Once Recap: Author! Author! (AKA the Episode With Lotsa Answers)

ABC’s Once Upon a Time did a very smart thing leading into the two-week Easter break: It answered several burning questions/loose threads, and in doing so set things up nicely for the final salvo of Season 4.

For starters, in flashback, we learned that Snow and Charming– spooked by one premonition produced by the touch of a unicorn’s horn — were coaxed by a peddler (Mad Men‘s Patrick Fischler) into visiting the Sorcerer‘s Apprentice, who offered them a way to “guarantee” the goodness of their unborn child by transferring its potential for darkness into another “living vessel.” They get the (already morally iffy) idea to use the egg that dragon Maleficent just laid, assuming that it contains a wee fire-breather. But two tragic surprises await them when they bring the vessel to the Sorcerer‘s Apprentice: One, he is transporting the vessel to another realm — so scratch that noble idea of “returning” the tarnished egg to its Mommy! And two, there’s actually a human baby inside, they all discover, just before the egg (and a flailing Cruella and Ursula) tumble into a portal to our realm.

So right there, you get the answer to how the Charmings “lost” Mal her child, as well as how the other Queens of Darkness landed in our realm.

Afterward, Snow is (rightfully!) feeling all kinds of icky/lousy — she even rues the baby shower gift that box office queen Cinderella sent them — and all David can suggest is that from here on, they live to be the best people they can be, spreading hope and faith at every turn. So that explains why the Charmings are so… goody-goody.

Meanwhile in Storybrooke… Henry did something smart. Bless him.

Pressured by Rumple & Co. to procure the illustration of the door, Regina tries to get by with just a cell phone snap of it (and a Blackberry one at that!), but when Rumple sees the magic surrounding the door, he insists on getting his hands in the real deal. That leads to a confrontation with storybook-toting “Henry Daniel Mills,” who (thankfully) catches his Mom’s drift and turns over the forged illustration that Emma conjured up earlier.

However, Rumple — who paid sleep-spelled Belle a brief visit, to promise to return for her after he “changes the rules” (or something) — is not so easily fooled by the fake, so he has Mal KO Regina. And he is confident that when Regina awakens, he has something that when she sees it, will have the Evil Queen doing his bidding forever.

Meanwhile, when it comes time to dupe Henry some, the Charmings realize they can lie no longer. So they come clean to Emma about their secret and her potential darkness, and Emma reacts strongly-ish. After she sulks a bit, Hook lures Emma back to see August, who has awakened from a storyline-dictated nap. (He puts the lumber in slumber, one could say!) Emma shows August the illustration and the key Henry was led to inside the Sorcerer’s mansion. August informs/warns that the Author is not a person but a job — kinda like the keeper on the island on Lost — and it has been held by many, many witnesses and recorders of the greatest stories of our time (a man named “Walt” included). And the last man to hold the gig got locked inside the book because the Sorcerer realized he was manipulating people/stories in a slightly wicked way.

Nonetheless, Emma sees this Author’s potential to change things up, so they use the key to release him from the illustration… and it’s the peddler, who then quickly gives a roomful of heroes the slip, escaping from his Savior/saviors.

Elsewhere, Mal leverages Rumple to uphold his end of their deal (even though she failed to deliver the illustration). He warns that in doing so, he might feed her existing pain with a ginormous meal. She persists, though, so he reveals the fate of her child — and we see in flashback a man from our realm holding a newly adopted baby daughter, whom he names… Lily.

What did you think of this week’s episode and its many reveals?

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. amy says:

    As much as I love this show I had a lot of concerns regarding the ‘Author’ storyline. Especially concerning freewill and if the author’s job was to create or record. I love that this episode answered those and that the Author was trying to manipulate the story and write his own fan fiction. Really enjoyed this episode and excited to see what’s in store. Loved all the answers and the little things like Cinderella sending the mobile

  2. OK…I WAS hoping Mal’s baby was not gone…she deserves a happy ending, too, but damn…there is so much gray this season. Really changes up the whole villain/hero thing. I have to say I’m rooting for all the villains a little.

  3. laurelnev says:

    So this gives them a chance to rewtite everything now I guess? Strange that the Sorcerer “hires” the authors, but can still be manipulated by them, even up to the point that he cannot fire them when he tries. All of these portals seem to have been REALLY easy to come by (and still are, when it’s handy to the plot.) And how will Emma feel when her “only” friend in life also turned out to be from the EF, but actually got adopted? And is the vessel for all her own evil? Not sure WHY the baby didn’t stay w/ Cruella and Ursula since they all fell through together. Nou sure I’m liking this whole turning the Charmings dark thing here. I think I liked it better when they were turning Rumple light.

