Review: Once Upon A Time 4.12- “Heroes and Villains”

It’s the midseason finale of Once Upon a Time, which means chaaaanges. We finally get to say goodbye to the lovely sisters of “Frozen” and get to say hello some campy, fun baddies for the next half of the season. More on that later…

The Snow Queen is gone, so it’s time to bring down her giant ice wall. Elsa accomplishes this task easily, but she cannot get rid of the magic barrier that still exists around the town, which means that if you leave Storybrooke, you can never come back. Dun, dun, dun… But, the sisters and Kristoff need to get back to Arendelle to overthrow Hans. They need a conveniently placed portal to get back. But, where to find one?

OUAT 4.12 Heros and Villans goldhookMeanwhile, Gold and his heart-controlled Hook discuss his dastardly plans again. He is going to leave town with the blissfully ignorant Belle, while keeping his power in tact. He’s also planning on doing something with the magic hat, when the stars align, or whatever? I’m a bit muddled on that part of the plan. But, he promises to crush Hook’s heart. He tells Belle they are going to go on a honeymoon to New York City, which, in my opinion, is kinda crap. Belle should demand to go to Bora Bora, or the coast of Croatia.

Oh, so flashback this week is to Belle and Rumplestiltskin. She is snooping around his castle (this is pre-everything, basically) and he catches her. They banter/flirt and he reveals he just got back from Camelot, where he stole a glove that can find a person’s weakness (the thing they love most). He can’t wait to manipulate and exploit with it.

Back in SB, Regina gives Marian back her heart and looks sad about it. So, that is the 2nd time she has saved Marian. Marian tells Regina she’ll bow out if Robin wants to be with her. She understands time has passed, etc. Regina actually smiles about this.

Belle is packing for her honeymoon and Henry helps her. He keeps hilariously calling her “grandma,” which she is not a fan of. Henry accidentally knocks some boxes over and they find the magical glove from Camelot. Belle’s face says it all.

Meanwhile, Gold and Hook follow the magical walking broomstick, as one does, to the mysterious mansion, where they find the door portal to Arendelle. That was easy! Hook goes to the diner to tell everyone, Gold talking through his heart. Emma senses something is off, but Gold plays it off, except for Hook’s shaking/weird hand grip.

In the flashback, Rumple literally sends Belle to clean his clothes! Wow, what a jerk! But, she follows a stray dalmatian (random) and then gets kidnapped. Oh, Belle, always the victim. Rumple is all like “Donde esta, Belle?” but then a flying crow drops a seashell that displays a holographic Belle (I wish I was making this up). Belle pleads with Rumple to bring the glove of Camelot with him to save her or she’ll die!

Back in SB, Robin and Regina continue their favorite debate. She keeps telling him to go, but he lurves her! He wants to live truthfully! All of this is interupted when Marian collapses and is “frozen” again. AGAIN! Like really? Welp, the only solution to save Marian is for her to leave the town line and never come back, but Regina insists that Robin and Roland must go with her. She creates her own unhappiness, that Regina.

At the town line, Regina mopes and Gold bades her a farewell, as he and Bell shall be leaving. He also reveals that he knew she sent Henry to sneak about his shop. She tells him she is just looking for the author and her happy ending. He tells her that he TOOK his happy ending, instead of just sitting around. He tells her, “Being good doesn’t mean good things will happen” – something which reminds her of the old “bad” Rumple.

Anyways, Marian crosses the town line and is healed. Robin kisses Regina and looks pained but crosses to join his wife and son. Gone forever (ya know how that usually goes). Regina tears up the storybook picture of her and Robin. Poor Regina!

In the flashback, Rumple arrives at the cliff with the glove, where not only one but three fantastic villainesses appear: Maleficient (Kristin Bauer van Straten), Ursula (Merrin Dungey), and Cruella de Vil (Victoria Smurfit). I must say, Cruella is ON POINT. Rumple says she smells of desperation and gin, which is exactly what I smell of right now. Anyways, after a brief standoff, he gives them the glove because he can’t bear losing Belle. She doesn’t understand why he’d do that for her. Aw, he may have loved her once.

OUAT 4.12 Heros and Villans cruellaIn SB, Gold prepares the hat as the stars are aligning or whatever the heck that means. Meanwhile, it’s a “Frozen” goodbye as we can finally “let it go” with the depature of Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff through the portal door. Elsa never ONCE changed her dirty, filthy gown. She probably smells awful. Goodbye! Before Anna steps through the door, she asks about Gold, learning he is Rumple, and telling them he has been lying this whole time.

In the clock tower where Gold and Hook enact their plan, Emma and Snow burst in to stop them, but Gold freezes them and tries to crush Hook’s heart, but can’t. Why not? Because Belle snuck in and holds the dagger. She orders him to release everyone and takes him to the town line. She FINALLY is no longer ignorant about Rumple, lamenting the fact that his one true love is his own power, not her. She commands him to leave Storybrooke and he resistantly, pleadingly crosses the line. Will he be banned for good? Hmm.

I guess “Frozen” is not over as we get another flashback to Arendelle, where Anna is decked out in a wedding dress and Elsa has finally changed clothes. I think they included this scene, just for that. Anyways, Anna punched Hans, is getting married, and they smell chocolate. Happy ending! Bye… until “Frozen 2” hits theaters next year!

OUAT 4.12 Heros and Villans kristoffannaAnd back in Storybrooke, Emma returns Hook’s heart and they kiss passionately. Aw. Then she joins sad Regina at the bar. Regina isn’t in the mood for a “hope speech,” so they just do some shots! Yaaaay! Unfortunately, Henry interrupts their good times with a shocking revelation! He takes them to the mansion, where he found a secret passage to a secret library. SECRETS! In the library, tons of blank storybooks. This must be the author’s house. One step closer…

Six weeks pass. Gold wanders the streets of New York. We see a flashback of him with the three villainesses. They want a deal, he wants the glove. He always wins and wins alone. He doesn’t want their help. He steals the glove back, gloating all the while. In New York, he goes to an aquarium where he meets up with… Ursula, a fish feeder. HA. He wants to work together with her and the others against those dang heroes. She mocks him at first, but is ready to start the fight… And here we go!

Lots of things were finally wrapped up in this episode, mainly the “Frozen” arcs. It wasn’t particularly bad, just so evenly wrapped up. Sometimes it is really hard to ignore the huge plot holes and deus ex-machinas, but watching this show requires one takes a HUGE grain of salt to suspend disbelief. I am personally hoping for the best next season. Something exciting and fast-paced. We don’t need to keep spending days on the same storylines like the first half of the season. I want OUaT to embrace it’s campiness and stop taking itself so seriously. With Cruella, I think it is making a step in that direction. She seems fun! Also, some of the main characters fell to the background this episode: Snow, Charming, where fore art thou?

What did you guys think of this episode or the season so far. Did you love or loathe the “Frozen” sisters? And are you excited for the new villainesses? Let me know in the comments below. See y’all in March!

Once Upon A Time airs on Sundays at 8/7c on ABC. Watch full episodes on ABC.Go.com, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video.

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Post Author: Ben Fleck