"Changelings" is the ninth episode of Season Six of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by David H. Goodman & Brian Ridings, and directed by Mairzee Almas. It is the one hundred and twentieth episode of the series overall, and premiered on November 27, 2016.
In a Fairy Tale Land flashback, Rumple collects Jack and Jill's son as bait to lure a powerful being to him. Back in Storybrooke, Gold tells the Evil Queen that she must kill Zelena, and the EQ makes a decision that will change her relationship with her sister forever. When Belle discovers Gold’s plans for their son, she convinces Hook and Emma to help her steal squid ink that can immobilize him, and, as a result, Belle is left to make a sacrifice that will affect the lives of everyone in Storybrooke. Meanwhile, Jasmine finds a genie-less lamp that she hopes to use to save Agrabah, and Aladdin finds a way to be her hero.
- The title card features the Dream World's swingset.
- The title of this episode was revealed by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on September 28, 2016.
- The episode's name "Changelings" is a reference to the myth of fairies abducting children and replacing them with "changelings" or "faerie-babies". The Blue Fairy also mentions that the Black Fairy steals children.
- Jaime Murray is misspelled as "Jamie", instead of "Jaime" in the press release.
- The press release credits Jacky Lai's character as Novice Fairy/Young Nun. However, her Enchanted Forest counterpart does not make an appearance.
- The establishing shot of the Dark Castle is stock footage from the background plate of a view of the castle in Belle's Dream World in "The Savior.
- In Belle's dream, she mentions Hildrew as the author of the book Manual on Defeating the Dark One. This is a reference to Geofrey Hildrew, one of the editors on the show, who also directed the episode "The Bear King".
- Belle also mentions a book called Treatise on the Metaphysics of Magic by "Goldman", a reference to Mark Goldman, also an editor on the show, and the one who provided the voice of Sven.
- Another book mentioned in the dream is The White Sorcerer's Way by "Talbot", a reference to Joe Talbot Hall, another editor on the show.
- The episode script contains a segment where Emma asks, "You sure about that?", and Belle answers, "He still loves me." This segment is not in the final episode.
- In the episode script, Belle describes Fairy language as ancient, and says that almost no one knows it. She also says that her mother taught her some when she was young.
- Granny serves Belle a cup of chamomile tea that "soothes the soul", and Hook comments on how it helps calm the nerves. Unbeknownst to Granny, however, the tea has been dosed with aging powder that accelerates Belle's pregnancy and causes her to go into labor. Chamomile, an old medical herb, can actually be used to reduce stress, and has been stated to have a soothing and calming effect. However, the consumption of too much chamomile can lead to a miscarriage, or a premature birth.
- Nick Hunnings, who portrays Jack, also portrays the Prison Guard in "The Cricket Game".
- The Enchanted Forest flashbacks take place some time after "Lacey" and "Heroes and Villains" (in the latter, the curtains in Rumplestiltskin's castle are still nailed to the wall, and they are open in "Changelings"), after the scene where Belle opens the curtains in "Skin Deep", and before Belle is banished from Rumplestiltskin's castle in the same episode. (For more details, see the Enchanted Forest timeline)
- The Storybrooke events take place after "I'll Be Your Mirror" and before "Wish You Were Here". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- The power station where Mr. Gold takes the nun prisoner, is the same location where Mary Margaret struggles to turn the power back on during the town-wide black-out in "White Out".
- Rumplestiltskin's other dealings with babies were explored in "The Price of Gold", "The Shepherd", "The Miller's Daughter" and "Devil's Due".
- Belle first encountered her son in the Dream World in "The Savior".
- Emma talks about how she used magic to speed up Zelena's pregnancy, which occurred in "Birth". The same thing ultimately happens to Belle, after drinking some tea tainted by the Evil Queen.
- Regina says that the Evil Queen has a hole in her heart that she is desperate to fill. In "Save Henry", Rumplestiltskin stated that Regina's real counterpart had a hole in her heart as a result of casting the Dark Curse, a hole that she would one day need to fill. Maleficent made a similar comment to Regina's real counterpart in "The Thing You Love Most", where she said that enacting the curse would leave an emptiness inside her; a void she would never be able to fill.
- Mary Margaret talks about how her father found a Genie Lamp once, an event that took place in "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree".
- Belle talks about how her mother read Her Handsome Hero for her, something that was previously mentioned in "Family Business" and "Her Handsome Hero".
- Belle tries to escape from Mr. Gold by hiding inside the library elevator, the same trick that she used to escape from Hook in "The Outsider". Unfortunately, it doesn't work this time.
- Mr. Gold says to Belle that he's a difficult man to love. He said the same thing to Emma in "Skin Deep".
- Mr. Gold also says to Belle that he's a man no one can ever love, something that he also told her in "Skin Deep", where he stated that "no one could ever love him".
- Mr. Gold snidely refers to Hook as "the Savior's lap dog", echoing a similar comment he made in "The Apprentice", where he referred to Hook as a "puppy dog chasing after the object of his affection".
- The sword that Emma finds, was first sen in her vision in "The Savior". Its origin story is revealed in "Ill-Boding Patterns".
- The Black Fairy was first referenced in "Going Home".
- How the Black fairy ceased to be good is revealed in "The Black Fairy".
- Rumplestiltskin threatens to use the Dark One's Dagger on the Black Fairy unless she co-operates. He threatened to do the same to August in "The Return".
- Hook says to Belle that chamomile helps calm the nerves. Zelena said the same thing to David and Mary Margaret in "The Tower".
