"Devil's Due" is the fourteenth episode of Season Five of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Jane Espenson, and directed by Alrick Riley. It is the one hundred and second episode of the series overall, and premiered on March 20, 2016.
Hook's captivity takes a dark turn when Hades threatens to condemn him to the River of Lost Souls after Hook refuses to choose which three of his friends will have to remain in the Underworld. Meanwhile, Gold is suddenly eager to help Emma, Snow, David, Regina, Robin and Henry find Hook so he can return home to Belle; but in order to do so, he must find his ex-wife Milah in the Underworld and ask for her help. In Fairy Tale Land flashbacks, Rumple and Milah face a life-or-death crisis concerning their son, Baelfire, that forces Rumple to make a deal that will haunt him.
In an Enchanted Forest flashback, Milah is collecting wood while Rumple tries to persuade her to let him help and young Baelfire plays around. Milah tells Rumple to go play with Baelfire, as it is one of the only things he can do, when they hear Baelfire's scream. They run to him and find him bitten by a poisonous serpent, which Milah immediately kills. They take Baelfire home and go see Fendrake the Healer, who tells them that their son will die in 24 hours if not given the antidote. He offers them the remedy for 100 gold pieces, which they do not have. As they are going home, disappointed, Milah tells Rumple to go back at night, murder Fendrake in his sleep, and take the cure. Milah spends their last piece of gold on a dagger for Rumple to do the deed. They meet at a bar so Milah can give him the dagger, but, due to Rumple's cowardice, it take much persuading to make him do it. After he leaves, a drunken lout purposefully bumps Milah, spilling some of her drink on her. He cackles as he begins to mop her up, despite her disconsent, until Killian Jones intervenes, knocking the lout out cold. Milah, impressed, has a chat with him, and finds out he is a pirate. She longs to join him in his travels around the world, but decides it is more important to stay with her son. As he gets up, Jones tells her he often stops in port if she changes her mind.
In the dead of night, Rumple enters Fendrake's hut, and decides to just steal the antidote instead of killing Fendrake. However, the healer is a light sleeper and awakes quickly. Rumple threatens him with the dagger, and Fendrake eggs him on, but Rumple cannot bring himself to do it. Instead, Fendrake strikes a deal with Rumple: the antidote in exchange for Rumple's second-born child. Rumple accepts and returns home to Milah and Baelfire. They pour the potion down his throat, before Rumple tells Milah what happened (more or less). Milah is outraged that Rumple bargained away their child, but Rumple tells her that if they don't have a second child, there will be nothing to worry about. Suddenly Baelfire awakes, and their conversation ends. Milah tells Rumple she's going to the bar.
Many years later, after Rumple becomes the Dark One, he returns to Fendrake's hut, and tells the healer that he does not like owing things to people, and so crushes Fendrake's heart, seemingly ending the contract.
In the modern Underworld, Hades pressures Hook to choose three of his friends to leave behind in the underworld, but Hook refuses. Disappointed, Hades takes Hook on a trip down the River Acheron, which is filled with lost souls. Hades leaves Hook chained up over the river, slowly sinking downwards where he will eventually join the souls in the river.
Mr. Gold goes to the pawn shop in search of his father, Peter Pan, only to find a letter from him saying that the pawn shop is now Gold's, and he may do whatever he pleases with the items inside. Rumple gets ingredients to brew a potion, then holds a crystal ball over the mixture. He sees Belle in the crystal ball. This frightens him, and he drops it, shattering on the floor.
Gold then goes to the Blanchard Loft, where he finds Emma, Snow, David, Regina, Robin and Henry discussing plans. He tells them that Hades' underground chambers have protection spells that will destroy anything living that tries to enter. However, there is a loophole: if they bring one of the dead with them, the aura of the deceased will be enough to mask the entry of two living people. He proposes that Emma and himself be the two living, and has an idea for the dead person that will escort them. Gold then finds Milah, who watches over the children in the Underworld. He asks Milah to help someone she once loved. At first she thinks he means himself, but he tells her he means Killian Jones
Milah complies and they meet Emma at the library. They have an awkward moment before Gold leads them to the Underworld version of the Swan House. They go inside and they join hands before Milah leads them into the basement. Milah prepares to go back to the children, but Emma tells her that Baelfire is in a better place. Milah joins them as they board a boat to journey down the Acheron. They dock at the place where Hook is being held. Gold and Milah stay behind, and Emma goes in alone. She quickly makes it to Hook and pulls him onto a platform, away from the river.
