Synopsis of 4×12: Ursula, Cruella, Maleficent team up to take on Rumpelstiltskin in the Enchanted Forrest. Anna and Elsa try to find a way back to Arendelle, and Belle finds out the truth.
As far as OUAT winter finales go, this one really wasn’t my favorite, nor did it really do anything for me. Anyway, here we go.
So the Shattered Sight spell is over, and all is good in Storybrooke once again, except for the issue of getting Anna, Kristoff, and Elsa back to Arendelle to kick Hans off his stolen throne. Hook is still controlled by Gold via heart, and was taken to the Sorcerer’s place so Gold can prep for his cleaving of the dagger later that day. While there, Gold shows Hook the door to Arendelle, so he can run back to Emma and let her know the door is there. And while Hook does just that, Gold is controlling what he’s saying so Hook can’t tell Emma that something is amiss. Which she knows, because hey, there’s other super subtle clues about that.
So Emma, The Charmings, The Arendelles, and Regals head off to the Sorcerer’s place to bid farewell to the trio. Before she leaves, Anna says how she would have loved to have met this Mr. Gold, as he seems so nice having helped them out so much while she was there and all. Everyone scoffs and says how she really wouldn’t have liked him because he’s not such a great guy and how, in the Enchanted Forest he was a bad wizard. Anna, bless her heart, puts two and two together and realizes it’s Rumpelstiltskin (not until she’s told of course). She tells them that she knows of him and that his only desire is to be rid of the dagger, and somehow figures out that is what he’s doing right now. So Emma and the Charmings go off to stop him.
Meanwhile, Belle and Henry are in the shop packing to prepare for a trip to New York later that day. Well, Belle is packing and Henry is sort of helping by knocking a bunch of stuff down. Just so happens when he does so, a gauntlet shows up and Belle has a flashback to Enchanted
Forest times when Rumple had taken the gauntlet the first time. In this flashback, Rumple had taken the gauntlet because it shows the weakness of whomever you want it to. Super handy little thing if you’re into controlling people. After getting fed up with Belle’s questioning about the outside world, his travels and trinkets, Rumple sends her to do the wash. Unfortunately, Belle is lead astray by a super adorable puppy, and taken hostage. When Rumple goes to save her, he finds that Ursula, Maleficent, and Cruella have teamed up to get the gauntlet from him. After much back and forth, he finally gives them the gauntlet to save Belle’s life. They go their ways, and all seems to be okay. Later, Rumple summons them all back and gives a long winded speech about how you don’t trifle with the Dark One, banishes them all to a land without magic, and takes the gauntlet back.
Of course, Belle realizes what it means that the gauntlet is in the shop, so she uses it to find Gold’s greatest weakness. At the same time, Emma and Snow bust into the clock tower to find Gold and Hook starting phase one of the “Cleave Gold from the dagger” mission. Emma realizes that Hook is being controlled by Gold, and suddenly all of his odd behavior makes sense now. Before they can do anything, Gold freezes Snow and Emma into place. Sadly for him, Belle has found the real dagger, and has come to realize that while he is her greatest weakness, his is and will forever be his love of power. She commands him to take them to the edge of town (by the way, the magic barrier is back up) where they have a blow out over what she’s just discovered and what he was about to do. She banishes him from the town, and now he’s forced to wander the world never to return to Storybrooke again. But don’t worry. Gold’s got a plan.
In the other major happenings, Regina and Robin are still sorting through their feelings. Marian does something super generous and amazing; she tells Regina that she realizes that, while for her it has only been a few days, to Robin it has been decades and his heart has moved on. Marian tells her that she will not stand in the way of true love and wishes the best for Regina. Pretty big coming from someone who was just imprisoned by Regina. Regina however, has no idea what to do. She loves Robin, but cannot stand to see the family ripped apart, and worries about Nolan and what he will think. While Robin reassures her that Nolan will be just fine, confused but basically a normal kid, Marian falls down. Once again she’s slowly freezing to death, apparently a lingering affliction after the Snow Queen left. Regina comes to the conclusion that here is nothing that can be done for her but to leave the town, and to leave magic behind. Robin is all for Marian and Nolan going out into the magicless world themselves, but Regina won’t hear of it and makes him go with them, for the sake of the family. It was a pretty sad ending to OutlawQueen.
Overall, it wasn’t one of the best winter endings to date, or even a favorite episode. Most things were tied up in bows that made little sense. I mean, we learned last episode that Snow Queen came to Storybrooke via a prophecy on a scroll, not a door. Emma and Snow just happened to know where to find Gold and Hook to stop them, and Regina had a real reason to give up her true love. It didn’t ramp anything up for next go around. I mean, we all kinda knew that Gold was/is going to find a way back to Storybrooke.