"Heroes and Villains" is the 77th episode of Once Upon a Time.
In the aftermath of the Snow Queen's spell, our heroes try to pick up the pieces while Regina has to make a difficult choice and Hook's fate hangs in the balance as Gold's quest for power threatens everything he holds dear. Meanwhile, in the Enchanted Forest of the past, an intrusion during Belle's stay at Rumplestiltskin's dark castle will wreak havoc in both the past and the future.
ONCE UPON A TIME
The Frozen gals are ready to go home.
At the Storybrooke town line, the ice wall put up by the Snow Queen still remains, despite her defeat. Mary Margaret, Emma, David, Hook, Henry, Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff stand before it, the royal ginger stating the obvious that "that is a lot of ice." Elsa replies, with a smile on her face, that it is time for it to come down. She then approaches the wall and blasts magic from the palms of her hands, causing the ice barrier to break down and even turn to snow. A cheerful Anna exclaims that it is now time they go home, cheerfully skipping near the boarder, but is quickly stopped by Emma, who tells her not to take a step further. Anna then remembers that if she leaves she won't be able to return, but reminds Emma she does want to leave town. The blonde senses some of Ingrid's magic still remains, though. Emma approaches the line and puts her hand up, making contact with a force field. She exclaims that Ingrid must have sealed the town shut since she wanted to turn Storybrooke into her very own ice castle, and obviously wanted to be able to protect it. Anna then wonders how they're going to get home, to which Elsa replies walking wouldn't get them there anyway since they're in another realm. "We need to find a portal... or magic beans... something," the savior jumps in. Kristoff comments on his own confusion, but is ignored. Anna appears to be in a hurry to get home, but Elsa tries to assure her they don't need to be in a rush, as they should be careful, and Arendelle will still be there as they figure things out. Anna then realizes she and Kristoff forgot to tell her one important detail; Kristoff defends them by stating a lot was going on. "Tell me what?" Elsa wonders, to which Anna reveals Arendelle has been conquered by Hans and his twelve brothers. A now worried Elsa turns to her blonde friend, exclaiming they need to find a way home now. Emma nods, understanding their situation, and promises to do their best. Meanwhile, Hook who has been staying quiet the whole time, watching them, starts walking backwards, away from the crowd.
And Rumple is ready for them to go as well.
Over at Mr. Gold Pawnbroker & Antiquities Dealer, the Dark One himself, Rumplestiltskin is seen squeezing Captain Hook's heart until the pirate makes his way all the way back to the shop. As the pirate suffers from the pain of having his heart squeezed, he updates Rumple on everyone's current predicament - Ingrid having blocked off the town's boarder, thus meaning once you leave then you are unable to return. Rumple finally lets go of the heart, causing Hook to let out a sigh of relief. "If only the Snow Queen had succeeded, everything would've been much simpler," the Dark One states. "Yes, perfect cover for your exit, but everybody survived. Sorry for the inconvenience," the pirate replies with a smirk on his face. Rumple then wonders about their "friends from Arendelle", to which Hook replies they're still searching for a portal back. Rumple admits that that is a problem, as they can't have that Anna running around town. Hook then realizes that she knows everything, trying to cleave himself from the dagger so he can run away with his power, adding that Emma told him Belle confessed about knowing Anna. Rumple tries to pass it off as just a supposition, but Hook wonders why else he would care, "You can't have your blissfully ignorant wife-" "lose either her bliss or ignorance," adding for the pirate to watch Anna and make sure she comes no where near the shop. "But if I had the choice-", but Rumple won't hear anymore from the pirate, stating that his usefulness was unexpectedly extended, but tonight, when the stars in the sky align with the stars on the Sorcerer's hat, he will finally do what he should've done many years before and crush Hook's heart. The pirate wonders while he's out doing the Dark One's dirty work, what he plans to do. Rumple simply chuckles, stating he's going to wake his wife, and prepare her for his greatest gift - she's going to have the life she always wanted.
Yes, apparently they still make Rumbelle episodes.
In the Enchanted Forest of the past, Belle is seen snooping around the Dark Castle, opening up Rumplestiltskin's china hutch, and admiring his different possessions from all over the world. She starts to pick up a sword, but is startled by the words, "Don't cut yourself, dearie." Rumple stands behind her, having returned home. Belle tries to apologize, stating she thought, but is cut off from there - Rumple knowing she thought he would be gone for a few more days, so it would be fine if she played with his "toys". Belle argues that he said he wouldn't be back, but the Dark One says he lied, as he wanted to see "how the mouse would play while the cat was away", then adding that the "mouse" has done very little cleaning, proceeding to wipe his finger across the dusty table. Belle argues that he just has so many things here from all over the world and that she was just curious, and that he never talks about them. "Well you're the help," Rumple replies, to which Belle storms up to him, replying that he's rude. The Dark One argues he could be much worse, but Belle comments that he's not. She then sits up on the table, stating he's seen the world - something she's always wanted to do, yet he shares nothing. Rumple replies with nothing but that she's just mouthy, and foolishly brave. "You know, if you were going to kill me, you would've done it long ago," then asking about what he's seen, wondering about her boss's trip to Camelot. "Good for me, not so good for Camelot," Rumple replies. He then poofs up what he calls a "souvenir", handing it to Belle, asking her to clean it for him. The maid then asks what it is, to which Rumple reveals it is a magic gauntlet, designed to locate a person's biggest weakness. Belle comments on how ominous it is, but wonders why he'd even need this, with all his power he could destroy any foe. Rumple explains that it's about manipulation, and for that he needs to know their weakness, which, for almost everybody, is the thing they love most, "This will simply point me in the right direction."
