Once Upon a Time Winter Finale Recap: Saved by the Belle

Once Upon a Time Rumplestiltskin Leaves

This week on Once Upon a Time‘s winter finale, as the Arendelle gang prepared to return home, Regina had a choice to make and Rumplestiltskin set in motion his duplicitous plan, while in flashback we learned of a “deal” Rumple once made with the “Queens of Darkness” aka Maleficent, Ursula and Cruella de Vil.

Forgive me for abandoning my usual recap format, but I’m still busy cheering like an idiot for Belle’s heroic act. Having distracted all the heroes with a shiny object — a portal door hidden inside the sorcerer’s lakeside mansion — Rumple went to the clock tower (duh, of course) to wait for the stars in the sky to align with the stars in the hat, and thus free him of his tie to the dagger. But just before passing through the portal to Arendelle, Anna realizes that Storybrooke’s “Mr. Gold” is Rumplestiltskin, and that their paths have crossed. Realizing that they’ve been played, Emma races to the clock tower to stop Rumple from, among other things, crushing Hook’s heart,OnceUponTime_Rumple_Leaves but he stops the Savior with a freeze spell. Rumple then goes to crush Hook’s heart… but can’t. Why not?? “Because I commanded you not to,” Belle says from behind, beholding the legit dagger and looking highly pissed.

Belle has Rumple poof! them to the town line to settle this alone. There, she details how when Henry uncovered at the shop the gauntlet Rumple supposedly paid to the Queens of Darkness as her ransom many years ago, she realized that he’d never choose power over love, because his true love is power. Rumple argues that they can “have it all,” but Belle rues having lost her way trying to help him find himself. Because where she once saw the man behind the beast, now all she sees is beast. And on that note, she uses the dagger to compel her husband to cross the town line, fated never to come back!

Flashing forward six weeks, we find Rumple plodding along the streets of New York City and into some low-rent aquarium, where Ursula is shoveling fish food at minimum wage. Rumple eats some crow, having fallen so far, but he hints at a plan to regain their glory, with the help of a man known as The Author — and even if the usual “heroes” stand in their way. “Pack your things,” he tells Ursula. “We have two more stops to make.”

Elsewhere in the episode, Regina OnceUponATime_Robin_Reginareturned Marian’s heart to her defrosted body, only to see Robin’s wife collapse later by the lake. She still has a bit of the Snow Queen’s magic in her, Regina deduces, and the only fix is to send her out of Storybrooke into the world without magic — but she cannot go out there alone. Thus, Robin’s choice — originally, a life with Regina — is changed for him. With Marian oblivious on the other side of the town barrier, he steals one last kiss from his true love, then passes through himself.

As for the winter finale’s happy endings:
* Emma and Hook passionately “reunited” after she jammed his pumper back into his chest.
* Anna, Elsa and Kristoff returned to Arendelle and were on the verge of Anna walking down the aisle when Elsa asked her kid sis why she put her life on hold to track down the truth. “I couldn’t walk down the aisle unless I knew you were as happy as I was,” Anna explains.
* As Regina and Emma do (not enough) shots at Granny’s, Henry races in to report that he found at the lakeside mansion a secret room (because apparently he went around fiddling with every wall sconce). Inside it, they discover, is a library full of blank storybooks. Now, with Emma “in” on Operation Mongoose, they just have to find The Author….

Share what you thought of the winter finale and the set-up for Season 4B (premiering March 1), and email any Qs for Adam/Eddy to InsideLine@tvline.com! .

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Bianca says:


    Heartbroken about OutlawQueen, and for Regina. Tired of her always getting screwed over in finales. Hope the season ends with Robin coming back for her.

    • abz says:

      I think it’s good that it happened. Regina’s happiness cannot come easy to her given all the despicable things that she has done in the past (she did slaughter an entire village after all). She needs to keep working hard towards it and its decisions like the one she made in this episode that show that she is getting better at staying on the path of being good. I’m glad she didn’t let Rumple ruin all her progress.
      Besides, I highly doubt this is the last we’ll see of Robin. With Rumple joining the evil trio, I’m guessing they’re gonna figure out some way of breaking the town border curse and then Regina will be able to reunite with him again.

    • Moment says:

      For the first time since becoming the Dark One, Rumple has been well and truly beaten. He’s humbled.

    • DP says:

      OMG!!! Completely unexpected! I would have never guess that Belle would do something like that to Rumple! I hate that hat! It messed up everything for Rumbelle!
      I am a HUGE Rumnbelle fan and this messed up everything for me. I was going to buy all the seasons for my sister ( We are both Rumbelle fan. Really its the only reason I watch this show and for the Charmings) for Christmas but after we saw this sorry but I am not going to buy or watch this anymore, so this is my last comment. Good bye Once Upon A Time. :(

      • #TeamRumple says:

        I’m right there with you #Rumpbelle all the way. I’m gonna hold out hope that they can be together in the end. She knew what it was when he was all green and scale-y, he changed once he could totally do it again. He loves him some Belle hands down and I think if he had to choose a second time he’d choose Belle. Though he’d be pretty useless without power. I totally love how everyone has to come to him when they run out of ideas and such. He’s so awesome.

      • LoB says:

        Your feelings are the same as mine. I feel as if the writers were either lazy or careless in writing Rumple. It’s almost as if they completely disregarded everything that was written for the character to create a scheming Arch villain. Gone were the glimpses of humanity we got when Rumple spared Robin with the Can’t Miss arrow, and his apparent love for Belle. Gone is the Rumple who struggled with his cowardice and who was self aware enough to know he had to keep on struggling. Also gone is the Rumple who sacrificed himself to defeat Pan and save Storybrooke. Finally, the Rumple who swore at his dead son’s gravesite that he would be a better man has also been erased. It’s one thing to have a villain for everyone to rally against. It’s another to completely negate a character’s personality development of two years of shows, without explanation, to accomplish this. Rumple’s current story arc may be a ruse, an Imaginary Tale, or an example of his having been possessed by someone. No matter the explanation, I’m not too motivated to wade through what appears to be horrendously inconsistent characterization of what had once been my favorite character to find out.

        • DP says:

          Nicely said.

        • Jusey1 says:

          Actually, I think they did Rumple pretty well.

          I think though, what happened is after Rumple gave up so much to see his son again, and then losing his son… He broke a bit inside and now, I feel he was planning to make a perfect life for him and Belle… FYI: That is why he wanted to leave with Belle, because he knew that Belle wanted to go out and see the world… He just wanted to keep the power so he can make it happen and make their life as perfect as it can be. Meaning, his love for his dagger wasn’t necessary for the dagger or power itself but for what it will do for him (FYI: Making Belle happy).

          And now though, I see him easily becoming a huge villain because of his heart being broken by Belle and I do hope, in the end, that they get back together and find a better way of dealing with this.

        • jehodgson says:

          Agreed, I thought it was a major disappointment to just wipe away years of character development for that. Very well expressed, very valid point.

      • gloria says:

        you dont have to stop watching there are better ships like captain swan. even if you only like rumbelle we all know there going to be back together eventually…somehow

    • cierrs says:

      I know right mu fav character is Regina and I want her to have a happy ending

      • Daisy says:

        My fav is Rumple and Belle. This was a heart breaking episode, but I can’t wait to see Rumple as the Dark One in Storybrooke and how Belle forgives him.

  2. franz says:

    I can’t believe that is all we got for Captain Swan. Hook almost died and all the potential for an emotional moment was gone. I expected so much more. They deserved so much more. I liked the episode but this was just cruel

    • Cideric Rhyes says:

      You are greedy. Captain got more happy time then any other ship in the episode, plus Hook and Emma were not separated by the town line, like Rumbelle and OutlawQueen.

      • meresger says:

        CSers are never happy, even when they keep getting pandered to while all of the characters and ships on the show suffer. The show practically is a CS movie most episodes! I’m glad this was another episode that didn’t revolve around CS, but I still wish Hook had died. Really really really really wish he had died. At least Robin is gone, but of course it’s too much to hope that it’s for good. I just wish this show wasn’t turning into a bad telenovela and go back to the better writing before it became so creepy misogynist in its portrayal of relationships. At least Belle stood up for herself, but having Robin only go back to his wife because of a deus ex machina (wow, another one, OUAT? don’t you have a quota?) and Emma still sucking face with the sexist stalker/killer who shagged her kid’s grandmother is pretty bad for a so-called family show. They need to actually ADDRESS these problems by having the characters comment on how screwed up it is to be in love with the woman who murdered your wife or the man who was basically your first love’s step-father who sold out your baby daddy to his child-abusing grandfather. Shows like The Originals and The Vampire Diaries frequently get meta about how sick their romances and family relations are instead of condoning it as true love or a Norman Rockwell family. But knowing OUAT and how the actors are promoting this creepyiness like they actually believe it’s romantic and healthy, they never will. It’ll just be more running around screaming about curses and new evil relatives with interludes of character-development-less make-out-sessions and terrible parenting advice. This “magic light” 4b probably just means they wasted the CGI budget with Frozen and it’ll be recycled Pan mindgames. It already looks like they recycled the Neverland set for the Queens of Darkness. Ugh. I used to like it when Adam and Eddy wrote/directed episodes, but now I just dread it, because it means the retconning and soap-opera romances are thrown on extra thick with a rotting cherry on top.

