I'm the savior, right? I'm supposed to bring back all the happy endings.
      —Emma to Mary Margaret
Emma Swan
Enchanted Forest Character
Biographical Information


  • Bail bondsperson (formerly)
  • Deputy Sheriff of Storybrooke (formerly)
  • Sheriff of Storybrooke
Physical Description




Hair color


Eye color


Current Allies
Current Enemies
Current enemies:
Other Information
Portrayed By
First appearance


Latest appearance

"Enter the Dragon"

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Emma Swan, briefly known as Princess Leia, is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. She débuts in the first episode of the first season of Once Upon a Time. She is portrayed by starring cast member Jennifer Morrison and guest star Abby Ross, and does not have a counterpart.


Before First Curse

Emma's parents, Snow White and Prince Charming, are inhabitants of a world called the Enchanted Forest. On the day they marry, the Evil Queen interrupts the ceremony to announce she will destroy the happiness of everyone in the land. Months later, Snow White is heavily pregnant expecting her first child, but worries about what the Evil Queen promised. She convinces Prince Charming to let her see a man who can see the future called Rumplestiltskin. As payment for his services, Rumplestiltskin asks for their child's name, which Snow White later gives as Emma. Rumplestiltskin prophesies the Evil Queen will cast a dreadful dark curse no one can escape, but if their child is saved, she will come back for them on her twenty-eighth birthday. The Blue Fairy strikes a deal with the wood carver Geppetto to make a magic wardrobe for transportation to another world, but he wants his own son, Pinocchio, to be saved as well. Though the wardrobe can protect two people, the Blue Fairy is forced to lie and say only one can be saved. They prepare to send a pregnant Snow White through the wardrobe, she gives birth to Emma on the day the curse is cast. Geppetto disregards the word of the Blue Fairy and sends Pinocchio into the wardrobe anyway. Left little choice, Emma's parents agree she must go to this other world. Emma safety arrives in the land without magic and is picked up by Pinocchio outside of Storybrooke.[1] He goes into a diner claiming to have found her along the highway. They are placed in a foster home together, but Pinocchio abandons her later on. ("Pilot", "The Stranger")

During First Curse

Growing up in the foster care system, Emma bounces from family to family. At three years old, she is adopted by one set of foster parents who abandon her when they get their own child. ("Pilot")

Emma, now eleven years old, lives in a group home in Boston. One day, she and the other children watch as a little girl, Cecilia, leaves in a car for a new home after being adopted. Even as the vehicle pulls away, Emma continues to stare longingly as she, too, desires a family. ("Snow Drifts", "Breaking Glass")

Realizing she will never catch the eye of adoptive parents, Emma hops a bus to Minnesota. In Hopkins, she enters a store and goes to steal a poptart box. Emma notices a girl, Lily, watching her, but the latter walks away. After concealing a box in her jacket, Emma begins walking out when a store employee stops her. Before the woman frisks her, Lily approaches with a cart; thanking Emma for waiting until she got a card to buy their things. Relieved that her cover wasn't blown, Emma expresses gratitude while Lily decides they should team up. After buying food, Lily spots a man in a car pursuing them, but they escape into an alley. Near a lake, the girls take out their food and have a picnic. Emma opens up about why she came to Minnesota as Lily shares similar feelings of being invisible and unseen to the world. Mistakenly, Emma assumes the man in the car is a social worker trying to return Lily to a group home. Lily, however, has other plans and points out a house across the lake, which is vacant during the fall season. She suggests they move in, which Emma happily accepts. Inside the home, following a video game session, Emma sees a star imprint on Lily's wrist. Lily imagines the star makes herself special, and she then draws a matching one on Emma's wrist. Upon finding a camera, they record themselves goofing off. Growing close, Emma and Lily promise to remain friends no matter what. That night, the same man, who chased them earlier, arrives. At first, Emma stubbornly persists that they are not going back into the foster care system, but she learns he is Lily's father. Once the police show up, Lily gives her contact information to Emma so once everything blows over, they'll run away together. Lily attests that though she lied about her family, everything else is real as she was adopted and her home life is miserable. Hurt by her lies, Emma walks away, rubbing off the star on her wrist, as Lily repeatedly calls her name. ("Breaking Glass")

Sometime after this, Emma ends up in another group home in Richfield, Minnesota. Despite the sting of Lily's betrayal, she keeps the camera and the footage of their time together. Another child in the home, Kevin, grabs hold of the camera and toys around with it as the device unknowingly begins recording them. As Emma shouts at him to return the camera, her new foster mother Ingrid, approaches to take the device and returns it to Emma. After Ingrid leaves, Kevin blocks Emma's way and threatens her into giving him the camera, or he'll make her life miserable. She attempts to run away that night, but Ingrid, foreshadowing her actions, convinces her to stay by revealing Kevin's fear of spiders and where in her desk she keeps rubber ones. Realizing Ingrid is helping her, Emma agrees to stay. ("Breaking Glass", "Shattered Sight")

Some time later, Ingrid takes her to a carnival where she unknowingly displays her first signs of magic whilst causing a claw crane game to glitch. After winning, Ingrid states that Emma's a special girl and that she will someday surprise everyone with her "extraordinary gifts". Seeing papers from an agency in Ingrid's bag, Emma assumes she will be sent away again. However, Ingrid happily admits she is adopting her. While she knows Emma might not see her as a mother, she'll gladly be a big sister to her. While waiting for the bus together, Emma suggests it'd be cool to have magic powers so she can teleport home. Ingrid reminds her of how the crane game flickered and implies it wasn't an accident, but Emma just shrugs it off. Knowing of the potential in the girl, Ingrid pulls her in front of an incoming car and pushes her to use magic to stop it. Instead, a frightened Emma flees onto the sidewalk. Ingrid then attempts to connect with Emma by elaborating about discovering of her own powers. Emma, believing Ingrid is crazy, runs off and never returns. ("Shattered Sight")

At seventeen, Emma breaks into a car in Portland, Oregon and meets a man, Neal, who is also attempting to steal the vehicle. Neal sneaks them into a closed amusement park where Emma learns he once had a loving home, but ran away once his father changed too much. They begin dating and pull small robbing heists. While donning a fake pregnancy belly, Emma steals items from a convenience store as Neal distracts the store owner. When they are caught by a customer, Emma feigns labor pains. As they hastily leave, Neal steals a swan keychain for her. The duo drive away and go to a hotel where Neal allows her to make a decision on the place they are going to spend their lives together. Emma picks Tallahassee. Later, Neal admits to being wanted for stealing watches and plans on escaping to Canada alone. Though Neal is against her tagging along, she takes back the stolen watches as he goes to look for someone to buy them so they can use the money for travel. While she waits for him at a meeting spot, the police arrest her for possession of stolen goods. To Emma's heartbreak, she is told Neal tipped them off. She is sent to a minimum security prison in Phoenix for eleven months. One day, Emma tests positive on a pregnancy test when she receives mail from Phuket, Thailand containing the swan keychain and car keys. ("Tallahassee", "There's No Place Like Home")

Sometime during her pregnancy, she decides to give the baby up in a closed adoption. On the day Emma goes into labor and births a son, she struggles with her desire to keep the child. Though tempted to change her mind, Emma believes she simply isn't fit to be a mother. ("The Heart of the Truest Believer")

A decade later, Emma works as a bail bonds person in Boston. She pursues a fugitive named Ryan on her birthday. After turning him into the authorities, she heads back to her flat and lights a cupcake for her twenty-eighth birthday. As she wishes on the candle not to be alone on her birthday, a boy, Henry, shows up claiming to be the son that she gave up for adoption ten years ago. She panics and retreats into the bathroom, but returns to threaten Henry with a police call, but he promises to give them the excuse that she kidnapped him. She warns about her superpower to detect any lie, which leads Henry to plead for her to come home with him to Storybrooke, Maine. During the car ride home, he explains about the Dark Curse that caused all fairytale characters to be trapped. He claims every single story in his book is true and even she is in it, but Emma is still skeptical. Upon reaching town, Henry refuses to give out his address, so she gets it from the boy's therapist, Archie Hopper. She hears more strange allegations from Henry that Archie is Jiminy Cricket and everyone in town is from the Enchanted Forest. After bringing him home, Henry's adoptive mother, Regina invites her in for apple cider. Emma reassures Regina that she won't be a problem, especially since the father doesn't know Henry exists. Emma makes a passing comment on Henry's claims about fairy tales, though Regina has no knowledge of any of that. As Emma departs from the house, she sees Henry peering at her from his bedroom window. On her drive out of town, she notices he left his book on the car seat, and her . When she looks back up, a stray wolf on the road causes her to swerve the car, hit the town marker and fall unconscious.

She wakes up in a jail cell, and in the next cell to hers is the town drunk, Leroy while a mechanic, Marco, is fixing a sink in the room. The sheriff, Graham, arrives to unlock Leroy's cell and allow him to go. Emma alleges a wolf in the middle of the road distracted her, though he bets she was drunk on Regina's apple cider. Storming into the sheriff's office, Regina reports Henry has run away again. After some snooping, Emma questions Mary Margaret Blanchard, Henry's teacher, because he previously used her credit card to make a payment on a birth mother tracking site. When they are alone, Mary Margaret suggests checking Henry's castle playground where he usually frequents. At the playground, Emma returns Henry's book to him as he laments in disappointment over the lack of change since bringing her back. He requests her to stay in town for a week to prove he's right about the curse. When he claims his life sucks, Emma explains her own sob story of being abandoned many times. Henry insists she wasn't discarded and came through from another world. After dropping him off again, Emma shares with Regina the coincidence of how she and Henry met. Regina, however, wants Emma to have nothing further to do with Henry, who she has no legal right to. Despite that Regina says she loves Henry, Emma is not convinced. She takes Henry's advice and checks into an inn for a week. By chance, she meets the town rent collector, Mr. Gold, there. ("Pilot")

The next morning, Emma receives apples from Regina for her trip back to Boston. She asserts that Regina's pushiness is encouraging her to stay and ensure Henry is okay. Regina insists she has things under control; clarifying that Henry is in therapy and warns Emma not to underestimate her power. At the diner, Emma receives a free hot chocolate from the waitress and mistakenly believes it's from Graham. As she rejects his flirting, Henry reveals he sent it and invites her to walk him to school. On the way there, he adopts the code name "Operation Cobra" for their plan to keep the Evil Queen from realizing they are working to break the curse. He then gives her storybook photos of Emma as an infant and claims she is the daughter of Prince Charming and Snow White. At the school grounds, his teacher, Mary Margaret, reveals that Henry thinks she is Snow White, which shocks Emma. In a conversation with Henry's therapist, Archie, Emma is urged never to use the word "crazy" as it could damage the boy. Archie discloses that the fairytales are Henry's way of coping with problems like his difficult relationship with Regina. Archie gives her Henry's files, which she begins reading when Graham arrests her for "stealing" them. From this, Emma recognizes Regina framed her, but Mary Margaret bails her out. Spitefully, Emma buys a chainsaw to cut Regina's apple tree, and then warns the mayor against trying anything again. Soon, Regina evicts Emma from the inn due to a "no-felons policy" and puts a boot on her car. Seemingly remorseful, Regina arranges a meeting with Emma where she apologizes for her actions due to fears that she will take away Henry. Emma explains she wants to be sure Henry, who seems so troubled, is doing all right. She talks about his imagination mixing reality and fantasy, which is "crazy". Overhearing her words, Henry runs off as Emma realizes Regina purposely made her look bad. After paying back Mary Margaret for bail, the schoolteacher counsels her against leaving town because she needs to protect Henry. Bursting into Archie's office, Emma regains Henry's trust by telling him she told Regina what was necessary to throw her off their trail as they work to break the curse. To prove it, she takes the storybook pictures and burns them so Regina will never find out. With his faith restored, Henry happily runs to hug Emma. ("The Thing You Love Most")

Out of a place to stay, Emma begins sleeping in her car while looking for open rooms in the town newspaper. By chance, Mary Margaret offers Emma a spare room in her apartment. Emma turns her down citing she is not the roommate type. The next day, at the playground, Henry claims to have found Emma's father and shows her a photo of Prince Charming in the story book. Due to his persistence about the matter, she helps convince Mary Margaret to read to a comatose patient, John Doe, who Henry stubbornly believes is Prince Charming. Emma hopes with Mary Margaret's help, Henry will eventually see fairytales are not real. The following morning, Mary Margaret gushes to Emma and Henry about John Doe grabbed her hand. Emma follows them to the hospital and discovers John Doe has disappeared from his room. She finds it strange the mayor is getting herself involved in the case, though Regina gives a recollection of how she found John Doe on the side of the road and became his emergency contact. Despite that Regina pushes her to stay out of the situation, Emma ignores her advice and she, along with Mary Margaret and Graham, look over security tapes in the hospital from last night, which show John Doe getting up and walking out the back exit into the forest. In the woods, Graham tracks John Doe's trail until it goes cold. Mary Margaret wonders if Emma's job as bonds bails person is good for finding people. Emma states it is viable in cities and relates how she got into the job from unsuccessfully searching for her birth parents. Abruptly, Henry leaps out to reveal knowledge about where John Doe is because he's looking for Mary Margaret. Emma wants to take Henry home, but Graham interrupts to show them John Doe's bloody hospital bracelet. They find John Doe passed out in the water near the Toll Bridge. While Graham calls an ambulance, Mary Margaret gives John Doe mouth to mouth resuscitation. Back at the hospital, John Doe's wife, Kathryn Nolan, rushes to reunite with her husband, whose real name is David Nolan. Emma finds it suspicious Kathryn didn't discover her husband's whereabouts until now, but lets it slide. That night, Emma changes her mind and moves into Mary Margaret's apartment. ("Snow Falls")

Heading into Any Given Sundae, Emma prepares to buy cherry vanilla ice cream for Henry when she is shocked to see Ingrid standing behind the counter. Having arrived in Storybrooke months ago, Ingrid confesses she's been waiting for Emma to walk into her shop. Emma notices Ingrid hasn't aged in appearance since she last saw her ten years ago. To this, Ingrid reasons it's because time is frozen in Storybrooke just like Henry told Emma. Without either noticing, Sidney, who is spying on Emma for Regina, snaps a photo of them from outside the store. As her former foster mother recalls something an apprentice once said, Emma concludes she is delusional and prepares to call Sheriff Graham. Before she can, Ingrid pulls out a stone and takes away her memories of their exchange. Emma, remembering nothing, is steadied by Ingrid, who pretends to catch her from fainting. Ingrid gives her two pints of cherry vanilla as well a spoonful of rocky road. As Emma leaves, Ingrid watches her with a saddened expression. ("Breaking Glass")

Emma is offered the position of deputy by Sheriff Graham, but takes time to think on it. At the diner, she apprehended by Regina about her history of never staying in one place for very long. Regina tries to persuade her to not disappoint Henry and just leave town now. After she is gone, Emma spills hot chocolate all over her shirt and is directed to a laundry machine in the back room. While changing clothes, she finds Ashley, a nineteen year-old pregnant maid, doing laundry. Ashley is in deep despair that no one believes she can be a good mother, to which Emma advises her to make changes if she is truly serious about keeping the baby. The next morning, Mr. Gold asks for Emma's help in tracking down Ashley, who broke into his shop, and disappeared. Along with Henry, Emma goes around questioning Ruby and Ashley's ex-boyfriend, Sean. From speaking with Sean's father, she learns about Ashley's adoption contract with Mr. Gold. After discovering Ruby lent Ashley a car, she and Henry rush to stop her from fleeing town for Boston. On the side of the road, Ashley is going into labor, to which Emma drives her back to the hospital. After receiving an announcement of Ashley's smooth delivery of a healthy baby girl, Mr. Gold comes to collect the baby, but Emma promises to owe him a favor if he tears the contract up. Agreeing to the deal, Mr. Gold leaves the hospital empty-handed. She drives Henry home just before Regina arrives back and sees him missing. On the side of the road, Emma decides to call Graham and accept the job of deputy to further cement roots in Storybrooke for Henry's sake. ("The Price of Gold")

On the day she officially receives the deputy's badge, a large earthquake rumbles through Storybrooke. She and Graham investigate at a caved in sinkhole. Disdainfully, Regina catches on that Emma is now part of the police force team. She is assigned to push back the townspeople away from the mine damage, but is called, along with Archie, to the sidelines by Henry. He implies to them that there might be something down in the tunnels to prove the curse is real. Nonetheless, Emma is shooed back to doing her job when Regina intervenes. A few nights later, she advises Mary Margaret that it's no good to get involved with David since he is married. Henry makes an unexpected visit in tears as he tells them Archie called his fairytale theories delusional. After bringing him home, Emma goes to Archie's office to tell him off. Soon after, she gets a furious call from Regina asking where her son is. Archie concludes Henry has run away to the sinkhole to find proof of the curse. At the mine site, Archie dives into the sinkhole before the entrance collapses. With Archie's dog, Pongo, he tracks his owner and Henry's scents to a grate with an elevator shaft below. Emma is slowly lowered down to pull both Henry and Archie up. Safe and sound above ground, Emma goes to reunite with Henry, but Regina pushes her away from him. ("That Still Small Voice")