Meanwhile, Regina goes to the diner, and, seeing that the Blind Witch is absent, demands from her substitute where the Witch is, before she sees Cruella slinking through the back halls. Regina catches Cruella and brings her to a table, and asks about the cemetery, to which Cruella replies that if a stone is upright, that person is in the Underworld, if the stone is fallen, the person has moved on to Olympus, and if the stone is cracked, that person has gone to the worse place. Regina and Snow go to the cemetery and locate Daniel's grave. Regina is overjoyed to see that the stone has fallen over. As Regina and Snow are going back to the Blanchard Loft, they find an injured horse. Regina heals it with her power, and realizes that her magic is working, though magic does not work in the Underworld.
Milah tell Gold that, since she now knows that Baelfire is happy, her business is finished, and she will move on when Emma and Hook return. However, Hades appears and freezes Milah, requesting that Gold join him at his home. He proposes a deal to Gold: Hades transports Gold to the world of the living, and Gold prevents the heroes leaving the Underworld. Gold returns to the dock and unfreezes Milah. She asks him what's going on, when he vanishes the boat that would get them to the world of the living. Milah calls for Emma, so he uses magic to push her into the Acheron. As Emma and Hook emerge, he tells them that it was Hades that destroyed the boat and Milah, using his own magic to overpower Gold's.
Emma, Hook and Gold return to the Blanchard loft. Regina attempts to remove Emma's heart to split it, but she is unable to. They go to the cemetery and find that, as Hook refused to abandon his friends in the Underworld, Hades chose which of them to keep: Regina, because she helped Prince Henry move on; Snow, because she helped Hercules and Megara move on; and Emma, because she stopped Hook's destruction.
Gold returns to Hades, requesting that Hades return him to the land of the living, but Hades declines, having never specified when he would do this. He then reveals the crystal ball that Gold broke, and tells him that he wanted to see his child, meaning Baelfire, in the crystal ball, but he saw Belle instead, which means that she is pregnant with Gold's child. Hades then summons Fendrake, and tells Gold that the contract is still active, with Gold owing the baby to Hades instead of Fendrake, but Hades might have mercy if Gold works for him.
- The title card features Hook hanging from a chain.
- The title of this episode was announced by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on November 26, 2015.
- The Enchanted Forest flashbacks take place after "Manhattan" and "Good Form", and before "The Crocodile". (For more details, see the Enchanted Forest timeline)
- The Storybrooke events take place after "Swan Song" and before "Our Decay". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- Hook is first given his ultimatum in "Labor of Love".
- Daniel was killed by Cora in "The Stable Boy".
- Milah was killed by Rumplestiltskin in "The Crocodile".
- Milah mentions Emma dated her son, which was shown in "Tallahassee", and her former lover, which started in "There's No Place Like Home".
- Emma had a vision of Neal in "Souls of the Departed".
- Regina is unable to remove Emma's heart, just like Cora was in "Queen of Hearts". The heart is successfully removed in "Firebird".
- Belle gives birth to her child in "Changelings".
- Hades tears up the contract in "Firebird".
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episodes features Rumplestiltskin from the Rumpelstiltskin fairytale, Captain Hook from the Peter Pan story, Robin Hood from the ballad, Cruella De Vil from The Hundred and One Dalmatians story, and Hades from Greek Mythology.
- Also featured is the Underworld from Greek mythology.
- Peter Pan from the Peter Pan story's voice can be heard from the letter.
- According to the engravings above the archways, two of the rivers in Hades' lair are Styx and Cocytus, two of the five rivers from Greek Mythology. The River of Lost Souls, which can reduce one into a mindless, tormented husk, shares aspects with Lethe, the river of unmindfulness (all those who drank from this river experienced complete forgetfulness), and Styx, which some souls tried to swim across to reach the Underworld in Greek Mythology.
