Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 13 – TV Review

OUaT Darkness at the Edge of Town Chernobog

I don’t mind anything that wants to murder Emma.

I think two-and-a-bit months away from Once Upon a Time was exactly what I needed to start giving a shit about this show again.

I didn’t find myself rolling my eyes at all this episode.

Is it a coincidence that the Arendelle crew aren’t around anymore?

TL;DR Gold successfully schemes to get himself, Ursula, and Cruella into Storybrooke; the Author is not the same person as the Sorcerer; Emma may be the most evil person of them all; flashback Rumple uses up and tosses out the Villainess Triumvirate to acquire a curse.

Is it The Curse? I have trouble keeping up these days.

The Storybrooke plot picks up a few weeks after the last episode. Belle and Hook have been researching ancient texts for a spell to release Mother Superior and the fairies from the Sorcerer’s hat. With a little help from a mysterious email professor and Regina, they succeed. But this also unleashes a giant flying devil monster called a Chernobog, which attacks those with the darkest potential in their hearts. Emma and the gang are told this by Ursula and Cruella, who have teamed up with Gold to get into Storybrooke in the hope of finding their own happy endings. Regina bargains a plan to defeat the Chernobog for her permission to enter, and she and Emma lure the Chernobog to the town line and throw it across to dispel it. Cruella and Ursula are granted permission to enter, and later, help Gold back in, too. Meanwhile, Mother Superior fills the gang in on the Author: while the Sorcerer is powerful, he isn’t the Author. And the Author has apparently hidden clues to finding them in their works. Meanwhile, Snow and David threaten Ursula and Cruella not to tell anyone about some hidden, dark past between the four of them. I’m thinking orgy? And in flashback, we see how Rumple originally fucked over the Villainess Triumvirate by tricking them into helping retrieve a curse, and then leaving them to get killed by the Chernobog. Girl power prevails, though, and they make it out together.

Maleficent is the most evil of the three, if you were wondering.

While I’m quite enamoured with the Villainess Triumvirate, I recall also being pretty keen on the Snow Queen when she first showed up.

And we saw how that endless sook fest ended up.

Although, I can’t see Cruella de Vil ever becoming a suicidally benevolent anti-villain.

Nobody with that much fur can be.

 

Why I hate this episode:

Ursula’s wig, man. Someone needs to tell her.

Cruella also doesn’t turn out to be the Anna Wintour knockoff I was hoping she’d be. She’s just a measly trophy wife whose husband is arrested by the FBI. She should be more enterprising than that.

Cruella apparently had magic in the Enchanted Forest. She had the ability to command animals. I still don’t see exactly how Cruella De Vil fits into any part of the Enchanted Forest, but maybe they’ll give her some context soon.

Rumple’s plan with the ladies is kind of lame. He needs them for their unique powers to break into the mountain where the curse is kept. Firstly, he has Cruella command a swarm of blood scarabs to vacate the door into the chamber; secondly, he has Maleficent use her dragon abilities to put out a flame wall; then he has Ursula use her tentacles to take the curse crystal off the altar. Of the three, Ursula’s role is the most ridiculous. There are no obstructions once the flame wall is down. Did Rumple just not feel like taking the extra five steps up to the altar and picking the crystal up by himself?

Also, I’m pretty sure the motherfucking Dark One could conjure a fireball or something to take out the scarabs. And a bucket of water would probably have gotten the job done with the flame wall.

Rumple does end up using them as scapegoats for the Chernobog. But if he knew all of them would have been a suitable candidate for the Chernobog over himself, then he should have just taken Maleficent. She could have zapped the scarabs, and she could have taken down the fire wall. And, again, anybody could have just walked up to the altar to get the curse crystal. Rumple’s plan is absurdly convoluted.

None of the Storybrooke gang thinks to maybe keep tabs on Ursula and Cruella once they’re inside the boundary. Because the ladies are not at all secretive about going to pick up Gold. Hell, they walk through the middle of town with him. Somebody just look out their fucking window or something! Gosh.

Gold turns out to be the mystery professor who helps Belle with the hat release spell. What a fucking surprise. She’s too dumb to see through it, obviously.

Oh, and Snow and David make a rare smart move by advising Emma and Regina to betray Ursula and Cruella, and not let them into Storybrooke. The Chernobog has already been destroyed; they have no reason to risk it. Regina has clearly picked up the Idiot Ball, and says that if she herself can change, then everyone deserves a second chance. Yeah, that, or you could not let two supervillains into your town unnecessarily? Just a suggestion.

 

But it’s not all bad:

I don’t love the fact that Regina isn’t the most dark-hearted bitch in town. But I do love the fact that Emma will become the villain we always knew she was (nobody can be that bad at being a sheriff without being truly evil. Not even Lucas Hood). Would it be too much to hope that she would actually go full Serena Van Der Woodsen and become the Big Bad of the entire show?

Emma and Regina are a cute buddy cop team. Watching them try to outrun a hell demon in a yellow Beetle just makes sense.

The most fabulous part of the episode is the final scene between Snow, David, Cruella, and Ursula. When Snow and David hear that Cruella and Ursula are outside the boundary, they get all upset and make their out-of-character plea to bar them entry. Having failed, they arrange a clandestine, spy-vs-spy type meeting (there’s rain, umbrellas, and car headlights. It’s tasty) with the ladies. Snow warns them not to tell anyone what happened between the four of them in the Enchanted Forest, with promise of retribution if they do. What in the hell did this unlikely team get up to?

When Ursula calls Regina, Regina refers to her as “The Sea Bitch.” Hey, if the shoe fits.

Best line of the episode goes to Regina, who is resigned to the fact that the Chernobog will be coming after her, despite Emma’s attempts to cheer her up:
Emma: “Regina, I’m not sure it’s after you.”
Regina: “Of course it’s after me. Ursula said it devours the heart with the darkest potential. And now that Gold’s gone, who else could that be? Is there a dwarf named ‘Evil-y?’ It’s me.”
Bonus points that it’s actually after Emma.

In the flashback, the Villainess Triumvirate decides to let the Chernobog choose its target, then plan for the other two to work on an escape route and save the target. The Chernobog chooses Maleficent, much to her non-surprise, and Cruella and Ursula start legging it. Maleficent isn’t much chop against the Chernobog and curses the others for ditching her. But they don’t: Ursula scoops her up with a tentacle just in time. And thus, the Sisterhood of the Travelling Corset was born.

Mother Superior’s helpful hint about the Author leaving clues in their works should yield results. Henry has basically become de facto married to his book of fairytales, so he better be of some use with this.

Gold mentions that the Author is still in Storybrooke.

Present day Cruella pulls a gun on Gold to keep him honest while he explains the scheme to re-enter Storybrooke.

Once they’re in, Gold pledges to make sure Maleficent rejoins the team, saying she’s not quite dead, actually. Cool.

Cruella makes sure to tear out of her FBI-besieged home with her famous car.

Oh, and Cruella’s fashion fears no weather conditions.

OUaT Ursula Cruella

“Animal cruelty isn’t just a fashion: it’s a lifestyle, dahling.”

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About ijusthateeverything

Sincerity is death.

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