        • abz says:

          Wow. SOOOOO many complaints! Why do you even watch any more? You clearly don’t seem to enjoy any of it any more.

        • franz says:

          Wow. Chill. Or stop watching. And thank you for not acknowledging character development for anyone on the show (sarcasm). And thanks for the input, here have mine: If the show makes you this angry, then why do you still watch. Pretty common sense to stop watching. The real fans are here to discuss the actual show. Not some twisted notion of what the show has become because the things you want are not happening.

          • JoMarch says:

            Sorry, having characters act completely out of line for their character is not character development, it’s sloppy writing. Rumple is a perfect example: he’s got humanity; no, he’s a power-driven monster;p no, wait, he’s a sympathetic character. The writers change whatever they want per episode to fit their script. The Snow Queen’s curse is completely gone except for Marian? Sure, it fits what the writers wanted to do with Regina. The great excuse they have for sloppy writing is this is a fairy tale so they can write whatever they want and viewers just shrug it off.

        • Lauren says:

          Okay, that was more than a bit scary. Maybe some TM for you during the 3-months break?

        • Kristin says:

          Blah, blah, blah, blah,blah.

          Bye, Felicia.

        • Wow says:

          Um, that was a mouthful. Calm down.

        • Shelia says:

          Quit watching it, if you dread it so bad! I love it!

          • Ginger Snap says:

            Well the ratings are sinking on this show. You may very well get your wish.

          • Moment says:

            The ratings aren’t sinking, they’re just returning to what they were prior to the Frozen arc. Sinking would better describe Revenge and Resurrection on Sundays.

        • cw says:

          I hear you and I feel your frustration. People who love this show, look past the things you’ve mentioned because they have “favorite characters”, but notice when their “favorite characters” aren’t portrayed fairly, they have no problem ripping apart the storyline or characters they don’t like. At least you’re honest and you rip everyone to shreds. Keep up the good work.

        • Anne says:

          Yes! Exactly why I’ve almost finished with this show. Plot lines seem to have been randomly pulled out of a hat and forced to work together. Characters are very flat and forgettable. Should have been a limited series.

        • Joey says:

          The replies to this comment are hilarious. Just a bunch of “If you don’t like it, quit watching.”s. I don’t think they comprehend the idea of watching something you once really liked hoping that one day it might return to what you liked about it in the first place.

          • murley says:

            I have to admit it is hard for me to understand or relate to someone doing something that seems so unenjoyable just on the off chance that the show with get soo good again(based on your personal opinion) that all that time spent suffering through something you hate will feel worth it. I have a hard time seeing that as a worthwhile trade off. Of course I read the comment section and it is full of stuff that is not at all enjoyable to read so I guess we all do things that don’t always serve our best interests!

        • Anesu says:

          Hook is not a stalker, Snow is a killer too and lm sure even Charnming has killed people too, anyone who mentions that completely looses my respect l stopped reading it after that.

        • Isobel says:

          It’s after 6 o’clock so I wouldn’t say this a family show, it’s for adults and teenagers not children

        • Tracy says:

          If you don’t like the show then don’t watch it! I do not understand the pathetic people who hate watch – don’t you wretched people have anything better to do than to watch and complain about a show you don’t enjoy? Please get some real hobbies!

        • Flynn Sullivan says:

          I’ve never really taken the show seriously since season 2(which itself was mediocre compared to the first). I did enjoy 4A, if only because of the wizard hat plot, the extremely likeable Frozen people(I’d have no complaints if they lost the deadwood Granny, Grumpy and co. In favour of Anna and Kristoff) and a significant increase of Robert Carlyle.
          But the show hasn’t made any sense after the curse broke and I’m really disappointed by it since the first season was so impressive. I’m starting to think the first season plot should’ve been the focus of the whole show. There’s so much that could’ve been done with that.

          I really like Hook(he was an annoying tag-along the past few seasons, but somehow got extremely likeable in 4A), but I agree he has no chemistry with Emma. August and Neal were both leagues ahead with her.

          Not much of a Rumbelle fan(we all know who wears the leather pants in that relationship), but the last scene was excellent.

          Things I still hope for: Regina’s death(she’s not redeemable – I mean, has she even said “Sorry”?), better Captain Swan writing, an awesome plot with The Author, as little of the ridiculous Queens Of Darkness crap as possible.

      • franz says:

        Hey, sorry about OQ and Rumbelle. But Hook almost died. Shouldn’t that have made Emma at least afraid? I know CS is very lucky when it comes to things we get. But I thought we should have at least gotten that.

        • Susan says:

          I agree. Rumbelle & OQ fans are obviously entitled to be the most distraught about tonight’s episode. There’s no question about that. However, considering Emma made a speech earlier in the season about being scared of losing Hook & tonight Hook almost died & Emma has NO reaction–I think I understand why CSers are irritated. That’s just poor & illogical writing. There were multiple episodes dedicated to Hook losing his heart. Emma & Killian’s mini-arc deserved a resolution and there was absolutely no resolution to be found. No emotional follow-up. Instead, Emma runs off to drink with Regina. Sorry, this makes no sense.

          • And there you have it! You hit the bullseye. “That’s just poor & illogical writing.” Look, no matter who you ship on this show, be it Swan queen, Captain Swan, Outlaw Queen, you name it, you will always be disappointed. Granted, Swan Queen shippers will be the most disappointed, but no one will be really happy with things, because the writers? They’re like kids in a candy store. They see a shiny new idea and they -jump- on it! Only to move on to the next thing that strikes their fancy the next. (From Kitsis himself: This is really expensive fan fiction at the end of the day.) And when that catches up to them, when the fans go “Hey, wait a minute…” they just point and commit one of the worst things a writer can do. They tell and they don’t show. “Look at Robin Hood. He’s Reginas Soulmate. They’re in love.” And they tell us that without any real buildup. We get an episode, maaaybe two. (And that’s just one of the many, many times they do this.) Go to any writing class, anywhere in the world. You know what they’ll all tell you in the very first class? “Show. Don’t tell.” And that’s what makes a lot of people sad about this show. They tell us and they don’t show.

            Honestly, this could have been the next X-files, the next Buffy. A show, 10-20 years down the line people would still oh and aww over. And they started off so well! The first season was awesome! But what we’re getting is the next Star Trek: Voyager without the big universe to carry it. People will remember it, sure. But it won’t be because it’s epic.

            Don’t get me wrong, if you like the show as it is now, good for you! Great even. Everyone has different tastes. I know I love Star Trek: Voyager. But I’m not pretending that the writing and characterizations weren’t god awful a lot of the time.

      • Flynn Sullivan says:

        Can someone tell me when the show became about ships instead of, y’know, people?

    • abz says:

      I love Hook/Emma but the show is still an ensemble so they have a lot to get through in 40ish minutes.

      • Isobel says:

        Yeah I guess finishing off the arc this episode and discovering about mr. Gold meant they didn’t have enough time but I would’ve liked more on Hook losing his heart, it was a little rushed

        • Moment says:

          Hook losing his heart wasn’t meant to be a deep story, it was Rumple using him to do his dirty work and nothing more. It wasn’t rushed, it served its purpose.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      It was short but it was HOT & that’s enough to satisfy me for now. I’m just happy she wasn’t pissed at him!

  3. Dean says:

    Got to admit while I thought the Frozen arc was douchie at first I enjoyed it more than I expected seriously Anna’s whole ‘I didnt want to walk down the isle unles you were happy’ speech to Elsa was a heart melter. As for Rumple he got what he deserved and kudos to Belle for finally wising up and kicking his ass out of town. March is gonna be a long wait especially since Rump has his own Legion of Doom.

  4. I just hope that this isn’t the end for Rumple and Belle. They are the most compelling couple on the show for me. I also hope that they delve into Rumple’s mindset and what has happened to him with dying and getting resurrected, with his son dying, with being enslaved, and yes still being cursed with dark magic.

    • Matthew B Lawler says:

      There is no hope for rumble and Bell there is no love there rumple is a manipulative controlling bastard that at every stop his chosen power and self-preservation over his so-called love for Bell there’s nothing romantic about that relationship at all

      • LoB says:

        I think that’s the point. Rumple was one of the most compelling persons on the show because he was written as a layered, multi-faceted character. We were told he’d choose power and self-preservation above all else, but time and again, he proved that to be false. When he spared Robin’s life so he could save Marian’s, when he sacrificed himself to keep Pan from destroying Storybrooke. The worst part of it all is this season started out with Rumble vowing at his son’s gravesite to be a better man, only to have him written as a power hungry, scheming killer. Why waste time with that scene if the writers were going to spend the entire season making it meaningless? To me, the threatened story arc for Rumple is a terrible waste of what looked to be a redemptive transformation.

        • Anesu says:

          To an extent Rumple going dark makes more sense and is less predictable.
          Rumple’s weakness are the people he loves, saving Bae was his driving force for so many years and now Bae’s gone hes reverted to his old self the man who chose power over love , he did it with Bae too.He loves Belle but his true love is power.

          • Moment says:

            I would argue Rumple hasn’t changed. He still loved his son even while being the Dark One. His cowardice arguably is one thing that holds him back.

          • K says:

            Well, that’s not what we saw for the first three seasons, when Rumple repeatedly chose Belle and Bae over power, but whatever.

