‘Once Upon a Time’ season finale recap: ‘Operation Mongoose Part 1 & Part 2’

Operation Mongoose Part 1

We begin with the author’s back story. He’s a salesman, a wanna be author, but he has gotten nothing but rejected manuscripts. That is until he got a mysterious letter from a publisher who just so happened to be the Apprentice. He got his wish to be an author… the author, but we know how well that went.

Next, we see him in Gold’s shop, commiserating with the Dark One himself. He has Gold/Rumple dictate details for the new story, particularly regarding Bae. He can’t bring Bae back, but he can alter Rumple’s memory of him so that he remembers doing right by his boy.

Meanwhile the heroes are searching frantically for a way to stop the author. They search through the library of empty story books hoping to come across something useful when August shows up. He tells them about the author and shows them a sketch of what he looks like. Hook immediately recognizes him as the man Rumple had him trap in the hat. Fortunately, when they recruit Blue for help, she is able to release him.

Once released, the Apprentice tells them that they must trap the author in the book again, and this time for good. The only thing is that he needs the picture of the door and the key to do it. Snow, Charming, and Hook scramble back to the apartment to see if they can find it, while Emma, Regina and the Apprentice headed over to Gold’s shop. They didn’t make it, however, before the new fairy tale world was created.

Image courtesy of Roger Wong/INFphoto.com

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In the book:

After the town-wide zap, Henry wakes up alone. He has the key in his hand, but no one else is in the town, so he hops in the car and drives to the nearest place to find out if anyone has seen his family. Although he didn’t receive any help, he did find a paperback book titled “Heroes and Villains” by a man named Isaac Heller. Coincidence? I think not, and neither did Henry. He found out where Isaac (the author) was holding a press conference and signing. He went and confronted him there.

The author explained to Henry that his family was now living in the alternate reality of his book. Henry gets the idea that he can save them, and uses the key to unlock a door in the book, allowing him to enter it. Things seemed cool at first, I mean Henry finally gets to be in The Enchanted Forest, but it turns out that the author got sucked in too. He was pretty ticked off about it and ended up knocking Henry out.

When Henry comes to, he’s tied up to the wheels of a wagon. The author has set him up to be the snack of an ogre. Things, don’t always work out as planned though, and Henry is saved by “the ogre slayer,” a knight who just so happens to be Rumpelstiltskin. Once free, he goes looking for Regina, who does not believe him when he explains that they are trapped in a book, not even when he shows her the book.

When the author came back looking for Henry, he ended up getting captured by the dwarves (the Evil Queen Snow White’s henchmen). They took him to see her, but before she executed him, he convinced her that he was on her side and that he wanted both Regina and a new mysterious boy killed. That saved his life, and he hoped, his happy ending as well. He had previously informed Henry that they were in the last chapter, and once the bells tolled at the end of the day, the book will be over and then nothing could be changed.

Evil Snow caught Bandit Regina in an attempt to rob her carriage, but before she could kill her, Robin Hood swooped in and rescued her. He takes her to a nearby tavern, attends to her wound, and asks her to take his place as the leader of the Merry Men. She declines, and he ends up telling her that he’s giving up being a thief for his new bride. You guessed it, Zelena.

As Regina leaves downtrodden, Henry finds her again and realizes that the bells of the wedding are the bells Isaac described as marking the end of the book. He tries once again to convince Regina, but she told him to go find his other mother, Emma. Isaac had told Henry that there was no room for a savior in his book, but it turns out that she is there. She’s being held in one of Evil Snow’s prisons.

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Operation Mongoose Part 2

Unsure of Evil Snow’s ability to track down Regina and Henry, Isaac pays a visit to Rumple. He tells him about how he’s living in a fantasy world that Regina will destroy if she isn’t killed first. When Rumple doesn’t believe him, he tells him about Bae and how in the real world he died because of Rumple.

Meanwhile, in his search for Emma, Henry seeks out Hook. However, in this world Hook is not a captain, and he is not brave. He’s a cowardly deck hand for Black Beard. It’s quite amusing to see Henry attempt to persuade him to give him passage to the prison where Emma is being kept. They are able to easily break Emma out, but the guard was actually Lily, who went dragon to chase them down. They were able to defeat her, and headed a course for stopping Robin’s wedding.

