Once Upon a Time Season 4 Finale Recap: A Dark New Chapter

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Operation Mongoose went into full effect on Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 22 and Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 23.

This two-part finale gave us an unexpected look at characters switching roles after the Author engaged in a re-write, giving the villains their happy ending and giving fans a look at an evil Snow White.

But the main takeaways involved a great deal of magic, the teasing of a new fairy tale character and a very new side to an original Storybrooke favorite.

After returning to the real world following the aforementioned alternate universe (Regina was a bandit! Hook was a wimp!), the Apprentice tried to take the darkness out of Rumplestiltskin.

But there was a major catch: the darkness had be tethered to a human who is controlled by the dagger, lest is truly run wild.

So, with the Darkness setting its sights on Regina, Emma sacrificed herself to save her town. The episode’s final image was of the Dark One’s blade on the ground, the name EMMA SWAN scrawled across it.

Going forward, in order to save Emma, Hook, Regina, Henry must find the only person who can get rid of the darkness forever. And that would be Merlin! From The Sword and the Stone!  

Just after being attacked, the Apprentice tells Emma that this famous sorcerer is the only person with enough power to destroy it, leaving fans to wonder and forecast:

Who should play Merlin on Once Upon a Time Season 7?!?

Elsewhere, a new Author was appointed: Henry was able to rewrite the book’s ending in order to save his mother, though it came with a warning from the Apprentice:

The power to change reality is only outweighed by the cost.

Not worry, however, as Henry broke the pen in half to ensure he would never be tempted.

You really need to watch Once Upon a Time online prior to this show's return in September, as other key developments this week included:

  • Lily won’t be doing anywhere for awhile. She’s determined to learn the identity of her father, though Maleficent isn’t certain because Lily was made while she was in dragon form.
  • Neal is a goner because no Author can rewrite a death that took place in real life.
  • Emma did at least tell Hook she loved him before she went dark.
  • Rumple may never return to the man he once was, but Belle assured him on the finale that she wants to be with him no matter what.
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