA pin.)
Snow White: "Long live Regina"? Not very likely. (She tosses the pin away.) Although she'll certainly live longer than you. Now, what do we remove first? Your fingers? Or your ears?
Isaac: No removing, please! I hate Regina just a much as you do. I'm on your side!
Snow White: Technically you're at my feet.
Isaac: We want the same thing—to keep everything in this realm exactly how it is with you in charge. A boy just arrived in this land. He fancies himself a hero. He wants to take away everything you have. Somebody has to stop him. (Snow White takes out a heart.)
Snow White: (Loudly.) Get in here!
Isaac: Finally, someone listens to me. (As he says this, the heart's rightful owner comes forth--Snow White's lover, Charming.)
Charming: No need to yell, Snow. I will always find you.
Snow White: I'm sorry, you will always find me what?
Charming: (Reluctantly.) I will always find you, Your Majesty.
Snow White: Ah, that's better. Now, could you please help me with something? Remove his head.
Charming: Of course, Your Majesty. (Charming readies his sword as the other guards push the mortified Isaac to the floor.)
Isaac: No, no! You don't understand! I can help you! I know things! I know who Snow White really loves!
Charming: (Shocked, he stops his blade, the presses the dull part against the prisoner's throat.) What did you say?
Isaac: You had a twin brother, James. He was the one who Snow truly loved, before the tragedy.
Grumpy: Want me to kill him, Your Majesty? Spare you both the trouble?
Snow White: Let him speak. (Charming removes his sword.) How do you know this?
Isaac: A magical book told me everything about this land. (Isaac makes his way to his feet.) James was cruel, like you. You understood each other. You fell in love. It was everything. But then, because of Regina, he died. So you took Charming's heart and you forced him to be yours, but it never satisfied you. He's just a pale imitation of is brother. It's a sad story, but it can still have a happy ending.
Snow White: How?
Isaac: I know exactly where to find Regina. Revenge can be yours.
Snow White: And what is it you want in return? Aside from your life?
Isaac: The boy I told you about, Henry, he'll be trying to help Regina. I want you to kill them both.
Snow White: (Smiling.) Gladly.
Regina: (Gasps.) Snow White.
Snow White: Surprised to see me? (Regina attempts to back away, only to find Charming behind her.) Charming, disarm her. (He knocks Regina's knife out of her hand. Snow White caresses Regina's face.) I've waited so long for this moment. Your head is going to look lovely in my trophy room.
Regina: Please, Snow. How many times do I have to say I'm sorry?
Snow White: Once more, from your grave.
Regina: I didn't know what would happen to James. I was a child. I was only trying to help you.
Snow White: You broke a promise. Because of your poor, poor judgement, my true love is dead. (She reaches into Regina's chest to rip out her heart.)
Charming: Your Majesty, before you rip her heart out, perhaps you should ask her about the boy.
Snow White: So you do have a brain somewhere in that pretty head. (She takes her hand out of Regina's chest.) Where's the boy? Where is he?
Regina: When does this end, Snow? This blood feud, when does it stop?
Snow White: When I've killed you and every one of your followers.
Regina: You lost one happy ending, and I'm sorry for that, but all this killing will only bring more hatred into your life and all you'll be left with is a whole in your heart, and no hope of ever finding true happiness.
Snow White: (Angrier than ever.) You. Know nothing. Of my. Happiness. (She summons a fireball and prepares to launch it, but an arrow flies in and knocks the Queen to the ground. Regina turns around to see an archer on horseback, whom the audience recognizes as Robin Hood. Regina sees her chance and takes a bag of gold, knocking Charming unconscious. She gets a leg-up from the carriage steps and jumps onto the horse.)
Regina: I had the situation under control!
Robin: A simple thank-you will suffice.
Regina: I told you I didn't need saving.
Robin: Believe me, I'm already questioning helping the competition.
Regina: (Laughs.) Competition? (For the first time, she sees the face of her rescuer.) Robin Hood?
Robin: Well, I'm not Friar Tuck. Now, hold still please, milady. (He takes out a bandage.)
Robin: Because this my sting a bit. (He takes her hand and pours a bit of alcohol onto her injured hand, then wraps it in a bandage.) Now, sit down before you pass out.
Regina: I'm fine. It's just a scratch. (He gestures towards a table. She rolls her eyes and sits down. She puts a few coins she managed to steal onto the table.)
Robin: What is that?
Regina: Your cup.
Robin: You still can't say thank you, can you? (He tightens her bandage.)
Regina: (Tongue-in-cheek.) Thank you.
Robin: (A barmaid stops by and gives the pair drinks.) And thank you. So, to new friends and old rivals. (They clink mugs.) What is it?
Regina: (Realizes what she is doing.) Just thought you'd be.. dirtier.
