Belle awakens with a start after having a nightmare about her beau, Rumplestiltskin, reverting to his wicked ways. To add to her doubts, she catches him practicing with magic, and wonder if he really does want to change, or if he's bound to use the magic he brought to Storybrooke as a means to regain his powers and control over others. She sets out to explore the town on her own, unsure if she really should stay with Rumple. She has a bite at Granny's and makes a new friend in Ruby, who tells her about the old Storybrooke Library that's been closed for as long as anyone can remember. Thinking she might want to take over as the new librarian, Belle goes to investigate. Outside, she runs into a portly man in a red hat who asks for some change. When she tells him she's alone and doesn't have any money, he snatches her!
In Fairy Tale Land, Rumplestiltskin is looking for his wife, Milah, and he finds her at a local tavern. When he begs her to come home to him and Baelfire, she rebuffs him, saying she can't stand to be with the village coward. Baelfire comes in and Rumple hurries him home. When he returns, he finds out Milah has gone aboard a pirate ship captained by a man named Killian Jones. He asks the Captain to release his wife and the Captain agrees that he will turn Milah over if Rumplestiltskin bests him in a duel. Rumple, crippled and frightened, can't even bring himself to pick up a sword, instead heading home and giving up on ever seeing his wife again.
Years later in Fairy Tale Land, a portly man in a red hat meets Rumplestiltskin-now known as The Dark One-to tell him he has an inside line on a magic bean. After their dealings are concluded, Rumplestiltskin spots none other than Killian Jones come into the bar. He reintroduces himself and says he now accepts the duel. The next morning, the magically powerful Rumplestiltskin easily defeats the dashing Captain and is about to rip his heart out when Milah appears. She offers the magic bean for Killian's life. Rumplestiltskin accompanies them aboard their ship to make the deal, but he has just one question for his former wife: how could she leave Baelfire? When she admits it was because she never loved Rumple and DOES love Killian, he rips out her heart in a fit of rage, crushing it to dust. Then he cuts off Captain Jones' hand with the magic bean still within it and takes it. Killian attacks Rumple with a hook, but it's not enough to kill The Dark One. Captain Jones vows revenge, but Rumplestiltskin taunts that he'll never live long enough to find a way to kill him. But when Rumple later examines the bean, it turns out to be a fake. Captain Jones still has the real one, along with the man in the red hat who found it-a gentleman by the name of Mr. Smee-and he uses it to sail to a land where he will never grow old, so that he will live long enough to plot his revenge on Rumplestitlskin. The destination? Neverland.
Belle is finally unhanded in a flower shop, wondering what's going on. Suddenly, her father, Sir Mauricel-or Moe French in Storybrooke-steps out of the shadows. He apologizes, but says that this was the only way he knew of to get her free from Rumplestiltskin. But Belle insists that she had stayed with him by choice. Moe can't fathom her wanting to stay with such a monster, so he instructs Mr. Smee to take her to the mines where she'll be sent in a mine cart past The Line bordering Storybrooke, causing her to lose all of her memories of her true identity. Meanwhile, Mr. Gold has enlisted David and Ruby to help him find Belle. When they confront Moe, David pieces together the plan and they race to the mines where Rumplestiltskin's magic is able to stop Belle's mine cart just before she crosses the threshold. Despite her gratitude for being rescued, Belle doesn't think she can trust the man she loves.
Belle moves out of Mr. Gold's estate to stay at Granny's. The next morning she is given a key to the library. Once inside, she finds Mr. Gold waiting for her. He finally tells her the truth about how he lost Baelfire and spent all his time gathering enough power to create The Dark Curse so that he could follow him to this world. And now that they were all trapped in Storybrooke, he needs magic to find a way to enable him to leave town in search of his son without losing his memories of him. It's heartbreaking and honest as Rumplestiltskin admits he uses magic as a crutch because he is, despite everything, still a coward. Belle once again sees what she came to love about him and the two agree to share a hamburger at Granny's sometime.
Meanwhile, in present day Fairy Tale Land, Cora meets with Captain Killian Jones-whom she refers to as "Hook"-on the shore overlooking the island where the survivors of The Curse have made camp. She shows him the ashes from the magic wardrobe and the two conspire to make a journey to Storybrooke where Cora plans to see her daughter, Regina, again and Captain Hook plans to take his revenge on Rumplestiltskin.