    • Duke says:

      Worth noting that the article wrongly calls the old man the “Sorcerer” when he’s actually only the Sorcerer’s Apprentice (which may explain how he was able to be manipulated.)

  4. leslie says:

    Loved this episode and the Walt mention. You left out that Lilly winds up being Emma’s best friend in the real world

  5. Dean says:

    Knew it Maleficent’s daughter was that Lily kid Emma met when she was younger. I hope Rump didn’t steal Regina’s heart in order for her to ‘do his bidding’ seriously that guy should have Mia Martina as his theme song. As for Mary and David making them do this shady stuff is probably the best thing that’s happened to them all season.

    • outlawqueen16 says:

      I think possibly he took robins maybe? While he was out of storybrooke? A little crack thoery.

      • Lisa says:

        That is VERY possible.

      • Ingrid Lovett says:

        He can’t because outside of Storybrook there is not magic, and in order to take a heart out you need magic.

        • DBianco says:

          Well there was a lot of magic in New York at least over the years. Most noticably in the season 2 episodes Manhattan and the Queen is Dead and during season 3 when Walsh turned from a human back into a flying monkey in the middle of NYC, a magic memory potion restored Emma’s memories. There has to be some magic at work that explains why Ursula and Cruella didn’t age in our world too. I think the point is that magic can be brought to our world from outside and then I’d say it’s not unlikely at all that Rumple made that happen.

          • bennett says:

            They Could be hinting to a Percy Jackson storyline because New York is the Home of Percy and Mount Olympus, also Camp Half-Blood is in Long island. The Percy Jackson Storyline can happen because Disney published the books and just got back the Movie and Video Games rights

    • Gail says:

      Rumple has no magic outside of Storybrooke, so how would he be able to steel Robin’s heart in NY.

  6. LADY_in_MD says:

    This was such a great episode! I did not see the peddler being the author but I liked that twist
    Lily being Mal’s daughter can mean that Mal can have her happy ending too but I’m still curious about Cruella I can’t wait for her back story and Zelena returning along with Robin in two weeks can’t wait 😀

  7. aurat22 says:

    Wonder whether the author that was trapped first name will turn out to be Michael as in Eisner? Just kidding. I hope since the sorcerer mentioned free will the author isn’t going to be able to manipulate things too much like turning Emma evil and Lilly into the saviour. What her parents did wasn’t Emma’s fault. What the Charmings’ did was totally wrong but if they can find a way to right the wrong somehow like Hook did with Ursala, they deserve a shot at redemption too.

  8. missvci says:

    Great episode. No surprise Lily is Mal’s daughter, but excited to see where that story goes. Agree it was already morally gray to use Mal’s child as a vessel even if they thought it was a dragon. Couldn’t stand David this episode.

    Like the twist that the author can manipulate the story since many have been annoyed with the whole the storybook was a record of events.

    But couple questions:
    Why didn’t Cruella and Ursula age 28 years when everyone else in our world did when they fell through a portal, including Lily? How will their age freeze be explained?

    Lily didn’t seem evil, was the darkness negated because of the “no magic in our realm”?

    Was this filmed a bit after the other new episodes of the year. I’m just saying it look like Jared aged two years in one week, and Ginnifer’s seemed slimmer, or at least wardrobe finally stopped dressing her in excessive/baggy clothing. (Side note: not hating, liked the fact Ginnifer didn’t slim down quick like every other woman in hollywood.)

    • Ally says:

      Lily wasn’t evil but she was a mischievous juvenile/ lawbreaker; she ran away, stole and broke into a house

    • shellybot says:

      Ginnifer was pregnant at one point while filming the show. She is married to her costar, David. She may have lost some of the pregnancy weight.

  9. DBianco says:

    Very good episode, especially in comparison to last week’s in my humble opinion. I’m glad they answered a bunch of questions and pushed the Operation Mongoose story forward quite a few steps. The only thing I may have done differently is that scene in which the author was freed from the book – it would have been nice to have Henry do that. Since Operation Mongoose is kind of his (and Regina’s, but she’s obviously got more pressing issues to deal with right now) mission and yes, he found the key, but still… minor thing I would have changed. To have him there to witness the author stepping out of the book so to speak.
    I wonder if Charming got the part of Snow’s heart with the dark spot on it. Of the two of them he was clearly the more shady one even in the Storybrooke scenes. I’m glad Snow saw the light and stopped him from burning the book page at the last moment.
    Rumple and his leverage over Regina… it must have something to do with Robin Hood. He’s been dropping hints about how important he is as someone Regina’s found love with again and then Regina’s drama about Robin being in danger… It has to be about him. And I won’t lie, I made a litlte squee noise when Robin was finally seen in the promo for the next episode again. I missed him quite a bit and I’m beyond excited for some insight into his backstory and how Zelena fits into all of this. Easter can’t be over soon enough now, lol.