    • Mandy says:

      Totally agree. The whole dagger issue isn’t about power. It is about people controlling him and taking away his free will. Rumple never took away someone’s free will. Yes, he manipulates the situation to his advantage but everyone has the chance not to make the deal. They just don’t care about the consequence if they get what they want (unitl they have to pay) With the dagger, Rumple has to obey. He has no choice. Even Belle used the dagger on him several times (it doesn’t matter if it was fake. She chose to use it.) I want Belle to realize how wrong that was.

      • anonomousaurus says:

        She used the dagger on him once to help save storybrooke because he was being a stupid prick. And you must have missed where he stole Hooks heart for five episodes and forced Hook to slaughter every single fairy in storybrooke plus other things. And he was barely under anyone else control. He had the dagger in his possession for hundreds of years and a couple people were able to take it for a short amount of time. The old dark one lost his dagger and was a servant for much longer. Rumple is being stupid and pathetic.

        • Mandy says:

          Did you miss the episode Belle order him to help her find the Snow Queen or the episode where Hook figure the dagger was fake because Belle was using it. Using the dagger is equal to pulling out someone’s heart and making them do things against their will. According to you Rumple was a prick for doing it but is okay for a ” hero” to do it. Also did you miss last season. That’s was horrible what happen to him. What Belle did was wrong. People can’t complain when villains do it then excuse it for the hero’s do it.

          • Anesu says:

            The dagger was fake so it didn’t really count for me , Rumple was lying to his wife and she apologized for using it and hurting him immediately after that and he still lied so l think Rumples mostly in the wrong at this point.
            He’s also used his magic on her , he froze her in the first episode and probably multiple times.
            Belle using the dagger was wrong but Rumple gave it to her to prove that he had changed and it was a lie , Rumple was about to kill Hook .Heroes l find can be too soft sometimes hard choices have to be made , e.g.. Snow causing Cora’s death was bad but ultimately she probably saved some people who would have died if Cora had become the dark one.
            Superman not killing Lex Luthor is the biggest example of this , many fictional people have died as a result.In the real world even the good guys can do something horrible to protect more people .
            Belle was angry and betrayed when she sent Rumple away but in truth if she hadn’t done it she was going to be manipulated again , for me it was Belle’s strongest moment in the entire show, she was able to see the entire truth.

          • LoB says:

            It’s hilarious to me whenever anyone mentions Rumple almost killing Hook, as if that would be villainous on Rumple’s part. People are so caught up in what is supposed to be Hook’s dashing charm that they’ve forgotten that, but for Hook’s actions of stealing Rumple’s wife from both him ant their son, then humiliating Rumple when he came to plead for her return and challenging Rumple to fight to the death for her where he knew he’d kill Rumple easily, are pretty much the reason Rumple seeks power. In my opinion, Rumple is a hero for every minute he hasn’t killed Hook.

            Hook sold out Bae as well.

            Hook doesn’t deserve to be considered heroic anymore than Rumple.

          • abz says:

            Hook did not STEAL Rumple’s wife. The amount of people that don’t seem to understand this is really surprising, Milah CHOSE to leave Rumple of her own free will. While Hook’s actions in challenging him and the events that followed may not have been honorable or decent (he is a pirate), it was still her choice. She didn’t want to be with Rumple. She abandoned her son for Hook. And let’s not forget that Rumple actually killed his own wife.

          • LoB says:

            Abz is claiming that Hook didn’t steal Millah because she chose to leave Rumple, as if that absolved Hook for seducing her. Abz then goes on to minimize Hooks behavior in humiliating and threatening to kill a helpless Rumple as not “honorable”, because he was a pirate. Hook saw a crippled man who needed a mother for their son and responded, not by sending her away, but by threatening to kill the father, thereby leaving the child orphaned. Hook’s behavior was despicable. He simply could have throw Rumple off the ship. Instead, he threatened to kill him with a challenge to duel he knew Rumple couldn’t win. And points out that the faithless Millah, who abandoned husband and child was killed by Rumple. Millah died defending Hook to the end. Both Millah and Hook deserved worse fates than they received. I wasn’t saddened the least bit by Millah’s death and she has the distinction of being the only character that I’ve felt that way about, including Regina’s Mother and Pan. Up until this last episode, for sll of Rumple’s behavior, I still see Hook as the far more despicable character. He created Rumple by seducing his faithless wife and humiliating him.

          • abz says:

            Hook “created” Rumple? So I guess if someone cheated on me, I’m gonna be evil and murderous and seek revenge. You act as if Rumple didn’t choose to become the Dark One out of his own free will. The Hook/Milah situation may have been motivation for him to become stronger, but once again it’s an issue of choices. Rumple chose to be the Dark One just like Hook became a pirate for the reasons he did 200+ years ago. No one is saying Hook is perfect. Rumple didn’t have to become the Dark One if he didn’t want to.
            And the fact is these incidents were hundreds of years before and the point of the present story is to see if these villainous characters like Regina, Rumple, Hook, etc., can change and become good and their struggles to do so. If you’re gonna constantly bring up Hook’s past actions then expect that the same thing will be done of Rumple’s actions and other villain characters.

        • K says:

          He was barely under anyone’s control? It’s sad for Killy Poo to be enslaved for three days, but Rumple being enslaved for a year, driven insane, kept in a cage like an animal, sexually molested, not even allowed to choose whether he would EAT or not, and forced to hurt his own loved ones and watch his son die is being “barely controlled”?

          • Katherine215 says:

            Doesn’t Rumple have the choice NOT to be the Dark One? He could give up his power if he really wanted to, couldn’t he? To me, being “controllable” is a price he pays for the vast amount of power he craves. If he really wanted free will, he could stop being the Dark One.

          • abz says:

            When was Rumple sexually molested?
            And I agree with Katherine. What happened with Zelena controlling him was just sort of like payback for all the times he’s screwed people over. He got a taste of his own medicine. He traps poor and desperate people into making deals with him or tricks them into them. He’s the Dark One. He had to know deep down that one day or another someone would eventually get the better of him.

        • JJ says:

          Oh relax…the fairies will be back :p

      • joanna says:

        wait….didn’t he just spend the entire episode holding and using hook’s heart making him do his bidding against his free will??

    • jen says:

      I agree. I love the story line..and the only reason I love this show is rumple. Him along with the others has made this show. He does love Belle. .I cried when he crossed the town line..he is a excellent actor..and he just makes the show :) just my thoughts

      • Nicole says:

        Sadly, I hear that Belle and Will Scarlet are going to get together. I don’t understand how the writers can ruin all the work Robert did on his character in just one season. It’s insane. Rumple has always been the most compelling character on the show because of his struggle with good/evil and power/Belle. I don’t know if I’ve any reason to keep watching and I’m upset. He is the reason I’ve always loved this show and I liked the “Beauty and the Beast” idea. So disappointed this season.

    • tyradaph says:

      I agree with you. I still want Rumple to have a happy ending. He’s the dark one ffs he’s inherently evil it’s like being permanently cursed and the only way to not be the dark one is to die. I totally understand how he doesn’t want to be at the mercy of the dagger anymore.
      Regina as the evil queen did more despicable things than Rumple ever did and she didn’t have a dagger controlling her she just chose dark magic over light.
      I didn’t like this ending at all :-(

  5. leigh says:

    That scene with Regina and Robin was so heartbreaking. I hope they fix this next season. The only thing I can’t figure is what makes Cruela DeVil so dangerous. Does she have a magic power we don’t know about? And yay for Hook and Emma 😊

    • Dean says:

      They said in an interview that Cruela has ties to the enchanted forest guess we’ll know in two months.

    • Chris says:

      That was my first thought when the three of them popped up. I was like “Okay, you two have powers, but what’s Cruella going to do? Turn Rumple into a coat?”.

    • I think they said that Cruella is going to have magic in the show

      • Matthew B Lawler says:

        If they decide to rewrite crew DeVilles history to turn her into some sort of sorceress that will be the straw that breaks the camels back there are lots of other villains and characters they could bring on that are established with magical abilities that they do not need to bring on Carella Deville and then turn her into something she’s never been

        • anonomousaurus says:

          Well that’s just because no mater how much they deny it the Once creators are being told what to put in there by disney. There is no way it’s a coincidence that every single storyline this season has been something Disney related not fairytale related. And they use Disney’s highest grossing cartoon as a main focus. Then bring in Maleficent who just had a movie and I bet you Maleficents story will end somewhat like the movie. AND that they brought in Cruella and the next episode of Once that Cruella is in happens to air around the SAME time they are re releasing 101 Dalmatians on Bluray.
          It really frustrates me when I think about this but as long as they have a good story I don’t care too much. Like this season is definitely my least favorite so far but I still enjoyed a lot of the stories that happened. I hope the sorcerer turn out to be someone we already know not some other Disney character that is forced upon the creators.

          • abz says:

            Really? You’re proposing that one of the reason they decided to bring in Cruella is because 101 Dalmations is being released on Blu-Ray. That’s just lame and desperate. Ugh, I really don’t get all the Disney hate. In lots of ways, this show is basically Disney for Adults. Cruella is an iconic character and they have clearly found a way to integrate her into the show in a way we have yet to really see, so we shouldn’t be making any judgments yet.
            Maleficent is not new to the show and they’ve introduced her and other Sleeping Beauty characters including Aurora and Philip. It’s not a stretch that they’d want to bring her back and explore her story. Also, A&E did an interview I think last week saying that they weren’t doing the Maleficent movie, just maybe nods to it and the classic version. Don’t know if I’m allowed to post a link to the article on this site, but it was posted on Entertainment Weekly a few days ago.

