Regina is upset with the amount of time Rumple is taking to teach her magic for her revenge plan so he sends her to Maleficent’s castle. But when she gets there she finds out her hopeful would be teacher is a snarky mostly magic-less woman. She is upset that King Stefan defeated her years ago, using true love’s kiss to wake the princess Briar Rose. She can’t even change into a dragon anymore.
Regina takes it upon herself to help Maleficent get her groove back. She takes her to the burning bush which has burned ever since she turned into her dragon form. She believes that if Maleficent extracts the fire from the bush she will be able to take away Briar Rose’s daughter Aurora’s happy ending. Maleficent inhales the fire and it’s hard to tell if their plan worked because King Stefan shows up to make sure that she doesn’t wreck his daughter’s wedding. Maleficent starts to transform, but then nothing happens. But Regina refuses to give up and burns through Stefan’s ropes. Maleficent finally is able to re-ignite her dragon powers and gets away. She goes to see Aurora and gives her a sleeping curse. Regina returns to Rumple and is ready to learn and has a new recipe for a sleeping potion.
Regina meets with the Queens of Darkness over drinks. While Cruella and Ursula aren’t so quick to believe her, Maleficent wants to. They take her to the train tracks and say whoever zaps them off is the loser. Naturally, Regina caves and moves the car to the other side of the tracks. But nonetheless, Regina seems to be winning her way into the Queens of Darkness. She shares with the heroes that she is very close to finding out what they are hiding.
But the Queens know what her game is and are planning to transform her to a triple agent. So Maleficent tells Regina she is going to tell their real plan. They are are searching for the author. She convinces Regina to come along and steal an object they need for their search. But that object turns out to be Pinocchio.
It’s around this time that Emma voices her concern about Regina sticking with the villains. She tails Regina to Pinocchio, but Regina leaves her phone telling Emma that she has this handled. She is taken to the Queens’ Headquarters and she finds out the truth. The magic the Queens want to use to find the author is the Dark One who is alive and well in Storybrooke, as we all know. And he got his dagger back.
How did Rumple get the dagger? Earlier we saw Hook approach Belle and warns her that the Queens’ being in town could be tied to the Dark One. He tells her she needs to dig the dagger up and give it to him so he can put it somewhere safe. Belle agrees and she gives him the knife. To be safe he has her command the dark one to come and face her, which Rumple as Hook does. Feeling safe she hands the dagger to Hook who turns into Rumple when she leaves.
Rumple pretends to believe that Regina has gone back to the dark side and he is planning to test it. Everyone knows that Pinocchio can’t help them locate the Author because his memories were erased when he was turned back into a child. He waves his dagger and turns Pinocchio into adult August.