Back in present day Storybrooke, a sleeping Belle lies on a bed in the pawn shop. Rumple approaches her, tickling her cheek with his finger. She giggles, slowly waking up, and is surprised by the breakfast tray sitting next to her. Rumple reveals he has a much bigger surprise for her, kneeling down and stating he thinks it's time they have a proper honeymoon, then asking how she'd like to see a "magical city" called New York. He tells her that after breakfast she needs to pack a suitcase because it's time she go out and see the world. Belle smiles at the sound of this, very touched by what her husband is doing. She then reaches out to take his hand and he smiles.
Robin and Marian reunite, much to Regina's dismay.
At Regina's vault, she and Robin Hood stand inside, Marian is lying down. The Merry Man holds a box that once contained his wife's heart, and Regina takes it out, putting it back into the body of the wife of her true love. Marian lets out a gasp, awakening from her indefinite period of slumber. She sits up, startled, and starts looking around. At the sight of her of her husband, she jumps up, embracing him with a hug; meanwhile Regina stands in the background, obviously jealous. As the husband and wife hug, Robin looks over Marian's shoulder at the woman he wishes he could be with instead.
Marian gives Outlaw Queen her blessing.
Later on at Granny's Diner, the formerly Evil Queen, Regina, is sat at the bar, appearing heartbroken. The door to the diner swings open, and in comes Marian, who takes a seat next to the depressed one. Regina, not looking up to see who it is at first, asks to be left alone, but Marian says she thought they should talk. Regina looks up, surprised, and is thanked by her true love's wife for saving her life... twice. Regina kindly tells her to just forget about it, but the woman states she can't, because Robin can't, and she sees the way the two of them look at one another, and she understands, since for her, it's only been a short time since she's been away, but for him, years have passed and his heart has moved on. Marian finally comes out and says she thinks Robin's in love with Regina, and she thinks the formerly Evil Queen feels the same. Regina can't help but smirk, stating it doesn't matter since Robin is a man of honor, he made a vow to Marian, and he intends to keep it. "I don't want him to be with me out of obligation, I want to be chosen," Marian argues, adding that if his heart leads to her then fine, but if it leads to Regina, like she suspects it will, then she will step out of the way. Regina appears touched by this, and Marian exits the diner.
That little guy is better than life itself.
Over at the Lakeside Mansion, a walking broom stick makes its way up the steps, followed by Rumplestiltskin and Captain Hook. The pirate angrily exclaims the Dark One may have gotten the best of him this time, but he promises that in the next life it won't be so pleasant for him. Rumple replies that due to his immortality, Hook will have quite the wait. He then uses magic to swing the door open so the broom can continue leading them to where they need to go. As they walk, Hook asks if he has to die then at least give him all the information, starting with whose house this is. Rumple reveals that it's a powerful Sorcerer's, a man who was able to bring the Snow Queen over to this realm, thus meaning he has more power than even the Dark One. Rumple suspects there must be a portal in the mansion somewhere, and they need to find it. The walking broom then lifts up its arms and is able to make a portal door visible immediately. This impresses Rumple, but continues to worry Hook.
A revelation is made while Henry spends time with grandma.
Meanwhile, back at the pawn shop, Belle is seen awkwardly trying to close a stuffed up suitcase. She is interrupted by the words "Hey grandma," coming out of the mouth of none other than Henry, who walks in, carrying the storybook, and asks if she's taking a trip. Belle smiles at the sight of the pre-teen, and reveals Rumple is taking her to New York for their honeymoon. Henry is confused by this though, as he states the Snow Queen put a spell on the town line so anyone who leaves cannot return, "Didn't you hear?" Belle is surprised by this, having not heard, but assures Henry that her husband must have found a way to remove it. She then notices Henry looks a little down, so proceeds to ask what's wrong. He places the storybook on the counter, revealing to Belle that the magical book has everyone's stories in it, that it started all of this, and a lot of bad things keep happening to Regina because of it. Belle assures Henry that it doesn't mean those things will always happen to her, adding that she wouldn't worry, as the formerly Evil Queen is on a much better path now anyways. Feeling a bit better now, Henry replies with a "Thanks, grandma," to which Belle adds that it's better he call her Belle. The two chuckle over this, and Belle announces she's going to need another suitcase; asking Henry to help her look. The pre-teen drops his back, and the two begin searching the pawn shop. As Henry climbs a latter, he tells Belle that when she's in New York that she needs to check out the public library, because, no offense to her, it blows the one in Storybrooke away. When reaching for a suitcase, Henry adds that it has these lions outside of it, but as he pulls the luggage down, numerous other items come down with it, hitting the ground with a loud thud, causing Belle to jump. She laughs, asking if Henry's alright. The boy apologizes stating he'll pick up everything. Belle laughs at Henry's comment about the strange things his grandfather keeps in the shop, but suddenly her attention is caught by an item - the gauntlet. A look of surprise and anger comes across her face; Henry notices and asks what's wrong, adding that he'll clean it up. Belle says it's nothing, just that she didn't expect to see the gauntlet here, and as Henry goes back to cleaning, the expression on Belle's face goes back to that of having made the revelation that she was betrayed in some way.