- The Evil Queen doses a cup of chamomile tea with a magical substance, just like Zelena did when she fed David Night Root in "The Tower".
- Rumplestiltskin asks his mother why she abandoned him. She gives him the answer in "The Black Fairy".
- Mr. Gold expresses his dislike of fairies, something that was first alluded to in "Dreamy", and further elaborated on in "Fall".
- Regina blames Zelena for Robin Hood's death, an event that took place in "Last Rites".
- The Evil Queen talks about how Zelena killed Mr. Gold's first son, an event that took place in "Quiet Minds".
- When Mr. Gold finds out what the Evil Queen did to Belle, he uses his walking stick to smash items in his shop in a fit of rage, just like he did in "We Are Both", when he discovered that the town line would stop him from leaving Storybrooke.
- Aladdin is freed from the lamp in "A Wondrous Place".
- A headstone shaped like a Celtic cross can be seen in Belle's Dream World Another headstone is shaped like a regular cross.
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episode features the Beauty and the Beast from the Beauty and the Beast fairytale, as the Beast is also Rumplestiltskin from the Rumplestiltskin fairytale, the Blue Fairy from The Adventures of Pinocchio, Captain Hook from the Peter Pan story, the Evil Queen from the Snow White fairytale, Aladdin and the Princess from the One Thousand and One Nights story, the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz story, and Morpheus from Greek Mythology.
- Jack and Jill from the nursery rhyme of the same name also appear.
- On the library shelf where Belle finds the Manual on Defeating the Dark One in her dream, there is a a bound volume of Scots Law Times from 1927. Scots Law Times is a Scottish law report service containing coverage from every Scottish court, a service which dates back as far as 1893.
- Mars and Venus, a famous painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli, can be glimpsed behind Mr. Gold as he is talking to Belle inside the convent. It can be seen more clearly in the Season Five episode "Our Decay".
- The essay written by one of Mary Margaret's students, Victoria N., is about "the best invention of all time". It reads:
was ever invented is swimming polls [sic]! Swimming
pools are the best inventions cuz you can dive
from high places, and there is a lifeguard [obscured]
dangerous as if you did it [obscured]
on Any Parte of the body.
Stand ye in front of a large looking glass.
Mix the ingredients together full well and apply
to the glass that reflects the portion of the body to
be acted on.
Say the incantation follicles be damned, get thee
gone by wave of my hand.
[faded word] wave your right hand in a deosil motion in
a front of thine likeness and
paste into a pannie[obscured]
when the moon[obscured]
- The book that Mr. Gold is reading when Hook walks into his shop contains an illustration of a magic circle from Key of Solomon, an old grimoire incorrectly attributed to King Solomon. This particular illustration is from one of the earliest manuscript of the grimoire, entitled The Clavicle of Solomon, revealed by Ptolomy the Grecian, written in English and Latin and dated 1572. Note that the illustration has been touched up, colorized and modified by the prop makers: For example, the sensors in the north, east, south and west have been replaced with new symbols (a star and circle inside a circle), the Stars of David (✡) have been replaced with three five-pointed stars (☆), the text in the inner circle (which has no actual meaning) has been slightly modified and the two lowermost text passages have switched sides, while the word "Plemoma" (Esperanto for "people") has been added to the center.
- The illustration on the other side of the page (seen through the paper) contains symbols from the outer circle of the Pentacle of Solomon, an illustration found in the Lesser Key of Solomon, an anonymous grimoire on demonology compiled in the mid-17th century. (Note that since the page is seen from behind, all the symbols are mirror-inverted.)
- The sword Emma and Hook find has the same design as the swords used by the Knights of the Round Table in Season Five, albeit without the red jewel in the handle.
- According to Giles Matthey, he and Emilie de Ravin both played on the swingset between set ups.
- When Mr. Gold enters the convent, there is a glass-stained window in the hallway behind him. It is the same window that was added to the landing outside the entrance to the Blanchard Loft in "Broken".
- The dress worn by the Evil Queen at the power station is the same dress that Regina conjured up when under the influence of the Spell of Shattered Sight in "Shattered Sight", and when selecting a dress for the ball in Camelot in "The Price". Regina's real counterpart wore the same dress when giving the Count of Monte Cristo the Agrabahn Viper venom in "A Bitter Draught" and in Regina's dream in "Poor Unfortunate Soul".
- When the Evil Queen attacks Zelena, she is wearing the same outfit that Regina's real counterpart wore during battle in "The Cricket Game".
- During her confrontation with the Evil Queen, Zelena is wearing a Michael Kors Faux Fur Peacoat and a Michael Kors Tweed-Print Chiffon Tie-Neck Blouse (both are no longer available).
- Emma is wearing a Plumetis Tunic Blouse from Zara. She wears the same blouse in "Wish You Were Here", "Tougher Than the Rest" and "Murder Most Foul".
- Mary Margaret is wearing a Joie Sonomaombre Paisley Printed Sandwashed Savory Silk.
- Belle is wearing a Anthropologie Morning Glory Swing Dress  (no longer available).
- Regina is wearing a Zara Doubled Breasted Coat. She wears the same coat in "Wish You Were Here", "Tougher Than the Rest", and "Murder Most Foul" (no longer available).
|French||"La Fée Noire"||"The Black Fairy"|
|German||"Aus Liebe geboren und doch verloren"||"Born of Love and Yet Lost"|
|Italian||"La fata nera"||"The Black Fairy"|
|Portuguese||"Bebês Trocados"||"Switched Babies"|