‘Once Upon a Time’ (Season 4): The Trio of Evil

OUAT Villains

It’s been a few months since a new episode of Once Upon a Time has aired on ABC so it took a little bit of time to get back into the flow of the story, remembering that Elsa and Anna (recurring guest stars Georgina Haig and Elizabeth Lail) from the world of ‘Frozen’ have returned to Arendelle while Storybrooke is going to be visited by the trio of evil; three of the most terrifying villains of the fairytale world: Maleficent, Ursula and Cruella de Vil (recurring guest stars Kristin Bauer van Straten, Merrin Dungey and Victoria Smurfit).

As the story reopens we find these villains meeting for the first time under the pretense of a request by the one and only Rumplestiltskin (series regular Robert Carlyle) in the Forbidden Forest; while in the “real world” Mr. Gold has been, for the past 6 weeks, staying in the New York City apartment of Ursula the Sea Queen, who works for the local aquarium.

This is where the seeds of his returning to Storybrooke are sown, with a little help from flashbacks to his original meeting with the trio of evil, who then as well as now doubt that any plan of his for them to get their happy ending (which may be happy for them but very unhappy for everyone else) isn’t going to work because it seems all of his other plans have never worked out.

Not only has he made empty promises to the villainous women in the past, but he has also left them to be devoured by a demon in the fairytale world; the same demon – that seeks out the heart with the most potential for evil – that temporarily plagued Storybrooke. So to see Rumple working with Cruella and Ursula – regardless of any kind of great plan he has formulated to get back into Storybrooke – is a little hard to watch. And, getting back into Storybrooke is exactly what Rumple gets thanks in great part to trickery on the part of Ursula and Cruella [by way of Rumple’s elaborate plan that will assuredly play out over the course of the rest of the current season) but also thanks – intentional or not – to the susceptibility of Regina (series regular Lana Parilla) and Emma (series lead Jennifer Morrison), who helped them get in.

Truth be told, Rumple laid the groundwork for his return by providing Belle (series regular Emilie de Ravin) with the spell that not only released the fairies from the wizard’s hat but also the demon, which in turn, helped get Ursula and Cruella as well as himself inside Storybrooke. Oh what a tangled web he can weave, right?

The only missing piece is retrieving Maleficent – somehow – from the land of the dead since she was killed, while in dragon form, by Emma. How that resurrection will be performed is to be played out in next week’s episode and will do nothing more than lead to one big, dangerous showdown. Speaking of showdowns, just what is up with that secret shared between Snow (series lead Ginnifer Goodwin), Charming (series regular Josh Dallas), Cruella and Ursula that had Snow threatening the two villains? Things that make you hmmm?!

What are your thoughts on the new direction of the series? What do you think is Rumple’s ultimate goal? How will Emma be pulled into this villainous plan? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The next new episode of the fourth season of ‘Once Upon a Time’ will air on ABC on Sunday, March 8 at 8/7c.