“Best Laid Plans” Fail On Once Upon A Time

Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC
Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC

Remember back when Once Upon a Time first started and Snow White and Prince Charming were the untouchable golden couple? The dual guiding lights of good for the heroes? Tonight all of that gets retconned as we learn the juicy details of the Charmings’ ultimate bad deed. Also Operation Mongoose takes a giant leap in relevance and importance, as does Henry. But you know what they say about “Best Laid Plans”…

Hatching a plan: Enchanted Forest. The Charmings get contradicting glimpses of their future daughter so they visit a certain Sorcerer’s Apprentice for clarification about the visions. Snow wants to guarantee her child’s goodness. She’s even willing to transfer any potential darkness from her unborn baby onto another such baby and we can guess who that might be. Knowing Maleficent in dragon form recently laid an egg, literally, they decide this will count but will avoid dooming a helpless baby. They think they’ll just give the darkness-infused egg, which begins to hatch a very human baby, back to Maleficent but the Sorcerer’s Apprentice sends it through a portal. The Charmings are horrified with themselves.

Henry for the win: Wasting no time in passing on what Ursula told him last episode, er, an hour ago, Hook tells the Charming family and Emma about the villains’ plan to darken Emma’s heart. Henry pipes up, “You can’t just un-Savior the Savior.” Finally this kid says something useful! Meanwhile, Regina goes back undercover with a picture of the Author’s door hoping to keep the Trio of Darkness from figuring out where the Author is actually hidden. This fails spectacularly because Rumple can “see” the magic contained in the page and soon enough Maleficent has put the whole town to sleep so they can steal the actual page. Only those who have been under the sleeping curse before are still awake, which is how Henry is able to sprint towards the Sorcerer’s house, storybook in tow. Henry is two for two so far!

Secrets and lies: The villains quickly deduce Henry must have the page and decide to go after him. “No one goes near Henry,” Regina threatens. “If you have a problem with that, you can take it up with one of my fireballs.” The other two queens follow the Once Evil Queen anyway and ensure she gets the page, which we all know is a fake duplicate. This also doesn’t fool Rumple and instead confirms to him Regina has been playing spy all along. Charming and Snow, having arrived soon after the villains, get the real page from their grandson and force him to hand over the key that opens the Author’s door. Fearing what might happen if he’s released, they are about to burn the page when Snow has a change of heart and decides to stop with the lies. So they tell Emma the truth about their past with Maleficent and she’s understandably upset.

Stranger than fiction: Kind of but not really setting aside her anger at her parents, Emma asks August for more info on the Author. We learn the Author is “a job, not a person,” so there have been several throughout history. Kind of like the Doctor, but not. Anyway, the last one took advantage of his power and manipulated the story lines, which is why he was imprisoned in his own book. Even though she knows he’s the “bad” Author and that all the villains also want him released, Emma still lets him out of the book. And he promptly escapes.

A mother’s wish: Earlier we found out Maleficent has been going along with Rumple’s plan solely so she can find out the fate of her child in exchange. He pays up by revealing the baby girl arrived in our world, was adopted, and named Lily.

Fairy Dust

  • Clearing up some continuity: Ursula and Cruella were guarding Maleficent while she waited for her egg to hatch and when the Charmings steal said egg, they arrive to avenge their BFF. They choose to do this standing a little too close to the portal the egg is sent into and are sucked in as well, which is how they end up in our land pre-Dark Curse.
  • Right after hearing the villains’ plan, while Captain Swan are hugging and Henry is standing nearby doing nothing, Snow and Charming have a whispered conversation about their terrible secret that SOMEHOW NO ONE HEARS.
  • How big is the Charmings’ kingdom that they can seemingly travel anywhere on foot but no one recognizes the king and queen?
  • Saying he knows Emma is “partial to men in leather jackets,” Hook’s a little jealous of August, calling him “the wooden man child.”
  • So since Maleficent laid an egg as a dragon, does that mean she was impregnated when she was a dragon? Or did she just decide laying an egg was easier than birthing a baby?
  • Rumple tries to rekindle some Rumbelle feels by calling a sleeping cursed Belle “my love” and carrying her to a nearby lounge to rest more comfortably. He also hints his heart may literally be failing because of all his wickedness, which at this point is kind of well deserved.
  • And just in case you forgot, which would be hard since Emma randomly mentioned it this episode, Lily was the name of the Savior’s one-day BFF who pretended to be an orphan and also gave off weird lesbian vibes with teenage Emma.
Stephanie Coats