New Show Recap: Once Upon a Time 4×13, “Darkness Over the Edge of Town”

Guess what, all! Once Upon a Time is back, and it’s as much of a trainwreck as ever.

Ursula is breaking into the Forbidden Fortress, and she runs into Maleficent. The two start fighting over why Maleficent sent for Ursula, but Cruella de Vil’s dobermans interrupt them. She insists she was invited there, too. Rumpelstiltskin extended the invitation for them. He has brought them together so they can find their own happy endings, because it’s time the villains got their happy endings.

In Storybrooke, everything continues on as usual. Some people actually even seem happy, like Regina. Hook and Emma meet for coffee and are carrying on their relationship. Mr. Gold’s pawn shop is conspicuously closed. Belle and Hook have been trying to do research to try and release the fairies and the people who have been hidden inside the hat. Hook and Belle commiserate over how Rumpel tricked them using their capacity to love “Love is a weapon,” Hook reminds Belle. And Rumpel sure used it against them. Belle hopes he has found whatever he is looking for.

Rumpel has crashed with Ursula in her apartment in NYC, and he’s basically sponging off of her. It’s like Real World with sociopathic villains. Rumpel gets an email from someone, and he goes to Long island with Ursula to find Cruella de Vil, who seems to have married a rich man who is being arrested for some crime. Rumpel makes nice with her and makes a case for her assistance in what he wants. Cruella still has the car, and she is basically going to supply transportation for the villains to go to Storybrooke, where magic still exists. On the way, Rumpel tells them about the author of the fairy tales and that he believes that the author is in Storybrooke.

In the flashback, Rumpel tells the three villainesses that he can get the happy endings for them and to help them win. The villainesses are cynical, because no spell can do this. Rumpel explains that a curse can.

Emma is Regina’s new BFF, it seems. While looking for a bottle opener for some pop, Emma finds the picture of Robin and Regina from the other fairy tale book. Regina sees it as a sign of hope. Belle and Hook run in, and they’ve found a fairy incantation that an Oxford professor just translated for them, and it might just bring the fairies back. How did the professor translate it? Is Faerie an actual language?

Regina frees the Mother Superior, who then frees the fairies from the hat during the ceremony, but it seems she has also let something else out — a dark, swirling cloud with glowing eyes that floats toward the town.

In a flashback, Rumpel takes the three villainesses to Bald Mountain, where the curse lies. Each villainess uses her abilities to get through the obstacles,. Apparently Cruella de Vil has the power of persuasion, but she just says, “darling,” a lot. Maleficent is able to use her powers of dragonfire to get through another obstacle. Ursula uses her tentacles to get the vial of the curse. There is another trap, basically the devil creature from Fantasia that is going to consume the three villainesses’ hearts while Rumpel leaves. The three villainesses collaborate to battle the creature, and Maleficent sees a hole in the ceiling and urges the two who aren’t attacked by the beast to escape first and then figure out how to get the third out. The beast turns on Maleficent first. Ursula and Cruella make a run for it while Maleficent gallantly faces the creature down. Ursula saves Maleficent and the three women leave the mountain.

They reach Storybrooke, and even though Rumpel has been banished from the town, he remembers where it is. Ursula and Cruella don’t believe him, and they’ve figured out that he wants to get into Storybrooke to get Belle back. Rumpel has a plan, it seems.

Emma and Hook are about ready to go to a party to celebrate the rescue of the fairies. Hook feels funny about going because he was the one who put the fairies in the magic hate while under Rumpel’s spell.

Regina goes to the Mother Superior with one of the blank books and asks her what it is. They got the book from the sorcerer’s mansion. Mother Superior explains to them that the author and the sorcerer are two different people, and that the sorcerer was holding onto the books for the authors. It also seems that the author left hidden clues to his whereabouts after his disappearance in Henry’s book. And at the right moment, ROAR!

And it’s the batlike demon guy from Fantasia sitting on top of the clock tower. Regina and Emma work together to defeat the hellbat and scare it away for a bit. Looks like Regina may have released it from the hat during the spell, and they can’t get the creature back in after it’s been let out. Belle has gone all-out Willow Rosenberg and goes to the library to research how to cage the beast and Snow, Charming, and Hook go to set up a safe haven for the citizens.

At Rumpel’s urging, Ursula and Cruella call Regina and tell her that they have found a place where villains can be redeemed, and that Regina is with them. They want Regina to let them in, and when they hear the hellbeast howling in the background, Ursula tells Regina she knows how to defeat the hellbeast. Regina decides to follow their advice, and then will find a way to let Ursula, Cruella, and Rumple into the town despite the protection spell, because the Snow Queen could get in despite it.

The beast follows people with the darkest hearts and the most potential of evil, and that’s Regina. Emma and Regina decide to lead the creature to the town border, because, hopefully, it will cease to exist in the outside world with no magic. Snow finds out, and she’s more unhappy Cruella and Ursula are waiting at the edge of town.

Regina is able to lure the creature to the town’s border, where it dissipates in a cloud of purple smoke. Charming and Snow come to the rescue, and they object to letting Ursula and Cruella into town. Emma thinks that they should honor the deal, and Regina reminds Snow and Charming that she was a worse villain than they were and that they ought to allow Ursula and Cruella into town. The spell is lifted so Cruella can drive the car into town with Ursula.

Rumpel waits at the edge of town for Regina and Ursula to give him the scroll that lifted the spell so he can enter. Ursula and Cruella are supposed to pretend to be intent on redeeming themselves while Rumpel works behind the scenes. Rumpel reveals that he worked behind the scenes to get into town, and that he was posing as the Oxford professor for Belle. They just have to retrieve Maleficent. Rumpel also reveals that the beast was after Emma, who has the most potential for the darkest heart.

Snow and Charming meet Ursula and Cruella in the woods, and they come to a deal: Cruella and Ursula can stay in town as long as they never speak of what occurred between them and Snow and Charming back in the Enchanted Forest.

This show is just ridic. There doesn’t seem to be any planned story arc, and it seems like they’re trying to fit in as many Disney characters as they can before the show actually goes bust. Right now, I’m sitting there wondering just how they could all be so stupid and not question how some random Oxford professor can be fluent in Faerie.

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