You know what is a great way to make a terrible episode of television, devote most of the story to a character you have already fairly written off.
Yes, the terrible Robin Hood (Sean McGauire) focused story line did led to a surprising good
for Once Upon A Time twist that brought back a character I felt like had been unfairly written off. But, that doesn’t mean this episode was good, in anyway.
It started with two good scenes but after those we didn’t see Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Snowing (Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas) or Regina (Lana Parrilla) again until the final scene. After recovering from their curtain rod injury, the Charmings go chasing The Author into the woods. Snowing tries to apologizes to Emma for being terrible since the start of this half season. Jennifer Morrison had the only bit of fantastic acting in this episode as Emma got angry and cried realizing how much her parents have been lying to her and that she is only the savior because her parents took her potential for darkness and put it into someone else. I can’t wait until she finds out it was her first.
Rumple (Robert Carlyle) finds The Author in the woods and makes a deal with him. He will help him escape the Charmings if he writes him and the remaining QoD members a happy ending with the magic quill he has. He agrees and they poof away. Rumple ends up back in the heart vault with Regina. He tells her she will do everything he wants her to. He doesn’t explain but hands her a post-it with Robin’s phone number and a phone from 2003.
The majority of our episode takes place in a flashback and in a flashback within in a flashback, all for a character who was written off. So nine weeks ago, Robin, Marian (Christie Lang) and Roland arrive in New York City with the keys to Neal’s apartment, which Regina had for some reason. Whatever, it was stupid. But, not as stupid as this scene:
We then jump to the Sherwood Forest “many years ago” because you know that is how timelines work. Robin and Marian are running a tavern because Robin can’t continue to be a thief and keep his honor. Sheriff Nottingham comes in, acts really rape-y told Marian and tells Robin he has two days to pay his taxes or he is shutting down the tavern.
Back in New York nine weeks ago, Marian, who is actually a good character despite how poorly the show uses her, tells Robin he is being weird and he should have stayed in Storybrooke with Regina if that is what her really wanted. Robin tells her he loves her and it was the honorable thing to do. Then Rumple randomly shows up, tells them to get out of his son’s apartment and has a heart attack. I wish I was kidding.
Robin takes him to the hospital. He tells him he needs the incredibly convenient plot device we have never heard of and never will again. This time it is a potion that Rumple apparently has been taking for while that will lighten his blood to keep it following normally despite all the dark deeds he has done. In the Sherwood Forest whenever, The Dark One goes to Robin and asks him to steal it for him from a wicked queen in the land of Oz.
Robin agrees in both timelines. In New York, he breaks into the shop of a guy Zelena (Rebecca Mader) apparently sent to New York to keep an eye on Emma. I guess that flying monkey boyfriend wasn’t enough. He is quickly able to steal it, jump through a window and get back to the apartment. Marian tells him he is acting crazy and maybe they should let Rumple die, because he is the Dark One after all. He says that isn’t honorable.
In the past story line, Robin jumps to Oz. And meet just the person this terrible episode needed:
Robin and Will (Michael Socha) steal a uniform off a guard and Robin breaks into Zelena’s palace. He finds the potion and some cool looking necklace and runs out. He gets back to Will and then talk about honor and are boring and I wasn’t paying attention. Either Will steals the potion, that can mend a damaged heart, from Robin or Robin let’s him steal it.
When he gets back to his tavern, Robin and his men steal from Sheriff Nottingham and give his money to the poor. This is the start of his Robin Hood days. Marian agrees to stay with him, even though it will be dangerous because she loves him. These two are one of the few straight couples I actually like. Robin actually has chemistry with Marian.
In New York, Robin goes to the hospital and gives Rumple the potion. Robin then says he never wants to see him again and leaves. Rumple realizes the potion isn’t working. Then Marian walks in and says she switched them because she didn’t want him to survive even though Robin did. He is confused and then Marian pulls out the cool necklace from Oz and transforms into Zelena.
I was excited to see Zelena back. Mostly she was a problematic villain, with a tendency to just blab her evil plans to anyone who would listen. The show seemed to resolve that in the season three finale just before Rumple killed her. He didn’t kill her. Her life force followed Emma through the portal into the alternate Enchanted Forest. She then kill Marian, sometime when Emma and Hook left her alone, and turned herself into Marian. So Zelena has been Marian for this entire season. Despite all the plot holes that creates, it seemed cool to have her back. Until she opened her mouth and instantly spilled all her plans.
She is still trying to steal Regina’s happiness by stealing her “true love” away from her. She wants Rumple to help her get her own happy ending and ensure Regina doesn’t. I’m not 100 percent why Zelena keeps telling Robin to go back to Regina. Is she that confident that he won’t?
Back in present day Storybrooke, Regina calls Robin’s number. Marian/Zelena answers. True to Zelena’s character, she then spills everything and her plans to Regina over the phone. Regina is confused, angry and turns to Rumple to figure out what the hell is going on. He tells her she will do whatever he says to help turn Emma dark or he will give Zelena a call and she will kill Robin.
This episode was terrible, but it did end on two excellent SwanQueen lines of dialogue. Regina tells Rumple, “You made me into a monster, but I will not let you do the same to Emma.” Rumple asks Regina if she would give up true love to save the Savior.
As I have said multiple times Once Upon A Time is really bad at humanizing its villains way too quickly. The show has finally decided that Regina (Lana Parrilla) is not a villain anymore. So the show gave us a new villain, Zelena (Rebecca Mader). But, three episode after we met her the show decided to humanize her and try to make us feel empathy for her. Though she is trying to kill Regina through this whole episode.
So this leads us into the opening of Disney’s Hercules. An elderly couple finds a baby in a basket that come out of a green tornado, she then instantly uses magic and freaks out the couple. But, they decide to raise her as their own daughter.