  10. Brenna says:

    Really enjoyed this episode (especially the Rumbelle moment!). My only complaint is I didn’t like how snow and charming just ran out with the egg. Malificent is the mistress of all evil. Shouldn’t she have done A LOT more in recovering her child?

    • ninergrl6 says:

      I thought the same thing! Really, that’s ALL she does to try to save her child? Doesn’t even go after them in the forest?

    • abz says:

      Yeah, for the most part, I’ve enjoyed what they’ve done with Maleficent so far, but the Mistress of All Evil put very little effort into saving her child.

    • Actually , in Once Upon A Time , Maleficent is not really powerful as much as Regina , Ingrid , Cora , ….
      And the woman had just gone through labor . Moving would be hard enough.

      • Megan says:

        Why did Mal have the baby as a dragon then? Why couldn’t she have the baby and carry it in human form? Then the baby would be protected no and could not be “stolen”? Plus maybe this is silly of me but why were Ursula and Cruella standing outside Mal’s cave? I didn’t get that :/

  11. Brandi says:

    If the sorcerer was being manipulated by the author (as evidenced by him saying I can’t believe you made me do that to that baby), then how do we know he really took all of Emma’s dark potential and gave it to Lily? Why are we assuming he was telling the Charmings the truth? My impression was that all of that was just a ruse so that the Charmings would bring the egg, so the sorcerer could send it to our world because that’s where the author wanted Lily.
    If that’s the case, then Emma and Lily both still have the potential to be either good or evil.
    And I think Rumple has Robin (or his heart). I’m not sure what else he could have that would make Regina vulnerable.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      I think the good/evil destiny for Emma & Lily has to do with how they were raised. Didn’t the sorcerer’s apprentice say something about Snow & Charming needing to taise their child in the ways of goodness? But they didn’t raise Emma (nor did Mal raise Lily), so to me that sounded like whatever magic the sorcerer’s apprentice did was void and both girls still had the capacity for anything. But that could totally just be my interpretation.

    • Lisa says:

      Not to mention that if he manipulated the Sorcerer, he probably also manipulated Snow and Charming in the first place.

  12. Mike Q says:

    This ep needs to be shown in film schools across the country as an example of leading your characters instead of them leading you. Nobody was acting as their characters would have reacted. So bad that, if it doesn’t improve a lot in the next episode, I’m done.

    • Katherine215 says:

      Thank you! This love fest for a storyline based on pretty bad plot devices is ridiculous. Snow and Charming would never have made that decision but they had to for the whole story to have a purpose.

  13. Rafael says:

    Can anyone tell me if the information on wikipedia of Evangeline Lilly about her appearing on the next episode of OUAT is true?

  14. EM_10610 says:

    This was…awful. If they wanted to write an entirely different show, couldn’t they have at least changed the name?

    I mean seriously, last season it was explicitly stated that Snow and Charming had pure hearts. And beyond that, now it feels like the entire series makes no sense now. Apparently any author could’ve been messing with anyone’s stories at any given time? And even if they’re caught, what’s done is done? And theoretically everyone has free will, unless an author decides to take it away?

  15. Samantha Gash says:

    Who is the author? Why did he write the bad story’s? Was it suppose to just record the stuff that happened or what?

  16. ninergrl6 says:

    The best part was August’s speech about the author, or authors as it were. As many of us have said for months, the author storyline is flawed because he/she/it/they simply record what has already happened. August’s explanation of an author gone awry at least addresses that issue. It doesn’t, however, explain Ursula’s “happy ending” sans author interference (which, DUH, why haven’t any of the characters realized?) nor does it justify the villains’ assumption that the author will write whatever they want him to. I think the ultimate moral of the story is that everyone has free will to make good or bad choices, like the Sorcerer explained. This “find the author” storyline seems like an awfully long way to go to prove that point though.

    I really enjoyed Henry’s role tonight, possibly for the first time since season 1. I’m glad he’s the one who found the key and I so badly wanted him NOT to give it to David. I also really liked the Captain Swan scene on the docks. Emma may be uber pissed at her parents (overreact much?) but at least she’s not keeping her distance from everyone, and Hook seems to have gotten over his momentary insecurity about August, which is progress for both of their characters.

    I want to know…
    What’s wrong with Gold? Heart condition? Side effect of magic? I’m hoping the next ep (which looks great) sheds some light on that situation.
    Who’s Lily’s father? If she was conceived while Mal was in dragon form, yikes!

