Once Upon A Time: “Unforgiven” (S4Ep14)

I didn’t get to watch this episode live or live tweet it, so my first interaction with it was my straight, Rumbelle shipper friend texting me to say the story line it introduced was terrible. Usually, she and I agree on nothing with the show (cough, Red Beauty, cough) and the same was true about this episode. I actually liked it and though after the last couple half-season story arches, Maleficent (Kristen Bauer van Straten) getting revenge for the baby Snowing (Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas) somehow stole from her doesn’t seem that bad.

The episode opens with Snow waking up in the loft to find Charming missing from their bed. She walks over to Replacement Baby’s cribs and then Maleficent, Cruella de Vil (Victoria Smurfit) and Ursula (Merrin Dungy) appear in her kitchen and Maleficent takes Replacement Baby from his crib. She tells Snow she is going to make her pay for what she did. Snow tells her to stay away from her family and Maleficent tells her when she is done she will not have any family.

photo 1

Would it be OK if I just replaced the baby I didn’t get to raise with this one?

That was all a dream so Snow wakes up again to find Charming drinking on the stairs. Is Emma (Jennifer Morrison) sleeping like 10 feet above him? Is Henry (Jared Gilmore) there? Where does he sleep when he is there? Whatever, the size and number of people living at Mary Margret’s loft is one of the things I enjoy about this show because it is so absurd. They worry a bit about what they talked about with Cruella and Ursula at the end of last episode.

That leds us into our Enchanted Forest flashbacks. Charming and Snow return to their palace from their honeymoon. Lolz, remember that terrible CGI’ed Medusa? Everyone is asleep and they instantly think it is Regina (Lana Parrilla). But like usual, it wasn’t Regina. The Queens of Darkness are waiting from them and tell them Regina just stole the Dark Curse from Maleficent. So, I guess the Dark Curse from last episode was the actual Dark Curse Regina used at bring everyone to Storybrooke. Didn’t Rumple (Robert Carlyle) create that not find it? Whatever, continuity and OUAT don’t mix well.

Anyway, the QoD introduces another incredibly convenient plot device that we never have heard of and never will again. This time it is the Tree of Wisdom that will give them the answer of how to defeat the Dark Curse. Of course, we already know the answer is Emma, but whatever OUAT more flashbacks of crap we already know. QoD agrees to take Snowing there because they also don’t want Regina to cast it.

photo 2

Still not nearly as cool as they used to be.

Back in Storybrooke, Granny (Beverley Elliot) is ignoring Cruella and Ursula in an again Ruby-less diner when Regina and Henry came in. They treat Regina like she is still a villain, much like the writers after 2A. Regina dismisses Henry to her office to look through the story book promising to get the donuts he wants. Grilled cheese was mentioned again and if a bear claw is mentioned I am going to be fully convinced there is an undercover fanfic writer in the writers’ room. Ursula and Cruella leave and Regina is confronted by her in-laws. Snowing thinks the QoD minus Maleficent is dangerous. Regina is slightly offended because maybe they are trying to reform like she did. Snowing has little faith.

photo 3

I would burn you alive, if I didn’t love your daughter so much.

Emma then arrives too but Charming says he is worried the QoD and Emma agrees to go with him for police business. He lies all over the place about why he wants to trail them. Emma’s superpower was broken again and she didn’t see anything wrong with his plan. Also, why is he giving orders to Emma? She is the elected sheriff while Charming is an idiot who thinks he can do police work because he is a prince.

photo 4

Dad, you’re an idiot. And I outrank you, so please shut up.

Ursula and Cruella go and steal a wooden box from Gold’s shop. Belle (Emilie de Ravin) is rather mean to them but still says she wishes nothing bad has happened to Rumple because battered woman syndrome is a good message, OUAT. They leave. Charming and Emma follow them. He pulls them over and checks their car. He finds Maleficent’s amulet and pockets it without saying anything. Can you see through that lie, Emma? No?

