‘Once Upon a Time’ Kills Off a Fan-Favorite Character — but There’s a Major Twist

Once Upon a Time Winter Finale
ABC/Eike Schroter
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Once Upon a Time's season-five winter finale, "Swan Song."]
Once Upon a Time just killed off a fan-favorite character, and there’s going to be hell to pay.
In the show’s winter finale, Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) and his team of Dark Ones planned to take everyone to the underworld so they could rule Storybrooke, but things took a dramatic turn just before they descended into hell.
Emma (Jennifer Morrison) originally wanted to channel all the darkness into Excalibur and sacrifice herself to save her loved ones, but Dark Hook stole the sword so she couldn’t follow through. However, when Nimue (Caroline Ford) tried to choke Emma to stop the former Savior from interfering with their evil plan, Hook had a change of heart and turned against the Dark Ones.
After sucking all of the darkness into Excalibur, he forced Emma to stab him so she could save herself — and all of Storybrooke’s residents — in one of the most heartbreaking moments in OUAT history.
However, even though Hook is definitely dead, that doesn’t mean he will stay that way. Emma discovered soon after that the dagger wasn’t really gone. Rumpelstiltskin had it in his shop, and he channeled all of the darkness from Excalibur into himself, making him the ultimate Dark One.
In exchange for keeping his darkness a secret from Belle — with whom he recently rekindled his love — Emma demanded that he take her to the underworld to save Hook. The second half of season five, which begins with the show’s 100th episode, will show Emma & Co. descending into the underworld to save Hook, as she plans to split her heart in two so she can bring him back to Storybrooke.
Unlike many shows that try to hide the true fate of a killed-off character, it seems like Emma is hell-bent on saving Hook, and it’s very likely that this wasn’t the last Once saw of the pirate.
Once Upon a Time returns Sunday, March 6, at 8 p.m. on ABC.