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Once Upon a Time: Heroes and Villains

“The villains never win.”

Despite being built on some shaky character development, ‘Heroes and Villains’ played with some interesting themes as it welcomed back non-canon mythology.

We said goodbye to Elsa and Anna, who had very little to do this week with Ingrid gone. I realise I’m in the minority when I say this, but season four’s opening arc was actually pretty enjoyable. Though some parts of the past twelve weeks have been a bit iffy, on the whole it mostly delivered, and that’s thanks to how well Anna, and especially Elsa, were incorporated into the series. I’m sad to see them go, but I can guess that they’ll be making a return at some point down the line.

Rumple’s meddling finally came to a head when Anna revealed her past with the dark one, and Belle’s reaction was one I was happy to see. She didn’t fall apart or run away; she sent Rumple past the town line and got him out of her life. I mentioned a few reviews back that I was unhappy with what her flashbacks with Anna revealed, but she made up for it this week.

As for Rumple himself, this episode put a few interesting cards on the table. Regina’s arc this season played around a lot with the idea that villains can’t have happy endings, but Rumple was somehow managing it. I was a little confused about his motives since the premiere, and I still am, but his thirst for power has always been there so it makes sense that it would be his biggest weakness and drive him to the actions he was taking all season.

Now that his method of “taking” his own happy ending regardless of the consequences failed him, where does that leave the villains?

Bringing in the “queens of darkness” was a fun twist. I’m not sure how a lady who wants a fur coat fits in alongside a sea witch and an evil sorceress but I’m hoping for a bit of a twist to Cruella’s past to make it work.


Regina had to say goodbye to Robin, again. Someone is really testing her.

Let's all cheer for the welcome return of Kristin Bauer van Straten!

Anna’s wedding scene was really cute. It sent the two sisters into the sunset in a really sweet way.

He Said, She Said

Rumpelstiltskin: “Cruella! Thought I caught a whiff of desperation and gin.”

Belle: “You would never give up power for me, Rumple, you never have and you never will.”

I’m excited to see where this new arc goes. The Heroes vs. Villains theme makes a lot of sense given where so many of the characters now stand three and a half years in, and there’s a wealth of story potential to draw from with the likes of Maleficent and Ursula around.

3.5 out of 5 evil Disney queens

Originally posted at PandaTV.


  1. This was quite a nice denouement to the Season 4a story arc, after the almost too-tidy resolution to the climax last episode. When they teased the Frozen tie-in at the end of last season, I groaned and rolled my eyes. But it turned out to be actually pretty interesting. I like how they brought in the original Snow Queen(and I always love seeing Elizabeth Mitchell show up in a show I like), and managed to tie her into Emma's past. The casting for Elsa & Anna was quite good. Elsa had to fit in well with the Storybrooke crowd, and did for the most part(though I seriously wish she'd found time to put on some civilian clothes). The actress they got for Anna delighted me even more, she managed to bring much of the same quirky charm that Kristen Bell did in the movie. While a part of me wouldn't have minded seeing the two sisters stick around a while longer, their story was clearly done, and having yet another very powerful magic-wielder on the side of Our Heroes would be a problem going forward.

    I'm also pleased that Emma's signing on to Operation Mongoose appears to signal that we should be pretty much done with any major conflict between Emma and Regina, which is a plotline that has run its course. Regina should be pretty much convinced by now that Emma wants to help, any more attempts by the writers to turn them against each other is going to come off as really contrived at this point. Hopefully we'll still get the mild snark though, the two of them are really good at it. :)

    VERY curious to see how this whole Queens Of Darkness story arc turns out, especially Cruella. The idea of making her a bona fide villain from the Other Side is pretty neat, as long as they come up with something interesting. The "desperation and gin" line suggests that she'll still resemble the Cruella we know, however. :) And of course, hopefully we'll get some movement on the whole Sorcerer/author front. The way they've been dancing around it, I hope they've got something really good in store on that front.

  2. I am so confused about Malificent now. I thought Regina killed her way back in season 1 when she threw a sword at her. Then at the end of season 1 it was revealed that Regina had her locked under the libary as a dragon, but I again thought she was killed, this time by Emma.

    But she's still clearly alive. Odd.

    If this authur turns out to be Mickey Mouse I'm done!


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