After David is released from the hospital, she and Henry attends his welcome home party. Emma tries to convince Henry that the reason David got lost a few nights back by the Toll Bridge is due to amnesia. Later, she is on night duty patrol since Graham excused himself with other priorities. As she drives by Regina's house, Emma spots someone climbing out the window. When Emma tackles the person, she discovers that it is Graham and figures out he has been having an affair with Regina. She leaves in disgust. ("The Shepherd")

Swinging by the diner for a late nightcap, Emma immediately bolts the minute she sees Graham inside. In a drunken stupor, he chases her down; attempting to explain his relationship with Regina is purely physical with no emotional attachments. She doesn't care for the explanation, but loses her guard when Graham kisses her. Harshly, she rejects him. In the morning, Emma scoffs upon seeing roses sitting on the apartment counter. Assuming they are from Graham, she tosses them into the garbage bin, however, Mary Margaret admits the flowers are for her from Dr. Whale. Mary Margaret can tell Emma is falling for Graham, despite that she doesn't want to face it. At work, Emma, bored, throws darts at a board when Regina enters. She notes Graham isn't in today and it must be because he spent the night with Regina. Emma is accused of having a more than professional relationship with Graham, but affirms anything that did happen meant nothing. As a final warning, Regina dissuades her from interfering in Graham's life and sending him down the wrong path. From Henry, Emma learns Graham consulted with him. Out of concern, Emma asks Graham what is actually wrong. He prattles about needing to find his heart by following a wolf. It all sounds insane to Emma until she actually sees a wolf behind Graham. They chase it to the cemetery where he recognizes a vault from Henry's story book. The door is locked, so Emma kicks it in. Graham doesn't find his heart inside, but they are caught by Regina. Graham cuts his ties with her and Regina blames Emma for it, even going so far as to hit her. The two women have a physical altercation until Graham breaks it up. Emma and Graham head back to the station where they share another kiss. Oddly, he pulls away and thanks her for helping him remember. Before she can ask him that means, he suddenly collapses and dies from a fatal heart attack. ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter")

Two weeks later, Mr. Gold convinces Emma to become sheriff since she already is deputy. Before she can put the badge on, Regina fires her and plans to put Sidney as the new sheriff. Led on by Mr. Gold, Emma challenges Regina with the town charter rules, which state a mayor can only support a candidate and not instate one. Emma quickly wins support from the townspeople after rescuing Regina from a fire in town hall, which she later realizes was staged by Mr. Gold. On the day Emma gives her candidate electoral speech, she exits out of the race after indicting Mr. Gold as the fire-starter culprit to the townspeople. To Emma's surprise, her courage in standing up to Mr. Gold earns everyone's respect and she is elected as the new sheriff. ("Desperate Souls")

She quickly gets her first job as sheriff afterwards when two orphans, Ava and Nicholas Zimmer, shoplift from Mr. Clark's store and Regina wants them to be sent to the foster system in Boston. In the middle of all this, Henry wants to know about his real father. Emma makes up a fake heroic story of his father dying as a firefighter while saving lives to spare him knowledge of the truth. Eventually, Emma finds the orphans' father, Michael Tillman, but he wants nothing to do with them. As she is leaving Storybrooke with the children for Boston, her car breaks down. She calls Michael, and when he arrives, she convinces him to take the children in. In the evening, she and Henry talk a nightly stroll when a mysterious man drives by into town on his motorcycle asking for the nearest inn. After he is gone, she asks Henry if strangers usually come to Storybrooke. He confirms they don't. ("True North")

The next day, Emma catches Mary Margaret in a lie when she claims to be helping her students build a volcano, but finds that she has been coming to the diner everyday at seven-fifteen in the morning to see David. Again, she presses Mary Margaret to not get mixed up with him. On the street, Regina orders Emma to check out the stranger in town. She confronts him to ask what he carries around in the wooden box strapped to his motorcycle. Only after she consents to his offer of a drink, he opens the box to reveal a typewriter and explains the town is writing inspiration for him. He leaves and promises to buy her a drink in the future. ("7:15 A.M.")

Once more, Emma butts heads with Regina. Like her, Sidney has been nursing a grudge against Regina since she fired him from his editing job. Emma is unsure about helping him, so he gives her his name card. However, when Regina tears down Henry's castle for so-called safety concerns, Emma becomes angry and calls Sidney. Together, they discover Regina is keeping quite a few secrets, such as embezzlement of fifty thousand dollars from the treasury and land she bought from Mr. Gold to build a house in the woods. When they expose her greed at the town meeting, Regina reveals her "house" is actually a modern playground for Henry and for all the children of Storybrooke. Humiliated and ashamed, Emma leaves, but Regina catches up and warns her to stay away from Henry, or else she will get a restraining order. Emma and Sidney go have a drink at the diner and vow to become allies against Regina's cruelty. ("Fruit of the Poisonous Tree")

On Valentine's Day, Mary Margaret, Ruby and Ashley all invite her to attend their girls' night out party, but she declines as work keeps things busy. She discovers that Mr. Gold has been robbed by Moe French and recovers all but one of the stolen items, which makes him very angry. Going on a hutch, Emma follows Mr. Gold into the woods and breaks into a shed to find him pummeling Moe. After she arrests and put him in a cell, Emma is bribed by Regina to allow her some alone time with Mr. Gold. In return, Emma is given free time with Henry, which they spend by grabbing some ice cream. ("Skin Deep")

Outside the diner, Emma bumps into the stranger, who gives his name as August W. Booth, and he finally takes her out for a drink. They ride his motorcycle to the wishing well and he fills her in on the lore of magic water that can restore something once lost. Emma and August both take sips from the well. Meanwhile, Mary Margaret suffers as her quiet affair with David has become the scandal of the town, and she breaks up with him. That night, Emma keeps a miserable Mary Margaret company. ("What Happened to Frederick")

Emma notices Mary Margaret's reputation takes a dive after the whole roomful of people at the diner ignore her efforts to ask for Miner's Day festival volunteers. Following a quick chat with Mary Margaret, she heads to the site of Kathryn's disappearance to give David the news of his wife's missing status. Sidney procures inside information from a phone company with evidence of Kathryn's eight-minute long conversation with David. Though this makes David a possible suspect, Emma doesn't pursue the matter any further until Regina comes to the station looking for news on Kathryn. Regina threatens to replace Emma if she is covering for someone. Reluctantly, Emma goes to the festival and places David into custody as a person of interest in the case. ("Dreamy")

She stays up all night interviewing David, but he sticks to his story of having nothing to do with Kathryn's disappearance. Emma grudgingly lets David leave and advises him to get a lawyer. As she is walking home, she meets up with Mary Margaret, and begins a conversation with her about David. At the corner, they see Ruby at the bus stop evading the advances of Dr. Whale. After forcing him to leave, they learn Ruby is out of a job and place to stay, so Emma and Mary Margaret take her in as an apartment roommate. Though Ruby has a difficult time finding a job, Emma recognizes that she has a knack for answering phones and hires her as an assistant. Just then, Mary Margaret walks in to notify Emma about how strange David is acting in the forest. She and Ruby head there to come across a delirious and bleeding David. At the hospital, Dr. Whale diagnoses it as a blackout similar to what David experienced just after waking up from the coma. Regina barges in to demand David's arrest. To keep that from happening, Emma instructs Ruby to look for something useful for the investigation before David goes into another trance. Ruby complies and finds a box with a human heart in it, but decides the job is not for her and resigns. Afterwards, Emma runs scans on the box for fingerprints. She goes to the animal shelter to inform David and Mary Margaret of the results. Rather than David, the prints are Mary Margaret's. ("Red-Handed")

Left little choice, Emma arrests and brings her into the sheriff department to begin taking mug shots. Mary Margaret insists that she has been framed. Though Emma believes her, she has to do her job or face the wraith of Regina. She takes Mary Margaret to an interrogation room. Mary Margaret is outraged, but Emma must adhere to her job as sheriff. She questions Mary Margaret as a suspect as Regina sits by as a third-party to ensure Emma is being unbiased. Inadvertently, Mary Margaret reveals the jewelry box found containing Kathryn's heart belongs to her. To this, Regina sympathizes with how Mary Margaret must be feeling as a woman spurned and placed into a "dark place". Outside the room, Emma tells Regina not to comment during the interrogation, though the mayor attests that a heartbroken woman is capable of doing unspeakable things. More and more evidence builds against Mary Margaret, but Emma remains a staunch ally. Emma advises her to find a lawyer, at which Mr. Gold offers his services. Mary Margaret accepts. Meanwhile, Emma goes to check for signs of a break-in at the apartment. Henry insists that Regina is framing Mary Margaret and presents a set of keys from Regina's office as proof, which he claims can open any door in Storybrooke. After some tries, one of the keys successfully unlocks the door, to Emma's astonishment. Emma discovers a knife hidden in the air vent, and confronts Mary Margaret over this, but she continues to claim innocence. She believes Mary Margaret is being framed and begins trying to work against the building case. ("Heart of Darkness")

That night, she walks into the sheriff department in an active conversation with Mr. Gold. Henry praises her for the escape plan, but Emma has no idea what he is talking about until finding Mary Margaret missing from the cell. Mr. Gold urges that Mary Margaret must be found before eight o'clock, which is the time of the arraignment as well as when Regina will arrive at the station and discover her gone. Emma goes out in search of Mary Margaret and accidentally hits a man, Jefferson, on the road. To make it up to him, she drives Jefferson home. He invites Emma into his house and offers her some tea. After drinking it, she passes out and awakens to find herself bound up. To break free, Emma smashes a tea cup with a pillow and uses one of the broken edges to cut out her way out. She sneaks past Jefferson, who is sharpening a pair of scissors, and discovers Mary Margaret in a separate room. They attempt to escape, but are caught by Jefferson. Emma is taken to a separate room filled with hats and commanded by Jefferson to make a hat so that he can go back to the Enchanted Forest. Since he believes himself to be the Mad Hatter, she concludes that Jefferson must be in on Henry's theory. He refuses to let her go until she makes a hat "work", though Emma only makes an unfinished bowler hat. Jefferson shows her a telescope image of a girl next door, who he believes is his daughter, Grace. To gain his trust, Emma pretends to sympathize by declaring that she thinks Mary Margaret is her own mother. When his back is turned, she hits him on the head with the telescope and hurries to Mary Margaret. A brief struggle with Jefferson ensues, but Mary Margaret hits and kicks him out the window. They begin leaving after finding no sign of Jefferson anywhere. Emma offers Mary Margaret the option of taking her car and leaving for Boston or going back to the jail. She confesses fears about being lonely if Mary Margaret leaves because she considers her to be family. Mary Margaret decides to go back to the jail. In the aftermath, Emma meets up with Henry at school when the same girl Jefferson pointed out to her, Paige, walks past. She borrows Henry's book and turns to a section showing a photo of the Mad Hatter and his daughter. Emma is confused by the photographic resemblance. ("Hat Trick")

While headed off to work, she is approached by David, who clarifies his last encounter with Mary Margaret, and that he doesn't actually think she is guilty. David wants to see her in person, but Emma presses that Mary Margaret doesn't want visitors, and the last person she needs to hear from is him. At the sheriff's office, Mr. Gold suggests Mary Margaret's personality can help the charges get dropped, so Emma thinks it'd be a good idea to allow an interview with the District Attorney. In passing, Sidney hands over flowers for Emma, though he is regretful to not finding anything in the case showing Regina is involved. From outside the room, Emma and Regina watch the interview between the District Attorney Mr. Spencer and Mary Margaret. However, it all goes awry when Mary Margaret has an agitated outburst over her innocence being called into question and admits in the heat of the moment that she "wanted Kathryn gone", which serves as a murder confession. Later, Emma is approached by August, who gives her some advice on revisiting old information in the case to discover new tidbits. They go past the Toll Bridge where Ruby found the jewelry box with the human heart in it. While examining the hole, she finds a shovel shard. Emma has a hunch about whose shovel it is, and enlists the help of Henry to infiltrate Regina's garage. Inside, Emma finds a shovel with a chipped off piece, which is a perfect fit with the broken shard. Having found the link Regina has both to the crime scene and as a suspect in the case, Emma comes to the front door the next day with a search warrant to look in the shed. To her surprise, the shovel is now fully intact. Thinking she has been betrayed, she confronts August about his double crossing by assisting Regina, but he claims his innocence profusely; something Emma has a hard time believing. Later, the police come to take Mary Margaret away in preparation for the trial. She is upset that putting her trust in Mr. Gold has yielded no help for Mary Margaret, though he claims there is still time to "work a little magic". Unable to simmer her frustration, Emma hurls the vase of flowers in her office across the room. It smashes, and between the broken glass and wet flowers, she finds an audio spying device. This helps her realize Sidney was spying on her, not August. She quickly finds and apologies to August. Then, they hear Ruby's frantic scream behind the diner. Emma goes into the alley to investigate and finds a battered up and alive Kathryn. ("The Stable Boy")

During Kathryn's recovery stay at the hospital, Emma goes to take a statement from her. Kathryn remembers being kidnapped and kept alive in a dark basement where food and water were readily available, but there was never anyone around. She recounts being drugged, waking up in a field near town and crawling her way to the alley. With one job done, Emma approaches Sidney at the diner to let him know she is aware of his backstabbing. Though Sidney does not deny Regina is dangerous, he also admits to being in love with her. She leaves him an ultimatum to help her find the evidence Regina is behind Mary Margaret's false murder charge, or go down with Regina once incriminating proof is found. Since Kathryn's reappearance, Mary Margaret is relieved of any wrongdoing in the case. Emma throws her a welcome home party in the apartment as many town residents show up for the celebration. She has suspicions that Mr. Gold may have kidnapped and held Kathryn hostage, but he plays off her claims. Emma sends Henry home early to keep Regina from finding out where he's been. As she opens the door, David is on the other side. Since Mary Margaret is not ready to speak to him yet, she asks him to walk Henry home. Later in the night, Emma goes back to the sheriff's office where Regina comes forward with a confession. To her annoyance, Sidney admits to having abducted Kathryn in the hopes he might obtain his editor job back. She doesn't believe him and leads Regina out to the hallway for a talk. Once they are alone, Emma cannot hold back from containing her disgust at Regina's scheming ways. Regina reveals nothing in her involvement in kidnapping Kathryn, but Emma has had it with the mayor. She vows to make her pay, especially since Regina once took away someone she loved, and now she will do the same by fighting for custody of her son, Henry. ("The Return")

Emma turns to Mr. Gold for assistance in taking on Regina so she can have Henry. He refuses to help, so this points her into August's direction as an alternative. He takes her to a road in the woods and confronts Emma with the truth—that she is the savior and must save everyone from the curse. August introduces himself as Pinocchio, the seven-year-old that found her when she was an infant, and to prove his point, he shows her his leg. To Emma, she sees nothing but a normal leg. She moves to walk away, to which August angrily scolds her for not believing that everyone needs her. Emma does not want responsibility for others, which she claims the role of sheriff gives her. Taking matters into her own hands, she picks up Henry for a drive in her car, but is actually leaving town with him. ("The Stranger")

Henry begs Emma not to depart from Storybrooke since she still needs to save everyone from the curse. However, she'd rather bring him out of town so he can be away from Regina for good. When she doesn't listen to Henry, he purposely swerves the car as the vehicle crashes into a ditch. Pushed by his insistent pleads that Emma's family needs her, she decides to drop the plan for now. Emma returns to the apartment to face a disappointed roommate. Mary Margaret is very upset, despite that Emma once considered them as family, she left without a word. She admits to not wanting the role of sheriff and people relying on her. Emma confesses she attempted to take Henry with her as well. Mary Margaret calls attention to the fact kidnapping Henry has never been what's best for a child, and Emma just wants to run away by reverting into the previous person she used to be. She takes Mary Margaret's advice by figuring out what is best for Henry, and goes to confer with Archie about gaining custody. He doesn't see the chances as very likely since Henry has been continuously misbehaving since her arrival in town. Out of choices, she informs Regina that she is leaving Storybrooke, but wants visitation with Henry. Regina agrees and gives her a baked apple turnover as a parting travel treat. As Emma is packing up her belongs in the apartment, Henry enters. She lets him know her reasons for leaving town, that other people shouldn't be hurt in the tug-of-war with Regina, and the two have a farewell hug. However, he is uneasy at the sight of Regina's apple turnover on the counter. Henry snatches the turnover and states that she may not believe in the curse or in him, but he believes in her. Then, he bites into the turnover and faints. ("An Apple Red as Blood")

