In the past, a sorcerer’s apprentice faces a Dark One. This isn’t the first time he’s done this. Every Dark One has come after a mysterious box. The apprentice vows that none of them will ever possess what’s inside. In present day Storybrooke, Mr. Gold waves his dagger over the box. A magical hat appears. Gold is pleased.
Emma asks Hook out on a date. A real date. Hook accepts on one condition: he gets to plan the evening. When Emma leaves, she notices a huge puddle surrounding her car. As for Hook, he goes off to see Gold about reattaching his lost hand. He wants to be able to hold Emma should their evening go well. Gold warns that the hand belonged to the man Hook used to be. Reattaching it could have repercussions. Hook thinks this is just a trick. He wants his hand back. Gold obliges while warning under his breath that this may not be a good idea.
Now that Hook has two hands, Emma will just have to call him Killian full time. The two of them settle in for a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant. Will Scarlet just happens to be seated at the bar. He accidentally spills wine on Emma. An angry Hook grabs Will with his reattached hand. He realizes that he’s acting inappropriately. Will gives Emma the slip once again. As for Hook, he shares a nice goodnight kiss with his date. He’s still worried about his hand though. Hook realizes Gold was right after he beats up Will later that night.
After Gold refuses to help him, Hook tries to chop off his recently reattached hand. It doesn’t work. Hook is stuck with his old hand. Gold lets him know that only his magic can take it away. He’s willing to make a deal. Gold produces a broom that will lead them to someone he refers to as an old friend.
In Fairy Tale Land, Anna goes to see Rumplestiltskin. He’s been expecting her. He knows who she is and why she’s there. Rumple says Anna’s parents came to see him seeking information. He’ll share the details if Anna does something for him first. She’s to put a small vile of liquid in the tea of a prickly old man, who looks a lot like the sorcerer’s apprentice from before. Anna can't bring herself to go through with her mission. She dumps the contents of the vile into the fire.
Anna is shocked when Rumple lets her know that the vile contained an antidote for poison the old man had consumed before she arrived. The guy has now been turned into the mouse. Anna rushes back to the cabin where Rumple reveals that she was part of a test. His deal states that she must stay locked away in his tower unless she kills him. Rumple eggs her on to do just that. It’s another trick where he gets what he needs—the tear of someone who has faced their inner darkness and turned away. Rumple uses the dagger to help him possess the hat.
Rumple lets Anna know that her parents wanted something to take her sister’s powers away forever. They never found what they were looking for. There’s only one thing that could give them what they wanted. It’s a hat with the power to take away magic. It had been crafted by a sorcerer and guarded by his apprentice, who is still doing his job even now.
The mouse bites Rumple on the hand. He drops the dagger. Anna picks it up. She now has power over Rumple. She takes the box away from him. She commands him to do multiple tasks, one of which is sending her back to Arendelle. Kristoff is happy that Anna has returned. Sven’s pretty excited, too. As for Anna, she doesn’t know how to tell Elsa that her parents wanted to change her.
In present day Storybrooke, the broom leads Gold and Hook to the old man/apprentice. Gold waves the dagger over the box to produce the hat. He unleashes its magic to suck the apprentice into the hat. One new star appears and outshines all the others. Hook gets back his hook and learns that his hand was never cursed. Gold lets him know that if he threatens his true love, he’ll make sure to go after his.
Emma’s car goes into a spin on a suddenly icy road. She chases after the Snow Queen, but loses her almost immediately. Her attention switches to Will, who passed out in the library with a copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on him. Emma then learns that the Snow Queen didn’t come to Storybrooke by way of any curse.
Henry knows that the reason Robin Hood’s kiss didn’t revive Marian is because he’s still in love with his mom. He realizes that there one villain out there who must have discovered how to rewrite his happy ending. Henry is going undercover as part of Operation: Mongoose. He needs to get information from his grandfather, aka Rumplestiltskin. He asks Mr. Gold for a job in his shop a few days a week. He can be his apprentice.