  17. Gail says:

    So is the Wicked Witch back next time because the author rewrote last season.

  18. Alichat says:

    Annnnnd we have deleted it from the DVR list.

  19. Sandra says:

    I really hate what they have done with the Charmings. What they did was awful and out of character, even if it was all “the author´s fault”.
    The way they explained how Cruella and Ursula came to our world was REALLY lame. And tbh Cruella and Ursula are completely irrelevant to the plot really.

    • abz says:

      I liked it. I’m not a fan of them always being portrayed as so damn perfect and good. I like that they have flaws. It makes them human and more realistic.

    • Ingrid Lovett says:

      They are just trying to make them humans, real, that’s the purpose of the whole show. A person can’t be always as good as they are in the storybooks, so putting them to do this kind of things (i don’t think it was the autor fault) they are proving that even a hero can make bad choices and make huge mistakes.

    • James says:

      So are you a fan of cardboard, cookie-cutter and one-dimensional characters in the world of fiction?

      • Sandra says:

        No. I´m just not a fan of people who kidnaps babies and then call themselves heroes.

        • missvci says:

          To be fair, they thought it was a dragon not an actual child, and they were just “borrowing” the egg. Not saying it makes it right, but that was their justification to save their child. And Snow thought they shouldn’t consider themselves heroes afterwards, so she agrees.

          They are putting fairy tales in the real world, and everyone has flaws in the real world and no one is 100% pure.

        • James says:

          Which is what the show is exploring. Because there’s a lot of grey in what makes heroes and villains as to what they are. At the very least they are at the very least, human who posses flawed characteristics and do things out of their own free-will (unless of course you were being manipulated by the Author all this time).

    • Katherine215 says:

      I get making them flawed and more “human” but at least try to do it within character. I’m sorry, stealing someone’s child to protect guarantee their own would be good is not AT ALL like them and is a line even morally suspect people wouldn’t cross, let alone a pair with high morals.

    • kath says:

      I think a lot about Cruella and Ursula has been very lame, although I like Ursula as a character.

      They really are writing the Charmings like idiots, freaking out that their child may be evil. Yes, everyone can be evil, you don’t take away a person’s free will just because they make a decision you don’t agree with.
      Even worse to take Maleficent’s child, dragon or not, and put all the evil into the innocent babe.

  20. Christian says:

    When they mentioned “Walt”, this was a nod to Walt Disney right?

  21. But… when Snow killed Cora she had a pure heart. And now we find out about this… There’s a major plot hole, as much as I enjoy the story. :-(

    • Gail says:

      No we didn’t see the heart until after Snow killed Cora. We assumed the heart darkened because she killed Cora. Now we are finding it probably already was darkened.

      Snow and Charming thought the egg baby was already going to be evil so adding their baby’s potential evil wasn’t going to change anything. Of course it was selfish and cruel and what gave them the right to do something like that. I guess they are kind of absolved because the author wrote that they would do this, No fee will.

  22. Lex says:

    I mostly enjoyed this episode. LOVED Regina/Henry. I’m glad they answered some questions. YAY!

    The Charmings are SO selfish (I’ve always thought this and it’s now clearly confirmed). How on earth did They get through the door to Glinda since you have to be “pure of heart” and they certainly are nothing of the sort?

    You know what I’d like to see? Emma actually dealing with stuff. She’s not really dealt with anything since arriving in Storybrooke and I really need to see her crack. Jen is such a capable actor and simply have sulk and stomp away, it would be great to see Emma really lose it. Pitch a fit worthy of a diva. Tear stuff up. On top of everything that’s happened to her since Henry arrived at her door, she’s just learned that her parents, true love couple legends are made of, LIED to her, controlled her, took away her free will, cost another mother her baby and after all that STILL sent her thru a tree so she would return to them on her 28th birthday to break a curse. I want Emma to DEAL WITH IT.

    Perhaps it’s just me but I find the family dynamics and this group of folks having to deal with each other far more interesting than the villain of the week or the next best CGI thing.

    Thanks Matt!

    • EM_10610 says:

      They sent her through the wardrobe because they had no choice; Regina would have murdered her. This is shown not only in the pilot but also in episode 309, when Regina flat out states that she intends to “get rid” of baby Emma.

