As Cora leads Hook to Lake Nostos, the Mother of All Evil plays Hook's Exposition Fairy Godmother and tells him about the waters restorative properties. They'll use it to awaken the enchanted ash, open a portal and cross worlds.
Looking at the desiccated lake bed, Hook cracks, "I may be a simple pirate, but I know one thing. Lakes have water." At that, Cora raises a hand and swirls her fingers in the air. In the center of the lake bed, the dust rises into a cyclone. A sinkhole appears. A geyser of water pours out of its center. Cora: "After everything we've been through, why do you still doubt me?" We flash back in time to...
Wonderland. After telling Cora all he knows, Hook begs her to have some honor and kill him. Cora cackles about honor, and how Regina should have come herself, but then releases her hold on Hook's heart. As he falls to the ground, Cora returns to her throne. When he's surprised at her mercy, Cora corrects him. "Not mercy, Hook. You're going to help me. Regina knows my methods better than anyone. If I was controlling you, she'd know. This has to be your choice. [...] My dear, I'm the only one who can give you what you want." When Regina casts the Dark Curse that drags everyone to a new land without magic, Hook won't remember who he is, so he won't remember Rumpy, or his great desire to kill him. "If you do what I say, I'll make sure that you not only kill him, but that you remember every single moment." Hook asks what Cora will have him do. Cora: "Get me close to my daughter. Then I'll rip her heart out." And you thought you and your mother had some issues. Yikes.
Hook presents Regina with Cora's "body." After she thanks him, Regina orders Hook to leave them, so she can take a moment to say goodbye. Regina leans over the open casket. "I'm sorry, Mother. Without you, I never would have become the person I am now, but I had no choice. I had to do this. After you killed Daniel, you told me something I've never forgotten. Love is weakness. Well Mother, you are my weakness, because I love you." Regina's eyes fill with tears. "That's why I couldn't risk taking you to the new land with me. Your grip on my heart is just too strong. For what I need to do, I can't have any weakness." Sniffling, Regina lays a long-stemmed red rose on her mother's bosom. Smiling through her tears, she whispers, "Goodbye, Mother." She leaves the crypt and closes the doors behind her. Cora's hand clutches the rose.