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Once Upon A Time, Episode 413: Darkness on the Edge of Town



Re-convening the Coven

We’re back from the mid-season hiatus and are treated to a preamble! The Secrets of Storybrooke displays Robert Carlyle’s adorable Scottish lilt, Colin O’Donoghue’s seductive Irish brogue, and Jared Gilmore’s pre-pubescent cuteness. Plus there’s other stuff about storylines and writers’ motivations, blah blah blah….

As the new episode opens, we are in a remote, dark castle in the Enchanted Forest (EF) past. Turns out it’s Maleficent’s home and Ursula and Cruella De Vil have been summoned—not by Maleficent though. They’re all confused about what’s going on. I’m confused because Cruella seems to have magic—she can control her vicious dogs with a spell. She didn’t have magic in the movie, did she? Anyway, Rumplestiltskin has called this meeting because he wants to secure happy endings for all these villains. (Well, for himself, but still.)

In Storybrooke present, daily life seems to be running along smoothly now that the Snow Queen is dead and Mr. Gold has been banished. Anyone care to take bets on how long that will last?

At the library, Belle and Hook try to figure out how to retrieve the fairies from the evil expensive hat of doom. Hook is frustrated by their lack of progress. I’m enchanted when he calls the computer a “magic box.†Belle has been contacting smart people around the world to help her translate the spell to get the fairies out of the hat. Does this mean that the real world knows about Storybrooke now? And is a circa-1983 computer capable of email?

Hook blames himself for being weak and allowing Gold to fool him. What else is new, my sexy swashbuckler? Belle blames herself for not seeing through Gold’s ruse. What else is new, my dimwitted damsel?

In New York City, Mr. Gold makes ramen noodles in Ursula’s exotic fish-filled loft. Well, now we know where he’s been living. But how did he know Ursula was in NYC?

Gold and Ursula argue like an old married couple: “You eat all the food!†“All you do is complain!†See? When you take magic away from magical people, they act just like the rest of us. Still, at least Gold has a modern computer. He gets an email which he says marks the beginning of his villain-victory plan.

Ooh, now we’re at a mansion on Long Island where it appears that Cruella’s husband is being arrested—I assume for some financial crime—and Cruella is wearing a formal gown in the middle of the day. Gold and Ursula have come to fetch her. Cruella hesitates. Apparently her last meeting with these two didn’t go well. But, seeing that her options are limited, Cruella hauls out the dalmationmobile and the three of them head to Storybrooke.

Back in the EF past at Maleficent’s castle, the meeting of the villainous minds continues. My Favorite Line of the Episode So Far:

From Cruella: “What exactly are you offering, short stuff?â€

I love that she’s not intimidated by him. Actually none of these gals seem frightened. I guess that’s what comes from having your own power. Gold tells the sisterhood of the traveling trance that he can get them a happy ending using a dark curse. (The one Regina used to bring everyone to Storybrooke, I guess.)

Back in the present day, Gold and the wisecracking witches sit in the dalmationmobile. Gold explains about the storybook author who holds their fate in his hands and then it’s revealed that they’re sitting in line at a fast food restaurant drive-up. Gold expresses his disdain for the low-brow meal. He wants to get to Storybrooke to find the author before the “heroes†do. Ursula looks like she’s over this whole escapade already.

Back in Storybrooke, Regina frowns as she looks through the storybook. Emma brings her a kale salad. She and Gold seem to have a preference for healthy food—they like to be on top of their game. By chance, Emma finds the drawing of Regina and Robin from the alternate book. It was ripped up and taped back together because, as we’ve come to know, Regina is nothing more than a middle school girl with magic powers and fabulous dresses. She explains to Emma that Robin thought the drawing was a symbol of hope and I’ve lost all hope that the writers will be true to my beloved Robin Hood story. He’s coming back, isn’t he Eddie and Adam?

My question is left hanging when Hook and Belle run through the door with the exciting news that they’ve figured out how to free the fairies. Out in the woods, Regina does, indeed, liberate the nuns. Blue seems grateful, but miffed at the mayor.

Oh no! Using the spell, Regina’s also managed to release some black smoky stuff that does not bode well for our quiet town. Why is no one noticing this? Look, everyone! It’s got creepy glowing red eyes! Nope. The nuns are too busy with their group hug and who knows what everyone else is doing.

Back in the EF past, Rumple leads the witches of beastwick through a shadowy fortress to get the dark curse. He relies on each of their special talents. Cruella charms scarabs to get through the door. Maleficent controls flames so they can get past. Ursula uses her tentacles to reach over and grab the curse. That’s teamwork for ya! Nope, spoke too soon. This is no team. Rumple leaves the ladies to the fearsome Chernobog—a demon that feeds on evil. With these three, he’s in for a feast!