    • DBianco says:

      The writing for Emma is one thing I find disappointing too. But in my opinion it’s been a problem almost ever since they broke cure and her original ‘job’ as the savior was done. Since then they rush from one 1-2 episodes problem to the next and find extermal ways to make her more special than the others ‘just because’, but it’s all not very convincing and doesn’t have much depth. The relationship with Hook also doesn’t help in my opinion because they’re forcing that so much now that there’s next to no room for any other meaningful relationships in Emma’s life. Yes, they’re finally doing something with Emma and her parents now, but even those scenes were somehow made all about Hook in this episode at least and it’s slightly hilarious how she can wave everything he does aside and acts like it doesn’t matter, but I fully expect her to ignore her parents and act like they committed the greatest sin ever for a bunch of episodes. The problem is they really need to let her actually deal with stuff on screen, give some actual screentime to Emma-David and especially Emma-Snow again.

      • aurat22 says:

        As someone who likes all three characters, Killian, David and Mary Margaret , I can see why Emma’s madder at her parents. Yes Hook was most likely going to keep his past with Ursula a secret. Yet when Emma guessed there was something he was holding back he did finally admit she was right but that he just wasn’t ready to talk about it. Plus his secret only peripherally involved Emma in that it was Ursala’s reason for being involved but he set that right with Ariel and Posiden’s help.

        The Charmings on the other hand told Emma they were NOT keeping anything from her when she asked them. That was an outright lie. Plus there secret not only directly involved her, it went to the very core of her identity. Oh yeah she’s got a right to be ticked more at them.

        Plus they always held themselves out to Emma and the town as heroes when Snow herself admitted to David they weren’t anymore after what they did to the baby.

        Hook has admitted several times that he’s been a villain and is still tempted by his dark side right to Emma. So at least so far in this season he’s been more honest with her than her parents.

        That and Emma’s lack of screen time with Henry and her parents, has more IMHO to do with the fact that we have too many characters and too many stories competing for too little airtime, than an agenda by the writers to just push Emma/Hook.

      • Mer says:

        I think Hook’s transition from villain to love interest of Emma has ruin many dynamics on the show. It is sad that we barely see her interacting with Henry and it doesn’t make sense to be so involved with a man that she barely knows over a son she has barely been in his life for like 3 years.

        Also, there needs to be a more realistic resolution with Emma and her parents but that is being sidelined as well. I would love for more familial interactions on the show.

  23. Jking says:

    It would be better twist if Lilly was really Emma

  24. Jking says:

    I hop next season cinderella comes in plus big twist like cinderella step mom comes too but some how take / strip the dark one powers so she can be the new dark one ? Please make it happened sorcerer

    • riandyliu says:

      I always thought Cinderella is so underutilized in this show. I mean she’s like the most famous princess/fairytale of all. So it will be nice to see her has larger arc than being a gold-digging mother. And c’mon I miss Jessy Schram.
      But by doing that the show will probably spawn more haters that think of them as evil corporate dudes that just wants to profit from box-office films (i.e. Frozen & Maleficent)

  25. Matthew B Lawler says:

    I’m confused if all Emma’s potential evil was transferred to lily why are the Channing’s so scared that Emma is going to snap and turned bad?

    • abz says:

      I’m guessing it’s because the Sorcerer’s Apprentice they must guide their child, but they didn’t really raise Emma so they never had the chance to. Plus Rumple being able to revive Maleficent, of course, they’re scared of how much his power can actually do and they probably think he can undo the spell the Apprentice did and actually make Emma turn evil.

  26. Matthew B Lawler says:

    I find it odd that Lily Cruella and Ursula all fell through the same portal but Lilith was adopted and the queens of darkness didn’t keep in touch or age but Pinocchio/August emma and lily all aged normally but then again time and age make no since on this show I mean Neal was a boy when he left the enchanted forest but only aged about 20 years in what 300 years and pan some how kept the darling kids from aging past their 20’s

    • Cmartinez says:

      Okay I think this is how the portal thing works, the first (Lilly) who entered landed further back in the past while the one who entered few seconds later than the first landed years earlier (1990, or 2000). As for Neal, he went into the portal to our world, lived with the Darlings then was taken by Pans shadow to Neverland which is why he didn’t age. Neal then escaped Neverland and grew up in Telahasse (sp?)

  27. Matthew B Lawler says:

    Rumpelstiltskins seen with belle tonight was confusing was it and the scenes for the next new episode supposed to imply Gold is possibly dying? I can see his health being an issue in the magic free real world but now that he is back
    In storybrooke in full dark one mode why would his health be a concern

  28. Matthew B Lawler says:

    Does anyone have screen captures of page from the story book because I swear the book is typed and August used a typewriter when he added his story to the book but tonight we say the author writing in the book by hand with a quill pen

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      The storybook is not typed; August merely carried around a typewriter. (And his “I know you’re Baelfire” note to Neal was typed.)

      • Matthew B Lawler says:

        Then why didn’t Henry or anyone else notice the pinochio’s story was in different handwriting than the rest of the book yes eventually everyone found out August added to the book but shouldn’t they have noticed that right away?

