After spending the first half of its fourth season with Anna, Elsa, and the rest of the gang from Arendelle, "Once Upon a Time" returned to its roots on Sunday (March 1) with three classic Disney movie villains joining in on the fun -- actually, make that "plotting to destroy all of the fun."
"Darkness on the Edge of Town" mostly focused on Rumple (Robert Carlyle) teaming up with Cruella de Vil (Victoria Smurfit) and Ursula (Merrin Dungey) -- two out of three of the Queens of Darkness -- to get back to Storybrooke. Surprisingly enough, their madcap plan worked, bringing Rumple's total time away from town to an impressive .8 of an episode. Try harder, Belle.
But even though the ladies are officially in Storybrooke, we still have a whole lot of questions for them -- and for the Sorcerer and the Author, who are apparently not the same person?! Questions like...
What's so dark about Emma?ABC
I'm not so sure I buy this whole "Emma's heart of darkness" plot line -- I mean, the lady doesn't even wear black leather jackets anymore. Her heart's about as light as Jiminy Cricket's screen time post-season one.
But anyway, yeah -- Emma (Jennifer Morrison) is officially at risk for evil, again. We know this because, when Rumple secretly fed Belle a spell to free the fairies from the Sorcerer's hat (he was posing as an Oxford linguistics professor, natch), he also let loose a Chernabog. Said Chernabog roared and rampaged through town as it sought out the heart with the most potential for darkness, but even though Regina (Lana Parilla) naturally thought it was after her (since pretty much everything is always after her), Rumple saw past it and realized that the creature was looking for Emma. (And pssst, how awesome is it that Emma and Regina are totally hanging out?!)
So the question remains, why? What hatred or bitterness still remains in Emma, and why don't I see it? Plus, what's Rumple going to do with this potentially deadly knowledge, now that he has it?
What is Rumple's game plan?ABC
So, we know why Rumple needed Cruella and Ursula to get back to Storybrooke -- they faced the Chernabog years before with Maleficent (Kristin Bauer van Straten), and could therefore successfully trick Regina and co. into believing that they were genuinely there to help out.
But what is Rumple's plan for them once they get there, and how will the "dead" Maleficent factor in? He told them that he wants to help them find their oh-so-elusive happy endings, but even puppy-killer Cruella has to be smart enough to realize that Rumple is incapable of thinking of anybody but himself. And why does he still want to hurt Emma, after she's done nothing but make his grandson happy?
What are Snow and Charming hiding?ABC
This was a whopper of an ending -- it looks like we haven't seen the last of Charming's (Josh Dallas) flashback wig, because he and Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) have some sort of top-secret, deeply hidden history with the Queens of Darkness. Storybrooke's Chosen Couple met with Urusla and Cruella late at night, where the typically serene Snow promised to rip some hearts out (literally, since this is "OUaT") if anyone (specifically Emma) ever learned the truth about their sordid past.
So, what could it be? Did Snow go through a poorly-advised fur phase, and commission Cruella to design a puppy-coat wedding gown? Did Charming work at the Enchanted Forrest version of Sea World? I'm not quite sure, but "bad" Snow and Charming is an idea I can totally get behind.
Who is the Sorcerer?ABC
... Or the Author? Or the Sorcer-Author? The episode picked up six weeks after the winter finale left off, but Operation Mongoose was still at an utter standstill. Their biggest break came when the Blue Fairy returned and told them that the Sorcerer and the Author were two different people, but still. I have a feeling that these two mysterious figures are more connected than we think.
Also, Blue heavily suggested that the Sorcerer -- who she knows, at least to some degree -- was male, but she said that the Author could be anyone... and this means it's a woman, right? Could the Author be a character we already know, and maybe they don't know that they write famous fairy tales when they're under hypnosis, or something? Or maybe the Sorcerer kidnapped the Author? I just don't know. I need some time to process this before I get my happy ending.