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Once Upon a Time, Season 4 Episode 4 (“The Apprentice”) Recap and Review

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once-upon-time_0This week’s episode begins with “a long time ago” as we saw in the first episode, as opposed to many years ago that we saw in the second.

The ssorcerer’sapprentice is appealing to me because Fantasia was one of the first movies I saw in the theater with my parents. The apprentice is sweeping the floor when the old Dark One, Zoso, appears and wants to open the box. He knocks down the apprentice, who says that every Dark One has tried and they all fail and that he doesn’t want to unleash what is in that box. What IS in the box? Another curse? Zoso is knocked back when he tries to open it because the sorcerer cursed it so that no one who has succombed to the darkness in his heart will ever be able to open it. I want to know who the sorcerer was!

In present day, Rumpel waves the dagger over the box, which opens into the hat. Obviously he has removed the enchantment, but how? In the opening title frame which always gives us some cute clue as to what will be in this episode, we see the enchanted broom from Fantasia walking across the screen.

Henry pushes Emma to ask Hook out so she will be happy. Hook is surprised but agrees if he can plan the date. Emma says that she doesn’t pillage and plunder on the first date and he says that’s because she’s never gone out with him before. Though, I’d say she plundered plenty with Neal, though maybe that wasn’t on their FIRST date. Emma leaves and is curious about a puddle under her car when the rest of the town is dry. I would understand ice, but I am puzzled as to why a puddle of water is a cause for concern.

Hook goes to Gold’s shop for more blackmailing. He wants his hand back so that if the date should go well and Emma wants him to hold her, he can do it with two hands. Funny, because I would guess he has romanced many women after the hook and hadn’t had any trouble before…. Rumpel says it’s amazing how blackmail brings out the romantic in Hook. Rumpel apparently kept Hook’s hand in a jar of water (reminiscent of Zorro) to remind him that he should have finished the job. Rumpel warns him that the hand is from the old Hook who was a ruthless pirate and that it could influence him for evil if it’s reattached. Hook laughs that off and gets his hand back.

Snow, David, and Elsa are going through volumes of census records from the first and the second curse to see who the Snow Queen really is. Emma comes in, dressed up for her date, and asks for opinions. Elsa asks if the dress is a corset and where’s the rest of it. Snow snaps a Polaroid picture. Hook shows up and though he is still dressed in black and leather, it’s not his pirate garb. He hands Emma a rose and Snow is the first to react and notice that he has a hand in place of his hook. Emma asks if she should call him Captain Hand now and he replies that Killian is fine. Emma says they should go before David gives the overprotective dad speech. Hook says not to worry, that Emma is in good hands. David mutters that that’s what he’s afraid of, especially now that he has TWO of them.

Flashback to Anna, who has just found Rumpel. She tries to tell him her name is Joan, but he knows who she is and why she’s there. He says that her parents visited him but for further answers, she has to make a deal. Anna says she will do anything and Rumpel replies, “I love it when they say that.” He tells her there is an old man in a cottage who probably eats children for breakfast. He wants her to put the contents of a vial in the man’s tea and produces a contract for her to sign.

Anna knocks on the door and the apprentice opens the door. He’s sweeping the floor, and she realizes he is a nice old man. She starts to put the liquid in his tea, but can’t do it and pours it into the fire.

I am amazed that there is a restaurant in town besides Granny’s! Apparently this impresses Emma too, when Hook takes her there. She said her last date set the bar pretty high since he proposed to which Hook counters with, “yes, but he also tried to kill you.” Emma doesn’t want any wine because she wants to stay sober in case the Snow Queen crashes their date. Will Scarlet is drinking at the bar and when he sees Emma, he tries to sneak out but bumps into a waiter who knocks wine in Emma’s lap. Hook grabs Will by the shirt collar and yanks him up and snarls at him to apologize to the lady. Emma says it’s ok, not a big deal and Hook sits back, shocked at his own angry outburst. Emma sees who it is and Will takes off running. Emma jumps up but decides not to chase him. There’s a wall of ice around the town, he can’t get far. Hook, meanwhile, is just staring at his hand like it’s alien to him.

