This week’s episode of Once Upon a Time wraps up the Frozen arc and prepares us for the spring season all in a neat tidy package. The Snow Queen has been vanquished, Elsa destroys the ice wall, Rumpel gets his comeuppance for his evil deeds this season, and Hook gets his heart back. Operation Mongoose is also a go; progressing nicely towards the end of the episode. Henry finds the author’s house if not the actual author himself. We also finally meet our trio of villainesses for next season, the “Queens of Darkness.” All in all, I’d say this is an episode you don’t want to miss.
The Enchanted Forest
All is business as usual in the Rumpelstiltskin household. Belle is helping Rumpel clean a newly acquired item of magical power. Rumpel shares with Belle a gauntlet he found during a recent trip to Camelot. This glamorous glove possesses the power to discover anyone’s greatest weakness. This involves it pointing to whatever that person loves the most. Cut to later when Belle is cheerily doing Rumpel’s laundry (one can’t imagine he has much since he wears the same outfit everyday). Suddenly a Dalmatian puppy interrupts her musings, luring her away from her duties with it’s cuteness. While chasing the pup, Belle gets captured by an unknown figure.
What do they want? Why, the gauntlet, of course.
Rumpel acquiesces and brings the gauntlet (it’s so hard to find good help these days, you know) to a place called Demon’s Bluff. Once there, Belle’s captors reveal themselves in grand style. It turns out our newest trio of baddies decided to abscond with the maiden.
The magnificent Kristin Bauer, a.k.a. Maleficent, is joined by Ursula, who has been transformed from a legendary goddess into a corporeal octopus woman and is played by Merrin Dungey, and Cruella de Vil, played by Victoria Smurfit, and the only character who has not graced Once Upon a Time with her presence. From the witty banter that follows, the group has clearly dealt with each other in the past. To Rumpel’s great displeasure, it seems he has no choice but to hand over the gauntlet if he wants to save the beautiful Belle.
With Rumpel, however, nothing is ever as it seems. He returns to the bluff later to threaten the Queens of Darkness, and reveal that he still has the gauntlet. Recognizing when they’ve been beaten, the women decide to try a different tactic and ask Rumpel to join them. But, being the loner that he is, Rumpel refuses, declaring that he doesn’t need any partners to get what he wants. Cue evil laugh.
At the start of our episode we see Elsa destroy the previously impenetrable ice wall. She seems to have gained quite a mastery over her powers since the start of the season. Alas, Anna and Elsa don’t have time to stick around and celebrate. The royal sisters need to return to Arendelle to deal with the usurper Hans and his brothers.
On the other side of town Rumpel is waiting for the stars in the sky to align with the stars on the hat, so he can finally use it’s magic to cleave himself from the dagger. He orders Hook to keep Anna away since she’s the only person who knows about his plan and the hat. Rumpel and Hook take a little trip to what was previously Rumpel’s “honeymoon mansion.”
There, Rumpel uses the sorcerer’s magical walking broomstick to find a portal that leads back to the Enchanted Forest. Cut to the gang meeting at Granny’s. Hook finds Emma there and warns her of what they’ve just found. However, it is actually a trap set by Rumpel, as he’s controlling everything Hook says through his heart.
Later, in Rumpel’s shop Belle and Henry stumble across the gauntlet that Rumpel supposedly gave to the Queens of Darkness in return for Belle.
Belle doesn’t look too happy at this discovery, and one can only guess what revelations are bursting in her head. Back at Regina’s vault Regina restores Marian to life by inserting her heart back in her chest. With the Snow Queen defeated, the spell over Marian seems to have lifted. Marian, in a rather noble moment, tells Regina that she knows how Regina and Robin feel about each other. She plans on stepping aside and letting the pair be together (she’s being awfully forgiving to the woman who previously sentenced her to death). It would seem life couldn’t get any more perfect for the once Evil Queen. She seems to have found her happy ending…right?