- The snake that bites Baelfire, is an Atlantean rat snake. "Atlantean" refers to Atlantis, the fictional island mentioned in Plato's works Timaeus and Critias.
- The inscription on the gates that Hades takes Hook through reads, "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here". This is a reference to Inferno, the first part of Dante Alighieri's epic poem Divine Comedy. In the poem, Dante passes through the gate of Hell, which bears an inscription ending with the famous phrase:
Through me you pass into eternal pain:
Through me among the people lost for aye.
Justice the founder of my fabric moved:
To rear me was the task of Power divine,
Supremest Wisdom, and primeval Love.
Before me things create were none, save things
Eternal, and eternal I endure.
All hope abandon, ye who enter here."
- Divine Comedy also features the river Lethe, which Once Upon a Time's River of Lost Souls, which runs through the gates, is based on. In the poem, the stream of Lethe flows to the center of the earth from its surface, but its headwaters are located in the Earthly Paradise found at the top of the mountain of Purgatory
- Hades is reading Goethe's Faust in his lair. It is a reworking of a classic German legend, about a man who calls on the Devil for further knowledge and magic powers. The Devil's representative grants Faust magic powers for a set number of years, but at the end of the term, the Devil will claim his soul, and Faust will be eternally damned.
- The platform over the River of Lost Souls, is shaped like a pentacle: A pentagram with a circle around it. While often associated with evil and the devil, the pentacle and the pentagram are also seen as positive and spiritual images. These symbols have been used by major world religions, and can be found in ancient scriptures of Christianity and even Judaism. In earlier times, Christians have widely used the pentagram as a personal charm and a protective amulet, and at one time, the pentagram was used to symbolize the five wounds of Jesus when he was hanged on the cross. The pentagram and the pentacle have also been used by occult faiths and magicians, and today, the pentagram is used as a a symbol for Wicca, Witchcraft, and Paganism. It is also said that the five points of the pentagram represent the five elements, fire, earth, water, air and spirit.
- Fendrake's contract, which he signed over to Hades, reads:
[ Elder Futhark runes, which translate as "contract" ]
Acceptance of this contract dictates the unconditional agreement to this offer. This being "created contract". Here-in being written by Rumpelstiltskin [sic] before Acceptance, [sic] any offer can be withdrawn, but once accepted this contract is binding on both sides. Any conditions that may have been effected as per a counter offer must be accepted by both parties.
Representing the undersigned agent is hereby appointed by Rumplestiltskin to act on behalf of no other person than the undersigned (known as the principal). The amount of authority to deal that the agent has is subject to agreement between the principal and the stated agent. However, otherwise, third parties can assume the [sic] Mr. Gold has full powers to negotiate this contract.
[obscured]must be presented in advance [image ends]
- Underworld duplicates of items from Emma's nursery room in the Enchanted Forest in the Season One premiere "Pilot", the Season Three episodes "Going Home" and "The Tower", and the Season Four episodee "Best Laid Plans", including the baby crib, toys and the unicorn mobile, can be seen inside the Underbrooke Swan House. According to the show creators, this was done to show how the past comes back to haunt Emma, and to remind her of the nursery she never got to live in.
- The exterior scenes in the Enchanted Forest, were filmed in Burnaby's Central Park, and Vancouver's Pacific Spirit Regional Park.
- The entire area where the boat is docked in the river Acheron, including the "dock", the archway, the stairs and the balcony above them, was a green-screen clad set at The Bridge Studios. It was CGIed into the Underworld in post-production.
|Finnish||"Pimeä velka"||"Dark Debt"|
|French||"Pacte avec le Diable"||"Deal with the Devil"|
|German||"Des Teufels Lohn"||"The Devil's Wage"|
|Italian||"Debito con il diavolo"||"Debt with the Devil"|
|Portuguese||"Dever do diabo"||"Duty of the devil"|
|Spanish||"La Deuda del Diablo"||"Devil's Due"|