By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Once Upon A Time: Season Four started out with a simple wish from Storybrooke’s former Evil Queen: “Villains should have their happy endings.”
Angry that Emma Swan and Captain Hook accidentally brought back Robin Hood’s first love, “Marian” (who was later revealed to be the treacherous Zelena) to the present day, Regina plotted her plan with Henry to find the Author of the enchanted storybook.
But, Regina was not alone with this endeavor…after being banished from Storybrooke by his wife for choosing power over love, Mr. Gold began his journey to capture the Author and force the writer to change the dynamic between heroes and villains…forever!
To make his dream a reality, Mr. Gold summoned three of the most dangerous villainess in the OUAT Universe to assist him: the Queens of Darkness (Ursula, Cruella de Vil & Maleficent). Each femme fatale had a dark desire to have their happy endings restored to them. Ursula wanted to reclaim her singing voice (her final reminder of her mother), while Cruella wanted her homicidal tendencies to be restored (after the Author himself took her murderous ways away from her).
However, Maleficent’s happy ending was to reunite with her daughter, Lily, and get revenge on the two people that banished her from the Enchanted Forest in the first place: Snow White and Prince Charming. The Charmings learned that Emma (as a product of True Love’s Kiss) had the potential of being both the Savior and the most dangerous villain of all-time. Panicked by the latter proclamation, the Charmings went to the Sorcerer’s Apprentice and forced the wizard to remove Emma’s potential for darkness and put into Lily.
While Lily turned out to be a bad seed, Storybrooke might fear Emma Swan the most. Mr. Gold manipulated events that led Emma on the path to darkness. Her first act: killing a harmless Cruella de Vil (before the wicked stylist murdered Henry) and nearly slayed her former friend if was not for Regina’s timely intervention.
Now, the stage is set for the most anticipated finale in the show’s four-year history! Will the Charmings be able to properly return Storybrooke to the “status quo”? Was the Author and Mr. Gold successful in turning Emma Swan into a villain? Read on to find out!
In the past, viewers met the Author who was a television salesman. After being rejected for his work, he was summoned to Star Publishing by the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The apprentice asked him to pick out five pens and the Author chose his signature quill. The apprentice commanded him to enter the Enchanted Forest and begin his journey.
Back in Storybrooke, the Charmings and their allies were looking for ways to stop the Author and Gold. August told them to look for the Apprentice and using his old broomstick, the Blue Fairy was able to summon him and the Apprentice barked orders to find the page and book to put Isaac away for good!
While Emma raced to the Loft, Gold and Isaac commiserated over their common goals. However, Gold furiously advised Isaac not to bring Baefire into the new story. Gold wanted to make right with his deceased son and wanted Bae to remember him as a hero.
Just before Emma, Regina and the Apprentice were able to stop the dastardly duo, Isaac finished and the world went white! Henry woke up to find all of the adults in Storybrooke were gone! As Henry walked across town, he headed towards the scene of the crime—his grandfather’s pawnshop!
While Henry searched for his family, Isaac became a worldwide success with his book: Heroes and Villains. Henry confronted the Author and demanded him to release his family! After a brief scuffle with Isaac, Henry traveled inside the book and searched for his family.
Unfortunately, Isaac also traveled inside the book and knocked Henry unconscious. He left the Savior’s son to die at the hands of an ogre. Luckily, young Henry was saved by a mysterious white knight named Rumpelstiltskin aka the Ogre Slayer! As Rumple rode away, Henry dodged deathtraps and reunited with his mother who was living in a bandit’s life.
Regina did not believe Henry until he showed her the book! While Regina tried to burn the book, Henry tried to force her to remember her true love-Robin Hood aka her competition! Regina also revealed that the queen was looking for her and wanted to murder her for ruining her life.
While Regina and Henry began their journey, Isaac got a unwelcomed surprise as the Dwarves ambushed the Author and delivered him to the Evil Snow White. Before she could kill him, Isaac revealed that she fell in love with James and stated that Regina ruined her happiness. He also stated that Henry would be helping Regina and in return for giving Regina’s location, Isaac wanted Henry dead!
Following Isaac’s instruction, Evil Snow and Charming tracked Regina down in the forest. It was interesting to see the roles were reversed between Snow and Regina. Before Snow could kill Regina, Robin Hood rescued her. As the thieves celebrated their escape and their new friendship, Robin Hood asked her to become the new leader of the Merry Men. Robin revealed that he was stepping away from the thieving world and marrying Zelena!
Zelena and Robin asked Regina to stay for the Wedding Ceremony, but she declined to get started on her quest to outrun Snow White. Henry caught up with Regina and wanted her to confess her love to Robin Hood and cursed Henry for giving her “hope.” Henry begged her to help him stop this wedding or the Author would win.
As Regina guided Henry to his other mother, Rumple reunited with his family-Belle, his newborn baby and Isaac. Once Belle left, Isaac revealed his cards and wanted Rumple to join him in his quest to stop Regina from ruining Robin and Zelena’s wedding. Using Baefire as his clutch, the Author left Rumple’s shack to gather more allies.
Meanwhile, Henry reunited with Hook and saved the Jolly Roger from Blackbeard. The Savior’s son helped Hook regain his confidence as he reunited with his mother, who was revealed to see him.
As Emma fought back tears, she tried to convince Regina about her happy ending and grasp at the chance of her possibility of true love with Robin Hood. The trio arrived at the wedding and just as they were going to crash it, Gold came out of the woods to stop them.
Emma and Gold fought neck and neck in one of the most intense swordfights in the series’ history. But, just as Gold was going to kill Henry…at the last minute, Regina stepped in and saved Henry; As Regina began to die, Robin Hood was by her side and an angry Zelena began to turn green.
However, a miracle happened…Henry was revealed to be the new author! Using Regina’s blood, Henry undid Isaac’s work and everyone returned to Storybrooke.
As the Charmings reunited with their loved ones, Isaac left Gold to die and was confronted by Snow and Charming who revealed that he caused all of this because he wanted revenge and his own happiness. Meanwhile, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice gave Henry-“Author 101.” He advised Henry to honor his father by telling stories and write the truth.
While Henry broke the Author’s quill, Gold and Belle shared one final scene together. Mr. Gold encouraged Belle to move on with Will, but Beauty confessed that she did not love Robin Hood’s former Merry Man, but loved the Dark One.
The fourth season ended with everyone at Granny’s. While Robin took Regina on a walk, the Charmings apologized to Hook and Emma for their behavior. As Emma promised Lily to help her search for her father, Belle gathered everyone to the Pawn Shop and they saved Rumple’s life.
Unfortunately, Rumple’s former evil poisoned the Sorcerer’s Apprentice and asked them to find the only person that could help them was Merlin! What made matters worse was that Merlin could not be found and the darkness bonded with Emma…making her the new Dark One!
Can Regina, the Charmings and Hook save Emma from the darkness and find Merlin? We will find out this fall when Once returns for its fifth season!