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Once Upon a Time – 4.13 “Unforgiven” Review

More questions and a few answers as Once Upon a Time was back this week, and up to its old tricks as the Charmings revealed their dark secret concerning Maleficent.

The Enchanted Forest

The events in ‘Unforgiven’ occur right after Regina stole the Dark Curse from Maleficent. Maleficent, Ursula and Cruella arrive at the castle of Snow and Charming (right after their honeymoon) to join forces in order to prepare for what is coming. The five unlikely travelling companions head out for the tree of wisdom seeking answers.  The tree will answer any question but only when asked by two of the most valiant heroes, sadly (or happily) Snow and Charming are three now post honeymoon, and baby Emma is on the way with the power for great good or great evil.

Maleficent later shows up at Snow’s bedside to ask for her help again, seems like our lady dragon is also with child.

Some Thoughts

  • Surprise, someone born from great love also have potential for great darkness. Emma has always had a great back story for a villain but has always tried to do what is right, if she’s going dark and I’m supposed to accept it given everything she’s already been through, the show is going to have to kill Henry, or there better be a lot more to the secret.
  • Who is the father of Maleficent’s baby?
  • Other than killing Regina which obviously Mal wasn’t able to do on her own with the other two villains by her side – I can’t imagine what else they could have done. I mean after all Rumple wanted the curse to happen, I suppose they could have just found him a portal? But that wasn’t his end game. He wanted his son and his magic which is why he set things up the way he did. I will forever be curious as to what the tree would have said.


It appears that the arrival of Cruella and Ursula has put a real damper on Snow and David’s sleep. Snow’s night was riddled with nightmares while David appears to not have slept at all but is tossing back glasses of Scotch (also is Emma home??) as the worry about their pasts is catching up with them. The next day Emma and Hook head to Granny’s to meet her parents for lunch but not before crossing paths with Ursula (who Hook obviously has a past with) and Cruella. David tells Emma that they have to keep an eye on the two and Emma heads off without her much desired grilled cheese.

Emma and her father watch as the new residents head into Gold’s shop where they distract Belle and head off with a box containing something of Maleficent’s. They tail the two and after Belle confirms that she thinks something is in fact missing they pull them over for a search and David discovers the box. David tells Emma there was nothing in the car and asks her to drop him off at the loft, where he tells Snow that they are planning to bring back Maleficent and the two decide to steal the ashes from the cave and dump them in the river.  With help from Rumple, Cruella and Ursula use the blood of Snow and Charming (the people who wronged her the most) to bring back Maleficent who vows to destroy them and enjoy watching them suffer.  The two decide that it’s time to tell Emma the truth but after hearing Emma confess to Hook that she’s going to believe in him no matter what he did in the past and like her parents, choose to see the best – they decide against it.

After picking up some doughnuts at Granny’s (and having a run in with Cruella and Ursula, Regina heads back to her office where she and Henry are still looking for clues to the author. Noticing the pages in Pinocchio’s story Regina decides to ask him what he might know about the book and the person who wrote it. The young boy can’t remember anything even with help from Emma (and really August wasn’t a saint it’s probably for the best) but Regina snaps at him, infuriating Marco who tells her that perhaps given all she’s done she doesn’t deserve a happy ending.  Later when Regina goes to apologize to Marco he gives her all of things he saved that belonged to August.

Looking Forward/Final Thoughts

  • I’m curious as to how Ursula and Cruella escaped the curse. I’m guessing the same way Mal’s child did? Who Emma probably crossed paths with seeing that fairy-tale characters seem drawn to her.
  • Also is Mal going to also want revenge on Regina? After all it was her curse that was the reasoning behind the separation in the first place?
  • I’m not sure how I feel about Belle and Will. I’m not going to judge on that very brief scene but I loved Snow’s monologue over it. It really hit home just how badly Rumple messed up. It also made me think that sometimes to really love someone you have to realize that made you’re just not the right person for them.
  • I’m not surprised that Snow didn’t want to work with Mal in the past. She was always very cut and dry on good and evil until season 2 when she helped kill Cora. I’m still firm on my Emma not turning stance though.
  • I’m looking forward to the back story of all the villains but Cruella is by far my favorite.
  • Funny enough the relationship between Snow and Emma used to be one of my favorite things on this show, now it’s not. Granted I suppose the two hardly share scenes but the fact that given what Emma has already gone through I’ll be seriously disappointed if her turning dark hinges on her parents.
  • I do love that Snow and Charming are worried about their pasts catching up with them, while Hook and Regina are also dealing with that in a much more honest manner.
  • All that being said, if Emma faces the great darkness and turns away from it will she be able to open the Sorcerer’s hat on her own?
  • Is the book written on magic paper? Like the spell books and curses?

I feel the show is off to a really solid start this half. I had a lot of favorite scenes from this episode but a few that really stood out were between Regina and Marco and Emma and Hook. Seeing Regina snap at Pinocchio really highlighted what I think of this ‘Author’ plot line, it’s toxic for Regina and futile. Happy Endings aren’t always what we think they’re going to be and the need to be fought for and not just handed out. I loved that Regina apologized to Marco, it was a huge moment for her and the character growth was to be applauded. Speaking of character growth, Emma also showed it in spades in a more subtle way. Seeing her open up and trust is beautiful and that scene was touching, Morrison and O’Donoghue really have something special when they work together.

‘Unforgiven” was directed by Adam Horowitz and written by Andrew Chambliss & Kalinda Vazquez.



More questions and a few answers as Once Upon a Time was back this week, and up to its old tricks as the Charmings revealed their dark secret concerning Maleficent. The Enchanted Forest The events in ‘Unforgiven’ occur right after Regina stole the Dark Curse from Maleficent. Maleficent, Ursula and Cruella arrive at the castle …

Review Overview

Plot / Story Arc
Special Effects

User Rating: 4.9 ( 1 votes)

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