There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

There are a lot of writing tropes I really dislike. And there are specific writing decisions I dislike even more. One of these involve the “what a twist” moment. Sometimes twists are great. I love when something surprises me, because I’ve watched so much media at this point that I know where most tropes are going. I’m the person who figured out “The Sixth Sense” and “The Usual Suspects” way before the twist was revealed. I’m genre savvy. But when a twist is clearly put into a plot just to surprise audiences, and not because it makes narrative sense, it’s frustrating. And annoying. I hope the OUAT writers learn this, because the response from most fans I’ve seen is overwhelmingly negative. This twist makes no sense, and it feels like little to no thought was put into it, just “oh wouldn’t it be cool if so and so.” And the one option that might have made it interesting wasn’t taken. SMH. Note to OUAT writers: if you need to spend a huge portion of the episode explaining the plot to people, you’re telling, not showing, and it’s bad plot. The end. Previously on Once Upon a Time, Robin Hood was forced to leave Storybrooke with his wife Marian and their son in order to save her life. He was separated from Regina, who has been mourning and looking for the author so she could find him again. Rumplestiltskin came into town with the Queens of Darkness, but they’re already down Ursula who booked it out of there with her “happy ending,” closure with her father. Emma released the Author, who immediately ran away, after being angry at her parents for putting all her darkness into Maleficent’s baby.

In Storybrooke, Emma and company go looking for the Author. She’s angry at her parents for lying to her, obviously, and I’m not even sure what they want to do with the Author once they catch him. I don’t think they’ve gotten that far in the planning. He’s running through the woods trying to create a magical quill, but there’s no magic there. Rumplestiltskin arrives and offers him the magic quill in exchange for coming with him willingly and writing the endings he requested. Rumple then talks with Regina since she’s locked up, and he tells her to call Robin Hood. The rest of the episode is mostly flashback, with us seeing what happened to Robin and his family once they left Storybrooke, plus a flashback to Robin traveling in Wonderland. He was there to get some potion for the heart that would cure darkness. He meets Will Scarlet there, and they sort of help each other, but I have no idea why Will’s around because he is completely unnecessary to this show. In the flashback, Robin fights the Wicked Witch (it’s not a fight at all), and he becomes a thief again at home. This is when he apparently decides to steal from the rich and give to the poor, and his wife supports him. It’s weird this is happening, and it’s hard to say when the timeline is, because Rumple seemed surprised when Robin stole from him in the episode with Belle. Marian was pregnant by then so maybe this is after, but he didn’t seem to even know him. AKA they didn’t know they planned on using this later on, so they didn’t think about continuity, because they’re terrible at this.

once-upon-timeUgh. Okay. Fine. I’ll deal with this. Robin Hood and co. meet up with Rumple in Neal’s apartment. Belle gave Robin the keys. Rumple falls over from a heart attack and he is rushed to the hospital. Robin agrees to get the heart elixir for him again, because his honor can’t let the man die on his watch. Or something. Robin breaks into a place to steal the elixir, how did it get there in the first place, does anyone care? He and Marian argue over letting Rumple die or helping him, and he’s horrified that his wife seems to give no fucks. I’m with Marian, but we’re supposed to not be with Marian. Robin gives Rumple the elixir in exchange for having Neal’s apartment. However it doesn’t work because Marian has been Zelena / the Wicked Witch all this time. Nope. You are the worst. No, show. This is dumb. She has this special necklace that lets her take any form she wants, and they do a flashback with the worst types of coincidences. Zelena somehow managed not to die, and Rumple didn’t notice that she didn’t die, even though he had his magic at the time. She went into the portal that Emma and Hook went into and they did the whole making her parents meet each other storyline. And Zelena apparently was just hanging out with them on the off-chance that they would get back, who knows. She killed Marian and then took her place. She didn’t even know Marian, how the hell. Marian wasn’t in the flashback. And she’s been pretending to be her since?

First of all, Marian’s been back for awhile and she hasn’t been wearing that freaking necklace all this time. Also, Robin hasn’t noticed that his wife has been wearing a weird necklace every day that he’s never seen before? He’s never said anything to her that she didn’t know the answer to because she had no idea who he was? Also Regina took out her heart when the Snow Queen poisoned her. THERE IS NO WAY THAT ZELENA HAD A PURE HEART. Couldn’t she use her magic to save herself? This is so many levels of stupid and plot holes everywhere, and it’s clearly because they wanted to have the WHAT A TWIST moment. Well it wasn’t a twist. It was a bad writing decision. Good twists have been hinted at for months and tie in with the plot, not make zero sense. Grrr. Anyway Rumple agrees to go back to Storybrooke to help her with the Author, and that’s how the Queens of Darkness happened. What would have been better was if she killed Rumple right then and there, and it’s really been her all this time as him in town. It would’ve been more fun if the Wicked Witch put together the Queens of Darkness, but whatever. Rumple and Robin have a weird conversation at the end, and I think Robin actually knows that Zelena is Marian. Because he’s suddenly like “I love you and want to be with you and not go back to Regina.” He also asked her something from their past, a specific saying they had, and she didn’t answer correctly. So I think he was testing her.

It ends with Regina hearing Zelena on the phone as Marian, and realizes that she’ll kill Robin if she doesn’t help them. They want to turn Emma dark, and Regina says she won’t do it to Emma. But apparently the choice comes down to Emma or Robin. Whatever. Also whatever about Rumple. I feel like they’re ramping up to having some kind of redemption line for him, where he’s secretly working with Robin and actually trying to help everyone. Or some kind of ridiculous nonsense like that. His time for redemption is over. The character is over. If he’s going to die and they want to give him some nice things before then, fine. But there’s no way you can fix that character and put him on a path of righteousness now. Or make us think that Belle should give him another chance after all he’s said or did. I think Rumple will die by the end of the season. I don’t care if it’s “redemptive” or just “FINALLY” but I want it done. Next week Cruella kidnaps Henry and I guess we get her backstory, who knows. Who cares. This was really infuriating, and it’s been a rough few episodes, so OUAT is dangerously close to getting the axe from me. We’ll see.


  1. Great episode! I really enjoyed it. The only problem with this storyline regarding Zelena is . . . how on earth did that damn portal open in the first place and how did Zelena escape permanent death? I blame the Season 3 finale for beginning this storyline on such a confusing note.


  2. Dee says:

    I think we’re supposed to just shrug and let it go, hahha. It really didn’t make that much sense at all, other than a GOTCHA twist.


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