In the Enchanted Forest of the past, Rumplestiltskin is sat at his dinner table, and pulls the tray containing his tea cup towards him. Belle stands next to him, exclaiming she figured out why he collects so many magical items - he has a hole in his heart. "There's only one thing I'm missing from my life right now," Rumple replies, "clean clothes," and with the snap of his fingers, Belle is outside of the Dark Castle and out doing her master's laundry. "You're just upset because you know I'm right," Belle says to absolutely no one, adding that she is not talking to herself (even though she is) because she knows Rumple can and does listen to him. After hanging up a white sheet, Belle goes to pick up some more laundry from the basket, but stops when she hears the sound of a little dalmatian puppy. Belle greets the small animal, but it runs off into the woods. As she goes after it, she ends up losing track of where it is, asking out loud where it went. Suddenly, however, Belle is grabbed by a covered figure, who puts their hand over her mouth and drags her away.
Hook has saved the day.
Back at Granny's Diner, the door opens and in comes Captain Hook. He calls out to Emma, telling her to come celebrate, for he may not be the savior but he just saved the day. Emma turns to Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff, who are sat at a table with her and tells them to hang on, that she'll be back in a second. She then joins Hook at the bar where the pirate is seen pouring rum into two cups. Emma asks what it is exactly that they are celebrating, to which Hook reveals he found a portal to Arendelle. Emma's shocked, but toasts with her boyfriend, and they both take a sip of their drink. The blonde asks, just to be sure, that he found a portal. Hook clarifies that he actually found Rumple who told him where to locate one - a door in the ballroom of the Lakeside Mansion, "Yes, it appears our Rumplestiltskin has turned over a new leaf." "Apparently dozens of leafs, are you sure we can trust him?" Emma asks.
At the pawn shop, Rumple is seen holding up Hook's heard, speaking into it, having been commanding the pirate to say everything he has since arriving at the diner. The Dark One answers Emma with "Positive, the crocodile truly has changed."
Back in the diner again, Hook tells his love that Rumple gave a long winded explanation about the portal.
"About how it brought the Snow Queen, Rumple speaks.
"Into this land," Hook finishes; then adding he doesn't recall how. Emma appears surprised by all of this.
"But the important thing is it works," Rumple speaks, once more.
"All they have to do is walk through it," the pirate exclaims, under command. Emma exclaims that they should go do that, but Hook tells her to go on ahead, as he got bruised during the curse.
Rumple continues that he needs to get it seen to.
As Hook prepares to walk off, Emma stops him, putting her hand on his cheek and asks what's wrong, as he's acting strange. The pirate assures her that he's fine, however, and kisses her.
"See you around, love," Rumple speaks into the heart.
Hook tries to walk away, but is unable to at first, still forcefully grabbing Emma's hand. When he's finally able to let go, he exits the diner; Emma looks at him strange.
Rumple lowers the heart.
Belle sends Rumple a message.
In the Enchanted Forest of the past, outside of the Dark Castle where Belle was suppose to be doing laundry, Rumple makes his way out, calling out for her, in search. He looks into the woods and calls out, "Don't tell me you've done something stupid like running away." A raven swoops in above the Dark One, flying around before dropping a sand dollar which Rumple catches. Realizing something is up, he waves his hand on the shell which pops up a holographic message of what appears to be a tied of Belle. The maid calls out to her master, stating she is suppose to ask for the gauntlet from Camelot. He is to bring it to the base of Demon's Bluff or her new captors will kill her. Laughs are heard in the background of the message and a scared Belle begs Rumple to help. The message then ends, and Rumple is enraged by the position he's been put in. He looks back up at the raven that still flies above him, and the Dark One yells that he knows where the bird came from, who it's master is, and she is crossing a line; the raven flies away.
Regina happy for 3... 2... 1...
Regina and Robin Hood sit on a bench at a lake in present day Storybrooke, watching Marian and Roland who play by the water. The formerly Evil Queen points out that the young boy appears happy, to which Robin replies having his mother back in his life has meant so much to him. Regina states that she understands, that at the end of the day their children come first. "Regina-," Robin tries, but is cut off by his true love states that Marian is, after all, Roland's mother. "I choose you," the Merry Man finally says. Regina can't help but laugh at first, but soon realizes he is serious. The expression on her face changes to that of a serious one and she asks what about Roland, what this whole situation will look like to the poor boy. "It's going to look like a messy, complicated situation, which it is," Robin replies, "but if I went back to my life with Marian, I'd be living a lie." Regina can't help but laugh, not believing this. Robin continues that the best example he can leave for his son is to live truthfully, to follow his heart, "to you." He then pulls the missing page from the storybook out of his coat pocket; he and Regina both admire it, but their happiness comes to an end the moment Roland calls out for his father's help.
