Leaving Storybrooke
Season 7, Episode 22
Airdate May 18, 2018
Written by Edward Kitsis
Adam Horowitz
Directed by Ralph Hemecker
Episode Guide
Leaving Storybrooke is the twenty-second episode of the seventh season and the 155th and final episode overall of the American fantasy-drama series Once Upon a Time. Written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz, and directed by Ralph Hemecker, it premiered on ABC in the United States on May 18, 2018.

In the episode, the Wish Realm Rumplestiltskin’s plan to eliminate all the happy endings of all the characters in every realm is revealed, as Sir Henry prepares to kill Regina as part of the scheme, while Alice and Robin seek out help from the Storybrooke Realm to rescue Henry, Jacinda, Lucy, Hook, and Weaver, who is ready to risk everything to stop his evil counterpart from carrying out his plan.

View the Leaving Storybrooke Gallery.


Opening sequence

The “Leaving Storybrooke” city limits sign is displayed. The Seattle scenery is not featured.

Event Chronology

The Wish Realm events and the outcome involving the realms from previous encounters occurs after the events of “Homecoming.”

In Storybrooke

As Alice and Robin arrived in Storybrooke, they find the dwarfs, Granny, Archie and Pongo. They explain a fifth Dark Curse took them, along with the future versions of Henry, Regina and Mr. Gold to Seattle in the past (which is the present day). However, due to the numerous outsiders in the past that has caused Storybrooke trouble, they are met with hostility. Alice and Robin hide.

As they hide from the residents, the ladies encounter Zelena, and it doesn’t take long for Robin to tell her mother about not having magic and that she’s about to drive her younger self to daycare. Convinced, Zelena and the other two seek out David and Mary Margaret.

In the Wish Realm

Inside the snowglobe prison, Henry is reunited with Ella and Lucy. Weaver explains to Hook that Wish Realm Rumplestiltskin has stripped him of his powers and immortality, and that his Wish Realm counterpart had used them to amplify his own powers. As they attempt to break the glass, Weaver admits to Hook that he trusted him as a loyal partner because of his bravery and his good heart. Suddenly, Maui's fishhook appears in the snowglobe, with the handle sticking up out of the snow. Hook grabs it and uses it to start breaking the glass from the inside; from the outside, a pair of arrows pierce the glass, and they’re freed by Robin and Alice.

At the palace, Regina is dragged to the location where Snow and Charming had been married, by Sir Henry. Regina pleads with Sir Henry to change his mind despite admitting to having killed his grandparents. Sir Henry responded to her plea by cutting a slit on her hand (that Henry will use to create blood ink) and tells her that they’ll fight each other, which Sir Henry says that will be his happy ending. While locked in a cell, Regina has a dream, in which she meets with Robin's spirit. Robin encourages her, telling her that she can still find happiness without him or Facilier, and that just needs to show Sir Henry that he can still find love. Awakening, Regina discovers that Robin's spirit had left her with a red feather from one of his arrows.

The Wish Realm Rumplestiltskin meets up with Sir Henry to discuss Regina’s fate. Unfortunately, the Wish Realm Dark One offers Sir Henry a new way to deal with every character and their stories from every realm utilizing Regina’s blood ink. He shows Sir Henry that if he raises his emotions, he can banish the heroes into the “Once Upon a Time” books that will serve as their prison. They test it on the Wish Realm Blue Fairy, and a portal opens and transports her to a dark realm where she will be tormented, with her book closing afterward.

Weaver finds a dreamcatcher and views his memories of Belle, fearing that he will never be with her. Meanwhile, Hook and Robin scout the castle, where Robin asks Hook for his blessing to marry Alice, and he says yes (as he wants his daughter to be happy), as they prepare to face off against the guards. Meanwhile, Henry heads to rescue Regina, but he ends up getting pinned to the prison bars by a guard. Before the guards can kill Henry, they are taken out by Mary Margaret and David. The group discovers Wish Realm Rumplestiltskin's plan to trap each and everyone of them in separate realms of unhappy endings, and they come up with a strategy to save all the realms and to stop the Wish Realm Rumplestiltskin from enacting his scheme. Weaver applies magic dust on his right hand, to give himself limited magic. As they come up with a plan, the Wish Realm Rumplestiltskin shows up, ready to trap the characters in realms of eternal torment, while Sir Henry shows up in the forest to confront Regina and forces her into a sword fight, which causes the portals to open, via Sir Henry’s emotions. While Sir Henry corners Regina, she tells him that if she needs to die to show him that he's loved, its a worthy end for her story. The emotional pleas finally bring Sir Henry to his senses, causing the portals to close, and saving everyone. However, as Hook had to hold onto Alice to keep her out of the portal, his heart is now poisoned beyond repair. Sir Henry and Regina reconcile afterward.

