It turns out that the Dark One's son didn't lure Hook (Colin O'Donoghue) away from Storybrooke to make it easier to kill Emma (Jennifer Morrison). He did it so that he'd have the leverage to get Emma to do his bidding. Either Gideon realized he didn't have the power to kill the Savior, or he listened to his dad (Robert Carlyle) and wasn't willing to risk darkening his heart any further by getting Emma's blood on his hands.
Instead, he sent Hook away. And now the pirate will be stuck in an alternate realm until Emma agrees to help in his monumental task — taking out the mother of all evil. The big question remains whether Emma will actually submit to Gideon's blackmail or whether she'll protest out of principle.
Now, we agree that Gideon's methods of convincing Emma to help him aren't heroic, but isn't killing the Black Fairy a quest worth undertaking? This woman not only abandoned Rumple when he was a child (ostensibly setting him on the path to become the Dark One), but she stole Gideon's childhood and robbed him of the chance to grow up with two parents who love him dearly. Rumple can testify that the Black Fairy is the worst of the villains Storybrooke has faced so far, so why would Emma want to put a stop to the Black Fairy's reign of terror?
If she agreed to help Gideon, which falls perfectly in line with a hero's priorities, she could have Hook back. She'd then have Regina (Lana Parrilla), Rumple, Belle (Emilie de Ravin) and Gideon to assist her in taking down this evil woman and everyone could have what they want. So, what's the point in being stubborn?
Sunday night's episode also reminded fans of why Aladdin (Deniz Akdeniz), another savior, failed to save Agrabah. He was broken by the number of battles that he had to face and they shorted out his powers, turning him into a shaken mess instead of a hero. It's the "Fate of the Saviors" — and maybe Emma hasn't escaped her own version of that.
She stopped Gideon from killing her, but it hasn't explicitly been said that Emma has saved herself from becoming the same burned out hermit that the Saviors before her have all come to be. Aladdin only escaped from his hovel because he cut his ties to his destiny.
It's only a matter of time before the Black Fairy officially arrives in Storybrooke. When the time comes, Emma will have to decide which side she is truly on, whether she's willing to accept her destiny — and if she can forgive Gideon enough to be the hero she was born to be.
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.