        • juliergs says:

          If Cruella has magic, maybe it will be related to that Dalmatian and plastic ring Emma won when she was a teenager. We saw a glimpse of her magical power and she kept the ring. I hope it’s relevant and not just a detail… (sorry if my english isn’t perfect, i’m french ^^)

  6. Dear god, please do not let this be it for Robin and Regina.

    • Anne says:

      There is NO WAY Robin Hood would ever fall for the Evil Queen. Regina is the kind of person he would’ve hated and stolen from. Those two together makes NO SENSE at all. Especially after learning what she did to his wife!

      • Jennifer says:

        Exactly. I could have believed he would fall in love with Regina after getting to know her, but when they met in Storybrooke, he only knew of her as the evil queen.

        • Meghan says:

          You described exactly what has happened though. He didn’t “know” her when he met her. He had heard stories about her. Then he got to know her, and he fell for her, because she’s not the person from those stories anymore. So actually, exactly what you wanted to happen did happen. Deal with it.

          • Anne says:

            Amazing how robin can overlook the fact that she is capable of killing her own father. Also that she brought on the initial curse over some revenge fantasy she had about Snow. If he can still love her after that and everything else she’s done, he’s more screwed up then she is!

      • Moment says:

        That’s a bit short sighted to say the least. He accepted Regina for who she is, and loved her for who she is. Circumstance meant they could never be together, Robin did the right thing and left with his wife, he would hardly let her go into the real world alone. Had she not been brought back to Storybrook, Robin and Regina would still be together.

  7. Brenna says:

    I’m so proud of Belle as well but I hope Rumbelle won’t be separated for long. I also hope he won’t be evil to her once he returns. Loved that Captain Swan kiss, so sweet!!!!

  8. Iris Cristiane says:

    First we see Emma and Killian in one scene, but no reunion whatsoever after their “tearful goodbye”? Then Emma notices that he acts weird, but does nothing about it? THEN she literally sees that Rumple is about to crush his heart and we get no reaction??? She just fiercely shoves it back in, there’s a kiss and then she goes drinking with Regina? What is that?

    It’s not just that I have been expecting something huge for CS to happen, it’s also that I think it’s weird? I expected Emma to be devastated and honestly, I expected some confessions. At least a bit more emotion.

    I am extremely disappointed tbh. The last scene was about 5 seconds long and not really emotional – and it should have been! There was all this building up, the “I can’t lose you, too” and then nothing??? I expected a heartfelt conversation. A few tears maybe. But not just… nothing. I mean, where did he even go? Where would he want to be all on his own??

    I am really disappointed.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Yes, it was odd there was no follow-up to Hook grabbing her arm so conspicuously. Unless that was theoretically in the back of Emma’s head as she processed Anna’s bombshell. Rumple lying + strange Hook + they’re both missing…?

      • Iris Cristiane says:

        Earlier in the season, Emma gave a speech where she divulged to Killian her fear of losing him. Consequently, it would make sense that when she does almost lose him, that she’d have a more visceral reaction to his near-death experience. But, there was nothing. Emma had practically no response, which is inconsistent with previous writing. If part of 4A’s theme was Emma & Killian’s developing relationship, including her fear of losing him, then by not including a significant CS scene in 4X11, there was no conclusion to the arc. To me, this feels like rushed, incomplete, and illogical storytelling.

        • meresger says:

          “rushed, incomplete, and illogical storytelling” is the definition of OUAT since 3B. Why are you surprised? The plot drives this show now, not character development. Character development doesn’t even exist,really. The characters just suddenly have “grown” (or regressed) from one episode to the next, 1 literal hour to the next, depending on what the plot requires. Like that crap about Emma’s family fearing her suddenly out of control magic that retconned the series for the sake of an Elsa/Anna parallel. Emma’s fear of losing Hook at the start of the season, a guy she really knew for all of 5 days AND basically a week after her boyfriend of 8 months died (off screen) and her baby daddy died (in her arms), was just as stupid as Regina being madly in love with a guy she knew just as long. But the plot required Emma and Regina to be OOC then so they could make easily-written B and C plots to fit in with the Frozen stuff. The new plot requires Emma and Regina be all about Operation Mongoose, so that’s where the writing goes, even if it means dropping the old storylines like a hot potato. You should add “no continuity” to your list.

          • juliergs says:

            wow. It hurts but you are right. My god, you just opened my eyes about OUAT writing ahaha. I need a minute…
            I agree with you all about Emma having pretty much zero reaction. Their last scene was really sweet and gave me butterflies but it wasn’t enough regarding all we previously had during the season… I HOPE that they shot a lot of other scenes that they had to cut. This mid-season finale needed to last 2 hours instead of episode 8… It would be the only reason I could accept…

          • LoB says:

            VERY well said! Throw in Rumple’s character changes from impish trickster, to master manipulator to power mad mustache twirler, with stops at love struck master, sentimental softie, self sacrificing hero, and oath swearing seeker of self betterment, and you’ve just about covered all the bases.

            The total trashing of Rumple’s oath to be a better man to facilitate his involvement in the upcoming storyline including the Disney villains see is stomach churning. The actor playing Rumple is brilliant, but he has to be confounded by the lack of consistent characterization.

            Meresger is on point: It’s plot demands that drive the characterizations, not the other way around. I just wonder if the plotting is done by executives more concerned with showcasing their character tie-ins than with writing compelling, or even consistent stories.

          • Daniel Davis says:

            When watching Once Upon A Time, I discovered the best way to approach the series, as opposed to expecting consistency, plot and character development, is to take it like this-
            The show is basically a ten-year-old girl playing with her dolls. She has her Disney dolls- her Snow White, her Prince Charming, her Evil Queen doll, etc. She even has a set of dollhouses- her Enchanted Forest playset, town playset, etc. Then someone gives her a Barbie Doll with a leather jacket, so the girl makes the Barbie into “Emma Swan”, and incorporates her into the “town”. And it goes on from there.
            This season someone gave her some Frozen dolls, so she played with them until she got bored. She had a Maid Marian figure but decided she didn’t like her so she played with her for ten minutes and threw her into the toybox.
            Now the Rumple figure she had gotten earlier (and pretended was The Beast) is getting played with again, along with a set of secondhand Disney villainess dolls.

            When you accept that this entire show is a series of impromptu, off-the-cuff play decisions by a child with ADD, it becomes much easier to accept.

      • franz says:

        Yes but theoretical? I wish we could have seen it. All the build up for Emma being afraid to lose him and Hook almost dying and there wasn’t even a frantic “Killian!” when she saw him or a hug when she thought he was okay =(

    • abz says:

      After reading your comment, that is quite disappointing, Guess I was caught up in all of the other drama, but yeah Emma should’ve shown some sort of reaction.

    • Moria says:

      Personally I feel they tried to do way too much in a one hour show & most story lines, like Swan & Hook, got shorted. Same with much of Regina/Robin/Marion – one second Marion’s awake, then she’s instantly over her marriage & generously handing him to Regina, then bam she’s sick again, then bam they’re leaving. It was like the writers themselves got sick of all the plot twists & just ended them. Like you say, with Hook & Swan there should have been all sorts of emotional depth for the last several shows & we got none. Kind of disappointed actually.

  9. Jess says:

    Belle is awesome!!! They seriously need top give her more screentime. They only let her shine if it’s a Belle or Rumbelle centric, which only happens once or twice a season. Go Belle!!

    I don’t want Rumbelle back together. Doesn’t she deserve better? I hope she finds her real true love.

  10. Azerty says:

    The episode had me thinking Belle was going to die, accidentally killed by Rumple during the stars thingy. As a fan of Emilie de Ravin I am glad she did not. And even happier that she called Rumple on his BS. Some time apart will do good for her and maybe even for Rumple. Now did they say that the sorcery wrote the book? I am more and more convinced that Mickey Mouse somehow is coming. It does make sense that he wrote the stories and that there will be other stories…I felt bad for Regina but with Rumple outside the town they will find a way back. And last thing I really liked the drinking buddies Regina and Emma. Rumple lost all his evolution this year but Regina didn’t, that’s kinda great.

    • Qwon says:

      Mickey Mouse already appeared. He was the sorcerers apprentice, the old guy with the beard.
      Remember Rumple turned him into a mouse? haha?

  11. laurelnev says:

    MAN! THIS is what made me LOVe OuAT! I just hope Rumple’s machinations allow Robin to return to SB, with or without Marian. (Maybe she can get hit by a truck as they’re walking along the highway?) You KNOW Rumple is rounding up the evil ti plot HIS takeover of SB, and his return to Belle. :)

  12. LM says:

    While I hope this isn’t the end of Rumbelle, I was so happy with how Belle handled the situation. It gave her much needed character development while staying true to who we know Belle is. I think it will be fun to see how Rumple wins her back. Come on March 1!