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          Well gosh, Matthew, I’m gonna reckon August either did his research and decently forged the storybook font, OR any page slipped into its “magical” pages adopts the same font.

  29. Ram510 says:

    So will we ever get a Cruella back story? I would’ve thought it would happen by now

  30. murley says:

    Their twist of a rogue author who is manipulating the stories was a clever way to address some of the issues with the author storyline. While the charmings were a bit extreme tonight I guess we can blame the author’s interference. I actually find them a lot more interesting to watch when they are morally questionable. Also the best line had to be Cruella’s comment about snatching two more puppies for mittens if she’d known it would be that cold. I am interested to know more about her but I also wouldn’t care if all they had her do for the rest of the show was stand around making snide comments. She is hilarious and I love her.

    • Singing_gal says:

      Cruelly is pretty hilarious, I have to say. She reminds me of Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous, and that’s never a bad thing.

    • aurat22 says:

      I personally can’t stand her but then again I am prejudice as a dog lover. I don’t find jokes about killing puppies funny.

      • murley says:

        Fellow dog lover here too! I actually feel like in a way Cruella is the most evil because a person who kills puppies is just sadistic. I hope that they don’t try redeem her and just leave her sinister to the core. How do you redeem a puppy killer? But I can stil find an irredeemable villain droll and hilarious when the story is so totally fictional. And she is just so perfect in the role, her delivery is flawless.

        • Nan says:

          How do you redeem a woman who committed patricide? Regina.

          • missvci says:

            YES, this. I don’t understand how animal lovers are like it’s the worst thing in the world to hurt an animal or to see starving puppies, what about starving children and people killing people.

          • aurat22 says:

            I think both starving children and starving puppies are things that should invoke compassion in people. We are all capable of caring about more than one living thing at a time. They are both rather defenseless against those who seek to harm them. I don’t condone what Regina did to her father or her other victims but if the character is trying to change her evil ways and repent, she should have a chance at repentance. Isn’t that what at least one major religion in real life bases it’s whole foundation on? Why can’t the fictional story embrace the concept as well ?

          • NotAnselAdams says:

            Ugh, seriously.

            These people who wring their hands about puppies but can barely stifle a yawn about the death of human beings seriously concern me.

  31. dancmh says:

    Every decision Emma makes is wrong. Every. Single. Time. Just once I want someone to ask Emma’s opinion on something and then have the entire town do the opposite.

  32. Pat says:

    So, the nut job of an author is now running loose in Storybrooke and does this mean that anything he writes can change everything again? In two weeks we see some of the characters coming back, does he have a hand in this? Also, Gold really made me mad. Henry is his grandson and when he knew they had to get the page from him not once did he say “Do not harm my grandson” even though we know that Regina would never let that happen. Oh I have one more question, who in the heck is taking care of Baby Neil during all of this craziness?????

    • Pat says:

      One other thought. I know that they said that the authors write down the stories after events have happened, but I am taking away that this peddler author can manipulate the stories. Am I reading into this wrong?

  33. I have a sneaking suspicion that Henry is going to end up being an Author.

  34. aurat22 says:

    Question if free will still plays apart, how did the author manipulate the Sorcerer’s apprentice into doing something he clearly didn’t want to do? I can see why it worked with the Charmings because they would have done anything to ensure their baby’s goodness but don’t see why S A’s freewill wouldn’t have broken free and resisted?

  35. Matthew B Lawler says:

    How creepy is it that Regina gave her son the middle name of her dead “true love”

    • DBianco says:

      How is naming your child after someone you loved creepy? Thousands of people across the world are named after parents, grandparents, siblings, etc. and other people that were important to their parents. My parents picked my middle name as a way of honoring my uncle who’d died before I was born for example and I’m proud to wear his name.

      • Matthew B Lawler says:

        A relative is one thing a dead lover is another

      • Mer says:

        It is not creepy in the least bit. I wonder how people feel about Snow and Charming naming their son after their daughter’s baby daddy that left Emma in prison. People who are not Regina fans are finding that name of “Daniel” disturbing when it doesn’t have any creepiness at all.

