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Once Upon A Time, Episode 404: The Apprentice



A Sweeping Saga, a Brainless Buccaneer, and Lots and Lots of Wardrobe Malfunctions

Hey all! This week’s episode finally branches out into non-Frozen territory. The show begins “a long time ago†with an old, Dumbledory-type guy sweeping. The wind shifts and Dumbledore immediately knows who’s come to visit. He takes out his sword and greets the Dark One (the pre-Rumple Dark One). The Dark One’s all “hey, you’re not the sorcerer.†And Dumbledore’s all, “No, I’m his apprentice.†Oh, sweetie, you’re a little long in the tooth to still be an apprentice. Maybe it’s time to let this dream go.

The Dark One tries to open the magic box, but is knocked across the room. Dumbledore says he’s not the first Dark One to try, but no one with darkness in their heart can do it. And “No Dark One will ever possess what is in that box.†At which point we of course cut to the box in present-day Gold’s shop with Gold staring down at it. He waves the Dark One dagger over it and it turns into the sorting hat. (I know it’s not really the sorting hat. It’s the hat my husband paid $34 for because my kid wanted it at Disney World. My love is not so great with the money.)

Emma and Henry pull up to Granny’s so that Emma can ask Hook out on a date. Why did Henry have to come and push her, literally and figuratively, to do it? This child has enough baggage with his extended family. He does not need to be his birth mother’s dating consultant. Anyway, Emma asks, Hook says yes. There’s some double entendre about pillaging and plundering, Hook looks at Emma steamily, and the date is set. When Emma leaves, she notices a big puddle under her car, and that the rest of the street is completely dry. This must distract her from the fact that her son is missing. She left him at the car, and now he’s not there. She’s more concerned about the puddle, though.

At Gold’s shop, Hook tries to blackmail Gold into re-attaching his hand by bringing up the fake dagger again. Gold was mad about this last week, and he hasn’t gotten over it. He keeps the hand in a glass jar. (Eeeew, it looks all big and bloaty in there.) Gold asks Hook why he wants the hand, Hook explains that he’s going to feel Emma up and he doesn’t want to slice her open in the process. Gold says he’ll re-attach it, but the hand might be a bad influence on Hook. Hook gets his hand back. (And it’s wet! I thought that was a nice touch.)

At Mary Margaret’s (MM) house, she and Elsa look through Storybrooke census records looking for Ana. (Wardrobe note: Who is dressing Ginnifer Goodwin? I know she just had a baby, but Gisele Bundchen couldn’t make that schlumpy sweater work. Also, GET ELSA OUT OF THAT BLUE DRESS! That is all.)

Emma interrupts them. She’s dressed for her date at the 1950s sock hop with Hook. (And I don’t like her shoes. They do nothing for her legs. What is wardrobe thinking?) Elsa has My Favorite Line of the Night: “Is that the corset. Where’s the rest of it?†MM is in motherly mode (must be the sweater) and takes a picture of dressed-up Emma. Emma says maybe she should stay in and help find Ana. Elsa says no, she already ruined Ana’s wedding. She doesn’t want to ruin Emma’s date.

Hook arrives and I thank wardrobe for finally putting him in some modern, though piratey, clothes. (See? I can be magnanimous.) MM notices the hookless hand and the lovebirds leave. David wonders whether he was too hard on Hook. Elsa says she was hard on Kristoff. Why does everything have to be about you, Elsa?

In the Enchanted Forest (EF) past, Ana trespasses into Rumple’s castle. Ana calls herself “Joan†again, but Rumple knows who she really is and where she’s from. And this is the second princess (Belle was the first) who hasn’t been afraid of the golden-skinned magical imp who lives by himself in a castle. These girls need to hone their survival instincts. But I digress.

Rumple says he’ll give Ana the information she wants if she’ll agree to put a potion in someone’s tea. Ana goes to the victim’s house and it’s Dumbledore!! He invites her in (no survival instinct for either of them) for tea and biscuits. He goes out of his way to mention that the biscuits are made with flour. Why? Is flour a hot commodity in the EF? It just seemed like a non-sequiter, so I think it must mean something.

Ana’s goes to pour the potion into the tea, but after an overlong hesitation which Dumbledore should notice (though he seems really absorbed in his sweeping), she’s too kindhearted to poison him. She dumps the potion into the fire.

In Storybrooke, at a non-Granny’s restaurant, a couple re-enacts the Lady and the Tramp spaghetti scene and Emma and Hook sit down. Emma’s not drinking in case there’s a break in the Snow Queen case and Hook sees his “feel up Emma†plan disintegrate. Will Scarlet is at the bar and does not want to be in the same room with the sheriff. He makes a clumsy attempt to leave, during which a drink gets spilled on Emma. Hook threateningly grabs Will with his newly re-attached hand. Emma is surprised by this behavior and so is Hook. Meanwhile, Will gets away and Emma wisely reminds us that he won’t get far on account of the ice wall surrounding the town.

At the Mills mausoleum, Regina and Henry try to find a potion to cure Marion. Regina is back in one of her power suits, but why is she wearing those ugly flats? (WTF wardrobe????!!!) Regina is surprised to learn that Henry knows Robin still loves her. (She shouldn’t be. Henry probably learned early on to pay attention to the adults. He certainly wasn’t going to have a friend his own age, since he was the only kid in town who was growing up at all.)

Back at the Charming apartment, Emma and Hook share a sultry kiss goodnight, but Hook can’t even enjoy it because he is focused on the evil hand of doom. Emma goes inside to find that her parents are waiting up for her, and her mom is still wearing her schlumpy sweater.

