"Awake" is the seventeenth episode of the sixth season of ABC's Once Upon a Time and the one-hundredth and twenty-eighth episode of the series overall. It aired on April 16, 2017. It was written by Andrew Chambliss & Leah Fong and directed by Sharat Raju.
Still trapped in Neverland, Hook aligns himself with Tiger Lily, hoping to find a way back to Emma. Back in Storybrooke, Regina works to break the sleeping curse that David and Snow are under, and Gold denies the Black Fairy, which brings the two of them to a fearsome impasse. In flashbacks, we learn what Snow and Charming sacrificed in order for Emma to fulfill her destiny as the Savior.
The Storybrooke and Neverland events during the present day take place after "Mother's Little Helper" while the flashbacks take place a decade after "Welcome to Storybrooke", nine years before "Save Henry" and during Emma's childhood after "The Dark Swan".
In Neverland (Present Day)
As Hook is still being chased by the Lost Boys, he finds himself surrounded by them at every opportunity (since the entire island can have everyone followed or be followed). Suddenly, a series of darts knock out the Lost Boys, and Hooks looks up to see Tiger Lily. But moments after he thanks her, she knocks Hook out with a tranquilizer as well. When he come to, Hook is held captive by Tiger Lily. Hook pleaded with Tiger Lily that he wants to return to Storybrooke and Emma, but when Tiger Lily tells Hook that she wants to deliver a weapon called; "fairy wand" (a spear-like piece that came from part of a blade) to another realm to help The Savior, he realizes that Tiger Lily is ready to help him. When they come across Peter Pan's former campsite, the two wait for the Lost Boys to fall asleep in order to obtain the magic required to get Hook back to Storybrooke. Tiger Lily also admitted to Hook that she was a former fairy who once knew The Black Fairy before her turn to Darkness, which is how she came to acquire the weapon that Emma will need.
When they spot a tree whose sap can produce an ability to cross realms, Tiger Lily distracted the Boys while Hook runs to the tree and successfully acquired the sap and conjures up his shadow, only to have the shadow try to take off with Hook until the Boys held Hook down as Hook gave the weapon to his shadow and it races off to find Emma. The Shadow does reach Emma, who then brings the flower that was used to wake David up and enters The Portal, where she rescued Hook from the Lost Boys and returned to Storybrooke; Tiger Lily escaped into the woods during the diversion.
In Storybrooke During the Time of the Dark Curse
During the Dark Curse Storybrooke, Mary Margaret visited David (still listed as John Doe and in a coma) and brings him a pixie flower, which upon touching it brings him out of the coma and he began to remember who he was and told Mary Margaret that she was Snow White. As Snow distracted Regina, David visited Gold, who he still knew as Rumplestiltskin, about the curse but informed Gold that Emma (which he soon remembered, like he would later on in the pilot) has not arrived yet and does not where she is at this point but tells David that the flower has the ability to unite anyone with true love. Unfortunately, Regina soon catches on to what Snow did after she bought David back to life.
Gold then later tell David and Snow that Emma is still a child and if they go to her they'll be a family again, but by doing so Emma's quest to become The Savior will never happen. Gold then proposes they drink a forgetting potion that would erase all of their past memories, until Emma arrives. When they go to the forest, David and Snow used the flower dust that created a door that opened up to see a young Emma (who was in a group home in 1993 Minnesota). Despite David's desire to go after Emma, Snow believes that Emma must follow her destiny as The Savior in order to save everyone trapped in the Land Without Magic. As they drink the serum, the two returned to their cursed identities.
In Storybrooke (Present Day)
As a concerned David fears for Emma's future (her hand continues to be shaky, and even Henry is worried), he comes to the conclusion that it's time to end the split sleeping Curse he and Snow has been under, and even Snow agrees with him (albeit separately), as the Charmings plead with Regina to use the potion she has been testing out. Later on, Snow watches Regina and Zelena concocted the potion from a cauldron. Regina and Zelena then take their split hearts, dip them in the cauldron so the Curse can disappear, and placed it back in their hearts, but it turns out that the Evil Queen had it fail-safe, making it impossible for Regina to undo, causing Snow and David to both face the possibility that they will fall asleep under the Curse permanently. Hours later, as David reads a message from Snow, he noticed the pixie flower from their past on the screen. Although he believes it can help them break the Curse, Zelena believes that the flowers bloom when great evil is present.
As expected, the Black Fairy has arrived to pay her son Gold and Belle a visit at the Pawn Shop. When she implies that Gideon had no choice in helping her, Gold challenges her and takes out a potion, but before he can use it on her, the Black Fairy teleports the Dagger into her hand and commands him to stop. She mocks him, telling him that his efforts are futile since she practically invented Dark Magic. She returns the Dagger to Gold, saying that she won't force him to join her, but that he will do so willing, after he sees the Darkness that she will bring. She then learns of Emma and Snow finding a field full of pixie flowers. The Black Fairy introduced herself to Emma, then she and Gideon make the flowers disappear in order to make Snow suffer, but Emma discovered that one remained. They are able to use the flower to wake up David, only to be interrupted by Hook's shadow. Sensing that Hook is in trouble, Snow tells Emma about their attempt to find her during the first curse, and now she wants Emma to use the flower to reunite her with Hook and that Snow will find another way to wake up David, but suddenly Snow falls asleep. Emma immediately takes the flower with her through the portal and brings Hook back to Storybrooke. As the two are finally reunited, Hook apologizes to Emma for hiding what he did to her grandfather and for considering to leave. He proposes to her the right way after admitting that he truly loved her and vowed to be honest to her. Hook gets down on one knee and asks Emma to marry him, and she accepts for real this time. David is also apologized to by Hook about killing his father Robert and forgives him as well.
Later on in the Present, Regina, after having come up with a suggestion to reverse the Sleeping Curse, speaks to the residents with Snow and David sleeping alongside each other, as she told them about why they sacrificed themselves by allowing Emma to start her destiny to save everyone. Regina then has the residents drink a small portion of the sleeping curse from a chalice. After they drink it, Snow and David woke up while the residents fell asleep around them, but afterwards Snow and David see the residents awake again. Snow tells Emma that she won't face the final battle alone.
Finally, that evening at a street corner, Gold confronts the Black Fairy, but the Black Fairy asks him to join her, so that they could be the family that they "were always meant to be", telling him that he would change his mind when she brings the Darkness, prior to the Final Battle. However, Gold asks her if the reason why she wants him to join her was because Gideon didn't join her willingly. Gold tells her that he knows she has Gideon's heart, and that she had been manipulating her grandson against his will the whole time. When the Black Fairy asks him how he had figured this out, Gold tells the Black Fairy that Gideon was responsible for leaving the one flower behind for Emma and Snow, as he realizes that Gideon is a true believer, because he knows that Belle is his true mother, and that his love for his mother allowed him to resist the Black Fairy's command to a degree. This shocks the Black Fairy, who insists that such a thing is impossible. Gold tells the Black Fairy that he will get his son's heart back, but in response, she tells her son that if he decides to fight her head-on, Storybrooke would be leveled. Gold tells her that this is a price he is willing to pay.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Tiger Lily.
- Hook proposes to Emma for real this time and she accepts.
- Snow and Charming are finally freed from the sleeping curse, that lasted for 10 episodes.