Devil's Due - 5x14
by Samantha Lee - @samsjag
In this episode we see another chapter in the difficult marriage of Rumple and Milah. There is also a Captain Swan reunion and a tender moment for Regina. Finally, Hades makes a deal with the Dark One.
First we see Hades torturing Hook who refuses to choose who must stay in the Underworld. Hades threatens to throw him into the River of Lost Souls as punishment. He is particularly unhappy that Hook's friends brought Hope to the Underworld.
Rumple arrives at the Underworld Pawn Shop where he finds a note from Pan telling him that the shop is his to use. He brews up a potion and uses a crystal ball to find "who he seeks" and has a vision of Belle. She seems happy and well, but for some reason Rumple becomes upset and he drops the ball which shatters to pieces.
Meanwhile, Regina, Hook, Emma and the Charmings are cleaning up the apartment after Cerberus' attack. They are making more plans to go rescue Hook. Rumple shows up and tells them that he has decided to help them after all because it's the only way they will ever get out of the Underworld. His plan involves just himself, Emma and a "helpful dead person".
Siege Perilous - 5x03
by Samantha Lee - @samsjag
This week Once Upon a Time was an hour of action that ended with a couple of surprising twists. The story focused on Charming and his need to feel useful when his loved ones are in danger. I thought it was a nicely written episode with a script that was tighter than a pair of David's Storybrooke jeans.
The story opens in Present Day Storybrooke where we find six of our favorite dwarves whistling a familiar tune as they mine for Fairy Dust. Suddenly, the Dark Swan shows up and steals Happy's pick axe. Then we flashback to Camelot where Regina, still pretending to be the Savior, is frantically studying Merlin's spell books and trying to concoct a potion to free him from the tree. Belle, Mary Margaret and Emma are all searching Merlin's tower for clues and ideas. A stray comment from Belle and a suggestion from Mary Margaret gives Regina a flash of inspiration. If she can't transform Merlin back from a tree, maybe they can still find a magical means of communicating with him. She finds just the spell she needs, but it requires a special ingredient: Crimson Crown, a very rare form of toadstool. Charming has been tending Baby Neal throughout this exchange. Arthur walks in and says that Crimson Crown can be found in the Forest of Eternal Night. Fired up by the additional testosterone in the room, Charming tosses the baby to Mary Margaret, gets suited up for battle and with Arthur by his side sets off on the Quest to find the Crimson Crown.
Unforgiven - 4 x 14
Recap by Samantha Lee - @SamsJag
Last week Once Upon a Time returned with an action packed episode that saw Rumple and the Queens of Darkness talking themselves into Storybrooke. This week in “Unforgiven” Rumple continues to guide Ursula and Cruella from behind the scenes as they work on resurrecting Maleficent. We also discover the dark secret that Snow and Charming have been hiding about Emma.
The clock changes to 2:38am. Mary Margaret awakes to find David is missing. She goes and takes Neal out of his cradle. Suddenly, Maleficent, Ursula and Cruella are then in the apartment. Just as quickly Neal is gone from her arms and appears in Maleficent's grasp. Mary Margaret begs, “Please don't hurt my family!” Maleficent replies sweetly, “When I'm finished you won't have a family left to hurt.”
Then Mary Margaret awakes again. It's still 2:38 am. It was just a dream. David is not in bed. She finds him awake, alone and drinking. He is worried about Ursula and Cruella being in town. She tells him about her nightmare and that Maleficent was in her dream. They are worried that the other two will reveal their dark secret about what they did to Maleficent in the past. They must get them out of town.
We are left to wonder what terrible deed the Charmings did so long ago in the Enchanted Forest. What did they do to Maleficent?
Back in the Enchanted Forest, Snow and Charming return home from their honeymoon only to find everyone in the castle under a sleeping curse. They call out for Regina, but it's Maleficent, Ursula and Cruella who step out of the shadows. They want to make a deal with the Charmings.
