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Once Upon A Time Season 4 Finale (Episode 22 and 23)

I may have taken many more screenshots than expected…so I thought, why not make it into a quick recap instead!

Isaac asks if Rumple wants to forget Baelfire in this new reality, and in a nice little heart-breaking moment, Rumple requests  for his son to remember him as a hero till the very end. I’ve always liked Rumple – he wasn’t just a villain. He had a lot of history and he was interesting.

Anyway, Issac finishes writing his book titled Heroes and Villains, a blast takes the town by surprise and Henry now finds himself alone in Storybrooke.


It really seems just like yesterday when Henry was this small young boy and now, I’m so glad to see Jared S. Gilmore given character developments more in line with his age. Driving a car by himself out of Storybrooke and tracking down Isaac at his autograph session of his new book (yep, his new book titled Heroes and Villains), yay for Henry being more involved in the plot!


Henry cleverly threatens Isaac to get everyone back into the real world, and finds out that Isaac has effectively ‘disqualified’ himself as an Author. He no longer has any powers as an Author and all the fairytale characters are stuck in his book. Henry uses the key to enter the story and Isaac follows after him to make sure that the boy doesn’t spoil his book.

An ogre attacks Henry, who is saved by a mysterious warrior with light magic.


I thought that it would be Emma, but shame on me and thumbs up to the producers for introducing this twist that I should have seen – it is Rumple. vlcsnap-2015-05-16-13h52m58s112

In this new reality, he’s the Ogre Slayer and also known as the Light One. Ha ha.

Before leaving Henry to face his Ogre death, Isaac reveals one important piece of news – Henry has entered into the last Chapter of the book, and once the bells toll at the end of the chapter, the story will be fixed and no one will get out of it.

Henry follows the description in the book and finds himself in the forest, face to face with Regina.


Awesome! I’m fully aware that this change of roles between heroes and villains may be a filler or a waste of time, but personally, I really enjoyed watching the actors and actresses take on roles that are so different from the past four seasons. For example, is it just me who feel that Ginnifer Goodwin really, really rocks that Evil Queen setup?


Especially that “Now…what shall we remove first…? Your fingers…or your ears?”


Isaac, who has been captured by the seven dwarves, pleads with the Queen, “No no no removing please.” Snow White summons someone through the heart, and lo and behold, we see Prince Charming with smokey eyeshadow and that Goth look.


With a nice throwback to the first season, Prince Charming (now just a knight I believe) says to the Queen, “I will always find you, your Majesty.” Isaac manages to save his life by indicating his knowledge of the Queen’s heartbreak – she was in love with James who was just as cruel as she was, and because of Regina, James died, so she took Charming’s heart instead. Oh what a twist haha.

Henry tries to convince Regina that she’s his adopted mum and that the world she lives in is not real. Regina doesn’t believe any word of it and goes on with her plans to rob the Queen’s carriage of goods. What she doesn’t expect is that Snow White is already waiting inside the carriage.

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Regina asks Snow White when their feud will end, and that she made the mistake when she was  just a young child. Snow White is just about to hurl a ball of fire at Regina, when Robin Hood (in this world, he’s Regina’s competition) comes along and saves the day. Regina actually hasn’t met Robin Hood before and they connect over cups of beer while Robin cleans up her injury. vlcsnap-2015-05-16-14h06m00s255 vlcsnap-2015-05-16-14h06m01s11 vlcsnap-2015-05-16-14h06m04s41

Regina definitely feels something as she looks at Robin and is slightly devastated to learn that Robin is going to get married to Zelena that very day.


Regina blames Henry for giving her hope, because he told her previously that she would find true love in Robin. Henry realises that the wedding is what Isaac was referring to – when the wedding bells ring at the end of the day, that’s when the story is finalised. He learns from Regina that there was a woman many years ago who proclaimed to be a Saviour and was locked up by the Queen. The scene cuts to a blond woman that is chained at the top of the tower and looks crazed as she shrieks in shock. Yep, that is Emma.