And that’s the gospel truth
We then have a very long funeral scene for that character hardly anyone cares about, cut with Zelena taunting the crap out of Neal’s dad, Rumple (Robert Carlyle). Apparently everything she did to Neal (Michael Raymond-James) and Belle (Emilie de Ravin) was really to get at Rumple and he seems pretty upset about everything.
I don’t have time for this
Back in Oz in Zelena’s past, we see that her dad was a meanie and didn’t allow her to use magic. After her mother died, he becomes even more of a dick and tells her she isn’t really their daughter. She decides to go find out where she is from and doesn’t even sing about it.
I can go the distance
Back in Storybrooke, everyone is having a wake for Neal in a once again Ruby-less Granny’s. Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) stands awkwardly close to Emma (Jennifer Morrison) takes about his time spent with teenage Neal. He agrees to tell Henry (Jared Gilmore) about his dad, of course Hook is super dumb about it and doesn’t think to tell Henry he was childhood friends with Neal. This Henry is far more realistic, but he is just as smart.
Much like the events in Granny’s that happen every half-season, lots of other stuff is going on. Regina is sitting awkwardly at the bar, staring at Robin Hood’s (Sean Magurie) tattoo. Tink (Rose McIver) then comes up and is like, ‘hey your true love. Why didn’t you tell me?’ Well, Tink the writers forgot about you for a while so this is the first time we have seen you in 3b. Regina says she is too nervous to talk to him. Before she can start to process her feelings about Emma with her ex-girlfriend, Zelena bursts in with Rumple’s dagger and challenges Regina to the show-down we saw in the promo. Regina doesn’t remember meeting her in the Enchanted Forest, so Zelena tells her all about them being sisters in an awesome sass throw down.
Regina is enjoying this way too much
Back in Oz, Zelena goes and finds the Wizard. He tells her all about Regina and that Cora gave her up because she wanted her to be royalty. Zelena sees Rumple teaching Regina to use magic and wants to be taught herself because she is more powerful. The Wizard gives her the slippers, which are silver like they originally were in the book but I think most of the fans don’t realize that. Zelena uses the slippers to click herself to the Enchanted Forest and quickly impresses Rumple more than baby-braids Regina was.
Back in Storybrooke, Regina is looking through Cora’s stuff because Zelena told her to. She finds a letter but doesn’t read it out loud and then storms off past Emma and Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin), who is there for some reason. Regina runs off into the woods to read it and Robin Hood finds her.
What? I’m just following you around town. It’s not creepy
Regina asks if the Charmings sent him to give her a pep-talk because she knows that is something her in-laws would do. But sadly, Robin is there because he has been stalking her. She gives him the letter and it is Rumple telling Cora that he finally got his hands on her first born. I’m reluctant to give this show any credit for continuity, so it was probably by accident. But, didn’t Rumple tell young Cora he would one day get her first born. I always thought that was fulfilled because Regina ended up becoming his student, but really it was because Zelena did too and she was far more loyal to Rumple and started seeing him as a father. Did this show actually do a long, thought-out plot twist? Maybe, but let’s get back to it being anti-climatic and shoving straightness down our throats.
So, Regina tells Robin she always used to read the letter and believe that she was a special. He is very nice, despite being dressed like an H&M model, and they are rather cute together. I really wanna hate it, but Lana Parrilla is so good in this scene worrying about Zelena being more powerful than her.
Now, where in Storybrooke could you buy that outfit?
Back in Oz, Rumple is training Zelena. Rumple tells her about the curse, but says Regina has to cast it. She can’t because Rumple knows he is what she loves most and that would kinda defeat the purpose for him. Zelena is carrying on about how Regina got everything while Cora abandoned her. It would be sad if Zelena wasn’t supposed to be filling the villain spot on this show. Give her a few more episodes and she is just going to become another misunderstood hero. Also Rumple cursed her so that she is literally turning green with envy. Really, OUAT? That is why?
Zero to Hero
Before the major showdown, we have a Rumbelle scene to show us that Zelena can make Rumple do anything. Belle finds him in the cage and tells him she isn’t afraid. But, he starts to go all dark one and Belle runs away the best she can in those ridiculous shoes.
Across town, everyone has gathered for the showdown. But, Regina isn’t there yet. Zelena says she must be a coward. Emma isn’t going to take Zelena insulting Regina and stands up for her and then agrees to fight in place, like a god damn Betty McRae in shining gay armor. Snow even smiled and looked all proud about it!
Regina does show up and there is more sassing than fighting. Zelena throws her into the clock tower and tries to take her heart. But as Regina says, she learned from their mom and doesn’t keep her heart inside her chest. Zelena says she will find it and take everything from Regina. Then she flies away on a broom.
The Charmings run into the clock tower after Regina and she tells them what happened. Since she wants Regina’s heart and already took Charming’s (Josh Dallas) courage, they think she is collecting these for a curse.
Snow already doesn’t have a brain in Storybrooke, so Emma’s Dorothy.
Regina goes running back into the woods after the fight. She had buried her heart again and left Robin to guard it. She says she sometimes doesn’t see what is right in front of her and then asks Robin to keep her heart a bit longer. Yeah, it was cute and nice. But, I’m going to view this whole thing as Regina using Robin’s fancy toward her to her advantage.
It’s called a beard
Anyway, the episode ends with Zelena finding the wizard and it turns out to be NotRegina/Emma’s flying monkey boyfriend. So, that was Zelena’s fault. She also tells Rumple she isn’t casting a curse but a second chance.
Overall, the episode was all right. Obviously, I’m on the wrong side to be enjoying any of the canon ships but there was a lot of great sass from Regina.