Who Has A “Heart of Gold” In Once Upon A Time?

Jack Rowand/ABC
Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC

Hello Oncers and welcome back! Since we had an extra week between episodes here’s a brief reminder of where we’re at. Regina’s been caught playing undercover and is in Gold’s custody. The Charmings’ stupidity and parental concerns were revealed to have caused Maleficent’s baby to be sent through a portal, a secret they finally told Emma. The Savior was pretty irate at the news and let her emotions get the best of her when deciding to let out the Author, who she knew was kind of a bad guy. He then promptly escaped. Catching up this week, I’m starting to wonder if anyone has a “Heart of Gold.” Probably not.

Robin Hood’s origin story: In what starts as a flashback within a flashback we see Robin in Sherwood Forest happy in his new marriage to Marian but running out of money to operate their little pub. Rumple stops by to make a deal with the former thief: he’ll solve his money problems if Robin will steal the Elixir of the Wounded Heart (Robin: “that’s a ridiculously self-explanatory name”) in Oz. Upon arrival, Robin runs in to his future compatriot, Will, and the Knave offers his help in return for a sip of the potion too. With the aid of a magical arrow that always finds its mark Robin escapes Zelena’s clutches but with only one dose of the potion. Although he initially intends to take this back to Rumple, he’s moved by Will’s sob story about his dead sister and gives the Knave the potion instead. When he returns to Sherwood, he takes up the “steal from the rich, give to the poor” mantle and the name Robin Hood.

Heart troubles in New York: In a flashback to nine weeks ago, Robin, Marian, and Roland make their way to Neal’s apartment in New York, which Regina has offered to them as accommodations (because the adoptive mother of someone’s son usually has the authority to do this kind of thing). They’ve hardly had time to settle in when Mr. Gold comes through the door and tries kicking them out. Then he promptly passes out. At the hospital we learn Gold had a heart attack because his dark deeds have literally poisoned his blood. So once again Gold asks Robin to steal some of the Elixir from the Wizard, who Zelena brought along to New York to keep an eye on Emma. Robin breaks in to the Wizard’s shop and just manages to snag the potion before getting arrested.

Guess whose back, back again: Robin delivers the elixir to Rumple to fulfill their ages old deal and in the hopes the sorcerer will move on with his life. But the potion doesn’t work because…Marian switched it with cough syrup. She saunters in, real potion in hand, and wearing a special necklace that…transforms her back into Zelena. Yes, you read that right. See when Rumple stabbed her, her life force fled her body before it shattered and escaped into the time portal with Emma. Then she killed Marian and assumed her form so Marian in Storybrooke has always been Zelena. Stunned at this convoluted news, Rumple has another heart attack but is saved again, which is beneficial for Zelena because she wants in on the happy ending deal. If Rumple can deliver, she’ll give him the Elixir to save his heart. He agrees. “Marian” later gives her husband (“husband”?) the chance to return to Regina but he chooses her instead because reasons. Or possibly magic. It’s not clear.

Shipper’s choice: Before Emma and her search party can find the Author, Rumple is able to lure him in with the promise of getting his magical writing fix. The Dark One is pretty gleeful because now he’s got the Author and Regina. “What happened to you?” Regina asks her former teacher. The answer, as our flashback tells us, is a bit complicated so instead he tells her to call her beloved Robin. Zelena answers, much to Regina’s horror. She’s equally angry Rumple knew, didn’t tell her, and is now going along with the Wicked Witch. “She murdered your son!” RIGHT?! But Rumple’s made a deal and he’s sticking to it. To the thrill of Swan Queen shippers, Regina next threatens the Dark One by saying, “You made me a monster but I won’t let you do the same to Emma!” Au contraire, Rumple says. If Regina won’t help, he’ll call her half-sister and tell her to dispose of Robin. So, in the ultimate battle of the ships, who will Regina choose: Emma or Robin?

Fairy Dust

Emma used to be a bounty hunter. She literally tracked people as her job. So her and her posse stomping through the forest, flashlights a-waving, all looking in the same place seems a bit OOC or at least incongruous. Or just plain stupid.

Friendly reminder: Rumple “lost everything” because of his own actions and no one else’s. He still gets no sympathy.

Word of advice Once: Only Harry Potter can pull off the villain surviving because his/her life force fled from his/her body and make it plausible.

Shortly after their arrival in New York, Marian’s bag is stolen and Robin pursues the purse-snatcher using a horse pilfered from a carriage a la Kate & Leopold. Who did it better: Robin or Leopold? (hint: the answer is always Hugh Jackman; but you’re very dashing too, Sean Maguire)

Rumple giving some legitimately good advice to Robin: “Maybe you should take a piece of advice from a man who has pushed away every chance of happiness because it was never enough. If it’s within your grasp, if you know where it is and who it’s with, then you should run to it, grasp it and never let it go.”

The necklace Zelena used to disguise herself as Marian was actually stolen before by Robin from Zelena. Poetic justice?

So was Merrin Dungey not available for all 11 episodes so to keep the Queens of Darkness a trio they had to bring back Zelena?

Even though the whole Zelena is Marian business is utterly ridiculous in my mind, I do continue to love Rebecca Mader making the absolute best of whatever she’s given.

Stephanie Coats
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