  36. Matthew B Lawler says:

    Given the author was sitting outside when the apprentice trapped him in the book how did he know where the key was hidden to direct Henry to its location and why was the key just laying inside an unlocked draw in the first place

  37. Kim Buchanan says:

    I have a bit of a timeline question. I think the writers made an error. Regina brought back the dragon Mal after her baby was taken. We don’t know exactly how much time between baby being taken by Snow and David but doesn’t really matter. But when Regina went to Mal the first time, Regina was just learning her magic. She wasn’t powerful yet. That was when Snow was younger. Yet last night it shows a married and preggers Snow taking the baby. We know Regina was fully the Evil Queen and had been chasing Snow for a while before she married David. So how could they steal Mal’s baby as a married couple yet Regina come LATER (as the magic apprentice to Rumpel) and bring the dragon back AFTER the baby was taken if the married Charmings took it? At that point, Regina was the Evil Queen and had been for years. She even came to the Charmings wedding fully the Evil Queen. Last weeks epi showed her coming to Mal to learn and she couldn’t even make a fireball well. (After Mal’s baby was gone) Makes no sense in the timeline of the past seasons we have watched.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      What makes you think Mal had “lost” her child already at the time Regina first met her? That’s what’s causing the problem with your timeline, when that encounter obviously took place long before the egg-napping.

      • Kim Buchanan says:

        I was fairly certain that when Regina first went to her castle that was after Mal had lost her child “words of the writers not mine”. And had lost her ability to change into the dragon. Wasn’t that last weeks epi?

        • Kim Buchanan says:

          Wait, two weeks ago I believe

          • Kim Buchanan says:

            Ok. Maybe that was the Briar Rose storyline. I hope so. I would hate to see such a lapse in timeline ! Just love discussing this show !

          • Kim Buchanan says:

            So who was “taken” from Mal that she loved to make her so sad? I assumed it was mourning for the loss of her child. That’s not very clear in “Enter the Dragon ” but fits the timeline better for it not to be her baby. And who’s the dad? That’s the burning question !

          • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

            She was upset that her sleeping curse on Briar Rose was foiled by TLK.

  38. Buttercup says:

    On the whole, I love the show, but I had a few concerns with this episode. I did not like the implication that the author forced the Apprentice to enact the spell on Maleficent’s egg. I don’t want this author storyline to take away the characters’ free will. Nor do I like the idea that Lily was someone doomed to be evil or that Emma was destined to be good due to the actions of Snowing, the Apprentice, and the Author before they were born. If the characters are just pawns with no free will, why should we care about them? I really hope we get a resolution that leaves the characters–including Emma and Lily–free to make their own choices.

    Also, I was bothered that Emma released the author from the book after August had just explained to her that the Sorcerer and the Apprentice had a darn good reason for locking him in there. I mean, shouldn’t she have taken some time–a day or so, maybe–to consider the implications before releasing someone whom August just told her was evil? And shouldn’t August have tried to stop her?

    I’m assuming Rumple’s leverage over Regina will be Robin Hood. He probably has Robin prisoner somewhere and will threaten to kill him (and Roland?) if Regina does not comply with his demands.

    The scenes with Emma and Hook continue to be some of the best in the show. The discussion about August was realistic and honest. The scene at the docks showed just how much she (and the Charmings) have come to depend on him. I wonder if the villains will threaten his life at some point to try to drag Emma down the path toward darkness. I could see Emma using dark magic on Rumple if he threatened Hook again. Remember what she said last episode about shoving the dagger through his heart.

    • Rita says:

      I liked this episode on the whole, I completely agree with you that the scenes between Killian and Emma were some of the strongest in the episode featuring the heros. I would be lying if I said I didn’t love their interactions. How are Killian’s relationship has changed with everyone, most especially Emma is great. I think the writers have done an awesome job of evolving his character. It seems Emma has found a stalwart companion/boyfriend/possibly more in the future in Killian. I agree the Charmings have really come to rely, depend and trust Killian and see how influencial he is to Emma. How cute was his jealousy of August! He is usually so confidant! lol.
      On the other hand I was just as annoyed at Emma with disregarding August’s warning. This might be the most annoying part of any episode in the history of this show to me(though I could have forgotten others). Why would you use the darn key and release the author!! I also like your theory that they may threaten Hook, or maybe make it seem like he is dead to push Emma over the edge. He has been the only one she can truly count on for a long time. It would be diabolical.

  39. Katherine215 says:

    So, what, the author is the reason that villains made the bad decisions they did? Are they just eliminating the idea of free will altogether? I can just see Regina explaining she didn’t murder hundreds of people because she wanted to, the Author made her do it!

    • aurat22 says:

      That was confusing. August said “free will plays a part” but then the SA asked of the author, “how could you make me do that?,” as if he didn’t have a choice. Any ideas on how these two things aren’t contradictory?

  40. Phoenixfox says:

    The big question I have is if the Author is just a “job”, would that mean that there would be more than one versions of the characters? For example you would have Author A’s version of Snow White, and then Author B’s version (i.e. Grimm vs. Walt)? Would this also mean that there are separate books for each author? Would there be a possibility of each of the different authored characters to meet each other.
    I wonder if that’s what Regina’s dream was showing….
    This episode definitely left me with more questions.

