Episode 22 & 23: ‘Operation Mongoose’ Season Finale

once upon a time season finale

December 1966

Isaac Heller struggles as a TV salesman. He butchers a sale and is pulled away by his boss. His boss taunts him for being a lousy salesman as well as a failed author. He opens a letter addressed to him. It is an invitation to meet a publisher.

Isaac heads to Star Publishing where he meets the Apprentice. The Apprentice asks him to choose a pen that appeals to him. Isaac is confused by this test but he selects the quill and passes. The Apprentice opens a portal. Isaac is stunned. He is told he is chosen to be the next Author.


We look for something in the Sorcerer’s mansion that can help us. August comes and shows us a sketch of the Apprentice. Hook tells us he knows where to find this man. Mother Superior uses the broom and the Hat. She releases the Apprentice. He tells us the only way to stop the Author is to lock him back in his page.

The Author tells Gold to tell him about Baelfire. Gold would like a reality where Bae died believing his father a hero. The Author finishes his book before we can get to him.

Henry wakes up in an empty house. He walks out into an empty town. He drives to a diner where he shows a hostess pictures of his family. She asks him to wait and hears her refer to him as a possible runaway. Before he leave he finds that Isaac Heller wrote a best seller.

The Author holds a book signing for his new novel ‘Heroes and Villains.’ One woman asks him to please write Regina a happy ending in the next novel. She even made a pin that she gives the Author. Once she leaves the page that once held him prisoner is placed in front of him.

Henry and the Author go in the back room. He demands to know where his family is. Henry learns that his family is trapped in the new book. Emma is not part of it because there is no savior. He uses the key and enters the book.

‘Heroes and Villains’

Henry enters the alternative fairy tale land. The Author follows him and knocks him unconscious. He wakes up with his hands tied. An ogre approaches and leaves him to die. What the Author does not remember is that he wrote the ogre to be slayed by Rumpelstiltskin. Rumpel introduces himself to his grandson who he does not recognize. Henry is saved.

Henry uses the book to track me down. I do not remember him as I am now playing Snow White’s role and am on the run. He tells me I am his adoptive mother but of course I think he is crazy. He shows me a book and tells me my rival thief who I never met before is my true love. I toss the book in the fire.

The Author cannot believe Henry was rescued. He is snagged by the dwarfs. They find his Long Live Regina pin and bring him to the evil Snow White’s castle. He tries to convince Snow that he is on her side. Her huntsman in this story is Charming who she controls and instructs to kill him. She stops Charming when the Author reveals he knows how her true love died. She loved James who died because of me. She keeps his twin as a slave because he looks like him. Snow will now listen. He warn her he must kill the boy helping me.

I attempt to rob a carriage but am ambushed by Queen Snow. I am shocked and plead for her to not kill me. I am rescued by a man on his horse. The man takes me to a tavern. He introduces himself as Robin Hood. I have never seen Robin and this shocks me especially after what they boy told me. I feel a connection and I am disappointed when I meet his fiancée Zelena. They invite me to their wedding and I decline. I excuse myself.

Henry waits for me. He tells me this is wrong and Zelena is my sister. I tell him my mother abandoned me and he tells me that is Zelena’s story. I tell him to find his real mother. He refers to her as the savior. At first I tell him I do not know who that is and then admit that there is a story of a mad woman locked away who calls herself the savior.

Rumpel returns to Belle and their baby. They have a guest. It is the Author. When alone with Rumpelstiltskin he tells him he must kill Henry and I to keep his happiness. Rumpel is insulted. The Author knows information about his first son who died. This catches Rumpel’s attention.

Henry goes to find Killian Jones. He asks for his help. He learns in this reality Blackbeard is the ship’s captain and Killian is timid. Henry tricks Blackbeard and takes over the ship. He and Killian sail to find Emma.

Killian and Henry trick the guard. Henry goes to find Emma. She is not part of this story so she has her memory. She also does not have magic. She remembers Killian but he does not recognize her. They leave on the Jolly Roger. She warns them that Lily is the guard. Lily wakes up and goes after them in dragon form. They take her out with a cannon.

Snow reprimands her dwarfs for failing to kill Henry and I. She kills Doc in front of them to make a point.

Killian does not know he can fight. Emma teaches him how to use a sword. He senses they have a history and she tells him that they do. Lily finds them and brings her parents to them. Emma tells Snow that they are her parents. Snow does not believe her. Killian fights Charming by sword. Killian is surprised that when they face off he knows how to fight him. He tells Emma to leave and with his back turned is stabbed by Charming. Emma and Henry leave.

Henry brings Emma to me. I believe she is just as crazy as he is. She tells me I must stop the wedding of Robin and Zelena. She tells me she just watched her true love die and never got to tell him she loved him. She tells me her only chance to see him again relies upon me.

Rumpel tells his wife he is faced with a difficult decision. She tells him he is a hero and will make the right one. She drops a tea cup and it chips.

We head to the wedding. Rumpel tries to stop us. Emma picks up a sword to face him so I can go. He uses magic to knock her out. Henry steps in and tells him he cannot kill him because he is a hero. In the chapel I stand at the door where Robin sees me. We lock eyes and smile. I cannot do this but I see Rumpel about to kill the boy. I jump in front and am stabbed. Rumpel leaves us. Robin and his bride leave the chapel and he rushes to me. Zelena is angry he is not paying attention to her. She begins turning green and takes off. Robin sits with me and the bells ring. The Author shows up and tells Emma now things will stay the same. He cannot change them as he lost his privilege to be Author by writing himself a happy ending. Henry sees his quill on the floor. He picks it up and it lights up. Henry is the new Author. He writes us out of there.

Return to Storybrooke

I wake up. I am alive. Henry has saved me.

In the shop Isaac leaves Rumpel on the floor to die. He wants to escape. Belle finds Gold.

Emma finds Hook alive. She wants to tell him she loves him but instead thanks him.

Mary and David stop Isaac from leaving. They find out he manipulated them because they reminded him of a boss he once had. He just wanted for once to win.

The Apprentice meets with Henry. He explains to him that he cannot write Baelfire to be alive because unlike Hook he died in the real world. Hook’s death was fiction. Henry breaks the pen. The Apprentice is pleased with him.

Belle admits to Gold that she does not love Will. She told him they could have had everything but it was never enough for him.

Robin meets Henry and I at the Diner. He invites me to go on a walk. Belle comes in just after we leave and tells everyone that Gold is dying. The Apprentice believes he can capture the darkness with the hat. He use it to take the blackness from Gold’s heart. Gold’s heart is white and the sword is empty. The darkness cannot be contained. It escapes and enters the Apprentice. Emma uses her magic to save him. He tells her they must seek out Merlin to help them.

We are outside looking for the darkness. It latches to me. Emma tells me that she will not let me lose my happy ending. She directs the darkness to herself. Emma disappears and the sword drops. It now says Emma Swan.

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