Robin: Well, thank you. I'll choose to take that as a compliment. Regina, while we may never have met, I always admired your skills. I'm getting out of this game, and I have a proposition for you. I'm in search of someone to take my place as leader of the Merry Men.
Regina: Oh, uh, I'm flattered, but.. can't accept. This forest isn't the place for me anymore.
Robin: Well, that's a shame.
Regina: So, what's driving you out of the business?
Robin: Have you ever met someone that you would change your entire world for? Someone whose eyes you just knew you were born to gaze into?
Regina: (Gasps quietly.) Uh, um...
Robin: I have. And that's why I can't be a thief anymore. It wouldn't be fair to my new bride.
Regina: (Surprised.) Bride?
Robin: Well, she will be when we marry later today. (At that, Robin's fiancee, recognized by the audience as Zelena, enters the tavern.)
Zelena: Hello, darling. (She and Robin kiss.) So who's this?
Robin: Regina, I'd like you to meet my fiancée. This is Zelena. (Regina's smile vanishes and she turns her eyes toward the floor.)
Zelena: I just can't believe I'm finally meeting the bandit Regina. (Robin hands Regina back her drink.)
Regina: Thank you, but I should go. (She heads for the door.)
Zelena: Oh, won't you stay for the ceremony? I mean, it'll be a simple affair, but we'd love to have you there, wouldn't we, darling?
Robin: (Pauses.) Of course. It would be our honor.
Regina:Oh, um, I should try to get a head start on Snow White. Sure she has the entire Black Guard looking for me. (Forced chuckle. Robin gives a very slight smile and they shake hands good-bye.) Thank you. For saving my life. Congratulations again. (She forces a smile at the couple and exits the tavern.) (Quietly.) Both of you. (She looks as them one final time before exiting.)
Henry: (Off-screen.) Mom! (He comes running in.)
Regina: (Rolls eyes.) You have to stop calling me that. How do you keep finding me anyway?
Henry: I figured if my plan worked, you would be in Sherwood Forest with Robin Hood.
Regina: I hate to break it to you, but Robin's already found his true love. And they're getting married today. (She puches the boy in the direction of the tavern window. There, he can clearly see Robin and Zelena kissing each other.)
Henry: No, no, no, no. This is all wrong. That's Zelena, your sist-- (He realizes she has walked off and rushes to catch up. The scene transitions to the town.) Wait, you have to listen to me.
Regina: I heard enough. I don't have a sister. My mother abandoned me when I was a baby.
Henry: No, your mother abandoned Zelena. everything's flipped, this must be Zelena's happy ending.
Regina: Look, I have to go. And you should too, Snow White's looking for you. (She tries to walk away. Henry jumps in front of her.)
Henry: Look, you can't tell me that you didn't feel anything when you met Robin Hood. (Regina doesn't respond, but Henry knows his mother all too well and recognizes her expression immediately.) See, that's proof. He's your true love.
Regina: No. It's proof that I'm not the kind of person who gets a happy ending. (Quietly, to herself.) I'll never have true love. (Her sad expression quickly turns to anger and faces Henry.) But you. You gave me the worst thing you can give anyone--hope. Now, I'd like to get far enough away that I don't have to hear Robin and Zelena's wedding bells proclaim their love. (She tries to walk away again, but Henry jumps in front of her way.)
Henry: Wait, did you say wedding bells?
Regina: Yes. Now please, let me be. (Once again, Henry blocks her as she tries to walk away.)
Henry: Bells! From the end of the book. That's what he was talking about. Those bells, this wedding—it's our last chance to stop this from becoming real forever!
Regina: It already is real.
Henry: Not yet. We have to stop this wedding!
Regina: You seem like a nice boy. And clearly you believe all this...nonsense. (Pauses.) Didn't you say I was your adopted mother? That you have another mother somewhere, named, uh, Emma? If you want help, maybe you should start by finding her.
Henry: I tried. She wasn't in the book. And if she were, believe me, you'd know. She's the most powerful sorceress there is.
Regina: The only sorceress in this land is Snow White.
Henry: She's more powerful than her. She has, uh, (Pauses.) special magic.
Regina: Special magic?
Henry: In our world, she was called "the Savior".
Regina: (Pauses.) Never heard of her. (One more time, she tries to get away from the boy, and once again he stops her.)
Henry: Mom, no. I know that face. What aren't you telling me?
Regina: (Sighs.) There were rumors once of woman who called herself that. The Savior.
Henry: (In realization) Isaac lied. He couldn't write her out of the story. Where can I find her?
Regina: You can't. Snow White locked her up years ago.
(Regina continues speaking a voice-over as the camera pans out over the land before arriving at a tower on remote island. Inside the tower, Emma Swan, dressed in a black cloak, is lying on the floor, her arms in chains.)
Regina: No one has set eyes on her since. The prison she's in is impenetrable.
(Emma makes her way to her feet, gasping hysterically. She struggles against her shackles, but to no avail as she screams.)