Once Upon a Time Winter Finale – “Heroes and Villains” Review

A lot happens in this episode… Probably because a lot didn’t happen in so many of the early episodes of this season. This wraps up the “Frozen” storyline, thank goodness, and introduces the fourth season’s second half’s conflict and new characters.

Ugh, do I have to?

Ugh, do I have to?

Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff are looking for a way home when Emma discovers that there is still a magical barrier around Storybrooke. Rumplestiltskin is still planning to make off with his wife and leave the town. He still has Hook’s heart as well. And, with her heart now safely back in her chest, Marian tells Regina that she understands that years have passed since she “died,” that Robin has moved on, that he and Regina and Robin love each other, and that she’ll respect her (former? ish?) husband’s choice of lover.


Counter-intuitively, despite Ingrid’s demise, there is some lingering magic from the Snow Queen. The town line remains cursed. And… Marian is still in danger of the ice which has probably spread to her heart now that Regina returned it to her body (haha, oops). The former Evil Queen has an idea of how to save her, though: She can cross the line, enter the “World Without Magic,” and the spell will no longer have an effect on her. Of course, now, once someone crosses the line, they can never return, and couple that with the fact that Marian would have precisely ZERO idea of how to function in the world alone, and Regina tells Robin that she’ll need a companion. She wants Robin and Roland to go with her.

Look... She has been saved from a magical death TOO many times for this to be reasonable any more. Like, y'all, that's a lot of effort.

Look… She has been saved from a magical death TOO many times for this to be reasonable any more. Like, y’all, that’s a lot of effort.

As the Family-of-Locksley prepares to cross the town line, Regina sits in her Mercedes, holding on to her composure, and Rumple comes in to have a little chat. He tells her that he’s leaving, too, with Belle (which makes her wonder why nobody thought to ask them to look after Marian, at least until the Maid could get her bearings), and to tell Henry that he’ll miss him and his snooping. Regina tells him of Henry’s plan to find the author of the Story Book and convince him to write a happy ending for Regina. Rumplestiltskin tells her that villains do get happy endings; they just have to take them like he did. Because, seriously, if Marian died, everything would work out for Regina, wouldn’t it? But she’s too dedicated to trying to reform to take that route, even as she seems a bit suspicious of her former teacher.

There’s a tearful good-bye and a hell of a smooch between Robin and Regina (after Marian and Roland have crossed the line and can no longer see Storybrooke, of course), and Regina rips up the alternate page from the Story Book showing her and Robin kissing leaving the pieces on the road as she walks back to her car. Why dwell on it if she’s never going to see the man again?

It’s like a metaphor for her broken heart. And the loss of that sliver of hope she had so briefly.

She should get that quarter back from Snow.

She should get that quarter back from Snow.

Of course, “never” doesn’t mean squat on this show, but it’s still a very sad scene…

With Rumple and Belle, meanwhile, we’re treated to moments in the present where they’re readying themselves to leave and flashbacks showing an enchanted gauntlet which will lead one to their enemy’s weakness and a villain’s efforts to ransom Belle in exchange for it. The villain? Maleficent!

In movie style now, of course.

In movie style now, of course.

And Ursula!

Lord, those tentacles are going to give me nightmares.

Lord, those tentacles are going to give me nightmares.

And Cruella de Ville.

Who looks SUPER out of place in the Enchanted Forest, so I hope they do something interesting there.

Who looks SUPER out of place in the Enchanted Forest, so I hope they do something interesting there.

Rumple is angry with them for stealing from him, but villains are nothing if not catty, so after a good bit of banter and a comment about Cruella smelling of gin and desperation, they reveal their plan to use to gauntlet to exploit the heroes’ weaknesses so that they, the villains, can finally win. They give Belle back and disappear with the gauntlet.

But, in the present, Rumple’s solo plans involve waiting for the stars to align with the stars of the hat so that he can cleave himself from the dagger and walk free…

The Charmings see Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff off through the door, but Anna hesitates, wishing that she could have met this “Mr. Gold” who Elsa was so appreciative of, and David reveals that he was Rumplestiltskin in their land.

Yeah, girl.

Yeah, girl.

Emma realises that, since Gold lied about having ever met Anna, he was probably definitely lying about everything else. They rush to find him, about to have his shining moment, but he freezes Snow and Emma before the latter can use her magic. He’s about to crush Hook’s heart and finish it… But Belle appears. Belle, who has retrieved the real dagger and commanded her husband to stop.