Horrified at the turn of events, Emma takes Henry to the hospital and refuses to leave his side. While checking his bag, she grabs the book and receives a flash of memories of her brief time in the Enchanted Forest. She attacks Regina, realizing that it is her fault Henry is sick. Regina admits everything, and together they set off to Mr.Gold's. He gives Emma her father's sword, and Regina guides her to Maleficent's underground prison. Abandoning the sword early on, Emma uses her gun on the dragon; to no avail. Eventually, she slays Maleficent with the sword, and retrieves the true love potion. As she is travelling up the elevator, it stops suddenly and Emma calls for help. Mr. Gold answers, claiming Regina has "run off". She tosses him the egg, which he leaves with. She climbs up to see Regina tied up and frees her. They prepare to go after Mr. Gold, but receive an urgent call from the hospital and learn upon arrival that Henry has passed. Emma kisses Henry's forehead as a goodbye; inadvertently triggering the effects of true love's kiss. He comes back to life as the curse breaks and a purple smoke engulfs town. ("A Land Without Magic")

After First Curse

Shortly after the purple smoke clears, Emma reunites with Mary Margaret and David after the curse has been broken. She pulls back after the tender moment and states to her allies, including Granny, Ruby, Mother Superior and the seven dwarves, have to find Mr. Gold and ask him what he did to Storybrooke by releasing the purple smoke. As they walk towards the pawn shop, her parents attempt to get Emma to open up to them. Emma is still reeling from finding out who they are and asks for time to adjust. Suddenly, Archie rushes up to inform them that Dr. Whale is leading an angry mob to Regina's house. Prompted by Henry's concern for Regina, they make it in time to stop Dr. Whale. With her parents, they decide to place Regina in a jail cell for protection and then confront Mr. Gold for his misdeeds. Mr. Gold believes that he deserves thanks for bringing Emma to her parents, breaking the curse and saving Henry's life, which she is doubtful he has any credit in. Instead, they learn Mr. Gold released a Wraith upon town to destroy Regina. They temporarily stop the creature, but Regina has a more permanent solution by using a hat to send it away. At town hall, Regina's attempt at opening a vortex fails until Emma grabs her hand and unintentionally activates the hat. Emma pushes Regina out of the way when the Wraith moves to grab her. As the Wraith falls into the vortex, Emma is drawn in, to which Mary Margaret follows through. The two women land in the Enchanted Forest and are found by Aurora and Mulan. ("Broken")

Emma and Mary Margaret are accused of killing Prince Phillip and taken hostage by Aurora and Mulan, who then take them to a survivors' haven. Mary Margaret makes an attempt to escape, but is knocked unconscious. She and Emma are forced into a holding pit. Out of the darkness, Cora greets Emma. ("We Are Both")

Emma learns Cora is Regina's mother, and is discouraged by Mary Margaret from speaking to her any further. She is more inclined to take chances with Cora since they have no one else to rely on, and reminds Mary Margaret that they need to get back to David and Henry. Cora tries to ask about Henry, but Mary Margaret cuts her off. The two are released to speak with the leader of the survivors, Lancelot, who Mary Margaret is acquainted with. He offers to help them return home, but insists no more portals exist. Mary Margaret knows of one possibly in existence, so the two women travel to the location with Mulan. Near nighttime, they decide to camp out. While Mary Margaret and Mulan go fetch supplies, Emma waits. However, she rushes to the scene of a scuffle as Aurora, who deliberately followed them, attempts to harm Mary Margaret and they are pulled apart by Mulan. Annoyed, Emma fires her gun into the air, attracting an ogre. She nearly killed by it, though Mary Margaret takes care of the ogre by shooting an arrow in its eye. Continuing on, they reach the old castle of Snow White and Prince Charming. Aurora and Mulan wait outside as Emma and Mary Margaret go inside. Emma gets a first glimpse of her would-be nursery had she never left the Enchanted Forest as well as the magic wardrobe that took her to the land without magic. They receive an unexpected appearance by Lancelot, who is revealed to be Cora in disguise. Cora battles them for the wardrobe, but Emma sets it on fire. In the end, Cora is forced to flee. Before they leave, Emma finally expresses anger over being abandoned by her parents, but realizes how much they gave up for her sake. Tearfully, Emma admits she is not used to having someone putting her first while Mary Margaret tells her to get used to it. They embrace and depart shortly after. ("Lady of the Lake")

Returning to the safe haven, the four women find that the camp has been attacked and no one appears to be left alive. Aurora discovers Hook beneath a pile of bodies, and he attempts to deceive the foursome by stating he survived Cora's attack on the camp by hiding under some dead bodies. Emma is not buying his story and puts a knife to Hook's throat, saying that she can tell when a person is lying. She ties Hook to a tree so the ogres can eat him. Unable to best Emma, Hook reveals his true identity as a shocked Mary Margaret pulls his hook out of his satchel. Hook admits to working with Cora, but offers to join forces with Emma and her team as he knows a way to get to Storybrooke. Most of all, he wants to go to Storybrooke to get revenge on Rumplestiltskin for taking away his hand. Emma decides to cut him free. Then, he leads them to a giant beanstalk stretching up into the sky, and explains there is an enchanted compass at the top, but first they must deal with the giant guarding it. ("The Doctor")

After much "discussion", Emma overrules all the other women and climbs up the beanstalk with Hook. Before doing so, Emma takes Mulan aside to task her with cutting down the beanstalk if she and Hook are not back in ten hours time and make sure Mary Margaret gets home. Mulan agrees, and gives Emma poppy dust to use on the giant. During the climb, Hook exhibits perceptive knowledge of Emma's status as an orphan and her wish to prevent Henry from going through the same thing. At the top of the beanstalk, Emma and Hook arrive in the realm of the giants. She suggests they use the poppy dust to put the giant to sleep. As Hook passes her the powder, Emma spies a tattoo on his arm with a woman's name on it, and guesses that he loved this person. Hook lures the giant out towards Emma, who manages to knock him out by throwing the dust. They wander through the giant's lair, with Emma looking for the magical compass, while Hook seems to have more of an eye on the treasure. Emma notices a tripwire and stops him in his tracks by grabbing his arm. He jests that she likes him, which she strongly refutes. They spot the compass on a top of a golden bird cage, but before retrieving it, the giant storms in. As large falling stones appear to crush Hook, Emma is grabbed and squeezed in the giant's fist. She explains an urgency in returning home, but he is angry since humans killed all of his family. Close to blacking out, Emma bites the giant's finger. His grip on her loosens, to which she traps the giant in his own enclosure. The giant is fearful that Emma will kill him, but she promises not to. After much conversation, the giant sees she is not a bad person and gives her the compass while freeing himself out of the cage. As a favor for letting him live, he punches out an exit for her to leave through. Emma presses that he owes her a second favor for not harming him while he was out cold. She asks him to hold back Hook for a period of time. She goes to check up on Hook, but then traps him. Emma makes it down the beanstalk in time to stop a scuffle between Mary Margaret and Mulan. ("Tallahassee")

Throughout the journey, Aurora has been having repetitive, frightening nightmares and wakes up after a strange dream encounter. To Emma's shock, Aurora informs her that she met Henry in one of her dreams. ("Child of the Moon")

While Emma is confused as to Henry and Aurora could possibly share the same dream, Mary Margaret speaks up and informs the group she has been to the land that Aurora mentioned before. They decide to let Aurora go back to sleep and stand guard over her. Suddenly, the camp is attacked by Cora's army of heartless humans, and Emma and Mary Margaret defend themselves while Aurora and Mulan run off into the woods. After the battle, Aurora is discovered to be missing and in Cora's captivity. On the journey to gather more poppy dust so Mary Margaret can reach the Netherworld, a raven from Cora gives them a message. Cora wants the compass by sundown in exchange for Aurora's safety. Mulan attempts to grab the compass, but then agrees to wait and see if they can contact Henry first. During Mary Margaret's attempt to reach Henry in the Netherworld, she awakens to tell Emma that David put himself under the Sleeping Curse to tell them they need squid ink to defeat Cora. Then, they realize Mulan made off with the compass and catch up to her. Aurora reappears to break up a fight between Mary Margaret and Mulan; explaining she escaped with Hook's help. The four head off towards Rumplestiltskin's old cell to find the squid ink. ("Into the Deep")

As they arrive at the designated location, Aurora finds a note scribbled with Emma's name. Out of nowhere, Aurora entraps all of them inside the cell, which is later explained when Cora reveals she has the girl's heart in her possession. Emma presses Hook not to side with Cora, but he is embittered at her words. The two leave to begin making the travel to Storybrooke. While trapped in the cell, Mary Margaret figures out there is squid ink on the note and uses it to melt away the cage bars. At Aurora's insistence she cannot be trusted, Mulan binds her up. They hurry to Lake Nostos where Mary Margaret fires an arrow to shoot the compass out of Cora's reach. Mulan quickly leaves the battle to restore Aurora's heart after Hook returns it. While Emma duels with Hook, she renders him unconscious after grabbing hold of the compass. Only Cora is left, and Emma is flung aside by her as she stalks forward to rip out Mary Margaret's heart. Emma hastily gets up to push Mary Margaret away so Cora reaches inside her chest instead. As Cora pulls at Emma's heart, she finds herself incapable of getting it out. A burst of light shoots out of Emma's chest; knocking Cora unconscious. Joining hands, Emma and Mary Margaret leap into the portal. Successfully, they reenter Storybrooke from within the wishing well. Henry has a tremendously emotional return with both of them. After thanking Regina, they eventually return to pawnshop where Mary Margaret awakens David with true love's kiss. Emma speaks to Mr. Gold about the note in his old cell and accuses him of pulling strings in her life from the very beginning. Mr. Gold, however, states that he did not create her, and only made use of who and what she is—the product of true love. Emma details Cora's inability to remove her heart, which Mr. Gold remarks is because of magic that is within her, not because of his involvement in pegging her as the savior. To catch up on lost time with her family and friends, she, her parents, Henry, Ruby and the dwarves have dinner at Granny's. ("Queen of Hearts")

At the apartment, Emma and Henry walk in on her parents in bed. The couple convince Henry they are just lying down while Emma awkwardly excuses herself. At night, the townspeople throw a celebration at Granny's in honor of Emma and Mary Margaret's return. Beforehand, Emma learns from Archie of Regina's steady improvements in therapy. With his reassurance that Regina is changing, Emma invites her to the party so Henry can spend time with his mother. When Emma sees Regina leaving the celebration early, she follows her outside. Regina asks to be allowed to spend more time with Henry, but Emma does not think it is a good idea. Emma's response causes a frustrated outburst from Regina, though she quickly apologizes. From this, Emma tells Regina how she came to the decision of inviting her to the party and discloses what Archie said. The next morning, Emma has breakfast with Henry and as they are leaving, Pongo runs over from Archie's office. Ruby senses something is wrong, and then she and Emma investigate at the office to come across a dead Archie. Since Ruby saw Regina's angry exchange with Archie a day earlier, this gives reason that she might have murdered him. Though Regina is brought in for questioning, Emma simply doesn't see any evidence and believes she is actually changing for the better. Instead, Emma believes Mr. Gold is framing the mayor. In turn, she receives a dream catcher to see into Pongo's memories; depicting an image of Regina strangling Archie. As a plan, they agree Regina must be trapped with fairy dust. Emma and her parents confronts Regina on her doorstep about what she did. Mother Superior, on cue, attempts to freeze Regina, but she catches the dust in midair and tosses it aside. In a bout of intense rage, Regina uses magic to physically shove Emma away. Angrily, Emma confirms Henry will never forgive Regina after this and that she is a person not capable of changing. To this, Regina disappears in a cloud of smoke. With reassurance from her parents, she breaks the bad news about Regina to Henry. ("The Cricket Game")

At Archie's funeral, Emma comforts a saddened Henry. Afterwards, she goes back to her apartment where other residents of Storybrooke are also gathered in mourning. Emma is unsure how to comfort Henry in this difficult time as he is clearly very distraught at Archie's death. Leroy approaches Emma and Mary Margaret to ask, on behalf of himself and other dwarves, when they will be returning to the Enchanted Forest. While Emma argues she and Mary Margaret did everything in their power to return to Storybrooke, Leroy is anxious about what is Regina's next move, and whether the broken curse means outsiders will have the capability to come into town. Emma believes they are safe for now while Leroy believes that trouble will happen sooner or later. After a chat with Marco, she gives Pongo to a delighted Henry, but Mary Margaret points out that perhaps she and David should consider finding their own place. This stuns both Emma and David. After Mary Margaret and David go on their house hunt, Emma notices Henry drawing blueprints for what to change if they decide to move out. Emma notices he has converted Mary Margaret's room into an armory for protection from Regina, but promises she'll keep him safe instead. Henry is afraid of what might happen if she tries to take him back. Then, Pongo begins to act unusually in front of the door. Emma opens it to see a very much alive Archie, who explains that Cora abducted him. Henry states they should probably tell Regina, though Emma worries that either way they will pay the price. ("The Outsider")

After a car crashes into Storybrooke, Emma drives to the scene while accompanied by her parents. They observe an amnesiac and frightened Belle who crossed the town line, a run-over Hook with multiple cracked ribs and a passed out stranger in the crashed car. Emma and David work to restrain Mr. Gold from beating Hook to death for what he did to Belle. All three casualties are taken to the hospital as patients. Emma, along with her parents, Leroy and Ruby, try to break into the stranger's phone to learn who he is. After reviewing some paperwork left in the man's car, Emma sees that his name is Greg Mendell. From hacking into the phone, he looks to be a normal person. Dr. Whale comes back from checking up on Greg and says the man is bleeding into his chest cavity. Unsure of his own skill, Dr. Whale consults Mr. Gold for help, but he refuses and only warns that they should hope Greg dies so an outsider can't spread their town's magic secret to the whole world. Emma, David, Mary Margaret, Ruby and Leroy go into a separate room to debate about the pros and cons of helping someone from outside of town. Ultimately, the decision is made to save the stranger's life no matter what. Dr. Whale leaves the room to prep for the surgery, and Mary Margaret remarks how drunk he appears to be. Suddenly, Greg's phone starts ringing. No one dares to answer in fear the phone might be traced to Storybrooke. As they are waiting for the surgery to finish, a male nurse cannot find Dr. Whale, whose pager is the pocket of his disposed lab coat. Ruby runs off to track Dr. Whale by scent and brings him back to perform the operation on Greg. The surgery is a success and Emma goes in to gather information from Greg about what happened. He confesses to texting while driving. With a breath of relief, she and her parents return to the apartment. Henry wishes to know the day's events and after being filled in, he realizes the Frankenstein story is not a fairytale nor does it exist as in the storybook. Abruptly, Mr. Gold pays them a visit to ask Emma to fulfill the favor she owes him by helping find his son, Baelfire. Just before he leaves, Mr. Gold also warns if any harm comes to Belle while he is gone, he will kill them all. ("In the Name of the Brother")

The day after, Emma prepares to leave town with Mr. Gold, but is also bringing Henry so Cora can't get to him. On the way out of Storybrooke, Mr. Gold is able to use a shawl enchanted with magic to cross the town border without losing his memories. At the airport, Emma helps Mr. Gold go through the metal detector, and calms him down after he refuses security's request to take off his shawl. As they wait for the plane to take off, Emma reassures him that it is going to be okay and they will find his son. ("Tiny")

They arrive in Manhattan, and all three step out of a cab in front of an apartment complex. Inside the lobby, Emma is able to spot a room number—407—which has no name listed. She pushes the buzzer, and announces herself as a UPS package deliverer, but then the intercom abruptly switches off and the stranger escapes down the fire escape. On Mr. Gold's request, Emma gives chase. At an alleyway shortcut, she slams into the man, who is revealed to be her ex-boyfriend, Neal. In shock, Emma accuses Neal and his father, Mr. Gold, of conspiring against her because of her origin from the Enchanted Forest. Neal denies it and takes Emma to a bar where she learns that he let her go all those years ago because August told him to. While she feels betrayed, Neal believes that he was leading her home. He suggests that their re-meeting was fated, though Emma brushes his comment off. When Neal notices the swan keychain around her neck, she gives it back. Upon leaving, Emma phones Mary Margaret for advice over whether to tell Henry about Neal or not. Ultimately, she lies to Mr. Gold; reporting that his son escaped. An adamant Mr. Gold breaks into his son's apartment where Emma sees the dream catcher, which Neal kept from their years together. Once Mr. Gold notices and grills her about it, she sends Henry out of the room. As Mr. Gold continues to demand answers, Neal bursts in to stop him. At the commotion, Henry walks into the room, though Emma attempts to escort him out. However, Neal questions if Henry is his son, which Emma hesitantly confirms. Upset, Henry seeks refuge at the fire escape as she follows him out. As justification for her lies, Emma explains her assumption that Neal would never reenter her life and that she wanted to hide her past. Henry accuses her of being just like Regina, who lied to him all the time. She apologizes, but he only asks to meet his father. Emma allows them to meet, but she warns Neal not to hurt Henry like he did to her. ("Manhattan")