  13. Amanda says:

    I’m extremely disappointed by this finale. They build up Killian losing his heart the entire season, and all we get is 30 seconds where Emma just puts his heart back and then drinks with Regina. Eddy Kitsis said in an interview that we would see Emma fighting for Killian this season, but Emma’s reactions to Killian losing his heart fell completely flat. Hook’s character has been angsting over the heart situation for like five episodes, and Emma just leaves him alone afterwards? How does that even make sense? If you’re going to build up a storyline throughout the entire season, the payoff better be just as big. I don’t know if A&E’s point is to make Emma out as an uncaring person (I mean, she realized something was wrong with Hook, but she does nothing?) but that’s how it looks. It seems she cares about everyone else more than him and I thought that after last season, that would’ve changed. IDK, don’t give us these elaborate storylines if you’re just going to write it off in 30 seconds.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      It’s entirely possible Hook just needed a nap. Living without a heart, I reckon, is physically and emotionally taxing. Or maybe Emma’s plan was just to do shots while Granny cooked up the BLT Hook ordered for takeout?

      • JJ says:

        Face it…there just isn’t natural chemistry between Hook and Emma. That ship should seriously sail …off into the sunset

    • meresger says:

      Regardless of bad writing for a “build up”, Emma SHOULD care about the others, the people she has known far longer and are her FAMILY more than Hook. But I agree this season has REALLY made Emma seem like an uncaring, unlikable character. Every time the plot makes it seem that she should be invested in some character, she doesn’t seem to give a crap and is off doing something else. When there’s magical crisis, she never called Regina, who has magic, even thoughshe was gushing over wanting to be BFFs with the previous episode (that storyline got put on hold until now, I guess, even if it makes no sense). She’s had no real interaction with Henry or her parents this season, aside from fireworks, when Season 3 was entirely a “build up” to her bonding with her parents and accepting herself as a mother. Instead it became all about the CS movie and Frozen… until that was supposed to build up to something and gets scrapped for The Author and the Queens of Darkness. OUAT is just terrible at resolution. It ends too-long storylines abruptly and replaces them with more sloppily-written nonsense.

  14. abz says:

    I was in villain heaven watching Cruella (never seen the actress before, but I already love her), Maleficent, and Ursula this episode. So excited. The only downside is that Ursula’s costume is just plain AWFUL. Only two tentacles. WTF?!?! She’s the only part that disappointed me because she didn’t feel like an Ursula. Just another woman with powers. But gonna reserve any further judgments till I see how it plays out more.
    For all the times Belle has bored me, I loved her this episode. It’s about time Rumple suffered a bit. It was a hard thing for her but she did the right thing. Same with Regina. I’m glad she didn’t let Rumple regress. Also glad about the new addition to Operation Mongoose.
    Gonna miss Anna and Elsa. Hopefully, we can see them again somewhere down the line. Maybe when they figure out a way to permanently travel back and forth between worlds.
    How the hell is Ursula in New York????
    One downside for me was how I really wish they’d have showed Rumple panicked a bit more. I mean yeah its Rumple and he always has a plan, but I would’ve like to see him even for half an episode walking around NYC trying to figure out what he’s gonna do. Seriously, let him squirm a little!!

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Ursula has the Aquaman problem: How do you make someone with mad underwater skillz seem interesting on dry land? It’s gonna be all tentacles.

    • Piers says:

      I enjoyed the episode very much, but some of the production values left a lot to be desired. Did anyone else notice during the castle scenes Belle’s lower lip had a dark bruise dead center? She still had the awning eyelashes, too. The goodbye between R&R went on way too long. And the scene with the new villains on the cliff was kind of lame. Maleficent was a Jolie knock off, Cruella just hung around acting posh and Ursula looked really ugly although in her end scene at the aquarium she looked fine.
      I hope they write an entirely new love interest for Regina and not bring Robin back.

      • abz says:

        I like the fact that they updated Maleficent’s costume to look much more like the original Disney animation/Jolie version. The color black and the horns in particular are Maleficent’s signature look and the old costume did not reflect that very well. Although, they did space the horns a little farther apart than I would’ve liked.
        I’m biased toward Cruella because I love the character, but I don’t think we should judge her based on this episode. This is just a setup and we barely learned anything about this version of Cruella. I’m sure they’ll explain soon why she’s worthy of being a part of the Queens of Darkness. I read on another site that she has ties to the Enchanted Forest and possibly magic of some sort.

        • Isobel says:

          Given the Dalmatian puppy Belle followed I’m thinking power over Dalmations ;)

          • K says:

            My guess is that Cruella can transform herself into various animals by wearing their skins, and the puppy WAS Cruella.

          • Meghan says:

            Love your guess, K. That would explain why she’d want to make a coat out of several animals, too (if that’s still what they’re going for with her)

  15. StephonJS says:

    I like every episode (even those silly Hook centric episodes). I loved and hated this episode but there were a lot more things i loved then hated.
    The crush me with the temporary ending of OutlawQueen. Robin choose Regina and because of Ingrid, Robin was forced to leave with Marian and Roland. i loved that Regina let him go, but mad she did it too. I have faith, Robin and Regina will be back together. I’m also pissed she ripped up that page. Come on Regina have Faith.
    As an Rumbelle fan, Rumple had this coming. I’m glad they finally address that “dying”, coming back to life and being controlled by Zelena changed Rumple (and not for the better). Rumple really showed his true colors in that car with Regina.
    Without Neal alive, that dagger is the thing he love the most. I knew that. I’m glad Belle stepped up this episode. She was a hero in this episode.
    I like the quick goodbye with the Frozen folks and the quick resources in Arendelle. I didnt need to see anything, but glad they explain real quick.
    I like that the house belong to the sorcerer but not convince he wrote the book. Rumple had a look on his face like he knew the author. he did say “HE”.
    I’m going to guess Rumple bashed Ursula and Cruella to “our world” sometime between the 1st curse breaking and killing Zelena.
    I loved seeing Maleficent again, the human form of Ursula tentacles and all, and the introduction of Cruella. I smell the desperation and gin too. Cruella looked a hot mess.. in a good way. I cant wait to see what Rumple and The Queens of Darkness have planned in 4B.
    I did a longer time jump. 6 weeks isnt enough. Henry needs to be 13 going on 14. Speaking of Henry, I’m glad he stepped up this episode.
    No one died. Thank God!
    The second half of the season seem to be focus on finding the author and Heroes VS Villains.
    I’m guessing we will lose some heroes and villains in the 2nd half.

  16. StephonJS says:

    I like every episode (even those silly Hook centric episodes). I loved and hated this episode but there were a lot more things i loved then hated.
    The crush me with the temporary ending of OutlawQueen. Robin choose Regina and because of Ingrid, Robin was forced to leave with Marian and Roland. i loved that Regina let him go, but mad she did it too. I have faith, Robin and Regina will be back together. I’m also pissed she ripped up that page. Come on Regina have Faith.
    As an Rumbelle fan, Rumple had this coming. I’m glad they finally address that “dying”, coming back to life and being controlled by Zelena changed Rumple (and not for the better). Rumple really showed his true colors in that car with Regina.
    Without Neal alive, that dagger is the thing he love the most. I knew that. I’m glad Belle stepped up this episode. She was a hero in this episode.
    I like the quick goodbye with the Frozen folks and the quick resources in Arendelle. I didnt need to see anything, but glad they explain real quick.
    I like that the house belong to the sorcerer but not convince he wrote the book. Rumple had a look on his face like he knew the author. he did say “HE”.
    I’m going to guess Rumple bashed Ursula and Cruella to “our world” sometime between the 1st curse breaking and killing Zelena.
    I loved seeing Maleficent again, the human form of Ursula tentacles and all, and the introduction of Cruella. I smell the desperation and gin too. Cruella looked a hot mess.. in a good way. I cant wait to see what Rumple and The Queens of Darkness have planned in 4B.
    I did a longer time jump. 6 weeks isnt enough. Henry needs to be 13 going on 14. Speaking of Henry, I’m glad he stepped up this episode.
    No one died. Thank God!
    The second half of the season seem to be focus on finding the author and Heroes VS Villains.
    I’m guessing we will lose some heroes and villains in the 2nd half. :(

  17. abz says:

    An idea popped into my head. They haven’t revealed yet who the sorcerer/author is but what if the show’s twist is that he turns out to be a man named Walt Disney? The sorcerer in Fantasia is Yen Sid. Yen Sid (Disney). I don’t know, but that might be a cool twist.

  18. Amy says:

    i really really loved the episode , the Rumple and Belle scenes were amazing at the end and the introduction of the new villains ( and the exchange between Rumple and Cruella…LOVE IT) but since Rumple having Hooks heart has being a ‘storyline’ that’s been carried for a couple episodes, and set up to be a dire situation, I expected a little more emotional meat with its return…why go all the way to Grannys, surely Emma could have popped that sucker back in at the tower, heaven forbid she trip and crush it in the street by accident. I also missed Charming, I get Emma and Snow ran off to save Hook but did David just let Henry wonder around a magical house by himself? I adore this show but occasionally I’m left pondering things….I liked the final moments of closure with the Frozen sisters but could have done without if it meant better resolve in Storybrooke

  19. powerturtle90sdudemon says:

    So is Operation Mongoose still supposed to spite Emma in any way?

