Monday, May 11, 2015

Once Upon a Time 4.22-4.23: "Operation Mongoose"

“I am the product of your true love. You taught me to believe in hope, and I do. And now I need you to believe in it, too.”
- Emma

Well denizens of Storybrooke, we have made it to the finale! And it looks like we may be getting some much desired answers! First off, we pop back to December 1956 where we first meet Isaac. He’s a struggling writer who is also not a very good color TV salesman. That all changes when he gets a request from a publisher to meet immediately. It turns out the Apprentice is trying to see if Isaac will be the next Author. At that particular moment, the Apprentice is quite pleased to find that Isaac is indeed the man for the task. That is not the case in present day Storybrooke. The Charmings and Regina (and Robin) are hunting through the library of blank books and coming up empty when August shows up with an assist. He knows who can stop Isaac; the Apprentice. With a little help from Blue, they get the Apprentice out of the hat and restored to safety just in time to learn that they need to trap Isaac back in the book and they need the page with the door and the key to do it. So while Regina, Emma and the Apprentice make a break for the pawn shop in case Rumple has similar ideas, the Charmings head back to the loft to obtain said page and key. Unfortunately, Isaac has just finished writing the new story (complete with happier memories for Rumple of Bae) and the magic starts to take hold.

Henry wakes up at the loft and finds everyone is missing. Like the entire town. So what does the boy wonder do? He steals a car! He heads to a diner where he sees Isaac’s book “Heroes and Villains” and somehow manages to get a talk Isaac is giving. Henry threatens to stick Isaac back in the page if he doesn’t admit to where Henry’s family is so Isaac lays it out for him. They’re in the new book and he says Henry will never be able to save them because he doesn’t come from a magical world. If those aren’t fighting words, I don’t know what is! So Henry tackles Isaac and pulls them both into the book. Isaac ends up knocking Henry out and tying him to a wagon to let an ogre eat him but Rumple, now a heroic and beloved knight, comes to the rescue. This gives Henry a chance to escape and he ends up finding Regina (by reading the copy of the book he has in his pocket…clever move). He finds Regina in her cave and tries to convince her that he is her son and they’re trapped in a book but she isn’t having any of it. Not one bit! She even scoffs at Operation Mongoose. She’s off to rob a tax collector carriage and Henry is totally crimping her style.

Isaac is still wandering about the forest and gets nabbed by the dwarves (who are of course now evil). They drag him before the Evil Queen (Snow White!) and he manages to talk himself out of getting beheaded. She blathers on about James and how he knows where Regina will be so that Snow can kill her and finally get revenge. So when Regina robs the carriage, she gets Snow and Charming instead of tax collectors. But (thanks to Henry), Regina gets saved by Robin Hood. She still doesn’t believe that he’s her true love even when he bandages her hand and buys her a drink. But clearly things are not going her way (do they ever?) when Robin drops the marriage bomb. As in, he’s getting married that day. Not to Marian though. To Zelena (who I’m guessing is still pregnant). Henry is pretty horrified by this too when he finally catches up with Regina. She tells him that he gave her the worst thing possible: hope. When she suggests Henry go find his other mother, Henry says he can’t because she’s not in the book. But when he name-drops the Savior and says she’s super powerful, Regina does remember hearing rumors from a long time ago about a woman who called herself the Savior. And we finally see Emma, locked in a tower on an island somewhere. Girl could use a comb and a shower and maybe some human interaction. Poor thing isn’t looking too good!

Before Henry gets a chance to find Emma, Isaac pays Rumple, Belle and their new baby boy (I guess baby Neal had to go somewhere…honestly I was a little worried that Henry just left him in the bassinet in Storybrooke) a visit and warns Rumple that Regina is trying to ruin everything Rumple has. Deep down, Rumple knows he is evil and none of this is real and that Bae didn’t die in the Ogre Wars. He died because of Rumple’s cowardice. A little while later, Rumple brings this up with Belle and she says that he will always make the right decision. He’s still not so sure and we get a repeat of the chipped cup. I know it’s just china but I got a little giggly at it.

Henry ends up helping Hook steal the Jolly Roger (this version of Hook is a serious wimp and I kind of cheered at his ineptness). They take the ship from Blackbeard and rescue Emma from the tower. She remembers everything but has no power in this world. Still, they are going to try and stop the wedding. But first they need to haul butt away from the prison because Lily is on guard and she turns into a dragon. Luckily, Emma does some quick thinking and they knock her out of the sky into the ocean. Emma and Hook do a bit of flirting while Henry is off finding food. Elsewhere, Snow rips out Doc’s heart and crushes it to show how disappointed she is none of the dwarves or Granny have brought her Regina and Henry’s heads on a platter. But just as Henry comes back with food, the evil Charmings descend and Hook pays the ultimate price. At least he didn’t die in Emma’s arms like Neal did (yes still bitter). But Emma uses this pain to convince Regina to at least try to ruin the wedding and tell the man she loves how she feels. Unfortunately, Rumple being Rumple decides to try and stop them from crashing the wedding.

Things don’t go as planned as Emma faces off against Rumple. Regina is supposed to bust up the wedding but she can’t. She’s too busy saving Henry from Rumple’s blade. I’m honestly surprised Henry didn’t throw out the “I’m your grandson” card to try and stay Rumple’s sword. But ultimately, it is Henry who saves everyone. He’s the next Author (as many fans predicted) and Henry manages to return everyone back to Storybrooke. The Apprentice pays Henry a visit and Henry is contemplating using the quill to bring back Neal. But when the Sorcerer explains that his death can’t be undone, Henry destroys the quill. The Charmings nab Isaac as he tries to flee town and learn that he did what he did because of his crappy boss at the TV store. What a dick! Things are back to normal in town for the most part (hey they are having a party which means some crisis was just averted). Sure Zelena is still having Robin’s baby but Regina insists they will deal with before heading off for a romantic moonlit stroll. And Emma can’t quite bring herself to say “I love you” to Hook. At least not yet. And Emma promises Lily she will help locates her Dad. Because apparently when two dragons get it on, they don’t know who they are in human form (hence the egg to begin with). But all of that happiness (and partying) is going to have be put on hold. Rumple is dying and the Apprentice tries to trap the Darkness in the hat. But it fails and tries to take over the Apprentice. Emma stops it and it flees but they have to go after it. The Sorcerer bound it to a human soul in order to keep it at bay. They need to find the Sorcerer (who turns out to be Merlin so maybe we’ll see some more Camelot next season) so he can destroy the Darkness once and for all. Rumple has a rough road ahead to become the man he used to be but I’m guessing Belle’s declaration of love will help. It seems Will really is just a rebound and she’s still in love with her husband and willing to fight for their relationship. And in the end, Emma offers herself up to take the Darkness and become the new Dark One to save Regina from regressing. She tasks her family with finding a way to save her from the Darkness as heroes this time.

Man next season is going to be awesome. I like that they did a paradigm shift as the cliffhanger for this season and aren’t introducing big people from other stories. I have a feeling they will be using the current cast of characters to tell next season’s tale. I will be interested to see how they split the season (as the network seems to like to do that now). Overall, a satisfying finale and for once, I’m not fuming over the status of Outlaw Queen!

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