New Show Recap: Once Upon a Time 4×17, “Best Laid Plans”

Flashback to the Enchanted Forest. Snow and Charming are on the run after a unicorn. Snow is worried about whether or not her child will be a hero or a villain. All Charming has to do is touch the unicorn’s horn to see the child’s future. Charming sees a vision of his daughter, and he is convinced all will be well, but Snow sees a different vision of a daughter who is evil and who takes her heart. When Snow insists she is the daughter’s mother, the girl in the vision doesn’t care and crushes Snow’s heart. Snow won’t tell Charming what she saw.

The two run into a peddler who is struggling with his load and help him out. The peddler tells them about Maleficent and how she turned herself into a dragon and laid an egg. The peddler urges them to seek out the cottage of a kind old man who will help them. Once they come to the cottage, the old man, who was expecting them, tells them about their child. The old man tells them that the child is a blank slate, and that the child’s goodness or evil is a choice. The old man can perform a spell separating the child’s capacities for goodness and evil, but the capacity for evil would need to be deposited in anther vessel. Snow gets the great idea to use Maleficent’s egg as the vessel for their child’s evil. Snow and Charming get past Ursula and Cruella, who are there to guard the egg, and find the nest in which dragon!Maleficent has lain the egg. But dragon!Maleficent knows they are there and confronts them as they take the egg. Maleficent returns to her true form and demands why they are taking the egg. Snow and Charming take the egg even though Maleficent begs them to have mercy and not take the egg, but Snow promises they will bring the egg back once they’re done. The old man transfers the Charmings’ child’s evil to the being in the egg. The old man sends the egg to the world without magic so that it might do no harm. It turns out Maleficent’s baby was in the egg, and Cruella and Ursula end up being sucked in the vortex that sends Maleficent’s baby away. Snow and Charming realize the graveness of their mistake. Snow feels remorse for what she did, and when Sneezy tries to put unicorns in the baby’s new mobile, she wants them taken away. Even as Charming insists Maleficent may have deserved it, Snow feels remorse for it. Snow and Charming resolve to redeem themselves and fix their mistake, using the unicorns as reminders.

In Storybrooke, Emma and Regina are trying to determine how the author is trapped inside the page, but there is something wrong with August. Mother Superior comes to minister to August and says that the magic he has been subjected to has weakened him.

Regina is concerned that her cover will be blown, and Emma produces a copy of the page with the door on it for her. Regina still thinks Rumpel and the villainesses will be unconvinced, and Regina takes a picture of the door and takes a picture of it. Regina lies to the villains and tells them the page was placed under a protection spell and that Emma has the page. The villains buy into Regina’s ploy and seek out the page.

Hook, Snow, and Charming confront Emma and give her the news of what Ursula revealed. Emma insists she has a choice as to who she is, and that she chooses to be the savior, even though Snow and Charming are concerned that Emma will find out the truth of whatever it was they did.

Maleficent places the town under a sleeping curse so that they can find the page with the door on it. There is clearly tension between Maleficent and Rumpel, and Maleficent knows that while Ursula and Cruella were more or less pawns, she wishes to know for sure what Snow and Charming did to her child. She charges Rumpel with helping her to find out where her child is. Snow and Charming are immune to the curse and rush to the apartment before the villains can get there. Rumpel and the villainesses have reached the apartment but can’t find the page, and Rumpel makes it clear that he knows Snow, Charming, and Henry are immune to the sleeping curse, since they have already been under it, and that Henry might be working against them. Henry is shown running to the author’s house. The villainesses go in search of Henry with Regina. Henry calls Snow and Charming and he lets them know that he’s at the sorcerer’s house. Snow and Charming rush there, but Charming thinks that they should destroy the page. If the destroy the page, the author would be trapped there, and nothing could be changed, but Emma would be protected. Can you say selfish?

Henry is at the sorcerer’s house and finds the key to the door in the page in one of the pieces of furniture there. Someone enters, and he thinks it’s Snow and Charming, but it’s really Regina and the villainesses. Regina compels Henry to give her the page with the door on it. Regina gives the false page to the villainesses and leaves with them in search of Rumpel. Henry gives Snow and Charming the key and the real page when they arrive, and they demand that Henry keep out of their affairs going forward.

Rumpel goes to the pawnshop and seeks out Belle, who is under the sleeping curse. He confides to Belle as she sleeps that changes are coming, and that he will come back for her if he can. When Regina presents Rumpel with the false page, he knows what’s up, and he demands Emma take him to the real page. They use a spell to knock her unconscious and Rumpel knows of a spell in which he can make Regina do as he wishes so that the villainesses can have their happy endings.

Charming is ready to burn the real page, but Snow stops him from doing so because of all Regina has done for them. Snow insists that they tell Emma the truth about what they did because it’s right. Emma is appalled at their lies, and the beliefs she had about what she thought her parents were are shattered. Charming insists that they were only seeking to protect Emma, and Snow insists that she is Emma’s mother, but as she leaves, Emma tells Snow that she doesn’t care. Hook goes to Emma and she insists that she needs some time before she can speak to her parents again. Maleficent asks Rumpel for knowledge of her child’s fate so that she might quell her pain, and Rumpel shows her what happened. The child, a girl, was adopted by a wealthy family, who called her Lily. Maleficent, knowing her daughter is alive, wishes to find her.

Emma goes to August with the real page and tells him that Henry has found the lock to the door. Emma has questions for the author and wants to let him out, despite the fact that he might know her story. The author locked away is just a witness chosen by the sorcerer and his apprentice, from tribal storytellers to a man named Walt (LOL!). This new author began to manipulate tales, especially that of Maleficent’s daughter, which was why the sorcerer and his apprentice locked this author away. Emma lets the author out, and it turns out that the peddler Snow and Charming had met along the road to Maleficent’s is the author. Before Emma can ask him any questions, he flees.

Well, my hopes have been dashed. I wanted Steven King to make an appearance as the author. Or someone dressed up as Charles Dickens.

Either way, here’s an homage to the last unicorn in the Enchanted Forest, the one whom Snow and Charming used to get the visions of what their daughter might be. Thanks, Snow and Charming for being such selfish assholes! No worries, this Unicorn saved the world!*

*Author’s Note: This is just an excuse to post the opening of The Last Unicorn. Because it is awesome. If you have not read the book by Peter S. Beagle or seen the movie, then what are you waiting for? Do it! And suspend your disbelief that maybe that unicorn changed the world! Because every character in OUAT is kind of turning out to be a selfish jerk.

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