Sunday, October 19, 2014

Once Upon a Time 4.04: "The Apprentice"

“Love is a weapon, dearie. Always has been. It’s just so few people know how to wield it.”
- Rumpelstiltskin

So for a lot of fans, this episode is a huge deal because of the Captain Swan date. But before we get there, we have to start back in the Enchanted Forest a long time ago, long before Rumple was the Dark One. His predecessor is trying to obtain and open the box Rumple found in the house in the season opener. He unfortunately can’t get it because it’s protected by strong magic. The Sorcerer (unnamed as of now) has guarded his secrets well. According to his apprentice, no Dark One has obtained and none ever will. We jump to the present to find Rumple activating the box with the dagger. It develops into the hat and I still say the rose from Beauty and the Beast is inside it. Anyway, we then zip off to Granny’s where Emma actually asks Hook out on a date with Henry’s awkward blessing. Hook insists on planning the evening and that begins with blackmailing the Dark One for his hand. Whether it’s temporary or not remains to be seen but Rumple does warn Hook that there could be negative consequences. The hand belonged to the man he was 300 years ago; a conniving asshole. I can’t wait to see this bargain blow up in his face. As Emma heads out to get ready she finds a very weird puddle around her car. Courtesy of the Snow Queen perhaps?

That evening Emma is all dolled up much to her parents’ excitement. Elsa is a little confused that the dress is so short but hey, she’s rolling with it. David doesn’t even have to really give the “you hurt my daughter I kill you” speech which I suppose is nice. They’re going to spending their evening searching through town census records to see if Anna was ever in town.

Speaking of Anna, in the Fairytale Land that was, she finds Rumple’s castle and ultimately makes a deal with him to find out what he told her parents when they arrived years before. I do hope she read that contract of his before signing it. She has to pour a little vial of potion into an old man’s tea. It turns out to be the Apprentice from the beginning of the episode. Of course, Anna can’t bring herself to do it and dumps the potion in the fire. It turns out she really shouldn’t have done that. Rumple had poisoned the Apprentice the day before and the vial was the antidote. They watch in Rumple’s crystal ball as the Apprentice turns into a mouse and scurries off. Anna freaks out and heads back to the cottage to try and find the poor guy but Rumple says it won’t matter because he won’t change him back. This was all a test to get Anna to prove she can face her inner darkness and turn away from it. She says she never even considered hurting the old man so Rumple has to goad her by saying the only way to be free is to kill him. He gets her to cry and scoops up a tear on his dagger. It seems he has the hat once more. Now what he does with it, I have no idea because I still don’t know what the hell it is supposed to do. Anna manages to get hold of Rumple’s dagger and he explains that the hat collects power and that he hopes to collect enough to not need and be tied to the dagger anymore. And Anna’s parents were seeking the object but clearly they never got it. And he says they were scared of Elsa. While still in possession of the dagger, Anna makes Rumple give her the box with the hat and send her home to Arendelle. She tells Kristoff the truth about the box and Elsa and she’s just not sure what to do about it. I’m guessing she won’t be able to lie no matter how much she wants to.

Emma and Hook start their date at a cute little Italian place. Since when did Storybrooke have an Italian place? Since the second curse I suppose. Emma declines any alcohol, saying she wants to be sober if the Snow Queen tries to ruin their night. Hook seems ready to outdo himself to try and top Walsh (he proposed after all). Though I have to say I thought her carousel coffee date with Neal was pretty damn adorable. Anyway, just as a waiter is bringing over some wine anyway, Wil Scarlet makes a break for it and knocks the wine into Emma’s lap. Just as Rumple warned, Hook’s hand takes over and he gets really angry and edgy. Emma tries to brush it off and calm him down. After all she’ll find Wil eventually and the ice wall is still up so he can’t leave town. Dinner appears not to be a total bust and Hook and Emma share a brief make out session at the front door to the Charmings’ apartment. She really needs to get her own place (which she notes several times). Snow and David are waiting up, quite chipper, to hear about her date but she heads to bed. It’s kind of adorable though. Elsewhere, Wil is trying to break into the library when Hook happens upon him and starts being him up with his cursed hand. I’m guessing his next stop is going to be Rumple.

Elsewhere in town, Henry and Regina are in her vault trying to find something to counteract the spell on Marian. Henry knows that Robin still loves Regina (he’s read the story book after all). He doesn’t understand why she’s not happy about it. He doesn’t really understand the obligations of marriage and having to be an adult. He will one day I’m sure. I am excited to see how they go about finding the author of the story book and if it will actually result in Regina getting what she wants. I so hope she does. She and Robin are just so amazing together.

Hook doesn’t wait until morning to confront Rumple. He climbs right into Rumple’s car as he’s presumably off to dinner with his wife. Hook demands that Rumple remove the hand because he can’t control it. Rumple refuses and says he switched the dagger back after Hook threatened him the last time so the pirate’s leverage is no more. But he will help Hook for an unnamed price. Hook eventually agrees and they are set to meet at the docks in the morning. Hook has to know this really won’t end well for him. Rumple is after the Apprentice in Storybrooke and he makes Hook hold him down while he uses the hat on him. I’m guessing he’s going to be stealing the Snow Queen’s powers at some point so he can be free of the dagger as he explained to Anna in the past.

Emma’s having her own scavenger hunt of sorts. She nearly spins out on an ice patch and then tries to catch the Snow Queen but loses her. Just in time for Belle to call to report a drunken and passed out Wil on the floor of the library. He wakes up locked up at the Sheriff’s station and Emma asks him to spill on why he was cradled up with Alice and the White Rabbit book and had torn out the page with the Red Queen. He denies everything which makes me wonder how this all fits in with the events of the “Wonderland” spin-off last year. I guess we’ll find out soon enough. It also seems that the Snow Queen (going by the name Sarah Fisher) isn’t in any of the town records so she didn’t come with the latest curse. Hmmm, intriguing.

Hook gets his hook back and he’s back to trying to blackmail Rumple about the dagger. But Rumple’s one step ahead of him. He’s got security footage of Hook at the house with the Apprentice and he’s conveniently erased himself from the tape. Imagine the shit that would rain down on Hook if Emma ever saw it. So Hook is now in Rumple’s debt until he dies. I knew that wasn’t going to end well from him. And things are totally taking a fun turn with Operation Mongoose. Henry’s going undercover with Grandpa Gold to see if he can learn who the author of the story book is. After all, the Dark One did get a happy ending.

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