Once Upon a Time Season 4 Review “The Apprentice”

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Well, they didn’t give us long to enjoy an Emma/Hook pairing. On their first date, Hook makes the bad decision of visiting Gold to get his hand restored. He should know better than to engage in any dealings with Gold. Naturally, there is a catch. Gold tells him that the hand embodies all of Hook’s bad characteristics. Hook is convinced that he’s changed sufficiently enough that the hand cannot change him back in the rapscallion pirate.

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There are so many cute moments in the lead up to Emma and Hook’s first date. It’s sweet when Henry gives encouragement for her to ask Hook out. I liked his look of surprise at Emma taking charge and subsequent missing the bulls-eye on the darts board. I also liked that he offered to plan the date and she agreed. Emma looked so pretty in a dress – and out of the leather jacket! I absolutely loved when Snow took a Polaroid of her. It was such an excited parent manoeuver. It’s always a little awkward with Snow/Charming being around the same age as Emma, but also her parents. I thought they did a wonderful job this episode of seemingly like concerned parents without it being weird.

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For the first time, we see Hook out of his pirate clothes – though he really is just in a more contemporary version of them. Emma seems pleased to see the new hand, and surprisingly does not question what Hook (now completely Killian) has agreed to in order to get it. By now, there’s no separating the show from the Disney canon, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. This week, it worked. Emma and Killian’s first date is a darling homage to Lady and the Tramp; though, they do not themselves do the shared spaghetti eating – thank goodness. Unfortunately, things hit a bumpy patch when the Knave knocks into their table. Killian’s temper flares, and he suspect the hand is behind his outburst.

After another run in with the Knave, Killian decides that it’s best to return the hook. Gold is ready to extract his end of the deal. He recruits Hook to help him take care of an old nemesis – the Sorcerer’s apprentice. I loved the scene when Gold sets the broom walking. It was really well done and smooth incorporation of the Fantasia imagery.

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Anna and the Frozen storyline were woven in a bit awkwardly. Rumple uses Anna to help turn the Sorcerer’s Apprentice into a mouse. This was a cute way of incorporating a Mickey reference into the story, but Anna’s interaction with Rumple was otherwise kind of pointless. Anna traveled all the way to the Enchanted Forest to find out about her parents and all she accomplishes is finding out that they were trying to get rid of Elsa’s magic. That’s it? She doesn’t even seem disappointed to end up back in Arrendale with that kind of scanty information.

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What rubbed me wrong in this episode was the interaction between Emma and Hook. I am worried that once Emma finds out that Hook has been involved with Gold, she’s going to turn super judgmental and her chance at happiness will be dashed. She’ll forget, naturally, that she is no stranger to making deals with Gold. But, what really disturbed me was that Hook could have easily told Emma what was going on. He could’ve told her that he’d wanted his hand for her, but didn’t appreciate what Gold was going to want. But, by not being upfront – about a situation fairly commonplace in Storybrooke – Hook may also put his budding relationship with Emma at risk.

Does anyone else miss Regina?