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Once Upon A time, Episode 412: Heroes and Villains



Old Friends Depart, New Baddies Emerge, and a Classic Tale is Destroyed


In the mid-season finale, we bid a fond farewell to our Frozen friends and we meet some interesting new villains.


We open at the ice wall. This is Elsa’s last episode and she’s still wearing that damned dress. Well, she’s nothing if not consistent. She’s finally able to remove the ice wall. (Because she has more confidence now? Because Ingrid is dead? Both? I know there must be a reason based on the plot, but it escapes me right now.)

But not so fast, Arendellians, you can’t leave. Emma “senses†that there’s still magic at the town line. Wow, her new powers are developing fast and furious, aren’t they? Then Elsa states the obvious—why are they even trying to leave on foot when they’ve got to get to a different realm? Emma suggests they look for a portal.

Oh, look, Hook’s at the town line too! Didn’t see him there before. After hearing the plan to find a portal, he sneaks away to see Gold. And Emma doesn’t notice. Sweet pirate, when will you see? Emma’s too wrapped up in her new magic to pay you much notice.

At Gold’s, Gold squeezes Hook’s heart—not enough to kill him, just enough to make him uncomfortable and spill the Arendellians’ plan. He says they haven’t left and that once someone crosses the border, there’s no coming back. I don’t think Emma said that, did she? She did say there was magic protecting the border, but she didn’t say exactly what. (Am I over thinking a show where Captain Hook is dating Prince Charming’s daughter and Snow White used to be sleeping with Dr. Frankenstein? It’s a distinct possibility.)

Ennyhoo, Gold needs to get rid of the Frozenians pronto before Ana snitches about his plans for world domination. Belle is in the foreground still sleeping. It’s creepy but no one cares because Gold is giving Hook a short reprieve. He won’t kill Hook yet, he needs him to keep Ana away from the shop.

In the Enchanted Forest (EF) past, Belle snoops though Rumple’s closets. Seems he’s always been a bit of a hoarder and she’s always been a bit of a busybody. When Rumple enters, Belle doesn’t seem to notice that her psychopath boss is getting annoyed. She wants to know what he’s seen in his travels. He shows her a magical gauntlet from Camelot which can detect a person’s greatest weakness. Rumple adds that most people’s greatest weakness is the thing they love most. And we meaningfully cut to Storybrooke present where Gold wakes Belle. (I still don’t think he loves her most. He loves power most.)

Belle awakens and I don’t see how she got a restful sleep with that buttoned-up blouse choking her. I’m reminded that it’s only the villainesses who are allowed to show cleavage in this show. Gold tells Belle he’s taking her to New York for a honeymoon.

And we go from creepy to icky—we cut to the Mills mausoleum and a close-up of Robin Hood. I. Just. Can’t. (Have I mentioned this story is forever ruined for me? Yes? Sorry.) Regina stuffs Marion’s heart back into her chest. Robin and Marion hug it out and Regina heads over to Granny’s to drown her sorrows in some meatloaf.

But, no, Marion follows Regina to thank her for saving her life, having conveniently forgotten that time Regina actually went through with killing her. And then---SIGH—Marion says she can see that Regina and Robin love each other and she’s willing to step out of the way. I am screaming. RUINED, I TELL YOU, IT’S RUINED!!

At the mansion in the woods it’s time for a little exposition. Gold tells Hook the mansion is the Sorcerer’s home. And then the enchanted broom finds the portal to Arendelle—very quickly, I might add.

At Gold’s Belle packs, but more importantly, Henry comes in and calls her “Grandma†which I love, because it annoys Belle. Henry tells her if she goes to New York she can’t come back because of the town line spell. This confuses Belle, but she trusts Gold to find a way. Henry shows her the storybook and opines about his mother’s fate as told by the book. Belle says not to worry. Regina’s on a better path. Using the contrivance of looking for more luggage, Henry stumbles upon the magic gauntlet, which Belle remembers from EF past.

So of course, we cut to EF past where Belle tells Rumple his hoarding is the result of a hole in his heart, a diagnosis which is reinforced by every hoarding show on TV. Rumple doesn’t appreciate Belle’s theory and zaps her outside to do the laundry. At least he zapped her with a cape on; it looks chilly. Aaawwww, here comes an adorable Dalmatian puppy which easily lures Belle off because apparently Cruella knows that Belle has the impulse control of a toddler. (And forget what I said about cleavage before; Belle is sporting some massively mountainous squished breasts. That corset is bursting at the seams.)

In Storybrooke present, Hook walks into Granny’s to tell Emma and the Arendellians about the portal in the mansion. Rum is involved. And also, Gold is actually doing all the talking through Hook’s heart. Luckily, Emma is suspicious. Hook tries to beat a hasty retreat but his “non-evil hand of goodness and light,--not to be confused with the “evil hand of doom†from a few episodes ago--grabs hold of Emma and needs to be pried loose. It’s another hint, Emma!

In EF past, Rumple is angry that his laundress is missing. A bird drops a seashell, which Rumple magics up so that we can have a Star Wars moment with Belle as Princess Leia telling Rumple’s Obi Wan Kenobi that he’s her only hope (and to bring the gauntlet when he comes to rescue her).

In Storybrooke present, Regina and Robin watch Marion and Roland play by the pond because as Regina says “our children come first.†Except when they get in Regina’s way, and then she will have Dr. Hopper try to convince them that they’re crazy. Robin says he chooses Regina because the best example he can set for his son is to “live truthfully.†Gah!

