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Once Upon a Time – 4.16 “Best Laid Plans” Review

Where Snow and Charming are literally encouraged to take the ‘wrong’ path on this weeks Once Upon a Time, while their daughter Emma is finally confronted by the truth.

The Past

Back in the Enchanted Forest before Regina cast the Curse, Snow and Charming were out tracking a unicorn and because as legend tells them a touch of its horn will give them a glimpse of what the future holds for their child. Charming sees a happy baby, but Snow who is ripe with fears sees a vision of Emma ripping out her heart and crushing it. Later, the couple run into a Peddler on the road. Charming helps the man with his cart and they are informed that Maleficent has taken on her dragon form and given birth to an egg. The Peddler advises the couple to follow a path that leads them to the Apprentice’s cottage. The Apprentice invites the couple in for tea where they confess about their worries regarding their unborn child. They learn that either one of the premonitions could come true because babies are blank slates but adds that it is possible to banish the darkness their child but they would have to find another vessel that like their child is a blank slate to transfer the darkness into. Snow suggests that they steal the egg that Maleficent birthed.

Outside the cave that Maleficent has taken residence, Ursula and Cruella stand watch but they are easily dispatched by Snow and Charming with some magic dust. Maleficent in dragon form awakens upon their arrival and our former squeaky clean heroes snatch her child from her.  Transforming back into her human form Mal pleads with Snow not to take her egg away, but they run off with it promising to return it when they’re done. The couple go off to meet the Apprentice in the woods where he performs a spell that transfers the darkness to the unborn child and opens a portal to send the child away. At the same time Cruella and Ursula a fall with the baby into ‘A Land Without Magic’

Know what she did to a child Snow is beside herself but Charming later inspires her because he believes that they can become the best possible versions of themselves together and overcome what they did.

Some Thoughts

  • I loved that Emma’s unicorn-themed mobile was a gift from Cinderella.
  • I’m going to cut Snow a little slack only because I can’t imagine being pregnant and hormonal in the Enchanted Forest with its magic and an Evil Queen after you and that she thought the egg contained a baby dragon not an actual baby, not that the ‘species’ of Mal’s child should matter. Snow still stole a baby.
  • I love that we know how Ursula and Cruella made it to our world now!


August’s health in now in dire jeopardy because he has been changed by magic too many times and is taken to the fairies. Without any further answers about the page, Emma creates a copy but Regina thinks it’s best to simply take a photo of the illustration that was torn from the book, and takes that to show to Gold, Maleficent, and Cruella. Gold says that the glare on the image is actually magic and it leads Gold to the realization that the Author is locked behind the door. Gold has Maleficent cast a sleeping spell over all of Storybrooke so that he and his allies can steal the page, in exchange for her help, she asks Gold to find out what happened to her child after Snow and Charming “took it.

Hook heads to the loft and tells Emma the information he learned from Ursula and that Gold will try and turn her dark so she will no longer be the Savior.  The Charming’s leave the loft before the spell hits but Snow, Charming and Henry are all immune to it because they were all under a sleeping curses. Henry calls his grandparents to tell them he is hiding at the Sorcerer’s mansion and while there he is guided by the ‘author’ to the key for the locked door. Regina and the Queens arrive at the mansion and Regina demands Henry hand over the page and he complies, handing her the fake. Mary Margaret and David arrive and send Henry off taking the page from him and lying to their grandson about they are planning to do. David believes that the only way they can keep Emma from going dark is to destroy the page, but that would also mean the Author would be trapped inside the page but Snow stops him worried they would destroy  Regina’s chance at a happy ending. She tells her husband that it’s time to tell Emma the truth.At the pawn shop, Gold goes to see Belle, who is also under the sleeping spell, to tell her he’ll return for her if it’s possible and hinting that something else is at play. Gold notices the forgery and Regina’s deception right away, so the sleeping spell is also placed on her.

Snow and Charming finally come clean to Emma, and it leaves Emma reeling as she leaves the loft extremely angry at her parent’s betrayal and lies. When August wakes, Hook is tasked with finding Emma with the news since her parents think she won’t talk to them.  Emma heads to August for answers where she learns that there has been more than just one author and the last one was trapped inside the book because he was manipulating the stories which resulted in the Sorcerer and the Apprentice trapping him. Emma has a lot of questions about the spell that was cast on her in the womb but August informs her that the author in the book might not be the author of her tale. She opens the door in the page anyway with the key and the Peddler, the man who encouraged her parents to see the Apprentice back in the Enchanted Forest, emerges and escapes before he can answer any questions.

Looking Forward/Final Thoughts

  • I really feel like Emma isn’t being used much, mostly because she’s my favorite but I feel like on average she’s been on my screen for five minutes an episode.
  • I also find there’s a lot and nothing going on all at once if that makes sense. I really enjoyed this episode mostly because if you’ve been reading my reviews you know I’ve had a lot of reservations about this ‘Author’ plotline. I’m relieved to know that ‘freewill’ is at work and that the Author was taking liberties with his job.
  • Also the Author may very well be the worst villain yet, taking away free will for the ‘fun’ of it.
  • Still not sure why Emma thought letting the Author out was a good idea but she was reeling from the information her parents loaded on her and is probably concerned that she’s had no freewill in her life. She did obviously though since it was up to her parents to guide her into the light still.
  • Gold shows Mal her daughter 30 years ago when she was adopted in our world and named Lilith. Yes, Mal’s daughter is Emma’s childhood friend Lily!

Once Upon a Time is taking a break next week but will return April 12th with Robin Hood and Zelena on tap!

Where Snow and Charming are literally encouraged to take the ‘wrong’ path on this weeks Once Upon a Time, while their daughter Emma is finally confronted by the truth. The Past Back in the Enchanted Forest before Regina cast the Curse, Snow and Charming were out tracking a unicorn and because as legend tells them …

Review Overview

Plot / Story-Arc
Special Effects

User Rating: 4.9 ( 1 votes)

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