Evil Snow has a round table with the dwarves and Granny, and chastises them for not bringing her Regina’s heart or the boy. She decides to motivate them by killing Doc. Meanwhile, Emma is trying to teach Hook how to use a sword. Evidently Lily didn’t die, because she led Evil Snow and Charming straight to them. In the scuffle Hook was killed, but Emma and Henry got away.

When Henry and Emma find Regina, Emma tries to convince Regina of the falsehood of her reality, but the thing that really got to Regina was Emma telling her she just watched the man she loved die in front of her and she never even told him that she loved him. She may not have been able to completely convince Regina they’re trapped in a book, but she did get her to agree to crash the wedding. Before they could get in the church, though, they ran into Rumple.

Emma engages Rumple in a sword fight and tells Regina and Henry to stop the wedding. Regina runs up to the church door, slowly opens it, but then just stands and watches. She catches Robin’s eye and they share a smile, but Regina is distracted by Henry’s yelling. Rumple used magic to blast Emma back, knocking her out. He was advancing towards Henry with the intent to kill, but just as his sword was about to strike, Regina jumped in front of Henry, and so was slain. The bells begin tolling, it’s the end of the book, nothing can change now, or can it? The wedding party emerges from the church and rushes to the dying Regina. Robin kneels to check on her, but Zelena gets angry that this has ruined her wedding day. Ironically, when she looks down, she sees her hand turning green (with envy) and she runs off. Robin holds Regina and promises he will stay by her side so that she doesn’t have to die alone.

Isaac speaks up and says, “too little, too late.” Emma socks him and then tells him to write back to normal. He explains that he can’t because he is not the author any more. Right about that time Henry notices the quill that tumbled out of Isaac’s pouch. When he picks it up, it glows…Henry is the new author! He writes “Thanks to the hero Regina’s sacrifice, Isaac’s villainous work was undone.”

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The return

With a flash everyone awakes back in Storybrooke right where they were before the new story started, which entailed Emma outside, and Snow, Charming and Hook in the apartment. Emma ran into the apartment, but didn’t see Hook at first. It turns out he was in the loft.

Back in Gold’s shop, Isaac grabbled Rumple’s keys and took off. Belle came in as Isaac exited. She was angry, but as soon as she saw that Rumple was dying, she cradled him and confessed that she loved him, not Will.

Charming was able to stop Isaac before he made it to the town line. The Apprentice talked to Henry about being the new author, but Henry thought no one should have that kind of power. Rumple admits to Belle that he needed to fabricate their happiness, because he could just never truly believe that she really loved him in the real world. He still believed no one could love him. He tries to tell her to leave, to go with Will, but she confesses that she doesn’t love Will. When he passes out, she runs to tell everyone about how he’ll be only the Dark One.

Right before she rushes in, Emma and Lily had a discussion about her wanting to find her father, who apparently impregnated Maleficent while they were both in dragon form. It will be interesting to see if she finds him, and who he is.

The Apprentice joins Emma and the gang to see if they can do anything to save Rumple. He tries to use the hat to extract the darkness from Rumple’s heart and trap it. It sort of worked. Rumple’s heart was left white as snow (pun intended), but the darkness broke free from the hat. As it moved through the air, it was very reminiscent of the smoke on LOST, except it looked more like the consistency of tar.

The Apprentice tells them that long ago the sorcerer took the darkness and tethered it to a human soul that could be controlled by the dagger. That way the darkness could not consume all the realms. He told them the the sorcerer was the only one who could defeat the darkness, and he told them the sorcerer’s name was Merlin. They charged out after the darkness, but couldn’t see it. Then, all of a sudden it attacked Regina. Emma decided the only way to contain it until they found Merlin would be to tether it to another soul, so she took it. That’s right, Emma is now the new Dark One. But, at least she finally told Hook she loved him before she did it. She also told Snow and Charming that they found a way to get the darkness out of her once, so they can do it again, except this time they can do it as heroes.

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Carissa Shuman

Carissa is a writer, editor, and artist with a love for science and science fiction.