In present day Storybrooke, Mary Margaret and David have coffee at Granny's while Cruella and Ursula stand at the counter waiting for Granny to wait on them or even acknowledge them. Will Scarlet walks in and Granny hands him “the usual” which is two coffees to go. Cruella comments that if Granny still “wolfed out” she would turn her into a coat for her collection. Regina and Henry arrive. Ursula and Cruella suggest that Regina could help them get some service by ripping out Granny's heart. Regina sends Henry to her office and then tells them they'd better not bring up her dark past in front of Henry again or she'll kick them out of town.
David and Mary Margaret ask Regina about getting rid of Cruella and Ursula, but she says she wants to give them a chance to redeem themselves. David says they must be watched and Regina tells him that's a job for the Sheriff's Department, not the Mayor. Emma and Hook arrive for lunch. Hook and Ursula exchange a meaningful look as she passes by. David rushes to Emma and says he's sure they are up to something and he wants to follow them right now. Emma whines about missing lunch, but she goes with David anyway.
Heros & Villains - 4 x 12
Episode Recap by Samantha Lee - @SamsJag
Hello Once Fans! Now that we've had a few days to recover from the Once Upon a Time Mid-Season Finale, let's take a look back at how it all played out. In this recap I'm going to do something a little different and do each storyline separately. But I'll still start at the very beginning.
Our Friends From Arendelle
New BFF's Emma and Elsa along with Anna, Kristoff, The Charmings, and Hook are gathered at the road out of town. The Snow Queen's ice wall still stands, but this time Elsa is able to melt it away. Anna makes a dash for the town line, but Emma holds her back. She senses there is still magic there. Sure enough, there is still a curse on the town. Quelle surprise! Based on her knowledge of the Snow Queen's plan, Emma declares that the new curse is a one-way ticket to our World Without Magic. Anyone can leave Storybrooke, but they can't come back. Ever. Got that? Those are the new rules. Of course this doesn't really matter to the Arendelle gang since they need a portal to get home.
While everyone else goes off to Granny's, Hook reports back to his master, Rumple, with the news of the new curse. Rumple isn't too bothered. He is still focused on his plan to use the hat to free himself from the dagger and get out of town. Rumple accidentally lets it slip that he does not want to meet Anna face to face because she knows about the hat and his plan and he doesn't want the town Heroes to find out what he's up to.
Since getting rid of Anna is in his interest, Rumple uses the magic broom to find the portal that the Sorcerer used to bring Ingrid to Storybrooke. Then he uses Hook to disclose the location of the Door to Arendelle. Rumple knows that Hook is a loose cannon now, and he speaks directly through Hook's heart putting words in his mouth, literally. Emma senses that something is very wrong with Hook, but he is unable to give her any warning about Rumple's plan.
Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and the Charming's go the lakeside mansion and find the portal door waiting for them. They say their farewells. Even prickly Emma hugs Elsa. Elsa asks Charming to thank Mr. Gold and Hook for all their help, and then she and Kristoff walk through the portal. Anna stops to ask about Mr. Gold. She wonders if he was a Fairy Godfather in the Enchanted Forest. Charming explains that he was really an evil wizard named Rumplestiltskin. Anna tells them that she met him before and she knows that he's a dirty liar! She warns them about Rumple's plan for the Sorcerer's Hat before she leaves for Arendelle too.
The Arendelle story closes out with a small flash forward. Elsa admires a portrait of her mother and aunts. Anna enters wearing her wedding gown. They have saved Arendelle from Hans and his brothers and now Anna and Kristoff are finally getting married. They tell each other that all the trouble they went through was worth it for them to be together again as sisters should be. Elsa takes Anna's hand and prepares to walk her down the aisle.
So ends the Frozen story on Once Upon a Time. I enjoyed getting to know these characters. My compliments again to the guest cast who did such an amazing job of bringing their characters to life. I loved seeing Elsa and Emma become friends and draw strength from each other. My only regret was that Elsa never got to wear modern clothes! I'm sure this was dictated by some Disney licensing rule, but I would have liked to see her out of the blue dress just once. Yet, Ingrid lived in our world wearing our clothes for decades and when given the chance she reverted back to her Snow Queen gown. So maybe there's something special about wearing glittery gowns with long trains that we all need to try?