However, Wish Realm Rumplestiltskin isn't done just yet, as he challenges Weaver and vows to destroy his alter ego. Weaver, who earlier had found a way to kill his counterpart, decides the only way to end this was to sacrifice himself. Weaver chooses to sacrifice his heart to save Hook, which erases the Darkness within his own heart when he makes this decision. Despite the Wish Realm Rumplestiltskin's protests, Weaver slams his purified heart into Hook's body, saving Hook. Weaver's sacrifice causes the Wish Realm Rumplestiltskin to disintegrate into dust, which also destroys the Darkness. In the afterlife, the original Rumplestiltskin is finally reunited with Belle.

Later that evening, Regina is joined by the two Henrys. Having realized that it is time to heal everything, she decides to bring all the realms of story to Storybrooke by enacting a new curse, using small part of the hearts of everyone who loves her and those whom she loves.

In the United Realms

Several years later, all the realms are united as one (and now part of Storybrooke, Maine, hidden away from the rest of the world). As Zelena and Henry drive Regina to the palace for a surprise, the sisters talk to each other. They reveal that Zorro is the father of Lily, Maleficent's daughter, and that he can turn into a dragon. When they arrived, Snow and David surprised her with the announcement that the people have voted to elect Regina the leader of the newly united realms, and is joined by Emma, (the original) Hook and their newborn daughter Hope at the last minute. Snow then crowns Regina with the new title of "the Good Queen". Regina then gives a speech about second chances and despite what everyone has been through to find their happiness, lives, and stories will continue on.

After Regina gives her speech with unanimous applause, the camera zooms out of the castle and moves toward Storybrooke, where it shows the different parts of the town including Granny's Diner, Gold's shop, stores along main street, and the clock tower. The camera soon shows a shot of the town line, where it zooms in on the "Leaving Storybrooke" sign, concluding the episode and the series.

Production Notes

  • Archival footage of previous episodes were used in the episode.
  • Despite his character Dr. Whale not being in the episode nor credited, David Anders was listed as a guest star in the press release, albeit with his character's name misspelled. It is unknown if this was a press error or if he filmed an appearance that was cut from the final episode.
  • The producers acknowledge that they did a follow up on whether Lily had found her father due to requests from viewers since the end of the fourth season. They admitted that they tried to seek the rights to using Zorro in the series but for legal reasons their request was denied.
  • The scene where Regina is crowned the Queen of the United Realms was filmed on a green-screen set at The Bridge Studios in Vancouver. Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas couldn't be there when the others filmed and instead filmed their part later with a body double for Emma, and the family was reunited digitally in post-production.

Deleted Scenes and Goofs

  • The scene with Henry riding down Storybrooke Main Street was originally accompanied by footage of Alice, Robin and Wish Hook in front of Granny's Diner, and Archie and Pongo walking down the street. However, most of the footage was deleted in post-production, although Archie and Pongo can still be glimpsed in the lower left hand corner of the screen as Henry rides through Storybrooke. In addition, another scene with Henry riding through a forest was also deleted.
  • In the opening scene where Leroy, Doc, and Walter arrive in front of Granny's Diner to receive their packed lunches from Granny, Archie is nowhere to be seen. After Leroy accepts the lunch bags and turns around as the Rollin' Bayou comes down the street, the next shot shows Archie suddenly there with his dog Pongo.


  • When we see Captain Hook at the coronation, his hook has been 'baby proofed'
  • When Gold is reunited with Belle in the afterlife, she wears the yellow ball gown from Beauty and the Beast (1991).
  • Zorro is revealed to be the long-lost father of Maleficent's daughter, Lily. Several clues point to this: Zorro's alter-ego is Don Diego de la Vega (literally, "Diego of the Star"). Lily has an imprint of a star on her wrist and used the alias Starla while working in a diner.
  • Fans were able to finally know two things by the end of the episode that's been on many fans minds. 1- Maleficent found Lily's father: Zorro (none of them were seen but spoken of by Zelena and Regina). 2- The Captain Swan baby was a girl and they named her Hope.
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...
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