In Episode 23, Rumple returns home to Belle and his son but only to find Isaac in his house. Isaac tries to convince Rumple to prevent Henry from stopping the wedding. Even though Rumple doesn’t remember the reality, he seems somewhat persuaded by Isaac to “do the right thing”, especially after Isaac mentions details of Baelfire, which no one else knows about.

Funnily, we get to see a mild-mannered, timid Hook who is now a deckman and no longer the Captain of the ship. However, Henry takes out Blackbeard and convinces Hook to rescue Emma with him.


Thank goodness Emma still remembers Henry – this is Rumple’s punishment for her. She’s stuck in a world where only she knows the truth but has no magic to do anything. But she knows that Henry will come along and save her.

As Henry and Emma rush down the steps of the tower, she bumps into Hook and has this swooning look on her face while Hook is just rather taken aback at this lady who is leaning into his arms with such delight.


They have a slight difficulty – the knight that they took down at the bottom of the tower is actually Lily. vlcsnap-2015-05-16-14h20m04s246

In her rage, she turns into a dragon but is easily defeated when Emma lures her towards the ship and Hook fires a cannon into her.

Now on land, Emma teaches Hook how to use his sword and they have an intimate physical moment. vlcsnap-2015-05-16-14h24m08s124


This happy moment is not meant to last, as Snow White and Charming find their way to the trio. Emma is convinced by Hook to leave him and protect Henry, but without his memories, Hook is barely able to defend himself and is stabbed in the back by Charming. A deep, serious, no-joke stab.

Emma is in anguish at seeing Hook die in front of her eyes, but she escapes with Henry to find Regina.


She regrets not telling Hook that she loves him before he dies, and that it was because she was scared. Regina obviously feels something for Robin Hood and she should not be scared to voice it out. “My only chance with him, is if you don’t make the same mistake as I did.”


Rumple has this chipped teacup moment again with Belle, but honestly the original moment triumphs all. Their love story is one of my top favourites.

I’m really like this soft, long, flowy look on Regina.


She’s afraid of disrupting the wedding but when Rumple turns up in front of them to stop them from proceeding, Emma takes on Rumple and pushes Regina towards the church doors. Emma is pushed and knocked out, so Henry tries to defend the both of them. He is sure that Rumple will not try to kill him since he’s the hero in that world, but Rumple replies that this is what he has to do to save his happy ending.

Regina peeps into the church and Robin Hood sees her. He smiles at her and she smiles back, but she’s well-aware of the fight happening outside. When Rumple takes a swipe towards Henry, Regina dashes in front of Henry and is injured instead. The wedding bells ring. The heroes are defeated…or are they?

Robin Hood and Zelena exit the church and Robin is shocked to find Regina injured. A little messy there, I mean, you just saw her smiling at you from the church doors and you still proceed to say I do to Zelena? Zelena gets blood on her wedding dress and is jealous of Robin’s attention towards Regina. Her hands start turning green and she runs away.

Emma wakes up and punches Isaac. Henry notices the quill and realises something. He picks it up and the quill shines. He’s the new Author.


He cannot use Emma’s blood because in this world, Emma isn’t the Saviour. But Regina is. He dabs the quill with Regina’s blood before Isaac can do anything, and writes in the book – Thanks to the Hero Regina’s sacrifice, Isaac’s villainous work was undone.

So now everyone wakes up happily in Storybrooke. Emma has a slight panic attack when she cannot find Hook. vlcsnap-2015-05-16-14h38m49s231 vlcsnap-2015-05-16-14h38m50s240 vlcsnap-2015-05-16-14h38m51s253

But hey love, he’s alright. vlcsnap-2015-05-16-14h38m58s63

She runs towards him in a hug and they collapse onto the bed. Hehe. vlcsnap-2015-05-16-14h39m11s194  vlcsnap-2015-05-16-14h39m31s137

Emma wants to tell him something and Hook gets ready for it (I think we all think that she’s going to say I love you) but she ends up thanking him for saving her life. vlcsnap-2015-05-16-14h39m52s55

Henry, now as the new Author, breaks the quill because he thinks that no one should have that much power to change reality. Does that mean he’s not writing down the rest of the stories? Or is that just symbolic of him being an honest Author?