Whatever, she goes to see Regina next. Regina and Henry have been looking through the story book. She says the happiest she ever was was with Henry, Robin Hood and Roland. Really? Because there have been other times when you have said something else would make you happy. You know, like getting invited to dinner. Regina realizes the Pinocchio pages seem different and Henry tells her that is because adult August  added them. They think August might know more about the book, but he is a child now. They still bring him and Gepetto to the office.

In the only, but incredibly great, SwanQueen scene of the episode Regina replies to Emma arrive is, “Where the hell have you been?” Remember in season three when excellent subtext things would happen and then some horrible heteronormative thing would happen, this scene wasn’t that and I loved it. Because of the younger sister and big brother, but also weirdly sexually relationship Emma and adult August had Regina thinks maybe Emma will be able to make him remember more about the book. He can’t. Regina is rather pissed, because nothing has been going right for her. Gepetto gets pissed. Emma is able to calm her down a bit and gets Kid August and Henry out of the room.

photo 5

Oh god, you’re here. Do you know how much heteronormative I have been forced into?

To make up for her earlier actions, Regina goes to apologize to Gepetto. After some convincing this she isn’t a villain anymore, Gepetto caves. He accepts her apology and gives her Adult August’s motorcycle bag with the hope that it can give her an answer about her happy ending.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Snowing runs off from the QoD and reaches the Tree of Wisdom. They try to get their answer but it throws them back. The QoD arrives and tells them it isn’t working because Snow is pregnant and their child has the potential for great light and great darkness, which is what is stopping the tree from working. Charming and Snow didn’t know they were pregnant yet, so they have a bit of a freak about that.

I am having a problem with this heart with the greatness potential for darkness thing the show has introduced for Emma. It seems to go against the logic the show has created. Emma is the savior and has the purest magic because she is the produce of true love. Emma has always had such optimism and purity and light. She is the bio-mom of the one with the heart of the truest believer, she has light, white magic, she’s blonde and she has always acted as a counter to dark-haired, darkened-heart Regina’s magic. The show is saying that Emma’s purity is also the reason why she has the greatest potential for darkness but in the show’s context it doesn’t make sense.

Anyway back in Storybrooke, Snow and Charming go to find Maleficent’s ashes because they think Ursula and Cruella are going to resurrect her. They are right. They find her ashes, but Ursula knocks them out with her tentacles because sure. Rumple is there to help, but he disappears before Snow and Charming wake up from Cruella cutting their hands to get the blood for the ritual. The box they stole earlier was just a ruse to get them there.

photo 2
A much better CGI’ed Maleficent is brought back to life.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Maleficent goes to Snow and asks for her to help defeat Evil Queen Regina because Maleficent is also pregnant. Snow refuses. In Storybrooke, Snow meets Regina by Lake Didn’t Exist Until Season Four and tells her she needs her help and for her to keep a secret from Emma. My shipper heart loved this scene, Regina seems reluctant as soon as Emma is mentioned. Snow goes on about doing anything to protect the people you love. It turns into a montage. We see Henry flipping through the story book and finding page about the Author’s house in his bag. Emma is walking down the street with Hook. Remember Snow is saying this to Regina. Rumple is creepily waiting Belle through the shop window and she is kissing Will (Michael Socha) for some reason.

photo 5

Regina asks what her point is and Snow tells her to ensure Emma was born with the lightness she has, Snow somehow killed Maleficent’s unborn child and that is what all her revenge is revolving around. Snow then ask Regina to go undercover with the QoD so they can figure out what they are up against. Regina is against the plan at first but once Snow mentions Henry and Emma’s safety, Regina agrees.

photo 4

I mean, family, babies, Disney, right?

As I said above I didn’t see the #queerytales this week so not sure if anyone else thinks so, but my straight, Rumbelle friend thinks Maleficent’s baby is Lily (young version played by Nicole Munioz). I kinda love that idea. And as long as the baby is nobody’s half-sibling or long lost parent, I am cool.

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