'Once Upon a Time' S4E22: Operation Mongoose (1)

★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Woah! Okay, that was cool. Emma turning into the Dark One has probably got to be the best twist Once Upon a Time has come up with. While they have been teasing her turn to darkness for a while, it didn’t make any sense for Emma to ever go dark. But now, the change is a forced one that feels far more natural than the emotional trauma caused by Cruela’s death. What made this so much more special was that Emma sacrificed herself in order to prevent Regina from turning dark once again.

Even though the thought of Emma hurting her family is very cringe-worthy, it brings about many possibilities. It’s definitely a healthy thing for the show for a character to create such big rifts among others. How will Henry react? Snow, Hook, and Charming? Will Emma even have her own conflicts? And, probably most interesting of all, will Lily become the new savior?

Once Upon a Time S4E22

Role reversal was a huge theme for this midseason and there will probably be more of it to come. Having the heroes become villains in Isaac’s new creation was lots of fun to watch. Ginnifer Goodwin did an excellent job as Snow Dark, but in a much more subtle and less dramatic way than Regina. Snow seemed to actually enjoy causing other people pain rather than lashing out or seeing a means to an end. Have to admire the fact that her costumes were also a softer style and color. Snow’s relish for evil was enjoyable and her silences were terrifying in their own way. In this world, Charming’s Snow’s Huntsman and, in a very sadistic way, Snow controls him with his heart in hopes of replicating what she had with James. That being said, it’s too bad there wasn’t an explanation of what happened to James other than it "being Regina’s fault".

Zelena’s happy ending was a little underwhelming and (while I’m glad that Marian’s finally out of the picture. Whew.) there wasn’t much substance to her character besides turning green from envy at the end.

Emma’s impregnable fortress was surprisingly… pregnable. Only guarded my Lily, who was easily taken down by a cannon ball, Henry finds his mother, who, due to the horribleness of Isaac (sarcasm), remembers everything. As long as Once Upon a Time doesn’t have to have someone prove something to someone else more than three times in one episode, I think it’s been a success.

Unlike the time travel episode, which if you know anything about time travel then you would realize that that season finale had too many issues to count, this episode offered some logical, although very convenient explanations as to why certain characters were or weren’t able to do certain things. Although… Once has still been unable to answer what has happened to: Mulan; Cinderella; Cinderella’s prince; Cinderella’s baby; Aurora; Philip; Aurora and Philip’s baby; Red; Hansel and Gretel; the Mad Hatter; the Red Queen; Sidney Glass; etc.

The new twist is an exciting one that breathes new life into a very overcrowded show. The appearance of Merlin should be extremely awesome, given they tie in Camelot into it. Morgana and Arthur, please!


  • Can someone explain to me as to why we should still root for Rumbelle?
  • Dragon-form baby-making? Um… No thanks Once Upon a Time… I really don’t want to hear about that.
  • Where was Maleficent during all this?


Want to comment on this? First, you must log in to your SideReel account!