Robin and Regina hop off of the bench and run over towards Roland, who's standing next to his unconscious mother, who appears to be slowly freezing once again. Robin exclaims that she thought his wife was cured, but Regina states there must have been some remnant of the spell left inside her, "Even by now, her heart should be affected." "So there's no hope?" Robin asks, panicky. Regina reveals that since the ice wall is down, she may be able to cross the town line into the Land Without Magic, thus cancelling out the spell. The former thief asks what they're waiting for, stating they should get Marian out of Storybrooke. However, Regina reveals that once leaving, you cannot come back, due to the Snow Queen's spell. And since they can't just send Marian into a mysterious world alone, Robin and Roland will have to accompany her, thus meaning the family will be unable to return.
Heart to heart villain talk.
In her car, Regina is sat, watching over the town line where her true love and his family are saying goodbye to the Merry Men, including Will Scarlet. The door to the passenger seat of her vehicle opens and in comes none other Rumplestiltskin, who exclaims, "I hate goodbyes, don't you?" Regina makes it clear that if he has come here to gloat then he should know she is not in the mood; she proceeds to then ask what it is he wants. Rumple reveals that he and Belle are taking a trip, so he came to bid her a farewell. "Have you been under a rock all day? There is a curse on the town line; if you leave, you can't come back," the formerly Evil Queen replies, to which Rumple says, "Hence the goodbye." He then asks Regina to tell Henry he'll miss him, "and his charming attempts at snooping around my shop." Regina's surprised that Rumple knew, to which he asks wouldn't she; then wondering if she would possibly tell him why. Regina reveals he was looking for the impossible - her happy ending. Since Storybrooke has her written as a villain, and villains always lose, she thought the Dark One may have a clue as to who the Author is and then she could make him change that. "Intriguing idea," Rumple replies, "but alas, I have no clue to his identity." Regina says she knows, stating once more that villains don't get happy endings, to which Rumple replies in her case it appears true. "You and Belle seem... content. How were you able to get one?" Regina then asks out of curiosity. The Dark One reveals because he took it, and that, quite frankly, Regina should stop moping and do the same thing, "I mean, if this Marian died, all would be well, would it not?" Regina struggles to say that that is no longer her. Rumple reminds her that being good doesn't always mean good things will happen, to which Regina points out that sounds like the old Rumplestiltskin talking, as she thought he changed. "More like evolved," he replies, since coming back from the dead and being enslaved to the Wicked Witch tends to do that. He then continues that if Regina doesn't think villains get happy endings then just watch him take one. "There's no author of my fate, no storybook of my destiny. I've been a villain a thousand times over and yet I'm about to get everything I desire," he makes clear. Rumple then takes Regina's hand, stating that as unbelievable as it sounds, he wants the same for her, and with that, he exits the car.
Outlaw Queen parts ways for the winter hiatus.
Regina finally gets out of her car as well, where she joins the others. Marian hugs Roland, shivering from the ice inside of her. The formerly Evil Queen tells her true love that there is a diner right down the road, and as Robin tries to say something, she cuts him off, asking if he has the map she gave him, and the money, which should be plenty enough to get them started. Robin thanks his true love; Marian's shivering becomes more noticeable, so her husband and Regina comfort her; Regina says she needs to get across the town line. Robin tells his wife and son to go ahead and go across the line, as he just needs a moment. Marian nods, and turns to Regina, thanking her for everything. She then takes Roland's hand and they both cross the line where Marian is instantly cured. An expression of happiness comes across her face and she starts laughing. "Mommy," Roland calls out, cheerfully. Marian picks him up and spins him around, only to notice Storybrooke is no longer visible. "Robin?" she calls out. Meanwhile, on the other side of the line, Regina urges Robin that his family is waiting. Robin gets ready to cross the line, but not without one final long and passionate kiss with his true love. He holds Regina's hand as he steps across the line, leaving the woman he loves forever, and they finally let go when he is fully across. Roland calls out for his father, who immediately picks him up and carries over her shoulder. Regina and Robin both look in the direction of one another, but the latter is unable to see those he parted ways with. He sadly joins Marian, putting his arm around his shoulder, and begins walking down the road with his family. As Regina watches, she pulls the missing page of the storybook out of her coat pocket. After getting one last look at it, she begins tearing it into pieces and finally drops it on the ground, proceeding to walk away.
Enter the big bads of 4B.
In the Enchanted Forest of the past, Rumplestiltskin has arrived at Demon's Bluff, waving the gauntlet around, exclaiming that he has what she wants and now for her to show herself. Belle comes running out of the cave, hands bound together; she begs for help. "Yes Rumplestiltskin, do help her," a voice calls out as a flock of birds fly around in a group, finally forming a figure - Maleficent. Upon seeing her, the Dark One admits that he is impressed, as he didn't think she had it in her. "I'm not here for your praise," the sorceress replies, "give me the gauntlet and you can have your wench back." Rumple chuckles, commenting that since she asked so nicely, he raises his hand, using magic, and lifts Maleficent into the air and begins choking her. Rumple questions if she really thought she could steal from the Dark One and live; then asks if she has any last words, to which the sorceress replies she is not alone. Rumple is confused, as he looks around, and sees a tentacle stretch out and wrap itself around Belle's neck, and another around her chest, choking her as well. "The sea witch," Rumple exclaims, to which a laugh is heard, and Ursula makes her way out of the cave, walking on legs as her two hip tentacles squeeze the life out of Belle. The witch comments that she is such a pretty thing, and that it's such a shame she'll have to crack her pipes. "Harm one hair on her head and Maleficent burns," threatens Rumple. "And Ursula will kill your maid, and where will that leave us?" asks Cruella De Vil, who emerges from the cave as well.
