This week, it’s the two-hour season finale of the fourth season of Once Upon A Time! For the first time in the show’s four seasons, we get to see the “other sides” of our beloved characters. A good bandit Regina? An evil Snow White? It’s all delicious fun and it doesn’t stop there. Okay, and let us settle this before we get started, there are HUGE plot holes and things that don’t make sense, but this is Once, so let’s just ignore logic and reason and just have fun! I’d say this is probably the first finale that really changed it up and took the show to a different place. Plus, the ending is a nice departure, though a bit predictable. It was two hours long, so let’s get to it.
The year is 1966 and the author, Isaac Heller, is a TV Salesman, though he’s not very good. Luckily, Star Publishing wants to see him. Upon his arrival, he meets the Sorcerer’s Apprentice who tells him he will be the next author if he chooses the correct quill. Sure enough, Isaac grabs the right pen and thus begins his terrible time as the author! Side note: 1966 is the year Walt Disney died. That’s a fun little nod!
Back in present day Storybrooke, the gang hurriedly searches for answers before Gold and Isaac can enact their plan. August shows up with a sketch of the apprentice, whom Hook recognizes. With the Blue Fairy’s help, they are able to release the apprentice from the magic hat. The apprentice tells them they have to trap Isaac back in the book with the page and key. But, before they can do that, Isaac ends up finishing his story and writing a new book called “Heroes and Villains” — this time the villains get the happy endings. Everything shakes and fades to white.
Henry awakens to find the entire town abandoned. It’s almost as if everyone just poofed into thin air. After stealing a car and driving to the next town, he discovers that the Author/Isaac has written a bestselling book called… “Heroes and Villains.” Henry goes to confront the now famed author in New York, making his way through the author’s throng of cosplaying fans. He threatens the author with the page and the key, so the author talks to him and explains what he did. However, since he broke the cardinal rule (he wrote himself a happy ending) he is no longer the author and can’t change anything anymore. After a brief scuffle, Henry uses the key to insert himself into the story. The author gets stuck too. Now they are in this new bizarro/skewed Enchanted Forest!
Isaac ties up Henry and leaves him to be Ogre bait. Luckily for Henry, the Light One/The White Knight aka RUMPELSTILTSKIN saves him! HA! It was great seeing him in such a good, heroic light. Henry reads Isaac’s book to find Regina. She is a bandit on the run from the Queen, who wants to kill Regina for killing the Queen’s true love. Regina doesn’t believe Henry, remembers nothing, and thinks he is crazy. She even throws Isaac’s book in the fire! Henry is doggedly persistent though, telling her over and over the same things and that she must find Robin, her one true love, because if they kiss, she’ll get her happy ending, or whatever. The inklings of doubt and plot-holes keep creeping into my head, but we all must expel them from our Once minds.
Meanwhile, Isaac/The Author ends up getting caught by the “dark seven dwarves” and taken to the Queen, evil Snow White! YES! She is killing it. She holds Charming’s heart (literally) and orders that Isaac be killed. Charming, sporting guliner and black, prepares to kill him, but the author warns them about Henry and reveals to evil Snow where she can find and finally get her revenge on Regina.
Cut to: Regina attacking a royal carriage. Out pops evil Snow and evil Charming. Snow grabs her heart, but Charming asks her to first ask about Henry. In that moment, Regina is rescued by… Robin Hood. He takes her back to his bar where the have witty banter and he seems no different… until he introduces her to his fiancee, Zelena! Zelena is all chummy and nice to Regina, inviting her to the wedding, but Regina’s face has already fallen into despair. Also, according to the author, the book ends with “bells ringing” and if nothing happens before that, nothing can EVER be changed, or something. Anyways…
Henry shows up again and urges Regina to stop their marriage. She tells him to go find his real mother, revealing there were rumors of a “savior” once before. Snow White allegedly locked her up in an island prison years ago. We see a crazed, big-haired Emma chained in a tower… Thus ends Part One.
As part two begins, we catch up with the “Light One” Rumple, who is happily married to yellow gown-wearing Belle and has an infant child. Unfortunately for him, Isaac shows up to tell him his “happy ending” is threatened unless he stops Henry. He also reveals the truth about Rumple’s first son, Baelfire, and how he died because of Rumple’s failure, not heroics. Rumple gets mad and one can see he may not be as “light” as we thought.
Henry goes to the docks where he encounters a docile and cowardly Hook! After knocking out Blackbear and stealing the ship, they are on their way to save Emma. It turns out her island prison is a few minutes away and has only one guard. Um, what? They trick the guard using the Wookie-prisoner gag (which I LOVE). It turns out Emma remembers and knows all! Henry rescues her and they rush off because her one guard is really bff/enemy Lily! Lily turns into a dragon and attacks them, but they easily bring her down with one cannon. So easy this escape was.