  41. gloria 098 says:

    loved this episode! i like hook got worried about august but i thought it was a dumb that they let the author out because if the apprentice AND the scorer put him in there its gotta be 4 a reason and EVEN august said that the author was writing 4 manipulation so u should keep him in there. anyway it was a good episode nice captain swan scenes to! <3 <3 i hoppe the next episode has a lot of CS scenes to!<3

  42. BrianR says:

    Yay now Emma has to go find Lilly and bring her to Storybrook.

  43. Gerald Christie says:

    Hey Matt, remember the Echo Cave? Wasn’t that supposed to be your biggest or darkest secret? Because frankly this was worse than what Snow and Charming confessed. I don’t know…it just doesn’t add up, yet it again it’s OUAT we’re talking about. It does seems rather vapid and shallow that they’re putting their own personal relationship based desires as their “biggest baddest secrets” rather than… Oh, say… condemning an innocent child to darkness and separating that child from the pleading mother. Not only are the characters now coming off as complete jerks but also shallow. I’ve always hated them and now I have even more reason to.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      Oh good call about the Echo Cave! I hadn’t thought of that but you’re totally right. Now I hate this egg-napping plot even more.

    • riandyliu says:

      Or maybe the Echo Caves is about telling something that all the other people present in the room didn’t know. Hence Hook’s feeling towards Emma, David’s injury, Snow’s wish for another baby and Emma’s lingering feeling for Neal.
      This egg-napping doesn’t count as a secret because both David and Snow knew about it.
      I just want to give the show writers some credits to tie all this stories together. After all, they’re the real ‘Authors’ right? ;)

  44. Jeremy says:

    So one question that has been bugging me is if villians can’t get happy endings, then why does hook and (to a lesser extent) Eursula get them but Regina tries and tries but can’t ?are certain vilians exceptions? And like someone else said; why do all the villians just assume the author can give them happy endings?

    I know that some people don’t like that OUAT is basically Disney fan-fiction now, but being a Disney fanatic myself, I love it! I want them to fit in more unlikely characters like cruella. I know you all are probably going to hate me for saying that, but I don’t care!!!!! Just wanted to put that out there.

    • kath says:

      Regina hasn’t tried very hard or very long. Before this season, she kept reverting to doing bad things when it didn’t work out her way.

      Or another explanation could be the insight Hook got from Ariel last episode, that to get a happy ending for yourself, you have to give one to someone else which is when he gave Ursula her happy ending.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      Hook *did* admit to Emma that he’s afraid of losing his “happy ending” with her just like Regina lost Robin, so he at least believes it’s a real possibility that he’s going to end up miserable like the others. The Ursula thing, though, makes me just want to slap everyone in Storybrooke upside the head. Look at her! She got her happy ending WITHOUT the author! Why are all of the other characters ignoring that?!

      • Mer says:

        I just don’t understand that either. As soon as Ursula got hers, she bounced. The writing her is just so inconsistent. Couldn’t they have Mal and Rumple and Cruella and at least to rethink their plan?

        • B says:

          Ursula’s didn’t need the heroes to suffer to be happy, but the others would, or at least believe they would.

    • Cameron says:

      Because they don’t know what else to do with Regina now that she’s not the Evil Queen anymore. Look how crappily they wrote her love interest.

  45. B says:

    That gallery is inaccurate. Albert Spencer/King George is not Kathryn/Princess Abigail’s father. She’s the daughter of King Midas. King George wanted her to marry his adopted son Prince James. And Kathryn/Abigail is happily living with her true love Frederick in Storybrooke, so there’s nothing to avenge there.

  46. Mer says:

    So I guess this is a way for OUAT to address all of the plot holes and inconsistencies is by “blaming it on the author.”

    Ha. Okay.

  47. Love seeing August again! Wish they would keep him in Storybrooke. He and Emma can be BFFs, lol. They’re great together.

  48. Cameron says:

    This show messes with free will too much, it’s getting pretty messed up. Although all of this author crap is just giving them more room to retcon stuff, which the writers LOVE doing. So disappointing.

  49. Brenda says:

    This episode really6 helped answers a lot of questions, but I keep thinking could of any of the storylines have been severly altered by the time traveling done by hook and emma?

  50. Shattered Tale says:

    I agree with Wendy, I am sort of rooting for the Villains, but I hope that baby Neal grows up to be the greatest hero. Anyways, I really wanted Lily and Malificent to get their happy ending and be reunited. And that Emma and Lily will become friends again, but mind I haven’t finished the season yet.