Mr. Gold presses for Emma to convince Neal to go back to Storybrooke with them. Emma doesn't see how she still owes him anything since returning the favor. She leaves it up to Mr. Gold to decide what is best for his son, though he compares her to Regina. He presents the possibility that Henry's need for his father will cause him to run away to New York. Soon, Henry and Neal emerge out from a pizza parlor and are thinking about going to the museum next. When Emma asks him if he likes the pizza, Henry indirectly shows his grudge against her remains by saying that it's good and doesn't lie. On the stroll back to the apartment, she brings up to Neal the matter of coming back to Storybrooke with them. He is unsure and actually has something important to tell her, but Henry interrupts on their talk. While Henry and Neal go up to grab a camera for the museum trip, Emma mentions to Mr. Gold how the subject matter went with Neal. From behind, Emma is shoved out of the way by a vengeful Hook, who then stabs Mr. Gold. She manages to knock him out just as Henry and Neal rush back down. They bring Mr. Gold up to the apartment room while Emma locks Hook in the storage room. From some sleuthing, Emma determines that Hook came to New York on his ship. Neal offers to captain the ship on the journey back to Storybrooke. Later, Neal alludes to how he met Hook in another world. Through a text from Mary Margaret, Emma learns that Cora and Regina are after Mr. Gold's dagger, which prompts her to oust the weapon's location from him. While getting a car to bring Mr. Gold to the ship, Emma asks Neal why he is helping his dad. He tells her that there is a big difference between not talking to his dad and watching him die. She thinks the vehicle is going to be hot wired, but it is just a borrowed car. He tries to bring up the earlier topic he tried to discuss with Emma, but this time, a woman runs up to Neal. He introduces her to Emma as his fiancée, Tamara. ("The Queen Is Dead")

On the way back to Storybrooke on the Jolly Roger, Emma visits Mr. Gold in his bunker. Mr. Gold lets her know about what Cora could make him do if the dagger is in her possession. She assures him that they are family now, and won't be dying on her watch. They make it to the town dock, and Emma is helped by her parents to take Mr. Gold to his shop while Ruby watches over Henry. Inside the shop, she is instructed by Mr. Gold to take out a piece of invisible chalk from a jar and draw a protection line at the door. Neal is surprised that he never knew she had magic. To this, Emma points out that she had no knowledge of his father being Rumplestiltskin and fiancée. Since they dated a decade ago, she has no issue with his new relationship. After this talk, Mr. Gold guides her into casting a protection spell by explaining that magic is not an intellectual endeavor, but an emotion one. She manages to erect a barrier just as Cora and Regina arrive to take it down. She, David, Mary Margaret and Neal join forces against the two women. Eventually, only herself and Neal are left in the battle. When Cora has to choose between Regina or the dagger, she picks the weapon. Emma pushes Regina into Cora, and distracts them long enough for her and Neal to run to the backroom as she seals the doorway with another barrier. Later, Emma answers a phone call from David, who can't seem to find Mary Margaret. Close to death, Mr. Gold speaks to Belle on the phone and hangs up abruptly. She watches as Mr. Gold and Neal finally reconcile. After a time, Cora finally breaks through the barrier. Emma and Neal stand guard, but she teleports them away to the forest. ("The Miller's Daughter")

In their shared apartment, Emma hides the truth from Henry about why Mary Margaret is refusing to eat by saying she's sick. He can tell both she and David are lying. Realizing he has the right to know, she explains to him the circumstances that caused Mary Margaret to be partially responsible for Cora's death. Mr. Gold comes to warn them about Regina's plans of revenge on Mary Margaret and decides to help further by stopping it from happening after David demands him to do so. After some amateur sleuthing in Regina's vault, Mr. Gold informs them of a spell called "the curse of the empty-hearted", that when cast on someone, has the ability to make the caster think the person loves him or her. From upstairs, Henry has been eavesdropping and pushes his way into the conversation. Furthermore, Mr. Gold details the spell is the only way Regina can get Henry and the love she craves, but also vengeance from Mary Margaret. The twist is, in order to enact the curse, Regina needs the heart of the person she hates the most, which is obviously Mary Margaret. Mr. Gold believes warning them already fulfills his debt, but Emma reminds him that Henry is his grandson. Coldly, he asserts that wars have costs and considering this is a blood feud that goes back several generations, and the only way to end it is to spill more of it by possibly killing Regina. Henry dislikes using such a dark tactic as it is not heroic at all, but no one has a response. Upset, he dashes out of the apartment as Emma follows. In an attempt to keep him safe, Emma calls Neal to ask for help in getting Henry out of Storybrooke. She brings him to a table booth at the diner where Neal is waiting. Emma leaves the two to talk. At the counter, Greg walks in to pick up his food order, which he later asks to have it to go. While waiting, he chats with Emma about going on a nature hiking walk. Emma muses over why he hasn't gone back to Pennsylvania. Ruby comes back with his bagged food just as he says Storybrooke is starting to grow on him. After he is gone, Emma and Ruby exchange a curious look. She goes back to check up on Neal and is surprised to hear Henry has agreed to move to New York. However, Henry is not in the booth and Emma deducts that he ran off since his backpack is gone as well.

Emma and Neal regroup with David to search through the mines. Upon seeing some dynamite is missing, they realize Henry wants to blow up something. They arrive at the wishing well to see Regina speaking to Henry. As usual, Emma and Regina argue over their claim to Henry. The trio refuse to budge out of the way, so Regina conjures a fireball. Henry runs in between to force the fighting to cease, and desperately wants to get rid of magic. Regina states there is no way to do it, and Emma replies the problem is Regina, not magic. Henry believes the problem is everyone as magic is corrupting good people such as both Mary Margaret and Regina and makes them do bad things, though Emma insists it makes bad people do bad things, too. He pleas for Regina to help him destroy magic, which is not possible, but she burns the spell to placate him. Henry thanks her, and leaves with Emma, David and Neal. ("Welcome to Storybrooke")

Emma sees David is making yet another breakfast tray for Mary Margaret, who is still in bed since the aftermath of Cora's death. Though he reasons Mary Margaret is having a hard time, Emma believes it's time to move on. Later in the day, she gets a call from Mary Margaret asking to meet up at the diner. At the counter, Mary Margaret blurts out August's whereabouts, and Marco, who is sitting next to Emma, overhears and wants to see him. They decide to seek out Mother Superior's help in this situation. Outside the nunnery, Mother Superior admits she knows about August's current dilemma, but there is nothing to help him since he did not obey the mantra of staying selfless, brave and true. She states that if there is still a path of redemption for August, he must travel it on his own terms. The trio go through the woods to August's trailer. Out of guilt, Marco finally comes clean about the wardrobe's power to protect two people instead of one, and he selfishly made a deal with the Blue Fairy to allow his son to go through. Emma listens from the sidelines as Mary Margaret reacts in shock and slaps Marco. Even Emma is stunned at her response, to which Mary Margaret apologizes and forgives him for his mistakes. They finally reach the trailer, but August is not inside. While heading back, Emma picks up a call from August when the line is cut off. Joined by David and Henry, they all go to the sheriff department in time to witness August stumbling out and collapsing as Emma and Marco attempt to help him. With his last bit of strength, he tries to warn Emma about someone, but only manages the word "her" before he passes away. Henry is struck by the idea that August can get a second chance if his actions proved himself to be selfless, brave and true. Mother Superior rushes over in agreeance and successfully uses her wand to revert August into a seven-year-old Pinocchio. Emma tries to ask the young Pinocchio if he can remember what August was trying to tell her before, but he cannot recall. After a long day, they go home. Making amends with Henry, Emma apologizes to him for lying to him about Neal and promises she won't be dishonest again. She asks him not to push her away and Henry agrees that he won't. They make up with a hug and go upstairs together. ("Selfless, Brave and True")

David and Mary Margaret surprise Emma by driving her to an unknown location and refusing to say anything until she sees the place for herself. They enter past an outside barrier to unveil rows of bean fields. Anton spots Emma and rushes off to greet her with a warm embrace. After a small amount of chit chat with Anton, Leroy marches over to pull him back to work. Emma is flabbergasted they secretly began growing magic beans during the time she was still in the Enchanted Forest, and instinctively picks up that her parents truly want to go back to their land. Even Mary Margaret now approves of the idea and by going back to the Enchanted Forest she could have a chance to heal her own heart from Cora's death. Though Emma thinks of this world as her and Henry's home, her parents see the Enchanted Forest as theirs. They believe in their world, Emma just might have her happy ending. To mull over the idea, she goes to the docks and browses Henry's storybook. Regina approaches to speak to her about the revelation that Mr. Gold is Henry's grandfather. Emma says she was eventually going to tell her, but suggests that Regina should focus more on being Henry's mother before he is gone for good. Judging from her tone, Regina suspects Emma is hiding something and vows to find out. Following a day of playing, a sleeping Henry is carried back to the apartment by Neal and they put him to bed. Out the blue, Emma asks Neal would he go back to the Enchanted Forest if there was a way. Neal is put off by the thought as he spent his whole life running from that place. They move to the table and Neal delves into the topic of August—who is now Pinocchio—and how he and Henry played together at the park. At the mention of August, Emma voices her nagging concern about who is the person he had been trying to warn them about. ("Lacey")

Emma enters the diner and sees Tamara grabbing some bagged food. She purposefully bumps into Tamara and sends the items in her hands crashing to the floor, which causes both of them to apologize to each other. Emma picks up some of the dropped items, one of which, is a list detailing Storybrooke residents and their fairytale counterparts. Tamara says nothing and takes the paper back. Emma asks how she is handling the adjustment to town and Neal's secret about being from the Enchanted Forest, to which Tamara responds in a positive light. Even so, Emma expresses concerns about what would happen if outsiders found out about Storybrooke and its inhabitants. Tamara is unruffled, and tries to sooth Emma's worries by saying she can trust her. The conversation leaves Emma more apprehensive than ever. Unable to keep it to herself, Emma spills her theorized idea to Mary Margaret that Tamara is the "her" August was talking about and even brings up the list she had. Mary Margaret doesn't take her claims seriously and guesses she is still not over Neal, which Emma denies. Mary Margaret counsels that this theory of hers should not be known by Henry because even if Emma no longer has feelings for Neal, it will drive a wedge between him and Tamara. Additionally, it will give Henry the false impression that his parents have a chance of getting back together. Surprisingly, Henry was eavesdropping and excitedly thinks he and Emma are "back in business". Outside the bed and breakfast, Emma and Henry have a stakeout inside the yellow bug car. Henry names their new partnership "Operation Praying Mantis". Henry had hopes of being in the Enchanted Forest, but a new operation in Storybrooke is fun too. Emma cautiously asks would he want to go to the Enchanted Forest if there was a way. She refuses to say anything when he asks further. Decidedly, he envisions himself, Emma and Neal having a castle, which she thinks is silly. Just then, Henry shouts to duck as Neal and Tamara are leaving their room under an umbrella. Once they are gone, Emma pick locks their guest room while Henry keeps watch. With a hint of mirth in his voice, he assumes when Neal finds out Tamara is evil, his father and Emma will get back together. Once again, Emma is exasperated that the impression is she's jealous of Neal's fiancee, and maintains she doesn't trust Tamara for other reasons. Henry still thinks Neal and Emma have a shot together when Tamara is out of the picture. Before she goes into the room, she instructs Henry to keep on guard, and to let her know when someone is coming by kicking the door. Inside, Emma begins unearthing a creaky floorboard that is interrupted by Henry kicking the door. Seconds later, Neal bursts in demanding an explanation. She fesses up about having a theory that Tamara is the "her" August mentioned. When she points at the list Tamara had as evidence, Neal admits that he gave it to her so she could adjust to the town easier. He allows her to look under the floorboard, to which Emma finds nothing incriminating. Neal thinks she is having a hard time getting used to Tamara, but she cuts him off and leaves with Henry. At home, they nurse the temporary setback by snacking on ice cream. Henry believes what she believes, to which Emma agrees that her instincts are correct. ("The Evil Queen")

Emma, David, and Mary Margaret investigate Regina's office after discovery of the destruction of the bean fields. Regina nor the beans are in sight and the last time someone entered the office was by an override code. Unable to shake her own suspicions, Emma goes to question Neal about Tamara. Though he says she is jogging in the woods, Emma sees sand left behind on the floor. While they scour the beach coastline, Tamara runs up to casually mention the reason for her change in jogging areas. When she leaves, Neal expresses his hunch that Emma is jealous of his current relationship. Again, Emma fends off the accusation. However, Neal fully discloses his regrets of not going and taking her place in jail all those years ago, fearing she'd never forgive him as he never forgave himself. Telephoned by David, Emma is filled in on Mary Margaret's temporary bodily connection with Regina and told the holding location is somewhere that smells like sardines. She recognizes that it must be the cannery. Her parents race further ahead in the search for Regina while she and Neal walk the hallways. Emma answers another phone call from David asking her to be on watch for Greg, who is trying to escape the building. Neal is relieved that his fiancée is not involved, but in the next instant, Tamara clocks Emma in the head. Emma awakens to see Neal is shot by Tamara. The two women get into a fight, but Tamara uses a magic bean to open a portal. Emma is almost sucked in, but Neal pulls her up. Then, Emma tries to hold onto Neal as he is slipping in. He urges to her to let go, but she stubbornly refuses due to his wound, and confesses her love for him. Neal admits he still loves her, too, and falls into the closing portal as a heartbroken Emma watches. In a numb state, she returns home and gives her parents the news Neal is dead. ("Second Star to the Right")

With her parents, Emma heads to the park to pick up Henry. She tells him Neal has passed away while her parents say the same to Mr. Gold. They try to gain his help in stopping the trigger, but he refuses. Upon returning to the apartment, a quake rips through town. Emma orders Regina to make the trigger stop, but there is no way of doing that. Tension fills the air when Emma blames Regina for the current dilemma, to which Henry intervenes. When Hook realigns himself with them, he and David hunt down Greg to steal back the remaining magic beans while Emma goes with Regina to the trigger in the mines. Before beginning slowing down the trigger, Regina warns that she won't be making it out alive and asks Emma to tell Henry she died a hero. Emma hurries to the diner where the other townspeople are gathered. David and Hook procured only one bean, but it's enough. Even so, Henry is unwilling since Regina will be left behind. Mary Margaret is struck with an idea of sending the trigger through a portal. Emma doesn't believe anyone is willing to go through with such a risky plan, but Archie persuades her it's the right thing to do and manages to rally everyone else in agreement. However, Emma is concerned Henry will grow up alone just like herself. Mary Mary Margaret begs her not to take the same path that led to Cora's death and they can't build a future on Regina's blood. Emma finally agrees, but as David tosses her the bean container, Hook snatches it in mid-air, which she makes him give back. They go back to the mines to use the bean to contain the trigger, but Emma realizes too late that Hook tricked them. On a spur of the moment idea, Emma combines powers with Regina to successfully deactivate the trigger. After the danger is over, Henry is discovered to be kidnapped by Greg and Tamara, but they are not fast enough to stop the duo from taking him into a portal. Upon discovering Hook's ship is still in port, the pirate offers to assist them in finding Henry. Aboard the Jolly Roger, Mr. Gold conjures the magic globe to unveil Henry's current location in Neverland. They set sail as soon as a portal opens from the last magic bean. ("And Straight On 'Til Morning")