  20. Kay says:

    The two scenes at the town line were killer. My heart broke for Robin and Regina although I saw it coming that Marian would not come back from that spell without consequences. It’s almost like a final destination type of thing with her, death really wants her back apparently. Very good scene with Marian and Regina at the diner too, I was never a fan of this time travel triangle situation, but they it was resolved deserves applause. It allowed both women to come out of it with their dignity intact, not something that can be said for many tv love triangles. Robin’s reasoning about why he can’t go back to Marian and the life they had before she died and that it’s better for Roland too if they’re all living truthfully instead of living a lie was an important thing to say out loud too. It’s just frustrating that second after it’s looking like things are finally falling into place for Robin/Regina the next drama attack hits them square in the chests. Beautiful, very touching acting by Lana Parrilla and Sean Maguire in their “final goodbye” scene, though. I admit I had to wipe a tear or two from my eyes. Here’s hoping they’ll figure out a way for Robin (and Roland) to come back to Storybrooke soon.
    Robert Carlyle and Emilie de Ravin were absolutely fantastic in their goodbye scene too. I know many people who were waiting for this very moment, Belle finally learning the truth about Rumple and what he’s been up to and ending their relationship. I don’t know if it’s forever or if Rumple can truly change, it didn’t really look like at the end of the episode, but for now it was absolutely necessary that Belle got out of that marriage. It was really getting emotionally abusive and the power balance was way off, they were so very far from being equals it’s not even funny.
    I also really enjoyed the Rumple and Regina conversation in Regina’s Benz. Those two didn’t have many scenes so far this season, but this one pretty much made up for that in one go. And I admit Rumple totally fooled me too when he claimed not to know anything about the author. I loved that twist at the end and I’m excited to see where Operation Mongoose goes next with so many people now invested in it for their own reasons.
    The promo made it look like Rumple and the three ladies at least get back to Storybrooke fairly quickly. I’m so very happy that Maleficent is back on OUAT and Cruella’s snark was already tons of fun. Looking forward to March!

    • Me says:

      Well maybe now that Belle is free and Will is free, they can join the lonely hearts club with Regina. Or maybe the two (Belle and Will) can get closer to give them both more screen time. :)

  21. Gerald says:

    WTF, is up with the Ursula costume?! It looks like one of those costumes parents make for their children at the last minute for school. That being said, Maleficent and Cruella looked great!

  22. Chris says:

    Anything bad that anyone’s said about Belles character lately just got THROWN out the window…or should I say thrown over the town line?

    Seriously tho, great scene, great episode, and how glad I was to see Emma just happily kiss Hook and be back with him, instead of being angry with him and all “You should have told/trusted me”

    No doubt tho she will have words for him when we return from hiatus

    • John NYC says:

      Or not, she knows how the heart control thing works so if anything she’ll have sympathy for him being trapped like that.

  23. James D says:

    it was ok. not great in my opinion while I enjoyed the Belle and Rumple scene the rest of the episode was sort of boring. I thought the Regina arc was good though glad she has to work for her happy ending and she didn’t revert back to her treacherous ways it makes for a much more interesting character

  24. Matthew B Lawler says:

    Honestly I found this episode a little slow paced the best part was Bell Road wising up finally and expelling rumple sans magic into the real world and out of Storybrooke but there’s still so many unanswered questions like how did Cruela Deville end up in the enchanted Forest with Ursula and Malificent? Cruella is not a fairytale character she has always existed in the real world never in the enchanted Forest and she’s never had any sort of magical or supernatural abilities or ties she’s always just been a crazy rich lady was a thing for bizarre fashion and fur

  25. Donna says:

    I was disappointed that they didn’t let Regina be happy and in love for longer than one minute.

  26. Lily says:

    Am I an evil girl if all I want for christmas is Marian dies beneath a bus’ tires in NY?

  27. Nick says:

    Why don’t the Charmings move into that mansion? That one bedroom apartment must be getting tight with the two of them, Neal, Emma, Henry. Thank goodness Elsa finally left town so they could have one less person.

  28. yikes says:

    I hated this episode. It was boring, nonsensical, and did not focus on the core characters. Did Charming and Snow even speak? Very disappointed viewer.

  29. Monique says:

    Hated this epidode. Hate the direction they are taking Rumple in. Wont be watching anymore.

  30. Ram510 says:

    Well done! When OUAT actually keeps the story moving, it’s hands down one of the best shows on TV. But the end of that Arendelle storyline was really dragging for weeks and I hope they don’t have a lagging storyline gmforgot weeks at a time when they come back. Sure I understand thier will be filler but it shouldn’t be every week

  31. Matthew B Lawler says:

    Okay I’ve got a question was that a seashell that the bird dropped what the holographic message of fell and was I the only one that got a Star Wars by windbells image and message appeared like when R2-D2 plays the message from Obi-Wan Kenobi

    • Matthew B Lawler says:

      Why does my voice to text and AutoCorrect hate me to turn my messages into drivel?

      • anonomousaurus says:

        It was a sand dollar. Rumple uses one to get in touch with Belle when they were in Neverland and it must be that he learned how to do it from Ursula.

  32. Mandy says:

    My biggest complaint with the whole Rumple thing is that he is constantly the bad guy while other get off for what they did. Both Hook and Regina are villains. One can even argue that Hook helped to make Rumple the man he is today by stilling his wife and mocking him as a coward when he went to save his wife. He left both Neal and Ariel out to dry and he screw Emma, Snow, and Belle over, but suddenly he sees the light and is “good.” Regina did horrible things but suddenly she is good. Rumple wasn’t a good guy but he wasn’t evil either. Everyone had a choice and were warned that magic had a price. Even in the Frozen arch, Rumple ask Anna what she would pay and she says anything but in the end didn’t want to pay because she didn’t like the price. All these people chose to make deals with him but then get upset when there is a price or they don’t like the price. Does the price favor Rumple? Of course! Deals always favor the dealmaker but it is still your choice.

    As to the whole thing with the dagger. Of course he wants to get rid of it. Look at what Zelena did to him with the dagger. She took his free will and treated him like a dog. He lost everything with the Wicked Witch- his son, his will, and his magic. That would make me go crazy to. What was worst was no one tried to save him after he sacrificed himself to save them from Pan ( a sacrifice that everyone and the writers seem to forget he made.) As for Belle, Rumple should not have lied about the dagger in the first place, but not a few episodes later she “use” the dagger to make him do what she wanted all for the greater good. Even now it was used against him for the greater good. This just proved she couldn’t be trusted.

    I hope that in the next arc, that if they want to make Rumple the villain then they really let Storybrooke see how evil he can be. He is the Dark One and could have destroyed them at anytime if he was so evil. I hope that Belle and other really see what happen when they face real evil and this time I don’t want Belle to be protected (Like she was from the Snow Queens curse.) Let her deal with the villains when Rumple isn’t saving her.

    • Moria says:

      All your arguments make a lot of sense, too bad the writers don’t seem to care about such things. Now overall I still like the show & will keep watching for now. However others have mentioned here before about how poorly the writers keep to consistent character development. In the past I was kind of able to wave it away but I don’t think I can anymore. After so many twists & turns of the plot, many characters don’t make sense anymore. I hope it improves but I doubt it will.

    • kath says:

      There are stages of villains. Hook had an affair with a woman who left her husband and lied about how cruel he was to her. Since then, he’s done a number of good things, suc as saving Charming’s life, rescuing Emma from the past and helping to end the second curse.

      Regina destroyed whole villages just because she could, she killed countless people, she was the reason Emma grew up without her parents.

      Rumple was the worst of all.
      What Hook did was not even in the same universe as Regina and Rumple.

      • Mandy says:

        He did a lot more throughout the seasons. Rewatch the back story of Hook. He and Milah could have survive if they hadn’t tried to screw the Dark One. As I have point out. Rumple isn’t a good guy but he is a deal maker. You have to enter into the deal and everyone did it on there free will. Also Rumple sacrifice himself to save them from Pan and has helped Henry a lot even though he was suppose to be his down fall. Hook was a villain. I don’t mind if Regina and him are redeem, I am just tired of the way Rumple is treated when those who went to him did so of there own free will.

      • Bella says:

        You’re not really trying to argue that having an affair with a married woman was the only villainous thing Hook has done, right?

      • K says:

        Uh, Hook eloping with Milah was the LEAST bad thing he ever did. Let’s see, he also abused disabled people, sold his stepson to a “bloody demon,” killed lost boys, admits to date-raping women, punched and tried to murder Belle, abetted Cora’s massacre of a village, stole Aurora’s heart, left Team Princess to die, betrayed Anton after he spared Hook’s life, tortured Archie, tried to kill Belle three more times, left Eric to die, blackmailed Rumple, punched and threatened Will…Yeah, he’s a prince. (And he did NOTHING to rescue Emma in the past; she rescued him, if anything.)

        • Jake says:

          I won’t go into some of the extenuating circumstances involved with some of Hook’s “crimes” you mention, but Regina and Rumple have actually killed large numbers of people, so in comparison Hook is a petty criminal, at best.

          • Joey says:

            So he wins the “not as big of a jerk as you could have been but still a jerk nonetheless” award? Give me a break. We’re not playing “who’s the biggest villain”, here.

          • Kay says:

            I’m sorry, but can’t Hook defend that character at all without constantly dragging others (preferably Rumple and Regina) into it as if that somehow magically makes him look better? Just once? I’m so tired of this ‘logic’.

