"Tougher Than the Rest" is the eleventh episode of Season Six of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz, and directed by Billy Gierhart. It is the one hundred and twenty-second episode of the series overall, and premiered on March 5, 2017.
With Snow still asleep in Storybrooke, David and Hook race to stop Gideon before he can confront Emma. Gideon makes a startling confession to Belle and Gold about his whereabouts while he was missing. Meanwhile, Regina struggles with the realization that everyone, perhaps even Robin, is better off in the alternate world where the Evil Queen was defeated. And when Emma inspires a familiar face to help her and Regina return home, she discovers the power to change her fate.
These scenes are included on Once Upon a Time: The Complete Sixth Season.
"Nowhere To Run" (Scene 13)
As Zelena packs up her things to leave town for good, Belle comes in and says that Zelena can't leave because Gold wants her dead and he will come after her. Zelena mocks her saying that he already tried to kill her once and he failed, to which Belle replies that it was actually the Evil Queen who failed. She also says that he has now someone much stronger: their son, and she does not want him to take advantage of him. As she tries to convince her, Zelena agrees to help her.
"Back-Up Plan" (Scene 17)
Belle and Zelena enter the sheriff's station, and David is surprised to see Zelena helping them. Belle then tells them the plan, which is breaking the protection spell on Mr. Gold's cabin, finding the shears and cutting away his son's destiny to become a Savior and to hurt anyone. Zelena listens until she's had enough and immobilizes Belle to talk to David and Hook alone, as she thinks Belle and her plan are nothing more than a fantasy. She then tells them her own back-up plan, which is throwing the dark fairy dust that is on the Evil Queen's snake form on Gideon, if anything goes wrong. Zelena then releases Belle, and David and Hook agree with Zelena's plan.
"Good People" (Scene 21-22)
David, Hook, Zelena and Belle come to Mr. Gold's cabin to put the plan they made, into motion. After Zelena breaks the protection spell on the cabin, they see both Mr. Gold and Gideon, and the shears with them. Belle then tells her son to stop what he's doing, because killing a good person to get what he wants is never the answer. Otherwise, he will turn out just like his father. Zelena then takes out the dark fairy dust that was part of her back-up plan, which surprises Belle as she didn't know about this. Mr. Gold mocks Belle, saying it appears that she trusted the wrong pirate. Zelena then throws the dust over Gideon, who easily blocks it and says that now they are cutting them down to get what they want. After Zelena teleports, Gideon tells the group that he doesn't need anyone's help and that after he kills the Savior, he will come after them.
*: Only in archive footage
- The title card features the enchanted tree.
- The title of this episode was revealed by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on October 21, 2016.
- Adam Horowitz is a fan of the singer Bruce Springsteen. This episode shares its name with a song from the rock star's 1987 album Tunnel of Love.
- This episode reveals that young Emma adopted the last name "Swan" after reading the story of "The Ugly Duckling". Jennifer Morrison has previously stated that Emma got her last name from her first foster parents, but this is proven apocryphal in this episode.
- In the episode script, after Robin asks Regina to hand over her necklace, Emma says, "Give it to him. He doesn't know you." This line is not in the final episode.
- The tavern where Regina finds Robin is the Wish Realm version of the Enchanted Forest tavern where Queen Regina and Tinker Bell found the real Robin Hood in the Season Three episode "Quite a Common Fairy". The two buildings share the same facade.
- Jennifer Morrison and Eion Bailey kept bursting into laughter while shooting the scenes with Wish Realm Hook.
- Emma comments on August's typewriter and says that she wasn't sure if the sound she heard was from a typewriter or a Tommy gun. This is one of the nicknames for the Thompson submachine gun, which is also known as the "Chicago typewriter", because the sound of a Tommy gun being fired in the distance resembles the sound of typing on a typewriter, and because the weapon was in popular use in Chicago during the 1920s.
