Our story begins as young Baelfire falls through a portal from The Enchanted Forest to Victorian London. Trapped and alone in an unknown world, he’s forced to scrounge out a life on the streets until he takes a chance to sneak into a large house to steal some bread. Inside, he meets Wendy Darling, a kind girl who agrees to hide him from her family and keep him fed. But the pair are soon caught by her parents and, rather than being cast back out into the street or sent to a workhouse, Bae is invited to stay with them. It looks like things may actually work out for the young Fairy Tale Land refugee.
In present-day Storybrooke, Regina has been kidnapped by Greg Mendell and Tamara, with the help of Captain Hook. Greg starts to interrogate Regina about where he can find his father, and he’s not afraid to use some electroshock to help himself get some answers. Tamara, on the other hand, stays focused on their mission to destroy magic and sends information back to the “home office” about Regina’s magic beans and the mysterious black diamond they found on her. Little do they know, it’s the failsafe trigger Regina created for The Curse and it’s capable of destroying all of Storybrooke and everyone in it.
When an Evil Queen goes missing, the town is sure to notice and Emma, Mary Margaret and David certainly have. The three of them, along with Henry, burst into Regina’s office to find it empty and her alarm overridden. They all suspect foul play, but while David and Mary Margaret think Mr. Gold must be the culprit, Emma still suspects Tamara has something to do with it. She sends her mom and dad to go have a chat with Gold while she goes back to search Tamara’s room at Granny’s. Emma finds Neal there, still unconvinced that Tamara has anything to do with this, but he is given some pause when Emma finds sand tracked in by Tamara’s running shoes since she always said she took her morning run in the woods. The pair of them head to the beach to investigate.
Back in London, Bae has started to become a part of the family. The kids—Wendy has her two younger brothers, John and Michael, of course—all settle in for bed when Wendy tells Baelfire about the magical shadow that comes to visit them. Knowing just how bad magic can be, Bae warns them to stay away from the shadow, but Wendy just thinks he doesn’t believe her. The shadow arrives in the night and she goes with it willingly, despite Baelfire’s attempts to stop her. Dejected, he watches as she’s carried off to the second star to the right, hoping he didn’t just lose a member of his new family forever.
In Mr. Gold’s pawnshop, David and Mary Margaret interrupt Mr. Gold and his girlfriend Lacey to ask about Regina. Gold isn’t interested in helping, but David reminds him that he owes a favor and Gold quickly whips up a way for Mary Margaret to share experiences with Regina to help find her. David and Mary Margaret try the magical solution and sure enough, MM experiences exactly what Regina is experiencing. The downside is, Regina’s being tortured at the moment. Racked with terrible pain, all that Mary Margaret is able to make out is that Regina is bound, powerless, cold and stuck somewhere that smells a bit like sardines.
David calls Emma who’s on the beach with Neal. They’d just bumped into Tamara on her morning run and Emma was about to finally give up on her suspicion of Neal’s fiancée when she gets the call. Then she looks over to see the old Storybrooke Cannery and puts two and two together. The former lovebirds rush over to save Regina. Tamara sees them coming, warns Greg and sets out to head off Emma and Neal. Greg, feeling the pressure, asks Regina one last time where his father is. She finally admits that she killed him right after Greg ran out of town as a young boy and his remains were buried at their old campsite. Greg is furious and switches on the electrical machine to kill Regina when David arrives and puts a stop to it. Greg escapes, but Regina is saved when David and Mary Margaret rush her home and get Mother Superior (aka The Blue Fairy) to heal her.
David calls Emma again to let her know Greg was behind Regina’s kidnapping. Neal points out that again Tamara is in the clear when suddenly Emma is knocked out from behind. Tamara pulls a gun on her fiancé and explains their whole relationship has been a lie, right before she shoots him. Ouch! Tamara’s about to finish Neal off when Emma charges her and knocks the gun away. It looks like Tamara’s about to be taken when she manages to toss a magic bean at Emma’s feet, opening up a portal to another land. Emma desperately clings to an old pipe until Neal rescues her. But as he gets her to safety, the floor beneath them buckles and suddenly it’s Neal dangling over the void. Emma holds on with all of her might, knowing that if Neal falls through to another land, his gunshot wound will most likely be the death of him. But Neal tells her he can’t risk her losing her grip and leaving their son, Henry, an orphan. The two finally admit they still love each other and Neal lets go, once again being whisked away by a magic portal, leaving Emma heartbroken.
In London, Baelfire is happy to see that Wendy returns in the morning. But Wendy is shaken. The reason it’s called Neverland, she reveals, is because once you set foot on it, the shadow never allows you to leave. But the shadow didn’t want her, it wanted a boy, and it’ll be back that night to claim John or Michael. Bae says he won’t let that happen. He arranges some rudimentary defenses for the kids out of some household items, but the plan quickly falls apart when the shadow bursts in that night. The children head for the hidden crawlspace, but young Michael is caught out in the open. Bravely, Baelfire tells the shadow he’ll go willingly if it promises to leave the Darlings alone. The shadow must’ve agreed, because it takes him by the hand, yanking him through the air to Neverland. But as the island comes into view, Baelfire reaches into his pocket, pulls out a match and lights it. Startled, the shadow drops him in the water where he is fished out by an unlikely savior—Captain Hook.
Returning to Storybrooke, Emma is heartbroken and has no idea how to tell Henry about his father. Regina comes around and asks what’s happening. When David and Mary Margaret fill her in, including the part where they saved her life, she reluctantly tells them her plan to use the magic beans and the failsafe device. They suddenly realize all of Storybrooke would have been destroyed, but Regina reminds them that the most important part is she no longer controls the trigger!
And, as if on cue, Tamara finds Greg at his old campsite where he just dug up what appear to be the remains of his father, Kurt. The “home office” has told her what the black diamond is and has instructed them to “move on to the next phase.” They’re going to blow Storybrooke off the map!