As they sail towards the island of Neverland, Emma blankly stares out to sea when she is approached by her parents. Mary Margaret offers consolation by saying what happened to Henry and Neal was not Emma's fault. Bitterly, Emma blames her parents for their "good always wins" ideology. She rejects the wisdom Mary Margaret wants to share with her and regrets breaking the curse instead of taking Henry out of town. Emma snaps at them for their unwavering optimism when literally everything has been going wrong since the curse broke. Despite Mary Margaret's promise that they will find Henry, Mr. Gold interrupts to announce his intent of getting him back on his own. He proceeds to list off reasons why she will fail in this mission; not believing in her parents, in magic, or even herself. Mr. Gold points out her past encounters with magic was only because it was shown to her. Despite all that Emma has been through, he sees she is still just a bails bonds person looking for proof of evidence, which not a tactic that is going to work in Neverland. Despite that Emma is willing to do whatever it takes, Mr. Gold deducts that she always needs someone to tell her how to. With a spin of his cane, Mr. Gold disappears from the ship. Beaten down from his criticism, Emma begins doing pull-ups below deck when Hook intercedes to give her an old sword that used to belong to Neal when he was a boy. Then, they have a toast in Neal's honor. Suddenly, mermaids begin slamming against the ship. David works to hit the creatures with ammunition while Emma and Mary Margaret catch one on a fishing line. Regina scares off most of them with fire power and then teleports the fishing line onto the deck. As they discuss what to do with the sea creature, the mermaid sounds a conch shell and threatens them all with death if they don't free her. Thunder begins brewing in the sky; giving the impression that the mermaid called the storms to arms. Regina decides to freeze the mermaid, which only speeds up the storm. Mary Margaret and Regina's trade of insults turns into a full on brawl as David and Hook engage in a fist fight. Emma quickly realizes the reason for the storm is due to everyone's animosity towards each other. Her attempt at getting their attention falls on deaf ears, so she purposely jumps overboard as a rigging rope pulley snaps and hits her on the head. David ties a rope around his waist and dives in to save Emma while the other three work together to pull the both of them up, causing the storm to halt. Later, they reach the shoreline of Neverland. Before they go any further, Emma gives everyone a pep talk. She admits the best thing is to not believe in magic, but in each other. Emma doesn't expect friendship, but cooperation is necessary to save Henry as well as the handiness of each person's skill. She walks off into the wilderness as everyone else eventually follows. ("The Heart of the Truest Believer")

While the group treads through the jungle upwards to a cliff ridge, Emma awkwardly dodges Mary Margaret's attempt at getting closer to her. She wants Emma to be less formal and call her Mom. Emma is uneasy about the subject, and notes the last time she did, it was because they were all going to die, so Mary Margaret drops the subject. Through one path, they narrowly avoid walking straight into a patch of Dreamshade. Up ahead, the ridge allows them to get a view of the island, but too much has changed since Hook was last in Neverland and he can't tell the difference between anything. They can't comb the jungle, either, because it's not safe to travel through. The group rest for the night, though Emma is still worried their search for Henry is taking too long. Mary Margaret reassures that after everything she and David went through to be reunited with her, it’s never too late for anything. During the night, Emma wakes up to voices. She investigates and raises her sword in alarm when spooked by a young boy, who presents himself as Peter Pan. He lets her know that Henry is still alive and wants to give her a map to find him. With a smile, Pan verifies it's the manner of how Emma finds him since she’s the only one who can. He heeds that the map will only work when she stops denying her true self. Later, Emma makes the effort to unveil the map by stating facts about herself, with encouragement from her parents, but nothing works. Tired of playing games, Regina snatches the map and casts a locator spell on it, which leads them straight to Pan, who then sends the Lost Boys to engage them in combat. Emma ends up pinning one boy down, but the expression in his eyes frighten her and she backs off. Following the battle, Mary Margaret opens up a dialogue with Emma about why she withdrew from the fight earlier on. Reluctantly, Emma admits that the boy had the same look of despair she had while growing up in the foster system as a lost, unimportant girl desperately longing for the parents who gave her up. Emma confesses to being what she's always been, an orphan, causing the map to uncover its contents. They group form a strategy to travel towards Pan's camp and begin assemble for leaving. Hook offers her some rum and asks how she got the map to work, which Emma briefs that she just followed Pan's instructions. He's curious about who she really is, but Emma isn't interested in sharing that information. Hook presses further, though she simply walks away. Later, while Emma is scourging for berries in the bush, Pan commends Emma for beating his game, but also implicates that she hasn't forgiven her parents for their abandonment. Additionally, he accuses Emma of bestowing Henry with the same feelings. Pan threatens two things will happen by his endgame; that Henry will never want to leave the island, and Emma herself won't just feel like an orphan, but also be one. ("Lost Girl")

The plan to reach Pan is a failure once when they notice his camp location keeps changing; making their journey fruitless. Hook considers a fairy named Tinker Bell who Pan trusts and can likely get them into the camp with pixie dust. Regina thinks Tinker Bell is bad news and presents Emma with a separate suggestion of combining their powers to take on Pan. Emma refuses since there's always going to be a price of magic. Out of frustration, Regina accuses Emma of listening to Hook because he's her "boyfriend", which she is incredulous at the claims. Later, Emma confirms her own suspicions that Regina and Tinker Bell know each other, and asks the mayor herself for details. Regina only says it's a "complicated history" and all the better if Tinker Bell doesn't meet her again. The two have a shared moment about Henry when Regina brings up her naming of the rescue mission as "Operation Henry". Emma is urged on ahead by Regina, so she catches up with the others at Tinker Bell's empty tree house. Inside, the tree house reminds Emma of the home she grew up in. Mary Margaret, too, surprisingly, can relate with only having a makeshift bed to sleep in as she called a tree stump home while on the run from the Queen. Strangely, Tinker Bell's tree house has a ladder, even though fairies have wings for flying. David finds a white cloth, which is Regina's and they rush off to rescue her. They corner Tinker Bell outside a cavern, but an unharmed Regina attests to the fairy's innocence. Regina tells them Tinker Bell lost all her fairy powers a long time ago and can't help infiltrate Pan's camp. Tinker Bell acknowledges that people not believing in her anymore, so she stopped being a fairy. Even though she can help them, Tinker Bell wants to know what's in it for herself. Emma and Mary Margaret promise if Tinker Bell helps their cause, she can make a new home in Storybrooke. Tinker Bell agrees and goes back with them to camp. ("Quite a Common Fairy")

At the camp base, Emma elaborates on their strategy for entering Pan's headquarters from the back after Tinker Bell talks her way in through the front. Before they put the plan into action, Tinker Bell wants to know their escape route off the island, which no one has a clear answer. She stresses that no one ever leaves the island without Pan's permission. To prove a point about how dangerous Pan can be, Tinker Bell shows them a watch that came from the people who brought Henry to Neverland, proving Greg and Tamara were killed by him. Tinker Bell weighs the risk as not worthy unless they have a way to leave Neverland and she makes off for her tree house. Emma sees reason in Tinker Bell's words, and recalls what Neal once taught her that it is "unwise to break into a place without knowing the way out." The group talk about how Hook left Neverland, which was through a special one time deal with Pan, though he notes Neal managed to escape on his own. They set off for a cave Neal once inhabited as a boy. Emma looks at the art scrawls on the wall and is surprised that Neal liked drawing. Hook shares insight of Neal's talent passed down from his mother. To get a better look at the wall, she uses a lit candle in a halved coconut holder. Again, Hook makes a good guess that the drawings were just a way for the boys on the island to pass time, making Emma realize he knew Neal, when he was Baelfire, pretty well. Nearby, David, Mary Margaret and Regina mull over a coconut half with holes. Emma notices it is a perfect fit for the candle holder half. After the light is snuffed out, the two halves combine to make a star constellation map with an escape route. However, despite that Hook taught Neal how to navigate using the stars, he also coached him that all map makers never reveal their secrets. After realizing only Neal can read the map encryption, Emma has a meltdown and flees outside as her parents follow to console her over losing the man she loved. Instead of being sad, Emma brims with anger over losing him years ago since she spent years thinking he didn't love her only to find out the exact opposite. She breaks down in tears over not even having the chance to let him know how angry that made her or how much it hurt when he left, and the fact she never stopped loving him since he reentered her life. She exits to be alone. ("Nasty Habits")

Returning to the cave, everyone searches for something that might be useful. From Emma's observation of Neal's tally marks on the wall, she relates her experience of being in foster homes and losing hope as the same reason why Neal stopped counting. The group is made aware that even though they are trying to rescue Henry, he himself doesn't know his family is coming. Mary Margaret comes up with an idea to send Henry a message and files out to show everyone. As Emma moves to follow, Hook has a heart-to-heart with her about knowing what it's like to lose hope, too. Not in the mood, she shuts him down for attempting to bond with her. Back at camp, Emma begins helping to weave a large net out of vines to catch a Lost Boy while avoiding Hook's unwavering stare. David comes back from the jungle carrying more vine, but they are still need more, so he hauls Hook to go with him. Hook doesn't go until Emma pushes him to follow orders, and bows to her while saying "as the lady insists", which she ignores. When the two men return, Hook informs them about a sextant on top of Dead Man's Peak, which can help decipher Neal's map, which he and David will be retrieving. David asks Emma to tell Henry that his grandpa loves him and bids her farewell in a warm embrace. After finishing the net, they lure a Lost Boy, Devin, into falling into the trap. Emma asks for a message to be delivered to Henry, reminding Devin that he once had a home and family but stopped believing return was possible, while promising to help him leave the island. Devin rejects their offer since he doesn't want to go home. Emma assumes the fresh cut on his cheek was Pan's doing, but he divulges that Henry did it. While Emma is tying Devin to a tree, he boasts that Henry is one of their most vicious new recruits in ages. She nearly chokes him, but Mary Margaret pulls her away. On Regina's suggestion they use force against Devin, Emma allows her to rip out his heart while she holds back a disagreeable Mary Margaret. Shortly after, Mary Margaret expresses concerns over what Emma is willing to do to get Henry and what Regina is capable of must stay separate. Regina sends Devin back to camp with one half of a magic viewing mirror. Later, when they look through the other mirror half, Henry is on the other side. Emma convinces Henry they are real with their plan to save him entitled, "Operation Cobra Rescue".

They head back to their own camp as Emma reassures Regina's worries over Henry since he is their son, and has knowledge his family hasn't given up on him. Mary Margaret is sorry for doubting Emma's decision to allow Devin's heart to be ripped out as she knows how easy it is to give into darkness. David and Hook arrive back, but without the sextant as Pan got to it first. Nonetheless, David announces that Hook saved his life by protecting him from a Dreamshade arrow after they were ambushed on the way to the peak. They each take a sip of Hook's rum, except Regina, until it passes into Emma's hands. When she and Hook are alone, Emma gives him a sincere thanks for saving her father's life. To Emma's amusement, he presses for a different kind of thanks. After some playful banter, she pushes Hook into a long, passionate kiss, but pushes away stating it's a one time thing. She tells him to get some firewood, which he obeys with "As you wish", drawing a secret smile from Emma. ("Good Form")

Emma tries to learn how to ignite a wood pile on Regina's instruction. Though Regina wants her to channel anger into magic, Emma doesn't want to become dark. They throw insults at one another until Emma's anger is tapped into, and she unintentionally lights a fire on the wood. When she sees her parents and Hook preparing to leave camp, she learns from them that Neal is, apparently, alive. Even when shown footprints collaborating with a scuffle, Emma is hesitant to readily accept it means Neal was at their camp. Regina thinks it's one of Pan's false leads, but Emma is unable to side with her. This results in Regina leaving the group. Urged by Mary Margaret, Emma decides to find out for herself and Henry if Neal is alive. While following the footprints trail, Emma admits to Mary Margaret that she and Hook kissed, but it didn't have any deeper meaning for her. Still on the fence about Neal's alive or dead status, Emma is advised by Mary Margaret to open herself up to the possibility so she can have her own happy ending. They reach a cavern known as an Echo Cave where Hook relates his prior experience with the place. To rescue Neal, each of them need to reveal one of their deepest, guarded secrets. Once inside, they reach a dead end and see a caged Neal on a separate strip of land. With real physical proof he's alive, Emma is overwhelmed. To test out the cave's rules, Hook goes first and confirms he and Emma kissed, but the real secret is the kiss itself helped him move on from his first love, Milah. Mary Margaret goes next to reveal she's been deeply unhappy to have missed her own child's upbringing and verifies her desire to have another child. Sadly, David discloses his sustained Dreamshade wound during the fight with the Lost Boys and though he is cured, the price is staying in Neverland forever. Three sections of a bridge forms, allowing Emma to cross over to Neal, where she tries to slash open the enclosure until he implies she has to follow the cave's requirements. Tearfully, Emma acknowledges that she still loves him since the day they met again, but had hopes he wasn't alive because their relationship has given her a lot of pain and she just wanted to move on. The cage bars melt away as she and Neal embrace each other. When they reach the outside, they decide to regroup with Tinker Bell first and then continue the mission. Left alone with Neal, Emma is sorry about what she said to him earlier, though her feelings cannot be changed. Neal doesn't believe she has anything to apologize for, but affirms he won't stop fighting for her. ("Ariel")

Neal familiarizes the group on a tactic for flying off the island using Pan's shadow. Since the Shadow is mostly solitary, they can capture it without going near Pan. Emma steps up on "shadow duty" with Neal as Hook enlists himself as well. They all agree to meet back at Tinker Bell's tree house once the Shadow is nabbed. In preparation for the trip, Emma notices Mary Margaret is still not speaking to David since he came out with his secret. Though she tries to talk on David's behalf, Mary Margaret is not forgiving him yet. Instead, she considers that both Hook and Neal have feelings for Emma and it could be dangerous. Emma pays no attention as her only interest is getting Henry back. Emma, Hook and Neal revisit the Lost Boy cavern. She goes off to fetch Neal's star map, but returns to see a visible change between the two men. Next, they go in search of Dark Hollow, which is home to all captured shadows. On the way there, Emma lends Neal a weapon to cut through tall grass. Neal recognizes it as his old cutlass, and after learning Hook gave it to her as a memento, he angrily snips at the pirate before walking away. Emma looks to Hook for answers about Neal's weird behavior, to which he admits telling him about their kiss. Emma doesn't see why Hook cares so much about the kiss having meaning and is instead grateful that he did not keep the news of Neal's alive status to himself. After giving her an explanation that Pan wanted him to choose between Neal or Emma, she is relieved he made the better choice. Hook is invested in winning her heart fair and square, and though Emma doesn't like it, he points out that she'll have to choose eventually. All she cares about is Henry's safety, but Hook warns after she's accomplished that, he won't be holding back. Eventually, they head into Dark Hollow. Neal briefs on drawing the Shadow in by lighting the candle and trapping it by putting the lid on. He and Hook end up fighting over the lighter when three shadows show up to attack just as Emma grabs the coconut halves. Both men are thrown against trees and begin having their shadows ripped out. Emma saves the day by using magic to light a flame on the candle and entrap the Shadow inside. On the journey back to Tinker Bell's tree house, Emma settles the competition between Hook and Neal by stating the only person she is choosing is Henry. After showing Tinker bell proof of the Shadow as their ticket off the island, she agrees to do her part in taking down Pan. Emma stays behind with Neal, who calmly accepts what she said earlier and thinks of Henry as the best thing that came out of them being together. She agrees. ("Dark Hollow")

While moving ahead to Pan's camp, Emma sees her parents are finally back on speaking terms. She talks to Mary Margaret about her decision to stay behind in Neverland with David. Though Mary Margaret is torn about leaving her, there's no other solution. Emma accuses her of giving up too easily and believes there has to be a way. A rustle from the jungle causes the entire group to assemble for battle, but it turns out to be only Regina and Mr. Gold. Regina tells them about the power of Pandora's Box while Neal's distrust in his father causes him to blurt out Mr. Gold's objective to kill Henry and prevent a seer's prophecy from coming true. Subsequently, Emma and everyone else turns against Mr. Gold by drawing their weapons. Things cool down only when Neal forces him to hand over the box. Some time later, Emma tries to talk to Hook about an alternative to removing David's ties to the island because of the Dreamshade cure. He concludes that nothing can be done, but then Mr. Gold steps in to offer his potion-making skills to concoct an elixir cure for David. Emma agrees to his bargain, though in return, he wants a favor of equal value. Neal puts a full stop to Mr. Gold's asking price by demanding that he help for the right reasons rather than personal gain.