Downtown, Will Scarlet breaks into the library. Hook walks by and beats him with the evil hand of doom.

In EF past, Rumple reveals that he tricked Ana. The potion was the antidote, not the poison. (Ana’s new in town. She doesn’t know she shouldn’t make a deal with Rumple. Now Hook, on the other hand……) When Ana goes back to Dumbledore’s cottage to try to help, Rumple is there. He needs Ana—who’s been tempted by darkness but turned away from it—to get to the magical box. Ana says she doesn’t have a dark side so Rumple replies that that Ana is now his prisoner.

Ana grabs a sword. Rumple dares her to kill him. She won’t of course, and he knows that. She turns away from darkness and sheds a tear on the dagger. Using the tear-stained dagger, Rumple can open the magical hat box.

Back in Storybrooke present, Gold gets into his car. He’s got a bouquet. I guess that’s what Belle sees in him. Sure, he’s murdered innumerable people and ruined the lives of countless others, but she snagged herself a man who brings her flowers. All the other princesses must be sooo jealous. Hook gets in the car. He wants his hook back and tries the dagger blackmail again. As usual, Rumple is one step ahead of him. He says he’s already returned the dagger to Belle—which may or may not be true. Of course, it could be. Rumple could return the thing at any point in our story. What doesn’t Hook get about this? This is why I must admit that my beloved pirate is not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Rumple holds Hook’s former hook. Hook grabs it with his evil hand of doom and tries to stab Rumple. Of course, it doesn’t work because Rumple is one step ahead of Hook! Hook agrees to make a deal to get rid of the hand and will meet Rumple at the docks in the morning.

In the morning, Emma’s in her car and we get to hear Storybrooke’s radio station!!!! It’s 70 degrees in mid-town “dropping to the low ‘30s out by the ice wall.†It’s brought to you by Granny’s Diner—“Better Than you Remember.†And they’re playing a request from “Rip Van Winkle who’s looking for something classic to wake up to.†(Hee, I love the throwaway lines.)

But I digress yet again. Emma skids on an ice slick in the road, gets out and follows it to the Snow Queen who gets away because Emma is interrupted by a call from Belle who’s got a “situation†at the library. Bloody-nosed Will Scarlett is passed out on the floor.

At the docks, Hook is also passed out until Gold wakes him up. Rumple animates a broom and it really does look very much like the broom in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The two follow the broom and no one else notices a pirate, an imp, and a broom walking through town.

In the EF past, Ana waits upstairs while Rumple snags the expensive hat box. When he comes up, she asks about her parents. He tells her the parents feared Elsa, but he couldn’t help them because he didn’t have magic that powerful. But now, with his “fully-charged†magical hat box, he will be unstoppable. Rumple gets all up in Ana’s face, but she’s apparently made a deal with the apprentice-turned-mouse. Wait? Is she like Snow White and Cinderella who can talk to animals? I mean I know she talks to Sven, but other animals?

Whatever the case may be, the mouse falls on Rumple and bites him and Ana gets the dagger away from Rumple. And my heart is breaking with the knowledge that Ana is smarter than Hook. Ana figures out that Rumple now has to do what she says and gets Rumple to send her and the magic hatbox back to Arendelle and promise never to hurt her or her sister. And he does. And then he screams in frustration. His heart is also breaking because Ana outsmarted him.

In Storybrooke, the broom leads Hook and Rumple to Dumbledore’s house. Rumple opens the magic hat box and Dumbledore gets sucked into the hat and possibly another realm, but not before warning Gold that he’ll never be able to collect enough power to counteract the power of the dagger.

In Arendelle past, Ana and Kristoff are reunited. Kristoff is happy to see her, and doesn’t tell her about how much he flirted with Elsa while she was away.

At Gold’s shop, Gold removes Hook’s hand and they dispense with the whole dagger blackmailing thing for good. (I hope.) Gold also reveals that the hand isn’t cursed. The “influence of the evil hand†was all in Hook’s (empty) head. Hee hee hee, power of suggestion and all that. Hook stupidly threatens Belle. Gold threatens Emma in return. And I’m tired of these two and their pissing contests. Rumple’s going to win Hook dear. He knows it. You know it.

At Storybrooke jail, Emma interrogates Will and shows him an Alice in Wonderland book and a picture of the Red Queen (?) that was found on him at the library. As I mentioned, I never watched Once….in Wonderland, but I think the Red Queen was Will’s lady love??

Hook comes in just as Emma asks Will how his face was injured. Will doesn’t snitch on Hook, though, and I wonder why. Now David wants to show Emma something. Have he and Elsa been there the whole time? Oh good, she’s got her blue dress on for a change. Anyway, the name the Snow Queen’s been using in Storybrooke is Sara Fisher and she’s not in the census. She didn’t come to Storybrooke with any of the curses. Emma wonders what she wants.

Back in the Mills mausoleum, Henry thinks Gold knows the secret of the fairytale book. Rumple seems to have snagged a happy ending, so he must have figured out a way to change the book. Henry decides to go undercover at Gold’s shop where he becomes an apprentice. First order of business: sweeping with the enchanted broom.

I was a bit underwhelmed with this episode.I don't think we learned much, and I don't think it moved the plot forward really, but I think mostly it’s because I’m so disappointed in Hook. What do you think? Go to the forums to talk about it: http://www.freejinger.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=13046&start=40


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