Oh hey there, fans of heroes, villains, princesses, thieves, Dark Ones, and magic -- were you under a Sleeping Curse, so you couldn't catch season four of "Once Upon a Time?" Or, perhaps, did Ingrid show up and steal your memories, again?
Well, don't worry about all that -- because before season five debuts next Sunday (September 27), MTV News has done you a solid and rounded up all of the most magical bits from season four. So without further ado, here's what went down in Storybrooke, the Enchanted Forest, Arendelle, and even good old NYC last year:
First, Elsa came to town... with a potentially deadly secret.ABC
Elsa showed up to Storybrooke without her trusted sister Anna, who was mysteriously missing. And she brought a giant ice monster with her, because rude -- or because she couldn't control her powers without Anna's influence, either way.
Anyway, we found out via flashbacks that the girls' parents, who died in a shipwreck both in "Frozen" and "Once Upon a Time," had gone on a quest to find information about Elsa's powers before they died. Anna soon followed them -- straight to the Enchanted Forrest, of course -- and by the time she returned to Arendelle, she had faced a run-in with the Dark One and acquired the Sorcerer's Apprentice's secret magic box. Meanwhile...
Emma and Elsa got caught up with an evil witch.ABC
As it turns out, the reason why Anna went missing had everything to do with her evil Aunt Ingrid, and pretty much nothing to do with Elsa at all.
In the past, Ingrid accidentally killed her sister with the same magic Elsa now had, so Elsa and Anna's mother trapped her in an urn and cast a spell to make Arendelle forget all about the fact that she'd once had two sisters. Ingrid later got out, and set her sights on finding two new magical sisters to replace her old ones -- and she was led straight to Elsa and Emma, the former of whom ended up also stuck in the same urn (by a brainwashed Anna), the latter of whom Ingrid set off to Boston (back in 1982) to collect... but not before freezing Anna, Kristoff, and the rest of Arendelle, of course.
Ingrid ended up finding Emma and even becoming her foster parent in the Land Without Magic, but when things went south -- Ingrid pushed Emma to use her magic before she was ready -- Emma ran away, and Ingrid later cast a spell to make her forget all about their time together.
Anna eventually became un-"Frozen" and made her way to Storybrooke with some help from Elsa, but not before Ingrid cast the Spell of Shattered Sight on the town, dooming everyone (minus the three sisters, Anna, Kristoff, Hook, and Mr. Gold) to go insane and start hating each other. The day was saved when Anna procured a letter that her mother had written -- in which she said that she regretted trapping in the urn -- and Ingrid killed herself, thus ending the curse and allowing Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff to return to and rule Arendelle.
But not before...
Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin had some major hat troubles.ABC
And dagger troubles, too!
Gold gave Belle a fake dagger, and spent much of the first half of the season trying to find a way to use the Sorcerer's magic to free himself of the real dagger's spell. This led him to Ingrid, who said she'd help him learn the secrets of the dagger, but only if he gave her the heart of someone he knew before he became the Dark One -- which meant Hook, Emma's boyfriend. He got the heart, and also kicked off a spell that would allow him to escape Storybrooke free of the dagger... though it meant throwing a bunch of fairies into the Sorcerer's hat to make it happen.
Belle found this out the final night of the curse, however, and in her heartbroken state, kicked Gold out of town using the real dagger. Remnants of Ingrid's magic being left behind meant that once someone left Storybrooke they could never return, so Gold headed for New York to live there forever -- with Robin Hood, Marian, and their son, as only leaving the world of magic could save Marian's life from a curse she'd inherited from Ingrid.
In the second half of the season, it was all about Dark Queens and Authors.ABC
While all of this "Frozen" and dagger business went down, Henry and Regina were trying their best to locate the Author of the fairy tale book, so that Regina could re-write a happy ending. However, soon enough Gold recruited the Queens of Darkness -- Ursula, Cruella De Vil, and Maleficent, who was brought back from the dead -- to leave the New York area and head to Storybrooke to join in on the hunt for a happy ending as well.
Once in Storybrooke, the Queens did a whole lot of nefarious stuff (much of it involving poor Pinocchio), but the main shocker was that Show and Charming had inadvertently led to the "death" of Maleficent's daughter -- she ended up alive and in foster care with Emma, and soon came back to Storybrooke, of course -- back in the Enchanted Forest. This meant that Emma was born with the potential for darkness, obviously.
Soon enough, Zelena returned!ABC
Well, not returned. She was there all along, in Marian's body (thanks to the wonders of time travel), and now she was majorly pregnant with his deception baby. Ouch.
Anyway, Zelena wanted her storybook pages rewritten too, and eventually, the Author -- of which there were multiple (including Walt Disney!) so this guy was just the latest iteration -- was released from the book to shake things up. His release coincided with Emma's initial descent into darkness, as she kills Cruella to save Henry, and soon enough, Gold commanded the Author -- who was not a good guy at all, and was actually the Sorcerer's mortal enemy -- to rewrite the book. Which, finally, brings us to...
The happy endings were torn apart.ABC/Jack Rowand
With "Heroes & Villains" as a new bestseller taking the Kindle world by storm, every major character (minus Henry) had their past rewritten. This time around, the heroes were all miserable and/or evil -- Mary Margaret was now the Evil Queen, for example -- and the villains were either the heroes, in power, or both. Henry found a way back to the Forest with Issac, and along with Hook, saved Emma from imprisonment in the new Evil Queen's tower and rewrote the book, hence (briefly) becoming the latest Author.
Everyone very nearly got their happy ending -- the whole Zelena thing was unwritten, so yay! -- until the Sorcerer's Apprentice showed up to free Gold from his darkness (and the dagger) once and for all, by transferring the dark magic into the Hat. It all ended up being too much for the poor Hat to bear, and when the darkness was released into the world, Emma saved all of the realms by sacrificing her own goodness to stop it... hence, becoming the new Dark One! Dun dun dun...