- The Land Without Magic flashbacks take place during the winter of 1990, the year after the flashback of "The Dark Swan" and 2 years before "The Song in Your Heart". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- The Dark Realm quick-scenes take place after the Black Fairy kidnapped Gideon in "Wish You Were Here".
- The scenes are shown in "Mother's Little Helper".
- The Storybrooke events take place after "Wish You Were Here" and before "Murder Most Foul".
- The Wish Realm events take place after "Wish You Were Here" and before "Breadcrumbs".
- Emma and Regina were trapped in the Wish Realm in "Wish You Were Here".
- Gideon was taken by the Black Fairy in "Wish You Were Here".
- What the Black Fairy did to Gideon is shown in "Mother's Little Helper".
- Gideon's real motive for coming to Storybrooke and killing the Savior is revealed in "Mother's Little Helper".
- David and Mary Margaret were put under a Sleeping Curse in "Heartless".
- David wished that the Evil Queen would get what she deserved, thus bringing Gideon to Storybrooke in "Wish You Were Here".
- Robin Hood was killed by Hades in "Last Rites".
- Wish Henry began his quest for vengeance against Regina, who killed King David and Queen Snow, in "Wish You Were Here".
- Regina rescued the Wish Realm's Rumplestiltskin in "Wish You Were Here".
- The Wish realm version of Rumplestiltskin prepares to skin Regina alive for what "she" did to Belle. The real version tried to do the same to Robin Hood in "Lacey".
- Robin of Locksley returns to his own world in "Page 23".
- The blue box where Emma keeps the fairy tale book from her childhood, is the same box that she showed to Hook at the sheriff's station in "Breaking Glass". The box first appears when she unpacks her things in "The Price of Gold". In "The Song in Your Heart", she opens the same box to look through her possessions.
- The clock tower's clock, which Gideon destroys, has been repaired by the time of "Ill-Boding Patterns".
- The story that August is typing contains a reference to Pleasure Island from Disney's Pinocchio. This is also a foreshadowing of the next episode, "Murder Most Foul", where Pleasure Island appears in flashbacks.
- If you watch closely or play it in slow motion when Gideon destroys the clock tower's clock, you can see that the time is 8:15, a reference to Oceanic Flight 815 from Lost.
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episode features the ugly duckling from the titular fairytale, Pinocchio from the The Adventures of Pinocchio story, Robin Hood from the ballad, Captain Hook from the Peter Pan story, and Rumplestiltskin from the "Rumplestiltskin" fairytale.
- Emma reads the fairy tale "The Ugly Duckling" as a child.
- The back cover of the fairy tale collection that young Emma is reading, lists a set of stories by Hans Christian Andersen: "Thumbelina", "The Red Shoes", "The Princess on the Pea", "The Emperor's New Clothes", and, of course, "The Ugly Duckling".
- The princess and the frog from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale "The Frog Prince", and the White Rabbit from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", are pictured on the front cover.
- Excerpts from "The Nightingale", another fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, can be glimpsed when Emma burns the pages.
- As young Emma is hiding under the bridge, she is covering up with her old baby blanket to keep warm.
- For the Wish Realm scenes by the enchanted tree, a tree stump prop was used on location. It was CGIed into a leafy tree during post-production.
- The workbench outside Pinocchio's home is filled with hand carved marionettes, which is fitting since Pinocchio himself is a former wooden marionette.
- During her visit at the Blanchard loft, Belle is wearing a Brooks Brothers Wool Twill Jacket (no longer available).
- The doublet worn by the Wish Realm Sheriff of Nottingham is the same garment worn by Nottingham's main reality counterpart in the Season Two episode "Lacey" and the Season Four episode "Mother" and by Lancelot on Guinevere's birthday in "The Broken Kingdom".
|French||"L'Autre Robin"||"The Other Robin"|
|German||"Hilfe von Pinocchio"||"Help From Pinocchio"|
|Italian||"Il cigno"||"The Swan"|
|Portuguese||"Mais Valente que os Outros"||"More Valiant Than the Others"|