One last cute Rumbelle moment before... yunno.
"Cruella! Thought I caught a whiff of desperation and gin," Rumple replies, adding that he's surprised to see them all here when the last time they crossed "things weren't going your way," then threatening if they don't hand back Belle then things won't this way either. Cruella asks if she should get the Dark One a step-stool so he can look into her eyes when he threatens her. Rumple states he won't have to threaten them, as it took the three of them to get this far, but it wasn't far enough. "Have it your way," Cruella replies before telling Ursula to crush the maid's heart. The sea witch begins choking Belle even more as Rumple watches, contemplating what to do next. He finally tosses the gauntlet over and drops Maleficent. Ursula releases Belle; Rumple comments that that was a risky endeavor for an old glove. Ursula replies that the risk was worth it, as they've all lived in a world for too long where the heroes always win; Cruella adds that the gauntlet will reveal their enemies weaknesses and they will be the victors. Maleficent tells them to let Belle go, to which Ursula does so, shoving the maid into Rumple's arms. The three women then poof away thanks to Maleficent's magic. With Belle and Rumple now alone, the maid asks why her master would do that, to which Rumple replies they will be unable to harm her now. Belle is touched by this, and asks why Rumple cares about her, to which he states he doesn't, but if anyone's going to crush her heart it's going to be him.
Rumple and Hook prepare for the ritual.
Back in present day Storybrooke, up in the clock tower, Rumple and Hook prepare for the ritual of cleaving the Dark One from the dagger. Rumple explains that once the stars align with those on the Sorcerer's hat, they will begin. "You mean I will end?" Hook bitterly replies, "let's not start mincing our words now." Rumple comments how brave the pirate is, thinking he would crumble at the precipice of his demise, to which Hook replies he's not the one who's a coward. Rumple then replies that the pirate should enjoy this "coward" crushing his heart. He then raises his hand, using magic to open up the top of the clock tower, revealing the evening sky which is slowly setting in.
Bai Frozen... I think?
Meanwhile, over at the Lakeside Mansion, the door opens and in walks Henry, Mary Margaret, David, Emma, Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff. Henry leads them to the room with the portal, and Anna happily exclaims that the door has Arendelle crocuses on them. Emma stops the royal ginger from opening the door, however, suggesting she do it since magic can be unpredictable. Before doing so, however, Elsa wants to say her goodbyes. Anna thanks them for taking care of her sister, to which Emma replies it's what they do. Mary Margaret then asks if they have a kingdom to go save, to which Anna replies they do, adding she hopes Hans isn't too comfortable in that throne since she's going to knock him right off it the minute their back. Kristoff then speaks up, wondering if the second minute they're back they could finally get married. Anna ignores her true love's sarcastic comment, and everyone goes to hug goodbye. Elsa thanks Emma for everything, stating that she has done so much she could never repay. They then embrace in one last hug before Elsa exclaims it's time, adding that they please thank Hook and Mr. Gold for them as well. Emma opens the portal, and in walks Elsa, followed by Kristoff, however Anna stops. She turns back, exclaiming she got to meet this Mr. Gold, as he sounds real helpful. She then wonders who he is, but before Emma can reply, the royal ginger wonders if he was a fairy godfather. David speaks up, stating that he was actually an evil sorcerer she's lucky she never met - Rumplestiltskin. This surprises Anna, to which Emma asks if she knew him, as it appears she does by the reaction. "He explicitly said he didn't know anything about you," Emma says with fear in her eyes. Anna replies that that's a lie, but she's not surprised since all he does is lie. "So Gold was playing us the whole time... but why?" Emma wonders.
At the clock tower, the night sky is shown and the stars appear to be aligned. Rumple waves the dagger over the box containing the Sorcerer's hat, which causes the hat to come out. Rumple places the dagger down and uses magic to levitate the hat, which begins floating on its own and finally bursts, with the stars and purple magic in the air. "It's time," Rumple exclaims as he is caught in the magic. Meanwhile, the door to the tower opens and in comes Emma and Mary Margaret, who yell for him to stop. Rumple apologizes, but states he can't, as he has waited too long for this, and he's too close. As Emma goes to use magic, she and Mary Margaret are both frozen in place by the Dark One. Rumple turns to Hook, exclaiming that everything may have not gone according to plan, but he's really going to enjoy this next part, and with that, he starts squeezing Hook's heart, causing the pirate to scream in pain. However, he suddenly comes to a stop, unable to squeeze anymore. Rumple is confused, wondering why he can't. "Because I commanded you not to," a voice calls out. Rumple turns around and is surprised to see it is none other than Belle. "Drop the heart," she orders, which Rumple does, and Hook catches it in his hand. Belle then commands her husband release Emma and Mary Margaret, which he does, and the two women appear just as surprised. The ritual comes to an end and the hat sucks back up the magic and stars it had released and it becomes sealed back in the box it was contained in to begin with. Belle then commands Rumple take them to the town line because they need to be alone for what comes next. Rumple does as told, poofing them out of the clock tower.
Belle kills the ship that's kept her alive the past three seasons.