          • abz says:

            If a major part of this show is to explore the redemption of villains and to be open minded to the possibility of them changing and observing their efforts to change, then Hook should be allowed the same courtesy as Rumple, Regina, Snow Queen, etc. The reason the other characters are brought up in his defense is because of the hypocrisy that exists. Why should they show Regina and Rumple’s redemption arcs (both past and present) and not be allowed to show Hook on his efforts to change and be good. Just because you hate the character or maybe you just miss Neal or for whatever reason, doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be allowed to move on try to be good despite his past similar to Regina and even Rumple of previous seasons. Insults that I constantly see, like “he’s only on the show because he’s pretty” or “he’s only on the show because of 12 year old girls”, etc., are just petty and desperate. He’s a character that the writers have expressed that they wanted to bring on back in the first season, but couldn’t do so until a rights issue was cleared. It’s about time to get over the hate and if you can’t like him then okay that’s perfectly fine, but at least tolerate him because clearly there aren’t any plans to get rid of him. They’ve kept him on for almost three seasons now and it doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere any time soon. He’s been integrated into the show. He’s romantically involved with the leading character. Her family has slowly been accepting him and so on.

        • Asoom says:

          the only thing he doesnt have is magic. or else they will all be on the same boat.

    • Matthew B Lawler says:

      Okay a couple things here hook did not steal rumples wife she chose hook over Rumpelstiltskin yes hook him Millie aided Rumpelstiltzkin but rumples wife willingly went with hook and because she chose hook rumple killed her and as far as nobody saving rumple after he sacrificed himself to kill pan Everyone thought he was dead Neil took it upon himself to attempt to bring rumple back and we saw how that turned out

  33. BelleRumpleFan says:

    I was so proud of Belle for being so strong and brave. Loved the writing and acting in that scene.

  34. aPerson says:

    Does anyone else feel the writing for this season was sloppy? Rumpelstiltskin felt out of place, I wish there was more of an internal war that we saw to truly understand why he went all power hungry. Like the moment he realized maybe he could have both: the hot wife bella and the power. Plus, Bella was super native this season…I understand she saw the good in him but it was like she had no idea. I also felt the writers tried to give both him and the snow queen equal screen time, which did not work in their favor. I wish they gave their all with the snow queen…but on the other hand, I realize that it isn’t ideal either: for a show that has done an awesome job to tie everything together, they do want to move forward with the current characters and go on an adventure with them, but the show can’t exist without a villain. I also feel like they don’t want to get into this constant format of having a new villain every season and have the heroes save the town. Which is good. (And probably why the snow queen didn’t get that awesome of a backstory, and hence her death).

    Also, maleficent…I get it, she’s bad but she doesn’t seem so badass so far…I hope they write her better. :)

    • Monique says:

      I agree. Robert Carlyle is an amazing actor. He made Rumple such a deeply complex character. The writers destroyed all his work in a matter of one stupid episode. I cant watch anymore it will be too painful. Just a really dumb move. Waste of Carlyles talents to have him play a flat stock character villian. Hope he finds another series.

      • LoB says:

        Thank you, Monique!!! You said it better than I have tried to with several posts! Devolving Rumple to a Mustache Twirling, power grabbing, one dimensional character complete undoes three prior seasons of fleshing out and adding layers to that character. They even started out the season with him vowing to be better. Yet completey abandon that so they can do a Disney Villainess tie-in with Rumple leading the charge.

        I’m disgusted by this.

        • Monique says:

          You’re very welcome! Thanks for the thank you. And now I hear they are going to get Belle involved with Will Scarlet. Rumple, the love of her life!?! One or two episodes go by and she’s already a “tart”! (apologize for the Wonderland pun, unintentional).

  35. Ashley says:

    Too bad Hook couldn’t go over the town line and keep Robin, instead.

  36. cw says:

    Is the actress portraying Belle sick in real life? she doesn’t look well.

    • Piers says:

      Thank you! I got roundly chastised up thread for remarking on Belle’s appearance. In the initial scenes in the castle with Rumpel her lower lip looks bruised in the center, her face is bloated and she looks exhausted. IMO she was marginally ill during shooting those scenes.

      • Moria says:

        You said she looked “round faced” & “should lay off the groceries” – because all women must be size zero to be worthy of you apparently.

  37. Kiera says:

    I’m glad Belle finally found out and I knew something bad was going to happen when she did, but it’s still sad because I shipped Rumbelle 😢. But anyway, I’m proud of her being heroic and I wished things were different. As for Regina, I feel so bad for her but I’m pretty sure she may find him again. But Rumbelle noo…💔💔

  38. Tiffany says:

    I loved this episode. The villain are going to be great. Will miss our heroes Anna and Elsa. “You know Anna saved StoryBrooke”. Will miss Elizabeth Lail and Georgina Haig so much. They were spectacular as Anna and Elsa. I wish they had made Elzabeth and Georgina regulars or a least recurring. Hope they will come back in future Episodes. Maybe Emma could go to Arendelle. Elizabeth Lail and Georgina Haig are to special to be gone forever. Come on Disney Studio let OUAT borrow them again. Love the Frozen arc. Snow Queen too. TeamFrozen on QUAT Forever.

  39. Sam says:

    I actually really like how OUAT does the big dramatic episode before their finales and has a more low-key episode for the finale that allows for more dialogue. All of the dramatic life or death action is great, but you sometimes miss out on things, so this way is great. It definitely would have sucked having the episode before this one be the finale and then just hopping right into the next half season arc.

  40. Man…March 1, 2015 is far…away.

  41. Ginger Snap says:

    So disappointed. Hook’s beady little heart wasn’t crushed.

    And now 3 months until we meet the Author.

  42. ninergrl6 says:

    So what happened to the hat? There has to be more about that in 4B, right? As some speculates before, I think the apprentice IS the sorcerer AND the author (the lake house ties it all together), so Rumple’s plot to find “the author” will lead him back to the hat…or something like that.

    I’m SO GLAD Rumple got what was coming to him! It’s about time Belle wised up. That was such a satisfying payoff to have her turn on him and force him across the town line. I just wish it happened 10 episodes ago!

    I’m disappointed that we never got to see Anna talk to Belle and/or Rumple in Storybrooke. I love her fiery personality & I’m going to miss her (and Elsa). I’m very glad, however, that we got some follow-up in Arendelle. Anna’s dress was perfectly princessy & GORGEOUS and I was happy to hear she punched Hans in reclaiming the kingdom.

    ANYONE could’ve accompanied Marian across the town line; it didn’t HAVE to be Robin. That was a lame way to split up OutlawQueen, but I’m sure he’ll make his way back to Storybrooke eventually.

    LOVED the Captain Swan reunion scene, even if it was short. I’m glad there wasn’t an angsty “how could you do that?!” type of argument. Maybe Hook’s actions at the hands of Rumple will be revisited in 4B, but I hope not. Just move on. Speaking of, now I’m curious what went down in Storybrooke during those six weeks. I’m sure the fanfic writers will have a field day!

    Not sure how I feel about the villain trifecta for the second half of the season. What can they do that hasn’t already been done? I do like the idea of them living in the real world, and I suspect a good chunk of 4B will show Rumple “collecting” everyone & trying to get back to Storybrooke.

    • I’m in agreement with all your points, except… Anyone *could* have accompanied Marian across the line, but she wouldn’t have left without her son, and I don’t think Robin could have chosen Regina over his son (who he would never see again). The only other alternative would have been Marian sacrificing her life so her husband and son could be with another woman? So, it had to be him who left with her.

  43. analog says:

    That Ursula costume is horrible!

  44. vane says:

    Yeay ONCE is starting to feel like Once Upon A Time again i loved this episode so much even dought am heart broken for outlaw queen the writers did a great job #hopeforoutlawqueen

  45. kath says:

    I can’t believe they had Emma leave Hook that fast to go have shots with Regina. They really have to stop everyone putting Regina first.

    Go Belle!

    Elsa and Anna, I will miss you dearly. (Robin and Marian, not at all.)

  46. Mason says:

    Did anyone else notice that Regina’s license plate read “4OF5TH” as in maybe the show will end after 5 seasons?

  47. sia says:

    I bet this powerful sorcerer is Merlin! They did bring up Camelot but I have been thinking about it ever since we met his apprentice who fights with a sword so well!

    And I really want Regina to get Robin back!

  48. Asoom says:

    Am i the only one who wanted Rumple to succeed? and am i the only one here who wanted Hook to die? i know Emma would be devastated but i really don’t like her with hook either.I love how belle though.
    and i would have loved to see the evil side of Regina again but i guess she did do the right thing.
    but if rumple was ordered out of storybrooke how will he ever return?????
    i really wanna know who the sorcerer is because he apparently must be ‘The Author’.
    and also Operation Mongoose was a Henry-Regina thing Emma should not actually be IN on it but that just my opinion,
    Overall i would give the episode an A.. :)

    • Ginger Snap says:

      You are not the only one.

    • LoB says:

      You most certainly are not. I despise Hook. Seducing Rumple’s wife and humiliating him as he did on his ship is the reason Rumple became the Dark One.

      Even if Hook was determined to have Millah, challenging the crippled and feeble Rumble to a duel for her was heartless and vicious.

