Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 16 – TV Review
At least August isn’t just a confused child in the body of a ruggedly handsome man.
Because his penis nose would have been even more awkward.
TL;DR August does know where the Author is: he’s trapped in the storybook; Ursula and Hook’s past is revealed; Ursula reunites with her father and leaves Storybrooke; the villains’ master plan is to fuck over Emma (nice); Regina is still somehow getting away with being the most obvious double agent ever.
Cruella may have style, but she ain’t gots the brains.
So August is back to his old self, and Gold and the Bad Girls Club interrogate him for answers about the Author (involving making his nose grow). August is just the right amount of evasive while Regina signals Emma and the gang to come rescue him. Rescue him they do, and he later reveals that the Author was trapped behind a door by the Sorcerer: the door that’s literally on the storybook page. Cute. Meanwhile, realising that Gold is in town and has swindled back his Dark One dagger, Hook goes to Ursula to offer her happy ending back to her in exchange for info on Gold’s plans. Minor struggles ensue, but Ursula eventually has her stolen singing voice returned to her, leaves to go back to fairy tale land with Poseidon, her father, and tells Hook that Gold’s plan is to fill Emma with darkness, which is necessary for the Author to be able to rewrite the happy endings or something. Meanwhile, Regina has an ominous dream about Robin. And in flashback, we see Hook meeting a young, mermaid Ursula. She defies her cruel father, who grieves for his murdered wife by making her sing a siren song to sink pirate ships. Hook and Ursula become allies, but Poseidon complicates things, and Hook betrays Ursula by stealing her voice in order to mess with Poseidon, which is what sends Ursula down her path of darkness to become a sea witch.
Finally, we have some concrete momentum on the Operation Mongoose front. Who knew that all it would take is the kidnapping of a child, the transmogrification of said child back into an adult, and threatening to burn said adult’s lie detector penis nose?
It’s the simple things in life.
Why I hate this episode:
Why does Poseidon even need Young Ursula to sing siren songs to sink pirate ships? He’s the god of the sea, and demonstrates powerful magical abilities this episode. Just sink them yourself, dirtbag. Ursula uses his trident to give herself greater magic power than even Poseidon is capable of. If the trident can do that, surely it can conjure up a big wave or a shark or something. Lazy, Poseidon.
And why doesn’t Poseidon just take the voice-stealing shell from Hook right after he uses it? His magic is shown to be able to immobilise Hook when he tries to attack. Just freeze him and take the fucking shell.
Hook makes a big deal over the magic squid ink, which he only found out about moments earlier, as being his “one chance” to get revenge on Rumple. Which is why he makes the cunt move of stealing Ursula’s singing voice to spite Poseidon, who had taken back the ink that Ursula stole for Hook. So contrived.
Do Gold and the girls really not see that Regina, the recently virtuous and beloved community member, is the mole in their group? Cruella stupidly identifies the mole as Ursula because she fucked off with her dad in this episode. I think that Cruella might be the dumb one of the group, but surely Gold must be up to speed. Or maybe he is, and this is all part of his grand scheme? It better be.
Ariel arbitrarily shows up to enable the realm-travelling the episode requires. She was apparently trapped in the bottle alongside the Jolly Roger. And it’s lucky she was, because she not only saves Hook from drowning after Ursula kicks his butt in Storybrooke, but she’s also the method through which Poseidon is able to come to town to make peace with Ursula. And their ticket home. How convenient.
Hook has some cry to Emma about how he’s coming to the grim realisation that villains, even reformed ones like him and Regina, can’t get their happy endings. And, of course, he tells Emma that she is his happy ending. Wah wah wah.
Oh, and seriously, how stupid is that trident? Ursula just waves it over her mermaid tail, morphs into a half octopus, and then claims that she is now more powerful than him. What the fuck even?
But it’s not all bad:
Young Ursula’s actress is Mandy from season 2 of The Following. That role was thankless as fuck, so it was nice to see her strut her stuff as a rebellious singing mermaid-turned octopus witch.
Her friendship with Past Hook was nice, too. Up until the colossal, pointless betrayal, that is. He was grateful to her because her singing gave him the first peace in his heart he’d felt in a long time. And because she aborted a siren sinking of his ship at the last minute. He was going to give her passage away from her father, too.
They still manage to make cute friends in Storybrooke, despite how hideous Ursula’s wig is now. They have a desperate tussle after an initial failed attempt at Hook restoring her singing voice (Poseidon later reveals that only he can do that), and she beats him the fuck up and throws him overboard to drown. But once Hook has Ariel bring in Poseidon to smooth things over, she faithfully lives up to her end of the bargain and fills him in on Gold’s master plan.
That master plan is to fill Emma with darkness. Apparently, because Emma is the Saviour and is responsible for doling out the happy endings in Storybrooke (from breaking The Curse, I assume), the Author can’t rewrite the happy endings. Hook thinks Gold means to kill Emma, but Ursula corrects him with the “he wants to fill her up. With darkness.” Getting a little darkness in her heart did wonders for Snow’s street cred, so Emma could use a bit of villain-ing up.
Operation Mongoose has its first real step forward in ages with August’s revelation of the Author not only being in Storybrooke, but being trapped behind the illustration of a door from the storybook. The Sorcerer put him there, so I imagine we’ll be seeing him soon enough, too.
Regina uses some magic smoke to project her voice through Snow to tell the heroes where the cabin is. It’s the smartest Snow’s ever sounded.
Ursula uses her tentacles to summon the Jolly Roger to Storybrooke (the voice-stealing shell is on it), but it turns up as a ship in a bottle. They go to Belle and Will for help, because Will, being from Wonderland, is experienced with shrinking and growing magic. Clever. I also appreciated the direct reference to Wonderland. It’s a baby step to the hopefully inevitable inclusion of the Red Queen/Anastasia. Please?
Regina has a dream where she reunites with Robin, but then Queenie shows up and goes to burn them with a fireball. She talks about it with Emma later, and has deduced that Queenie was trying to protect Robin from her. I’ll take some Queenie-on-Regina violence, no matter how convoluted.
Oh, and Cruella flirts with a bound and gagged August right before Emma and co bust in to save him. Someone get this woman some man candy. She’s hungry, darling.
Tags: august, author, belle, Cruella, david, emma, gold, hook, i just hate everything, ijusthateeverything, Jolly Roger, maleficent, Once Upon a Time, Operation Mongoose, ouat, pinocchio, Poor Unfortunate Soul, poseidon, queenie, regina, robin, shell, singing voice, siren, snow, Sorcerer, storybook, storybrooke, ursula, Will Scarlet
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