After Tinker Bell gains access into the perimeter of the encampment and the Lost Boys are put to sleep by Regina, neither Henry or Pan are found there. Instead, Neal frees a young prisoner, Wendy, and brings her back to camp to inquire about Henry. Forced to act on Pan's wishes, Wendy lies to them, but with some encouragement, she yields and tells the truth. Emma gains insight on Pan's real reason for needing Henry's heart, which is to save himself from dying and then become immortal. As a trade, Pan lives, but Henry will die. Before leaving Skull Rock to stop Pan, she presses David and Mary Margaret to go back to Dead Man's Peak and retrieve more of the spring water as a necessity for the journey home and afterwards Mr. Gold will create an elixir in Storybrooke for a permanent cure. By rowboat, Emma goes to Skull Rock with Mr. Gold, Neal and Regina. Inside the entrance, a barrier, capable of blocking anyone with a shadow, keeps them from progressing. Since Mr. Gold is the only one without a shadow, he regains the box and goes up alone. Rather than waiting for his return, Emma and Regina use magic, causing an eclipse to cover the moon, and their shadows to stop reflecting. Then, they hurry to the top to see Henry pulling out his own heart. All three attempt to dissuade him from the sacrifice, but through Pan's manipulations, Henry chooses to give up his heart. They cry out in horror as he plunges the heart into Pan's chest, causing all of them to be thrown back from the impact, and Henry collapses. As they rush over to check up on his unmoving body, Pan rises into the air. ("Think Lovely Thoughts")

Pan reveals Mr. Gold is now trapped inside the box before Emma cuts him with her sword out of anger about Henry, though it doesn't do much. After Pan flies off, Neal proposes they look for him at the Lost Boy camp, though Regina lashes out over the ridiculous idea. Emma sympathizes with how Regina is currently feeling, but realizes she doesn't actually understand. In a stark contrast, while she has the love of her parents and even Hook and Neal, Regina has only ever had Henry. They bring Henry's body back with them to the Lost Boy camp where Regina casts a preservation spell on him to last one hour until they track down Pan. Emma quickly stops Regina from taking out Felix's heart and instead sways the other Lost Boys with the promise she will get them off the island, to which they disclose Pan is at his "thinking tree" in Pixie Woods. Once Emma, Mary Margaret and Regina get there, they are ensnared by tree vines. Pan mentions the tree is special to him because it's the same place that he abandoned his son, Mr. Gold. As such, the tree will kill those who feel regret, so he brings up guilt-worthy moments from each person's past. To Emma, Pan lets her know how many times she disappointed Henry, which he can feel since the boy's heart is now in his chest. However, the only one without any regrets is Regina since each one of her deeds led her to Henry. Regina breaks herself and her allies out, tears out Henry's heart from Pan and steals back the box as well. They hurry onto the Jolly Roger in time to place the heart back in Henry as he gasps to life. Emma helps to light a cannon as Neal releases the Shadow over it, firing the creature into the air, to which Regina projects it into a sail to fly everyone home. ("Save Henry")

Following a safe journey out of Neverland to Storybrooke, Mr. Gold seals the box in his pawnshop to keep Pan at bay. During an evening festivity at the diner, Emma hands Henry his storybook, and is puzzled by his strangely dull reaction to it. Later, she is asked out by Neal for lunch tomorrow. She is hesitant to accept, even when Mary Margaret says Emma owes it to herself to meet with him. However, Emma's thoughts are still focused on only Henry, especially after the ordeal he went through in Neverland. When she decides to call it a night, Henry requests to sleep over at Regina's house. Though surprised, Emma allows it and uneasily watches them leave together, despite reassurance from Mary Margaret that Henry probably just wants to spend the night in his old room. The next morning, she can't shake the feeling something is off with Henry and thinks things over at the dock. David comes to talk to Emma about her reason for standing up Neal. When Emma voices her concerns about Henry, he reasons that Regina is the boy's mother, too. She is also constantly worried something bad will happen, though David suggests that seeing the good is what makes life worth living. She's still unsure whether having lunch with Neal is a good idea, but he helps Emma find out with a ride to Granny's. As they pull up at the diner, a scream alerts them to trouble. Emma sees Hook and Tinker Bell come out of the building together, which leads her to suspect the two are now involved, though both give different answers. All four witness Mother Superior being killed by the Shadow as everyone begins to suspect Pan is behind it, so Emma goes with David and Mary Margaret to procure the box from Mr. Gold. Next, Emma stands outside the town line as Pan is released from the box on the same side as her. Pan makes the ludicrous claim that he is Henry. As proof, Emma asks him to tell her the very first time he and she connected together. Henry correctly answers that it was at his castle playground when he understood why Emma gave him up at birth, which was to let him have the best chance in life. Relieved, she and Henry hug in reconciliation. They head to the vault where Regina took "Henry" for protection. Hook, Neal and Tinker Bell are already waiting there, though the door is locked. As Mr. Gold works to unlock it, Emma's parents open her up to moving on with life and not worrying so much, but she is finding it difficult to be a savior and have a day off from trouble. Inside the vault, Regina is found unconscious while one critical item is missing and now in Pan's hands—the Dark Curse. ("The New Neverland")

Mr. Gold shares with everyone of the only viable way to stop Pan's curse is for Regina, as the original caster of the Dark Curse, to undo it by destroying the scroll, though there will be a steep price for this. They plan to switch Henry back to his own body so he will be in possession of the scroll and bring it to Regina. Mr. Gold can perform the spell, but needs a strong outlet in order for it to work. Tinker Bell has knowledge of a powerful Black Fairy wand that Mother Superior kept, so she, David, Hook and Neal go to retrieve it from the convent nuns. While waiting in the pawnshop, Mary Margaret relates to Emma how difficult it was to give her up when the curse hit, and her constant struggles about the different life they could've had if that path wasn't taken. Emma, too, thinks about the same with Henry, and mulls over what could have been, but realizes it wasn't meant to be. David, Hook and Neal arrive back with the wand, courtesy of a restored Mother Superior, and Mr. Gold uses it to transfer Henry's spirit back into his original body. Everyone except Mr. Gold heads out, and with Granny's tracking skills, they are reunited with Henry. Regina passes out after taking the scroll and awakens with knowledge of the price for stopping the curse. They are accosted by Pan as he steals back the scroll and freezes them in place. The showdown ends when Mr. Gold summons the dagger and stabs Pan as well as himself with it; killing both of them. Regina reveals the price for stopping the curse is all former Enchanted Forest inhabitants will be sent back to their old world while Storybrooke will disappear out of existence. Emma decides to stay with Henry, and will leave town while Regina crafts new memories for them. Before this, she says goodbye to all her loved ones. As Emma drives out of Storybrooke with Henry, their memories are altered by Regina. ("Going Home")

Before Second Curse

Directly after driving out of Storybrooke, Emma and Henry obtain false memories of their life together. As Emma recalls, a fire broke out in her apartment in Boston, which causes the mother-son pair to start afresh in New York. ("Going Home", "New York City Serenade")

During Second Curse

A year later, Emma and Henry are having breakfast in their New York apartment. She answers the door to see a strange man dressed in pirate clothes, who claims to know her. When he attempts to kiss her, she kicks him and ignores his profuse explanations by slamming the door closed. ("Going Home")

For eight months, Emma dates a man named Walsh. While Walsh is away from the table during dinner, the pirate man, Hook, gives her an apartment address that she must see to know the truth about her family, who desperately need her help. Hook asks her to find him in Central Park when she is ready to talk. Walsh reveals a ring on a dessert platter, which shocks Emma, as she feels marriage is too soon for them, so he promises to wait for her. At home, Henry urges Emma to accept, since Walsh has proven himself to be serious, and won't leave her like his biological father did. The day after, Emma heads to the address, recognizing a dream catcher as Neal's, meaning the apartment is also his, but more shockingly, she finds a camera strap with Henry's name. In a confrontation, Hook exemplifies the strap as proof Emma was once at the apartment a year ago and offers a potion to restore her memories. Instead, Emma has him arrested for assault and criminal harassment. Later, she admits to Henry that the past is keeping her from accepting Walsh, so he sets up a dinner date for them. Out of curiosity, Emma has the photos in the camera copied, and she is stunned that one of them shows herself and Henry in a town called Storybrooke.

After bailing Hook out of jail, he pushes Emma into taking the potion, despite that she will have to give up her current life, because knowing the truth is important. She regains her memories from the potion and later learns that her family has been re-cursed by someone powerful. Emma heads to the rooftop with Walsh where she rejects his proposal; citing that she has to take care of past business. Walsh reveals knowledge about the memory potion and violently attacks Emma after turning into a flying monkey, though she shoves him off the roof. In the morning, Emma gives Henry a cover story about Hook and the three head to Storybrooke. She reunites with David and a visibly pregnant Mary Margaret, who both cannot recall anything from the year prior. ("New York City Serenade")

David and Mary Margaret recount to Emma the last memories they have of the day Pan's curse was stopped and how everyone was presumably sent back to the Enchanted Forest, but they only remember waking up in Storybrooke like it was another regular day. Hook confirms they did indeed go back to their homeland. Mysteriously, some town residents have been disappearing since everyone's return to Storybrooke, and when two more dwarves are reported missing, Emma decides to look into it. The next day, at the diner, she introduces Henry to Mary Margaret as the two women settle for the lie that they were cellmates while incarcerated in Phoenix. Regina, stunned to see Henry, is pulled aside by Emma to be questioned about the new curse, which the mayor denies involvement in. Soon, Emma investigates another missing resident, Little John, who was kidnapped by a winged beast, so she sends David, Hook, and the Merry Men to look for him. She teams up with Regina to lure the townspeople at a town hall meeting into believing the mayor is guilty of casting the new curse. The scheme goes off without a hitch, leaving the two to sleuth out the real criminal by concocting a memory potion to recall the lost year in the Enchanted Forest, but it fails. In another plan, they have Leroy, who helped them with the town hall ploy, spread the word that Regina is creating a memory potion so whoever drinks it can recall who cursed them. By making the news public, they hope to draw out the crook. In a stake-out, Emma and Regina rush up to the mayoral office when they see someone break in, but the person disappears quickly in green smoke. Afterwards, Emma allows Regina to meet Henry. David and Hook return, reporting that Little John turned into a flying monkey, as they conclude that the Wicked Witch of the West cast the new curse. ("Witch Hunt")

While Regina keeps Henry company, Emma, David, and Hook search the mayoral office for any evidence the Wicked Witch left behind. David discovers a holly berry in the room and pinpoints the plant's location in the northwestern region past the Toll Bridge. He is called away due to a phone call from Mary Margaret requesting him to come to the apartment and meet their new midwife, Zelena. Due to Emma's insistence, David promptly leaves. As the remaining pair comb the woods near the holly berry bushes, Emma, believing Hook is hiding something, pries him about what happened in the Enchanted Forest, but he refuses to say. The pirate asks if she was considering marrying Walsh. Emma confirms she was, due to being in love, but disappointingly, as usual, the guy of her dreams had secrets and broke her heart. Hook is pleased, remarking that if her heart is broken, it means she is still capable of love. Emma gives him an unsure look before resuming their search for the Wicked Witch. They reach a farmhouse and deduct that someone is living in it. Spotting a storm cellar, Emma prepares to break it open, but on Hook's advice, they decide to regroup with Regina first. Upon opening her phone, she listens to a new message from David, who believes he has cornered the Wicked Witch. After picking up Regina, Emma drives them to the woods to meet up with David. He recounts fighting a version of himself created by the Wicked Witch's magic and killing it with his sword hilt, but both disappeared afterwards. Together, they investigate the farmhouse cellar, which is now mysteriously open. Inside, the cell's occupant is gone, but a spinning wheel with strands of spun gold litter the floor; evident proof that Mr. Gold is alive. ("The Tower")

In a morning meeting at the closed diner, Emma and her allies discuss searching for Mr. Gold while Regina opts to search the farmhouse alone for evidence. Emma delivers breakfast to Henry at the inn. She interests him in going fishing with Leroy for the day, but Henry can tell she is hiding something. He is suspicious about all the old friends she's never mentioned and how people seem to whisper secretively around him. Henry asks for the truth, or else they go home. Receiving a phone call, she is told Neal is recovering in the hospital. Before leaving, Emma asks for Henry's trust until she can tell him everything. While Neal is informed about Mr. Gold, Emma notices a mark on his palm and has Belle research it. She tells Neal that Henry is still amnesiac and reasons it might be best that way. Combing the woods with David, they soon find Mr. Gold. When they ask for the Wicked Witch's identity, he is unable to tell them. David fends off a flying monkey as Emma chases after a fleeing Mr. Gold. She loses track of him, bumping into Neal, so they search together. She tells him about her near engagement while Neal admits he wants her to be happy, even if it's not with him. A call from Belle notifies Emma of the origin of Neal's mark from a key to the vault of the Dark One that he must have used to resurrect Mr. Gold. As a price, the Dark One is revived while the key user will die. Soon after, Neal realizes he and his father are sharing the same body. On his request, she magically forces him of Mr. Gold's body, and he begins to die. At the spur of the moment, Mr. Gold reveals the Wicked Witch's real name is Zelena. As a grieving Emma cradles Neal, he returns her swan necklace; insisting she and Henry can find happiness without him. After his death, she rejoins David to catch Zelena at the apartment, but she is already gone. Lastly, Emma finds Henry, telling him of his father's passing, and that he died a hero. ("Quiet Minds")

Emma, along with Henry, attend Neal's funeral to pay their respects. Afterwards, at the diner, she lets Hook to take Henry for the day and allow her son to learn about what Neal was like at his age. Shortly after they leave, Zelena storms in; threatening everyone into submission with the Dark One's dagger. Emma, infuriated at her presence, moves to confront the witch, but is held back by Mary Margaret. Zelena publicly reveals herself as Regina's half-sister and forces her sibling into a showdown on Main Street after sundown. Regina, having doubts about Zelena's claims, heads to the vault for evidence of their familial connection. Emma and Mary Margaret follow her there, but are left puzzled when Regina finds proof and abruptly departs without a word. Hopeful of swaying Mr. Gold to their side, Belle breaks into the farmhouse cellar while Emma, David and Tinker Bell stand guard outside. However, the girl rushes out after nearly falling into a trap. An enslaved Mr. Gold delivers a message from Zelena; warning them that she will finish off Regina and they'll pay with their lives if they interfere again. During the evening, on Main Street, Zelena approaches while trailed by Mr. Gold, though Regina is still absent. Emma challenges the witch, who then commands Mr. Gold to fling her aside. At Regina's arrival, the two witches magically spar. She witnesses Regina being thrown into the clock tower by Zelena, who later flees on her broomstick. Emma, David and Mary Margaret rush to check on Regina where they learn Zelena attempted to take her heart, but failed since it's hidden elsewhere. In the aftermath, Emma returns to the inn where Henry is dropped off by Hook. Before leaving, he insists that her son deserves the truth about Neal, though she brushes off his advice. ("It's Not Easy Being Green")

Intending to sharpen her magic skills against Zelena, Emma agrees to be trained by Regina. David and Mary Margaret offer to watch over Henry, but she balks and implies her son thinks they are boring. Instead, she leaves Henry with Hook again. Regina's lesson commences in the vault, though she devises a better way of pushing Emma to excel by trapping her on a bridge walkway. Upping the pressure, Regina deliberately severs the rope and insistently urges Emma to use magic to fix the situation as the entire bridge gives way. At the last minute, Emma surprisingly constructs a makeshift landing out of the bridge planks to save herself; proving just how much power she has since Regina had only wanted her to simply retie the cut rope. They return to the apartment when Hook returns without Henry since he allowed Emma's parents to take him. He fills them in on his day's adventure of helping Ariel find a missing Eric. Emma's parents arrive home with Henry after allowing him to have a test drive using David's truck. Hook details the outcome of Ariel's quest; mentioning she and Eric reunited on Hangman's Island in the Enchanted Forest. With Regina's instruction, Emma is assigned the task of projecting an image in the mirror of Ariel and Eric on Hangman's Island, which she does with success. Before Hook leaves, she tells him that whatever he's not admitting from his year in the Enchanted Forest no longer matters to her. That night, Emma, David, Henry, Mary Margaret and Regina have a meal together at the diner. ("The Jolly Roger")

After Zelena successfully steals Regina's heart, Emma reports for a group seance to open a portal to the land of the dead by using the now defunct candle to talk to Cora about her first-born child's origins. Emma, David, Hook, Mary Margaret and Regina link hands as the portal opens, but Cora refuses to appear. When Hook's knee bumps the table, a startled Mary Margaret withdraws her hands, which closes the gateway. Shortly after the failed experiment, all leave except Mary Margaret, who stays to help Regina clean up. Emma shows off her increasingly powerful magic to Hook, who reacts grumpily when she teleports away his hook, but he refuses to talk about the real reason for his bad mood. Once Belle figures out what spell Zelena is intending to cast, everyone returns to Regina's house just after Mary Margaret was briefly possessed by Cora's spirit. Mary Margaret reveals Cora, while pregnant with another man's child, was once engaged to Leopold, but Princess Eva deliberately wrecked it. In turn, this caused Cora to unwillingly abandon Zelena after birth. As for the ingredients of Zelena's spell, as Belle explains, are for a time spell to alter the past; namely to kill Eva and keep Cora from abandoning her first-born child. ("Bleeding Through")

Meeting at the inn, Emma, David, Mary Margaret and Regina strategize on how to break the new curse. With the last curse, she recalls believing in magic after touching the fairytale storybook, which triggered her memories of the Enchanted Forest. From this, Regina suggests the key to breaking the curse is for Henry to believe in magic as Emma did. They head to the apartment where the storybook appeared to Mary Margaret during the first curse. As they leave the inn, Henry, certain Emma is lying again, demands the truth. She shuts down the conversation, and he backs down, but not before asking for her set of keys. Searching the apartment, Mary Margaret's "magical" touch yields the book. In a moment with her mother, Emma reiterates how happy she and Henry were in New York, though Mary Margaret knows that was because their memories were gone. Henry is discovered missing from the inn, though Emma quickly tracks him, using GPS, on his phone to the dock. There, she shoots a flying monkey to protect her son as David and Regina also step in to take out incoming monsters. She hands the storybook to him; asking that he believe in magic. Upon touching the book, Henry receives his lost memories back. Zelena chokes the boy and blames Hook for failing to do what she asked. With Regina knocked unconscious, Emma magically scalds Zelena; forcing her to retreat. Henry awakens Regina, who gives him true love's kiss and breaks the new curse. Afterwards, Hook confesses Zelena cursed his lips and ordered him to remove Emma's magic by kissing her. He admits trying to take Henry out of town since Zelena threatened to harm him. Annoyed at his secrets, she tells him off; believing it should be her responsibility alone to protect Henry. She visits Neal's grave with Henry, in which Mary Margaret begins having labor pains. ("A Curious Thing")

After Second Curse


Emma revealing that she is moving to New York with Henry when Zelena is defeated.

