"Page 23" is the fourteenth episode of the sixth season of ABC's Once Upon a Time and the one-hundredth and twenty-fifth episode of the series overall. It aired on March 26, 2017. It was written by David H. Goodman & Brigitte Hales and directed by Kate Woods.
Believing there isn’t room in Storybrooke for both her and Regina, the Evil Queen sets out to eliminate her other half using Robin to bait the trap. Hook, determined to make things work with Emma, turns to his old friend Capt. Nemo for advice, but Gideon torpedoes his plan before he’s able to set things right. In a flashback to the Enchanted Forest, the Evil Queen learns a surprising lesson about the true source of her misery.
The Dark Palace from the first curse Enchanted Forest is featured.
In the Character's Past
In the pre-first curse Enchanted Forest, Regina, during her reign as the Evil Queen, is still after Snow White's heart, and as usual, comes up empty handed as Snow eludes her once again. The Evil Queen then gathers the villagers and tells them that she, not Snow White, cares about them. When Tinker Bell shows up to tell her why she did not pursue Robin Hood, Regina decided to scorn the fairy, but spared her and told Tinkerbell not to meddle with her. This later leads to a argument between Regina and Prince Henry, who warned his daughter that revenge will never make her happy.
Later on, Henry, with help from Tinker Bell, leads Regina to a portal that was designed to lead Regina to Robin, but Regina is still obsessed with revenge, as she takes Cupid's arrow and plans to aim it at a person she hates. However the arrow aims straight towards the fortress, and believing that Snow is there, Regina returns to discover that the arrow lead her to her mirror.
In the present day, the Evil Queen brings Robin back with her to town, where he wants to go to New York City, but the Evil Queen wants to return Robin back to his Wish Realm, so she first asks him to dig up a item in the woods. Regina and Zelena then visited Emma and Snow, where they learned that Hook proposed to Emma upon looking at the engagement ring, but when they learn that The Evil Queen has returned to her original form, Emma wants to put those plans on hold. At the woods, Robin's shovel hits the metal box, which contained the Fate's Shears of Destiny, which The Evil Queen wants to use not only to separate her fate from Regina's, but to destroy Regina and Storybrooke. The Evil Queen then shows up to take Henry's Author's Pen, so she could keep Henry from writing her out of existence or interfering with her coming showdown with Regina. Then, after Henry reveals that he only wanted to use the Pen to help move her towards redemption, The Evil Queen scoffs at the idea. The Evil Queen then gives Henry a note to deliver to Regina, before telling him that no matter what anyone says, she still loves him.
When Regina received the message, she learned that the message came from Page 23 of the "Once Upon a Time" storybook that detailed the happy ending Regina never got, which Regina discovered that's its all tied to Robin, who is being used as bait to lure her to The Evil Queen so she can kill her, even though Robin believes this plan will fail. When Regina confronted her other half at the Mayor's office but The Evil Queen tells Regina she's more interested in using the shears to destroy Regina rather than helping Robin. Regina dares The Evil Queen to use the Shears and the serum entity does, unveiling the ties of fate linking Regina to her evil half, which The Evil Queen severes with the Shears. This makes The Evil Queen completely independent of Regina, allowing the two to battle each other until Regina manages to overpower The Evil Queen, and binds her against a pillar on the wall. Then, Regina displayed the The Evil Queen's heart to show her that she chooses to love over hate. Regina then transfers half of the The Evil Queen's darkness into her heart, while transferring half of her light into The Evil Queen's heart, turning the two Reginas into bonding sisters and agree to bury the hatchet. The two agreed to send Robin back to his Wish Realm, and with help from Henry, he writes a new chapter and happy ending for the Former Evil Queen by sending her off to a place to begin a fresh start
Meanwhile, Hook arrived to the docks to say farewell to Nemo, and admitted about keeping a secret to Emma. Nemo suggests that Hook asks for forgiveness from Emma. Unfortunately, Hook is struggling with this and attempts to burn the pages of him killing Robert. When Emma sees Hook doing this, she became upset over why he was covering up his crime but does not suspect him of killing her grandfather. An upset Emma returned Hook's engagement ring and called off the wedding. Hook then returned to the Nautilus and is welcomed by Nemo. Snow then congratulated Hook on the wedding not knowing about what transpired earlier, as a hurt Emma returned to discover Hook has left. Unfortunately, as the submarine submerged, it turned out that Gideon had ordered the sub out of Storybrooke, in order to get Hook out of the way so he can kill Emma.
In the Wish Realm
The Evil Queen sends Robin back home after his many pleas to leave Storybrooke. Later, as the Evil Queen wishes for a fresh start, she is send to the Wish Realm, where she reunites with Robin in a local bar. Robin inquires if her villain plan failed. The Evil Queen states that it did, but for the first time it doesn't bother her as she's had a 'change of heart". Hoping to make amends for the kidnapping, she offers to buy Robin a drink. Robin instead offers her one as they're in his realm. She sits down, taking the drink with a smile. The two begin talking.
- The ending of this episode reveals that Page 23 was never a cruel prank to get Regina's hopes up. It was actually foreshadowing the meeting between Wish Realm Robin and Serum Evil Queen.