Henry is in the vault with Regina and they are looking for something that would help her thaw out Marian, who I assume is still hanging out in Snow’s office on the couch. I think maybe they should put her in a water-filled showcase like Mr. Freeze did in Batman and Robin. Henry knows that Robin still loves Regina.

Emma and Hook are holding hands, saying good night outside her apartment door. She invites him in for coffee…with her parents…and Elsa, then remarks that she needs her own place. They kiss good night, but Hook can’t stop staring at his hand.

Snow and Charming are still up waiting to hear how it went. Charming says that “some of us” don’t need to hear EVERYTHING. Snow, however, wants all the details: where they went, how was the food, was there a good night kiss, which Charming says is one of the things he does NOT want to hear about. They are kind of comical as parents. Emma ignores the questions and says good night and heads to her room. Snow says that she seems happy. Charming says maybe Hook really has changed. We hear Emma’s voice say, “I can hear you guys.”

Will Scarlet is breaking into the library for some unknown reason. Hook happens upon him and tries to stop him, but when Will resists, Hook starts punching him. He comes to his senses, panics, then threatens Will not to tell anyone about this.

Anna returns to Rumpel and lies, saying she put the stuff in the man’s tea. He says good, now he will live because it was an antidote to the poison he took yesterday. Anna panics and admits she didn’t really give it to him and that they have to do something. Rumpel shows her in a crystal ball that it’s too late. The old man turns into a mouse (a nod to Mickey Mouse playing the sorceror’s apprentice in Fantasia). Anna runs back to the cottage and begs Rumpel to help the old man. Rumpel says he can’t because the old man was protecting something he needed. Anna realizes this was all a test. Rumpel says she was tempted by her inner darkness and turned away and that is what he needed to break the enchantment. Anna says that she wasn’t tempted at all. She says she is nice and doesn’t believe she even has an inner darkness. Rumpel reminds her of the contract they had and says he’s going to lock her in a tower, which will concel her wedding and probably destroy her sister, who will end up becoming the monster everyone thinks she is. Anna grabs a sword and demands that Rumpel destroy the contract. Rumpel says the only way out is to kill him and she can’t because she’s just too nice. There’s a tense face-off where Anna struggles with what she should do. In the end, she drops the sword and falls to the floor, crying. Rumpel is pleased because she considered killing him and turned from it, so he catches her tear with his dagger. She says he is the monster because he takes the most precious thing in the world (love) and turns it into a weapon. He counters by saying that love is a weapon; most people just don’t know how to wield it. He goes down into the cellar and waves the dagger over the box. Instead of being thrown back by the curse, the hat appears.

Hook accosts Rumpel as he is leaving his shop and demands that he remove his hand again. Rumpel says that he switched the daggers back so Hook no longer has any leverage. But, he offers Hook a deal, which Hook refuses, saying he will figure out how to get rid of his hand on his own. Rumpel says that his magic put it there, only his magic can take it off. Hook becomes furious and grabs his hook and stabs Rumpel in the chest with it. Rumpel says he should have learned by now that it never sticks and the hook vanishes and Rumpel is unharmed. He remarks that Hook is losing control and what would happen if he lost it with someone who isn’t so easily fixed. Hook resigns himself and says he will do whatever it takes, to which Rumpel replies that he loves it when they say that.

Emma is driving down the street and I am amused by the weather report on the car radio, which says that in town it is in the mid 70s, dropping to the 30s “out by the ice wall.” A few seconds later, the announcer says he’s going to play a request by Rip Van Winkle who wanted something classic to wake up to. Emma skids on a patch of ice. She gets out and then sees the ice queen and follows the very obvious ice trail, which ends abruptly. Her cell phone rings and it’s Belle saying she needs her at the library right now. Will Scarlet is passed out in the floor of the library with a book in one hand and a bottle in the other.