Emma follows her parents to the hospital delivery room where she and Regina cast a protection spell to shield them from Zelena. Still upset about Hook's lie, she goes to face Zelena alone, but with David's persuasion, allows the pirate to come with her. Along the way, Emma expresses regrets over bringing Henry to Storybrooke since he'll always be in danger, but Hook thinks she is scared of considering a happy future in town. During the face-off, Hook is nearly drowned by Mr. Gold on Zelena's order; forcing Emma to choose—save him and lose her magic or let him die. She gives him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation—a "kiss"—and has her magic drained away. With Emma's magic gone, the barrier around the hospital room disappears; allowing Zelena to steal the newborn baby for a time spell. Due to Henry's belief that Regina possesses light magic, she uses it to defeat Zelena once and for all. Rather than condemn the witch to death, Regina spares her sister's life and imprisons her in a jail cell. David returns his son into Mary Margaret's loving arms where Emma watches happily outside the door. Hook thanks Emma for saving his life, even though the cost was her own magic. Emma doesn't mind; stating that she won't need it after returning to New York. Then, she ushers Henry into the room to meet his new family member. Unseen to them, Mr. Gold kills Zelena; accidentally triggering magic in her pendant, which activates the time spell. ("Kansas")


Emma and Hook realizing where they are.

The next morning, Henry shows Emma an apartment listing in town, but she avoids the topic. During a diner celebration welcoming David and Mary Margaret's son, Emma and Hook overhear Henry reading the fairytale story of how Prince Charming and Snow White met. When Hook hints that she desires to leave town, Emma finds her intentions questioned by Regina. Again, she eludes the issue by leaving the diner. Hook catches up and hands Emma the book to show her the family she will be leaving behind. Emma, however, only sees fairytale stories in the book and believes she doesn't belong. Admitting to running from past foster homes, Emma stubbornly insists she will continue to run until finding a true home. Noticing the time spell is activated, they investigate the portal and are sucked into the past Enchanted Forest. They are forced to hide when the Queen arrives to a nearby village where a prisoner, Marian, is hauled out. Emma pities her, but doesn't intervene on Hook's warning that the future may be altered by changing the past. After Emma finds new clothes, she and Hook witness Snow White trying to steal from Prince Charming. Though this is supposed to be the first meeting between the destined lovers, Emma accidentally breaks a branch; causing a startled Snow White to flee. Hoping to fix the mistake, the two head for Rumplestiltskin's castle. On sight, the Dark One chokes Hook until Emma reveals future circumstances that will lead him to Baelfire. Rumplestiltskin then aids them in tracking down Prince Charming and Snow White's locations. Choreographing a meeting between the future couple, Emma distracts past Hook while future Hook boards the Jolly Roger to convince Snow White to steal Prince Charming's ring from King Midas' castle. Brought aboard the ship by past Hook, Emma keeps him busy until future Hook knocks his past self unconscious. Borrowing magical disguises from Rumplestiltskin, they present themselves as Princess Leia and Prince Charles to blend in the castle. They help Snow White flee from the Queen's knights, but the ring is left behind, which Emma takes. Imprisoned for assisting Snow White, Emma meets Marian, who states they will be executed tomorrow. Using Neal's lock-pick method, she frees both of them and regroups with Hook, Prince Charming and Red Riding Hood only to witness Snow White's execution by the Queen. ("Snow Drifts")


Emma opening a portel back home.

Shocked at her mother's death, Emma discovers Snow White escaped by turning herself into a bug, and she reverts to human with the Blue Fairy's help. Relieved, she embraces Snow White, who is puzzled by her concern. Fearing Marian will alter the future by simply existing, Hook and Emma decide to take her to the future. Prince Charming notices Snow White stole his ring and takes off after her. Soon, the past is set back on track as the ring is returned and the prince and the bandit part on better terms. Returning to Rumplestiltskin, Emma and Hook learn a special wand can replicate magic, but the portal has to be made by someone who traveled through it. Intending to "protect the future" by taking a forgetting potion, the Dark One also entraps them in his vault. While there, Hook pulls out a urn, from a cabinet, which Emma chides him for touching as it might be dangerous. Emma, having an epiphany from watching her mother die, realizes Henry brought her to Storybrooke to find her family. With that, her magic is restored and a portal is opened. Before she follows Hook into it, Rumplestiltskin demands to know what happens when he reunites with Baelfire. She states his son forgives and loves him, but he dies to save everyone. Emma proclaims Baelfire died a hero, and that he shouldn't change the future at the risk of making things worse. Lastly, she urges him to take the potion, which he does. In the present, Emma rushes into her parents' arms and confirms her decision to stay in town. She informs them about her and Hook's adventure to the past, and then asks for her brother's name. David and Mary Margaret announce they are naming him after a true hero—Neal. From Hook, Emma learns he traded his ship for a magic bean in order to find her in New York. Touched, she finally reciprocates his feelings and kisses him. As Emma re-introduces Marian to Regina, Robin Hood recognizes the newcomer as his deceased wife as does Roland acknowledge her as his mother. Despite that Emma just wanted to rescue an innocent woman, Regina angrily berates her for not thinking of the consequences of her actions. ("There's No Place Like Home")

When Regina leaves the diner, Emma follows her out to explain she never intended to cause harm, but doesn't regret saving Marian. Regina believes Marian's reappearance is the end of her and Robin Hood's relationship, but Emma disagrees. Suddenly, Robin Hood approaches, introducing Marian to Regina, so the three of them can talk. Instead, a furious Marian is disgusted at Regina, who she remembers as the Evil Queen and calls her a "monster". Regina promptly takes off, but Emma is dissuaded by Hook into not going after her. The next morning, Emma phones Regina, but she doesn't pick up, so Henry tries calling her instead. She also sends Hook to look for Regina at the vault. In conversation, Mary Margaret remarks to Emma about how well-adjusted Henry seems to be, especially since both his mothers now have boyfriends. However, Emma hasn't told Henry about her relationship with Hook yet. Hook reports that Regina is not at the vault, and then questions if Emma is now avoiding him. Privately, Emma reasons that her hands are full at the moment with the Regina crisis. Just then, Leroy and Walter inform them that something magically froze their car last night. Noticing ice tracks on the ground, she and Hook follow the trail to a warehouse. Inside, a snow monster forms and chases them out, so they regroup in the forest with David, Little John, Marian and Robin Hood. A fired arrow from Little John agitates the beast, to which Emma uses magic to aim an energy ball. This only angers the monster, who knocks Emma away and blows everyone off their feet. Unexpectedly, Regina intercepts the battle, saving Marian's life, by obliterating the being, and then she teleports away. Afterwards, Emma shares a kiss with Hook; asking for his patience while she sorts out things with Regina. From the outside of the mayoral office, Emma comforts a silent Regina and promises to help her find a happy ending. ("A Tale of Two Sisters")

During a night at the apartment, Emma sees Henry packing a basket of goodies for Regina. Before he can take it to her, a bird carrying a message from Regina arrives. From reading it, Henry believes Regina doesn't want to see him. Emma looks at the letter herself, tracking down Henry at the diner, to reason that his mother needs space. Henry, however, does not believe Regina is doing the right thing by pushing him away. After a blackout, Emma is radioed by David, who is picking her up so they can investigate. She asks Henry if he wishes to tag along; even jokingly brainstorming operation names, but he declines. Emma, while sitting in car as David drives, bemoans her failure to comfort Henry about Regina's note. David notices Henry inherited traits from her and Regina, who both put up walls, but believes Emma shouldn't give up on her son. Near the town line, they see an ice wall, which has knocked down power lines. Hook, having already searched around, approaches. He jests at Emma that he forgot to bring champagne to their "second date". Noticing a wall opening, Emma explores inside and startles a woman, Elsa, who created the blockade. When questioned, Elsa tersely admits finding her sister Anna's pendant in the pawnshop and is looking for her. As David and Hook advance in, Elsa forms icicles and causes an avalanche that traps herself and Emma on the other side. Ordered by Elsa, Emma tells David to find Anna. While they wait, Emma recognizes that Elsa, like herself, cannot control her magic. Freezing from the cold temperatures, Emma stays awake by talking. They bond over having powers they can't control and figuring out who they are beyond their titles; Elsa as Queen and Emma as the savior. When Emma collapses, Elsa is encouraged by David, who persuades her into melting the ice. At the apartment, Emma is warmed up. She apologizes to Henry for not being helpful earlier, but he is just glad she is safe. David gives Elsa a shepherd's crook, and from it, she hears her sister's heartbeat. A tired Emma rests in Hook's arms, but later accompanies Elsa to the town line. Elsa tries removing the wall, but it mysteriously does not work. ("White Out")

With Elsa, Emma and Hook confront Mr. Gold about the urn. As Emma recalls, he had it in his vault, but Mr. Gold has Belle command him, with the dagger's will, to tell the truth. Mr. Gold then professes to no knowledge about Elsa, Anna or that someone was in the urn. Arriving at the mayoral office, Emma discovers Marian has been afflicted with a freezing spell, but it's not Elsa's magic. Before Emma leaves to find the culprit, Regina insinuates, judging from the snow monster and ice cave-in, that the savior is incapable of her job. Believing Regina is lashing out, Emma shrugs it off. Clue-hunting in the forest, she splits up from David and apprehends a man rummaging through Robin Hood's tent. Forcing him to surrender at gunpoint, Emma then gives chase when the man runs away only for him to be caught by David. Introducing himself as Will, he mentions hearing of Marian's illness and tells them about ice cream in a shop, during the blackout, which was still frozen without electricity. Skeptical, the two sheriffs let Will take them to the store, Any Given Sundae, where Emma notices there is no freezer, which is used to keep the goods frozen. Will instructs them to look in the backroom for proof of his claims. Emma and David discover a frozen kitchen, but while they are distracted, Will steals money from the cash register and flees. Though Emma wants to go after him, David insists they stay on track. Frustrated, Emma admits being unhappy as a savior since she is unable to resolve anything lately, but her father advises her to not give up. Picking up a voice message from Hook, the pair are led to the Snow Queen, who is preparing to drop icicles on the pirate. Strangely, the Snow Queen, out of recognition, calls Emma by name. Once the Snow Queen collapses the icicles, the savior magically pushes David and Hook to safety, to which her opponent disappears. Afterwards, Emma comforts Elsa about her forgotten past; believing that the truth will reveal itself soon. That night, Hook brings up her trust issues, but Emma reveals she is being distant out of fears of losing him like with everyone else. Hook assures that he's skilled in survival, and the two kiss. ("Rocky Road")

After telling Henry about her relationship status with Hook, Emma drives him to the diner where she intends to ask her boyfriend out on a date. As they exit the vehicle, she asks Henry if he minds the situation. Admittedly, he doesn't like it, but wants her to be happy. With a pat on her back, he urges his mother to go into the diner. There, Emma pops the question to Hook, and he agrees to their first date. Due to his insistence, she allows him to plan their outing. Returning to her car, Emma steps in a puddle, which she suspects is the Snow Queen's doing. When fitted into her date dress, she shows her parents and Elsa. Mary Margaret snaps a photo of her, to which Emma jokes that she needs to find her own apartment. Emma opens the door to receive Hook, who has since regained his missing hand from Mr. Gold. As they dine at a restaurant, Hook promises, for the evening, to ease her worries about the Snow Queen. At the nearby bar, Will tries to leave without attracting Emma's attention, but bumps into a waiter carrying wine, which spills onto her dress. Upset, Hook demands an apology from Will, but Emma brushes it off. She nearly chases Will upon recognizing him, but decides to deal with the thief later. By evening's end, Hook asks Emma out on another date, which she seals with a goodnight kiss. Inside the apartment, an excited Mary Margaret wants to hear all details of the date while David does not. Awkwardly, Emma excuses herself. In the morning, her car skids into an iced over road. Investigating nearby, Emma spots the Snow Queen and follows her, but she loses the woman's trail. Phoned by Belle, she heads to the library to find a passed out Will and hauls him into a cell. During questioning, Emma asks about a book and drawing that she found on him earlier, but Will claims they mean nothing. At Hook's arrival, she notices his hook hand is back; he claims the real hand wasn't good enough. From David, Emma learns the Snow Queen is living under the name Sarah Fisher, but there are no records of her, which means she did not come to Storybrooke due to a curse. ("The Apprentice")

Continuing to pile through records at the sheriff's office, Emma subdues Will, who wants dinner, by giving him a poptart. Looking at photos Sidney took when he was spying on her for Regina, she notices an image of herself arguing with the Snow Queen. Having no memory of it, Emma, accompanied by Elsa, drives to Regina's vault. Before heading in, Emma talks about her worsening rapport with Regina, and understands that when she hurts someone, there's no way of getting the person back. Regina has no answers about the photo, so Emma offers to lend magic in unfreezing Marian. She affirms allegiance to Regina, but the latter clarifies Emma has never had her back. Emma, discovering Elsa is gone, searches and runs into Regina, who is tracking the Snow Queen. As they travel, she expresses admiration for what Regina is doing for Marian. To this, Regina accuses Emma of assuaging her guilt over bringing back Marian. Regina explains that Emma, intentionally or not, ruined her life, and that's something she should live with. They reach an bridge, evidently made from Elsa's magic, and as they cross, the Snow Queen's wind gust stops them. Emma learns Regina has Sidney entrapped in a mirror, and he betrayed them to the Snow Queen, which is how their foe knows their location. As the crosswalk collapses, the two reach safety and defeat an orc by combining powers. The Snow Queen steals Regina's mirror and chokes them, but Elsa arrives to blast her away. Before the trio finish her off, the Snow Queen retreats. An argument breaks out between Emma and Regina as Elsa pleads for them to mend fences. Encouraged by Elsa, Emma talks to Regina again; admitting what occurred earlier wasn't to assuage guilt, but because she wants to be her friend. At the sheriff's station, Emma and Hook watch a camera recording of her and an old friend. Suddenly, it plays footage, which Emma doesn't remember, of herself in a new foster home as a boy toys with the camera. The foster mother, revealed to be the Snow Queen, approaches to take the device away. ("Breaking Glass")

Gathering Belle, David, Henry, Mary Margaret, Mr. Gold and Regina together, Emma replays the recording to show them what she discovered. With only one lead left, the Snow Queen's ice cream truck, to find, they split into a search party. Robin Hood, spotting the truck near his camp, informs Emma, to which Hook and Regina also join in the investigation. After hearing Regina rebuff Robin Hood's attempt at talking to her, Emma objects to her reaction. Regina, recognizing she means well, tells Emma to stay out of the issue. Inside the vehicle, they break open a freezer and uncover a newspaper clipping of when Pinocchio found Emma, as a baby, on the side of the road; proving the Snow Queen has been watching the savior from the start. She also finds a file, with all her old drawings and essays, that the Snow Queen apparently kept throughout the years. Out of all the items, a scroll written in ancient text perplexes Emma the most. Arriving back at the sheriff station, Elsa shows Emma and Hook a pictorial family tree of the royals of Arendelle. Within it, the Snow Queen is named as Ingrid and is Elsa's maternal aunt. Equally as surprising, Elsa's mother and Ingrid had another sister, Helga, who resembles Emma. Noticing the scroll, Elsa deciphers the message on it, which is that the savior, Emma, will become Ingrid's sister. Judging from the family tree, they realize Ingrid means to replace Emma and Elsa as her sisters. Belle reveals a past meeting with Anna, who was then captured by the Snow Queen. She also relates knowledge about Ingrid's mirror, which is key for casting a spell of shattered sight that will make everyone turn on each other. Even so, Emma and Elsa ominously recognize Ingrid will spare the two of them so they can be a "perfect family" with her. ("Family Business")