Rumple is almost dead. Belle cries and tells him that whatever happy ending they had in their make-believe realm, they could have had it too in this real world. Indeed, I think if there’s a point to that switch between heroes and villains, it’s this. Heroes and villains do not get fixed on their paths because of their role. Each of them has the power to make decisions that steer their lives. In the other realm, Rumple similarly attempts to kill Henry even though he’s a hero, the Light One, and Zelena also turns green even though she’s supposed to get her happy ending. It’s what they do and what they believe in that dictate who they are; not whether they are heroes or villains as stated at the very start of each story.

Belle quickly gets help from Storybrooke and the Apprentice pulls the darkness from Rumple’s heart into the hat. Rumple is now clean (with a white heart) but his process back to being a true man will be painful. The darkness proves to be too strong for the hat and it escapes into the Apprentice. Eew when his eyeballs turn fully black. Emma gets the darkness out of him and into the street, but the Apprentice still dies eventually, after telling Emma that this darkness has to be anchored to a soul (that’s why there’s the Dark One) and that only Merlin knows how to stop this darkness. Before the darkness can take on its next target, Regina, Emma decides to sacrifice herself because Regina has suffered so much to get her happy ending.


Since her parents, Henry, Hook and Regina have stopped her from turning evil before, she wants them to do the same now. Hook pleads with Emma, “No Emma please, please don’t do this.”

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But Emma simply cries and tells Hook that she loves him, before pushing him away and taking in the darkness herself.


-the end-

That concludes season 4! I just don’t feel as invested in this show as I was a season ago, but I think it must be quite difficult to keep us entertained for four seasons straight when they have already exhausted the initial premise of the show (parallels between the fairytales and reality, Rumple and Belle, Snow White and Charming etc).

I liked the crossover between the Villains and Heroes, although I was a little confused back there – it seems like in the alternate world, all the villains are heroes (Rumple, Zelena etc) but doesn’t that just reinforce that only heroes get their happy endings? I couldn’t tell if that was intentional or just messy writing, but either way, it was interesting.

Hook’s pleading eyes are the best and oh, even though I have no doubts that they will be able to save Emma from being too dark, the scene between Hook and Emma makes for a nice ending. And oh Emma being turned into the Dark One is just great!



  1. Perhaps you did not feel as invested in the show as before, because the writers had several interesting story arcs, one after the other – Netherland, Oz, and Frozen. After all that, bringing in the three villainesses (Cruella, Ursula, and Maleficent) seemed rather anticlimactic.

    I agree with you that they have made Rumpelstiltskin into a very interesting character, with his background story and his relationship with Belle BTW, does anyone else wonder if Rumple is Regina’s father? Looking back at previous seasons featuring Regina’s mother, Cora and considering her past relationships with Rumple, I have to wonder if an unexpected twist for season 5 would be to make Rumple and Regina related.


    • Hello! That’s true – the story arcs before Season 4 were really interesting (although I personally like the Author arc), but sometimes I look back on Season 1 and 2 and wonder if the plot is losing its tightness over time.

      Oh that’s true! I wonder if that will happen… I need to draw a family tree; all these Rumple-relationships are everywhere!


  2. My old eyes may be playing tricks on me, but a month or two ago, I thought I read something about the series finale. When I went back a day or two later to reread it, it said “season finale.” I’m sure I misread it the first time – as opposed to a misprint being corrected. It did get me thinking, though, that season 5 should be the last – Go out while still on top, and not wait until the show loses its appeal.

    I feel that way slightly with the Emma character. Some of her connections to other characters do not seem to “fit” as well as other characters and their connections to each other. I am losing interest in Emma, though I still enjoy seeing what will happen with Rumple, Belle, and Regina.


    • Hello there! Sorry for the late reply! I definitely agree with you. On hindsight, I think OUAT could definitely have done better in the sense that while all the story arcs have their purpose, some fillers could be taken out, some arcs given less focus, and the back story plot given a little more foreshadowing.

      Yeah I was never really invested in Emma as a character. Emma-Hook is nice to watch, Emma-Neal is a little bittersweet to think about, Emma-Henry is heartwarming, but somehow I’m just never as interested in Emma and her individual story arc (becoming evil etc) as compared to Rumple or Regina.


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