Once Upon A Time 4.18 – “Heart of Gold”

We’re back after a short two-week hiatus and dear, oh dear, there are quite a few shocking developments in this newest episode of Once Upon A TimeWe find out more about Robin Hood, his wife, Marian, and what they’ve been up to since leaving Storybrooke 9 weeks ago. But nothing could’ve prepared us for this twist…

*****SPOILERS BELOW*****

…the Wicked Witch/Zelena is back! And she has been secretly posing as Maid Marian, Robin’s beloved wife, using a glamour necklace this entire time! Talk about quite the twist. I love me some Zelena (Rebecca Mader). She is deliciously over-the-top evil wicked fun! But, we will get to the big reveal. The majority of this episode was one giant flashback. So, nothing in the actual present day story really happened aside from Emma being mad at her parents for lying still, Gold finding the author before the heroes and persuading him to join his side (using a magic quill to tempt him), and Gold continuing to berated a now chained-up Regina to come back to the dark side. He asks her to call her beloved Robin, something sinister gleaming in his eyes, and as she does, we flashback to nine weeks ago.

the gangRobin, Marian, and young Roland leave Storybrooke and head to New York City. Regina gave them the keys to Baelfire’s old apartment. They are overwhelmed by New York City. Marian gets mugged and Robin chases the thief down on a white horse. In the city. It’s all pretty ridiculous, but the writers really want us to know that Robin is a man of honor more than anything else.  They arrive at Baelfire’s apartment and are just settling in, when in waltzes Gold! He yells at them to get out before collapsing from “heart” pains.

robinnnWe flashback even further to Robin’s days in the Sherwood Forest as Robin of Locksley. He runs a pub and isn’t about his thieving ways anymore. But then, the rotten Sheriff of Nottingham (Wil Traval) comes in, demanding the taxes he is owed. Robin has no money to pay. Luckily(?) for him, Rumplestiltskin later appears and offers him a deal. He wants Robin to steal the “elixir of the wounded heart” for him and he will help him out. The elixir apparently cures wounded hearts and can be found in a land called Oz. Robin goes thru with it, entering the dorr/portal and immediately running into Will Scarlet! Will is tied up, having been in the process of being arrested by a guard of Oz. Robin helps him out and reveals his quest. Will thinks he is crazy but asks if Robin will steal some for him too.

Back in New York, Gold is in the hospital, looking terrible. Robin visits him and Gold asks him one more time to steal the elixir of the wounded heart for him. He says Zelena hid it somewhere in New York. Robin does it because Gold makes sure to call to Robin’s unwavering honor. He finds the place easily, though Gold warns Zelena might have heavily guarded it. Welp, no. All that she did was put an alarm on the building to cause the police to arrive. Robin easily finds the elixir and escapes through a window. That was almost too easy… Marian expresses disdain for Robin risking his life for Gold and she’s got a point. WHY ON EARTH WOULD ROBIN HELP GOLD? Marian says the greater good is to let him die (yes), but Robin can’t because of his honor code. Hey, did you guys know Robin is honorable? Cause I haven’t got a clue yet.

Back in Oz, the Emerald City is looking pretty green (screened). Robin breaks in, wearing a guard’s outfit. He goes through her things, taking two flasks of the elixir, but he drops one when Zelena shows up. She turns into three Zelenas and dares him to attack her. Plus, she knows Rumplestiltskin is behind this. Robin luckily escapes and rushes back up the yellow brick road to the portal. He LIES to Will, saying he failed his mission. Will reveals he wanted the elixir for his own heart because his sister died after falling through the ice and drowned. They hug it out and Robin leaves. Will reveals he stole the elixir from Robin. So much treachery happening!

WickedIn NYC, Robin returns to Gold with the elixir. He tells Gold they are now done and to leave him and his family alone. He leaves and Gold drinks the elixir. It’s not working… that’s because Marian switched the vials! Marian reveals herself to be… Zelena! What! She was using the infamous six-leafed clover of Oz to glamour herself into Marian. Gold is in shock. He thought he killed her. Zelena explains that her life force followed Emma/Hook into that portal where she waited and bided her time before discovering Emma was going to take Marian back into Storybrooke, then she enacted her plan! She’s been Marian this ENTIRE TIME. And why? Because she wants to ruin Regina’s happiness. That has always been her ultimate goal. No one knows that Marian is actually dead and has been. Gold’s heart monitor starts beating frantically low and nurses rush in.

When Gold awakens, he finds Zelena nicely patting his head with a cloth. She could just kill him, but she wants to continue to spell out her dastardly plan (as do all great villains). She wanted Robin to fall in love with her and steal Regina’s heart, but for some stupid reason (true love or something, ha), she hasn’t been successful yet! So, she wants to stake her claim in Gold’s quest to find the author so she can have HER happy ending, too. Everyone just wants a happy ending! So, she makes a deal with Gold (who is very reluctant, since she killed his son after all) and gives him the elixir to help his heart in exchange for her happy ending.

Later, Gold is doing better and meets Robin oustide the hospital. Robin is still a good guy and wanted to give Gold a box of Baelfire’s things. Gold doesn’t want it. But, he asks Robin if Marian is his happy ending. Robin is still not sure. Gold gives a great speech about if “it’s” in your grasp and you know who and where it is, then you should hold it and never let it go. Robin takes that advice. After Marian/Zelena asks him why Regina is in his phone and laments his lack of decision, Robin chooses her! He is being totally genuine and real. Marian/Zelena smiles and they make out. How dramatic!

Funnily enough, back in the Sherwood Forest flashback, Robin stands up to the Sheriff and finally become “Robin Hood.” His time in Oz made him realize that he can steal from the rich and give to the poor. He can be a hero to those who need him by stealing. He’s not just a thief. He tells the true Marian all of this and she commits her life to being with him. Aw. He also reveals he stole the six-leaf clover from Zelena so he can glamour himself into anyone if needed. It’s nice to see the true Marian and Robin together. Alas, it will be short-lived.

RmpNow, we finally come back to present day. Regina calls Robin, but who should answer? Why Marian/Zelena, of course! She reveals all to Regina, who can’t believe it. Zelena is practically giddy with joy over Regina’s reaction. So, this is Gold’s leverage. He tells Regina that she has to do everything he says or else Zelena will kill her true love, Robin. He wants to turn the savior, Emma, to darkness, but Regina refuses. She wont’ do that to Emma. So, Gold poses a question: Emma or Robin? Who is important to save? Regina doesn’t answer! The End. WHAT?!

Even though this episode was a majority of flashbacks, it was quite entertaining and good. The return of Zelena and the long “con” of her evil plans is genius. I want to go back and watch all the older episodes to see if there is any indication that Marian is not who she is supposed to be. Her family certainly didn’t notice. Rebecca Mader brings delicious fun. And despite us now having ANOTHER villain to deal with, I don’t really mind. Plus, we didn’t even see Maleficent or Cruella this week. This is all sorts of fun, plus now Regina is in an even worse position. What will she do? Will we really see the Evil Regina back or is something else gonna happen? Can’t wait to see next week. Tell me what you guys think in the comments below!

Once Upon A Time airs on Sundays at 8/7c on ABC. Watch full episodes on ABC.Go.com, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video and On Demand (check with your local cable provider).

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Post Author: Ben Fleck