Once Upon a Time Wiki
Once Upon a Time Wiki
Season 6, Episode 7
Heartless (Once Upon a Time).jpg
Airdate November 6, 2016
Written by Jane Espenson
Directed by Ralph Hemecker
Episode Guide
Dark Waters
I'll Be Your Mirror

Heartless is the seventh episode of the sixth season of the American fantasy drama series Once Upon a Time, which aired on November 6, 2016.

In this episode, the Evil Queen blackmails Snow and David into giving her their shared heart, while flashbacks show that Snow White and David encountered each other before they met and fell in love.

View the Heartless Gallery.


Opening sequence

Wilby walks through the forest.

Event chronology

The Enchanted Forest events take place after "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" and before "The Evil Queen" and "The Shepherd". The Storybrooke events take place after "Dark Waters".

In the Characters' Past

In the Enchanted Forest before the first curse, Snow White, hunted by the Evil Queen but not yet a bandit, sells her last heirloom to a nobleman for a pittance, only for him to betray her to the Woodcutter, a bounty hunter whom she fights off with help from the Blue Fairy. Having saved enough money to buy passage on a ship, Snow plans to head for the port city of Longborn. At the same time, Ruth sends David to Longborn to sell their farm, as they lack the resources to maintain it. Disguised as a peddler, the Woodcutter drugs David in order to use his sheep dog, Wilby, to track and capture Snow. When David comes to, Wilby leads him to the Woodcutter's wagon; Snow, locked inside, advises David to run. He instead tries to break the lock with a rock, but is interrupted by the Woodcutter's return. They fight, and the Woodcutter bashes a hole in the wagon, enabling Snow to hold back the Woodcutter's arm so David can kill him. Snow tells David that it would be safest for him to never see her face, so he hands the key through the hole. David's faith in Snow's resourcefulness convinces her that she can live by her wits and stay in her own kingdom; hearing that David is in need of money, she gives him her savings as a reward. As their hands touch, a magical spark of true love gives birth to a sapling at David's feet.

In Storybrooke

In the present day, Snow is waking up in the middle of the night, and finds herself in the middle of the woods when The Evil Queen emerges from behind a tree, reminding her of how lucky she has been, only to remind Snow that she still desires her heart, and with David having the other half, the Evil Queen tells Snow that she'll acquire it too for a “little bit more.” She gives Snow a mysterious potion and disappears, Snow then shows Regina the potion, and identifies it as water from the River of Lost Souls. Regina believes the Evil Queen obtained it from Gold as a part of a plan to destroy the whole town. Mother Superior believes that a magical sapling could be powerful enough to entrap the Evil Queen, and Regina hatches a plan by sending a note to Zelena demanding that she meets her other half at Gold's Pawn Shop.

Earlier, the Evil Queen promised Zelena that there was nothing going on between her and Gold, but when Zelena stops by the Pawn Shop, she catches the Evil Queen and Gold snogging, just as Regina planned. Around the same time, Mother Superior enacts a spell that should help Snow, David, and Regina get to the sapling. It leads them to a trapdoor in the ground, and they hop right in. As Snow and David find the sapling, they both touch it and the history of their love flashbacks right before their eyes, only to have The Evil Queen appear to steal the sapling, snaps it in half, and vows to destroy Storybrooke if they don't surrender their hearts. At the vault, Hook calms Emma down when her hands start to tremor & uses Henry's storybook to make Emma feel better and to remind her that her parents’ love can overcome any obstacle. They "always found each other." As she grows worried about her parents' fate and (possibly her visions); and how Emma inherited the strength of that love. “You can overcome these visions. You can overcome anything,” he assures her: "Remember who you are, the product of true love” — at which moment her hand stabilized.

Later on at the cemetery, the Evil Queen gathers the town to tell them her plan to kill them all if Snow and David don’t appear in the next few minutes. Just as Emma is ready to fight, the couple arrives and asks Regina to lift her protection spell from them, allowing The Evil Queen to rip out their hearts and hold them in her hands. She declares that killing them would be too easy and that she wants them to feel her loneliness. She thrusts their hearts back in, and Snow quickly passes out. The Evil Queen calls it a sleeping curse “with a twist,” and makes Snow’s body disappear, then taunts David to go find her, he searches Snow out at the loft & then runs towards the woods. He finds her asleep in a fallen tree. Snow is awoken by true love’s kiss, but afterward David zonks out and falls to the ground. The Evil Queen used the sleeping curse by spreading it across both of their hearts, meaning that one will always be asleep while the other is awake.