      Had Rumple engaged in the mismatched duel, Bae would have been left with no parents. The faithless Millah showed no care or concern for the child she abandoned. Even with all of that, Millah and Hook only got their comeuppance because they attempted to challenge Rumple. I can tell you that I felt no remorse for Millah’s death as she died defending Hook. In fact, the only regret I had is that Rumple only took Hook’s hand and not his vicious, worthless life. Millah and Hook deserved killing, and that job is still only half done.

  49. Tracy84 says:

    I really wish Hook had died tonight. That would have been shocking and a breath of fresh air. I’m annoyed that Emma just kissed him. They should have broken up too. He lied to her and if he hadn’t done so then Rumple wouldn’t have gotten his heart and done all those terrible things. He could have put a stop to this before it got so far. I mean, Emma almost got sucked into the hat because of Hook’s selfishness and the faeries did, not to mention the apprentice. As far as I’m concerned he has just as much to answer for as Rumple. Rumple paid the price, but Hook gets the girl and a happy ending because he feels bad he allowed Rumple to run loose and nearly destroy the people he claims to love. I don’t think so. If Emma doesn’t dump him I’m done. Hook is a villain. His actions of his own free will this season proved that and villains don’t get happy endings. You can’t have that rule for some and not all. If Regina and Rumple can’t be happy, Hook shouldn’t be either. I don’t know if I’ll tune in after break. The CS ship makes me wanna hurl and it seems the writers have made up their minds on that. I can’t root for them and I FF through Hook.

    • Asoom says:

      totally agree. Hook just pisses me off.and he doesnt deserve to be with Emma. also dont remember which episode it was, but even Emma knows every guy she has been with dies in the end, this could have been the best end for hook. i just wonder why rumple couldnt get done with him as soon as he got into the tower. anyway hook doesnt add anything to the series so why cant they just write him off?

      • I am so tired of your hate. Hook is none of these things you say. You must really hate men. I think it is awful you want Colin O’donoghue to lose his job. I am not a fan of Regina but I never say the such hateful things about her. I think you are obsessed and need to get some help. This is a TV show and the people are actors. The Captain Swan relationship is not unhealthy. I don’t want anyone to lose their job.

        • Jake says:

          I think a lot of the Hook Haters never got over scruffy Neal.

        • Tracy84 says:

          I doubt you were heart broken that the actor who played Neal lost his job. The only purpose his death served, in the end, was to pave the way for Hook to sink his hooks into Emma. Don’t preach about hate speech because I doubt you would be happy if Rumple had killed Hook. You’d be out for blood along with the rest of the CS shippers. I wanted Hook to die to rejuvenate this stale and forced story. A character dying is a part of tv so if he lost his job it’s always been a possibility. That’s show business. I’m not going to feel bad that I don’t like Hook just because you do like him. Maybe before you spew insult laced tirades at people, ironically in the guise of not spreading hate, you should take a step off that high horse you seem to be on.

          • gloria says:

            I’m happy swanfire sunk and I’m happy captain swan shipped! your crazy if you wanted hook to die because he is a good character! PLEASE STOP MAKING COMMENTS LIKE THESE TRACY84, AND ASOOM!!!!! btw when i said “AGREED! i don’t like the whole snow and charming, and outlaw Queen but i don’t say , crazy comments.” it was a reply to “wendy”

          • DP says:

            Hook should be with someone sooooooooooooooooooooo much better that Emma. I feel bad for him. Emma doesn’t even love Hook she just acts like HDR likes him because even she feels bad. For him because he has to be with her. Neal was her first and only love.

        • gloria says:

          AGREED! i don’t like the whole snow and charming, and outlaw Queen but i don’t say rude, unnecessary, crazy comments.

      • ninergrl6 says:

        IMO Hook adds a lot to the show. His scenes are usually my favorites & he’s one of the main reasons I’ve continued to watch. To each his own.

        • Piers says:

          Nothing against Colin O., but I’m ready to be done with Hook. it’s too creepy that Emma would be with Henry’s grandmother’s lover. Yikes. And ICK! I realize that the entire show is an incestuous daisy chain, but that’s just too ott.

          • gloria says:

            piers, rumples first wife was dumb and annoying and she left him so i don’t consider her as the grandmother and DISTANCE! its not like hook and milah got married. HOOK is a good character. Captain Swan

        • gloria says:

          ME TOO AGREE SO MUCH ninegirl

      • Msw says:

        I disagree. Emma and Hook are my favorite couple on the show. I would have been so upset had Hook been killed off. I feel like their relationship is still evolving and developing. I love their chemistry(HOT) and am looking forward to seeing what happens in March! Captain swan!!

      • gloria says:

        YOU STUFF me off asoom he deserves her if anything she doesn’t deserve him but they deserve each other! STOP WATCHING STOP MAKING CRAZY COMMENTS

    • Anesu says:

      Emma went to the enchanted forest in the second season and she experienced what happens when a persons heart is taken first hand , thats why she let it go she understands, breaking up with Hook would have made no sense and made more people hate her. Since its not Hook’s fault.
      Just because you despise a character doesn’t justify the show getting more inconsistencies it has enough.
      I like Hook and Emma together , l dont care about ships never have , but l want Emma to be happy in between Regina’s depressing arc and Emma’s boyfriends always dying l dont think they should go there again.
      Plus l knew Hook wasnt dying because l saw set photos of Hook from the next two episodes after this like two weeks ago.
      As for the Hook rule , Hook was never really Rumple and Regina level evil , these two committed genocide ,Hook was a bad person but he was in truth the least evil villain of the show adding on Cora , Peter Pan and Zelena who was going to wipe everyone from existence.Hook was just Cora’s lacky at best , l rewatched the show a couple of times so l can see why Hook is more believable at getting a happy ending , Hook devoted his life to getting revenge on Rumple the worst thing he did was probably having an affair with a married woman. Remember the evil queen episode in season 2 when Regina killed an entire village for helping Snow.

      • Asoom says:

        ok so regina also changed. she deserves to be happy. wasnt she and robin destined to be together? and hook might not be that evil but he still was a selfish arrogant pirate but once he decides to change he suddenly gets is happy ending?
        thats actually unfair because regina has been on the good side for quite sometime now..i mean she did change from the beginning of season 3 (almost) so yeah thats a really long time.

        • murley says:

          Ok but isn’t it pretty obvious that Regina will get her happy ending? She is the main character, along with Emma, and her evolution is her main drivin story. So it will take longer for the purpose of her story on the show but she will clearly get her happy ending. Hook is more of a secondary main character. and who is to say his happy ending is locked down. Let’s not jump the gun.

        • Anne says:

          Sorry, people like rumple and regina don’t change. Not really. If they did, countries wouldn’t have overcrowded prison systems. And the people that fall in love with people capable of doing the things that these two have done need serious help.

      • Tracy84 says:

        Just because you like a ship doesn’t justify the show getting more inconsistencies. As I pointed out before, Hook wasn’t in control when Rumple had his heart, but Rumple was only able to take his heart because of the selfish and, yes, evil actions that Hook took of his own free will. Emma may be able to see that Hook didn’t have free will in the end, but in the beginning he was in full control. He is responsible. He helped Rumple capture the apprentice on his own. He should answer for that. The only inconsistency in the Hook/Emma ship is that Hook hasn’t paid for crimes.

    • Letti says:

      In fact I agree. I loved it when Hook when he was a villian, but I hate how they downgraded his character to be Emma’s love interest. Now he has no other purpose. And I don’t get how he is a hero now. Regina has done so much to be considered good, yet she can’t get her happy ending. Hook never had a redemption arc, he never apologized for the things he did, yet he’s a hero now, because of his pretty face and his relationship with Emma. It just doesn’t make sense.

    • Joey says:

      Hook is “pretty”, so, just like in real life, he gets away with much more than uglier people would be allowed to get away with.

      • Erica says:

        Sad, but true!

        • Moria says:

          That last scene at the town line really played like a writer from a different show wandered in & had Rumple playing an addict & Belle his enabler. It was so classic where she was trying to look the other way for a while then just hoped if she “could love him enough” he’d get over the addition. Of course it never works that way & she did the right thing cutting him off from her & his addiction. Too bad he won’t be joining any 12 step groups in future shows & Belle won’t join Al Anon. We’re really set up to root for Rumple to get his power ultimately so that plot will get dropped. On the other hand, I really liked how they made a point of showing Hook’s heart had a lot of blackness in it.

    • gloria says:


      • DP says:

        WOW calm down!!! Baptinswan is a bad ship and that’s a fact.!!!

        • gloria says:

          WOW DP why are you still making comments!

          • DP says:

            WOW Gloria!!! Stop making Captinswan commenents, no one cares about that BAD ship it should sink and trust me that is what everyone wants. It’s all about Rumbelle and Outlaw Queen. Everyone feels bad for Hook.

          • gloria says:

            I don’t know who everyone is to you DP but lots of people like captain swan so who knows where YOUR at.by no one you just mean you and a FEW people so no i don’t trust you.

  50. Jennifer says:

    Only a mediocre episode but Emma and Regina as drinking buddies was worth it. So thrilled that Emma is in on Operation Mongoose too. They make such an awesome team. The Rumple and Belle scenes were great too. That’s the Belle I fell in love with. I just hope that Rumple and Regina have more than one scene together in the second half. Who thought it was a good idea to separate the two strongest actors for half a season?