Meanwhile, at evil Snow White’s castle, she threatens her minions, crushing the heart of Doc, and yelling at them all in her evil whisper. She needs to find Henry and Regina! Luckily, she won’t have to wait long. Emma, sporting a new outfit, tries to teach Hook how to fight, but suddenly Lily, Snow, Charming, and company show up. Emma tries to convince them that they are good, but Snow doesn’t bite. Hook sacrifices himself so that Emma and Henry can get away (although they end up just standing there and watching him get stabbed by Charming. Um, hello? RUN!). But, I guess it serves a purpose because when they find Regina, Emma urges her to stop Robin’s wedding and take the chance she didn’t with Hook. She never told him she loved him and yadda yadda. Regina is convinced!
It’s finally time for Robin and Zelena’s wedding. Will Scarlet is serving as the best man. Regina, Emma, and Henry rush towards the church, but Rumple suddenly shows up, blocking their path. After a brief chat with Belle, where he continued to lament that he must stop them and chipping her tea cup, it seems he has made his decision. He gets in a fight with Emma, as Regina rushes to the church. She looks in and Robin meets her eye. Rumple overpowers Emma and is about to slash and kill Henry, but Regina jumps in the way and gets cut. She couldn’t let “her son” die. The bells start ringing! Uh oh!
Newlyweds Robin and Zelena exit their wedding to find Regina injured. Robin rushes to her side and Zelena gets blood on her dress. She is not happy and her hand turns slightly green. Wicked! Robin holds her and tells it’s alright. Emma manages to punch the author in the face, but he insists he can’t change anything. That is when the quill “calls out” to Henry. He has been chosen as the new author! He uses Regina’s blood as ink and reverses everything Isaac did! FLASH!
Everything is back to normal! YAY! Even Hook is alive, but Emma still can’t tell him that she loves him yet. Isaac tries to flee town, but Snow and Charming stop him, asking him why he did it all. His explanation is that he was tired of seeing “heroes” pushing around people like him. He’s a true villain because of his selfishness.
Henry takes in his new role as the author. The apprentice visits him and reminds him that he can’t ever bring back anyone from the dead (i.e. his father, Baelfire). The apprentice also warns him to resist the temptation to change the truth. Henry snaps the quill in half, saying no one should have that much power. So, erm, is there no more author?
Over in Gold’s shop, Rumple is crumpling as the last part of his human heart leaves his body. Belle comforts him and says she is not gonna let him die alone, but he warns her to get away because she’ll be in danger.
Meanwhile, everyone is celebrating at Granny’s diner. Robin and Regina are good and going to go on a nighttime stroll. Emma has let go of her grudge against her parents. Emma chats with Lily, who wants to stay in Storybrooke and find her father. Hmm, who could he be? Also, where the heck is Maleficent? She has been missing all episode and doesn’t Lily want to get to know her? All the fun and “Shambala” is interrupted when Belle rushes in to warn them all about Rumple.
At Gold’s, the Apprentice attempts to pull all the darkness from Rumple and trap it in the Sorcerer’s hat. It seems to work and Rumple’s heart is filled with lightness. The Apprentice preserves his body just to make sure he’ll react okay, but before he can so much as scratch his butt, the darkness bursts out of the Sorcerer’s hat and shoots into the Apprentice. Emma is able to “light it” out of him and it blows out into the town like a Smoke Monster from a “lost island.”
The Apprentice struggles to live, telling them quickly about how the Sorcerer battled the darkness long ago and tethered it to a human soul so he could control it. The sorcerer is the only one who can defeat it and his name is… MERLIN. Plot twist.
The gang rushes onto the streets of Storybrooke and the darkness soon reveals itself, trying to suck the light from Regina’s soul. But, savior Emma has other plans. She grabs Rumple’s dagger and decides to tether the darkness to herself, telling her parents to learn how to defeat it. Everyone yells at her not to, but she does it anyway after telling Hook she loves him. FINALLY. The darkness encases her and the dagger now reads “Emma Swan.” Dun, dun, dun….
And there you have it! Emma Swan is now the Dark One! I must say, I predicted that earlier this season, but it still is exciting. I’m interested to see where they take this one. For the first time in a few seasons, there wasn’t a twist about a new character, but instead a “twist” on a familiar character. Also, are we preparing for a journey to Camelot?
What did you guys think of the season finale? And what did you think of the entire season? Let me know in the comments below. All logic aside, it was a fun finale! It’s hard to believe the first half of this season was all about Frozen and now look where we are? Quite the ridiculous journey! Until next season…
Watch full episodes on ABC.Go.com, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video. – See more at: http://www.whedonopolis.com/once-upon-a-time-4-21-mother/#sthash.mbsJ0AKr.dpuf