For the item, see Page XXIII.
"Page 23" is the fourteenth episode of Season Six of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by David H. Goodman & Brigitte Hales, and directed by Kate Woods. It is the one hundred and twenty-fifth episode of the series overall, and premiered on March 26, 2017.
Believing there isn't room in Storybrooke for both her and Regina, the Evil Queen sets out to eliminate her other half using Robin to bait the trap. Hook, determined to make things work with Emma, turns to his old friend Capt. Nemo for advice, but Gideon torpedoes his plan before he's able to set things right. In a flashback to the Enchanted Forest, the Evil Queen learns a surprising lesson about the true source of her misery.
*: Only in archive footage
- The title card features the Evil Queen's palace.
- The title of this episode was revealed by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on November 30, 2016.
- The title of this episode is a reference to the alternate Page XXIII of Henry's book, which represents another version of Regina and Robin's first meeting. It was created by Isaac Heller, and first appears in the Season Four episode "Smash the Mirror".
- This episode marks the return of the actor Edward Foy as the Lead Knight after one-hundred and eight episodes, a gap longer than that of any other cast member.
- This is Lana Parrilla's favorite episode on the show.
- Writer Brigitte Hales described this episode as "emotional" and said that it "took a lot out of [her] -- in the best possible way".
- The establishing shot of Regina's house is stock footage from the filming of the first scene where Emma takes Henry home in the Season One premiere. The identical position of the curtains in the windows and the lighting behind them, the shadows on the walls and the open window on the second floor, are a dead giveaway.
- Mary Margaret's line "It's so cold out here", from the dock scene with Hook, was written by Brigitte Hales after she spoke to an assistant director about how cold night shooting always is. The falling snow during the scene was a happy coincidence.
- According to Brigitte Hales, she had to write the "break-up" scene between Emma and Hook the day after the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and "spent all day crying and writing". She later adds that writing this episode was "cathartic".
- Hesham Hammoud, who plays the Crewman, also plays Ghazi in the Once Upon a Time in Wonderland episode "Who's Alice".
- In the episode script, Hook says to Captain Nemo, "I hope you're right. Thank you, old friend", and he and Nemo hug as Nemo answers, "Goodbye." This exchange is not in the final episode.
- A broken set of the Shears of Destiny were made for this episode but were never used on-screen.
- The Enchanted Forest flashbacks occur after "Heart of Darkness" (where the Lead Knight, who is killed by the Evil Queen in this episode, is still alive).
- The Storybrooke events take place after "Ill-Boding Patterns" and before "A Wondrous Place". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- The Lead Knight, who is killed by the Evil Queen, is the same Black Knight that got his armor stolen by Snow White in "Heart of Darkness".
- Regina talks about how the mysterious page 23 magically appeared to her, an event that took place in "Smash the Mirror".
- The Evil Queen says to Tinker Bell, "Shouldn't you be living in a tulip somewhere?", and wonders what happened to her. Tinker Bell's former home, and what happened to her, is shown in "Quite a Common Fairy".
- Tinker Bell talks about how she showed the Evil Queen the future with Pixie Dust, an event that took place in "Quite a Common Fairy".
- When Hook is using the dreamcatcher, he's watching a scene from "Murder Most Foul".
- Emma and Hook's engagement, which Emma breaks off in this episode, is renewed in "Awake".
- Hook says that he once destroyed his own family, referring to how he killed his own father and left his young brother an orphan, an event that took place in "Swan Song".
- Regina conjures a black sword to duel the serum queen, just like she did when she dueled Mary Margaret in "Shattered Sight".
- Regina makes the branches of the wallpaper come to life and trap the Evil Queen, just like she did with David in "Broken".
- The Wish Realm tavern where the Evil Queen meets Robin of Locksley at the end of the episode is the same tavern where Regina found him in "Wish You Were Here". Fittingly enough, this tavern is the Wish Realm version of the Enchanted Forest tavern where Queen Regina and Tinker Bell found the real Robin Hood in "Quite a Common Fairy".
- What happened to the Evil Queen and Robin in the Wish Realm after the episode ends is revealed in "The Final Battle Part 1".
- Hook is transported out of the Land Without Magic in the next episode, "A Wondrous Place", and comes back in "Awake".
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episode features the ugly duckling from the titular fairytale, the evil queen from the "Snow White" fairytale, Captain Nemo from the novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Robin Hood from the ballads, Captain Hook and Tinker Bell from the Peter Pan story, and the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz novel.
- Cupid's arrow from Roman mythology appears, while Cupid himself is mentioned.
- Excerpts from the fairytale of "The Golden Bird" can be seen on the back of the storybook page that the serum queen gives to Henry, and in Henry's storybook.
- The design of the swords Regina and her serum counterpart use against each other are the same swords used by King George's army in the Season One episode "Heart of Darkness" and by Prince Charming and Snow White's guards in the Season Two episode "The Cricket Game". The Evil Queen's Black Knights also use the same design of sword in several episodes.
- An illustration of a group of stonecrops (plants of the Sedum genus) by the nineteenth century British botanical illustrator Anne Pratt appears in the corridor outside Henry's room. The picture is from volume 2 of Pratt's work The Flowering Plants, Grasses, Sedges, and Ferns of Great Britain and Their Allies the Club Mosses, Pepperworts, and Horsetails, published in six volumes between 1855 and 1873.
- The coat the Evil Queen is wearing is the same coat worn by her Storybrooke counterpart in the Season Seven episode "The Eighth Witch".
- Emma is wearing a Veronica Beard Alma Lace Blouse (no longer available).
- Mary Margaret is wearing a 3.1 Phillip Lim Plaid Wool Bomber Jacket (no longer available).
- Regina is wearing a Rag & Bone Archer Blazer (no longer available).
- The blazer was also worn by the character Steffy Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful, Hope Williams on Days of Our Lives and Phyllis Summers on The Young and the Restless, with the latter also wearing a red color of the blazer as well.
- A red version was worn by the character Vanessa Baxter on the Last Man Standing episode "Where There's Smoke, There's Ire".
- A grey version was worn by the character Spencer Hastings on the Pretty Little Liars episode "Hit and Run, Run, Run".
|French||"La Flèche de Cupidon"||"The Cupid's Arrow"|
|German||"Als das schwarze Herz die Liebe traf"||"When the Black Heart Met Love"|
|Italian||"Pagina 23"||"Page 23"|
|Portuguese||"Página 23"||"Page 23"|