The 100th episode of ‘Once Upon A Time’ brings back some familiar faces as the characters head to the Underworld.

The quest to save Hook begins in the monumental 100th episode of Once Upon A Time. The mid-season premiere of “Souls of the Departed” sets the tone for the rest of season five. While on their quest to save Hook (Colin O'Donoghue) , the group discovers they might be able to accomplish more than just saving one soul.

The episode premiere kicks off with Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) sleeping in her old, yellow, Volkswagen Beetle. When she wakes up, she thinks she is dreaming because Neal Cassidy (Michael Raymond-James), her old boyfriend and Henry’s father, is there. Neal says this is a "long distance call from an old friend.” Neal warns Emma of the dangers of the underworld and says he is not there. Dang it! So much for Swanfire getting back together. He is not there because the Underworld is for people with unfinished business. So, the Underworld is more like purgatory rather than Hell. Emma wakes up and finds herself in a boat with Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin), David (Josh Dallas), Regina (Lana Parrilla), Robin Hood (Sean Maguire), Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) and Henry (Jared Gilmore) at the entrance of Hell.

The Once Upon A Time version of the Underworld takes on some familiar characteristics — it looks exactly like the real world Storybrooke except the clock from the tower is in ruins in the middle of the street and everything has a red hue added to remind the audience that this isn’t the real Storybrooke. Most of the dead people walk around like zombies. There is one man watching the group. Once they all split up, he goes to the mayor’s office. In the office sits Regina’s mother, Cora (Barbara Hershey). Cora wants to see her daughter.

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The flashbacks in this episode take us back to the Enchanted Forest when Regina was the Evil Queen. Regina wants a village to tell her where Snow White is so that she can rip Snow White's heart out of her chest and crush it. This is back when Regina was seeking revenge for her lover Daniel’s life. Cora killed Daniel because Snow White told her that Regina was in love with him. According to Cora, love is equal to weakness. Snow, Prince Charming and the dwarves appear right behind her, which prompts Regina to flee. In her castle, Regina’s dad, Prince Henry (Tony Perez), wants Regina to end her quest for vengeance and seek redemption. He is such a good father-figure!

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Prince Henry asks the Magic Mirror (Giancarlo Esposito) to call upon Cora. At this point in time, Cora is in Wonderland where she was banished by Regina. Unlike Prince Henry, Cora wants Regina to kill Snow White. Prince Henry sets out to talk to Snow White, and while he does so, Cora steps out of the mirror which acts as some kind of portal. This is not going to end well.

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Back in the Underworld, Regina goes to Cora and they happily embrace each other. When Cora died, they were on good terms, albeit this truce might not last for long. Cora explains her unfinished business is Regina because she wants her daughter to be happy. Cora tells Regina that she needs to get out as soon as possible. Cora has even called in a favor and summoned a boat that leaves in an hour to take Regina back to Storybrooke. Cora warns her that if she does not leave, her father — who is also in the Underworld — will suffer.

In the meantime, Gold goes to the Underworld version of his pawn shop. There he sees all of his possessions, but instead of being in glass show cases, they’re on pedestals. He goes to check his vault at the back of the shop and when he turns around, his father, Peter Pan (Robbie Kay), stands in the doorway. Peter Pan wants to go back to the real world but the only way he can get back is to trade places with a living soul. This foreshadows that Peter Pan is going take the place of one of the few living souls currently in the Underworld.

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Gold returns to the others and provides Emma a way to communicate with Hook. All they have to do is pour a magical powder from DunBroch over Hook's grave. Does anyone else find it kind of weird that there is a cemetery in the Underworld? They go to his gravesite and a bloody and beaten Hook appears. Emma tries to talk to him, but he is unable to respond. The connection is too weak. So much for that plan. Mary Margaret and David encourage Emma to keep fighting and they will find a way to get Hook back. I have missed their supportive parental guidance.

In the Enchanted Forest, Prince Henry meets up with Snow White to explain to her what is going on. When Snow hears her name being called, she turns around and is surprised to see Prince Henry. The other Henry turns out to be Cora. Cora sneaks up behind Snow, takes her heart and puts it in a box to deliver to Regina. When Cora hands the heart over to Regina, she doesn’t believe that it belongs to Snow White. In order to prove her wrong, Cora asks the guards to fetch the Magic Mirror. The mirror shows Snow White but she’s acting as if she were alive, which means only one thing: someone switched the hearts. When Regina returns to her castle, Prince Henry reveals that he switched the hearts to prevent Regina from doing something she may regret. When Prince Henry gives Regina the box that held the heart back, she shrinks her father and puts him in it so he cannot get in her way again. Regina is not only upset with Prince Henry, she is mad at Cora, too. Regina is tired of her mother doing her dirty work for her so she sends her back through the portal to Wonderland. But before she goes, Cora snatches the box that holds Prince Henry out of Regina’s hands, taking the one person Regina loves.

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In the Underworld, Cora tries to send Prince Henry to an even more terrible place for his soul to reside. Regina and Henry show up and try to stop Cora from doing so. Prince Henry is willing to sacrifice himself so that Regina can stay in the Underworld and help Emma retrieve Hook. Fire swirls around Prince Henry and Cora leaves him to be consumed by the flames. Surprisingly the flames disappear and a bridge to a happier place appears. Prince Henry finally realizes that Regina was his unfinished business. Before he leaves, Henry finally gets to meet his grandpa. This part was so touching I almost cried.

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Regina and Henry meet back up with Mary, David, Emma and Gold. Because they already saved one soul in the span of an hour, everyone — except Gold — thinks they can save all of the souls in the Underworld. As usual, Henry gives the operation a name, “Operation Firebird.” Before they start their mission, Regina looks at the destroyed clock and it mysteriously ticks.

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The camera then cuts to Cora as she ventures down into what would be Regina’s lair in the real Storybrooke. In the depths of the cave, Hades (Greg Germann), god of the Underworld, sits on a throne. Hades is disappointed in Cora and explains that every time the clock ticks, a soul leave his domain. Hades does not like to hear the clock tick. He is so evil, he makes Cora look like one of the good guys. It looks like Once Upon A Time has introduced the world to the ultimate villain.

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Somehow, the creators of Once Upon A Time, Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, have kept the theme of hope alive in the realm where everything is dead. There will, for sure, be some bumps along the way to save Hook and all of the lost souls. But, knowing the course the show typically takes, there is no doubt in my mind that Emma and the gang will be successful in their mission. It is going to be an interesting finish to season five.

Once Upon A Time airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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