From a spell Belle deciphered, Emma practices lighting a special candle to create magical binds on the Snow Queen. Scheduled for babysitting duty, she goes to pick up Neal from Mary Margaret, who is currently at a meet-up with other mothers and their babies. The activity leader, Ashley, explains the get-together is a support group for first-time mothers. Emma is perturbed by this, but tries to understand since Mary Margaret didn't have a chance to be a mother the first time around. However, out of resentment, Emma causes Neal's bottle of milk to boil, which she plays off as a bout of magic practice. When she tries to take Neal into her care, an unsure Mary Margaret refuses. Called away to sheriff duty, Emma corners the Snow Queen with the candle's power. At the station, Emma handles questioning after the Snow Queen upsets Elsa, who leaves. Emma wishes to know why Ingrid has been watching her since childhood, and the Snow Queen implies she erased her memories to protect her. Ingrid believes she and Elsa belong with her since they have similar powers, and because Emma's family will come to fear their daughter if her powers become dangerous. As a further push, Ingrid claims Emma's parents willingly chose to give her up at birth even though there were other options, are selfishly using her to be their savior and must feel blessed to have a son with no magic. Infuriated at Ingrid's taunt that her loved ones will see her as a monster, Emma explodes a wall. Ingrid then breaks the binds and escapes. With her powers spiraling out of control, Emma damages a streetlight that injuries David. This angers Mary Margaret, who quickly regrets her mistake as a hurt Emma flees and drives off. ("The Snow Queen")

In the woods, Henry approaches Emma, but she unintentionally sends him flying back and sustaining a cut. Fearing he'll get hurt again, she emits another blast to force him to leave. Ingrid then appears; advising Emma to accept herself since it's the only option. Emma refuses, not willing to let her loved ones be harmed due to her powers, and takes off in her car. She consults with Mr. Gold for a permanent solution to be rid of her magic, and he presents her with a spell capable of this feat. He lies to her about the spell being too intense for the town because it'll reduce whole buildings to rubble, so she agrees to meet him at a manor in the forest. On the drive there, she crashes to the side after swerving to keep from hitting a manifestation of Ingrid. The Snow Queen warns that Mr. Gold only wants to use her, but Emma doesn't trust Ingrid's word. She heads to the manor where Mr. Gold directs her into a room to be stripped of magic. Before she reaches the door, Elsa stops her. Drawing from her own experience, Elsa argues that having the support of loved ones is not enough, and for Emma to truly be happy, she must embrace the good and bad that comes with her own magic. In a risky move, she calm Emma's magic by linking hands with her. Symbolically, in this moment, both Emma and Elsa learn to accept their magic. In a happy reunion with David, Henry, Hook and Mary Margaret, Emma creates a fireworks display for them. Trouble brews again, however, when Emma and Elsa notice ribbons on their left wrists, which begin absorbing their magic into Ingrid's ribbon; allowing the Snow Queen to cast the spell of shattered sight. ("Smash the Mirror")

In the clock tower, Emma and her allies witness the cloud formation of Ingrid's spell, which will take effect by sundown. At first, they try scaling the ice wall to flee town before the spell hits, but the barricade is too powerful. A fissure in the ice reveals Anna's lost necklace, which Elsa retrieves. Emma sends Leroy as well as her parents to warn the townspeople of Ingrid's curse and asks Hook to look for escape boats at the docks. Leaving Henry in Regina's care, Emma goes with Elsa to the pawnshop. From Belle, they learn a hair sample, from someone who has been under Ingrid's curse, can make a counter spell. Since Anna fits the criteria, they use a locator spell on the necklace to track her, however, it leads them to a mine cave-in. Regrouping with her parents, Leroy and Regina, they determine it'll take hours to uncover the passage. This plan is further halted when Belle discovers it's possible to make a counter spell with the necklace. Convinced that they must save the town, Emma persuades Elsa into handing over the pendant in a pouch, though it is actually filled with pebbles. Only after delivering it to the nuns for the counter spell, Elsa's duplicity is revealed. Persisting to have faith, Emma returns to the mines just as Elsa blasts open the cave-in. The twosome reach a beach where Elsa follows the pendant's glow until it fades, but Anna is nowhere to be found. Emma concludes that Anna is dead, but Elsa clings to hope and makes a wish, while holding the pendant, to see her sister again. Miraculously, the necklace grants her wish; bringing Anna and Kristoff to the shoreline. They hurry to the nuns, who are mysteriously gone, so everyone regroups at the sheriff station. With the curse nearing, Emma agrees, on her parents' requests, to lock them into separate cells, and Mary Margaret relinquishes Neal into her protection. Both her mother and father express praise and optimism in Emma; believing she will win against Ingrid. After a goodbye kiss with Hook, everyone braces for the curse as mirror shards spill into the room. ("Fall")

When Anna recalls the epilogue of The Trolden Glass, in which the king's spell of shattered sight only ended when he was killed, they realize the same must be done to Ingrid. Emma and Elsa try to take down Ingrid, but their magic fails. As Ingrid explains, her love for them flows through the ribbons and prevents them from harming her. The pair devise a plan to counter Ingrid's love with Regina's hatred in order to remove the ribbons. After breaking a shield on the vault, Emma goads Regina by confessing to bringing Marian from the past to make her miserable and ensuring she could never be happy. Enraged, Regina blasts fire at her, but ends up burning away the ribbons. The two flee and enter the snow lair where Ingrid shows them their memory stones. Each contain happy memories both women have shared with Ingrid, who believes by returning them, they will love her. Emma makes another attempt at magic when Anna rushes in with a scroll written by Gerda and reads it out loud. They learn Gerda wiped everyone's memories of her two sisters and wishes for her daughters to restore them using a crystal. Additionally, Gerda requests that Ingrid be freed from the urn and states she truly loved her sister and regretted trapping her away. Convinced those words are lies, Ingrid throws Emma and Elsa backwards and chokes Anna, who desperately talks her out of it. After Anna is released, Ingrid touches the scroll crystal and receives Gerda's happy memories with her and Helga. Realizing she always had her sisters' love, Ingrid destroys herself to ensure the curse is lifted. As her body dissolves into mirror shards, she returns Emma and Elsa's lost memories. Before disappearing completely, Ingrid reveals a prophecy once told her Emma would lead her to her sisters, and now knowing that Helga and Gerda loved her, she can happily join them in death. With her demise, the spell of shattered sight comes to an end. ("Shattered Sight")

At the town line, Elsa tears down the ice wall, but remnants of Ingrid's magic remain; making it impossible for anyone to re-enter Storybrooke after leaving. Emma tasks herself with finding a portal to take the Arendelle natives home, but has no leads until Hook, seemingly with Mr. Gold's help, discovered a realm door in a mansion. Emma is unsure of Mr. Gold's intentions, but Hook convinces her that the crocodile has turned over a new leaf. She suggests Hook go with her to the mansion, but he excuses himself to the hospital to get a wound checked out. While she senses something is amiss, Hook assures her he's fine. Unknown to Emma, during this conversation, his speaking actions are under Mr. Gold's control. Hook rebels against the subjection by briefly grabbing Emma's wrist, although he is not able to tell her what is wrong. After a warm farewell to Emma, Elsa walks into the portal as Kristoff follows her in. Before Anna goes in as well, she inquiries about Mr. Gold's original name in the Enchanted Forest. Emma is shocked to learn Anna did know Mr. Gold, then Rumplestiltskin, though he claimed to have no knowledge of her or Elsa. Concluding Mr. Gold is up to no good, Emma and her mother track him to the clock tower where Hook is also present. Emma moves to use magic, but Mr. Gold freezes her and Mary Margaret. He begins crushing Hook's heart, but an angry Belle compels him to stop with the real dagger. She makes him drop the heart and release Emma and Mary Margaret. Lastly, Belle commands Mr. Gold to take herself and him to the town line. Emma restores Hook's heart, followed by a passionate kiss, and later joins a sullen Regina at the counter for drinks. She compliments Regina for allowing Robin Hood to leave Storybrooke in order to save Marian's life. Suddenly, Henry rushes in to lead them to the mansion's secret room containing blank storybooks. Learning about Operation Mongoose, Emma decides to pitch in and help Regina find her happy ending. ("Heroes and Villains")

Six weeks after, Emma meets Hook outside the pawnshop, where he gives her a cup of coffee, and they walk to the library. As Emma parts from him, he joins Belle to do research for freeing the nuns in the hat. While Regina hunts for clues on the author in the storybook, Emma offers her a root beer. Fishing for a bottle opener, she sees a storybook photo of Regina and Robin Hood. Regina admits Robin Hood found it, and he believed it was hope for their future together. Emma asks if she's heard from him yet, but Regina confirms she hasn't. Gaining a spell translation from Belle, Regina performs a ceremony to release the nuns, but she unintentionally unleashes the Chernabog as well. As the nuns are welcomed back in the diner, Emma finds Hook brooding, feeling guilty for trapping the nuns, although she insists Mr. Gold is at fault for manipulating him. During Mother Superior's talk with Regina, the nun confirms the author hasn't disappeared, and he may have left clues in his works about it. Faced with the Chernabog, Emma and Regina stun it with magic. In a call from Cruella De Vil and Ursula, the two claim to have stolen Mr. Gold's phone and desire passage into Storybrooke since becoming good. They provide details about the Chernabog, who devours the heart of the person who has the greatest potential for evil. Though Regina believes the demon is after her, it is actually stalking Emma. They lure the beast to the town line, with Emma driving as Regina is in the car, but the Chernabog wrecks havoc on the windshield. Regina then offers herself as bait at the town line, to which Emma accelerates the vehicle speed and then halts abruptly, which hurls the Chernabog off the car roof and through the barrier, where it ceases to exist. Due to Cruella and Ursula's help, Emma wants to let them into town, yet David and Mary Margaret advise against it. Regina argues the women are villains, but they deserve second chances like herself, which Emma agrees with. With a scroll, Cruella and Ursula are allowed into town. ("Darkness on the Edge of Town")

On Emma and Hook's way to the diner, they pass Cruella and Ursula. With a knowing look, the sea witch drops Hook's name as she walks away, which piques Emma's interest about how he knows her. Whisked off to sheriff duty, Emma and David follow Cruella and Ursula to the pawnshop. She senses David is hiding something about the strangers, but he feigns ignorance. When the women leave and drive off, Emma phones Belle, who discovers a box missing from the shop. David then flags down and searches Cruella's car, where he seemingly finds nothing suspicious. After dropping her father at the apartment, Emma picks up camera footage from the pawnshop and begins downloading it. When Hook brings her lunch, she inquiries about his past with Ursula, but he dodges the topic. Discovering footage of Cruella and Ursula taking the box, she informs her parents, although they both claim they were too suspicious of the women earlier and have since calmed down. The couple lie about going on a hike as Emma skeptically accepts their answer. Called to the mayor's office by Regina, she tries helping Pinocchio remember his time as August and his knowledge about the book, but he can't recall anything. Frustrated, Regina insults Pinocchio for not trying harder as Emma diffuses the situation by taking the boy out of the room. To Hook, Emma persuades him into telling her the truth about Ursula in his own time. Without knowing David and Mary Margaret are listening, she expresses a desire to believe the best in him as her parents always have in other people. Before they can kiss, David and Mary Margaret interrupt and tell Emma about Cruella and Ursula reviving Maleficent. ("Unforgiven")


Character Notes

  • The name "Emma" is of Germanic origin derived from the word "ermen" that means "whole" or "universal".[2]
  • The surname "Swan" is of Scottish origin and is derived from the Old English personal name Swein, which was originally derived from the Old Norse name Sveinn.[3]
  • Jennifer Morrison has stated the in-show inspiration for the character of Emma relates to the story of "The Ugly Duckling". Her last name is derived from this fairytale.[4]
    • According to the show creators, the name is symbolic of the journey they have created for the character as Emma is somebody who has had a very tough time and her journey is to become a swan.[5]
    • Jennifer Morrison also stated that Emma got her last name from her first foster parents.[6] It is also a reference to ABC's Lost island Swan Station.[7]
  • Has a flower tattoo on the inside of her left wrist.[8][9][10] It is the same flower as her father's crest.[11]
  • Dons a necklace with a small swan engraving on it, which she fashioned out of a key chain that was given to her by former boyfriend Neal. ("Tallahassee", "Manhattan", "Quiet Minds")
  • Henry's bedside lamp has a shadow figure of a swan.[12] ("Pilot", "An Apple Red As Blood")
  • The inn room key Granny hands Emma has an ornament with an engraving of a swan.[13] ("Pilot")
  • Likes hot cocoa with cinnamon, just like her mother and her son. ("The Thing You Love Most")
  • Based on her mugshot on the cover of the newspaper, Emma is approximately 5'7".[14] ("The Thing You Love Most")
  • Possesses a star charm keyring.[15]
  • Wears a shoelace from Sheriff Graham's boot around her wrist.[16][17] She keeps his boots, missing one lace, in her office at the Storybrooke Sheriff Department.[18][19]
  • Used to wear glasses as a young adult. ("Tallahassee", "There's No Place Like Home")
  • The day after the curse, the newspaper Regina reads is dated October 23, 1983 (the show premiered on October 23, 2011). This means Emma's birthday is either October 22, or October 23, depending on whether she was born before or after midnight. ("Welcome to Storybrooke", "Selfless, Brave and True")
    • Adam Horowitz has stated that Emma's birthday is October 23.[20] However, Emma celebrates her twenty-eight birthday on October 22; the day she arrives in Storybrooke (which was the day before she spends the night behind bars and decides to stay). This is proven when August's wooden state is triggered in Thailand at 8:15 A.M. on October 24—the very same moment that Emma accepts the room key at 8:15 P.M. (the time zone in Phuket is twelve hours ahead of Maine's timezone). ("Pilot", "Selfless, Brave and True")
  • In "And Straight On 'Til Morning", in the close-up of Hook's hand as he clutches the magic bean aboard the Jolly Roger, the ring on his index finger has a heart design on the side, with an engraving of a silhouette of a swan's head.[21]
  • There is a swan-shaped fruit bowl on the counter of Emma's New York apartment.[22] ("New York City Serenade")
  • The lounge of Granny's Bed and Breakfast has two porcelain figurines of a swan – a small one[23] and a big one.[24] ("Witch Hunt", "A Curious Thing")

Production Notes

  • In the original script, Emma's first name was Anna.[25]
  • Actress Katee Sackhoff auditioned five times to play Emma. When she quit, Jennifer Morrison won the role.[26]
  • According to show writer Adam Horowitz, Emma was supposed to have three children, which eventually evolved into just one.[27]
  • Emma claims to have an extra-special ability which is being able to tell when someone is lying to her. The show creators have stated that she has to be actually looking for a lie, and emotions cloud her ability, which is the reason why it has been failing her in her interactions with people.[28][29]
    • Mary Margaret alludes to this when she points out that Emma's "superpower" has been known to be unreliable, especially when she's emotional. ("The Evil Queen")
  • In the first two episodes of season one, Emma's trademark leather jacket was a cheap jacket tweaked by the costume department.[30] By episode three,[30] the costume department replaced it[30] with custom made leather jackets by Vancouver's Ocean Drive Leather.[30][31][32] Five have been created for the show.[31][32][33]
  • According to Jennifer Morrison, Emma has had her wrist tattoo since she was "probably 14".[34]
  • Emma's swan necklace is a jewelry piece called a "Swan Talisman Necklace" and can be purchased online.[35]
  • Emma's secondary necklace that is in the shape of a circle was chosen specifically by Jennifer Morrison herself. She states the circular shape draws symbolism to ancient Celtic art of swans, which "are pictured with rings around their necks to represent the connection between divinity and humanity".[36][37][38]


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.

  • Emma appears in Henry's storybook in "The Thing You Love Most",[39] "Going Home",[40] "Snow Drifts"[41] and "There's No Place Like Home".[42]
  • Emma appears in a photo in "The Crocodile".[43]
  • Emma's name appears on the squid ink parchment in "Queen of Hearts".[44]


  1. "Save Henry", Once Upon a Time, ABC
  8. File:115YouCanDoThis.jpg
  9. File:206Now.jpg
  10. File:321HairFix.png
  12. File:101Swan.jpg
  13. File:101WelcomeToStorybrooke.jpg
  14. File:102EmmaOnFrontPage.png
  15. File:104StarCharmKeyring.png
  16. File:112NiceFattyPastrami.jpg
  18. File:114PowerCompany.png
  21. File:222ClutchesBean.png
  22. File:312CoatOff.png
  23. File:313AnotherOne.png
  24. File:319TheStorybook.png
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 Once Upon a Time - Behind the Magic - Page 57. London: Titan Books, October 2013
  31. 31.0 31.1
  32. 32.0 32.1
  39. File:102CharmingSavesEmma.jpg
  40. File:311Family.png
  41. File:321IsThatMe.png
  42. File:322HookEmmaStorybook.png
  43. File:204Photograph.png
  44. File:209EmmaScroll.png