Wrong! For some reason Marian still is plagued by remnants of the ice spell, and must cross the town line into a world without magic in order to rid herself completely of the curse. Regina knows she can’t possibly go alone. She’ll need both her son and Robin in order to survive in the real world. And once they leave, they can never return. In a selfless moment, Regina insists that Robin must go with Marian. It looks like Regina isn’t going to get her happy ending after all.
While she’s waiting for the trio to leave, Rumpel pays Regina a visit, telling her he’s planning on leaving Storybrooke. He also lets loose that he knows about Henry snooping around his shop. Regina reveals that Henry was looking for a way to get her a happy ending. Rumpel assures her that villains do get happy endings. After all, he’s about to, or so he thinks.
Then comes our first dramatic exit of the night. Before joining his wife and child across the town line, Robin passionately kisses Regina, declaring his eternal love for her. Thus ends the love story of Regina and Robin (at least for now).
It’s time for Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff to say their goodbyes too. At Rumpel’s mansion the group prepares to go through the magic portal back to Arendelle. After said tearful farewell, the three head into the portal, but just before Anna leaves she unknowingly reveals that Rumpel has been lying to the town.
Cut to the bell tower where Emma and Snow burst in on Rumpel preparing to activate the sorcerer’s hat. They may have stopped him just in time, but he’s determined to at least get his revenge on Hook by crushing his heart. Only…he can’t. Enter one very angry Belle with a very familiar dagger. Look who’s wearing the pants in the relationship now.
Our secret heroine of this week’s episode realized that Rumpel was up to something when she found the gauntlet earlier. Belle commands Rumpel to stop everything and the hat is sucked back into the sorcerer’s box. Belle then orders Rumpel to take it and her to the town line. They’ve got something private to discuss. Once alone Belle reveals that when she found the gauntlet she realized that he would never give up power for her. Rumpel swears that he can change, but Belle has had enough, saying “Once I saw the man behind the beast. Now there’s only a beast.”
In a truly heart wrenching scene, Belle orders Rumpel to cross the town line, never to return again.
After Rumpel is gone Emma returns Hook’s heart to his chest. What follows is one of the steamiest romantic moments I’ve seen in a while. Later, Emma joins Regina for a drink at Granny’s. Henry interrupts the two women with a big surprise. He found a secret library in the mansion where the portal is located. What’s so fascinating about this?
This library happens to be filled with empty storybooks. That’s right! Operation Mongoose is operating at full speed! Could the sorcerer (who’s house it actually is) be the author they’ve been searching for? In a touching moment Emma decides to join Operation Mongoose. After all, “everyone deserves a happy ending.”
Jump ahead six weeks and we see a once more limping Rumpel in New York City. He approaches Ursula at the aquarium where she works, offering to team up. He reveals that he wants to find a certain author. Before they can start, however, they’ve got two more stops to make (can you guess what those are for?). Up next, it’s the Villains versus the Heroes! Hold onto your seats ‘cause it’s going to be a bumpy ride!
The Frozen Arc
We get a little peak into how Elsa and Anna are doing after they return to Arendelle. They soundly beat Hans and took back their kingdom (Anna got in a pretty awesome punch to Hans’ face). Anna’s wedding day arrives and the Elsa accompanies her sister down the aisle. The three heroes usher in a new era of happiness and prosperity.
I nearly swooned when Hook kissed Emma after she returned his heart. Talk about a Romantic Moment! Hook grabs Emma, stealing a kiss that would knock my socks off. I guess he got his mojo as well as his heart back.
“Thanks Grandma.” – Henry to Belle
“Yeah, you know, Belle’s good.” – Belle to Henry
“Such a pretty thing. Seems a shame I’ll have to crack her pipes.” – Ursula to Rumpel
“Cruella! Thought I caught a whiff of desperation and gin.” – Rumpel to Cruella de Vil
What did you think of this week’s episode of Once Upon a Time? Are you excited for the “Queens of Darkness” to join the show? Do you think Belle and Rumpel will ever get back together? Will Regina ever get her happy ending?
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