Rumple and Belle then appear on the outskirts of town, right before the town line, just as the latter had commanded. Rumple asks what she is doing, to which Belle replies she is finally facing the truth. The Dark One tries to convince his clearly enraged wife to put the dagger down so he can explain, but she refuses, stating that it's her turn to talk. She asks if he remembers the first time he saved her life, reminding him he traded for her, "And I thought I saw something in you, something good." She continues, revealing that she found that gauntlet today, and that's when she finally realized all the signs she's been seeing are correct, "You never gave up power for me, Rumple. You never have... and you never will." Rumple tries telling Belle she doesn't understand, but the brunette beauty raises the dagger to stop him from coming any closer, and states he once told her that gauntlet could lead to someone's weakness, the thing that they loved most, "Well you know where it lead me, Rumple? To the real dagger. Your true love is your power." Rumple tries arguing that he likes the power, but that there is nothing wrong with power, not when it means they can have it all. "I just wanted you," Belle cries, "I wanted to be chosen. I tried to be everything for you, Rumple, but I wasn't. And I... I lost my way trying to help you find yourself, but not anymore." Rumple begs for forgiveness, promising to make it up for her as he has changed before and he can do it again. However, Belle has come to terms with the fact her husband has never changed. "Please..." Rumple begs, but is refused by Belle, who states it's too late, "Once, I saw the man behind the beast. Now, there's only a beast." She then takes a deep breath and raises the dagger, "Rumplestiltskin," she orders, "I command you to leave Storybrooke." The Dark One begins slowly walking backwards, unable to control himself, as Belle walks towards him, still raising the dagger. Rumple begs for his wife to stop, as once he is gone he won't be able to come back. Belle knows this, however, and Rumple states he doesn't want to lose her, but the brunette beauty states he already has. "Belle, please... I'm afraid," he cries, as he is forced over the line. Belle looks away, unable to keep herself together, as Rumple stumbles around, falling due to his leg injury. As Belle cries, Rumple looks around, calling out for his wife, as he is unable to see into the town now. "Belle, please..." he cries, looking down an empty road.
Okay, now bai Frozen!
A portrait of the three deceased Arendelle princesses - Ingrid, Helga, and Gerda - is shown. Elsa admires it, having apparently taken back her kingdom as she now dresses as a queen once more. "Isn't it beautiful?" a voice calls out, "I found it hidden in the east wing." Elsa turns around to find her sister Anna in a lavish wedding dress. Elsa looks at her, shocked. The royal ginger wonders what's wrong, worried that maybe she should have worn her hair braided. As she starts to go on, Elsa stops her, assuring that she looks absolutely perfect. "I wouldn't say perfect," Anna replies with a grin on her face as she starts putting on her gloves. She then shows the Queen the bruises on her hand, to which Elsa asks if she's seen Hans' eye, meaning that Anna must have gone through with what she said she would when returning home. The royal ginger states that it was worth it, putting on her second glove, and adds, "Okay, let's get this wedding on the road... I mean on the aisle." As Anna starts to walk, she see's Elsa still standing still, who asks the young princess why she did it, "Why did you postpone your whole wedding just to find out the truth?" Anna replies that the Ice Queen is her sister and she couldn't walk down the aisle unless she was as happy as her. "Anna, I'm very happy," Elsa says with a sincere smile on her face; the two embrace in a hug. Afterwards, the Ice Queen asks her sister if she can smell that, to which the both girls inhale the aroma, "Chocolate," they both say in unison, happily giggling. Once finally pulling themselves together, Elsa asks her sister if she's ready, to which Anna replies she is. The doors to the chapel are opened and the two sisters take one another's hand, making their way in, and finally getting their happy endings.
At Granny's Diner, Emma holds Hook's heart in her hands, ready to insert it back into her beau. The pirate tries to tell Emma to be gentle, but there's not enough time before the Savior quickly and forcefully shoves it back in. Emma apologizes, stating that she thought if she did it quickly that it'd be like ripping off a band-aid, but Hook doesn't listen, instead he pulls Emma in closely and passionately kisses her. "I told you Swan, I'm a survivor," the pirate states. The couple smile.
Meanwhile, Regina sits at the bar, depressed. Emma approaches, taking the seat next to her, but is told by the formerly Evil Queen that she is not in the mood for a hope speech. The Savior states that she's mistaking her for her mother, besides, she doesn't need a hope speech, just a drinking buddy, "Shots?" Regina thinks for a moment and agrees; Emma asks the waiter for two. As the two women sit in silence for a moment, Emma finally speaks up that Regina did do the right think today. This annoys the former mayor, stating that here she goes with a hope speech. "It's not a speech, it's a compliment." Regina states she doesn't need her validation because she knows she did the right thing, "I know because I'm miserable... again." The waitress arrives with the shots, and Emma tells Regina if it makes her feel any better, Gold is too. "It does," Regina replies, and the two toast. The door to the diner then bursts open, and in comes Henry, greeting both of his mothers. He states he found something big and they're going to want to see this.
Emma joins Operation Mongoose.
