Sunday, April 12, 2015

TV Recap: Once Upon a Time 4-17 - Heart of Gold

They still get me on this show.  Tonight’s twist?  I never saw that coming.  And it is definitely going to change the rest of this season.

The episode starts off with the hunt for the Author.  Mary Margaret and David try to make Emma see that what they did in the past was a onetime mistake.  Yes, a huge one, but not a normal pattern, but she’s not willing to listen.  Still, she is willing to work with them to find the Author before Gold does.

Unfortunately, they are too late.  Gold find the Author trying to form a new quill from a branch of a tree in the forest.  However, since it is from our world, it doesn’t have the magic needed to create the stories.  Gold offers the Author a pen from the Enchanted Forest with the magic needed if he will work with Gold.  The Author agrees, and they disappear in smoke.

Meanwhile, a chained Regina awakes in her vault with Gold standing over her, and we are about to learn what it is that will make her do Gold’s bidding.  But to learn that, we need two flashbacks.

Up first, we flash back to Sherwood Forest.  We meet Robin as a newlywed running a tavern with his wife Marian.  In walks the Sheriff of Nottingham who is there to collect taxes.  Robin has two days to pay or he will lose everything.

Which is when Rumpelstiltskin shows up with a request.  He will give Robin the money he needs to save the tavern if Robin will go back to his thieving ways and get the elixir of the brokenhearted.  We don’t know why Rumple wants it, but it is in a surprising place – Oz.

Robin lands in Oz and runs into Will Scarlett.  Will is living as a thief in Oz (really, this guy gets around.  Wonderland, Enchanted Forest, Oz, our world).  He asks Robin to steal two vials of this elixir.  And Robin tries to do so.  He gets one, but just as he is getting the second, he runs into a problem when he is caught by Zelena.  He manages to use a magic bow and arrow to escape, but with only the one vial.

He returns to Will and apologizes for not getting any of the elixir (which we know to be a lie).  Will explains that he wanted it for himself to help him get over the death of his sister.  The two men hug and the Robin leaves.  Only Will discovers after Robin has left that Robin snuck him the one vile of elixir that Robin was able to steal.

Meanwhile, Robin has his gang of thieves waiting for the Sheriff when he shows up to collect the taxes.  They steal the money he had on him and then gives it to the poor.  Yes, he’s gone back to his thieving ways, but it is to help others.  In fact, this is the start of Robin Hood.  Marian is looking forward to the adventure and promises to stay with him no matter the road ahead.  And if Rumple should show up, Robin can disguise himself with a magic clover pennant he stole while in Oz.

The rest of the episode took place 9 weeks in the past as Robin, Marian, and Rowland attempt to start their new life in New York City.  They have the key to Neil’s apartment, but they’ve just arrived when the newly banished Gold also arrives, expecting to crash there.  He’s trying to throw them out when he collapses.  He’s having a heart attack.  Although, as Gold explains to Robin when he wakes up in the hospital, it’s actually the results of all his magic catching up with him.  He can’t keep it at bay in the real world like he did in Storybrooke.  The only thing that can help him is the elixir, and Gold talks Robin into stealing some.

The location of the elixir in NYC?  The Wizard’s shop, The Wizard of Oak.  Inside, in addition to a hidden Mickey (my friend had to point out to me) and a hidden OZ, he finds it and barely escapes before the police arrive.  Marian isn’t happy about the close call, especially to help Gold, but Robin still takes Gold the elixir and gives it to him on the condition that Gold leaves Robin and his family alone in Neil’s apartment.

Only the elixir does Gold no good.  Enter Marian who swapped out the elixir when Robin wasn’t looking.  But that’s not the biggest twist that she has for Gold.  Marian is dead.  The woman pretending to be Marian?  Zelena.  Her essence escaped when Gold “killed” her, and she traveled into the past with Emma and Hook.  She followed the pair around and, when she realized what Emma was going to do, killed Marian and took on her body via the magic clover that Robin had in the past.  (How Zelena got it we don’t know.  Maybe there was more than one?)  Now, she makes her own deal with a dying Gold.  He gets the real elixir in exchange for including Zelena in the happy ending rewrite that he is planning to get from the Author.  Naturally, he agrees.  And part of her happy ending?  Making sure that Regina never gets hers.

We get one final scene in this story from nine weeks ago.  “Marian” finds that Robin still has Regina’s number in his phone.  She isn’t happy about it, and Robin deletes the number.  He reconfirms that he intends to make their new life work, repeating much of what Marian said to Robin in the forest all those years ago.  The two kiss, only we can see in the mirror Zelena instead of Marian.

Which brings us to Regina learning this shocking news in the present day.  She calls Robin as Gold suggests and Marian answers.  Only “Marian” is only too willing to reveal her true self to Regina and gloat about the life that Zelena is living with an unsuspecting Robin.  Regina hangs up, and Gold explains that Regina will do what he wants or he will give Zelena the go ahead to do away with Robin.  (This is the item he mentioned in the last episode that he had to control Regina.)  Gold’s demand?  Help turn Emma to darkness so the Author can create his rewrites.  Regina refuses.  Gold asks if that is her final answer.  As Regina glares at him in pure hatred, the episode ends.

I must say, they have wasted Will Scarlett in this show.  I was hoping he’d have more to do when they brought him over from Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, but they obviously have no clue how to incorporate him in this group of characters.  And I really still want an update on what is happening in Wonderland.  Okay, rant over.

I never suspected that Zelena was alive.  That twist took me completely by surprise, even the spoiler sites I read hadn’t hinted at it.  I’m not completely thrilled by it since I generally don’t like “This isn’t the character you thought it was” story switches.  Yet I also like it.  For one thing, it allows Robin and Regina to be together without him leaving his wife.  She’s still dead again.  Obviously, she is going to come to town again soon, as will Robin and Rowland.  But how and when is the big question.

Hatred leads to the Dark Side.  Hasn’t Emma watched Star Wars?  It’s so obvious where she is going.  The only question is, will Regina push her toward her destiny, or will she go that way all on her own over her anger with her parents.  And will Regina bring her back, or will someone else?

The friend I watch the show with has an interesting theory.  If the Author has to have a magic pen to write his stories, will his pen work in our world?  Or will the lack of magic mean the characters once again have free choice?  Heck, I’m wondering if magic paper is also involved, although I suspect Gold would have that if it were needed.  The idea that free will might come in to play by the end of the season is interesting since they are definitely talking about what makes a hero and villain on the show right now and the consequences of our actions.

Heck, I’m wondering if Emma could really have her “evil” taken out of her.  Maybe that was just something the Author wrote but doesn’t have any basis in reality.  If so, it’s hard to see her turning dark like Gold wants.  And why does the savior turning dark play into the Author creating rewrites?

A very long range theory my friend also proposed is that Henry is going to become the next Author.  That might be something they hold off until the series finale, but it could also make for some interesting stories in future seasons if they do it now.  Either way, I love it and think it would really work for the character.  Honestly, I hope they do it.

So what did you think about tonight’s episode?  Any theories on what we will see next?  Drop your comments on the twist or anything else in the comments.

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