Like a BOSS.

Like a BOSS.

The spell ends, the hat returns to its box, and now Belle is going to force him to take the two of them to the town line.

Once there, she tells him that all of the signs she’s seen have come to a head and that she’s finally realised that his love of power outweighs his love for her. She used the gauntlet to find the thing he loved most and it lead her to the real dagger. She’s done putting her life aside for him, losing herself to help him find humanity she doesn’t think he has, and she forces him over the town line. Alone. And afraid. And powerless.

Woman scorned, motherfucker.

Woman scorned, motherfucker.

But, hey, bro, at least you’ve got your memories.

We’re given an Arendelle wedding scene, and then quickly back over to Storybrooke, where Emma expresses her feelings by punching Hook’s heart back into his chest and hitting in the face with her face, and as they get all smiley and shit, Regina mopes at the counter at Granny’s. Emma joins her and insists that she’s not going to give her a hope speech, but rather shots. Regina comments that she’s miserable and Emma counters that Gold is, too, and they cheers to his misery because awesome.

I guess they really ARE friends now.

I guess they really ARE friends now.

In rushes Henry, and they follow him back to mansion where Rumple was going to steal Emma’s powers and where it turns out the portal back to Arendelle was. Y’know. The Sorcerer’s house? Yeah, well, they left him to snoop around in a magical house unsupervised and he found something interesting.

A secret library, full of blank versions of the Story Book. Meaning that this mansion is probably the author’s house. The let Emma in on the plan, OPERATION: Mongoose, and the Saviour wants to help.


That library, though.


Six Weeks Later…  We’re in New York, watching a now-back-to-using-a-cane Rumple limp along Madison Avenue, pondering over the moment he stole the gauntlet back from the so-called “Queens of Darkness” way back in the Enchanted Forest. He walks into a closed Aquarium, where a woman is feeding the fish. Naturally, and also somehow, it’s Ursula, in completely human form. She recognises him, and recognises that he’s clearly lost, but he’s also not done being a villain. That whole “Villains Never Win” rule is irksome at best, and he intends to change it… By confronting “The Author.” And he and Ursula also mean to round up the rest of the gang.

That shark in the tank has excellent timing. He's gonna be a big star.

That shark in the tank has excellent timing. He’s gonna be a big star.

And, frankly, I think that actor Robert Carlyle is going to make a fabulous Queen of Darkness. Like, whoa.

I actually found this episode to be really enjoyable, and not just because there is no more Ingrid (family portrait back in Arendelle notwithstanding). The scene with Robin “having” to leave should have pissed me off a lot more than it did but, like I said, “never” means nothing on this show. Plus, I like Regina as her own character, regardless of whether she’s in a relationship or not. Emma, finally outside of all of that “third magical sister” bullshit is back to her sort of cynical but still generally likable self. Hook is no longer a pointless pawn/damsel man-wearing-eye-liner-in-distress. Belle is out of that horrible relationship (sorry, RumBelle shippers) and, while Rumple has gotten his due, he’s down but still not out, which fits very well with his character.

Oh. And Henry had a very jarring voice change. Like, super deep voice and a growth spurt, and I’m glad that he’s becoming more capable because they can’t milk that cute little kid thing any more.

I was surprised by the general lack of Snow and Charming, considering that this is very much their show, just after Emma and Regina, maybe, but since they’re also actually new parents in real life as well as on the show, it very much makes sense.

The introduction (or reintroduction in the case of Maleficent) of the “Queens of Darkness” on the show is… Interesting. I still feel like Cruella De Ville is an odd choice, and that she really doesn’t fit in with the rest of the feel of the Enchanted Forest or really any of the characters so far, but I’m hoping that, just maybe, she’s not of the Enchanted Forest. She really seems like she would be from our world. Maybe she is, and maybe however she got to the EF is how Ursula and her got to our world. But… Isn’t Maleficent a half-zombie still locked away under Storybrooke..?

But, see, all of that is interesting stuff that I’m eager to see. So, great! Can’t wait!

Until… March? Fucking March? REALLY?!


Okay. Well, I’ll pick back up with the reviews then. but check back in in January for reviews and discussion on “Galavant!”



About pattyinreallife

I'm a graphic artist, writer, film-maker, and avid baker. I sing in the car and laugh at the worst/best moments. I am the coolest nerd you will ever meet. Try not to let your jealousy show too badly.

Posted on December 15, 2014, in Once Upon a Time, TV Show Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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