The fourth season of Once Upon A Time concluded last night. Besides finishing the last story arc of this season it also set up next season with a new Big Bad and a new quest. Spoilers ahead.

Isaac the Author penned happy endings for Rumplestiltskin and himself. I couldn’t help thinking of this as Once Upon A Time’s take on a Star Trek alternate reality like in “Yesterday’s Enterprise.” Since Henry is from our world he, like Isaac, retains his memory of the way the world was and sets out to fix things. Fortunately for him Emma’s punishment was to keep her memories too but be locked up and unable to do anything. Emma isn’t the Savior in this reality but Henry realizes it’s Regina, gets the Author’s pen and writes a fix returning everything back to normal.

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Back in the restored Storybrooke, Rumple is dying but the Apprentice does magic stuff and removes the darkness from his heart. Of course this procedure has complications and the darkness is released into the world. To contain it Emma takes one for the team and becomes the new Dark One. To save her the StoryBrooke Avengers need to find a powerful magician named Merlin.

I’m not really looking forward to a good Rumplestiltskin. As I’ve said before Rumple has been the one reliably competent evil character. Even back in the first season when Regina was ostensibly the Big Bad you could see that Rumple had his own scheme running. But I don’t expect Rumple to suddenly become Goody Two-shoes after being the Dark One for so long.

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While Black Swan (yeah, I’m going there) is an interesting twist, I don’t know if Emma is capable of the ruthless competence that Rumple had as the Dark One. On the other hand, it will be easy to play people like Snow and Charming who want to believe Emma is still good deep down.

Assorted thoughts:

  • I liked Evil Snow (the Evil Queen hair is much better than the Snow White wig) and I hope they find a way to have her show up again.
  • Since “a man named Walt” died in 1966, it’s plausible that Isaac the Author is his successor.
  • There was a lack of Evil Goatees though since a lot of the men already have some facial hair (like Charming’s proto-beard) I understand it would be hard to effectively pull off.
  • Zelena - “Still locked up, still pregnant.” Regina has gone too far to the Light Side to just kill Zelena or the baby so that situation is going to have to be dealt with some other way (unless the plot requires Regina to try to kill one or both of course). The baby may become important in the saving of Emma in a way similar to Lily was.
  • Lily - Who’s her daddy? What are the odds she’s somehow related to Henry?
  • Speaking of Henry, he’s now the Author but he broke the pen. So no more stories or he gets a new pen?