'Once Upon a Time' S4E18: Heart of Gold

★ ★ ★ ½ (Would have been 4 if not for that origin story)


The Witch is back. With a spectacular return from Zelena along with Robin’s adventures in New York City covering for that blunder of an origin story, Zelena’s deliciously evil survival story will be talked about in a bit.

Unlike Robin’s backstory, his adventures in New York City were very entertaining. How awesome was that chase scene? Robin chasing a thief on horseback through the streets of New York City was amazing to watch. It’s a pity that New York City isn’t used more often as a lot of the divisions between the everyday reality vs. Storybrooke’s fantasy elements lead to some really unique moments. Like Emma’s rooftop fight with a flying monkey or a — I don’t know — chase scene on horseback?!

It’s obvious that Enchanted Forest people have a rough time transitioning to the real world. Notably Robin’s run in with the realities of robbery. It’s really bothersome to see someone as supposedly experienced and crafty as Robin Hood to have failed to even survey the place he was going to rob before breaking in. I can understand, somewhat, his inability to comprehend alarms and cameras, but he did live in Storybrooke for some time.

Once Upon a Time S4E18

His origin story was excruciatingly bland. Another character set on his path by Gold, it’s sad to see that he met Marion prior to having become a thief rather than having the story Robin is known for. A trip to Oz still could have worked otherwise. It’s just a pity that the point of his story was summed up in one small little celebratory scene.

Will Scarlett’s cameo didn’t help much either. While a good character in a terrible spinoff, his appearances in Storybrooke didn’t carry any weight until his relationship with Belle was introduced. I’m still waiting for his storyline to spring up.

But then there’s Zelena to make up for everything. I don’t think her return was too much of a surprise. After all, she didn’t have a clear on-screen death. One of my favorite villains, Zelena’s delight in Regina’s and Gold’s pain always leads to creative plans on her part. This one was no exception. Killing Marion and taking her place, Zelena has been in Storybrooke for a long time. While the flashback montage wasn’t necessary, it did finally give meaning and purpose to that really bad time travel finale.

Her replacement of Marion was cleverly hinted when she was frozen by the Snow Queen and Robin couldn't break the curse with an act of true love. While Regina thought it was because Robin loved her, we now know that that may not have been the case. The leverage Gold holds against Regina is a good one too, especially since he probably saw her betrayal coming.

Anyone happen to catch the Hidden Mickey? It’s there when Robin is searching through the desk. Now I just wonder how many of these I’ve been missing.

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Apr 15, 2015 6:01AM EDT

I agree with you, I found this episode to be incredibly monotonous -- I just find Robin's character very dull and having this episode dedicated to him with his flashbacks got boring very quickly. I think maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't already known about the whole Zelena-is-Marian plot (there were some BTS pictures a few weeks ago with Bex Mader wearing Marian's coat)
The last minute or so with Rumple and Regina was the best part of the episode, Regina's concern over Emma going dark is such a refereshing storyline and really emphasises her character and relationship growth. I look forward to seeing more scenes between Emma, Regina and Henry, their dynamic is brilliant and it's so nice to see how far they've come.

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