Review: OUAT Season 4 Finale (Heroes and Villains)

Summary: 

Emma, Elsa, Anna and the other heroes walk to the city’s limit; Elsa removes the Snow Queen’s ice wall. Emma cautions Anna not to try to walk past as she senses a curse still present. Clearly, leaving Storybrooke without a portal is not an option. On the other hand, Marianne is finally back to normal…NOT! Her heart is infected; to save her, Robin, Roland and Marianne must cross the town line into a world without magic. So much for that happy ending…

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We see Gold’s final plan starting to unravel; in it, he and Belle (no longer Henry) will see New York- a magical city- for their honeymoon. The plan, however, is ruined when Henry tells Belle that the town line is still cursed though the Snow Queen is gone; you can’t return once you’ve left Storybrooke. Belle shrugs it off but when Henry helps her retrieve another suitcase, Gold’s secret past comes to Belle’s attention.

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Meanwhile, Hook and Gold are again at each other’s throats. Unfortunately, Gold has finally won and uses Hook’s heart to show Emma the portal needed to send Anna home and out of his way. Upon reaching the portal, however, Anna asks who Gold was- she reveals what she knows about Rumple to David (Charming) and the others. Snow and Emma arrive just in time to be frozen as Gold is about to crush Hook’s heart.

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This is where the episode’s only flashback plays a huge part: Rumple had many things of great power in his castle when Belle was his maid. He didn’t approve of her playing with them though. Instead, he wanted her as a play thing. She was captured by some of his disciples (Cruella, Ursula, and Maleficent) over a gauntlet that let the user see their enemies’ weakness. To save her, he temporarily surrendered the gauntlet. This was the first time he saved her and it showed her that there  might be good in him. When Henry knocked over the spare trunk and the gauntlet came free, it proved to Belle that she was lying to herself. She used it to find Rumple’s weakness and it led her to the real dagger. In the nick of time, Belle stops him from killing Hook and instead orders him to leave Storybrooke and the world of magic behind.

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On a happier note, Regina and Emma do shots while Henry completes Operation Mongoose by finding the house of the author.

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Despite his crocodile tears, Rumple has other plans up his sleeves. Six weeks since Belle banished him, Rumple meets with the three Queens of Darkness for plans to look up the author.

Commentary: This episode was a tidy wrap up to the season. Anna and Elsa walk down the isle toward Kristoff, Henry and his moms proceed with Operation Mongoose, Gold wants revenge- it’s all just another day in Storybrooke! ^_~

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On a serious note, this episode was amazing, it was filled with little details like Emma’s power blossoming and the artwork in Arendelle.  It was a relief to see the sisters back in their home town now that rumors of Frozen 2 are spreading from Cinema Blend to Facebook! It was disappointing, however, not to attend the wedding- so much for our glimpse into “Happily Ever After”.

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The character development of Gold was startling. He plays the part of an evil villain quite; his “[just] take it” speech to Regina is a prime example. To see Gold act like a crumpled, old man on the other end of the town line tugged at heartstrings. Furthermore, his, “I’m afraid,” was more threatening than anything else I’ve heard him say. After all, fear can do scary things to people and we already know that Gold is a vindictive man. Because of the impact it made on me, I was shocked to hear that this episode’s ratings are so low! Entertainment Weekly says,

Once Upon a Time must have been under a ratings-zapping curse Sunday night. ABC’s fantasy hit fell to 5.6 million viewers and a 1.7 adults 18-49 rating, a series-low number for the show….ABC points out that Once Upon, on average this season, is still up 13 percent from the same point last year. Once Upon will return to ABC in March.

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Maybe it’s cause of how hideous the Villains are? Then again, aren’t they supposed to have exaggerated, ugly features? Cruella has her stark, pointy chin and Maleficent was actually quite charming- sans her squeak-tastic voice. I don’t think fans would be displeased over Ursula’s skin color? After all, the staff is…ok, maybe they’re not as racially diverse as we thought…

Bright side? There’s still hope for Regina to get a “Happily Ever After”, Henry is as happy as before and Emma and Hook have time together now. Poor Belle though…

 

All pictures for promotional purposes only

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