[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Sunday's episode of Once Upon a Time. Read at your own risk!]
A week after Once Upon a Time resurrected one dead character, another paid the ultimate price.
On Sunday's episode, Neal (Michael Raymond-James) suddenly reappears in town with a mysterious mark on his hand. Unaware of the past year, Neal is distraught to hear that Henry (Jared Gilmore) doesn't remember anything about him. His arrival is lucky for his fellow fairy-tale characters, who have all been attempting to find his father Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) to no avail.
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Back in what was fairy-tale land, Belle (Emilie de Ravin) and Neal enlist the help of Lumiere (Henri Lubatti) to figure out how to resurrect Rumple. The candlestick tells them to use the Dark One's vault key, which has the same mysterious marking on Neal's hand in present day. However, Lumiere is actually working with the Wicked Witch (Rebecca Mader). When Belle realizes Lumiere has been lying, she's hesitant to bring Rumple back to life. But Neal is determined and still uses the key, which curses him to die in place of Rumple returning to life. Forced to choose between Neal and his dagger — so Zelena can control him — Rumple absorbs his son, which is why Neal is still alive in present day.
Elsewhere, Regina (Lana Parrilla) and Robin Hood (Sean Maguire) meet in Storybrooke for the first time as they both attempt to catch the Wicked Witch red-handed. The two team up, though Regina is uneasy since she feels something familiar about her new companion. When she sees the lion tattoo, meaning he's destined to be her true love, she runs off.
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In Storybrooke, Emma uses her magic to separate Neal from Rumple's body, giving Neal enough time to say farewell to her and Rumple, who reveals that Zelena is the Wicked Witch. Neal dies knowing that his father truly loved him. Though Emma is unable to tell Henry the whole truth, she reveals that his father died a hero and she's determined to find the person who killed him.
Are you sad that Neal died? Hit the comments.
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.