Originally Posted by Doggie Bear
* I'm not sure simply erasing himself from the tape is going to work for Gold; after all, Hook doesn't have magical powers, so how would he be able to manipulate a glowing hat into sucking up the apprentice?
Especially a hat that powerful and difficult to access.
(But it doesn't matter anyway because who is going to be able to play that tape?
I think something else is going on with Gold, however. We know he had the real dagger at the end of last season. But then at the beginning of this season he had remorse about it, and gave the real dagger back to Belle.
When Hook first confronted him about it, I assumed he was just letting Hook think Belle had the fake dagger so as to not show "weakness" and keep Hook from being tempted to try to steal that from her.
But then he used a dagger to access the Sorcerer's hat.
I see two possibilities:
1. He took the real dagger back from Belle because he needed it for this task.
2. That wasn't the real dagger. He no longer needed Anna's tears because he himself had faced his darkness, and turned away. But he wanted Hook to think that was the real dagger, and so let him continue to believe Belle had the fake one.
In either case, I think the Apprentice was sent into the hat for his own protection or, if the Sorcerer was also in there, to bring the Sorcerer to Storybrooke in order to stop the Evil Ice Queen.
I'm thinking the other ice queen might be the White Witch from Narnia. If that's the case, then the Sorcerer might be the Magician from the Narnia series as well. (And since the White Witch apparently knows Emma, would that make Emma Lucy?)
The White Witch might have approached Gold at some point, and wanted to make a deal with him. Gold knew that if he didn't agree, she would consider him a threat, and there would be a war between the two, one which he might lose or at the very least might result in him losing Belle. So he agreed, while working in enough loopholes in that agreement to set things in motion for people to show up who could stop her.
That might explain why he killed (or at least seemingly killed) Zelina. Perhaps it wasn't primarily out of revenge, but to summon Elsa. Perhaps he wanted to help Hook and Elsa find the White Witch, but couldn't outright help them because of his agreement with her. He could help them, however, if he made a deal, and so he let Hook believe Belle did not have the real dagger in order to make the deal seem worth it to him.
And now I'm wondering if Gold is setting Hook up to reveal to the White Witch where his dagger is, not realizing that Belle has had the real dagger the whole (or at least most of the) time.
That would also explain why he acted like he was getting revenge on the Apprentice. He could have sucked the Apprentice into that hat at any time; he didn't need Hook. But if he is setting Hook up to have his mind scanned or the information tortured out of him, he might have wanted Hook to believe that he had sent the Apprentice away out of revenge in order to cover up his true motive.
And if it turns out the Magician/Sorcerer is also the writer that Henry and Regina are looking for, then perhaps Gold is allowing Henry to work for him hoping that Henry will open up a door to bring the Sorcerer to Storybrooke because, due to his agreement, he can't do it himself.