Inside the Lakeside Mansion, Emma and Regina follow Henry up the stairs, who states that after they all left he decided to stay and look around and he found something. The boy pulls down one of the lights, revealing to be a lever, and the wall opens, revealing a library. The women are surprised, and Henry states that it's not just any library. He proceeds to pull a book off the shelf, one that appears to be similar to the storybook, however, this and all the others in there are blank. Regina flips through the empty pages, and Henry states if this room is full of potential storybooks, "Then this must be the author's house," Regina says with a grin, "Henry, you did it," and the mother and son embrace in a hug. Emma's confused and asks what's going on, to which Regina reveals they were looking for the author, wanting him to write her a happier story. Henry adds that they called it Operation Mongoose. "I like it, it's got style, I'm in," Emma states. "You are?" Regina asks surprised, to which Emma replies she made the formerly Evil Queen a promise she intends to keep, "everyone deserves their happy ending." Regina appears touched by this.
SIX WEEKS LATER
In New York City, a white bus comes to a stop and the door opens; out comes none other than Rumplestiltskin, now walking with a cane across the street. He strolls on through, not looking too good.
There may come a day when the students surpass the master, but today is not that day. I want my gauntlet.
In the Enchanted Forest of the past, Rumplestiltskin is seen back at Demon's Bluff with the Queens of Darkness - Maleficent, Ursula, and Cruella De Vil - but Maleficent tries saying they made a deal, and he never goes back on a deal. Rumple corrects her, however, stating he paid a ransom - quite different.
Demanding a ransom from the Dark One is not a deal.
Back in New York, Rumple continues walking down the sidewalk.
It's a death wish, and a fool's effort.
He then uses magic to instantly take back the magical glove.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have work to do.
In the present day, Rumple is seen entering an aquarium.
Whatever you're up to it'll never work, the game is rigged. The villains never win.
|Cruella De Vil|
Back at Demon's Bluff, Rumple starts walking away from his defeated students, but stops.
Why don't you join us? Maybe we can change the game together.
In the aquarium, Rumple looks around.
You severely underestimate me, dearie. I always win.
Rumple says this, looking back at his students.
And I win alone.
In present day he walks through the aquarium.
I certainly don't need to join you Queens of Darkness.
The Dark One says, still holding the gauntlet; he lets out an eerie laugh. The Queens of Darkness do not appear happy.
Here we go again...
Back at the aquarium, a worker tells the animals that that is all she has (regarding food), and if they don't like it then to try eating each other - it's Ursula. "I hear cannibalism is frowned upon in the aquatic world," Rumple says, approaching her, "or maybe you could tell me differently." Ursula looks the Dark One down from head to toes, chuckling at his current state, sarcastically asking if this is what a man who always wins looks like. Rumple assures the sea witch that his situation is only temporary, but she laughs, "Really? How are you gonna fix that? Win the lotto?" Rumple replies that he would like to a tell her a story about heroes and villains, where the villains always lose. "Seems likes someone's changed his tune," Ursula states, to which Rumple replies he's learned the rules do apply to him, but also there's someone who can change those rules. Ursula asks who, and Rumple replies that for now, they can call him The Author. "Pretentious, I hate him already." "Then let's go see him, tell him what we think, unless you prefer life as a fish-food dispenser." Ursula states that if he's coming to her for help then it can't be easy; the sea witch then asks what's standing in their way. Rumple replies, as usual, the heroes; he adds that they should go get her things because they have two more stops to make, referring to Maleficent and Cruella.
"Chasing Happy Endings"
Henry gets blunt.
Regina sits alone at the diner unable to touch her food, depressed over the situation with Robin Hood with Marian having just woken up, when Henry walks in and sits beside her. He tells her the news that they're stuck there, again (referring to the new spell on the town line), and she says that she's heard, for dwarfs like to talk over breakfast - loudly. Henry suggests that maybe she needs to not wallow, to her offense, and she comments that it appears someone's inherited her bluntness. He suggests further that maybe getting out of Granny's and back on Operation Mongoose can help, but she tells him that Operation Mongoose is over and that this Author, whoever they are, has won; she's simply not meant to have a happy ending, and chasing one only makes the heartbreak worse. Henry refuses to believe this and his mother smiles, taking his hand. She tells him that he's good - a hero in the making - and that he doesn't have to worry about it; he'll be fine. She then eyes the clock and adds that the only thing he needs to worry about is being late for work. He looks as well and then kisses her on the cheek before leaving for Gold's shop.
"Laundry and Tea Cakes"
Belle pours Rumple a cup of tea in flashback before going on to say that she's figured out why he collects so many magical objects, such as the gauntlet from Camelot. He stares at her as he swallows his tea, then commenting that he really needs to find her more tasks, and she ends up saying that her theorized aforementioned reason why is that he has a hole in his heart. "No," he assures, "In my stomach. Because while you so ably made my tea, you forgot all about the tea cakes." He clicks his fingers and makes a plate of them appear, asking, "Must I do everything?" As he takes one to eat, she comments that he's a lonely man, and the fact is no matter how many things he acquires that's all they'll ever be: things, and an awful way to fill a heart. He tells her that there's only one thing missing from his life right now, piquing her curiosity; she's disappointed though when he says, "Clean clothes," and uses his magic to make a basket full of laundry appear. She recalls having scrubbed them just yesterday and so he tells her to scrub them again, for she's getting a bit too big for her britches. "You should remember your place: cleaning mine." He eats a tea cake as she begins to grumpily sort through the laundry.