Hook is passed out on the docks. Rumpel shows up and produces a broom which walks away and they follow.

Rumpel comes out of the cellar with the box and Anna asks about her parents. He says that they wanted to take away Elsa’s power and that he got the feeling they were scared of her and wished she’d been born more normal. They didn’t find what they were looking for because there was nothing that could do what they wanted until now, inside that very box. It took magic and once it was “fully charged”, Rumpel would be unstoppable. While Anna talks to him, the mouse/apprentice jumps down from a beam and bites Rumpel. In the process, Rumpel’s Dark One dagger falls to the floor and Anna grabs it. She realizes it has the power to control him. He admits that what he wants from the box it to be free of control yet still have his power. Anna can’t let that happen, so she makes him give her the box. He threatens her, so she orders him to send her and the box back to Arendelle and to never hurt her or her sister and to turn the mouse back into a man. He does and she drops the dagger as she disappears. Rumpel picks up the dagger and screams out in anger.

In Storybrooke, Hook and Rumpel arrive at the house of the apprentice, led by the broom. Hook is to be the muscle, restraining the apprentice in a chair. Rumpel opens the hat, to the apprentice’s surprise. He says Rumpel will never collect enough power to do what he wants. Is he referring to not being controlled by the dagger, yet retaining his power or is there something else that Rumpel wants? Rumpel tips the hat and the apprentice is sucked inside.

Anna returns to Christoph. She looks upset and Christoph insists he took a bath–she says he smells fine and Sven sniffs the air then hides his head in his stable stall. Anna tells him what she learned, that her parents were looking to take Elsa’s power away and that they were afraid of her. She doesn’t know what she is going to say to her sister.

Rumpel removes Hook’s hand again, but Hook said he just saw Rumpel use the real dagger. However, Rumpel had a security tape from the man’s house, which has Hook on it, getting rid of the old man. Rumpel erases himself off the tape, just like he did when he killed Zelena. Hook thinks Emma will understand but Rumpel reveals to him that the hand wasn’t cursed. “The Dark One lies. The Dark One tricks.” The hand gave him permission to be the man he really is. Hook threatens to ruin his relationship with Belle and Rumpel promises the same (though I don’t see how he can threaten Emma, his son’s one love and his grandson’s mom). Rumpel says Hook will owe him for the rest of his life and that they are still in business together. Hook is going down in flames.

Will Scarlet is in jail, waking up from his drunken stupor. Emma asks him why he was holding an Alice in Wonderland book and had a book page with the Queen of Hearts on it in his pocket. He says he doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Hook walks in as she asks who beat him up and he says he doesn’t know. When Emma asks Hook what happened to his hand, she seems to let slide the vague answer that the Dark One’s magic isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. What a lame answer! Charming and company finally finished combing the censuses. The Snow Queen has been going by the name Sarah Fisher and she isn’t in any of the census records at all, so she wasn’t brought there by the curse.

Henry tells Regina that he thinks he has a plan for helping her get her happy ending. He thinks Rumpel would have answers about who wrote the storybook, especially since he is a villain and got his happy ending (though we don’t know that yet–since they story ain’t over).

Henry goes to Gold’s shop and asks for a job in the shop so he can go undercover. He manages to manipulate Rumpel by saying that he’s the closest thing he has to his dad and he’d like to spend time with him. Rumpel agrees and says he can be his apprentice (Henry becomes the sorceror’s apprentice now) as long as he stays out of the back room and doesn’t touch anything without permission. Then he hands him a broom to sweep the floor.

The previews for the next episode were seemingly random shots that didn’t give a lot of information about the plot of the upcoming show. About all we can figure out is that Sydney is back (I’ve been wondering what he’s been up to the past couple of shows), Regina is mad at Emma (duh), and the Snow Queen tells Elsa, “I’m going to build a snowman.”

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