Now Roland screams. Me too, kid, me too. Oh, he’s screaming because his mom has collapsed. It appears she’s still infected with a remnant of the SQ’s spell. Long story short, the only way to cure her is to cross the town line into a world without magic. But after doing so, she can never come back. Of course, Robin and Roland have to go with her.

Now there’s an angsty scene at the town line. Sure, Robin and Marion are ending up together, but in my book, it’s too late. This legendary true love has been besmirched by this show. And Robin is going to end up resenting Marion, you mark my words.

Gold arrives to a) tell Regina he’s leaving with Belle; B) tell her to tell Henry goodbye (and that he knew Henry was snooping in his shop; and c) to advise Regina to go out and take her happy ending.

Marion is exceedingly patient as she slowly freezes to death while Regina and Robin stare into each other’s eyes. Robin practically pushes her over the town line and says “I’ll be right behind you.†Mmmm, not sure I’d trust him. Marion’s not sure either, I think, especially when she crosses the border, looks back over, and sees no one. Once you’re out of town, you’re really out of town. Finally, Robin gets his ass over the line and the family walks away while Regina and the not-so-Merry Men look on. Do you think Robin’s really gone forever? We’ll see.

In the EF past, Rumple meets the three amigos who have kidnapped Belle—Cruella, Ursula, and Maleficent (who’s looking very Jolie-ish). This leads me to wonder how Cruella will fit in. She doesn’t have magic like the other two. Oh, now I see. She’s going to slay with cutting remarks. Favorite line of the episode:

Cruella to Rumple: “Shall I get you a stepstool so you can look into my eyes when you threaten me?†LOL.

Ursula squeezes Belle until Rumple coughs up the gauntlet. Again, I think he loves Belle, but she is not the thing he loves most. It’s a faulty gauntlet, I tell ya.

In Storybrooke present, Gold and Hook hang out in the clock tower awaiting the alignment of the stars.

In the mansion in the woods, we get our first glimpse of the Charmings this episode as they accompany Emma, Henry, and the Frozenians to the portal. After poignant goodbyes, Elsa and Kristoff stride through, but Ana stops for a moment to explain how she would have loved to meet the “helpful†Mr. Gold. When our heroes explain that he’s actually an evil sorcerer, Ana realizes he is the same evil sorcerer she met in the EF. It takes a few moments, but our brain trust seems to finally figures out Gold’s evil plan……

….which is happening at that very moment in the clock tower. Emma and Mary Margaret enter and tell Gold to STOP! He says “nope†and starts to crush Hook’s heart. But he can’t because Belle has arrived to save the day!! She grabs the real dagger and now she is the boss of Gold! Can it be? Has she finally seen the light? Oh joy. She has grown a pair! She says my second favorite line of the episode:

Belle to Gold: “You can take us to the town line because we need to be alone for what comes next.†Oooh, shivers.

At the town line, Belle tells Gold she sees him for what he is: a power hungry liar who lies. And I was right!! Belle says the gauntlet led her to the thing Gold loves most—the dagger and the power it controls.

She forces Gold over the town line. He is despondent as he is left in a world without magic without the woman he loves. And I continue to be impressed with Robert Carlyle’s acting skills.

Back in Arendelle, it’s Ana and Kristoff’s wedding day and Elsa has inexplicably changed out of the formal dress she wears All. The. Freaking. Time. into a bland gown more suitable for a funeral than a wedding. But I do like her bangs. The sisters have their happy ending, which includes chocolate, and walk out the door toward the wedding and their presumably joy-filled futures.

In Storybrooke, Emma shoves Hook’s heart back into his chest and then they snog. But the make-out session is cut short because Emma has to go to help Regina mourn Robin. See, my suave swashbuckler? You’re kind of an afterthought.

Emma arrives at Granny’s to do shots with Regina and tell her she did the right thing. Regina is miserable but feels better when Emma tells her Gold is also miserable. They clink glasses and I assume they are about to chug when buzz-kill Henry runs in excitedly.

At the mansion in the woods, Henry says that after the grownups left earlier in the day he wandered around the house and found a library. Why does that kid never have any supervision? You’d think in a magical town with assorted villains and bandits running around at least one of his mothers would show some interest in keeping him safe. Oh, that’s right, his moms are too busy doing shots.

The library contains lots of books like The Storybook, only they’re blank. Regina and Henry think this must be the author’s home. They fill Emma in on Operation Mongoose, and she tells them she will help them find the author and change Regina’s story because “everyone deserves a happy ending.†I guess we’re supposed to think that Regina’s redeemed now since she let Robin go. I’m not so sure—Regina’s grin looks kind of evil to me.

Six weeks later, Gold is in New York City. The world without magic must not be agreeing with him; he’s got a limp and a cane again.

We flashback to the EF past where Rumple gets the gauntlet back from three new villains. They invite Rumple to join their evil club, but he prefers to work alone. In New York City, Gold meets Ursula’s alter ego. She’s feeding fish at an aquarium and she seems to have acquired a New York accent.

Gold enlists New York Ursula’s help in getting to “the author†to create a happy ending. Is the author/sorcerer in Storybrooke? If so, how will Gold get back in? If not, where is he and how will Ursula and Gold find him? Where are Cruella and Maleficent? Where has Gold been living? I’d love to see his New York pad. So many questions, but alas they won’t be answered until next year as we begin the mid-season hiatus. In the meantime, happy holidays to all and see you in March.

To discuss this episode, come to the forum at http://www.freejinger.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=13046&start=60


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