Finally, after Zelena told Belle at the cemetery about the Evil Queen and Gold having a kiss, Belle visits Gold at the Pawn Shop, and although she isn't concerned about him being involved with the Evil Queen, she is furious over the fact that Gold would acquire the Fates' Shears with The Evil Queen's involvement. Belle warns Gold that she forbids him to change their unborn child for his own selfish reasons. After she leaves, Gold becomes furious with Zelena.



The episode posted a 1.1/3 rating among 18-49s with 3.56 million viewers tuning in, up from the previous episode.


  • Christine Laskodi of TV Fantic gave the episode a mild review: 3.5 out of 5.0
  • Entertainment Weekly gave the episode a A-.


  • When Hook reads to Emma from the story book about her parents' love affair, the text on the pages is actually the fairy tale "The Queen Bee" by the Brothers Grimm.
  • The object/animal/person in this episode is Wilby.
  • The Evil Queen quotes the poem 'Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night' by Dylan Thomas when she says to rage, rage against the dying of the light.
  • Gabrielle Rose (Ruth) and Paul Garrett (nobleman) also played in the movie If I Stay together.
Season 1
PilotThe Thing You Love MostSnow FallsThe Price of GoldThat Still Small VoiceThe ShepherdThe Heart Is a Lonely HunterDesperate SoulsTrue North7:15 A.M.Fruit of the Poisonous TreeSkin DeepWhat Happened to FrederickDreamyRed-HandedHeart of DarknessHat TrickThe Stable BoyThe ReturnThe StrangerAn Apple Red as BloodA Land Without Magic
Season 2
BrokenWe Are BothLady of the LakeThe CrocodileThe DoctorTallahasseeChild of the MoonInto the DeepQueen of HeartsThe Cricket GameThe OutsiderIn the Name of the BrotherTinyManhattanThe Queen Is DeadThe Miller's DaughterWelcome to StorybrookeSelfless, Brave and TrueLaceyThe Evil QueenSecond Star to the RightAnd Straight On 'til Morning
Season 3
The Heart of the Truest BelieverLost GirlQuite a Common FairyNasty HabitsGood FormAriel (Episode)Dark HollowThink Lovely ThoughtsSave HenryThe New NeverlandGoing HomeNew York City SerenadeWitch HuntThe TowerQuiet MindsIt's Not Easy Being GreenThe Jolly RogerBleeding ThroughA Curious ThingKansasSnow DriftsThere's No Place Like Home
Season 4
A Tale of Two SistersWhite OutRocky RoadThe ApprenticeBreaking GlassFamily BusinessThe Snow QueenSmash the MirrorFallShattered SightHeroes and VillainsDarkness on the Edge of TownUnforgivenEnter the DragonPoor Unfortunate SoulBest Laid PlansHeart of GoldSympathy for the De VilLilyMotherOperation Mongoose
Season 5
The Dark SwanThe PriceSiege PerilousThe Broken KingdomDreamcatcherThe Bear and the BowNimueBirthThe Bear KingBroken HeartSwan SongSouls of the DepartedLabor of LoveDevil's DueThe Brothers JonesOur DecayHer Handsome HeroRuby SlippersSistersFirebirdLast RitesOnly YouAn Untold Story
Season 6
The SaviorA Bitter DraughtThe Other ShoeStrange CaseStreet RatsDark WatersHeartlessI'll Be Your MirrorChangelingsWish You Were HereTougher Than the RestMurder Most FoulIll-Boding PatternsPage 23A Wondrous PlaceMother's Little HelperAwakeWhere Bluebirds FlyThe Black FairyThe Song in Your HeartThe Final Battle
Season 7
Hyperion HeightsA Pirate's LifeThe Garden of Forking PathsBeautyGreenbacksWake Up CallEloise GardenerPretty in BlueOne Little TearThe Eighth WitchSecret GardenA Taste of the HeightsKnightfallThe Girl in the TowerSisterhoodBreadcrumbsChosenThe GuardianFlower ChildIs This Henry Mills?HomecomingLeaving Storybrooke
Down the Rabbit HoleTrust MeForget Me NotThe SerpentHeart of StoneWho's AliceBad BloodHomeNothing to FearDirty Little SecretsHeart of the MatterTo Catch a ThiefAnd They Lived...