A Twinkie rests on a plate in Granny's Diner, and Anna, who's sitting in a booth with Elsa and Kristoff, asks what it is. Elsa explains that it's this world's version of a cake, pointing out its strangeness as she explains how it's spent years inside a box and yet time never touches it. Kristoff gives it a sniff and Anna deduces that it's a magic cake, which delights her greatly. Elsa supposes this to be true while Kristoff picks it up and takes an overly-cautious bite, deciding it's not bad; but, rather than enjoying boxed cake, he would much prefer to be back in Arendelle putting Hans in a box. Emma, who's just entered the diner, sits down beside Kristoff and tells the Arendelle trio that she has some bad news: she just talked to Anton the bean farmer and apparently Storybrooke is not an ideal climate for the magic beans, so none shall be produced until at least spring. "Spring? We have to get home now!" Anna exclaims, "Last time I was with Hans, I was only with him for a day before he tried to kill me! Do you have any idea what he could do to the kingdom by spring?!" Emma assures that they're trying, but portals are hard to come by.
A raven sits perched atop some rocks, watching as an arrow shoots past it. Queen Regina catches it though, just before it can hit her throat. Granny, revealed to be the archer, lowers her crossbow as the enraged Evil Queen snaps the arrow in half; the elderly woman goes to shoot once more, but Regina is fed up, and so she forces the crossbow down. She simply wishes to know where the bandit Snow White is; however, instead of answering, the elderly woman disappears. This confuses Regina, but things become more clear when she hears an "oops" coming from behind her. She turns around to find Rumplestiltskin, who she tells she is in no mood for games. The Dark One holds up a sand dollar though, revealing to have gotten her message, and as he tosses it to Regina's feet, he tells her that there will be no deals. The Evil Queen appears confused, and Rumple continues to demand she return his maid Belle or he will turn her into a pot of "Regina stew". "Oh," Regina replies, with an evil smile on her face; she laughs, exclaiming that this has just become fun. "The 'great and powerful Dark One' is up in arms because someone took his maid."
Regina comes to learn of Rumple's potential weakness.
However, Rumple points out that coy never suited her, and that he knows what she did; he saw her raven. "My raven?" the Queen laughs, once more, before pointing out to the Dark One that she doesn't use ravens, but crows. She continues though, adding on that he normally doesn't make stupid mistakes, which means something has gotten under his skin. Regina gasps, coming to realize her foe is emotional over this "Belle". "If you're lying..." but the Evil Queen laughs again, exclaiming that she likes this girl. "I own her!" Rumple declares, stating that no one takes what is his; meanwhile, Regina rolls her eyes mockingly. Rumple tells the Queen she's lucky it wasn't her, but warns her not to give him any further reason to unleash his wrath because it won't be pretty. "Pretty... pretty like Belle?" Regina asks, taking pleasure to causing the Dark One such frustration; she laughs again, but is told by Rumple to not test her. Regina finally gets into a serious mode though, exclaiming that she isn't testing him, but merely giving him advice. She warns him to be careful of that "shriveled, dark heart" of his; "Love is weakness, didn't you know that?" And then, another evil smile appears across the Queen's face.
- The title card of this episode features the portal door to Arendelle opening and drawing in all of the surrounding snow, before closing again.
- A similar title card is featured in "Awake", minus the presence of snow.
- Co-creators, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, stated in an interview that this episode is named after The Beach Boys song of the same name.
- Right before the wedding, Elsa says "What is that amazing smell?" and then she and Anna say "Chocolate" in unison, just like they do in the film Frozen.
- The title of this episode was confirmed by executive producer/co-creator Adam Horowitz, via his Twitter account, on November 1, 2014.
- This marks the twenty-second writing credit for both Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, as well as the sixteenth directing credit for Ralph Hemecker.
The episode garnered 5.69 million viewers.
The episode received positive reviews.
- Hilary Busis of Entertainment Weekly gave a positive review: "As Homer Simpson once said: "Oh, I see! Then everything is wrapped up in a neat little package!" That's about where tonight's midseason finale—which may as well have been titled "Falling Action"—leaves us. "Heroes and Villains" isn't quite as definitively conclusive as last year's midseason finale—an hour that would have functioned perfectly well as a full series wrap-up—but it did have the whiff of a hand firmly closing a storybook called The One With the Frozen Tie-In. Which isn't to say that we'll never see the Arendelle gals again."
- Christine Orlando of TV Fanatic gave the episode a positive review, rating it 4.6 out of 5.
- Amy Ratcliffe of IGN gave the episode a great review: "Tonight's Once proved yet again that the show is at its strongest when it's propelled by its primary cast instead of the current 'theme.' Regina, Rumple, and Belle all had beautiful scenes that were well performed, and it was a nice twist to see Belle stand up for herself and go to the extreme of banishing Rumple. That alone makes for an interesting back half of the season; let's keep our fingers crossed and hope the Queens of Darkness don't screw things up." Ratcliffe gave the episode a 8.8 rating out of 10.
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.
- ↑ Adam Horowitz tweet.
- ↑ "Once Upon a Time recap: 'Heroes & Villains'", by Hilary Busis, Entertainment Weekly (December 14, 2014)
- ↑ Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 12 Review: Fall, by Christine Orlando, TV Fanatic (December 14, 2014)
- ↑ Once Upon a Time: "Heroes and Villains" Review, by Amy Ratcliffe, IGN (December 14, 2014)