In the present day, Cruella drives (badly) to the Storybrooke town line where Gold has left a tie on a shrub so he can find the place. When Gold explains that there’s a protection spell around the town so they can’t see or enter it, Cruella pulls a gun and Ursula kicks Gold’s cane out from under him. Gold’s a frustrating S.O.B., ain’t he ladies?

In Storybrooke, Hook is reticent about attending the Freed Fairies party on account of he was the one who imprisoned them in the first place. He seems to cheer up considerably once he’s at the party. Maybe there’s rum? Blue, however, continues to be mopey. Regina talks to her about the book and its author. Blue knows of the author, but not his or her true identity. But she does explain that the Sorcerer is NOT the author. She doesn’t know where the author is or why he/she disappeared. But, she says, there are clues in the books.

But there’s no time to delve into the topic further because the black smoke monster—the Chernobog that nobody noticed in the woods—makes his presence known. He’s perched on top of the clock tower waving his huge, fake-looking, fabric wing span. I’ll choose to suspend disbelief yet again for the sake of this show.

Back in the EF past, our savvy sorceresses fight the same demon. They’re not scared. They formulate a plan: let the monster go after the one with the wickedest heart while the other two escape. Then those two will help the third. Maleficent seems proud when the Chernobog chooses her.

Back in Storybrooke, the townspeople run from the fake-winged fiend. Our “heroes†try to formulate a plan but they’re not as quick on the uptake as the witches. Plus Regina gets her panties in a twist when Hook calls her “evil,†so she’s a tad distracted. Still, they pull themselves together. Emma and Regina temporarily stun the creature. Mary Margaret gets the townsfolk to safety. Belle goes to read up on “Chernobogs and How to Tame Them.â€

Outside town, Ursula uses Gold’s charming flip phone to call Regina. They catch up on old times, then cut to the (phony) chase. Ursula and Cruella want to enter Storybrooke to redeem themselves. Don’t believe them, Regina! She doesn’t, but she lets them in anyway in exchange for information on how to defeat the Chernobog.

In the EF past, Maleficent is pro-active against the monster, throwing fireballs at him and generally riling him up. She holds him off for a bit, and I have to say, I really thought the other two were going to leave her there. That’s kind of their M.O., no? But instead Ursula tentacles Maleficent to safety.

In Storybrooke, Regina claims the title of “heart with the darkest potential†and thinks the monster is after her. She and Emma decide to lure the beast to the town line. If they can get him over into a world without magic, he’ll disappear. They tell Mary Margaret and David their plan, but the two seem more upset over the fact that Cruella and Ursula are back. Hmmm. Wonder what that’s about.

At the town line, Emma and Regina’s mission succeeds, though at one point the beast seems to go after Emma. Just over the border, Ursula and Cruella wait, oblivious to the drama just a few feet away.

Mary Margaret and David show up in their vintage sheriff car. They have strong feelings about letting Cruella and Ursula in. What is up with that? Regina turns all bleeding heart and says that if she could get a second chance, the witches deserve one too. Cruella looks smug as she drives into town. Everyone else looks very suspicious.

Aww. Under an awesome full moon, lonely Mr. Gold waits pitifully just outside town. Just when he thinks his bitchy besties aren’t coming back for him, the scroll is thrown through the protective magic shield. He enters town and promptly loses both his cane and his humility. This is the cocky Gold we’ve come to know and hate. Now his plan moves forward. First step—mustering up Maleficent. Ursula worries that Regina will stand in their way. She was strong enough to stand up to the monster. Gold says the monster wasn’t after Regina. It was after Emma. Dun dun DUN!!

At Granny’s Henry searches the storybook for clues to the author’s identity as Emma and Hook look on. We cut to Mary Margaret and David who are in a faceoff with Ursula and Cruella. And wow, is Mary Margaret a bad ass. As we’ve been led to believe so heavy-handedly, there’s a history there. I’m sure we’ll be fed snippets of it throughout season 4B.

It occurs to me that if these people would just use some common sense their lives would be easier. Regina, how about not letting a bunch of evil queens into your town? Evil queens, how about not joining up with the irritating imp who’s double-crossed you more than once? Siiigh. No one ever listens to me.

But we’ll listen to you if you join us in the forum: http://www.freejinger.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=13046&sid=152decc424e82b36ec1e9b0f39f090e2&start=80


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